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10 things you should know

Supreme Court to conference DOMA, Prop. 8 cases

The Supreme Court will conference the challenges to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 in a private meeting, Nov. 20. The judges will discuss the cases and either grant or deny review. If review is granted, lawyers for the case challenging Prop. 8, California’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, and representatives challenging DOMA will submit written briefs and present oral arguments by April 2013. In that case, a final decision on Prop. 8 and DOMA would be expected by June 2013. If reviews of the cases are denied, the lower appeals court rulings would stand and Prop.8 and key provisions of DOMA would be declared unconstitutional. The Court has no obligation to set a timeline for making a decision on granting or denying review.

Iowa retains judge who ruled for marriage equality

Iowa Justice David Wiggins survived strong efforts from marriage equality opponents for his removal after he and six other judges ruled in favor of gay marriage. Three of the other judges were ousted in 2010. But 54 percent of voters thought Wiggins should maintain his judgeship.

France continues push for marriage equality

Same-sex marriage could be legal in France next year, following President Francois Hollande approval of the draft bill. The issue has been extremely divisive in the primarily Catholic nation. The bill would define marriage as a contract between two people. It would also replace gender-specific pronouns with simply the term “parents.” Gay couples would also be allowed to adopt children. Currently in France, only married couples are allowed to adopt.

Anti-gay Michigan mayor ousted

A Troy, Mich. mayor who made controversial Facebook posts attacking New York for legalizing marriage equality has been recalled by voters. Mayor Janice Daniels posted on her Facebook page, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.” She then continued to endear herself to the LGBT community when she compared homosexuality to smoking cigarettes. Angry citizens gathered enough signatures on a petition to have a special election and she was recalled with 52 percent of voters asking her to leave.

Obama responds to letter from girl with two fathers

After a 10-year-old daughter of two gay fathers wrote President Barack Obama a letter asking for advice, it’s unlikely she expected a reply. Sophia wrote the following to the President: “I am so glad that you agree two men can love each other because I have two dads and they love each other, but at school kids think that it’s gross and weird, but it really hurts my heart and feelings.”

Obama answered her letter with one of his own: “In America, no two families look the same. We celebrate this diversity. And we recognize that whether you have two dads or one mom what matters above all is the love we show one another. You are very fortunate to have two parents who care deeply for you. They are lucky to have such an exceptional daughter in you.”

Uganda’s anti-gay bill may pass this year

Uganda’s anti-gay bill may pass before the end of the year as a Christmas present for Christians. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told The Associated Press the bill that mandates the death penalty for gay acts will become law this year. She said Ugandans are “demanding it” and said that gays and lesbians are a “serious threat” to the country’s safety. She said Christian clerics asked her to pass the law as “a Christmas gift.”

Gay porn company wins $3 million in torrent case

A Miami-based gay-porn company won $3 million in damages from two men found guilty of downloading content and then illegally uploading it onto BitTorrent sites. Kywan Fisher of Virginia and Cormelian Brown of Delaware were each assigned a $1.5 million default judgment for using their paid memberships to take videos from Flava Works websites and uploading it to gaytorrents.net.

Study finds lesbians make exceptional parents

The longest-running study of lesbian families conducted found that kids of lesbian parents are academically successful and enjoy a high quality of life. The study was conducted by The Williams Institute. It found the children perform better in school and are happier with their lives than other children, on average. The study has followed children of lesbian parents for nearly three decades.

Roseanne Barr goes on transphobic Twitter rant

When one of Roseanne Barr’s Twitter followers mentioned that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is in favor of transgender rights, Barr began a Twitter war with followers. One follower pointed out that Stein is in favor of expanding trans rights and working with local organizations for restroom facilities. Barr tweeted back, “if she has a penis she is not allowed in.” After another follower accused her of transphobia, Barr tweeted back, “Women do not want your penises forced in their faces or in our private bathrooms. Respect that FACT.” She then tweeted, “I remember when the LGBT community stopped supporting NAMBLA.” She also claimed she was “instrumental in forcing LGBTs to dis-include man-boy love as part of their program.” There’s no clarification of her outrageous and ridiculous claims.

Los Angeles voters approve mandatory condom use on porn sets

Los Angeles County voters approved a measure requiring porn actors to wear condoms while filming sex scenes. Adult-entertainment industry professionals are already promising lawsuits to overturn the law. The measure passed 56 to 44 percent. It will require all producers to apply for a permit from the county Department of Public Health before shooting sex scenes.

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