Judge Speaks Out in Case of Harassed Lesbian Police Officer
A federal judge criticized the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for alleged lax investigation into a harassment case brought by a lesbian police officer against her male colleagues. Elizabeth Bryant, who “came out” to her colleagues in the NYPD in 1997 after holding a public ceremony with her partner in Central Park, testified that other officers refused to ride with her and posted pictures around the precinct of a male bodybuilder with her face pasted over his. The case was settled out of court, but Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rebuked the department on the last day of court proceedings, saying that, if Bryant’s testimony were true, it was “outrageous” that the NYPD did not conduct a full investigation of Bryant’s complaints. Bryant will retire from the police force, but said that the Judge’s response was moving. According to the Associated Press, the judge’s comments could have a great impact, as federal prosecutors are in the midst of an investigation of the NYPD to see if it was complying with a 1998 consent decree in which it agreed to properly investigate sexual harassment claims. For more information on police response to violence against women and gender balance in the police force, visit FMF’s National Center for Women and Policing.
Media Resources: Associated Press – September 29, 2000
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. . . .