The GLAAD Daily: Anti-Gay Lawsuit, Pop Up Chapel Designs and the Calif. FAIR Education Act

The anti-gay group Liberty Counsel on Monday filed a lawsuit on behalf of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and other plaintiffs challenging New York's marriage law and claiming that the state Senate violated its own procedures and the state's open meetings law when it approved the bill. The New York Times reported that many rural and suburban town clerk's offices began offering marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday, a day after New York City and other communities started offering marriages for same-sex couples. The Associated Press spoke with advocates in states outside of New York, some of whom viewed the Empire State’s marriage equality law as bittersweet because many states still have constitutional amendments banning marriage for same-sex couples. The AP piece also included information about “On the Road to Equality,” an upcoming Human Rights Campaign bus tour that will promote equality for LGBT people “with particular emphasis on the Midwest and South where there are limited legal protections for LGBT people and living openly and honestly can be difficult.” Architizer, one of the sponsors of pop up chapels that will host marriages for same-sex couples in Central Park on Saturday, released the results of its pop up chapel design contest. Actress Heather Matarazzo, known for roles in The L Word, Welcome to the Dollhouse and The Princess Diaries said she plans to marry longtime girlfriend Carolyn Murphy. In related news, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today filed briefs in an existing lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.” In New Jersey, lawyers for Dharun Ravi, the former roommate of Tyler Clementi, on Monday claimed that prosecutors withheld evidence they said could clear Ravi of hate crime accusations. Ravi's attorneys will reportedly request that the case be dismissed. Miami Beach police officers Frankly Forte and Eliut Hazzi on Monday were removed from their positions without pay because of an incident during which they allegedly yelled anti-gay slurs at a tourist and then falsely arrested him after he called 911 to report an attack on another gay man. In Portland, Ore., Dillan Cashman was arrested this week for assaulting Andrew Dempsey-Gluth after Dempsey-Gluth confronted Cashman about yelling anti-gay slurs at the victim and his partner. The California Secretary of State today told the anti-gay Capitol Resource Institute it could begin gathering signatures for a ballot initiative aiming to overturn SB 48, the California FAIR Education Act, which requires public schools to include the contributions of LGBT Americans in lessons. Atlantic Magazine’s July/August 2011 issue has an article called “The 14 Biggest Ideas of the Year,” which highlights the increased acceptance of gay and lesbian people in the U.S. as well as increasing support for marriage equality.