Weekly Political Roundup

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  • Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), along with Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act in their respective houses. The Act would offer the same benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees as to opposite-sex married spouses.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has updated Healthcare.gov to include a new tool that lets small businesses find insurance plans that offer domestic partner or same-sex partner coverage.
  • The California Supreme Court said supporters of Proposition 8 have the standing to defend Prop 8 in federal court, even though state officials are not doing so.
  • Anti-LGBT advocates in California filed papers to try and get an initiative on the November 2012 ballot asking voters to remove provisions from the FAIR Education Act that require schools to include information about the historical contributions of LGBT people, among others, in social studies courses and prohibit schools from adopting materials that discriminate against LGBT people.
  • Colorado State Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D), who is openly gay, was elected minority leader.
  • The Massachusetts legislature passed a bill protecting transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment, and credit. Governor Deval Patrick (D) has said he will sign it.
  • LGBT advocates in Washington said they would push the legislature to enact marriage equality in 2012, but those in Oregon said they would not pursue a ballot measure for equality next year.