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State Of Equality Round-Up: May 16-20, 2011

May 19, 2011 2:22 pm ET by Equality Matters staff

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


Wednesday: Anti-Gay Groups Rally Against Transgender Rights Bill. A number of anti-gay groups rallied at the Connecticut state capitol building in order to protest an upcoming transgender rights bill, repeating the ridiculous claim that it would allow child molesters to enter women’s restrooms to prey on young girls.


Friday: House Votes Against Anti-Bullying Measure. The Louisiana House voted against a bill which would have established standards for public school anti-bullying policies and prohibited bullying and harassment against students in public elementary and secondary schools. 


Wednesday: House Committee Advances Marriage Amendment. The Minnesota House Rules Committee voted 13-12 to advance a bill that would allow voters to approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Governor Mark Dayon declared that he opposed the amendment “with every fiber of my being.”

Friday: Marriage Amendment Vote Still Pending. A bill that would allow voters to approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage is still awaiting a final vote in the House. The vote must take place by Monday night at the latest. 


Tuesday: State Assembly Approves Adding Gender Identity To Employment Discrimination Law. The Nevada State Assembly voted in favor of a bill that would codify prohibitions against employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity/expression into state law. The bill has previously been passed by the assembly but required a vote to agree to minor amendments. It now awaits the approval of Governor Brian Sandoval.

New York

Thursday: Senator Introduces Bill To Void Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages. New York Senator Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) introduced a bill today that would void same-sex marriages performed outside of New York. A similar bill was introduced in 2009 but failed in the then-Democratic-led Senate 38-24.


Monday: House Votes To Kill Anti-Bullying Bill. The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 44-52 to defeat a bill that would have strengthened reporting and training requirements for bullying prevention programs in the state’s public schools as well as added cyber bullying to the list of “prohibited behaviors.”

Rhode Island

Wednesday: House Committee Advances Civil Unions Bill. The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee voted 9 to 3 to advance a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. The bill has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle, including activists who argue that a civil unions bill would confer second-class status on gays and lesbians.

Friday: House Passes Civil Unions Bill. The Rhode Island House voted 62 to 11 to approve a measure that would allow same-sex couples to entire into civil unions in the state. An amendment to reaffirm the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman was introduced but did not come to a vote. 

South Carolina

Tuesday: Spartanburg County Council Refuses To Acknowledge LGBT Day. The Spartanburg County Council refused to sign a proclamation which would have designated June 4 as LGBT Day in the county. When asked by a local gay rights group to acknowledge the day, Council Chairman Jeff Horton responded with a one word email: “No.”


Wednesday: Anti-City Ordinance Bill Moves To Governor’s Desk. The Tennessee House gave final approval to a bill that would prohibit cities and counties from requiring government contractors to abandon their anti-gay employment policies. The bill now moves to Governor Bill Haslam’s desk for final approval. 

Friday: “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Passes Senate. A bill that would prohibit the teaching of homosexuality in Tennessee public schools passed the State Senate 20-11 today. Critics have argued that the bill would undermine efforts to combat homophobia and anti-gay bullying. The bill is unlikely to have time to pass through the Tennessee House in this session.


Tuesday: Governor Targets Hospital Visitation Rights For Same-Sex Couples. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has filed a motion arguing that a law providing same-sex couples with hospital visitation rights violates the state’s constitution and asking to be allowed to refuse to defend the law in court.

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