Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Human Rights Campaign Releases 2011 Flashpoints for LGBT Equality

SVG Version of Image:Hrc_logo.png, which has t...Image via Wikipedia

Today the Human Rights Campaign released it's Flashpoints for LGBT Equality. The document highlights the challenges and opportunities facing the LGBT community both on a national level and at the state level. The document can be seen in its entirety here.

One of the first points discussed in the document is how the last election shifted the Congress toward a more anti-LGBT make-up.

According to HRC this shift puts a roadblock on getting pro-LGBT legislation passed. While it is highly unlikely, HRC and it's allies do plan on introducing or reintroducing pro-LGBT legislation. This bills include:

  1. Employment Non-Discrimination Act
  2. Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
  3. Safe Schools Improvement Act
  4. Student Non-Discrimination Act
  5. Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act
  6. Tax Equity for Heath Plan Beneficiaries Act
  7. Uniting American Families Act
  8. Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act
  9. Every Child Deserves a Family Act
Other items to work on include HIV/AIDS funding, and legislation to protect LGBT people from housing discrimination. According to HRC the bills that deal with students have a good chance because of all the national attention around bullying. Also, the Republicans also like to hear about items that deal with tax cuts so those items may get some positive attention as well.

HRC will continue to push the Obama administration to make changes in federal policy. There have already been some big victories in this area and that should continue.

In terms of state legislation, HRC sees 6 states that could make progress in marriage and relationship recognition: Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Delaware and Illinois. However there are also states where HRC sees a risk that protections for same-sex couples could be rolled back. New Hampshire and Iowa could lose marriage equality while Indiana, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina could have a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Other issues to fight will be adoption bans.

The HRC also discusses possible victories in the courts. These cases will have impacts on marriage equality and will be worth keeping an eye on. As HRC states these cases, "could make an impact on the marriage equlaity landscape in subsequent years."

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