Gallup Poll Shows Majority of Americans Approve of Strengthened Hate Crimes Law
According to a Gallup poll conducted earlier this month, 68 percent of all Americans believe that federal hate crime laws should protect people from discrimination or violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. The American public's approval of widening hate crime laws comes in the face of President Bush�s threat to veto the House�s Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which has already passed, and the Senate version of the bill, the Matthew Shepard Act. The strengthened legislation would enable federal authorities to investigate hate crimes if local investigators lack the resources or are unwilling to pursue the cases. The bill passed the House 237-180 and the Senate will vote soon on the Shepard Act, named after a young man who was murdered in 1998 for being gay. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Support for the new hate crime legislation is strong across the political parties. Seventy-five percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Independents, and 60 percent of Republicans agree that hate crime laws should include sexual orientation and gender identity. "I hope President Bush will look at this poll and realize how unbelievably out-of-line a threatened veto of this critical crime-fighting piece of legislation is with a majority of Americans. President Bush's threatened veto isn't even supported by his base," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that advocates equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgener community.
Media Resources: Human Rights Campaign 5/17/07; FMF 5/4/07
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .