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February 15, 2013
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A free twice-weekly news summary for the LGBT community

  Top Story 
  • Ill. Senate sends valentine to same-sex couples
    The Illinois Senate yesterday passed a marriage equality bill, sending the measure to the House and moving the state closer to becoming the 10th to grant same-sex couples the right to marry. "Martin Luther King once said, 'The moral arc of the universe is long, but it always bends toward justice.' And today, we have an opportunity, each and every one of us, to put our hands on that arc and bend it toward what's fair and what's right," Sen. Toi Hutchinson said during the debate on the bill. Senators opposed to the measure argued that marriage equality is not supported in the Bible, and warned businesses would have to close if they refused to serve same-sex couples. Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged to sign the legislation if it reaches his desk. Chicago Sun-Times (free registration)/Politics blog (2/14), Chicago Phoenix (2/14), Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)/Clout Street (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Politics and Policy 
  • Analysis: GOP at crossroads over marriage equality
    GOP lawmakers who support marriage equality in state legislatures are often vulnerable to socially conservative primary challengers in their next elections. That political reality helps explain why only 47 Republican state legislators nationwide have voted in favor of marriage equality bills. But with demographic trends favoring marriage equality supporters, the party could be painting itself into a corner on the issue, according to this analysis. "I think a lot of conservative elected Republicans are going to go down with the ship on this one," said Cheryl Pflug, a former Washington state senator who was shunned by her Republican colleagues after supporting a marriage equality bill. The Huffington Post/The Associated Press (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama: LGBT families should be included in immigration reform
    President Barack Obama on Thursday said he believes LGBT families should be treated the same as other families under U.S. immigration laws, but stopped short of saying he would fight to include them in an immigration reform bill that's working its way through Congress. "So, what I’m trying to do right now is to give Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, and in the House, the opportunity to work through some of these issues to see where their compromises are, and not be too heavy-handed in a way that might end up breaking up these discussions," Obama told a questioner during Google "Fireside Hangout." Washington Blade (Washington, D.C.) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Va. House kills LGBT nondiscrimination bill
    Legislation that sought to ban LGBT employment discrimination for state employees has been blocked by a Virginia House of Delegates committee. One lawmaker said there was no evidence that the issue was a problem. "Among all the people who spoke, there was not a single example of one that was discriminated against in public employment. I challenge those in the room to bring forth an example," said Del. C. Todd Gilbert, a Republican. The Virginia Senate had earlier passed the bill by a vote of 24 to 16. ThinkProgress.org (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Student fights Mo. school's ban on same-sex prom dates
    A gay 17-year-old high school student in Missouri has enlisted the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center in an attempt to reverse his school's policy of allowing only opposite-sex dates at prom. "This unlawful policy reminds us that anti-gay sentiment still serves as a platform for schools to deny the rights of same-sex couples," said Alesdair Ittelson, a staff attorney for the SPLC, in a letter to the school district. SPLC said it was prepared to sue to overturn the policy as unconstitutional if the school district does not end the ban by Feb. 25. LGBTQ Nation (2/14), KFVS-TV (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.D. Senate rejects statewide ban on LGBT discrimination
    Legislation that would have added the words "sexual orientation" to North Dakota's Human Rights Act has been defeated in the state Senate. Lawmakers opposed to the bill said the issue would work itself out over time. "It does happen slowly, I don’t think they appreciate that," said Sen. David Hogue, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, speaking about the bill's proponents, adding, "It’s not the 80-yard touchdown pass they would like, but it does get a touchdown." The Forum (Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn.) (free registration) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. Senate votes to authorize LGBT-inclusive anti-violence law
    The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act passed the U.S. Senate this week with new provisions that would explicitly extend the law’s coverage to LGBT Americans. The House could also take up a reauthorization bill, though some Republicans are said to be opposed to the new LGBT-inclusive language. ABC News (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Opinion 
  • Do you live in a state or municipality with laws that ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity?
    Yes.  59.84%
    No.  33.57%
    I'm not sure.  6.60%
  Leadership Spotlight 
  • 5 collegiate leaders named Victory Congressional Interns
    Five openly LGBT college students chosen for their leadership potential will participate in the Victory Congressional Internship program in the spring semester. The program places participants in congressional offices and offers them leadership training and development during their semester in Washington, D.C. The five are from Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Loyola University Chicago, Missouri State University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. GayPolitics.com (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Beyond Politics 
  • Associated Press issues guidance on terms "husband" and "wife"
    The Associated Press this week told its reporters and editors that the terms "husband" and "wife" should generally not be used to refer to those in same-sex marriages, a policy that brought a response in the form of an open letter from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. "One has to assume that AP would never suggest that the default term should be 'couples' or 'partners' when describing people in opposite-sex marriages. We strongly encourage you to revise the style advisory," wrote NLGJA. Towleroad (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Colleges increasingly cover transgender health in student plans
    Brown University has become the 36th U.S. college to add coverage for sex-change surgery under its student health plan, the latest sign that institutions of higher education are working to accommodate and welcome transgender students. "Students notice whether the issues that they care about, that make them feel like it’s a more comfortable and welcoming place, are being discussed and addressed," said Dr. Ira Friedman, director of the student health center at Stanford University. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Development DirectorMatthew Shepard FoundationDenver, CO
Executive DirectorFairness West Virginia & Fairness West Virginia InstituteCharleston, WV
Senior Staff or Staff AttorneyLambda LegalDallas, TX
Executive Director Gay Men's Health and WellnessSan Francisco AIDS FoundationSan Francisco, CA
IT/Administrative AssistantNational LGBT Bar AssociationWashington, DC
Executive DirectorPhoenix PridePhoenix, AZ
Vice President, DevelopmentSan Francisco AIDS FoundationSan Francisco, CA
Campaign Director San Francisco AIDS FoundationSan Francisco, CA
Director of Strategic Partner Programs Lambda LegalNew York City, NY
Click here to view more job listings.

  SmartQuote 
I think this is an incredibly big deal especially since I'm a senior, I'm not going to have another one of these."
--Stacy Dawson, an openly gay high school student in Missouri challenging his school district's ban on same-sex prom dates, as quoted by KFVS.

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