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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 25 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 30
LETTERS
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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LETTERS

Dear Editor: It has been decades since a benighted Washington Supreme Court, in a decision out of sync with even those times, inflicted a 'badge of infamy' on James Gaylord, upholding the dismissal of this respected Tacoma high school teacher for his status as homosexual, in an orgy of institutional bigotry.

In 1978 I published a Washington Law review article about the Gaylord case, 'Civil Rights - Homosexual Teacher Dismissal - A Deviant Decision,' 53 WLR 499 (1978).

I hope it remains useful to students of this area of civil rights and liberties.

Vindication often never comes, sometimes it comes late.

Jim Lowe



Editor:

While it may be true, as writer Mike Andrew said in his article on ex-teacher Jim Gaylord's firing 42 years ago, that 'Over the years, memory of his ordeal, not uncommon for those days, faded in the community . . .' I did not forget him. I became a high school staff member many years later and advised gay support groups and then gay-straight alliances for over 20 years. Whenever the subject of the ease in which it is to be openly GLBTQ in the Seattle area today, comparatively speaking, arose, I reminded the students it was not always so and cited Jim Gaylord, his courage, his role in Northwest GLBTQ History, and the debt we all owe him. The students always were stunned this could happen in our backyard. Gaylord was and is a hero in our community.

Tom Nussbaum

SCOTUS may never take up an appeal




To the Editor:

With the Federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, declaring Utah's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, it's time to consider the possibility the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will never take-up an appeal. It takes four out of the nine Justices to hear an appeal, in the first place. Traditionally, SCOTUS won't hear an appeal from a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals when it doesn't contradict other Appeals Courts' rulings on the same subject.

There are 12 Circuit Courts of Appeal. It's possible, if all 12 of them declare bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, there won't be four Justices willing to hear a final appeal.

Justice Scalia has prophesized, in previous dissents, including last year's decision declaring DOMA unconstitutional, it will lead to declaring a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. He's right, and why would Scalia want to be one of four Justices granting a hearing on an appeal that would likely fulfill his previous warnings? Justice Anthony Kennedy, on the other hand, has wanted to be cautious, in how far he goes on the issue, without looking like he's ahead of both public and political opinion. If no Federal Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage, there may not be four Justices interested in hearing a final appeal. The members of SCOTUS may feel the lower courts have done their work for them, and leave it alone.

Sincerely,
Steven L. Kendall

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