State Of Equality Round-Up: April 18-22, 2011
April 19, 2011 6:04 pm ET by Equality Matters staff
To check out last week's State of Equality Round-Up, click here.
Monday: Governor Brewer Signs Bill Preferring Married Couples For Adoptions. Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law that would give married, heterosexual couples preference when adopting children. Conservative groups overwhelmingly supported the bill.
Monday: Battle Emerges Over Proposition 8 Trial Footage. A new legal battle has emerged over footage taken of the 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, which ultimately found California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. Opponents of the measure want the footage to be released, while supporters of Prop 8 are arguing that the footage’s release violates a Supreme Court order.
Wednesday: Supreme Court Upholds Lesbian’s “De Facto” Parental Rights. The Delaware Supreme Court has resolved a 7-year-old custody dispute between two-women whose ten-year relationship ended just 13 months after one of them adopted a child. The court ruled that the non-adoptive mother had “de facto” parental rights in over the child because she had established sufficient bonds to be a “de facto” parent.
Monday: State Legislature Passes Transgender Employment Protections Bill. The Hawaii House voted 45-4 to approve a bill that would codify non-discrimination protections for transgender Hawaiians into law. The bill awaits final approval from Governor Neil Abercrombie, who has already voiced his support for the bill.
Friday: House Speaker Effectively Kills Effort To Impeach Pro-Equality Supreme Court Justices. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen effectively ended an effort by Republican House members to impeach for Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in 2009. The resolution to impeach the justices was sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which is not scheduled to meet for the remainder of the 2011 legislative session.
Thursday: District Judge Rules Against Same-Sex Couples Seeking Legal Protections. A District Judge ruled Tuesday that same-sex couples were not entitled to the same rights and benefits as married couples because an amendment to the Montana Constitution defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Monday: Inclusive ENDA Passes State Assembly. The Nevada State Assembly voted 29-13 to pass the state’s Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which expands employment protections to cover the state’s transgender community. The bill now moves to the State Senate.
Friday: Lawmakers Advance Three Transgender Rights Bills. Three transgender nondiscrimination bills are advancing in the Nevada legislature. The bills would include gender identity and expression protections against employment and public accommodation discrimination as well as in the state’s hate crime law.
Thursday: Governor Launches Campaign To Legalize Marriage For Gay And Lesbian Couples. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a campaign to legalize marriage equality in his state, helping to form a coalition of gay rights groups and activists called New Yorkers United for Marriage.
Wednesday: Patrick Murphy To Run For State Attorney General. Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, who led Congress’s effort to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), has announced that he intends to run for the position of state attorney general in 2012.
Wednesday: Hate Crime Bill Expected To Be Reintroduced. In the wake of the brutal beating of a gay man in Rock Hill, South Carolina State Rep. John King is planning to reintroduce a hate crimes bill that would include crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation. Several Republican legislators and the state’s governor have already come out in opposition to the bill.
Thursday: Senate Advances Bill Barring Gay Education. The Tennessee Senate Education Committee voted 6-3 to advance a bill that would require the state Board of Education to determine if homosexuality was being taught in schools and eventually adopt a ban on discussion of homosexuality in kindergarten through eighth-grade classrooms.
Wednesday: Senate To Vote On Transgender Marriage Ban. The Texas Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would prevent transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex. Transgender people would still be able to use their driver’s licenses to obtain marriage licenses, but some say the “legislative intent” of the bill will result in those marriages being deemed invalid.
Thursday: State Board Votes Against Allowing Same-Sex Couples To Adopt. The Virginia State Board of Social Services voted 7-2 yesterday against new regulations that some say would have allowed same-sex couples to adopt children in the state for the first time.