For Transgender People, Name Is a Message

January 26, 2010

by William Glaberson | New York Times

Katherine used to be Miguel. Olin had a girl’s name. And in October, Robert Ira Schnur, 70, became Roberta Iris Schnur, a Manhattan retiree with magenta lipstick and, she noted the other day, chipped silver nail polish.

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Less Than Two Weeks

January 7, 2010

New York Times editorial

After weeks of maneuvering and delay, the New Jersey State Senate will finally vote on Thursday on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. The Senate needs to approve the bill, and the General Assembly needs to follow — quickly. Gov. Jon Corzine has pledged to sign the legislation into law; his soon-to-be-successor, Gov.-elect Christopher Christie, has vowed to veto it. The transfer of power takes place in less than two weeks on Jan. 19.

Polls show that a majority of New Jersey’s citizens accept the idea of same-sex marriage. There also is wide agreement that New Jersey’s current civil union law does not live up to the standard of equal protection mandated in 2006 by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

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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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Paterson to Extend Protection to Transgender Employees

December 15, 2009

by Jeremy W. Peters | New York Times

Gov. David A. Paterson is preparing to issue an executive order that would include transgender people in antidiscrimination policies that govern state agencies.

The order, which the governor plans to sign on Wednesday, represents the broadest protections ever extended to transgender public employees in New York State. A number of cities throughout the state, including Buffalo, Albany, Rochester and New York City, already prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression.

No equivalent state law exists, however, despite repeated efforts by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocates to pass one in the State Legislature.

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Join New York State Governor David A. Paterson on Wednesday, December 16th, when he makes the announcement. Click here for more information.

New Jersey Marriage Vote Canceled

December 10, 2009

By DAvid Kocieniewski | New York Times

The battle over a bill that would legalize gay marriage in New Jersey shifted locations unexpectedly late Wednesday as sponsors of the legislation canceled a vote scheduled for Thursday in the State Senate, where the measure appeared headed for defeat.

The sponsors, Senators Raymond J. Lesniak and Loretta Weinberg, both Democrats, withdrew the bill from the agenda in the Senate session, saying they wanted to first allow a hearing in the General Assembly, where support for same-sex marriage is believed to be stronger.

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The Church and the Capital

November 23, 2009

New York Times editorial

Gay people will eventually win full civil rights — including the right to marry — throughout the United States. Between now and then, there will be many more disputes like the one unfolding between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the District of Columbia City Council over a bill recognizing same-sex marriages that could be voted on as soon as next week.

City lawmakers who are negotiating with the archdiocese over the language of the bill should try to settle it without acrimony — but not by abandoning the District’s equal-rights tradition or by selling out same-sex couples.

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Court Upholds Recognition of Gay Marriages in Narrow Ruling

November 19, 2009

by Danny Hakim | New York Times

New York State’s highest court rejected unanimously a challenge on Thursday by opponents of same-sex marriage to policies that recognize such unions performed in other states, though the decision gave gay advocates a small victory because it was narrowly written and applied to a relatively small number of people.

In their majority ruling, four of the seven members of the court said they were making their decision on narrow grounds involving the specifics of each case, and not settling the broader question of whether same-sex marriages performed in other states should be recognized. Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr., writing for the majority, expressed “hope that the Legislature will address this controversy.”

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