News you might have missed: Several states extend eviction protections
Also: A Georgia church takes a stand against LGBTQ discrimination and a federal court hands a victory to Texas voters.
This week, three states extended protections against evictions and foreclosures, New Jersey made it easier for immigrants to obtain professional licenses, and Old Navy is helping to recruit poll workers for the election in November.
Read on to see what else you might have missed this week in the news.
Governors in California, Nevada, and Oregon took action this week to extend eviction moratoriums in their states.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation protecting residents from eviction related to COVID-19 through Feb. 1, 2021.
“COVID-19 has impacted everyone in California,” Newsom said in a statement on Monday, “but some bear much more of the burden than others, especially tenants struggling to stitch together the monthly rent, and they deserve protection from eviction.”
The governors of Nevada and Oregon issued executive orders on Monday to protect tenants.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown extended a foreclosure moratorium through Dec. 31, 2020, saying the action “will ensure that more Oregonians do not lose their homes this year, and that businesses can continue to provide vital goods and services to our communities.”
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak extended a residential eviction moratorium for an additional 45 days, through Oct. 14, 2020. In a statement, Sisolak said he was aiming to “keep people in their homes while we are still battling this pandemic.”
A federal judge ordered the state of Texas to allow residents to register to vote when they renew their driver licenses online, the Texan reported on Monday.
The lawsuit, brought by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Texas Democratic Party, stemmed from Texas’s refusal to comply with the National Voter Registration Act.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for Texans everywhere,” Manny Garcia, Texas Democratic Party executive director, said in a statement. “Our state is better off when more Texans participate in our democracy. We are one step closer to having a system that protects every Texan’s right to vote.”
Savannah’s nondenominational Asbury Memorial Church, formerly Asbury United Methodist Church, became the first congregation in the United States to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church over its treatment of LGBTQ individuals, the Savannah Morning News reported on Thursday.
The Savannah congregation voted to leave the denomination in September 2019, following a global United Methodist conference at which church leaders voted to reaffirm a policy stating that homosexuality was incompatible with Christianity. The disaffiliation was approved by a conference of the United Methodist Church last month.
“Young people just can’t see the point of church when church cuts people out,” said Preston Hodges, a member of Asbury for 15 years.
“Our church is not predominantly LGBT,” Lance Wilhelm, a gay member who spearheads the church’s efforts to make itself more inclusive toward people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, said. “Our allies are the straight people that have helped build this place that is safe for all of us. And really, that’s the beautiful thing about this church.”
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation on Tuesday banning police from using chokeholds in most situations, the Daily Hive reported.
The new law states that no law enforcement officer is justified in “knowingly using physical force that impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person.”
“When we all work together, we can achieve real change in police reform,” Brown tweeted about the new law. “I’d like to thank the Legislature’s People of Color Caucus for leading the way on this important bill.”
On Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill expanding access to professional and occupational licenses to about 500,000 undocumented immigrants in the state.
According to the new law, lawful presence in the United States is no longer a requirement for state licenses required for occupations such as nursing, counseling, and cosmetology.
“New Jersey is stronger when everyone is given the opportunity to contribute and everyone is given a chance to live their American Dream,” Murphy said in a statement. “This law sends a simple, powerful message that immigration status can no longer be used as an excuse to discriminate among equally educated, trained, and qualified individuals.”
Old Navy will pay its employees for eight hours of work if they volunteer as poll workers for this year’s election, CNN reported on Tuesday. The employees would also be eligible for any compensation local jurisdictions pay poll workers.
Nancy Green, the president of Old Navy, said: “Every voice in this country matters and deserves to be heard at the polls, and if we at Old Navy can be even a small part of making that process more accessible to the communities we call home, we are on board.”
Old Navy is working with Civic Alliance and Power the Polls to recruit 250,000 new poll workers.
The State Department must recognize the U.S. citizenship of a child born to a same-sex couple via surrogate, even if the child is born abroad, a U.S. District Court recently ruled.
In the case of Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, an American gay couple that applied for a passport for their daughter, who was born to a surrogate in Great Britain, the court ruled that U.S. law “does not require children to share a biological relationship with both citizen parents in order for those children to acquire citizenship at birth.”
“We are so relieved that the court has recognized our daughter, Simone, as the U.S. citizen she has been since the day she was born,” Mize said. “When we brought Simone into this world, as married, same-sex parents, we never anticipated our own government would disrespect our family and refuse to recognize our daughter as a U.S. citizen.”
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