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Tag Archives: law

What’s Holding up Marriage Equality in New York? June 21st, 2011
What’s Holding up Marriage Equality in New York?

The days are numbered in Albany this week. The Legislature breaks for summer recess as of Friday. A vote on Marriage Equality must take place between now and then. So what's holding it up still? Ostensibly, there is one remaining issue up for negotiation- exemptions for religious groups that do not wish to recognize same-sex unions. In the final bill, this may account for less that fifteen words, but they are critical none-the-less. There are rumors going around asserting that churches and clergy members would have to perform Marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples against their will. In fact, that is true... in states like Connecticut that mandate it, if a clergy member wishes to perform a service, the member must use the word "Marriage". In New York, the situation is wildly different. The Marriage Equality bill passed in the Assembly allows clergymen to excuse themselves if they personally oppose same-sex unions. The bill also stipulates that fraternal organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, can not be compelled to rent their venues or provide services to same-sex unions. This is a particularly large concession considering fraternal organizations are commonly held to the same anti-discrimination standards that non-for-profits are. So what remains? Some ...

UPDATE: Ravi Pleads Not Guilty in Clementi Case May 23rd, 2011
UPDATE: Ravi Pleads Not Guilty in Clementi Case

Dharun Ravi took the stands today and pleaded "not guilty" to the 15 counts he stands accused of in the Tyler Clementi case. This particular case has received national attention regarding anti-bullying and anti-cyber bullying laws (Tyler Clementi's name was even given to New Jersey's aggressive anti-harrassment act) but just in case you are not familiar with things, let me bring you up to speed. Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student and violin lover, jumped off the George Washington Bridge and ended his life after learning his roommate, Davi, recorded him during an intimate moment with a man via webcam. Ravi watched the encounter with his friend Molly Wei on her computer, who now flipped and is testifying against Ravi to save her own ass. I don't blame her. Both parties are in the wrong, but only one of them took the time to orchestrate an elaborate recording session to humiliate their roommate. Both Wei and Ravi have withdrawn from Rutgers University and Ravi is currently out on $25,000-worth of bail (his tuition money, I'm sure). Tyler's father, Joseph Clementi released a statement after Ravi took the stand: "Today Mr. Ravi has been arraigned on multiple counts alleging criminal acts against our son Tyler. We are ...

Inverview with Richard Socarides from April 9th, 2011
Inverview with Richard Socarides from

LGBT rights champion and President of Richard Socarides answers some questions about current issues facing our community. Richard served as a Senior White House Advisor to President Bill Clinton and has been instrumental in advancing equality for the past 20 years.