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Obama admin to urge Supreme Court strike down state bans on gay marriage

Mar. 3, 2015 - , The Obama administration will file a brief this week with the Supreme Court urging it strike down state laws and amendments which exclude gay couples from marriage.

Currently, gay couples can marry in 37 states, plus the District of Columbia. On Monday, a federal judge struck down Nebraska's ban.

The nation's highest court will hear arguments next month in a case challenging bans in four states: Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky.

In an op-ed published Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote that his office's brief in the case will argue that such bans "violate the fundamental constitutional guarantee of 'equal protection of the laws.'"

"It is clear that the time has come to recognize that gay and lesbian people deserve robust protection from discrimination," Holder wrote.

"Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage. Denying them the right to marry serves only to demean them and their children, to degrade the dignity of their families and to deny them the full, free and equal participation in American life to which every citizen is entitled."

Such bans, he added, "inflict concrete harms that touch nearly every aspect of daily life for gay and lesbian couples."

Nebraska's gay marriage ban struck down; ruling effective March 9
Mar. 3, 2015 - , A federal judge on Monday struck down Nebraska's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon heard arguments in the case last week and promised a ruling "expeditiously."

"[A]ll relevant state officials are ordered to treat same-sex couples the same as different sex couples in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage," he wrote.

Bataillon stayed his ruling until March 9 at 8 AM. Officials are expected to ask the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis for an indefinite stay on the ruling as they pursue an appeal.

In his order, Bataillon called the state's 2000 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples an "unequal provision" and an "unabashedly gender-specific infringement of the equal rights of its citizens."

Danielle Conrad, executive director of the Nebraska chapter of the ACLU, applauded the ruling.

"Today is a day for celebration," she said in a statement. "The love and commitment our clients share will finally be entitled to equality and respect in the eyes of the law. Today, Nebraska's motto of 'equality before the law' rings true for gay and lesbian Nebraskans who seek to have their marriages recognized or who seek the freedom to marry right here in our great state."

Gay couples can currently marry in 37 states, plus the District of Columbia.

(Related: Roughly 50 clergy in Nebraska pledge to marry gay couples if ban struck down.)

(Brief provided by Equality Case Files.)

GLAAD Hatter brunch April 4 will support the work of GLAAD
Feb. 26, 2015 - , GLAAD Hatter is a celebration of national and local leaders advancing LGBT equality. Brunch and cocktails will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Pasteur, 5525 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago and is presented by Ketel One Vodka and MillerCoors.

Impressive or understated, bridal or funeral, edible, perishable, sporty, floral, or with live birds in a cage, whatever hat you wear, you'll fit right in. Prizes will be given away for "Best Hat" as well as "People's Choice" for favorite hat. Enter to win raffle prizes from great companies throughout the Chicago area.

Tickets: $150 for two, $85 for one

Purchase at glaad.nationbuilder.com/glaadhatter.

A significant portion of ticket income will support GLAAD. GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialog that leads to cultural change.

GLAAD Chicago Leadership Council Co-Chairs:

Chad Bermingham

Kinley Preston

2015 GLAAD Hatter Host Committee:

Ian and Julie Andrusyk

Kevin Boyer* and Bobby Hoeppner

Jorge del Busto*

Scott Fiero

Sue Fisher Yellen*

Dustin Goltz and Jason Zingsheim

Sara Hassan

Nick Eigen

Kyle Heath and Todd Rhoades

Byron Hoover*

Christina Kahrl** and Charley Sheri Wanamaker

Kevin Lewis* and Kepa Barcenas

Grant McCorkhill*

Mike Paonessa and Mark Steffen

Kristen Prinz*

Courtney Rowe

Doug Sanborn*

Atish Shah*

Tharius Sumter

Steven Ticzon*

Ricardo Torres*

Nick Urig*

David Viggiano

* GLAAD Chicago Leadership Council

**GLAAD Board of Directors

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