Weekly Political Roundup

  • FlagsSenate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin said he expects the full Senate to take up Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DSDT) repeal in September, after the August recess.
  • Former National Guard Lt. Dan Choi, one of the leading advocates for the repeal of DADT, has been officially discharged from the military. Choi and others were also arrested in Las Vegas after a protest urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to do more to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA).
  • A U.S. District Judge issued an injunction preventing Arizona from enforcing a law that would have prevented the non-spouse domestic partners of state employees (and the partners’ children) from receiving health benefits.
  • A new poll found that one in four Californians has become more supportive of gay rights over the last five years, compared with eight percent who had become more opposed (although we should be careful not to place too much faith in polls as predictors of voting outcomes).
  • Seven same-sex couples in Montana, represented by the ACLU, filed a lawsuit against the state for failing to provide legal protections to same-sex couples and their families.
  • LGBT rights supporters in New Jersey are gearing up for a state Supreme Court battle over the right to marry.
  • A Young Republican group in Wisconsin failed in its effort to keep openly lesbian Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) off the ballot. Baldwin used her campaign address rather than her voting address, on nomination papers, after threats led to a recommendation by the U.S. Capitol police that she keep her home address private. The Young Republicans claimed that the lack of a home address invalidated her papers.

Around the world:

  • The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) was given “consultative status” from the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), permitting it to attend ECOSOC meetings, submit written statements, and participate in various other U.N. functions. Its membership had initially been blocked by a group of countries within the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (part of ECOSOC), but with U.S. support, it succeeded in the full commission. President Obama issued a statement applauding the move (but incorrectly referring to the ILGHRC, not the IGLHRC).
  • LGBT activists in Scotland are pressuring the Scottish government to grant full marriage equality to same-sex couples.