The news is amazing, but who has time to comment on all of it. I’ve just added a category to stuff this stuff, and you can read it, roll your eyes, comment to Indwelling, or as they say a lot out west, “whatever . . . .”
Today, in the “U” department, courtesy of 365Gay from Associated Press :
Uruguay, a small country in South American which has been infamous for decades for dark right-wing politics :
08.28.2009 8:40am EDT
(Montevido, Uruguay) Lawmakers in Uruguay have approved a bill allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt.
Despite opposition from Uruguay’s Roman Catholic Church and some of the political opposition, the 99-seat Chamber or Representatives on Thursday passed the bill 40-13, with the remaining members absent.
It goes next to the Senate, which approved an earlier version of the bill in July but must now vote again on modifications. If it becomes law, Uruguay would be the first country in Latin American to allow adoption by gay and lesbian couples.
The law supported by socialist President Tabare Vazquez’s Broad Front coalition, which has already legalized gay civil unions and ended a ban on homosexuals in the armed forces.
Utah, a large state in the Western United States, not noted for its open minds, clear reasoning or progressive views of anything.
08.27.2009 5:14pm EDT
(Salt Lake City) Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that discriminating against gay people shouldn’t be illegal, although he would prefer it if everyone were treated with respect. In his most definitive comments yet on gay rights, Herbert told reporters he doesn’t believe sexual orientation should be a protected class in the way that race, gender and religion are.
“We don’t have to have a rule for everybody to do the right thing. We ought to just do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do and we don’t have to have a law that punishes us if we don’t,” Herbert said in his first monthly KUED news conference.
In Utah, it is legal to fire someone for being gay or transgender. The gay rights advocacy group Equality Utah has been trying to change state law for several years but has always been rebuffed by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Last year, the group got Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman’s support for extending some rights to gay people, although none of the bills it backed became law. Huntsman resigned earlier this month to become U.S. ambassador to China, leaving Herbert, who was lieutenant governor, in charge of the state until a special election in 2010.
Will Carlson, Equality Utah’s public policy director, said Herbert’s comments show he doesn’t understand how prevalent discrimination is against gay and transgender people in Utah.
“I agree that we ought to be able to just do the right thing. Unfortunately, the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission makes it clear that not all employers are doing the right thing,” he said, referencing a city report released earlier this summer that said discrimination was rampant.
Salt Lake City is considering an anti-discrimination ordinance, but conservative state lawmakers already are eyeing passage of a state law that would trump it.
Herbert reserved judgment on the ordinance until he’s had a chance to read it, but said he doesn’t like the idea of protected classes in general.
“Where do you stop? I mean that’s the problem going down that slippery road. Pretty soon we’re going to have a special law for blue-eyed blondes … or people who are losing their hair a little bit,” Herbert said. “There’s some support for about anything we put out there. I’m just saying we end up getting bogged down sometimes with the minutiae of things that government has really no role to be involved in.”
Carlson said he wants to arrange a meeting with Herbert to help him understand the problems gay Utahns face.
“We don’t have an epidemic of blonde-haired, blue-eyed people getting fired or evicted. We do have a situation where gay and transgender people are being evicted and losing their jobs, not for job performance, but because they’re gay or transgender,” he said.
Apparently Uruguay is more progressive than either Utah or Florida. Note the following from day before yesterday:
08.26.2009 8:58am EDT
(Miami) Florida’s strict ban on adoptions by gay people is going before a state appeals court.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Gill, calls Florida’s gay adoption ban the broadest such law in the nation.