The National: Thrown Under the Bus; Gays Begin Takeover Salt Lake City

More details keep emerging that show the Democratic Party is throwing prominent parts of the LGBT legislative agenda under the bus – and lying about it.

First, Joe.My.God reports that “Organizing for America”, President Obama’s network of grassroots organizers, was contacting Mainers via email right before Tuesday’s election, encouraging them to call New Jersey voters to help out Governor John Corzine, who was facing a tough reelection battle, instead of helping the No on 1 get out the vote to protect marriage equality. Then, John Aravosis reports that the DNC tried to cover this up, and later admitted to sending the emails in an email from DNC treasurer Andy Tobias.

Next, with national agenda items from this year’s legislative session (health care, financial regulation reform) looking set to spill over into next year, many Democratic senators and representatives are treating LGBT issues like the plague. Despite being the centerpiece of Obama’s public promise to the LGBT community, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell looks set to slip from the legislative agenda, as does a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. On one level, this isn’t so problematic. Unlike same-gender marriage, a reformed healthcare system would benefit nearly all LGBT people. But the Washington Blade reports that the way draft legislation is written, it could easily exclude LGBT families and partners.

For now, a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act seems on track for a vote next year, but legislators and their aides are mum on any potential delays due to other issues, raising the possibility that the issue will fester.

But he declined to speculate about where it stood on the legislative priority list alongside issues like immigration reform and climate change. “I wouldn’t put it in any kind of a line up,” Harkin said. “It’s one of the those kinds of things where, if the leadership – Senator Reid – sees an opening, we’ll move it.”

Senator Merkley acknowledged that other priorities were slowing down the process. “Health care reform is having an impact on all the major conversations we’re having in this building,” he said. “But our goal was to have a hearing on this legislation this fall in preparation for trying to move this legislation next spring.”

Asked if there was any consideration that transgender protections might be dropped from the bill, Merkley said simply, “No.”

(The Advocate)


Utah – Salt Lake City has elected its first openly gay city councilmember. Over the last few years, Salt Lake City has also elected three openly gay state legislators. This, of course, in a state where the Mormon church strongly influences state and local government. We’re coming for you, just you wait… (Salt Lake Tribune)

Washington – Referendum 71, which created domestic partnerships practically equal to marriage in all but name, has officially passed! (JMG)

New York – Governor David Paterson has called the state legislature back into a special session to deal with a massive state budget deficit, and to see if he can pass a same-gender marriage bill. Paterson faces low approval ratings, and may be hoping this latter measure will endear him to some of his constituents. (The Gay Agenda)

Texas – The Fort Worth Police released the results of their official investigation into the Rainbow Lounge raid earlier this year. They claim a few policies were violated, and outline the minor discipline meted out to a few officers involved, but deny that they used excessive force — the bar patron who was hospitalized with brain damage sustained in the raid “fell,” and was not slammed to the floor by police. (The Bilerico Project)

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