08/31/2014

Protesters Target Anti-gay World Congress of Families Conference in Melbourne: VIDEO

Protest

The anti-gay, anti-abortion World Congress of Families conference being held this weekend in Melbourne was hit with further setbacks after a wave of some 100 protesters showed up and attempted to block the entrance to the venue.  

The Guardian reports:

Protest2Many speakers, including the American campaigner Angela Lanfranchi, who planned to speak on the thoroughly debunked link between breast cancer and abortion, were unable to get through the gates in their cars. Their path was blocked by protesters holding signs with slogans such as “Our bodies are our property” and “Women are not incubators”.

More than 30 police officers formed their own barrier on the opposite side of the gate in the quiet street of Star Crescent, located in an industrial area. It forced attendees to trickle through the gates one by one as church security struggled to establish whether they had registered. The Monty Python satirical song Every Sperm is Sacred boomed from a sound system organised by protesters.

The paper adds that shortly after the conference began, a protester dressed in white and covered in fake blood stormed the stage inside and began screaming "We don't want your backyard abortions!" She was then dragged away by security as attendees chanted "Pray for her"

Check out a Sky News report on the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photos via Facebook]

Continue reading "Protesters Target Anti-gay World Congress of Families Conference in Melbourne: VIDEO"

Posted Aug. 31,2014 at 9:00 AM EST by in Australia, Evangelical Christians, Gay Rights | Permalink | Comments (4)


Legal Victories For Gay Parents Across The Globe: Roundup

Part-MVD-Mvd6632313-1-1-0

Last week, gay parents in three different nations celebrated several significant wins within the court systems of their respective countries. The courts granted fundamental custodial rights to gay families in Colombia, Italy and Switzerland.

On Thursday, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled that Veronica Botero could legally adopt the biological child of her lesbian partner, Ana Leiderman. Five years ago, Leiderman underwent artificial insemination to have the child, whom her partner helped raise since birth. The AFP news agency reports:

With six votes for and three abstentions, the court ruled that Leiderman, who underwent artificial insemination to conceive her daughter and raised her together with Botero, had the right to request an adoption by her partner regardless of sex.

"The court considered that the discriminatory criterion the administrative authority had used to deny the adoption procedure... was unacceptable in this case, which involves a consensual adoption in which the biological father or mother consents to an adoption by his or her permanent partner," said chief justice Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva.

This ruling, however, does not allow adoption by gay couples in cases wherein neither is the biological parent of the child.

Meanwhile in Italy, a court in that country also ruled that a woman could adopt the biological child of her partner. The online news site The Local reports:

In this case, the non-biological parent was allowed to adopt the child due to a clause in Article 44 of Italy’s adoption law of 1983, which prioritises “the best interest of the child in order to maintain the emotional relationship and cohabi-tation with the ‘social’ parent,” Pili added, such as the person who has raised the child other than the biological parent.

“This particular article of adoption law does not discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual parents,” she said

The court ruling was described as an “historic step for our country” by the gay rights group, Mario Mieli Society for Gay Culture.

In Switzerland, a court in the northern part of that country has ruled that a gay couple are legally the parents of a child born to the men via surrogate in California. 

The American birth certificate was based on a California court decision by which the surrogate mother and her husband abandoned their parental responsibilities for the newborn. The Saint Gallen cantonal department responsible for births and marriages supported the two men but the Swiss federal justice department appealed the canton’s decision, which brought the case to court.

The court ruling dated August 19th partially recognized one concern of the justice department by requiring the genetic parentage of the child to be registered as part of the birth certificate. However, in its decision the court clearly recognizes the two men as fathers. “The administrative court recognized the judgment from the United States,” Karin Hochl, the lawyer for the gay couple told SDA.

This ruling can be appealed and then brought to the Swiss Supreme Court. No word yet if there are plans to do so.

Posted Aug. 31,2014 at 8:00 AM EST by in Colombia, Gay Adoption, Italy, News, Switzerland | Permalink | Comments (2)


08/30/2014

Plaintiffs in Oklahoma and Virginia Gay Marriage Cases Ask Supreme Court to Weigh In

Earlier this week, we reported that  plaintiffs in the case challenging Utah's ban on same-sex marriage have filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to finally weigh in on the question of whether all citizens have a fundamental right to marry. 

ScotusNow, the plaintiffs challenging gay marriage bans in Oklahoma and Virginia have similarly followed suit and asked the highest court in the land to review their cases as well, The Advocate reports:

When the justices return from vacation in late September, they'll likely find unanimous agreement from all parties that they should consider a marriage equality case. But which cases the court will pick remains in question.

It's worth noting that the cases would have reached the Supreme Court even if the plaintiffs hadn't filed their petitions. The defendants in the cases — attorneys representing the states — have filed petitions as well.

Previously, the same-sex couples serving as plaintiffs in all three states won major victories at the district court and appellate level. UtahOklahoma, and Virginia all enjoyed an unbroken string of victories for the freedom to marry. Ordinarily, the victorious side would oppose a rehearing, as it runs the risk of overturning the decision. But the motivation behind the plaintiffs' briefs boils down to their desire to expand their victories nationwide.

The court has the option of taking up one case, multiple cases, or none at all and could defer a decision until next June. 

Posted Aug. 30,2014 at 5:00 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Oklahoma, Supreme Court, Utah, Virginia | Permalink | Comments (2)


Michael Sam Fails to Make St. Louis Rams Final Cut

Sam

Early reports are coming in that Michael Sam has failed to make the St. Louis Rams' final cut and will not be on the team's 53-man roster.  

Sam was widely seen to be competing for the ninth spot on the defensive line with fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Tweeted Sam:

Outsports reports that Sam will be available to the other 31 teams for 24 hours.

If he gets claimed, he will have a spot on the roster of that team. If he is not claimed, he can be added to the Rams' 10-man practice squad. This means he can practice with the team but not play, and his salary would be much less than the $440,000 he would get for making the roster; practice players are guaranteed a minimum salary of $6,300 per week for the 17-week season.

All throughout the preseason, Sam had been demonstrating his prowess on the field as defensive end - including an impressive sacking of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel ("Johnny Football") during last week match-up. 

Earlier this week, Rams' head coach Jeff Fisher praised Sams' performance, saying "I believe he can play in this league"

[photo via Instagram]

Posted Aug. 30,2014 at 4:10 PM EST by in Michael Sam, NFL | Permalink | Comments (42)


Towletech v.121: Game of Thrones VFX, Mars Rocket, Google Cars, 3D-Printed Castles, Apple iWatch

Attenborough

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road A new Jurassic Park set photo reveals a tribute statue for John Hammond - the park's eccentric founder played by actor Lord Richard Attenborough who passed away Monday at the age of 90.

Road 'Spiral of silence' - Facebook users are shying away from discussing hot-button political/social issues out of fear that others will disagree.

Road Even video game characters are taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Road If you're as big of a Game of Thrones nerd as me, you'll love this behind the scenes video of how the show's Emmy-award winning visual effects come to life. 

Road NASA sets a 2018 launch date for the rocket that will eventually take us to Mars.

ComicRoad The GOP has a retro-style new video game that helps teach you why it's so important for them to retake the Senate in this year's midterm elections.

Road The world's most expensive Superman comic just sold for $3.2 million on eBay. 

Road A Shutter Island TV series is being developed by HBO. 

Road Amazon to buy livestreaming video platform site Twitch for nearly $1 billion. 

Road Reports are hinting that Apple's iWatch may be coming to stores early 2015. 

Road How virtual reality could lead to an explosion in "immersive journalism" content: 

Road Star Wars' new, streamlined canon has offically begun with the release of the new book Star Wars: A New Dawn

Road Avoiding potholes, navigating through rain and four other simple things that Google's self-driving cars still can't handle

CastleRoad Engineer builds gorgeous 3D-printed castle in his backyard garden. No word yet on any dragon sightings. 

Road Liam Neeson wants to reprise his Batman Begins role as Ra's Al Ghul on the Arrow TV series.  

Road Check out the incredible hi-resolution imagery coming soon to Google Maps. 

Road Smartphone "kill switch" becomes law in California. 

Road Nintendo has a new 3DS handheld coming to Japan. 

Road Apparently Thor, the God of Thunder, has found himself working for Amazon's customer support line during his down time between films. 

Posted Aug. 30,2014 at 3:00 PM EST by in Future Tech, Tech, TowleTech | Permalink | Comments (0)


Mourners Pay Respect to Slain LGBT Advocate Kelly Phillips While Murder Suspect Remains at Large: VIDEO

Phillips
(image facebook)

Hundreds of mourners turned out on Thursday for Kelly Phillips, a Minneapolis executive and activist who was gunned down at a gas station by a still-at-large suspect believed to be his former lover and business partner Ty Hoffman, the Star Tribune reports:

Thursday evening, the service at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis included elected and corporate leaders, such as the chief compliance officer from Boston Scientific, where Phillips was also active in an employees’ group that promoted equality.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Richard Carlbom, chair of Minnesotans United’s campaign for gay marriage equality, delivered eulogies that spoke of Phillips’ political activism, social work and charitable contributions.

He was long an activist for the LGBT community.

KMSP adds: Ty_hoffman

Phillips and his fiancé planned to marry on Saturday. Instead, a nationwide manhunt is underway. It's been two and a half weeks since the Twin Cities businessman who co-founded Lush Food Bar was gunned down at a gas station by his former boyfriend and business partner, Ty Hoffman. During the ceremony, Thunder Bay police momentarily thought they'd be able to answer the prayers of those hoping for Hoffman's arrest; however, they later confirmed that Hoffman had not been found. Currently, there is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest and conviction. He is believed to be armed and dangerous, and anyone who sees him is urged to call 911.

Watch KSTP's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mourners Pay Respect to Slain LGBT Advocate Kelly Phillips While Murder Suspect Remains at Large: VIDEO"

Posted Aug. 30,2014 at 2:00 PM EST by in Crime, Minneapolis, Minnesota, News | Permalink | Comments (8)


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