The New Jersey State Senate voted 20 to 14 against a bill that would have legalized same sex marriage in the state yesterday. The state Judiciary Committee voted 7 to 6 in favor of the bill this past December.
Marriage equality activists vowed to continue the fight in New Jersey immediately after yesterday's vote. Director of LAMDA Legal, Leslie Gabel-Brett, told WNYC that "the promise of the unanimous decision in Lewis V. Harris remains unfulfilled. Same sex couples and their families can not wait any longer. We are going back to court." Lewis v. Harris is a 2006 New Jersey State Supreme Court ruling on the rights of same sex couple to equal protection.
The New Jersey State Civil Union Review Commission found in 2008 that the state's civil union law does not provide the same protections to gay couples as marriage does to heterosexual couples. The commission found that "the separate categorization established by the Civil Union Act invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children."
Washington, DC, approved same sex marriage legislation in December 2009 and is waiting for a mandatory 30 day congressional review period to expire before the legislation becomes law. Currently, same sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 12/12/08, 12/15/09; WNYC 1/8/09
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. The court's decision denied their request to temporarily block the legislation pending a final ruling on its constitutionality, rubber stamping the efforts of Oklahoma politicians to force doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone - one that the medical community and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected in favor of a new standard of care that calls for a significantly lower dosage. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .