Sanchez To Introduce Social Security Bill

April 9, 2010

by Kerry Eleveld | The Advocate

Rep. Linda Sanchez of California is expected to announce Sunday that she will be introducing legislation to equalize social security benefits for same-sex couples.

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With Clock Ticking, All Eyes on Congress

April 9, 2010

by Chris Johnson | DC Agenda

Supporters of LGBT rights are turning up the heat on Congress in their efforts to pass several key bills after lawmakers return from recess next week.

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Maine Governor Helps Agency That Lost Money over Gay Marriage

April 9, 2010

by Chris Rose | WCSH6- NBC

Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program recently lost a major funding source when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland pulled it’s grant money because of Preble’s stance on last November’s gay marriage referendum.

Now the governor has announced he will host a spaghetti dinner next week to raise money for the program.

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Mississippi Lesbian Teen Gets Second Chance at Soiree

April 9, 2010

by Sheila Byrd | Associated Press

A lesbian high school student is getting a second chance to don a tuxedo and dance after she sued her Mississippi school over a ban on same-sex prom dates.

Constance McMillen plans to attend an anniversary soiree held by the the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco on May 1.

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read Kate’s Blog, We’ll Show You the Real Prom


ENDA Vote Approaches

April 9, 2010

by Kerry Eleveld | The Advocate

Although the effort to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this year has been declared dead by Capitol Hill insiders on occasion, signs of life are starting to emerge. Strategists say a smooth and successful vote in the House could give the bill momentum in the Senate, where securing the votes is still an uphill battle but not impossible.

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LGBT Families and Parental Leave

April 9, 2010

Parental leave with pay when a new child joins the home is an important support for working families, yet most U.S. private sector workers do not have this benefit. In the United States, the national Family and Medical Leave Act requires only unpaid leave. Only two states (California and New Jersey) currently offer paid parental leave, and a handful of others offer temporary disability insurance to birth mothers after childbirth. States that do offer such paid leave generally fund their programs through small payroll deductions into a state-wide insurance fund, minimizing the impact on any particular business.

For the most part, it is up to employers to decide whether to offer this benefit.  Some employers, especially larger ones, do so with good results. Other employers would like to, but can’t without the help of a social insurance fund.  As of 2008, only 9 percent of civilian U.S. workers had paid family (including parental) leave, and among the lowest-income workers, only 3 percent had such leave. Some workers can apply other paid leave when they have children, such as sick or vacation leave, but such leave is far from universal, especially among low-wage employees. LGBT parents face additional hurdles in accessing any parental or family leave, even unpaid leave.

Human Rights Watch, a nongovernmental human rights group, is interviewing parents in the U.S., including LGBT parents, about their experiences with unpaid parental leave, and the impact on their families.  The interviews will be used for a report (using pseudonyms, not actual names of interviewees) and for making recommendations on U.S. law and policy.

Interviews last about 25-30 minutes. Please contact Janet Walsh at walshj@hrw.org if you have experienced parental leave with limited or no pay and are willing to be interviewed.


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