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March 29, 2013
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A free twice-weekly news summary for the LGBT community

  Top Story 
  • Kagan thumps DOMA lawyer during oral arguments
    Paul Clement, the lawyer hired by the House to argue the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, struggled to answer Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan this week after she rebutted his argument that lawmakers' intent in passing DOMA was to establish uniformity among the states. Reading from a House Report, Kagan said the law was intended to "express moral disapproval of homosexuality." Amid gasps from those watching the proceedings, Clement answered, "Does the House Report say that? Of course, the House Report says that. And if that's enough to invalidate the statute, then you should invalidate the statute." Metro Weekly (Washington, D.C.)/Poliglot blog (3/27), The New Yorker (free content)/News Desk blog (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Justices appear skeptical of DOMA: At least four Supreme Court justices this week indicated concern about the federal government’s foray into defining marriage, an issue they said was traditionally handled by the states. But the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act at the Supreme Court may hang on the opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was harder to read. Cato Institute senior fellow Ilya Shapiro said he believes DOMA will be struck down, though a majority of the court's members may differ on the grounds to declare it unconstitutional. BuzzFeed (3/27), ABC News (3/27), Washington Blade (Washington, D.C.) (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are LGBT Americans politically powerful? During oral arguments this week, Chief Justice John Roberts implied that LGBT Americans now wield significant political power. "As far as I can tell, political figures are falling over themselves to endorse your side of the case," Roberts told a lawyer challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. But the reality is different when viewed from a broader perspective, argues Brian Moulton of the Human Rights Campaign. "[I]n 30 states, LGBT people have been unsuccessful in stopping their legislators and their neighbors from voting their families out of those state constitutions," he said. About 575 of some 500,000 elected officials in the U.S. are openly LGBT, according to the Victory Fund. The Wall Street Journal/Washington Wire blog (3/27), The Huffington Post (3/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Politics and Policy 
  • GOP strategists seek end to culture wars
    Some Republican political strategists say they hope the Supreme Court rules favorably for LGBT advocates in two pending cases. Such an outcome is the only way the party can get beyond a contentious cultural issue and attract more voter support, they say. "We can't continue to fight a losing battle on gay marriage and gay rights, and if we need the Supreme Court to help in that regard, so be it," said one GOP pollster, who asked not to be named. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bathroom bill passes Ariz. House committee
    Legislation that would allow businesses in Arizona to forbid transgender customers from using certain public bathrooms was approved by a state House committee this week, despite the presence of about 200 people who oppose the bill. "My bill is not about depriving somebody of civil rights. My bill is about restoring civility in public baths, public showers, public dressing rooms," said the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. John Kavanagh. Opponents say there is no evidence that allowing trans individuals to use bathrooms designated for the gender with which they identify has caused serious problems anywhere. CBS News/The Associated Press (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama's legacy on marriage: Trendsetter?
    President Barack Obama deserves credit for generating a wave of political support for marriage equality by announcing his change of heart on the issue, according to this article. "It's become a mainstream position for the Democratic Party and yes, we can attribute a lot of that to the president," one advocate told The Hill's Amie Parnes. According to a Republican strategist, Obama shoved the issue to the fore only to help his then-flagging reelection effort. The Hill (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Other than marriage equality and other partnership rights, what LGBT-related issues do you believe deserve the most attention now?
    Employment nondiscrimination laws  50.00%
    Immigration reform that includes LGBT couples/families  21.17%
    Safe schools/anti-bullying laws and policies  18.93%
    Laws protecting gender identity and expression  7.96%
    Military issues including open service for trans troops  1.07%
    Other/Not sure  0.87%
  • Attorney offers path forward on Prop 8 case
    If the Supreme Court is looking for a way to confine its ruling in the Proposition 8 case to California and leave more weighty questions for another day, justices need look no further than the damage the initiative did to the state's equal-protection guarantee, writes Christopher Stoll, an attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. For the first time in history, a state's equal-protection clause was essentially amended to carve out an exception for same-sex couples who wish to marry, which is impermissible under the Constitution, Stoll argues. The Huffington Post (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership Spotlight 
  • Chicago's "Top 10 lesbians" named
    Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy tops The L Stop's "Top Ten Chicago Lesbians to Look Out for in 2013." The list also includes political fundraiser Leah Israel, activist Cassandra Avenatti and filmmaker Coquie Hughes. The L Stop (Chicago) (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Beyond Politics 
  • Other News
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Membership ManagerNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force FoundationNew York, NY
Director of Planned Giving Lambda LegalNew York City, NY
Chief Development Officer (CDO)Resource Center DallasDallas, TX
Executive DirectorSouthwest Center for HIV/AIDSPhoenix, AZ
Membership ManagerNational LGBT Bar AssociationWashington, DC
Chief Financial OfficerL.A. Gay & Lesbian CenterLos Angeles, CA
Click here to view more job listings.

Frankly, I think this is an embarrassment to our state."
--Arizona state Rep. Stefanie Mach, speaking about legislation targeting transgender people over their public restroom use, as quoted by CBS News.

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