In the News

Exxon Lumbers Along to Catch Up With Gay Rights
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/1/15
A day after the United States Supreme Court affirmed same-sex marriage as a right, more than 125 Exxon Mobil employees marched in the Houston L.G.B.T. Pride Celebration for the first time. They carried an Exxon banner and wore rainbow-hued Exxon T-shirts — all with the company’s approval.

That Exxon, long excoriated by gay rights advocates, would allow itself to be identified with a public expression of support for gay rights is perhaps even more surprising than the Supreme Court’s historic r


Next Fight for Gay Rights: Bias in Jobs and Housing
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/27/15
Exhilarated by the Supreme Court’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, gay rights leaders have turned their sights to what they see as the next big battle: obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in employment, housing, commerce and other arenas, just like those barring discrimination based on race, religion, sex and national origin.

The proposals pit advocates against many of the same religious conservatives who opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, and who now see the protection


Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/26/15
In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

“No longer may this liberty be denied,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the historic decision. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”


The Case Against Gay Marriage: Top Law Firms Won’t Touch It
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/11/15
The stacks of Supreme Court briefs filed on both sides of the same-sex marriage cases to be heard this month are roughly the same height. But they are nonetheless lopsided: There are no major law firms urging the justices to rule against gay marriage.

Leading law firms are willing to represent tobacco companies accused of lying about their deadly products, factories that spew pollution, and corporations said to be complicit in torture and murder abroad. But standing up for traditional marriag


A Gay Athlete Encounters Indiana Law in a Changing World
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/4/15
Derrick Gordon landed here the other day, a fine guard with the University of Massachusetts, ready to watch two of the better Final Four college basketball games in recent memory.

He arrived in time to watch close up the tragicomic stumbling of this state’s governor, Mike Pence. This out-of-central-casting white-haired governor was seen as a comer within the Republican Party. Alas, the governor could not bring himself to assure a national audience that his spanking new religious freedom law w


In an Upset, the N.C.A.A. Claims the Moral High Ground
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/2/15
During his annual pre-Final Four news conference on Thursday, the N.C.A.A.’s president, Mark Emmert, reflected on the coincidental confluence of the Final Four being held at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend and the contentious law passed last week just a few blocks up Capitol Avenue.

The timing, Emmert suggested, was unfortunate.

“Are we happy that this debate is occurring during the middle of Final Four week?” Emmert said during his 45-minute news conference. “Of course not.”

Emmert’s se


Indiana and Arkansas Revise Rights Bills, Seeking to Remove Divisive Parts
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/2/15
After a national uproar over bills promoted as religious freedom measures and criticized as anti-gay, lawmakers in Indiana and in Arkansas approved new legislation on Thursday to remove the most contentious language, though in significantly different ways.

In Indiana, legislators passed a series of changes on Thursday that, while not outlawing anti-gay discrimination, clarified that the religious freedom law does not authorize such discrimination. Lawmakers in Arkansas, acting at the urging o


With Hire, Boy Scouts Affiliate in New York Defies Ban on Gays
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/2/15
Taking the first step toward a possible face-off over the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on openly gay adult members or employees, the organization’s New York affiliate said on Thursday that it had hired a gay Eagle Scout to work in a scout camp this summer.

The New York group, the Boy Scouts’ Greater New York Councils, announced the hiring of Pascal Tessier, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout who grew up in Kensington, Md., and is now a student at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. He became a pr


Indiana Republicans to Revise Rights Bill to Prohibit Discrimination
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/2/15
Indiana’s Republican top lawmakers on Thursday announced plans to change a divisive measure billed as a religious freedom law, to make clear that it does not permit discrimination against gays and lesbians, a day after the governor of Arkansas said he would not sign a similar bill.

The law enacted last week in Indiana, and the prospect of similar measures in other states, set off a national uproar, as critics charged that it was an anti-gay statute in the guise of religious freedom. An array


Arkansas Moves to Revise Legislation as Concerns of Religion and Gay Rights Intensify
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/1/15
Facing a backlash from businesses and gay rights advocates, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas on Wednesday urged lawmakers to rework legislation billed as a religious freedom measure to ensure that it mirrors federal law.

Mr. Hutchinson became the second Republican governor in two days to call for changes to a measure he had previously supported. Speaking to reporters in an ornate conference room at the State Capitol, Mr. Hutchinson said he understood the divisions in Arkansas and across the na