Seeking to avoid making marriage an election issues, Vermont has formed a 10-member commission to elicit public reaction to replacing its landmark system of civil unions with marriage. The state will not take action until after the 2008 election.
The long-awaited Employment Non-Discrimination Act is slated for a House vote in September, according to a spokesperson for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Meanwhile, in the Senate, the gay- and transgender-inclusive hate crimes bill, which was attached to defense legislation pulled by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is unlikely to get a vote until September, or even later in the fall.
Same-sex couples from New Mexico can join those from Rhode Island as the only out-of-state couples allowed to marry in Massachusetts, Bay State officials have decided. The New Mexican couples got the go-ahead because their home state, like Rhode Island, does not have a marriage ban on the books; however, neither state is viewing the marriages as legally valid.
Out Baltimore Democrat Fred Mason III has been endorsed by both the Victory Fund and the National Black Justice Coalition Action in a primary to fill an open district council seat. Mason, whose field of opponents in the Sept. 11 primary includes a second out candidate, Dana Owens, could become the first openly gay city council member.