Denver, CO â€“ Colorado Governor Attempts to Support Gay Civil Rights â€“ 5.14
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper called lawmakers into a special legislative session to resolve a bill supporting civil unions for same-sex couples, along with several other bills. Well, that was a start at least. Hickenlooperâ€™s announcement on the final day of the 2012 regular session was sparked by what he called an â€śoverwhelming needâ€ť to discuss the civil unions measure. It died via legislative maneuvering from the GOP.
Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty blocked the bill before it reached the House. Democrats accused him of refusing to call civil unions for a vote, even though it had enough support to pass.
Minutes before the decision, President Barack Obama announced he now supports same-sex marriage. Obama says he has concluded that it is important for him to affirm that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married. He says he came to the conclusion over the course of several years of talking to family and friends. Obama has previously said his personal views of gay marriage were evolving, a stance that frustrated gay rights supporters. But Obama revealed his support for gay marriage in an interview with ABC News. Hurrah!
Source: Denver Post
Washington, DC - Marriage Campaign Launches to Get Congress on Record â€“ 5.14
Following President Obamaâ€™s historic statement in support of marriage equality, the Human Rights Campaign is encouraging members of the House and Senate to join him in expressing their support, asking if they agree with the statement: â€śGay and lesbian couples should not be denied the ability to pledge their love and commitment through the civil institution of marriage. I believe that two committed adults of the same-sex should be able to receive a government-issued marriage license, while religious institutions retain their right to determine which marriages they will perform or recognize.â€ť
In addition to making this information available on HRCâ€™s website, support for marriage equality will be noted in HRCâ€™s 112th Congressional Scorecard, along with key votes and bill sponsorships. LGBTQ individuals and families have many concerns that Congress needs to address, like the lack of a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, protections from violence, and health and safety.
â€śThe American public has expressed interest in where their elected officials stand on the issue of marriage for gay and lesbian couples,â€ť said incoming HRC President Chad Griffin. â€śNow Congress should [follow Obama] too.â€ť Donâ€™t hold your breath, folks!
Sacramento, CA â€“ Transgender Advocacy Day Approaches â€“ 5.14
With Transgender Advocacy Day fast approaching on May 20-21 in Sacramento, it is important that activists work together to advance legislation that will help transgender Californians live safely and authentically. Transgender Law Center is urging legislators to support AB 1856 (Foster Youth: Cultural Competency) and AB 1081 (Trust Act). The passage of these bills would improve the lives of two important populations in our community - our youth and undocumented trans people.
â€śPlease join us in supporting AB 1856, which would require that existing training programs for foster youth caregivers include information related to cultural competency and best practices of serving LGBT youth,â€ť urges TLCâ€™s Isabella Rodriguez.
It is vital we stand up for the LGBTQ youth in foster care so that the law creates safe homes where they can thrive, develop healthy relationships and prepare themselves for the future that lies ahead of them.
Another very important bill is AB 1081, the Trust Act. Over 60,000 Californians have been deported due to the controversial â€śSecure Communitiesâ€ť program known as â€śS-Comm,â€ť an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation program that has devastated families and undermined trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement.
Source: Transgender Law Center
Boston, MA â€“ More Reasons to Despise Governor Romneyâ€“ 5.11
Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romneyâ€™s â€śmost trustedâ€ť adviser, has outed a transgender woman, thereby ending her career in politics. When a political activist, Althea Garrison, was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the fact that she was transgender was an open secret. But Fehrnstrom was the first one to put that information into print, and former Herald reporter Robert Connolly
remarked, â€śI can remember his glee when he found the birth certificate.â€ť
This is yet another nail in the political coffin of Romney, with America now knowing the Mittsterâ€™s ugly secret - having physically bullied a gay student, John Lauber, back in prep school. Matthew Friedemann, his close friend, recalled Romney pinning Lauber to the ground, repeatedly clipping his hair with scissors. The incident was recalled similarly by five students. Romney has also bullied an anti-bullying commission while Governor. Lately he was furious that his name appeared on a press release touting a gay pride parade, and moved to curtail the activities of a 14-year-old advisory commission on gay and lesbian youth. The commission chairwoman, Kathleen M. Henry, said the governor planned to issue an executive order â€śrevoking our existence.â€ť
Source: AmericaBlog News
Providence, RI - Governor Takes Action to Recognize Out of State Same-Sex Marriages â€“ 5.14
Rhode Islandâ€™s governor has declared the state will recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, giving gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones when it comes to health insurance and a number of other benefits.
The order signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee directs state agencies to recognize marriages performed out of state as legal and treat same-sex married couples the same as heterosexuals. Same-sex couples married outside RI â€” where civil unions are allowed, but gay marriage is illegal â€” have not been allowed certain rights because state law is not clear on the subject. In 2007, then-Attorney General Patrick Lynch issued a nonbinding opinion recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages. Chafee said his signing of the executive order is â€śfollowing throughâ€ť on that opinion.
Same-sex spouses of state employees and anyone covered by an insurance company regulated in Rhode Island will be entitled to health and life insurance benefits, according to queer rights advocates. Both partners in a same-sex couple will be able to list their names as parents on a childâ€™s birth certificate, and same-sex couples will be entitled to sales tax exemptions on the transfer of property, including vehicles.
Source: Washington Post