Friday, June 26, 2015
Same-Sex Marriage Is a Right, Supreme Court Rules, 5-4
By ADAM LIPTAKJUNE 26, 2015 NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON — In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 decision. He was joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.
The decision, the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of same-sex marriage.
Justice Kennedy said gay and lesbian couples have a fundamental right to marry.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Justice Kennedy said of the couples challenging state bans on same-sex marriage. “Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in a dissent joined by Justice Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said the Constitution has nothing to say on the subject.
“If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
In a second dissent, Justice Scalia mocked Justice Kennedy’s soaring language.
Full Article Here
Monday, November 24, 2014
- Advance the leadership of young black people and other young people of color in your action planning, choice of spokespeople, and your continued work.
- Use this moment as an opportunity to address systemic racism, not just the struggle in Ferguson. Connect the fate of Mike Brown with the fate of millions of Black young people everywhere. Elevate local incidents of police violence known to people in your community.
- Use the hash tag #shutitdown in all social media attached to your action.
- Encourage everyone to join our national text network. Text "HANDSUP" to 90975. This is very important. If you have a mass action this may be the best way to collect a list. In the future we will be able to send texts to people based on their zip code. We will try to send region specific texts in the future.
- If possible, design your action to be intense, direct, and sustained. We don't want this to be a blip, or spasm. We want a meaningful conversation to be sparked.
- If possible, develop a creative action. Be imaginative and think outside the box.
- If possible, do an action at the DOJ or another federal building. If those places are not available find a location that will resonate with people in your community.
Click http://fergusonaction.com/ for more information!
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
|Graphic created by PROMO|
Missouri Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional
AP | By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge overturned Missouri's ban on gay marriage on Wednesday in a ruling that could add the state to a growing list of those where same-sex marriages are legal.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison, who heard arguments on Sept. 29, determined the law is unconstitutional.
The city of St. Louis issued a handful of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in June, setting up a court case over the state's 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Assistant Attorney General Jeremiah Morgan argued that 71 percent of Missourians voted for the referendum defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and he said the U.S. Supreme Court has time and again allowed states to define marriage.
St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert countered that the existing law treats same-sex couples as "second-class citizens." He said an increasing number of states are allowing gay couples to wed, including most of the states surrounding Missouri.
St. Louis officials issued only the four licenses, intentionally allowing the courts to settle the debate. It wasn't immediately clear if or when St. Louis or other jurisdictions in the state would begin granting licenses to same-sex couples.
It was the second defeat for Missouri gay marriage opponents in recent months. Earlier, in Kansas City, Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. That order allowed married gay couples to be eligible to sign up for a wide range of tax, health insurance, veterans and other benefits now afforded to opposite-sex married couples.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has said he won't appeal the Kansas City ruling, stating: "Missouri's future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion."
Nanci Gonder, a spokeswoman for Koster, didn't immediately return a phone call or email seeking comment about Wednesday's ruling.
A federal court case in Kansas City also challenges Missouri's gay marriage ban.
The lawsuits in Missouri mirror dozens of others across the country that argue state bans on gay marriage violate the due process and equal protection rights of same-sex couples. The suits are based on the same arguments that led the U.S. Supreme Court last year to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied a range of tax, health and veterans benefits to legally married gay couples.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail
In solidarity with The National Day of Protest this Wednesday October 22, please join the LGBTQ+ community for a conversation on why we should care about Ferguson.
LGBTQ+ & Black Oppression: Why We Should All Care About Ferguson
Location: Black Space, 2847 Cherokee St, St Louis, MO 63118
Ashley Yates with Millennial Activists United
Ashton Rome with Socialist Alternative
Ed Reggi with ShowMeNoHate
“One very tangible way it [Ferguson] affects the Queer Community is in the issue of intersectionality. LGBTQAIP people are not just white. This community is unique in that we are made up of an incredibly diverse group of people. According to polling done in 2012, 33% of LGBT people are people of color. Those of us who are not people of color tend to forget that there are LGBTQAIP people in every different culture, race, and class. We are looked to as the community of acceptance, and we constantly demanding equality. But equality is not a reality if it is only being granted to one group of people. We cannot ignore the injustices happening around us while we demand the freedom to live our lives peacefully. These issues are linked. They are not isolated from each other. Stories like CeCe McDonald’s illustrate where homophobia and transphobia meet racism and prove that the attitudes perpetuating racism are often held by the same people displaying hatred for the Queer Community.”
- An excerpt from Anthony Doubek’s reaction to Ferguson. Read full story:
Read background on CeCe McDonald:
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
|Original Artwork (c) Keith Haring 1988|
National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as a gender or sexual minority and is observed annually by members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.
This year October 11 is also when the nation comes to Ferguson/St. Louis to demand justice for Mike Brown and an end to the crisis of discriminatory and violent policing nationwide. On Saturday October 11, we "Come Out for Justice!" and march in solidarity with our Black and Brown community, to raise our voices for a criminal justice system that honors the lives, safety, and dignity of all communities. “Black Lives Matter!” Martin Luther King, Jr. so poignantly stated, “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.”
**** LOCATION HAS CHANGED ***
Saturday, October 11, 10:00am the Justice for All national march and rally begins at Memorial Plaza Park, 14th Street and Market (across from Peabody Opera House) and march to the Old Courthouse, 11 N 4th St, St Louis, MO 63102.
Around Noon, protesters will rally at Kiener Plaza, 500 Chestnut St, St Louis, MO 63101, featuring many leaders from the #Ferguson movement and around the country.
(See http://fergusonoctober.com/ for details.)
CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!
The St. Louis LGBTQ+ community can help by volunteering as: Marshalls, Medics, De-escalation, Mobilization Ambassadors, and Hospitality. If you are interested in any of these roles please click here http://bit.ly/comingout4justice to sign-up.
Schedule of other events for the week:
Clayton, MO - Friday, October 10, 3:00pm - The Weekend of Resistance will start with “Justice Now,” a march and rally outside Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s office in Clayton to call for him to step aside from the case against Darren Wilson and allow a special prosecutor to be appointed. http://fergusonoctober.com/
St. Louis, MO - Monday, October 13: Taking their cue from the “Moral Monday,” movement in the South, activists and faith leaders will participate in civil disobedience actions around the St. Louis region. http://fergusonoctober.com/