Late last year, when the U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), it was viewed by many as one of the highlights of an already-historic year for LGBT people. In Maine we have protections so that no one can be fired or not hired based on their sexual orientation, but the majority of states do not have such a law. So when ENDA passed, we celebrated here in Maine.
This weekend, the Boston Globe published an article focused on Governor LePage’s prioritization of arrests over treatment in response to Maine's rise in drug abuse rates. The article pointed out that last month, the governors of New England convened a meeting to address the sharp rise in opioid overdoses across the region and to discuss best practices to combating this tragic public health problem.
Many of us are still reeling from the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The decision, delivered on Monday, concluded that closely held for-profit corporations do not have to comply with the contraceptive mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. Closely held corporations are, generally, corporations that have more than 50% of their outstanding stock owned by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of the tax year.
Last week, the New York Times published an article on sky-high phone rates and money transfer fees in prison. The article focuses on Clallam Bay Corrections Center, a state prison in rural Washington. There, phone calls start at $3.15, outgoing emails at 33 cents and all money transfers at $4.95. Two private companies, Global Tel-Link and JPay, are contracted to provide all phone, Internet and money transfers to the prisoners there.
Today’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (formerly Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby) dealt a serious blow to a woman’s right to comprehensive healthcare. In a closely divided 5-4 decision, the court held that the contraceptive mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires employer health plans provide comprehensive coverage for women’s health, violated the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
A year ago today, we celebrated when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA as a result of our case with Edie Windsor. Edie's win was a win for all of us, and it markes a turning point in the fight for the freedom to marry. Today, it seems there's no going back.
To mark the occasion, head on over to the ACLU national website for an exclusive conversation with the incomparable Edie.