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Friday, November 21, 2008

Fabulously Feminist News

California Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments on Proposition 8

California's Supreme Court said Wednesday that it will consider the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which eliminated same sex marriage in the state earlier this month. The proposition, which passed 52 percent to 48, overturned a May ruling of the state Supreme Court that legalized same sex marriage.

According to the New York Times, the Supreme Court will also consider the legality of the nearly 18,000 same sex marriages that were performed in California before Proposition 8 was approved by 52 percent of voters. The Court will also consider the question of whether same sex couples have been denied equal protection under California's state constitution. According to the Los Angeles Times, lawyers representing gay rights will continue to argue that the proposition denies protection to a minority group that has historically been discrimination against.

Until there is a final ruling, same sex marriage ceremonies will be unable to resume. Shannon Price Miller, a litigator in the case and a lawyer for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told the Los Angeles Times that "we are concerned that there may be some couples who will never be able to marry because of this." The Court does not plan to hear oral arguments until March.


Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Honors Those Lost to Violence

Today (November 20) is the tenth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors those of the transgender community lost to violence. Several recent incidents of violence against transgender individuals makes the day more poignant.

Yesterday, a former Memphis police office pleaded not guilty in the beating of a transwoman, Duanna Johnson, according to the Associated Press. The beating, which took place at a local Memphis jail, was caught on tape by a surveillance camera. At the beginning of this month Johnson was shot and killed in Memphis by an unknown assailant.

Friday night, Lateisha Green was shot and killed outside a house party in Syracuse, according to Edge Boston. Though an investigation is underway, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund Executive Director Michael Silverman told Edge Providence that "Lateisha's senseless death demonstrates the increased risk of violence transgender people face."

According to Edge Boston, at least 15 people have been murdered in transgender related hate crimes this year.


ACLU Questions Limitations on Reproductive Services for Undocumented Teens

The American Civil Liberties Union requested documents from the federal government Monday on current US policy that limits teenage refugees' access to reproductive care. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) initiated a policy earlier this year that limits reproductive health services for undocumented teenagers, including access to contraceptives and abortion. This policy was implemented following a Virginia case in which employees of Commonwealth Catholic Charities assisted an undocumented 16-year-old who procured an abortion in January of this year.

According to an ACLU press release, an injunction requesting government documents on the issue was filed in a US District Court of New York.

Brigitte Amiri, an ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project staff attorney, said: "many unaccompanied teenagers come into the U.S. fleeing abuse and torture in their home countries. Some have been sexually abused or assaulted, or forced into prostitution. As a matter of law, the U.S. cannot deny reproductive health care to these teenagers, and as a matter of compassion, the U.S. should do everything it can to ensure the health, safety and well-being of these teens that have no one else to turn to."

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