Ginsburg: As Gay Rights Gain Traction, SCOTUS Record on Women Worsens


From 2006 to 2009, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81, was the sole woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. Nominated in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, she now presides alongside Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Earlier this month, in speaking to a law school, Justice Ginsburg noted the court’s increasing embrace of gay rights.

This is not to say that gay and lesbians have secured equal protections in the eyes of the law. But comparatively, Justice Ginsburg said that the court still wrestles with “the ability of women to decide for themselves what their destiny will be.”

Though history is never made as linearly as we learn it in the classroom, it sometimes seems like social justice movements happen one at a time instead of concurrently. Despite this, each group’s push toward equality carries the same fundamental objective: To expand the idea of what it means to be “American.”

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Third Circuit Court Rejects Appeal of PA Gay Marriage Equality Ruling

pa gay marriage

It’s official: We can say goodbye to any attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s marriage equality ruling.

Today, a Third Circuit Court rejected Schuylkill County Register of Wills Theresa Santai-Gaffne’s attempted appeal of U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III’s historic May 2014 ruling that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Today’s decision states that Santai-Gaffine had no real reason to file the claim, as she was not harmed by the May 2014 ruling. In other words, her case was thrown out due to lack of standing.

The rejection of Santai-Gaffne’s case by the Third Circuit seems to put the nail in the coffin, so to speak, on the ban of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

Religious Leaders Use Hobby Lobby Case Against LGBT Community


When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent on the much-publicized Hobby Lobby case that the court’s decision”ventured into a minefield,” she wasn’t far from the truth.  It hasn’t taken long for religious leaders across the nation to compose a letter to President Obama, asking certain organizations to be exempt from his upcoming executive order which bans discrimination against LGBT individuals who are employed as federal contractors. Read more »

Gay Rights Activist John Abdallah Wambere on Ugandan Crisis

John Abdallah Wambere

John Abdallah Wambere left Uganda to visit Boston in February 2014 on a simple mission: to spread information that his home country was persecuting LGBTQ individuals at an alarming and terrifying rate. He arrived in the states with three pairs of jeans, two pairs of shoes, and four shirts. Little did he know that his life would totally and completely change in a matter of moments: he’d be a wanted man in Uganda for no other reason than the fact that he was gay.

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U.S. District Judge to Hear Gay Marriage Case in Philly Tomorrow

Tomorrow, at the U.S. Courthouse on Market Street, United States District Judge Mary McLaughlin will hear oral arguments in the case of Palladino v. Corbett. The federal suit, filed in September 2013, declares that the Pennsylvania statute banning the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

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MONDAY KICKSTARTER: A Play-by-Play of Michigan’s Whirlwind Marriage Equality Weekend

One of the first gay marriages took place in Muskegon Co.


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Fred Phelps Will Likely Die Soon. He Will Not Be Missed.

Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church picketed Penn Campus in 2009.

Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church picketed Penn campus in 2009.

UPDATE [3/20]: Fred Phelps has passed

ORIGINAL: I talked to Fred Phelps just once in my career. The Anti-Defamation League in 2000 had released a report suggesting that he and his church weren’t just homophobic — they were anti-Semitic, too. As a young reporter for a daily newspaper the next town over from his home base in Topeka, Kansas, I was given the duty of calling him for a reaction.

“HAW HAW HAW!” he screamed in laughter. “I welcome anything those God-hating, Christ-rejecting pervert Jews have to say about me.”

That was Fred: Evil and despicably quotable all at once. He took such glee in his pronouncements that I giggled, inadvertently, despite my hatred of what he said. And now, it seems, we won’t have him to kick around much longer: News reports on Sunday emerged suggesting that the vile old coot is on his deathbed. He won’t be missed.

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MONDAY KICKSTARTER: College Football Star Michael Sam Comes Out, Could Be NFL’s First Out Player

I trolled the web for LGBT headlines all weekend so you wouldn’t have to. Here’s what I came up with:


College football star Michael Sam comes out of the closet. If drafted, he could be NFL’s first out player 

Attorney General Eric Holder extends same-sex marriages “full and equal recognition to the greatest extent possible under the law” (video above)

North Carolina school crowns transgender homecoming king

City of West Hollywood incorporates rainbow into its new flag, because, hello, it’s West Hollywood

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4 Important Gay Rights Cases You Should Know About

gayest cities in america

A lot’s been happening on the national gay-marriage front this year, and on first appearance it may not all seem completely rosy. First, the Supreme Court granted Utah’s request to temporarily block same-sex marriages after they were legalized there at the end of 2013. Then we got our hopes up about Oklahoma when a judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. But she said gay couples there couldn’t marry until a decision was heard in Utah. Not all great news for the least patient among us, but, as SCOTUSblog points out, “The ruling [in Utah] can be interpreted as an indication that the court wants to have further exploration in lower courts of the basic constitutional question of state power to limit marriage to a man and a woman.”

The Week identifies four of the most pivotal cases in those lower courts that we should all keep on our radar, and one of them is Pennsylvania. Here’s what’s said about us:

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