Topic: LGBT rights
Here’s to you, Tam O’Shaunessy. Ever since I read in astronaut Sally Ride’s obituary that she had been in a committed relationship with Tam O’Shaunessy for twenty-seven years, I’ve wondered how O’Shaunessy must feel now. I don’t know how Ride set up her estate, but O’Shaunessy won’t be receiving any survivor benefits from the military because it’s prohibited by the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Besides, they were not even married. Can’t do that in California.
On December 22nd, joined by Congressional leaders, Vice President Biden, many veterans, and men and women currently in uniform, President Obama signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” With all the twists and turns in Washington, it was far from clear that the repeal would happen. Indeed, by the middle of the lame duck session of Congress, the repeal seemed dead, with no chance of re-consideration by the newly GOP-dominated House in 2011.
On May 12, the New York State Assembly passed legislation permitting same-sex marriage in the state. This vote comes on the heels of recent marriage equality victories in Vermont and New Hampshire. Now, the bill (S. 4401) is in the New York State Senate. The State Senate has 62 Senators, with 32 votes needed for a majority. Currently, 19 Senators are sponsors of the bill, and Majority Leader Smith (D) has indicated that he is also a supporter. Which means … Read More