This week, Alabama shook off a long overdue, ridiculous law criminalizing oral and anal sex between unmarried partners. The anti-sodomy law was mostly used to criminalize homosexual behavior, even between consenting unmarried partners (I probably don’t need to tell you gay marriage is not legal in AL). An appeals court overturned the law, citing the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision that found criminalizing same-sex behavior was unconstitutional.
Now Alabama’s Attorney General (and owner of a perfect movie villain name) Luther Strange wants the appeals court to reconsider — and he may kinda, sorta have a point. Bear with me … Keep reading »
Welcome to the 21st century, Alabama!
On Friday, an appeals court in the state overturned the anti-sodomy law, which criminalized consensual oral and anal sex between unmarried partners. The great state of AL punished “any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one and the mouth or anus of another” with a year in prison or hard labor or up to a $2,000 fine. The law was meant to harass and intimidate gays in particular — I mean, you know they weren’t going after teen boys getting BJs from their girlfriends in the backseat of their pickup trucks. Keep reading »
Yesterday, the Senate voted to take up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to ban employers from discriminating against LGBTQ workers or job applicants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. being transgender).
This is the first time ever that ENDA, which has struggled in Congress for almost 20 years, includes protections for trans folks. Workers are already protected by federal law from discrimination based on race, gender, religion and age.
The Senate is expected to vote on ENDA this week with bipartisan support. However, it still must work its way through the House of Representatives and faces some Republican opposition. Here are five things to know about this very important bill! Keep reading »
As if you needed another reason to love former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!
Clinton just released a PSA for the Human Rights Campaign in which she comes out in full support of marriage equality for lesbians and gays:
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage. That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.” Keep reading »
Missed the State Of The Union address last night? Well, here’s a guide of some major points for those of you who still want to know where we’re at. The economy continues to dominate President Obama’s agenda, given how the first 20 minutes were a mixture of economic policies from spending cuts to boosting the middle class. Though we’re no longer arguing about the Bush tax cuts, bailouts, or the debt ceiling, we have new talking points: sequester cuts, deficit reduction, tax codes. Oh my.
Sam Seaborn, fictional speechwriting dreamboat from “The West Wing,” would argue the SOTU speech is not solely about policy, it’s about noble over-reaching that government should aspire to. So what’s on President Obama’s agenda? Where are we heading in the next four years? Keep reading »
Earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted a ban that prohibited women from openly serving in combat roles in the military. This would entail overturning a 1994 rule that bans women from certain ground combat roles, thus opening up more jobs to servicewomen. Women have already been attached to ground units performing these jobs — they just haven’t been properly credited for it.
Yesterday, Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Join Chiefs Of Staff, officially overturned the 1994 rule. “Everyone is entitled to a chance,” Panetta said. According to The New York Times, the Army is now creating gender-neutral standards for all their positions but will not be lowering the physical standards required just so that women can be admitted.
All week there have been reactions to lifting the ban, both for and against. I’ve rounded up some of the responses: Keep reading »