Monday’s Supreme Court rulings on contraceptive coverage for women and public sector unions are predictably bringing very different reactions from U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis, her Republican challenger.

Hagan released a statement calling the Hobby Lobby v. Burwell ruling ‘shameful’:

“I am extremely disappointed in today’s Supreme Court decision. It is shameful that a woman’s access to contraception is even up for debate in the year 2014. The choice about whether to use birth control should be between a woman and her doctor, not her boss, and no employer should be allowed to interfere with a woman’s access to contraception.”

House Speaker Thom Tillis tweeted that the rulings were a victory for first Amendment freedoms and a loss for the Obama administration:
Tillis on Scotus rulings

Monday marks the deadline for victims of North Carolina’s eugenics program to apply for compensation. eugenics_bw2

Some 7500 men and women were involuntarily sterilized in North Carolina between 1929 and 1974 under the authority of the state Eugenics Board.  It’s estimated fewer than 2,000 of those individuals are still alive.

Last year lawmakers set aside $10 million in compensation, which will be divided equally among certified living victims and awarded June 30, 2015.

For more on the eugenics compensation program, listen to Chris Fitzsimon’s recent radio interview with attorney Elizabeth Haddix from the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights. The Center has been providing pro bono legal help to the potential claimants.

Additional information (including the form to apply for compensation) can be found at the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims.

House lawmakers approved an amendment to a broader charter school modification bill Thursday that  bars discrimination against students.Ramsey Amendment

The legislation, introduced by Buncombe County Republican Rep. Nathan Ramsey, came two days after another non-discrimination amendment was derailed after Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam stated on the House floor that pedophilia and necrophilia were sexual orientations.

While several Democrats had hoped to see more specific protective language in the overall bill, the measure passed unanimously (115-0).

Rep. Marcus Brandon, the only openly gay state legislator, reminded his colleagues that gay and lesbian North Carolinians deserve these protections:

“You still have a whole group of your citizens that are treated as second-class citizens,”explained the Guilford County Democrat. “There are no protections, except for federal law and statutes for the LBGT community. Regardless of how you feel about the situation, we still are Americans..and still entitled to all the privileges thereof.”

Senate Bill 793 now moves to the Senate. To hear part of the debate on Ramsey’s amendment, click below:

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