1)Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to take action this week to extend certain benefits to same-sex spouses previously being witheld from them, The Washington Post reported and BuzzFeed confirmed from a Defense Department official on Tuesday afternoon. Although the specifics of the move were not yet clear, LGBT advocates have been highlighting the issue since before repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was finalized in September 2011.
2)Senate Executive Committee approves same-sex marriage bill in 9-5 vote.
3) British House of Commons passes marriage-equality bill in second reading by a vote of 400-175. Now the bill goes to committee for hearings, amendments, testimony, what have you, then back to the Commons for third/final reading, then on to the House of Lords, where it also should pass.
The vote handed Prime Minister David Cameron, whose administration sponsored the legislation, both a political victory and a political defeat. Approval of the bill allows him to portray himself and his government as in tune with public opinion and modern values, but it came at the cost of an angry mutiny by his own Conservative backbenchers, who said he had no mandate to press for such a change. An early count showed that as many, if not more, Conservatives lawmakers voted against the measure as for it, with many others abstaining.
“I think it’s right that gay people should be able to get married too,” the British leader said in a last-minute televised interview. “This is, yes, about equality, but it’s also about making our society stronger…. It’s an important step forward for our country.”
Well, Cameron should look on the bright side. I’m willing to bet that England’s version of the Tea Party makes better tea. And let’s not forget there is so much more work to do and idiots to fight.