Happy Gay News for April 29, 2009

Hello dears!  Here’s the happy gay news for Wednesday, April 29, 2009:

U.S. House Passes Hate Crimes Bill

Not only is the Hate Crimes Bill looking promising, but it includes protections for my transgender friends!

The LLEHCPA (Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act) gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It provides the Justice Department with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable, by taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of violent crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury that were motivated by bias. It also makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers, or to assist in state and local investigations and prosecutions of bias motivated crimes.

President Obama issued this statement of support earlier in the week:

This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action.

So we’re not done yet, but I still think this kind of progress should be celebrated. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act still needs to be voted on in the Senate, so we’re not there yet, but it’s looking good.

http://www.fighthatenow.org

http://www.matthewshepard.org

New Hampshire Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill

I waver on if I should post stories like this.  Sometimes I think I should wait until the bill is officially law, but this bill looked like it was dead in the water, but then the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee had a change in heart and now supports the revised bill.  That is pretty darn happy!

The New Hampshire Senate approved a same-sex marriage bill Wednesday that puts the Granite state on the track to becoming the fifth state in the nation to do so.

The Senate voted 13 to 11 to do just that and then approved the new version of the same-sex marriage bill Wednesday afternoon. The amended bill must now go back to the House where victory was also snatched from a near defeat.

The House concurrence vote is likely to take place next week. Meanwhile, Democratic Governor John Lynch, who opposes same-sex marriage, looms as a wild card. The governor has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the measure.

Read more…

Colorado partner benefits bill heads to governor

Colorado would be a lovely place to work…

Legislation to provide health insurance and other benefits to the same-sex partners of Colorado state workers is on its way to the desk of Gov. Bill Ritter who is expected to sign it.

The state House passed the bill on a 34-30 vote on Tuesday.  It had already passed the Senate.

Read more…

England’s Equality Bill

I debated posting this one.  I do like the spirit of this bill, but I’m a little hesitant. Decide for yourself:

Analysis: New bill aims to entrench gay rights in all aspects of public life

‘Pride and Joy’ conference helps parents, kids connect

Too cool!

…250 individuals, including 45 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families, came together for three days to participate in educational workshops and social activities revolving around the joys and challenges of being part of a same-sex family.

Read more…

Have a happy evening all!

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Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Regarding Britain’s Equality Bill, what made you hesitant to mention it? I’m sure there will be some fierce debate over it, but I wonder if most of the debate will actually be within Britain’s Conservative party.

    About eight or nine years ago when the Tories were voting for a new party leader one of the front-runners was an MP who’d admitted to having had homosexual affairs as a young man. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name off the top of my head, but this was considered to be the reason he couldn’t win. And yet several prominent party members spoke out against homophobia in the Tory party.

    Even though it was several years ago, I do think it’s good news that members of Britain’s Tory party were willing to challenge the attitudes held by some of their colleagues.

  2. First, thanks for the history…I didn’t remember/know that.

    Ya know, I can’t really put my finger on what made me hesitate. What I hope the bill will do is help promote culture change to make the anti-gay movement as abhorrent as the KKK (which I’m not sure how many people in Europe know about the KKK, but you get my drift). Laws won’t change people’s hearts, but a culture change will. So if this law helps to make homophobia and transphobia socially unacceptable, then I think it is a really good thing.

  3. Some people might argue that there’s so much acceptance of LGBTQ people in Britain now that there’s not a need for this kind of law. And maybe that’s true. At the same time, though, acceptance means attitudes are changing, and change can bring a lot of uncertainty. Even if most people are tolerant and accepting, I think it’s helpful to have a law clarifying the rights of LGBT people.

    Heck, most of us know not to drive sixty miles an hour through a neighborhood, and wouldn’t want to, but it doesn’t hurt to have speed limit signs.


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