In the News

A Gay Couple Awaits the Justices’ Decision
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/23/15
It may have been a coincidence that the United States Supreme Court announced its intent to hear another same-sex marriage case the same week as the holiday honoring Martin Luther King’s Birthday, but it was hard not to notice the connection. The gay marriage question is one that has civil rights at its center, after all.

But the ruling will also have enormous financial consequences. The ability to marry hits nearly every part of the wallet, from insurance to estate planning. People who have


Supreme Court to Decide Marriage Rights for Gay Couples Nationwide
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/16/15
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether all 50 states must allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, positioning it to resolve one of the great civil rights questions in a generation before its current term ends in June.

The decision came just months after the justices ducked the issue, refusing in October to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. That decision, which was considered a major surprise, delivered a tacit victory for gay rights, immediatel


Same-Sex Pairs in Florida Say Jubilant ‘I Dos’
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/6/15
Wedding ceremonies began and ended in the middle of the night in Fort Lauderdale and Key West, and hundreds of other marriages played out under blue skies in Miami Beach and Orlando, as Florida completed its long, arduous journey Tuesday to become the 36th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Along the way, the third-largest state, the home of antigay crusades in the 1970s, became a vivid symbol of the extraordinary changes that have shifted the landscape of marriage in America. Only six year


Atlanta Ousts Fire Chief Who Has Antigay Views
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/6/15
Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that he had fired the chief of the city’s Fire Rescue Department, Kelvin Cochran, after Mr. Cochran gave workers a religious book he wrote containing passages that condemn homosexuality.

Mr. Reed had suspended Mr. Cochran for a month without pay in November, opening an investigation into whether Mr. Cochran’s authorship and distribution of the book to workers violated the city’s nondiscrimination policies. That move sparked a debate about religious liberty a


Judge Lifts Ban, and Gay Weddings Begin in Florida
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/5/15
Ending a drawn-out battle over same-sex marriage in Florida, Miami-Dade on Monday became the first county in the state to allow gay couples to wed after a state judge lifted a temporary ban on the nuptials.

The rest of the state was to begin legalizing same-sex marriage just after midnight, as Florida becomes the 36th state to allow gay couples to wed. (The District of Columbia also permits same-sex marriages.) Mass wedding ceremonies were scheduled in counties across Florida beginning on Tue


Egypt’s Appalling Crackdown on Gays
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/5/15
Even if they were acquitted on the ludicrous charge of “debauchery,” the 26 Egyptian men on trial in the government’s latest crackdown on gays are likely to suffer a lifetime of public scorn.

Over the past two years, there has been no shortage of travesties and injustices in Egypt’s courtrooms. The country’s ousted dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was sentenced to life in prison in 2012, lying on a stretcher placed within a cage, only to be acquitted two years later in a subsequent proceeding once hi


F.D.A. Lifting Ban on Gay Blood Donors
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/23/14
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a change that experts said was long overdue and could lift the annual blood supply by as much as 4 percent.

The F.D.A. enacted the ban in 1983, early in the AIDS epidemic. At the time, little was known about the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes the disease, and there was no quick test to determine whether somebody had it. But science


Lance Bass Marries Michael Turchin in California
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/20/14
Lance Bass and Michael Turchin were married Saturday night at the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, where 300 guests gathered. Jamie-Lynn Sigler officiated with JoAnna Garcia Swisher; the two actresses, friends of the couple, became Universal Life ministers for the event.

Mr. Bass, 35, the singer, actor, producer and writer, is a former member of the band ‘N Sync. He hosts “Dirty Pop With Lance Bass” on SiriusXM satellite radio. He has recently become a special correspondent for TV’s


A Texas Showdown Over Same-Sex Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/20/14
Fourteen states allowed same-sex marriage when Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman filed a lawsuit late last year challenging Texas’ constitutional ban on marriages that are not between a man and a woman.

The couple, who had married in Massachusetts in 2009, live in Austin and collided with a Texas law when they could not both be listed on the birth certificate of their first child. They hope the law is changed before the birth of their second.

“There are moments in our lives that are f


Can’t Have Your Cake, Gays Are Told, and a Rights Battle Rises
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/15/14
Jack Phillips is a baker whose evangelical Protestant faith informs his business. There are no Halloween treats in his bakery — he does not see devils and witches as a laughing matter. He will not make erotic-themed pastries — they offend his sense of morality. And he declines cake orders for same-sex weddings because he believes Christianity teaches that homosexuality is wrong.

Mr. Phillips, whose refusal two years ago to make a cake for a gay male couple has led to a court battle now gettin