Supreme Court pressed to grant right to marry

first_imgLast week the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments for and against legalizing same-sex marriage. Plaintiffs from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee — where state courts upheld same-sex marriage bans — brought cases opposing the bans before the high court. The court’s ruling, expected in late June, will decide whether the U.S. Constitution gives same-sex couples the right to marry. SCOTUS will also decide if states must recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states or countries. Same-sex marriage is legal in all but 13 states and in 17 countries.The plaintiffs, 19 men and 12 women, are Black, Latino/a, Asian and white and of different ages and occupations. Most had no activist history but are proud to be fighting for their families and for thousands of couples in their home states.For the majority of the plaintiffs, the driving issue was the couples’ need to be recognized as joint parents. The problem hit home for Kentuckian Pam Yorksmith when she took the child she is raising with Nicole Yorksmith to the hospital. The hospital would not authorize treatment until Nicole, the legal parent, gave permission. Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, two Michigan nurses, sued the state for the right to jointly adopt the four children they are rearing together.Jim Obergefell married his partner of 21 years in Maryland in 2013. When John Arthur died of amyotrophic laterals sclerosis three months later, Ohio would not list Jim as John’s spouse on the death certificate. Denying the right to marry affects the ability to access death benefits that would normally fall to the surviving spouse.For 40 years, Luke Barlowe and Jimmy Meade of Kentucky passed as roommates, keeping their 2009 wedding a secret. But when they learned of the lawsuit, Barlowe remembered trying to commit suicide as a teenager. Thinking about the many lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer teens who still kill themselves, Barlowe explained, “We wanted to do this not for us — it does nothing for us — but we wanted to do it for the kids coming up behind us.” (Detroit News, April 23)Huge throngs packed the courtroom and demonstrated outside for marriage equality, greatly outnumbering the bigots damning LGBTQ people to hell. Poll after poll shows a majority of people in this country support the right to marry. Yet, decades after the Women’s Liberation movement trashed the stereotype of woman as baby-machine, Michigan’s Special Assistant Attorney General John Bursch argued the state had a compelling interest in protecting the “procreative” function of marriage to “serve purposes that, by their nature, arise from biology.” (Between the Lines, April 28)Ban upholders distort human historyJustice Anthony Kennedy is viewed as the swing vote who will decide if the court votes 5-4 in favor of marriage equality or 5-4 against it. He stated during the hearing, “This definition [of marriage exclusive to one man and one woman] has been with us for millennia.” Antonin Scalia, expected to vote to uphold state bans, stated, “You’re asking us to decide it for this society when no other society until 2001 ever had it.”The notion that marriage as an institution has been with us, unchanged, for “millennia,” is contradicted by a mountain of anthropological evidence.Some 150 years ago, Frederick Engels, Karl Marx’s lifelong collaborator, published a historical materialist analysis of human social/sexual relations. “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” traced the evolution of “marriage” from the beginnings of hominid sociality, through various stages of band and tribal society, into the first agricultural settlements that witnessed the rise of private property relations and led to the slave-owning, feudal and capitalist modes of production. With each society’s unique economic relationships came an equally unique “definition” of marriage.Before private property relations dominated society, human social/sexual relationships were freely formed and freely dissolved, with men and women having equal rights in marriage as in all matters of human concern. But with the shift from communal ownership to “private property” — prehistorically an inconceivable notion — societies became divided into classes of exploiters and exploited. Not only were the products of human labor appropriated by the dominant class, but human beings themselves, especially children and “wives,” were treated as the property of men.What about same-sex marriage? Information about that, which Engels lacked, is now readily available. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have always been part of the human family. They openly “married” same-sex and same-gender partners in pre-class, tribal societies and continued to do so, but in secret, under the tyranny of patriarchal, class society.That global tyranny is being challenged by powerful social forces, such as the women’s and LGBTQ movements. The reactionary, unelected Supreme Court feels the heat. The long-repressed dream of open, legal marriage is close to realization.One day the burgeoning movement of workers and oppressed will replace dead-end capitalism with a new communalism — socialism — a rational system where people’s needs come first.Bob McCubbin contributed to this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Reporters Without Borders, laureate of the International Association of Press Clubs Award

first_img June 4, 2013 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Reporters Without Borders, laureate of the International Association of Press Clubs Award Reporters Without Borders received on June 4, in Warsaw, the Freedom of Speech Award by the International Association of Press Clubs (IAPC). This organization, representing thirty Press Clubs in twenty countries, awards this prize for the first time to “people or organizations” recognized for their “outstanding contributions to the defense or the struggle for freedom of expression, the creation of conditions to support freedom of speech.” Reporters Without Borders has been elected by the delegates of the Press Clubs among very prestigious nominees.The presentation ceremony took place in the Great Assembly Hall of the Royal Castle of Warsaw. Lech Wałęsa, the legendary leader of “Solidarity” movement and the former president of Poland were in attendance along with the chairman of IAPC. The award was collected by the president of Reporters Without Borders International Gerald Sapey and the organisation’s general secretary Christophe Deloire. A part of the award ceremony was the first public screening of scenes from the movie Wałęsa and a meeting with its director, Andrzej Wajda, who spoke about the limits on free speech in Polish cinema under communism .”We are very proud to receive this award from the International Association of Press Clubs, especially in a country, Poland, where we do not ignore the value of journalists’ courage against despotism. As the famous Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski once wrote, ‘silence is a sign of misfortune, and often crime’. Around the world, the forces of silence and propaganda are very powerful. This award encourages the entire team of Reporters Without Borders and our correspondents in 130 countries to continue our fight to defend dissent voices” said Christophe Deloire, general secretary of Reporters Without Borders.More information on : Organisation Help by sharing this informationcenter_img RSF_en Newslast_img read more

Saint Mary’s students participate in hunger banquet meant to illustrate America’s socioeconomic divide

first_imgStudents gathered in the Haggar Parlor on Tuesday evening to participate in the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, an event Saint Mary’s hosted to raise awareness for world hunger. The annual event focuses on the realities of hunger in America and occurs at different institutions across America throughout the month of November. Julianna McKenna | The Observer Students who participated in the Oxfam Hunger Banquet sat on the floor of Haggar Parlor, where the event was held Tuesday evening. Hunger banquets are held at institutions across America throughout the month of November to demonstrate the realities of hunger.“It’s an experience to humble yourself and be grateful for what you have, but also to acknowledge that hunger is much more common than you might think,” senior and Student Diversity Board president Jazmin Herrera said. “It might be someone sitting next to you in class or someone that you know. The main purpose of the event is to raise awareness.” The event illustrate the impact of the socioeconomic divide in America as students were each assigned a different economic group and meal.“The 41 students who participated were randomly entered into a drawing and were placed in the lower class, middle class or higher class,” Herrera said. “The majority of people end up in the lower class because that is the real global ratio. Each group experienced the different classes through the meals that they were fed.”Students felt the occasion was an important opportunity to understand the challenges faced by many people across America. “I decided to attend because I had never heard of an opportunity like this,” freshman Angela Martinez-Camacho said. “It was a chance to see what it’s like for other people.”Martinez-Camacho noted the dread she felt sitting at a nice table while some of her peers had to sit on the floor. “I feel kind of bad because I already know that I will not finish my meal,” Martinez-Camacho said during the event. “I don’t like seeing people on the floor. Some of my friends are over there. If I could give them some of this I would.”For freshman Alok Agwick, sitting on the floor highlighted the separation between the different economic groups in America. “Seeing all the classes juxtaposed against each other really shows the struggle that people have in their lifetime,” Agwick said. “I definitely felt the separation because everyone else was sitting in chairs with different food options. We had to sit on the floor and had one thing to eat.” The event also raised awareness for the Mother Pauline Food Pantry, a new resource on campus that provides food and toiletries to students. Junior Kylee Abwavo said the pantry is a great resource for the College.“The Mother Pauline Pantry has helped me save money for college without having to worry about if I’m going to have enough food for a decent meal,” Abwavo said. “I hope that students will benefit from the pantry and try it out because it is a blessing when so many college students across the United States go to bed hungry.” Sophomore Karime Sanchez said she hopes the banquet will create a sense of awareness and help put into perspective the different backgrounds from which people come. “The hunger banquet teaches a lot of great things and creates a sense of awareness,” Sanchez said. “It really puts into perspective the different backgrounds that people come from and the different challenges people face. It really creates a desire to make a change and provide food for everyone.”Tags: hunger banquet, Mother Pauline Pantry, Student Diversity Boardlast_img read more

STORM ropes in cross-sector offshore energy developers

first_imgAn Innovate UK-funded STORM project has set up a marine moorings masterclass for the representatives of offshore energy industry to encourage cross-sector collaboration in solving mooring systems challenges.Led by Tension Technology International (TTI), the Specialised Thimbles for Offshore Renewable Marine energy (STORM) project has designed a new multi-material hybrid connector to aid the operation and lifespan of marine mooring systems.As the project draws to a close, the STORM project partners – TTI, Brunel University London, Nylacast and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – have invite representatives from the offshore wind, wave and tidal energy sectors to share their experiences and challenges in marine moorings.The organizers of the event, to be held at Brunel University London on January 26, 2018, have encouraged the engagement with other, more established, offshore industries that use marine moorings – such as oil & gas, so that lessons learned can be transferred cross-sector.Through discussing existing challenges and solutions, the marine moorings masterclass aims to identify the existing gaps and needs of the industry, encourage new partnerships to form and develop further R&D projects around moorings in order to tack this vital component within the offshore energy industry.Nigel Briggs, STORM Project Manager at TTI, said: “Mooring systems are critical for the success of offshore floating renewable energy devices, which are constantly pushed to their extreme limits in high energy environments.“The STORM project has designed a new multi-material hybrid connector which we want to share with the industry, but rather than simply focus on what we have done, we want to bring together moorings experts, offshore energy developers and supply chain companies to share common challenges and learning around marine mooring applications and experiences, and discuss the progress in developing, testing and operating solutions for this vital marine energy subsystem.“By working together, and reducing duplication of effort on developing moorings solutions, marine energy developers can focus on the most vital aspect of marine energy technology development aiding there move towards commercialization.”The free-to-attend event requires registration, the organizes have noted. Illustration/Oceanus wave energy device (Photo: Seatricity)last_img read more

Labor Day

first_imgHappy Labor Day!Labor Day is always the transition between summer and fall.  Pro football is starting, college football is here, and the September push to the Fall Classic of baseball is underway.  Pro basketball and hockey are just around the corner, and before you know it, high school basketball will begin.Have a great Labor Day!last_img

Indian Premier League IPL 2018, Highlights, DD vs RCB: Bangalore win by 5 wickets after Kohli, AB masterclass

first_img# RCB win by 5 wickets after AB de Villiers and Kohli show! # After 14 Overs RCB are 139/3# After 8 Overs RCB are 76/2# After 4 Overs RCB are 35/2, Kohli and AB de Villiers are at the crease# DD make 181/4 in 20 overs.# After 19 Overs DD are 168/4# After 18 Overs 161/4# After 12 Overs DD are 102/2# After 11 Overs DD are 87/2# After 6 Overs DD are 44/2# After 3 Overs DD are 16/1 # Virat Kohli: “The table is wide open. It is the right time to get a win for us. It was a great feeling playing in front of a big crowd. Surprising to see so much support for us in Delhi. Again not a clinical show with the ball. At this stage of the tournament, maybe we will prefer bowling first because the batsmen can take more responsibility. Ask the opposition team to get the runs and tell them we are coming to chase it down. I wasn’t happy with the way we finished with the ball, but AB told me that we can do this and that is what helped me get my focus back and then I let my instincts take over. We were looking to finish it with a few more overs to spare to help the net run rate, but the two points are very important.” # Shreyas Iyer: With the kind of start we got, getting to 180 I thought was more than enough. Unfortunately we weren’t able to defend this as well; we aren’t executing the plans we form in the dressing room. I don’t feel the pressure of captaincy at all. Today was one of those bad days when I couldn’t time the ball well at all. The only thing you can do to handle pressure is by scoring regularly. I have a few coaches and mentors whose inputs I take regularly. I wouldn’t like to take their names, just in case I forget someone. We are already making 3-4 changes in every game and we are hoping to set up our team for the next season. New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils host Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi in the Indian Premier League 2018.In a clash between two sides lying bottom of the table, it is going to be a fascinating battle of pride, with some big names set to play for their pride.Head to head: DD 6 – 13 RCB. Since 2011, RCB have won 12 out of the 13 completed games against DD, including a Super Over win.Highlights:# AB de Villiers (Man of the Match): “To be honest with you it felt a bit weired tonight. Luckily Mishy bowled me one full ball out there and luckily I got it away and that kick started my innings. I started off slowly, luckily Virat was going well at the other end. Started feeling much better after 10-15 balls. It’s admirable to see youngsters come here and perform well (talking about Lamichhane), very happy to be a part of a tournament like this. We play for a proud franchise, the management and my team meates and that is what motivates me.”center_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Indian Premier League News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. # Royal Challengers Bangalore have won the toss and have opted to fieldlast_img read more

USC seeks first win at McAlister Field

first_imgFor the USC women’s soccer team, its darkest days might be gone just in time for the squad’s final home stand of the season.The Women of Troy, fresh off their first Pac-12 victory of the season at Washington, return home to take on Arizona State and Arizona this weekend at McAllister Field, in what will be the final games several members of the team will play on their home turf.Last hurrah · Senior defender Ashley Freyer looks to lead USC to its first home victory of the year in the last homestand of her career. – Jaideep Chadha | Daily Trojan“For us seniors, we’ve wanted to win all season,” senior forward/defender Ashley Freyer said. “For a lot of us, this is the last time we’re going to play competitive soccer in front of families and fans. We want to win and put everything out on the field. We’d love to end it all on a good note.”USC will celebrate Senior Day on Sunday against the Wildcats — a festivity that will likely be made more enjoyable by a victory Friday afternoon against the Sun Devils.“We won last week, but this is a whole different week,” Freyer said. “We’ve got to prepare for Friday and take care of business then before we worry about anything else.”Like USC, both Arizona State and Arizona have undergone some growing pains in 2011. The Sun Devils are 2-4 in the Pac-12, and the Wildcats enter the weekend tied with the Women of Troy with just one conference victory apiece.“We can’t focus on other team’s records, really,” Schloemer said. “It’s just about us. We haven’t played up to our expectations either, so we’re just going to come out and play whoever we face as tough as we can.”Players also insist last weekend’s victory has loosened the team in time for the home stretch of the regular season.“It’s a big relief to get that first one out of the way,” Freyer said. “It came way later than we expected, but we finally got some bounces to go our way and it turned out well for us.Schloemer added that improvement has already been evident in the wake of the slump-busting win.“We celebrated like we’d won the World Cup when we beat [Washington],” Schloemer said. “Because of that weight being gone, we have a lot of confidence going into this weekend’s games. We had probably one of the best Tuesday-Wednesday practices that we’ve had all season, which is very promising.”USC can still finish with a winning record in the Pac-12 if the team wins its final five games, beginning with Arizona State and Arizona this weekend. Of USC’s five remaining opponents, only two have a winning record.The Women of Troy take on Arizona State on Friday at 3 p.m. and Arizona at 1 p.m. on Sunday for Senior Day and Fan Appreciation Day.last_img read more

Windy and Rainy as System Develops

first_imgGet ready for a windy, soaker of a weekend. An elongated area of low pressure is moving through the Straits of Florida and is expected to move northeastward to offshore of the Southeast Florida coast by Saturday morning. This area of lower pressure system is expected to develop into some type of a tropical system, possibly subtropical storm Arthur, this weekend as it nears the northwestern Bahamas. Locally, winds will slacken, and become light to perhaps gentle this weekend andearly next week.last_img read more

Decision made, Leafs Colton McCarthy off to Moose Jaw

first_imgMaida didn’t want to speculate on how the Leafs would replace McCarthy’s scoring.“To me losing Colton just gives someone else on the team the opportunity to step up and fill that spot,” Maida explained.McCarthy attended the Warriors camp.Moose Jaw management wanted McCarthy to stay, but the skillful sniper felt it was better to develop his game at the junior B level.Then in early November the Warriors put in a call to McCarthy to play for the WHL club during a three-game road trip to Medicine Hat, Calgary and Cranbrook to play the Kootenay Ice.Those three games have McCarthy confident the transition wouldn’t be that bumpy.“It was a great experience to play those games,” said McCarthy, with 20 goals and 10 assists in 25 games.“While I think it may take a couple of games to get comfortable, once I’m there I know I’ll be fine.”Leaf fans get one more chance to see their star in action Saturday when the Leafs host the Kimberley Dynamiters.One more opportunity to see the rookie weave his magic on the ice at the NDCC Arena before leaving for the bright lights of Tier I Junior A.“It was a hard decision,” McCarthy confessed.“I had to think about it a lot before I finally decided this was the right time to go to Moose Jaw.”It’s tough to leave Nelson but hopefully the guys get to the Cyclone (Taylor Cup, Junior B Hockey Championship) and do really well there.”And hopefully their teammate shows what Leaf hockey is all about in the Dub. Fans watching Colton McCarthy weave his way through the Grand Forks defence before setting up teammate Colton Schell for Nelson’s first goal during Wednesday’s 4-1 win at the NDCC Arena may want to file that image into their memory banks.Because there may not be very many more spectacular plays coming from the 16-year-old Salmon Arm rookie in a Green and White jersey after McCarthy accepted an offer to join the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League.McCarthy leaves Sunday for the prairies to begin his Tier I Junior Hockey career.“The Moose Jaw GM (Alan Millar) phoned me up Friday while I was in school and told me they’d like to call me up for the rest of the year,” McCarthy said before Thursday’s Leaf practice at the NDCC Arena.“While I’m very excited with the offer I’m sad that I’ll have to leave the boys here in Nelson. . . . I love it here.”McCarthy has been everything Leaf head coach Frank Maida could hope for in a rookie.His gifted hands have made him a threat to score whenever he’s been on the ice.The 6-foot, 170-pound center scored twice in his first game as a junior, and tallied in five of the first six games.McCarthy is second in goals scored in entire KIJHL — two behind Spencer Samuel of Revelstoke — and has scored in 14 of Nelson’s 29 games.“My first concern is this the right move for Colton, but that’s our goal as an organization, to develop players for the next level,” said Leaf coach Frank Maida, who last season saw sniper Patrick Martens leave the hockey team for the BCHL midway through the season.“We’ve always move players up to Junior A, but I don’t think we’ve seen one go to the WHL.”last_img read more

Knighthood for SA businessman

first_img15 June 2005South African property and insurance magnate Donald Gordon has been awarded a knighthood for his service to the arts and business, reports Business Day.Gordon, who holds both UK and South African citizenship, built up two successful business empires, Liberty Life in South Africa and top UK property company Liberty International. He was named in the Queen’s birthday honours list last weekend, the paper reports.“I’m obviously very pleased about the recognition,” he told Business Day on Monday. “I have had British nationality for 21 months.”Gordon has made significant donations to British opera.Last year the Sunday Times reported that his £20-million (R248-million) sponsorship of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and the renamed Donald Gordon Opera Theatre in Cardiff could earn him a knighthood. It is believed that this is the largest single private donation ever made to the arts in the UK.Gordon, who will turn 75 next week, emphasised that he still had strong ties with South Africa, the country of his birth, according to Business Day.“I am a dual citizen of the UK and South Africa. I am a very happy South African citizen and I am a very happy British one – I am very fond of both countries.”Gordon retired from Liberty Life in 1999, but still contributes to many South African charities.The Donald Gordon Foundation, formed in the early 1970s, is the largest private charity in Southern Africa.The Sunday Times reports that its donations include R100-million to Wits University for the Donald Gordon Medical Centre.The Gordon Institute of Business Science is named in recognition of Gordon’s contribution to South African business, and Gordon’s R30-million endowment to the institute.Gordon told Business Day he would like to “resuscitate the ballet and opera world” in South Africa. “I am prepared to put in a lot of effort if I can find the right route in.”In 1957 Gordon, a chartered accountant by profession, founded Liberty Life Association of Africa with initial capital of R100 000. By the time he retired as chair of Liberty Life in 1999, the company was valued at over R40-billion.At the time Liberty Life was the largest listed life company and the third-largest life insurance company in South Africa, and was also listed on the London Stock Exchange.Gordon co-founded UK company Abbey Life Insurance, which has since become one of the largest life companies in the UK and is a major subsidiary of Lloyds Bank.In 1980 Gordon founded Liberty International, a £5-billion (R62-billion) shopping centre and commercial real estate business and the third-largest property company in the UK.Gordon will retire from Liberty International at the end of this month, Business Day reports. The company has invited him to stay on as president for life.In October 2000 Gordon received the UK Entrepreneur of the Year Special Award for Lifetime Achievement. In December 1999 he was cited as the “Achiever of the Century in South African Financial Services” by the Financial Mail, the leading South African business reporterlast_img read more