State of LGBT Equality, Post-Election 2012
(Infographics courtesy of MAP: Mobility Advancement Project, www.lgbtmap.org)
Federal Law & Policy
1. Salvation Army Under Scrutiny
LGBT rights groups have once again criticized the Salvation Army, whose constant presence and bell ringing has almost become synonymous with this time of year, for their anti-LGBT stance. Some have begun a voucher campaign to send a message to the organization about their discriminatory policies.
2. Three Pro-LGBT Actions from the Military that You Don’t Know About
The military is making strides toward becoming more open and accepting of its LGBT service members and veterans. Included in recent policy changes are broader health care benefits for transgender veterans, partner benefits for military service members, and a potential lift of the women in combat ban. However, there is still much to be done to achieve LGBT equality in the military.
3. 123 Openly LGBT Candidates Win Election Seats
According to the Victory Fund, 123 candidates who are openly LGBT won seats in this month’s elections out of 180 races. Most notably were Tammy Baldwin (D-WI, Senator), and multiple US Representatives (Mark Takano, CA; Sean Maloney, NY; David Cicilline, RI; Marc Pocan, WI; Jared Polis, CO; and Krysten Sinema; AZ). A complete list of all openly LBGT candidates and their win/loss status is available at this hyperlink.
4. Transgender Voters Not Included
A national polling firm contracted by numerous news agencies, including the Associated Press, included asking if voters identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual, but not if they identified as transgender. Citing a desire to keep the questions consistent over multiple election cycles, the organization failed to adequately justify the lack of gender identity/expression demographics in their exit poll questions.
State Law & Policy
1. WA May Use Gender-Neutral Terms on Marriage and Divorce Paperwork
Following the approval of R-74 and its recognition of same-sex marriages, the State Department of Health is moving to replace terms like groom, bride, husband and wife with gender-neutral terms such as Spouse A and Spouse B. WA residents have until November 28 to provide comments.
2. Charge Spurs Controversy in Anti-Lesbian Attack
An AL teen was beaten by her girlfriend’s brother because he did not approve of their relationship. He was charged with second degree assault, and released on bond shortly thereafter. Activists are claiming that it is a hate crime, though a hate crimes statute in AL does not include sexual orientation, and are asking for an increase in the charge to attempted murder.
3. Williams Institute Estimates Revenue Generation by Pro-Marriage Equality Amendments
According to the Williams Institute, at least $166 million will be generated in the next three years by the wedding industry in ME, MD, and WA as a result of the passage of same-sex marriage laws this month.
4. Austin, TX, Elects First Openly Gay School Board Member
Austin elected its first openly gay school board member this November, a former Roman Catholic priest who defeated the incumbent in the race. According to Rev. Jayme Mathias, the winning candidate, sexual orientation was not an issue in this race.
5. ME Judge Rules in Favor of School District in Trans Discrimination Case
A Superior Court judge in ME ruled last week that the Orono Schools were justified in barring a transgender child in 2007 from using the restroom of her gender identity in a complicated opinion.
1. Parents of a Nederlands 20-year-old Publish Suicide Note
Following the suicide of their 20-year-old son following anti-gay bullying, the parents of Tim Ribberink published his suicide note in the local paper.
2. Facts and Myths About Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill
Zack Ford has compiled an article that helps to clarify elements of the Ugandan bill that has been popularly referred to by activists as the “Kill the Gays” Bill. Details available at the link.
3. US Grants Asylum to Persecuted LGBT Asylees
The US Immigration office has granted 102 LGBT applicants their petitions of asylum, thanks to the work of Immigration Equality.
Culture & Community
1. Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance Honors Trans Voices
The Boston transgender community came together on Sunday to honor voices of transgender victims of violence. During the march, the participants read the names of 265 people killed during the past year at the hands of anti-transgender violence. More on statistics here.
2. Morgan Freeman Narrates Marriage Equality Video
The Human Rights Campaign has published a new video for marriage equality, featuring voice-over work by Morgan Freeman, notable American actor.
3. Gay Men and Moms Sue SJ Gay Therapists
Four gay men and their mothers are suing a conversion therapy group in NJ, citing fraud under state consumer protection laws. The plaintiffs are receiving assistance from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
4. Brazil Hosts First Transgender Beauty Pageant
On October 30, Brazil hosted its first transgender beauty pageant in Rio de Janiero.