article placeholder

Kathleen Womack named to State Bar of Georgia’s board of governors

Kathleen WomackKathleen Womack, past president of the Stonewall Bar Association and former chair of Georgia Equality’s board of directors, has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia.

The Board of Governors is a 160-member body that sets the policies of the State Bar.

Womack was appointed to the post by State Bar President-elect Robin Frazer Clark, according to a press release from the State Bar of Georgia.

Womack, who is openly gay, made an unsuccessful bid for Sandy Springs City Council in 2005 in the city’s first election after it incorporated. She was endorsed in this campaign by Georgia Equality and the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and also endorsed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

article placeholder

Supreme Court rules in favor of Rev. Fred Phelps’ anti-gay protests

A Westboro Baptist Church protester in Atlanta

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that the First Amendment protects anti-gay picketers Westboro Baptist Church from tort liability, according to the American Bar Association.

The decision was eight to one. Only Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.

Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kansas, is led by Rev. Fred Phelps and his family members. The church frequently protest the funerals of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq with signs featuring messages like “God Hates Fags” and “Fags Doom Nations.” WBC has also protested Jewish groups, high schools and even the Catholic Church.

article placeholder

Ga. Supreme Court to hear case of gay man convicted of murder

The case of Samuel Mitchell Abernathy goes before the Supreme CourtThe case of a gay man convicted of killing a man who allegedly called him and his boyfriend “faggots” will go before the state Supreme Court on Monday.

The state is appealing a White County judge’s ruling granting a new trial to Samuel Mitchell Abernathy. Abernathy was convicted of stabbing and killing Darrin Ramey after Ramey called Mitchell and his partner at the time, John Geren, “faggots.” The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Southside Bar in Helen, Ga., in January 2008.

Mitchell was convicted in November 2008 of malice murder and sentenced to life in prison.

According to a press release from the state Supreme Court, Abernathy said he was jumped by Ramey and acted in self-defense. Abernathy and Geren were both charged with murder but the state dropped its charges against Geren after he agreed to testify against Abernathy.

article placeholder

Legal 101 at Charis

Local attorney will answer questions and give legal advice tonight at the feminist bookstore

article placeholder

National anti-gay marriage group claims bias in Prop 8 hearing

The National Organization for Marriage released a statement regarding the federal appeals court hearing on California’s Proposition 8 yesterday, decrying the court panel as biased.

The anti-gay group is up-in-arms over the inclusion of Judge Stephen Reinhardt, whose wife works with the American Civil Liberties Union and has been involved in the case through her role at the ACLU. Reinhardt was one of three judges who sat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals during yesterday's hearing.

"This hearing makes a mockery of the federal judiciary," said Brian Brown, president of NOM, in an internet posting. "Citizens are entitled to a guarantee of impartiality from their judiciary. Yet here we have the spectacle of a federal appeals court justice ruling on a case in which his wife represents a group that is a participant. A cynic would be left to wonder if the fix is in for marriage in the Ninth Circuit."