HRC's "State To State" Report
The Human Rights Campaign has published their "State To State" report, a comprehensive listing of what legislation may be coming regarding LGBT rights in every state in 2009 as well as what happened in 2008. Their summary for the coming year:
· Marriage equality: Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont are expected to take up legislation. In addition, Iowa’s state Supreme Court is set to decide a case that could provide marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in that state, and California’s state Supreme Court could rule on a case seeking to invalidate the Proposition 8 vote on the grounds that it improperly eliminated the fundamental right to marry by a simple majority vote on election day.
· Relationship recognition legislation: New Mexico and Hawaii appear ready to consider broad relationship recognition legislation, domestic partnership and civil unions, respectively. In Utah, advocates will seek action on a slate of pro-equality legislation dubbed the “Common Ground Initiative” and aimed at delivering specific protections, including domestic partner rights and anti-discrimination protections, to LGBT people and their families.
· Anti-discrimination legislation: Delaware and Ohio, are poised to consider legislation that would apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Three other states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, may look to add prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity to existing laws already prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in those states.
· Adoption: In the wake of an anti-adoption vote on election day in Arkansas that will prohibit adoption or foster parenting by unmarried couples, there are concerns that several state legislatures may take up anti-adoption legislation this year similarly aimed at preventing gay and lesbian couples from adopting.