Today, a bipartisan majority of the Republican-controlled New York Senate voted 33-29 to pass a bill securing the freedom to marry for all couples in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to promptly sign the bill into law, and to make New York the sixth—and most populous—state to afford gay and lesbian couples the same marriage rights available to heterosexual couples.
A group of Orange County residents are planning an unorthodox welcome to a group which opposes equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens. The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) has opposed protection for LGBT people under hate crimes legislation and worked against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Today, at the Department of the Interior, President Barack Obama kept his campaign promise to end the ban on gay and lesbian Americans serving openly in the armed forces of the United States. With his signature today, the President put in motion the end of a policy that has hurt our military as a whole, that has forced thousands of those who serve to do so under a cloud of anxiety and isolation, and that has stood as a symbol of the barriers to unity and equality in our country.
â€œRepealing â€˜Donâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€™ is the right thing to do,â€ said Rep. Loretta Sanchez. â€œEveryone who is willing and able to serve their country should be able to do so, regardless of sexual orientation. This is an issue of national security as well as fairness that affects every single American.â€
Assembly Speaker John A. PÃ©rez (D-Los Angeles) released a Youtube video as part of the It Gets Better series created in the wake of national headlines of LGBT kids committing suicide after anti-gay bullying and harassment by their peers. The series was created by columnist Dan Savage, and in it participants are asked to convey to LGBT kids that it gets better by sharing their stories of coming out, their experiences as LGBT youth and adults and the ultimate message that it gets better.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will call for a vote after Thanksgiving on legislation that would allow gays to serve openly in the military. His announcement makes good on his pre-election promise to resurrect during the lame-duck session legislation that would repeal the 1993 law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”