Despite all of the progress made so far on LGBT rights, on Tuesday, Louisiana voted to uphold the state’s anti-sodomy law, 67-27, despite it being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, in their landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision.
In its decision, the court ruled that laws prohibiting sodomy seek “to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals.”
Unless you live in Louisiana?
In fact, in addition to Louisiana and Texas, Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas and Oklahoma have all maintained their own anti-sodomy laws, despite their direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s decision. In three of these states — Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas — such anti-sodomy laws pertain exclusively to “homosexual conduct.”
The Louisiana bill in question, HB12, proposed to amend “crime against nature…” and was introduced in January by State House Representative Patricia Smith (D-Baton Rouge). Although it seems painfully obvious that there is no reason on Earth to maintain such a law, Smith’s proposed bill was a direct response to the targeted arrests of gay men in her district who were profiled and lured by undercover police to agree to consensual sex. At least 12 men have been arrested in this “sodomy sting” since 2011, despite the fact that prosecutors refused to bring charges in every single case.
The chapter that might secretly want to wear pointy hoods to their toga parties…
In the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 16, vandals placed a noose around the neck of the statue and draped over its face a pre-2003 Georgia state flag with a Confederate battle emblem.
Three freshmen fraternity members from Georgia, whose names haven’t been released, were accused in the incident. They were kicked out of the 130-member chapter, which itself had been suspended by the university pending the review.
Warren said in a statement Thursday that the February incident was not the direct cause of the chapter’s closure, but it did initiate a wider investigation. Ole Miss and fraternity officials said they found a pattern of underage drinking and hazing that had continued despite intervention by the fraternity in 2010 to fix similar problems.
A man arrested Thursday night as a suspect in as many as 12 highway shootings, a spree that has gripped the Kansas City area for a month, was charged Friday with 18 felony counts related to nine of the incidents, in which three people were wounded.
In Pictures Policing America
Mohammed Pedro Whitaker, a medical supply company employee, was charged in relation to just 9 shootings, although as many as 12 were reported in Grandview Triangle, an area located in the southern part of Kansas City. Mo., where Interstates 435, 470, and US 71/I-49 come together.
Jackson County prosecutors say more charges likely are forthcoming.
The United Nations said on Friday at least 58 people were killed and more than 100 others wounded in an attack against one of its bases in South Sudan sheltering thousands of civilians.
The top UN official in the war-torn nation, Toby Lanzer, praised peacekeepers from India, Nepal and South Korea for preventing what could have been a massacre of up to 5,000 people, and vowed the world body would use “lethal force” again to protect civilians under their protection.
“We will do everything necessary to protect the lives of people in our protection, including the use of lethal force,” Lanzer told AFP. In the clearest account yet of Thursday’s incident in the government-controlled town of Bor, Lanzer described how a group of around 350 armed youths in civilian clothes “used extremely violent force to breach the perimeter” of the UN base.
A SpaceX supply ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Friday, setting the stage for an Easter morning delivery and urgent spacewalking repairs later in the week.
Following its midday launch through cloudy skies, the Dragon cargo carrier was shown drifting away in the blackness of space, against the blue backdrop of Earth.
It’s transporting 21/2 tons of goods, including a new spacesuit, spacesuit replacement parts, much-needed food, legs for NASA’s humanoid, Robonaut, a bevy of mating flies, and germs gathered from sports arenas and historic sites across the U.S.
Illinois police seized computers and mobile phones while raiding a house whose owner was suspected of parodying the town mayor on Twitter.
In all, five people following the Tuesday evening raid were taken to the Peoria Police Department station for questioning, local media report.
“They just asked me about the Twitter account, if I knew anything about it,” Michelle Pratt, 27, told the Journal Star.
She said she was in the shower when officers arrived.
“They brought me in like I was a criminal,” she added. “They said they had a search warrant and took all the electronic devices that had Internet access. They said there had been an Internet crime that occurred at this residence.”
Iconic Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia once again hosts the world’s best surfers for the 41st running of the Bells Beach Contest. New feature in this broadcast: drone cam!
A little debate never hurt nobody:
Two groups came together Wednesday night to create understanding between groups commonly seen at odds.
Two professors of history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat on a panel with two atheist experts for a discussion to dispel misconceptions and seek understanding.
A debate seeks a winner, where discussions seek understanding, explained panel moderator Paul Reeve, a University of Utah history professor.
“We are seeking understanding tonight, and that is the purpose for our panel here,” Reeve told a crowd of roughly 300 at Salt Lake City Main Library’s Nancy Tessman Auditorium.
American Atheists hosted the panel as a lead-in to its national convention that begins Thursday in Salt Lake City.
“We’re hoping that we can use this as a stepping stone to reach a healthier Salt Lake City,” American Atheists President David Silverman said.
In my continued research on Pakistan, the women of the FATA, and particularly the Swat Valley, good news is rare. So rare in fact, when I do come across it - I end up having one of those “thank gosh” moments.
When you spend a significant amount of time commiserating with the struggle of any particular group, the need to share the equitable moments grows.
This may seem a small step to us, in Pakistan, for women, this is a giant leap.
Dr Shazia Qureshi has been appointed principal of the Punjab University Law College (PULC) following her promotion as associate professor. Dr Shazia is the first woman principal of the college in its 146-year history.
Dr Shazia did her LLM from the Cambridge University and obtained a PhD from the Lancaster University.
She is also an extraordinary person:
In her progress report, Dr Shazia’s advisor Prof Sigrun Skogly wrote that she had actually completed her PhD thesis in less than three years, which was “highly unusual”.
Dr. Shazia Naureen Qureshi
Incharge, Associate Professor
LL.B. from University Law College, Lahore with distinction. Obtained Gold Medal in the subject of Mercantile Law in LL.B. Won highly competitive British Commonwealth Scholarship for the prestigious Cambridge University (UK) to earn the LL.M degree. Did specialization in International Law in LL.M. Joined University Law College as Lecturer and became Assistant Professor in 1995. Ms. Qureshi’s special area of interest is International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and International Disputes Settlement.
The Street Children’s World Cup is one of my favorite programs currently working to solve the problems related to homelessness, poverty, gender, and family in some of the most deserving and simultaneously undeserved communities in the world.
Over 230 children from 19 countries will participate in a girls’ and a boys’ football tournament, a festival of arts and a participatory conference for children’s rights. We believe that no child should have to live on the streets.
After being picked up from the streets, given education, and put through six months of rigorous football practice, on Wednesday night, nine children from Karunalaya, an organisation that works for child rights, flew to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to represent India at the Street Child World Cup (SCWC).The team of nine children, rehabilitated at Karunalaya after escaping abusive backgrounds, left for Rio De Janeiro on Wednesday. They will represent the country at the Street Child World Cup — Photo: G. Krishnaswamy
In this second edition of the world cup, scheduled to take place from March 28 to April 7, these children will fight it out against 15 other teams of boys from 18 countries.
Sixteen-year-old T. Gopinath, trying hard to control his emotions, says, “This is unthinkable for all of us. Our focus now is to come back with the cup and make everyone proud.”
Paul Sunder Singh, secretary of Karunalaya, said, “The last six months has been quite hectic and tiring for these children. They had an emotional farewell when they left our Karunalaya home this evening.”
If you have not heard of the ‘Street Child World Cup’ it is an orginization that hosts formerly homeless children in international soccer competition:
The Street Child World Cup is a global movement for street children to receive the protection and opportunities that all children are entitled to. Ahead of each FIFA World Cup, they unite street children from across five continents to play football and unite in a unique international conference. Together through football, art and campaigning their aim is to challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children around the world.
The first Street Child World Cup was held in Durban, South Africa, in March 2010 The event brought together teams of street children and former street children from Brazil, South Africa, Nicaragua, Ukraine, India, the Philippines and Tanzania. The participants were between 14 and 16 years old at the time of the event and all had experience of living full time on the streets without family. Each squad of 9 players included 3 girls. A representative team of young people from Manchester, UK, also took part in the tournament. This team was mentored by UK children’s TV presenter Andy Akinwolere, and his journey was covered on the BBC Children’s TV show, Blue Peter.