I’m always amazed when people aren’t afraid to let everybody know their prejudices. Even a little impressed. In most situations, people try to their disguise their disgust at an entire class of people, or at least try to express their viewpoints from behind a cloak of anonymity. But when people just come balls out with their prejudices, well, it’s a sight to see.
And when people who serve in official government positions reveal their contempt for the separation of church and state, that just makes it so much better.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that a person like Laura Fotusky fascinates me. She’s the former town clerk in Barker, New York, who chose to resign rather than sign a gay marriage license. Apparently the new New York gay marriage law conflicted with Fotusky’s interpretation of God’s law. Or, put another way, Fotusky thought she was teaching Sunday school, and then woke up one day as the town clerk of Barker, New York.
At least she corrected the problem, and for that she should be applauded….
This week at the Bar Review Diaries, we hear some crowd-sourced opinions about studying for the bar, we learn the secret to not feeling stressed (hint: spell it backwards), and we even get a little immigration policy lesson.
Let’s check in with our bar-taking correspondents….
An MMA fighter and sometimes bouncer awakens to find a gay guy sleeping in his bed with his hands down his pants. Naturally, the fighter removes the gay guy’s hand and beats him to a pulp. At trial, the fighter claims the brutal assault was in self defense.
Man, if I had a dollar for every time I woke up with some dude’s hand down my pants and had to nearly beat him to death just to get out of the room I’d have… zero dollars because that never freaking happens.
But that’s the story Dale Edward Cutler told a Michigan appeals court. Yet, even assuming Cutler’s facts to be true, the appeals court still ruled that his use of force was too excessive to claim self defense….
The New York State Assembly has long since passed legislation authorizing gay marriage. But the hold up has been in the much more conservative New York State Senate. This morning, reports surfaced that gay marriage was just one vote shy in the Senate.
Would you want to be the one vote who told gay New Yorkers that their love was “wrong” and shouldn’t be recognized by the state? I wouldn’t want to be that one vote.
Well, Instinct Magazine is reporting — citing the Twitter feed of the Capital Tonight news program — that gay marriage proponents have the 32nd vote they need to break the 31-31 deadlock in the senate over the issue. In addition, the New York Civil Liberties Union claims, also via Twitter, that pro-marriage forces “have more than enough votes” to carry the measure.
But no vote has been scheduled as of now. If you support gay marriage in New York, now would be a good time to contact your senator.
Gosh, when judges just impose gay marriage upon the citizens, it isn’t nearly this complicated. In any event, gay marriage seems to be on the march in New York.
We’ll keep you posted of any developments.
Ed. note: This post is by Will Meyerhofer, a former Sullivan & Cromwell attorney turned psychotherapist. He holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work, and he blogs at The People’s Therapist. His new book, Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy, is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
LGBT people confront widespread hatred, yet each year take new strides towards equality. What’s the secret?
“Straight allies” – a concept every lawyer needs to understand.
As an LGBT person, you face a stark reality – there aren’t many of us. It might not seem like it, but we’re a tiny minority. And it’s a myth that we recruit straight people to be gay – we would, but it’s impossible.
“Straight allies” are the folks who aren’t LGBT but – because they’re caring, patient, loving, open-minded and plain decent – they help LGBT people persevere in the struggle for equal rights.
What’s this got to do with lawyers?
You need some allies, too – allies who aren’t lawyers. It’s key to your survival….
As many of you know, here at Above the Law we have been tracking which major law firms offer a non-salary benefit that we’ve dubbed the gay gross-up. As we’ve previously explained, quoting a memo issued by Simpson Thacher, the gay gross-up is “[a] ‘gross-up’ for employees who enroll same-sex partners in the Firm’s health benefits plans to offset any federal, state and local income taxes paid on the value of the partners’ benefits which heterosexual spouses are not subject to.”
Today we are pleased to report that two top firms have joined the club. Kudos to Debevoise & Plimpton and Shearman & Sterling for standing on the side of equality. You can read their announcement memos, issued earlier this month, after the jump.
We have added these firms to our list. By the way, for those firms that would rather appear on a list maintained by the New York Times than one maintained by Above the Law, you should note that the NYT is also monitoring which workplaces provide this perk. The NYT list includes employers of many different types, not just law firms, and features some of the nation’s most innovative companies, such as Google and Facebook and Apple.
With the addition of Debevoise and Shearman, which leading law firms provide this benefit? Let’s take a look….
* An associate in the New York office of Gibson Dunn, Moshe Gerstein, has been hit with child pornography charges. (More coverage to come; if you know him personally and have info to share, please email us.) [New York County District Attorney's Office]
* Motion to vacate the Proposition 8 decision, on the grounds that (now retired) Judge Vaughn Walker is gay and has a partner, DENIED. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]
* Vivia Chen has some advice for married couples trying to juggle their careers and domestic duties: “Keep mom on the job, and get dad a fresh apron.” [The Careerist]
* Confession of an affirmative action baby: “It pains me to say this, but putting down black might help my admissions chances and putting down Asian might hurt it.” [Althouse]
* Congratulations to UC Irvine Law on winning provisional accreditation from the ABA — and condolences to the University of La Verne College of Law, which just lost it. [National Law Journal]
* New York magazine is on a roll: first the buzz-generating Paper Tigers piece, then the big Anna Nicole Smith story, and now this great profile of Paul Bergrin, “The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey.” [New York Magazine]
* A few highlights from the Sarah Palin email dump. [Wonkette]
* A lap dance might get a rise out of a recipient, but it doesn’t rise to the level of art, according to a New York state appellate court. [Albany Times-Union]
* Speaking of the former Solicitor General, here’s his substantive defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (via Chris Geidner). Check it out — there’s a link to his brief — and see what you think. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]
* Speaking of gay marriage, here’s an interesting legal issue, involving foster care and adoption, same-sex couples, and religious freedom. [Peoria Journal Star]
I was a very good student in Catholic school (except for the Catholic bits). But a quick Google search reveals that God explained rainbows to Noah as follows: “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
Now, I’m not one of those guys who actually believes that one dude put two of everything on a boat. I’m not even one of those guys who knows so little about biology that I think you can repopulate anything with just two. But if you do believe in such stories, surely God’s bow is, like, a good thing. Surely there is nothing that man can do to defile that which was given by God as a sign of peace.
According to some Catholic schools in Canada, however, rainbows have caught “the gay,” and are now evil…