Southeast

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Lambda Legal announces first post-DOMA marriage lawsuit — and it’s in the South

Lambda Legal Greg Nevins

First up: Virginia.

Lambda Legal today announced its intent to sue the state of Virginia alongside the American Civil Liberties Union in what will likely be the LGBT organization’s first new federal lawsuit over marriage rights since the U.S. Supreme Court found section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

"The end of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act opens a new chapter in our work to ensure same-sex couples and their families across the country are treated with dignity and respect," said Greg Nevins, supervising senior staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta.

"We know that many same-sex couples and their families have waited a long time and we are excited to announce that the campaign for the freedom to marry is coming South,” Nevins said.

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Prostitution, drugs motivation in Ala. lesbian beating case?

Mallory Owens via Facebook

Anger over prostitution and drug use was the motive for the brutal Thanksgiving Day beating of a 23-year-old Alabama lesbian, according to Ally Hawkins, girlfriend of Mallory Owens, who was attacked by Hawkins’ brother. But in a written statement today, Owens stressed that Hawkins does not speak for her and said that both her girlfriend’s brother and father had threatened her in the past.

“It will be a very long time before I feel safe again. This sort of attack whether it is proven to be a hate crime or a crime derived from one man’s hate of another human being should not happen to anyone in this country,” Owens said, after noting that Hawkins’ father had also previously “threatened me with harm based on my relationship with his daughter.”

“No one should have to endure an attack the way that I did. Neither should a mother have to see her daughter in the state that my mom had to see me,” Owens said.

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Ala. lesbian beating victim: Attack was not ‘hate crime’

Alabama lesbian beating victim

The Alabama lesbian that was brutally beaten during a Thanksgiving dinner at her girlfriend's father's home now claims that the attack was not a hate crime.

Mallory Owens, 23, was attacked by her girlfriend's brother Travis Hawkins, Jr., Thursday, Nov. 22, at the home of her girlfriend.

Hawkins was charged with second degree assault but because Alabama does not include gender identity or sexual orientation in the state's hate crime legislation, the crime cannot be classified as a hate crime, at least not through Alabama's laws. The FBI is also investigating the attack and could still recommend that Hawkins be charged with a hate crime under existing federal laws.