Roundup: Vermont Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Emily Douglas

Vermont legislature overrides Governor's veto of same-sex marriage bill; assessing new members of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; Illinois can't force pharmacists to dispense EC; Maryland student punished for taking birth control.

Breaking: Vermont Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Just this morning, the Vermont legislature overrode Gov. Jim Douglas’s veto of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. From

The Vt. Senate voted
to override the governor’s veto of the same-sex marriage bill. This
morning, the Senate voted 23 to 5 to override that veto. Two senators
were absent and Washington County Republican Bill Doyle who had
initially supported same sex, this time voted to sustain the veto.

Vt. House voted around 11 a.m. to override the veto. The vote was
100-49. 100 votes were needed.

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Assessing New Members of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

The 15 remaining members of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships have been announced, and Frances Kissling, on Religion Dispatches, and Faith in Public Life both respond.  Frances’s take:

Nineteen members of the Council represent religious organizations. Not
one of the organizations they represent has played a strong role in
reforming religion; in fact they have defended themselves against
internal reform. There is not a single academic theologian in the
batch. Thinkers are sorely absent. The majority of the men representing
religious organizations who have been named to the Council either
personally or institutionally represent the most conservative religious
thought on women’s nature, identity and reproductive choice. Of course,
views on reproductive choice are not the only issue—and certainly not
the most important issue—facing the Council.

in Public Life offers biographies of each appointee, writing, "It’s a
diverse group with wide ranging views on the issues — spanning the
religious and ideological spectrum."

Illinois Can’t Force Pharmacists to Dispense EC
Illinois judge has said that the state cannot force pharmacists to
dispense emergency contraception if they object to the medication on
religious grounds, reports Huffington Post. "Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Belz issued a temporary restraining
order Friday until he can hear arguments against the rule from
druggists who object on religious grounds."

Student Punished for Taking Birth Control
public school student in Fairfax County, Md., was suspended, and will
possibly be expelled, for taking birth control pills during the school
day, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland reports. "The teenager (whose name has not been released) was caught discreetly
taking her pill during Oakton High School’s 25-minute lunch break.
According to school officials, this constituted a serious violation of
the school district’s zero-tolerance policy on drugs. An honor roll
student and talented athlete, she was nonetheless given the maximum
permissible suspension; her case was referred to a panel of school
officials, who are now deliberating the possibility of expulsion. This
punishment, as per the Fairfax County Handbook of Student Responsibilities and Rights, is equivalent to the one she would have gotten had she brought a gun to school."

Civil Rights, Women’s Groups Speak Out for Dawn Johnsen
NARAL Pro-Choice America has launched a campaign in support of Office of the Legal Counsel director nominee Dawn Johnsen, reports TPM.  "Last week, the group NARAL Pro-Choice America announced that it would be mobilizing
activists and supporters to help confirm not just Johnsen, but two
other Obama nominees–Judge David Hamilton nominated to serve on the
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and Governor Kathleen Sebelius,
nominated to head the Department of Health and Human Services…Among
the signatories [to a letter in Johnsen’s support] were NARAL, the
National Abortion Federation,
National Council of Jewish Women, National Organization for Women,
National Partnership for Women & Families, and the National Women’s
Law Center."  Meanwhile, reports WhoRunsGov, Sen. Arlen Specter has met with Johnsen and is weighing whether to support her.

Putting Anti-Choice Opposition to Obama at Notre Dame in Perspective
Anti-choice opponents of President Obama’s planned commencement address are protesting, but when New York Times covers the opposition, the paper puts it in perspective:

Notre Dame is regarded as an academic powerhouse and conservative
Catholic bastion. But in a mock election here in November, Mr. Obama
defeated Mr. McCain among students by about 11 percentage points. He
won roughly the same margin of victory among Catholic voters in the
national election.

Some 97 percent of seniors who have sent
letters to the school newspaper, The Observer, support Mr. Obama as the
commencement speaker, said the editor, Jenn Metz. Letters from alumni,
however, have overwhelmingly opposed his appearance.

Other News to Note

April 6: Bio-Medicine: Mayer Labs Acquires Today(R) Sponge Distribution Rights

April 7: Washington Times: Tiller win doesn’t end saga

April 5: Pro-Life Movement Gains Victory on House Floor

April 6: California Catholic Daily:  “Deja vu all over again”: California Catholic Conference’s Lobby Day 2009 agenda ignores abortion — again

April 6: MSNBC: When fertility treatments become frightening: Carrying multiple fetuses can increase risks for both mother and babies

April 3: Wicked Local Brookline:  Brookline neighbors alarmed by abortion clinic plans

April 6: LifeSite News: Last Chance to Ask Obama Administration to Retain Conscience Protections for Pro-Life Doctors

April 6: Healthcare Republic News: Obese patients need warning about Pill

April 6: OK Magazine: VIDEO: Zac Efron Talks About Condoms… Again

April 6: Gawker: Levi Johnston’s Tyra Trainwreck: The Highlights

Arpil 6: Union Leader: Parental rights: The abortion exception

April 6: Religion Dispatches: White House Conference Call Seeks Common Ground on Abortion

April 5: The National Post: The next moral quagmire: conscience: Politics collides with freedom of workers’ beliefs

April 6: LifeNews: Pro-Life News: Contraception Compromise, Abortion a "Blessing," New Zealand, Montana, Missouri

April 6: The Onion: Panicked, Sweat-Covered Pope Reverses Longstanding Ban On Abortion

April 6: WSJ Blog: Abortion Foes Call Republican Response to Sebelius ‘Baffling’

April 6: National Journal online: Pro-Lifers Want Tougher Line On Sebelius

April 6: Cincinnati Enquirer: New abortion law Tuesday

Topics and Tags:

LGBT issues, Marriage Equality

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