A California ballot initiative requiring citizens to kill all gays by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method” cannot be stopped by the state’s attorney general, according to legal experts.

Liza Minnelli back in rehab

Written by AP Friday, 20 March 2015 10:01

Liza Minnelli in 2008. -PHOTO: Wikicommons

Liza Minnelli has checked herself in rehab and is making “excellent progress,” her representative says.

San Francisco mayor may fire police over racist, homophobic texts

Written by The AP Thursday, 19 March 2015 07:09

The mayor of San Francisco said this week that four police officers under investigation in the sending of racist and homophobic texts will be fired if the probe determines they sent the messages.

Mayor Edwin M. Lee called the messages heinous and despicable, and called for immediate disciplinary action against the officers. 

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Reform Jewish rabbis select lesbian president

Written by Rachel Zoll,
AP religion writer
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:46

Rabbi Denise Eger

As a rabbinic student in 1980s New York, Denise Eger lived away from other seminarians. She quietly started a group for fellow gay and lesbian students, but held the meetings in another borough. By the time of her ordination, she wasn't formally out, but her sexuality was known, and no one would hire her. Later, she took the only job offered, with a synagogue formed expressly as a religious refuge for gays.

Puerto Rico seeks to recognize same-sex marriages

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Monday, 23 March 2015 12:57

Puerto Rico's Justice Department announced earlier this month that it would not defend the U.S. territory's laws banning gay couples from marrying. The announcement was a major turnaround.

Justice Secretary Cesar Miranda said that the government can no longer continue to discriminate against the gay community.

At conservative meeting, Google exec urges Congress to increase skilled work visas

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 20 March 2015 09:30

The executive chairman at Google called on Congress to increase the number of high-skilled work visas made available to foreigners and to deal with other immigration issues later on.

Eric Schmidt spoke on March 18 at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. Schmidt said he believes the United States is better off having more immigrants, not fewer, but he particularly is focused on allowing more immigrants into the U.S. with specialized technical skills.

House Republicans draw criticism from Clinton over budget plan

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 08:14

Hillary Rodham Clinton is taking on a tried and true foil — House Republicans — as she prepares for a likely 2016 Democratic presidential campaign.

Clinton blasted a budget proposal released by Republicans on March 17, saying on Twitter it "fails Americans" on investments in jobs and economic growth, would cut college aid for students and undermine President Barack Obama's health care law. It was the second straight day that the former secretary of state turned to social media to criticize Congress, a tactic used extensively by President Barack Obama during his 2012 re-election campaign.

Dolce & Gabbana faces celebrity boycott after anti-gay remarks

Written by The AP Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:22

Celebrities are joining the boycott launched by Elton John after fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana criticized same-sex parents and the use of in vitro fertilization in an Italian magazine, calling the resulting children "synthetic."

Courtney Love, Ricky Martin, talk-show host Andy Cohen and "American Horror Story" creator Ryan Murphy are among those pledging to ditch their Dolce & Gabbana clothes and support the boycott.

Report: New York has toughest commute, Milwaukee not so bad

Written by The AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 20 March 2015 16:24

Between commuting time and work hours, New York City residents have the longest work weeks among the country's 30 biggest cities, city Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a report released earlier this week.

The report said a typical week for a full-time New York worker adds up to more than 49 hours, including an average of more than six hours of commuting time. That was more than four hours longer than in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the average work week was about 44 1/2 hours. Commuting time made up just under 3 1/2 hours of that.

Illinois to divert 'fair share' fees from unions

Written by The AP Friday, 20 March 2015 06:11

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, dogged in attempts to eliminate fees paid to unions by workers who choose not to join, has instructed state agencies to divert money from nonunion employee paychecks away from organized labor until a judge settles the matter.

In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, general counsel Jason Barclay directs departments under the Republican governor's control to create two sets of books, one of which would move deductions from nonunion members to the operations budgets of state agencies instead of to the unions, although the money would not be spent.

Presbyterian Church (USA) expands marriage definition

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 18 March 2015 07:49

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has expanded its definition of marriage to include a "commitment between two people," recognizing gay marriage as Christian in the church constitution after decades of debate over same-sex relationships.

The redefinition was endorsed last year by the church General Assembly, or top legislative body, but required approval from a majority of the Louisville, Kentucky-based denomination's 171 regional districts, or presbyteries. The critical 86th "yes" vote came Tuesday night from the Presbytery of the Palisades in New Jersey.

March madness: Breaking down the brackets

Written by The AP Monday, 16 March 2015 11:47

President Barack Obama fills one out, so does just about everyone you know. Yes, the NCAA Tournament begins this week and that means it's bracket-picking time. We're here to help make sense of March Madness.

We want to provide you some insight on the 68 teams — including Wisconsin — that were slotted into four regional brackets for the annual sports spectacle that culminates in Indianapolis on April 7. However, be advised that most people win bracket contests by picking the better mascot or team color, so use the following information with caution.