FREE WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER
Over 6,000 subscribers
Reply to this email and write “remove” in subject matter.
In no longer than 7 days, it will be removed
TO BE ADDED
Reply to this email and write “add to newsletter” in subject matter.
In no longer than 7 days, it will be added
I'm Heading to the Supreme Court!
March 22, 2013In December I was pretty sure I would not be going.
But by January, I knew I couldn’t miss it. I’m talking, of course, about
oral argument in two of the most important LGBT cases ever to be
heard by the U.S. Supreme Court—the challenges to Proposition 8
and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As soon as the dates of
the arguments were set—back-to-back on March 26 and 27—I could
not imagine NOT being there.
I have never witnessed a Supreme Court argument in person. Back in
1995, I tried to attend oral argument in the Romer v. Evans case—
one of the first important Supreme Court victories for LGBT people—
but I was pretty new to all this LGBT legal advocacy work, and was
not a member of the Supreme Court bar. By the time I got to the court
at 5:00 a.m. the day of the argument, I was roughly number 500 in
the public line. As if that was not discouraging enough, I ended up
standing—for three hours—next to some students from Regent
University Law School (which was founded by Pat Robertson, enough
said?). I finally moved back farther in line just to be next to gay
I never did get a seat for that argument. I was able to see the court
proceedings for three minutes by availing myself of the “three-minute
line,” which in the end may have been even more excruciating. So
close, and yet so far away.
I hope this trip will be more gratifying. I have taken every precaution. I
am now a member of the Supreme Court bar, which means I get to
stand in the “bar member line.” There will still be truckloads of
interested LGBT and non-LGBT attorneys, though, so I am taking no
chances. I have even hired a “line-stander” to hold a place for me.
I am doing all of this because I want to witness this historic moment in
our history first-hand. I am keenly aware of what a privilege this is—to
be able to be there, to be alive to see this moment. We have been
witness to enormous and breathtaking changes in our nation. We are
in a new chapter in our liberation story—that is for sure. We are never
going back, even as we make certain we leave no one behind.
I will make every effort to be the eyes and ears for those who can’t be
in Washington, D.C. next week for the oral arguments. Each day after
the argument, I will send you an email of my impressions and
thoughts, and even if no one else ever reads them, I will save them
and read them when I am old to remind myself of what it felt like to be
alive as the ground was shifting and new vistas were opening.
When I was trying to attend the Supreme Court oral argument in the
Romer v. Evans case, I remember standing in front of the courthouse
as the sun started to rise. It was a beautiful, crisp Fall day in D.C. As
the sky lightened, I looked up at the courthouse and noticed, for the
first time, the words etched above the massive white marble columns:
“Equal Justice Under Law.” I remember thinking that day, “I sure hope
On this trip I have no doubt that this promise will soon be ours.
Kate Kendell, Esq.
Witness to History: My Morning at the
March 26, 2013
Sometimes you just have to sit back and say wow. I am writing this at
a desk in our Washington D.C. office, but just a few hours ago, I was
sitting in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court, listening
to oral argument in the challenge to California’s Proposition 8.
I will get to my impressions of the argument and where I think we
might be headed in our Prop 8 saga in a bit. First, though, I want to
take a moment just to breathe and acknowledge the history-making
nature of this moment. Words that are fully adequate to describe it
elude me. I know the words are out there, but they are more likely to
be written by historians and scholars, who will look back on these
days—and the months and years of work that led up to them—as the
most catalytic time in the LGBT movement.
I do know that my heart has been racing, my adrenaline pumping,
and my stomach flipping since I awoke this morning. Even standing
for three hours in near freezing temperatures did nothing to dampen
the electricity of this day. Of course, seeing dear colleagues and
friends who have been in the trenches of this fight for decades only
served to drive home the point: this was a major, unprecedented,
almost-beyond-imagining moment. So yes, it bears repeating, WOW.
The argument itself was fascinating. Many others will offer blow-by-
blow accounts, so I will just hit some high points here. It appeared
right away that a number of the justices are skeptical about whether
the proponents of Prop 8 have legal standing—a legal right—to be in
court at all. If a majority of the justices find that the proponents do not
have standing, then the District Court ruling striking down Prop 8 will
be the final word—and same-sex couples will be free to marry in
It is also possible that at least five justices could rule on the merits of
Prop 8, finding that it violates the provisions of the federal
Constitution, which guarantee that all of us will be treated equally
under the law. I think this outcome is less likely than a ruling on
standing, but several justices, including Justices Kennedy, Breyer,
Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg all asked questions strongly
suggesting that they recognize that excluding same-sex couples from
the freedom to marry is unsupported by any legal justification.
There were several gripping moments. At one point Justice
Sotomayor asked Charles Cooper, counsel for the Prop 8
proponents, if a state would ever have a legitimate reason to use
sexual orientation as a basis for denying gay people rights or
benefits, aside from marriage? Cooper’s response: “I do not have
anything to offer you in that regard.” In other words: No. This was a
damning admission. Of course, Cooper went on to assert that
marriage is unique and that permitting same-sex couples to marry
would be harmful. Justice Kagan jumped in and asked Cooper to be
specific about how allowing same-sex couples to marry would cause
harm. Cooper answered that “over time there could be harms.”
Justice Kagan pressed, “But what is the actual harm? Where is the
cause and effect?” Cooper responded by saying that it was
“impossible to know, no one could know the long-term implications.”
Justice Kagan, and several other justices, did not seem persuaded by
Undeterred, Cooper pressed the argument that marriage equality
would create a “genderless institution” that supposedly would “sever
the connection of marriage to procreative purposes.” Several of the
justices seemed to find this assertion dubious. Justices Kagan,
Breyer, and Ginsburg all put forward questions or hypotheticals about
couples over 55 or individuals in prison—all of whom can marry. This
exercise showed that the argument that marriage is about ensuring
responsible procreation is finally gasping its last, feeble breaths.
In short, the arguments of our opponents at the Supreme Court were
every bit as fatuous, empty, and absurd as they ever have been—and
that seemed obvious to at least a majority of this audience of nine.
Justice Scalia was irascible and tried at several points to make
Cooper’s argument for him, which, trust me, is a very bad sign if you
are the lawyer being thrown such a lifeline. I am not sure we will ever
win over Justices Thomas or Alito. But a majority of the Court made
comments that suggested they see same-sex couples through a lens
of shared humanity—if not full equality.
As we head into the argument about the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) tomorrow, I end as I began. This is history, we are
witnesses, this is our story, and our moment. Take another breath
and say it with me: WOW.
You can listen to audio of the full argument here.
Kate Kendell, Esq.
The scene outside the Supreme Court right now is electrifying.
Thousands of us are here, gathering for justice and equality as the
Supreme Court hears two historic marriage cases this week.
Our window to be heard is closing. Will you add your voice to the
thousands of equality activists here in Washington and speak out against
Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)?
Our opponents may claim in the media that public opinion is on their side
and same-sex couples don't deserve equal citizenship. But we know the
truth. We must be louder. We must be stronger. We are now the majority
– and it's time for us all to stand together and declare that
EVERYONE deserves the fundamental right to marry.
Sign our Majority Opinion petition now: "We are the majority of
Americans, and we stand for equality and the end of DOMA and Prop.
Once this week's oral arguments in the Prop. 8 and DOMA cases are over,
the next chapter in our decades-long fight for equal marriage rights will rest
in the Court's hands. Their expected rulings in June will impact the
course of this movement for generations.
Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop. 8 challenge I helped to bring as co-
founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and spearheaded by
the bipartisan legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies, could bring
marriage equality not only back to California, but to other states as well.
And in the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, by deeming DOMA
unconstitutional the Court could grant all legally-married same-sex couples
the same federal rights and benefits straight married couples enjoy.
Or, if the court buys the right-wing lie that same-sex couples don't really
need equality, we could be left with the status quo.
In both cases, equality has won in lower courts. Now it's time for us to
stand together, and show the media that the majority of Americans want
full marriage equality and an end to DOMA.
Be part of the Majority Opinion on this historic day. Stand up and
show that public opinion lies squarely on the side of equality – then
tell your friends to sign, too.
As we continue our fight to make sure all Americans have the same rights,
join us and stand loud and clear for equality at this pivotal moment.
Sincerely, Chad Griffin President
By Jean Podrasky
NCLR Guest Columnist
Everyone in this country has a family member who is part of the
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. And that includes
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
You see, I am his first cousin. And I’m a lesbian.
For me, this family relationship is especially relevant now. Tomorrow,
my cousin, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, will begin
considering the fate of two of the most important cases impacting the
rights of the LGBT community ever to go before the Court—the
challenges to California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA).
As a Californian, I want nothing more than to marry my wonderful
girlfriend. And as a tax-paying citizen, I seek basic fairness. In over
1,000 ways, the government penalizes our relationship because it is
not recognized under federal law. There are obviously many more
reasons I want to get married, but there’s nothing more important to
me than being legally recognized as married to the person I love—
just like heterosexual couples.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s recent “change of heart” got me thinking
a little more about family relationships and the impact that living your
life proudly, and honestly, may have on those who have yet to
Since Senator Portman’s son came out, the senator has shifted his
beliefs, writing in an OpEd that he has “come to believe that if two
people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care
for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn't
deny them the opportunity to get married.”
He also wrote in that piece that “the process of citizens persuading
fellow citizens is how consensus is built and enduring change is
forged.” That’s how people—and family members—evolve. That’s
how our family, neighbors, and co-workers become allies.
I know that my cousin is a good man. I feel confident that John is
wise enough to see that society is becoming more accepting of the
humanity of same-sex couples and the simple truth that we deserve
to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality under the law. I
believe he understands that ruling in favor of equality will not be out
of step with where the majority of Americans now sit. I am hoping that
the other justices (at least most of them) will share this view, because
I am certain that I am not the only relative that will be directly affected
by their rulings.
Jean Podrasky resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Making history: What's at stake this week at the Supreme Court
Supreme Court oral arguments begin in the Proposition 8 and Defense of
Marriage Act cases on Tuesday. We've put together a simple image that
you can share on Facebook so that all of your friends understand the
basic issues of fairness and justice at play. Check out the image now and
Hillary Clinton: Thank you!
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made news this week by announcing
her support for marriage equality. She said she believes both "personally and as
a matter of policy and law" in the right for all Americans to marry. Take a
moment to thank Secretary Clinton for always standing up for our community –
both as our nation's chief diplomat and now as a private citizen.
This wedding season, give the gift of equality
Skip the silverware and over-priced mixers this year and give the gift of
equality instead! Check out HRC's brand new Wedding Registry to make
a gift in a couple's honor or to register your own wedding. All donations
in honor of a couple include a personalized e-card recognizing the special
union. Take a look at these couples' amazing stories now, and think
about including HRC in your own wedding plans!
What has HRC done for me lately?
US – HRC and United for Marriage to stage mass gathering and local
events around the country on first day of Supreme Court arguments
US – HRC Legal Director discusses one of the far-reaching questions in
Prop. 8 & DOMA Supreme Court cases More »
MN – HRC and coalition boost outreach as equality bill advances More »
RI – HRC State Legislative Director and members offer powerful
testimony for marriage equality bill More »
TN – HRC teams up with state group in tough fight against two anti-LGBT
bills More »
AZ – HRC activates supporters against bill attacking trans community
IL – HRC undeterred, rallying support for marriage equality bill during
House hiatus More »
American Academy of Pediatrics says marriage equality is good for
Many lawmakers still against equality despite rising public support »
New poll finds massive support in favor of marriage equality »
Republican Sen. Portman announces support for marriage equality »
Colorado governor signs civil unions into law »
President Obama signs LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act »
Hundreds of prominent Republicans sign Supreme Court amicus brief in
support of marriage equality »
WATCH: Hillary Clinton announces her support for marriage equality
Video: Chad Griffin discusses historic marriage equality cases on MSNBC
Video: Suze Orman explains how DOMA hurts the American economy
Nationwide Insurance – an HRC
Platinum National Partner – has received
a perfect 100% score on the HRC
Corporate Equality Index for the past
nine years. As an HRC supporter, you
may be eligible for an exclusive
discount on auto insurance from
Nationwide. To learn more, visit them
online or call 1-888-490-1561 to speak
with a specially-trained agent. Please
consider supporting Nationwide and all
HRC National Corporate Partners
Pat Lamis founded the Womynz Brunch Bunch in July 2003 with the first brunch held in Long Beach at Pat Lamis and Heather Hamm’s clubhouse August 10th. Sally Dianne, Ginny Borders and Pat ere partaking of the scrumptious food at a Sunday Brunch for men and women when they noticed hardly any women were in attendance. The conversation turned toward an idea that maybe this would be a good event for women only. Pat flew with the idea and Sally was very enthusiastic. In fact, Ginny and Sally had one of the first brunches at their homes and helped promote the events. The newsletter formed out of a need to reach other women who would want a Sunday afternoon brunch with like-minded women. As with all things, nothing remains static. Changes are constantly happening, the newsletter and events are much more comprehensive today. As of October 2007 there are over 6,000 members.
The newsletter is sent out in two parts – the first one will be events and classified listings and the second one will be news, entertainment, and commentary, jokes and quotes,
The commentaries do not necessarily represent the opinions of this newsletter’s editor. The editor does not necessarily endorse advertisements. Womynz Brunch Bunch does not endorse any event unless it is a Womynz Brunch Bunch featured event. The names used and listed in this publication do not necessarily indicate any sexual preference or activity. The news reported in Womynz Brunch Bunch newsletter does not necessarily reflect the official position of the editor.
Womynz Brunch Bunch promises the strictest confidentiality with our email and mailing list. Womynz Brunch Bunch will never rent, give, share, or sell your personal information.
Reproduction is permissible if you include where it is from, the author’s name and use the entire article.
In all correspondence, please, put WBB in the subject matter so it is not mistaken for Spam
Did this email end up in your Spam/junk/bulk folder, and then add
to your address book to ensure that you receive all future messages in your Inbox. All AOL subscribers need to add WBB email address to the email address book.
If you are concerned that linked websites will set a cookie, you just have to set your computer to ask you first and then just say no.
This newsletter is long. Some of you need to increase your quota or space allotted for emails.
If you just skim over the headlines, you can decide which news event interests you. There are Hot Links to websites and articles of interest for you.
Thanks for subscribing to the Womynz Brunch Bunch Mailing List. If you have changed your mind and wish to be removed, simply click REPLY with the subject "remove.”
The Womynz Brunch Bunch newsletter reserves the right to refuse any advertisement that they deem unacceptable and/or
that conflict with WBB social events.
Editor: Pat Lamis
NOT RECEIVING THE E-NEWS EVEN THOUGH YOU SIGNED UP?
There could be several reasons for this:
Check your Spam filtering software. Make sure the address
- Click on the "Set Up Mail Controls" button
- Select the e-mail address that you have subscribed to the e-news with
- Click the Edit button
- Select the option that would allow you to accept e-mails from listed addresses such as "Allow e-mail from all AOL members,
"email@example.com" is not blocked. Try adding this address to your approved senders list.
- In AOL, go to the keyword: Mail Controls
and from the listed domains and e-mail addresses. Block e-mail from all others."
- Enter the mailing list domain "earthlink.net" and add it to your list of allowed domains