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Liz Seaton

A Key Step Forward in Maryland

By Liz Seaton NCLR State Policy Director Words cannot describe how I felt, sitting in the gallery at the Maryland State House as we won Governor Martin O’Malley’s Civil Marriage Equality Act by a vote of 72-67 on Friday.  Several of the lawyers were cloistered for a couple of days in preparation for what we thought would be dozens of hostile amendments, but in the end there were only about a half-dozen, and all were defeated, leading to the vote for final passage. We watched from the State...

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Update on Marriage Equality Fight in Maryland

By Liz Seaton NCLR State Policy Director Today I am back in Annapolis for the House of Delegates floor debate over the marriage equality bill in Maryland. A joint committee passed it two days ago, and now it’s on the floor. I’m there to help our champion legislators evaluate and deal with proposed amendments to the bill.  The Senate passed a marriage equality bill last year, so the House is where we expect the biggest challenge.  The papers here have been reporting that the vote is close,...

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In Annapolis Today, Where Governor O’Malley’s Marriage Bill Is Being Heard

By Liz Seaton NCLR State Policy Director I head over to Annapolis, MD today to testify in favor of marriage equality in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. A little history and perspective on Maryland, where I live, and our struggle here for the freedom marry. I first testified in favor of a marriage equality bill in the Maryland State House in 1999, when progressive state legislators introduced a proactive marriage bill to counter a proposed state DOMA bill. With losses on DOMAs in so...

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In Maryland, Lies Will Not Stop Passage of Laws To Protect Transgender People

By Liz Seaton NCLR State Policy Director All of us who have worked long and hard for equality under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people know how strangely eager some people are to twist and distort the truth about us and our lives. Their ultimate goal? To dissuade public officials from passing laws to end discrimination.  I won’t even dignify the ugliest things they say by repeating them, but you know what I am talking about. Our opponents also make sweeping claims about...

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In Virginia, a Victory for Youth

By Liz Seaton NCLR State Policy Director Yesterday, the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice voted 5-1 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in the juvenile correctional facilities over which it has broad oversight.  Eight percent of boys and 23 percent of girls in juvenile detention identify their sexuality as other than heterosexual, so this is an important step forward to protect their rights. This is the second time that the Board has voted this way over the advice of Virginia...

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Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!