Today the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, becoming the first federal circuit court after the Supreme Court’s watershed 2013 Windsor ruling to uphold such bans and departing from recent decisions from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits.
Today, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Dave Williams, a widower, formerly of Arkansas, now a Chicagoan, who was denied spousal benefits after the death of his husband, Carl Allen.
Lambda Legal's short documentary, Flying Solo: A Transgender Widow Fights Discrimination, about 93-year-old WWII veteran and pilot Robina Asti, will be showing this month at the San Francisco Trans Film Fest as part of the opening night program, and at the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival in the Czech Republic several times throughout the month.
Many of us were surprised when the Supreme Court on October 6 declined to accept any of the seven pending petitions seeking further review of federal appeals court decisions that had struck down laws denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry in Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, Wisconsin and Virginia. By rejecting those petitions, the decisions became final and same-sex couples in those states are now marrying. Quickly, several states that fall geographically within the same three federal appellate districts (Colorado, North Carolina and West Virginia) followed suit and struck their existing marriage bans, and a federal district judge soon compelled Wyoming to do likewise. The two remaining states in those districts — Kansas and South Carolina — are resisting complying with the federal mandate, and court cases, including one filed by Lambda Legal in South Carolina, are proceeding to secure compliance.
In anticipation of the 2015 Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a comprehensive assessment of the human rights record of all UN member countries, Lambda Legal has authored a set of UPR comments surrounding the policing, detention and incarceration of LGBT people and people living with HIV.
It’s election season, and if you live in one of the 39 states that elect judges, you may have seen one of those ‘soft on crime’ TV ads claiming that a judicial candidate “sides with child predators,” “is sympathetic to rapists” or “helped free a terrorist.”