Senate confirms judge who argued for Prop 8, against gay judge deciding case

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate confirmed to the federal bench Wednesday a Trump judicial nominee who not only litigated in favor or California’s Proposition 8, but argued a ruling against the measure should have been invalidated because the judge didn’t disclose he was gay before deciding the case.

The Senate confirmed Howard Nielson to a seat on the U.S. District Court in Federal District of Utah by a 51-47 party-line vote as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) presided over the chamber. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Democrats in voting “no” on the nominee.

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Attorneys who argued gay rights cases reflect on Kennedy legacy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: From left, Jean DubofskyPaul SmithRoberta Kaplan and Mary Bonauto (Photo of Dubofsky courtesy of Dubofsky, Washington Blade photos of Smith, Kaplan and Bonauto by Michael Key)

U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy is stepping down from the U.S. Supreme Court after writing four milestone cases in favor of gay rights over the course of his 30 years on the bench.

The Washington Blade contacted the attorneys who argued each of those cases — Romer v. Evans in 1996, Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, U.S. v. Windsor in 2013 and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 — for their reflections on those decisions and LGBT rights in the aftermath of Kennedy’s retirement.

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White House won’t say if Kennedy successor will uphold LGBTQ rights

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The White House affirmed on Thursday President Trump has started the process for nominating a successor to U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, but won’t say if that choice will uphold his legacy on LGBTQ rights.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters dodged a question Thursday on whether LGBTQ rights would inform Trump’s pick from a reporter during a press gaggle on Air Force One en route to Wisconsin for a Trump rally.

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Justice Kennedy announces plans to step down from Supreme Court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy — the author of major U.S. Supreme Court rulings in favor of gay rights — has announced plans to step down from the bench.

Major media outlets reported Kennedy — appointed by President Reagan in 1988 — announced plans to step down Wednesday afternoon as the court’s 2017-2018 term came to a close. The Washington Blade confirmed Kennedy’s plans for departure with the Supreme Court.

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S.C. bill would label same-sex marriages as ‘parody marriages’

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: State Rep. Steven Wayne Long (R-Spartanburg) is author and lead sponsor of the anti-gay bill in South Carolina. Photo courtesy of Twitter.

Six members of the South Carolina House of Representatives last week introduced a bill calling for redefining same-sex marriages in the state as “parody marriages” and prohibiting the state from recognizing such marriages.

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