Speed Read: Wednesday 2 October 2013


1-    NJ MARRIAGE: STAY DECISION LOOMS: Awaiting word from New Jersey Supreme Court as to whether it will hear the state’s appeal of a Superior Court ruling that says marriage equality must begin there October 21. State Democratic senators have urged the court to address the issue quickly. Meanwhile, the judge who issued the ruling indicated Tuesday she will decide early next week whether to grant the state’s request for a stay of that deadline pending appeal. The state filed briefs Monday and Tuesday, urging a stay. Lambda attorney Hayley Gorenberg said Lambda will file a brief Friday opposing a stay. The state can then file a response Monday and judge will decide “soon thereafter.”

2-   NO BEHIND-THE-SCENES FIGHTING: Lambda Legal Director Jon Davidson confirmed Tuesday what Ted Olson said about the two lawsuits seeking marriage equality in Virginia: There is no behind-the-scenes tension between the two separate legal teams. “We welcome them into the litigation going on in Virginia,” said Davidson, in an email, when asked about Olson team request that its plaintiffs be excluded from the Lambda-ACLU team’s class action. “The plaintiffs in that case and their lawyers simply want to have their own case and not be swept into ours.”

3-   NO WORD FROM HIGH COURT ON SPEECH: The U.S. Supreme Court was expected Tuesday to announce whether it would hear the appeal of a university personnel official who was fired for publishing an op-ed in the Toledo Free Press complaining about a description of gays as “civil rights victims.” Next likely date for announcement is October 15. Case 12-3218 Dixon v. University of Toledo.

4-   THE NEW HEALTH CARE LANDSCAPE: The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has put together a helpful summary to explain to LGBT people how the Affordable Care Act improves their ability to obtain and keep health care coverage and prevents discrimination in the provision of that coverage. It also explains how to obtain or change your health care coverage during the enrollment period that opened October 1.

5-   OLYMPIC SKI MEDALIST DISSES RUSSIAN LAW: Gold medalist alpine skier Bode Miller spoke out against the Russian anti-gay laws Monday at a U.S. Olympic Committee event in Utah. “I think it’s embarrassing,” said Miller, in an interview on ESPN. He said he sees the laws as “a real hurdle” for the Sochi Games in February but that he believes “sports can be a tool to transcend the stupidity of different cultures…I’m hoping people can get past it and it can be that instrument of change.”

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