Justice Department: Civil Rights Act protects transgender workers

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 18 December 2014 17:18

U.S. Attorney General Holder said on Dec. 18 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to claims of discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status.

Holder informed all Department of Justice heads and U.S. attorneys in a memo that the department will no longer assert that Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex excludes discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender discrimination, reversing a previous Department of Justice position taken by the Bush administration.

Civil rights group urges Texas to stop prison rape

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:04

The national LGBT civil rights group Lambda Legal has launched a petition drive calling on the state of Texas and Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott to implement and abide by the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the federal law signed by former President George W. Bush to address the problem of prison rape across the country.

Texas is one of only seven states that has refused to comply with PREA. Texas also is home to five of the 10 prisons with the highest rates of reported rapes in the country, as documented in a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. It is widely understood that sexual violence in custody disproportionately affects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inmates.

Text of President Obama's remarks on Cuba

Written by President Barack Obama Thursday, 18 December 2014 07:24

The text of President Barack Obama's remarks on Dec. 17 on the release of American Alan Gross from a Cuban prison and on future diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The text was provided by the White House:

New York Gov. Cuomo announces fracking ban

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 17 December 2014 14:50

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Dec. 17 that hydraulic fracturing will be banned in New York, following the release of a long-anticipated study that concluded fracking could pose "significant public health risks."

Also today, the Long Island Power Authority Board of Trustees voted to approve only a fraction of the renewable energy projects promised by the governor, bringing just 122 megawatts of new solar projects online and falling short of the 280 megawatts of renewable energy the governor committed to this year.

Walker says slow down on 'right-to-work,' but still won't threaten to veto it

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 18 December 2014 15:56

Gov. Scott Walker is telling Republican state senators he wants them focused on his agenda rather than passing “right-to-work” legislation.

History museum explores ‘Winterful Wisconsin’

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 18 December 2014 09:13

Blizzards can be fun —

Already suffering the winter blues? Talk to Leslie Bellais about the big, bad blizzard of 1881.

Survey: 35.8 million enslaved around the world

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 18 December 2014 05:04

An Indian child rescued by the Save Childhood Movement. — PHOTO: AP/Bernat Armangue

An estimated 35.8 million people are trapped in modern slavery through human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation.

Florida attorney general asks Supreme Court to block gay marriages

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:09

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to try to keep the state's gay marriage ban in place past Jan. 5.

Bondi this week filed a request with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees emergency appeals from Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

Clean Lakes Alliance contest: Guess when Lake Mendota will freeze, win Lands' End prize

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:18

This year’s Mendota Freeze Contest, says local nonprofit Clean Lakes Alliance, is anyone’s game. 

For the fourth year in a row, the organization is holding a free contest to guess the date when the Wisconsin State Climatology Office will declare Lake Mendota officially frozen. 

Reaction to the president's new policy toward Cuba

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 18 December 2014 07:32

The 53-year-old U.S. policy of isolating Cuba is a failed attempt to promote democracy and freedom, say the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — U.S. Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota — and its Peace and Security Task Force Chair, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee of California.

The Democrats, responding to President Barack Obama's new policy toward Cuba, said in a joint statement, “Isolating Cuba separated the people of Cuba and their Cuban-American family members, and impaired our ability to build constructive relationships in Latin America.

Scott Walker undaunted by Jeb Bush's presidential intentions

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 15:50

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is said to have lost weight in preparation for a presidential bid.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s decision to “actively explore” a presidential run will not impact his decision on running.

The lawyers who successfully fought to undo Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage are seeking to recoup $1.2 million in legal costs from the case.