Newswire

Supreme Court Blocks Marriage Equality in Virginia

Feminist Daily News - 27 min 11 sec ago

The US Supreme Court granted a request Wednesday to stay a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturning Virginia’s marriage equality ban. The appeals court decision – finding the ban unconstitutional – would have allowed same-sex couples to start getting married this week in Virginia.

via Beckoning Cat

“Loving couples and families should not have to endure yet another standstill before their commitment to one another is recognized here in Virginia,” said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia.

The Supreme Court’s decision means that Virginia is also not required to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state.

Lambda Legal, which filed one of the lawsuits that led to the Fourth Circuit decision, vowed to “do everything in our power to make sure this issue is decided as quickly as possible” by the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued a similar stay on same-sex marriages in Utah last January.

Same-sex couples currently have the right to marry in 19 states and in Washington, D.C., and there are lawsuits on the matter pending in all remaining states. Virginia’s attorney general, Mark R. Herring, refuses to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban and is pushing to have the Supreme Court review the case.

In a news conference in Richmond, Virginia, when the Fourth Circuit decision was announced, Herring said, “Sometimes battles have been fought in the legislature, sometimes in the courtroom, sometimes even in the streets, but inevitably no effort to restrict the rights or limit the opportunities of our fellow Americans has ever succeeded in the long term.”

The Fourth Circuit includes North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Media Resources: The New York Times 8/20/2014; Equality Virginia Press Release 8/20/14; Lambda Legal Press Release 8/20/14; Feminist Newswire 7/30/2014;

Related posts:
  1. Federal Appeals Court Upholds Marriage Equality in Virginia
  2. Supreme Court Upholds California’s ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Ban
  3. LGBT Rights Groups Withdraw Support for ENDA Following Hobby Lobby Decision
Categories: Newswire

Ohio TRAP Law Forces Cincinnati Clinic to Shut Down

Feminist Daily News - 42 min ago

The Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area will lose one of its abortion providers today when the Lebanon Road Surgery Center closes its doors. The clinic closure is another loss for Ohio women whose access to comprehensive reproductive care has been limited by a 2013 TRAP law.

The Lebanon Road Surgery Center in Sharonville, Ohio once provided 2,000 abortions a year. When it is forced to shut down today, it will leave just two clinics in southwest Ohio and a total of nine clinics in the entire state.

Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed into law new state rules prohibiting publicly funded hospitals from having patient transfer agreements with abortion clinics, while at the same time upholding an existing Ohio law that requires clinics to have patient transfer agreements. The Lebanon Road Surgery Center had operated through a variance to the rule, but its variance was denied in 2012 and the state ordered the clinic’s closure. The Sharonville center had until this week to file an appeal. Dorothea Langsam, an attorney and spokesperson for the clinic, said the cost of litigation became too much.

The two remaining clinics in southwest Ohio are also in jeopardy. Both clinics applied to the Ohio Department of Health more than a year ago for the same variance that was denied Lebanon Road.  The clinics are still awaiting a decision.

Under Kasich’s Administration, there have been four clinic closures, more than any other governor in the last 14 years, according to the Dayton Daily News. Kasich has also cut $2 million in family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and redirected those funds to misleading crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

“Gov. (John) Kasich ran and won by promising jobs,” Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal said. “Once he got elected, he didn’t talk about jobs. He talked about controlling a woman’s uterus.”

Media Resources: Dayton Daily News 8/21/14; New York Times 8/20/14; Feminist Newswire 7/1/13; Feminist Majority Foundation Press Release 10/2/13;

Related posts:
  1. Social Media Users Expose Clinic Violence Following Supreme Court’s Buffer Zone Ruling
  2. Restrictive Abortion Laws Take Effect in Mississippi and Florida
  3. South Carolina Legislators Fail to Pass Anti-Choice Measures
Categories: Newswire

Justice (?) for Renisha McBride

truthout - 5 hours 17 min ago

Ted Wafer, convicted of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Renisha McBride, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 3. He faces a maximum of life in prison. Many feel that justice has been served; others do not. There is a sense of contradiction in equating justice for Renisha with Wafer's impending prison sentence.

Categories: Newswire

Obama’s Blacklist Includes More Than Just Terrorists

In These Times - 5 hours 37 min ago

As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street, and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, a study released earlier this month revealed that many government information officers block specific journalists they don't like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing "serious limitations on access to records" that they say have "impeded" their oversight work.

The data about public information officers was compiled over the past few years by Kennesaw State University professor Dr. Carolyn Carlson. Her surveys found that 4 in 10 public information officers say "there are specific reporters they will not allow their staff to talk to due to problems with their stories in the past."

"That horrified us that so many would do that," Carlson told the Columbia Journalism Review, which reported on her presentation at the July conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Carlson has conducted surveys of journalists and public information officers since 2012. In her most recent survey of 445 working journalists, four out of five reported that "their interviews must be approved" by government information officers, and "more than half of the reporters said they had actually been prohibited from interviewing [government] employees at least some of the time by public information officers."

In recent years, there have been signs that the federal government is reducing the flow of public information. Reason Magazine has reported a 114 percent increase in Freedom of Information Act rejections by the Drug Enforcement Agency since President Obama took office. The National Security Agency has also issued blanket rejections of FOIA requests about its metadata program. And the Associated Press reported earlier this year that in 2013, "the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times—a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama's first year."

Those revelations foreshadowed a recent letter from more than half of the government's inspectors general saying that federal agencies' move to hide information from them represents a "potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner."

In that letter, the inspectors general assert that agencies are saying information is "privileged" and therefore must be kept secret. That is one of many increasingly creative rationales that public officials are now citing as reason to keep government information secret.

In Chicago, for example, officials in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration rejected a request for documents about an opaque $1.7 billion fund that is often used for corporate subsidies, some of which have flowed to the mayor's political donors. In a letter explaining the rejection, the officials said it would take too much staff time to compile the data and that therefore the request was "unduly burdensome."

Likewise in Rhode Island, Democratic State Treasurer Gina Raimondo rejected a newspaper request for information about the state's hedge fund contracts on the grounds that she wanted fund managers to "keep this information confidential to help preserve the productivity of their staff and to minimize attention around their own compensation."

That denial was one of many similar rejections from states seeking to keep the details of their Wall Street deals secret.

Carlson's polls from 2014 show that three-quarters of journalists surveyed now agree that "the public is not getting the information it needs because of barriers agencies are imposing on journalists' reporting practices."

That's the whole point of government secrecy, of course—and the ramifications are predictable. In an information vacuum, the public is being systematically divorced from public policy, which is exactly what too many elected officials want.

Categories: Newswire

Police Killing of Yet Another Black Man Near Ferguson Protests Warrants Probe

truthout - 6 hours 21 min ago

It is disappointing to see that there has not been more public outrage, especially in the major media, about the killing of Kajieme Powell. As a video of the incident Tuesday clearly shows, the St. Louis police officers who killed Powell showed a reckless and callous disregard for human life in what is no isolated event, as many have documented.

Categories: Newswire

Police Killing of Yet Another Black Man Nearby Ferguson Protests Warrants Probe

truthout - 6 hours 21 min ago

It is disappointing to see that there has not been more public outrage, especially in the major media, about the killing of Kajieme Powell. As a video of the incident Tuesday clearly shows, the St. Louis police officers who killed Powell showed a reckless and callous disregard for human life in what is no isolated event, as many have documented.

Categories: Newswire

Everytown USA: Is the Policeman Your Friend?

truthout - 6 hours 25 min ago

Protestors clash with police on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri, the night of Aug. 19, 2014. (Photo: Eric Thayer / The New York Times)

In Ferguson, the world finally got a long, hard look at what a hyper-weaponized military-style United States police force looks like in action.

Categories: Newswire

Everytown USA: Is the Policeman Your Friend?

truthout - 6 hours 25 min ago

Protestors clash with police on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri, the night of Aug. 19, 2014. (Photo: Eric Thayer / The New York Times)

In Ferguson, the world finally got a long, hard look at what a hyper-weaponized military-style United States police force looks like in action.

Categories: Newswire

Nanny Journalism

truthout - 6 hours 26 min ago
Categories: Newswire

Irony

truthout - 6 hours 29 min ago
Categories: Newswire
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