Advocate.com reports the Cleveland City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on Nov. 30 adding protections for transgender people in employment and housing to its antidiscrimination laws.
Openly gay City Councilmember Joe Santiago, who recently lost his bid for a second four-year term, introduced the ordinance last year, at the same time the council considered a domestic-partnership registry for same-sex couples. The registry passed by a vote of 13-7.
Next year, Council may consider expanding the nondiscrimination ordinance to allow transgender citizens to use either a men’s or women’s public restroom.
Mass. bishop OKs same-sex marriages
The Boston Herald reports the Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts has given priests in his diocese permission to officiate at same-sex weddings.
Bishop M. Thomas Shaw III said gay and lesbian couples deserve the “same sacrament of fidelity” as heterosexual couples.
Shaw has been a long-term supporter of gay marriage, but previously cited the Episcopal Church’s canons and prayer book in barring local priests from officiating at same-sex marriages, even after they became legal in Massachusetts in 2004.
Shaw said in a letter released on Nov. 29 that priests can decline to officiate at same-sex weddings if they so choose. His decision only affects eastern Massachusetts.
Movement underway to ban divorce
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Web designer John Marcotte is pushing to put a measure on the ballot next year to ban divorce in California.
The effort is meant to be a satirical statement after California voters outlawed gay marriage in 2008, largely on the argument that a ban is needed to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage.
“Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more,” the 38-year-old married father of two said.
Marcotte said he has collected dozens of signatures, including one from his wife of seven years. Marcotte needs 694,354 valid signatures by March 22.
— Larry Nichols