Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday State Sweep

Equality North Carolina's executive director, Ian Palmquist, was invited to the White House for a reception honoring Pride Month.

The Tennessee Equality Project's Grand Divisions blog discusses two types of incremental progress for LGBT equality, what we gain and what we lose.

Equality Florida and the ACLU will give a joint town hall and training on adoption, June 18 and 19.

Election Day revealed support for LGBT and pro-equality candidates in California, reports Equality California. Nearly all of their endorsed candidates won their primary fights.

TransOhio lists some of the presenters for their upcoming 3rd Annual TransOhio Transgender & Ally Symposium, August 13 - 15, 2010.


Empire State Pride Agenda emphasizes the importance of straight allies in the workplace through their Pride in My Workplace program.

A reading of the Prop. 8 trial transcripts will be performed June 18 and 19 at the Brody Theater in Portland. 25% of the proceeds will go to benefit Basic Rights Oregon.
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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Road to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

from our allies at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, here is a guide to the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - cross-posted at their site.

REPORTER GUIDE: The Path Forward on the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), released a guide today on the path to repeal.


After the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the U.S. Senate is now poised to take it up. An amendment that would allow for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was successfully attached to the NDAA in both the House and Senate.

Senate floor debate on the NDAA may begin as early as June 18, but it could come later.

SLDN and other repeal advocates will be working to shore up a filibuster proof majority, 60 Senate votes, to proceed to consideration of the NDAA. While this is traditionally a “must-pass” piece of legislation, the White House has threatened to veto the bill due to spending disagreements unrelated to the repeal of DADT.

Even with a filibuster proof 60-vote majority, SLDN and our repeal allies will be closely watching for any crippling amendments offered on the floor and a “motion to strike” that could allow repeal opponents to remove the repeal language from the defense bill.

SLDN is working closely with Senators Joseph Lieberman and Carl Levin to guard against any attempts to strike repeal or weaken its provisions.

For instance, we will vigorously oppose any amendment to expand the certification process in the “compromise." Opponents of open service may be considering an amendment that would require all of the Joints Chiefs to sign off on the certificaiton process. This killer amendment is designed to delay open service for years.


After passage in the Senate, repeal advocates will focus on the conference committee where staff work would begin shortly thereafter. The committee will be tasked with resolving any differences in the House and Senate versions of the NDAA. At this time, the language in the repeal amendment for DADT is the same in both chambers – a good thing.

With similar amendment language in both chambers, there will be little to resolve. However, SLDN does not under estimate the “Big Four.” The “Big Four” are the chairs and ranking members in the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. Only one of the four supports repeal: Senate Chairman Carl Levin. The ranking member in the Senate, Sen. John McCain, and House Chairman Ike Skelton and ranking member Rep. Howard McKeon, do not.

The conference committee will produce a conference report and we expect a vote in both the House and Senate chambers on that report in September or early October.


Generally, the NDAA is signed each year in late October or early November. When the president signs the NDAA – with the repeal amendment attached – nothing would happen. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law. Service members will still be discharged. Read SLDN’s warnings:


On or before December 1, the Pentagon Working Group is required to submit its report to Congress and the Secretary of Defense. The working group was established to author a report on “how” to implement repeal, not “if” repeal should happen.


At some point after the Pentagon Working Group submits its report, the President would transmit to the congressional Armed Services Committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:

(A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.

(B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f)

(C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law at this point. Service members will still be discharged. Read SLDN’s warnings:


After the President transmits written certification to the congressional Armed Services Committees, full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be effective 60 days later.


Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would NOT automatically allow for “open service.” Policies and regulations to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly would need to be written and put in place. SLDN will also encourage the President to issue an executive order protecting service members from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Elizabeth A. Shirey
Grassroots/Policy Advocate
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
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Monday, May 17, 2010

In Washington D.C. National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Leaders, Community Members Demand Vote on Employment Non-Discrimination Act

crossposted from

In Washington D.C. National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Leaders, Community Members Demand Vote on Employment Non-Discrimination Act
May 17, 2010
tags: Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, National Week of Action
by endanow

At Tuesday press conference, LGBT rights advocates will highlight congressional inaction on ENDA as part of National ENDA Action Week


Press conference to demand immediate action in both the House and Senate on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a federal bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It is part of a series of nationwide actions this week calling for a vote on ENDA.


Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director, PFLAG National
Frank Kameny, longtime activist who was fired from his job over five decades ago due to sexual orientation discrimination; 50-plus years later, he is tired of waiting for equality as he turns 85 this week
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Sharon Lettman, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition
Michael Mitchell, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats
Gloria Nieto, California resident, former member of the Democratic National Committee, former executive director of the People of Color AIDS Foundation, currently unemployed
Liz Seaton, Director of Projects and Managing Attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Peggy Shorey, Executive Director, Pride at Work
Terrance L., a gay man who has been closeted in previous employment
Donna P., a transgender woman from the Baltimore area who was fired from two jobs


Tuesday, May 18, Noon (ET)


National Press Club, 529 14th Street, N.W., Lisagor Room, Washington, D.C.


Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates have been lobbying for ENDA’s passage for years. There is more support for ENDA than ever before in Congress, growing every day. Congress needs to prioritize ENDA for passage to secure the most basic of civil rights, the right to work, for LGBT people. LGBT rights leaders and community members are demanding an immediate vote on ENDA and are sending a united message to Congress: No more excuses, no more delays: Pass ENDA now.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Round Up of State Blogs - Successes, Surprises, and Struggles

Fair Wisconsin takes on Marquette University after it rescinded deanship offer made to out lesbian, Dr. Jodi O'Brien.

A new Washington Post poll shows that Equality Maryland has something to be happy about, support for marriage equality has out-stripped opposition.

Equality Florida is following the train wreck that is George Rekers. He's resigning from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality Board.

Cancel Harvey Milk Day? Equality California tells us what the people who brought us Prop. 8 are up to now.

TransOhio lets us know about “Minorities Within Minorities” - The Black Gay Experience, coming up on May 20.

Basic Rights Oregon shows that they're busy around the state.

And Equality North Carolina thinks about Mothers' Day
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Monday, May 3, 2010

It's May - Whip Around the States

Students for a Fair Wisconsin reached out to faith leaders.

Small towns are leading the education effort for marriage equality, writes Basic Rights Oregon.

Indiana Equality has many good events coming up.

Equality California notes that the closing arguments for the Prop. 8 trial are set for June 16, 2010.

TransOhio's May newsletter is available online.

A candidate for Tennessee's 8th congressional district who wants to keep "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and laughed about "taking care of" homosexuals in the military, complains that he's being attacked by liberals.

Equality North Carolina reminds you that we need to push and lobby for ENDA.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Week-End Roundup

TransOhio asks us all to help the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition pass the Transgender Rights Bill in the MA state legislature.

Equality North Carolina is collecting stories to make healthcare fair for LGBT people.

Fair Wisconsin holds a faith panel next week.

Inland Empire PFLAG president on Equality California's Marriage Equality Roundtable.

Basic Rights Oregon does the right thing on racial justice, invites everyone to the table.

The Tennessee Equality Project fights for sane sexual health education.

Empire state Pride Agenda sweeps the internet and finds some interesting LGBT content.

The Miami Beach Commission supports the Uniting American Families Act, according to Equality Florida, a bill that helps same-sex families stay together in the USA.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mid-Week Roundup

"You can't support equality and gay bait." Equality Texas calls out homophobic behavior by Democratic incumbent in primary race.

Equality Maryland introduces a new field director.

The Tennessee Equality Project looks at gubernatorial hopefuls positions on adoption.

There's more to celebrate in Florida than close (35 votes!) win in Gainesville mayoral election. Equality Florida tells us that an equality champion has won a seat in Congress in yesterday's runoff election.

Fair Wisconsin announces four-day intensive training by ally Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute coming to Minneapolis in June.

Empire State Pride Agenda follows up on teenager's suit against school district for bullying in their weekly sweep.

And there's more,

LGBT community marches in the San Jose Tet parade, reports Equality California.

Indiana Equality let us know that Judy Shepard will be giving a free and public talk in Indianapolis.

The Philippine Supreme Court has ruled to accredit a gay political party challenging a national election (from Equality South Dakota).

Basic Rights Oregon co-hosts an Elton John tribute night. It's a benefit, so break out your rhinestone glasses for equality.

Equality North Carolina congratulates Iowa on its first year of marriage equality.
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