Colorado group launches gay advocacy ads
By JUDITH KOHLER
The Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — With debate raging about same-sex marriage, a Denver-based gay advocacy group has launched an ad campaign intended to steer voter attention to an even more basic issue: workplace discrimination.
The Gill Foundation is testing television ads in Michigan, Florida and Colorado featuring two men and two women who say they were fired for being homosexual or fear the consequences of being honest about their personal lives.
The ads end with: "In 36 states, you can be fired just because you're gay." The group, which has given $54 million in grants to nonprofits nationwide, notes that only 14 states have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Although the U.S. Senate defeated a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, gays and lesbians face a number of inequalities every day, spokeswoman Allison Johnson said.
The disparities include, she said, workplace discrimination, inability to make medical decisions for same-sex partners and lack of Social Security benefits when a partner dies. The hope is to encourage voters to become educated about issues and candidates before the Nov. 2 election
Bill to bar court review of Defense of Marriage Act advances in House
Capitol Hill-AP -- The House Judiciary Committee has passed a measure that would strip federal courts of jurisdiction over the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
DOMA, as it's called, defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman under federal law and says states don't have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
A Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution was blocked in the Senate Wednesday, although supporters said it was needed to stop federal courts from ruling DOMA unconstitutional.
But Indiana Congressman John Hostettler (HOH'-stet-lur) notes that the Constitution gives Congress the power to remove issues -- in this case, challenges to DOMA -- from federal courts' jurisdiction. The full House is expected to consider his bill next week.