State Marriage Watch: Tennessee Bill Would Prohibit Students From Discussing Homosexuality

New Iowa measure would prohibit the state Supreme Court from ruling on same-sex marriage, while a proposed bill in Tennessee would prohibit teachers from discussing gay people in elementary or middle school. That’s in today’s State Marriage Watch:

– MARYLAND: Maryland’s same-sex marriage legislation passed a second reading this afternoon in a vote of 25-22, paving the way for final approval later this week.

– HAWAII: Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie “signed same-sex civil unions into law Wednesday, calling it ‘a triumph for everyone’ that gay and lesbian couples will have the same state rights as married partners.” Civil Unions will begin on January 1, 2012.

– MONTANA: The Montana House passed a measure that would prohibit local governments from enacting policies seek that protects residents from real or perceived discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender, while the Montana Senate “voted Wednesday to remove an obsolete state law that criminalized gay sex.” “The Senate endorsed the bill 41-9 with 19 of 28 Senate Republicans supporting the measure. It has one more usually procedural vote before it goes to the House.”

– TENNESSEE: A proposed bill in the Tennessee Legislature “wants to spell out how schools can introduce sexuality – and only heterosexuality – to your child.” The bill, known as House Bill 229 or Senate Bill 49, says in part: “No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”

– IOWA: House File 330 would prohibit county recorders from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and “the Iowa Supreme Court would be unable to rule on the issue.” A spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said the bill is unquestionably unconstitutional.

– NORTH CAROLINA: A proposed amendment would “ban any recognition of any ‘domestic legal union’ other than a marriage between an opposite-sex couple. If approved by the legislature, the amendment would appear on the November 2012 ballot. Three-fifths of both the House and Senate must approve the amendment before it can appear on the ballot; the governor has no veto authority on amendments.”

For a complete overview of the latest developments in the marriage battleground states of Rhode Island, Maryland, New York, California, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wyoming, Iowa, and New Mexico, click here.