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State LGBT Watch: Marriage Defeat In Montana, Retribution In Iowa

Progress toward marriage equality continues to ebb and flow, with a court defeat in Montana, a question for judicial retribution in Iowa, changing hearts in Colorado, and a growing coalition in New York:

– COLORADO: After voting against civil unions earlier this month, Sen. Shawn Mitchell (R) has written that his position continues to evolve on the issue. Meanwhile, an anti-bullying bill advanced yesterday out of the Senate Education Committee.

– IOWA: Five House Republicans have called for the impeachment of the four remaining Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined the 2009 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, but today Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R) quashed their effort.

– MONTANA: A Helena District Court Judge dismissed a lawsuit from six same-sex couples seeking to be recognized as domestic partners because of a 2004 amendment to the Montana Constitution that banned same-sex marriage.

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– NEW YORK: A new coalition of groups working toward marriage equality in NY grew to include the gay Republican group, the Log Cabin Republicans. Sen. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) is “deeply offended” that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is working with this coalition and is organizing an anti-gay marriage rally “to paralyze all traffic in the Bronx.”

– TENNESSEE: The Tennessee Senate Education Committee advanced a “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would prohibit any discussion of LGBT people or families in grades K-8.

– TEXAS: The Texas Senate adjourned without taking up SB 723, which would have limited transgender Texans’ ability to marry, but they also removed enumerated LGBT support from an anti-bullying bill.

– VIRGINIA: Guided by the advice from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), the Virginia State Board of Social Services voted 7–2 against new rules that would have allowed same-sex couples to access adoption and foster care services.

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