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State Of Equality Round-Up: May 2-6, 2011

May 02, 2011 6:20 pm ET by Equality Matters staff

To check out last week's State of Equality Round-Up, click here.

CA: Senate Committee Rejects Bill To Give Proposition 8 Supporters Legal Standing

HI: Governor Signs Transgender Employment Non-Discrimination Bill Into Law

TN: “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Too Late For House Passage This Year


Wednesday: Attorney General Argues Proposition 8 Defenders Have No Standing. California Attorney General Kamala Harris submitted an amicus brief on Monday arguing that only public officials have the authority to represent the state when laws are legally challenged. Prop 8’s supporters are currently attempting to prove they have standing to defend the law in court. 

Thursday: Senate Committee Rejects Bill To Give Proposition 8 Supporters Legal Standing. The California Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 to reject a bill that would give private citizens the right to defend ballot initiatives in court. If the ball has passed the state legislature, it would have given supporter of Proposition 8 legal standing to defend the law in court. 


Thursday: Governor Signs Transgender Employment Non-Discrimination Bill Into Law. Governor Neil Abercrombie signed House Bill 546 into law on Monday. The bill explicitly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. 


Monday: City Commission Likely To Reverse Historic Non-Discrimination Ordinance. The City Commission of Manhattan, Kansas will debate the repeal of the city’s sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination ordinance, which just barely passed earlier this year. Two of the original supporters of the ordinance have been replaced by opponents of the policy, making it likely that it will soon be repealed.


Wednesday: First Openly Gay Supreme Court Justice Confirmed. The Massachusetts Governor’s Council voted 5-3 to confirm Barbara A. Link to the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, making her the first openly gay judge to serve on that body. 


Monday: House Committee Passes Marriage Ban Amendment. The Minnesota House Civil Law Committee voted 10-7 Monday to advance a bill that would allow voters to approve an amendment to the state’s constitution that would define marriage as being between one man and woman.

New York

Monday: Previous “No” Vote Has Decided On Marriage Equality But Won’t Tell. State Senator James Alesi (R-Perinton) announced he knows which way he will vote on the issue of marriage equality but isn’t declaring it publicly, saying he doesn’t want to sway the votes of other Republicans if a marriage equality bill comes up for a full vote.

Tuesday: Governor Is “Optimistic” About Marriage Equality Bill. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was “optimistic” that the Senate would find the 32 votes needed to pass a state marriage equality bill in the six weeks remaining in the current legislative session. 


Tuesday: House To Introduce Constitutional Amendment To Ban Gay Marriage. Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Chairman Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) announced the introduction of a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. 

Rhode Island

Wednesday: Marriage Equality Activists Rally In Opposition To Civil Unions Bill. Proponents of marriage equality rallied in front of the Rhode Island Statehouse Tuesday to oppose House Speaker Gordon Fox’s decision to abandon same-sex marriage legislation in exchange for a civil unions bill. Fox argued that a full marriage equality bill had no chance of passing the State Senate. The civil union bill was formally introduced in the House Tuesday. 


Wednesday: “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Too Late For House Passage This Year. A Tennessee bill that would prohibit the discussion of homosexuality in public schools won’t have time to get a hearing in the House this year. The bill is still scheduled for a Senate floor vote Thursday. 

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