South African Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage
Today, the highest court in South Africa ruled that the parliament must amend marriage laws to include same-sex couples within the next year. If parliament does not act, the laws will be automatically changed to give marriage rights to same-sex couples. In the ruling, Justice Albie Sachs wrote, “The exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and responsibilities of marriage… signifies that their capacity for love, commitment and accepting responsibility is by definition less worthy of regard that that of heterosexual couples,” reports Reuters.
Stemming from a case in which a lesbian couple petitioned for legal recognition of their marriage, the Constitutional Court’s decision puts South Africa in line to be the fifth nation, and first African country, to legalize same-sex marriages. According to BBC News, lesbian and gay rights activists have won several other battles in South Africa, including the rights to adopt, and inherit from a partner, because South Africa’s 1996 constitution was the first to explicitly outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual preference.
Media Resources: BBC News 12/1/05; Reuters 12/1/05
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .