Ugandan Parliamentary Committee Supports "Kill A Gay" Bill
Yesterday, the Ugandan Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee issued a report recommending passage for the Anti-Homosexuality or "Kill a Gay" Bill, which calls for the death penalty in cases of "aggravated homosexuality," for engaging in same sex relations with someone who is HIV positive, and life imprisonment for having sex with someone of the same sex. The bill would also would make same-sex marriage and officiating at such a ceremony criminal offenses. The report is scheduled to be resented before the Ugandan parliament today.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill went before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on Friday and was originally scheduled for a vote on Wednesday but was dropped from the Parliament's agenda following condemnation from the President, the Secretary of State, members of Congress, and human rights groups. David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan Parliament and one of the leaders of the Family or Fellowship of C Street fame (see Jeff Sharlet's latest book on C Street), first introduced the bill in 2009.
Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries with the exception of South Africa, which recognizes gay marriage, but even there, anti-gay practices such as "corrective rapes" on lesbians, are commonplace.
Media Resources: Human Rights Watch 5/12/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/11/11, 10/29/10
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. . . .