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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 24, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 25
National News
Section One
ALL STORIES
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National News

Nevada passes Trans bill
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, signed a bill May 24 that bans employment discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

Sandoval said he also will sign other Transgender-protection bills that are en route from the Legislature. Those measures cover housing and public accommodations.

Nevada becomes the 14th state (plus D.C.) to protect Transgender people under state law.

Bloomberg gives rousing speech for same-sex marriage
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, gave an enthusiastic - and seemingly heartfelt - speech May 26 urging the state Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage in the current session.

The mayor's address took place at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

"The next great barrier standing before our generation is the prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples," Bloomberg said. "The question is: Why now? And why New York? I believe both answers start at the Stonewall Inn. When the Village erupted in protest 42 years ago next month, New York - and every other state in the nation, save one - still had laws on the books that same-sex relationships were a crime. A couple could go to prison for years just for being intimate in the privacy of their own homes. For men and women of that era, an era many of us remember well, being in a Gay relationship meant living in fear: Fear of police harassment. Fear of public humiliation. Fear of workplace discrimination. Fear of physical violence.

"[Since then,] thousands of courageous individuals risked everything to come out and speak out. And because they did - because they organized and protested, because they poured their hearts out to friends and families and neighbors, [because] they stood up for their rights and marched for equality and ran for office - laws banning same-sex relationships have been struck down by the Supreme Court. More than 20 states have adopted laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. And beginning this year, patriotic men and women will be able to enlist in the U.S. military without having to hide their identity. We owe all of these pioneers a deep debt of gratitude. And although the work is far from over, there is no doubt that we have passed the tipping point. It is not a matter of if, but when.

"And the question for every New York state lawmaker is: Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or an obstructionist? Remember, on matters of freedom and equality, history has not remembered obstructionists kindly. Not on abolition. Not on abortion. Not on women's suffrage. Not on workers' rights. Not on civil rights. And it will be no different on marriage rights.



"[T]his is our time to stand up for equality. This is our time to conquer the next frontier of freedom. This is our time to be bold and brave as pioneers who came before us were. And this is our time to lead the American journey forward. As other states recognize the rights of same-sex couples to marry, we cannot stand by and watch. To do so would betray our civic values and history - and it would harm our competitive edge in the global economy.

"It is my hope that a majority of the state Senate will recognize that supporting marriage equality is not only consistent with our civic principles - it is consistent with conservative principles. Conservatives believe that government should not intrude into people's personal lives - and it's just none of government's business who you love. Conservatives also believe that government should not stand in the way of free markets and private associations - including contracts between consenting parties. And that's exactly what marriage is: a contract, a legal bond, between two adults who vow to support one another, in sickness and in health.

"Now, there's a reason that I'm so passionate about this issue and so determined to push for change. I see the pain the status quo causes, and I can't defend it. When I meet a New Yorker who is Gay, when I speak with members and family members of my staff who are Gay, when I look into the eyes of my [Lesbian] niece, Rachel [Tiven, head of Immigration Equality], I cannot tell them that their government is correct in denying them the right to marry. I can't tell them that marriage is not for them. I can't tell them that a civil union is good enough. In our democracy, near-equality is no equality. Government either treats everyone the same, or it doesn't. And right now, it doesn't.

"[But] there is no retreating to a past that has disappeared. There is no holding back a wave that has crested. And there is no denying a freedom that belongs to all of us. The time has come for us to fulfill the dreams that exploded into Sheridan Square 42 years ago, to allow thousands of men and women to become full members of the American family, and to take the next step on the inspiring journey our Founding Fathers first began."

Bloomberg's speech was enthusiastically received across the LGBT blogosphere, although a few New York Gay leaders complained that if he feels that strongly about same-sex marriage, he should vow to stop donating money to politicians who oppose it. The New York Times called Bloomberg's words "an uncharacteristically forceful and sweeping speech an unusually personal address from a mayor known for dispassionate number crunching and policy analysis."

To read the full speech as prepared, see tinyurl.com/bloomberg-marriage. (The quotations here are from the speech as it was delivered.) To watch the speech, see tinyurl.com/bloomwatch.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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Legendary activist Cleve Jones visits Seattle June 28th
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Our flag, part III: Healeo threatened over Pride flag giveaway
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New Approach Washington files to legalize cannabis
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GSBA's Women at the Top: Combining business development and social justice
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GSBA's Women at the Top
Combining business development and social justice

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Sens. Cantwell and Murray urge IRS to fix filing problems for same-sex couples
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Researcher seeks hate speech victims
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El VIH/SIDA en la cuminidad Latina en Seattle
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Why we need a Queer and Transgender people of color contingent at Pride
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GLAAD president resigns as scandal stirs
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Kevin Jennings to critics: 'You completely failed'
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BREAKING NEWS
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Study reveals the power of being out
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U.N. Human Rights Council condemns anti-Gay discrimination
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Legalize Gay sex to control HIV, WHO says
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Hundreds of LGBT counter-protesters and allies showed up at Volunteer Park
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LGBT Equality at a Crossroads
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BULLETIN: New York state legalizes same-sex marriage
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NY Marriage Vote Emboldens Paris Gay Pride March
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The secret side of gay pride
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