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OutServe Magazine | September 2, 2014

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The Bench

The Fraternization Dilemma

September 12, 2012 |

If I see my XO at the club, can I dance with him?

By Bridget J. Wilson
After repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), service members face a brave new world of open service. Until Sept. 20, 2011, being gay in the military was like being in an illegal private club. You can no longer be separated for saying you are gay, but you now face a Read More

Gay Marriage Case Looks Headed for Supreme Court

June 6, 2012 | Comments

by Shaun Knittel

A federal court declined an appeal June 5 to revisit California’s gay marriage ban  – more commonly known as Prop 8 – clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether the ban violates the U.S. Constitution.

Because supporters of the ban have lost two rounds in federal court the decision now passes the issue into the hands of the top U.S. court. The Supreme Court could agree to hear the matter in a session beginning in October, weeks before the November 6 U.S. presidential election, and putting it on track to decide the case within a year.

While the Supreme Court’s current makeup is generally considered conservative, it has been kind to gay rights. If they take up the case, in all fairness, it is anyone’s guess as to which way they would go. Some think there could be a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage because there is more than one case coming their way, from opposite coasts. That is a telling sign that higher courts are finding the Defense of Marriage Act to be what we all know: unconstitutional.  Read More

McLaughlin v. United States

May 30, 2012 | Comments

Meet the Military Families Fighting for Equality in Court

By: Zeke Stokes, Communications Director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

In October 2011, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) announced the filing of landmark federal litigation, suing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, on behalf of current and former service members seeking equal recognition, benefits, and family support for equal sacrifice and service in the U.S. Armed Forces. The plaintiffs, each legally married, want the armed services to recognize their families, and want to seek the same family support and benefits for their same-sex spouses that the services and Department of Veterans Affairs provide to opposite-sex spouses. Read More

NAACP: Same-Sex Marriage is Civil Right

May 23, 2012 |

by Shaun Knittel

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous is a strong backer of gay rights.

We’ve all heard the ugly comment, “Gay rights are not civil rights.” But now, thanks to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), that sentiment might soon be a thing of the past. The NAACP passed a resolution May 19 endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right and opposing any efforts “to codify discrimination or hatred into the law.”

The NAACP’s board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution.

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” Board Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock said in a statement. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights. Read More

Equal Opportunity – The Bench: You’re the Judge

August 7, 2011 | Comments


Gays, EO, and the Protected Class Status: It’s not about the Unit-Level

In the midst of the DADT repeal implementation training, I am certain that many of you have noticed that gays and lesbians will not be receiving “protected class” status and therefore will not fall under the responsibility of the Equal Opportunity Department. Read More