Bandit actually runs

Michael has started taking our “weight-challenged” dachsund Bandit for walks the past few days.

For some reason, he actually seems to like it. And he actually got his plump self up to a gallop!

Go fat boy, go!

Indiana: Senate votes to ban marriage equality & civil unions

Indiana

The Indiana state Senate has just voted to approve a bill that would make marriage equality illegal.

From the Indy Star: The bill’s language, which says “a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized,” means that civil unions would not be recognized either.

If the General Assembly passes the measure again in 2013 or 2014, it would go to the voters in 2014, before the state constitution can be amended.  The Indiana House already approved the measure.

Current state law prohibits gay marriages. Amendment sponsor Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn says the measure would provide maximum protection for the basic family unit of society.

So I guess this is kind of like wearing two condoms or something…

US Citizenship and Immigration Services puts Bi-national Partner deportations on hold

Immigration Citizenship

Christopher Bentley, the spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, confirmed today that cases of foreign partners who are married to a same-sex partner and would otherwise be eligible for a green card are on hold in light of questions about the continued validity of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Bentley writes, “USCIS has issued guidance to the field asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues.”

The USCIS reached this decision in response to the administration’s Feb. 23 announcement that it no longer will defend Section 3 of DOMA in court. Were it not for Section 3 of DOMA, a U.S. citizen who is half of a same-sex bi-national married couple would be able to sponsor his or her non-citizen spouse for the purpose of obtaining a green card.

We’ll see where this goes. It’s clear the decision by the Obama Administration to not defend DOMA in court has had ripple effects since the announcement.

ENDA bill to be introduced to Congress this week

rainbowFlag

Rep. Barney Frank plans to introduce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to Congress this Wednesday.

The bill, reported to be the same exact bill that was introduced in the 111th Congress, would prohibit most employers from discriminating in hiring and promotions on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Chances are extremely slim that it will move forward considering the Republican controlled House, but Rep. Barney Frank says he wants to use the opportunity to talk about the issue of LGBT discrimination in the work place with those who supported the bill in the past but couldn’t get past the transgender component of the bill.

Last year, according to Rep. Frank “We have work still to do and we have overwhelming — over 90 percent — support on the Democratic side for ENDA based on sexual orientation and we had, in the last Congress, about 30 Republicans that way. Unfortunately, there’s a drop-off from that number to transgender, and this is a chance to work hard to sway those who are committed to ENDA to support the full transgender inclusion as well.”

For more info, click here.