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Alabama Supreme Court says anti-gay ruling stands until U.S. Supreme Court rules

Written by JAY REEVES AND BILL BARROW,
AP writers
Thursday, 05 March 2015 07:09

The Alabama Supreme Court has made itself an outlier in the judicial march legalizing same-sex marriages in the United States, drawing rebukes from gay rights advocates and evoking comparisons to Alabama's defiance of federal authorities during the civil rights movement.

The court set up a showdown with a Mobile, Alabama, federal judge this week when it ordered officials in the state to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision later this year on whether gays and lesbians have a fundamental right to marry.

Justice Department: Extensive discrimination by Ferguson police

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:21

A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson, Missouri, police department – with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.

The report, which could be released as soon as Wednesday, marks the culmination of a months-long investigation into a police department that federal officials have described as troubled and that commanded national attention after one of its officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, last summer.

Barbara Mikulski will not seek a sixth term in U.S. Senate

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 02 March 2015 14:08

U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Maryland, announced on March 2 that she will not seek re-election. Mikulski will complete her fifth term in office in January 2017.

“Because every day, I want to wake up thinking about you — the little guys and gals, the watermen, automobile workers, researchers, small business owners and families,” Mikulski said at a news conference in Maryland. “I want to give you 120 percent of my time with all of my energy focused on you and your futures. Because it’s always been about you, never about me. That’s what it takes to be a good senator by my expectations and by my standards.”

Fill in the blank: Facebook adds new gender option for users

Written by MARTHA MENDOZA,
AP National Writer
Friday, 27 February 2015 14:32

Facebook users who don’t fit any of the 58 gender identity options offered by the social media giant are now being given a rather big 59th option: fill in the blank.

“Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own,” said a Facebook announcement published online this morning and shared in advance with The Associated Press.

Mormon church backs LGBT anti-discrimination bill in Utah

Written by MICHELLE L. PRICE,
AP WRITER
Thursday, 05 March 2015 06:56

More than 20 years ago, Troy Williams was a young Mormon missionary who didn't know how he would reconcile his sexual orientation with his faith when he came home to live in conservative Utah.

"I was just scared. As a gay Utahn, I couldn't imagine for myself a positive future," said Williams, now 45 and an outspoken advocate for gay rights.

Timeline of events in Ferguson, Missouri

Written by The AP Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:14

A timeline of key events following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed, black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Nebraska ban on same-sex marriage blocked

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 02 March 2015 11:04

A federal judge on March 2 blocked Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage. However, the decision will not go into effect for at least a week, providing the state time to file an appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal district judge said the ban bars same-sex couples from accessing rights and enjoying benefits available to heterosexual married couples, including medical and financial benefits.

FCC votes to impose tougher rules on broadband service

Written by The AP Thursday, 26 February 2015 17:38
net_neutrality

Internet activists declared victory over the nation's big cable companies Thursday, after the Federal Communications Commission voted to impose the toughest rules yet on broadband service to prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from creating paid fast lanes and slowing or blocking web traffic.

Alabama Supreme Court to judges: Stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:32

The all-Republican Alabama Supreme Court on sided with a pair of conservative groups late on March 3 and ordered Alabama's 68 probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

A previous ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie Granade that gay-marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution does not preclude the judges from following state law, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, the court ruled.

Poll: Partisan divide on politicians and degrees

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 03 March 2015 11:08

The latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows that 62 percent of Americans want their president to hold a college degree.

That could mean trouble for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a general election.

Medical pot proposal passes first test in conservative Utah

Written by The AP Saturday, 28 February 2015 19:36

A panel of Utah lawmakers has given initial approval to a medical marijuana proposal that would allow residents of the conservative state who have chronic and debilitating diseases to use certain edible products containing THC, the chemical responsible for most of the drug’s psychological effects.

After a nearly two-hour debate, a Senate committee voted 3-2 earlier this week to approve the bill and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

CBS News releases video referenced in O’Reilly dispute

Written by DAVID BAUDER,
AP Television Writer
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 12:42

CBS News this week released video from four stories it aired about the Falklands War in 1982, all part of a dispute involving Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly and his subsequent statements about covering the war.

None of the stories mentions O’Reilly, then a young CBS reporter, or makes any specific reference to a CBS crew member being hurt.