Apple’s Backing Puts Gay-Marriage Focus on Obama at Court

Gay-marriage advocates, aiming to show broad support as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue for the first time, have enlisted Apple Inc. (AAPL), Morgan Stanley (MS) and dozens of Republicans who once held top government positions.

Now they’re eyeing the White House.

President Barack Obama’s administration has until tomorrow to say whether it will join about 60 companies and a largely Republican group that includes six former governors in urging the court to back gay marriage nationwide. Read more »

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Scores Of Republicans Sign Legal Brief Supporting Gay Marriage Ahead Of Supreme Court Arguments

At least 75 top Republicans have signed a legal brief to be submitted to the Supreme Court this week, arguing that gay marriage is a constitutional right, according to The New York Times, which got a copy of the document.

The court is preparing to take on the subject of gay marriage late next month, when it will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, and the Defense of Marriage Act. It is expected to render a decision in early summer.

The signers of the document are mostly out-of-office Republicans or former top officials, including former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), former Massachusetts Govs. William Weld and Jane Swift, and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. Read more »

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Gay Americans pay more taxes for fewer rights

Gay Americans pay more taxes for fewer rights

-- That nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage is encouraging progress for those of us who believe that everyone deserves to have basic civil rights. But, even if every state in the country could pass a similar legislation, it would not be enough. What we need is for our federal government to step up and make this basic right a law of the land.

Beyond the social discrimination, the refusal of our federal government to legally recognize same-sex marriages imposes steep financial penalties on same-sex couples. That two of the most costly penalties are triggered upon the death of one partner just adds to the ache of the senseless discrimination. Read more »

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With Resignation of Pope, LGBTs Hope for True Dialogue on Rights

With Resignation of Pope, LGBTs Hope for True Dialogue on Rights

LGBT communities across the globe have spent much of the last few weeks speculating about the future of their relationship with the Catholic Church. This is, of course, due to the unexpected and in many ways shocking announcement that Pope Benedict XVI had decided to resign. This was peculiar for many reasons. Among these is Benedict being the first in centuries to do so, as well the strange decision to leave behind the decades of work he has put into shaping many of the Catholic Church’s current doctrines. Read more »

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US asks Supreme Court to strike down law denying benefits to same-sex couples

The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court on Friday to throw out a section of a 1996 federal law that prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage.

The brief was filed Friday in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the law that legally declares marriage to be only between a man and a woman. That section allows state and federal authorities to deny benefits to same-sex couples that are commonplace for heterosexual couples, like insurance for government workers and Social Security survivors' benefits.
Oral arguments are scheduled for March 27. Read more »

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Public Safety Information from Phoenix Police Department

Public Safety Information from Phoenix Police Department

The Phoenix Police Department is committed to providing a safe and secure community to all by implementing specific, proactive patrols and embracing community feedback.

Although the Phoenix Police Department works diligently to prevent crimes from occurring, unfortunately we had two specific events that I want to make you all aware about. Read more »

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Obama considers stepping in on gay-marriage case

Obama considers stepping in on gay-marriage case

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage — a move that could have a far-reaching impact on same-sex couples across the country.

The administration faces heightened expectations from gay rights supporters after President Barack Obama, who only last year came out with his support on the issue, has become far more vocal on gay rights in his second term.

His administration has one week to file a friend-of-the-court brief with the justices outlining its opinion on the California ban, known as Proposition 8. While an administration brief alone is unlikely to sway the high court, the government’s opinion does carry weight with the justices. Read more »

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Bucks group pushes FDA to reverse ban on gay blood donors

Bucks group pushes FDA to reverse ban on gay blood donors

As the AIDS epidemic swept the nation in the 1980s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned men from donating blood if they had had sex with other men after 1977.

In the three decades since, much has changed in the science of blood screening and organizations such as the American Red Cross are calling on the FDA to reconsider the lifetime ban.

“We believe the current lifetime deferral for men who have had sex with other men is unwarranted,” said the Red Cross, in a statement. Gay men should have the same restrictions — usually a one-year deferral — as others considered at increased risk, the Red Cross noted.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, monitors the country’s blood supply. Read more »

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