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Content about LGBT rights in the United States

March 31, 2014

'...If the definition of marriage is no longer based on procreation and the ability to procreate naturally, then what is the purpose in prohibiting marriage between persons of close kinship'

An attorney for court clerks from Virginia filed the first brief in the appeal of a judge's ruling that found the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

David B. Oakley, representing clerks from Norfolk and Prince William County, submitted his arguments, on 28 March, to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The clerks are appealing the mid-February opinion of Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen.

March 4, 2014

A group of 20 Republicans from the American West lead by two former US senators are joining court battles over same-sex marriage on the side of the LGBTI community

A group of Republicans is filing friend-of-the-court briefs in appeals battles over state bans on same-sex marriage and has already done so in Utah and Oklahoma after courts struck down their state bans.

The group of gay friendly Republicans are being lead by former Senator Alan K Simpson of Wyoming and former Senator Nancy L Kassebaum of Kansas.

February 14, 2014

The ruling, which would make Virginia 18th state in the US to have gay marriage, has been stayed pending appeal

A federal judge has declared Virginia's gay marriage ban to be unconstitutional paving the way for the state to become the 18th in the US with marriage equality.

The decision by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia was made public late Thursday (13 February), just hours before Valentine's Day.

But marriages cannot begin right away because the decision has been stayed pending an appeal.

February 4, 2014

Ted Olsen and David Boies tell judge a law that relegates same-sex couples to second-class status cannot stand

Attorneys Ted Olsen and David Boies were back in a federal court on Tuesday (4 January) arguing for the right for same-sex couples in the state to get married - this time in Virginia.

The unlikely legal team, who famously squared-off against each other in a 2000 Supreme Court case that resulted in George W. Bush's presidency, are hoping to repeat their success in California when gay marriage ban Proposition 8 was overturned.

January 14, 2014

But same-sex marriages cannot take place as judge issues stay on his ruling pending appeal

A federal judge in Oklahoma on Tuesday (14 January) ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

But unlike in a Utah case where a similar ruling in December quickly led to more than 1,000 same-sex marriages in that state, the judge has stayed his ruling pending an appeal.

Terence Kern, a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, ruled on a case filed by two lesbian couples back in 2004.

January 13, 2014

 Garden State Equality leader tells Gay Star News: 'It was very vindictive'

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have allowed transgender residents of that state to update the gender marker on their birth certificates to match the gender they identify as.

Because of the veto, transgender citizens will still be required to have undergone surgical procedures in order to obtain the accurate birth certificate.

LGBTI activists in the state are furious.

January 7, 2014

79-year-old military veteran Hal Faulkner has had his discharge record changed from ‘undesirable’ to ‘honorable’ 58 years after he was kicked out of the Marines for being gay

A 79-year-old man who is dying from cancer has finally had his military service record cleared 58 years after he was kicked out of the US Marine Corps when the military learned he was gay.

Faulkner was discharged as an ‘undesirable’ after three years of military service beginning in 1953 during which he served in the Philippines and rose to the rank of sergeant.

Faulkner was diagnosed a few years ago with cancer and asked his relatives to help him secure a dying wish – to have his service record cleared.

January 5, 2014

Fed up with closeted anti-LGBT politicians and the complicity of the media, a gay journalist has accused Illinois Republican congressman Aaron Schock of being gay and voting against equal rights

When is it acceptable to out gay politicians especially when they have been voting against bills that would bolster equal rights for gays, asks freelance reporter Itay Hod, who is himself gay.

December 23, 2013

Utah does not 'satisfy the factors' for a stay of US District Judge Robert J. Shelby's decision making gay marriage legal

Today (22 December) the US Court of Appeals Tenth District denied Governor Gary Herbert's request for an emergency stay to stop gay couples from getting married in Utah.

Late last week District Judge Robert J. Shelby, in a 53-page decision, ruled the state's s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and there was no 'rational' reason not to allow gays to marry.

December 20, 2013

Robert J. Shelby rules the law passed in 2004 by voters is unconstitutional

Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by a federal judge on Friday (20 December) who has declared it unconstitutional and said there is no 'rational' reason to not allow gays to marry.

US District Judge Robert J. Shelby, in a 53-page ruling, writes that the law passed by voters in 2004 is a violation of due process and equal protection under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution.

December 12, 2013

Kaitlin Ward and Lauren Bloch are first same-sex couple in school's 137 year history to get traditional lunchtime announcement

Kaitlin Ward and Lauren Bloch met and fell in love at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

In this post-Don't Ask, Don't Tell era, it's a love they have not had to keep secret. It's also a love that has led them to become engaged.

Last week, the couple made a nice little bit of history when their engagement was announced to the entire corps during the holiday meal that is the one time that all four years of cadets eat together.

November 18, 2013

A soldier has been sacked by the Indonesian military over allegations he is gay despite his denials - with the judges who heard the appeal saying homosexuals will ruin Indonesia’s military strength

An Indonesian soldier has lost his legal bid to be reinstated after he was sacked for allegedly being gay, with the judges in the case saying that homosexuals will ruin the military if they are allowed to serve.

The soldier, identified only by the initials SNF was dismissed from his squad but claimed that medical examinations when he joined the military in 2008 should have detected if he was a homosexual.

November 13, 2013

A group of active and retired US gay and lesbian military service members have held a wreath laying ceremony to mark Veterans Day at the grave site of the first man to out himself in the military to fight the ban on gays surving

Veterans Day was commemorated on Monday by a group of gay and lesbian retired and active service members in Washington DC with a wreath laying ceremony in Congressional Cemetery.

The wreath was left at the grave site of Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich who became the first serving US service member to fight the military’s ban on gays and lesbians serving in 1975.

November 7, 2013

After 64-32 vote, attention now turns to House where Republican leadership expected to let legislation die

After nearly 20 years, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has finally passed the US Senate.

The legislation, known as ENDA, has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994. It was last voted on by the full senate in 1996 when it fell one vote shy of passage.

In the end, the 64-32 vote had every Democratic senator and 10 of their Republican colleagues voting in favor of passage.

Surprisingly, among the Republicans supporting ENDA was Arizona Senator John McCain who was a vocal opponent of ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

November 5, 2013

Lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin speaks passionately for bill before procedural vote

After nearly two decades of setbacks, the Employment Non-Discrimination Employment Act (ENDA) survived a key procedural vote in the US Senate on Monday (4 November) and appears assured of passage later this week.

ENDA passed what is known as a cloture vote by a 61-30 margin with all Democrats in support and three Republicans.

The nation's first lesbian senator, Tammy Baldwin, spoke passionately about ENDA's merits before the vote.

'I realize that for some, this is not an easy vote,' Baldwin told her fellow senators.

October 31, 2013

Robert Gates led the dismantling of Don't Ask, Don't Tell while US Secretary of Defense

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been chosen as the next leader of the Boy Scouts of America.

Gates assumes the role in May 2014, five months after the scouts change in policy regarding gay members goes into effect.

The BSA voted earlier this year to change its century-old policy of banning openly gay members up until they reach the age of 18. But the ban remains for adults scout leaders, employees and volunteers.

Gates has experience in such situations.

October 30, 2013

Governor Rick Perry reacts by reiterating his opposition to marriage equality

Two couples filed a federal lawsuit this week to challenge the gay marriage ban in the state of Texas and the state's refusal to recognize same-sex unions from other states.

Mark Pharris and Vic Holmes and Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman are the plaintiffs in a suit that claims the right to equal protection under the law in the US constitution prohibits a ban on gay marriage such as the one that exists in Texas.

October 28, 2013

Long-stalled legislation seeks federal protection from discrimination for LGBTI employees

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is expected to be voted on by the full US Senate before Thanksgiving.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (pictured) is expected to announce later today that he will bring the long-stalled legislation to a floor vote next month.

ENDA seeks to prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, non-religious employers with at least 15 employees.

October 20, 2013

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, finds the  New Jersey Supreme Court's decision not to block gay marriages 'extremely disappointing

While gay couples in New Jersey are looking forward to the day when they will be able to wed, Brian Brown is stomping his feet in anger.

The president of the National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit organization that fights marriage rights, is upset the Garden State Supreme Court has given the go ahead for same-sex marriages to begin on Monday (21 October).

October 19, 2013

President Barack Obama calls Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security secretary nominee, 'an absolutely critical member of my national security team'

President Barack Obama has nominated Jeh Johnson, a lawyer who co-authored the US Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell study, to be the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

DADT forced gay and lesbian personnel to conceal their sexual orientation in order to avoid being discharged.

September 27, 2013

In her decision Judge Mary Jacobson writes 'the current inequality visited upon same-sex civil union couples offends the New Jersey Constitution...'

A New Jersey judge has ruled that the state must permit same-sex marriages.

According to an Associated Press report, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson's decision noted that because the federal government recognizes gay marriages, the US Northeastern state violates its own constitution by not doing the same.

September 27, 2013

All were married in Montgomery County before local judge halted the issuing of licenses to same-sex couples

The legal battle against Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage has ratcheted up a notch as 21 couples this week (25 September) have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state law.

The couples claim in their suit against the state that the marriage ban is unconstitutional. Their legal challenge comes two months after a federal challenge was filed against the law by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

September 26, 2013

Asian workplace diversity non-profit Community Business has launched a guide to help businesses in China better understand the needs of their LGBT employees so that they can get the most out of their skills

A new guide to LGBT inclusion in the workplace was launched yesterday in Beijing with the help of IBM and Goldman Sachs – two recognized global leaders when it comes to supporting their LGBT employees.

The ‘Creating Inclusive Workplaces for LGBT Employees in China’ resource guide was created by Asian workplace diversity non-profit group Community Business and highlights the business case for addressing the needs of LGBT employees and provides the cultural and legal context of LGBT issues in China.

September 21, 2013

Senator John McCain goes to Pravada.ru to respond to President Putin's New York Times editorial where he said 'God created us equal'

US Senator John McCain, a leader in the Republican Party, wrote an editorial in Pravda.ru that includes one sentence that takes Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his supporters, to task for the country's ‘gay propaganda’ law.

‘gay propaganda’ law

'They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn,' the senator wrote.