Weekly Political Update

Flags

  • Many LGBT advocates are praising this year’s Democratic platform (not yet public) as “the most progressive major party platform with respect to LGBT issues in the nation’s history.” Some complaint that it never uses the terms “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” and “transgender,” but others argue that terms such as “same-sex couples” “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” are in fact more inclusive.
  • Karl Rove says marriage equality won’t be as big an issue in the 2008 election as it was in 2004. He should know, having made it a rallying issue for conservatives four years ago.
  • The Arizona Democratic Party passed a resolution to oppose a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as “one man, one woman.”
  • The family of 15-year-old Larry King, shot to death by a classmate in Oxnard, California, is suing the school district for allowing their son to wear makeup and feminine clothing to school, actions they say led to his death. (No, a homophobic peer with behavioral problems and a gun led to his death.)
  • Entrepreneur Jared Polis won the Democratic primary last night in Colorado’s “overwhelmingly Democratic” 2nd Congressional District, putting him into position to become the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. Congress as a non-incumbent (and the second openly gay person after Tammy Baldwin), according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
  • A Federal Appeals Court in Oregon turned down a proposed ballot measure that could have ended the state’s domestic partner law. It ruled that the Oregon Secretary of State was correct when he determined a conservative group did not gather enough signatures for the measure.

Around the world:

  • The government of the Antilles is appealing a court ruling that it must recognize marriages of same-sex couples. The Antilles is an autonomous republic within the Netherlands, and is required to recognize the Netherland’s legal documents. The Antilles government claims, however, that because it was given self-rule by the Netherlands, it can ignore same-sex marriages from the Netherlands.
  • More couples than expected have united under the Australian Capital Territory’s three-month-old civil union law, reported the territorial attorney-general.
  • The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) will present proposed legislation to the Caribbean Parliamentary Council in October, recommending the decriminalization of homosexuality.
  • Costa Rica’s highest court ruled that gay inmates do not have the right to conjugal visits. The case could be revisited if Congress passes a bill (currently under debate) legalizing gay marriage.
  • A new poll indicates nearly half of all Finns would accept church blessings for same-sex couples, up from one third five years ago.
  • Patricia Nell Warren at Bilerico profiles out German Olympic fencer Imke Duplitzer, one of the few athletes speaking publicly against the Chinese government.
  • An Arabic-language magazine published in Germany is being investigated possibledefamation or incitement after it published an article that warned readers not to shake hands with gay people because they can transmit disease.
  • The government of Panama decriminalized gay sex.