1. Say “I do” immediately in Illinois! A federal court ordered today the Cook County Clerk’s office to provide marriage licenses immediately to same-sex couples , according to a press release from Lambda Legal. The marriages were originally to start in June. This is especially good news for several terminal patients who were part of the lawsuit seeking marriage equality.
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman noted in her ruling that the question before her was “why should we wait.” She cited the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King who noted that “the time is always ripe to do right.”
2. The Associated Press is reporting Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, who has yet to sign a controversial anti-gay law, is angered by U.S. President Barack Obama and other Western leaders trying to influence him to back off the legislation that would, among other things, sentence homosexuals to 14 years in prison. A death penalty category in the bill was eventually removed after much international pressure.
“Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody,” Museveni said in a statement. “We do not want anybody to impose their views on us. This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality. It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.”
To find out more about how to help LGBT Ugandans, check out this story by gay blog the Bilerico Project.
3. Sweet justice, just maybe. Six attorneys general are refusing to defend their state’s ban on same-sex marriage — because they know the bans are unconstitutional. How about that? Oregon’s AG Ellen Rosenblum was the latest to join the group on Thursday. Other states refusing to defend the anti-gay bans: Nevada, Virginia, Pennsylvania, California and Illinois.
4. All dried up. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is set to sign into law the GOP-backed bill approved Thursday by the state legislature that allows business owners to turn away gay customers based on their religious beliefs. Similar bills are being considered in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma and Kansas. Even Georgia is trying to jump on the bandwagon.
5. Southern hospitality at its finest? Same-sex marriage battles are moving South, y’all, including in Alabama where Paul Hard is suing the state for violating his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process after his husband, David Fancher, was killed in a car accident. The couple legally married in Massachusetts, but Alabama has a constitutional amendment — like Georgia — banning same-sex marriage.