HUD Seeks Help with Anti-Gay Discrimination Study

February 24, 2010

by Karen Hawkins | Associated Press

When federal officials studied housing discrimination based on race, the setup was simple: They sent in testers of different backgrounds and gauged how landlords and real estate agents treated people of color compared with whites.

As the government prepares a first-ever study of housing discrimination against gays, however, the issue is more complex. How do you design a study to make an applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity as obvious as race and color?

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Air Force, Army Leaders Seek More Data on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

February 24, 2010

by Ed O’Keefe | Washington Post

Top leaders of the Air Force and Army weighed in Tuesday about the possible repeal of the armed forces’ ban on gays in the military, saying they have concerns about the change and want to hear more from the Pentagon on the matter.

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West Virginia: Gay Marriage Ban Fails in House

February 24, 2010

by Alison Knezevich | The Charleston Gazette

Democrats in the House of Delegates on Tuesday swiftly shot down Republican attempts to advance a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

GOP delegates unsuccessfully tried to force a floor vote on a bipartisan resolution (HJR5) called the “Marriage Protection Amendment.”

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NCLR and Media Matters Join Organizations, Activists to Demand Honest Coverage of DADT

February 24, 2010

Today, after Media Matters for America released a comprehensive review of the myths and falsehoods media conservatives have pushed in their efforts to prevent a repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) law, a coalition of leading organizations and activists joined together to issue an open letter to the news media demanding that reports on DADT remain accurate and fair.

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NCLR Hails Maryland’s Marriage Recognition Opinion

February 24, 2010

A.G. says state law calls for recognition of marriages of same-sex couples

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) hails the opinion issued today by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler that the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other jurisdictions may be recognized by the state. The decision predicts that the Maryland high court likely would “recognize a same-sex marriage contracted validly in another jurisdiction.” Maryland has long recognized the marriages of couples who married outside of the state, and this decision simply affirms that longstanding tradition. The state law principle that governs the recognition of marriages from out of state is called “comity.” The opinion was requested by Maryland State Senator Richard S. Madaleno, Jr.

“Attorney General Gansler issued a legal opinion that correctly interprets state law to permit marriage recognition,” said NCLR Managing Attorney Liz Seaton. “Most of Maryland’s families will be utterly unaffected by this opinion, but married same-sex couples can go about the business of working and raising families knowing that their marriages can be honored under state law and with the security that their families can be protected in the same way other families are.”

New York and the District of Columbia already recognize marriages of same-sex couples validly performed in other jurisdictions. At this time, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry, and a similar law passed by the D.C. City Council is anticipated to go into effect in D.C. in early March.

“The Attorney General’s opinion is also consistent with Maryland’s public policy, which has steadily supported increasing legal protections for same-sex couples and their families. In recent years, the legislature has granted approximately 15 protections of legal marriage to same-gender couples in the areas of medical decision-making and inheritance,” said Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. “However, most of the 400+ state-level legal protections of marriage still remain out of reach to thousands of committed couples. Only civil marriage here at home and an end to discrimination by the federal government will provide full and equal protection under the law.”

NCLR provided legal analysis about Maryland law and policy to the Office of the Attorney General, which actively solicited public comment on this issue, and to our partner organization, Equality Maryland.


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