Friday, October 15, 2004
Neal Vincent Potgieter's attorneys have filed papers with the Cape High Court, in which the initial incident of affection display is described as the couple having "kissed each other good morning and hugged in a manner which anyone would have accepted had such a kiss and embrace been between two heterosexual people."
Potgieter took issue with the restriction, and the situation escalated into a verbal argument with the crew, for which Potgieter was arrested upon arrival at Heathrow, and held in custody for 14 hours. He pled guilty to "disobeying a lawful command on board a UK-registered aircraft."
The surprise twist in the case is that while Potgieter's claim against British Airways is that "in allegedly discriminating against him on the basis of his sexual orientation, British Airways breached a "partially verbal, partially written and tacit" contract with him," the airline argues that because the claim is not for damages from death or injury, they can't be sued. They also argue that South Africa's antidiscrimination sections of the South African Constitution do not apply to international flights. The claim limitation argument is based on the Warsaw Convention of 1929. Potgieter argues that the damage limitation clauses do not exclude claims for discrimination.
UPDATE (11:10 am): 365Gay.com has a more detailed article on the incident, which answers some of the questions I had upon reading the initial article.
-Why were they "kissing good morning" on the plane? It was an overnight flight, and the flight crew had awoken the passengers to prepare for landing.
-Why would he have pled guilty to a lawful command if he feels the command was solely based on discriminatory motivations? Is "stop kissing" really considered a lawful command? Apparently he was so angered about their treatment that he refused to fasten his seatbelt. That was the action for which he was arrested and for which he spent three days in jail awaiting a hearing.
The incident took place in September 2000, and the plaintiff is seeking $260,000.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Law firm White & Case LLP is handling the case pro bono for LCR, and lead attorneys Dan Woods and Marty Meekins will be filing Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America in US Federal District Court for the Central District of California.
Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero described the reason for the suit as follows:
"Public opinion, the experience of our allies, and the national security interests of our nation all lead to the inescapable conclusion that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly and honestly in our military," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.The suit charges that the "policy imposes a discriminatory set of rules on gay and lesbian members of the Armed Forces in violation of their constitutional rights of due process, freedom of speech, and equal protection."
"A lawsuit should not be necessary, when public opinion overwhelmingly favors gays and lesbians serving openly and honestly. A lawsuit should not be necessary when the experience of our allies in the war on terror, including Great Britain, Israel and Australia, all allow gays and lesbians to serve openly and honestly. A lawsuit should not be necessary when our military has lost thousands of needed military personnel under this policy. However, under these circumstances, where we are a nation at war fighting a global war against terrorism, we can no longer sit by and wait for our elected officials to find the political courage to do the right thing," said Guerriero.
White and Case attorneys agreed to take on the new challenge based on Supreme Court decisions in Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Monday, October 04, 2004
Tenenbaum, the state education superintendent, called DeMint’s position “un-American.”
DeMint said after the debate that he would not require teachers to admit to being gay, but if they were “openly gay, I do not think that they should be teaching at public schools.”
Tenenbaum later told reporters that “the private life of our teachers should stay private. I was shocked to hear him say that.”
Don't Ask, Don't Tell for the public school system? DeMint doesn't mind gay teachers, as long as they act straight? I'd hate to imagine what how he would propose the schools handle openly gay students.
UPDATE (10/7): Rep. DeMint has issued no apology for his statements regarding the fitness of gay teachers, but he has apologized for another statement he made Tuesday while trying to explain his earlier comment about banning openly gay teachers. Apparently he was speaking "as a dad," not as an aspiring senator, when he said:
"I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman, who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend, should be hired to teach my third grade children," DeMint told the newspaper for Wednesday editions. "I just think the moral decisions are different with a teacher."
Hmm - how many other groups of voters can he offend before election day?
Among the favored political topics is advocating church members to fight same-sex marriage, promote passage of a Federal Marriage Amendment, and re-elect George Bush. Here is Falwell's summary of the conference.
The seminar on politics from the pulpit was cohosted by Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel, one of the organizations at the front of the effort to overturn gay marriage in Massachusetts and to prevent it everywhere else.
We're hoping to do some event planning, so if you have any ideas, bring them along!