Supreme Court Declines Petition Arguing for Gay Adoption in Florida
The Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to Florida's ban on adoption by lesbians and gay men. According to the Washington Post, the court declined a petition issued by four gay foster parents and their foster children, in Lawrence v. Texas, who are arguing that Florida's law, the only state law in the nation to ban gay adoption, is unconstitutional. Florida's current law states that "no person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual."
After the plaintiffs lost their case in the Key West Federal District Court, their lawyers filed briefs arguing that Florida's law should be seen as an expression on anti-gay sentiment, reports the New York Times. In order for the court to rehear the case, a majority vote was needed. However, the appeals court was tied in a 6-6 vote. Judge William H. Pryor Jr., who was appointed by President Bush last February while Congress was on an 11-day recess, was one of the judges who voted against rehearing the case.
Conservatives hailed the Supreme Court decision to let Florida's ban on gay adoption stand and may try to push similar legislation in other states.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .