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Right-wing backlash to marriage equality victory

first_imgAs poll after poll demonstrates, public opinion is on the side of marriage equality. That seismic shift in political consciousness was a factor in the June 26 Supreme Court ruling striking down state marriage bans. Now, however, powerful and well-funded political forces have launched a coordinated campaign to limit the impact of that historic ruling. Hiding behind the mask of “religious freedom,” right-wing bigots are throwing up obstacles to obtaining a marriage license and advancing bills to encourage discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities.The backlash began even before June 26, when in all but 13 states lower court judges overturned archaic laws defining marriage as between “one man and one woman.” Utah and North Carolina passed bills allowing county officials to deny a couple a marriage license on the basis of “sincerely held religious objections.”Given that the high court found a constitutional basis for marriage equality, these officials have been granted legal cover to violate their oath of office to uphold the Constitution. In other states, county clerks are openly defying governors’ orders to obey federal law. A judge in Toledo, Ohio, is refusing to perform same-sex marriages.Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback issued an executive order allowing religious groups, including those receiving state funds, to deny services to same-sex couples. In Arizona, the Maricopa County Attorney is refusing to provide adoption services to LGBTQ potential parents. Michigan legislators passed a bill allowing state-supported “faith-based” agencies to deny couples adoption services on religious grounds.So-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” bills in Indiana and Arkansas, even in their toned-down revised versions, give businesses the right to violate local anti-discrimination ordinances on religious grounds. An Indiana pizza parlor temporarily closed after publicly proclaiming it would not serve members of the LGBTQ community. This discrimination is normally illegal where civil rights laws cover sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.In Oregon, where legal protections exist, a lesbian couple was awarded $135,000 because a bakery refused to bake their wedding cake. If Oregon had passed one of these bogus religious freedom bills, this bakery would be free to discriminate. A restaurant could refuse to seat customers. A gym could deny membership. A transgender woman could be forced to use the “men’s” room or be publicly humiliated. All of this would be legal if the business owner claims it would “violate my conscience” to serve those deemed “sinners.”The religious right has made it a priority to pass similar RFRA laws in every state. “Absolutely, we will be talking to lawmakers about providing religious liberties protections,” said Don Hinkle, public policy director for the 600,000-member Missouri Baptist Convention. (lgbtqnation.com) Anyone who claims that treating all people equally “violates their conscience” and suffers consequences for that will be made a martyr by racist, misogynist, anti-LGBTQ bigots seeking to build their base.With the 2016 presidential elections on the horizon, most of the GOP’s contenders for the nomination are throwing fits over the Supreme Court decision — appealing to the most backward sentiments to build their campaigns.Some “religious objectors” are going to bizarre extremes. Stories of heterosexual couples divorcing to protest the high court ruling and of pastors threatening self-immolation have received wide media coverage. Nevertheless, the right-wing mobilization to roll back the gains of the LGBTQ movement must be taken seriously.Religious arguments twist factsMarriage equality opponents, in promoting RFRA laws, maintain that “forcing” businesses, public officials and service providers to treat all couples equally somehow constitutes religious discrimination and is therefore illegal. Even from a narrow legal standpoint this is a false argument. While there are some religious-based exceptions to the law — such as granting “conscientious objector” status to military service objectors — normally people cannot break laws simply because their religion dictates. A person cannot commit murder because their god told them to, or rob a bank to fill the collection plate. “Sincerely held religious views” do not even allow for leaving unwanted religious tracts in a neighbor’s mailbox.Where are the legal protections for the priests and nuns who have served six months in jail just for following their conscience and “crossing the line” to shut down the School of the Americas — where our taxes are used to train Latin American militaries in torture and interrogation?Why then should there be new religious exceptions that allow people to break civil rights laws — which came about through hard struggle — and engage in hateful, hurtful discrimination?The forces raising the false flag of religious liberty are the same ones who have upheld the Confederate flag as a symbol of “Southern heritage.” The bigots and the capitalists who back them can be pushed back by a united movement of workers and oppressed, built in the spirit of the Stonewall, Ferguson and Baltimore rebellions.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Audio devices to tackle dog fouling

first_img Previous articleUL team get the winning verdict at the Four CourtsNext article1913 lockout takes Limerick students to New York Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie AUDIO devices that encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets have been installed on both sides of the new River Shannon boardwalk in the city in a novel approach to combating dog fouling.Dog owners who pass the audio devices developed by NUI Maynooth-based company Riteview Solutions, will trigger a message stating: “Do your bit to keep Limerick clean. Stop Limerick Dog Litter. Use any bag any bin — please pick up after your dog.”Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Limerick City and County Councils plan to relocate the devices currently operating in the city area to other spots throughout Limerick during the coming months. The local authority is also considering the option of installing additional devices at other sites.Welcoming the  initiative, Mayor Kathleen Leddin said it was important for dog owners to pick up their pet’s litter as dog waste was not only a nuisance but it could also carry diseases that were harmful to humans.The installation of the audio devices has also been welcomed by the Limerick City Tidy Towns Committee, which regularly undertakes clean-ups throughout the city in conjunction with the local authority.Tidy Towns representative Maura O’Neill described it as a fantastic development that would help keep streets and green areas clean by encouraging dog owners to take greater responsibility.“Dog litter is at the top of people’s minds as the worst form of litter and these audio devices help to spread the message that allowing dogs to foul in a public area and then not picking it up is simply unacceptable,” said Ms O’Neill.Limerick City and County Councils environment awareness officer, Sinead McDonnell, explained there are a number of simple ways in which dog owners can help keep public areas dog litter free.“The message we are promoting is simple; always carry a bag to clean up after your dog.  Failing to clean up after your dog is the same as littering and is an offence under the Litter Pollution Acts.“There are now a wide range of options available to dog owners for cleaning up after their dogs. Check at your local vet, pet shop, supermarket or online,” she said. #HearThis: New music and video from Limerick rapper Strange Boy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook NewsLocal NewsAudio devices to tackle dog foulingBy Alan Jacques – April 4, 2014 862 WhatsApp Email New Music: 40Hurtz Advertisementcenter_img Linkedin Watch the streamed gig for Fergal Nash album launch Celebrating a ground breaking year in music from Limerick Print Emma Langford shortlisted for RTE Folk Award and playing a LIVE SHOW!!! this Saturday #SaucySoul: Room 58 – ‘Hate To See You Leave’ Twitter TAGSLimerick city councilLimerick County CouncilMusic LimerickRiteview Solutions last_img read more

Eight-month-old girl put under surveillance for COVID-19 in Maluku

first_imgHealth authorities of Southeast Maluku regency in Maluku has put an eight-month-old in the regency under surveillance for COVID-19.The head of the regency’s health agency, Katrinje Notanubun, confirmed the news on Tuesday, saying the baby girl was admitted to Karel Sadsuitubun General Hospital in Langgur on Friday afternoon last week. She was transferred from a community health center in Tual. “The baby experienced fever and shortness of breath when she was admitted to the hospital. We found out during the medical examination that her father had just returned from a trip to Jakarta on March 17,” Katrinje said.She added that the infant had had direct contact with her father because the latter did not put himself under self-quarantine.Read also: East Java girl, 11, becomes youngest COVID-19 fatality in IndonesiaThe health agency put the infant under surveillance based on the laboratory’s test result on her lungs.“The hospital is still treating the baby. We have also coordinated with lung specialists to ask the Maluku Health Agency to conduct a swab test on her,” said Katrinje, who also serves on the regency’s COVID-19 task force.Authorities were also monitoring the conditions of the infant’s parents.According to the task force, at least one individual had been put under surveillance for COVID-19. Meanwhile, two people under monitoring for the disease were receiving treatment in the hospital. (dpk)Topics :last_img read more

Football is still shaky after three victories

first_imgWill the real Trojans please stand up?We’re three weeks into the 2017 season, and we know more or less as much about this USC team as we did heading into opening day. The Trojans kicked off their campaign with an unconvincing win over Western Michigan, rebounded with a statement victory against Stanford but then required two overtime periods to down a double-digit underdog Texas team.Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold has thrown for more than 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season, but he has also been picked off six times — already two-thirds of his 2016 total. The two-headed rushing attack of junior Ronald Jones II and freshman Steven Carr, which shined against the Broncos and the Cardinal, was held to less than three yards per carry against the Longhorns. USC’s defense, though formidable, has appeared prone to the occasional big play, which nearly crushed the team last weekend when Texas marched down the field and took the lead with 45 seconds left to play.The Trojans now hit the road for their first game away from the Coliseum this fall. They will face an undefeated Cal team surging with confidence from its Week 3 upset over Ole Miss — and new head coach Justin Wilcox will be eager to exact revenge on his former team (he was USC’s defensive coordinator under former head coach Steve Sarkisian). Though the Bears endured a brutal 2016 campaign, they picked up an opening-week win at North Carolina in addition to beating Ole Miss, and they could very well give the Trojans their biggest test of the year so far come Saturday.But another battle of attrition could spell trouble for this banged-up USC squad, which can ill-afford more injuries — let alone a loss. A slew of key players have been on the sidelines during practice this week, including Jones, junior linebacker Porter Gustin and three other starters. Of course, the Trojans’ injury issues will only make their task more difficult against the hungry Bears.Fortunately, USC can take heart looking back at last year’s matchup. Even if Wilcox’s presence is a massive boost to the defense, this is largely the same roster that allowed USC to torch them for 629 total yards on offense in 2016; Trojan runners bowled the Bears over for 398 yards while Darnold rang up five scores through the air. Granted, 163 of USC’s receiving yards came from JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers, but junior wideout Deontay Burnett, who has racked up more than 120 yards in four consecutive games dating back to the Rose Bowl, should still keep Cal’s defense very busy.However, can Jones and Carr rebound from their tough night versus Texas? Will a potentially depleted receiving corps get open for Darnold?Can Darnold himself avoid giving the ball away to a Cal defense that ranks third in the FBS in forced turnovers? There is still plenty of confidence in this program, especially after last week’s dramatic win, but the feeling of invincibility that made fans chant “We want ’Bama” last year is fading rapidly. Whether it’s due to unlucky bounces or lack of chemistry, USC hasn’t completely clicked yet this season, and paranoid fans are starting to see upsets looming around every corner.But there still remains a feeling that — when push comes to shove — the Trojans will jump on Darnold’s back and pull through. There was no better example of it than last weekend (save for maybe the Rose Bowl). Darnold, despite his two picks on the game, came out firing with no fear and deadly efficiency with less than a minute on the clock and no timeouts. From the second USC went down, the Trojans’ quarterback was spectacular, showing off his mobility, pocket presence and unmatched improvisational ability.Even with all Darnold’s ability, though, it’s impossible to expect that from him every week. If they keep trying their luck, the Trojans will eventually wind up on the losing end of one of these nail-biters, especially away from home. USC hasn’t seen a deficit it couldn’t overcome in a full calendar year. You wouldn’t expect that streak to come to an end against Cal, who the Trojans haven’t lost to since 2003, but you can be sure the Bears smell blood after USC’s close call against Texas. Depending on which version of the Trojans shows up at Memorial Stadium, we could be in for another heart-stopper.This team has been more roller coaster than hype train so far this season, but I’m still all in. With all the playmaking talent USC has on either side of the ball, there’s no question there is championship quality on this roster — and right now, there doesn’t seem to be a more automatic player in football than Darnold in clutch situations. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but the Trojans took care of the Longhorns last week. Now it’s time for the bear hunt.Ollie Jung is a senior studying print and digital journalism. He is also a sports editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, Jung Money, runs Fridays.last_img read more