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Obama disputes former aide's take on marriage equality

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:44

President Barack Obama is disputing a longtime aide's view that Obama feigned opposition to gay marriage, compromising his true beliefs out of concern it could hurt him with voters.

Former Obama strategist David Axelrod writes in a new book that Obama modified his public position to say he supported civil unions but not gay marriage. Axelrod says that was because his political advisers told him supporting gay marriages could hurt him politically.

Rights groups blast Urban Outfitters for 'Holocaust Garb' tapestry

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 10 February 2015 15:32

Human Rights Campaign and the Anti-Defamation League on Feb. 10 blasted Urban Outfitters for the retailer's sale of a striped tapestry featuring a single pink triangle, an unmistakable echo of uniforms Nazis issued to suspected gay male concentration camp prisoners.

“Urban Outfitters has seized yet again on imagery of the Holocaust, one of the most abhorrent chapters in world history, in an appalling effort to attract attention,” Fred Sainz, vice president for communications at HRC, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, stated in a news release. “This is an affront to LGBT people, Holocaust survivors, their families, and anyone with an ounce of humanity.” 

Ganja-preneurship: College starts class on the business of marijuana

Written by TIM PRUDENTE,
The Capital
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 05:52

Start stoner-friendly munchies stands in Colorado. Or open a lounge near a marijuana dispensary in Oregon.

Or try selling fertilizer to weed growers, dude.

Friend: Harper Lee was fine the day before sequel announced

Written by KIM CHANDLER,
Associated Press writer
Monday, 09 February 2015 13:37

A longtime friend who visited “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee the day before the world learned she would release a sequel says she was feisty but didn’t mention her new book.

Historian Wayne Flynt, a friend of the famous author, said he believes Lee was capable of giving permission for the previously unpublished manuscript to be released.

Recommendations for nation's dietary patterns due

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:35

Dietary advice can be confusing. Is it OK to eat meat and eggs? Is fat in or out? What about grains? How much salt?

An advisory committee's recommendations for the nation's dietary patterns are due soon, and some advice may be changing. The committee is expected to downplay the importance of lowering cholesterol intake and may put less emphasis on eating lean meats. The panel could also tweak its recommendations on exactly how much salt is too much and put limits on sugar consumption for the first time.

Justice Thomas objects to refusal to block marriage equality in Alabama

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 10 February 2015 08:27

Justice Clarence Thomas says the Supreme Court is inappropriately signaling it intends to clear the way for gay marriage across the nation in a stinging dissent to the high court's refusal to block the start of same-sex marriages in Alabama.

Bitterly objecting to the Feb. 9 action, Thomas provided a rare insider's perspective on the widely held view that the court's embrace of gay marriage is a done deal.

Buy American Blooms:
‘Slow Flowers’ movement pushes local grown, U.S. cut flowers

Written by MARGERY A. BECK,
Associated Press writer
Monday, 09 February 2015 16:15

Come February, the owners of Farmstead Flowers begin nurturing seedlings and preparing three acres for their cash crop reaped from April through October — cut flowers.

Megan Hird and her husband founded their rural southeast Nebraska business in 2012 and are among the growing number of “farmer florists” intent on providing consumers the option to buy local — much as the slow food movement has sought to increase the use of locally grown, sustainable food.

UPDATED: Defiance, compliance with marriage equality order in Alabama

Written by From WiG
and AP reports
Monday, 09 February 2015 08:42

Alabama on Feb. 9 began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Gays and lesbians can now marry in 37 states and the District of Columbia. However, gays and lesbians cannot marry in all of Alabama, because some judges are defying the federal order to issue licenses

Civil rights advocates were monitoring the situation in the Southern state, where Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore called on probate judges to refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples but the U.S. Supreme Court denied a state-sought stay in the federal case over marriage equality.

Animal welfare groups target greyhound tracks

Written by The AP Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:25

Two animal welfare groups are trying to bring about the end of greyhound racing, which has been declining for years, with an aggressive effort to change laws and public opinion in the states where dogs still race.

GREY2K USA and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believe racing is cruel and are embarking on a broad-based lobbying effort. The centerpiece is a study that documents more than 11,000 injuries to racing greyhounds and 909 deaths from 2008 to 2014.

Join the 'people's brief'
Join in the Supreme Court case for marriage equality

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 10 February 2015 07:22

The Human Rights Campaign on Feb. 10 launched an unprecedented “People’s Brief” to the U.S. Supreme Court. The effort offers people the opportunity to sign on to a friend-of-the-court brief for marriage equality in advance of oral argument before the Supreme Court this spring.

Roberta Kaplan, the civil rights attorney who won the landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, is the author and lead counsel on the brief. The “People’s Brief” campaign allows any American who has read the brief and agrees with its contents to sign on and to show their support for marriage equality directly to the Supreme Court.

Hundreds at funeral for teen girl killed by Denver police

Written by The AP
and WiG reports
Monday, 09 February 2015 13:44

Hundreds of friends and relatives gathered on the weekend to say goodbye to a 17-year-old girl shot to death by Denver police officers. She was remembered for her big heart and gregarious spirit.

Mourners filled the pews at the funeral for Jessica Hernandez at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Westminster, in the suburbs north of Denver where she grew up. The Mass was held in Spanish, with English translation for the crowd that spilled beyond the church’s doors.

Poll: Division on Supreme Court case, marriage equality

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 09 February 2015 08:32

Americans narrowly favor allowing same-sex couples in their states to marry legally, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds. But that support comes with caveats, and there is a close division in the country over the upcoming Supreme Court case that could make gay marriage legal nationwide.

Here are 5 things to know about public opinion on gay rights and same-sex marriage.

Interview