Posts Tagged As: North Carolina

Federal Judge Blocks UNC From Enforcing North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill”

Jim Burroway

August 29th, 2016

UNCThe University of North Carolina is barred from enforcing the portion of North Carolina’s HB2 which would require transgender people to use public restrooms based on the gender marked on their birth certificates:

U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, issued the 83-page injunction late Friday on the basis the law, House Bill 2, likely violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

“The University of North Carolina, its officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and all other persons acting in concert or participation with them are hereby enjoined from enforcing Part I of HB2 against the individual transgender plaintiffs until further order of the court,” Schroeder writes.

However, Schroeder writes plaintiffs in the case “have not made a clear showing” they’re likely to succeed in their challenge against the law on the basis it violates the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Further, the court, Schoroder writes, will reserve ruling on due process claims pending further briefing from the parties.

The judge based his injunction on a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case involving Gavin Grimm, a transgender student who is suing his Virginia school district for preventing him from using male rest rooms. That decision was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court pending an expected an appeal to the high court.

UNC had already said that they would not be enforcing HB2 on campus, and would comply with the injunction. The full trial  is set for November 14.

Charlotte Pride Sees Record Attendance, Loud Protests

Jim Burroway

August 22nd, 2016

This past weekend, anti-gay and anti-abortion activist Flip Benham tried to disrupt Charlotte Pride by ranting into a portable loudspeaker in a Parking lot near the sound stage. Yelling, “stop celebrating sodomy in the streets!” and complaining about men who “puts his penis up another man’s rectum,” Benham sought to present the face of Christ to the gathered sodomites. The Charlotte Observer has more:

Christina Woodruff of Huntersville is only 10 years old, but she learned a very grown-up lesson about bigotry this weekend at the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade in uptown.

“I was just standing there and a man told me that I was a child of the Devil,” said Christina, who is parented by a same sex couple. “I wanted to punch him, but my mom stopped me. I cried instead.”

Conservative religious groups have long provided sideline heckling at Charlotte’s annual gay pride celebration, including a group this year that tried to drown out Mayor Jennifer Roberts during the opening ceremony Saturday.

Fortunately, this wound up being little more than a side show. Charlotte Pride officials estimate that about 200,000 people showed up for the festival and parade, up from 120,000 people last year. The parade saw about 3,500 marchers, about ten of 135 contingents representing faith groups, which represents another record. Event organizers believe the record turnout is a show of support for the LGBT community in the face of North Carolina’s HB2.

Update: Charlotte Pride has issued a press release urging caution with the 200,000 attendance figure:

Final attendance estimates have not been released. We are confident that we met or exceeded last year’s attendance, which stood at 120,000 visitors over the course of the weekend. Parade participation jumped to over 140 parade entries, with 3,500 individual marchers in the parade, but full spectator and attendee numbers for the 2016 events are not yet available. We’ll be looking at all the numbers and doing some analysis in the coming days.

Several media outlets are reporting that organizers “expected 200,000” people or are reporting that organizers estimated attendance matched that number. This is incorrect, and has not been released by our organization.

Please note that official attendance estimates will be publicized solely from Charlotte Pride’s media spokesperson, Matt Comer, via press release or media advisory

NBA Picks New Orleans To Host All-Star Game

Jim Burroway

August 19th, 2016

Last month, the National Basketball Association announced that they were pulling their 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina, in protest over HB2, which targeted LGBT people, especially transgender people, for discrimination. While the NBA didn’t say where the game would be held, sources speculated that New Orleans was in strong contention. Today, the NBA made it official:

New Orleans, announced Friday as the new location of the game, replaces Charlotte, which was set to host the game until the NBA decided last month to move it elsewhere.

Unlike several other Southern states, Louisiana has not been swept up in legislative efforts to pass laws similar to that in North Carolina — a fact Gov. John Bel Edwards has touted while lobbying the NBA to bring its All-Star weekend to New Orleans.

Gov. Edwards (D) hasn’t issued a statement since this morning’s announcement, what with having to deal with the disastrous flooding and other distractions. Tony Perkins, who’s home was flooded out, not only found the time to take advantage of those same distractions, but also found the time to respond to the NBA’s announcement:

I commend North Carolina Governor McCrory for his political courage and moral clarity in not caving in to the NBA’s threats to move the All-Star game. He stared down the giant of the NBA and stood strong against government discrimination of private entities and for the principles of protecting privacy and safety in government buildings.

“My home state of Louisiana, like North Carolina, is one of 32 states in the U.S. that does not force private businesses to allow men in women’s showers, locker rooms, and restrooms. On the other hand, in New Orleans—the same as in Charlotte—the NBA will be free to divide the restrooms at its own event on the basis of self-professed ‘gender identity’ instead of objective biological sex, if it wishes to do so. Only politics—not the well-being of transgender persons or anyone else—motivated this disruptive and punitive move.

“The hypocrisy of the NBA over North Carolina’s HB 2 law is utterly stunning. The NBA is willing to turn a blind eye and play games in countries, like the People’s Republic of China, that regularly oppress their own citizens.

“The NBA should focus on basketball, not on redefining what it means to be male or female,” concluded Perkins.

It looks like Perkins and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) have compared talking points. McCrory’s tantrum runs along a similar vein:

“According to his own statements, Commissioner Silver has no credibility in telling America that he’s more ‘comfortable’ playing a basketball game in the People’s Republic of China with its oppressive human rights record, rather than the 9th most populous state in the U.S.A.,” said Communications Director Josh Ellis. “This is another classic example of politically-correct hypocrisy gone mad. We are proud that Louisiana has joined 21 other states that are fighting for basic privacy expectations for our children and families in school restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities.”

While Louisiana has no North Carolina bathroom bill, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) has joined twelve other states in a lawsuit led by Texas against the Obama Administration’s directives to extend federal gender-based anti-discrimination protections to transgender people.

Federal Judge Appears Skeptical Of North Carolina’s Anti-Trans Law

Jim Burroway

August 1st, 2016

From Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed:

A federal judge expressed skepticism on Monday that North Carolina lawmakers were solving a legitimate safety problem when they passed a law that bans many transgender people from restrooms in government facilities that match their gender identity.

US District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder also seemed flummoxed at one point by how the law could function in practical terms — it requires people to use single-sex restrooms associated with the sex on their birth certificate, thereby making transgender people enter facilities that conflict with their identity and appearance.

“We would have people dressed like males, who consider themselves male, walking into the ladies room,” he told a lawyer representing Gov. Pat McCrory.

“How on earth is that supposed to work?” he asked.

Schroeder was considering a request to suspend the law while its underlying legal merits are considered at a trial. “I endeavor to make a decision as soon as I can,” he told the courtroom. “I know school is about to ramp up.”

According to Holden, the hearling lasted more than three hours, and his report includes an extended account of the arguments made in court. It seems that lawyers for the state have quite a hill to climb.

Judge Schroeder was hearing arguments over a motion for a injunction to prevent North Carolina from enforcing the anti-transgender public accommodations portion of HB2. The state law was introduced, debated, passed by both state chambers in the legislature and signed into law in a single day, which has to be some kind of a record. HB2 was enacted in response to a Charlotte city ordinance that granted broad anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. HB2 overrode the Charlotte ordinance and prohibited all municipalities from passing any such anti-discrimination ordinances. HB2 also added an additional anti-transgender component that single-sex restrooms and locker rooms in public schools and government buildings be used by people according to the gender specified on their birth certificates.

NBA Pulls All-Star Game From Charlotte Over Anti-LGBT Law

Jim Burroway

July 21st, 2016

Yahoo News broke the story:

Without any movement by state legislators in North Carolina to change newly enacted laws targeted at the LGBT community, the NBA is pulling the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, league sources told The Vertical.

The NBA is focused on the New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center as the host for All-Star Weekend and the All-Star Game on Feb. 19, league sources told The Vertical.

For now, there are still other cities trying to lure the All-Star Game, sources said.

A formal announcement on the NBA’s withdrawal out of Charlotte is expected as soon as this week, league sources said Thursday./blockquote>

The National Basketball Association has long warned North Carolina legislators that the state risked losing next year’s All-Star Game if it didn’t rescind HB 2, which prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting non-discrimination ordinances covering sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and excludes all workplace discrimination lawsuits from state courts. HB 2, additionally and more controversially, prohibits transgender people from using public facilities which correspond to their gender identity or presentation. A number of businesses have halted relocation and expansion plans in the state, and several conventions and concert performances were cancelled. Figures are hard to pin down, but one tally of known cancellations as of mid-April put the losses at $77 million.

NC Lawmakers End Session By Making A Tiny Change to HB 2 — To Limit Its Impact To Straight People

Jim Burroway

July 2nd, 2016

For months, North Carolina Gov Pat McCrory (R) has been  promising change to HB 2, the state law that blocks all anti-LGBT discrimination ordinances in the state, and which criminalize transgender people’s ability to use public restrooms according to their gender identity. National outcry over the discriminatory legislation has resulted in millions of dollars in lost business and high-profile cancellations of events and concerts in the state. The National Basketball Association has threatened to pull its planned 2017 All Star Game from Charlotte if the law weren’t changed.

And so the legislature changed the law, just before ending its session yesterday:

Gov. Pat McCrory had been seeking the action for months. HB2, best known for requiring transgender people in government facilities to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates, also blocked a path that North Carolinians had to file state-court discrimination claims.

Though lawmakers’ action Friday restores that path, it comes with a statute of limitations shorter than before — one year instead of three years.

“As we said from the beginning, there was never an intent to limit the right of anybody to seek redress in state court,” House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters.

The House passed the change 85-15, and the Senate passed it 26-14 to send it to the governor.

House speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland Co.) actually said with an straight face: “I certainly hope that the NBA will keep the All-Star Game here. The process I don’t think lends itself to (passing) legislation perhaps that they might want to see. I hope that they – and frankly every business that had concerns about discrimination arguments – see fixing this issue with access to state courts as fixing that.”

Yup. All fixed.

The House also voted 89-32 to raid the state’s disaster relief fund to the tune of %500,000 to defend HB 2 in court. The bill passed the Senate on Thursday and is headed to McCrory for his signature. State Attorney General Roy Cooper (D), who is running against McCrory for Governor, has said he will not defend the law in court.

North Carolina Lawmakers Plot Raid Of Disaster Relief Fund to Defend HB 2

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2016

When the next hurricane or flood hits North Carolina and state residents turn to the state’s disaster relief coffers, they’ll find it half a million dollars poorer than it should be:

North Carolina lawmakers took steps Thursday to set aside a half-million dollars for the legal defense of a law limiting protections for LGBT people as a judge sought to streamline a cluster of lawsuits it has inspired.

Republican lawmakers were mapping out the end of the session, including possible changes to the law known as House Bill 2, which has attracted high-profile critics including the NBA. The session could end this weekend.

But there was no appetite to change the provision requiring transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate in schools, universities and many other public buildings. The law also excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from statewide anti-discrimination protections.

…The Senate also approved a plan to give McCrory’s office $500,000 to defend the law in court, by transferring money from a disaster relief fund. The measure still must pass the House.

The NBA had scheduled its 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte before the law was enacted earlier this year. Yesterday, the Charlotte Hornets and the NBA issued a joint statement saying that the minor changes to HB 2 that have been floated aren’t enough. While Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is trying to find some minimal changes to the law that might keep the All Star game in town while still keeping anti-LGBT lawmakers in his own party happy, he has no problem with trying to take advantage of whole episode in a re-eleaction campaign pitch:

A spokesman for McCrory’s re-election campaign, Ricky Diaz, later said in an email: “Any Democrat standing with the Human Rights Campaign and other out-of-state liberal interest groups by refusing any compromise is attempting to drive the NBA All-Star Game from North Carolina.”

Updated: The House May Have Passed the LGBT Amendment, But They Defeated The Larger Bill

Jim Burroway

May 26th, 2016

The House rejected a appropriations bill for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers, Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation and several other commissions. The huge $37.4 billion spending bill went down 112-305. Dems lined up against the measure, citing such poison pill provisions as amendment targeting the Iran nuclear deal and prohibiting the Obama administration from revoking Title IX funds previously appropriated for North Carolina and Mississippi over those states’ anti-trans bathroom bills. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) was among those voting against the bill:

Ultimately, though, Maloney said he voted ‘no’ on the Energy-Water bill, which included his LGBT anti-discrimination amendment. He pointed to a subsequent amendment by Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.,   which prohibits the Obama administration from blocking North Carolina from receiving federal funds in retaliation to its transgender bathroom law. That measure was adopted 227-192.

“I wasn’t about to support the Pittenger amendment … having fought all week to get workplace protections,” Maloney said. “We won the vote last night. That’s an important victory. It shows there is a majority in the House that supports work place protection.”

Update:  Politico adds this bit of inside baseball:

Some GOP lawmakers were furious over Rep. Rick Allen’s (R-Ga.) comments on the LGBT issue at a GOP Conference meeting prior to the vote.

Allen read a passage from the Bible and questioned whether members would violate their religious principles if they supported the bill.

But moderate Republicans were stunned by Allen’s remarks, and some walked out of the meeting in protest, according to GOP lawmakers.

“A good number of members were furious,” said one Republican, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “There was some Scripture that was read and the like … Nothing good was going to happen to those that supported [the LGBT provision.] A good number of members were furious.”

An amendment offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) added a line saying that Maloney’s provision, which restored Obama’s Executive Order requiring federal contractors to provide anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, would not conflict with “the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.” The hope was that this caveat would reassure more conservative members of the caucus. But this morning, those conservatives informed leadership that they would not support the appropriations bill with Maloney’s amendment attached. Those conservatives said that GOP leadership never should have allowed Maloney’s amendment to be vote on in the first place. Meanwhile, Democrats also abandoned the bill over the Title IX amendment and other provisions targeting climate change science and withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities.”

Charlotte Pulls “Compromise” With State Over HB2

Jim Burroway

May 24th, 2016

Yesterday, the city of Charlotte was scheduled to vote on a proposed repeal of the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. The ordinance had already been overruled by North Carolina’s HB2, which not only overturned local anti discrimination ordinances across the state, but added a highly controversial provision requiring that trans persons use public restrooms that matches their birth certificate. The state legislature and governor did all of that in exactly one day. Contrary to statements by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and other anti-LGBT extremists, the Charlotte ordinance did not address public restroom usage. In a potential compromise, the city would repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance and the legislature would “modify” some parts of HB2. I haven’t found any description of what those modifications were supposed to be.

But just before Charlotte’s city council was scheduled to meet yesterday, the Council released a statement saying the vote would not be on the agenda. The local Chamber of Congress had been pressing for the “compromise”:

The Charlotte Chamber declined to comment Sunday on the HRC criticism. But in an op-ed posted Sunday, Chamber President Bob Morgan said the City Council “should act to take the first step in a process we hope leads to reforms to HB2 that advance our city and state as places where discrimination is not tolerated – for anyone.” He said the council should take that step in response to “an overture” by the legislature.

The chamber says it opposes discrimination in any form but has not taken a position on HB2, unlike some other business groups in the state, which have asked for a repeal of the state law.

The chamber has previously lobbied city officials to be more conciliatory toward Raleigh leaders in their public statements. But the group upset some in the city when it issued a statement praising Gov. Pat McCrory’s executive order in early April that was an attempt to defuse the controversy over HB2.

Council members believe there are six votes for the symbolic repeal: Republicans Ed Driggs and Kenny Smith, and Democrats Greg Phipps, Claire Fallon, Vi Lyles and James Mitchell. (Lyles and Mitchel supported the ordinance in February; the others opposed it.) Those six votes would have been enough to pass the repeal, but not enough to sustain Mayor Jennifer Roberts’s veto. Later in the meeting, Republican council member Kenny Smith proposed a resolution to place the ordinance’s repeal on the agenda for Wednesday. That resolution failed 7-4.

The HRC sent a letter to the Council urging them not to compromise: “This moment in which we find ourselves is quickly defining the type of nation we are destined to be. Today, you are standing on the right side of history.”

 

McDowell County is not like Rowan County

Timothy Kincaid

September 11th, 2015

McDowelFollowing the story of Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to follow the law and issue marriage licenses to residents of her county, attention has turned to the magistrates in McDowell County, North Carolina. (wlos.com)

Magistrates in McDowell County are refusing to perform same sex marriages.

A supervising judge confirmed to News 13 on Thursday that four workers in the office – Hilary Hollified, Thomas Atkinson, Debbie Terrell and Chad Johnson – have recused themselves under the North Carolina’s religious exemption law.

Some are seeing this as discrimination and bigotry just like in Rowan County and Something That Must Be Stopped. I see the situations as very dissimilar and am not much troubled by McDowell County or their magistrates.

Magistrates do not have any gate-keeping duties as to who can marry in the county. Those who choose to can officiate civil marriages, though they are not required to do so (nor, I believe, have they ever been so required). And McDowell County has provided replacements, magistrates from another county, so as to ensure that anyone wishing a civil marriage may have one. No rights are being denied.

But a more important distinction, to me, is the motivation. In McDowell County the issue is “what I must do” while in Rowan County the issue is “what you cannot do”.

For all that Kim Davis protests that she only wants to not have her name associated with marriages of which she disapproves, her actions show a different motive. The minute that her deputy clerks issued marriage licenses without her name – substituting “office of Rowan County” for “office of Kim Davis” – her attorneys insisted that the licenses were invalid. Davis’ goal is not removing herself from association with same-sex marriages but rather it’s prohibiting all such marriages in her county.

There have been a number of judges and magistrates and mayors and other officials across the country who have quietly removed marriage officiation from their list of services in order to avoid participation in same-sex marriages. And while this is a decision that is in conflict with my own values, so long as this is not a significant or relevant part of their duties and so long as an adequate replacement is provided, I am not much inclined to force people to do things that are contrary to their conscience.

Further, I think that throwing energy into coercive efforts (“they must follow my values, not their values, or they should be fired”) distracts from situations that truly are egregious and abusive. It makes our cause seem more about forcing or punishing others and less about achieving freedom for ourselves.

Seeking to block legal public services and deny civil rights, such as the efforts of Kim Davis, is a matter that deserves our attention and our ire. And, rightly, our community fought back and, if polls are correct, we won the debate.

But insisting that individual magistrates personally participate in same-sex marriages does not deserve our time nor serve our cause.

NC House overrides veto on magistrate protection bill

Timothy Kincaid

June 11th, 2015

In May the North Carolina legislature passed Senate Bill 2, a bill designed to allow individual Magistrates to give up conducting marriages and to allow assistant Registrars to give up issuing marriage licenses. Republican Governor Pat McCrory vetoed the bill, saying that public officials who swear to perform the duties of their office should not be exempt from doing so.

On June 2nd, the state Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto and today the House did the same. So the bill becomes law.

Here’s what it does:

  • The Register of Deeds in a county cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That is an integral part of their duties and they have to fulfill their obligations.
  • Assistant Registers of Deeds can, however, give up issuing marriage licenses altogether as part of their tasks. But they cannot pick and choose; It’s either all legal marriage licenses or none.
  • Magistrates can give up conducting marriage licenses altogether. But they cannot pick and choose; It’s either all legal marriage ceremonies or none.
  • If all magistrates in a jurisdiction refuse to conduct civil marriages, a magistrate will be assigned by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Until that magistrate is assigned, the Chief District Court Judge (or his assignee) will be deemed a magistrate to conduct civil marriages. There is no down time.
  • Marriages before a magistrate must be available a minimum of ten hours per week and over at least three days per week. This appears to be a new requirement.

While this is seen as an affront to our community, it is not clear that it will have much real impact on same-sex couples seeking marriage. The provisions require that licenses be issued and marriages be conducted and it probably matters little whether any specific Magistrates or Assistant Register of Deeds individually participate.

And it should be noted that the state has been issuing marriage licenses and conducting marriages since October 2014, and things appear to be going smoothly. I suspect that the offices of the various Registers of Deeds and Magistrates have by now pretty much identified ways to comply with the law without any serious loss of religious freedom or significant inconvenience to marrying parties. I doubt much will change.

NC Senate overrides veto of magistrates bill

Timothy Kincaid

June 2nd, 2015

Last week, the North Carolina Senate and House both passed a bill which would allow individual magistrates (but not all magistrates in a county) to forego conducting civil marriages for all couples, gay or straight. Republican Governor Pat McCrory vetoed the bill, saying that public officials who swear to perform the duties of their office should not be exempt from doing so.

But the legislature may well be redefining the duties of office. (Reuters)

The Republican-led state Senate reached the three-fifths majority needed to override McCrory’s veto in a 32-16 vote. The legislation now goes back to the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives, which passed it last week by a margin wide enough to override the veto.

As discussed earlier, this bill could result in an inconvenience to all couples, gay or straight, in some counties. But it does not appear to me to be a tool for invidious discrimination and would likely hold up in court.

About North Carolina’s magistrate bill – UPDATED

Timothy Kincaid

May 28th, 2015

Today the North Carolina House of Representatives will vote for the third and final time to approve Senate Bill 2. As it has passed the Senate and there are no revisions, it will go directly to the Governor. And while Gov. Pat McCrory has said that he does not support the bill, he may let it become law without his signature.

Quite a bit of kerfuffle has been raised about the bill with various “EMERGENCY!” emails flying about. But, within the LGBT community, not a lot has been said about the content of the “anti-gay marriage bill”. So I read the bill. And it may not be so very ookie-spookie scary as one otherwise might think.

Here’s what it says:

  • The Register of Deeds in a county cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That is an integral part of their duties and they have to fulfill their obligations.
  • Assistant Registers of Deeds can, however, give up issuing marriage licenses altogether as part of their tasks. But they cannot pick and choose; It’s either all legal marriage licenses or none.
  • Magistrates can give up conducting marriage licenses altogether. But they cannot pick and choose; It’s either all legal marriage ceremonies or none.
  • If all magistrates in a jurisdiction refuse to conduct civil marriages, a magistrate will be assigned by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Until that magistrate is assigned, the Chief District Court Judge (or his assignee) will be deemed a magistrate to conduct civil marriages. There is no down time.
  • Marriages before a magistrate must be available a minimum of ten hours per week and over at least three days per week. This appears to be a new requirement.

This is not an onerous burden on same-sex couples. No gay couples are being turned away where straight couples are accepted. All legal licenses are being issued and every county is providing magistrates for marriage, impartially.

In fact, the greatest imposition of this bill is on the Register of Deeds and the Chief District Court Judge who are tasked with managing staff and ensuring that the newly added minimum service requirements are upheld.

The only question that I see remaining, is whether individuals who work for the State should be compelled to participate in procedures which violate their conscience in order to maintain employment. And that is an matter about which people of good will may differ.

UPDATE:

North Carolina’s Republican Governor has stated that he will veto the bill. (Citizen Times)

Acting just hours after the legislation passed the House, Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday he will veto a bill that would allow some state officials to opt out performing or issuing documents for same-sex marriages.

“We are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath,” McCrory said in a statement.

The vote in the House was not strong enough to overturn a veto.

UPDATE:

We mistakenly stated above that the vote in the House was not strong enough to overturn a veto. That is incorrect. A veto requires override requires “three-fifths of the members of that house present and voting”. The House vote was 60.9% (67 yes votes of 110 cast). To survive a veto override, two yes votes would have to vote not to override.

Because the majority of yes votes were from the same party as the Governor, there may be some unwillingness on the part of some members to defy the decision of the leader of the party. So it is not an entirely unlikely scenario that the bill will stay killed.

North Carolina marriage ban struck down – UPDATED

Timothy Kincaid

October 10th, 2014

marriage 2014

From WYFF4:

A federal judge in North Carolina has struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, opening the way for the first same-sex weddings in the state to begin immediately.

U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr., in Asheville issued a ruling Friday shortly after 5 p.m. declaring the ban approved by state voters in 2012 unconstitutional.

Which brings the total to 29 plus the district of Columbia.

UPDATE –

The ruling may only apply to two counties. This is NOT the case that everyone has been watching, the one in which the GOP is seeking to fight the Fourth Circuit’s ruling.

This is a case brought by the United Church of Christ which argued that denying their ability to perform same-sex marriages was a violation of their religious freedom.

UPDATE –

For now, it looks like the ruling applies to the whole state.

North Carolina GOP petitions to intervene

Timothy Kincaid

October 9th, 2014

The Republican majority in the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives have filed a brief arguing that the ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was denied certiorari by the Supreme Court, does not apply to their state. Because those crazy liberals in Virginia made concessions in court that the Republicans in the North Carolina legislature would never make, therefor their ban on same-sex marriage – unlike everyone else’s – should be upheld.

They are being represented by John Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, who ran Attorney General in the Republican primary, winning 34%. Eastman is not exactly the most persuasive of legal minds and his involvement is likely to be an advantage to marriage equality proponents. You may recall him from his unbroken string of colossal losses in NOM’s battle to defy state political donor laws.

Should the judge write a big giant F in red ink across the face of their brief, they alternately want to be granted the right to appeal any ruling for marriage to the Fourth Circuit (who already ruled for equality), to the court en banc (good luck with that) and to the Supreme Court (which has already denied cert from this circuit).

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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.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

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.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe 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.