Yesterday, the Minnesota state House approved a law that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state by a vote of 75 to 59. The bill is expected to be voted on by the Senate on Monday and could be signed by the governor as early as Tuesday.
Representative Tim Faust (D FL-District 11B) spoke about the vote "Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time, the people that are opposed to gay marriage, at some point in their discussion, they always say, 'My Bible says.' The question that keeps going through my mind over and over again is, do we as a society have the right to impose our religious beliefs on somebody else?"
"If you support equality today, I think you'll be proud of it for the rest of your life," Representative Joe Mullery (DLF-District 59A) said to his colleagues before voting in favor of the bill.
If the bill is approved by the Senate, Minnesota will be the 12th state in addition to the District of Columbia that allows same-sex marriage. Earlier this week Delaware approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, and the week before Rhode Island also approved same-sex marriage.
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 5/9/2013; Reuters 5/9/2013; Feminist Newswire 5/8/2013
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. . . .