NEWS: NJ’s Bullying Law Tested, Teen Attacked For Protecting Lesbians, El Paso Votes Gay, And More

Opponents of a recently passed marriage-equality law in Washington State say they already have more than enough signatures to get the issue put to a referendum today, a week before the June 6 deadline. “We feel that it’s going to be adequate to get it on the ballot—we’re quite confident of that,” says Joseph Backholm of Preserve Marriage Washington. [Seattle Times]

The 1.8 million-member Service Employees International Union‘s 2012 convention passed a resolution this week to bargain for trans-inclusive heath care as part of its contracts.  “I went to watch as the delegates debated the issue and came away incredibly impressed. While I expected there to be push back on the measure, instead it was brought to the floor and the delegates were allowed 40 minutes to debate. Every single person who got up to speak was in favor of the resolution; no one spoke in opposition. It easily passed,” reports Bil Browning [Bilerico Project]

The city of El Paso, TX just voted Mary Gonzalez (right) to the Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday, making her just the second-ever openly gay politician in the Legislature. (State Rep. Glen Maxey served from 1991 to 2003.)  “This is a big victory for Mary, for El Paso and for Texas,” said the Victory Fund’s Chuck Wolfe. “The people of El Paso will be represented by a talented and committed fighter who knows how to get things done in Austin. And LGBT Texans will be represented by an authentic voice in the Capitol, standing up and speaking out for fairness and freedom for all.” [Gay Politics]

A Plano, TX, teen was beaten with a gun after addressing two men who yelled slurs at his lesbian friends, but his mother claims the police are trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug: “They don’t want people to know that a kid was assaulted in the middle of the afternoon in Plano in broad daylight, beaten with a gun—no one did anything about it and he was protecting his lesbian friends. They don’t want that out there,” said the unidentified boy’s mom. “I want it out there. Somebody has to know who these kids or guys are.” [Dallas Voice]

Three New Jersey teenagers were charged with robbery and assault on Wednesday in conjunction with the bullying of a 15-year-old freshman who later committed suicide. Though there is no indication Morristown High School student Lennon Baldwin (left) was gay, this is the first incident reported since New Jersey instituted what is believed to be the country’s strictest anti-bullying policy. That law was signed by Gov. Chris Christie on March 26—two days before Baldwin killed himself. “It is the toughest law on bullying in the nation,” prosecutor Robert Bianchi stated. “This case again underscores our need as a society to eradicate the bullying of our youth, as regrettable consequences such as this case, are far too numerous to be anywhere near acceptable.” [CNN]