I’m not normally very political on my blog, so please try to bear with me.
For those of you unaware, madness descended on the Texas capitol building yesterday as a special session of the Texas legislature voted on SB5. This abortion bill would have completely changed the way the state of Texas handles abortions, closing most of the state’s abortion clinics. Democrat Wendy Davis launched into a thirteen hour filibuster in an attempt to kill the bill. When she was silenced after receiving a third strike after eleven straight hours, onlooking citizens began chanting and screaming to hold up the session. Their “Citizen’s Filibuster” made proceedings impossible. Though a vote was taken after the deadline, it was announced this morning that the bill was officially dead. As of right now, Governor Rick Perry is trying to begin another special session to discuss this same bill.
Texas also enacted a law which will require voters to present a picture ID. This directly contradicts the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which says that states cannot impose restrictions on voting which would keep people from voting. In the past, methods to disenfranchise minorities included literacy tests, white primaries, the Grandfather Clause, etc. While these are not used today, gerrymandering congressional districts is a modern day method of discrimination. Requiring picture IDs to vote is just another contemporary form of prejudice.
At the national level, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA, a ban of same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also ruled that Proposition 8, California’s ban against same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional. While neither of these acts legalized gay marriage nationally, it was a huge step forward in the fight for gay rights.
There’s also a lot going on internationally. Riots are breaking out all across Brazil due to increased government spending on the World Cup, transgenders are being imprisoned in certain parts of Greece, and gay rights are under fire in England and Wales. And those are just the things I’ve heard about today. While I try to keep up internationally, I’m sure there’s plenty of things that have slipped through my radar.
I’m sorry if this blog post bothered or offended you in any way. That was not my intent. I just think it’s interesting how much is going on right now. Basically, it’s a really interesting time to be politically aware. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on any of these topics in the comments.