Tag Archives: court case

Jacksonville, FL Anti-Discrimination LGBT Ordinance Struck Down by Court

Jacksonville, FL Anti-Discrimination LGBT Ordinance Struck Down by Court

Jacksonville, Florida’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, was deemed unenforceable in a unanimous appellate court decision Friday and struck down on Friday.

The reason for the court’s decision supposedly had to do with Jacksonville’s City Council and the way it handled the ordinance saying that it would amend the anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity, but the council never actually did that.

“Instead of setting out the full text of the amendments in context, the proposed ordinance stated that the City’s office of general counsel would write the amended ordinance later,” the court ruled. “That had not happened yet when Appellants filed their original or amended complaints. There was no full-text version of each amended provision showing the insertion of new language.

″… Without all of that, an amendment is just an idea. Ideas alone are not enforceable.

Roger Gannam, the assistant vice president of legal affairs at the anti-LGBT hate group the Liberty Counsel. who both lobbied against the ordinance and who brought the lawsuit against the city, said he believed the City Council tried to file a shorter version of the bill so that it would seem like it wasn’t a significant change.

Incoming Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri said if the city’s lawyers decide not to appeal, then the council should quickly pass a technical fix, rather than re-debating the issue or passing a stronger form of the law.

“We meant what we said, and we said what we meant,” he said. “I’m not looking at a second bite. I’m looking to correct what the courts have asked us to do.”

He also said the court was “blind to justice” and he faulted the court for being “pretty conservative.”

Log Cabin Republicans File Brief Opposing The Department of Justice’s Request for STAY DADT Injunction – Gay Inc. Should Be Ashamed

“With the injunction in place, nothing will change with regard to the composition of the military, the training, promotion, demotion, and deployment of servicemembers, the mission and operations of the armed forces, or anything else that pertains to the important governmental interest that the military serves. The evidence at trial showed that homosexual men and women already serve today; they are deployed to theaters of combat when needed – indeed, retained overall in greater numbers during times of combat – even if they are openly homosexual; it is their discharge, not their presence, that if anything impacts morale and good order.”

So states the brief, in part, filed by The Log Cabin Republicans opposing the government’s request for a stay of the injunction barring enforcement of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Now, I am no fan of the Log Cabin Republicans and I can hardly believe that they are actually doing some good when it comes to the repeal of DADT.  But this also makes another major point at how inepdt Gay Inc. really is when the HRC, Lambda Legal and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is shown up and left in the dust on an important gay rights issue lie the DADT repeal by a bunch of homocons like the LCR.  They should be ashamed and we should learn a lesson from it.

You can read the FULL LCR “Opposition to Stay” after the jump….

Protect Marriage Files 95 Page Emergency Motion For Stay To Prop 8 Overturn Pending Appeal – Read The Appeal Here

Well we knew it was coming. Even though California Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have no onterest in fighting Judge Vaugh Walkers reversal of Prop 8 or the lifting of the stay that now allows same sex marriage to resume on August 18th in California Protect Marriage has filed a 95 page “Emergency” motion for a new “Stay” to be put in plave which will put same sex marriage on hold until the 9th Circut hears the case.  (IF it hears the case)

Protect Marriage ‘s major 4 points are: 1. It’s always been done this way.  2. There is not enough data from Massachusetts to see if same-sex marriage works is a viable social construct. 3. Because CA voters said so.  4. The “Irreparable harm”  that will come to us if we marry then they win appeal and our marriages invalidated   (Oh look, the scumbags now care about us.)

It’s baically a 95 page tantrum of the same tired, full-of-shit ‘tradition of marriage’ ‘procreation’ ‘child needs mommy/daddy’ bullshit.  So much bullshit in fact that o pages 3, page 5 and again on page 36, they cite ‘common sense’ as evidence.

*You can read all 95 Pages of the “Emergency Stay” after the jump.  (Just CLICK “Read more….” below!)

BREAKING NEWS: Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach Has Gone To Federal Court To Block His DADT Discharge

Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach and his attorneys at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and Morrison & Foersteris is playing hard ball with the the Air Force, the Pentagon and the Obama and has filed papers in Idaho federal court requesting a temporary order blocking his discharge.  A Federal District Court Judge in Boise should hear the request on Friday.

From The New York Times:

“On Wednesday, Colonel Fehrenbach’s lawyers filed papers in Idaho federal court requesting a temporary order blocking his discharge. The petition contends that a discharge would violate Colonel Fehrenbach’s rights, cause him irreparable harm and fail to meet standards established in a 2008 federal court ruling on don’t ask, don’t tell.

For advocates of abolishing the ban against gay men, lesbians and bisexuals serving openly, Colonel Fehrenbach’s case has become something of a line in the sand. Though President Obama has called for ending the ban and Congress has begun moving in that direction, gay service members continue to face investigations and discharge, albeit at a lower rate than in past years.

Lawyers for Colonel Fehrenbach assert that his case is among the most egregious applications of the policy in their experience. The Air Force investigation into his sexuality began with a complaint from a civilian that was eventually dismissed by the Idaho police and the local prosecutor as unfounded, according to court papers. Colonel Fehrenbach has never publicly said that he is gay.

However, during an interview with an Idaho law enforcement official, he acknowledged having consensual sex with his accuser. Colonel Fehrenbach’s lawyers say he did not realize Air Force investigators were observing that interview; his admission led the Air Force to open its “don’t ask” investigation”

Because this is playing out in Idaho, the higher standards for discharge (laid out by the Ninth Circuit in Witt v. Department of the Air Force) should control. That works to Fehrenbach’s advantage. Also, remember that in March of this year, the Pentagon imposed new “more humane” standards for DADT discharges earlier this year. That should also work to Victor’s advantage as he was outed by a third party who wasn’t considered credible by local law enforcement authorities

It’s going to be an intersting few days for the Department Of justice and The Obama Administraion.  The DOJ knows that there’s a recommendation to discharge Fehrenbach on the desk of the Secretary of the Air Force. If they fight the case, Victor will be discharged. But DOJ told another judge that DADT is going to be repealed. So why would they want to lose a decorated war hero?

Lieutenant Colonel Fehrenbach will be appearing on The  Rachel Maddow Show tonight on MSNBC

**Tou can view the entire application for the TRO and Permanent Injunction and the Memo in support, which were filed this afternoon at the Federal Courthouse in Boise, Idaho aftre the jump.

Judge In Upcoming DADT Federal Trail BLOCKS Obama Administrations Request To Limit Testimony

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips who will be hearing a case brought against the Obama Administration challenging the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law brought by the Log Cabin Republicans (go figure on that one.) has ruled AGAINT the Departmernt of Justice and the Obama Administration’s effort to bar all testimony on whether Don’t ask, Don’t tell actually benefits the military and how it’s affected the lives of individual service members.

According to Justice Department lawyers, the only pertinent question is whether Congress could have rationally decided when it passed the law in 1993 that it would make the military more effective by reducing potential sources of conflict. It’s legally irrelevant, the government lawyers say, that the Log Cabin Republicans have researchers prepared to testify that the law was irrational from the start and hasn’t accomplished its stated goals, or that former gay and lesbian service members could testify about their discharges.

But Phillips, who will preside over the non-jury trial, said Friday she doesn’t plan to limit the evidence to whatever Congress may have considered in 1993. She pointed to the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2003 that overturned laws banning private homosexual conduct. As Phillips noted, the court didn’t confine itself to reviewing the legislative records in Texas, where the case arose, but considered the purpose and effect of the law before striking it down as an intrusion on personal privacy.

Phillips hasn’t ruled yet on the critical legal question in the case — whether the government can justify the law by citing any conceivable reason for its enactment, or whether administration lawyers will have to show that the ban actually serves a legitimate government purpose. She also hasn’t ruled on the government’s request to delay the trial until Congress acts on legislation to repeal don’t ask, don’t tell

The Log Cabin Republicans’ lawyers say they anticipate favorable rulings on those issues as well and expect to go to trial this month with a good chance of getting the 17-year-old law tossed out.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration and the Department of Justice is going to be defending the discriminatory DADT law in court next week. And, the Obama administration and DOJ continue to defend DOMA in federal courts.  And as for the DADT (Non) Repeal Compromise which does actually nothing to protect gays and lesbians against discharge . It could be awhile before Congress acts on legislation to repeal the law. We’re hearing that Senate consideration of the Defense authorization bill, which contains the compromise repeal language, won’t begin until September. Assuming the repeal language remains in the defense bill, a vote on the conference report could be delayed until December.

So I ask you, where is the change and advocacy we were promised by Obama?  Because asking Courts to uphold “separate, but equal” laws isn’t exactly change.

Boy Scouts of America to Pay $18.5 Million To Abused Scout

On Friday a Portland Oregon jury ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to former Boy Scout  Kerry Lewis, a man sexually abused by a former assistant Scoutmaster in what is believed to be the largest such award against the national organization..  The jury decided on April 13 that the Boy Scouts were negligent for allowing former assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes to associate with Scouts, including Lewis, after Dykes admitted to a Scouts official in 1983 that he had molested 17 boys.  The jury awarded Lewis $1.4 million in compensatory damages with that verdict and agreed the Boy Scouts were liable for punitive damages to be determined in the second phase of the trial that ended Thursday.

The case was the first of six filed against the Boy Scouts in the same court in Oregon, with at least one other separate case pending. If mediation fails to settle the next cases, they also could go to trial.

“They’ve always settled. And they’re silent. No one hears because it does not see the light of day,”  Kelly Clark and Paul Mones, the attorneys for Lewis said. “What we saw here in Portland really pulled back the covers on the Boy Scouts of America, and what it did to cover up.”

During the first phase of the trial, Clark and Mones introduced more than 1,000 files the Scouts kept on suspected child molesters from 1965-85 as evidence the organization should have put a sex abuse prevention program into place decades ago also Boyle said from 1984 through 1992, the Scouts were sued at least 60 times for alleged sex abuse with settlements and judgments totaling more than $16 million.

Only In Philadelphia – Councilman Defamed With Outrageous False Gay Claim. Jury Finds That Defendant Did So "Without Malice"

This makes absolutely no sense.

A jury yesterday found that an angry voter defamed City Councilman Jack Kelly with false claims about “voting with the homosexual lobby” to “promote sodomy to our youth” in a 2007 flier but did so without malice.  (Okay, I’ll play.  What did he do it with love and support?)

The Defendant, Paul Corbett, targeted Kelly because the councilman had voted to force the local Boy Scouts chapter to pay $200,000 per year or move from its headquarters on city-owned land if the group continued to ban participation by gay people.

Corbett acknowledged that some claims in his flier were inaccurate but said he had a right to express his opinion on Kelly.

“It was done in anger,” Corbett said of the 5,000 fliers he and his family stuck on cars parked in churches in Northeast Philadelphia before the 2007 election. “It was done with hyperbole.”

Kelly won that race by just 123 votes and blamed the flier for the slim margin. He was seeking damages, including $27,000 he spent on legal and public-relations fees during a ballot recount.

Kelly said he was disappointed with the verdict, calling the flier “vicious, hateful and malicious.”

“I think people should be held responsible for their actions,” Kelly said of Corbett.

In plain language that jury was dumb as dirt, or bigoted themselves if they believe if the actions of Corbert was done “without malice”.

How about a statement from GLAAD please?  (But they probably don’t even know about it)

Only in Philadelphia kids, only in Philly.