A look at top cases for the Supreme Court’s new term

By : wire report
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

WASHINGTON (AP) | The biggest cases before the Supreme Court are often the last ones to be decided, and the focus on the court will be especially intense in June, just a few months before the 2020 election.

A look at some of the high-profile cases the court will hear in its term that begins Monday and runs through early summer 2020, and when the cases are being argued, if a date has been set:

Continue Reading >>

High stakes for LGBTQ Americans at Supreme Court next week

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set Tuesday to hear a trio of cases that will determine not just whether firing workers for being LGBT is legal under federal law, but will also have ramifications for LGBT people in education, health care and housing.

At issue is whether anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and therefore prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, but says nothing explicitly about sexual orientation or gender identity.

Continue Reading >>

Wash. florist returns to Supreme Court for right to refuse service to gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers is seeking an OK to refuse service to gay couples. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

After obtaining a perfunctory decision last year in her favor, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Washington State is back before the U.S. Supreme Court with a renewed call for a First Amendment ruling allowing her to refuse service to same-sex couples seeking floral arrangements for their weddings.

In her 41-page petition for certiorari, Baronelle Stutzman alleges the Washington State Supreme Court ignored case law in favor of religious freedom when it ruled—now twice—she violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination by refusing to provide floral arrangements in 2013 for a same-sex wedding.

Continue Reading >>

09.05.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

When my husband and I meet our friends on the weekend and I happen to partake in enough libations to get a bit tipsy, I tend to find myself grappling with one of three levels of intoxication.

Thankfully it doesn’t happen too often, but the first is “Disney drunk” when it does. It leads to a whole new world of one-man productions featuring every animated classic under the sea. The second is “drive-thru drunk,” in which I spend ridiculous amounts of money on food that goes straight to my hips.

Continue Reading >>

Trump admin to Supreme Court: It’s OK to fire workers for being trans

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Donald Trump, Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Defying massive case law, the Trump administration urged the Supreme Court late Friday to issue a ruling that federal civil rights law doesn’t cover discrimination based on gender identity, therefore firing workers for being transgender is perfectly legal.

In a 54-page brief signed by U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the U.S. Justice Department argues Congress didn’t intend to include transgender people when it passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex in employment.

Continue Reading >>

Mehlman leads GOP brief urging Supreme Court to rule for LGBT protections

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.)

Ken Mehlman, the former George W. Bush operative and Republican National Committee chair who came out as gay in 2010, is leading LGBT-supportive Republicans in urging conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of LGBT workplace protections under current law.

In a 24-page legal brief first reported by Jeremy Peters of the New York Times, the Republicans take a conservative approach in asserting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workforce, also applies to cases anti-LGBT discrimination.

Continue Reading >>

206 companies urge Supreme Court to rule Title VII covers LGBT workers

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

A total of 206 companies have signed onto a legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination against LGBT people in the workforce.

The friend-of-the-court brief — organized by the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, Out & Equal, Out Leadership and Freedom for All Americans — is signed by the nation’s top businesses and argues anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus illegal under the Title VII.

Continue Reading >>

Supreme Court sets Oct. 8 to hear whether workers can be fired for being LGBT

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

The U.S. Supreme Court has designated Oct. 8 as the date when it will hear arguments on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination, setting up a showdown for when LGBT rights in all areas of life will hang in the balance.

On Monday, the Supreme Court’s website modified the docket entries for each of three Title VII cases to indicate arguments will take place Oct. 8. During the proceedings, justices will consider whether anti-LGBT discrimination in a form of sex discrimination, and thus prohibited under Title VII, which bars discrimination on the sex in the workforce.

Continue Reading >>

Wash. high court again rules against florist who refused to serve gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

In the aftermath of being forced to reevaluate it decision following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Washington State Supreme Court has again concluded Arlene’s Flowers violated the state’s LGBT non-discrimination law by refusing to provide floral services to a same-sex wedding.

The 76-page decision finds previous decisions in the case were reviewed correctly under the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious neutrality. Thus, the new decision reaches the same conclusion Baronelle Stutzman violated state law in 2013 by refusing to serve a same-sex couple seeking to buy wedding flowers.

Continue Reading >>

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Pa. school’s pro-trans bathroom policy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it won’t hear a case challenging a Pennsylvania school district’s pro-trans bathroom policy, averting a decision that could have had implications on protections for transgender students nationwide.

In an order list Tuesday, the Supreme Court indicated it has denied certiorari in the case of Doe v. Boyertown. That means the petition of certiorari—which has been pending before the Supreme Court since November 2018 — obtained fewer than the four votes needed from justices for review.

Continue Reading >>

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
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

The Other Side of Life: Co-opting love

By : Jason Leclerc
Comments: 0

Third grade can be tough for husky-gened boys with dual penchants for strawberry-scented redheads and other boys. Elementary schoolyards can easily become home base for meanness and reductionism, two proclivities that inhabit most eight-year-old bosoms.

Those same third graders easily immerse themselves in the rhetoric of love: in the clear and unambiguous enunciations of who is and is not deserving of one’s love. Implied in such proclamations is ownership of love, that it is somehow off limits to those not included in the normative society of lovers. In my 1983, love and hate coupled and grew alongside the concepts of “opposites” and “revenge” with as much ferocity as long division and times tables.

Continue Reading >>