This was another week in which one news event dominated the airwaves — the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two same-sex marriage cases. The first case to go before the Court related to California’s Proposition 8, a law that nullified the state supreme court’s decision that the California constitution protects the right to same-sex marriage. Prop 8’s proponents were appealing the lower federal courts’ rulings that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Their lawyer argued that the “traditional” definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman must be maintained…well…because it promotes procreation.
Hey, don’t worry if that argument doesn’t make sense to you. It didn’t make sense to the Supreme Court justices, either.
But when people my parents’ age and older go to work and talk about procreating for minutes on end, I somehow get procreation stuck in my head. That might explain why I started seeing procreation sneak its way into other news events this week.
1. North Dakota Is BYOPT (Bring Your Own Pregnancy Test). If you aren’t good with punctuality, don’t live in North Dakota. That state’s governor just signed into law a measure passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature that effectively bans abortion. The law forbids an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is “detectable,” which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. So I guess the law isn’t a huge deal if you’re in the habit of giving yourself a weekly pregnancy test. Most agree that the law will eventually be found to violate Roe v. Wade, but unless there is a speedy judicial intervention, it will take effect on August 1st.
2. Seriously, You Probably Have Enough Kids. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar star in a televion show called 19 Kids And Counting. The show is called that because Jim Bob and Michelle have 19 kids, and they’re counting on having more. Michelle, who is 45, had a miscarriage in 2011. So now she, her husband, and their brood are excited about the idea of adopting. In fairness, there’s no good way for a family to scrimmage in football if each side can’t field the requisite 11 players.
3. No Girls Allowed Is Still A Thing. Speaking of football, 13-year-old Ella Wood (spoiler alert: Ella’s a girl) plays for her middle school’s flag football team. That team went undefeated, but its unblemished record was tarnished when the team was forced to forfeit all its wins. Why? Because Ella had been allowed to play. To their credit, when the other boys on her team were told that their record would be wiped out if they kept playing with Ella, they “didn’t blink”: if she wasn’t able to play, they simply wouldn’t play, either. Now the school is trying to put together a girls’ flag football team, but only two girls have signed up. Ella, therefore, is stuck between the boys’ team that doesn’t count and the girls’ team that doesn’t exist. That’s the trouble with separate but equal: the equal part never really happens.
4. Sarah Palin Is Not The Only Reason To Avoid Alaska. According to a study by the Alaska State Legislature, women in Alaska earn less than Alaskan men, go to jail more than Alaskan men, and have a suicide rate that’s twice the national average. Wait, there’s more. Nearly two-thirds of Alaskan women are being treated for alochol-related problems, compared with “just” one-third nationwide. And among Alaskan homeless adults considered part of a family, 62 per cent are women with children. So I guess women are drawn to the state for the weather and the reality television opportunities?
5. Too Many Weapons, Too Little Time. A judge authorized the release of search warrants that police executed during the initial investigation into the Newtown, Connecticut massacre Adam Lanza carried out in December. They reveal that the home he shared with his mother was a veritable arsenal of weaponry; Lanza had within reach at least nine knives, three Samurai swords, two rilfes, 1600 rounds of ammunition, and a 7-foot pole with a blade on one side and a spear on the other. According to FBI interviews, Lanza rarely left home, avidly played a first-person shooter video game called “Call of Duty,” and considered the elementary school he attacked to be his “life.” It reportedly took him less than five minutes to destroy that life, and so many others.
6. Ashley Judd Ends Senate Speculation. It’s not sexist at all to wager that Ashley Judd could run a decent campaign for the national Senate because people would like looking at pictures of her, right? Well, now we’ll never get to put that professional analysis to the test. She apparently just doesn’t have time to even “consider a campaign,” although she was reportedly doing just that for the past few months. Republicans presume to have her home state of Kentucky locked up; it’s the state of Senator Mitch McConnell, after all. Even so, Republicans were excited about the idea of a Judd candidacy, because they felt it all but guaranteed a McConnell victory. Some commentators suggest Democrats are better off with her out of the running. Why? Well, she has done things like compare surviving a rape to surviving a campaign against McConnell. Oh yeah. She has also said that procreation was “selfish.”
Check back next Friday to see what “6 things” you need to know!
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