This Week’s Best Links: ‘Heartbeat Bill’ passes committee, Cincinnati named 8th most segregated city, hate crime in NYC

Check in every Friday for a roundup of all the best queer news the web has to offer.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The 2011 national campaign focuses on speaking up to prevent sexual violence in our neighborhoods, communities, workplaces and schools. Click here for more information and resources.

The “Heartbeat Bill,” which would make it illegal to have an abortion after a heartbeat is detected, passed out of committee in the Ohio House with a 12-11 vote. A fetus’s heartbeat can be detected as early as 8 weeks into a pregnancy, severely limiting the time frame for undergoing the procedure. The bill does not make an exception for cases of rape or incest.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed union-busting Senate Bill 5 yesterday. The bill also contains language that may affect domestic partner benefits for state employees.

Kasich visited the University of Cincinnati March 19, to discuss making it a charter school, and he was met with mild protests by students and faculty. The protesters were asked to leave because they did not have a permit to assemble or use a bullhorn.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, denounced S.B. 5 on MSNBC’s Hardball shortly after the bill was approved. Watch his segment below:

Equality Cincinnati is accepting applications for a $1,000 scholarship, awarded to an LGBT or allied student who exemplifies courage and leadership. Visit the organization’s website for details.

Cincinnati was ranked as the eighth most segregated city in America after analyzing recently released census data. Cleveland came in at fifth.

Indiana’s constitutional gay marriage ban was approved by the state Senate in 40–10 vote. The measure already passed the Indiana House. The General Assembly would have to pass the amendment again in 2013 or 2014 for it to appear on election ballot in 2014 for voter approval. Current state law already prohibits gay marriage.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services indicated cases of foreign partners who are married to a same-sex partner and would otherwise be eligible for a green card are on hold in light of questions about the continued validity of the Defense of Marriage Act. This announcement was quickly clarified to be a temporary position being taken until the office could figure out a new one.

New reports indicate American companies are producing and profiting more now than when the recession began, despite employing fewer workers, because Americans are doing more work for less pay. This contrasts other industrialized nations, as our economy is growing faster than theirs but creating far fewer jobs.

Another hate crime was reported in New York City over the weekend. Damien Furtch was walking on Sixth Avenue when two men called him a “fucking faggot,” then beat him and forced him into oncoming traffic. Furtch was left with two black eyes, stitches, and a broken nose. Watch what appears to be surveillance footage of the attack below:

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