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State Of Equality Round-Up: May 9-13, 2011

May 10, 2011 6:04 pm ET by Equality Matters staff

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


Tuesday: Right-Wing Groups Organize To Fight Transgender Rights Bill. Anti-gay and religious groups are working together to defeat a transgender rights bill, call it a “bathroom bill” and fear mongering about sexual predators in women’s bathrooms.


Thursday: Civil Unions Bill Signed Into Law By Governor. Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a bill that allows same-sex couples to enter into civil union into law, making Delaware the eight state to allow civil unions or domestic partnerships for gays and lesbians. The law will take effect January 1, 2012. 


Wednesday: Transgender Plaintiffs Sue State Over Birth Certificates. Three transgender people are suing the state of Illinois over its refusal to change the sex on their birth certificates. The plaintiffs claim the state is in violation of its Vital Records Act, which allows the sex on a birth certificate to be changed if a doctor deems it necessary, even if genital surgery has not been completed. 


Monday: House Approves Penalty For Colleges Offering Domestic Partner Benefits. The Michigan House voted Thursday to approve an amendment to the state education budget. The amendment would penalize state colleges and universities five percent for offering domestic partner benefits to same-sex or unmarried partners.


Monday: Marriage Amendment Headed To Full Senate Vote. The Senate Rules Committee approved Friday a bill that would put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage up to a public vote. Opponents argued that there was no need to rush through the amendment process this year.

Wednesday: Senate Approves Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment. The Minnesota Senate voted 38-27 to approve a bill that would put a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage up to a public vote in 2012. The bill now moves to the House where it is expected to pass. 

New York

Tuesday: Marriage Equality Bill Introduced In State Assembly. New York Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell introduced a marriage equality bill, A7600, into the State Assembly today. The bill has passed in the Assembly three times since 2007.

Tuesday: NOM Pledges $1.5 To Defeating Marriage Equality In New York. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) announced that it would be willing to spend $500,000 on advertising and lobbying efforts against marriage equality in Albany as well as $1 million to fund and oppose specific candidates in the 2012 legislative elections.


Monday: House Does 180 On Cuts To HIV Drug Assistance Program. The Ohio House reversed a proposed $200,000 budget cut to the state’s HIV Drug Assistance Program, instead providing it with a $300,000 funding increase. The change was credited to State Rep. David Burke, a Republican.

Tuesday: Federal Judge Sides With Lesbian In Employment Discrimination Case. A federal judge ruled in favor of an Ohio woman who sued her county for discriminating against her because of her sexual orientation, deciding that the plaintiff’s claim falls under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Rhode Island

Wednesday: Hearing Planned For Civil Unions Bill. Rhode Island House lawmakers are planning to hold a hearing on a proposed civil unions bill Wednesday night, despite ongoing opposition from gay groups hoping to resurrect marriage equality legislation. 


Wednesday: Bill Outlawing Local Anti-Discrimination Laws Moves To Full Senate. A bill that would prohibit local governments from creating non-discrimination laws that are stronger than the state’s is moving to a full Senate vote after being approved by the Senate State and Local Government committee on Monday. The bill would void Nashville’s ordinance prohibiting city contractors from discriminating against gays and lesbians. 


Monday: Plurality Of Virginians Support Marriage Equality, Majority Supports Same-Sex Adoption Rights. A new poll reveals that 47% of Virginians now support marriage equality, while 55% support allowing same-sex couples to adopt. The poll demonstrates a dramatic shift in public opinion for a state that only five years ago approved to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. 

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