After news reports of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio being raped and having to travel to Indiana to obtain an abortion went viral, anti-abortion conservatives tried to throw cold water on the story expressing skepticism that the story was true.
When officials in Ohio announced they’d arrested and charged the suspect, the Attorney General of Indiana, Todd Rokita (R), decided to smear the physician who treated the child declaring she hadn’t properly reported the case to officials in Indiana within the required three-day window after the procedure.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that could have undercut marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Even with a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court, SCOTUS refused to roll back same-sex marriage rights.
The case, Box v. Henderson, was brought by parents Ruby and Ashlee Henderson in 2015 as a challenge to Indiana’s birth records law. The couple sued when county officials refused to list both on the birth certificate of their son, who was conceived via artificial insemination.
The state of Indiana regularly lists the male spouse on birth certificates in opposite-sex marriages that conceive via anonymous sperm donors even though the husband has no biological link to the child.
But in the case of the Hendersons, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill argued “whenever a birth-mother’s wife gains presumptive ‘parentage’ status, a biological father’s rights and obligations to the child have necessarily been undermined without proper adjudication.”
In his brief to the Supreme Court, Hill wrote that it’s just “common sense” that while “the husband of a birth mother is usually the biological father, the wife of a birth mother is never the biological father.”
But in its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which made marriage equality the law of the land, the high court was specific that same-sex couples are entitled to the same “constellation of benefits” of marriage that opposite-sex married couples are afforded. And that includes birth certificates for their children.
The Hendersons argued in their original suit that a number of legal issues could arise regarding who could enroll their son in school, ensure he was covered by health insurance, or even speak on the child’s behalf during a medical appointment. Without the legal status conferred by a birth certificate, one of the women would need to formally adopt their son which could cost up to $5,000 in legal fees.
The couple won in federal court in 2016 but Indiana appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the lower court’s ruling ten months ago. In its unanimous decision, the 7th Circuit cited due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.
In other words, just because someone’s a wife, not a husband, doesn’t mean you can deny them marriage rights.
In 2017, the Supreme Court had ruled on the issue of same-sex parents and birth certificates in Pavan v. Smith, in which SCOTUS found in favor of a same-sex couple who had also conceived through assisted reproduction.
Since that time, SCOTUS refused to hear a similar case in 2018 from Arizona where a lesbian couple sued for legal recognition of the birth mother’s wife as a parent after using an anonymous sperm donor to conceive.
With the Supreme Court’s refusal to review the case today, the lower court rulings will stand.
Another bullet dodged. Whew. LGBTQ rights are simple human rights. And the children of same-sex couples especially deserve equal dignity and decent treatment. Indiana should be ashamed of itself. https://t.co/05vb7l9pp9
In “victory” for LGBTQ families, US Supreme Court declines to take up Indiana case seeking to reverse a lower court’s ruling that allows both members of same-sex couples in the state to be listed as parents on the birth certificates of their children. https://t.co/peulZwxUAJ
The Supreme Court denied cert Monday in a case that threatened to chip away at marriage equality. The Court’s denial will disallow Indiana’s effort to discriminate against same-sex couples, and will continue to preserve the meaning of Obergefell v. Hodges. https://t.co/H2TdczYmrk
Karen Celestino-Horseman, the attorney for the Hendersons, told The Indianapolis Star they were “delighted” about the Supreme Court’s decision.
“It’s a major victory that is going to keep the same-sex families together, and the children born to these marriages will have two parents to love and protect them,” added Celestino-Horseman.
Cathy Sakimura, Deputy Director and Family Law Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), said in a statement today, “The Supreme Court rightly denied this case because it has already clearly decided that same-sex spouses and different-sex spouses must be treated equally.”
Solicitor General Tom Fisher, speaking for the Indiana Attorney General’s office, issued a lame “We are disappointed the Court declined to take up the case.”
The man, who was later identified as 19-year-old Colton Allen of Bedford, Indiana, posted the video after someone left a note on his windshield saying, “f*ck you.”
After showing off the note, Allen goes around his pickup truck with an unidentified cameraman to show why someone might be compelled to leave the hostile note.
The video, originally posted on Snapchat by Allen’s friend, Brady Headrick, went viral after it was shared on social media by former NBA player Rex Chapman on July 12.
The cameraman asks “What are they are hating on, Mr. Colton?”
He replied, “I honestly don’t understand why they’re so upset,” grabbing the noose and characterizing it as his “dog’s leash.”
Near the end of the video, the cameraman suggests the noose is “just hanging” in the event the driver needs to “pull somebody out.”
“It’s not like it can be a noose or anything. That’s racist,” the cameraman said, to which Allen agreed.
There’s a lot more about Allen, who graduated from Bedford North Lawrence High School in 2020, over at Heavy.com. Before he made his Facebook profile more private, his Facebook page included several memes and posts about his right-wing views and his support of President Donald Trump.
It looks like Pete Buttigieg’s success as a two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has inspired some other accomplished LGBTQ folks to run for office in the Hoosier state.
Josh Owens, the CEO of Indianapolis-based online retailer SupplyKick, has announced his bid for governor of Indiana. Owens is the state’s first openly gay major party candidate for that office.
Owens promises to focus on improving education and bringing an end to housing and workplace discrimination in Indiana.
“I’m running for Governor now because I believe in an Indiana where teachers are paid what they deserve and where all are welcomed, respected and protected,” says Owens in his announcement video. “We need a leader who will ensure our state budget, policies and laws reflect a bold and inclusive vision for collective Hoosier success.
“Today, many Indiana teachers have to work second jobs and even then, they spend their own money on classroom supplies,” he adds. “As a businessman, I know every Hoosier in the workplace matters, and leadership is required to solve this problem and finally pay them fairly.”
Video footage of a high school student in Alexandria, Indiana, being attacked and beaten in the boy’s locker room was widely circulated among students and even sent to the boy’s mother.
The reason for the attack? Being gay.
Speaking to local NBC affiliate WTHR the young man said, “I’m not ok, but I will be.”
The assault took place following gym class after he’d gotten dressed
“The guy who attacked me was standing next to my locker and wouldn’t stop staring at me, so I had a weird feeling that something was about to happen,” the student told WTHR.
What ‘happened’ was the student began shoving the teen.
“He kept pushing me, but then he stopped pushing me and everything got quiet, so I thought he walked out,” said the young man.
But the attacker didn’t leave, he’d merely paused before he began punching his victim.
“I felt him punch me a couple more times and I got hit my face on the mirror and then he punched me in the head twice,” said the student.
“It happened so fast. I can remember them holding me against the wall,” he added, explaining that two other students helped restrain him so he couldn’t fight back.
The boy says he knows who his alleged attackers are and that they’d teased him before about being openly gay.
“I’ve gotten so used to it over the years that it doesn’t phase me much,” he said.
Eventually, another student stepped in and stopped the assault. When the teen’s mother took him to the hospital he was told his nose was broken.
“I just tell myself to forget what happened and try to act like it never happened,” he said.
School officials and Alexandria police both say they are investigating the incident.
The alleged victim calls what happened a hate crime and has a message for others students targeted because of their sexuality.
His parents say they’re not going to let what happened to their son get swept under a rug. They’ve been told by school officials that two of the students involved have been expelled, but WTHR was unable to confirm that.
A Jesuit high school in Indiana can no longer call itself “Catholic” because it employs a teacher engaged in a same-sex marriage, the Archbishop of Indianapolis says.
Archbishop Charles Thompson’s decree, dated June 21, means that Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis will no longer be recognized or identified as a Catholic institution within the archdiocese.
Thompson said the church considers Catholic school teachers to be “ministers” of the faith.
“To effectively bear witness to Christ, whether they teach religion or not, all ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching,” the Archdiocese of Indiana said in a statement on Thursday.
In a statement, leaders from Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School said it has “respectfully declined the Archdiocese’s insistence and directive that we dismiss a highly capable and qualified teacher due to the teacher being a spouse within a civilly recognized same-sex marriage.”
The Rev. Brian Paulson, who heads the Midwest Province of Jesuits, said that the teacher does not teach religion and “is a longtime valued employee of the school.” The teacher is not named in any of the statements.
“To our knowledge, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ direct insertion into an employment matter of a school governed by a religious order is unprecedented,” said the letter from the school’s president, the Rev. William Verbryke, and two members of the board of trustees.
“This is a unique action among the more than 80 Jesuit secondary/pre-secondary schools which operate in dioceses throughout North America.”