August 2 primary using maps ruled unconstitutional; Ohio Supreme Court rejects second Congressional map
In this second primary of 2022, Ohio voters will choose candidates for the state legislature using maps that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional, but which a federal court put in place for this year’s election after the Ohio Redistricting Commission failed to come up with a plan which the Ohio Supreme Court found compliant with the state constitution’s new voter-approved rules to prevent partisan gerrymandering. To find out what state House and Senate district you are now in, and the slate of candidates, go to the website of your county Board of Elections and put in your address.
In the continuing impasse over redistricting, on July 19 the Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision finding the second Congressional map drawn by the Redistricting Commission to be unconstitutional as well, for disproportionately favoring the majority party, specificially citing the impact on Cincinnati among other cities. The justices ordered the state legislature to draw a new map within 30 days. If they fail to act, the task goes back to the Redistricting Commission that has disregarded all the previous Supreme Court rulings. The invalidated Congressional map was already used in the May primary, which included statewide offices as well as Congressional candidates.
House of Representatives passes bills protecting reproductive rights and same-sex marriage
Responding to Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling ending federal protection of abortion, the House of Representatives passed bills extending federal protection to contraception and same sex marriage, rights established by prior Supreme Court decisions which Justice Thomas wrote should be open to review now that the Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. On an almost completely party-line vote, the House also passed the Women’s Health Protection Act to make abortion legal nationally.
Ninety-nine percent of Republican members voted against the abortion rights bill, and two abstained. The House also passed a bill protecting the right to contraception, established by the Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 but questioned by Justice Thomas. Ninety-six percent of Republican members voted against this bill.
Historian Heather Cox Richardson reported in her July 23 Letters from an American that 62% of Americans think abortion should be legal and over 90% say contraception should be legal.
On July 19, the House also passed the Respect for Marriage Act protecting same-sex marriage, another right questioned by Justice Thomas. Seventy-seven percent of Republican members voted against this bill. The chances of these bills passing in the Senate are slim because of the filibuster. Please contact Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown with your views.
Anglican Communion contention over same-sex marriage
Controversy has erupted among Anglican bishops on the eve of this year’s Lambeth Conference over a “call” or motion that would uphold the 1998 Lambeth resolution upholding the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, and that same-sex marriage is not permissible in the Anglican Communion. Once again this pits bishops from the Global South against those in countries including the United States and Canada who bless same-sex unions.
The process of responding to the calls initially did not allow bishops to vote against them. The Episcopal House of Bishops is meeting this week “to discern its way forward,” said Presiding Bishop Curry in an Episcopal News Service July 25 article by David Paulsen.
Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team. Connect with her at email@example.com