Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:
1. A spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry confirmed that the likely GOP presidential candidate supports a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Social conservatives have criticized Perry for saying last week that he’s “fine” with New York’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage because it’s a states’ rights issue. On Tuesday spokesman Mark Miner defended the governor’s anti-marriage-equality record. Meanwhile, even though he hasn’t yet entered the race, Perry is polling just two points behind frontrunner Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, putting them in a statistical tie.
2. An anti-gay group has been cleared to gather signatures for a referendum seeking to overturn California’s new law requiring schools to teach the contributions of LGBT people in social studies lessons, The New York Times reports. Senate Bill SB 48 was signed into law last month and is the first of its kind in the nation. The anti-gay group, called Stop SB48, will need to gather 504,760 by Oct. 12 to get the referendum on the ballot.
3. Only about 30 percent of workers in the U.S. have access to health benefits for same-sex partners, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It marks the first time that the bureau’s National Compensation Survey has included data on DP benefits. “While encouraging, these data show that 70 percent of employees still do not have access to health care benefits for same-sex partners,” said Williams Institute Executive Director Brad Sears. “And while the report leaves out federal employees, including over 2 million civilian employees, they are currently also not provided health benefits for same-sex partners.”