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 … [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...]

The Arc Is Bending

LightingTheWayForEquality

While same-sex marriage is dramatically debated at the Supreme Court this week, it's worth keeping in mind that just a few days ago, Colorado legalized civil unions for same-sex couples, becoming - to my surprise - the 18th state to have either marriage equality or civil unions. I didn't realize the cause had come so far, but indeed it has. By my count, the nine states that have full marriage equality are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maryland … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: Exporting America’s Culture Wars

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, You Wouldn't Believe How Fast Americans Are Losing Their Religion -- But the Fundamentalists Have a Plan. In it, I report on the American religious-right activists who are exporting American-style culture wars to the developing world, even as the U.S. and Europe become less religious. The fundamentalists haven't been able to strip women, LGBT people, and non-Christians of their rights at home, but they're working hard to do so abroad. Read the excerpt … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: March 16

Coffee

• As you all know, there's a new pope in town: Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires. He talks a good game on poverty, although like all Catholic hierarchs, he doesn't seem to grasp that his opposition to birth control perpetuates the very problem he claims to want solved. As if there was any doubt, he's also a staunch social conservative who's called same-sex marriage "a move by the Father of Lies". More worrisome, though, is the accusation of Bergoglio's complicity in the Dirty … [Read more...]

Fifty Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

SaintPetersSquare

This article was originally published on AlterNet. Last year in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died, and she shouldn't have. Savita was a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved by an abortion of the already-doomed fetus. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that "this is a Catholic country," and left her to suffer in misery for days, only intervening … [Read more...]


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