U.S. Supreme Court to consider taking up Louisiana gay marriage case

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday distributed a Louisiana marriage equality case for its Jan. 9, 2015 conference.

The justices will deliberate whether to take up Robicheaux v. George on appeal after a federal district court upheld the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples in September of this year.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Legal Director Sarah Warbelow responded to today's news.

First openly gay judge confirmed to federal bench in Texas

WASHINGTON DC -- The U.S. Senate Tuesday night confirmed Robert Pitman to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Pitman becomes the first openly gay judge to sit on the federal bench in Texas, and also assumes a seat that had been vacant for more than six years.

Lambda Legal Fair Courts Project Manager Eric Lesh applauded the appointment.

BREAKING! First Florida gay divorce granted

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida - The first formal divorce for a gay couple in Florida has been granted by a county judge who also declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Dale Cohen on Wednesday dissolved the marriage of Heather Brassner and Megan Lade. They were united in a 2002 civil union in Vermont. Cohen had ruled in August that Florida's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional and that out-of-state gay marriages should be recognized.

Pastor accused of making unwanted sexual advances on man

SEYMOUR, Ind. — A southern Indiana pastor accused of making sexual advances on a 27-year-old man near a lake is charged with battery.

Gaylard Williams, 59, is the pastor at the Praise Cathedral Church of God in Seymour.

On Tuesday morning, he appeared at the Jackson County Superior Court.

According to court documents, the victim told police that on Friday, Williams approached his vehicle that was parked at Cypress Lake. He said that when he rolled down his window, Williams grabbed and squeezed his genitals, and then requested that he perform oral sex.

NOM appeals ruling, seeks $691K in attorneys fees

RICHMOND, Virginia -- The anti-gay hate group known as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) this week filed a notice with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that it would appeal a federal court decision over attorneys fees.

Florida: Gay divorce hearing today before Broward County judge

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida -- A Broward County judge who found Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional has set a hearing to finalize the divorce of a gay couple.

Circuit Judge Dale Cohen in August agreed with other judges in declaring the gay marriage ban unconstitutional. But he delayed granting a divorce for Heather Brassner and Megan Lade because of a legal technicality.

A hearing is set Wednesday afternoon on making the divorce final. Brassner and Lade were united in a 2002 civil union in Vermont, but Florida has not previously recognized out-of-state gay marriage.

Justice Thomas seeks response on Florida gay marriage petition

WASHINGTON DC -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whose votes are decidedly against gay marriage, late on Tuesday called for a response to Florida's emergency petition to extend a stay to prevent the issuance of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who want to marry.

A federal judge who had ruled that Florida's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional had set Jan. 5, 2015 as the date to lift his temporary stay. And the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia declined to extend the stay.

Philly gay-bashing suspects held on all charges

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- On Tuesday in Courtroom 406 at the Criminal Justice Center on Filbert Street, the three defendants in the Center City gay bashing case — Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams — appeared before Judge Charles Hayden for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed to trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other counts. And sure enough, Judge Hayden said there is; formal arraignment in Common Pleas Court is scheduled for January 6th.

Florida asks SCOTUS to decide gay-marriage case, but Tennessee doesn't

WASHINGTON DC -- Florida wants the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to take up its gay-marriage case, while Tennessee wants just the opposite.

The difference is that a federal judge has ruled Florida's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, a decision backed by the appeals court in Atlanta, Georgia while a federal appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio has ruled that Tennessee's ban is constitutional.

Wisconsin: Plaintiffs in gay marriage case seek more than $1 million in costs

MADISON, Wisconsin — After Wisconsin's unsuccessful court fight to block gay marriage, state taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $1 million.

The eight same-sex couples and their attorneys who brought the lawsuit striking down the state's constitutional ban against gay marriage are now seeking in federal court in Madison to have their legal costs paid by the state.

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