Federal Bill Introduced to Protect LGBT Youth at Homeless Shelters
Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Gwen Moore (D-WI) have introduced legislation in Congress to protect homeless LGBT youth from discrimination. The bill seeks to include LGBT protections within the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act, which is up for reauthorization this year. Pocan, one of the only openly gay members of the House of Representatives, spoke to the legislation's necessity stating, "young people in the LGBT community are disproportionately at risk for homelessness, often as a result of the rejection, discrimination, or violence they face simply for being themselves."
If reauthorized with the LGBT protective legislation, the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act would ban discrimination against LGBT youths by homeless shelters that receive federal funding. In addition, the new bill would require all shelters receiving federal grants to acquire cultural competency skills in dealing with LGBT youth, as well as require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to further the research on LGBT youth homelessness by collecting an increased amount of data.
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. . . .