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.”
Today, Lambda Legal filed a notice of appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Conde-Vidal v. Garcia-Padilla, after the U. S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico dismissed the lawsuit seeking to end the Commonwealth’s discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
Lambda Legal today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Passion Star, a transgender woman currently in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), arguing that TCDJ officials have displayed deliberate indifference to threats of sexual assault and violence against Ms. Star in TDCJ’s male facilities.
Late yesterday Lambda Legal, in partnership with South Carolina Equality, filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and for summary judgment asking the U. S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to rule swiftly and strike down South Carolina’s discriminatory ban denying same-sex couples in the state the freedom to marry.
Today Lambda Legal filed suit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Kathy Murphy, a Texas widow denied spousal benefits after the death of her wife, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (the National Committee), arguing that denying Social Security benefits to same-sex spouses because they live in states that discriminate against their marriages violates the U.S. Constitution.