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:


Student Athletes Seek Supreme Court Review of O’Bannon

The United States Supreme Court has been asked to review the O’Bannon antitrust case to determine how much student athletes should be compensated for the use of their names, images, and likenesses.  For more information on this case, there are a number of resources that you may want to explore.  For instance, for an analysis of the Ninth Circuit ruling check out articles from sports journals such as Marquette Sports Law Review and Tulane University’s Sports Lawyers Journal, or blog posts like this one from SCOTUSblog.  To see the briefs and opinion associated with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, conduct a docket search on Bloomberg.  For the latest news on the current appeal and a link to the petition, you may also want to read current awareness stories such as this one from Lexis’ Law360.


International Women’s Day

If you are interested in the topic of women and the law, the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have a variety of resources that you may want to check out.  These include books such as Women and the Law Stories, which highlights cases addressing sex discrimination, working conditions, and reproductive rights, among others.  You may also want to explore articles on HeinOnline from journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender and the Women Lawyers Journal.  Lastly, in honor of International Women’s Day, many blogs are also posting interesting stories, such as the Library of Congress’ global history of women’s voting rights.


Super Tuesday and Election Law Resources

As you may know, yesterday was Super Tuesday, in which many states held primary presidential elections and caucuses.  If you are curious about the election, or about election law in general, the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have several resources that may help.  For instance, the books The law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process and Election Law in a Nutshell each provide useful overviews of the topic.  For more information pertaining to the current election, you may also want to check out newspapers such as the Boston Globe, the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, all of which are available in the Law Libraries.  Looking for more?  Just ask a reference librarian!


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





The ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 List

Legal blogs are helpful free resources where you can find updates on emerging trends, and analysis of topical issues.  Each year, the ABA Journal releases a feature called Blawg 100, in which it compiles a list of the top 100 blogs.  This year’s list may be found at: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/the_9th_annual_blawg_10.  Looking for more?  Check out our research guides on Law Blogs and Finding News & Keeping Current as a Lawyer.


Tax Analysts

If you are interested in tax law, Tax Analysts publishes several resources which may be helpful for your research.  Under the Key Documents tab, Tax Notes includes updates and analysis of federal and state tax laws, IRS ruling and regulations, court opinions, Treasury reports, and more.  Under the Publications tab, Tax Notes Today focuses on the latest news and documents, while Tax Notes International covers international tax issues.

Tax Analysts


If you are interested in accessing these resources, please:

Tax Analysts Instructions

Please note that while you have to be on campus to register for an account, after registering you will be able to use the site anywhere.  If you have any questions, or if you are looking for additional resources, just ask a reference librarian!


Holy Copyright, Batman!: Using Legal News to Keep Up

As I was reading the New York Times recently I came across an article about the Batmobile.  Turns out it is protected by copyright because it is a character- guess all those little kids making their own cardboard batmobiles never knew that.  I wanted to read the decision, so I immediately turned to Bloomberg/BNA – they have the best newsletters for keeping up with current legal developments.  The library e-Resources A-Z list pointed me to the Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal.  The article I find gives me the case name, the docket number and all the information I would need to find the decision and even the underlying court documents. I also looked at Law360 – great for keeping up with pending litigation – which pointed me to the other cases “before the Batmobile” which  protected characters.  WestlawNext and LexisAdvance both include legal newsletters that are subject-specific.  HeinOnline has ABA newsletters which cover various practice areas.  Most practicing attorneys use some newsletter – either Bloomberg/BNA, Law360 or a subject-specific newsletter – to keep up with developments in their practice area.   In about 5 minutes I was an expert on the Batmobile and how it was protected.