Weekly Political Roundup

FlagsSo nothing much happened in politics this week . . . .

  • You know the key points: Obama won; Arizona, Arkansas, California, and Florida all passed anti-LGBT measures. Connecticut voters, however, shot down the idea of holding a constitutional convention that would likely have tried to enshrine a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution.
  • The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund has a roundup of the 71 wins among their endorsed candidates.
  • The Wall St. Journal spoke with David Cruz, a constitutional-law expert at the University of Southern California, about the legal challenge to Prop 8.
  • San Francisco, which had the highest percentage of voters who said No On 8, ranked 53 of 59 counties in voter turnout. [Update: Looks like the post I cited here may have been premature; there are still outstanding ballots in SF.]
  • Want to work for the Obama Transition Team? Their hiring policy doesn’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a change from the policies of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Bush administration.
  • Melissa Etheridge says she won’t pay California any more taxes now that the state has taken away her equal rights. (Thanks, PageOneQ.)

In non-election news:

  • Same-sex couples can get married in Connecticut starting November 12. As a native of the state, I couldn’t be more proud. (Hurry up and do it soon before the fall color fades.)
  • A Maryland court is hearing the appeal of Margaret K., a lesbian mom who raised a child with her former partner, even though the partner’s name was the only one on the child’s adoption certificate. The partner claims that Margaret only “helped out” with the child. Last May, a court ruled that the state does not recognize “de facto” parenthood, and “all non-parents who want visitation against the legal parent’s wishes must show either that the legal parent is unfit or that there are ‘exceptional circumstances.’” The current hearing will decide if such circumstances exist.

And around the world:

  • Malaysian police arrested 70 men, including Americans, in raids on four supposed gay venues. The men were released on bail after being charged with gross indecency. If convicted, they would be subject to floggings and up to 20 years in prison.
  • The Queen of Spain says in a new book that she is against her country’s law legalizing marriage for same-sex couples.
  • The government of Sweden appears to have found a solution that will allow same-sex couples to marry without offending the Christian Democrats in the ruling coalition. They aim to have the law in place by May 1, 2009.
  • The U.K. Ministry of Defence has paid £4 million to settle compensation claims from gay and lesbian service members who were unfairly dismissed from the armed forces.