Speed Read: Tuesday 8 October 2013


1-    SUPREME COURT REJECTS SPEECH CASE: In the first official day of the 2013-14 session, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to take the appeal of a public university official who was fired over an op-ed complaining about comparisons of the civil rights movement of gays to that of African Americans. In the op-ed, Crystal Dixon, an African-American, wrote that, as a University of Toledo employee (a vice president), she took “great umbrage at the notion of those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims’.” The university fired her for publicly contradicting its policies of welcoming diversity and non-discrimination. Dixon sued, saying she had a First Amendment right to express her opinion. The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with the university, noting that, because Dixon held such a high profile position with the school, the university could fire for publicly contradicting the policies it hired her to enforce.

2-   SCALIA: HAS ‘HOMO’ FRIENDS? New York magazine published an interview Sunday with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in which acknowledges, “I have friends that I know, or very much suspect, are homosexual. Everybody does.” When interviewer Jennifer Senior asked, “Have any of them come out to you?” Scalia replied, “No, no. Not that I know of.” He later emphasized, “I’m not a hater of homosexuals at all. …I don’t hate the people that engage in it…. Maybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights, and here’s Scalia, standing athwart it. At least standing athwart it as a constitutional entitlement.”

3-   REPUBLICANS: DIVERSITY, NOT DIVISION? Conservative commentator George Will said early in the Fox News Sunday show that he does not see the Republican Party as being “split” so much as it having developed “diversity” in its membership. By diversity, Will explained that he meant “diversity in thought.”

4-   LIZ CHENEY TOO PRO-GAY? A conservative political action committee run by the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is running an ad in Wyoming claiming U.S. Senate candidate Liz Cheney is too pro-gay. Cheney is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and sister of out lesbian Republican activist Mary Cheney. Unlike her family, Liz Cheney is better known for speaking against marriage equality. But an opposition ad in the Wyoming Senate race, featured in an October 7 article by the Washington Post, faults Cheney for going on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and saying she supports the State Department extending benefits to its employees with same-sex partners.

5-   HARVARD DISSECTS QUINN’S LOSS: The Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics is hosting a forum tonight at 6 p.m. –with live webstream here—discussing why lesbian New York official Christine Quinn lost the Democratic primary for mayor last month. Panelists will include Quinn’s chief political strategist and her communications director along with three New York Times reporters who covered the campaign.

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