Madison (Wisconsin) May Include Atheists as a Protected Class in Expanded Anti-Discrimination Bill

The most surprising thing about Madison (Wisconsin) Alderwoman Anita Weier‘s new anti-discrimination proposal may be that it wasn’t already in effect.



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Mike Huckabee Says Marriage Equality Is Like Swearing and Drinking: His Friends Do It, but He Doesn’t Condone It

Potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has come up with a new way to describe his opposition to same-sex marriage: like swearing or drinking, it’s something his “friends” may partake in, but not something he’ll ever condone.

He told CNN:



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Congressman Jim Himes Introduces Darwin Day Resolution in House of Representatives

For the past couple of years, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) has introduced a resolution in the House to honor Charles Darwin on his birthday. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) did the same thing in 2011 before he was voted out of office.

But Holt didn’t run for re-election last year, so the resolution was not a sure thing this time around.

Thankfully, Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) has picked up where Holt left off. Today, he introduced House Resolution 67 (a.k.a. the Darwin Day Resolution) in order to “recognize Charles Darwin’s birthday, February 12, as a national day to celebrate science, education and humanity.”



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Raif Badawi Has Been Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, According to Norwegian Media

While the fate of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (below) is still up in the air — he’s received 50 lashes of a 1,000-lashes punishment for “insulting Islam,” though the flogging has been indefinitely delayed — there’s some news that could bring even more positive attention his way.



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German Parliament Debates Raif Badawi’s “Murder on the Installment Plan,” Unanimously Condemns Saudi Arabia

Members of the German parliament (Bundestag) just did something that we won’t soon see from the U.S. Congress: they put Raif Badawi‘s case on the parliamentary calendar and unanimously stood for his release. Badawi (pictured below, with his kids) is the Saudi blogger who was convicted of blasphemy and ordered to receive a ten-year jail term, plus one thousand lashes meted out in 20 weekly installments.

Tom Koenigs, a member of the Green Party, said the four-and-a-half-month flogging amounted to

… “murder on the installment plan.”

Via Deutsche Welle:

It’s not often that the Bundestag dedicates an entire debate to the human rights situation in a foreign country. But the flogging of the Saudi Arabian Bloggers Raif Badawihas triggered a wave of indignation in parliament, such that the opposition raised the issue on the agenda. The parliamentarians expressed concern and shock about the cruel torture imposed on Badawi, saying that the Internet activist — and his lawyer [human-rights attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair], who was also convicted — should be pardoned and released immediately.



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