National News Highlights — August 5, 2022

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Photo by Elizabeth Frantz / Reuters
Photo by Elizabeth Frantz / Reuters

Delay on pro-Gay marriage bill risks loss of support, supporters say
Reuters reported on August 1 that the Senate will likely delay a vote on protecting Gay marriage until September to make way for a $430 billion bill addressing climate change and drug pricing.

Supporters of the Respect for Marriage Act, which has been spearheaded by Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin (the chamber's first openly Gay member), say such a delay could cost votes as pressure builds on Republican lawmakers to oppose it.

At least 10 Republicans would need to support the bill for it to succeed. Reuters added that Republican voters aren't as strongly opposed to Gay marriage as they used to be, and so far, five Republican senators have announced their support of the bill. The bill passed the House in July with 47 Republicans in support.

Reuters also put the news in the context of rising inflation, dwindling support for the Biden administration, and the risk such things might pose to the Democratic majority in the House and Senate.

Oklahoma requires yearly affidavit on students' biological sex
NBC News reported on July 29 that Oklahoma public schools have started to require student athletes of all ages to fill out "biological sex affidavits," a document that has parents swear on an oath with a notary present that their child is biologically male or female. The development follows Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's signing in March of a ban on Trans student athletes' participation in teams that match their gender identity.

Erin Matson, executive director of the abortion rights group Reproaction, tweeted a photo of one such affidavit. "This has nothing to do with encouraging girls to be athletes," she wrote. "This is totalitarianism. It is the white nationalist agenda. The anti-LGBTQ agenda. The anti-abortion agenda. It is all the same agenda."

Of the 13 states to enact bills against Trans student athletes, Oklahoma is the only so far to require a new affidavit each school year, completed by a parent or guardian for minors, or by the student if they are 18 or older.

Another Twitter user wrote, "With a notary requirement — this is not ONLY incredibly transphobic but is going to have the impact of preventing lower-socioeconomic-status kids from participating."