Policy & Legal UpdatesDecember 9 – 15, 2013
- On 12 December 2013, U.S. Senator Mike Lee introduced the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act(House #3133, Senate #1808), which would legalize discrimination against LGBT individuals, couples, and their children by governments, businesses, hospitals, and individuals. Lawmakers favoring it include 12 Senators (11 Republicans, 1 Democrat). Based on history, the chance of enactment is 1%. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source PENNSYLVANIA • On 9 December 2013, in Cara Palladino & Isabelle Barker v. PA Governor Corbett et al., a couple suing to get PA to recognize their 2005 MA marriage, PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane sought to be dismissed as a defendant because her office was not involved in violating the plaintiffs’ rights. • MEUSA Summary • News Source TEXAS • On 11 December 2013, in Cleopatra De Leon, et al., v. TX Governor Rick Perry et al.,a federal class action lawsuit for all TX couples challenging the 2005 TX constitutional ban on marriage inside and outside TX, the judge agreed to hear the case starting 12 February 2014. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ARKANSAS • On 12 December 2013, in Kendall Wright et al. v. AR Governor Michael Beebe, et al.,11 same-gender couples challenging the 2004 AR constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, the state law banning same-gender civil marriage, and the federal law allowing states to ignore same-gender marriages from other states, and also seeking parental rights, birth certificate names, insurance, and other benefits, asked that oher couples be allowed to marry during the suit, and defendants for Faulkner County and AR asked that the suit be dismissed, after which the judge gave no indication of when or how he might rule. • MEUSA Summary • News Source TEXAS & MISSISSIPPI • On 13 December 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed that MS had stopped discriminating, and that all 50 states deliver all benefits to same-gender spouses of Army National Guard personnel (active duty, dependents, retired). IN and WV accept applications from and issue cards to everyone, but GA, LA, MS, and TX use only federal workers to enroll applicants and issue ID cards, and FL, OK, and SC moved the equipment to federal property, forcing all couples to travel longer distances. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NEW MEXICO • By 13 December 2013, 60% of NM residents were living in 8 of the 33 counties (Bernalillo, Doña Ana, Grant, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, San Miguel, Taos, Valencia) that were issuing marriage licenses, and over 1,700 same-gender couples had married. Out of 7 NM lawsuits in 2013, 0 were defeats for marriage equality, 3 were victories for equality, and 4 remain pending, 1 of which is about to be decided by the NM Supreme Court. • MEUSA Summary • News Source MICHIGAN • On 13 December 2013, in April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse v. MI Governor Rick Snyder, et al., in a challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s 2004 ban on same-gender marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, and joint adoption, the defendants asked that the trial not be split into 2 parts: (1) constitutionality of marriage/adoption laws; and (2) deciding what scrutiny level is required when judging laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation, and asked the court to ignore which level of judicial scrutiny applies to laws that discriminate against same-gender couples. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source FLORIDA • On 12 December 2013, the Pensacola City Council approved several important domestic partner rights, joining at least 14 FL cities and counties representing 50% of FL residents. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source PENNSYLVANIA • On 11 December 2013, the Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania campaign was launched by Freedom to Marry and ACLU of Pennsylvania. • MEUSA Summary • News Source COLORADO • On 9 December 2013, Public Policy Polling surveyed 928 CO voters (including 355 usual Republican primary voters) about same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 53% favor it, 39% oppose it, with 8% unaccounted for. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
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- American Military Partners Association (AMPA): The nation’s premier resource and support network for LGBT military partners, spouses and their families. Founded by the partners of active duty servicemembers, AMPA has grown to nearly 4,000 members with thousands more supporters and is proud to be leading the effort to connect, support, honor, and serve our modern military families.
- American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER): A non-profit, non-partisan, chapter-based Veterans Service Organization of active, reserve, and veteran service members dedicated to full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, especially the LGBT current and prior military personnel who have been historically disenfranchised by armed forces policy and discriminatory laws governing military service and benefits.
- OutServe/SLDN: A non-partisan association of actively serving LGBT military personnel offering legal services and acting as a watchdog and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Service members, Partners, Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All (SPARTA): The mission of this organization is to advocate for and support our actively serving LGBT military members and veterans and their families while working to ensure the military provides equal opportunity for all service members regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- College tuition and fee payments paid to the school on the student’s behalf.
- A monthly housing allowance.
- A books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year.