Hosted by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
"NewsWrap": The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules that gender identity-based workplace bias constitutes sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which leaves gays & lesbians without protections and waiting for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, by a more receptive Congress; 3 U.S. Senators ask Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to expedite the process for veterans kicked out of the service under Don't Ask Don't Tell to delete that specific reason, which virtually "outs" them to prospective employers, from their discharge documents, while a military judge advances the court martial of Private First Class Bradley Manning, variously described as gay or "gender confused", for providing Wikileaks with reams of sensitive documents in what's been called the largest leak of government secrets in U.S. history; Colorado's Senate provisionally approves a bipartisan civil unions bill that probably faces stiffer opposition in the GOP-controlled House, while the infamously anti-gay National Organization for Marriage teams up with the Christian Civic League of Maine to fight a marriage equality measure on the November state ballot, but a bill introduced in the California Senate would ban so-called "reparative therapy" for anyone under the age of 18, and Brian Sims is all but on his way to Harrisburg as the first openly gay member of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives; pop star Anthony Wong comes out as a gay man to thousands of fans during the closing night of a series of concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum; and the movement to prevent minors from being exposed to so-called "gay propaganda" spreads across Russia, while the first man arrested for violating such a law in St. Petersburg is only convicted of refusing to comply with a police order to stop violating the law (written by GREG GORDON with thanks to REX WOCKNER, produced by STEVE PRIDE, and reported this week by VASH BODDIE and WENZEL JONES)
Civil marriage for same-gender couples goes before the voters in up to five U.S. states this year. Two are on the ballot this November: a referendum in Maine to reestablish marriage equality by reversing a 2009 vote, and a proposal in Minnesota to constitutionally define marriage as exclusively heterosexual. There may also be initiatives challenging legislatively enacted civil marriage equality laws in both Maryland and Washington. But the first test of voter sentiment in 2012 comes on May 8th in NORTH CAROLINA. AMENDMENT ONE would add language to the state constitution specifying that, "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Its opponents say the measure isn't as simple as it sounds, since it appears to also outlaw any form of domestic partnership or civil union. Statewide TV ads by Protect All North Carolina Families have been dramatizing Amendment One's far-reaching impact. Meanwhile, Vote FOR Marriage N.C., the organization supporting Amendment One, is running an ad that portrays so-called "nuclear families" of a man, woman and children -- and ends with a screen-filling shot of "The Holy Bible" against a backdrop of a U.S. flag
The WILLIAMS INSTITUTE AT THE UCLA SCHOOL OF LAW is the largest LGBT law and policy think tank in the world. As it does each year, the Institute hosted an Annual Update Conference, where top scholars and lawyers in the field got an opportunity to meet and look closely at the issues facing the community. This year's Update was entitled "Fair Play? LGBT People, Civic Participation & Political Process." Legal Affairs Correspondent ABBY DEES covered the April 13th conference, and says the main question was what kind of power the LGBT community has (features comments by BRAD SEARS, Executive Director, Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law and Policy, The Williams Institute; GREGORY LEWIS, Professor of Public Management and Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University; REBECCA BROWN, Newton Professor of Constitutional Law, USC Gould School of Law; ROBERT M. GROVES, Director, U.S. Census Bureau; THERESE STEWART, Chief Deputy, San Francisco City Attorney’s Office; PATRICK GUERRIERO, Founding Partner, Civitas Public Affairs Group LLC; and JON W. DAVIDSON, Legal Director, Lambda Legal)
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