North Carolina has voted to constitutionally prohibit any domestic union other than a marriage between a man and a woman, the AP reports.
In doing so, voters have also banned civil unions and stripped same-sex couples of domestic partnership benefits. Voters have eliminated health care, prescription drug coverage and other benefits for public employees and children receiving domestic partner benefits. They have threatened protections for all unmarried couples in North Carolina.
With a little over 43 percent of precincts reporting, support for the amendment was strong- with about 61 percent of North Carolina voters casting their ballots in favor of the amendment, and roughly 39 percent voting against it.
North Carolina is now the 30th state with a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Results are still coming in as of this posting, but it's not even close.
Former DNC Chair Tim Kaine, who's running for Senate in Virginia, and, as The Hill notes, is "a strict Catholic who is running in a swing state," was asked if he supported same-sex marriage today, and did a fancy dodge:
"The underlying issue is, should committed couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities? and the answer to that is an unequivocal yes," he said. "I believe in the legal equality of relationships. The debate about 'Is it marriage, is it a civil union, is it domestic partnership?' — I kind of let that one go, and say the legal issue is, Should committed couples be treated the same by law? And I think the answer is yes. Just as we do now, churches would be able to make their own decisions about which relationships they'd want to celebrate — that wouldn't change — but as a matter of law I do fundamentally believe that couples should be treated equally."
When asked if he believed if marriage equality is a civil right, he reframed the issue.
"Relationship equality is a civil right, I believe that," he said. "The legal issue, the issue for policymakers is should we treat people the same? And I believe we should. There should be a license that would entitle a committed couple to have the same rights as a married couple. Again, I think the labels actually get in the way of the issue.
"What you call it and how you label it and how you describe it is not unimportant, it is important. But I think the most important issue, really, is the issue of legal equality, relationship equality," he said.
The San Diego City Council has voted unanimously to name a street after Harvey Milk, the Union Tribune reports:
The two-block road leading up to the San Diego LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest will be changed from Blaine Avenue to Harvey Milk Street in honor of the late San Francisco supervisor, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.
“This is a great day of pride for our community, our district and this city,” said Councilman Todd Gloria, who represents the Hillcrest area and is openly gay.
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf joined the unanimous vote, despite past comments critical of homosexuality. She once called it a sin and that gays should not be allowed to hold public office. She has apologized for what she said during her 2010 campaign.
The street signs will be changed by May 22, what would have been Milk's 82nd birthday.
Apparently not even Ivy League baseball jocks can resist Carly Rae Jepsen.
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
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House Republicans have threatened to stall the bill, which would kill it.
Today, the House Appropriations Committee approved SB-2, the Colorado Civil Union Act. Republican Representative Cheri Gerou joined all of the Committee’s Democrats in voting in favor of the bill.
“Another Republican vote for civil unions underscores the growing national support for protecting our families on both sides of the aisle,” said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, a statewide organization advocating for gay and transgender people.
The bill was passed with two amendments, proposed by Representative Marsha Looper. These amendments provide special religious exemptions that are unnecessary, given the strong protections on religious freedom that are guaranteed in the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions.
“We look forward to a robust floor debate by all of our Representatives. Issues with overwhelming public support like civil unions deserve a full up-or-down vote,” said Clark.
If passed, the bill will provide committed gay and lesbian couples with critical legal protections and responsibilities, such as the ability to inherit property, to take family leave to care for a partner, to visit a partner in the hospital, and to make medical and end-of-life decisions for a partner.
One Colorado is live tweeting from the Capitol as this develops...
Last week I reported that Darnell "Dynasty" Young (pictured, left, with twin brother Darell), a gay student at Tech High School in Indianapolis, was facing possible expulsion for carrying a stun gun his mother gave him to protect himself from a group of bullies who threw rocks at him and threatened to beat him up.
Young has now been expelled, MSNBC reports:
The district said it had accepted the decision of an examiner, who presided over Young’s hearing last week, to expel him.
“While the district does not condone bullying, it also does not allow weapons to be brought on our school campuses for any reason. Students who violate this rule will be held accountable,” Mary Louise Bewley, director of the district’s Office of School and Community Relations, said in the e-mail statement.
When reached by phone on Tuesday, Young declined to comment. His mother, Chelisa Grimes, said she couldn’t believe her son had been expelled.
For background, read our full post here.