Second Circuit Rules Section 3 of DOMA Unconstitutional in <i>Windsor v. USA</i> | Scottie Thomaston The Second Circuit has just issued its opinion in Windsor v. USA, striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. Edith Windsor is an 83-year-old widow who lost her wife in 2009 and was subsequently stuck with more than $363,000 in estate taxes -- money she would not have had to pay if she were in a heterosexual marriage. She challenged Section 3 of DOMA, which limits federal recognition of marriage only to opposite-sex marriages. The Second Circuit's ruling applied heightened scrutiny, or "intermediate scrutiny," as they called it in the opinion. The judges wrote that there are four factors to consider when applying heightened scrutiny, and that gays and lesbians satisfy all of them: They argued that the law could potentially pass the lower standard of review, as both the Justice Department (opposing DOMA) and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (defending DOMA on behalf of House Republicans) had argued to the Second Circuit.
Justice Department Files Lawsuit in Mississippi to Protect the Constitutional Rights of Children The Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against the city of Meridian, Miss.; Lauderdale County, Miss.; judges of the Lauderdale County Youth Court; and the state of Mississippi alleging that the defendants systematically violate the due process rights of juveniles. The litigation seeks remedies for violations of the Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The complaint alleges that the defendants help to operate a school-to-prison pipeline in which the rights of children in Meridian are repeatedly and routinely violated. As a result, children in Meridian have been systematically incarcerated for allegedly committing minor offenses, including school disciplinary infractions, and are punished disproportionately without due process of law. The students most affected by this system are African-American children and children with disabilities. The department issued findings on Aug. 10, 2012 after a comprehensive investigation that began in December 2011.
The University of Stirling, Scotland... Days Without a GOP Rape Mention Romney: 'Some Gays Are Actually Having Children. It's Not Right on Paper. It's Not Right in Fact.' | Michelangelo Signorile We've witnessed many Mitt Romneys, but the one unearthed by the Boston Globe's Murray Waas yesterday is perhaps the most vicious and cruel: a zealot who, as Massachusetts governor, became hellbent on stigmatizing the children of gay and lesbian parents, labeling these kids as outcasts and causing them to suffer hardship throughout their lives. Waas reveals how, after gays and lesbians in Massachusetts won the right to marry in 2003, Governor Romney wouldn't allow the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics to revise birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The plan was to have the box for "father," for example, relabeled "father or second parent." Those children would then go through life with birth certificates that marked them as strange, abnormal, less than everyone else, punished because Romney didn't approve of their parents. Romney hadn't even previously fathomed that gay people had children. Also on The Huffington Post: Close
The hierarchy of hexagons | Overthinking my teaching True confessions: I find a great deal of the school geometry canon tedious. Does a trapezoid have exactly one or at least one set of opposite parallel sides? Circumcenters and orthocenters. Dull, dull, dull. School geometry seems to me one of the most lifeless topics in all of mathematics. And the worst of all? This representation of relationships among the special quadrilaterals bored me in fourth grade and I cannot muster energy for it as an adult. So a year ago, I had an insight; an idea about breathing some life into this dead horse. We began with these: We cut these out. Students identified this one as being special because it has all right angles: We clarified, defined interior angle and right angle, and agreed that this hexagon is special because it has exactly five right angles. Students identified the next figure as being special because it has three congruent acute angles. Again, we needed a name and it became a Stacy. My students proved that no Bob is equilateral. Total time?
Bizarre Micro-Planets Made From Hundreds of Landscape Photos While working on films like Moulin Rouge and 300, photographer Catherine Nelson learned cutting edge compositing techniques that she’s now using to make fantastical planets out of her favorite landscapes. “I guess you could say that they are impossible photos that are absolutely inspired by the real,” she says. “They are my interpretation of the environment around me.” Inspired by the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel, who was known for including several different scenes in one painting, Nelson said she chose the shape of a circle — as opposed to a traditional rectangle — because it allowed her to do something similar. She wanted to take the best moments from a various landscapes and piece them together in one frame. Working in the movie industry as a compositor, she would often combine multiple elements — live shots, green-screen shots, still images, etc. — into one scene using meticulous digital manipulation. “I was definitely exposed to all the latest techniques,” she says.
In Defence of Amanda Todd | Elizabeth Plank If you thought Amanda Todd's suicide was the biggest tragedy you'd be reading about this week, think again. News of her death has sparked a flood of online hate and created fertile ground for a new crop of bullies to bloom in the wake of her death, cross-breeding with those that drove her to the brink in life. The result? A new strain of oppression that could not predate the digital age - a cyber-org bully, who does not die with its victim, who furthers the protagonist's suffering well into the epilogue. Amanda Todd's story is not one that could have been told thirty years ago. They would have given to Amanda her burial rites. "Images and comments making light of Todd's death and suggesting she deserved to be bullied are flooding a Facebook memorial page dedicated to the teen -- so many that Facebook can't remove them fast enough." Many are saying that because "she had no respect for herself", she is undeserving of the world's compassion. Hold the phone. Oh maybe this. Close null
Gender Focus | Vamps, Prom Queens and Sluts: Covering the Women of the Petraeus Scandal by Jarrah Hodge Earlier today I joined Mother Jones writer Kate Sheppard on CTV News Channel to talk about the way that some news media and blogs have been portraying the women involved in the recent scandal around David Petraeus. I can’t embed the video clip but you can watch it online here if you’re interested. I wanted to pull out some lowlights of the media portrayals, in case there are any readers who haven’t seen how widespread the sexist stereotyping was. Here are some of the most common ways the main players have been portrayed, along with responses from writers like Sheppard. Hollister (Holly) Petraeus, a.k.a. Perhaps the most oversimplified woman in this situation is Holly Petraeus, the David Petraeus’ wife of 37 years. One particularly disgusting example is a photo essay at Camera Lucida called “How Women Contribute to Straying Husbands”. Says the author: The sad thing is that Holly Petraeus was attractive and pretty as a young woman. Ha ha, don’t worry! Jill Kelley, a.k.a.
Gap Pulls 'Manifest Destiny' Shirts After Outrage, Twitter Response Up until Monday afternoon, Gap Inc. was selling a controversial men's t-shirt with the words "Manifest Destiny" sprawled across the chest. The shirt went on sale close to a month ago but it wasn't until a UCLA student started a Change.org petition urging the Gap to stop selling the shirt that the news went viral. "This article of clothing promotes a belief that has resulted in the mass genocide of indigenous people, and it serves to normalize oppression," explains the Change.org petition. "This shirt is marketed to teens and young adults, and it gives no context for the racism and inequality that persists in our society, to this day, as a result of this doctrine." The shirt was created by Mark McNairy, a designer chosen by GQ magazine as one of America's Best New Designers, and the shirt is part of a collection branded "GQ x Gap." When McNairy heard his work was promoting "a belief that has resulted in mass genocide" he took to Twitter to stir up even more controversy. "MANIFEST DESTINY.
A Year in Jail for Not Stating the Power of God? How Kentucky Office of Homeland Security May Be Violating the Separation of Church and State November 21, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. In Kentucky, a law requires the state’s Office of Homeland Security to post a plaque recognizing the power of the Almighty God--and violating this law could result in 12 months in prison. The law and its sponsor, state representative Tom Riner, have been the subject of controversy since the law first surfaced in 2006, yet the Kentucky state Supreme Court has refused to review its constitutionality, despite clearly violating the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. "This is one of the most egregiously and breathtakingly unconstitutional actions by a state legislature that I've ever seen," said Edwin Kagin, the legal director of American Atheists', a national organization focused defending the civil rights of atheists. Tom Riner, a Baptist minister and the long-time Democratic state representative, sponsored the law. "We believe dependence on God is essential. ...
“I’m not a feminist or anything, but…” | The McGill Daily When I was in second year, I took a class called Women’s Reproductive Health. In this class, we were told to choose a topic for our group presentation. I chose ‘The Influence of the Media on Adolescent Sexuality,’ a topic that particularly interests me. The day before the presentation, our group of five came together to review the material. While looking through Tom Ford’s advertisements that depict women as purely sexual objects, I heard a fellow group member exclaim, “I mean, I’m not a feminist or anything, but that is disgusting.” That was the first time I had heard that phrase. It is clear that the word ‘feminist’ has become stigmatized. Is it that people believe that feminism is no longer needed? If feminism were no longer needed, I would not be afraid that I would be sexually assaulted when I walk home alone at night. If feminism were no longer needed, the wage gap would not still be 71 cents to the dollar in Canada. Like any movement, there is no one definition of feminism.
Woman Vs. Internet: How Anita Sarkeesian beat the trolls Gaming, undeniably, has an inherent problem with gender equality. Our industry is largely dominated by men. As a medium it has, for most of its history, targeted itself firmly at the young male demographic, making the vast majority of its money from men aged 14-25. Games are made by men, for men. More recently that has begun to change, the advent of new business models and forms of distribution opening new genres to female audiences of all ages - proving to developers and publishers alike that there's money to be made from broadening games' appeal. Exact numbers vary, depending on who you listen to, but it's widely accepted that somewhere between 30 and 45 per cent of all gamers are female, with many titles counting women of various age-groups as their most profitable demographic. Anita Sarkeesian And yet, the business still alienates and marginalises huge numbers of potential female customers by proliferating harmfully stereotypical and insulting portrayals of women.
Romney Proudly Explains How He's Turned Campaign Around BOSTON—For weeks many Beltway insiders had written off the Romney campaign as dead, saying the candidate had dug himself into too deep a hole with too little time to recover. However, with a month to go before ballots are cast, Romney has pulled even with President Obama, and the former Massachusetts governor credits his rejuvenated campaign to one, singular tactic: lying a lot. “I’m lying a lot more, and my lies are far more egregious than they’ve ever been,” a smiling Romney told reporters while sitting in the back of his campaign bus, adding that when faced with a choice to either lie or tell the truth, he will more than likely lie. “It’s a strategy that works because when I lie, I’m essentially telling people what they want to hear, and people really like hearing things they want to hear. Even if they sort of know that nothing I’m saying is true.” Romney said he is telling at least 80 percent more lies now than he was two months ago.