Federal Judge Denies NOM’s Request To Intervene In Oregon Gay Marriage Case

Carlos Santoscoy  | On Top Magazine | May 14, 2014

After conducting a brief hearing on Wednesday, a federal judge rejected the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) attempt to intervene in a lawsuit challenging Oregon’s ban on gay marriage.

NOM, the nation’s most vociferous opponent of marriage equality, filed a motion to intervene in the case on April 21, 2 days before U.S. District Judge Michael McShane heard arguments in the case.

(Related: Oregon to judge hearing challenge to gay marriage ban: No rational reason for ban.)

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Impeach Clarence Thomas?

Bill Blum | Truthdig | May 14, 2014

AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Of all the justices on the Supreme Court, none—not even the fulminating homophobic Antonin Scalia—deserves more consideration for impeachment than Clarence Thomas, and for reasons having nothing to do with Anita Hill.

But can a sitting justice really be removed from office, and if so, when is removal warranted?

The answer to the first question, of course, is a straightforward yes. Although the justices are appointed for life, their tenure is subject to “good behavior.” Under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, all federal officials—including judges—can be removed from office “on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

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Prepare to Take Action to Defend Net Neutrality

April Glaser | EFF | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2014

t’s been hard to go a day without hearing news about the Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, and his highly contested plan for the future of network neutrality. Google and Netflix signed a letter with nearly 150 other Internet companies calling on the FCC to reconsider its plan, which would purportedly bless the creation of “Internet fast lanes.” Over a million people across the country have spoken out against that idea, worried that a “pay to play” Internet will be less hospitable to competition, innovation, and expression.

And while Chairman Wheeler and his fellow commissioners have been blogging about the FCCs proposal, no text has been released to the pubic. Not yet, anyway.

But mark your calendars. This Thursday, May 15th, the FCC will finally unveil its “Open Internet” proposal. The last two weeks have been packed with statements, previewing what we can expect for Thursday, and it’s not pretty. It’s time for Internet users to make some statements of their own.

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Millions to ‘March Against Monsanto’ on May 24

Brandon Baker | EcoWatch | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2014

egardless where you live, May 24 marks the annual opportunity to March Against Monsanto.

The event protesting the GMO (genetically modified organisms) giant will simultaneously take place in more than 400 cities in 52 countries that span six continents. That’s up from 36 cities in 286 countries last year. Among the marches is one in St. Louis, MO, which is home to Monsanto’s headquarters.

Click here for a full list of March Against Monsanto events.

“Historically, Monsanto has brought us DDT [(dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane], PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyl], Agent Orange and dioxin,” reads a Facebook invitation to the St. Louis march. “Monsanto’s reckless use of chemicals calls into question their testing standards, lack of scientific rigor, disregard for the precautionary principle and disregard for human life and the ecosystem.

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Climate Change Poses Growing Threat of Conflict in the Arctic, Report Finds

Suzanne Goldenberg | Guardian UK | Reader Supported News | May 14,2014

Report by former military officers says prospect of ice-free Arctic has set off scramble for shipping lanes and for access to oil


limate change poses a growing security threat and could cause conflict in the Arctic, a group of retired American generals and admirals said on Tuesday.

In a new report, the former military officers said the Pentagon had been caught out by the rapid changes under way in the Arctic because of the melting of the sea ice.

“Things are accelerating in the Arctic faster than we had looked at,” said General Paul Kern, the chairman of the Centre for Naval Analysis Corporation’s military advisory board, which produced the report. “The changes there appear to be much more radical than we envisaged.”

The prospect of an ice-free Arctic by mid-century had set off a scramble for shipping lanes by Russia and China especially, and for access to oil and other resources. “As the Arctic becomes less of an ice-contaminated area it represents a lot of opportunites for Russia,” he said. Oil companies were also moving into the Arctic.

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Pentagon Considers Options for Chelsea Manning Detention

Jeddah, Missy Ryan | Reuters | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2014

he U.S. military is considering options for the detention of a transgender soldier who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over secret files to WikiLeaks and has requested hormone therapy, including moving the private to a civilian prison, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The Associated Press on Wednesday reported that defense officials were trying to transfer Chelsea Manning, who seeks to live as a woman, to a civilian prison to facilitate that treatment.

“No decision to transfer Private Manning to a civilian detention facility has been made, and any such decision will, of course, properly balance the soldier’s medical needs with our obligation to ensure Private Manning remains behind bars,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

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How the US Drone War Pushed Snowden to Leak Docs

Amy Goodman | Democracy Now! | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2014

n his new book, “No Place to Hide,” journalist Glenn Greenwald provides new details on Edward Snowden’s personal story and his motivation to expose the U.S. surveillance state. “The stuff I saw really began to disturb me. I could watch drones in real time as they surveilled the people they might kill,” Snowden told Greenwald about his time as a National Security Agency contractor. “You could watch entire villages and see what everyone was doing. I watched NSA tracking people’s Internet activities as they typed. I became aware of just how invasive U.S. surveillance capabilities had become. I realized the true breadth of this system. And almost nobody knew it was happening.”

Greenwald joins us in studio to describe the inside story of the man behind the NSA leaks. “The fact that this individual with no power was knowingly risking everything in his life for a political cause, and really ended up changing the world, I think is a remarkable lesson for everybody,” Greenwald says. “It’s certainly something that’s inspired me and has shaped how I think about things — and probably will for the rest of my life.”


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our conversation with the investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose new book, just out today, is titled No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. This is a clip of Edward Snowden during his recent TED Talk, when he was asked by Chris Anderson about the risks he took in exposing the NSA’s surveillance programs.


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Judge Rules Idaho’s Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Sara Morrison | The Atlantic Wire | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2014

daho’s gay marriage ban, like same-sex marriage bans in several other states, has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

The Idaho Statesman just reported that Judge Candy Dale issued a 57-page ruling, saying, in part:

Idaho’s Marriage Laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental right to marry and relegate their families to a stigmatized, second-class status without sufficient reason for doing so. These laws do not withstand any applicable level of constitutional scrutiny.

The lawsuit challenging Idaho’s law was brought by two same-sex couples who wanted to marry and two same-sex couples married in other states who wanted their marriages recognized in Idaho.

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Ugandan MP’s Face Travel Bans for Anti-Homosexuality Support

Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | May 08, 2014.

bahatiMembers of Uganda’s Parliament and ministers, have according to the Ugandan press, been notified of visa restrictions because of their “public utterances” during the passing of the disputed Anti-Homosexuality Act, which makes same-sex relations  punishable with life imprisonment.

International Affairs minister Okello Oryem told MPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday that some MPs and ministers will find difficulties traveling to certain countries in the West. However, the minister did not name the countries.

The minister was responding to a question from Helen Grace Asamo (PWDs, Eastern) on whether there were undisclosed plans to ban MPs from traveling to certain countries because of the passing of the Anti-Homosexual Law.

“On the Anti-Homosexuality Law, I want to assure members that it is only a few MPs and ministers who are targeted and they know themselves,” Mr Oryem said.

“They (ministers and MPs) will always have difficulties getting visas and if they do get the visas, then, they will certainly find problems going through particular international airports because of the manner they handled the Anti-Homosexuality Law and their utterances towards homosexuals,” he added.

When MPs led by the committee chairperson, Dr Sam Okuonzi and Mr Fred Ebil (Kole) demanded that the minister names the affected politicians and the countries that have slapped the visa bans, he said “those affected have been contacted individually”.

I have no doubt that MP David Bahati, the author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, who had drafted in the death penalty for gays and once told me on the phone that he would even turn his own child in, under threat of death penalty, is on the list.

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Ugandan men first to face trial after passage of harsh anti-gay laws

Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | May 08, 2014

No matter the outcome, their lives will forever be tarnished, at least in Uganda. However with their faces splashed across world press, many  may come to regard them as martyrs, a symbol for the oppressed gays of Uganda and the unjust criminalization of human sexuality, as persecuted by Institutionalized homophobia. That is the markings of the first case being tried in Uganda after the passage of the new Anti-Homosexuality Act. The men are however being tried under the old Penal Code.

A Ugandan court has started hearing the case against the two men accused of engaging in same- sex relations, though under an old penal code, this is the first trial of homosexuals in the country since the severe Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed in December, 2013, signed on February 24th and Gazetted March 10th.

The detained Ugandans, Kim Mukisa, 24, and Jackson Mukasa, 19, appeared before a magistrate’s court in the capital, Kampala, on Wednesday, to apply for bail, after prosecutors said they had enough evidence to proceed with the case, no. 0085 of 2014.  Jackson has been released on bail, but unfortunately Kim was returned to prison pending a postponement of the case.

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