National

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By the numbers: Gay marriage in California and beyond

58 to 42

Margin, in percent, by which California voters passed Proposition 8, which ended gay marriage there. In what could be a landmark case, a federal judge is now weighing a challenge to the law; a ruling is expected as soon as this month and the case may eventually reach the Supreme Court.

18,000

Same-sex couples who were married in California.

42

States with laws or constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Georgia has both.

5

States, plus the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal.

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Supreme Court nominee grilled over ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The issue of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and a controversy over allowing the U.S. military to recruit on college campuses emerged as central concerns during U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings last week.

The issues emerged June 28 during the second day of hearings for Kagan — who’s currently serving as U.S. solicitor general — in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The hearings concluded June 30 and a Senate vote on Kagan’s confirmation is expected this month. Kagan appears headed to confirmation with a Republican filibuster unlikely.

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Family & Medical Leave Act to include gay parents

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis

In a move praised by LGBT groups, the U.S. Department of Labor announced June 22 that it would expand the definition of “son and daughter” to make more gay families eligible for coverage under the Family & Medical Leave Act to care for sick children.

“No one who loves and nurtures a child day-in and day-out should be unable to care for that child when he or she falls ill. … The Labor Department’s action today sends a clear message to workers and employers alike: All families, including LGBT families, are protected by the FMLA,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

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By the numbers: Gay blood donation ban

1 Times for a man to have had sex with another man since 1977 in order to be permanently banned from donating blood 1 Years that a person who has had heterosexual sex with someone who is HIV-positive is banned ...
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U.S. House, Senate committee vote to repeal DADT

Ga. Rep. John Lewis voted to repeal DADT

Efforts to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy gained significant momentum May 27 when both the U.S. House and the Senate Armed Services Committee passed amendments to repeal the ban.

“Just like the military helped end segregation based on race, we should have put an end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ long ago. It is an affront to human dignity and to the dignity and the worth of every man and woman serving in our military,” U.S. Rep. John Lewis said during debate on the House floor.

“We cannot wait. We cannot be patient,” Lewis said. “We must end discrimination in the military, and we must end it now. Discrimination is wrong, and we must end it now.”

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President Obama issues LGBT Pride Month proclamation

Today marks the start of LGBT Pride Month, and for the second consecutive year, President Obama has issued a proclamation acknowledging the contributions of LGBT Americans and the work remaining to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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First federal hate crimes conference held in Atlanta

Dennis Shepard, father of Matthew Shepard, speaks at an Atlanta conference on hate crimes

More than 300 law enforcement and community organization representatives attended the inaugural Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act community conference at Georgia State University on May 18.

Hosted by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, the conference was designed to detail the new federal hate crimes act signed into law by President Obama on Oct. 28, 2009.

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White House endorses plan to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

In what national gay rights activists called “a dramatic breakthrough,” the White House issued a statement May 24 that supports Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy this year.

The repeal, which at press time May 25 was expected to see votes in the U.S. House and Senate as early as May 26-28, would be enacted after the Pentagon completes a study on how best to implement it.

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By the numbers: Episcopal Church

2 - Openly gay bishops in the Episcopal Church, after Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool was consecrated May 15. 7 - Years since the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, Rev. Gene Robinson, setting ...