Today, the United States Supreme Court is set to hear the second case on the topic of same sex marriage presented this week. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which states the federal government will only recognize marriage as between one man and one woman, is being argued today.
The current Obama administration has stated that it will not defend the law, though it will continue the law's enforcement. The lawsuit against DOMA was filed by plaintiff Edith Windsor of New York, married in Canada to her late partner, Thea Spyer. When Spyer died in 2009, she left her estate to her spouse. However, because the marriage was not recognized by the federal government, Windsor was forced to pay over $360,000 in federal estate taxes that she would not have owed had their marriage been federally recognized.
DOMA was first signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1996, before same sex marriage was legal in any state. Since that time, however, beginning with Massachusetts in 2003, nine states and the District of Columbia allow same sex marriages. Clinton recently came out in opposition of DOMA, encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn it.
Media Resources: ABC News 3/27/13; LA Times 3/27/13; New York Times 3/27/13; Washington Post 3/27/13
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. . . .