Lesbian and Gay Students Fight for Notre Dame Anti-Discrimination Policy
One hundred students at the University of Notre Dame began a hunger strike Wednesday night. They were demanding their civil rights, namely an anti-discrimination policy that would ban bias against lesbians and gay men. University trustees will meet this week to consider this policy that has already been approved by the Senate Faculty and the Academic Council.
Many officials at the university, including its President, Rev. Edward Malloy, argue that the policy will compromise a main component of the school's Roman Catholic mission. "The primary spirit animating this is moral, because whereas in a secular environment this is seen as a simple matter of civil rights, that's not the way it's viewed through a Catholic prism," said school spokesman Dennis Moore.
In 1995, a gay and lesbian student organization was prohibited by the university from meeting on campus. Two years later Notre Dame began printing a statement in university handbooks that welcomed homosexuals into the "family," and assured them that they would not face discrimination.
Aaron Kreider of the Progressive Student Alliance and an organizer of the hunger strike stated, "It says we're going to include people, but we're not going to give them legal protection from discrimination."
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .