The governor of Oklahoma has ordered the state National Guard to stop processing benefits applications from the spouses of gay and lesbian servicemembers, according to the American Military Partner Association.
After processing applications on Sept. 3, as directed by the Defense Department, the Oklahoma National Guard is now not processing applications. That's also the case in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, where governors say state prohibitions against same-sex marriage trump a Pentagon order driven by a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The Freedom to Marry campaign is enlisting citizens in the effort to encourage mayors to join a broad-based and nonpartisan group of municipal leaders in backing equality for lesbian and gay couples.
The goal is to increase the number of mayors on the record as supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry and to have every state represented in the campaign.
Lawmakers could vote this week on bills letting faith-based agencies refuse to participate in adoptions that violate their beliefs, despite accusations that they would permit discrimination against gays and others.
Advocates of the legislation say it would codify existing practice into law and preemptively protect religious child-placing organizations from repercussions if Michigan ever legalizes gay marriage or civil unions.
Legendary NFL quarterback Steve Young says he's a Mormon who wants to build bridges with the gay community.
Young spoke on Sept. 14 to about 400 people attending the New Frontiers conference of the group Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons.
A 22-year-old New York City man was arrested and faces a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of a 69-year-old man. Authorities are investigating the slaying as a hate crime.
Steven Torres of the Bronx is accused of fatally stabbing Edward Orozco with an 8-inch knife under the elevated train in Queens at about 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 16.
More than 100 environmental groups today called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to withdraw new protective action guides that would allow exposure to higher doses from radiation releases before the government would take action to protect the public.
The PAGs, according to a news release, are intended to guide the response to nuclear power reactor accidents like Fukushima in Japan, Chernobyl in Ukraine and Three Mile Island in the United States, “dirty bomb” explosions, radioactive releases from nuclear fuel and weapons facilities, nuclear transportation accidents and other radioactive releases.
A Pennsylvania judge's order stopping a suburban Philadelphia court clerk from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples leaves their legal status unclear, with an appeal possible and other legal actions pending or in the works.
Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes said on Sept. 12 he was disappointed but would comply with the decision by Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini. Hanes said he thinks the 174 licenses he handed out are legally valid.
The United Nations food agency says one-third of all food produced in the world gets wasted, amounting to a loss of $750 billion a year.
The Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organization said in a report this week that food in developing countries is wasted mostly due to poor harvesting techniques, while in high-income areas the primary cause of waste is careless consumer behavior.
Charlie Crist hopes that the hug that hurt him becomes the hug that now heals him.
Democratic President Barack Obama embraced Crist, then Florida’s Republican governor, at a 2009 rally. Republican Marco Rubio used the image to successfully chase Crist from the GOP and defeat Crist, running as an independent, in the 2010 U.S. Senate race. Now Gov. Rick Scott also is using the hug to attack Crist.
The ACLU and the American Military Partner Association on Sept. 16 launched a national petition to the Defense Department that calls on it to reaffirm that all married military personnel must be treated equally and that state National Guards cannot deny equal access to same-sex military couples.
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the section in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that barred the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages. The Obama administration then began the process of updating rules and regulations to comply with the Court's order, including major shifts in policy at the Pentagon. The Defense Department has said that the spouses of gay service members must be treated the same as the spouses of other service members in regards to rights and benefits.
The gay rights movement has achieved many victories in recent years – on marriage, military service and other fronts. Yet one vestige of an earlier, more wary era remains firmly in place: the 30-year-old nationwide ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.
Dating from the first years of the AIDS epidemic, the ban is a source of frustration to many gay activists, and also to many leading players in the nation's health and blood-supply community who have joined in calling for change.
After six months, Pope Francis is rated favorably by eight out of 10 U.S. Catholics, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center.
Just 4 percent of Catholics say they have an unfavorable view of the first Latin American pope, while 17 percent express no opinion or say they have not heard enough about Francis to have an opinion.