LGBT Notable News Happenings (May 7, 2009 – May 13, 2009)
Our community has been fighting for lgbt rights around the world, and the UK is no exception. Looks like our brothers and sisters in Ireland have decided, according to a poll, that Civil Partnerships are not good enough for them either. The LGBT community in Ireland joins us in solidarity for marriage equality.
Health Insurance Obstacle for Couples (May 8, 2009)
Gay and Lesbian couples, especially those with families, find additional difficulties in obtaining health insurance. Some employers do offer options for Domestic Partners but those options (when available) can be costly and legally daunting. Even in states with Legal Domestic Partnerships – some employers end up deferring to DOMA and do not make the insurance available.
Helem Protects LGBT in Beirut (May 9, 2009)
The only overtly gay rights organization in the Arab world is preparing for a campaign to overturn the law which makes homosexuality illegal. The organization put together what is believed to be the first gay rights protest in a downtown Beirut square where nearly 2 dozen gays and lesbians gathered. Helem also assisted last year when a gay man was murdered and the police took his friends into custody in order examine them rectally – to determine if they were gay. Fortunately Helem was able to secure their release.
Two LGBT Bills in Texas (May 11, 2009)
Texas based LGBT organizations are busy lobbying lawmakers in support of two pieces of legislation. One of the bills involves protection in schools from bullying and the other bill would ban employment discrimination. Erin Moore of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas said, “For the first in a long time, we haven’t had any anti-LGBT bills – so we’ve been able to spend our time working on behalf of good bills.” The article also includes a link to Equality Texas – for more information.
Russia Says No to Lesbian Couple (May 12, 2009)
Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko, a lesbian couple, applied for a marriage license in a Moscow government office – but their application was denied. In spite of the denial the two held hands and shared a loving kiss near the marriage registry office. Fedotova later told journalists, “We won’t stop in midstream”. The couple said that they will marry in Canada because Russia does recognize marriages registered abroad. They had originally hoped to be married before the start of Russian Gay Pride activities.
New York Assembly Passes Marriage Bill (May 12, 2009)
Five Republicans voted with the Democrats in favor of the bill. The Empire State Pride Agenda is leading other gay rights groups in a campaign of statewide advertising including commercials. Two of the Republican Assemblymen who had previously voted against marriage equality changed their minds and voted in favor of the bill. Richard L Brodsky, a Democrat said, “We do nothing revolutionary or extraordinary today”. Supporters like Brodsky insisted the bill was nothing earth-shattering.
School District Proposes Lessons to Stop Bullying (May 13, 2009)
The Alameda Unified School District in Alameda, California held a meeting at the City Hall with an overflow crowd. So many people arrived for the meeting that many were actually asked to leave. The District has proposed lessons to address slurs and bullying against gays, and were surprised that 200 people had turned in requests just to speak at the meeting. There will be one more meeting before the school board makes their decision – the decision is expected to be made on May 26th.