By SAMUEL HUBER
February 21, 2012
Celebrate Black Herstory Month with Ms. Magazine.
Despite the (predictable) resistance from Republican lawmakers and religious groups, a New York Times/CBS News poll recently found that sixty-five percent of voters support the Obama administration’s mandate that employer-provided health insurance plans include birth control coverage. Fifty-nine percent–an easy majority–agree with the stipulation that religiously affiliated institutions be included in this mandate.
The bad news: female witnesses were egregiously excluded from last Thursday’s House Committee hearing on the applicability of the no-cost birth control mandate to religious employers. The good news: two female representatives walked out of the hearing, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) is making sure her Republican colleagues know exactly how they messed up.
In case you missed Gillibrand’s mention, Mother Jones reminds us that ninety-nine percent of all American women (and ninety-eight percent of Catholic women) who have had sex have used some form of birth control. No wonder House Republicans couldn’t find any women to testify who oppose it — they’re virtually nonexistent.
Marriage equality roundup: Washington state legalized same-sex marriage last Monday, making it the seventh state to do so. Maryland is following suit, as its own gay marriage bill has been approved in the state House of Delegates and is now entering the Senate. Maryland’s Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley, has expressed his intention to sign the bill into law. Less optimistically, New Jersey’s state legislature passed same-sex marriage legislation last week, only to have it promptly vetoed by Republican Governor Chris Christie.
Consistent with the reasoning behind the Department of Justice’s refusal to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the DoJ will no longer defend laws that exclude same-sex couples from military and veterans benefits given to heterosexuals.
Tired of cable news’s usual lineup of talking heads? Check out feminist author, columnist, and political scientist Melissa Harris-Perry’s new show on MSNBC. Harris-Perry is professor of political science at Tulane University and a founding director of the college’s Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South.
At Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, students can buy Plan B from a vending machine.
Sam Huber is a junior in Yale College. He is the managing editor for Broad Recognition.