In the News

Same-Sex Marriage: N.J. Judge Says Separate Is Unequal
source: NPR
posted: 9/30/13
A New Jersey judge ruled the state must allow same-sex couples to marry, citing the Supreme Court's decision to strike down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Brad Sears of the Williams Institute about what the ruling could mean in the Garden State, and beyond.

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now, let's return to the ongoing debate about gay marriage. On Friday, a New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled that the state's system of civil unions is invalid.


Miller Calls Anti-Gay Law Absolutely Embarrassing
source: NPR
posted: 9/30/13
Bode Miller felt no need to measure his words when asked about Russia's anti-gay law.

"'I think it's absolutely embarrassing that there's countries and there's people who are that intolerant and that ignorant," he said Monday, one of the few athletes willing to take a stand on the subject at the U.S. Olympic media summit featuring Sochi hopefuls.

'But it's not the first time," Miller said. "We've been dealing with human-rights issues probably since there were humans."

At 35 and with fiv


Judge Orders New Jersey to Allow Gay Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 9/27/13
A New Jersey judge ruled on Friday that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry, saying that not doing so deprives them of rights that were guaranteed by the United States Supreme Court in June.

It is the first time a court has struck down a state’s refusal to legalize same-sex marriage as a direct result of the Supreme Court ruling, and with lawsuits pending in other states, it could presage other successful challenges across the country.

The decision was a rebuff to Gov. Chris C


Unlikely Debate on Gay Rights in California Town
source: The New York Times
posted: 9/26/13
The mayor of Porterville did not give it much thought when a local gay activist in this remote Central Valley farming town asked her to proclaim June a month of gay pride. But when the mayor, Virginia R. Gurrola, settled into her seat at City Hall to sign the proclamation, people were pouring out of the chambers and into the hallways, citing Scripture in opposition to what she had thought of as a simple ceremonial gesture. Her four fellow City Council members announced they would not join her in

Gay Rights Protest Greets Opening Night at the Met
source: The New York Times
posted: 9/23/13
After the lights dimmed for the Metropolitan Opera’s Russian-themed opening night gala on Monday evening, the first solo voice that rang out in the house was not of a tenor or soprano, but of a protester criticizing the recent antigay laws signed by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

“Putin, end your war on Russian gays!” a man shouted in the vast auditorium, which was packed for the black-tie gala opening of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” before turning to two of the evening’s Russian s


Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control
source: The New York Times
posted: 9/19/13
Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics.

His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and m


Russia: Bill Would Allow Children to Be Taken Away From Gay Parents
source: The New York Times
posted: 9/6/13
In the latest sign of government pressure on gay men and lesbians in Russia, a member of the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, has proposed a bill that would allow the authorities to take custody of children if one or both of their parents are gay. Russia is already facing a barrage of international criticism, including some calls for a boycott of the coming Winter Olympics in Sochi, over a new law that bars “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships.” Supporters of the law say

San Antonio Passes Far-Reaching Antidiscrimination Measure
source: The New York Times
posted: 9/6/13
Nearly 200 cities across the country have enacted ordinances in recent years that prohibit bias by municipal employees or in city contracts over someone’s race, sex, age, religion or sexual orientation. Houston, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth are a few of the Texas cities that adopted such measures.

But in San Antonio, a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity turned into a divisive political battle this summer, the likes of which this


V.A. to Provide Spousal Benefits to Gays, Administration Says
source: The New York Times
posted: 9/4/13
The Obama administration on Wednesday escalated its effort to dismantle federal barriers to same-sex marriages, announcing that the Department of Veterans Affairs would immediately begin providing spousal benefits to gay men and lesbians despite a federal statute that limits such benefits to veterans’ spouses who are “of the opposite sex.”

In letters to Congressional leaders, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that President Obama had directed the executive branch to stop obeying the s


Landmark Gay Marriage Hearing Approaches In Pa.
source: NPR
posted: 9/1/13
For two months, an elected court clerk in the Philadelphia suburbs has been giving something to same-sex couples they have not been able to get anywhere else: a Pennsylvania marriage license.

Now a court has to decide whether the clerk has singlehandedly added Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that formally sanction same-sex marriages or whether he has been acting illegally and must be stopped.

Wednesday's hearing in Harrisburg pits Gov. Tom Corbett's Health Department against D.