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May 7, 2012: Final Days for CO Civil Unions
Civil unions are close to passing in Colorado, but there's only a few days left before the legislature adjourns. We're getting down to the wire on Amendment One in North Carolina. The Prop 8 play is getting new legs as an audiobook. And the guys behind "We Are Young" have some strong words for marriage equality.
Great news from Colorado. The House Judiciary Committee passed a civil unions bill by a 6-to-5 vote last week. That's the same margin by which an identical bill was killed last year.
So what made the difference? Republican lawmaker B.J. Nikkel, who changed her mind when she heard testimony from LGBT couples.
That bodes well for the bill's passage in the House, where Republicans hold a one-vote majority.
Click to subscribe to AFER on Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, so AFER can keep you connected and informed about fights like this one. Colorado's legislature adjourns on May 9th, so there's likely to be breaking news on this front very soon.
Also on May 9th, we'll have the results of voting in North Carolina's Amendment One. Polling shows that the ballot measure there has lost some of its lead, but could still pass next week. Voters still don't seem to understand just how far it goes.
Previous ads showed how it would deprive families of of health insurance and domestic violence protection. This week, the campaign released a new ad featuring an assistant DA who explains how the measure will jeopardize domestic violence victims.
In national news, there's been movement in two cases that challenge the Defense of Marriage Act. Both involve military benefits, and are likely to be in the news a lot over the next few months.
In the first case, a congressional legal group led by House Speaker John Boehner has moved to intervene in McLaughlin v. Panetta. In this case, Boehner's group will be arguing in opposition to veterans like Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, who has stage 3 breast cancer and desperately needs to secure survivor benefits for her wife.
The second case is Cardona v. Shinseki, which involves survivor benefits for a disabled veteran and her wife. That case has attracted a number of "friend of the court" briefs from veterans' organizations. Several of those groups are represented by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. That name may sound familiar -- they're one of the firms working on the case to overturn Prop 8.
Nearly a million people have watched "8," Dustin Lance Black's play about the Prop 8 trial on YouTube. And now millions more will have the opportunity to listen to it when it's released as an audiobook. Starting next month, you'll be able to download the show from LA Theater Works, along with bonus features like interviews with the cast.
And finally this week the band Fun. took a stand for marriage equality. The group behind the song "We Are Young" told reporters that even though they're all straight, they feel a responsibility to speak out on behalf of LGBT couples, and plan to use their newfound fame to promote marriage equality. Okay.
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