Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has married her long-term partner, her office said on Monday, making her the world’s first national leader with a same-sex spouse.
by Roberta Sklar | Washington Blade
A groundbreaking study by Patrick Egan was released last week related to polling on ballot measures on marriage equality and same-sex relationships. The study shows that voters don’t move during campaigns. They vote the way they said they would right from the start. “Whaaa?,” I said to myself when I first read it and did a double take
by Sarah Posner | Religion Dispatches
On a teleconference last month with a loose coalition of white and Latino evangelical leaders, Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat who had recently unveiled a legislative proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, pleaded with participants to bring Republican senators to the table to hammer out a bipartisan package.
by Christopher Stoll and Shannon Price Minter | The Advocate
In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to the University of California Hastings College of the Law’s policy requiring all funded student groups to be open to all students.
by Jesse McKinley | New York Times
Just hours after Judge Vaughn R. Walker banged the final gavel in the trial of Proposition 8 — California’s same-sex marriage ban — the two top lawyers challenging the law, David Boies and Theodore Olson, were holding court again: this time at a small private dinner with donors in San Francisco.
If you are a person who is, or has been, or possibly one day could be attracted to individuals regardless of their sex/gender, please consider sharing your experience through this survey. Click on the link below to an exciting new survey focused on people whose sexual orientation does not fit a ‘mono-sexual’ model.
This survey seek to understand the workplace experiences of people who identify as bisexual, or as one of the many alternative labels describing ‘erotic fluidity’ (such as pansexual, men/women who have sex with men and women (MSMW and WSMW), queer-identified, many-gender-loving, etc), in order to educate heterosexual, gay, and lesbian co-workers, and impact workplace policies and practices.
The survey is being sponsored through a collaboration between Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the premier international LGBT workplace organization, the Bisexual Resource Center, respected internationally as a voice for the bisexual community, and the American Institute of Bisexuality, the research leader in bisexuality topics.
New York Times editorial
Americans vote in secret, but they expect most other significant political acts to take place in the sunshine, from passing laws to making campaign donations. Anonymity in those areas is inimical to a robust democracy, and the Supreme Court was right on Thursday to rule that there is no constitutional right to hide in the shadows when signing a referendum petition.
Rejects challenge to Law School Policy Requiring Funded Student Groups To Welcome All Students
Today, in a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Ruth Ginsburg, the United States Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the University of California Hastings College of the Law’s policy of requiring all funded student groups to be open to all students. The policy was challenged by the Christian Legal Society (CLS), which argued that the policy violated its right to freedom of association. In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court held: “In requiring CLS—in common with all other student organizations—to choose between welcoming all students and forgoing the benefits of official recognition, . . . Hastings did not transgress constitutional limitations. CLS . . . seeks not parity with other organizations, but a preferential exemption from Hastings’ policy.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Paul Smith of Jenner & Block LLP represent Outlaw, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender student group which intervened to defend Hastings’ nondiscrimination policy.
The Court affirmed that the First Amendment does not require public universities to subsidize discrimination: “The First Amendment shields CLS against state prohibition of the organization’s expressive activity, however exclusionary that activity may be. But CLS enjoys no constitutional right to state subvention of its selectivity.”
“Today’s decision affirmed the longstanding doctrine that university non-discrimination policies do not violate free speech when applied in a consistent and even-handed way,” said NCLR Senior Attorney Christopher Stoll. “The Court rejected the dangerous argument that anti-gay groups must be given a special exemption from non-discrimination policies. ”
Hastings, like many public colleges and graduate schools, requires student groups applying for university funding and other resources for group related events to abide by a nondiscrimination policy. In 2004, the Christian Legal Society filed a lawsuit against Hastings, arguing that the nondiscrimination policy violated the First Amendment. CLS argued in the Supreme Court that it had a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBT and non-Christian students while receiving official recognition and public funding from Hastings.
On March 17, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Hastings and Outlaw, rejecting CLS’s arguments that the school’s policy violates its rights to freedom of speech, religion, and association. The court explained: “Hastings imposes an open membership rule on all student groups—all groups must accept all comers as voting members even if those individuals disagree with the mission of the group. The conditions on recognition are therefore viewpoint neutral and reasonable.” The Ninth Circuit’s decision affirmed an earlier ruling by United States District Court Judge Jeffrey White upholding the nondiscrimination policy against CLS’s First Amendment challenge.
“We strongly support free speech and robust dialogue on college campuses,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. “The Supreme Court’s decision enhances campus speech and debate by giving universities the option of requiring that officially recognized student groups admit students of all backgrounds and viewpoints, leading to richer discussions both within and among groups.”
Hastings is represented by Gregory Garre and Maureen Mahoney of Latham & Watkins, and by Ethan Schulman of Crowell & Moring LLP. Mr. Garre argued on behalf of Hastings.