Louisiana city considers fining people for saggy pants

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 11 March 2015 12:17

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is cautioning the Opelousas City Council, which is considering an ordinance creating penalties for saggy or low-riding pants.

The proposed ordinance, according to the ACLU, says, "Pants worn by any person, regardless of age, should be size appropriate and secured at the waist to prevent the pants from falling more than 3 inches below the hips (crest of ilium)."

Transcript: Remarks by the president on 50th anniversary of Selma March

Written by President Barack Obama Monday, 09 March 2015 08:46

The following is a transcript of the remarks delivered by President Barack Obama on March 7 at the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The president began the speech at about 2:17 p.m. at the bridge in Selma, Alabama.

The transcript: 

Train carrying Bakken oil derails, burns near Galena

Written by The AP Friday, 06 March 2015 06:44

A freight train loaded with crude oil derailed in northern Illinois, bursting into flames and prompting officials to suggest that everyone with 1 mile evacuate, authorities said.

The BNSF Railway train derailed Thursday afternoon in a rural area where the Galena River meets the Mississippi, according to company spokesman Andy Williams. The train had 103 cars loaded with crude oil, along with two buffer cars loaded with sand. A cause for the derailment hadn't yet been determined. No injuries were reported.

Alabama Supreme Court to judges: Stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:32

The all-Republican Alabama Supreme Court on sided with a pair of conservative groups late on March 3 and ordered Alabama's 68 probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

A previous ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie Granade that gay-marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution does not preclude the judges from following state law, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, the court ruled.

U.S. Supreme Court sets date for marriage arguments

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:49

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has filed an amicus brief on marriage equality with the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on four marriage equality cases on April 28.

Oregon Senate passes landmark automatic 'Motor Voter' registration

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 06 March 2015 07:34

The Oregon State Senate this week passed a bill enhancing the state’s Motor Voter registration system to automatically register every driver in the state who is eligible to vote.

A broad coalition of progressive groups backed the legislation, which already has passed in the House and is on the way to Gov. Kate Brown, who has been an advocate of universal voter registration and championed the bill.

Alabama Supreme Court says anti-gay ruling stands until U.S. Supreme Court rules

AP writers
Thursday, 05 March 2015 07:09

The Alabama Supreme Court has made itself an outlier in the judicial march legalizing same-sex marriages in the United States, drawing rebukes from gay rights advocates and evoking comparisons to Alabama's defiance of federal authorities during the civil rights movement.

The court set up a showdown with a Mobile, Alabama, federal judge this week when it ordered officials in the state to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision later this year on whether gays and lesbians have a fundamental right to marry.

Justice Department: Extensive discrimination by Ferguson police

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:21

A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson, Missouri, police department – with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.

The report, which could be released as soon as Wednesday, marks the culmination of a months-long investigation into a police department that federal officials have described as troubled and that commanded national attention after one of its officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, last summer.

ACLU sues over 'prison-based gerrymandering' in Florida

Written by WiG Wire Tuesday, 10 March 2015 07:47

A federal lawsuit challenges an election system in Jefferson County, Florida, which counts the inmate population of a state prison in the drawing of district maps.

The lawsuit, filed this week by the ACLU of Florida in the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee, states that by treating the approximately 1,157 inmates at the Jefferson Correctional Institution as residents for redistricting purposes, Jefferson County is engaging in “prison-based gerrymandering,” violating constitutional voting rights protections by watering down the voting strength of residents in all the other voting districts.   

The New England Patriots are rooting for marriage equality. The San Francisco Giants also are fans of same-sex marriage rights.

The reigning baseball and football champions, along with baseball's small-market Tampa Bay Rays, are among the thousands of businesses, religious groups, advocacy organizations and politicians who are filing legal briefs at the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage.

Mormon church backs LGBT anti-discrimination bill in Utah

Thursday, 05 March 2015 06:56

More than 20 years ago, Troy Williams was a young Mormon missionary who didn't know how he would reconcile his sexual orientation with his faith when he came home to live in conservative Utah.

"I was just scared. As a gay Utahn, I couldn't imagine for myself a positive future," said Williams, now 45 and an outspoken advocate for gay rights.

Timeline of events in Ferguson, Missouri

Written by The AP Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:14

A timeline of key events following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed, black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.