CA: New Laws in Effect for Same-Sex Couples, Female Athletes, Battered Women
Beginning New Year's Day, several laws took effect in the state of California that bolster the equality of women, girls, and same-sex couples. According to the Washington Post, one new law will guarantee to same-sex couples who register as domestic partners many of the same benefits marriage affords, including access to divorce court, automatic parental status over children born to oneís partner, shared responsibility for a partnerís debt, the power to determine arrangements for the remains of a partner, and protection from having to testify against oneís partner in court.
Another new law has made California the first state to ban gender discrimination in community youth athletics programs. The law (AB 2404) ensures that state- and county-sponsored sports programs meet the same guidelines of gender equality that Title IX has required of educational programs that receive federal financial assistance for the past 30 years.
A law (SB 1385) that also went into effect on January 1 will allow imprisoned women a chance for a new trial or reduced sentence if they can prove that their crime was committed under coercion of an abusive partner. The law is an expansion of a law that enabled women convicted of killing their abusers before 1992 to seek a new trial or reduced sentence. The law could mean release from prison for those who felt forced to commit a crime, knowing that they would be severely beaten by their abuser if they chose not to.
1/28/2015 Senator Boxer Urges President to Continue Support for UN Population Fund - Earlier this week, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) along with 21 of her Senate colleagues sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to maintain support for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
UNFPA, which promotes maternal and reproductive health, conducts major demographic surveys, and campaigns against fistula and female genital mutilation, supports programs in over 150 countries. . . .
1/27/2015 Marissa Alexander To Be Released from Prison - Marissa Alexander is expected to be released from prison today, where she spent the last three years of her life after firing a warning shot into the air to defend herself from her estranged and abusive husband. . . .