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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard two cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. There was a lot of speculation as to who would be on the three judge panel that would hear the case. Not long before the hearing began, we found out: Judges Ann Claire Williams, David Hamilton and Richard Posner. Williams and Hamilton were Clinton and Obama nominees respectively and were widely thought to be favorable to pro-equality arguments. Judge Posner, a Reagan nominee, was something of a wild-card. 

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However, during the oral argument before the Seventh Circuit, Judge Richard Posner shredded two states' defenses of their laws excluding gay couples from marriage.  Along with the two other judges on the panel, Ann Claire Williams and David Hamilton, he seems poised to strike down the marriage limitations on Equal Protection grounds. But Posner was the most tenacious and trenchant in his questioning of the states' lawyers, and was frequently amused by what he was hearing from the states.   Overnight, he's become a hero of the gay-marriage movement.

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A federal judge on Thursday, August 21, 2014 declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining state judges in four counties who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot.  U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida's constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

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Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples.

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The wave started last summer in the Supreme Court. At 5-4, the high court's decision on United States v. Windsor wasn't unanimous. And it wasn't decisive: The federal government would now have to recognize marriages between gay and lesbian couples, but the ruling did not overturn prohibitions on such legal unions within individual states. 

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Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in some jurisdictions within the United States and by the federal government. Nineteen states, the District of Columbia, and ten Native American tribal jurisdictions issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Several hundreds to thousands of marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in Utah, Michigan, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Indiana between the time their bans were struck down by federal or state judges and when those rulings were stayed.

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Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (August 28, 1825 – July 14, 1895) was a German writer who is seen today as the pioneer of the modern gay rights movement. He is often cited as the first person to publicly "come out" as gay, although the term he used was "Urning".

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Karl Heinich Ulrichs

Pioneer of Modern Gay Rights

In the 1860s, German third gender Karl Heinrich Ulrichs coined a new terminology for third genders that he called "urnings," which was supposed to mean "men who like men." These urnings were the "females inside male bodies" who were emotionally or sexually attracted to men.

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If there is one video every parent should be required to watch, let it be the following video made by Laurin Mayeno, the incredible and inspiring mother of a gay son.

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According to Laurin, the three part video tells the story of her gay son's early childhood and the process she went through to fully accept him and be proud of him.