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News Missed in the Last Week

August 3, 2009

I’ve been a bit absent lately, so I wanted to post a few articles about pending legislation (or general government action) that I missed, but are worth noting.

  • From the Daily Beast, Sen. Gillibrand will be holding hearings on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” after she was encouraged to pull her Defense Appropriations amendment to halt dismissals under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for 18 months.
  • Republican Members of Congress lie about what Hate Crimes means, claiming that it would limit the rights of religious figures to preach hate.  In reality, they can still preach hate, but can’t incite violence against those protected by Hate Crimes legislation.
  • Harvey Milk will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously for being an “agent of change.”  Full list of recipients is here (including Sen. Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Conner, Sidney Poitier, Desmond Tutu and Billie Jean King).
  • The House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce Issues passed the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act by a 5 to 3 vote.  This is the bill that will broaden Obama’s early executive order extending benefits (health care and retirement benefits) to the partners of employees of the federal government.
  • There is a bill in California to recognize same sex marriages from out of state.  Combined with the exisiting 18,000 married same sex couples, Prop 8 would be thorougly undermined, but still a horrible stain on California’s constitution.
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