HRC: Record gains for LGBT equality in Congress

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 09 October 2014 14:07

A congressional scorecard measuring support for LGBT equality in the 113th Congress shows record gains with elected officials, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group.

Members of Congress were scored based on their votes and co-sponsorships of legislation that are indicators of support for LGBT equality and, for the first time, their public support for marriage equality.

ACLU seeks stay of voter ID law from Supreme Court

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 09 October 2014 04:45

The American Civil Liberties Union on Oct. 8 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay this week's final ruling from a Seventh Circuit appeals panel that concluded Wisconsin's voter ID law is constitutional and does not violate the federal Voting Rights Act.  

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, said, "Permitting this law to go into effect so close to the election is fueling voter confusion and election chaos in Wisconsin, particularly for the many voters who have already cast their ballots. Voters deserve a fair shake, but this last-minute disruption changes the rules of the game in an election that is already underway, and risks locking out thousands of voters. The stakes are extremely high."

Updated: 9th Circuit rules for marriage equality, stay issued

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 08 October 2014 09:04

UPDATED: A three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples are unconstitutional.

The court found that Idaho and Nevada’s marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on the basis of equal protection.

Van Hollen: the fight is over on gay marriage

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 07 October 2014 12:22

Wisconsin's Republican attorney general is conceding the fight to preserve the state's gay marriage ban is over and he encourages everyone to now administer the law "fairly and impartially."

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6 turned away appeals from five states, including Wisconsin, seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages. The order immediately ends delays on marriages in those states.

Walker administration: $7.25 is 'living wage'

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 09 October 2014 05:36

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development determined this week that $7.25 an hour is a fair wage for minimum-wage workers. The department denied complaints from more than 100 Wisconsin workers.

In a statement released this week, Wisconsin Jobs Now said, "It is outrageous for the Walker administration to claim that there is no reasonable cause to believe $7.25 is not a living wage. To issue this determination without even so much as a follow-up phone call to question … any of the over 100 Wisconsin workers who filed complaints is not only appalling, it is irresponsible."

Environmentalists launch $1 million campaign to defeat Scott Walker

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 09 October 2014 04:29

The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and the national League of Conservation Voters this week launched a $1 million campaign targeting Gov. Scott Walker.

The Republican's anti-environment record has put Wisconsin into the LCV’s “Dirty Dozen in the States.”

US issues final minimum wage rule for contractors

Written by The AP Wednesday, 08 October 2014 06:41

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez issued a final rule on Oct. 8 raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.

The action puts in force a step announced by President Barack Obama in February. The Labor Department said nearly 200,000 American workers will benefit from the new minimum, which takes effect Jan 1.

Anti-gay record earns Bachmann, others a place in Hall of Shame

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 07 October 2014 09:54

The Human Rights Campaign on Oct. 7 inducted 19 members to its new congressional Hall of Shame.

Released in advance of the HRC Scorecard for the 113th Congress, HRC identified the elected officials "as the most anti-equality members of Congress by looking at their voting records in this and previous congresses, their introduction and co-sponsorships of anti-LGBT legislation, and their public statements. While there are other anti-LGBT members of Congress, these elected officials’ legislative actions, votes and anti-LGBT vitriol unfortunately marks them with a modern day scarlet letter."

Do it yourself flu vaccine? Study shows it works

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 09 October 2014 04:58

Do-it-yourself flu vaccine? It could happen. Military folks who squirted vaccine up their noses were as well-protected as others who got it from health workers, a study found.

There's no reason civilians couldn't do the same, especially for children who might be less scared if vaccine was given by mom or dad, the study leader said.

Death Cafes allow end-of-life discussions

Special from Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 16:59

On a blazing afternoon, cars vie for the few shaded parking spots outside Radiance of Sarasota in Florida, a storefront in a small strip mall billed as a “wellness and inspiration center.”

Visitors, mostly aged 50-plus, enter the center’s cool, dimly lit quarters, where they’re invited to help themselves to tea, pastel-colored pastries, gluten-free brownies and a seat within a large circle of chairs.

New Mexico hopes 'singing road' will curb speeding

Written by The AP Wednesday, 08 October 2014 03:52

New Mexico transportation officials are hoping a "singing road" along historic Route 66 will curb speeding.

Tigress Productions is creating the road between Albuquerque and the mountain community of Tijeras for a new National Geographic Channel series dubbed "Crowd Control" that will debut in November.

A state by state look at gay marriage bans

Written by Wisconsin Gazette
and AP reports
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 06:36

State bans on same-sex marriages have been falling around the country since summer 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The high court on Oct. 6 cleared the way for more expansion by turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit it.

The court's decision effectively made gay marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin in a ruling also affecting six states where same-sex marriages had been put on hold pending high-court review: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.