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6 years ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread · 2 replies · +8 points

After Health Care Denial, Gay Couple Suing Mortgage Company - A lesbian couple in California filed a federal discrimination complaint last week after the alleged refusal of spousal health insurance coverage...
.A lesbian couple from the San Gabriel Valley filed a federal discrimination complaint Thursday against the wife's former employer and its health insurer for allegedly refusing to provide spousal health insurance coverage on an equal basis to heterosexual employees.

Judith Dominguez, a former employee of Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., and Patricia Martinez, her wife and partner of 29 years, contend the mortgage brokerage and UnitedHealth Group are violating federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on sex, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Affordable Care Act, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles.

Representatives for Colorado-based Cherry Creek Mortgage and UnitedHealth Group in Minneapolis could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the suit, Cherry Creek told Dominguez in December that the company would no longer offer spousal health care benefits to Martinez, showing Dominguez a policy statement that said the mortgage company only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman.

"The federal government and Supreme Court has said we're married, that our marriage is no less than any other," Dominguez said at a press conference. "The fact that they're putting my wife's health at risk by doing this is what made us do what we're doing."

Dominguez alleges the brokerage was retroactively retracting spousal health insurance coverage for her wife for the prior year -- leaving the couple faced with tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected charges for care after Martinez's two heart attacks in 2015.

When the Alhambra couple complained, Cherry Creek fired Dominguez, the suit alleges. "The judge who married us said it was an honor to perform our ceremony," Martinez said. "He told us, `Now you are family.' Cherry Creek doesn't have the right to rip that apart. They can't take our rights away from us."

The couple and their supporters say they think some companies feel more emboldened under President Donald Trump to violate civil rights laws.

The mortgage brokerage claims it does not have to provide health insurance benefits to spouses of LGBT employees -- yet it markets its mortgage products to same-sex couples, and required Dominguez to attend a mandatory training for selling mortgages to same-sex couples, according to the complaint.

Cherry Creek is one of the companies that won the landmark Hobby Lobby case in which the Supreme Court ruled that family-owned companies had the religious freedom to deny contraception coverage.

Some believe that ruling may now extend to issues like same-sex marriage.

"I feel a little scared, a little insecure that I won't have the government standing behind me," Martinez said.

But the couple's lawyer, Dan Stormer, feels confident of their chances in court. "I think that the circumstances are dramatically different. I do not see that (Cherry Creek) could prevail on a Hobby Lobby claim."


8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - Open Thread 1/18/2016 · 0 replies · -2 points

“In a separate "letter to the international pro-family movement," Scott Lively declared that "the Leaders and Activists of the LGBT movement are malicious deceivers and evil-doers, deliberately subverting civilized society and viciously attacking all opponents to advance their selfish and self-destructive interests" and called for anti-gay activists to focus on preventing the passage of antidiscrimination ordinances that protect sexual orientation in places where they don't already exist and repealing them where they do. Lively went on to recommend that his fellow anti-gay activists likewise work to pass Russian-style laws banning gay "propaganda" in America and around the world:

“We need to build international pro-family solidarity on a foundation of genuine moral authority, meaning it must rest on the premise that homosexuality itself is personally and socially harmful, and not pretend that our only social and political interests are the "welfare of children" or the "definition of marriage." That pretense is a product of the same diseased pro-family "leadership" that marched the American pro-family movement from one disastrous defeat to the next for the past three decades, and it is now being exported to the rest of the world by the same men.

The beauty of the Russian law is it cuts right to the heart of the real problem of LGBT advocacy: the recruitment of children. What I mean by recruitment of children is not primarily the sexual exploitation of young people by adult homosexuals, though that represents a dark current within the larger “gay” culture, especially among the men. What I mean is the normalization of homosexual conduct and culture to children and youths, leading them to engage in homosexual experimentation among themselves and subsequently self-identify as "gay." An entire generation of American, British and Canadian children has been enslaved to this corrupt culture and ideology through the very propaganda that Russia has now banned.

While numerous countries of the African continent have chosen a much stricter approach, seeking to deter all homosexual conduct through harsh criminal sanctions, the Russian law balances the privacy rights of adult homosexuals (who choose to live discretely outside the mainstream of society) with the need of the nation to protect its children from the ravages of sexual perversion. It deters the LGBT lobby from attempting to mainstream the "gay" lifestyle, while granting the individual members of its community the "right to be left alone" that was the original stated goal of their movement in its early years, before it adopted the militant fascist tactics it is known for today.” Read more at

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - Open Thread 1/18/2016 · 0 replies · +5 points

Read the appeal filed at the 6th Circuit by Liberty Counsel on behalf of Kim Davis at

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - Open Thread 1/18/2016 · 0 replies · +4 points

Kim Davis Is Back in Court, Defiant as Ever... Kim Davis and her lawyers took her fight to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati today, in hopes they could finally convince a judge she was within her rights when she defied another judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - News round up and open... · 1 reply · +5 points

And it includes this: "In a novel addition to the other tricks that help enable anti-LGBT discrimination, two different provisions in the bill actually attempts to scare and disincentivize individuals out of filing complaints. If a complaint is found to be “frivolous” or “intended to harm the subject of the complaint” — terms that are not defined elsewhere — the complainant could be subjected to a $1,000 penalty. Given discrimination cases are often hard to prove to begin with, judges who are so-inclined could start meting out this punishment for cases that fail because of the other religious exemptions or simply because they are not convinced by the merits of the case."

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - News round up and open... · 5 replies · +7 points

Indiana, HERE WE GO AGAIN folks... “The bill, which will be known as Senate Bill 100, does add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s nondiscrimination laws as it claims to. However, it expends far more words to limit the extent of those protections, making them all but worthless to most plaintiffs.”

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - News round-up and open... · 1 reply · +8 points

Kim Davis May Have Seriously Damaged the Cause of Anti-Gay “Religious Liberty” ... On Tuesday, an ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed the most significant post-Davis data point yet—and the results don’t look good for Davis and her admirers. An overwhelming 74 percent of respondents believed that when a conflict arises between religious beliefs and equal treatment under the law, equality should win out. Moreover, 63 percent of respondents said that Davis should be required to issue marriage licenses despite her sincerely held religious beliefs. (That tracks an earlier Rasmussen poll, which found that 66 percent of Americans think Davis should follow the law and issue licenses.) Notably, a majority of only two groups thought Davis should be exempted from issuing licenses: evangelical white Protestants and self-identified “strong conservatives.” That view was also more common among Republicans, less well-educated people, and lower-income Americans.

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - Friday open thread · 0 replies · +11 points

“The marriage forms issued Friday did not bear Davis’s name because of her refusal to endorse them. Instead, the clerk’s office included a space for a deputy clerk to sign his or her name. U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning sent Davis to jail and ordered the deputy clerks to issue licenses in her absence. A representative for Bunning could not be reached for comment Friday. As the Lexington Herald-Leader noted, Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins has previously said deputy clerks don’t need Davis’s approval to issue valid marriage licenses. Reached at his office Friday, Watkins declined to comment. In other Kentucky counties, marriage licenses are routinely signed by a deputy, even though the clerk’s name appears on the form.”

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - Updates on Rowan Count... · 0 replies · +3 points

This guy's twitter feed is good too

8 years ago @ Equality on Trial - Updates on Rowan Count... · 0 replies · +4 points

I’m watching these reporters’ twitter feeds, one of them is in the courtroom but hasn’t reported yet: Victor Puente is in courtroom
and Barber on the outside