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Gordon Francis Gets 25-to-Life for Gay Man’s Murder

Gordon Francis Gets 25-to-Life for Gay Man’s Murder

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE |  The convicted killer of James Hawkins was sentenced to 25-years-to-life in the 1993 murder, with the judge in the case telling him that the extreme violence used in the killing warranted a maximum sentence. “I find that the extensive brutality… leaves me no other option than to sentence you to the maximum, […]

With Kavanaugh Pick, Progressives Fear Right’s Agenda

With Kavanaugh Pick, Progressives Fear Right’s Agenda

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE | While Donald Trump nominated a conservative to fill the seat on the US Supreme Court left vacant by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement just 13 days ago that he would retire, he selected a federal appeals court judge who is less of a firebrand and more of a longtime functionary in official Washington. […]

Quarter Century Later, Conviction in James Hawkins’ Murder

Quarter Century Later, Conviction in James Hawkins’ Murder

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE | Nearly six years after he was arrested in the case, a Manhattan jury convicted Gordon Francis on a single count of second-degree murder in the 1993 killing of James Hawkins. “Cold cases should never become forgotten cases,” Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said in a June 28 statement. “As forensic […]

Anthony Kennedy: The LGBTQ Community’s Accidental Gift

Anthony Kennedy: The LGBTQ Community’s Accidental Gift

BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who has served on the Supreme Court longer than any of his colleagues and authored the majority opinion in all four major gay rights victories there, was a third-choice pick by President Ronald Reagan in late 1987. In that sense, he was something of an accidental gift […]

SCOTUS Sends Florist Case Back to Washington State Court

SCOTUS Sends Florist Case Back to Washington State Court

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On June 25, the Supreme Court finally acted on a petition by an anti-gay litigation group that sought review of a unanimous Washington State Supreme Court decision affirming a lower court ruling that found a florist had unlawfully discriminated in refusing to sell wedding flowers to a same-sex couple. The high […]

Dick Leitsch, Pre-Stonewall Gay Activist, Has Died

Dick Leitsch, Pre-Stonewall Gay Activist, Has Died

BY ANDY HUMM | Dick Leitsch, who was president of the gay rights Mattachine Society of New York at the time of the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 and provided an essential on-the-scene report for Mattachine’s newsletter, died on June 22. His death followed a year-long battle with multiple melanoma that was first diagnosed in his […]

Abel Cedeno Denied Protection Order

Abel Cedeno Denied Protection Order

BY ANDY HUMM | Abel Cedeno, the bullied Bronx gay teen charged with manslaughter in last September’s fatal stabbing of classmate Matthew McCree, is back in court on June 25. Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark is vigorously prosecuting him, but she is also responsible for prosecuting Kevon Dennis, McCree’s brother, who with co-defendant Jonathan Espinal is […]

Sessions’ New Asylum Posture & LGBTQ Refugees

Sessions’ New Asylum Posture & LGBTQ Refugees

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued an opinion toughening the standards for granting asylum to persons seeking to live in the US based on the claim they fled their home country because of persecution. The focus of Sessions’ June 11 opinion was cases where women seek asylum based on past […]

In Final Budget, City Ups Its Youth Shelter Commitment

In Final Budget, City Ups Its Youth Shelter Commitment

BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Advocates for homeless youth are praising a surprise breakthrough that came as Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council reached final agreement June 11 on an $89.2 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 — an increase in a new city commitment to fund shelter beds for homeless youth […]

Citing Baker’s “Win,” Arizona Court Rejects Stationary Store’s Opt-Out Claim

Citing Baker’s “Win,” Arizona Court Rejects Stationary Store’s Opt-Out Claim

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The precedent established by a Supreme Court decision can often depend on how lower courts interpret it. The quick takeaway from last week’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling was that it was a “win” for baker Jack Phillips, since the court reversed the discrimination rulings against him by the Colorado Court of Appeals […]

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