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USA, Ohio: Ballot Initiative Put on Hold; Gubernatorial Candidate Supports Ruling

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

A couple new stories coming out of Ohio on marriage equality. First off, FreedomOhio is putting its referendum on overturning the state’s ban on hold pending the upcoming ruling.

On Top Magazine reports:

FreedomOhio, the group working on a ballot initiative to repeal Ohio’s ban on gay marriage, announced Friday that it is placing its initiative on hold. FreedomOhio will “hold its original petition for marriage equality in a state of readiness for filing, while collecting signatures on a new petition with revised language,” the group said in a statement. Explaining that it wanted to “ensure that the right language is placed on the ballot at the right time,” the group said it will “continue to work with in-state LGBT groups and allies.”

The group subsequently announced plans to work on an initiative for the Equal Housing and Employment Act.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Ian James, executive director of FreedomOhio, says the organization plans to begin circulating a petition for the Equal Housing and Employment Act. The initiated statute effort takes time and multiple steps, starting with the group needing to collect roughly 116,000 valid signatures to get the idea before state lawmakers. The General Assembly then would have four months to act on the proposed law. Depending on that outcome, another petition could be circulated to get the proposal before voters.

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Ed FitzgeraldFinally, Ohio gubernatorial hopeful Ed Fitzgerald (D, Cuyahoga County) announced his support for the pending ruling.

On Top Magazine reports:

Cuyahoga County Executive and Ohio gubernatorial hopeful Ed Fitzgerald on Friday applauded a federal judge’s preliminary ruling ordering Ohio to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples… “As governor, I will support marriage equality and work to move Ohio forward for all its residents,” Fitzgerald, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Who you love and commit yourself to should not be prohibited by governments.”

Ohio’s current Republican Governor John Kasich opposes marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Ohio.

USA, Pennsylvania: Judge Rejects State Appeal in Marriage Equality Case

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Pennsylvania mapA federal judge in Pennsylvania rejected the state’s attempt to take the way his jurisdiction in the case, based on an old, old, old Minnesota marriage equality case from 1972.

Edge Boston reports:

U.S. District Judge John Jones on Tuesday rejected the state’s argument that his court lacks the power to hear the case, and suggested that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would agree with him. Jones says there’ve been “substantial and far-reaching” developments in how courts treat equal protection and due process rights since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1972 decision that it lacked the jurisdiction to decide whether a Minnesota law banning same-sex marriages violated the Constitution.

Good for him for rejecting this transparent attempt to nix the lawsuit. The case will get its day in court on June 9.

Perhaps trying to burnish his anti-gay image, Governor Tom Corbett came out today in favor of some protections for LGBT citizens in the state.

Joe.My.God reports:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who so far had been no friend to the gay community, has backed a bill that would protect LGBT residents from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. Corbett, who has previously staked out conservative positions on social issues, told The Inquirer that he was “coming out in support” of the bill after learning that federal law does not cover discrimination in the state.

Small steps.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania, USA: Two Bills Introduced to Protect LGBT Citizens

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

you tube bigMore than a hundred lawmakers in pennsylvania have gotten behind a bill to protect LGBT citizens from discrimination. Towleroad.com reports:

A broad group of state lawmakers today introduced bills HB 300/SB300, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression statewide in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations. And they cited a record high level of support for the measures. “These identical proposals have a common goal — to end, once and for all, the last vestige of legal discrimination in Pennsylvania based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression,” said state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Squirrel Hill), a co-sponsor of HB300 with Republican state Rep. Chris Ross, and sponsor of the bill in previous years.

The bill apparently has some bipartisan support, although it’s hard to say what its chances are in the GOP controlled and gerrymandered state legislature.

The Obama Recovery is Gaining Steam – And Everyone (But the Republicans) Knows It

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

A little-noticed recent Gallup poll showed an astonishing report – the poll showed an astonishing 90 point gap in confidence about the economy between Democrats (30) and Republicans (-60).

And recent economic news bears out the Democrats’ views – the Obama Recovery is well underway, and has been gaining steam in recent months. So with the standard disclaimer that things aren’t yet where we want them to be, consider these varied economic indicators:

Consumer Confidence: In september, consumer confidence hit a seven month high, “bolstered by a brighter outlook for overall business conditions and hiring,” according to Business Week.

Real Estate: CoreLogic reported in October that housing’s “shadow inventory” – houses repossessed by banks but not yet on the market – was down 10% year over year. At the same time, more than 100 US cities have sen real estate prices return to peak levels this year. And the housing market posted its largest year over year price increase in 6 years in August, with prices up 4.6%. And mortgage rates remain at record lows, encouraging the real estate recovery.

Jobs: The jobless rate change in October (down to 7.8% – the first time below 8% since January, 2009) drew a lot of attention. But much less noticed were the revisions to the previously weaker jobs reports for July and August, which were just adjusted upward by 86,000 additional private sector jobs. These revisions, in addition to improving the overall outlook, mean that, even with the worst recession since the great depression, President Obama has presided over a net jobs gain since taking office. Under President Obama, we’ve now seen 30 consecutive months of private sector job growth.

The Stock Market: While stocks are always volatile, the Dow Jones average just hit a five year high last week. Wall Street has, of course, done remarkably well after the bailout, and there are finally many signs that Main Street is catching up.

Taken together, all this economic data paints a far rosier picture of an economy in recovery than we’re hearing these days in the news. And it’s backed up for me by things here locally in the Sacramento market, one of the hardest-hit in the nation by the real estate bust and the economic crash – unsold housing inventory is down, prices are stabilizing, and hiring is picking up.

We can see it happening – we’re just waiting for the media (and the GOP) to catch up.

IN: South Bend Considering LGBT Human Rights Ordinance

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Activists’ renewed efforts in Indiana‚Äôs fourth largest city to pass an LGBT-inclusive human rights ordinance into law have unexpectedly met with some disparaging and bizarre claims from socially conservative organizers who oppose the measure.

With a vote expected from the South Bend’s Common Council on Monday, July 26, the Citizens for Community Values of Indiana have ramped up their efforts to thwart the amendment. The CCVI claimed in an e-blast “radical GLBT activists are back to try to push their agenda once again in the middle of summer when many families are on vacation.” The message further encourages South Bend residents to pray and contact their council members and urge them to “lovingly oppose the special rights for homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendereds [sic], agenda.”

The e-mail goes on to contend the amendment’s passage would affirm “homosexual behavior,” promote “pro-homosexual propaganda” and even lead to an invasion of “men in dresses” into women’s restrooms and same-sex couples into neighborhoods.

Full Story from Edge Boston

Click here for gay marriage resources in Indiana.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

FL: Leon County Considering Gay Anti Discrimination Ordinance

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Lisa Comingore, an assistant attorney general for the state of Florida, knows what it’s like to be forced out of a job over sexual orientation. Comingore, 39, took a job as a staff attorney with a state agency Nov. 1, 2006, and by the following February, she’d put in her notice. She’d been told that if she didn’t, she;d be fired.

The reason why, she says, had nothing to do with job performance – a supervisor wanted her out because she’s a lesbian. Comingore, a Tallahassee resident who was recovering from breast cancer, decided to leave on her own. She knew if she was fired, she’d have a hard time landing another state job and keeping her health insurance. “It just felt extremely unfair,” Comingore said. “Just being discriminated against and having no recourse – it’s very demoralizing.”

Currently, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community aren’t protected from workplace discrimination in local, state or federal law. They also aren’t protected from housing discrimination in state or federal law. The county’s housing code has a protection for gays and lesbians, but LGBT advocates say it has no enforcement mechanism and is ineffective.

Full Story from Tallahassee.com

Click here for gay marriage resources in Florida.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

OH: Gay Protections Bill Stalled in State Senate

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Gay advocates in Ohio remain optimistic that a stalled gay protections bill approved last fall by the House remains viable. Representative Dan Stewart’s measure would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (transgender protections) in the areas of employment, public accommodations and credit.

In September, five Republican lawmakers crossed the aisle to join all Democrats in attendance in voting in favor of the bill on a 56 to 38 vote. Five Democratic lawmakers did not attend the session. The bill then headed into the Republican-controlled Senate with an uncertain future.

Kim Welter, director of Programs and Outreach at Equality Ohio, the state’s largest gay advocate, told On Top Magazine that Senate President Bill M. Harris, an Ashland Republican who has publicly questioned whether the bill’s protections are needed, remains the measure’s largest obstacle. Harris, Welter explained, has yet to assign the bill to a committee seven months after the House approved the measure.

Full Story from On Top Magazine

Click here for gay marriage resources in Ohio.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.