Flags

  • A California state senator introduced a bill to bring property-tax relief to surviving domestic partners who inherited real estate from a partner who died before 2006.
  • An openly gay Illinois state representative introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill is titled the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act” to address concerns that clergy would have to perform same-sex marriages.
  • A high-school principal in Fort Wayne, Indiana, issued a written warning to a journalism teacher and is demanding that he approve all future issues of the school paper, after a student wrote an editorial in favor of tolerance towards those who “have a different sexuality than you.” (Thanks to Blogging Baby.)
  • Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey of Lambertville, New Jersey, became the state’s first couple to unite in a legal civil union. Their seven-year-old daughter was the flower girl.
  • New Jersey also took a step towards equality when the State Supreme Court ruled that students who are harassed by others may sue the school district if it fails to take “reasonable steps” to stop the behavior. The decision stemmed from the case of a boy who was physically and verbally harassed for several years by classmates who thought he was gay.
  • The Rhode Island Attorney General issued an advisory opinion saying the state should recognize the Massachusetts same-sex marriages of state employees and offer the same benefits. The state Board of Governors for Higher Education requested the opinion, which is not binding. The AG said his sister’s recent marriage to her partner of 18 years had no bearing on his decision.
  • The Utah House gave final approval to a measure intended to ban gay-straight alliance clubs at public high schools. It now goes to the governor. The measure bans clubs that “involve human sexuality” or threaten the “moral well-being” of students. [Update: LGBT-advocacy group Equality Utah is saying that if the bill is applied correctly, it would still allow gay-straight alliances.]
  • A measure is moving through the Virginia General Assembly that would give hospital patients the authority to choose their visitors. While not specifically an LGBT-rights bill, LGBT-rights advocates are hailing it as an important protection for same-sex couples.
  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court said it will rule on whether the city of Green Bay and other Wisconsin municipalities can intervene in a lawsuit brought by gay and lesbian state employees to obtain health insurance benefits for their partners. The municipalities are concerned this would require them to provide such benefits as well.
  • A bill that would have barred Wyoming from recognizing gay marriages from other states died in committee. The state already has a statute defining marriage as one man-one woman.

Around the world:

  • The French Appeals Court ruled that a lesbian non-bio mother could only legally adopt her partner’s child if the bio-mother renounced her own parental rights. If the couple were married, they could both be legal parents. France, however, only grants limited rights to same-sex couples, and does not allow them to marry.
  • The Irish Parliament defeated legislation to legalize same-sex unions. The government said the proposed bill would not comply with the constitution, but that they would introduce their own legislation later this year to protect the rights of all unmarried couples.
  • The Irish lesbian couple who failed to get the High Court to recognize their Canadian marriage have appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi quit his post, leaving in limbo the fate of a bill granting same-sex couples certain protections.