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Religious Tolerance logo

North America attainment of gay marriage
(a.k.a. same-sex marriage, SSM), LGBT equality etc.

Part 1 of two parts:
2016-FEB: Activities involving LGBT equality
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We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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This topic is continued from three previous essays
which covered events during 2015-JUL to 2016-JAN.

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LGBT symbol 2016-FEB-02: District of Columbia passes the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act:

The Council of the District of Columbia, unanimously passed Bill B21-168, the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act. If signed into law by Mayor Muril Bowser. the law will require health care providers to obtain two credits of cultural competency training to help them deal in a sensitive manner with LGBTQ patients.

This is believed to be the first bill of its kind in the history of the United States. 1

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2016-FEB-07: pro-LGBT undercurrent at the Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, CA:"

There were perhaps a hundred million TV watchers tuned into the "Super Bowl L"-- almost equal to one third of the U.S. population. It was the third-most watched U.S. broadcast in history.

At the conclusion of their half-time show, the British rock group Coldplay, joined Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars and asked spectators to hold up cards that had been given to them. Together, they showed a rainbow flag --one of the symbols of the LGBT community -- with the words: "Believe in Love."

super-bowl 2

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2016-FEB-08: Florida: Competitive Workforce Act:

It has come as a surprise to many followers of the political scene that some Republicans in a southern state are actually supporting a bill to give lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons legal protection for discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Nadine Smith, head of Equality Florida, a pro-LGBT group, said:

"It’s a breakthrough for the South. It’s of huge significance that a Southern state — the third largest in the country — is taking this up. It is the first time that a Southern legislature will be contemplating passage of a bill that affirms rights [for the LGBT community], not takes them away." 3

Dawn Ennis, writing for The Advocate -- a pro-LGBT group -- said:

"This anti-discrimination bill would be the most far-reaching gay rights law ever enacted in Florida, but it is not the only Republican-sponsored bill addressing LGBT issues currently pending in the legislature. Among anti-LGBT bills proposed by Republicans: one to permit hospitals and other health care providers and hospitals to legally refuse to treat anyone identified as gay, and for any business to refuse service to gay customers, if they have religious objections, and bills in both the House and Senate establishing that no house of worship could be forced to marry a same-sex couple (again, something already established by the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion) [are active]. 3

Florida's Senate Judiciary Committee is considering the bill. There is a possibility that it might be the first anti-discriminatory bill protecting the LGBT community ever to be considered by the Republican led Senate.

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2016-FEB-08: Indiana: Senate passed hate-crimes legislation:

Indiana is one of five U.S. states that does not yet have a hate-crime law. These are laws that give persons more serious sentences, if the crime for which they have been convicted was motivated by hatred. Many hate crime bills have been introduced to the legislature during the past 15 years, but none has been passed into law.

The latest hate crimes bill, Senate Bill 220, has just been passed by the Indiana Senate and will be debated in the House of Representatives in a few days. 4 If it becomes law, it would protect many "classes" of people including persons of all sexual orientations and all gender identities.

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2016-FEB-10: Kentucky: State Senate Committee passes bill to simplify discrimination by county clerks:

The state Senate's State and Local Government Committee passed a bill to modify the state's marriage license form so that they are no longer authorized by the county clerk. A clerk's signature on the form only means that, in the opinion of the clerk, the couple meets the state's requirements to marry. However, Kim Davis from Rowan County KY interpreted the signature differently. She felt that for her to sign the form meant that she formally approved of the couple's marriage. That, she refused to do and made U.S. history by being the first clerk to receive a jail sentence for contempt of court because of her she refused to sign a license for a same-sex couple.

As currently written, the bill calls for two different forms: one has columns listed "bride" and "groom." The other has columns listed "first party"and "second party." However, two Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator want the bill changed to have both options on a single form. Sen. Stephen West (R) said that:

“... the clerks seem to want (the two forms). They seem to get a lot of clients and customers who prefer (the bride and groom designation). ... The clerks want to avoid asking which is which." 5

Chris Hartman, the director of the Fairness Campaign is concerned with the bill. He said:

"Separate has seldom been equal." 6

Senator Morgan McGarvey (D) issued an amendment to the bill which would create a single form, and allow applicants to choose whether they would be identified as bride and groom, or as spouse. He said:

"You would just have one form ... it would probably be cheaper, it would be more efficient and wouldn't treat people differently and I just don’t see the downside of that."

The bill now proceeds to the full state Senate.

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Webmaster's note:

I posted a comment to the Christian Headlines article, stating:

"Senator McGarvey seems to miss one point of the bill: Many conservatives want to treat same-sex and opposite-sex couples as differently as is possible while still meeting constitutional requirements. To use different forms would be at least a nominal step in that direction." 6

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February's developments continue in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Alison Gill, "Without Anyone Noticing, D.C. Passed a Remarkable LGBT Bill,"   The Advocate, 2016-FEB-08, at: http://www.advocate.com/
  2. Photo donated by an anonymous visitor to this web site. Thank you!
  3. Dawn Ennis, "Wait, What? Some Fla. Republicans Support LGBT Rights Bill," The Advocate, 2016-FEB-08, at: http://www.advocate.com/
  4. Daniel Reynolds, "Indiana Senate Advances Hate-Crimes Bill," The Advocate, 2016-FEB-08, at: http://www.advocate.com/
  5. Ronnie Ellis, "Committee takes acton on marriage license,"The Morehead News, 2016-FEB-11, at: http://www.themoreheadnews.com/
  6. Veronica Neffinger, "Kentucky Senate Committee Passes Bill to Protect Religious Freedom of County Clerks," Christian Headlines, 2016-FEB-11, at: http://www.christianheadlines.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2016-FEB-08
Latest update: 2016-FEB-12
Author: B.A. Robinson
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