SD governor vetoes law on transgender bathrooms

Finally someone listening to sense.

Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who initially reacted positively to the proposal but said he needed to research the issue, rejected the bill after groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign insisted it was discriminatory.

In his veto message, Daugaard said the bill “does not address any pressing issue” and that such decisions were best left to local school officials. He also noted that signing the bill could create costly liability issues for schools and the state. The ACLU had promised to encourage legal action if the bill became law.

“I am so happy right now. You have no idea,” said 18-year-old Thomas Lewis, a transgender high school student in Sioux Falls. Lewis said he has support at his school, but that the veto shows such support goes beyond his friends.

Full story


Inside the Unique Battle Between Two Moms for Custody of Their Kids

There’s not much to say in this sad tale. Mostly because I think the non-bio mother is going to lose in the end because she and her partner were never legally married. And of course divorce is always sad for the children.

Custody battles are always upsetting. But the case of Joy Phillips’ and Amber Berndt’s fight over their two daughters is an especially excruciating conundrum. That’s because the same-sex couple was never legally married, leaving the non-biological mother, Phillips, in limbo — struggling to secure her parental rights so that she can then defend them.

“This is a very important case,” American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) LGBT Project attorney Jay Kaplan tells Yahoo Parenting. The legal drama, currently unfolding in a Michigan court, is between the former couple, together for more than 13 years. They were married in a non-legal ceremony, wore wedding rings, and together raised their two daughters, now 10 and 7, who were given the legal last name of “Berndt-Phillips” before their moms split in Dec. 2014. “And we are going to see more of these cases in the future, because courts are going to have to deal with the effect of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision,” Kaplan adds. “Couples who didn’t get married because they couldn’t shouldn’t be denied the rights that same sex-married couples now have.”

Full story


Gay-marriage debate takes new twist in Oregon: religious exemption

Well, Oregon is definitely a state in experimentation. It will be interesting to see how it goes over for them with this exemption clause.

(Reuters) – Oregon voters will likely face two questions about gay marriage when they go to the ballot this year: whether to become the 18th state to let same-sex couples wed, and whether the state should be the first to allow florists, cake makers and others to refuse to participate in these weddings on religious grounds.

The ballot initiatives set up what some activists have said is the next frontier in the marriage debate – as more states move to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, those who object on religious grounds want a legal right to opt out.

“This is not a sideshow issue,” said James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union, referring to the Oregon ballot initiative and the coming debate over religious exemption. “This is going to be the issue that we fight about for the next ten years, at least, in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights movement.”

Full story


Students suspended for wearing Confederate flags to protest gay rainbow flag

Why would people in the Northwest even bother with something that’s been a symbol of the South, anyway? The rainbow flag is worn for peaceful reasons, not so much with the Confederate flag.

Of course the ACLU will be around soon to side with these kids and proclaim it’s our right to spread hatred disguised as the First Amendment right. If hate speech is band most everywhere else, why not on kids’ clothing as well?

At Tahoma High School in the nether suburbs of Seattle, it’s totally okay to display a gay-pride flag, but two juniors were suspended for three days for wearing Confederate flags at school.

An unnamed school district spokesman said that a sophomore had been exhibiting a gay-pride flag at Tahoma High for the last two weeks, reports local CBS affiliate KIRO. When the two juniors showed up on Tuesday in a common area wearing the Confederate flags as a political statement in response, they were suspended.

School officials said the Confederate flags caused a disruption because some students were upset. The officials added that the garb was an undisclosed violation of the Tahoma High dress code.

At least one of the unidentified, Confederate flag-wearing students wore the controversial symbol around his neck in some fashion.

Local residents supported the school’s decision, according to KIRO.

“I can see where we wouldn’t okay that,” said concerned aunt Tiki Scroggins, who was at at school to pick up her nephew. “There’s too many ethnic backgrounds that that could offend.”

Full story