Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Gay Marriage is a "Parody Marriage" According to Kansas Bill

From USA Today:

A group of state representatives in Kansas introduced legislation Wednesday that seeks to define same-sex marriage as "parody marriage," stop the state from recognizing gay marriage and establish an "elevated marriage" option for straight couples who seek "higher standards of commitment."

One of the two bills introduced contends LGBTQ people are aligned with the secular humanism movement, which it calls a religion. It also calls the gay pride rainbow flag a symbol of a "faith-based worldview."

By doing so, the proposed legislation seeks to define marriage between a man and a woman as "neutral" and same-sex marriage as religious in nature. It then contends the state cannot constitutionally condone a religious practice.

Read more here.

February 28, 2019 in Marriage (impediments), Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

California Trying to Get Health Insurance to Cover In Vitro Fertilization

From CBS:

In vitro fertilization may be covered by health insurance in California soon.

Currently, the Knox-Keen Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 requires health care service plans and health insurers to offer coverage for infertility treatment, except in vitro fertilization. The law also exempts any employer, health care service plan, or health insurer that is a religious organization from offering infertility coverage.

AB 767 would do away with those exemptions and require insurance policies and service plans to cover in vitro fertilization and mature oocyte cryopreservation. The new coverage law would take effect January 1, 2020 if it’s passed and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Read more here.

February 27, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

R. Kelly Makes First Court Appearance for Alleged Sexual Abuse

From NBC News:

R&B singer R. Kelly made his first court appearance on Saturday and a judge set his bond at $1 million.

Kelly, who has been charged with multiple criminal counts of sexual abuse of several underage victims, turned himself in to police on Friday night.

The conditions of Kelly's bond includes that he has no contact with witnesses or alleged victims and that he turn in his passport.

He is also not allowed to have contact with anyone age 18 or younger.

Kelly, 52, faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Chicago. A grand jury indictment listed four victims, at least three of whom were younger than 17 at the time of the alleged abuse between May 1998 and January 2010.

Read more here.

February 26, 2019 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DNA Testing

The advice column at the Chicago Tribune looks at DNA testing again, here.


February 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Pope Francis' Sexual Abuse Conference

From Reuters:

A nun and a woman journalist delivered the toughest criticism of Church leaders heard so far at Pope Francis’ sexual abuse conference on Saturday, accusing them of hypocrisy and covering up horrendous crimes against children.

Some 200 senior Church officials, all but ten of them men, listened at times in stunned silence in a Vatican audience hall as the women read their frank and at times angry speeches on the penultimate day of the conference convened by the pope to confront a worldwide scandal.

Sister Veronica Openibo, a Nigerian who has worked in Africa, Europe and the United States, spoke with a soft voice but delivered a strong message, telling the prelates sitting before her: “This storm will not pass”.

Read more here.

February 25, 2019 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Judge Grants US citizenship to Twin Son of Gay Married Couple

From BBC News:

A twin boy born to American and Israeli same-sex parents was wrongly denied US citizenship when his twin brother was not, a US judge has ruled.

The judge in Los Angeles found that the state department was wrong to request biological evidence that the boy was blood-related to his American father.

The US had originally only granted citizenship to his brother after his test showed DNA from the American dad.

Read more here.

February 24, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Long-Distance Caregivers

From IFS, by Naomi Cahn (GW):

Stacy is a full-time teacher, wife, and mother, who is also a full-time caregiver for her 88-year-old father and his second wife who live in Illinois, and for her 83-year-old mother who lives in Pennsylvania. Because Stacy lives in Indianapolis, she is also a member of what we call the “sandwich generation on wheels,” or a long-distance caregiver. 

Stacy’s father recently had a heart attack. She wanted to drop everything to go help, but she could not find someone to cover her classroom with such short notice. Then, a few weeks later, Stacy’s mother slipped on the ice, breaking her hip.  A neighbor drove her to the emergency room and waited with her; Stacy was with her fifth-graders and didn’t find out about her mother’s accident until her lunch break. She wanted to head to Pennsylvania right away, but she was on carpool duty for her two teenaged daughters that evening because her husband was out of town. 

Stacy’s husband and her two daughters need her. But Stacy’s parents and stepmother need her, too. Like many adult caregivers, Stacy is sandwiched between the needs of both the older and younger generations of her family. How, Stacy wonders, can she manage to be in four places at once:  her classroom, her minivan, her father’s hospital room, and her mother’s physical therapy session?

Read more here.

February 24, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Priest Dismissed From Priesthood Over Child Abuse Claims

From BBC News:

This is a significant moment in the Roman Catholic Church's effort to address the tide of sex abuse scandals - not least because of the high status this former Cardinal Archbishop once held.

Not only was he the first cleric in more than 100 years to resign from the College of Cardinals, but his removal from the priesthood also confirms Pope Francis' assertion that anyone found guilty of abuse will be treated with zero tolerance, regardless of their status within the church.

Read more here.

February 23, 2019 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Admin Issues Rule to Strip Millions from Planned Parenthood

From Politico:

The Trump administration issued a final rule on Friday that could effectively cut off tens of millions of federal family planning dollars to Planned Parenthood and steer some of that funding towards anti-abortion, faith-based care providers.

While the revamp of the Title X program does not accomplish the full defunding of Planned Parenthood that Republicans have called for, it is a major step in that direction, and marks another major policy win for social conservatives looking to prohibit access to abortion.

Under the rule, clinics would still have to provide an array of contraceptive services but could partner or subcontract with groups that stress abstinence only or natural family planning. It would also bar Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that accept the funding from making any abortion referrals or performing abortions — regardless of the funding source — at the same facilities where they provide Title X services like birth control, mammograms and cancer screenings.

Read more here.

February 23, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 22, 2019

Parents Object to Proposed Health Education Framework in California Public Schools

From The Daily Signal:

Fed-up California parents participated in a “Sexxx Ed Sit Out” Tuesday morning to protest the state’s sex education curriculum, calling it “pornographic,” “age-inappropriate,” “highly biased and medically inaccurate instruction.”

In an open letter to principals, lawmakers, and state Department of Education officials, the grassroots effort organized by Informed Parents of California rebuked what’s being taught under the 2016 California Healthy Youth Act and the proposed California Health Education Framework. 

Read more here.

February 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Custody Dispute: A likely motive to Kill

From CNN:

The fiancé of missing Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth killed her by wrapping a sweater around her head and bashing her with a baseball bat and later burned her body in a water trough, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in Cripple Creek, west of Colorado Springs.

On Tuesday, nearly three months after Berreth went missing, prosecutors filed new charges against Patrick Frazee, including tampering with a body and counts related to a crime of violence. He was arrested in December on murder charges and is being held without bond.

Colorado Bureau of Investigations agent Gregg Slater then testified about his interview with Idaho nurse Krystal Lee Kenney, who told investigators she had an intimate relationship with the defendant in early 2018 and provided details of the Thanksgiving Day killing, including that the weapon was a baseball bat. Kenney pleaded guilty to evidence tampering on February 8.
Read more here.

February 21, 2019 in Custody (parenting plans), Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Domestic Violence: Male Survivors Account

From BBC:

The latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show that, in the year ending March 2018, an estimated two million adults aged 16-59 years had experienced domestic abuse in the last year – of that number, over one-third were estimated to be men.

It’s also estimated that one in five teenagers have been physically abused by their girlfriend or boyfriend. And it’s happening to men much more than most people are aware of. Police in England and Wales recorded almost 150,000 incidents of domestic abuse against men in 2017 – more than double the number reported in 2012. According to one charity, fewer than 1% of domestic abuse refuge beds in England are allocated to men, with none at all in London.

Read more here.



February 20, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Russian Woman who Forgave Boyfriend for Domestic Violence Killed by Same Boyfriend

From Daily Mail:

An evil car wash worker has confessed to murdering his girlfriend with a knife, hammer and billiard cue - a year after she begged a judge not to jail him for biting off her nose.

Oleg Myshadaev, 20, was spared prison after her courtroom appeal but has now admitted to brutally killing Alexandra Shaposhnikova in a drunken rage, Russian police say.

The 20-year-old woman's body was found by police with hammer and knife wounds in the flat the couple shared in Saransk city.

As well as these wounds, her back had been 'pierced' with a billiard cue, said reports citing law enforcement.

Read more here.

February 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 18, 2019

UK Member of Parliament Stops Proposed Female Genital Mutilation Law

From The Guardian:

The Conservative MP Christopher Chope, who gained notoriety after he blocked a bill to make upskirting a criminal offence, has used the same parliamentary tactic to halt a planned law making it easier to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Tory backbencher shouted “object!” when the bill was presented to the Commons for its second reading.

Under Commons procedure, a series of such bills are read out at the end of business without debate, and pass to the next stage only if no MP present verbally objects. If they do, the bill has to be presented again for second reading, in this case on 15 March.

Read more here.


February 18, 2019 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Ireland's New Presbyterian Moderator Supports Church's Opposition to Gay Marriage

From BBC News:

The next moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) said he supports the Church's opposition to gay marriage.

But, he added the Church "abhors" homophobia and is "open and welcome to anyone".

The PCI has chosen the Reverend William Henry to become its next moderator.

Mr Henry, the minister of Maze Presbyterian Church in County Antrim for the past two decades, was selected following a vote on Tuesday.

The father-of-three will be officially installed at the start of the Church's general assembly on 3 June.

At 50 years of age, he is the youngest moderator in living memory.

Read more here.

February 17, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tennessee Bill Would Allow Adoption Agencies to Deny Same-Sex Couples Based on Religious Grounds

From USA Today:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Multiple bills filed this week in the Tennessee General Assembly would allow adoption agencies to deny services to same-sex couples based on religious objections.

One bill, filed by Republican legislators Joey Hensley and John Ragan specifies that an adoption agency would not be required to provide services to a couple if it would conflict with the agency's "sincerely held religious beliefs." The bill would also prevent state or local government from taking adverse action against those groups.

Read more here. 

February 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Indiana Abortion Law Could Change National Abortion Law

From Indy Star:

An Indiana abortion law passed three years ago could have ramifications for the entire country if the Supreme Court of the United States elects to review two lawsuits prompted by the controversial measure.

Here's a quick look at the lawsuits and the law they are challenging:

The abortion law

House Enrolled Act 1337 prohibited abortion on the basis of race, sex and disability; required a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours prior to the procedure; and laid out specifics for the disposal of fetal remains.

The measure was signed into law by then-Gov. Mike Pence.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, represented by the ACLU of Indiana, later filed two lawsuits against the measure.

Read more here

February 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

States Seek to Pass New Abortion Laws

From The New York Times:

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say would leave the state with a single doctor authorized to perform abortions, the latest development in the national legal fight over the fate of abortion law under a conservative-leaning court.

Louisiana’s law, which requires that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, was enacted in 2014. But in recent days and weeks, there has been a flurry of new state legislation that could prove important if the nation’s highest court rules on more abortion-related cases.

Since the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in July, abortion rights groups have warned of a threat to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, prompting some states to try to shore up access to the procedure. Anti-abortion groups have been pushing for more restrictions.

Read more here.

February 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Potential for Congress in India to Eliminate Law Punishing Muslim Men for Instant Divorce

From US News:

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's main opposition Congress party said on Thursday it would scrap a decree passed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government prescribing jail terms for Muslim men seeking an instant divorce if the party wins an election due by May.

Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in January issued an executive order making the practice - which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying the word "talaq", or "divorce" in Arabic, three times - an offence punishable with up to three years in jail.

The order was issued after a bill that had sought to make the practice a non-bailable offence faced resistance from Congress and some other parties in the upper house of parliament despite being approved by the lower house late last year.

Read more here.


February 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Thai Law to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

From Reuters:

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Luke Cassady-Dorion believed marriage was for “boring” straight people until he met the man he wanted to spend the rest of his life with - Tae. But Thailand, where they live, does not permit same-sex marriage.

So the couple wed in New York.

With Thailand set to pass a landmark law that would make it the first country in Asia to legally recognize same-sex couples as civil partners, they are hopeful the largely conservative Buddhist society is on the path to recognizing their love.

Read more here.

February 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)