The U.S. Justice Department on June 20 released a report detailing the Obama administration’s broad implementation of the Supreme Court’s United States v. Windsor decision, which struck down key components of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.
The Court’s ruling allowed the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages for the purposes of crucial federal benefits and programs.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, a church with nearly 2 million members, affirmed the marriages of same-sex couples. The General Assembly, by a 429-175 vote, passed an amendment to change the description of marriage in the PCUSA church constitution from a relationship between “a man and a woman” to that between “two people.”
This amendment will only become church law when approved by a majority of the church’s 172 presbyteries.
A federal appeals court will hear arguments in gay marriage fights in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee in a single session, setting the stage for historic rulings in each state.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Cincinnati, scheduled arguments in five cases from the four states for Aug. 6. Though the cases are unique, each deals with whether statewide gay marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution.
HOLLY SPRINGS, Mississippi — As a teenager growing up in a segregated society, Roy DeBerry wasn’t waiting for white folks to come down to Mississippi and “save” him. But in the summer of 1964, the factory worker’s son was very glad to see people like Aviva Futorian.
The young history teacher from the affluent Chicago suburbs was among hundreds of volunteers — mostly Northern white college students — who descended on Mississippi during what came to be known as “Freedom Summer.” They came to register blacks to vote, and to establish “Freedom Schools” and community centers to help prepare those long disenfranchised for participation in what they hoped would be a new political order.
Dominique Mayfield makes $8.25 an hour washing dishes and busing tables at a Syracuse brewpub. Shantel Walker makes $8.50 an hour at her pizzeria in New York City, where the rent is more than double what it is in Syracuse. Two very different cities, but nearly the same wage.
The economic differences between America's big cities and elsewhere have prompted leaders in Seattle, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Oklahoma City and other cities to push to raise the minimum wage within their borders.
Iraq Veterans Against the War — an organization of those who served or continue to serve in the U.S. military following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 — today called on Congress and the Obama administration to reject the use of violence and militarism in response to the crisis in Iraq.
The statement from the group said, "Many of our members deployed to Iraq during the recent U.S. occupation. Those of us who were there know first hand that U.S. military solutions in Iraq do not serve the interests of the Iraqi people. We advocate for the self-determination of all people, in this case the people of Iraq. Any solution to this crisis must come from them.
For foes of same-sex marriage in the U.S., their losing streak keeps growing. Some sense a lost cause, others vow to fight on.
On Election Day in 2012, they went 0-for-4 on state ballot measures. A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages. And over the past seven months, more than a dozen federal and state judges have struck down part or all of state-level bans on gay marriage, with no rulings going the other way.
President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order banning bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors.
Activists have called for such an order since Republicans in the U.S. House will not allow a vote on federal legislation that would ban discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace.
The U.S. is imposing visa bans on Ugandan officials who are involved in corruption and are violating the rights of gay people and others.
The Obama administration did not identify the targeted officials.
Early on June 19, the children of Manuel Lopez, a man caught in recent citywide raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, joined with almost a dozen Wisconsinites, including Voces de la Frontera executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz, to chain themselves together at the ICE district field office.
The action was to condemn the raids that have separated the children from their father since May 27.
Britain’s top counter-terrorism official has been forced to reveal a secret government policy justifying the mass surveillance of every Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google user in the United Kingdom, according to Amnesty International.
Amnesty and other human rights groups published the policy, described in a statement by Charles Farr, director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, following a legal challenge against the British government.
Call it a blitz.