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Sex Stories: Week in Review, 6/28/13

Sexual Health Rankings™ presents Sex Stories, a weekly roundup of sexual health news from the around the country.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The U.S. Supreme Court finally released its rulings on two marriage equality cases. A key part of DOMA was struck down, giving legally-married same sex couples the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Meanwhile, they upheld a lower court’s ruling that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, reinstating the right of same-sex couples to marry.

After 12- 1/2-Hour Filibuster, Texas Senate Bill 5 Dies

Nearly 13 hours after she began talking, Texas Senator Wendy Davis could successfully say that her filibuster to block Senate Bill 5 succeeded. During that time, Davis shared stories of those who would be affected by the proposed law. If passed, the law would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks and essentially shut down all but five clinics in the state.

Gov. Perry Calls Second Special Session of Texas Legislature To Address Abortion Restrictions

Not surprisingly, Texas Governor Rick Perry has already called for a second special legislative session in hope of passing Senate Bill 5. Lawmakers will meet again on July 1 to act on the abortion proposal and a handful of other bills.

The AIDS Crisis Is Far from Over in Black America

New maps created by an AIDS-focused epidemiological research center shows huge differences in the rates of HIV diagnoses between black and white Americans. These maps are based on the data from 2010 and show infection rates that are eight times higher for blacks even though they make up only 14% of the U.S. population.

Law Would Grant Whistle-Blower Protection to Military Victims of Sexual Assault

The U.S. House approved a bill that requires the military to investigate allegations of retaliation against any service member who reports sexual assault. The bill, which still needs approval from the Senate, is part of a recent focus on better responding to an estimated 26,000 annual sexual assaults in the military.

Sex Stories: Week in Review 6/21/13

Sexual Health Rankings™ presents Sex Stories, a weekly roundup of sexual health news from the around the country.

Details: AID v. Alliance for Open Society International

Though the Supreme Court did not rule on DOMA or Prop 8 this week, there was a lesser-publicized victory for harm-reduction advocates and AIDS funding. Groups who receive federal funds for combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases abroad no longer need a clear anti-prostitution policy. It was deemed unconstitutional based on the First Amendment.

Gay Marriage Debate Day 2: Supreme Court Takes Up Defense of Marriage Act

Deep divides in the Justices’ opinion were at the forefront of the Supreme Court’s debate over the Defense of Marriage Act. Central to the discussion is whether House Republicans can continue funding the defense of the law and if it violates the Constitution’s equal protection guarantees.

Exodus International Shuts Down: Is This the End of the ‘Anti-Gay’ Movement?

The most prominent ‘anti-gay’ group has officially renounced its efforts to make gay people straight. Despite the shut-down and both written and verbal apologies, questions remain about what the group now represents and if it is any less discriminatory or harmful given that the founder still feels sex should be limited to monogamous, heterosexual marriages.

First Major Review of Violence Against Women: One-third of All Women Have Been Abused by a Partner

A series of papers released by the World Health Organization shows that nearly 30% of women worldwide are the victims of either domestic or sexual violence by a partner. Along with the report, WHO issued guidelines for authorities and recommended all health workers be trained to recognize at-risk women and respond appropriately.

Spanking for Jesus: Inside the Unholy World of ‘Christian Domestic Discipline’

Adherents to a new trend that calls for wives to be completely submissive to their husbands say this lifestyle is based on the Bible’s commands. Practices include spanking and other corporal punishments to wives who break their husband’s rules. Adherents generally argue it is neither sexual fetishism nor abuse but health experts and some wives disagree.

Sex Stories: Week in Review 6/7/13

Sexual Health Rankings presents Sex Stories, a weekly roundup of sexual health news from the around the country.

Eye-Opening Report on LGBTQ and HIV-Affected Hate Violence

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released its annual report on hate violence experienced by LGBTQ and HIV-affected people, drawing on data from 15 anti-violence programs in 16 states. The report documents 2,016 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence, including 25 homicides, in 2012. It also shows that transgender women, people of color, and gay men face the most severe violence, and that LGBTQ people report substantial police misconduct.

 Wisconsin: Bill Would Require Ultrasounds Before Abortion, Creating New Woes for Clinics

Proposed legislation could cause problems for the state’s abortion clinics, and add barriers to individuals seeking services. The law would require abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges “in case of emergency.” Difficulty securing these privileges could force clinics to close.

Gallup Poll Shows Significant Shifts in National Views on Sexual Morality

According to the poll, in just the past 12 years, some of the biggest jumps in acceptability include same-sex relations (19% more accepted) and sex between unmarried men and women (10% more accepted).

Delaware: Gender Identity Protections Looking Good as Bill Moves Through the Senate

Looking good, Delaware! A bill to prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals in employment, housing, insurance, and accommodations passed a Senate committee and could be voted on by the full Senate any day now.

Judge Rules To Lift Restrictions on Certain Types of Emergency Contraception

A federal appeals court in New York has ruled that two-pill varieties of EC should be available immediately to women of all ages. However, one-pill versions of the drug, which have the same active ingredient, are not affected by the ruling. The court has not explained why the two pills should be treated differently. Still, a (partial) win for young people’s reproductive rights.