skip to main content

Thursday, June 1, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Alabamans urge a grocery tax reduction, a tape shows Trump knew about a classified document on Iran, Pennsylvania puts federal road funds to work and Minnesota's marijuana law will wipe away minor offenses.

play newscast audioPlay

Democrats say a wealth tax would help alleviate some national debt, lawmakers aim to continue pandemic-era funding for America's child care sector, and teachers say firearms at school will make students less safe.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

WI Attorney: Bill Underscores Legal Needs of Same-Sex Marriages

play audio
Play

Friday, December 9, 2022   

Congress has signed off on a bill that preserves federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. A legal expert in Wisconsin says it should help to keep legal rights for these couples secure.

The Respect for Marriage Act came together out of fears that a conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court would overturn a 2015 decision that effectively legalized same-sex marriages. The act doesn't force states to issue marriage licenses if that happens, but they'd have to recognize marriages from states that do.

Wausau-based attorney Andrew Schmidt said his office has helped same-sex couples exercise the legal rights that have been afforded to them for awhile now.

"We did powers of attorney for health care and advanced-directive medical directives," he said. "We also did an advanced directive on finances, or a power of attorney for finances, and wills."

Supporters of federal protections also have noted they can allow these couples to file their taxes jointly. In 2006, Wisconsin voters approved a same-sex marriage ban, but several years later, a court ruled that amendment was unconstitutional. The ACLU has said it believes the Wisconsin ruling would still hold if the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 ruling is overturned.

As for the Respect for Marriage Act, supporters have said it has some provisions they disagree with, such as still allowing vendors to deny services to same-sex couples based on their own religious beliefs. Schmidt said he feels bill negotiators should have done more to prevent discrimination.

"There are people out there who will refuse to bake a cake or refuse to offer a taxi ride," he said.

Meanwhile, advocacy groups worry that should the Supreme Court decision fall, same-sex couples with little money would find it hard to travel to get a marriage license if there's a ban where they reside. Republican lawmakers and conservative groups who criticized the act said marriage should be defined as being between one man and one woman.


get more stories like this via email

A new park, San Vicente Redwoods, opened up late last year near Santa Cruz, Calif., in an area previously ravaged by fire and logging. (Nadia Hamey)

Environment

play sound

This Saturday, June 3, thousands of Californians will be among hundreds of thousands of Americans heading into the great outdoors to celebrate …


Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of Wisconsin groups is asking Gov. Tony Evers to reject bills it contends would make it harder for people struggling to get by to bounce …

Social Issues

play sound

Two months from today, Minnesota will begin the process of removing low-level marijuana convictions for those who have them on their criminal records…


Alabama is one of only three states still applying its full state sales tax on the purchase of groceries and food items. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Groups working to fight poverty in Alabama are urging state senators to approve a bill aimed at lowering food costs for families. House Bill 479 …

Social Issues

play sound

Navigating college can seem overwhelming for first generation students, but an early outreach program at Arizona State University aims to change it…

Nebraska was one of 10 states to further restrict abortion access in the 2023 legislative session. At least 48 bills were passed involving restrictions for LGBTQ+ individuals. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new Nebraska law is now the subject of a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Lancaster County. In its amended form, Legislative Bill 574 …

Social Issues

play sound

A proposal from the federal government could provide a better path toward student loan debt repayment, but a new survey finds many borrowers don't …

Environment

play sound

Maine lawmakers are considering two pieces of legislation which supporters said are needed to ensure "responsible" development of offshore wind projec…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021