President Obama Endorses Marriage Equality on the Ballot
Yesterday, President Obama's campaign released three statements announcing his endorsement of state ballot initiatives to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, Washington, and Maine. In April the President also spoke out against the measure in Minnesota, which would change the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage, even though Minnesota already has a law against same-sex marriage. The constitutional amendment would make the law more difficult to challenge.
The announcement in via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in Washington reads as follows: "The President endorsed Referendum 74 in a statement by Press Secretary Paul Bell, 'While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. Washington's same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote to approve Referendum 74.'" While the Obama campaign released three separate statements, they are all very similar, with slight state-specific variations.
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in six states and the District of Columbia. The President's announcements on Thursday came five months after he became the first President to come out in support of marriage equality. In February the Obama Administration also announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), on the grounds that it considers the law a violation to the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is expected to take up a case addressing the issue of marriage equality during the year-long term that began October 1st.
Media Resources: Reuters 10/25/12; The Advocate.com 10/25/12; The Washington Blade 10/25/12
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .