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Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman Becomes Seventh House Republican To Support ENDA

As the battle to get an Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) signed into law wages on, Politico reports that Colorado representative Mike Coffman has signed on to become the seventh GOP co-sponsor of the legislation in the House of Representatives:

CoffmanThat Coffman is one of the first Republicans coming out in support of ENDA is no surprise, and it highlights another step in his political evolution. The Colorado Republican has reversed positions on immigration and abortion in recent months as he tries to fend off an challenge from Democrat Andrew Romanoff in Colorado’s competitive sixth district.

“I see this legislation as the workplace equivalent of the Golden Rule — do unto others, as you would have them do unto you,” Coffman said in a statement to POLITICO. “In the workplace, in 2014, we should judge employees the way we would want to be judged — based on our qualifications, our contributions and by our character, period.”

ENDA cleared the Senate last year and now must be passed by the House of Representatives before being sent to the President for his signature or veto.

Coffman joins fellow Republican Representatives Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Charles Dent (Pa.), Jon Runyan (N.J.) and Chris Gibson (N.Y.) in sponsoring the bill. Eight house Democrats are currently not co-sponsoring the legislation: they are Reps. Dan Lipinksi (Ill.), Jim Costa (Calif.), John Barrow (Ga.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Pete Gallego (Texas), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Gene Green (Texas) and Nick Rahall (W.Va.). The bill still needs support from 16 more representatives to receive the required majority to pass in the House. However, even if the bill gained the necessary traction  among rank and file representatives, it would still need to be granted a vote on the House floor by Speaker of the House John Boehner, something Boehner has said he would not do in 2014. For that reason, many prominent political players, including the HRC and DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias, have expressed frustration at the White House’s refusal to consider an ENDA executive order.


Former GOP Senator Alan Simpson Pushes for Marriage Equality in New Nationwide Ad: VIDEO

Simpson

Former Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican from Wyoming, stars in a new ad from Freedom to Marry urging voters and lawmakers to "live and let live" and allow gays and lesbians to marry.

Says Simpson in the spot:

“I’m a Republican. The party’s basic core is, government out of your life and the right to be left alone. Whether you’re gay or lesbian or straight, if you love someone and you want to marry them, marry them. I've had a wonderful married life. Why shouldn't someone else have the joy of marriage? Live and let live."

The ad, backed with a six-figure buy, will be aired nationally on Fox, MSNBC and CNN and locally in Wyoming, Oklahoma and Colorado, according to Politico.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former GOP Senator Alan Simpson Pushes for Marriage Equality in New Nationwide Ad: VIDEO" »


Friday Speed Read: Mississippi, Mozilla, Social Security, Colorado, Marriage Equality

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

BryantMISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR SIGNS:

Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act Thursday, saying it “will protect the individual religious freedom of Mississippians of all faiths from government interference.” The ACLU says the law, though less problematic than in its original form, “could still open the door for someone who wants to use their religion to discriminate against others.” “We remain hopeful that courts throughout the state will reject any attempts to use religion to justify discrimination.” The law takes effect July 1.

EichMOZILLA APOLOGIZES WITH RESIGNATION:

The Mozilla software company that operates the Firefox browser issued an apology Thursday for failing to “move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started.” The controversy centered around Mozilla’s new CEO Brenden Eich, who gave a $1,000 contribution in support of Proposition 8 in California. Some staff and board members objected when Eich was named CEO on March 24, and that protest quickly spread to outsiders. The Mozilla statement issued yesterday said Eich “has chosen to step down from his role as CEO…. for Mozilla and our community.” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said, “Mozilla’s strong statement in favor of equality today reflects where corporate America is: inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all."

SOCIAL SECURITY STILL ROLLING: 

The Social Security Administration continued its rollout yesterday of new regulations affecting same-sex couples, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision last June to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that the SSA is now able to process requests “for certain eligible people in same-sex marriages” for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). For details, see HHS website.

ColoradoTHE PROFIT OF MARRIAGE:

The Williams Institute, an LGBT research think tank based at UCLA, released a report Thursday showing that the state of Colorado’s economy stands to gain millions from legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. The calculation is based on taking the Census data estimate of how many same-sex couples live in Colorado (12,424), anticipating half will want to marry within the first few years they are able to in the state, and presuming same-sex couples will spend less than one-fourth the $26,000 straight couples do on weddings in Colorado. These couples and their guests would spend an estimated $50 million during those first three years, supporting 436 jobs.

WHETHER TO MARRY:

A new book out by lawyer-activist Scott Squillace offers practical considerations for couples contemplating marriage. Much of the advice would apply whether the couples are straight or gay: such as how couples with disparate incomes might result in lower taxes while those where both earn high incomes might pay higher taxes if married. But for same-sex couples specifically, the book examines which federal agencies have limited marriage-related benefits for couples living in marriage equality states and which have yet to publish post-Windsor regulations regarding such matters. The self-published book is available through amazon.com.


Homophobic Ex-Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt Leads GOP Field in Colorado House Race

Klingenscmitt

Gordon Klingenschmitt, the former Navy chaplain who has made a career out of making outrageous anti-gay claims on his “Pray in Jesus Name” program, looks to be leading the GOP nomination in the race for Colorado’s heavily-Republican House District 15. 

At a county GOP assembly on Saturday, Klingenschmitt “won the favor of the delegates with 71 percent of the vote, preventing two other candidates nominated from hitting the 30 percent threshold.”

Another GOP candidate, however, had gathered the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot, indicating that a primary battle is expected. 

That candidate, Dave Williams, has his own laundry list of virulently anti-gay statements and actions, so it appears that regardless of the primary’s outcome, voters will likely be sending a homophobe to the capital come November. 

[via RightWingWatch]


Judge Issues Split Ruling In Anti-Gay Group's Unauthorized Use Of Gay Couple's Photo

Kissing

In September 2012, husbands Brian Edwards and Thomas Privitere (pictured above) sued the Public Advocate of the United States — a Virginia-based conservative political group — for using their personal engagement photo in an anti-gay mailer targeting two 2012 Colorado “Republican state legislative candidates who lost their primary races.”

WeddingU.S. District Court Judge Wiley Daniel ruled against Edwards’ claim that the postcard was an “unlawful appropriation of [‘his] name and likeness,” and said that the political group had the legal right to non-commercially use the couple’s photo in addressing a matter of legitimate public concern (same-sex marriage) under the First Amendment.

However, the Judge Daniel also ruled that “the gay New Jersey couple and their photographer — have a plausible copyright infringement claim’… [since] Neither they nor their photographer, Kristina Hill, gave permission for their engagement photograph to be used.”

The mailer's creators deleted the photo's original background of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge and added the Colorado landscape to give the mailer local appeal. The Southern Poverty Law Center (who filed the suit on the gay couple’s behalf) lists the Public Advocate of the United States as an active anti-LGBT hate group.


Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from MI, MO, MS, and CO — VIDEO

5_baume

There is good news and bad news for marriage in Michigan - its ban on same-sex marriage had been struck down, but is being appealed. Michigan won't recognize the marriages, but the federal government will. A Missouri rep. has introduced a bill for marriage equality in Missouri. Activism in Mississippi led to the denial of several marriage licenses there where a lawsuit may soon appear. An equality campaign in Colorado is taking off.

Plus, new national polling, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from MI, MO, MS, and CO — VIDEO" »


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