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.
Gay and lesbian couples are getting legally married in the South for the first time, crossing a threshold into a conservative region that long stood united against same-sex marriage.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Oct. 6 to turn away appeals from a handful of states including Virginia means marriage bans are unconstitutional throughout the 4th U.S. Circuit. And that means similar bans in West Virginia and North and South Carolina should fall as soon as judges in each state follow through on the appellate court's orders.
The wall of a downtown New Orleans art gallery has been riddled with bullet holes.
It’s not another act of brazen gun violence but rather a thought-provoking work of art. In each hole is a bullet casing, its back painted with the tiny portrait of a child under the age of 6 killed in New Orleans gunfire.
Police say a dog was found drowned with a bowling ball tied to it in a Northern California river and they're looking for a suspect.
The Sacramento Bee reported on Sept. 28 Sunday that the 12-year-old border collie named Zelda was found in the American River with a leash on its collar tied to a bowling bag with a ball and a rock inside.
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."
Young people who torture and kill animals are prone to violence against people later in life if it goes unchecked, studies have shown. A new federal category for animal cruelty crimes will help root out those pet abusers before their behavior worsens and give a boost to prosecutions, an animal welfare group says.
For years, the FBI has filed animal abuse under the label “other” along with a variety of lesser crimes, making cruelty hard to find, hard to count and hard to track. The bureau announced this month that it would make animal cruelty a Group A felony with its own category — the same way crimes like homicide, arson and assault are listed.
Facebook is apologizing to drag queens and the transgender community for deleting accounts that used drag names like Lil Miss Hot Mess rather than legal names such as Bob Smith.
The world's biggest online social network caught heat recently when it deleted several hundred accounts belonging to self-described drag queens, other performers and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Facebook has long required its users to go by their "real names" on the site for security purposes, to stand out from other social networks and so it can better target advertising to people. Now, the company says the spirit of its policy doesn't mean a person's legal name but "the authentic name they use in real life."
Citizens, not the courts, should decide whether the definition of marriage includes same-sex couples, the state of Alaska said in court papers filed late last week.
The state is defending in federal court an amendment to Alaska's constitution that bans gay marriage.
State bans on same-sex marriages have been falling around the country since summer 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The high court on Oct. 6 cleared the way for more expansion by turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit it.
The court's decision effectively made gay marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin in a ruling also affecting six states where same-sex marriages had been put on hold pending high-court review: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of appeals from Wisconsin and four other states immediately expanded the number of marriage equality states to at least 24. In some topsy-turvy days after that Oct. 6 decision by the High Court, the number of equality states continued to go up — and it wasn’t clear how high the number would go.
Same-sex couples in 11 more states would win the right to marry, but the issue would remain unsettled nationwide if the Supreme Court were to surprise everyone and decline to take up gay marriage right now.
A decision by the justices to reject calls from all quarters to take up same-sex marriage would lead to gay and lesbian unions in 30 states and the District of Columbia, up from 19 states.
The United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Sept. 26 adopted a resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The Human Rights Council has taken a fundamental step forward by reaffirming one of the United Nations’ key principles — that everyone is equal in dignity and rights,” said Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. “This resolution puts the UN on a trajectory to address the discrimination and violence LGBT persons suffer daily across the world.”