Arkansas anti-abortion law overturned

Written by The AP Monday, 17 March 2014 14:33

A federal judge has struck down Arkansas' attempt to ban most abortions beginning 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy, saying viability, not a heartbeat, remains the key factor in determining whether abortions should be allowed.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright last year had stopped enforcement of the law while she reviewed it, and now she has declared that it was unconstitutional. She cited previous court decisions that said abortions shouldn't be restricted until after a fetus reaches viability, which is typically at 22 to 24 weeks.

Boston's St. Pat's parade loses Sam Adams beer over anti-LGBT policy

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Monday, 17 March 2014 08:37

The maker of Sam Adams beer withdrew its sponsorship of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade because organizers exclude gay groups.

Boston Beer Co.'s decision came a day after a bar in Boston's South End said it would no longer serve Sam Adams beer because of the brewer's affiliation with the parade, which took place on Sunday.

Add pay equity to Obama's 2014 action list

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 14 March 2014 11:35

Add pay equity to President Barack Obama's 2014 do-it-himself wish list.

The White House is launching a campaign to promote a host of economic issues facing women, a key voting bloc in this year's midterm election.

Marriage equality suit filed in Arizona

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:38

Lambda Legal on March 13 filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Arizona on behalf of seven same-sex couples and the surviving spouses of two additional same-sex couples seeking to overturn the state's anti-gay marriage ban.

Lambda senior counsel Jennifer C. Pizer said, "Every day that same-sex couples in Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect."

Cheers for Heineken, Guinness, Sam Adams; beer-makers won't toast gay bans

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 17 March 2014 11:44

The nation's largest civil rights group is hailing decisions by major brewers — Guinness, Heineken and Sam Adams — to drop sponsorships of St. Patrick’s Day parades that discriminate by excluding openly LGBT participants.

“As corporate America continues to lead the charge for LGBT equality, today three of America’s top brewers are helping us say no to anti-LGBT discrimination,” said Deena Fidas, director of the Human Rights Campaign's Workplace Equality Program. “This year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will be served up with a pint of fairness.”

Fred Phelps reportedly near death

Written by WiG reports Sunday, 16 March 2014 12:20

Fred Phelps picketing the funeral of Elizabeth Taylor in 2011.

Phelps, 84, is reported to be dying in a Kansas hospice.

Paul Ryan commends Boehner for inviting pope to address Congress

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 14 March 2014 05:51

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, R, says he thinks it was a good idea for U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to invite Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress.

Boehner said in a statement this week that the pope has inspired millions with his pastoral manner and servant leadership.

ACLU sues, demands Florida recognize out-of-state gay marriages

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:21

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit on March 12 in federal court on behalf of eight same-sex couples and SAVE, an LGBT rights organization based in South Florida. They are demanding the state recognize the couples’ marriages, which were performed in other states and are recognized by the federal government.

One of the couples — Sloan Grimsley, a firefighter from Palm Beach Gardens, and her wife Joyce Albu, a consultant assisting parents of children living with developmental disorders — are seeking protections for their children, the youngest of whom is 2. The women have been together for nine years and were married in August 2011 in New York.

Officials: Immigrants assaulted by border patrol agent were surrendering

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 17 March 2014 10:06

An immigrant woman, her daughter and another girl who said they were kidnapped and assaulted by a border patrol agent were in the process of surrendering to the agent when their ordeal began, according to officials.

Agent Esteban Manzanares, who officials say committed suicide last week, is accused of driving the three away from the river after they surrendered and assaulting them. The other agent said Manzanares cut the wrists of the adult woman, assaulted one teenager in the group, and then fled the area with a second teenage girl.

Sarah Palin to launch digital video channel

Written by WiG Sunday, 16 March 2014 07:52

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is launching her own digital video channel, according to multiple sources.

President urged to lift ban on transgender troops

Written by Lisa Leff,
AP writer
Friday, 14 March 2014 05:07

The United States should join the dozen other nations that allow transgender people to serve in the armed forces, a commission led by a former U.S. surgeon general said in a report released on March 13 that concludes there is no medical reason for the decades-old ban and calls on President Barack Obama to lift it.

The five-member panel, convened by a think tank at San Francisco State University, said U.S. Department of Defense regulations designed to keep transgender people out of the military are based on outdated beliefs that require thousands of current service members either to leave the service or to forego the medical procedures and other changes that could align their bodies and gender identities.

Major League Soccer steps up anti-discrimination campaign

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 13 March 2014 09:46

Major League Soccer on March 13 announced new efforts to protect players from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation.

The league worked with the New York Attorney General's office — which has taken the lead in talks to improve non-discrimination policies in major league sports in the U.S. — and is undertaking several new efforts as part of its “Don’t Cross the Line” initiative at the outset of the 2014 season.