An update of LGBTQA rights legislation in America, thanks in part to Trisk’s Political Outreach listserv
Maryland: The State Senate approved a same sex-marriage bill, which will likely soon be signed into law by the governor. According to the Huffington Post, the Senate’s only openly-gay member, Democrat Richard Madaleno, said during the debate “This bill is quite simple, it has two parts to it: It reiterates that no religious denomination will ever be required to recognize, perform or celebrate any marriage that is against its beliefs. At the same time, it provides full equality under the law for thousands of same-gender couples in our state, couples like Mark and myself.”
Montana: State Rep Kris Hansen’s bill to invalidate any local anti-discrimination ordinance that protects a class not included in the state’s anti-discrimination bill (read: LGBTs) has passed the House, sending it to the Senate. If passed, an initiative approved in Missoula that added “actual or perceived” sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in employment and housing would be struck down.
Hawaii: Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the civil unions bill into law!
Kentucky: a bill providing more protections to gay bullying victims is headed to the full House for a vote.
On the federal level, the Huffington Post reported that “In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.” That means that the Defense Against Marriage Act will no longer have the backing of the federal government, since the government is basically saying marriage should be decided on a state by state basis (the way it always has been).
There is a lot changing every day in the national fight for LGBTQA rights. It;s exciting. Check here for more, and stay up to date!