Background: White House issues guidance on executive order protecting some LGBT workers

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 21 July 2014 08:09

The White House early on July 21 issued a statement on President Barack Obama's signing of an executive order intended to protect federal workers and those who work for federal contractors from discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity.

The statement and guidance from the White House:

President to sign executive orders protecting LGBT workers on July 21

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 18 July 2014 14:28

President Barack Obama. - PHOTO: Courtesy

The White House has announced that President Barack Obama will sign executive orders protecting LGBT workers employed by federal contractors from discrimination and also banning bias based on gender identity in federal employment.

Judge: Florida ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 17 July 2014 11:55

Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia on July 17 ruled that the Florida amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying is unconstitutional.

In Huntsman v. Heavilin, attorneys sued the state on behalf of a same-sex couple who argued that Florida’s ban on marriage equality violates the U.S. Constitution.

Woman says she was expelled from college for marrying another woman

Written by The AP Tuesday, 15 July 2014 04:26

A woman said on July 14 that she was expelled from a private, Christian college in suburban Oklahoma City because she married her same-sex partner.

Christian Minard, 22, said she received a letter last week from Southwestern Christian University notifying her of the expulsion after returning from her honeymoon in Las Vegas. Minard said she did not know how the university learned of her March 17 marriage in Albuquerque, New Mexico, though she did say she posted her marriage license on Facebook.

The Minnesota Vikings will suspend special teams coordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games this season and donate $100,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups in response to former punter Chris Kluwe's allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by Priefer.

The Vikings announced the punishment as part of a summary of findings by outside lawyers. The attorneys were hired in January to investigate Kluwe's accusations, which included a claim he was released because of his advocacy for marriage equality and his campaign for LGBT rights.

The following is a transcript of President Barack Obama's statement on July 18 to the press in the briefing room at the White House regarding the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 and other developments around the world.

The president acknowledged, during the statement, that some aboard the plane were involved in HIV/AIDS research and on their way to a conference in Australia. Some press reports have indicated as many as 100 people were bound for the conference, but the number of confirmed is far smaller — 7-10.

A Catholic organization has decided to cut off long-standing funding to a Portland, Oregon, immigrant rights group that works with day laborers over its affiliation with an organization that supports same-sex marriage.

Voz Workers' Rights Education lost a $75,000 grant in June from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which is the national anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A relapse for a 4-year-old girl thought to be free of HIV

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 14 July 2014 13:07

A Mississippi girl born with the AIDS virus and in remission for more than two years despite stopping treatment now shows signs that she still harbors HIV — and therefore is not cured. The news is a setback to hopes that very early treatment with powerful HIV drugs might reverse an infection that has seemed permanent once it takes hold.

The girl is now nearly 4. As recently as March, doctors had said that she seemed free of HIV though she was not being treated with AIDS drugs. That was a medical first.

Supreme Court issues stay on Utah same-sex marriage order

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Saturday, 19 July 2014 04:50

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted an emergency stay requested by Utah's governor in a marriage equality case.

The district court had issued an injunction requiring Utah to immediately recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were married between Dec. 23, 2013 and Jan. 6, after a court struck down Utah’s marriage bans as unconstitutional.

U.S. appeals court rules for marriage equality in Oklahoma case

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 18 July 2014 09:44

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on July 18 upheld the decision from U.S. District Judge Terence Kern that Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment barring marriage for same-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution.

The 2-1 decision from the panel was written by Judge Carlos Lucero, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.

Amnesty International: Prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. prison is inhuman

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 16 July 2014 08:58

The U.S. government’s practice of holding prisoners in prolonged solitary confinement in a federal super-maximum security prison amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is in violation of international law, according to Amnesty International, the global human rights group.

Amnesty, in a new report titled "Entombed: Isolation in the U.S. Federal Prison System, documented the severity of conditions that prisoners face in the maximum facility near Florence, Colorado, that is known as ADX Florence.

Feds asked to recognize Indiana same-sex marriages

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 14 July 2014 09:01

Attorneys have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step in on behalf of hundreds of same-sex couples who were wed before a federal appeals court stayed an order striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban.

The letter by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana asks Holder to issue a statement that the federal government will recognize the marriages as he did in Utah and Michigan, which would make Indiana's couples eligible for federal benefits for married couples.