News From the States: Super-Sized Edition

It’s been two weeks since we’ve had a regular edition of the GLBT News, and a lot has happened. Here is a quick rundown of developments across the United States.

In Georgia, the University System of Georgia has said that they will now offer benefits to same sex partners in the system’s retirement program.

In Kentucky, US District Judge John G. Heyburn found that state’s ban on recognizing same sex marriages performed elsewhere to be unconstitutional due to its violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.  However, full same sex marriage recognition is on hold as the judge stayed his ruling pending a probable appeal.

In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick moved to block all insurers from not covering gender reassignment surgery and other treatments needed for transgender patients. Massachusetts becomes the third state in the union to feature these protections along with California and Vermont.

In Missouri, a newspaper called The Pulaski County Daily News has refused to “promote or encourage” LGBT events. The comments were received after the local paper was asked to publicize the fact that Command Sergeant Major Teresa Duncan was coming to speak at an area venue regarding her coming out process in the military. While many are chalking it up to just backwaters being backwaters, these sorts of events show the progress still to be made in advancing equality for all LGBT people no matter where they live.

In Ohio, a group trying to get a repeal of that state’s same sex marriage ban failed to acquire enough signatures to make the ballot. Due to pending court cases and a change in wording of a proposed constitutional amendment, the main group pushing for the repeal has elected to bide its time.

In South Carolina, the former police chief in Latta has been reinstated. Crystal Moore was fired by Mayor Earl Bullard in April due to the fact that she was a lesbian. Since that time, the city council in Latta has stripped away much of the mayor’s authority. ALthough Mayor Bullard tried to promote someone else to the position to block Moore from regaining her post, the city council found that move to be illegal due to lack of consultation, and Latta has now rejoined the police department in her previous role.


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