State LGBT Watch: Retaining Inequality In Texas, Advancing Inequality In Minnesota And Tennessee

Despite how politically unpopular anti-LGBT views are becoming, efforts are still underway in various states to roll back rights. Others, like California, are making what small strides they can, and a new study about Massachusetts shows us there are consequences for not advancing equality:

– CALIFORNIA: A bill passed this week by the Senate would require that for contracts over $100,000, the State of California can only work with businesses that provide benefits to same-sex spouses of their employees.

– MASSACHUSETTS: A new study by the Williams Institute reports that Massachusetts, by not protecting its transgender citizens from employment discrimination, loses millions of dollars annually to public health insurance coverage and lost income tax revenues.

– NEW YORK: Following Monday’s rally in Albany, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D) has introduced a marriage equality bill in the General Assembly. The General Assembly has passed such bills twice before.

– MICHIGAN: Over 100 graduates of the University of Michigan Law School walked out of Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) commencement speech because of his votes against same-sex marriage and adoption.

– MINNESOTA: The Senate today passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. If the House passes it as well — as it is expected to — it will be sent to the people for a referendum. Faculty from the University of Minnesota law school recently spoke out against the ban.

– TENNESSEE: The Senate State and Local Government Committee has advanced a bill that would void Nashville’s LGBT employment protections. Both this bill and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill will be voted upon by the Senate tomorrow.

– TEXAS: A number of pro-LGBT bills will not be passed in Texas this year, including one that would remove the unconstitutional law against “homosexual conduct.”

– VIRGINIA: A new poll finds that a plurality of Virginians support marriage equality and the right of same-sex couples to adopt children, despite the fact a provision to allow adoption by same-sex couples was soundly rejected last month.

Keep track of how LGBT issues are advancing in the states at our State LGBT Watch.