Weekly Political Roundup

Flags

  • U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill to amend the Fair Housing Act to ban housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • The commissioners of Kissimmee, Florida voted to allow city employees to cover their unmarried domestic partners under the city’s health and dental insurance plan.
  • The Oklahoma state Senate approved an amendment to opt out of federal hate crimes protections for LGBT people. The measure now heads to the House for consideration. (Oklahoma, you may recall, had a law prohibiting the state from recognizing adoptions by same-sex couples from other states and countries, until a federal judge struck it down in 2006.)
  • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told state agencies not to discriminate based on sexual orientation, despite Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli’s letter last week telling public colleges to change any anti-discrimination policies that included such protections.
  • Washington, D.C., along with Mexico City, celebrated the first weddings of same-sex couples this week.

Around the world:

  • Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa wrote a must-read piece about gay rights in Africa and the role of the Church.
  • The government of New South Wales, Australia is the first in the world officially to recognize an individual’s gender as “not specified”.
  • Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, confirmed that the country began paying for gender reassignment surgery procedures for transgender citizens in 2008.
  • Mexico City, along with Washington, D.C., celebrated the first weddings of same-sex couples this week.
  • TIME profiled a lesbian couple in Uganda, and their struggle to live under one of the most repressive anti-LGBT regimes in the world.