Yesterday, voters in Maine, Washington, and Maryland voted to legalize same-sex marriage, and voters in in Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
Same sex marriage is already legal in six states and the District of Columbia via legislative action. However, the issue of marriage equality was defeated on state ballots 32 times, every single time it was put before the public, until yesterday. Minnesota became the first state to vote against a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, and Maine, Maryland, and Washington (most likely, final results pending) became the first states to legalize same-sex marriage via the ballot.
"This is a landmark election for marriage equality and we will forever look back at this year as a critical turning point in the movement for full citizenship for LGBT people," Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin he said in a press release on Tuesday night.
Freedom to Marry's national campaign director, Marc Solomon, echoed Griffin's sentiment in a press release: "It's hard to overstate the national significance of this vote. For years, our opponents have argued that we could not win a majority vote at the ballot."
This sweeping victory for marriage equality reflects the shift towards acceptance of marriage equality and LGBT rights demonstrated in recent polls.
Looking to the future, Griffin said: "Tonight we celebrate, but tomorrow morning we get up and get back to work so that the victories we hail tonight are felt everywhere across this great country. Too many people are denied the ability to marry. Too many people go to their jobs without workplace protections. Too many young people go to bed at night and stare at the ceiling, sleeplessly wondering what awaits them the next day at school or at church or in their own home. Thanks to all the hard work in achieving tonight's victories, we finally have momentum on our side and we will not rest until the promise of equal justice under the law is realized for every single person living in every single corner of this vast country."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 11/07/2012; HRC 11/07/2012; Freedom to Marry 11/07/2012
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .