National Center for Lesbian Rights

Date

Year: 2011

Our Voices blog

Part 11: The Repeal: No One Left Behind

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Saturday, December 18, 2010. It’s 8:30 a.m., and I am still in bed. I hear footsteps hurriedly coming up the stairs. My bedroom door slams open, and a big mass lands on my body. Thromp! I open one eye and see my earnest 5-year-old son, Rowan, staring intently down at me. He whispers, “Mommy, wake up, they are voting to move the bill. ~~~ It’s only been three hours since I succumbed to sleep. I was keeping a vigil. I had a crazy idea that the repeal of...

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NCLR Analysis: Oral Argument in Proposition 8 Appeal Sets the Stage for Ninth Circuit Ruling

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on two issues in Perry v. Brown, the federal court challenge to Proposition 8. In that case, two same-sex couples are challenging Prop 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stripped the right to marry from same-sex couples in California.  Following a historic trial that took place in January 2010, now-retired Chief District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. That ruling has been on hold while the...

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Transgender Day of Remembrance: Honoring Lives Lost to Violence

By Jaan Williams This year has been one of the most violent in recent history for the transgender community. Washington, D.C., where I live, in particular has witnessed the murders of two transgender women and violent attacks against at least six more since July. The severity of these attacks, including two incidents where off-duty D.C. police officers assaulted transgender women, has finally prompted widespread media coverage of violence against the transgender community. This coverage, and...

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Jennifer and Ellyn: A Life Interrupted

They had planned a family together. A baby. Maybe two. They’d spend hours talking about their future, often getting so lost in conversation at night they’d forget about the time until the sun was about to rise the next morning. Sarah “Ellyn” Farley used to say she was “courting” Jennifer Tobits—not just dating her, as she knew their connection would lead them down the aisle. A year into their relationship, Ellyn asked Jennifer to be her wife. The two soon traveled from their home in Chicago to...

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Remembering Paula

I was in Portland, Oregon on Friday when I got the news. Paula Ettelbrick had died. It is odd how something can not be a surprise and yet still be a shock. Many knew that Paula’s ovarian cancer, a particularly vile and aggressive type, was back. Just 13 days before her death, Paula sent a message to a list of friends who asked to be kept updated on how she was doing, telling us news that had me bursting into tears at the breakfast table—she was ending all treatment and beginning hospice...

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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Marks New Era

Tomorrow, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory nearly two-decade old policy that bars lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, will officially be repealed tomorrow. Watch this video for my take on this historic day. Then, read the blog entry by Huong Nguyen, who last year chronicled her personal story about how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” changed the course of her life. And you don’t want to miss NCLR Federal Policy Director Maya...

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Finale: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: In the Olden Days

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist At the beginning of this school year, Rowan, my 6-year-old son, held court in his first-grade class about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The unprompted conversation with his classmates went something like this: Rowan: My mom was in the military. Classmates: Really? Rowan: Yeah, but she was kicked out because she was gay. (His peers gathered around to hear his tale.) One classmate: No, I don’t believe you! Rowan: No, really, I saw her uniform! In the...

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CA Supreme Court Should Not Give Unprecedented Powers to Prop 8 Supporters

This morning, the California Supreme Court heard arguments on an important issue of California law that may affect whether the sponsors of Proposition 8 can continue to pursue their federal court appeal in Perry v. Brown, the case challenging Prop 8. The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing the appeal from federal District Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s August 2010 ruling striking down Prop 8. This January, the Ninth Circuit asked the California Supreme Court to answer a specific...

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NCLR Analysis: Release the Prop. 8 Tapes

On August 29, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge James Ware will hear arguments about whether to unseal the video recordings of the historic trial in Perry v. Brown, the federal court challenge to Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stripped the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in California. After a three-week trial in January 2010, now-retired Chief District Judge Vaughan Walker issued a decision in August 2010, holding that Prop 8 was based on anti-gay animus and blatantly...

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A Grieving Widow Fights Back

I cannot imagine the searing pain of losing a partner. I hope, of course, that I live my whole life never knowing such loss. In our work at NCLR, we have represented a number of men and women living through that almost unbearable tragedy, and in every case, their loss is compounded and the injury magnified by the fact that others or the government treat the couple as legal strangers. In our 2001 case on behalf of Sharon Smith, the horror was unmatched. Sharon’s partner of seven years, Diane...

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Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!