Today French lawmakers voted to legalize same sex marriage and adoption in the country.
In a vote of 331 to 225, the National Assembly approved the "Marriage for All" law after reviewing amendments made by the upper-house Senate. President Francois Hollande, who included same-sex marriage and adoption rights in his platform during the French presidential election, is expected to sign the bill into law once it is reviewed by a constitutional council.
Despite a majority of the French public supporting same-sex marriage, numerous protests against the bill have been rampant throughout France. Gay rights organizations believe they have documented a rise in attacks on LGBT individuals, and protesters against the bill have come into violent confrontations with law enforcement. Lawmakers have even faced threats - the National Assembly president Claude Bartolone received a letter filled with gunpowder warning him to delay the vote, and debate in parliament results in physical blows.
According to Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, same-sex couples could get married as early as June if the bill goes smoothly through the constitutional council.
Media Resources: Associated Press 4/23/2013; BBC 4/23/2013; France 24 4/23/2013; Feminist Newswire 4/4/2013
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .