By Lisa Keen
TEST VOTE TODAY ON NOMINATION: The U.S. Senate will hold a vote today on whether to proceed with consideration of Darrin Gayles, President ObamaÕs nominee to a U.S. district court seat in Miami. If the Senate votes to proceed, then it will vote Tuesday morning on whether to confirm. If confirmed, Gayles will be the first African American openly gay man named to the federal bench.
WISCONSIN RULING STAYED: U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb issued an order Friday, saying she Òcannot ignoreÓ the U.S. Supreme CourtÕs decision to stay a challenge to a same-sex marriage ban in Utah, and so she must grant a stay of her own decision in a similar case in Wisconsin. In the 13-page order, Crabb also set out the specifics of what her ruling requires, if and when it does go into effect: that Wisconsin county clerks cannot deny a marriage license to a couple because both applicants are the same sex. But she denied plaintiff couplesÕ request to stipulate that, on the birth certificates of children born to married same-sex couples, the names of both parents be listed. Crabb said that issue would have to be resolved in Òanother forum.Ó
555 COUPLES ALREADY MARRIED: The Associated Press reported that, as of last Thursday, 555 same-sex couples had gotten married in Wisconsin, following federal Judge Barbara CrabbÕs June 6 ruling that the state ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional.
AMA SUPPORTS BIRTH CERTIFICATE POLICY: The American Medical Association announced this month that the annual meeting of its House of Delegates adopted a policy opposing the requirement that a person certify he or she has undergone surgical gender reassignment in order to obtain Òclinically appropriateÓ birth certificates. The policy approved June 9 supports allowing for a change in sex designation Òbased upon verification by a physician that the individual has undergone gender transition according to applicable medical standards of care.Ó Currently, only California, Vermont, and Washington state allow corrections to birth certificates without certification of surgery. The final resolution has not yet been posted by the AMA but its initial report can be read here.
GOVERNOR PERRY ON BEING BORN THIS WAY: At a public affairs forum in San Francisco last Wednesday night, Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked a question from an audience member who wanted to know, ÒDo you think homosexuals can be cured by prayer or counseling?Ó Perry looked genuinely stumped, saying, ÒI donÕt know. I donÕt. IÕm not a psychiatrist or doctorÉ.Ó ÒIs it a disorder?Ó asked the forum moderator. ÒWhether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,Ó said Perry. ÒÉI may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”
CHRISTIE DISAGREES WITH PERRYÕS ANALOGY: New JerseyÕs Republican Governor Chris Christie was in San Francisco two days after Texas Governor Rick Perry compared being gay to alcoholism and reporters asked whether he agreed with PerryÕs remarks. ÒI will just say that I disagree them,Ó said Christie, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Òand I donÕt believe that is an apt analogy and not one that should be made —because I think it is wrong. But you know, every governor or official needs to speak for themselves on these issues. I just spoke for myself.Ó Christie was in town campaigning on behalf of CaliforniaÕs Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari.