Speed Read: Wednesday 23 October 2013

1-    LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED: Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory Angelo said he and Freedom to Work official Christian Berle met Tuesday with representatives of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). The purpose of the meeting, he said, was to talk about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). “We’re not working on getting additional co-sponsors,” said Angelo, “but just trying to make sure the votes are there to pass it…. My approach is to leave no stone unturned.”

2-   NEW MEXICO ARGUMENT TODAY: The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Griego v. Oliver, which seeks to clarify that state law does not ban marriage licenses for same-sex couples. New Mexico is the one state that has not passed a law or constitutional amendment to explicitly ban marriage licenses for same-sex couples. But five same-sex couples were denied licenses in Albuquerque. The lawsuit, filed in March, was organized by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU. A district court judge ruled in favor of the couples in August, and clerks in several counties have already begun issuing marriage licenses. Albuquerque station KOAT will carry a live webstream of the argument at 9 a.m. MDT on its website.

3-   OKLAHOMA COUPLE MARRIED: A gay male couple in Oklahoma has obtained a valid marriage license, not from the state but from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes trial court. The tribal code does not specify any requirements concerning gender for a marriage application; it requires only that the applicants be of Native American descent and live within the jurisdiction of the tribe. On sovereign Indian land, noted KOCO TV, which broke the story, state laws do not apply. According to the Tulsa World, Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear obtained the license October 18. But the paper also quoted the editor of the Tribes’ newspaper as saying that they were not the first gay couple, but the second, to obtain a license.

4-   COLLINS GETS CHALLENGER: A leader in the Mainers United for Marriage effort will announce today that she will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Susan Collins, whose term expires in 2015. Shenna Bellows served as executive director of the ACLU of Maine for the past eight years. Betsy Smith of Equality Maine told the Portland Press Herald that Bellows’ contributions to the marriage campaign “contributed significantly to helping us win.”

5-   OHIO LITIGANT SUCCUMBS: John Arthur, the terminally ill Ohio man who, with his spouse James Obergefell, won a federal court ruling in Ohio that the state must recognize their out-of-state marriage license, died Tuesday. He was 48. Arthur, who was confined to bed because of his illness, and Obergefell chartered a plane to fly to Maryland to obtain the license.

6-   BOOKMARK: A book about a key opponent of Joseph McCarthy during his witch hunts for homosexuals and Communists during the 1950s will be used as a backdrop for a “mock trial” of McCarthy in Washington, D.C. Wednesday night. The Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., is sponsoring the dramatic reading of the just published Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins: The Suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester Hunt, by former Wyoming legislator Rodger McDaniel. The book delves into Hunt’s life and how McCarthy’s notorious campaign led to the arrest of Hunt’s son and then to Hunt’s suicide.

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