House Democrats try to force vote on immigration reform

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 28 March 2014 04:08

House Democrats deployed a little-used legislative move this week to force a vote on a comprehensive immigration bill, an effort doomed to fail but designed to increase the election-year pressure on Republicans to act.

"It is time for us to have a vote," said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., who joined with dozens of Democrats, advocates and actress America Ferrera to mark 273 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan bill. They insisted that House Republican leaders act.

Common Core spawns widespread political fights

Written by BILL BARROW,
AP writer
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 15:43

More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce leads establishment voices — such as possible presidential contender Jeb Bush — who hail the standards as a way to improve student performance and, over the long term, competitiveness of American workers.

Illinois House committee advances bill against ex-gay therapy

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 26 March 2014 08:18

Illinois' House Human Services Committee on March 26 approved a bill to protect minors from so-called ex-gay therapy.

The legislation, introduced by Chicago Democrat Kelly Cassidy, who is gay, is called the Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act. The measure would prohibit mental health providers from trying to change the sexual orientation of minors.

Campaign to preserve Kurt Cobain home in Aberdeen

Written by WIG Tuesday, 25 March 2014 08:05

A Portland woman has started an online campaign to save the childhood home of Kurt Cobain in Aberdeen, Wash., as a museum to the Nirvana grunge rock icon.

Couple calls for boycott of Mozilla after CEO's donation to Prop 8 revealed

Written by Louis Weisberg Thursday, 27 March 2014 19:17

Brendan Eich

The new CEO of Mozilla, the software company that created the Web browser Firefox, is under fire from equality supporters over a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to support California’s Proposition 8 campaign. Mozilla is the company that created Firefox, a Web browser.

Gov. Rick Snyder

Michigan won't recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend before a court halted a decision that opened the door to gay nuptials, Gov. Rick Snyder announced today.

Court extends stay against same-sex marriage in Michigan

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 26 March 2014 06:05

A federal appeals court has indefinitely suspended a judge's decision that allowed gay marriage in Michigan.

The ruling on March 25 means Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage stays on the books while the appeals court takes more time to consider the case. The panel ruled 2-1.

Supreme Court to hear arguments in Hobby Lobby challenge to Affordable Care Act

Written by The AP,
WiG reports
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 04:53

Two years after the Affordable Care Act survived a Supreme Court review by a single vote, the Court is hearing arguments today (March 25) in a religion-based challenge from family-owned companies that object to covering certain contraceptives in their health plans as part of the law's preventive care requirement.

Health plans must offer a range of services at no extra fees, including all forms of birth control for women that have been approved by federal regulators.

Whispers, secrets and lies? Anonymity apps rise

AP writer
Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:34

At a time when Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are pushing people to put forward their most polished, put-together selves, a new class of mobile applications aims for a bit more honesty.

Among the latest is Secret, created by two former Google engineers who were looking for a way to let people deliver genuine feedback to co-workers. With the app, friends and friends of friends can share their deepest and darkest thoughts, along with gossip, criticism and even plans to propose marriage, under a cloak of near-anonymity.

Update: Evangelical charity reverses decision to hire married gay Christians

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 13:15

UPDATED: The prominent Christian relief agency World Vision said this week it will hire Christians who are in same-sex marriages, a dramatic policy change on one of the most divisive social issues facing religious groups. And then, under pressure from the Christian right, the World Vision board reversed that decision, according to an announcement on March 26.

China jails man for 18 months for remembering Tiananmen Square

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 25 March 2014 16:18

Amnesty International is calling on Chinese authorities to halt the persecution of people seeking to remember the victims of the 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square.

The international human rights group issued the statement in response to the sentencing of a man to 18 months in jail for a remembrance last year.

Hawaii law lets police have sex with prostitutes

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 24 March 2014 22:01

Honolulu police officers are urging lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that lets undercover officers have sex with prostitutes during investigations, but they won’t say how often — or even if — they use the provision.

The idea has shocked advocates and law enforcement experts in the sex trade, who note that many prostitutes have been forced into that line of work.