Outside LGBT News

In Iowa, same-sex couples began marrying on Thursday, following the 3 day waiting period after the first licenses were issued. The senates of both New Hampshire and Maine passed marriage equality bills last week, and the bills will go to the state houses for approval. Unfortunately, the New Hampshire senators also voted to kill a bill that would have extended housing and employment anti-discrimination protections to transgender people.

The federal Hate Crimes Act passed the House and has Pres. Obama's support. New Mexico will now offer health care coverage to domestic partners of retired government and school workers (current workers have received benefits since 2003.) 

A federal judge has awarded a former Army Special Forces commander nearly $500,000 in back pay and damages. Diane Schroer applied for a terrorism analyst job while still a man and was offered the job, but the offer was pulled after he told a library official that he was having surgery to change gender. The ruling is important because the judge recognized this as job discrimination.

The Scandinavian country of Iceland elected a lesbian Prime Minister. Johanna Sigurdardottir is the first openly gay head of a national government in modern times, and her country's first female prime minister. She and her partner were married in 2002.

The British government has named Carol Ann Duffy as the UK's new poet laureate. The first woman to be appointed in the 341-year history of the post, she is also the first openly gay person and the first Scot to hold the title.

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