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February 12, 2013
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A free twice-weekly news summary for the LGBT community

  Top Story 
  • Is Obama set to act on workplace discrimination?
    President Barack Obama may sign an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors if Congress does not act on the issue, the Washington Post has reported. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, responding to the report, said the president prefers a legislative remedy and deflected questions about an alternate course of action. Advocates hope the president will use his bully pulpit tonight to press for employment protections for LGBT Americans. "It would be very helpful for the president to use the State of the Union to assert his strong leadership on this issue by publicly calling on both chambers of Congress to vote on the [Employment Non-Discrimination Act]," said Tico Almeida, president of the LGBT group Freedom to Work. The Washington Post (2/10), Washington Blade (Washington, D.C.) (2/7), BuzzFeed (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Politics and Policy 
  • Pentagon details limited family benefits for gay troops
    The partners and spouses of military personnel in same-sex relationships will be able to carry military identification cards that will allow them access to base commissaries and certain programs designed to benefit military families, according to a memo released this week by the Pentagon. Activists hailed the limited steps, but called for further action to make available benefits such as health care and housing, which are currently blocked by the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Metro Weekly (Washington, D.C.)/Poliglot (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Iowa GOP says fighting marriage equality isn't a high priority
    Some Iowa Republican lawmakers say that while the party opposes marriage rights for same-sex couples, it is shifting its focus away from the issue. Iowa Republicans have failed several times to amend the state constitution to make it illegal for same-sex couples to marry. Marriage equality victories in other states and lawmakers' personal interactions with gay and lesbian friends and family may have contributed to the Iowa GOP softening its stance on the issue, advocates say. Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa)/The Associated Press (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ore. campaigners seeking statewide approval for marriage rights
    LGBT advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon has announced it will begin collecting signatures to put a question on the ballot in 2014 that could bring marriage equality to the state. "I think people are really coming to understand that marriage is unique and special and you don’t want to deny that to anybody else," said Jeana Frazzini, the group’s executive director. One poll released last December found 51% of Oregonians favored allowing same-sex couples to wed. The Oregonian (Portland) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Benedict XVI to relinquish papacy
    An increasingly frail Pope Benedict XVI this week shocked the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church and others by announcing his retirement, becoming the first Pope to voluntarily abdicate in nearly 600 years. During Benedict’s eight years as head of the Church, he fervently opposed legal marriage for gays and lesbians, and as late as December he said letting same-sex couples enter into marriage would "harm and help to destabilize" the institution. One Italian LGBT activist charged the Church under Benedict is "obsessed" with homosexuality. (2/11), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/11), Gay City News (New York) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Anti-gay group wants U.S. to cut funds for National Cathedral
    The Faith and Freedom Coalition is circulating a petition demanding that Washington's National Cathedral stop receiving federal funds because of its recent decision to host the weddings same-sex couples. The 107-year-old Episcopal cathedral often hosts religious events of national importance, such as presidential funerals and inaugural prayer events. The National Park Service recently awarded a grant of $700,000 to the cathedral, which is in the midst of repairing damage from an August 2011 earthquake. Washington Blade (Washington, D.C.) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Do you live in a state or municipality with laws that ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity?
I'm not sure.

  • Commentary: I am Donna’s widow
    Tracy Johnson writes about the loss of her wife, Donna, who was serving in the North Carolina National Guard when she was killed four months ago in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber. Though they were legally married in the District of Columbia, Johnson received none of the spousal support or benefits offered to the widows and widowers of fallen U.S. troops, as such recognition is barred by the Defense of Marriage Act. "Until DOMA is ruled unconstitutional, other loving husbands and wives will share my story," Johnson writes. "Any law that says they do not deserve these things is wrong. Any law that says I am not Donna’s widow is wrong." The Washington Post (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership Spotlight 
  Beyond Politics 
  • Ind. high school group wants all-straight prom
    A group of parents and students at Sullivan High School in Sullivan, Ind., are seeking to hold a "traditional" prom that bans attendance by gays and lesbians. "We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don't think it's right nor should it be accepted," said one student who is supporting the effort. WTWO-TV/WAWV-TV (Terre Haute, Ind.) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Vice President, Social Justice ProgramsArcus FoundationNYC, NY
Executive DirectorFairness West Virginia & Fairness West Virginia InstituteCharleston, WV
Senior Staff or Staff AttorneyLambda LegalDallas, TX
IT/Administrative AssistantNational LGBT Bar AssociationWashington, DC
Executive Director Gay Men's Health and WellnessSan Francisco AIDS FoundationSan Francisco, CA
Director of Special EventsUnited Nations FoundationWashington, DC
Online Communications Associate, Nothing But NetsUnited Nations FoundationWashington, DC
Event ManagerOut & Equal Workplace AdvocatesSan Francisco, CA
Online Communications Senior Associate, Girl UpUnited Nations FoundationWashington, 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
Foundation Giving ManagerNational Gay and Lesbian Task ForceNew York, NY
Director of CommunicationsNational Gay and Lesbian Task ForceWashington, DC
Click here to view more job listings.

We never expected this. We didn’t sit there studying the IRS code thinking we might be facing a major tax hit."
--Colette Hayward, speaking about the taxes she and her wife owe on the value of health insurance benefits because the federal government doesn't recognize their marriage, as quoted by The New York Times.

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