Weekly Political Roundup

FlagsSee also my LGBT Parenting Roundup for news specifically related to kids and parenting.

  • Brian Bond, a political veteran who has headed the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and held several positions at the Democratic National Committee, will be named by President-elect Barack Obama as deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison.
  • President-elect Barack Obama will also name openly gay Fred Hochberg to chair the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the country’s official export credit agency.
  • Professor Lisa Hazirjian of Case Western Reserve University is among 16 people selected to join President-elect Barack Obama on his Whistle-Stop tour to the Inauguration. She was selected for her volunteer work with the LGBT community in Cleveland.
  • New California laws that took effect Jan. 1 protect LGBT seniors and foster youth, and insert “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” language into several civil rights laws.
  • Sponsors of California’s Prop 8 asked a federal judge to overturn state laws that require disclosure of the names and employers of campaign donors of $100 or more. They say the laws invite harassment and restrict free speech.
  • The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force published an analysis of the Prop 8 vote showing that “party affiliation, political ideology, frequency of attending worship services and age were the driving forces behind the measure’s passage . . . after taking into account the effect of religious service attendance, support for Proposition 8 among African Americans and Latinos was not significantly different than other groups.” Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin disagrees with their analysis. I haven’t gone through it in enough detail yet to offer an opinion; nor has Timothy’s colleague Jim Burroway, but he has some good thoughts on the issue nonetheless.
  • Florida State Sen. Nan Rich (D-Weston), has filed two bills that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children.
  • Several local and regional LGBT political groups in Florida formed the network Organizations United Together (OUT), in order to increase visibility and address equality issues throughout the state.
  • The New Yorker profiled openly gay Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. (And if you didn’t catch Frank in November on NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, go do so. It’s hysterical. Frank, as I’ve noted before, has a sense of humor, despite his curmudgeonly demeanor.)
  • A New York appeals court upheld an earlier ruling that said government departments must honor marriages of same-sex couples that were granted by jurisdictions outside of New York state
  • A group of pastors in Cleveland has failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a referendum ballot that could repeal the city’s domestic partner registry.
  • Sam Adams was sworn in as the mayor of Portland, Oregon, making the Rose City the largest in the U.S. with an openly gay mayor. From here in Boston, we’ll raise a glass of, well, you know.
  • Vermont State Senator John Campbell (D-Quechee) has introduced a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry, and grants religious institutions the right to deny performing the marriages.

Around the world:

  • The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) condemned Senegal for sentencing nine gay men to eight years in prison over “indecent conduct and unnatural acts.” “Homosexual acts” are illegal in Senegal.
  • Openly gay Justice Edwin Cameron was appointed a Judge on South Africa’s Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country.
  • The Swedish Embassy in Vietnam will help fund a new campaign aimed at reducing violence against lesbians and promoting LGBT human rights. (I think it’s just a plot to ensure the success of a future IKEA superstore in Hanoi, myself.)