Compiled by Ashley Garman
Marriage-equality measure’s outcome
The senate president of Maryland, Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., predicted that same-sex marriage would be passed by the state congress next year. Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, plans to sponsor the legislation, which failed last session.
Miller, an opponent of same-sex marriage, said the governor’s support would matter little because of a certain state provision allowing citizens to petition recently-passed legislation in a statewide vote. According to the Washington Times, Miller said this provision might make it “easier for wavering delegates to vote for it.”
“I don’t anticipate it is going to be that difficult in the House,” Miller said.
In this year’s session, supporters of the bill were short of having a majority in the House by just two votes. Miller said the measure would probably have slightly better success next year. If the bill passes, a petition to put it on the November 2012 ballot is likely.
Miller believes that election will “probably be one of the largest turnouts in the state of Maryland,” but that the measure will likely fail on the ballot.
Indian lesbian couple receives government protection
“After receiving death threats from family members, India’s first married lesbian couple has been granted 24-hour police protection,” the Advocate reported. The couple, from a small town near New Delhi, was married earlier this month against their families’ wishes.
The women, 25-year-old Savita and 20-year-old Veeta ran away from home after knowing each other for 15 years. They were threatened by relatives and community members and sought government protection from a district court in Gurgaon.
“Our family members can take harsh steps against us. They even threatened to kill us,” the couple told NDTV. The women have been moved to a safe house and the court notified 14 individuals that threatened the couple with “dire consequences.” Homosexuality is no longer a crime in India, but same-sex marriages are not recognized by the government.
Charlotte could elect first LGBT councilmember
LaWana Mayfield is running for city council in Charlotte, North Carolina. If elected, she would become the city’s first openly LGBT council member. Mayfield is challenging four-term incumbent Warren Turner for the September Democratic primary for the southwestern district of Charlotte.
Mayfield, a community organizer, would be one of only a handful of LGBT candidates to bid for city council. “Reports indicate that she raised $6,000, a considerable sum for the contest, between April and early July. She lists stable property values, economic development, and community safety as key points of her platform,” reported the Advocate.
“Charlotte deserves an experienced community leader like LaWana Mayfield—someone who won’t be afraid to speak authentically about what it means to be part of the LGBT community there,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.
Mayfield has worked at Red Cross as a supervisor and has served on the board of advisors for the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund. She previously served as an executive board member for the Human Rights Campaign and is endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.
Prop. 8 heading to CA supreme court
The California Supreme Court has set a date of September 6th to hear arguments on whether supporters of Proposition 8 have the right to fight a federal court ruling that struck down the measure as unconstitutional,
saying that it violated gay Californian’s civil rights. Last year, former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current governor and former attorney general Jerry Brown refused to challenge the court’s ruling. The question on the right of Prop. 8 supporters to fight the ruling is pivotal to the future of the 2008 measure, which banned same-sex marriage, according to The Sacramento Bee.
A Proposition 8 support group brought an appeal of the federal court’s ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appeals court said it couldn’t reach a conclusion without knowing whether the group had legal standing. The appeals court asked the Supreme Court for guidance in interpreting state law.