Trending News

Hawaii’s governor gives gay marriage bill to lawmakers

Written by The AP Friday, 30 August 2013 14:50

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie this week presented state lawmakers with a draft of legislation that would legalize gay marriage in the state.

The governor stopped short of saying he would call a special session to pass the bill but said it was a clear possibility.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Aug. 29 upheld California SB 1172, which prohibits subjecting a minor to dangerous "ex-gay" therapy.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law last year and Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a similar measure earlier this month.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today (Aug. 29) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives.

This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

At least 6 New Mexico counties issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Thursday, 29 August 2013 06:17

Dozens of gay couples gathered at a plaza in New Mexico's biggest city on Aug. 27 to hear the words many once thought they would never hear: "With the power finally vested in me by the state of New Mexico, I now pronounce you married."

The ceremony came just a few hours after the county clerk opened her door to a line of more than 100 people waiting to get same-sex marriage licenses following an Albuquerque judge's declaration Monday that gay marriage was legal. Two other counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples last week, and three more said they planned to do the same.

Americans for Workplace Opportunity is marking Labor Day weekend with another call to Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

“We’re reminded this Labor Day that everyone should have the opportunity to get and keep a job and provide for their families – one of the most fundamental American values,” said Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Americans for Workplace Opportunity. “Fortune 500 companies, labor unions and supermajorities of Republicans and Democrats – a rare national consensus – are honoring these values by supporting ENDA.  It’s time for the Senate to pass this bill.”

The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Treasury Department today (Aug. 29) issued a directive stating that same-sex couples, married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.

The ruling – being described as landmark – applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Artist who painted Putin in underwear flees Russia

Written by The AP Thursday, 29 August 2013 06:59

A museum director says an artist whose paintings depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women's undergarments has fled the country.

The director of St. Petersburg's Museum of Power, Tatiana Titova, said that Konstantin Altunin left for France and was planning to request asylum there.

Remarks by President Barack Obama at the March on Washington

Written by WiG Wednesday, 28 August 2013 14:42

President Barack Obama addressed the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — the Let Freedom Ring Ceremony — on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at about 3 p.m. EST on Aug. 28. The following is the transcript of those remarks, provided by the White House.

Olympic sponsors urged to protest Russia's anti-gay laws

Written by WiG Friday, 30 August 2013 05:32

The nation's largest LGBT civil rights group wants the top sponsors of the Olympics to protest Russia's anti-gay laws, which criminalize "homosexual propaganda."

In a letter to the sponsors of International Olympic Committee, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin also asked the companies to raise awareness to hate-based violence in the world, especially against LGBT people and especially in Russia.

Feds will not sue to stop marijuana use in Washington, Colorado

Written by WiG Thursday, 29 August 2013 11:38

The U.S. government will not sue the states of Colorado or Washington to block state laws allowing the recreational use of marijuana.

The Associated Press reported on Aug. 29 that the Justice Department issued a national policy announcement that identified eight priorities for the enforcement of marijuana laws. Priorities include: preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing sales revenue from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels and preventing the diversion of marijuana outside of states where it is legal under state law.

Marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the state are invalid because the couples were barred from marrying, just like 12-year-olds, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's attorneys said on Aug. 28.

Corbett's administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in suburban Philadelphia, where Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes has issued more than 150 to gay and lesbian couples since July 24.

Walmart extends domestic-partner benefits to gay workers

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 08:12

The nation’s largest employer is extending its health care benefits to its workers' domestic partners – including those of the same sex.

Walmart, which has long been a target of attacks by labor groups for its low skimpy wages and benefits, as well as other shoddy business practices, says the changes were made so it could have one uniform policy for all 50 states at a time when some states have their own definitions of what constitutes domestic partnerships and civil unions. Almost two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies already offer domestic partner benefits.