Senate blocks vote on Gillibrand amendment to protect trans troops

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: The amendment Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) filed against Trump’s transgender military ban won’t get a vote. (Washington Blade file photo by Damien Salas)

Despite bipartisan support, an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would have undermined President Trump’s ban on transgender military service won’t get a vote in the U.S. Senate, the Washington Blade has learned.

A Senate Democratic leadership aide said the Senate didn’t have unanimous consent and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was unwilling to file cloture to force a vote. Gillibrand proposed the amendment, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill.

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Missouri Dems are filibustering to block an anti-gay bill

By : Wire Report
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Missouri Senate Democrats are waging a filibuster to block a vote on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would grant greater protections to individuals, religious organizations and some businesses opposed to gay marriage.

The measure would ban government penalties against individuals and businesses that refuse on religious grounds to provide goods or services of “expressional or artistic creation” for marriage ceremonies or celebrations of same-sex couples. That could include protections for florists or bakers, who in other states have faced legal challenges for declining to provide services for same-sex weddings.

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Rubio would oppose marriage amendment

By : Staff Report
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Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is opposed to a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage despite the Supreme Court ruling making it legal nationwide.

Rubio spoke to reporters after a speech in Iowa’s Cedar Rapids Country Club.

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Sarasota transgender amendment passes first reading

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Sarasota – On Nov. 3, the City of Sarasota unanimously approved on the first reading changes to the city’s anti-discrimination law which would add rights and protections for transgender individuals.

City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell originally made a motion Sept. 2 to vote to move forward with working on a draft because the law already has protections for sexual orientation, which were added in 2000. Her motion was unanimously approved for the city attorney to draft an amendment that same day.

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Winston-Salem considers domestic partner benefits

By : Wire Report
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A Winston-Salem City Council committee is to consider whether to offer benefits to same-sex domestic partners.

Local media outlets reported the proposal is on the agenda for the Sept. 9 meeting of a council committee.

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Macedonia to ban gay marriage in constitution

By : Wire Report
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SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) – Macedonia’s parliament has agreed to consider proposed constitutional amendments to effectively ban gay marriage and impose limits on public debt.

Lawmakers agreed July 16 to begin the amendment process proposed by the governing conservatives, who with their political allies already have the two-thirds majority of seats needed to approve the changes after winning a landslide election victory in April.

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Hillborough County Commissioners approve HRO amendment

By : Aaron Alper
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Tampa Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with an authorization for an amendment that would prohibit discrimination within the county on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The 7-0 vote is a stark change to previous LGBT initiatives, which have typically failed or split the board.

Prior to the July 16 vote, the floor was open to comments and 23 citizens spoke. Fourteen of those speakers supported the amendment to the HRO and nine spoke against it.

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All eyes on Monroe County for gay marriage hearing

By : Staff Report
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All eyes are on Monroe County as Circuit Judge Luis Garcia hears arguments regarding Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Two men, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, sued Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin in April for marriage licenses.

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Minnesota lawmakers may face battle over marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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More valuable than any poll, Minnesota lawmakers got a strong pulse of their constituents this week on gay marriage through district-by-district, town-by-town results of a vote that rejected a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

It will give some legislators cover and others concern should new legislative fronts open in the gay rights debate, including an all-out push for legalization of gay marriage.

An analysis by The Associated Press of vote patterns Tuesday identified 56 members of the incoming Legislature – a full quarter of the institution – who would be forced to choose between the prevailing tide in their party and the preference of their constituents. The data would undoubtedly be used by both sides to exert public and political pressure on a highly controversial matter.

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