National Center for Lesbian Rights

Date

Month: January 2012

Our Voices blog

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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Department of Housing and Urban Development Unveils LGBTQ Equal Access Policy

In a powerful speech on Saturday, January 28th, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan made history when he unveiled HUD’s LGBTQ Equal Access policy—a new rule that will protect more than 5.5 million people across the country from discrimination in public housing and Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages. The new rule, announced at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual Creating Change conference, will improve the lives of LGBTQ...

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President Obama Presents Economic Blueprint

Tonight, President Obama gave his third State of the Union address, which focused on building a lasting economic recovery. For the first time in our nation’s history, two out lesbians—Air Force Colonel Ginger Wallace and Lorelei Kilker—were among the select group invited to attend the speech as guests of First Lady Michelle Obama. Wallace is an Air Force intelligence officer who served in the Iraq war. When she was recently promoted to her current rank, her partner participated in her official...

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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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California Law Protects Our Families

There are thousands of children being raised by non-biological parents, and they deserve to be treated fairly. Yesterday, a California appeals court ruled that these families are protected under California law. A case called E.C. v. J.V. recognized the rights of a non-biological mother who had raised a child with her same-sex partner for five years. The court rightly said that what matters is the relationship that the child and the parent have with each other, even if they aren’t biologically...

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NCLR Analysis: Got Married in Canada? Don’t Panic, But Protect Your Relationship

Yesterday, the thousands of American same-sex couples who have married in Canada since 2003 woke up to some shocking news:  The Canadian government had decided that all marriages of non-Canadian same-sex couples were invalid. As details have emerged, it’s become clear that the reality is far less dramatic than early reports made it out to be. First, let’s put to rest some misconceptions about what happened. Contrary to what some news reports have said, the Canadian government did not...

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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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Olympic Athlete Johnny Weir Is Married!

Though most followers of Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir knew he was gay, he did not officially come out until a year ago.  Why?  Perhaps because the international world of judges have been known to be harsh in their scoring of LGBTQ skaters. That’s just one of many reasons why Johnny’s announcement of his marriage to Victor Voronov in a New Year’s Eve ceremony on Saturday is exciting on multiple levels. Johnny is quoted as saying “I’m very happy with my personal life and also my...

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