Weekly Political Update

FlagsIt was all Larry Craig, all the time, for most of the week, and then things got really interesting Thursday. I’ve posted about a few hot items already, like the major wins for equality in Maine and Iowa, and the appalling decision to keep a film depicting same-sex families out of the school curriculum in Evesham, New Jersey.

To follow up on the situation in Iowa: The Polk County Recorder’s Office issued 20 marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the judge who allowed them then issued a stay of his ruling. One couple managed to get a license, a waiver of the usual three-day waiting period, and a Unitarian minister to marry them before the window of opportunity closed. No word on the legal status of their marriage in the future.

Here’s a roundup of other other highlights:

  • Police arrested Senator Larry Craig, an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights, for allegedly soliciting sex from another man in a public airport restroom. Now it looks like he’s resigning.

    Every major and most minor news sites have covered this; I rather like Hilary Rosen’s take on the subject at Huffington Post, this Washington Post comic (thanks to Daddy, Papa, and Me), and Seething Mom’s post (courtesy of Republic of T) on why the Craig case shows us how important it is to support gay and lesbian children in their coming out.) It’s also worth noting that Craig was on his way to sing at a fundraiser for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute when he was arrested. Hypocrisy being a good example for parents to set.

  • Two Indiana women are the first same-sex couple known to jointly adopt children under a new Colorado law.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida Mayor Jim Naugle’s anti-gay comments cost him his seat on the Broward County Tourist Board.
  • The Ohio Court of Appeals ruled that antigay legislator Thomas Brinkman has no legal standing to sue for taking away domestic-partner health benefits from employees of Miami University. He suffers no harm when those benefits are provided, the Court said.
  • KnowThyNeighbor.org, a group created in Massachusetts to publicize the names of those who sign petitions for anti-LGBT-initiatives, has expanded its efforts into Oregon.

Around the world:

  • The International Lesbian and Gay Association-Europe has published a report on European opposition to Pride events. The report documents incidents from 2000 onwards in 11 European countries.
  • The European Parliament will take up the case of an Iranian lesbian who risks expulsion from the U.K. to Iran, where she could face death by stoning because of her sexual orientation. (Thanks to PageOneQ.)
  • The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has proposed abolishing a provision of The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 that allows differential treatment based on sexual orientation. They say there is no need to differentiate for insurance purposes between married couples and those in civil partnerships.
  • Israel’s Justice Minister has reportedly revised a draft law on inheritance for cohabitating unmarried couples to specifically exclude gay and lesbian couples, against the recommendations of a government commission.
  • The Shanghai city government is reportedly preparing to ban landlords from renting rooms to same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex couples.