Today a law will go into effect in Illinois allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and attain some of the same benefits enjoyed by married couples, such as the right to visit a partner in the hospital and the right to make decisions about the partner's medical care. Hundreds of same sex couples went to the courthouse this morning to obtain licenses for civil unions.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed the law in January. The bill would not, however, allow same sex couples to obtain marriage licenses.
Currently, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington DC allow marriage of same-sex couples. Seven states, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Delaware, and Hawaii allow same-sex couples to form civil unions or domestic partnerships, which carry some of the legal benefits of marriage.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .