The Illinois state Senate voted 32 to 21 in favor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday. The law would redefine marriage as the legal union of two people, not specifically a man and a woman. It would also convert civil unions to marriages within a year's time. Religious institutions and individuals that oppose homosexuality would not be required to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Two years ago, Illinois passed historic civil union legislation. Now with the possibility of same-sex marriage being legalized, some conservative senators feel homosexuality is moving front and center in a threatening way. Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) told reporters, "People have a right to live as they choose; they don't have the right to redefine marriage for all of us." Same-sex marriage has plenty of supporters, however, one being Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), who says that "when two people love each other, no government entity should stand in the way of letting them express that love."
Governor Pat Quinn (D says he will sign the bill into the law if it passes in the state House, however it is unclear if the legislation will be brought to the House floor. This is the farthest a same-sex marriage bill has gotten in the Illinois General Assembly. If the bill is signed into law, it would make Illinois the 10th state to legalize same sex marriage.
Media Resources: Sources: Chicago Tribune 2/15/2013; New York Times 2/14/2013; Reuters 2/14/2013; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/08/2013
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. . . .