Is It Worth Boycotting the Russian Olympics?

I've written about Russia's hostile and oppressive treatment of artists and the Russian Orthodox church's increasingly close alliance with the state, but in the last few years, things have gone from bad to worse. Journalists and anti-corruption activists have been murdered with impunity. Critics of the state have been subjected to trumped-up charges and show trials. Gay pride marches have been banned, and supporters of gay rights have been brutally assaulted by the police and mobs of skinhead … [Read more...]

A Conscience Clause for Equal Protection

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she wouldn't defend the state in an ACLU lawsuit challenging a ban on same-sex marriage. She's following the same trail blazed by California, where state officials refused to appeal a district court ruling against the discriminatory Proposition 8. It cheers me enormously to see that more and more government officers are coming to recognize the fundamental injustice of these laws, and refusing to defend them where they … [Read more...]

Ingersoll Sunday: Civil Rights

RobertIngersoll

There was a great disgrace in this country today. Backed by the laws of the state of Florida, a jury decided that it was reasonable for an armed white man to provoke a confrontation with an unarmed black teenager, shoot him dead, and then claim he was acting in self-defense.I'm too heavy-hearted to write much about this, or about the Supreme Court's disgraceful gutting of the Voting Rights Act last month. Suffice to say that race relations are an open and unhealed wound in the fabric of … [Read more...]

On the Morality of: Boycotting States

MassachusettsWelcomesYou

To celebrate the Supreme Court's DOMA decision, Dan Savage wrote a poignant column, "I Can Die Now", about how his husband and son are now protected in a way they wouldn't have been before if he were to die in some unlikely accident:My country wanted to make sure that if I died, Terry wouldn't just have to endure the pain of losing his husband, and D.J. wouldn't just have to endure the pain of losing a parent. No, there would be bonus pain for my family. Because we weren't married in the … [Read more...]

A Constitutional Rollercoaster

ParisLGBTRights

I had another post written for today, but there's much too much going on! This week has been a rollercoaster of disappointment, despair, joy and exaltation, and it's only Wednesday.On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court issued an awful ruling that struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act. As compiled by Slacktivist, a flurry of Republican-controlled state legislatures immediately began efforts to pass restrictive voter-ID laws and redraw electoral maps to dilute minority votes - … [Read more...]

Why Edward Snowden Should Be Pardoned

AllSeeingEye

I've been assembling some thoughts on the NSA leaker Edward Snowden who revealed the existence of top-secret government surveillance programs, including the PRISM project to tap into the customer data of the nation's largest internet companies, and a court order requiring Verizon to turn over metadata on all calls in its system on an ongoing basis (I'm still astonished that any court could ever have considered that request to comport with the Fourth Amendment).Already there are fierce … [Read more...]

The Harms of Same-Sex Marriage

MassachusettsWelcomesYou

The Massachusetts anti-gay group MassResistance isn't giving up. Even though same-sex marriage has been legal there for nearly 10 years and is supported by a strong majority of the public, they're still fighting to turn back the clock. And although most people might say that Massachusetts' failure to become a Sodom and Gomorrah-esque den of depravity has disproved the predictions of doomsayers, they're not ready to concede that either.I've been reading one of their leaflets, titled What … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: Snap Responses to Current Events

In the Times this week, Israel's ultra-Orthodox rabbis are enforcing gender apartheid by sending their own women and girls to flood the Wailing Wall plaza, so that women who actually want to pray there can't get in:“They’re trying to change the religion and politics in Israel — they should do that in the Knesset and not at the Kotel,” Ms. Beskin said, using the Hebrew terms for Israel’s Parliament and the Western Wall. “The rules should be, honestly, just respect the tradition here.” … [Read more...]

Building Walls Against the World

BricksInWall

When I wrote last month about France enacting same-sex marriage, it wasn't even on my radar that two more U.S. states were about to do the same. But now, Rhode Island (which previously had civil unions) has graduated to full marriage equality, becoming the tenth state to do so, and Delaware followed right after. With this passage, every New England state now stands united in recognizing the humanity of same-sex couples.What makes this especially heartening is that Rhode Island is the … [Read more...]

The Arc Is Bending, Continued

ParisLGBTRights

Last week, New Zealand legalized same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. In a video that should wring tears from the hardest heart, the spectators and Parliament burst into applause and cheers when the bill passed, then broke into song ("Pokarekare Ana", a famous love song in the language of the indigenous Maori).With this victory, New Zealand became the thirteenth country to pass marriage equality, just after Uruguay (!). In spite of the eighteen … [Read more...]


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