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Archives – November, 2013

Anti-LGBT group submits signatures for ballot measure to overturn transgender protections

A new ballot initiative push in California features some old players–and, likely, some old tactics.

Continue 35 Comments November 12, 2013

Federal judge upholds New Jersey’s ban on LGBT “conversion therapy”

On Friday, a federal district court judge issued a ruling in King v. Christie, the challenge to New Jersey’s newly-enacted ban on so-called LGBT “conversion therapy”.

Continue 19 Comments November 12, 2013

Marriage Could Start Sooner than Expected

By Matt Baume

It’s been a busy week, with marriage bills just days away from becoming laws in Illinois and Hawaii. By the end of 2013, the percentage of the population living in states that have passed marriage bills will have doubled in just one year. So, what’s next? Believe it or not, Kentucky, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Montana have all shown signs of progress this week.

Last week the Illinois House passed the marriage bill by a 61 to 54 vote. And now Governor Pat Quinn has set a date: he’ll sign it into law on November 20th. Currently, marriage is slated to start in Illinois on June first, 2014.

But State Senator Don Harmon has filed an amendment to an unrelated bill that could push up the date to as early as February. The legislature won’t have an opportunity to vote on his proposal until February 4th, so we’ll need to check back in then.

And a marriage bill also passed the House and Senate in Hawaii last week. It’s not a done deal yet: legislators will need to vote again on some amended language. But it’s unlikely that the bill will get hung up on those re-votes, and could head to the Governor’s desk later this week.

But even then, some hurdles may remain. Opponents of marriage equality have vowed to file a court challenge in Hawaii. They claim that a 1998 constitutional amendment only allows the legislature to prohibit marriage equality, not enact it. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation there.

And there have been significant developments in several other states. The New Mexico Supreme Court is still mulling a lawsuit over marriage equality. But in the mean time, the state’s insurance regulator has ordered companies to provide married gay and lesbian couples with the same benefits provided to straight couples.

A lesbian couple in Kentucky has sued the state after its marriage ban prevented them from obtaining a divorce. Arkansas has approved wording for a ballot measure to overturn the state’s marriage ban, which could go before voters in 2016 at the earliest. Nebraska legislators held a hearing on relationship recognition, with state Senator Ernie Chambers pledging to introduce a civil unions bill in 2014.

A South Carolina survey shows support for marriage equality is still low, but rising very quickly. And a Montana survey shows support exceeding opposition for the first time.

And finally, last week marked the one-year anniversary of marriage equality in Maine. At that time, there were about 50 million Americans living in states with marriage equality. With the addition of several states since then, including Hawaii and Illinois, that number is over 113 million.

13 Comments November 11, 2013

Equality news round-up: Idaho, Illinois, Greece

Updates from around the world.

Continue 14 Comments November 11, 2013

Arkansas attorney general approves marriage equality ballot language

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has approved language for a ballot initiative to repeal the state’s anti-gay marriage amendment and replace it with one affirming the right of couples to marry regardless of their sex.

Continue 24 Comments November 8, 2013

Illinois Governor to sign marriage equality bill on November 20

A big ceremony is planned for the signing of historic legislation

Continue 8 Comments November 8, 2013

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