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March 6, 2015

Appeals court orders the military to stop misgendering the jailed Wikileaks soldier

The US army is being ordered to stop misgendering Chelsea Manning.

An army appeals court was asked by Manning and her attorney to cease the military's habit of referring to the jailed Wikileaks solider as a man.

Winning their case, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered that 'future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e.g., Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a feminine pronoun.'

February 13, 2015

First time a US court rules homosexuality is not a disease or disorder

A New Jersey judge has ruled misrepresenting homosexuality as a disorder in marketing conversion therapy services is consumer fraud.

The ruling marks the first time a US court has found that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder and that it is fraudulent for conversion therapists to make such a claim.

Hudson County superior court judge Peter Bariso Jr said Tuesday (10 February) such claims violated the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

February 12, 2015

Emmy nominated actress will shift from comedy of Orange is the New Black

Laverne Cox is continuing her showbiz hot streak.

The transgender actress, nominated for an Emmy for her performance in the comedy series Orange is the New Black, has landed a dramatic role on Doubt, a legal pilot for CBS.

'I am so grateful for the universe's plan for me and the amazing people in my life who support me and that plan. Thank you so much,' Cox tweeted on Wednesday (11 February).

January 17, 2015

'...The history of the Supreme Court is a history of case after case after case holding that marriage is a fundamental right —that it protects individual freedom...'

David Boies, the attorney who argued against Proposition 8 in front of the US Supreme Court, thinks the country's highest court is ready to make a definitive legal answer on marriage equality.

January 13, 2015

The women, who married in November and adopted two young boys in December, are believed to the first same-sex couple to legally adopt in the state

A same-sex couple made history last month when they adopted two young boys in Oklahoma.

An attorney acting for the female couple said that she believed it to be the first such same-sex adoption to legally take place in the state.

The adoption was granted on 19 December but the couple’s attorney, Terri Craig, only spoke out about the case this week.

The couple, from Okmulgee County, have chosen to remain anonymous but are happy for their case to be publicized.

December 29, 2014

The Republican Attorney General has consistently opposed the ban on same-sex marriage being lifted in the state

The Tampa Bay Times has awarded Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, its ‘Loser of the Year 2014’ award, labeling the Republican legal advisor a ‘modern-day Anita Bryant’.

December 24, 2014

After being asked to clarify his position, one Florida state attorney has said that he does not intend to prosecute county clerks in in Orange and Osceola counties if they issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in January

Yesterday we reported on how county clerks in Florida were wavering over whether to issue marriage licenses to gay couples after 5 January, when a stay on same-sex marriages taking place in the state is lifted.

A law firm advising all of Florida’s county clerks had warned them that the lifting of the stay only applied to one particular county: the one named in the lawsuit that had challenged the ban.

December 24, 2014

Governor wants to take his gay marriage battle to the Supreme Court

A federal judge has ordered Idaho to pay more than $400,000 to the lawyers who successfully fought the state's gay marriage ban.

US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale on Friday (19 December) awarded the six lawyers a total $401,663, which is still about 10% less than what they requested.

'There is no dispute that plaintiffs are the prevailing parties and are therefore entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and litigation expenses,' she wrote in an order.

December 18, 2014

'For the first time in a divorce case, a judge has ruled that the state laws banning same-sex marriage and the recognition of those marriages is void and unenforceable...'

While Florida fights against marriage equality, one lesbian couple is able to have their marriage recognized so they could be divorced. At least for now.

Today, 17 December, Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen granted a divorce between Heather Brassner and Megan Lade.

December 9, 2014

First ruling was vacated on a legal technicality

Broward county judge Dale Cohen yesterday overturned Florida's ban on gay marriage for a second time after he vacated his first ruling on a legal technicality.

Cohen first ruled the ban unconstitutional on 4 August in a lawsuit filed by Heather Brassner, who entered a civil union with her now estranged partner in Vermont in 2002 but sought a divorce in Florida.

November 24, 2014

Baja California officials then find 'inconsistencies' in their paperwork

The first gay wedding in the Mexican state of Baja California had to be postponed again after a registry official refused to perform the ceremony and then announced a bomb threat.

After a 19-month legal battle, hairstylists Victor Aguirre Espinoza, 43, and Fernando Urias Amparo, 37, were supposed to be the first gay couple to marry in the northwestern state on Friday (21 November).

The couple arrived at Mexicali city hall both dressed in white suits in defiance the dozen Catholic protesters praying outside.

October 28, 2014

'I do not believe that the United States Supreme Court could rule that all of those laws prohibiting marriage are suddenly constitutional after all these individuals have gotten married and their rights have changed'

The lawyer who defeated California's Proposition 8 doubts the US Supreme Court will reverse recent gains in marriage equality.

October 27, 2014

The two women, who split after 16 years together, have been in a custody battle over the three children they co-parented

An appeals court in Alabama has overruled an earlier ruling that granted child visitation rights to a woman who parented three children with her former same-sex partner – deciding that the woman should never have been allowed to adopt the children in the first place.

The two women – identified only as E.L and V.L – were in a relationship together between 1995 and 2011.

Following artificial insemination treatment, E.L gave birth to a child in 2002, followed by twins in 2004.

October 26, 2014

Four band members face charges of felony hazing and manslaughter

Four Florida A & M University band members will go to trial next week for the 2011 hazing death of gay drum major Robert Champion, Jr.

Three years ago, The 26-year-old was subjected to a brutal hazing ritual called 'crossing bus C.'

It involved band members beating him with punches, kicks, drumsticks, mallets while on a bus parked in a Orlando, Florida hotel parking lot.

October 24, 2014

'Families all over Utah are celebrating having their families united'

Utah's highest court lifted a stay blocking same-sex married couples from adoption.

This means the state's Department of Health can issue birth certificates listing same-sex adults as a child's legal parents.

This past May Sean Reyes, the western state's attorney general, asked for the stay after a district judge called on state officials to explain why Utah refused to recognize the adoption of a same-sex couple.

October 15, 2014

State's governor and attorney general accused of 'playing politics with our families'

The state of South Carolina was sued Wednesday (15 October) by two LGBTI groups for continuing to block same-sex marriages from taking place there.

Lambda Legal and South Carolina Equality claim that last week's decision by the US Supreme Court’s to let stand a 4th Circuit ruling striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban also applies to South Carolina because it is in the same jurisdiction.

They want the marriages to begin immediately.

October 3, 2014

'The judge will listen to both sides and determine if there is enough to hold them to trial'

The suspects in an early September attack on a gay couple will face a judge in the middle of December.

Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams are scheduled for a 16 December preliminary hearing. Harrigan's attorney, Josh Scarpello, told Philadelphia Magazine the meeting with a municipal court judge is not meant to determine guilt or innocence.

September 12, 2014

Lawyer says being a male hairdresser or drinking a 'woman's drink' can be used as evidence of homosexuality in court

A Cameroonian human rights lawyer has described how courts in the African country use gender stereotypes to convict suspected gay people.

Michel Togue told the ThinkProgress blog that he had defended dozens of people charged with gay sex but very few were actually caught in the act.

Cameroon punishes gay sex with up to five years in jail and a fine, and according to human rights groups arrests more gay people than any other country.

September 10, 2014

A total of seven cases are now vying for review by nation's highest court

The attorney generals of both Indiana and Wisconsin petitioned the US Supreme Court on Tuesday (9 September) to review appeals court rulings that struck down gay marriage bans in their states.

Plaintiffs in both cases agree with the request to have the cases heard by the nation's highest court.

The latest two states to make this request are competing with similar requests made in cases in several other states including Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.

September 6, 2014

Accused of knowingly exposing an ex-boyfriend and potentially dozens of other men to HIV, a 29-year-old San Diego gay man has been ordered by a judge to stop using Internet dating sites

Thomas Miguel Guerra, aka Ashton Chavez, who currently faces one misdemeanor count of spreading HIV, has been ordered by a judge to stop using all Internet dating sites specifically Grindr.

The LA Times reports that officials from the city attorney's office said the investigation is continuing and more victims may be added.

September 4, 2014

'...The only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction – that same-sex couples and their children don’t need marriage because same-sex couples can’t produce children, intended or unintended – is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously'

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin are unconstitutional.

The unanimous decision was released today (4 September).

August 28, 2014

Bryan Singer was accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old in Hawaii in 1999

The man who accused gay film director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was 14 was forced to drop the lawsuit yesterday (27 August).

Michael Egan III, 31, voluntarily dropped the lawsuit due to lack of legal counsel. US district judge Susan Oki Mollway granted the motion.

Singer's attorney has said the X Men: Days of Future Past director is 'looking forward to moving on'.

But as the case was dismissed without prejudice, it means Egan can refile the claim at a later date.

August 27, 2014

States one judge: 'There was a tradition of not allowing black and whites' to marry. 'It was a tradition. It got swept aside'

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago expressed skepticism over gay marriage bans during oral arguments on cases in in Wisconsin and Indiana on Tuesday (26 August).

One member of the three-judge panel, Judge Richard Posner, hammered Wisconsin attorney Timothy Samuelson with questions seeking justification for why his state denies marriage rights to same-sex couples.

When Samuelson said it is a ban that is rooted in tradition, Posner stated: 'That’s the tradition argument. It’s feeble!'

August 4, 2014

Ruling only applies to Broward County and judge issued immediate stay

Florida's ban in same-sex marriages suffered another blow today when a state judge - the third in three weeks - ruled that the ban violates that US constitution.

The ruling by Broward County state Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen applies only to that particular county and the judge issues an immediate stay pending the expected appeal.

Cohen ruled in a lawsuit filed by Heather Brassner who had entered into a civil union with Megan Lade in Vermont and is seeking a divorce in Florida.