Keen News Service
TENNESSEE JUDGE DENIES STAY: A federal judge in Tennessee Thursday denied the state’s request that she put a stay on a narrow temporary order she issued last week, requiring the state to give recognition to the out-of-state marriage licenses of three couples. Responding to the state’s request in Tanco v. Haslam, Judge Aleta Trauger noted that courts ruling on the issue of marriage for same-sex couples since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last June “have uniformly found that bans on the consummation and/or recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional under rational basis review…and (3) the court found no basis to conclude that Tennessee’s Anti-Recognition Laws would merit different treatment under the United States Constitution than the laws at issue in these other cases.”
GEORGIA TRIES AGAIN: There was a brief attempt to revive Georgia’s failed “religious freedom” bill on the last day of the session Thursday, but the effort was withdrawn due to continued strong opposition. State Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) tried to attach the bill as an amendment to two separate pieces of legislation. After withdrawing his proposals, he posted a message on Twitter saying he was opposed by “large moneyed special interests.”
STRAIGHT IS GREAT: LGBT people with straight friends and family will have a hard time complaining about a message of “Straight is Great.” It rhymes, and for the majority of people who are attracted to the opposite sex, living their lives consistent with that attraction makes sense. Organizers of New York City’s annual Pride Day parade have a rhyme too: “We’ve Won When We’re One.” In the spirit of this year’s parade theme, Heritage (NYC) Pride group announced Thursday that it will allow a right-wing Catholic group, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, to march in the June 29 Pride parade carrying a banner saying “Straight is Great.” Parade Director David Studinski said “Straight is great, as long as there’s no hate.” Interestingly, Catholic League President Bill Donahue issued a press release earlier this month, complaining that gays were “bent on crashing” the Boston and New York St. Patrick’s Day parades when they should be willing to just “blend in like everyone else.”
NO DATA SUPPORTS BATHROOM SCARE: The most common and potent argument raised against adding “gender identity” to non-discrimination laws, including the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has always been the worry that men would dress up as women in order to harass or attack women in public bathrooms. The liberal Media Matters think tank contacted relevant officials in 12 states that include gender identity in their non-discrimination laws, and not one of them had seen or heard of any evidence that such a problem exists. The group’s report, published Thursday, turned up not one case of alleged bathroom abuse since the states added gender identity to their laws.
CATHOLIC SCHOOL CRACKDOWN: More than 2,200 teachers at Catholic schools in Cincinnati will be prohibited by their contracts from expressing any “public support of/or homosexual lifestyle,” reported the Cincinnati Enquirer this month. A spokesman for the Archdiocese downplayed the newly worded contract for the school year 2014-2015, saying it is “just more explicit in that it lists examples of behaviors that are unacceptable as contrary to church teaching.” Last year, the archdiocese fired an assistant principal who expressed support in his blog for same-sex couples marrying.