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(AP) A federal judge is scheduled to hear
arguments about a county clerk who is
refusing to issue marriage licenses after the
U.S . Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is one of a
handful of local officials across the country
who have refused to comply with the court's
order. Davis and others say it violates their
religious beliefs. The stance has prompted
a debate about whether religious liberty
extends to those officials, who are charged
with carrying out state government functions.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued
Davis on behalf of two gay couples and two
straight couples who were denied licenses.
U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning, son of
former Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, is
scheduled to hear arguments at noon Monday.
Same-Sex Marriage Back In
Court In Kentucky
Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Raises
Issues for Kansas, Missouri
(AP) Kansas and Missouri legislators face debates next
year over religious objections proposals and expanding their
state's anti-discrimination laws to protect gays and lesbians.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex
marriage across the nation raised both issues in both states.
The high court ruling immediately led social conservatives
to warn that the religious liberties of gay marriage opponents
at risk. Among those expressing concern was Republican
Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas.
Supporters of the ruling suggested just as quickly while
gays and lesbians can marry, they aren't protected by
law from losing their jobs or housing over their sexual
orientation. They included Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon of
Both states had banned gay marriage. Neither's anti-
discrimination laws cover bias based on sexual orientation
or gender identity.
County Clerk in East Texas Resigns
Over Gay Marriage Ruling
(AP) An East Texas county clerk has resigned rather than
comply with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that
upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Rusk County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle submitted her
resignation letter Thursday. County Judge Joel Hale, Rusk
County's top administrator, said Lewis-Kugle wrote that
she could not in good conscience issue marriage licenses to
County commissioners are scheduled to vote on her
resignation Monday. Hale said he expected it would be
District Attorney Michael Jimerson said Lewis-Kugle
asked about her options and he told her "the Supreme Court
is the law of the land." He said she had a choice of issuing the
license or resigning in protest.
Lewis-Kugle has no published telephone number and
couldn't be reached to comment on her resignation.
Oregon Creates First of Its Kind
LGBT Veterans Liaison Position
((Human Rights Campaign) The Oregon legislature
created the position of LGBT Veterans Coordinator within
the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs. The new
position will assist LGBTQ veterans and with applications
for status of discharge upgrades that happened under 'Don't
Ask Don't Tell'.
Senator Sara Gelser, who sponsored SB 946, celebrated its
“When our friends and neighbors step up to serve in
the military, they give their all for our nation,” said Gelser.
“In return, we must be sure to meet the needs of each of
our veterans. Unfortunately, decades upon decades of
misinformed policies deprived gay, lesbian and bisexual
veterans of their dignity and the services and benefits they
earned in service to our nation, including in combat.”
There are an estimated 15,000 LGBT veterans in Oregon.
The coordinator will be available to serve each of them,
regardless of their discharge status.
The bill passed the Senate on a 25-4 vote, and the House
on a 38-21 vote. The bill now heads to Governor Kate Brown
and becomes effective on the date of her signature.
Virginia School Board Defends
Anti-Trans Bathroom Policy
(AP) A Virginia school board says its policy prohibiting
a transgender student from using the boys' restrooms is
not discriminatory and was not enacted to stigmatize or
embarrass the teenager.
The Gloucester County School Board defended its policy
this week in court papers arguing that a lawsuit filed by
16-year-old Gavin Grimm should be dismissed. A hearing
is set for July 20 in U.S . District Court in Newport News
on Grimm's motion for a preliminary injunction barring
enforcement of the policy.
In the lawsuit, he claims he used the boys' restrooms at
Gloucester High School without incident until the board,
responding to complaints from parents, adopted a policy in
December stating that "students with gender identity issues"
will be provided an alternate, private facility.
But the school board argued in Tuesday's brief that the
only federal case similar to Grimm's supports the board's
position. In that case, a judge ruled that the University of
Pittsburgh at Johnstown did not discriminate against a
transgender student who was barred from men's facilities.
"The School Board has a responsibility to its students to
ensure their privacy while engaging in personal bathroom
functions," the board's attorney wrote. "This is particularly
true in an environment where children are still developing,
both emotionally and physically."
The board says it has established three single-stall, unisex
restrooms that any student can use.
"Under this policy, Plaintiff is treated the same as his
fellow students," the brief says.
The U.S . Justice Department has taken Grimm's side in
the dispute. The department filed a statement of interest last
week stating that transgender students must be allowed to
use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
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