As the controversy rages over Augusta National’s discriminatory all-male membership, corporate presence from the nation’s most elite firms will be understated at this year’s Masters golf tournament, according to the New York Times. Following club chair Hootie Johnson’s decision last year to eliminate corporate sponsorship, Citigroup will no longer send hundreds of its top insurance agents to attend and General Motors will no longer supply Cadillacs to transport the golfers. According to the Times, several prestigious companies including Southern Company, JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, and American Express are expected to forego their usual lavish “corporate hospitality.” In some cases, CEOs like William B. Harrison Jr. of JP Morgan Chase and Kenneth I. Chenault of American Express may skip the tournament altogether. Last year, Chenault followed Citigroup chair Sanford I. Weill in calling on Augusta National to admit women members. “Without resolution on the women’s membership issue and the fact that there’s been increasing media attention, more and more companies are realizing that there’s a risk,” Jeff Bliss, president of the Virginia-based sports marketing firm Javelin Group told the Times. According to TSE Sports and Entertainment, a New York firm that arranges sporting event trips, attendance at the Masters declined 30 to 40 percent this year.
Despite calls by the NCWO not to broadcast the tournament, CBS and ESPN intend to cover the event, which will also air on foreign telecasts. Meanwhile, the federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia on behalf of the NCWO and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition challenging the newly passed city protest rules, is set to be heard this week.
This afternoon, Burk and Jane Smith, president of Business and Professional Women, will join Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and John Lewis (D-GA) as they announce the introduction of House Resolution “Fair Play: Equal Access in Membership,” which states that no Member of Congress or Member of the Administration should belong to a club that practices racial or sexual discrimination. A similar standard already exists for members of the federal judiciary.
NCWO plans to protest at the Masters tournament on April 12. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, will join Burk, Smith, and other national leaders at the protest. Buses will leave Washington, DC, at 6:30 a.m. on April 11 for an 11 a.m. rally in Augusta, GA.
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. . . .