Nigerian Senate Passes Bill Criminalizing Gay Marriage
Yesterday the Nigerian Senate passed a bill to prohibit same-sex marriage, as well as gay advocacy groups and public displays of same-sex affection. The bill imposes a 14 year sentence for those who are convicted of homosexuality and 10 year sentences for anyone who assists same-sex couples in marrying. The Nigerian House of Representatives will now vote on the bill and if passed, it will go to President Goodluck Jonathan to sign.
Erwin van der Borght, director of Amnesty International's Africa program, stated, "The bill will expand Nigeria's already draconian punishments for consensual same-sex conduct and set a precedent that would threaten all Nigerians' rights to privacy, equality, free expression, association, and to be free from discrimination."
Approximately a month before the bill passed the Senate, British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a threat to prevent aid from going to nations that violate the rights of homosexuals. Cameron remarked in a statement, "British aid should have more strings attached in terms of 'do you persecute people for their faith or their Christianity or do you persecute people for their sexuality.' We don't think that's acceptable...we're prepared to put some money behind what we believe."
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" of lesbians, are commonplace.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
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. . . .