News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Marriage Rights, Poland, and Scrabble

Same sex Marriage LGBTQ Pride
November 17, 2022

We Do

The Story

Lawmakers are saying ‘we do’ to same-sex and interracial marriage.

Walk me through it.

Back in June, SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade and Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to “reconsider” other privacy-related rulings — specifically the landmark ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. That had lawmakers scrambling to protect those rights. Over the summer, the House passed a bill protecting same-sex and interracial marriage. Then yesterday — with the support of 12 Republicans and even the Mormon church — the Respect for Marriage Act passed a procedural 62-37 vote.

What happens now?

It still needs to go to a full Senate vote, where it's expected to pass. Then, once signed by President Biden, the law will federally protect marriage between same-sex and interracial couples. The bill repeals the Defense of Marriage Act — a ’90s law that defines the union as between a man and a woman. But it does not require all states to legalize gay marriage. The legislation also clarifies that marriage is between two people — closing the polygamy argument. And reaffirms that churches and other religious institutions cannot lose government funding if they don’t agree with gay marriage. Lawmakers applauded their efforts, but LGBTQIA+ advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough.


A majority of Americans think same-sex marriages should be recognized by law. But with SCOTUS willing to overturn a decades-old ruling this year, some thought a 2015 ruling — this one relying on similar legal reasoning — could be next. That may no longer be the case.


Whose House?

The GOP’s House. Yesterday, Republicans clinched the 218th seat needed to win back the House. But there are still about six races that need to be called, many of which are considered especially tight. It could be days before we learn the final tally. As it stands, the GOP could have its narrowest House majority in more than 20 years. Meanwhile, in the Senate: Republicans want Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to stay on as minority leader, overcoming a challenge from Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). McConnell may not “deal in feelings” but he did say he was “pretty proud.” Democrats have yet to vote on their majority leader. But by staving off the red wave, signs are looking good for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

...Oh and Karen Bass (D) just became the first woman elected as mayor of Los Angeles. She also became the second Black mayor of LA in its 200+ year history.

And Also...This

Where tensions may have eased.…

Poland. Yesterday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said this week’s deadly missile strike that killed two civilians in an eastern village seems to be an “unfortunate accident” by neighboring Ukraine. He also said that the Russian-made missile was likely fired by Ukraine's air defense as a counterattack to Russian airstrikes. NATO’s secretary-general agreed but said Russia “bears ultimate responsibility” for killing two Poles amid its “illegal” war. Meanwhile, the Kremlin called the incident another case of a “hysterical, frenzied, Russo-phobic reaction.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — who still believes it was a Russian missile — is calling for access to Poland's investigation. So far, the news is calming down concerns that this all could have erupted into World War III.

Where employees may no longer need to sign on the dotted line…

NDAs. Yesterday, the House passed the Speak Out Act that would make NDAs unenforceable in workplace sexual misconduct cases. About one-third of the US workforce have signed nondisclosure agreements. Important, because some companies have used them to prevent victims from speaking publicly about abuse. Next up: President Biden is expected to sign it. The news comes amid the ongoing trial against Harvey Weinstein, who used NDAs and is accused of silencing more than 80 victims.

What our parents may have been right about…

Turning down the music. This week, research found that more than 1 billion young people could be at risk of hearing loss. Researchers looked at dozens of recent studies and found that people aged 34 and under were regularly exposed to 105 decibels or more, much higher than the recommended max of 85. It’s not every day we talk decibels. So to put it in perspective, 85 is apparently about the sound level of a motorcycle...something that would actively ruin your day. Turns out, we're getting exposed to that level of sound from concerts and bars — but more regularly from headphones. As a fix, experts recommend earplugs at a concert. And using a feature on most cell phones that tell you when the content is too loud. Noise-canceling tech can also help. Good news though: if you do need them, hearing aids are now available OTC.

Who’s saying ‘go big or go home’...

Elon Musk. Yesterday, the company’s new owner asked (remaining) staffers to commit to being “hardcore” or leave. According to an internal memo, employees have until today at 5 pm ET to decide if they want to be “part of the new Twitter,” which includes “long hours at high intensity.” Those that opt out will get three months of severance pay. The ultimatum came the same day Musk told a court that he plans to reduce his time at the company and eventually find a new leader to run the social media giant.

While SZA’s new album name will spell out S-O-S…

Scrabble’s adding to its dictionary of words. 

Who’s getting a full house of flak…

Candace Cameron Bure.

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