Speed Read: Friday 25 October 2013


1-    DEFENDING THE CRUMBS: The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case brought by a group that says the state’s domestic partnership law violates the Wisconsin constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Wisconsin Family Action filed Appling v. Doyle, saying the domestic partnerships closely resemble marriages and thus circumvent the ban. Lambda Legal is defending the partnership law arguing that the limited benefits available to domestic partners are important but that it is a “stretch of the imagination” to compare domestic partnerships with marriage. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported the justices seem inclined to “tweak” the partnership law.

2-   HONORING A PIONEER IN JUSTICE: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice who wrote the bold decision that led to the first marriages of same-sex couples in Massachusetts in 2004 will be honored tonight at a gala of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, now retired from the bench, issued the landmark decision in Goodridge v. Massachusetts with a majority of her colleagues on November 18, 2003, setting an example that has been followed by 13 other states and the District of Columbia.

3-   STOP PUTTING UP THESE WALLS: Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe criticized ultra-conservative Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli at last night’s final debate for his anti-gay comments. Cuccinelli told a conservative group in 2008 that gay people are “soulless” and “self-destructive.”  “We’ve got to stop this attack on gay Virginians. We can’t put up walls if we’re going to grow.” The latest poll, taken October 15-21, shows McAuliffe with a seven-point lead, with a plus or minus 3 margin of error.

4-   BULLY CALLED FRIEND ‘GAY’: The 11-year-old boy arrested in Vancouver, Washington, Wednesday for taking knives, a gun, and 400 rounds of ammunition to school, told authorities a “voice” in his head told him to kill a bully who had called a friend gay. The boy said he also planned to shoot himself in the head. Police were able to stop the boy from implementing his plans after his mother called to alert them that he had taken knives to school.

5-   TEXAS’ WENDY DAVIS VISITS HRC: The Texas state senator who grabbed national headlines for her filibuster to stop legislation in the Texas Senate restricting access to abortion dropped by Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C., Thursday. Wendy Davis has launched a campaign to become governor of Texas, an effort pundits are calling a long shot.

6-   WHITE HOUSE GOES PINK: The lights illuminating the outside of the White House turned from classic white to pink last night, a gesture of support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

7-   RE-LIVING ROMNEY LOSS: A conservative organization published its analysis of the 2012 presidential election yesterday, saying that because Republican Mitt Romney’s refused to run ads about his opposition to same-sex marriage, “President Obama never had to pay the price in Ohio, Virginia, or elsewhere for embracing gay marriage.” The report was published by American Principles in Action, a group whose board and staff include Maggie Gallagher, a co-founder of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.

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