(1901) Rider appended to a U.S. Army appropriations bill stipulating conditions for withdrawing of U.S. troops remaining in Cuba after the Spanish-American War. The amendment, which was added to the Cuban constitution of 1901, affected Cuba's rights to negotiate treaties and permitted the U.S. to maintain its naval base at Guantánamo Bay and to intervene in Cuban affairs “for the preservation of Cuban independence.” In 1934 Pres. Franklin Roosevelt supported abrogation of the amendment's provisions except for U.S. rights to the naval base. Seealso Good Neighbor Policy.
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Proposed but unratified amendment to the U.S. Constitution designed mainly to invalidate many state and federal laws that discriminated against women. Its central tenet was that sex should not be a determining factor in establishing the legal rights of individuals. It was first introduced in Congress in 1923, shortly after women obtained the right to vote. It was finally approved by the U.S. Senate 49 years later (1972) but was subsequently ratified by only 30 of the 50 state legislatures. Critics claimed it would cause women to lose privileges and protections, such as exemption from compulsory military service and economic support by their husbands. Supporters, led by the National Organization for Women, argued that discriminatory state and federal laws left many women in a state of economic dependency.
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In 1996, the European Court of Human Rights heard Morris v. The United Kingdom and Sutherland v. the United Kingdom, cases brought by Chris Morris and Euan Sutherland challenging the inequality inherent in divided ages of consent. The government stated its intention to legislate to negate the court cases, which were put on hold.
Ann Keen, a Labour MP, introduced an amendment to Crime and Disorder Bill in 1998, and this was carried by a majority of 207 in the House of Commons. The amendment was then removed by the House of Lords by a majority of 168. Not wishing to lose the whole bill, the government allowed the issue to be dropped.
Later in the year, the government reintroduced the measure in what eventually became this Act. It once again sailed through the House of Commons by a majority of 183 on 25 January 1999, but was again blocked in the House of Lords after a concerted campaign by Conservative peer Baroness Young. The government once again re-introduced the measure, this time threatening to invoke the Parliament Act.
After the bill once again sailed through the House of Commons before being rejected by the House of Lords, the government carried through its threat and on 30 November 2000, Speaker Michael Martin announced the passage of the Act. It received Royal Assent a few hours later.
This Act was effectively superseded in England and Wales by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which repealed most of its provisions as they applied to England and Wales. The new Act which consolidated most previous sexual offences legislation maintained the decriminalisation that had been achieved in this Act.
This fact became significant in the wake of passage of the Hunting Act 2004 which was also passed using the Parliament Acts. The passage of that Act was challenged in court on the basis that the Parliament Act 1949 itself had been unlawfully passed. If the latter point were true, then the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 would also be invalid, though the point would be moot since the provisions had been consolidated in legislation not passed under the Parliament Acts. The challenge to the Hunting Act was ultimately unsuccessful.