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2012

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News Briefs

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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Sunday Speed: Va. stay expires Thursday

The Supreme Court could decide this week whether to extend a stay of a Fourth Circuit ruling that, if not extended, will expire Thursday morning, enabling same-sex couples to marry in Virginia and, perhaps, in other Fourth Circuit states. The ballot battle over Houston’s human rights ordinance has been postponed until at least next year. And a 99-year-old athlete wows the crowds at the Gay Games.

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A Closer Look

Supreme Court: Which case makes the best case for marriage equality?

The U.S. Supreme Court could announce as early as Tuesday (September 30) which marriage equality case –or cases— it will accept for review this session. But, while the Court has seven marriage equality cases to choose from during its private working conference Monday (September 29), it may not choose any of those seven for review. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hinted as much in public remarks last week.

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Breaking News

Polis tries parliamentary maneuver in hopes of moving ENDA to the floor

Because House Speaker John Boehner has vowed to block ENDA from getting a vote, the discharge petition has become the only hope to force ENDA to the floor if the Republican-dominated chamber. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, with the backing of Democratic House leaders, filed a petition with the House clerk. It’s a long-shot but ENDA supporters need to find just 16 signatures to get the ball rolling.

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Sixth Circuit GOP judges: Why not let the voters decide who gets to marry?

The three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seemed to signal pretty clearly where they’re headed on the six marriage equality lawsuits they heard arguments in Wednesday: toward the first federal appeals ruling to undo lower court rulings that held state bans on marriage for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional.

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Fourth Circuit panel votes 2 to 1 to strike Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban

It was clear from the oral argument that two out of three of the judges on a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel would vote on opposite sides concerning the constitutionality of Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The question was how the third judge would vote. That question was answered Monday: He voted against the ban.

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President signs historic executive order

President Obama this morning (July 21) signed a long-sought executive order prohibiting contractors who do business with the federal government from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and adding to existing protection (which includes sexual orientation) for federal employees a prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity.

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Legal activists call Hobby Lobby decision ‘radical’ and will require vigilance to protect LGBT equality

Some LGBT legal activists say today’s decision in a U.S. Supreme Court religious exemption case amounts to a “dangerous and radical departure from existing law that creates far more questions than it answers.”

Saying it is not providing a “shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice,” a 5 to 4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today (June 30) that a federal law may not require a closely held commercial employer to provide health insurance coverage for contraception if that employer claims that to do so violates his or her personal religious beliefs.

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