Breaking News: New Jersey Senate Schedules Vote on Marriage Equality for Thursday

January 5, 2010

from New Jersey Senate Democrats

Trenton, NJ – Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) today announced that the full Senate will consider bill S1967 – the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act”– at the voting session scheduled for this Thursday.

“Given the intensely personal nature of this issue, I think the people of this state deserve the right to a formal debate on the Senate floor.  I’d like to commend both sides of this issue for their passionate advocacy thus far and the heartfelt testimony that we have heard.”

The Senate voting session is scheduled for 2 pm on Thursday, January 7.  Further information on accommodations for the media and the general public will be released tomorrow.

Equality Key for Transgender Woman

January 5, 2010

By Patty Machelor | Arizona Daily Star

Amanda Simpson wishes being transgender didn’t matter when discussing her new job with the Obama administration.

But as one of the first transgender appointees to the federal government, Simpson, 48, said the fact she was “Mitch” before becoming Amanda is relevant if only to illustrate the need for greater equality.

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Odds Against Gay Marriage Grow With Setback in Trenton

January 5, 2010

by David Kocieniewski | New York Times

With just two weeks before New Jersey changes governors, gay-rights advocates are facing lengthening odds — and they have been long for some time now — of winning approval of a law that would grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages in the state.

Supporters of gay marriage have been lobbying frantically to win legislative approval of a marriage equality bill before Jan. 19, when Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who has promised to enact it, is replaced by Gov.-elect Christopher J. Christie, who opposes it.

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Uganda Anti-Gay Legislation Should Be Condemned

January 5, 2010

San Jose Mercury News editorial

The appalling fact that Uganda is still considering legislation that would impose a death penalty on homosexuals illuminates the anti-gay atrocities occurring every day throughout East Africa.

The U.S. evangelical movement, which helped trigger the anti-gay movement in Africa, should universally condemn the proposed Uganda law. President Barack Obama has already made clear his opposition, but he should go further: The United States government, which in October pledged to give Uganda $246 million to help revive the ravaged nation, should make it clear that any future aid is contingent on the African nation renouncing this outrageous violation of human rights.

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The Oh Decade: Equality for Lesbians and Gays Is an Inevitability

January 5, 2010

by  Gavin Newsom | Sacramento Bee

Mayor Gavin Newsom

It all started in January 2004 when I attended George W. Bush’s State of the Union address. In the midst of two major wars and serious fear about national security and terrorism, the president of the United States chose to highlight a social issue. The president closed his speech with a call for a defense of the “sanctity of marriage,” or in other words, threatening the American people with a constitutional amendment to limit the rights of gays and lesbians to marry.

I was furious. So were millions of other Americans who put faith in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, provisions in our founding documents, establishing the principles of equality upon which our nation is built.

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Hate Begets Hate

January 5, 2010

New York Times editorial

Uganda’s government, which has a shameful record of discrimination against gay men and lesbians, is now considering legislation that would impose the death sentence for homosexual behavior. The United States and others need to make clear to the Ugandan government that such barbarism is intolerable and will make it an international pariah.

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