UK House of Commons Advances Same-Sex Marriage Bill
On Tuesday, the United Kingdom House of Commons approved a bill which grants same-sex couples the right to marry on a 400 to 175 vote. Since 2004, citizens of England and Wales have only been granted civil partnerships. If the "Marriage Bill" passes in the House of Lords and becomes law, LGBTQ unions will be recognized as marriages nationwide in civil and religious ceremonies. Existing civil partnerships will be able to be converted into a recognized marriage. The bill will also allow transgender individuals to be legally recognized as their preferred gender without jeopardizing their unions.
MPs who oppose the bill take issue with the concept of a gay partnership being blessed. Sir Roger Gale suggested giving civil unions more power instead of granting gay men and women the right to marry. He believes the priority must be to "strengthen the concept that marriage is a union between one man and one woman." However, the bill allows individual religious institutions to decide whether or not they will perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Others view the billís passage as a sign of great nation human rights progress. "This is a proud day and an important step forward in the fight for equality in Britain," said UK Labour leader Ed Miliband. The British Prime Minister David Cameron said of the passage "Last night's vote will be seen not just as making sure there is a proper element of equality, but also helping us to build a stronger and fairer society."
Media Resources: BBC 2/6/2013; CNN 2/5/2013; New York Times 2/5/2013
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .