The Federal Marriage Amendment was defeated in the House of Representatives last Thursday, falling 49 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass it. The amendment, introduced by Rep Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), would have prohibited same-sex marriage and denied the legal benefit of marriage to all unmarried couples. The amendment would have also preempted all state constitutions, denying states the right to decide who can get married within their borders, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The amendment had been denounced by the Democratic party as being a divisive and prejudiced pre-election ploy, according to the Washington Post. Indeed, many Republicans conceded that the purpose of the amendment was to ensure that Democratic opponents were forced to go on the record with their beliefs about same-sex marriage before the upcoming election on November 2.
The Washington Post reports that there has been a stream of conservative causes brought before the House in recent months. Bills passed by the House include the repeal of most of the gun laws in the District of Columbia, a bill that would bar federal courts from even considering challenges to the phrase “under God” in the nation’s Pledge of Allegiance, as well as a flag-protection constitutional amendment. All of these proposals face serious opposition in the Senate.
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. . . .