The New York State assembly approved a same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday and is likely to face a vote in the Senate on Friday. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) introduced the bill where the Assembly voted 80-63 in favor of the marriage equality bill. The bill faces a much closer vote in the Senate, where support from only one more senator is necessary for it to pass. The state Senate had rejected a similar bill in 2009.
The bill, called the Marriage Equality Act, would grant same-sex couples the right to marry "as well as hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex," according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. New York does not currently grant same-sex marriages, though a 2008 appellate court upheld the right of same-sex marriages to be recognized if they are performed in other states. A recent Siena poll found that 58% of New Yorkers support same-sex marriage. Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Democrat who voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage, said "Only second-class states have second-class citizens."
Same-sex marriage licenses are currently granted by five states - Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire - and the District of Columbia, and several other states allow civil unions. The issue is also currently being debated in California and New Jersey.
Media Resources: CNN 6/16/11; Wall Street Journal 6/16/11; Huffington Post 6/15/11
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .