Weekly Political Roundup

FlagsThe California Supreme Court has announced they will make the Prop 8 ruling this coming Tuesday, May 26. HRC Backstory has a good analogy about the legal issues under consideration.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised equal benefits to same-sex partners of U.S. diplomatic corps employees stationed overseas, according to Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA), head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Advocate has obtained a draft letter from Sec. Clinton to the same effect.
  • The Obama administration accepted an appeals-court ruling that said officials could argue the merits in an individual case of an Air Force officer being dismissed under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The case will therefore return to the district court.
  • Meanwhile, the Air Force dismissed Lt. Col. Victor J. Fehrenbach, a decorated combat aviator who had been handpicked to fly sorties above Washington, D.C. after the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001. Catch him on Rachel Maddow.
  • Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, met with President Obama to discuss the Hate Crimes Act, aka the Matthew Shepard Act. Obama assured her he still supported it.
  • Mainline Protestant clergy are increasingly supportive of expanded rights for gay men and lesbians, according to a new report from Public Religion Research.
  • Colorado LGBT activist Pat Steadman won a special election and will become the first openly gay man in the state senate. Openly gay Jared Polis won election last year as a U.S. Rep. from Colorado.
  • Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed a bill giving same-sex partners of state employees access to the same benefits as married spouses.
  • The Illinois General Assembly is expected to approve a civil union bill next week.
  • Nevada governor Jim Gibbons said he will veto a domestic partnership bill passed by the legislature The legislature is expected to override the veto.
  • After easily passing the Senate, a revised New Hampshire marriage equality bill failed by two votes to pass the House. A motion to kill the bill entirely then failed, but a request to send it to a conference committee with the Senate passed. The new deadline for a vote is June 25.
  • Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has urged New York’s Republican Party to support marriage equality.
  • J.W. Lown, mayor of San Angelo, Texas, resigned to live in Mexico with his partner, a Mexican national who does not have legal status in the U.S.
  • Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a domestic partnership law giving same-sex couples the same rights as married couples, except the name.
  • U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Dan Boren (D-OK) introduced “The D.C. Defense of Marriage Act” that would define marriage as between one man and one woman, banning a measure that would allow Washington, D.C. to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions.

Around the world:

  • Mariela Castro, director of Cuba’s official Sex Education Center and daughter of President Raul Castro, led a gay rights rally Saturday.
  • France has demedicalized transsexuality by taking it out of its list of mental disorders.
  • Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) will draw up guidelines for hospitals on recognizing same-sex relationships and the partners of patients.
  • British LGBT advocate Peter Tachell explains why Moscow’s Slavic Gay Pride protest last Saturday was a huge success, despite its suppression by police.