Participating In A Statewide Teleconference Right Now Regarding Friday's Supreme Court Decision, Hosted By "Equality Florida" - OK, It's Over, Here Are Some Things I Learned -

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    Jun 29, 2015 10:31 PM GMT
    They emailed me today because they're one of the LGBT groups to which we belong & contribute. The panelists (mostly attorneys and LGBT rights specialists) are now making opening statements, I've got them on speakerphone so I can type. My turn is coming with questions I've pre-provided them. I'll keep you guys informed. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 29, 2015 11:23 PM GMT
    Reference my questions and others, I learned:

    1. Panelists thought that the chance of a US Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Court decision is very low. Such an amendment would legally trump the Court decision, but passage won't happen, in their opinions. Despite what some Republican Presidential candidates and others are spouting to their base.

    2. Some States are still trying to resist and delay this ruling, under such grounds as there hasn't been any enabling legislation passed by their own State legislatures. And on various other pretenses, both legislative and administrative.

    One State was Alabama. But their State Supreme Court appears to have now announced this evening, barely as this teleconference was beginning, that the ruling will be obeyed.

    Organizations such as the ACLU, HRC, the various State Equality groups like ours in Florida, and others, are monitoring the situation and will jump to bring Federal lawsuits against obstructionist States. Federal Courts are expected to rule that States must comply with the US Supreme Court decision. It could get ugly if States still refuse, like some did with school desegregation in the 1950s, and Federal troops were called in to enforce that Supreme Court ruling.

    3. The issue over spousal insurance benefits from employer health plans is less clear. Some businesses do not offer coverage to any spouses. But for those that do, the legal panelists believe it must be applied equally to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. They proposed it would be a violation of US Title VII prohibitions against sex discrimination. But such outcomes may need to be taken through litigation, and they recommended consulting with such organizations as I mentioned in Para 2.

    4. This marriage equality ruling does NOT protect against employment, housing, and other sexual orientation discrimination. It ONLY applies to the right to be married. Nor does it alter any existing hate crimes laws, many of which do not cover LGBT citizens. Those changes must be secured separately.