News You Should Know July 31, 2014

BTL Staff

GREENVILLE S.C. - Six same-sex couples plan to ask the Greenville County Probate Court for marriage licenses. The court is under the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled July 28 that Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The couples plan to be turned down Wednesday morning. South Carolina still holds a ban on gay marriage. The group is a part of Campaign for Southern Equality's "We Do" campaign where supporters of gay marriage rally and then request licenses knowing they will be turned down. This will be the third event in Greenville County. Many similar events have been held in other Southern states.

OHIO - A television ad from Why Marriage Matters Ohio campaign will feature a gay couple from the state who married last October in New York after being together for 50 years. The 30-second ad will run for a week in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo in preparation for the 6th Circuit Court to hear oral arguments on the issue. Ohioans approved a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in 2004 with a 62 percent vote. On August 6, the 6th Circuit Court will hear Appeals from Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.

ILLINOIS - Longtime music director at Chicago Roman Catholic church says he was fired after posting on social media his plans to marry his longtime same-sex partner. Colin Collette and his partner were engaged last week in front of the St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. After leading the music on Sunday at Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, Collette says Pastor Terry Keehan asked for his resignation. He was fired on Monday after leaving that Sunday without resigning. The Archdiocese of Chicago said that serving ministers, including worship ministers are "expected to conform their lives with the teachings of the church." New Ways Ministry, a Catholic gay rights group has found more than 15 instances of these terminations of teachers, school administrators or parish musicians since 2010.

NATIONAL - A new survey commissioned by the Black Youth Project (BYP) surveyed over 1,500 people ages 18 to 30 from all sexual identities and concluded that the LGBT community is concerned about more than same-sex marriage. Black youth were more than twice as likely to say that HIV/AIDS is the more pertinent issue with less than half of that demographic said same-sex marriage. 85.7 percent of those surveyed supported more efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS, which was consistent across all three groups polled. In an interview discussing the findings, Terrance Laney of activism branch BYP100 said "The difference is that African American youth take a 'yes-and' approach to the marriage movement. We want marriage, yes, and, we want there to be more funding for people living with HIV so we can prevent and eliminate this epidemic that's ravaging our community. So we want both: we want marriage and healthcare." The poll also found black youth perceive more discrimination against six different minority groups including LGBTs, than their white or Latino peers.

WASHINGTON D.C. - House Speaker John Boehner received the seal of approval from House Republicans to adopt a resolution to sue President Obama. This will be the first time in U.S. history that a chamber of Congress has endorsed a lawsuit against the president. Five Republicans joined the Democratic vote; the resolution passed by a vote of 225-to-201. Boehner believes Obama exceeded his authority by unilaterally delaying deadlines under Obamacare, but Boehner has said he will target the one-year delay of the health care reform law's employer mandate penalties. "This isn't about Republicans and Democrats. It's about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold," Boehner said. "Are you willing to let any president choose what laws to execute and what laws to change? Are you willing to let anyone tear apart what our Founders have built?" Boehner said. The first big question is, can Boehner achieve "standing" which requires proving a material injury to the House.

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