So much has changed since that day in October when we all rejoiced at the announcement that the Supreme Court of the United States would hear G. G. v. Gloucester County School Board and review a decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the discrimination of transgender people in the educational system. We thought this case was potentially setting precedent that sexual identification is a classification eligible for legal protection. So much has changed since then that the very basis of the case and why SCOTUS agreed to hear it has been jeopardized.
I won’t mince words: Each day, values that we hold dear — inclusion, tolerance and equality — are in danger like never before. Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen Americans ban together in unprecedented ways, from the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., to a small town in Alaska where 2 feet of snow fell as they marched, to hundreds of international cities around the world and most recently at airports everywhere. It has been inspiring.
Well, congratulations! If for nothing else, congratulations on surviving one of the most tumultuous, confusing, disappointing and momentous years … ever.
We witnessed one of the most intense election cycles in U.S. history. Hillary Clinton was the first female candidate for president and went up against Donald J. Trump. She supported Obama’s transgender student-bathroom allowance, praised the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and committed herself to protecting LGB and transgender rights. Had she won, this article and our psyches wouldn’t be so glum but, alas, in the end, she was short of the electoral victory.
Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, disagrees with the settled law of the land and is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex Kentucky couples in violation of a federal court order. As an elected county officer, whose role is ministerial and not judicial, Davis’ acts of civil disobedience are in direct contravention of the laws that she has been elected to uphold. Despite her belief that it is unconstitutional and against her religious values for same-sex couples to marry, by refusing to issue marriage licenses, Davis is interpreting the law and acting on her own accord, which will cause a ripple effect and stir opponents of gay marriage everywhere to do the same.
Last week, a Philadelphia judge denied the dissolution of an out-of-state civil union between two women who have been separated for more than a decade, dashing the pair’s hopes that Pennsylvania’s legalization of same-sex marriage last year would pave the way for their divorce. It’s issues like those that have family law lawyers warning against just any attorney claiming expertise in the area of LGBT legal affairs.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reveals the pink elephant in the room – with gay marriage comes gay divorce. While divorce in the LGBT community isn’t new, legally the landscape has changed. Lawyers like myself and Dan Clifford have long shown that simply marketing to the LGBT community doesn’t buy their trust! Take a look at this great article!
Larry Conners of KTRS in St. Louis and I battle over the phrase “separation between church and state”! Two weeks following marriage equality, the uproar of religious backlash against the gay community has come full force and the only solution is to find a balance between everyone’s constitutional rights OR more litigation.