By Lisa Keen
WISCONSIN ROLLER-COASTER: Tuesday, the Wisconsin Vital Records office said it was not processing the records of marriage licenses obtained by same-sex couples; Wednesday, it said it is. According to media reports in the state, Vital Records got its marching orders from the state attorney general J.B. Van Hollen. Van Hollen is still fighting federal Judge Barbara Crabb’s June 6 decision declaring the state ban on marriage licenses for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional. He has asked the Seventh Circuit federal appeals court for an emergency stay of the decision.
HOLDER SPEAKS AT LAMBDA EVENT: Speaking at a Lambda Legal reception in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder noted all the victories and accomplishments of the LGBT civil rights movement since the 1969 Stonewall riots, but added, “fully 60 years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the LGBT community is still waiting for its own unequivocal declaration that separate is inherently unequal.” He reiterated President Obama’s call for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He criticized the Boy Scouts of America policy that continues to bar gay adult scout leaders, saying it “preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes.”
DOJ PRIDE EVENT HONORS HOLDER: DOJ Pride, the LGBT group at the U.S. Department of Justice, presented U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder with its Gerald B. Roemer Award Tuesday. Holder used the opportunity to commend the work of openly gay Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery whose Civil Division is helping with implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The group also honored lesbian Judge Judith Levy who was confirmed to the U.S. District Court in Detroit last March, and heard from openly gay Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pam Karlan, who took over enforcement of voting rights laws last December, and Roberta Kaplan, the openly gay attorney who headed up the successful legal challenge by Edith Windsor to the Defense of Marriage Act.
COMMENTARY COMMENDS MIZEUR: In Tuesday’s Baltimore Sun, a local political commentator, Thomas Schaller, had this to say about lesbian state Delegate Heather Mizeur’s long-shot campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor: “Ms. Mizeur has acquitted herself quite well. Indeed, insofar as it is possible to win a campaign but lose an election, she may have already achieved that bittersweet distinction. For even if she fails to upset Mr. Brown by converting undecided, late defectors from the Gansler camp or other anti-Brown Democrats, she has proved to be an assertive, confident and unapologetically liberal candidate with a bright future in state and maybe even national politics.” The latest polls suggest the current lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown, is ahead with 41 percent of the vote, followed by Attorney General Doug Gansler with 20 percent, and Mizeur with 15 percent. The primary is June 24.
BEST LGBT CITY: LOS ANGELES OR SEATTLE? A website called vcative has crunched 32 “data sets,” measuring 16 different factors, on 100 of the U.S.’s most populous cities to rank them in order of “Most LGBT friendly.” Los Angeles made the top of the list, followed by New York, San Francisco, Des Moines (sic), and Chicago. Just last week, a website called NerdWallet.com declared Seattle to be the most LGBT friendly city in America, followed by San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, and Long Beach. Back in January, the Advocate magazine declared Washington, D.C. to be the “most LGBT-friendly” place in America, followed by Pasadena, Seattle, Cambridge, MA, and Atlanta.