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Catholic bishops acknowledging the 'gifts and qualities' gays offer

Associated Press writer
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 05:57

Catholic bishops are showing remarkable openness to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays have gifts to offer the church and that there are “positive” aspects of a couple living together with being married.

A two-week meeting of bishops on family issues arrived at its half-way point with a document summarizing the closed-door debate so far. No decisions were announced, but the tone was one of almost revolutionary acceptance rather than condemnation, with the aim of guiding Catholics toward the ideal of a lasting marriage.

Mormons push their church to be more accepting of gay members

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 13 October 2014 07:32

Court decisions this week paving the way for same-sex marriage to become legal in dozens of states, including Mormon strongholds like Utah, Idaho and Nevada, have emboldened a growing group of Latter-day Saints who are pushing the conservative church to become more accepting of gay members.

The church's stance toward gays has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California's ban on gay marriage in 2008, but high-ranking leaders have reiterated time and again the faith's opposition to same-sex unions.

HRC: Record gains for LGBT equality in Congress

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 09 October 2014 14:07

A congressional scorecard measuring support for LGBT equality in the 113th Congress shows record gains with elected officials, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group.

Members of Congress were scored based on their votes and co-sponsorships of legislation that are indicators of support for LGBT equality and, for the first time, their public support for marriage equality.

Updated: 9th Circuit rules for marriage equality, stay issued

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 08 October 2014 09:04

UPDATED: A three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples are unconstitutional.

The court found that Idaho and Nevada’s marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on the basis of equal protection.

Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity building political machine

AP writers
Monday, 13 October 2014 07:58

Over scrambled eggs and croquettes, Andres Malave gave a last-minute pep talk to about a dozen volunteers in a Cuban restaurant before they left to meet voters in Miami.

“Don’t just deliver a message,” he said before beginning his own 31/2-hour shift knocking on doors. “Try to get them engaged.”

Federal judge rules against Alaska ban on gay marriage

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 13 October 2014 04:12

A federal judge on Oct. 12 struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages, the latest court decision in a busy week for the issue.

The state of Alaska will begin accepting those applications first thing this morning (Oct. 13), Phillip Mitchell, with the state Department of Vital Statistics, told The Associated Press in an email. Alaska has a three-day waiting period between between applications and marriage ceremonies.

Do it yourself flu vaccine? Study shows it works

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 09 October 2014 04:58

Do-it-yourself flu vaccine? It could happen. Military folks who squirted vaccine up their noses were as well-protected as others who got it from health workers, a study found.

There's no reason civilians couldn't do the same, especially for children who might be less scared if vaccine was given by mom or dad, the study leader said.

US issues final minimum wage rule for contractors

Written by The AP Wednesday, 08 October 2014 06:41

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez issued a final rule on Oct. 8 raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.

The action puts in force a step announced by President Barack Obama in February. The Labor Department said nearly 200,000 American workers will benefit from the new minimum, which takes effect Jan 1.

Beyond marriage, other gay-rights challenges loom

Written by DAVID CRARY,
AP National Writer
Monday, 13 October 2014 07:50

Even as they celebrate epic victories in the push for marriage equality, gay-rights activists acknowledge that other difficult issues remain on their agenda. There’s the persistent high rate of HIV infections, the struggles to expand transgender rights, and the striking fact that even in some states allowing same-sex marriage, people can lose their job for being gay.

For many activists, the top priority after marriage is federal legislation that would outlaw a broad range of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. There’s no such federal law now, and more than half the states do not ban discrimination by employers or public accommodations based on sexual orientation.

Supreme Court denies stay, same-sex couples to marry in Idaho

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 10 October 2014 17:22

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 10 denied a stay of the Ninth Circuit decision striking down Idaho’s marriage equality ban, allowing marriage equality to take effect in that state.

Idaho still has the option to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari. However, the state cannot refuse to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses pending a decision by the Supreme Court.

Death Cafes allow end-of-life discussions

Special from Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 16:59

On a blazing afternoon, cars vie for the few shaded parking spots outside Radiance of Sarasota in Florida, a storefront in a small strip mall billed as a “wellness and inspiration center.”

Visitors, mostly aged 50-plus, enter the center’s cool, dimly lit quarters, where they’re invited to help themselves to tea, pastel-colored pastries, gluten-free brownies and a seat within a large circle of chairs.

Anti-gay record earns Bachmann, others a place in Hall of Shame

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 07 October 2014 09:54

The Human Rights Campaign on Oct. 7 inducted 19 members to its new congressional Hall of Shame.

Released in advance of the HRC Scorecard for the 113th Congress, HRC identified the elected officials "as the most anti-equality members of Congress by looking at their voting records in this and previous congresses, their introduction and co-sponsorships of anti-LGBT legislation, and their public statements. While there are other anti-LGBT members of Congress, these elected officials’ legislative actions, votes and anti-LGBT vitriol unfortunately marks them with a modern day scarlet letter."