State Of Equality Round-Up: May 23-27, 2011
May 24, 2011 12:17 pm ET by Carlos Maza
To check out last week's State of Equality Round-Up, click here.
Wednesday: House Approves Transgender Discrimination Bill. The Connecticut State House voted 77-62 to approve a bill that would include gender identity and expression into the states existing statutes prohibiting discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, and credit applications.
Friday: Senate Approves Anti-Bullying Bill. The Connecticut State Senate voted 36-0 to approve a bill that would expand anti-bulling protections to include out-of-school harassment by cell phone, email, or social networking sites.
Friday: Catholic Adoption Agencies End Services Over Civil Unions. The Rockford Diocese in Illinois have decided to end its state-funded adoption and foster-care programs rather than place children with gay couples in civil unions.
Tuesday: Equality Maryland May Face Shutdown. Equality Maryland, one of the state’s leading pro-LGBT groups, could face a shutdown in the near future due to financial problems. The group’s interim executive director, Lynne Bowman, has left the state for Ohio and is unsure when she will return.
Monday: Senate Approves Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment. The Minnesota Senate voted 70-62 over the weekend to approve a measure to put a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2012. Since the vote, Republicans in the Minnesota Senate have reportedly been blocking emails from constituents opposed to the amendment. Junior Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has come out in opposition to the measure, as has the White House.
Wednesday: Governor Dayton Issues Symbolic Veto. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued a symbolic veto of the recently passed anti-gay bill that would put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2012.
Monday: Assembly Passes Two More Transgender Protection Bills. The Nevada State Assembly voted Monday to pass two bills protecting transgender people from discrimination. One bill would add transgender people to the list of groups protected from discrimination in housing or rental agreements, while the other would prohibit discrimination in public places on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. Both bills now wait for Governor Brian Sandoval’s signature.
Monday: Republican State Senator Attends Pride Event. Republican State Senator James Alesi, who has previously voted against New York’s marriage equality bill, briefly attended an Empire State Pride Agenda dinner over the weekend, raising hopes that he would vote in favor of the bill this year. Sen. Alesi distanced himself from that claim, stating:
These are all my constituents and there is absolutely no way anyone can create a barricade for me when it comes to my constituents. It’s me doing my job.
Monday: Governor Sings Law Prohibiting City/County Non-Discrimination Protections. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill that would prohibit cities and counties from instituting employment non-discrimination protections that are stronger than those required by the state. The law vacates Nashville’s plan to extend non-discrimination requirements to city contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Monday: El Paso Judge Upholds Denying Domestic Partner Benefits From City Employees. A federal judge in Texas upheld an ordinance requiring the city of El Paso to “uphold traditional family values,” arguing that the ordinance, which was approved by voters during the November 2010 elections, made domestic partners ineligible to receive city health benefits.
Tuesday: County Judge Deems Transgender Widow’s Marriage Invalid. A Wharton County judge in Texas declared that a transgender widow’s marriage to a local firefighter was invalid, disqualifying her from being eligible for death benefits.