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2011

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News Briefs

Senate changes hands and GOP wins governor’s office in three blue states

Republican candidates won enough U.S. Senate seats Tuesday night to take over the majority in both chambers of Congress, but in an even more stunning victory, Republicans took over the governor’s offices in three strongly Democratic states –Illinois, Maryland, and, Massachusetts.

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Ninth Circuit decision adds 5 more states to equality column, tally could reach 35

A unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday (October 7) struck down state bans against marriage for same-sex couples in Nevada and Idaho, but the ruling will –if not appealed— affect bans in Ninth Circuit states with similar bans: Alaska, Arizona, and Montana. That means the total count on marriage equality states could well reach 35 this week.

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Supreme Court refuses 7 marriage appeals; 5 to 11 more states will have freedom; tally could hit 30

In a surprise development, the U.S. Supreme Court today announced it would not accept for review any of the seven appeals on same-sex marriage bans from five states. The action means that the stays placed on lower court decisions in all five states –decisions that struck down bans on marriage for same-sex couples—are immediately lifted, making way for the lower courts to issue orders requiring the states to stop enforcing their bans.

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Summer Finale: ‘doing this stupid thing’

A Seventh Circuit panel grilled attorneys for Indiana and Wisconsin this week over their reasons for banning marriage for same-sex couples. The Supreme Court extended a stay last week on a Fourth Circuit decision that Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. A gay dating app appears to have a ‘security flaw’ that may reveal too much about a user’s identity. And Michael Sam has been cut from the St. Louis Rams’ roster.

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A Closer Look

Why some think the dissent cries ‘wolf’ over Supreme Court marriage decision

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision striking down state bans against same-sex marriage has been touted as “probably the strongest manifesto in favor of marriage” and pilloried as “a threat to American democracy.” The huff and puff will soon die down, and here’s a look at the legal bricks that will remain standing and why some might think the dissent is crying “wolf.”

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Breaking News

EEOC decision gives concrete remedies for federal employees facing bias

A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision Thursday could provide important remedies to thousands of federal workers who might face sexual orientation discrimination and may increase pressure on Congress to advance the ENDA.

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“Justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”: On same-sex marriage “the fight is over”

June 26 has been solidified as the historic date for LGBT history in the United States. It is the day in 2003 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enforce laws prohibiting same-sex adults from having intimate relations. It is the day in 2013 when a Supreme Court procedural ruling enabled same-sex couples to marry […]

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Supreme Court: States must license and recognize licenses of marriages for same-sex couples

In a widely expected yet stunning victory for LGBT people nationally, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today (June 26) that state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional. The decision requires states to both issue marriage licenses to couples and to recognize marriage licenses obtained in other states by same-sex couples.

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Supreme Court upholds health insurance subsidies critical to people with HIV

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6 to 3 decision, upheld the right of the federal government to provide health care insurance subsidies to people with low income in states that have chosen not to participate in the Affordable Care Act by setting up insurance “exchanges.”

The decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, is a big political victory for the Obama administration and a big relief for people with low incomes, including many people with HIV.

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Abercrombie case: LGBT and evangelicals on the same side

It is a rare occasion when LGBT legal activists find themselves on the same side of a case as the conservative Christian Legal Society and the National Association of Evangelicals. It is also rare to find LGBT legal activists on the same side as conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and his fondness for hewing to the original explicit language of a law.

But so it was with EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch June 1, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employer cannot escape federal law’s requirement to accommodate a job applicant’s religious practices by claiming the applicant never told the employer about his or her religious practices.

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