Updates from the end of 2011

by on January 1, 2012  •  In Constitutional law, Employment law

Here's what we've missed from the last two weeks:


 It's a Navy tradition that when a ship returns to home port, there is a lottery to pick the sailor who gets to be the first to kiss a loved one. Petty Officer 2d Class Marissa Gaeta won the prize on December 22, and when her ship docked in Virginia Beach, she got to kiss her girlfriend Citlalic Snell. The crowd cheered. Another example of the disastrously horrible effect on morale and unit cohesion of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell.  Not.

In Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Augusta State University could require a remediation course for a graduate student in its counseling program who wanted to recommend conversion therapy for gay patients. The student had argued that her religious freedom was violated, but the court found that the university's actions were neutral and a legitimate requirement in light of the concern that Keeton would violate ethical codes governing counselors during her counseling practium, which involved actual patients.

The death of John Lawrence, one of the men who resisted prosecution for gay sex in a case that went to the Supreme Court and produced a ruling that criminal laws prohibiting (most) consensual sex are unconstitutional. Sadly, his co-defendant Tyron Garner had died earlier. 

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a measure prohibiting state government agencies from offering benefits to unmarried partners of employees. It is reportedly unclear whether the new law applies to public universities in the state, because universities have some degree of autonomy under state law.

Debates arose in Zimbabwe over whether drafters of the new constitution should include a provision guaranteeing the rights of lgbt people.

The Victory Institute announced that 48 out of the 50 states have at least one openly gay elected official (to answer your question: Alaska and South Dakota).

Welcome to 2012…


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