Weekly Political Roundup

Flags

  • Next Tuesday, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Jared Polis (D-CO) will introduce legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
  • Lisa Keen has a nice summary of all the LGBT-related bills poised for action in Congress.
  • A new report from the Congressional Research Service Supreme Court says it is unclear whether previous Supreme Court rulings would support new laws protecting gay men and lesbians who want to serve openly in the military.
  • The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) on Wednesday, September 23.
  • Six more openly LGBT Democrats are on track to join the 447-member Democratic National Committee as at-large members. They will be confirmed next weekend by a committee member vote.
  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has stripped domestic partner benefits from Arizona state employees, leaving approximately 800 people without health insurance, among other protections.
  • Roman Catholic churches in Maine plan a second Mass collection this weekend to help the referendum campaign to overturn marriage equality.
  • The New York State Senate could vote on a proposed marriage equality bill later this month. Sen. Tom Duane (D), who is openly gay, said a vote could occur in a special session called by Gov. David Paterson (D). If it does, Duane believes the measure will pass.
  • The Ohio Legislature may soon consider a measure to prohibit employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Democratic-controlled House may vote on it next week. The Republican-controlled Senate could stop it in its tracks, however.
  • The Washington, D.C. Council is set to consider a marriage equality bill that will be introduced soon by David A. Catania, one of two openly gay members of the council. Catania said the bill has 10 co-sponsors, enough to ensure its approval by the council. The bill would then need to pass congressional review, which is where the real fun starts.
  • A federal judge says the names of those who signed a petition in favor of putting Referendum 71 on the Washington ballot must be kept private. The referendum would vote on whether to keep a set of expanded benefits for same-sex couples. Two LGBT-rights groups had wanted to post the names online.

Around the world:

  • British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has issued an apology for the “appalling way” his country treated mathematician Alan Turing. Turing was convicted of “gross indecency” (being gay) in 1952 and sentenced to chemical castration. He took his own life in 1954.
  • Iran may soon see its first marriage of a woman to a transgender man. The woman’s father must give permission, as for all marriages, but he has said he will as long as his daughter’s future spouse undergoes a medical examination “to prove the relationship will be that of a typical male-female couple.”
  • British honourary consul John Terry was found murdered at his home in Jamaica, in what police believe is a homophobic attack.