Showing posts with label Courts-Federal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Courts-Federal. Show all posts

March 10, 2017

11th Dist Court Rules Tittle VII Does Not Prohibit Discrimination



 Southern District Court


 
On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation. Many federal courts—in addition to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—have reached the opposition conclusion, finding that Title VII’s ban on “sex discrimination” encompasses anti-gay discrimination. But by a 2–1 decision, a panel for the 11th Circuit bucked this trend, reading Title VII as narrowly as possible and, in the process, ignoring at least one critical Supreme Court precedent.

Friday’s decision, Evans v Georgia Regional Hospital, involved the case of Jameka Evans, a lesbian who presents as traditionally masculine. She sued her employer, alleging that she endured hostility and harassment in the workplace in violation of Title VII. Although that statute does not explicitly outlaw anti-LGBTQ discrimination, it does bar “sex discrimination,” including sex stereotyping. Evans argued that this prohibition bars employers from discriminating on the basis of gender presentation and sexual orientation.

The court first found that Evans had not presented sufficient evidence to state a claim based on her gender presentation. It then turned to the meat of her lawsuit: the theory that a ban on sex discrimination, including sex stereotyping, necessarily encompasses sexual-orientation discrimination. Oddly, the court quickly dismissed this theory by citing a circuit court precedent from 1979, Blum v. Gulf Oil, which stated, without analysis, that “discharge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII.” That decision, the court insisted, controlled the outcome of this case, requiring a dismissal of Evans’ claims. (As a nice bonus, the court described sexual orientation as “sexual preference.”)

In an extraordinarily strange concurrence, the odious Judge William Pryor wrote that the Evans’ theory of Title VII “relies on false stereotypes of gay individuals” by disregarding their “diversity of experiences.” Pryor asserted that Title VII protects lesbians with masculine characteristics and gay men with feminine characteristics, but not feminine lesbians or masculine gay men, since they comply with sex stereotypes. He continued:

Some gay individuals adopt what various commentators have referred to as the gay “social identity” but experience a variety of sexual desires. Like some heterosexuals, some gay individuals may choose not to marry or date at all or may choose a celibate lifestyle. And other gay individuals choose to enter mixed-orientation marriages.
To support these claims, Pryor cited Brandon Ambrosino’s declaration that he chose to be gay in addition to an anti-gay amicus brief filed “Same-Sex Attracted Men and Their Wives.” Let’s gave Pryor the benefit of the doubt and assume he was trying to atone for once ruling that Title VII protects transgender employees—an uncharacteristic moment of cogency that may have cost him a Supreme Court seat.

That left it up to Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum to explain, in dissent, all the ways that Pryor and the majority went terribly wrong. As Rosenbaum succinctly explained:

Plain and simple, when a woman alleges, as Evans has, that she has been discriminated against because she is a lesbian, she necessarily alleges that she has been discriminated against because she failed to conform to the employer’s image of what women should be—specifically, that women should be sexually attracted to men only. And it is utter fiction to suggest that she was not discriminated against for failing to comport with her employer’s stereotyped view of women. That is discrimination “because of … sex.”
Rosenbaum pointed out that the Supreme Court held in 1989’s Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins that sex discrimination encompasses sex stereotyping. This decision, she explained, clearly abrogated the 1979 decision relied upon by the majority. As the law stands today, employers are indisputably barred from mistreating workers on the basis of sex-based stereotypes. Anti-gay discrimination is motivated by precisely such a stereotype: the conviction that men and women must only be attracted to individuals of the opposite sex. Therefore, sexual orientation discrimination must fall under the scope of sex discrimination.

In a lengthy retort, Rosenbaum also took a satisfying swipe at Pryor’s “irrelevant journey through some of the different ways in which a gay person may express—or suppress—her sexual attraction.” And she rebutted the notion that because Title VII was not designed to protect gay people, it cannot be read to do so now. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected a similar argument in 1998’s Oncale v. Sundowner, when a discriminatory employer argued that the law wasn’t passed to stop male-on-male sexual harassment. This form of harassment, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority, was “assuredly not the principal evil Congress was concerned with when it enacted Title VII.” But, he noted:

Statutory prohibitions often go beyond the principal evil to cover reasonably comparable evils, and it is ultimately the provisions of our laws rather than the principal concerns of our legislators by which we are governed.
Given this principle, Rosenbaum wrote, “the mere fact that we may believe that Congress may not have specifically intended the meaning of what a statute actually says is not a basis for failing to apply the textual language.” She then took a second swipe at Pryor, this time for failing to respond to her evisceration of his concurrence. “Of course,” she wrote, Pryor “is free to ignore my analysis rather than respond to it, but that doesn’t make it go away.”

In the end, I suspect that Rosenbaum’s logic will carry the day. The 11th Circuit leans liberal, and its judges will now have an opportunity to vacate Friday’s panel decision and re-evaluate the case. They will likely do so—and decide that Title VII means what it says: All sex discrimination, including anti-gay abuse rooted in sex stereotypes, is forbidden in the American workplace. That conclusion is not some dramatic revision of Title VII. It is simply common sense.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate
He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.

February 3, 2017

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Nationwide Immigration Directive



By Dan Levine and Scott Malone
SEATTLE/BOSTON (Reuters)
 A federal judge in Seattle on Friday put a nationwide block on U.S. President Donald Trump's week-old executive order barring nationals from seven countries from entering the United States.
The judge's temporary restraining order represents a major challenge to Trump's action, although his administration could still appeal the ruling and have the policy upheld. 
The Seattle judge, James Robart, made his ruling effective immediately on Friday, suggesting that travel restrictions could be lifted straight away. 
"It's a wonderful day for the rule of law in this country," said Washington state solicitor general Noah Purcell.
The state's attorney general, Bob Ferguson, said: "This decision shuts down the executive order right now." He said he expected the federal government to honor the ruling. 
The new Republican president's order signed on Jan. 27 triggered chaos at U.S. airports last weekend. Some travelers abroad were turned back from flights into the United States, crowds of hundreds of people packed into arrival areas to protest and legal objections were filed across the country.
The challenge was brought by the state of Washington and later joined by the state of Minnesota. The Seattle judge ruled that the states have legal standing to sue, which could help Democratic attorneys general take on Trump in court on issues beyond immigration. 
The decision came on a day that attorneys from four states were in courts challenging Trump's executive order. The Trump administration justified the action on national security grounds, but opponents labeled it an unconstitutional order targeting people based on religious beliefs.
Earlier on Friday, a federal judge in Boston declined to extend a temporary restraining order that allowed some immigrants into the United States from countries affected by Trump's three-month ban.
Also on Friday in Virginia, a federal judge ordered the White House to provide a list of all people stopped from entering the United States by the travel ban.
The State Department said on Friday that fewer than 60,000 visas previously issued to citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen had been invalidated as a result of the order. That disclosure followed media reports that government lawyers were citing a figure of 100,000.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia ordered the federal government to give the state a list by Thursday of "all persons who have been denied entry to or removed from the United States."
The state of Hawaii on Friday joined the challenge to the order, filing a lawsuit alleging that the order is unconstitutional and asking the court to block the order across the country.
The order also temporarily stopped the entry of all refugees into the country and indefinitely halted the settlement of Syrian refugees.
On Friday the Department of Homeland Security issued additional clarification of the order, stating that there were no plans to extend it beyond the seven countries. The DHS also reiterated that the ban did not apply to permanent residents, or green card holders, and some others, such as those who have helped the U.S. military.
In the Boston case, U.S. District Judge Nathan Gorton denied the request, after expressing skepticism during oral arguments about a civil rights group’s claim that Trump's order represented religious discrimination.
Reuters
(Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York, Brian Snyder in Boston and Lawrence Hurley, Lesley Wroughton and Susan Heavey in Washington; Writing by Jonathan Weber and Kristina Cooke; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Rigby)

December 1, 2016

7th Circuit Leaning Towards Major Gay Rights Victory





I never count my chickens before they hatch but in this case because I am hungry for good news Iam posting the following story from Court House News:

At oral arguments Wednesday, the full Seventh Circuit clearly leaned toward granting gay and lesbian employees Title VII protection against being fired for their sexual orientation.
Under current federal law, a gay or lesbian employee can get married to their same-sex partner on Saturday, and be fired for exercising that right on Monday. An employer needs no other reason.
However, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has been understood since 1989 to protect heterosexual employees from gender stereotyping.
This reading has created a very murky legal landscape where employers can legally fire an employee if they believe him or her to be gay, but cannot fire them for displaying characteristics stereotypical of the other sex.
As Seventh Circuit Judge David Hamilton framed the difficulty Wednesday, “I have trouble distinguishing looking gay from being gay.”
Chief Judge Diane Wood put it another way, joking that, “It’s only the phonies that get protection.”
Plaintiff Kimberly Hively began teaching as a part-time adjunct professor at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana in 2000. She applied for six full-time promotions between 2009 and 2014, but says she was rejected for all of them, despite her sterling student reviews. Her contract was terminated in 2014.
Hively filed a Title VII lawsuit in federal court alleging she was denied full time employment because she is a lesbian, but the case was immediately dismissed because Seventh Circuit precedent asserts that Title VII anti-discrimination laws apply to sex but not sexual orientation.
A Seventh Circuit panel reluctantly affirmed that ruling in July, but the full court agreed to rehear the matter. It will be the first appellate court to make a decision on the issue after the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Hively’s attorney, Gregory Nevins with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, told the full Seventh Circuit at oral arguments Wednesday that his client was not asking it to redefine “sex” to include sexual orientation.
Rather, “what you have is an incoherent rule,” Nevins said.
A female employee “can’t be fired for driving a Harley, or having Bears season tickets,” the attorney told the court, listing stereotypical male interests, but can be fired for being a lesbian.
“The idea that women should be attracted only to men is the ultimate gender stereotype,” Nevins said. “That absolutely should be covered [by Title VII.]”
Judge Wood agreed.
“Isn’t that a built-in stereotype, that if you are a biological woman, you are attracted to men?” she asked.
Nevins argued that the court should consider whether a man could similarly be fired for being attracted to a woman. If not, then firing a woman for the same attraction should be considered sex discrimination, he said.
Gail Coleman, arguing briefly for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, reiterated Nevins’ argument.
“The quintessential gender discrimination is the assumption that a woman is attracted to men,” Coleman said.
Ivy Tech’s counsel, John Maley with Barnes & Thornburg, struggled under rapid-fire questioning to defend his client’s position that the court should uphold precedent.
Maley had no ready response when Judge Frank Easterbrook repeatedly pressed him to explain why Hively’s case does not make a claim for sex discrimination “under exactly the same reasoning as Loving [v. Virginia],” the U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage and was decisive precedent for the legalization of same-sex marriage last year.
“You can’t just stand there and say [Loving] is different,” Judge Wood said. “Why?”
Judge Richard Posner interjected, “What is the cause of lesbianism?”
That provoked Judge William Bauer to joke, “It’s not just ugly men?”
Maley said homosexuality is an “immutable trait” found in some people, to which Posner responded, “Why doesn’t that make them a different sex?”
Posner continued, “If it’s part of your genetic make-up then you are very different than other women.”
Judge Posner has a long-standing interest in the biological roots of sexuality, which he examined in his 1992 book “Sex and Reason.”
The judge clarified, “[Straight women and lesbians] are both women, but very different types.”
Maley attempted to redirect the discussion to what Congress intended to protect when it enacted the Civil Rights Act, but Posner again interjected.
“So you think we are bound by what people thought in 1964?” he asked.
In an implicit reference to President-elect Donald Trump’s recent tweet supporting criminal penalties for flag-burning, Posner raised the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s support for First Amendment protection of flag burning.
Posner asked Maley if he thought Scalia went back to the U.S. Constitution and found, “Oh, burn things. That’s a form of speech.”
Maley repeatedly told the Seventh Circuit that any significant expansion of civil rights should be left for Congress to decide, not the courts.
However, he was unable to identify anyone, not even employers, who would be harmed by giving gay and lesbians more job protection, at which point Judge Ilana Rovner seemed to express sympathy for Maley’s attempts to defend the “position you have had to come here and espouse.”
As an aside, Chief Judge Wood noted, “It’s very odd to me that Ivy Tech is here.”
The college claims to “deplore” sexual orientation-based discrimination, but at the same time seeks “to defend [its] right to do it anyway,” Wood said.
Maley acknowledged the contradiction.
“At a procedural level, yes,” he said.
Throughout the argument, Judge Diane Sykes was the only judge who sharply questioned comparing the treatment of a heterosexual male employee with a lesbian employee. Rather, she said the relevant comparison should be a gay employee with a lesbian employee.
Nevins, speaking with reporters after the hearing, said he was pleased with argument.
The judges “were very engaged,” Nevins said. “It’s clear they understood exactly what our arguments were, so we’re optimistic.”

November 18, 2016

Fed Court Blocks Release of Brendan Dassey





A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a Wisconsin man whose case was chronicled in the true crime docuseries "Making a Murderer" must remain in prison — even after his murder conviction was overturned this summer. 


Brendan Dassey's release from prison was blocked Thursday afternoon by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit while prosecutors appeal the decision to overturn his conviction. 
Dassey, 27, was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for the rape and murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. A 16-year-old at the time of that 2005 murder, Dassey was accused of helping his uncle, Steven Avery, in the killing. Avery was tried separately and also sentenced to life in prison. He is appealing his case. 
Dassey's conviction was overturned in August after a judge ruled that prosecutors had coerced the teen into confessing that he had helped his uncle kill Halbach. 
U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin wrote at the time that investigators made repeated claims to Dassey that they already knew what occurred the night of the murder and falsely promised him that he had nothing to worry about.  The Wisconsin Justice Department then filed an emergency motion with the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to block his release. 
A three-judge panel from the appeals court ruled Thursday to keep Dassey behind bars.


June 9, 2016

Federal Judge Stops Alabama from Blocking Gay Marriage



Alabama Superior Court Justice Roy Moore pauses before addressing his supporters outside
   Alabama Superior Court Chief Justice Roy Moore pauses before addressing his supporters outside the Alabama Judicial Building where a monument of the Ten Commandments was put in place by Moore and in which he has refused to take down, August 21, 2003 in Montgomery, Alabama.               (Photo: REUTERS/TAMI CHAPPELL)                                                                                                                                                                          By the way those Commandments were removed as per court order The justice was allowed to put them in his office.
                                                                         


A federal judge is permanently barring Alabama from enforcing state laws to block gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Callie Granade of Mobile issued the order Tuesday in litigation that followed the U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized same-sex weddings nationwide.
The judge writes that the order is needed because state laws against same-sex marriage remain on the books. She says the Alabama Supreme Court's willingness to issue decisions conflicting with the U.S. Supreme Court demonstrate the need for permanent action.
Judge Granade notes that though same-sex opponent Roy Moore is currently suspended from the office of chief justice, other state justices have indicated they believe laws banning gay marriages were constitutional.
Most counties already are issuing licenses to same-sex couples, so it’s unclear what impact the ruling will have but hopefully we have seen the end of Alabama judges to take the law into their own hands and ignored the Supreme Court of the United States. Someone down there is not living in this particular century.

Maybe the school children in Alabama instead of pledging alliance to the flag of the United States maybe they should pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. Since they have shown an utter disregard for the constitution and our system of government a written document might have more meaning than what they might see as a cloth with colors on them.

February 27, 2016

Federal Complaint calls Conversion Therapy a Fraud



                                                                           


 The controversial group People Can Change claims its two-day retreat “Journey Into Manhood” can curb unwanted homosexual desires through counseling, journaling, and a “safe healing touch.” But the site doesn’t warn consumers who may opt to spend hundreds of dollars on the retreat that there's no evidence gay conversion therapy is effective—and that it has been much criticized. A group of human rights organizations believe this omission constitutes false advertising.  

Human Rights Campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday alleging fraud and calling on federal regulators to bar gay conversion retreats from advertising an ability to make gay people straight. 

As a governmental agency designed to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices, the Federal Trade Commission has recently opened investigations against beauty products that pretend they can turn back the clock or online courses that say they’ll make you smarter without offering credible research to back it up. Beyond reining in companies that make false claims, the commission also has the power to establish advertising regulations for an entire industry.

“If [the Federal Trade Commission] were to investigate and bring an enforcement action and create a rule that said, ‘You can’t advertise that you can change someone’s sexual orientation,’ that would apply nationally across the board, to the entire industry,” Scott McCoy, a senior staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told TakePart. With the focus on consumer fraud, the ruling goes beyond the handful of state laws that only seek to block care for minors by prohibiting licensed professionals from offering such therapies at all.  

Proponents of gay conversion therapy—often referred to as reparative therapy—claim that they can subdue or eliminate homosexual attraction through counseling and behavioral cognitive therapies. 

“We hold no animosity whatsoever toward LGBT communities and individuals. We simply choose to walk a different path, and to respond to our same-sex attractions in ways that are consistent with our faith and personal life goals rather than anyone’s political agenda,” Rich Wyler, founder and executive director of People Can Change, wrote in an email to TakePart. Wyler cofounded People Can Change in 2000 and asserts that he overcame his addiction to “homosexual encounters” through therapy in the 1990s.

“Their attack on us is an attack on our First Amendment rights to free speech, free assembly, and free exercise of our faith,” Wyler added. “We deserve as much respect as anyone who is ‘out and proud,’ and frankly, we deserve to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit.” 

The First Amendment protects speech and religion, but federal regulators draw the line at deceptive speech used to sell products. Along with its weekend retreats, People Can Change sells reading materials and over-the-phone coaching sessions. These services are bolstered by a website filled with testimonials from men who say the program helped them eliminate their same-sex attraction.  


The Southern Poverty Law Center has successfully shuttered one gay conversion organization by flagging it for false advertising. A New Jersey court found that organization Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing violated the state’s consumer fraud regulations in June.

Nearly every major American health organization—including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association—has called for an end to the practice and raised concerns about its harmful effects on young people. President Barack Obama pledged his support to ban the use of conversion therapy in April following the suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn.  

While the 36-page complaint states that there is no evidence conversion therapy is successful, it also argues that conversion therapy advertisements are fraudulent because they are “based on the false premise that being LGBT is a mental illness or disorder caused by a developmental deficiency, trauma, and/or unmet emotional needs.” The American Psychiatric Association delisted homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973.

If successful, McCoy and his colleagues believe that advertisement regulation would help reinforce this message to both LGBT children and their parents.

“The premise of conversion therapy is that there’s something wrong with you, that you’re broken in some way, that you’re ill, and that you need to be cured or fixed. If the FTC says that is a false statement, that is a misrepresentation, that will have a positive effect on young gay and lesbian people who are just coming out,” McCoy said. “It also says to parents, ‘You don’t need to fix your child. There’s nothing wrong with your child.’ ”

Samantha Cowan

                                                                                                                             RELATED

November 7, 2014

US 6th Circuit judges behind the last badge of gay marriage bans rulings


                                                                               

A look at the judges on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel that on Thursday upheld anti-gay marriage laws in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee:
---
JUDGE DEBORAH L. COOK
Nominated by: President George W. Bush
Commission date: May 7, 2003
Education: University of Akron, bachelor's and law degrees.
Prior legal experience: Includes justice on Ohio Supreme Court, 1995-2003; judge on Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth Appellate District, 1991-1995.
Noteworthy: In January, Cook authored the majority opinion reinstating Kentucky's ban on grocery stores and gas stations selling liquor. She also took part in a case over the use of the title "Soul Man," concluding in October 2013 that the movie "Soul Men" and its soundtrack bore some resemblance to Sam Moore, known as "The Legendary Soul Man," but not enough to warrant a copyright violation. Cook publicly apologized for making two political donations after she was appointed as a federal judge, a position in which she is barred from making such contributions.
---
SENIOR JUDGE MARTHA CRAIG DAUGHTREY
Nominated by: President Bill Clinton
Commission date: Nov. 22, 1993
Education: Vanderbilt University, bachelor's and law degrees.
Prior legal experience: Includes associate justice, Tennessee Supreme Court, 1990-1993; associate judge, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Middle Division, 1975-1990.
Noteworthy: Daughtrey was in the majority in a landmark decision that overturned Michigan's ban on affirmative action in college admissions. She was part of the panel, and later the full court, that took issue with how opponents tried to bar such affirmative action, concluding that the provision ran afoul of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it put an extraordinary burden on minorities who would have to launch their own statewide petition drive to try to undo the law. The Supreme Court later upheld the Michigan provision.
---
JUDGE JEFFREY S. SUTTON
Nominated by: President George W. Bush
Commission date: May 5, 2003
Education: Williams College, bachelor's degree; Ohio State University, law degree.
Prior legal experience: Includes Ohio state solicitor, 1995-1998; private practice.
Noteworthy: Sutton, a well-respected conservative jurist, made the decisive vote in 2011 in the first ruling by a federal appeals court on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, when the panel agreed with the administration that the government can require a minimum amount of insurance for Americans. Sutton's opinion raised questions and noted the unusual nature of a law directed at someone who chooses inaction, referring to those "who prize that most American of freedoms: to be left alone."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article3609863.html#storylink=cpy

October 25, 2014

City Council NYC on PR’s Judge’s decision on Gay Marriage





Just wanted to share Speaker Mark-Viverito's statement from last night expressing disappointment with yesterday's court decision upholding the ban on marriage equality in Puerto Rico. Thank you.

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

City Hall 
New York, NY 10007
(212) 788-7116

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
October 21, 2014
________________________________________________________________

Contact: (212) 788-7116
Release #: 122-2014

Statement By Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
Re: Puerto Rico Federal Court Dismissal of Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit

"Today's court decision upholding the ban on marriage equality in Puerto Rico is tremendously disappointing, mean spirited and an injustice for everyone who believes all people must be treated equally. As a Puerto Rican, I know we are sensible, humane, inclusive and respectful people. We love our LGBT brothers and sisters and we stand with them in the struggle for equality and justice. 

No one should be denied the right to marry who they love because of who they are, or where they live. The road to equality is never easy, but as we have seen in New York and in states across the nation, it is a battle we must continue to fight and a battle we will ultimately win. This ruling will only further our resolve to stand up and fight for marriage equality in Puerto Rico and everywhere else where people are denied the right to marry who they love.


###

October 23, 2014

A PR Fed Judge Not aware that the High Court said Gay bans ‘Demeans and Violates'




I am going to try to make this posting very short and extra clear in regards to a Puerto Rican District Court judge who goes by the name of Perez-Gimenez who ruled pro a gay marriage ban in Puerto Rico. I posted yesterday in: adamfoxie.blogspot.com/2014/10/federal-judge-in-puerto-rico-rules.html 
the story as it came out.

Let me make it clear that this ruling will be laugh off at the high court. This judge is using on old case in which the Supreme Court had already ruled that such cases are overruled by new law. The latest new opinion from the court says in a not too little case called Windsor in which the Supreme Court ruled that a federal gay marriage ban “degrade[s]” and “demean[s]” gay couples and “violates basic due process and equal protection principles.”
Pérez-Giménez seems to be forgetting a new ruling and going by something as old as he is. Can you imagine a District Court judge not knowing the new law but going by old law. I am shock he did not based his opinion on Leviticus! By the way if you are wondering who appointed this Wisenhamer it was President Carter. Don’t be too harsh on President Carter he probably thought Gimenez was a Democrat. You see in Puerto Rico you have three main parties and theories of government: Democrat(want the Island to remain a commonwealth). The Democrats there are backed by Democrats on the mainland. They have the Republicans ( they want statehood) they have the same ideas as the GOP here. The third party is the Independents which want the Island to be like a Democratic Cuba. 
 The problem is that these parties have nick names based on logos they picked like Centrists, liberals, etc. On Carter’s time the Republicans had a logo of a coconut palm tree so they called them selves “ La Palma.” It sounds a little dumb but it is possible the President thought this La Palma judge was a democrat, so he made him a supreme Court judge (district court). 
Hey this is my own conclusion but since the whole events surrounding the hearings on this case to then come up with a stupid opinion opens the doors to any other stupid opinion as to what went wrong with this judge. You are welcome to give yours.
I hope he likes his office because that is the only office he will see for the rest of his life. 
 Adam Gonzalez


                                                                        

October 22, 2014

Federal Judge in Puerto Rico Rules Against Gay Marriage


                                                                                  
 Morcillas
  
After the Supreme Court decision (non decision ) of Oct. 6 all the district courts that were not on line with the message of the supremes, got in line. Even districts that fell on the three homophobes of the courts like Scalia. The Supremes had an understanding after meeting with justice Kennedy that either they take the case in which there are 5 justices(including Kennedy)for vs. four for against or instead let the states keep going the way they were going unless there was a dissenting district appeals court. The Puerto Rican judge one of the Scalia persuasion has decided to break rank and go against all the others. Why? He might be wanting to run for governor or do something that he feels he needs the majority of Puerto Ricans which at this time are on the side of religion. The people living in PR is the demographic that least goes with gay marriage. They are over 55. The ones that can not due without pork , Morcillas(blood sausages and shell fish)…..which you know they already should have been stoned to death following that side of the bible  which condemns without doubt this type of food along with women cutting their hair, etc.which is ignore and never even read in the churches.  

 Crab salad with morcillas
 One of two things will happen now. Either the Supremes tell judge Perez to get with the program or the case will go to the supreme court in which then the case will probably will be decided by new law from the high court or an affirmation of the constitution which does not prohibit same sex marriage,

It is such a shame that Puerto rico is following the rest of the homophobia in the Caribbean. The reason is the Religion. Puerto Ricans are very religious, they might not follow dogma but they follow tradition. The Pentecostals and the adventists are very strong there. You still have the catholic church but the worse problem comes from the protestants. Now they will learn that we are getting Gay marriages this fast because they hatred for change. Hate blinds people and sometimes they cut their noses despite their faces. I don’t give this decision any great importance except it might make headlines, but if the press has already figure out the road the high court put the nation in there might not be even be that.

As a gay Puerto Rican I wanted to give the take I see on this before you read the actual media news. The news post below comes from the Washington Post. If there is something you don’t understand just ask, I will answer for you.

Adam Gonzalez, Adamfoxie*blog Int.

                                                                         


United States District Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez has dismissed a challenge to Puerto Rico’s law limiting marriage to one man and one woman. He concluded the outcome was controlled by the Supreme Court’s summary rejection of same-sex marriage claims in Baker v. Nelson in 1972, a view that has been rejected by every other federal court since United States v. Windsor on the grounds that doctrinal changes have eroded Baker.  The decision heightens anticipation of what other judges now considering same-sex marriage cases may do. Appointed by President Carter in 1979, Judge Perez-Gimenez also becomes the first Democrat-appointed judge to rule against same-sex marriage since Windsor. 
While purporting not to decide the merits, the judge made plain his merits conclusions about constitutional arguments for same-sex marriage in a concluding section:
Recent affirmances of same-gender marriage seem to suffer from a peculiar inability to recall the principles embodied in existing marriage law. Traditional marriage is exclusively [an] opposite-sex institution . . . inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship,” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2718 (Alito, J., dissenting). Traditional marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order. And ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage. Those are the well-tested, well-proven principles on which we have relied for centuries. The question now is whether judicial 
“wisdom” may contrive methods by which those solid principles can be circumvented or even discarded. 
In addition to the threat same-sex marriage may pose to “the fundamental unit of the political order,” Judge Perez-Giminez went on to raise the specter of a constitutional right to polygamous and incestuous marriages.
The decision does two important things, in addition to denying marriage to same-sex couples in Puerto Rico. First, it puts the First Circuit back in play in the national litigation, although every state in the circuit already recognizes same-sex marriage. A panel of that court suggested that Bakerdid indeed bar same-sex marriage constitutional claims in its decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2012. According to Perez-Giminez, “the First Circuit has spared us from the misapprehension that has plagued our sister courts” over whether federal courts can entertain same-sex marriage claims. It will be interesting to see whether the First Circuit itself thinks it is bound by the statements about Baker in its 2012 decision or whether it concludes they were dicta. 
Second, the issue of Baker‘s effect is actively being considered in other circuits. Most immediately, the Sixth Circuit is already considering a casethat turns in part on whether Baker controls. In the Eighth Circuit, a motion to dismiss a same-sex marriage challenge was argued in a South Dakota district court last Friday. (The challenge was brought by my former student Joshua Newville.) And the Fifth Circuit will soon schedule argument in Texas’s appeal from a district court decision striking down that state’s limitation on marriage.
No matter whether it’s decided on Baker grounds or on substantive grounds, a decision denying same-sex marriage at the appellate court level would create the circuit split on same-sex marriage that awaits resolution by the Supreme Court.

Dale Carpenter is the Distinguished University Teaching Professor and Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. He teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law; the freedoms of speech, association, and religion; and sexual orientation and the law.

July 17, 2014

Appeals Court Rules Alabama Anti gay Law Unconstitutional




Civil rights organizations in Alabama are cheering a state appeals court rulingthat declared part of a state sexual misconduct law as unconstitutional.
Under the statute, consensual oral and anal sex was banned in what the court determined was an act aimed at criminalizing homosexual activities. The portion of the law cited in the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruling includes: "Consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision."
The ruling was unanimous in the case of Dewayne Williams vs. State of Alabama. Williams, a Dallas County, Ala., man, who, although was not convicted in 2010 of first-degree sodomy, was convicted of the "lesser-included offense" of sexual misconduct, according to the ruling. Williams acknowledged he had taken part in the sodomy but argued it was consensual, the ruling states.
Alabama is one of a dozen states that still have laws prohibiting consensual homosexual sex, according to a survey by the Human Rights Campaign, a national group advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, applauded the ruling.
"Aiming to ban consensual sex is flat out wrong," she said Saturday. "A person's sexual orientation shouldn't matter. Consensual sex is consensual sex.”
Ben Cooper, chairman for Equality Alabama, also lauded the ruling and added the law was "settled years ago" under Lawrence v. Texas, a case the Alabama court referenced in its decision. In the 2003 case, the crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct was determined to violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
"Each and every person, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, is entitled to equal protection under the law," Cooper said in a statement. "The Alabama court's unanimous decision overturning the statute is a step in the right direction and makes us optimistic for future and ongoing equal rights through the continued elimination of unconstitutional provisions in our state's constitution that violate privacy and equal protections."
Michael Jackson, the prosecutor in the Williams case, said Monday that he understood why the appeals court ruled the way it did, and said the decision would probably be upheld if appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. But he said the victim is not getting a fair result because the sex in the case he was prosecuting wasn't consensual.
"He got attacked by another man and he had sex he didn't want to have," said Jackson. He said Alabama's sodomy law still applies in cases of forced sex.
The state of Alabama also was denied its request to remove the language on consent from the law and remand Williams' case for a new trial. The Alabama appeals court explained in its ruling that a remand of the case would violate the double jeopardy clauses of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Alabama Constitution. 
source: http://www.usatoday.com

Breaking:

Connecticut's highest court ruled Wednesday that some legal rights of same-sex couples predate the state's approvals of civil unions in 2005 and gay marriage in 2008, a decision that gay rights supporters call the first of its kind in the country.
The state Supreme Court issued a 6-0 decision overturning two lower court rulings and allowing a widow to sue a doctor in a medical malpractice case for the death of her spouse and the loss of her spouse's companionship and income. The alleged malpractice occurred from 2001 to 2004, a time when only married couples were allowed to sue for loss of spousal "consortium."
"It's another example of the Connecticut Supreme Court leading the way in recognizing that the love and commitment of same-sex couples is exactly the same as different-sex couples," said Ben Klein, a lawyer for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston. "This will be an influential and important decision that other courts will look to."

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