Posts Tagged As: Delaware
July 28th, 2016
Twelve states, led by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, have filed a brief in federal court supporting the Obama Administration’s policies to include non-discrimination protections for transgender students and employees under current civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender. The brief was filed in the Northern District of Texas, where Texas is the lead plaintiff on behalf of thirteen states in a lawsuit seeking to block the Obama Administration’s policies.
According to Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed:
“The bottom line is that the federal guidance at issue here threatens no imminent harm,” reads a draft of the brief provided to BuzzFeed News.
The filing is led by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose brief adds that federal protections for transgender people are “strongly in the public interest.”
Ferguson elaborated on getting involved in the litigation in an interview with BuzzFeed News, explaining, “I think this case could go all the way to the Supreme Court, and I want to make sure the trial court has our perspective and the perspective of like-minded states.”
I haven’t seen a copy of the brief. Buzzfeed reports that the brief argues, “Contrary to Plaintiffs’ claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden.”
States joining Washington’s brief are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, as well as Washington, DC. All but New Hampshire and New York cover gender identity in addition to sexual orientation under their non-discrimination laws. New York has recently extended gender identity protections under regulations implemented by the state’s Division of Human Rights, which enforces the state’s non-discrimination laws.
Twelve other states have joined Texas in its federal lawsuit, and nine others have joined a a similar lawsuit being led by Nebraska. Two lawsuits in North Carolina seek to enjoin the Obama Administration from implementing its transgender protection policies.
Two others lawsuits have been lodged against North Carolina over HB2, which prohibits municipalities from enacting local non-discrimination ordinances based on either sexual orientation or gender identity, and which requires transgender people to use the rest room based on the gender listed on their birth certificates.
On Tuesdsay, Federal District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder set a November 14 trial date to consider whether the four North Carolina lawsuits should be tried jointly or organized in a different manner. But moments ago, the ACLU, which joined with Lambda Legal to represent plaintiffs in one of those lawsuits challenging HB2 has sent out a press release saying that Judge Schroeder will hear arguments on Monday, August 1, on a motion for a preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing its anti-transgender provisions.
May 7th, 2013
The Delaware Senate voted for marriage equality today. While it was predicted to be a squeaker, the final vote of the 21 member body was 12 to 9. Governor Markell has pledged to sign the bill, so Delaware makes eleven:
2010 New Hampshire
2011 New York
2013 Rhode Island
2010 District of Columbia
And now over 50 Million Americans live in a state that has full equality.
Update: Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill this evening. Marriage equality goes into effect on July 1.
April 30th, 2013
The Delaware Senate Executive Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 1, at 2:30. The only item on the agenda is a vote on House Bill 75, the marriage equality bill. Three of the six committee members are sponsors and another has stated his support for the bill, so it is expected to pass.
April 23rd, 2013
The First State in the nation took its first concrete steps toward providing marriage equality for all of its citizens. The Delaware House of Representatives moved quickly to approve a marriage equality bill in a 23-18 vote. HB 75 was introduced in the Delaware House less than two weeks ago, and last week the House Administrative Committee moved it to the full House floor. The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
April 23rd, 2013
France’s National Assembly To Cast Final Vote on Marriage Equality: Paris. After the French Senate gave its approval to a bill providing marriage and adoption equality for same-sex couples, the bill returned to the lower house to ratify some of the changes made in the Senate after the National Assembly passed its version in February. The National Assembly began debating the final version of the bill last week, and its is expected to complete its work today with a final, final vote. It can’t come too soon. Anti-gay opponents to equality have been whipping up a violent backlash in recent weeks, with assaults on gay people being reported in several cities. Opponents have also threatened the life of the National Assembly’s president, and warn of “blood” and “civil war” if the bill passes.
Assuming the bill does pass the National Assembly as expected today, its next stop might be a referral to the Constitutional Council in an effort to have the law declared unconstitutional. That would happen if sixty Senators or sixty deputies agree to refer the bill to the Council. If that effort fails or of the Council clears the law, it will then be signed into law by President Hollande and published in the Official Journal.
Delaware House to Vote on Marriage Equality Bill: Dover, DE. Things are moving rather quickly in the First State. It was less than two weeks ago that a bill providing marriage equality was introduced in the Delaware House. Within a week, HB 75 quickly moved from the House Administrative Committee to the House floor. The bill has 17 House co-sponsors out of the 41-member chamber. Rep. Melanie George Smith (D-Bear,) the bill’s primary sponsor, believes the House will approve the bill and send it to the Senate.
Rhode Island Senate Committee to Consider Marriage Equality Bill: Providence, RI. The state Senate is made up of 32 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 1 Independent, so you’d think that a bill granting marriage quality to same-sex couples would be a sure thing, especially considering how easily it passed the House in a 51-19 vote in January. But the Senate is led by Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed (D-Jamestown, Newport), who opposes legalizing same-sex marriage and in years past vowed to block it from coming to a vote in the Senate. This year, she said that she would a committee to hold hearings on the bill, but she has previously ensured that the selected committee would deep-six any attempts to bring marriage equality to the Senate Floor. The bill today is before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Providence Journal is having trouble reading the tea leaves:
But the committee will vote on bills that are different from those introduced weeks ago. The new versions were posted Monday afternoon.
One bill, S 38, is now identical to its companion bill in the House 5015, Sub B. Both would legalize same-sex marriage and contain expanded protections for religiously affiliated organizations that oppose same-sex marriage.
The third bill, S708, would put the issue before voters. But it no longer includes protections for individual small business owners who oppose same-sex marriage.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Hate Crimes Statistics Act Signed Into Law: 1990. Following strong support from the Administration and Congress, President George H.W. Bush signed the Hate Crimes Statistics Act into law in a ceremony at the Old Executive Office Building which, for the first time, included LGBT advocates, along with representatives from the ACLU, NAACP, and other groups that had criticized Bush’s record on civil rights. The LGBT representatives were invited only after agreeing not to turn the signing ceremony into an opportunity to protest the Bush administration’s AIDS policies. The law, which requires the Justice Department to institute a program to systematically collect hate crime statistics based on race, religion, ethnic background and/or sexual orientation, was the first federal law to specifically identify gays, lesbians and bisexuals. The Justice Department and FBI have been issuing annual Hate Crime reports since 1992. All reports from 1995 on are available on the web.
Sen. Rick Santorum’s “Man On Dog” Interview: 2003. In an interview printed in USA Today, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) was in the midst of blaming the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals on liberals and the “right to privacy lifestyle” (which Santorum made abundantly clear that he did not accept), Santorum then cast his eye toward the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas which would strike down sodomy laws later that summer. Santorum defended sodomy laws and lanched his most infamous polemic against gay families:
AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?
SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we’re just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it’s my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that’s antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, where it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.
Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —
AP: I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to talk about “man on dog” with a United States senator, it’s sort of freaking me out.
The AP reporter wasn’t the only one freaking out. Dan Savage wrote a New York Times op-ed calling Santorum out for his blatant bigotry. Noting that Sen. Trent Lott had lost his post as Senate majority leader over remarks praising staunch segregationist Sen. Stromm Thurmond’s (R-SC) 1948 presidential bid, Santorum was assured of escaping this outrage with no sanctions. “Unlike the former majority leader, Mr. Santorum didn’t slip up and say something in plain English that every good Republican knows must only be said in code. Unlike Republican appeals to racist voters, Republican appeals to homophobic voters are overt.”
But a month later, Santorum’s comments were largely forgotten, except among the LGBT community. Lamenting that “the Santorum scandal didn’t have legs,” a 23-year-old reader of Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” column suggested holding a contest to “‘include’ (Santorum) in our sex lives–by naming a gay sex act after him.” Savage agreed, and invited readers to send in their suggestions. By June, the votes were counted, and a definition was promulgated:
Hey, everybody: We have a winner. Savage Love readers, by a wide margin, want Sen. Rick Santorum’s name to stand for… THAT FROTHY MIXTURE OF LUBE AND FECAL MATTER THAT IS SOMETIMES THE BYPRODUCT OF ANAL SEX! It was a landslide for that frothy mixture; the runner-up, farting in the face of someone who’s rimming you, came in a distant second. So congratulations to WUTSAP, who nominated that frothy mixture, and a big thank you to the thousands who voted.
The definition was created, but it still wasn’t obvious that Santorum’s name would be equated with the aforementioned byproduct. Four months after Santorum’s infamous comments and two months after the definition was created, the neologism was still struggling to catch on. It wasn’t until the end of the year when a new web site was created that SpreadingSantorum ended up becoming the most successful Google bomb in history. And with that, a callow comment which almost faded into history has become the name by which Santorum will be known for the rest of his life.
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April 17th, 2013
Today a House Committee in Delaware met to review the marriage bill.
The legislation, which Gov. Jack Markell has pledged to sign if passed by lawmakers, was scheduled for discussion Wednesday in the House Administration Committee.
The committee approved the bill by a vote of 4 to 1. It now goes to the House floor.
Remember just a few years ago when a story like this one would be the lead in every newscast in the country?
April 11th, 2013
Gov. Jack Markell and Attorney General Beau Biden planned to join lawmakers Thursday in Wilmington to announce the filing of the legislation.
Crafting of the bill has been led by members of the gay rights group Equality Delaware.
Markell has pledged to sign the bill if it passes the General Assembly, where it has the support of Democratic leaders in both chambers.
January 30th, 2013
Equality Delaware, the advocacy group that won passage of Delaware’s same-sex civil unions bill in 2011, this week ramps up its campaign for full marriage equality with meetings in New Castle and Sussex counties.
Hundreds of supporters are expected to attend the 5:30 p.m. gatherings – today at First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington and Thursday at CAMP Rehoboth on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.
“We believe 2013 is the right time for marriage [equality] in Delaware,” said Wilmington attorney Lisa Goodman, president of Equality Delaware.
This will likely lead to a bill sometime this spring.
November 1st, 2012
Eric Bodwnweiser, 53, was running for Delaware State Senate in a conservative-leaning district near Rehoboth Beach. He boasted of being a member of the anti-gay Delaware Family Policy Council, which is an official state policy council of Focus On the Family. He was endorsed by former 2010 GOP Senate Candidate, tea party darling and not a witch, Christine O’Donnell. And today, he stands indicted of multuple counts of child molestation:
The indictment includes 113 felony sex charges, including 39 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse — first-degree and 74 counts of unlawful sexual contact — second-degree. Although the indictment doesn’t identify the gender of the victim, the Gape Gazette identified the victim as a boy who allegedly was sexually abused by Bodenweiser between Oct. 1, 1987 and Aug. 31, 1990 when he was between the ages of 10 and 13.
Jason Miller, a spokesperson for the Delaware Attorney General’s office, which is prosecuting the case, said the victim, who is now in his 30s, has spoken to the media and revealed details not disclosed in the indictment but which are expected to surface at a trial.
May 11th, 2011
Governor Mack Markell tonight signed Delaware’s civil unions bill into law. The new law gives same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities at the state level that are granted/imposed on married couples. The bill also recognizes same-sex marriages and civil unions performed in other states. The law takes effect on January 1, 2012.
April 14th, 2011
The Delaware House this evening voted 26-15 in favor of a civil unions bill that will provide all of the rights and benefits of marriage under state law to same-sex couples. The Senate approved the same measure last week. Governor Jack A. Markell has said he will host a signing ceremony next month. The law will take effect at 10 a.m. Jan. 1, 2012.
April 7th, 2011
The vote was 13-6. It now goes on to the House, where it is also expected to pass. The House vote is scheduled for April 13.
April 6th, 2011
Delaware’s Senate Administrative Services Committee approved SB 30, which would provide Civil Unions for same-sex couples, after a two hour hearing earlier today. The full Senate has scheduled a vote for tomorrow. According to the Washington Blade:
SB 30 would give gay and lesbian couples access to the responsibilities and rights of marriage; partners in a civil union would be included wherever terms like “dependent,” “next of kin” and “family” are used in Delaware regulations, codes and court decisions. If passed, Delaware would also recognize civil unions performed in other states.
If the bill passes the Senate, it would then go on to the House.
October 14th, 2010
The Tea Party-backed Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Delaware, Christine O’Donnell, appeared on a debate yesterday in which she expressed her opinion that the U.S. military is a law unto itself outside of civilian control, and that the courts have no role to play in enforcing the U.S. Constitution. She also said that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be like telling the military that they should endorse adulterous affairs among married personnel.
“A federal judge recently ruled that we have to overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. There are a couple of things we need to say about that. First of all, judges should not be legislating from the bench. Second of all, it’s up to the military to set the policy that the military believes is in the best interest of unit cohesiveness and military readiness. The military already regulates personal behavior in that it doesn’t allow affairs to go on within your chain of command. It does not allow it you are married to have an adulterous affair within the military. So the military already regulates personal behavior because it feels that it is in the best interest of our military readiness. I don’t think that Congress should be forcing a social agenda on to our military. I think we should leave that to the military.”
September 21st, 2010
Christine O’Donnell, the Delaware Republican Senatorial candidate whose Tea Party-backed campaign upset the GOP’s favorite in the primaries, has parroted the ex-gay line with regard to gay people as recently as 2006. In an interview with the Wilmington News Journal reporter Victor Greto, O’Donnel said:
“People are created in God’s image. Homosexuality is an identity adopted through societal factors. It’s an identity disorder.”
Calling homosexuality an “identity disorder” is a classic feature of the ex-gay lexicon. O’Donnell undoubtedly picked up that line from her own association with the ex-gay movement in the 1990’s, when she ran a ministry called “The Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth” (SALT). The ex-gay spokesperson for SALT, Wade Richards was one of the “success stories” to come out of the Memphis-based ex-gay residential program Love In Action. It was also through O’Donnell that Richards also worked with Peter LaBarbera for a while. (Finding out that LaBarbera’s office was filled with porn and leather bondage gear, ostensibly for “research”, shook him up quite a bit.) Richards finally came to understand that the ex-gay myth was a dead end. He came out in 2000:
“What helped me really come to grips was that [O’Donnell’s] sister is an open lesbian and was living in L.A. and was in a long-term relationship and was working with a youth organization,” he says. “By hanging out with her, I saw, wow, she has a pretty normal life.” Being gay, he started to realize, needn’t condemn him to a life of seedy anonymous hookups, drug abuse, and nihilism.
After he came out, he never heard from O’Donnell again:
After that, he says, O’Donnell “totally turned her back on me. I never heard from her ever again. That’s been my experience with the Christian community in general. The minute I was struggling and saying, ‘Hey, listen, I don’t know really where I am with this,’ that’s when everyone really turned their back on me.”
This appears to be a common experience among ex-gay survivors, especially those who had served as spokespersons for the movement. Once they even begin to express doubts, they are completely disowned.
Meanwhile, O’Donnell’s vilification of gay people would continue. In 1997, O’Donnell said that the government was spending too much money on AIDS, calling homosexuality “a lifestyle which brings about this disease.” In 2000, she told Fox’s Hannity & Colmes that gays get away with too much: “They’re getting away with nudity! They’re getting away with lasciviousness! They’re getting away with perversion! …They’re getting away with blasphemy!” And in this year’s primary campaign, she engaged in a bit of gay-bating against her Republican opponent, Mike Castle. She hired a firm that released an ad that accused Castle of cheating on his wife with a man, a charge that carried no evidence whatsoever. She also accused Castle of “un-manly tactics” and told him to “put his man-pants on.” I predict it won’t be long before we start hearing about pedophilia and bestiality as the campaign wears on.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.