Prop 8 rules established for December face-off
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced this week how it wants opposing sides to lay out their cases during a critical Dec. 6 hearing on California’s gay marriage ban, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday.
Key to the hearing is whether citizen proponents of Proposition 8 and one California county — Imperial — even have the right to defend the gay marriage ban in the federal appeals court based in San Francisco.
Organizers of the ballot initiative and Imperial County claim that they have the right to defend Proposition 8 in federal court. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, as attorney general, both declined to defend the measure from a challenge to its constitutionality, the Bee reported.
Last August, the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban was found unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker after a highly publicized trial.
Proponents of the ballot measure and Imperial County filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit. Their challenge is two-pronged: First, the panel of judges must agree that proponents and the county have a right to appeal Walker’s decision.
That’s a claim that could conflict with U.S. Supreme Court opinions finding that ballot proponents in other cases do not enjoy that legal standing.
Second, the panel will review claims that Walker’s decision was flawed.
The Dec. 6 hearing, which will cover these two levels of argument, will be divided into two hour-long sessions.
Mormon Church removes same-sex attraction from sin list
WASHINGTON — The Mormon Church has removed same-sex attraction from its list of sins according to a report from Human Rights Campaign.
The change, announced last weekend, for the first time in the religion’s history, does not call for counseling for those experiencing same-sex attractions. The church still teaches that “homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God” but the policy differentiates between same-sex behavior and attraction.
While some may bemoan the change as minor, HRC said it’s a positive change in that it no longer advocates for “reparative” therapy.
Lesbian at Catholic school in employment dispute
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A lesbian who worked in administration at a Catholic university in Springfield, Ill., lost her job after her wedding announcement ran in an Illinois newspaper, the State Journal-Register, a regional newspaper, reported.
Employers knew Laine Tadlock was a lesbian when she started working there five years ago and also knew of her plans to wed partner Kae Helstrom in Iowa this summer. Tadlock left her position as director of the education program at Benedictine University Oct. 28. The school said she resigned, according to the Journal-Register. Tadlock said she did not. Benedictine is a Catholic-sponsored university. Catholic doctrine teaches that homosexual activity of any kind is a sin.
In a Sept. 30 letter to Tadlock’s attorney, Benedictine President William Carroll wrote, “… By publicizing the marriage ceremony in which she participated in Iowa she has significantly disregarded and flouted core religious beliefs which, as a Catholic institution, it is our mission to uphold.”
GOP wins put Minnesota marriage battles on hold
MINNEAPOLIS — LGBT rights activists in Minnesota thought 2012 would be the year they could finally make a serious push for marriage equality in the state, but a surprise Republican takeover of the legislature has them back on the defensive instead, the Associated Press has reported.
Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, says his group will push for a statewide vote in 2012 to ban gay marriage and civil unions in Minnesota’s Constitution. Previous efforts to do so in 2004, 2005 and 2006 met a firewall in the strongly Democratic state Senate, but that liberal majority crumbled Nov. 2.
And despite a vow by new Republican legislative leaders to focus primarily on job creation and spending cuts when they take over in January, the likely new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Warren Limmer, a Republican from Maple Grove, said there’s “a lot of bottled-up desire” in his party to finally put gay marriage before state voters.