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Lynn Ellins stunned New Mexico last month when the county clerk decided to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But even he was shocked by the lack of public outrage or protest to his decision, which set off a chain reaction that has for all practical purposes made gay marriage legal in the state.

The only crowds that gathered outside his Dona Ana County office were gay couples wanting to marry. The state's top politicians stayed neutral. New Mexico's three Catholic bishops said it was a matter for lawmakers. And an evangelical mega-church in the state's largest city was mum.

Marriage equality activists to wait until 2016 election in Arizona

Written by The AP Wednesday, 11 September 2013 12:00

Organizers of an initiative campaign for a 2014 ballot measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Arizona are dropping that effort in favor of waiting until 2016.

The Equal Marriage Campaign says it had broad support but that key national advocacy groups withheld backing that was needed to make a 2014.

De Blasio places 1st in NYC mayoral primary, then Thompson, then Quinn

Written by AP,
WiG reports
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 07:36

New York City's wild mayoral primary campaign hurtled to the voting booth on Sept. 10 as New Yorkers began the process of replacing the man who has led their city for 12 years.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg never offered an endorsement in the race, but the primary campaigns largely were defined by his legacy. The Republican mayoral hopefuls were largely promising to maintain his policies, while the Democrats offered a sharply different approach.

The Indiana University GLBT Alumni Association on Sept. 10 launched the nation’s first-ever scholarship campaign devoted to assisting LGBT students and promoting leadership on LGBT concerns.

Bolstered by an anonymous $500,000 challenge gift, the campaign kicked off with more than $200,000 in cash and pledges.

The AFL-CIO vowed on Sept. 11 to work for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, saying in its adoption of a resolution that momentum is there to win in Congress.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and four states, including Wisconsin, have laws barring employment discrimination based only on sexual orientation.

Texas lawmakers ask Texas National Guard to treat service members equally

Written by WiG Wednesday, 11 September 2013 11:29

Texas lawmakers are calling on the Texas guard to halt discrimination against married gay and lesbian service members, who under a Pentagon order are guaranteed equal treatment.

The 16 lawmakers signed a letter to Major Gen. John F. Nichols of the National Guard in Texas. Earlier this month, Nichols said that the Texas Guard would not be recognizing the marriages of gays and lesbians in the service even though the U.S. Defense Department has new rules in place requiring such recognition. The DOD implemented new policies after the U.S. Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to deny federal recognition to gays and lesbians who legally married in a U.S. state.

New Olympic committee president trusts there will be no discrimination in Sochi

Written by The AP Wednesday, 11 September 2013 05:11

Within minutes of being elected to the top job in the Olympics, Thomas Bach got a phone call from a powerful leader he'll work with closely in the next few months: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bach, a 59-year-old German lawyer, was elected on Sept. 10 to president of the International Olympic Committee. He succeeds Jacques Rogge, who stepped down after 12 years.

Hawaii governor calling special session on marriage equality

Written by WiG Monday, 09 September 2013 18:26

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced late Sept. 9 that he will call a special session to consider marriage equality legislation.

An announcement from Equality Hawaii board member Steven Levinson said, “Since this morning, we’ve counted the votes over and over again and I won’t sugarcoat it: it’s going to be extremely close. Several lawmakers still haven’t decided which way they’ll vote. If we’re going to win their support, it’s going to take the most rigorous lobbying and grassroots organizing program we’ve ever run. We have to mobilize tens of thousands of supporters to take action in key districts across the state.”

Marriage equality efforts underway in Ohio

Written by The AP Wednesday, 11 September 2013 18:10

Gay rights supporters said that they plan to build support for same-sex marriage in Ohio, while remaining separate from a ballot effort to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban next year.

Backers of the issue are split over when to put a constitutional amendment before voters in the perennial presidential swing state.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn lost her campaign for mayor in the nation’s largest city, placing third in the Democratic primary.

Quinn, had she won the primary and then the general election, would have been New York City’s first female mayor, as well as its first openly gay or lesbian mayor.

AFL-CIO adds gender identity to constitution

Written by WiG Tuesday, 10 September 2013 13:56

The AFL-CIO amended its governing constitution on Sept. 9 to include gender identity.

Amendment 9 adopted at the organization's convention is about "welcoming all workers to our movement." The amendment was proposed by the Communications Workers of America and recommended by the AFL-CIO Constitution Committee.

Puerto Rico lawmakers to debate medical marijuana

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 09 September 2013 08:20

Legislators in Puerto Rico are preparing to debate a bill that would allow people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes in the U.S. territory, officials said.

The measure would create a system to legally produce the substance and allow state health officials to regulate it, said Rep. Jose Baez, one of the bill's two authors.