National

10th Circuit hears Oklahoma gay-marriage case, and judges hint at their leanings

DENVER -- In the second gay-marriage case to hit the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver in the past week, the three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the federal case that challenges Oklahoma's ban on weddings for gay and lesbian couples.

Change of heart: Prop 8 defense attorney planning lesbian step-daughter's wedding

The top legal mind who defended California's discriminatory Proposition 8 law, which took away marriage rights of gay and lesbian couples, is now busy planning the wedding of his lesbian step-daughter to her partner of several years.

Charles J. Cooper, who took the Prop 8 case all the way from district court to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the U.S. Supreme Court, and his wife, Debbie, are heading to Massachusetts in June when Ashley plans to marry her partner Casey.

Million-dollar effort launches to change GOP minds on gay marriage

NEW YORK – Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is launching a $1 million campaign to reform the national Republican Party platform between now and the 2016 GOP convention.

The group’s aim is to strike existing anti-gay language from the official party platform and replace it with more respectful and unifying language.

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Ted Allen gives the scoop on DOFL, "Chopped" and his new foodie show | VIDEO

Food aficionado Ted Allen is a natural spokesman for Dining Out For Life (DOFL), the popular cause that raises money for AIDS service agencies nationwide.

The longtime supporter says DOFL is one of the coolest causes in the U.S. because its concept is so simple and pure.

“All you got to do is go out and eat,” Allen said. Participating restaurants will then donate a portion of the proceeds on Thursday, April 24, to efforts to fight AIDS.

UPDATED: Oral arguments made in Utah marriage case at Tenth Circuit hearing

(Editor's note: This story has been updated with the complete audio from today's hearing. Click HERE to listen.)

DENVER — The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals today heard oral arguments in the Utah freedom to marry case, Kitchen v. Herbert, in Denver. The media were barred from filming, taping, recording or using Social Media to cover the case live.

Indiana ordered to recognize marriage of terminally ill woman and her wife

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- A federal court in Indiana today ordered the state to recognize immediately the marriage of a lesbian couple in Munster.

Lambda Legal filed suit on behalf of Amy Sandler, Niki Quasney and their two children, seeking immediate relief from Indiana's ban on marriage for same-sex couples as Ms. Quasney battles stage four cancer. Ms. Quasney wants to be recognized as married in her home state while she is still alive, and cannot wait any longer for the protections of marriage.

New executive orders underscore need for provision protecting LGBT Americans

WASHINGTON – This morning, President Barack Obama will sign two executive actions aimed at eliminating sex discrimination in federal contracting.

Movement on these critically important orders, intended to support a push for Congress to pass the Pay Check Fairness Act, underscores the need for President Obama to offer protections to LGBT workers.

“President Obama will take a tremendous step today by signing executive orders reducing sex discrimination in federal contracting,” said Chad Griffin, resident of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear “religious liberty” case

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped an opportunity to weigh in on a highly debated “religious liberty” case that involved discrimination by a New Mexico wedding photographer who refused to work at a same-sex commitment ceremony.

The John Roberts court declined to review the case, which means that the ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court will stand. New Mexico’s highest court ruled that the photo studio violated state law banning discrimination and that court costs leveled against the company would stand.

Judge says his ruling will strike down part of Ohio gay marriage ban

CINCINNATI -- A federal judge said Friday that he will issue a ruling that will strike down part of Ohio's ban on gay marriage, WLWT.com is reporting.

He will order Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages, a move that would strike down part of the state's ban on gay marriages but stop short of forcing it to perform same-sex weddings.

Civil rights attorneys argued today in federal court in Cincinnati that the state's ban on gay marriage was illegal.

Progress! Social Security updates policy toward transgender spouses

WASHINGTON -- The Social Security Administration (SSA) this week updated its policies and procedures regarding the ability of transgender individuals to receive benefits through their spouses.

This announcement comes after months of advocacy by Lambda Legal on behalf of Robina Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman who was denied survivor benefits by the SSA after her husband's death.

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