The company leading the legal challenge against birth control coverage under the new health care law offers its workers a retirement plan that includes investments in companies making contraceptive and abortion drugs.

3 meningitis deaths reported in Los Angeles County

Written by The AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 04 April 2014 05:14

Los Angeles County health officials say three of eight people who contracted bacterial meningitis this year have died — and all three had sex with other men.

Health officials this week urged gay men to be vaccinated against the invasive meningococcal disease, which can spread through close contact such as kissing or sharing drinks.

Ryan budget plan would slash aid to poor

Written by The AP Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:44

A budget plan stuffed with familiar proposals to cut across a wide swath of the federal budget breezed through the House Budget Committee this week, but its sharp cuts to health care coverage for the middle class and the poor, food stamps and popular domestic programs are a nonstarter with President Barack Obama.

The GOP-controlled committee approved the plan by a party-line vote after swatting away numerous Democratic attempts to ease its cuts. The plan by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the committee chairman and the party's former vice presidential nominee, promises $5.1 trillion in cuts over the coming decade to bring the government's ledger into the black by 2024.

Progressives rallying against Supreme Court ruling on campaign donor limits

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:29

Progressives rallying against Supreme Court ruling on campaign limits.

Progressives across the country were preparing a series of protests against the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today (April 2) striking down in federal law the limits on overall contributions that the biggest of individual donors can make to candidates, parties and PACs.

ACLU picks winners in national gay marriage contest

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 04 April 2014 10:28

The American Civil Liberties Union's primary work is litigation, but this month it's moonlighting as a wedding planner as part of its role in the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

The beneficiaries are five gay and lesbian couples from across the U.S. who, out of a field of some 400 entries, were announced as winners of the ACLU's My Big Gay (Il)Legal Wedding contest.

Google exec quits board of anti-gay Christian relief agency

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 04 April 2014 04:49

The director of corporate giving at Google has resigned from the board of World Vision, the evangelical Christian relief agency that announced recently that it would hire people in same-sex marriages and then reversed course and announced it would continue to discriminate against gays.

Google executive Jacquelline Fuller's resignation from the World Vision board was announced on April 3 by social justice activists who have circulated petitions asking for board members to quit the agency in protest.

A guide to the Final Four: Back to the Big Time

Written by The AP Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:20

The invitation to this year's Final Four seemed to have specific rules: No upstarts or Cinderellas. Big boys only.

Mississippi Legislature passes 'license to discriminate' bill

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:56

A final so-called religious freedom bill passed both houses of the Mississippi legislature on April 1 and was sent to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights group, described the legislation as "far-reaching" and urged a veto by the governor. The group and other LGBT civil rights advocates lobbied against the legislation and pushed for changes to the bill to minimize its scope.

Mother convicted of murdering 4-year-old she thought was gay

Written by The AP Friday, 04 April 2014 09:27

Oregon jurors took a little more than an hour to convict a 25-year-old woman of murder in the death of her 4-year-old son. A prosecutor who emphasized that the boy's sister had witnessed the fatal beating said earlier that a motive behind the violence was the woman's belief that the boy was gay.

Sentencing for Jessica Dutro was set for April 18 in Washington County Circuit Court.

Praise for U.S. Senate Committee vote to release CIA torture report

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 03 April 2014 15:52

There was praise today from civil liberties and human rights leaders for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's vote on April 3 for declassification review and public release of the panel's report on the CIA's Bush-era rendition, secret detentoon and torture program.

The report is a 6,300-page document and is considered the most comprehensive account to date of the torture program, according to the national American Civil Liberties Union.

Nonprofit insurers struggle in the health care marketplace

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:01

A smorgasbord of options and lower prices for consumers were two of the chief selling points for President Barack Obama as he promoted his overhaul of the nation's health insurance industry, predicting Americans would see "competition in ways we haven't seen before." Companies were even started as a way to encourage innovation and competition, namely 23 consumer-run, co-op insurers created with the help of $2 billion in federal loans.

But rather than promote competition, the co-ops and smaller nonprofits in some states have languished behind major insurers, attracting in some cases minuscule shares of the market. While Obama celebrated an early projection this week of 7.1 million enrollees under the Affordable Care Act, it's too early to say whether the law ultimately will foster sufficient competition to keep premiums and deductibles affordable for consumers.

Tenth Circuit set to hear Utah, Oklahoma marriage cases this month

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 01 April 2014 13:40

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on April 10 will hear arguments in the appeal of a federal ruling overturning Utah's constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.

The arguments will be heard by a three-judge panel.