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Tag Archives: freedom
Image 1 of 9:Pink Floyds Roger Waters: The longtime BDS supporter has urged musicians via pro-Pal blog Electronic Intifada to boycott Israel for its apartheid crimes and ethnic cleansing and to not accept awards or funding from the state until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.
Image 1 of 9:Doggy Style! Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. AKA Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion, if you’re hip enough) was once quoted as telling Palestinian-American hip hop producer Fredwreck Why they building a wall around yalls peoples shit. Thats f**ked up, cuz. Word. Poetry can be found in the most unlikely places! And Snoop is keepin it real, yo!
Image 1 of 9:Coldplay: This British rock quartet courted controversy by promoting Freedom OneWorlds 2011 single Freedom for Palestine and its video featuring a keffiyeh-clad breakdancer, scenes of IDF checkpoints, and the West Bank wall. The band backed full exposure of Palestinian realities to new audiences; strengthening the global call for change.
Image 1 of 9:Elvis Costello: Singer/songwriter Costello quit his 2010 Israeli bookings, stating, “There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act, and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.” He said his decision was a matter of instinct and conscience.
Image 1 of 9:Cassandra Wilson: U.S. jazz vocalist Wilson called off her gig at the 2012 Womens Festival in Holon, Israel, following appeals by BDS activists. In a press statement issued just before she was to hop on her Tel Aviv flight, the Grammy-winner announced, as a human rights activist, I identify with the cultural boycott of Israel.
Image 1 of 9:Carlos Santana: The guitar legend announced in January that he was canceling a show slated for June, citing scheduling difficulties. Could politics have been a factor? Santana was allegedly the target of a BDS campaign calling on him to cancel his Tel Aviv concert, or could it have been pressure from a Black Magic Woman?
Image 1 of 9:Stevie Wonder cancelled a 2012 Los Angeles concert in support of the Israel Defense Forces. “Given the delicate situation in the Middle East, and with a heart that has always cried for world unity, I will not be performing at the FIDF Gala,” this UN goodwill ambassador said, “I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere.”
Image 1 of 9:Cat Power: Singer-songwriter Chan Marshall, better known by her stage name Cat Power, canceled her Israeli shows, tweeting that, due to much confusion in her soul over such unrest between Israel and Palestine, she couldnt perform. She added, I feel sick in my spirit.
Image 1 of 9:100s of Irish Artists: In 2010, Irish acts launched a cultural boycott stating they wouldnt exhibit or perform in Israel “until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal human rights”; over 300 Irish artists support BDS. The Irish do speak their mind, as the proverb goes, Tis often a mans mouth breaks his nose.
Last week marked Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), the annual international series of awareness-raising events that shines a media high-beam on Israels escalating apartheid policies towards Palestine.
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A federal judge on Wednesday declared Texas ban on gay marriage unconstitutional but left the ban in place while an appeals court considers the matter.
The judge, Orlando Garcia of U.S. District Court in San Antonio, wrote that the states marriage laws demean the dignity of gay couples for no legitimate reason.
Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution, the judge wrote.
The Texas ban was approved by voters in 2005 and passed with 76 percent of the vote. Two gay couples were challenging it a Texas couple who wanted to marry and a couple who married in Massachusetts and wanted it recognized by Texas.
What it really marks is one more voice that of Judge Garcias joining the chorus that is arising around the country on same-sex marriage and marriage equality, Barry Chasnoff, a lawyer for the couples, told NBC News. All our clients ever wanted was the right to be treated with respect and dignity and this judge says they should have it.
One of the couples, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, said in a statement: We are extremely happy happy beyond words with Judge Garcia’s decision. Having been together almost 17 years, we look forward to the day when we can get married and when all gay Texans enjoy equal rights to marry as well.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who was named as a defendant in the suit challenging the ban, vowed to continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state.
Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens, he said in a statement. The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldnt be achieved at the ballot box.
Greg Abbott, the Republican attorney general and a candidate for governor, said that the state would appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans.
Gay marriage is legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia, and nationwide public opinion polls consistently show a majority of people support it. Judges in Oklahoma and Virginia struck down gay-marriage bans in those states but left the bans in place pending appeal.
Details Published on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 14:33
Gay marriages are bad for children/Google ImagesAP: Lawyers who are appealing a federal judge’s ruling that overturned Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage said in a court filing Monday that legalizing gay marriage would harm children, undermine society and make traditional marriages unstable.
The Alliance Defending Freedom cited courts and anthropologists, saying children are better off in a home with a mother and a father. It said traditional couples would be less likely to marry, or stay together, if marriage became a genderless institution not focused on procreation.
U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled last month against Tulsa County Court Clerk Sally Howe Smith, whose office refused to grant a marriage license to two women who wanted to marry. Monday’s appeal is the first step in the process ahead of an April 17 hearing before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
In its court filing Monday, Alliance said marriages should be about children, not adults.
“Marriage encourages mothers and fathers to remain together and care for the children born of their union,” the group’s 93-page filing said. Severing the link, it said, “would powerfully convey that marriage exists to advance adult desires rather than serving children’s needs.”
Citing a court opinion from 1888 19 years before Oklahoma’s statehood Alliance said marriage “is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress,” and cited a 1978 ruling that said traditional marriage was “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the (human) race.”
Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, who had applied for the marriage license, issued a statement Monday night saying Alliance’s brief relies “on outdated and debunked science as far as saying that children need both a mother and a father.”
“(W)e believe they’re wrong that marriage is only about children. While many couples who wish to marry, both heterosexual and homosexual, want children, many others are infertile, are elderly or simply do not want children,” they said.
In his ruling, Kern said Oklahoma, by enforcing the ban, violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause because it precludes same-sex couples from receiving an Oklahoma marriage license.
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UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk at the United Nation’s Geneva headquarters, June 11, 2013 (Photo: Associated Press)Israel’s “systematic oppression” of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza appears to constitute the “inhuman” and “degrading” practice of “apartheid,” charged a United Nations investigator.
Richard Falk, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, chronicles Israel’s human rights abuses in a searing 22-page report to the U.N. Human Rights Council his final report after six years in the position. “Through prolonged occupation, with practices and policies which appear to constitute apartheid and segregation, ongoing expansion of settlements, and continual construction of the wall arguably amounting to de facto annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, the denial by Israel of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is evident,” he writes.
Danny Muller, coordinator for Middle East Children’s Alliance, told Common Dreams, “This report further documents the human rights violations committed against Palestinians violations that happen every day under the US -funded Israeli occupation and apartheid system.”
In East Jerusalem, the “revocation of residency permits” and “forced evictions of Palestinian families,” as well as targeted demolition of Palestinian homes, amounts to a “gradual and bureaucratic process of ethnic cleansing,” Falk writes.
In the West Bank, Palestinians are subject to military law and face systematic violation of their freedom of movement, assembly, and expression, as well as their rights to education and work, according to the report. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers live under a civilian legal code and enjoy rights that Palestinians living in close proximity do not.
The report charges that the “denial and lack of protection of Palestinian childrens rights” is built into the “Israeli military legal regime.” An average of 700 Palestinian children are detained and prosecuted every year, and between January to October of 2013, 441 Palestinian children were displaced due to Israeli demolition of their homes, the report states. A tragic 344 children were killed by Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” attack on Gaza in 2008 and 2009, the report notes.
“Can anyone explain why collective punishment against children is allowed to continue?” asked Muller.
Faulk writes that the “unlawful” Israeli blockade of Gaza, combined with the ongoing occupation and continued military incursions, has contributed to “a serious emergency situation… that threatens the entire population.” He continues, “The present situation is dire, as massive infrastructural failures cause daily hardship for the population, who are also at risk of epidemics.”
Listed under “Acts potentially amounting to segregation and apartheid,” Falk includes the “continuing excessive use of force by Israeli security forces (ISF) and a lack of accountability for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.” He slams “lethal force against demonstrators,” as well as the “policy of targeted killing, which resulted in the killing of 369 Palestinians during the period September 2000 December 2013.” Faulk charges that, “on average, for every person killed as a target of ISF, one or two other persons have been killed in any given operation.”
The document, which was reportedly scheduled to be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council next month, was published last week by pro-Israel group U.N. Watch.
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A national gay-rights group on Monday launched a $1 million campaign designed to increase support for same-sex marriage in Texas and eight other Southern states.
Freedom to Marry, based in New York, said the South is home to most of about 50 federal lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage bans, including three in Texas. A San Antonio judge is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days on one of lawsuits, filed by same-sex couples from Austin and Plano who argue that the Texas ban is unconstitutional.
The Texas co-chairs for the effort, called Southerners for the Freedom to Marry, are Mark McKinnon, who was chief media adviser to former President George W. Bush, and U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio.
As a conservative, I dont believe you or I or the government can tell people who they can love or marry. Freedom means freedom for everyone, not just for some, McKinnon said in a statement released by Freedom to Marry. The political reality is that the marriage wedge has lost its edge. This train has left the station and we all need to get on board.
The Southern campaign is part of a wider strategy to build momentum toward a U.S. Supreme Court decision that would overturn bans on gay marriage by increasing public support for same-sex marriage and add to the 17 states that allow the practice, the organization said.
Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, which opposes same-sex marriage, predicted that Texans will reject politically motivated efforts to redefine marriage and weaken religious liberty and free speech.
The idea that there is enough public support in the state of Texas to redefine marriage and change our Texas Constitution through the legislative process is a fantasy, and they know it, Saenz said. The only changes weve seen made recently were by unelected federal judges and by a federal government that is overreaching and abusing its power. That is not the will of the people.
But Chuck Smith, executive director of the lobbying and advocacy group Equality Texas, said recent polling has shown growing acceptance for same-sex marriage in the Lone Star State.
More Texans have come to recognize that the world doesnt end when gay and lesbian people are allowed to marry, and that they want to get married for many of same reasons straight people do that is they have fallen in love and want to publicly commit to sharing their lives with them, Smith said.
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INDIANAPOLIS The push to ban gay marriage in the Indiana Constitution passed the Indiana Senate 32-17 Monday, but opponents still claimed victory in delaying a public vote on the measure until 2016.
We can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief that lawmakers are finished with the amendment this session, and it will not appear on the ballot this November, said Megan Robertson, campaign manager for the coalition Freedom Indiana.
We were underdogs in this fight from the outset, but our success reflects the strength of the incredible coalition we were able to build in just six months. Every Hoosier who made a phone call, wrote a letter, sent an email, showed up at the Statehouse or helped oppose HJR3 in another way should be proud today.
Five Republicans voted against the proposal, and all northeast Indiana senators supported the measure.
House Joint Resolution 3 defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Indiana law already says that, but some believed constitutional protection was needed.
The House earlier this session removed the second sentence banning anything substantially similar to marriage, including civil unions.
If the language had remained, Hoosiers could have voted on the measure in November.
But now the process to amend the Constitution restarts requiring another separately elected legislature to approve the same language in 2015 before a public vote in 2016.
Nothing the state does can stop a federal judge from deciding gay marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution.
Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, sponsor of the resolution, said the Senate has approved the language in varying forms six times.
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INDIANAPOLIS Opponents of an effort to place Indiana’s gay marriage ban in the state constitution won a surprising victory Thursday as the Senate effectively pushed off a statewide vote on the issue for at least two years, and possibly longer.
In a parliamentary move that spared state senators a tough vote on the measure, the Senate advanced the marriage ban without the “second sentence” ban on civil unions. The House stripped that language from the amendment before passing it last month, and the Senate’s decision not to restore the language before voting Thursday means the effort to amend the constitution must start fresh.
Even if Indiana’s marriage ban clears the Senate on a final vote Monday, it would have to be debated again in the next biennial session, 2015-16, before it could appear before voters.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said many lawmakers sensed that the final say on the issue ultimately will be made by the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal court ruling this week that Kentucky must recognized same-sex marriages performed in other states was weighed in private discussions among Senate Republicans, and Long said he could sense momentum building for a high court ruling.
“In reality, I think the issue is going to be before the United States Supreme Court as I’ve said before and it’s either going to be a state’s rights issue and each state decides for itself or it’s going to be decided by the Supreme Court that it’s a violation of the 14th Amendment,” Long said. “One way or another they’re going to have the final say in this because the U.S. Constitution trumps a state constitution.”
Indiana’s gay marriage battle was playing out as federal courts in Oklahoma and Utah overturned constitutional bans and New Mexico’s high court overturned that state’s marriage ban.
Devonte Glass of Gary, Indiana (center) stands with friends who traveled to Indianapolis on Thursday to protest against an effort to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)
The state Senate’s decision caps a sharp turnabout in Indiana, where just three years ago the constitutional ban passed the General Assembly with overwhelming majorities. But national attitudes on gay marriage have shifted sharply, and opponents of the ban were able to build a strong coalition that lobbied Indiana lawmakers heavily privately and in public.
Indiana’s gay marriage battle also opened a rift among Republicans in the solidly conservative state. Pro-business conservatives, including many who had worked closely with former Gov. Mitch Daniels, largely lined up against the marriage ban. While social conservatives, mostly aligned with Republican Gov. Mike Pence, fought hard to shepherd the ban to the 2014 ballot.
Some of the Republican Party’s strongest fundraisers, including former George W. Bush economic adviser Al Hubbard and former Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jim Kittle, opened their wallets for Freedom Indiana, the umbrella organization opposing the marriage ban.
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A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, part of an unprecedented barrage of marriage-equality lawsuits in states where voters have overwhelmingly opposed recognition of gay and lesbian couples.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II struck down part of the gay-marriage ban that Kentuckians had approved in 2004, saying it treated gays and lesbians “in a way that demeans them.”
“Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons,” wrote Heyburn, an appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush.
His decision coincided with legal attacks Wednesday on gay-marriage bans in three other socially conservative states _ Texas, Louisiana and Missouri _ and was issued just a few weeks after federal judges in Utah and Oklahoma struck down the voter-approved bans in those states.
According to the advocacy group Freedom to Marry, there are now 45 pending marriage-equality cases in 24 of the 33 states that do not allow same-sex marriage. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized such unions, while three other states _ Colorado, Nevada and Oregon _ grant marriage-like rights though civil unions or domestic partnerships.
The stage for the current wave of litigation was set by the U.S. Supreme Court last June, when it ordered the federal government to recognize valid same-sex marriages, but stopped short of striking down state laws banning them. Gay-rights activists hope that one or more of the lawsuits filed since June or planned for the near future will reach the high court and lead to nationwide legalization.
“One of the 40-plus ongoing cases, or even some other one, could conceivably reach the Supreme Court as soon as 2015, or within a few years later, so the clock is ticking,” said Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson.
“The aim is not just to get to the Supreme Court, but to win when we get there,” Wolfson said.
The Kentucky decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.
The ruling only requires Kentucky to recognize such marriages. It does not deal with the question of whether the state can be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples; that issue wasn’t brought up in the lawsuits.