BSA Proposal Would Allow Gay Youth, But Not Adults
The Boy Scouts of America have proposed to partially lift the ban that excludes gay members from service. The proposal would admit gay youth, but would still continue to bar adult troop leaders. It is a revision to a BSA proposal made in January that would have allowed local troops to decide whether to accept gay members. Unveiled last Friday, the new proposal must go before roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council. The council will vote over the week of May 20th during its annual meeting in Texas.
Gay-rights advocacy groups are criticizing the current proposal as incomplete. Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign asked "What message does this resolution send to the gay Eagle Scout who, as an adult, wants to continue a lifetime of Scouting by becoming a troop leader?"
Some conservative groups went on the defensive saying that the ban should remain in its entirety. "The policy is incoherent," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "The proposal says, in essence, that homosexuality is morally acceptable until a boy turns 18 - then, when he comes of age, he's removed from the Scouts."
The BSA anticipates backlash from many long-term members of the organization and estimate that between 100,000 and 350,000 members would leave the organization should the proposal pass.
Media Resources: NBC News 4/19/2013; The Huffington Post 4/19/2013; ThinkProgress.org 4/19/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .