What’s ahead in 2009

The LGBT community can probably expect a roller-coaster ride this year. While the economy is in shambles, political figures are focused on saving the nation’s financial system, turning an almost blind eye to social issues. As we pull through what might shape up to be the biggest recession (and, hopefully, not a depression) since the 1930s, we might see movement on important pro-equality legislation.

The Human Rights Campaign recently provided a “timetable” for the new Obama administration, imploring the new leadership to move quickly on several pieces of legislation.

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Although hopes remain high for Obama’s commitment to LGBT issues, the current political and social climate aren’t necessarily the best for getting our issues heard by leaders on Capitol Hill. Below is Q-Notes’ practical expectations for moving foward in 2009.

Federal
1. Passage of a fully-inclusive, federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
2. Movement toward repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and The Defense of Marriage Act.

North Carolina
1. Continued pressure on the N.C. Senate by Democratic House leaders to pass a fully-inclusive, comprehensive anti-bullying and safe schools bill.
2. Better alliances with new Democratic leadership in the Governor’s Office, House and Senate.
3. Movement toward passing a state-level employment non-discrimination bill.
4. In-depth discussion of anti-LGBT, racist and other bias-motivated crimes and activities on UNC campuses, and a possible hate speech policy.

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South Carolina
1. Continued growth by LGBT community organizations.
2. Stronger relationships with Columbia city leaders.

Be on the lookout for…
1. An anti-gay, anti-family marriage amendment in the North Carolina legislature.
2. Anti-gay adoption legislation — don’t be surprised to see fundamentalists attempt to repeat their Arkansas successes in other conservative states.
3. Decreased financial funding and support for LGBT non-profits.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.