The Hawaii House Committees on Judiciary and Finance have advanced the marriage equality bill, sending the measure to the House floor for a second reading and full vote.
Think Progress adds:
The committees added three amendments to the bill. The first set the start date for December 2, 2013. The second removed section 572-C from the bill, which asserted parents’ rights and responsibilities including paternity, maternity, and parentage presumptions based on marriage. Lastly, the committee added religious protections similar to those included in Connecticut’s marriage equality law, protecting religious organizations from having to participate in the solemnization of a same-sex marriage.
During the debate, Rep. Bob McDermott (R), who is suing to block the legislature from passing marriage equality, attempted to substitute his own bill proposing a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but he was blocked from proceeding. Several other lawmakers attempted to add amendments that would allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples, but they were not considered.
Bill De Blasio won a landslide election to become NYC's 109th mayor and its first Democratic mayor in a generation:
His overwhelming victory, stretching from the working-class precincts of central Brooklyn to the suburban streets of northwest Queens, amounted to a forceful rejection of the hard-nosed, business-minded style of governance that reigned at City Hall for the past two decades and a sharp leftward turn for the nation’s largest metropolis.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat who is the city’s public advocate, defeated his Republican opponent, Joseph J. Lhota, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, by a wide margin.
Exit polls conducted by Edison Research suggested that the sweep of his victory cut across all of New York’s traditional divides. He won support from voters regardless of race, gender, age, education, religion or income, according to the exit poll.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie easily won reelection against Democratic Senator Barbara Buono.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe has beaten Virginia wingnut Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race. Homophobe pastor E.W. Jackson has lost the race for Lieutenant Governor in Virginia.
Annise Parker has won reelection as mayor of Houston, Texas.
Washington State Senator is poised to defeat Ed McGinn to become Seattle's first openly gay mayor.
Royal Oak, Michigan has upheld an LGBT-inclusive human rights ordinance.
If there are races around the country that have been called that Towleroad readers might be interested in, please feel free to chime in in the comments.
A cappella group Pentatonix is turning out the clips these days. We barely finished eating up their 'Evolution of Beyoncé' medley and now they've put on their glowing contacts for a smooth tribute to Daft Punk in which they tear up "Technologic", "Get Lucky", "Digital Love", "One More Time", "Harder Better Faster Stronger", and "Television Rules the Nation".
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
Nick, a freshman at Kennesaw State University, was kicked out of his family's home in mid-October after his father and step-mother found out that he is bisexual. Left without a car, and with very few possessions (which his family threw onto the front yard while he was at work), Nick is now on the mend, having been taken in by a work relation, Steve Bevers. Bevers set up a crowd-funding page on GoFundMe to help Nick pay for a place of his own as well as a car that would allow him to get back and forth from his college.
HuffPost reports on the effort:
"When I heard about what happened to Nick I was flabbergasted," Bevers said in a statement to The Huffington Post. "I couldn't understand how a parent could do that. While I'm sure there are multiple sides to the story, I just was amazed. I was hurt. The first thing I asked was, 'Does he need a place to stay? Does he need some money?'"
According to a statement on the GoFundMe page, Bevers believes, "[Nick] has felt that the people most responsible for loving and protecting him through anything have turned their backs and don't care where he's sleeping, or how he's going to feed himself." He added, "We're working to show Nick that he is loved, even by strangers. That the horrible acts of some people will not be enough to stop him, and that with the help of people everywhere, he can get through this."
In just a few days, nearly 400 people have donated more than $12,000.
Nick uploaded several videos over the past couple of weeks thanking those who have donated and telling his story. He has said that he is working on registering for his spring semester and plans to buy a car with the donated funds. Both Nick and Bevers have expressed their awe at the kindness of strangers.
In response to the already incredible success of the GoFundMe campaign, Bevers told The Huffington Post, "[I am] absolutely blown away. Amazed, humbled, and once again, I had my faith in humanity restored. Bad things happen -- that will always be the truth. But what this showed me is that people want to help. People want to give, and to trust."
Watch Nick tell his story, AFTER THE JUMP...
Bisexuals are often given short shrift when it comes to awareness and advocacy about LGBT issues, subject to prejudice and a general lack of visibility. According to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, there are notable differences in attitudes towards bisexuality along gender, racial and sexuality lines. From a press release today announcing the study's results:
Men who identify themselves as heterosexual are three times more likely to categorize bisexuality as "not a legitimate sexual orientation," an attitude that can encourage negative health outcomes in people who identify as bisexual, according to an analysis led by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researcher Mackey Friedman, Ph.D., M.P.H.
"Bisexual men and women face prejudice, stigma and discrimination from both heterosexual and homosexual people," said Dr. Friedman, director of Project Silk, an HIV prevention initiative. "This can cause feelings of isolation and marginalization, which prior research has shown leads to higher substance use, depression and risky sexual behavior. It also can result in lower rates of HIV testing and treatment."
Dr. Friedman and his colleagues asked hundreds of college students for words they associated with bisexual people, getting responses such as 'confused,' 'different' and 'experimental.' They then wrote a 33-question survey which was administered to an online sample of 1,500 adults. The results were illuminating, if disappointing:
Overall, respondents were generally negative in terms of their attitudes toward bisexual men and women, with almost 15 percent of the sample in disagreement that bisexuality is a legitimate sexual orientation. However, women, white people and people who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual had less bias and prejudice against bisexual people. Of note, respondents who identified as gay or lesbian responded significantly less positively toward bisexuality than those identifying as bisexual, indicating that even within the sexual minority community, bisexuals face profound stigma. In addition, these findings indicate that male bisexuals likely suffer more stigma than female bisexuals.
As the University of Pittsburgh study shows, not only does our country have a ways to go towards greater tolerance and visibility for bisexual issues--it seems the LGBT community itself has some soul-searching to do on the issue.
President Obama released this statement tonight on the passage of marriage equality in Illinois:
As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else. So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.
I also commend the members of the General Assembly for approaching this issue in a fair and open way, and for recognizing the importance of our commitment to religious freedom by engaging the religious community in this conversation. Throughout this debate, they’ve made it clear that this is about civil marriages and civil laws, and made sure that churches and other institutions of faith are still free to make their own decisions that conform to their own teachings.
As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. And tonight, I’m so proud that the men and women elected to serve the people of the great state of Illinois have chosen to take us one step further on that journey to perfect our union.