Good morning Queer kids,

There is a LOT going on in the Rainbow world this week.  First on the docket, Prime Minister of Iceland, Johanna Sigurdardottir, married her partner on Sunday after a unanimous vote by the Icelandic Parliament to legalize gay marriage. Yay!

Johanna, now 68, has been legally bonded to her partner since 2002 in a civil union, but the couple filed for a “marriage upgrade” once the bill legalizing gay marriage passed through congress.  This makes Johanna not only the first openly gay head of state, but certainly the only MARRIED gay head of state.  Congratulations.  The article on the vote in Congress, which is rather remarkable, is

here: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65A3V020100611

In other news, the Supreme Court voted to uphold university non-discrimination clauses in the case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.  In this case, the Christian Legal Society brought charges against California’s Hastings College of the Law because the college would not grant recognition to their student group on campus.  Hasting’s College claimed that the Law Society violated the college’s anti-discrimination policy by requiring its members to sign a statement of faith, which included language about “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle” as being inconsistent with that faith.  This clause is considered discriminatory against LGBT students and their allies on the Hasting’s campus, and thus, the group is not allowed to meet officially under the sanction of the University.

The Christian Legal Society brought its case to the Court claiming that its rights to freedom of assembly and expression were being violated; the Supreme Court, however, ruled 5 to 4 that they were not.
The full article from the San Francisco chronicle is here, including direct quotes from the majority decision and minority dissents: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?

f=/n/a/2010/06/28/national/w074528D65.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0sFjLuxNJ

This court case echoes a parallel decision made in Grove City College v. Bell back in 1984 which affirmed that colleges practicing discrimination in their acceptance of student applicants could not receive government funds.  The decision derives from Title XI  of the Education for All Act:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”


Grove City College is one of over 20 schools in the US that practices out-and-out discrimination against LGBT students, who can be kicked out of the institution if they are found to be engaged in homosexual behavior- even simply kissing or holding hands with a member of the same sex- or promoting acceptance of that behavior.  Thus, Grove City students cannot receive Pell Grants or Stafford Loans, and the College itself does not accept any government funding.

Although Grove City will not change its incredibly stringent policies any time soon, both the Grove City v. Bell case and CLS v. Martinez show a trend from the Supreme Court of supporting LGBT students and protecting their rights on campus.

If anyone is interested in further information on colleges which prohibit homosexual behavior, I would HIGHLY recommend the movie Equality U, which aired on Logo several years ago, and is available on their website, here:  http://www.logotv.com/video/equality-u/1602603/playlist.jhtml This movie is absolutely BRILLIANT- it chronicles the work of the Equality Riders, a group of college-aged Christian students who visited schools across the country which have LGBT discrimination policies in place and tries to engage in dialogue with them.  The courage of the students on those campuses is what truly makes this film worth watching.

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