Weekly Political Roundup

Lots of marriage-related news this week. I do like to cover other political topics here, but this week just happens to be matrimonially inclined.

  • A broad coalition of civil rights, labor, progressive, faith, student, health, legal, women’s, and LGBT organizations, led by Freedom to Marry and HRC, announced support of the federal Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
  • U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced new regulations to ensure that HUD’s core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a U.S. District Court judge was in error when he decided that videotapes of the Proposition 8 trial (regarding California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples) were part of the trial record and should be released.
  • Marriage equality advocates in Maine announced plans for a Citizens Initiative that would place a question on the November 2012 ballot asking voters to approve marriage for same-sex couples.
  • A marriage equality bill passed a New Jersey Assembly committee, and looks set to move through the full Assembly and Senate in the coming weeks. Governor Chris Christie (R) has said he will veto the bill.
  • The effort to pass a ballot measure in North Carolina that would prohibit marriage of same-sex couples under the state constitution may have gotten more difficult. Now that Governor Beverly Perdue (D) has said she will not run for reelection, more Democrats are expected to go to the polls this May, when the ballot measure will appear. That may give marriage equality supporters a better chance of defeating the measure.
  • A marriage equality bill passed the Washington State Senate, and looks likely to pass the House next week. Governor Chris Gregoire (D) has said she will sign it, but opponents have said they will attempt to put the measure before voters on the November 2012 ballot.

Around the world:

  • Same-sex couples in Australia can now apply for a “Certificate of No Impediment,” a document required before they can marry in  several other countries that allow same-sex couples to wed.
  • PinkNews.co.uk has an interesting piece on the gay community in Bangladesh, where same-sex intercourse is punishable by life in prison.
  • Transgender advocates are concerned that a recent regulation in Canada could have an impact on transgender people’s ability to use air travel. The regulation states:  ” An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if … the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents.”
  •  Scotland could see a draft bill for marriage equality by mid-2013, and have it pass as law by the end of that year.