President Barack Obama Thursday signed a re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The law expands the previous version to include Native Americans, lesbians and immigrants.
At the Thursday signing ceremony, Obama said he was signing the bill "because this is a country where everybody should be able to pursue their own measure of happiness and live their lives free from fear, no matter who you are, no matter who you love. That's got to be our priority. That's what today is about."
The new version of the VAWA will allow tribal courts to prosecute domestic abusers who are not Native Americans but live on tribal lands or are married to Native Americans. Some Republicans voted against the bill, arguing that it was unconstitutional to give tribal courts jurisdiction over non-tribal U.S. citizens. more >>
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund recently filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to declare the Defense of Marriage Act, which federally defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, unconstitutional.
The amicus brief by the LDF argues that DOMA treats homosexuals unequally because it prohibits same-sex couples from receiving the same marital benefits as heterosexual couples, such as joint tax returns or health care benefits.
"DOMA's denial of marital benefits under federal law to gays and lesbians subordinates them within the institution of marriage. And like early laws that were designed to oppress African Americans, DOMA relegates gays and lesbians to an unequal and inferior status as a group," the brief states. more >>
Under the leadership of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a new ad campaign has been introduced advising New York teens to wait until they are married before they have children.
The ads show photos of crying and sad toddlers on subways and bus shelters with messages about the consequences of teen pregnancy.
"If you finish high school, get a job, and get married before having children, you have a 98% chance of not being in poverty," one ad says. more >>
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who is married to actress Portia de Rossi, has revealed that she wrote an unofficial brief to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage.
"Portia and I have been married for 4 years and they have been the happiest of my life. And in those 4 years, I don't think we hurt anyone else's marriage. I asked all of my neighbors and they say they're fine," DeGeneres says in the statement, tackling the controversial topic of gay marriage with her signature comedic undertone.
"But even though Portia and I got married in the short period of time when it was legal in California, there are 1,138 federal rights for married couples that we don't have, including some that protect married people from losing their homes, or their savings or custody of their children," DeGeneres added. more >>
Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, who shot to fame in 2012 with her hit single "Call Me Maybe," has cancelled her planned performance at the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree in West Virginia in July over the Boy Scout's ban on gay members.
"As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer," Jepsen declared on Twitter.
"I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level, and stay informed on the ever changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe," the 27-year-old singer from British Columbia continued. more >>
With the Supreme Court set to rule this year on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, and with gay marriage activists fearing they have overplayed their legal hand, there is a new multi-million dollar effort underway to confuse the American people – and ultimately, the Supreme Court – about what is the actual state of the marriage debate in America.
This latest attempt to confuse Americans and convince them that gay marriage is inevitable has already failed in two notable ways. First, the Orwellian-named "Respect for Marriage Coalition" (actually a coalition of far-left activists bent on redefining marriage) was forced to remove a quote and video clip of Laura Bush that implied she supports redefining marriage. The problem was, she never consented to her name and reputation being used by a group she wants no association with in the first place!
Second, the New York Times had to call and apologize to former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave for wrongly publishing that she had signed a letter in support of gay marriage. Musgrave is a huge champion for marriage and only an over-eager advocate could possibly believe she would abandon marriage. more >>