Wednesday, May 27, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 27, 2009

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New York Times
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Sotomayor’s Rulings Are Exhaustive but Often Narrow
Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial opinions are marked by diligence, depth and unflashy competence. If they are not always a pleasure to read, they are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship, which prizes careful attention to the facts in the record and a methodical application of layers of legal principles.

California High Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban
The California Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, ratifying a decision made by voters last year. The ruling comes at a time when several state governments have moved in the opposite direction.

Every Justice Creates a New Court
Washington: EVERY time a new justice comes to the Supreme Court, “it’s a different court,” Justice Byron R. White liked to say — and he was in a position to know, having witnessed the arrival of 13 new justices during his own 31-year tenure.

A Setback for Equality
The California Supreme Court got it terribly wrong Tuesday. It upheld Proposition 8, a state constitutional change on last fall’s ballot intended to prohibit marriage by couples of the same sex. In addition to denying basic fairness to gay people, the court’s 6-to-1 ruling sets an unfortunate legal precedent that could allow the existing rights of any targeted minority to be diminished using the Election Day initiative process.

Proposition’s Opponents Say Fight Will Continue
Supporters of same-sex marriage in California wasted little time on Tuesday turning away from their courtroom defeat on Proposition 8, and toward a potential campaign to overturn the measure.

Levi’s Adopts a Tie-In With a Gay Marriage Symbol
LEVI’S is getting in the spirit of the season by dressing its storefront mannequins in white. In Levi’s-owned stores in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco, that means more than just marking the passing of Memorial Day, the traditional date to begin wearing white: in 20 stores, the mannequins’ white Levi’s jeans and shirts are adorned with White Knots, a symbol of solidarity with the same-sex marriage movement.

Interest Groups Prepare to Battle on Sotomayor
By David D. Kirkpatrick
A Supreme Court nomination, and the interest-group battle begins. The left was quiet Tuesday. Aside from commending the president’s pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, most liberal groups kept their comments to a minimum so that she could hold the spotlight. But privately several acknowledged that they begin this debate with far fewer resources than they could marshal during the Bush administration. Democratic dominance of the White House and Congress had sucked the urgency out their fundraising appeals and put liberal donors at ease.

Washington Post
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Secretly Selling Sotomayor
By Howard Kurtz
Less than an hour after President Obama announced his Supreme Court nominee yesterday, two "senior administration officials" began holding forth for reporters on the virtues of Sonia Sotomayor.

Historic nomination: Hispanic Sotomayor as justice
Reaching for history, President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court, championing her as a compassionate, seasoned jurist whose against-the-odds life journey affirms the American dream. Republicans who will decide whether to make a fight of her confirmation said they want thorough hearings.

I'm a gay male, mid-20s, good job, etc. There is a guy who lives in my building who is maddeningly attractive. I say maddeningly because, well, I'm not. Not even close. I work out, have a decent haircut, etc., but I was born with a face "only a mother could love." Oh, and this guy, he's very nice and polite. I'd feel better if he were a jerk. So what does one do when the gods sprinkled all of the fairy dust onto others and ran out when they got to you?
Kansas City, Mo.
One remembers that's just your opinion of you. Be wry, realistic, fatalistic, whatever helps -- but don't speak for anyone else.

Riskiest Choice on Obama's List Embodies His Criteria
President and Judge Cite Her Life Experience
By Robert Barnes and Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama chose the most controversial of his potential nominees to the Supreme Court, and he presented Judge Sonia Sotomayor yesterday as the embodiment of the qualities he seeks in a judge: a rigorous intellect, an appreciation of the limited role of the judiciary and "an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live."

Proposition 8 Stands
California's highest court rules that the voters have the right to be wrong. THE JUDGES of the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that they can be overruled by the people of their state. That's the import of their 6 to 1 decision upholding Proposition 8, which bars same-sex marriage. They're probably right on the law, but the outcome is wrong as a matter of fairness, and our guess is that the people of California will reconsider before too long.

Gay Moroccan writer takes on homophobia
PARIS -- A soft-spoken slip of a young man, Abdellah Taia hardly looks the part of an iconoclast. But as Morocco's first high-profile, openly gay man, Taia has made it his mission to win acceptance for homosexuals throughout the Muslim world.

Gay marriage battle to return to Calif. ballot
Gay leaders say they are moving into campaign mode with an eye toward trying to repeal Proposition 8 at the ballot box as early as next year after the state Supreme Court upheld the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.

Calif. Ruling Shows Hurdles Remain for Gay Marriage
By Keith B. Richburg
The ruling Tuesday by California's Supreme Court upholding a ban on same-sex marriages shows that, despite a year of successes for gay activists, the road toward full marriage rights remains difficult -- particularly when voters are given a direct say.

Wall Street Journal
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Questions for Sotomayor
The confirmation process shouldn't be a rubber stamp.
Yesterday President Barack Obama announced his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. She is federal circuit court judge Sonia Sotomayor. What sorts of questions should senators and the American people ask a nominee to the Supreme Court?

A Victory for Democracy
California judges leave gay marriage to voters.
"It bears emphasis . . . that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values." That sigh of judicial restraint was actually issued by the California Supreme Court, which yesterday upheld Proposition 8, last year's ballot initiative prohibiting same-sex marriage in the state.

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What's next for Judge Sonia Sotomayor? Questions and answers about the process ahead
The process for Sonia Sotomayor, a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, to be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice is just beginning. Some questions and answers:,0,2637652.story

Steve Rothaus
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George Takei, Ellen DeGeneres, other stars react to California court's Prop. 8 decision
George Takei and his longtime love, Brad Altman, are still legally wed. So are Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi. Both couples tied the knot during the five-month window when same-sex marriage was legal in California.

Miami Herald
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Gay marriage supporters prepare for next fight
By Susan Ferriss
No sooner had the California Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that voters have the final say on same-sex marriage than gay rights activists vowed to fight Proposition 8 at the ballot box as soon as next year.

The Advocate
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Did AT&T Sway American Idol Outcome?
Evidence continues to mount that AT&T, one of the largest corporate sponsors of the American Idol program on Fox, might have improperly influenced last week’s outcome, according to The New York Times.

Harrah's Exec to Gay Tourists: "Don't Walk Away"
After Nevada's Republican governor vetoed on Monday a domestic partnership bill that would have benefited the state's LGBT couples, a casino executive urged gay travelers to not count out Las Vegas and Reno as vacation destinations.

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Prop 8 ruling moves to federal court
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Hours after California’s top court upheld Proposition 8, the voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, a federal lawsuit was filed arguing that Prop 8 violates the U.S. constitutional guarantee of equal protection and due process.

Daily Queer News
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Statement from Robin Tyler, plaintiff in CA Supreme Court Prop 8 case
No civil rights movement has ever lost. Never. We will win. It’s not an “if” its a when. Only we are going to have to fight like hell. Shame on the California Supreme Court. 6 of them, except Justice Moreno, issued a cowardly decision based on one word..not amendment, not revision, but reelection. I pledge that my wife Diane Olson and I, and the 18,000 other couples who were married in the California prior to Nov. 5, 2009, will be part of a grassroots army of love warriors, and will never stop fighting until all of our rights are won, here in California, and on a Federal level for all of us in every State. Let us take our anger, and our passion to the streets, and never, ever get off. And if the National Democratic party does not, after 35 years of promises to our community, make sure we have full equal rights in this country, the gay divorce you are going to see is the gay communities divorce from the Democratic party. We are a civil rights movement. It’s time we acted like one. Robin Tyler, Petitioner in CA Supreme Court Case to overturn Prop 8 (Tyler et al v State of California)

Moving Past Prop 8
Wayne Besen | Truth Wins Out
Having watched the court proceedings on television, I was pretty certain that the California Supreme Court was going to uphold Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to overturn an earlier court ruling allowing gay couples the freedom to marry. Still, knowing that a punch to the gut is coming does not make it hurt any less. The 6-1 ruling was degrading, humiliating and a shameful day that will live in infamy. The decision upheld tyranny of the majority and promoted the idiotic idea of mob rule.
What next?

We Lost….For Now
Sara Whitman | Bilerico Project
I have never been a graceful loser. I have, however, learned a few things about patience and strategy in my life that has made losing a little easier to take. The California court ruled to keep some marriages, take away the right of any others to get married in a decision that leaves us once again facing another costly ballot fight. To be honest, we would have had one anyway. Read more


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