9-30-15 Native American tribe to open first marijuana resort in US
Native American tribe to open first marijuana resort in US
A Native American tribe in the US state of South Dakota has said it plans to open what would be the first marijuana resort in the US. The 400-member Santee Sioux tribe already runs a casino, hotel and ranch and hopes the resort will be a new revenue generator. Marijuana is not legal in South Dakota but the tribe has been permitted to grow and sell pot since June. It will open on New Year's Eve and only be sold on the reservation.
9-30-15 Fewer in U.S. Want Government to Promote Traditional Values
Fewer in U.S. Want Government to Promote Traditional Values
More Americans say the government should not promote any set of values (51%) than say it should promote traditional values (43%). This is the second time in the past four years Americans have tilted toward saying the government should be neutral on values. For most of the past decade, the public has been divided on what the government's role in this area should be. But even this was a shift from pre-2005, when Americans consistently favored the government's promoting traditional values. The movement away from government upholding "traditional" values is in keeping with recent Gallup trends showing Americans becoming more liberal in their views on many specific issues, most notably same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana.
9-30-15 Pope Francis 'met gay marriage row clerk' Kim Davis on US trip
Pope Francis 'met gay marriage row clerk' Kim Davis on US trip
Pope Francis reportedly met Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences, during his visit to the US. Vatican spokesman Frederico Lombardi said that he "does not deny" that a meeting took place. Mrs Davis opposes gay marriage and argued that her Christian faith should exempt her from issuing licences. Pope Francis "thanked her for her courage" and told her to "stay strong", Mr Stavers said. The Pope was asked for his views on the question of government officials refusing to discharge their duties because of their religious beliefs during his return from the US on Sunday. He told reporters on his flight back to Rome that conscientious objection was a "human right". (Webmaster's comment: He just lost my vote. He's no humanist when he supports intolerance and religious bigotry! Ugh!)
9-30-15 India man lynched over beef rumours
India man lynched over beef rumours
A 50-year-old man in northern India has been killed in a mob lynching allegedly over rumours that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home. Mohammad Akhlaq was kicked and beaten with stones by a group of men in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh state on Monday night. Slaughter of cows is a sensitive issue in India as the animal is considered sacred by Hindus, who comprise 80% of the country's 1.2bn people. Uttar Pradesh is among a number of Indian states who have tightened laws banning cow slaughter and the sale and consumption of beef. (Webmaster's comment: Right out of the monotheism dark ages.)
9-29-15 The gay marriage proposal that's the talk of China
The gay marriage proposal that's the talk of China
A marriage proposal on the Beijing underground has been the talk of Chinese social media - because it took place between two men. The two men won't actually be able to get hitched in China - there's no gay marriage or same-sex union procedure under Chinese law, although couples have travelled to the United States to get married, including seven who won a contest sponsored by the Chinese online retailing giant Alibaba. But despite the shouts of "sin" or "disgusting" by some commuters audible in the video, in fact most of those commenting on Weibo expressed support for the couple.
9-28-15 Old Scientist: Challenging superstition, probing religion
Old Scientist: Challenging superstition, probing religion
New Scientist has often shone the torch of reason into the dark corners of belief, as a scan of our September archives shows. A diplomatic course through the minefield of religion is sometimes not New Scientist’s preferred route.
9-24-15 Roland Emmerich defends 'personal' Stonewall movie
Roland Emmerich defends 'personal' Stonewall movie
Known as cinema's "master of disaster", director Roland Emmerich has moved away from his apocalyptical blockbusters such as 2012 and Independence Day to a project he describes as "deeply personal" - a self-funded movie about the start of the gay rights movement. Stonewall, a fictional account of rioting by the gay community in New York's Greenwich Village in 1969, premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, with Emmerich saying he was "deeply relieved" that the whole film had been shown to audiences. When the trailer for Stonewall was released in June, many in the LGBT community called it a "whitewash" of history, as Emmerich's main character, Danny, played by War Horse's Jeremy Irvine, is a blond blue-eyed boy from Indiana.
9-24-15 Transgender woman's penis 'shows up as anomaly' at Orlando airport
Transgender woman's penis 'shows up as anomaly' at Orlando airport
A transgender woman says she was held at an airport because her penis showed up as an "anomaly" when she was going through security.
9-23-15 Meet three people targeted for being 'atheists', and a Muslim leader condemning their beliefs
Meet three people targeted for being 'atheists', and a Muslim leader condemning their beliefs
There's been a series of violent murders of Bangladeshi internet bloggers, accused of being atheists by Islamist groups - with four killed so far this year. In the videos and stories below, you can meet the people living through this situation. Bonya Ahmed is herself a writer and was also married to perhaps the most famous atheist killed this year, Avijit Roy - the moderator of a popular online blog called "Free Thinking," which defended secular and humanist ideas. We asked Arif Rahman: why do bloggers keep on writing about atheism despite the threats? "If you surrender yourself to this theocracy," he replied, "then if you have a mindset like mine, it would have really difficult to live. So it's time to push back."
9-23-15 What Ben Carson gets right about a religious test for office
What Ben Carson gets right about a religious test for office
ave it to Ben Carson to make what may be at once the most offensive and the smartest single comment of the campaign season so far. I'm talking about his widely ridiculed appearance on NBC News' Meet the Press in which he said, "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that." That's obviously the offensive part. Put like that, it sounds like a blanket ban on allowing Muslims to serve as president. Aside from its bigotry, such a ban, if codified in law, would obviously run afoul of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which precludes any "religious test" for office.
9-22-15 Kim Davis case: Kentucky clerk faces new legal challenge
Kim Davis case: Kentucky clerk faces new legal challenge
Ms Davis, an elected official, opposes gay marriage and has said that her Christian faith should exempt her from signing those licences. Ms Davis, a Democrat who serves Rowan County, a rural area in eastern Kentucky, was released under the condition that she would not interfere as her deputy clerks issued marriage licences. However, once she returned to work Ms Davis removed her name from the licences and replaced it with the phrase "pursuant to federal court order". (Webmaster's comment: She's done this to straight as well as gay marriage licenses. She thinks she is above the laws of the land and she needs to be dragged off to jail in handcuffs and imprisoned until she obeys the law.)
9-22-15 Why conservatives are going nuclear on Pope Francis
Why conservatives are going nuclear on Pope Francis
9-22-15 Pope Francis isn't a liberal. He's something more radical: A Christian Humanist.
Pope Francis isn't a liberal. He's something more radical: a Christian humanist
9-22-15 Gay Catholics' message to Pope Francis ahead of US visit
Gay Catholics' message to Pope Francis ahead of US visit
Gay and Catholic? US faithful wait to hear from Pope on issues of sexuality. Many LGBT Catholics remain unconvinced about how much has changed and want to hear what the Pontiff has to say on the issue during his first visit to the US this week.
9-20-15 Why gay couples from all over the world are flocking to Buenos Aires
Why gay couples from all over the world are flocking to Buenos Aires
"Having the same rights to marry has given us freedom, dignity, happiness and, above all, equality," says Angie Cordera of her wedding in Argentina to her long-time partner Sofia Rivera. Cordera, 38, is an accountant from Colombia. Her bride Rivera, also 38, is a psychologist from Spain. "We loved Buenos Aires, the food, the nightlife, the culture, as well as everything being super-cheap, but also the way other people looked at us," Cordera says. "No one judges you. We were able to walk hand in hand, and even kissing, in public, and no one said anything."
9-16-15 Toronto Film Festival 2015: TIFF shines spotlight on LGBT films
Toronto Film Festival 2015: TIFF shines spotlight on LGBT films
This year's Toronto International Film Festival features more than 20 films focussing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. It's almost twice as many as 2014's event, but unlike last year - where films on the theme were predominantly documentaries or world cinema films - this year, Hollywood has several big-ticket films shining a spotlight on it.
9-14-15 Kim Davis: Kentucky clerk relents in gay marriage dispute
Kim Davis: Kentucky clerk relents in gay marriage dispute
A Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples has said she will not block the process but her name will not appear on the paperwork. However, Kim Davis questioned on Monday whether licences without her signature would be valid. Despite Ms Davis' claims, several Kentucky officials including the governor said the recently issued licences are valid.
9-10-15 Right-to-die legislation moves forward in California
Right-to-die legislation moves forward in California
California lawmakers have passed legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a doctor's supervision. The California Assembly narrowly passed the bill on Wednesday, and the state senate is expected to follow suit. The bill is partly inspired by the case of a terminally ill California woman who moved to Oregon to end her life. At least two dozen states introduced aid-in-dying legislation this year, but none has become law.
9-9-15 Kim Davis, jailed in gay marriage row, delays return to work
Kim Davis, jailed in gay marriage row, delays return to work
The Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses has said she "needs time to rest" before she returns to work. Kim Davis, an elected official, has said that her Christian faith should exempt her from signing the licences. She was released from jail on Tuesday the under the condition she not interfere with her deputies as they issue licences. The US Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal in June. (Webmaster's comment: By the way this holier-than-the-rest-of-us person knows all about being married. She's been married 4 times and had two children out of wedlock from an adulterous affair. A Christian role-model she is not.)
9-8-15 Kim Davis released from jail in dispute over gay marriage
Kim Davis released from jail in dispute over gay marriage
A US judge has released a Kentucky official from jail so long as she does not interfere with her deputies when they issue marriage licences to gay couples. Kim Davis, an elected official, has said that her Christian faith should exempt her from signing the licences. If she interferes with her deputies, federal Judge David Bunning said she could be jailed for defying the court. (Webmaster's comment: You lose. Go back to the dark ages where you belong.)
9-5-15 'Holdout' Kentucky county issues gay marriage licences
'Holdout' Kentucky county issues gay marriage licences
A county in the US state of Kentucky has started issuing marriage licences to gay couples after the county clerk was jailed for refusing to do so. Kim Davis, an elected official in Rowan County, has said the Supreme Court's ruling conflicts with her beliefs as a born-again Christian. Some of her deputies began processing the licences on Friday, providing one to a gay couple previously denied one. The US Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal in June. (Webaster's comment: The law of the land even applies to intolerant religious bigots.)
9-4-15 Praying for Potholes
In the September 4th issue of The Week
Facing a need for $743 million worth of repairs to crumbling infrastructure, the mayor of Jackson, Miss., has told residents the city can fix potholes through the power of prayer. "Yes, I believe we can pray potholes away,"said Mayor Tony Yarber, who is also a church pastor. "Moses prayed." he said, "and a sea opened."
(Webmaster's comment: Unbelievable, but true!)
9-4-15 Transgender ruling: US court opposes Mexican's deportation
Transgender ruling: US court opposes Mexican's deportation
A US appeals court has granted a transgender illegal immigrant the right to stay, as she would face discrimination in Mexico. The court ruled that Edin Carey Avendano-Hernandez was protected under international anti-torture conventions. The judges said Mexico suffered from "an epidemic of unsolved violent crimes against transgender persons". They said US immigration officials who wanted to deport her had mixed sexual orientation with gender identity.
9-1-15 Kentucky clerk defies Supreme Court order on gay marriage
Kentucky clerk defies Supreme Court order on gay marriage
A Christian official has refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples in Kentucky despite exhausting all of her legal options. (Webmaster's comment: Issuing these licenses is part of her job. She is not doing her job! Remove her from office! We've got to stop tolerating religious bigotry.)