This Week in Lesbian News…

Lesbian deportation delayed. The Advocate has reported that Shirley Tan, the 43-year-old lesbian living in San Mateo, California, has been allowed a two-week reprieve from deportation. Tan was on the verge of being separated from her partner and twin sons by immigration officials and sent back to the Philippines, where she was previously subjected to violence. California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have been helping Tan in her battle.

Most Americans are for lesbians and gays in the military. According to a new poll, a majority of Americans approve of allowing lesbian and gay individuals to serve openly in the military. The survey found that 59 percent of Americans are in favor of open service, while 32 percent are opposed.

Serbia approves anti-discrimination legislation. Lawmakers in Serbia recently approved anti-discrimination legislation protecting individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, and several other factors. The decision was made by a vote of 127 to 59. The legislation now makes Serbia’s policies more comparable to those of the European Union.

Marriage ban fails in West Virginia.
A bid to advance an amendment to West Virginia’s constitution to ban marriage for lesbian and gay couples has failed. The proposed amendment’s supporters felt that the current law, which does not allow lesbian and gay couples to marry, was not enough.

Lesbian mayor in Switzerland. Switzerland has elected Corine Mauch as mayor, making her the first openly gay mayor of the nation. She served ten years on the city council prior to her win.

Gay marriage in Sweden.
Last week Sweden became the latest European country to allow same sex couples to marry. The Swedish parliament passed the marriage equality proposal, which goes into effect on May 1, by a vote of 261 to 22.

Iowa becomes first midwestern state to recognize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. The Iowa state Supreme Court’s decided Friday – with a unanimous 7-0 decision – that the equal protection provision of Iowa Constitution guarantees gay and lesbian couples the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. Iowa now becomes the first state in the Midwest – third in the nation – to recognize marriages for gay and lesbian couples.

It’s all up to the Governor in Vermont. The Vermont House of Representatives voted in favor of marriage equality legislation on Thursday, following its approval from the state Senate last week. Governor Jim Douglas will now either sign it into law or veto it. If signed into law, Vermont would become the first state to achieve marriage equality through the legislative process.

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