Congratulations to the legislators, donors, and volunteers in Hawai'i---the state that started the marriage equality battle a generation ago and that now has achieved the right to marry for all.
Hawai'i becomes the 16th state (plus the District of Columbia) to provide marriage equality. In all, 37.3% of the American population is covered by the right to marry the person you love.
After the recent legislative victories in Hawai'i and Illinois, the battle in the other states is focused on the courts and ballot initiatives.
MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN ILLINOIS
The Illinois Senate and House have approved marriage equality in Illinois. The governor is expected to sign it into law immediately, making it the 15th state (in addition to Washington, DC) to offer marriage equality. Same gender couples are expected to start marrying on June 1, 2014.
Illinois now has a 92% rating on state LGBT equality. Check what else needs to be done there and other states in our Equality Scorecard.
MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN NEW JERSEY
Today, Governor Christie has withdrawn its appeal of the marriage equality case, given that the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously last week not to delay same gender marriages. Therefore, starting today, marriage equality is the law of the land in New Jersey (for a total of 14 states and DC).
CONGRATULATIONS NEW JERSEY! AND WASHINGTON D.C.!
The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled that while awaiting their ruling next year, same-gender couples can marry in New Jersey.
This makes New Jersey the fourth state to offer full LGBT legal equality (after Vermont, Connecticut, and California). Washington DC is awaiting the expiration of the congressional review period for its transgender legislation. When this happens (in a few days) it will also offer full equality to its LGBT citizens.
We are delighted that Delaware approved yesterday adding gender identity/expression to its nondiscrimiantion and hate crimes statues. This brings its Equality Scorecard to 75%
Now, it is time for the final push to bring the scorecard to 100% and join Vermont and Connecticut as the states that offer full equality to its LGBT residents.
Congratulations to all donors, volunteers, and staff who made Delaware the 11th state (plus the District of Columbia) that support marriage equality.
Let's bring the state now to full equality. See what needs to be done in the States Scorecard.
Congratulations to all of our friends in Rhode Island that can get married starting August 1. Thanks to all who made possible marriage equality in Rhode Island.
COLORADO GETS CIVIL UNIONS
Congratulations to all who made possible the change in Colorado from Domestic Reciprocal Beneficiaries to Civil Unions.
We are asking couples to send a picture of themselves with a thoughtful letter to each Supreme Court justice explaining the importance of having their marriage recognized not only by the federal government, but also by all 50 states and territories. (This can be achieved by requiring that all states either allow same gender marriages or recognize out of state marriages.)
WHY WE GAVE $10,000 TO PRESIDENT'S OBAMA RE-ELECTION
Regularly, we post a letter from donors supporting eQualityGiving's endorsed candidates.
After President Obama came out supporting marriage equality, eQualityGiving endorsed him and its founders gave personally $10,000 for his re-election. The story was part of a front page article in The New York Times. Read the endorsement here of President Obama.
ADDED THREE MORE ENDORSED CANDIDATES
Senator Menendez - We met with him, and he's worried about a huge effort to unseat him (a la Daschle and Reid) since he is the DSCC leader. His equality credentials are flawless, and he's polling less than 10% ahead of the GOP/Christie/Koch Brothers SuperPAC candidate Kyrillos.
Trevor Thomas - Openly gay aide to former Gov Granholm, running to unseat the vulnerable Tea Party darling (and 2nd youngest Congressman) Justin Amash in West Michigan.
Jessica Ehrlich - Young lawyer trying to unseat Congressman Bill Young in Florida in a new district with a Democratic majority.
Currently, Vermont is the only state that provides full legal equality to its citizens (score of 6).
Six states (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, and New York) and the District of Columbia achieve a rating of 5.5 out of 6. California, Illinois, and New Jersey can achieve the perfect score of 6 by converting civil unions (Illinois and New Jersey) or domestic partnerships (California) to civil marriage. Iowa can reach a score of 6 by ensuring full parenting rights in all cases. The District of Columbia needs to update its transgender protections for birth certificates. New York can reach a score of 6 by passing GENDA (adding gender identity to employment non-discrimination). Connecticut can achieve it by adding gender identity to the anti-bullying legislation.
DELAWARE ADDS CIVIL UNIONS
The Governor of Delaware has signed into law a Civil Unions legislation that takes effect on January 1, 2012.
PANEL #12: CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS --- THE CULTURAL WORK OF LGBT ACCEPTANCE
Combine rigorous academic thinking from Harvard and NYU with successful ground work into new insights for changing hearts and minds. Have the discussion moderated by Roberta Achtenberg and there is no better place to spend one hour this Sunday afternoon, March 20, 2011 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
ACCOMPLISHMENTS BY THE ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS ON LGBT EQUALITY
Andy Tobias, the Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), maintains a list of the accomplishments by the Administration and Congress on LGBT equality. It was in chronological order. He has reorganized the list into three categories: (1) Federal Legislation Signed into Law, (2) Policies Changed, and (3) Respect & Inclusion. Within each category, the entries are in chronological order.
Congratulations to all of those involved in passing Senate Bill 3266 in Illinois. It is an anti-bullying legislation that enumerates sexual orientation and gender identity. It was signed into law on June 27, 2010.
With this new legislation, the equality score for Illinois rises from 4 to 5 (out of 6). Check the states equality scorecard for this state and all states.
Argentina is the 10h country to make marriage available to all citizens, irrespective of sexual orientation. The United States continues to lag in being a beacon of freedom. Check the status of our Equality Goals (including marriage equality).
RANDY PARRAZ ENDORSED
We are pleased to announce that eQualityGiving has endorsed Randy Parraz for US Senate in Arizona. He is a graduate of Harvard with a Masters in Public Administration and Berkeley with a law degree. He is fully pro-equality and faces a primary battle. Check more details about him and watch his pro-equality video here.
A PATHWAY TO REPEAL DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell based on certification by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff that such action does not affect troop readiness. Similar legislation is expected to pass the Senate in the next few days.
It is expected that by the end of 2010 or early 2011, troups will be allowed to serve openly independently of their sexual orientation. We are looking forward to that day to update our Federal Equality Index.
Check our expanded page about The Dallas Principles (mantra: full LGBT civil rights now. No delay. No excuses.) and its follow up Act On Principles that provides three innovative tools for organizations as well as individuals to take action to achieve full LGBT civil rights now. Check the page here.
From: "Garden State Equality" <email@example.com> Date: December 1, 2009 5:27:14 PM EST Subject: New study: New Jersey tied for #1 in America for LGBT rights
REPORT: NEW JERSEY TIED FOR #1 IN AMERICA FOR LGBT CIVIL RIGHTS
A report by the national LGBT organization eQualityGiving.org ranks New Jersey as number one in the United States, tied with three other states, for LGBT civil rights. The States of Equality Scorecard by eQualityGiving, online at www.equalitygiving.org/States-of-Equality-and-Gay-Rights-Scorecard, ranks America's top four states as New Jersey, California, Iowa and Vermont.
The four states received a 5.5 score on a 6 point scale. No state received a 6.
"New Jersey ranks number one because our millions of progressive citizens expect nothing less than full equality for everyone," said Steven Goldstein, Chair of Garden State Equality. "Our state is ready for marriage equality now.
"The people of New Jersey have welcomed each advancement for LGBT civil rights with open arms rather than clenched fists. The only backlash our political leaders should fear is the backlash that would result by not enacting marriage equality. That backlash would be guaranteed."
Since Garden State Equality's founding in 2004, New Jersey has enacted an unprecedented 210 LGBT civil rights laws at the state, county and local levels. For the complete list of 210 laws, visit www.gardenstateequality.org/pdfs/210.pdf
Among the 210 laws:
Twelve expansions of the domestic partnership law from 2004 to 2006; a civil union law in 2006; a law expanding the Law Against Discrimination to include the transgender community in 2006; and in 2008, a statewide law that simultaneously overhauls the state’s anti-bullying law, expands the state’s hate crimes law to encompass the transgender community, and toughens up the entire hate crimes law to strengthen the fight against all bias-motivated violence.
Also in 2008, New Jersey became only the second state in the United States, after California, to mandate paid family leave to employees who need to provide care for their same-sex partners.
And in 2009, in conjunction with his speech at Garden State Equality’s annual Legends Dinner, Governor Corzine signed an executive order mandating that the state indicate gender on driver licenses in accordance with one’s own gender identity or expression, yet another milestone for transgender rights.