The Daily Agenda for Friday, December 7
December 7th, 2012
US Supreme Court To Consider Hearing Multiple Marriage Cases: Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Justices will gather once again this morning for a private conference to decide which of the many marriage-related cases they will hear for this term. Those cases which have been appealed to the Supreme Court include an appeal of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which declared California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage unconstitutional; a slew of challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act; and Brewer v. Diaz, which challenges Arizona’s move to strip its state employees of their domestic parntnership benefits. The Court last considered hearing those cases during a Conference session last Friday, but no decision was reached.
If the Court decides to accept one of the cases, we may hear about it later this afternoon, but its more likely that no announcements will be made until Monday. If the court has decided to reject a case, then that announcement would typically be made Monday. But rejecting the Prop 8 case, hhich would pave the way for the resumption of same-sex marriages in california, would be so momentous that the justices may need to wait on that announcement until a dissenting opinion is written since its hard to imagine that a decision to reject wouldn’t draw one of those classic Scalia rants that we’ve all come to know so well.
Check out this post for a rundown on some of the complexities that the court faces simply in deciding which case to take. If the Court doesn’t reach a decision this time, we will have to wait until the next Conference, scheduled for January 4.
International Human Rights Rally: Springfield, MA. A small-ish western-Massachusetts city might seem like an odd place to hold an International Human Rights Rally, but Springfield isn’t jsut a typical New England burb. It’s home to Scott Lively, who has done more to set the stage for Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill than any other single American. He’s so proud of his March 2009 conference that he bragged that it was his “nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.” He says he’s against the bill’s death penalty — although he didn’t sound all that convincing when he was asked about it. Just two weeks ago, Lively called the bill’s possibly imminent passage a “huge blessing for Uganda and for me personally.”
Frank Mugisha, Executive Directof of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award honoree, will join the Stop the Hate and Homophobia in Springfield Coalition for a rally, followed by a potluck dinner and conversation. The rally will take place from 3:00 to 4:0o p.m. at the Springfield Federal Courthouse, where SMUG and the Center for Constitutional Rights is suing Lively for his role in “the decade-long campaign he has waged, in coordination with his Ugandan counterparts, to persecute persons on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.” The putluck will take place at the Out Now office at 32 Hampden St. starting at 5:00 p.m. If you have any questions, you can contact Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Pennsylvania Colony Enacts New Sodomy Law: 1682. Sodomy laws seemed to come and go in Pennsylvania. The colony had originally included Sodomy in a long list of offenses which were considered capital crimes, but the first assembly in 1676 held under the proprietorship of William Penn codified Quaker leniency in its law reform when it limited the death penalty to murder. This effectively left Pennsylvania without a sodomy law for the next six years, when the colony instituted this new law:
…if any person shall be Legally Convicted of the unnatural sin of Sodomy or joining with beasts, Such person shall be whipped, and forfeit one third of his or her estate, and work six months in the house of Correction, at hard labour, and for the Second offence, imprisonment, as aforesaid, during life.
This law would remain in effect until 1693, when William Penn fell out of power and was replaced with a Royal governor who repealed most of Penn’s legislation, including the non-capital sodomy law. No new law would be enacted until 1700 (see November 27).
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