NPR today reported that "the number of gay Americans telling the U.S. census they're living with same-sex partners nearly doubled in the past decade, to about 650,000 couples. And more than 130,000 recorded partners as husband or wife."
The Chicago Tribune recently reached out to our own Indiana Equality Action Vice President Don sherfick regarding the State Fair tragedy and its impact on same-sex partnership rights.
Don commented "It's really ironic that that border can make all that difference in the world," he said. "We were really happy to see that Illinois was able to pass civil unions and is on the right track. But a state line shouldn't make a difference."
Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud issued sharply worded statements Thursday night after GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he would reinstate "don't ask, don't tell." Santorum was responding to a question from Stephen Hill, a gay soldier stationed in Iraq, who asked whether candidates would "circumvent the progress" made by gay and lesbian troops. Some in the debate audience booed Hill after he asked his question via YouTube video. The New Civil Rights Movement/The New Civil Rights Movement (9/22)
President Barack Obama made an explicit appeal for gay rights in remarks Wednesday at the United Nations. "[N]o country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere," Obama told the leaders of U.N. member countries in a section of his speech about empowering the world's citizens. "Never before has a sitting U.S. president spoken so clearly about LGBT rights in a formal address to the full General Assembly," said Mark Bromley, chairman of the Council for Global Equality. Washington Blade (9/21), GayPolitics.com (9/21)
The day has come and another step towards GLBT equality has been taken - Don't Ask Don't Tell is officially repealed.
Today please take moment to celebrate this important milestone. For years gay and lesbian service members have had to serve in silence or risk being discharged. Today those discriminatory restrictions have been lifted.
This step forward should serve as a way to embolden all of us to embrace and support further change.
Learn More - Read the full article on the Repeal of DADT on NPR
The Indianapolis Star released an article this morning on the arduous legal battle being fought by Alisha Brennon and Beth Urschel after their partners died in the Indiana State Fair Tragedy.
The Star reports that one wrongful death lawsuit has been filed and another is in the preliminary phases. Even though Urschel and her partner had registered as reciprocal beneficiaries in Hawaii and Brennon and her partner were in a civil partnership in Illinois, the wrongful death claims may be difficult to prove under existing Indiana law.
How unfortunate that couples that had committed to one another in other states must be forced to fight to prove standing for their relationship during such a time of loss and sadness.
This is just another example of the inequities faced by same-sex couples in Indiana when they lack basic civil rights enjoyed by other couples throughout the state.
In the article, Jennifer A. Drobac, a professor at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, put the situation into perspective stating, "I kind of wonder how heterosexual couples would feel if they crossed a state border and they were legal strangers."
Think that Indiana can't further curtail domestic partnerships? Well think again. If Indiana legislatures follow the pattern of Michigan perhaps no public Indiana employee will be able to receive domestic partnership benefits. If you're an employee of Indiana University, Purdue University, or any other public employee that receives domestic partnership benefits you should be very concerned.
Michigan has recently introduced the "Public employee domestic partner benefit restriction act" - a demeaning piece of legislation that seeks to prevent any "medical benefits or other fringe benefits" to domestic partners of public employees. Representative Tom McMillin states that the goal of the legislation is to enforce the "will of the people who approved the 2004 anti-marriage equality amendment".
Let's be clear, this type of legislation is about one thing and one thing only, hate. This is designed to demean and disregard loving homosexual couples who contribute to society just like any other heterosexual couple. This type of legislation is pure discrimination.