The Illinois state Senate voted 32 to 21 in favor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday. The law would redefine marriage as the legal union of two people, not specifically a man and a woman. It would also convert civil unions to marriages within a year's time. Religious institutions and individuals that oppose homosexuality would not be required to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Two years ago, Illinois passed historic civil union legislation. Now with the possibility of same-sex marriage being legalized, some conservative senators feel homosexuality is moving front and center in a threatening way. Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) told reporters, "People have a right to live as they choose; they don't have the right to redefine marriage for all of us." Same-sex marriage has plenty of supporters, however, one being Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), who says that "when two people love each other, no government entity should stand in the way of letting them express that love."
Governor Pat Quinn (D says he will sign the bill into the law if it passes in the state House, however it is unclear if the legislation will be brought to the House floor. This is the farthest a same-sex marriage bill has gotten in the Illinois General Assembly. If the bill is signed into law, it would make Illinois the 10th state to legalize same sex marriage.
Media Resources: Sources: Chicago Tribune 2/15/2013; New York Times 2/14/2013; Reuters 2/14/2013; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/08/2013
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .