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Gay rights in the US, state by state

Gay rights laws in America have evolved to allow — but in some cases ban — rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people on a range of issues, including marriage, hospital visitation, adoption, housing, employment and school bullying. The handling of gay rights issues vary by state and follow trends by region

by Anonymousreply 2703/12/2013

The graph:

by Anonymousreply 105/22/2012

Okay, that didn't work. Sorry. never mind the link in R1.

by Anonymousreply 205/22/2012

bump for a great at-a-glance chart

by Anonymousreply 305/23/2012

Not getting the chart.

by Anonymousreply 405/24/2012

You probably need flash. It's interactive.

by Anonymousreply 505/24/2012

The only places with perfect scores are DC, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut & Washington State.

The worst states are North & South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia & West Virginia.

by Anonymousreply 605/24/2012

The Southeast is barren.

by Anonymousreply 705/24/2012

I wonder if this got around more, if people in "bad" states would sorta start to feel ashamed...

by Anonymousreply 805/24/2012

Below is a link to the same infographic chart that should be viewable to people even if they can't run Flash. The accompanying brief article also has some good points.

[quote]North Carolina is Wonder Bread. There were few gay rights there yesterday, and there are few today. The same could be said about every other white state. Meanwhile, the states that have offered marriage equality had built an entire scaffolding of other gay rights first--a scaffolding that’s evident when you look at states like Oregon, California, and New Jersey that have a rich array of flavors just short of gay marriage’s cherry Life Saver.

[quote]Now, what’s a bit deflating--and what the graphic may convey best--is that there are very few true battleground states on this map, with a mixture of laws that might soon go either way (New Mexico, Delaware, and Wisconsin are pretty much it). If gay marriage indeed requires this scaffolding of other rights first, then how can we anticipate much more legalized gay marriage in the near future?

[quote]It's remarkable that a few colors around a simple circle can summarize the state of a deep-seeded political and human rights issue so succinctly, no? And until there’s a lot more light yellow, blue, and green on this chart, bans like North Carolina’s probably shouldn’t surprise any of us.

by Anonymousreply 905/24/2012


by Anonymousreply 1005/27/2012

bumping reminder

by Anonymousreply 1108/05/2012

Elections matter. And on Tuesday, Rhode Island's Democratic primary did not go well for the state's same-sex marriage advocates.

Ground zero for the gay nuptials fight is the 38-member state senate where, a Phoenix analysis shows, about half the chamber is opposed to same-sex marriage, one-third is in favor, and the balance is in the toss-up category (see "Will the Senate Kill Gay Marriage — Again?," 8.10.12).

Advocates probably have to pick up a half-dozen seats in the senate this fall to have a real shot at passing a bill next year. And in a state dominated by Democrats, performing well in the party's primary was crucial.

But after the polls closed, activists could claim just one victory in the half-dozen most watched races.

It wasn't for lack of effort. The state's leading advocacy group, Marriage Equality Rhode Island, made endorsements and worked to get out the vote in a series of key districts through its political arm.

And Tim Gill, a reclusive Colorado technology magnate who has been investing in state-level races across the country for several years now in a bid to tip the balance on same-sex marriage and other gay rights issues, made a long-awaited play in Rhode Island politics.

He plunked down $20,000 this month for a new group, People for Rhode Island's Future, that backed six pro-gay marriage candidates in the Senate primaries. And he gave $15,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island, which supported two of the same candidates.

The results were disappointing. One of the candidates, Adam Satchell, beat incumbent Senator Michael Pinga, a West Warwick Democrat who opposes gay nuptials. But the other five candidates that People for Rhode Island's Future backed — Laura Pisaturo, Roberto DaSilva, Lewis Pryeor, David Gorman, and Gene Dyszlewski — all lost, some of them handily.

Pisaturo's race was particularly disappointing for advocates. The lesbian lawyer was challenging Senator Michael McCaffrey, a veteran lawmaker from Warwick who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and has jurisdiction over gay marriage legislation.

Toppling a committee chairman who opposes same-sex nuptials and is viewed as a possible successor to Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed would have had practical implications, of course.

But the race against a key member of the senate hierarchy had taken on symbolic importance, too. If Pisaturo had won, same-sex marriage advocates could have claimed a big victory on an otherwise disappointing night. In the end, McCaffrey edged Pisaturo 53-47.

Still, advocates established themselves as players in state politics — if not quite as powerful as they'd like.

And Ray Sullivan, executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, insists the fight is not over. Activists are hoping that Democrat Ryan Pearson can topple Cumberland Senator Bethany Moura, a vulnerable Republican who opposes same-sex nuptials, in November.

And Sullivan cited three other Democratic candidates who could bolster the "yes" vote in the senate if elected in two months time. There is, he says, still a path to a majority in the senate.

But after the primary, it is undoubtedly a narrow one.

The marquee Democratic primary race, pitting Congressman David Cicilline against businessman Anthony Gemma, proved anticlimactic.

Cicilline trounced Gemma, with 62 percent of the vote to his opponent's 30 percent. The maddening thing, for Gemma's supporters, is that he easily could have run a more effective race against the vulnerable incumbent.

Read more:

by Anonymousreply 1209/14/2012

The North-East might as well become a separate country, sans Pennsylvania.

by Anonymousreply 1309/14/2012

Gay-marriage supporters tried and failed to make a breakthrough in the Rhode Island Senate during Tuesday’s primaries, winning just two of seven targeted races and coming up short in their marquee effort to knock off Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael McCaffrey.

Both McCaffrey, whose committee has never taken a vote on gay marriage, and another endangered incumbent – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dan DaPonte – survived spirited challenges. Their victories will bolster the leadership team of Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, who succeeded Joe Montalbano in 2008.

That puts Paiva Weed on a collision course with her fellow Democrat House Speaker Gordon Fox, who told WPRI 12 earlier this year he will call a vote on gay marriage in early 2013. Fox spokesman Larry Berman said that hasn’t changed.

“Speaker Fox has repeatedly stated that he will bring marriage equality for a vote in the House early in the 2013 session,” Berman told on Wednesday. “Several pro-marriage candidates were elected yesterday and that strengthens Speaker Fox’s vote in the House.”

“The results of any Senate races are irrelevant to his pledge to bring marriage equality legislation to a House vote,” he added. Senate spokesman Greg Pare confirmed earlier this week that Paiva Weed’s position on same-sex marriage hasn’t changed, though she’s never ruled out a vote.

Fight Back RI, the gay-marriage group that endorsed candidates, notched two victories in Senate races. Adam Satchell defeated Sen. Michael Pinga 58% to 42% and Ryan Pearson defeated James Spooner 68% to 32%. But Bob DaSilva, Lewis Pryeor, Gene Dyszlewski, Laura Pisaturo and Dave Gorman all lost.

The House was a different story – seven of Fight Back RI’s 12 candidates won, including non-incumbents Joseph Almeida, Gregg Amore and Marvin Abney, while Libby Kimzey, Jon Restivo, Peter Petrarca, Michael Morin and Charles Tsonos all lost. Fight Back RI’s Ray Sullivan said the group had “a tangible impact.”

“We changed the discourse of this campaign and we elevated the discussion around an important civil rights issue,” Sullivan said, citing two senators – DaPonte and Central Falls’ Elizabeth Crowley – who announced support for same-sex marriage during their races and McCaffrey’s statements about the process.

“There is an absolute path – a demonstrable path – to 19 votes in the Senate, and now with Senator McCaffrey having said on your air that he has no problem with … calling a vote, we see great opportunity in the general election and look forward to helping elect a pro-equality majority in the Senate and having the vote occur in 2013,” he said.

People for Rhode Island’s Future, a new gay-marriage advocacy group backed by the Denver tech magnate Tim Gill, also lost five of the six races it targeted on Tuesday after spending about $36,500 on them. Satchell was the only one of that group’s endorsed primary candidates who won.

by Anonymousreply 1409/14/2012

I'm surprised Nevada is so progressive. I always thought it was more conservative. Good thing that being sandwiched between Utah and California, it identifies more with California, at least in terms of gay rights.

by Anonymousreply 1509/14/2012

The 5 Worst States for LGBT Rights in America

2012 is sure to be remembered as a pivotal year for the LGBT civil rights movement, and 2013 is guaranteed to be even more exciting as the Supreme Court gears up to hear two landmark cases bound to turn the traditional definition of marriage on its head.

To be honest, government has no business in marriage. Consenting adults should by natural right be free to make their own choices as to whom they love and commit their life to. But, I digress — we’ll be going by their playbook for now.

What I find really positive, actually more so than pro-gay politics, is the growing numbers of Americans embracing fairness for gay people — including 86% of Christians polled who believe that their faith dictates legal equality for LGBT individuals. Through awareness and activism the fibers of our culture are changing. Marriage is so much more than a legal right, and acceptance and inclusion in your community can make a world of difference in the strength and happiness of both your family, and your community.

There is much to celebrate, but this chapter in LGBT liberty has just begun, and there are many more chapters ahead that will face opposition with the turn of every page. I give you here, a sampling of that opposition. While a number of other states may be more commonly known as more, or less, hostile toward gays, these five stood out for me as perfect specimens states of shame for 2012.

1) Virginia is for "Lovers": The Commonwealth has a number of laws regulating lovers, including lewd and lascivious cohabitation, fornication, and crimes against nature — which is still maintained as a class 6 felony despite SCOTUS’ Lawrence v. Texas ruling. Indeed, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gives law enforcement a green light to arrest gays under Virginia's statute, stating he believes it's appropriate to formulate public policy on the premise that homosexuals engage in behavior that is intrinsically wrong and offensive to natural law. As well, Cuccinelli advised Virginia universities to remove LGBT-specific provisions from their non-discrimination policies. Cuccinelli is running for Governor next term.

Virginia operates under Dillon’s Rule, which holds that municipalities may not offer more protections that the Commonwealth has decided to extend. This is unfortunate for LGBT constituents since same-sex relations of any kind are banned constitutionally and legislatively in Virginia, and there are virtually no discrimination or hate crime protections extended to LGBT individuals under the penal code. Even though the vigilance of Equality Virginia and some municipalities have made headway enacting equal rights measures at local levels, Dillon’s Rule greatly hinders their efforts.

2. Tennessee: Home of the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis, Jack Daniels, Beale Street blues, and the worst state legislator in America. Soon after stepping into office in 2011, Governor Bill Haslam signed an anti-gay bill prohibiting local non-discrimination statutes, thus overturning the Nashville ordinance because the state statute neglects to include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation. Ever since voters passed a constitutional ban on same sex marriage in 2006, the legislature began ramping up their anti-gay agenda, merrily focusing on legislation such as "Don’t Say Gay" (in the midst of two gay teens committing suicide), or changes to Tennessee's anti-bullying law to allow students to speak against gays for…religious reasons, or this gem — the transphobic bathroom bill.

If that's not enough to keep LGBT families on edge, the Tennessee Democrat Party, after reigning for the past 147 years, now has so few seats in the General Assembly that they're basically irrelevant. Party chairman Chip Forrester, after overseeing the dismantling of his party, announced his exit — 12 days before the election. In contrast, nine county GOP chapters condemned Governor Haslam for hiring gays, Democrats, and Muslims. Community acceptance ain't no duck walk either; hate crime, bigotry, and discrimination set the stage. The coming year could leave many singing the blues.

3. Michigan: Not only is Michigan the only state in which surrogacy is completely illegal, it is one of few states that explicitly prohibit adoption by same-sex couples. A lesbian couple, who are raising three special needs children, is suing for the state's adoption ban and has expanded their case to include challenging the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions passed by voters in 2004. In another case, four same-sex couples are suing the governor and state for legislating prohibiting public employers from extending benefits to domestic partners.

Hate crime seems all more troublesome than norm in Michigan, especially at the hands of their former Attorney General, who stands accused of stalking and defaming a gay former student government leader at the University of Michigan. The FBI says hate crimes are down nationally, but up in Michgan and Alternate Luxury Travel by Bruvian found Detroit to be the most dangerous U.S. city for gays.

Brrr. Snow isn’t the only thing cold in Michigan.

4. M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i: Not all too surprising, Mississippi remains one of the most socially backwards states in the country when it comes to gay marriage: only 13% of voters think it should be legal. Even among Democrats there's only 19% support for it. Jackson, the state’s capital and most populous city, scores a whopping 8 out of 100 in the 2012 Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index. It's tough for the few courageous souls who do venture to take a stand, when they are denied freedom to even exercise the First Amendment. You're not likely to find a warm welcoming rainbow if you come out of the closet in this neck of the woods, nor will you find legal protection of your liberties. And don't look for changes to come any time soon in Mississippi. If Nate Silver is right, it'll be at least another decade.

5. California: November's election was a watershed moment for the gay marriage movement. Voters in three states voted to legalize it, and a fourth state voted against a proposed ban. Queue California. California? Oh yes that's right, voters in California — the poster child for progressivism — chose to ban same-sex marriage in 2008 via Proposition 8. The battle for same-sex marriage in the state has been an on again, off again affair ever since San Francisco first allowed same sex unions just before Valentine's Day, 2004. However, blame doesn't all fall on voters and legislators. The courts have had their hand in it too, as in blocking the law that bans therapy aimed at turning gay minors straight.

California claims it leads the nation in gay rights, and that may have been true at one time, but the Golden State has been left behind in recent years in spite of its abundance of protective laws already in existence. Perhaps this goes to show that you can only legislate so much, or maybe too much, and that you can't simply legislate away how a state’s population feels about homosexuality. California's attorney general did report a slight decline in hate crimes in 2011 which is a good sign, but California's rate of hate crime and violent crime in general still just pars average among the states. It may be time for Cali LGBT Americans to consider ending their love-hate relationship and move away to friendlier pastures.

by Anonymousreply 1612/30/2012

Pennsylvania starts with a "P" for "pathetic."

Is it really a Northeastern state or the gateway to the South and Midwest?

Is the gay community in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that weak politically?

Is it the Catholic Church's stranglehold on the legislature?

What's the story, Keystone Staters?

by Anonymousreply 1712/30/2012

Southern pride!

by Anonymousreply 1812/30/2012

Can't imagine anyone trying to make sense out of the merry go round.

by Anonymousreply 1912/30/2012

[quote]I wonder if this got around more, if people in "bad" states would sorta start to feel ashamed...

Do you mean people who are anti-gay? Seems unlikely they would feel ashamed of legal inequality. Do you mean progressive people in those states? Hardly seems like a smart strategy... I don't think it was ever considered in the movement for black civil rights anyway. I never heard about MLK insulting southern blacks so they'd feel ashamed of where they live.

All people in all 50 states need to fight for equality everywhere. Using the red state/blue state divide as an excuse for queeny regional snobbery is a bit much imho. But carry on.

by Anonymousreply 2012/30/2012

Michigan right at the bottom, along with Mississippi and Utah (the latter, for some reason, escaping the "five worst" list).

by Anonymousreply 2112/30/2012

Two things jump out on this map. The Northeast and it's progress in gay rights, and the Southeast, with its typical bigotry.

Those are the only two regions that are nearly uniform regarding gay rights. The rest seem to be just the individual cultures of individual states.

As a region, the NE is clearly progressive, while the South sticks to being a cultural wasteland of bigotry and hate.

by Anonymousreply 2212/30/2012

Pennsylvania is the Alabama of the North. If anything, there is movement to add an antigay marriage to the PA constitution.

by Anonymousreply 2301/07/2013

So, are the votes there to pass it in Illinois? Seems like the opposition is stronger than expected, and passage seems less likely.

by Anonymousreply 2401/08/2013

What are the chances in Delaware?

by Anonymousreply 2501/13/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The fate of gay marriage legislation in Rhode Island could hinge on the exemptions it affords religious groups that oppose it, the state Senate president said Friday, a day after the House overwhelmingly passed the bill.

Teresa Paiva Weed said she remains opposed to the bill and has heard that the sticking point for many senators is on how broad of a religious exemption is included in the only New England state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.

The Newport Democrat said she doesn’t want to fast-track the legislation and promised a “full and fair debate” on what she said is a personal and emotional issue for many lawmakers. She made the comments during a taping of WJAR-TV’s “10 News Conference.”

She said she doesn’t know whether there’s enough support in the Senate to pass the legislation, which would make Rhode Island the 10th state to allow gay marriage.

“The debate and the discussion in the Senate will be very real, and neither I nor anybody else ... really knows what the final outcome of that will be,” she said.

Paiva Weed said several senators have told her they want a more expansive religious exemption to protect religious leaders, churches, religious charities and organizations that do not support same-sex marriage.

In legislative testimony, a lobbyist for the Roman Catholic Church raised concerns that Catholic schools and charitable organizations could be forced to change employee benefit policies if compelled to recognize the same-sex spouses of employees.

The bill passed by the House states that religious institutions may set their own rules for who is eligible to marry within their faith and specifies that no religious leader can be forced to officiate at any marriage ceremony.

Paiva Weed said she has instructed her legal advisers to compare Rhode Island legislation’s religious exemption to those written into gay marriage laws in Maine, Washington state, New York and Maryland.

It’s likely to be weeks or even months before the Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings and a vote on the legislation. That’s in stark contrast to the House, where House Speaker Gordon Fox followed through on his promise to hold a vote on gay marriage before the end of January.

Fox, a Providence Democrat, is gay. He dropped gay marriage legislation two years ago when he concluded it would not pass the Senate. Following Thursday night’s 51-19 vote in favor of the legislation, Fox said he trusts the Senate to weigh the merits of the bill and dismissed concerns from some gay marriage supporters that Paiva Weed would use the issue in political horse-trading that often occurs at the end of the legislative session.

“I’m used to that kind of stuff,” he said.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who supports gay marriage, urged the Senate to act on the legislation. The governor, an independent, argues that gay marriage is an issue of civil rights and the state’s quality of life, and that Rhode Island is at a competitive disadvantage to other New England states that allow it.

“Now that the House has swiftly acted, I urge Senate leadership to ‘call the roll’ — for our economy, for our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors, and for history,” he said in a statement.

Some opponents have suggested placing gay marriage on the ballot as a referendum, but the idea is a nonstarter with Fox and Chafee.


Smith reported from Cranston, R.I.

by Anonymousreply 2601/25/2013

Guidance counselors, teachers and principals may be limited to giving only career and educational advice to students under the latest version of a bill that deals with discussion of homosexuality in schools.

A measure in the works in the Tennessee legislature would bar school personnel from advising students on “mental health issues, ‘lifestyle’ choices or other conditions or activities outside career and educational counseling” unless they have been licensed as a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

The legislation, which could come up for discussion today, has been filed as an amendment to the Classroom Protection Act, which itself updates the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill that has tied the legislature in knots the past several years.

Sponsors say it would ensure that guidance counselors stick to their roles.

“School counselors in general are licensed, hired and paid to be counseling on academic and career education,” said state Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge. “We do not pay them nor license them to counsel on anything else.”

The amendment already is drawing fire from critics of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the Classroom Protection Act. They say the amendment would discourage students from discussing their problems with those they trust.

“Kids come to school personnel all the time with all kinds of problems,” said Chris Sanders, president and chairman of the Tennessee Equality Project, a gay rights group. “What it does to kids is it leaves them in limbo.”

Lawmakers first debated legislation that came to be known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in 2009, when then-state Rep. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, filed a measure prohibiting discussions of homosexuality before high school. The measure has failed repeatedly.

Now a senator, Campfield added a provision to this year’s version, Senate Bill 234, requiring school counselors to inform parents if a student discusses his or her sexual orientation.

The amendment would jettison that approach. Teachers, counselors and principals instead would be asked to give students a referral for psychiatric care if they bring up mental health or lifestyle issues. School districts would also have to train educators on how to handle such questions.

Ragan said his amendment would not prohibit conversations with students entirely. They would just assume all the legal risk if they did so.

“There’s nothing in the bill — nor could there be anything in the bill — that abridges First Amendment rights,” he said.

The bill is on the agenda to be heard today in the House Education subcommittee. Companion legislation is yet to be heard in the Senate.

by Anonymousreply 2703/12/2013
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