Archives for FUBAR

Right-wing stalling still hampers gay marriage in some states

Brianna Watts and Rachel Duncan hoped that this time it would be different — this time the clerk behind the counter wouldn’t say no. Three months ago, the Greenville, South Carolina, couple had gone to the probate judge’s office with paperwork in hand, knowing there was no way the clerk would accept their application for a marriage license because of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. But Wednesday was different. The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday not to hear any appeals from states seeking to keep their gay marriage bans had given hope to Watts and Duncan
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Changes ahead for the Secret Service?

Key members of Congress are weighing dramatic changes to the embattled Secret Service, including moving it out of the Homeland Security Department and breaking up its mission. The proposals come as lawmakers assess how to improve the agency after a series of scandals, including a White House break-in by a man with a knife last month. The agency’s director, Julia Pierson, resigned amid the controversy, but lawmakers are promising they’ll continue their focus once Congress reconvenes after the Nov. 4 midterm elections. In the latest development, The Washington Post reported Thursday on evidence implicating a White House advance team member
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Extra screening at airports now for Ebola

President Barack Obama calls it a “belt and suspenders” approach — an extra level of screening at five major U.S. airports to try to catch any travelers from Ebola-ravaged countries who may be carrying the disease. About 150 travelers a day will have their temperatures checked using no-touch thermometers, and health officials expect false alarms from fevers due to malaria. The extra screening probably wouldn’t have singled out Thomas Eric Duncan when he arrived from hard-hit Liberia last month, because he had no symptoms while traveling. Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., died Wednesday
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Some right wing states will try to hold on to gay marriage bans

Officials in some conservative states, where Supreme Court action could clear the way for same-sex weddings, say they won’t issue marriage licenses to gay couples until their hands are forced. Gay rights advocates are preparing and filing new federal lawsuits to do just that. On Monday, the nation’s highest court refused to take up appeals from five states seeking to preserve their gay marriage bans. Six other states — Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming — would be bound by those same appellate rulings that were put on hold. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt noted that,
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Americans live longer but suicides increase

Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report filled mostly with good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell. Rates also dropped or held steady for nearly all the leading causes of death. The one exception: The suicide rate reached its highest point in 25 years. That figure has been increasing since 2000 and “it’s really hard to say why,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention branch that issued the report Wednesday. The yearly report looked at deaths in 2012. It found: — U.S. life
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Kerry facing the task to keep Iran from gaining nukes

With a late-November deadline approaching, America’s top diplomat is plunging back into Iranian nuclear talks with one eye on his adversary and the other on developments at home, as pressure rises in Washington for a deal ensuring the Islamic republic cannot become a nuclear state. The prospect of a Republican takeover of the Senate means Secretary of State John Kerry will be on a tight leash. Kerry, European Union negotiator Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will gather in Vienna next week, diplomats say. Another negotiating round is expected shortly after to include Britain, China, France, Germany
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A rock & hard place for Republicans on gay marriage

It took just a few words for the Supreme Court to deal with the question of whether gay marriage is legal. For Republicans thinking about running for the White House in 2016, it won’t be that easy. The court’s decision Monday to reject appeals from five states that sought to prohibit same-sex marriage reignited a debate inside the GOP between pragmatic Republican officials eager to avoid a fight over a divisive social issue and religious conservatives, a vocal minority that vowed to redouble its efforts and punish those unwilling to join them. “For us, it’s over in Wisconsin,” said Republican
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Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage as law of the land

The Supreme Court unexpectedly cleared the way Monday for a dramatic expansion of gay marriage in the United States and may have signaled that it’s only a matter of time before same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states. Rejecting appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans, the Supreme Court effectively made such marriages legal in 30 states, up from 19 and the District of Columbia, taking in every region of the country. Challenges are pending in the other 20 states. Almost immediately, exuberant couples began receiving marriage licenses previously denied to them. “This is the dream day,”
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Same sex marriages now a happening in the South

Gay and lesbian couples are getting legally married in the South for the first time, crossing a threshold into a conservative region that long stood united against same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday to turn away appeals from a handful of states including Virginia means marriage bans are unconstitutional throughout the 4th U.S. Circuit. And that means similar bans in West Virginia and North and South Carolina should fall as soon as judges in each state follow through on the appellate court’s orders. Carol Schall and Mary Townley of Chesterfield County challenged Virginia’s ban, wanting their California marriage
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A state-by-state roundup on gay marriage laws

The Supreme Court declined to hear a set of appeals on gay marriage, in one fell swoop effectively raising the number of states where the practice is legal from 19 to 30, in addition to Washington, D.C. Here’s the legal status of gay marriage in all 50 states: ___ WHERE GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL (And when it was legalized): ___ — CALIFORNIA (2013) — COLORADO (Oct. 6, 2014) — Pueblo and Larimer counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples Monday, although official guidance from state Attorney General John Suthers is still pending. — CONNECTICUT (2008) — DELAWARE (2013) —
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