News You Should Know July 1


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Most domestic partnerships are to become marriages in Washington. Matt Fleming has considered himself a married man ever since he and his partner, Casey Jackson, had a 2007 commitment ceremony in Spokane that was attended by 400 people. On Monday, the state makes it official.

Fleming, 38, and Jackson, 47, will be among thousands of registered domestic partners who will start the week married in the eyes of the state, under a component of Washington's same-sex marriage law that was approved by voters at the end of 2012. A provision of that law converts all same-sex domestic partnerships - in which both partners are under 62 years old - to marriage on June 30.

Beginning Monday, domestic partnerships, for heterosexual and gay couples, can only be filed if one partner is 62 or older. That provision was included in the state's first domestic partnership law of 2007 to help heterosexual seniors who didn't remarry out of fear they could lose pension or Social Security benefits.

The Department of Health will be the agency that officially converts the partnerships of those who have not married or terminated their partnership in Washington state. Floyd said the secretary of state's office has been working to update the partnership data as they hear from couples, but estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 conversions will occur and about 2,000 will remain domestic partners due to age provisions.

Washington, DC (Washington Blade) - Obama touted six years of achievements at the annual Pride reception held at the White House. During his 13-minute remarks, Obama reiterated the checklist of LGBT accomplishments under his administration. Although Obama has hosted Pride receptions at the White House in June during each of his six years in office, this year is perhaps the first time the event has taken place without frustration from the LGBT community. Obama also touted one accomplishment under his administration that doesn't always make headlines: his appointment of openly gay judges to the federal bench. Despite the reflection on past accomplishments, some news was made. In addition to the federal contractor executive order, Obama said for the first time he's instructed his staff to prepare a second executive order to make clear discrimination against transgender federal employees is prohibited -- a move that would build on a non-discrimination memorandum he previously signed in 2009. -

Obama also announced at the Pride reception that he will sign an executive order barring gender identity discrimination for federal employees.he newly announced order would build on the executive order signed by President Bill Clinton banning employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for federal workers.

Washington, DC (Advocate)- Many LGBT Americans are leery of the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision from June 30th. The Supreme Court ruled that employers have a right to cite their religion as reason to deny employees coverage for contraception, and that leaves some wondering what comes next. Activists had warned that if Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties -- the businesses that challenged Obamacare -- could use their "sincerely held religious beliefs" to deny contraception to employees, then they might use the same power to deny health care to transgender people or might withhold coverage for HIV and AIDS treatment to LGBT employees. Some had warned that depending on the reach of the ruling, business owners might try to use the decision to object to mental health services or substance abuse treatment -- health issues that disproportionately affect LGBT Americans.

ALBANY, New York (AP)- New York state can end its three-decade HIV crisis by the year 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says as he announces an ambitious plan to deliver a knockout blow to the epidemic by boosting testing, reducing new infections and expanding treatment.

Warsaw, Poland (AP)- President Barack Obama has taken the U.S. gay rights revolution global, using American embassies across the world to promote a cause that still divides his own country. American diplomats are working to support gay rights in countries such as Poland, where prejudice remains deep, and to oppose violence and other abuse in countries like Nigeria and Russia, where gays face life-threatening risks. The watershed moment came in December 2011, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to the United Nations in Geneva and proclaimed LGBT rights "one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time."

Since then, embassies have been opening their doors to gay rights activists, hosting events and supporting local advocacy work. The State Department has since spent $12 million on the efforts in over 50 countries through the Global Equality Fund, an initiative launched to fund the new work.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Gay Marriage decision is up in the air. Legal experts disagreed about the issue Saturday, and it isn't certain a clear answer will be reached any time soon.A federal appeals court issued a stay Friday that put on hold a U.S. district judge's ruling that struck down Indiana's prohibition on gay marriage. But Judge Richard Young's Wednesday ruling, that the ban was unconstitutional, was in effect for three days, during which hundreds of gay and lesbian couples obtained marriage licenses and many were wed.


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