Does anyone remember this line in the Declaration of Independence not the Constitution that states the unalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? Or how about this famous line from the Bill of Rights which is the first ten amendments of the Constitution stating “the separation between church and state”? Why do I bring this up? Simple. The issue keeps coming up from time to time and never goes away much like the second amendment and its misuse by the gun lobby yet this is another conversation entirely. During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday, Obama was asked whether gay marriage was a right under the Constitution. According to Huff Post, he responded by saying, “Well, I’ve gotta tell you that — in terms of practical politics, what I’ve seen is a healthy debate taking place state by state, and not every state has the exact same attitudes and cultural mores. And I — you know, my thinking was that this is traditionally a state issue and — that it will work itself out. On the other hand — what I also believe is that the core principle that people don’t get discriminated against — that’s one of our core values. And it’s in our Constitution.” After his response Obama was then asked if a state’s gay marriage ban was constitutional, he responded by saying, “Well, I can’t, personally. I cannot. That’s part of the reason I said, ultimately, I think that, same-sex couples should be able to marry. That’s my personal position. And, frankly, that’s the position that’s reflected — in the briefs that we filed — in the Supreme Court.” Obama’s position has changed since last May when he stressed that the issue was for the state’s to decide even though he is in support of it. The Supreme Court will be taking up both the Prop 8 marriage ban from California and the Defense of Marriage Act in back to back cases in March. The Obama administration submitted a legal brief stating that it believes the California ban is unconstitutional and the Justice Department has stopped defending the constitutionality of DOMA. The fight for gay rights will not be over until gay marriage was recognized in all states according to Obama in his second inaugural address: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law… for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
The fight for equal rights for all groups continues to rage as the right to marry has made more headline not just in the United States but around the world. As many other countries come to accept the idea and other struggles to come to terms, the United States as always is struggling to unite on the issue. While others struggle, some U.S. business interests are showing their support for gay marriage by lending their signatures to two briefs that will be filed this week with the U.S. Supreme Court, according to lawyers who argue that gay rights is good for business. Various companies will be joining separate friends of the court briefs one on Wednesday challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act and one on Thursday that questions the California ban on gay marriage. The companies are asking that the court invalidate Prop 8 in California and strike down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. According to Reuters, the Prop 8 brief filed has some major players joining the fight including Apple, Nike, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Intel Corp, Xerox, AIG, and Cisco Systems. The cases will be argued on March 26 and 27. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has not taken a position on the issue, while business interests have no previously been represents in briefs already filed in support. More names could be added to the brief that will be filed on Thursday according to the lawyers handling the Prop 8 brief. Similar brief for the DOMA case has more than 250 signatures that will be filed Wednesday. The Prop 8 brief claims that the companies feel the ban and other laws inflict real and unnecessary injury on business and can impede the efforts to recruit the best workers because of the social stigma imparted by Prop 8 and similar laws. It seems to be more about business than actually being concerned with equal rights?
This is by far the strangest and most cruel punishment for a rape victim I have ever heard of, but I am glad the Moroccan government has finally realized that. in Rabat, Morocco, the government has announced a plan to change the penal code so that rape victims are not forced to marry their alleged rapist. A paragraph in the penal code states that the offender can go free if they marry their victim and the practice was encouraged by judges to avoid shame to the victim’s family. One incident in particular sparked change when a 16 year old poisoned herself to get out of 7 month abusive marriage to a 23 year old she said raped her. The practice is found across the Middle East in India and Afghanistan to avoid a family’s dishonor by a woman’s loss of virginity out of wedlock. The marrying age is 18, but judges have approved much younger unions. A new article proposed on Monday, gives a 10 year penalty for consensual sex with a minor and doubles the sentence for sex resulting in deflowering or rape. The Justice Ministry argued that the girl was not raped and the sex was consensual. The prime minister also argued that the provision is rarely used and a majority of rape cases are pursued. While the code has been updated in recent memory 2004, a more comprehensive law to combat violence against women has reached a stalemate in Parliament for 8 years.
This story gets stranger and stranger. Veteran actor, Robert Wagner 82, has declined numerous times to cooperate with the renewed investigation into the 1981 death of his wife, Natalie Wood. Wagner’s attorney responded by saying that her client has complied with the investigation form the beginning and has no further information to offer. Lt. Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office says that Wagner has changed his story over the years. Her death is shrouded in mystery and at the time investigator could only come to the conclusion that her death was an accidental drowning. The actress had been boating with her then husband Wagner and actor Christopher Walken prior to her death. When her body was found floating in the water mile away from the boat, her body was covered in bruises. The case reopened in 2011 after the boat’s captain, Dennis Davern, came forward to say that Wagner and his wife were fighting prior to her death which Wagner admitted to. Right now, the police have no suspects and Wagner is not considered one at this time. The death has now been ruled “undetermined.” Wagner is still the only person on the boat from that night who has not spoke to detectives about that night in this new inquiry.
Wow this will leave you speechless for a moment. Why people feel the need to save everyone? Let people live their life and if they aren’t bugging you then don’t bother them. Mega church Mars Hill has moved to downtown Seattle which is southwest of Capital Hill a gay neighborhood, but the move has been called into question after a press release to KOMO news by the lead pastor, Tim Gaydos.
“This is an incredible opportunity to be a ministry hub for downtown Seattle as it will allow us to better serve the business men and women in our city, as well as the homeless and marginalized, as we’re closer to one of our ministry partners, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. Also, being closer to Capitol Hill is a blessing as we are serving and ministering to those who are infected with AIDS on the hill.” (source Huffpost Gay Voice)
According to ThinkProgress an LGBT blog and news site, Mars Hill has always believed that homosexuality is a sin and that they can “save sinners” through the love of Jesus — has not indicated that it’s partnered with Lifelong AIDS Alliance, the Seattle-based advocacy group that serves people with HIV/AIDS, a red flag that the church’s only means of ministering to those “infected by AIDS” is to “pray the gay away.”
Whether their intention was good or bad, the Mars Hill church has already stated its feelings about homosexuality so its clear they are trying to save this neighborhood literally. The problem I have is the church was not there before the neighborhood and saying that they are going to target those infected by AIDS is assuming that homosexuality and AIDS go hand in hand. It would be helpful if church groups inform themselves on the topic before assuming that AIDS is a homosexual disease which it is clearly not. I just find the pray the gay away concept which there are actually church funded programs that do have pray the gay away camps is funny, sad, and childish.
Very interesting mystery altogether. In a newly revised autopsy, the LA County Coroner says that Natalie Wood had bruises and scratches on her arm, wrist and neck before she entered the ocean off Catalina Island and drowned in 1981. The report has reignited speculation that her death was not an accident as the supplemental report details much more than the original since the Sheriff’s Department learns of the new inquiry. The revised report findings now state that it was a “drowning and other undetermined factors” and the manner of death was changed. “Since there are many unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this Medical Examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined,” the report says. It is still unclear whether Wood fell off the boat or was pushed. The full details of the report were released Monday. The case was reopened after Dennis Davern, captain of Wagner’s 60 foot yacht, stepped forward to say that Wood disappeared after she and her husband Wagner had an explosive fight which Wagner allegedly shouted “Get off my f—— boat!” In the new report released Monday, the distress call from Wagner’s boat came an hour and a half after the time Wood was dead and there are conflicting statement as to when Wood went missing and whether the two fought. The sherriff’s spokesman has said that Wood’s twice-wed husband Robert Wagner was.
These people are living the green dream and having fun while doing it. Spacious yet minimalistic, fun yet funky, economical yet eco friendly…I could go on like this forever, but these are all ways to describe this eco chic couple. The Lanes live on a bus in the San Francisco Bay area: a former school bus, to be exact, that they purchased in Oregon via Craigslist for $3,000. The 39-foot bus is just like “a regular home” on the inside: it features a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, lounge area and even a movie room on the bus’ “second story.” Its livability is achieved by using custom, hand-made furniture, and IKEA pieces that have been altered to fit the bus’ specs. And it even sleeps 10! Plus they live completely off the grid and only pay $100 a month for maintenance this is the new American Dream.
Rachel, a therapist, and Richard, an IT professional, have been living on the bus full-time for four years. Many people are taking the American Dream to the next level by coming up with creative ways to still have the creature comforts of home in a smaller but happy space. The increase of alternative housing is in response to the change in the economic climate and the greater need for flexibility and sustainability. Eco friendly is not just for the tree huggers anymore.