In Laguerre v. Maurice, 2020 WL 7636435, 2020 N.Y. App. LEXIS 8011, 2020 NY Slip Op 07887 (2nd Dept., Dec. 23, 2020), a panel of the N.Y. Appellate Division, 2nd Department, abandoned a departmental precedent dating from 1984, Matherson v. Marchello, 100 App. Div. 2d 233, finding that today a false statement that the plaintiff was a homosexual who watched gay porn on his employer’s computer is not defamatory per se… <Read More>
U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro ruled on November 23 that the State Department violated the 5th Amendment Equal Protection rights of Oliver Bruce Morris, a transgender man, by refusing to issue him a passport identifying him as male unless he could provide a doctor’s certification of clinical treatment for gender transition. Morris v. Pompeo, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 219009 (D. Nevada). Judge Navarro rejected Morris’s claim that the denial violated his due process … <Read More>
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18, 2020, age 87, having served on the Supreme Court of the United States since August 10, 1993. Throughout her tenure on the Court she had been a staunch supporter of LGBTQ rights, joining all of the pro-LGBTQ rights majorities and dissenting from all of the adverse decisions except for two in which the Court was unanimous.
In 1993, she joined Justice David Souter’s opinion for the Court … <Read More>
In the course of deciding an appeal by some supervisory public employees of a district court’s refusal to accord them qualified immunity from a discharged employee’s claim of discrimination because of perceived sexual orientation (that took place in 2010), a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals stated in Naumovski v. Norris, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23891, 2019 WL 3770193 (Aug. 12, 2019), that it was not then “clearly established” by the Supreme Court … <Read More>
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s announcement on June 27 that he would retire from active service on the U.S. Supreme Court as of July 31, 2018, opening up a vacancy for President Donald J. Trump to fill with the assistance of the bare majority of Republican United States Senators, portends a serious setback for LGBT rights in the years ahead. Kennedy cast a crucial vote and wrote powerfully emotional opinions to establish the dignity of LGBT … <Read More>
Conservatives eager to bring the marriage equality issue back to the U.S. Supreme Court after President Donald J. Trump has had an opportunity to appoint some conservative justices may have found a vehicle to get the issue there in an employee benefits dispute from Houston. On January 20, the Texas Supreme Court announced that it had “withdrawn” its September 2, 2016, order rejecting a petition to review a ruling by the state’s intermediate court of … <Read More>
With the death of Antonin Scalia the Supreme Court has lost its most outspoken anti-gay member. Ever since taking his seat on the high bench in 1986, Justice Scalia voted consistently against gay rights claims, sometimes in the majority and sometimes in dissent, regardless of the factual context in which they arose.
Scalia was appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan shortly after the Court had decided Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the notorious case … <Read More>
A panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on August 3 that the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, is irrelevant to an equal protection claim asserted against Cleveland, Ohio, police officers regarding the manner in which they arrested two gay men on April 8, 2011. Referring to the “law-of-the-circuit” doctrine, Circuit Judge Alice M. Batchelder relied on pre-Obergefell 6th Circuit precedents to apply the “rational basis” test and … <Read More>
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on January 16, 2015, that it was granting four petitions to review the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in DeBoer v. Snyder, 772 F.3d 388 (Nov. 6, 2014), which had rejected the claim that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and to have such marriages recognized by other states. The 6th Circuit’s ruling, issued on November 6 on appeals by four states from district court pro-marriage equality … <Read More>
Finding that prosecuting a man for failing to register as a sex offender on the basis of an old conviction under an unconstitutional sodomy law would be “unthinkable,” U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg granted a writ of habeas corpus to Charlton Green on December 9, directing that the State of Georgia release him from the obligations of probation to which he had been sentence.
Green, then age 20, and three friends, another young guy and … <Read More>