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September 25, 2014

A bill to recognize the hundreds of Australian gay couples who wed abroad was introduced in March

The Australian Senate has recommended parliament does not pass a bill to recognize gay couples who married in places where same-sex unions are legal.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report on the bill today.

Some submitters expressed concern that the bill was 'a surreptitious attempt to introduce marriage equality.'

The Law Council of Australia was concerned that the bill would create a discriminatory situation where only couples with the financial resources to travel overseas would have access to gay marriage.

August 30, 2014

State Assembly passes bill prohibiting defendants from using panic defense to escape charges of murdering someone gay or transgender

Is it the end of the gay panic and trans panic defenses in California?

The California State Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill this week that would prohibit murder defendants from using the so-called panic defense.

The bill had already been psssed by the State Senate and will now go to Governor Jerry Brown who must sigb it for it to become law.

Under this defense strategy, some defendants have been able to escape murder charges by claiming they panicked because they discovered the victim was gay or transgender.

July 30, 2014

With other elected officials out of the state for the day, lesbian House Speaker Toni Atkins takes the reigns

California's Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins got to make some history Wednesday (30 July).

With the state's governor, lieutenant governor and state Senate president pro tem all out of the state for part of the day, Atkins briefly became the first openly gay person to be acting governor.

July 18, 2014

Will protect employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

US President Barack Obama has chosen Monday (21 July) as the day he will make good on his promise to sign an executive order to prohibit discrimination against LGBTI employees.

The order will apply to an estimated 28 million people - one-fifth of the US workforce - who work for federal contractors and the federal government.

July 11, 2014

Freshly minted Australian micro-party senator David Leyonhjelm says he will put forward a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry after mentioning marriage equality in his inaugural speech

Liberal Democratic Party David Leyonhjelm plans to move quickly to fulfill an election promise to push for same-sex marriage, with reports saying he will move forward with his own bill on the issue.

Leyonhjelm is one of 8 senators from new parties that did not hold seats in the Australian Senate before July this year of who the Australian Government needs 7 to pass legislation if it is opposed by the opposition Labor and Greens parties.

June 26, 2014

'Nearly 44 percent of Americans live in a state where same-sex couples can be legally married, and I believe this number will only continue to grow'

US Senator Susan Collins of Maine on Wednesday (25 June) became the fourth Republican member of the Senate to publicly endorse gay marriage.

'A number of states, including my home state of Maine, have now legalized same-sex marriage, and I agree with that decision,' Collins told the Bangor Daily News.

She follows in the footsteps of Republican Senate colleagues Rob Portman of Ohio, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

June 25, 2014

Openly gay state Senator Richard Madaleno has won the battle to retain his seat against fellow Democrat and transgender woman Dana Beyer in what may be a historic first

The LGBTI community in the US state of Maryland found themselves divided in who to vote for in a historic state Senate election yesterday that pitted a gay man against a transgender woman in becoming a Democratic state lawmaker.

Openly gay incumbent Senator Richard Madaleno was fighting to retain his Montgomery County seat in the Maryland State Senate but with no Republican prepared to stand against him, he faced a primary race against a fellow Democrat and transgender woman to keep his job.

June 19, 2014

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced that his government will move forward with legislation to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and to recognize same-sex marriages performed overseas

Italy’s Senate will debate bills to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his party’s intention to move forward with legislation so debates on the bill can begin in September.

The Italian model has been based on civil partnership schemes in Britain and Germany but the proposal in Italy is that same-sex spouses will only be allowed to adopt their partner’s children if the other parent dies.

June 18, 2014

'In the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn't be a fireable offense'

The day before speaking at a Democratic National Committee LGBT fundraiser in New York City Tuesday (17 June), President Barack Obama had already let it be known that he was taking action on a long-simmering issue.

As the Republican-controlled House of Representatives continues to ignore the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), Obama has finally agreed to sign an executive order that would offer some of the protections as that long-delayed legislation.

June 17, 2014

Darrin Gayles and Staci Yandle are also both African-American

The US Senate made history on Tuesday (17 June) when it confirmed two openly gay judges to the federal bench on the same day.

Both are also African-American.

Judge Darrin Gayles, confirmed to the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is the first openly gay African American man to be confirmed as a lifetime-appointed federal judge in the nation’s history.

June 16, 2014

Long-requested step comes as US congress fails to pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act

President Barack Obama is planning to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The move comes as the US Congress continues to be stalled on the long-delayed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, commonly known as ENDA. The legislation passed the Senate last year but has languished in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

May 15, 2014

The Australian Senate will hold investigative hearings on whether to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed overseas after a Greens party senator put forward a bill on the issue

The Australian Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Committee will hold an inquiry on legally recognizing same-sex marriages performed overseas after Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a bill that would recognize them if passed.

Australia already recognizes heterosexual marriages which are legally conducted overseas and the Greens bill seeks to also recognize same-sex marriages performed overseas where they are legal.

May 8, 2014

Steve Wiles, the conservative Christian former drag queen who was hoping to become a Republican state senate candidate in North Carolina, has lost in a primary election

Conservative Christian Republican and former drag queen Steve Wiles has failed in his bid to be selected to become a candidate for the North Carolina state Senate.

Wiles received only 27.49% of votes from North Carolina Republican Party members, coming last in the race to become the GOP’s candidate for State Senate District 31.

May 4, 2014

After denying that he had worked as a female impersonator, he later said on Facebook : 'My job was embarrassing – I had to have a job!'

A Republican candidate for the North Carolina Senate – who is campaigning on a platform in support of his state's ban on same-sex marriage – has been outed as a former female impersonator and drag show emcee by the co-owner of the club where he once worked some 10 years ago.

Former club owner Randy Duggins told the Winston-Salem Journal that Steve Wile, 34, who is now a real estate agent in Belews Creek, NC, worked at Club Odyssey until 2010 under the name 'Mona Sinclair.' Wiles was also a show director and performance booker.

April 30, 2014

Former Michigan state Representative Lorence Wenke has announced he will run as a Libertarian Party candidate for the Michigan state Senate because he can no longer stand his party’s treatment of gay people

Lorence Wenke, who spent six years in the Michigan state House of Representatives as a Republican, has announced that he has switched political affiliations to the Libertarian Party and that he intends to run against his former party to try to win a state senate seat.

Wenke cited two reasons for leaving the party – the first being its treatment of gays and lesbians.

April 9, 2014

Alan Simpson says in new ad: 'I have had a wonderful married life, why shouldn’t somebody else have the joy of marriage'

Retired US Senator Alan Simpson became a political rarity this week: he is Republican who has come out very publicly in favor of gay marriage.

Simpson, who served in the Senate for 18 years before retiring in 1997, felt so strongly about the issue that he agreed to appear in a television ad for the group Freedom to Marry.

April 4, 2014

Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay Family Research Council, attended the small signing ceremony for the legislation

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant held a small ceremony for the signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill LGBTI advocates see as a step toward state approved anti-gay discrimination.

April 3, 2014

Olivia Cajero Bedford defends her comments on Steve Gallardo's sexuality as a joke

Steve Gallardo may be gay, but he's not acting gay enough in the opinion of one of his  Arizona State Senate colleagues.

During a closed door caucus meeting this week, Olivia Cajero Bedford remarked that Gallardo should 'act more gay,' according to Arizona Capitol Times.

April 2, 2014

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant indicated he will sign the bill

The southern US state of Mississippi is a signature away from having laws that will permit businesses to turn away gays.

Supporters of Senate Bill 2681, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, argue the proposal only keeps the state from administrating harsh burdens on the faithful.

March 27, 2014

Republicans, including one who said 'What this bill does is change nature,' fail in attempts to gut the legislation of protections

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is poised to sign into law a bill that makes it illegal to discriminate against transgender people in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.

The state's House of Delegates passed a bill by a vote of 82-57 on Thursday (27 March). the state Senate had passed the legislation earlier this month by a vote of 32-15.

SB 212 expands to all of Maryland's 23 counties protections that already exist for transgender people in the counties of Howard, Montgomery, Baltimore and the city of Baltimore.

March 18, 2014

The Juridicial Commission of Romania’s Chamber of Deputies has unanimously rejected a bill which would have created civil unions for both opposite and same-sex couples – with one MP declaring the proposal to be ‘cultural Marxism’

Non-married heterosexual couples and same-sex couples in Romania will not be allowed to enter into civil unions after the Juridicial Commission of the country’s Chamber of Deputies rejected a bill unanimously on 5 March.

The bill had previously failed in the Senate where only two senators out of 176 were prepared to vote for the bill – 105 voted against the bill while the remaining senators abstained.

March 18, 2014

The Australian Senate has passed a motion calling on the Australian Government to do more on the world stage to help end the criminalization of LGBTI people

Australian senators voted yesterday on a motion acknowledging the persecution of LGBTI people in many parts of the world and called on the Australian Government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to do more to combat the problem.

The motion was moved by opposition Australian Labor Party Senator Claire Moore on behalf of Labor Senator Louise Pratt and ruling Liberal Party Senator Sue Boyce at around 4.30pm in a bipartisan effort.

March 14, 2014

A Republican hopeful who wants to take Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s senate seat from has labelled him ‘ambiguously gay’ in attacking his service to constituents

South Carolina Republican hopeful and former police officer Juan ‘Dave’ Feliciano has implied that senior Senate Republican Lindsey Graham is gay as part of his bid to replace Graham as the Republican candidate for his senate seat.

Graham is only a two term senator for South Carolina and one of the more prominent faces of the Republican Party of the United States Congress but Feliciano believes South Carolinians deserve a better candidate next time around.

March 6, 2014

Democratic lawmaker inspired to come out publicly following controversy surrounding vetoed anti-gay bill

Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo came out publicly on Wednesday (5 March) in the wake of the furor over a vetoed bill that sought to make it legal for businesses to discriminate LGBTI people.

'I am gay, I’m Latino and I'm a senator and it’s OK,' Gallardo said at a news conference.