March 14, 2009

GLBT News and Political Roundup 3/14/09

In the upcoming 2010 Census, legal same-sex marriages will be treated as "unmarried partners" as stipulated by the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Equality California is importing some help with a good track record in it efforts to overturn Proposition 8. Marc Solomon, who develop MassEquality into a powerful advocacy force in the fight for equality in Massachussets, will be leading the effort to restore marriage equality in California.

Despite the efforts to fight AIDS in Africa, HIV is still a major problem in the United States, and this report states that the highest death rate in the counrty is in the nation's capital.

Fairness West Virginia is off to a good start in organizing a GLBT advocacy group in a state not known for its forward thinking.
The rate that we are gathering supporters is unbelievable,” said Stephen Skinner, a lawyer from the state’s Eastern Panhandle.
“ And they’re from all over West Virginia and I don’t know whether they are gay or lesbian or straight or the parents or the brother or the sister, but they’re there. And they’re ready to be heard this year,” he said.

Canadians are wondering what is the big deal about same-sex marriage south of their border.
Although anti-gay factions in the U.S. charge that marriage equality would present a long list of dangers to religious freedom, families, and civilization itself, Canada has proven that with sensible and equitable laws in place, everyone’s rights can remain intact.
Such was the gist of a Mar. 11 Vancouver Sun article titled, "Note to Americans: Canada resolved the contentious issue four years ago and the sky did not fall.
"The article noted, "With almost four years having passed since we resolved the same-sex marriage question, it’s hard to remember there was controversy in the first place."

Out Maryland State Senator Richard Madaleno (who represents my district and is one of my favorite politicians) has an op-ed in the Washington Blade making his case for trans rights in our state:
The Washington Area Transgender Needs Assessment survey estimates that 42 percent of transgender people in the D.C. Metro Area are unemployed, 31 percent have incomes of less than $10,000 per year and 19 percent do not have their own living space. These statistics mirror statistics from around the country that have found similar alarming rates of discrimination for transgender persons.
FORTUNATELY, MORE THAN 100 jurisdictions across the country have gender identity anti-discrimination laws, including 13 states and Washington, D.C. In Maryland, Montgomery County last year joined Baltimore City in enacting such a law, and Gov. O’Malley signed an executive order banning such discrimination in state personnel practices. Now, I am sponsoring legislation with my colleague from Prince George’s County, Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk, to outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender identity in housing, employment, credit and public accommodations statewide.

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