As authorities revealed details about the Family Research Council shooting, the head of the influential conservative organization blamed the attack on “reckless rhetoric,” but then delivered his own politically-charged remark, saying critics gave the accused gunman “a license to shoot an unarmed man.”
Tony Perkins’ comments on Aug. 16 fanned already-inflamed statements from both sides, tapped into deep divisions over abortion and gay marriage, and drew more finger-pointing.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, under attack from ultra-conservative groups that claim it shares the blame for an Aug. 15 shooting outside the Family Research Center in Washington, D.C., has responded to its critics.
The SPLC called the attack on the FRC, which resulted in the wounding of a security guard and ended with the arrest of a 28-year-old Virginia man, a tragedy.
The global campaign to free Pussy Riot is gaining speed. Supporters of the punk provocateur band mobilize this week in at least two dozen cities worldwide to hold simultaneous demonstrations an hour before a Russian court rules on whether its members will be sent to prison.
The rallies set for Aug. 17 will ride a wave of support for the three women who have been in jail for more than five months because of an anti-Putin prank in Moscow’s main cathedral. Calls for them to be freed have come from a long list of celebrities such as Madonna and Bjork. Protests have been held in a number of Western capitals, including Berlin, where last week about 400 people joined Canadian electro-pop performance artist Peaches to support the band.
The American Civil Liberties Union is denouncing Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s executive order on Aug. 15 that bars undocumented immigrants who qualify for temporary legal status in the United States from receiving state or local public benefits.
Brewer issued the order in response to the Obama administration’s implementation of an immigration policy of deferred action on deportation for young and undocumented immigrants. To be eligible for the federal program, immigrants must prove they arrived in the United States before they turned 16, are 30 or younger, have been living in the country at least five years and are in school or graduated or served in the military. They cannot have been convicted of certain crimes or otherwise pose a safety threat.
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Undercover stings to crack down on prostitution and public sex are snaring individuals engaged in consensual, legal activities and should be stopped. That’s the argument of the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of South Carolina in a complaint letter on Aug. 16 to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the state solicitor’s office.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has partnered in what’s billed on the Web as the country’s largest gay health survey.
An introduction to the survey at http://www.sexisthequestion.org says, “We all know how to keep ourselves safe. Yet, guys continue to test positive. We need your help to figure out why.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Aug. 16 announced six additional speakers for the Republican National Convention, which takes place Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.
A jury on Aug. 16 awarded a gay University of Michigan student body president $4.5 million in his lawsuit against a former Michigan assistant attorney general who posted about him in an anti-gay blog.
The U.S. District Court jury ruled in favor of Christopher Armstrong, who claimed he suffered distress after a blog created by Andrew Shirvell accused him of enticing minors with alcohol and recruiting people to become homosexual.
Authorities say a volunteer at a gay community center shot a security guard in the lobby of the right-wing Family Research Council’s Washington offices.
Police have not disclosed a possible motive in the shooting on Aug. 15.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has taken a stand against a proposed measure in Liberia that would make consensual same-sex sex a second-degree felony.
Punishment under the proposal would result in a fine and prison for up to five years.
A Missouri teenager who allegedly encouraged her siblings to join her assault on a lesbian neighbor faces a hate crime charge.
The Southeast Missourian reports that the 17-year-old girl and her two younger siblings went to a neighbor’s home, pulled the woman from the house and then began to punch and stomp on the woman.