Equality Texas lauds House committee’s decision to advance bipartisan anti-bullying bill

Rep. Diane Patrick

The Texas House Committee on Public Education voted 10-1 today to advance a bipartisan anti-bullying bill, authored by Republican Rep. Diane Patrick of Arlington. The bill, a committee substitute for Patrick’s HB 1942, doesn’t specifically protect LGBT youth but incorporates much of the language from another anti-bullying bill by Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin. For example, Patrick’s bill would update the definition of bullying to include cyberbullying, and it would allow the bully, instead of just the victim, to be transferred to another classroom or campus. Strama’s bill had the backing of Equality Texas, which now plans to support Patrick’s bill. The text of the committee’s substitute for Patrick’s bill wasn’t immediately available on the Legislature’s website, but Equality Texas provides details of the measure in a press release below.

—  John Wright

Updates from California and Hawaii

The California Supreme Court justices announced today that they will be issuing an opinion on whether YesOn8.com, the group that successfully pushed for Proposition 8 amending the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage there, has standing to appeal Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.

That announcement further delays the 9th Court of Appeals’ consideration of the appeal in the case that could ultimately end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Further west, news coming out of Hawaii was much more positive, as a bill creating civil unions for same-sex couples  cleared its final legislative hurdle and is headed to the governor’s desk.

Although Republican then-Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed essentially the same bill last July. But current Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he will sign it into law.

—  admin

Virginia Republican Introduces Bill Attacking LGBT Families

On Thursday, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced H.R. 635, the “Parental Title Protection Act,” which would require all federal agencies and contractors to use the words “mother” and “father” when describing parents on all official documents and forms. This bill is a direct attack on actions by the State Department, which we told you about last month, to make passport forms inclusive of all families by adding “parent 1” and “parent 2” alongside “mother” and “father.” In a press release, Forbes argues that “symbolism is important” and that his legislation is necessary to prevent even “subtle” changes that “undermine the traditional American family relationships that have served as the bedrock of our nation since its inception.”   

Forbes’ bill ignores the reality of millions of children being raised by same-sex couples in this country.  Those children deserve the same recognition and protection from the federal government that other American families enjoy.  Rep. Forbes is right that symbolism is important – his bill is emblematic of a brand of Republicans callously willing, time after time, to attack LGBT people and their children in order to score cheap political points.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  David Taffet

What’s Brewing: Key Prop 8 decision coming; marriage ban advances in Ind.; Gaga hatefest

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The California Supreme Court is set to consider today whether it believes Prop 8 supporters have legal standing to defend the same-sex marriage ban in federal court, after state officials refused to do so. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is currently reviewing the case, has asked the California Supreme Court for an opinion on the matter. And the decision about standing could determine whether the Prop 8 case applies only to California or affects same-sex marriage throughout the country. In other words, this is kinda big.

2. If and when same-sex marriage bans are ultimately declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, Indiana apparently wants to be one of the states that was on the wrong side of history. Indiana’s newly Republican-dominated House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would ban not only same-sex marriage, but also civil unions and domestic partnerships. The good news is the amendment can’t actually appear on the ballot until 2014 because it must first be approved by two separately elected legislatures. But in case it hadn’t dawned on you yet, those tea party nuts were lying to your face when they said they only care about fiscal issues.

3. Some gays are turning against Lady Gaga and rejecting their own so-called anthem, “Born This Way,” according to various media reports including this one. But the most amusing critique we’ve seen thus far comes from the Zeitgeisty Report, which suggests that Gaga HATES gay people: “Take for instance the very first part of the song where Gaga comes right out and accuses gay people of having paws instead of hands or feet. Yep, Lady Gaga officially thinks gay people are animals.”

—  John Wright

How can you tell a gay Republican is self-loathing? (Hint: His lips are moving)

No, not all gay Republicans are self-loathing. And of late, a number of Republicans, both gay straight, have really done a great job advancing marriage equality – a shockingly good job, really. But then, there’s always guys like this one to remind us of how far they still have to go.

It’s always fun when someone who comes off totally gay complains about guys who come off totally gay. (About 2:15 into the video – Ebone Bell of Metro Weekly does a good job of hosting the video.)




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

What’s Brewing: Man confesses to murder of gay activist in Uganda; equality under attack in Utah

David Kato

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A man has confessed to the murder of Ugandan gay-rights activist David Kato, who was beaten to death with a hammer in his home last week. If you’ll remember, Kato had been outed by an anti-gay newspaper that called for him to be killed, and had received death threats since then. But the government-sanctioned cover-up is well under way: An anonymous police source is telling the media that the suspect killed Kato because he failed to pay him for sex.

2. Speaking of Uganda, the U.S.-based group that’s been linked to “kill gays” legislation in that country, the Fellowship, was also the sponsor of this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., which was attended by President Barack Obama, among others. The LGBT direct action group GetEQUAL protested outside the event.

3. And sticking with this morning’s theme of religious-based bigotry and oppressive regimes, a Utah GOP lawmaker has filed legislation that LGBT advocates say would gut local nondiscrimination ordinances and nullify directives between same-sex partners.

—  John Wright

More on Republican push for legislation to overturn DC marriage equality

Joe posted yesterday about Rep. Jim Jordan’s comments that he will push for Congress to overturn DC’s marriage equality. Shortly after, the Log Cabin Republicans responded to the story in an interview with Metro Weekly.

“While Log Cabin Republicans support Chairman Jordan’s efforts to reign in government spending, we strongly protest a House vote that would be a direct incursion on state’s rights,” Cooper told Metro Weekly. “For the House of Representatives to roll back DC marriage equality would be an anti-conservative expansion of federal authority.”

As someone who is being attacked here as both a gay man and a disenfranchised DC voter, I have three immediate thoughts:

  1. It’s too bad that even when Republicans attack LGBT Americans, the Log Cabin Republicans won’t issue a response that doesn’t include praise. I guess the reality that people like Rep. Jordan just don’t like you doesn’t beat out their desire to be fully loyal to the Republican party.
  2. It’s important to really focus on Joe’s comments on the likelihood of this passing. While this effort has virtually no chance as a stand alone effort, it’s important to note those who are still pushing this and how they might inject it into other legislation. DC residents certainly know how we’re used as a pawn in Congress (think overturning gun control to kill voting rights).
  3. I’m sure the Log Cabin Republicans didn’t mean to confuse DC for a state (unless they’re announcing their support for statehood, which would be fantastic).




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

N.H. lawmakers seek to repeal gay marriage

Welcome to 2011, the year in which we’ll have to prove we still know how to play defense. Take, for example, New Hampshire, where state lawmakers have already filed four draft bills seeking to repeal same-sex marriage, which was legalized in 2008. It’s unclear how the bills would affect the 1,500 same-sex couples who married last year, but if you’ve always dreamed of tying the knot in the Granite State, you may want to hurry up and do it. The Telegraph reports:

While some House members work to craft the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, others could work through the spring to shape the repeal legislation, sending a bill to a vote by the end of the legislative session in July, said state Rep. Leo Pepino, a Manchester Republican, who introduced one of the proposals.

With a 297 to 103 advantage in the House, and a 19 to 5 divide in the Senate, Republicans could have the two-thirds majority necessary to override Gov. John Lynch, who has promised to veto any repeal bill.

In 2008, the Democratic-led legislature passed the marriage law with 198 votes in the House and 14 in the Senate, becoming the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.

“I think we have the votes (to repeal),” Pepino said last week. “We have a lot of really good conservatives and a good conservative doesn’t believe in gay marriage. … It’s a matter of ethics.”

—  John Wright

Cenk Uygur Asks GOProud’s Christopher Barron Why He’s a Republican: ‘They Don’t Even Like Who You Are’

Uygur_barron

MSNBC's Cenk Uygur talks to GOProud's Christopher Barron about the conservative exodus from CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) over GOProud's participation. 

Asks Uygur: "How can you with good conscience vote for a party that does not like you? They don't like who you are. They don't like your identity."

Claims Barron: "The conservative movement is absolutely welcoming to gay people….I have an easier time being openly gay with conservatives than I do being a conservative with gay people."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Republican Jon Kyl: DADT Repeal Could Cost Lives

Kyl
Republican Senator Jon Kyl appeared on FOX News Sunday this morning and told host Chris Wallace that the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" could cost American lives.

Wallace asked him to explain the difference between allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces and racial integration of the military. That's when Kyl ranted about lives being put at stake once the repeal goes into effect:

"From a constitutional stand point, this is not a constitutional right or a constitutional issue as was the issue of racial segregation. I frankly have to follow the lead of people like the commandant of the Marine Corps, like my colleague John McCain, who say when it comes especially to the small units who do the fighting on the ground, that the US Marine Corps, the Army combat troops, who according to the survey taken by the pentagon were 60 percent opposed to this. It could disrupt the unit cohesion. As the commandant said, cost lives. That means a lot to me."

"With regard to the US military, itself, it's got one function. That is to fight and fight well. And maybe to die. And the people who are responsible for that need to make a judgment about whether this will inhibit their ability to carry out that ultimate job that we ask them to do…I look at the combat fighters, the units on the ground…and they say this could cost lives."

Watch a clip of his nonsensical explanation here.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin