The Utah state Senate proposed a ban on affirmative action Friday. According to the Deseret News, the legislation says that the state "may not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin with respect to public employment, public education, or public contracting."
The resolution was approved by a House committee in a 10-4 vote. However, in order for the ban to go into effect, the bill must receive a two-thirds vote in both the state House and Senate, then be signed by Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R), and then approved by Utah voters in the fall 2010 election, reported the Associated Press.Such a ban would not override federal laws such as Title IX, according to the Deseret News.
State Senate President Michael Waddoups (R), claims the "biggest problem is the quota system at the universities," although he could not point out any specific instances when such discrimination occurred, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
"To pull this bill out...and ram it down the throats of this community, is awful," said Utah State Representative Jackie Biskupski, (D) according to the Associated Press. "This is big, and it deserves public input."
According to the Deseret News, Prominent black businessman Ward Connerly of California, who was in town to testify for the bill, said: "The government should not make distinctions; the time has come to move on. We just expect to not be discriminated against." Connerly's efforts have led to affirmative action bans in California, Michigan, Washington, and Nebraska. A similar affirmative action ban supported by Connerly was defeated in Colorado in 2008.
Media Resources: Deseret News 2/11/2010; Associated Press 2/13/2010; The Salt Lake Tribune 2/12/2010; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/27/2009
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. . . .