Monday, January 30, 2023


Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.


Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

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


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

The 2018-2023 Farm Bill is projected to cost around $428 billion, according to the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. (Adobe Stock)


Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …

Social Issues

Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …


Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…

For the 2021-2022 school year, Communities in Schools served 75,697 K-12 students in the state of Nevada. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …

Social Issues

Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…

Eye doctors warn that kids who spend excessive time on laptops, cell phones and tablets could end up with vision problems as adults. (Marco/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …


Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …


Environmental groups are pleased with an Iowa Utilities Board ruling that requires MidAmerican Energy to make planning studies public for its Iowa Win…


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