Thousands Attend Same Sex Marriage Bill Hearings in Maine
The Maine state Legislature Judiciary Committee is holding hearings today on two gay rights bills before several thousand people in the Augusta Convention Center. According to the Bangor Daily News, the crowd gave a standing ovation to state Senator Dennis Damon, who sponsored a bill that would legalize same sex marriage in the state.
Damon's bill "repeals the provision that limits marriage to one man and one woman and replaces it with the authorization for marriage between any two persons that meet the other requirements of Maine law" and also recognizes all marriages performed outside the state. The second bill addressed in the hearings would extend the "rights, protections and benefits" of married couples to domestic partnerships in the state.
According to the Associated Press, it is unclear whether Maine Governor John Baldacci would sign the bill if it is passed by the legislature. A recent poll showed 47.3 percent of Maine residents support the same sex marriage bill and that 49.5 percent oppose the legislation, reported the Associated Press.
If the legislation is approved, Maine would be the fifth state to permit same sex marriage in the United States after Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont. Legislation was also introduced last week in New York by Governor David Paterson that would legalize same sex marriage.
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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. . . .