FlagsA weekly summary of LGBT political news highlights for busy parents.

  • Freedom to Marry has launched Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, a bipartisan coalition of over 80 mayors who have pledged to support marriage for same-sex couples.
  • Indiana has begun to issue a license plate designed to raise awareness about LGBT youth issues—the first state to do so. Funds will go to the Indiana Youth Group. South Carolina also began to offer an LGBT-related plate, with funds going to the South Carolina Equality Foundation. (And just to make sure you click through to some of the sites I list here, you can check out the above links to find out the first state ever to issue an LGBT-related plate.)
  • Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) signed the Transgender Rights Bill.
  • Omaha, Nebraska City Councilman Ben Gray (D) wants the Council to consider a measure to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. But State Senator Beau McCoy (R) has introduced a bill that would ban cities and local governments from creating such protections, saying such power should be reserved to the state. Zack Ford at Think Progress points out that if McCoy was really interested in consistent policies, he’d also propose a statewide anti-discrimination bill covering sexual orientation or gender identity. But he hasn’t.
  • The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing and a vote Tuesday, January 24 at 11:00 a.m. ET, on a bill to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.
  • Microsoft has said it will join Nike and other companies in supporting a bill to legalize marriage for same-sex couples in Washington State. (Insert obligatory joke about hoping the bill doesn’t crash like Windows.)

Around the world:

  • The Canadian Department of Justice caused a scare when it said a lesbian couple who married in Canada should not be granted a divorce because they were not residents of Canada at the time of their marriage, and therefore it was not legal. Several LGBT legal groups in the U.S. issued a statement saying they do not believe the ruling will invalidate other marriages.
  • The Swedish government has said it will not change a 1970s law that requires transgender people to undergo sterilization before the state will recognise their gender identity.