New York State Senator Tom Duane (Photo: Flickr/User Boss Tweed)
“Disappointment” doesn’t quite describe the way many LGBT rights activists are reacting to the New York State Senate’s failure to pass the Gender Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which sought to outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender identity and presentation in housing, employment, credit and public accommodations and was intended to fix a glaring hole in the state’s anti-discrimination policies. One trans-rights lobbyist told em>The Advocate, Republicans and Democratic Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee were “confused by bathrooms and dress codes and ignored the last 10 years of reality about trans people in America and stayed with the same tired lame cliches that never pan out in fact.”

Diaz was a prominent opponent of last year’s push to legalize same-gender marriage in New York that died a dramatic death in the state Senate.

Democratic Senate leader John Sampson moved the bill to the committee in the hope of solidifying support for the bill, which appeared to be on the verge of gaining enough support to pass the full house. Given the close 11-12 committee vote striking down the bill, it is no surprise that GENDA’s primary backers, including firebrand state Senator Tom Duane, are furious at Sampson for either not being able to control the openly homophobic Senator Diaz, or for putting the bill in a position where its opponents had a clear shot at stopping the legislation. Duane told the New York Daily News “It is now yet again confirmed that the Senate is a cesspool of homophobia and transphobia.”

Elsewhere…

D.C. – Is a federal program that helps AIDS patients pay for expensive drugs under the gun because legislators are afraid of Tea Party-style attacks on their support for “increased spending”? (The Washington Blade)

D.C. – A group called Citizens for Repeal, which represents LGBT members of the armed forces, dropped off a letter at the Pentagon yesterday criticizing the DADT repeal study for not consulting the opinions of LGBT servicemembers. Fair point, but given official policy, it’d be hard to find said servicemembers, no? (The Advocate)

New York – Christie Quinn, a city counselor in New York City, is a big fan of truth in advertising. She wants city clerks to be required to remind same-gender couples applying for domestic partnerships of their second-class status. (Towleroad)

California – There’s a great rumbling within the Anglican Communion: first, the head of the church body bans US church members and Episcopal church officials from serving on Communion-wide bodies over the ordination of a second openly queer bishop in Los Angeles, and now Canadian Anglicans are debating whether or not to follow the Americans’ example. (The Christian Broadcasting Network)

California – “Federal law gives gay citizens with foreign partners tough choices: Leave the U.S.A, lose your love, or break the law.” (SF Weekly)

California – Starting in San Diego County, a Religious Right group called Better Courts Now is trying to pack the local judiciary with supporters. Next step, the say: the country. (Right Wing Watch)

California – “Hook-up violence,” where someone meets you for sex but robs you instead, is the latest crime to beset the community. (The SF Appeal)

Oregon – The fallout from a Portland gay-bashing earlier this month looks promising, as police try to help the LGBTQ community feel more comfortable reporting bias crimes to the police. (Willamette Week Online)

Florida – News flash: Rush Limbaugh and Elton John are on the same page about same-gender marriage. Just not on the use of homophobic language. (Big Hollywood)

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