Civil rights groups guide Congress on education bill

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 08:02

Nearly 20 civil rights groups and education advocates released shared civil rights principles for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

In the principles, the groups highlight the important and historic role the federal government has played during the 50 years since the ESEA was originally passed in promoting educational opportunity and protecting the rights and interests of students disadvantaged by discrimination, poverty, and other conditions that may limit their educational attainment.

Kansas to consider fetal heartbeat bill

Written by AP Friday, 02 January 2015 19:45

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback would like to ban all abortions.

Kansas legislators may soon consider proposals to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected early in a pregnancy and to require women to wait three days before obtaining abortions.

Times Square Poll: Feeling good about 2015

Written by The AP Monday, 29 December 2014 09:19

Americans are closing out 2014 on an optimistic note, according to a new Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll. Nearly half predict that 2015 will be a better year for them than 2014 was, while only 1 in 10 think it will be worse. There's room for improvement: Americans give the year gone by a resounding "meh."

What Americans thought of 2014:

No stay, gay couples to marry in Florida in January

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 19 December 2014 18:49

The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 19 denied the state of Florida’s motion for a stay of an August federal court ruling that overturned the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The order means the stay expires at the end of the day on Jan. 5. Same-sex couples can marry in Florida once the stay in the ruling is lifted.

"We are thrilled the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the state's request to delay marriages in Florida,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, the state’s LGBT civil rights group. “Every day of delay is another day of harm experienced by thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples in Florida. It's time to break out the wedding bells!  We look forward to January 6th being a special day — Florida is ready for the freedom to marry."

Pennsylvania law prompts towns to rescind gun-control measures

Associated Press writer
Monday, 12 January 2015 12:45

Just a week after taking effect, a novel state law that makes it easier for pro-gun groups to challenge local firearms measures in court is already sparking change. Nearly two dozen Pennsylvania municipalities have agreed to get rid of their ordinances rather than face litigation.

Joshua Prince, an attorney for four pro-gun groups and several residents, cited the new law in putting nearly 100 Pennsylvania municipalities on notice that they would face legal action unless they rescinded their firearms laws.

New laws ban tiger selfies, among other oddities

Written by AP Thursday, 01 January 2015 11:17

New state laws taking effect Jan. 1 give livestock in California more living room, approve direct-to-consumer wine shipments in Massachusetts and levy the ultimate punishment on wannabe teen drivers in Nevada by denying them licenses if they skip too much school.

Rights groups want special prosecutor to investigate torture

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 22 December 2014 15:32

The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch on Dec. 22 asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the crimes detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program.

The organizations point to information detailed in the report that they say leaves no doubt that crimes were committed as part of the government’s rendition, detention and interrogation program and that the United States is obligated by both domestic and international law to prosecute such crimes.

Republican LGBT rights supporter and former Illinois gubernatorial candidate dies at 70

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Sunday, 14 December 2014 08:11

A gay rights group is mourning the death of Republican Illinois Comptroller and former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka. Topinka died last week at age 70 after suffering a stroke.

Democrats ask Justice for excessive force data

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 07 January 2015 06:46

More than 50 congressional Democrats are calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to collect and publicly release data about the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.

Feds file discrimination suit against Utah meatpacking plant

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:55

The federal government is suing a Colorado-based company, saying it systematically discriminated against qualified job applicants at its meatpacking plant in Utah.

The Labor Department, in the complaint filed with its Office of Administrative Law Judges, cited a number of violations by JBS USA at its plant in Hyrum.


A fundamentalist, anti-gay preacher in southern Indiana was arrested after a 27-year-old man told police the pastor had reached through his car window while he was parked at an area lake and then grabbed and squeezed his genitals. The young man also said the pastor had demanded oral sex.

Supreme Court to review Confederate flag on license plates

Written by MARK SHERMAN,
Associated Press
Monday, 08 December 2014 09:28

The Supreme Court is taking on a free speech case over a proposed license plate in Texas that would feature the Confederate battle flag.

The case involves the government’s ability to choose among the political messages it allows drivers to display on state-issued license plates.