Speed Read: Monday 25 November 2013

1-    NATIONAL FAMILY WEEK: Here’s the first line of President Obama’s proclamation of “National Family Week,” November 24-30: “Whether united by blood or bonds of kinship — whether led by a mother and father, same-sex couple, single parent, or guardian — families are the building blocks of American society.”

2-   BEST INTERESTS: The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last Friday that a family court judge should have considered the best interests of a child in deciding whether to allow the boy to have overnight visitation with his biological father who lives with his same-sex domestic partner. The 4 to 3 opinion came in Moix v. Moix, a complicated nine-year-long custody and visitation battle between John Moix and his ex-wife, Libby Moix. After the mother remarried, the son sought to have more visits with his biological father. John Moix was in a seven-year-long relationship with a man and Arkansas has a state law against adoption by unmarried couples. The majority noted that the court has repeatedly held that “the primary consideration in domestic relations cases is the welfare and best interest of the children and that all other considerations are secondary.” It remanded the case to the family court for a determination of what is in the best interests of the son.

3-    PENNSYLVANIA APPEAL: A federal district court judge in Pennsylvania has set June 9 in Harrisburg for a trial in Whitewood v. Corbett, a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, Associated Press says Republican Governor Tom Corbett plans to appeal Judge John Jones decision to deny the state’s request that the lawsuit be dismissed.

4-   DRILLING DOWN: U.S. Rep. Linda Chavez (D-Calif.), chairman of the Civil Rights Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, will hold a hearing in Los Angeles today to draw attention to findings from a recent study of LGBT people of color in the workplace. The Movement Advancement Project’s study, released last week, uncovered a number of disadvantages for Latino LGBT people, including that 14 percent of Latino LGBT people were unemployed, compared to 11 percent of non-Latino LGBT people. The hearing takes place in Los Angeles at the headquarters of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

5-    TORONTO BACK STORY: This Canadian city’s confessed crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford, got himself elected in 2010 by attacking his openly gay opponent over the opponent’s past drug abuse –abuse the opponent acknowledged to voters. The Associated Press reported last week this bizarre back story to the even more bizarre developments over the frequent rantings and rampages of Toronto’s mayor in recent weeks. The story noted that openly gay candidate George Smitherman had shared with voters his overcoming an addiction to party drugs and that voters seemed put off by Smitherman’s being gay.

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