SCOTUS Turns Away Attempt To Undermine LGBTQ Parents’ Rights

a lesbian couple with their child
(image via iStock Photo)

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.

(stock photo via Depositphotos)

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.

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.”

Indiana Racist Teen Proud Of His Confederate Flag & Noose

Just to let you know this stuff really IS out there.

Via The Gaily Grind:

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.

Gay CEO Announces Bid For Governor Of Indiana

Indiana business man Josh Owens has announced his bid to become the first openly gay governor of Indiana

Indiana business man Josh Owens has announced his bid to become the first openly gay governor of Indiana

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.”

Find out more at JoshOwens.com.

Indiana Teen Beaten In High School Locker Room

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.

(source: WTHR)

Catholic Bishop Told Jesuit High School To Fire Gay Teacher, School Said ‘No’

The Archbishop of Indianapolis told a Jesuit high school to fire a gay teacher.  The school said 'no.'
Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School

The Archbishop of Indianapolis told a Jesuit high school to fire a gay teacher.

The school said ‘no.’


From CNN:

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.”

Podcast: Cuba Marches, Gilead Donates, Indya Moore Covers ELLE, Matt Bomer Stars In ‘Papi Chulo’

In this week's podcast:  • Pharma giant Gilead will donate up PrEP medications for up to 200,000 American individuals in the effort to stop HIV  • Cuban gays stage an impromptu Pride march after the government cancels the annual parade  • A school in Indiana planned to deadname a transgender student at graduation  • Indya Moore becomes the first transgender woman to cover Elle Magazine  • And Matt Bomer plays a gay weatherman in the upcoming movie, 'Papi Chulo'

In this week’s podcast:

• Pharma giant Gilead will donate up PrEP medications for up to 200,000 American individuals in the effort to stop HIV

• Cuban gays stage an impromptu Pride march after the government cancels the annual parade

• A school in Indiana planned to deadname a transgender student at graduation

• Indya Moore becomes the first transgender woman to cover Elle Magazine

• And Matt Bomer plays a gay weatherman in the upcoming movie, ‘Papi Chulo’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Hit the play button below.

If you enjoy catching up on LGBTQ news in a quick podcast, I’d appreciate it if you would share The Randy Report with your friends.

I like to think of this podcast as the 60 Minutes of gay news —— only shorter 😉



Over 14,000 Sign Petition Asking High School To Not Deadname Trans Student At Graduation

Wyatt Thomas of Fort Wayne, Indiana

A high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that planned to deadname a transgender student at his upcoming graduation ceremony has reversed course thanks to an online petition signed by over 14,000 supporters.

Brian Thomas, the student’s father, launched his Change.org petition after learning that the powers that be at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne planned to use the teen’s old name at commencement.

The petition, addressed to principal Park Ginder, asked that the teen’s chosen and preferred name, Wyatt, be read aloud at graduation as opposed to his deadname, which he hasn’t used in years.

“My transgender child is a senior this year and will graduate in early June,” Thomas wrote. “He has been going by his preferred name since the summer between his freshman and sophomore year. Teachers, pastors, managers, family and friends know him as a boy named Wyatt.

“But at graduation, because of an unwritten standard the school administration is unwilling to change, he will be called by his dead name. What is meant to be a celebration will instead be yet another moment of humiliation and embarrassment.”

“As Wyatt’s parents, we ask that our wishes be honored on behalf of our precious child. Call the name he will bear legally once the lengthy process of a name change is complete. Call him what his future university calls him. Call him what we and many others call him every day. Call him Wyatt.”

For many transgender people, undergoing a name change can be a powerful affirmation in transitioning their gender.

Each time it’s spoken, it gives trans folks tangible validation as they move closer to the gender they know themselves to be.

But changing names, whether on a day-by-day basis, on government-issued ID or legal documents can be a glacially-slow process in some areas.

The good news is this past Friday the school informed Thomas that Wyatt’s name will be read at graduation, and there are efforts underway to have his name on his diploma as well.

In an update on Change.org, Thomas wrote, “According to Dr. Ginder, he has been called Wyatt for three years, so why not at graduation?”

“This has been a matter of purposeful discussion and careful consideration on the part of the school, and a procedural decision has been made that benefits Wyatt,” the father added. “We are grateful the school took this request seriously and gave it the attention it deserves.”

“Thank you to all who signed this petition,” Thomas said in conclusion. “The impact of your support, encouraging words and positive vibes has been felt and received with astounded gratitude. On to graduation!”

News Round-Up: February 20, 2019

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• I might be a little obsessed with this handsome face. InstaHunk Steve_In_LA is pretty easy on the eyes as well 😉

• New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has called for feds to ‘break the patent’ on Truvada, which is commonly prescribed as PrEP. Since the federal government helped fund the research for the drug, it has the right to break the patent and allow other companies to produce a generic version. PrEP has been shown to be 99% effective in protecting against HIV infection when used on a daily basis.

• The Republican-controlled Indiana Senate has voted to scrap all protected characteristics, including gender identity, race and sexual orientation, from a proposed hate crime bill. Indiana is one of only five states with no hate crime law in place.

• A lesbian couple in Indiana were refused service by their tax preparer, Nancy Fivecoate, because they were married. Fivecoate says she has gay clients, but she can’t work for gay married clients. What do taxes have to do with religious beliefs?

• 18-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova has been removed from the advisory board of pro-LGBTQ sports organization Athlete Ally for her recent anti-transgender remarks. The tennis champ says its ‘cheating’ to let trans women compete in women’s sports.

• As he was recovering from a life-shaking breakup, out singer/songwriter Kisos penned (in real time) his upcoming EP, sweet nothings, featuring one track for each of the 5 stages of grief.

The lead single, “Happily Ever After,” is a bouncy electro-pop bop with the handsome artist deep in denial, using delusion as poisoned motivation to better himself and survive the pain of seeing his ex with someone new.

Hit the play button below and enjoy! “Happily Ever After” is available now – click here.

Presidential Hopeful Pete Buttigieg On Whether America Is Ready For A Gay President

Appearing on The View today, presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, was asked the question everyone wants to know: Is America ready for its first gay president?
South Bend Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg

Appearing on The View today, presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, was asked the question everyone wants to know: Is America ready for its first gay president?

Buttigieg’s answer was perfect.

“Well, there’s only one way to find out,” replied the 37-year-old mayor with a smile.

He continued:

“When I came out it was 2015, I was in the middle of a reelection campaign. I was ready – you know you’re ready when you’re ready? – and I wanted to have a personal life.

“It was not obvious that was going to be a safe thing to do – it was in Indiana, Mike Pence was the governor at the time – and I wound up getting reelected with 80% of the vote.

“So I think people will evaluate you for the job you’re doing.”

Buttigieg also says coming from a different generation isn’t a bad thing, and that he promised his father (who passed away this Sunday) he would make him proud.

News Round-Up: August 7, 2018

(Fran Dullon via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Spanish fitness model Fran Dullon is living this summer out LOUD. #woof

• Aryeh Cohen, a 44-year-old rabbi from St. Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis was arrested in a sex trafficking sting earlier this year after chatting and sharing explicit photos with someone claiming to be a 16-year-old boy on Grindr. He was apparently grooming the boy for sex.

• An Indiana judge has ordered a school district in Evansville, Ind., to allow a 17-year-old transgender student to use restrooms that align with his gender identity just days before the beginning of the school year.

• An anti-LGBT group is calling for a boycott of Britney Spears over her support for LGBTQ rights.

• Texas’s Hood County Clerk Katie Lang still won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

• Charlotte Rae, who played the wise and wonderful “Mrs. Garrett” on the long-running sitcoms Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life fame passed away at the age of 92. After a long career on the Great White Way, the two-time Tony Award nominee moved into successful longevity television.