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Doctor who lured men with drugs for sex appeals murder conviction to Ga. Supreme Court

Noel Chua

A Georgia doctor convicted of felony murder for prescribing pain medications to a gay lover who later died of an overdose is appealing his case to the Georgia Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case will be heard Monday.

According to a press release from the Georgia Supreme Court, Dr. Noel Chua, who was in his mid-40s, began treating James Bazley Carter III, 19, in Sept. 2005 for debilitating headaches. Chua prescribed Carter such medications as morphine, methadone and oxycodone.

A month later, in October, Carter moved in with Chua in his home in Camden County, nearly 6 hours south of Atlanta near Jacksonville, Fla., while he continued to attend community college.

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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.

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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.

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D.C. gay marriage law survives legal challenge

The United States Supreme Court today refused to hear an appeal from opponents of marriage equality aiming to overturn the District of Columbia’s same-sex marriage law.

It was at least the second time in the last year that opponents have tried to overturn the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act through the Supreme Court. A similar challenge also failed in 2010.

The most recent challenge stems from a lawsuit filed by Bishop Harry Jackson against the Washington D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics after the board refused to put the question of same-sex unions before the district’s voters. The board said that such an initiative would permit discrimination.

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Supreme Court allows DADT to remain in place during appeal

The Associated Press is reporting that the United States Supreme Court blocked a request by the Log Cabin Republicans to suspend the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy while a lower court considers an ongoing legal battle today.

Last month, a federal judge ruled DADT unconstitutional because it violated a soldier’s right to freedom of speech and due process but the policy remains in effect while the lower courts wait to hear an appeal of the ruling.

The Obama administration has been pushing for a repeal of the law, but is defending the lawsuit. Congressional repeal appears less likely in the coming session due to gains made by Republicans in the midterm elections.