Speed Read: Rice calls Uganda
RICE CALLS UGANDAN PRESIDENT: White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice posted several messages on Twitter Monday, saying that she spoke “at length” with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni “to urge him not to sign” the anti-LGBT bill passed by the nation’s parliament in December. She said she told Museveni that the bill is a “huge step backward” for Uganda and the world and that it will “put many at risk and stain Uganda’s reputation.”
ALASKA WARMS TO MARRIAGE: A Public Policy Polling survey this month showed a nine-point increase in the number of people who support allowing same-sex couples to marry. The survey of 850 registered voters between January 30 and February 1 (margin of error plus or minus 4.7 percent) found 44 percent support allowing gay couples to marry, 27 percent support civil unions but not marriage, 26 percent said there should be no recognition of gay relationships, and three percent were unsure. By comparison, only 39 percent had a favorable opinion of former Governor Sarah Palin.
TAXING COMPLICATIONS: The Colorado House on Monday gave final clearance to a bill that will allow same-sex couples who have marriage licenses from other states and civil union registration with Colorado to file a joint state tax return. The state senate passed the measure in January over objections of Republicans who said it violates the state ban on recognition of marriages for same-sex couples.
IDAHO PROTEST GROWS: The number of demonstrators urging the Idaho legislature to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s human rights law grew dramatically Monday. From 40 who were arrested February 3, to 65 who were turned away from the capitol last Thursday, the number jumped to 200 yesterday. They are also protesting against a bill, which advanced out of committee earlier this month that would give people a right to deny services to persons by claiming to have a religious belief that prevents them from doing so.
BALDWIN AMONG TOP LIBERALS: It’s probably not a big surprise: The U.S. Senate’s only openly gay member made the National Journal’s list of “The 15 Most Liberal Senators.” The list, released earlier this month, shows Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) tied for fifth place –but because three senators were tied for first and seven were tied for seventh, it’s a crowded field.
POCAN A TOP LIBERAL IN THE HOUSE: Openly gay U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) is the eighth most liberal member of the House, according to the National Journal’s ratings for 2013. And he’s the most liberal of the House’s seven openly LGBT members. Of others in the LGBT caucus, Pocan is followed by Mark Takano (D-Calif.) in 37th place; David Cicilline (D-RIs.) in 45th place; Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in 144th place; Mike Michaud (D-Maine) in 148th place; and Sean Maloney (D-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) tied in 188th place.