Appeal On Proposition 8 Highlights A Critical Legal Issue

Commentary by Boyce Hinman

The issue is: who does and does not have legal standing to appeal a US District Court decision? The answer to that question may determine whether or not Judge Walker’s decision overturning Proposition 8 stands or falls.

Judge Vaughan Walker, has ruled that Proposition 8 is invalid because it violates the 14th amendment to the US constitution, which guarantees equal protection of the law to all, and also violates the constitution’s due process clause.

Read more: Prop 8 Critical Legal Issue


To Win, Democrats Must Define, Defend and Dumb DownWayne Besen

Commentary By Wayne Besen, Founder, Truth Wins Out

This past weekend, I attended an event on Fire Island that featured Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (who was quite lovely and engaging). Interestingly, a few donors publicly expressed displeasure about the Democratic Party's progress on LGBT issues during a Q&A session. This got me thinking about why some Democrats are disappointed with the Party - and it goes much deeper than votes on a few key issues. The unease, in my view, comes directly from the Party's inability to define itself, defend itself and the style in which it communicates.

If one is asked to name five defining issues the Republican Party stands for, it would be easy: Lower taxes (for the rich), Pro-business (corporate welfare), Discrimination (gays, blacks, Muslims immigrants, etc.), Family Values (undermining separation of church & State) and a strong defense (dumb wars we can't afford).

Read more: To Win, Democrats Must


Church Sends Mixed Messages On Same-Gender MarriageRev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr

The Permanent Judicial Commission of the Redwoods Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) upheld three of four charges against Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr, saying that she “violated her ordination vows” by presiding at the marriages of same-gender couples.

All the marriages were performed during the period in which the state of California legally recognized these marriages, June 17, 2008 through November 3, 2008. The decision was announced on Aug. 27, 2010.

Read more: Church Sends Mixed Messages


Another Self-Loathing Republican Comes Out – Oh My!Ken Mehlman

Commentary by Sam Catalano
We now learn the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Bush’s 2004 campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, is gay. Quelle surprise!

So what are we to think about his coming out? According to GOProud’s Christopher Barron, “I applaud Ken for having the courage to take this important step.” FYI, GOProud is the new conservative gay Republican organization that now gets the quotes on CNN.

Read more: Self-Loathing Republican


LGBTI Prisoner Bill Passes

Commentary by Boyce Hinman
Assembly Bill 633, written to protect sexual minorities, among others, in California’s prisons, has now been approved by the California legislature and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. The Governor vetoed a virtually identical bill (AB 382) in 2008. So it is far from certain that he will sign AB 633 this time.

AB 633 would require the California Department of Corrections to consider self-reported safety concerns related to the sexual orientation or gender identity, of prison inmates when classifying inmates or wards of the prison system. AB 633 was introduced by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-SF) and sponsored by Equality California.

Read more: Prisoner Bill Passes


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