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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 […]

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 […]

Remembering How Gay Lawyers Became Legal

Remembering How Gay Lawyers Became Legal

BY ANDY HUMM | The panelists in the ornate rotunda of the New York County Supreme Court were out gay and lesbian legal scholars, advocates, and judges at the highest echelons of the courts. But at the June 19 forum sponsored by the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the New York State Courts — named […]

Protecting Trans People Without Saying So

Protecting Trans People Without Saying So

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Talk about hiding the ball! On June 6, a unanimous four-judge panel of the New York Appellate Division’s Second Department, based in Brooklyn, confirmed a State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) order that had adopted a decision by an administrative law judge ruling that a Port Jervis employer violated the law […]

Another DOJ Loss on Transgender Military Ban

Another DOJ Loss on Transgender Military Ban

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | US Senior District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle, on June 15, rejected another attempt by the Trump administration to get her to lift her preliminary injunction against its proposed ban on military service by transgender individuals while officials appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Pechman’s opinion emphatically rejects […]

Longtime Gay Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied

Longtime Gay Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Supreme Court has denied a petition from South Dakota gay death row inmate Charles Russell Rhines, who challenges the fairness of his death sentence in light of evidence that some jurors took anti-gay stereotypes into account while determining his sentence. In line with normal practice, the Supreme Court merely listed […]

Defendant Points to Third Man in 1993 Gay Murder

Defendant Points to Third Man in 1993 Gay Murder

BY DUNCAN OSORNE | Taking the stand in his own defense, the man who is accused of the brutal 1993 murder of James Hawkins testified that a third man armed with a knife entered Hawkins’ Chelsea home while he and Hawkins were partying there and that Hawkins was alive and uninjured when he fled the […]

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 […]