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What a difference a year makes!

Newly elected Democratic governors leading on LGBT issues:

• In Iowa, new Democratic Governor Chet Culver signed a state Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) into law.

• In Colorado, new Democratic Governor Bill Ritter signed a second parent adoption bill and is expected to sign a state ENDA bill.

• In Ohio, new Democratic Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against state employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

• In Oregon, newly re-elected Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski signed domestic partner and state ENDA bills.

• In New Hampshire, newly re-elected Democratic Governor John Lynch signed a civil unions bill into law.

• In Massachusetts, new Democratic Governor Deval Patrick led the successful effort to keep an anti-marriage amendment off the ballot.

Democratic state legislatures promoting equality:

• In a Democratic-controlled congress, North Carolina defeated a proposed constitutional amendment, while Maryland was also successful. The Alaska legislature defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit domestic partner benefits for state employees.

• In Oregon, Democrats took control of the State House and passed domestic partner and state ENDA bills.

• In Indiana, the new Democratic majority in the legislature defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage.

• In New Hampshire, state Democrats — who won a majority in the state Senate and the first Democratic majority in the State House since the Civil War — passed a civil union bill and defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have barred same-sex marriage.

• in Vermont, the Democratic legislature passed a bill prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.

• In Washington State, the Democratic legislature passed a domestic partner bill.
Democratic Congress promoting equality:

• In its first six months, the Democratic Congress has passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, which would allow the Department of Justice to assist local authorities in investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, including hate-motivated violence against LGBT Americans.

• Democrats in Congress have introduced the 2007 Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

• Democrats in Congress have introduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246), which would repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel.

Democratic presidential candidates are standing up for LGBT Americans:
• At the June 2007 Democratic candidate debate, every single Democratic presidential candidate endorsed repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

• At their June 2007 debate, not a single Republican candidate agreed to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” even if that policy led to the dismissal of openly gay Arab language translators in a time of war.

• In their responses to the Human Rights Campaign candidate questionnaire, every Democratic presidential candidate backed federal recognition for LGBT couples, inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and passage of the hate crimes prevention bill.

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