Same-sex adoption is the hot topic in various states this week, as Louisiana, Illinois, and Virginia all wrestle with the issue in different ways:
– DELAWARE: Today the House Administration Committee released the civil unions bill passed last week by the Senate, allowing it to proceed to a full House vote. Meanwhile, opponents of the bill are promoting harmful “ex-gay” rhetoric.
– HAWAII: The Hawaii Senate has passed a House bill that would provide transgender employment protections. The amended bill returns to the House for final consideration.
– ILLINOIS: Fulfilling their end of an apparent backroom deal to get Catholic Democrats’ support for civil unions, several Senators pushed a provision this week that would have protected religious charities’ ability to discriminate against same-sex couples in adoption and foster care services. The amendment failed in a committee vote today.
– LOUISIANA: An en banc decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision allowing a same-sex couple to have both their names on their son’s birth certificate. The couple has not made a decision yet on whether to appeal.
– MAINE: State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) is pushing a bill that would reopen discrimination against transgender individuals in public accommodations (like bathrooms and lockerrooms) by requiring they use facilities that match their biological sex.
– MARYLAND: The Senate killed a bill that would have ended discrimination against transgender Marylanders by sending it back to committee on the last day of the legislative session.
– NEVADA: The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee advanced a bill last week that would protect transgender Nevadans from discrimination in public accommodations and housing.
– TENNESSEE: A bill nullifying and preventing municipal nondiscrimination ordinances (such as the one Nashville just passed) continues to see progress, passing this week out of the House Commerce Committee. Meanwhile, the Senate today saw the introduction of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit elementary and middle schools from acknowledging the existence of gender variation or any sexual orientation except heterosexuality.
– TEXAS: An anti-bullying bill advanced out of the Texas House Committee on Public Education yesterday, though it does not specifically protect LGBT youth.
– VIRGINIA: All eyes are on Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) as the deadline approaches this week for him to make recommendations to the Virginia State Board of Social Services about a provision that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children. He has indicated he opposes the provision.
Keep track of how LGBT issues are advancing in the states at our State LGBT Watch.