Big Gay News
Couples Sue To Challenge Minnesota’s Gay Marriage Ban
The Star Tribune reports that three same-sex couples in Minnesota are suing to overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, which bans same-sex marriage. The couples, who organized a group called Marry Me Minnesota, argue that the law violates the state constitution’s single subject rule. It prohibits legislation from being passed that includes more than one subject. Minnesota’s law was passed in 1997 as part of wider legislation.
Judge Hears Arguments in Federal DOMA Challenge
A case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act opened before US District Court Judge Joseph Tauro in Boston. The Justice Department requested that the case be dismissed outright, while lawyers for the same-sex couples who brought the suit asked the judge to find the law unconstitutional without having to hold a trial. The Obama Administration says it supports repeal of the law, but argues it’s obliged to defend the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress.
New Jersey School Board Bans Gay-Themed Book
New Jersey’s Rancocas Valley Board of Education has banned a gay-themed book from a local high school. It unanimously voted to remove Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology over concerns the book was too graphic for students. School board member Jesse Adams told The Philadelphia Inquirer, “We felt, from an obscenity perspective, there were some things our children didn’t need to see.” The decision drew criticism from the majority of parents, students, and librarians in attendance at the school board meeting. Eileen Cramer, a mother and graduate of the high school, remarked to reporters, “It’s a parent’s responsibility to monitor what their children are reading, not to tell other children what they can and cannot read.” Superintendent Michael Moskalski said that the school board took up the issue after a small group of local conservative activists called for banning the book and others dealing with teenage sexual orientation. The group later identified itself as part of the 9.12 project, a nationwide watchdog group started by television personality Glenn Beck.
Massachusetts Catholic School Won’t Admit Son of Lesbians
For the second time in recent months, a US Roman Catholic school has withdrawn admission of a child because he or she has lesbian parents. The Associated Press reports that St. Paul Elementary School in Hingham Massachusetts rescinded its acceptance of an 8-year-old boy, saying his mother’s same-sex relationship was “in discord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.” The mother, who spoke anonymously over privacy concerns for her son, told the Associated Press, “I’m accustomed to discrimination, I suppose, at my age and my experience as a gay woman. But I didn’t expect it against my child.” Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese, said it is in “consultation with the pastor and principal to gather more information.”
American Eagle Outfitters Agrees to Transgender Changes
According to United Press International, US clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters has reached a settlement with the state of New York in a transgender discrimination case. The company has agreed to end a requirement that banned employees from wearing clothes of the opposite sex. It also agreed to train staff on transgender issues. A statement from American Eagle Outfitters went on to say, “We wholeheartedly believe that transgender individuals should be treated equally.” The settlement is the first against a company under a state transgender antidiscrimination law.
Argentina Lower House Approves Same-Sex Marriage
Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies, the country’s lower house of Congress, recently approved a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage. The 126-109 vote took place after 12 hours of debate. The law, which also permits gay couples to adopt children, now goes to the Senate, where some marriage advocates feel they could get a favorable vote.