Friday, April 18, 2014

Via JMG: OREGON: An Openly Gay Federal Judge Will Hear Next Week's Marriage Case

Openly gay US District Court Judge Michael J. McShane will hear next week's marriage equality case in Oregon.
Unlike the five federal judges who have struck down laws prohibiting same-sex marriages in other states in recent months, McShane won't have anyone in the courtroom defending Oregon's constitutional ban when he holds oral arguments Wednesday. And, unlike the other judges, McShane also happens to be one of just nine openly gay members of the federal judiciary, according to the Human Rights Campaign. It's an unusual combination of factors for the 53-year-old jurist, who has served as a federal judge for less than a year. McShane, citing the sensitivity of the case, declined to be interviewed for this story. But friends say they're confident he'll produce a careful decision while setting aside any personal feelings. "You don't want to be the lawyer going in saying with a wink, 'I'm the lawyer on the gay-marriage side and he's going to be with me,'" says Lane Borg, who heads Metropolitan Public Defender and has known McShane for decades. "They would be ill-advised to think that just because Michael is gay that he is going to rule that way."
NOM chairman John Eastman has the sadz: "The question is not his sexual orientation, but whether he is situated identically to the plaintiffs and will benefit from the exact relief he provides to them."

RELATED: McShane began his career as a public defender in Portland. He was nominated to the federal bench by President Obama in September 2012. (Tipped by JMG reader Sam)
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Oregon Readies Gay Marriage Licenses

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declared in February that she will not defend the state against the marriage equality suit filed in October 2013 by local attorneys on behalf of two gay couples. That case hasn't even been heard yet, much less ruled upon, but the state is getting ready for good news. Via the Associated Press:
In light of the Oregon attorney general's decision to not defend the state's ban on gay marriage, Oregon is now revising its marriage licenses to include forms for same-sex couples. Previously, when people applied for a marriage license, they were asked either to identify as a "bride" or "groom." Now, the new form designates as "Party A" and "Party B." Applicants can also choose to be identified as "bride," "groom" or "spouse." Another change to marriage licenses: eliminating the term "maiden name." Instead, applicants will be asked to provide their "name at birth." Most of Oregon's counties use an electronic version of the marriage form. Clerks are in the process of working with a software vendor to update the online forms.
(Tipped by JMG reader Robert)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Daily Dharma

Let Go in a Discerning Way | April 18, 2014

When you let go of the body, let go in a discerning way. Don't let go in a way in which delusion and misunderstanding overcome the mind. Don't get disgusted with the body so that the mind becomes restless and agitated and stops meditating. That kind of dislike is wrong. When we look at things we don't like—such as the inconstancy, the stressfulness, and the unattractiveness of the body—remember that they're part of the noble truths. 
—Phra Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, "This Body of Mine"