A global first: Australian state of Victoria issues formal apology to the LGBTQI community for discriminatory laws

In what is being heralded as an international first, the Australian state of Victoria’s Parliament has just formally apologized to generations of gay men (and the larger LGBTQI Community)  for the systematic persecution and destruction of human dignity enforced by the State through its anti-homosexual statutes.

In one of many remarkable passages, the Victorian Premier,the Hon. Daniel Matthews, declares,

 ” Speaker, it is the first responsibility of a Government to keep people safe. But the Government didn’t keep LGBTI people safe.

The Government invalidated their humanity and cast them into a nightmare.

And those who live today are the survivors of nothing less than a campaign of destruction, led by the might of the State.”

The Premier continues by recounting the remarkable stories of survivors from this odious time period when representative governments worldwide created and enforced these destructive laws.

It is his final words of apology that are truly ground breaking:

If you are a member of the LGBTI community, and there’s someone in your life that you love – a partner or a friend – then do me a favour:

Next time you’re on a tram in Melbourne, hold their hand.

Do it with pride and defiance.

Because you have that freedom.

And here in the progressive capital, I can think of nothing more Victorian than that.

Speaker, it’s been a life of struggle for generations of Victorians.

As representatives, we take full responsibility.

We criminalised homosexual thoughts and deeds. We validated homophobic words and acts.

And we set the tone for a society that ruthlessly punished the different – with a short sentence in prison, and a life sentence of shame.

From now on, that shame is ours.

This Parliament and this Government are to be formally held to account for designing a culture of darkness and shame.

And those who faced its sanction, and lived in fear, are to be formally recognised for their relentless pursuit of freedom and love.

It all started here. It will end here, too.

To our knowledge, no jurisdiction in the world has ever offered a full and formal apology for laws like these.

So please, let these words rest forever in our records:

“On behalf of the Parliament, the Government and the people of Victoria.

For the laws we passed.

And the lives we ruined.

And the standards we set.

We are so sorry. Humbly, deeply, sorry.”

Read the entire apology here.

Watch it here:


Religious Freedom and Bathroom Ordinances

North Carolina Republicans yesterday fired the latest salvo in the Nation’s cultural wars over civil rights, passing a state law overturning local LGBT Discrimination bans, joining Tennessee (2011) and Arkansas (2015) …

“Once released, it was clear that the legislative language was more sweeping than expected. Not only does it prevent local governments from writing ordinances that allow people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender with with they identify, it also preempts cities from passing their own nondiscrimination standards, saying the state’s rules—which are more conservative—supersede localities. Local school district would be barred from allowing transgender students to use bathrooms or locker rooms that don’t correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificate. The bill would also ban cities from passing their own minimum-wage laws.” (The Atlantic, see below)

Similar efforts have failed after facing withering attacks from business and civil-rights groups in states like South Dakota (governor vetoed bill passed by legislature), Utah (state legislature fashioned a remarkable compromise in consultation with multiple stakeholders), Indiana (effort failed after enormous public outcry), Georgia (bill passed awaiting governor’s signature faces uncertain future after business leaders and NFL suggest serious economic consequences for the state if law is enacted).

Here is some of the press on the issue:

The Atlantic:


NPR:  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/24/471700323/north-carolina-passes-law-blocking-measures-to-protect-lgbt-people

The Washington Post:



GO WEST…. OR, the Global Skills EVERY J.D. LAW student needs to acquire ASAP.

SO, here’s a bit of news that will likely not surprise anyone:

Our world is rapidly becoming more and more interdependent and as the author of the herein linked blog post astutely points out, this has huge implications for the practice of law. New practitioners simply cannot afford to ignore the world around them. Theresa Kaiser-Jarvis
Assistant Dean for International Affairs at the University of Michigan Law School, identifies the following essential skills and techniques that ALL law students should be cultivating as part of their legal education:

  • Attend events
  • Build networks
  • Develop a foreign language
  • Gain global work experience
  • Go Abroad

For more on these last three, consider one of the nearly 20 different Study Abroad programs through BUSL described here:


Here’s the full blog:


I highly recommend giving it a read.



EEOC takes up anti-gay discrimination in employment FINALLY under Gender Discrimination Laws.

In a move, long awaited by the LGBTQ community, the EEOC has finally challenged employers who discriminate against the community’s members under the Nation’s gender bias laws.

Read the full story here on Law 360, one of the several great sources we have available at the Library for keeping you current:

Law 360





Certification Class: Regulations


Research in the regulations promulgated by administrative agencies is an important component of U.S. legal work. This class will augment what you learn in law school courses and will include finding regulations, working with the principal publications (Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations), and updating research to locate the most current information.

This class will be offered on Feb. 8th and 10th from 1-2 PM in Room 335

Register for this and other classes here:  http://lawlibraryguides.bu.edu/certification/register



Bloomberg BNA Student Write-On Competition Just Announced


Bloomberg BNA has just opened its student write-on competition to Boston University Law Students giving you a great opportunity to get your writing published (and possibly win some cash too!) in one of a selected number of BNA Law Reports.

Here are the details:

“Students interested in participating will have to write a short original article, 1000-1600 words, that analyzes trends or developments in the law.  Students with winning articles will work directly with the Executive Editors of each participating BNA Law Report to get their articles ready for publishing in the first edition of that Law Report in April 2016.”
There is also a direct link from the Bloomberg Law homepage.


Sharpen those pens and Good luck!



SCOTUS, Immigration, and the “take care” clause.

The United States Supreme Court just announced that it will be hearing the long festering dispute between the Federal government and some 25 states, led by Texas, in a bitter battle over the Nation’s broken immigration policy (See, United States v. Texas).

In a surprise move, however, the Court added a new subplot to the drama by requiring both sides to brief  a little discussed, and heretofore, nonexistent issue in the instant case, the language in the Constitution called the “take care” clause.

Oral arguments are expected in April, with a decision in late June 2016.

Want to read more? Follow this case closely?

Visit SCOTUSBlog for excellent in-depth coverage of the Court and its cases.



Exam Resources To Get You Ready

Your Law Libraries have a multitude of exam preparation resources available to assist you.

Your most comprehensive source for all the materials available to you is found on our Exam Preparation Research Guide. This is where you will find links and suggestions on the myriad of materials waiting just a few clicks or steps away.

While the resources here are surely not exhaustive, take a look and see how we can help you during this stressful time.

(Speaking of stress: One true secret to success in law school, and beyond, is learning tools to manage stress. Make sure to eat right, exercise, meditate, do yoga, relax a bit over the holidays and most importantly, get enough sleep!)


Wishing you all great success and good luck in the weeks to come!