POSTS WITH TAG: human rights

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    Gay rights took one step back and then one step forward this week in Arizona, landing everyone pretty much in the same place. First Arizona legislators voted to give businesses the right to deny gay people service on religious grounds. I don't know why they thought it was worth anyone's time to go through all that trouble. But anyhoo! Thousands of outraged tweets, posts, interviews, and facepalms later, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB1062, aka The Embarrassing Money-Losing Anti-Gay Bill. Most of America breathed a sigh of relief.

    As usual, people had a lot to say about this bill via Twitter. Here's some of the highlights ...

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    Michael Anthony Taylor is sitting on Death Row in Missouri because he pleaded guilty to abducting, raping, and fatally stabbing a 15-year-old girl back in 1989. At the end of January, he is scheduled to receive the death penalty by lethal injection, but Taylor hasn't accepted his fate without a fight. Instead, he is suing the Oklahoma pharmacy that supplies the killing drug because he says their version of it causes a great deal of pain and a much slower death. And, according to reports, the pharmacy has agreed.

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    Dale Hansen, a 65-year-old sports anchor in Dallas, is making huge headlines this week after addressing the Michael Sam controversy in his "Hansen Unplugged: Celebrating Our Differences" segment Monday night. If you haven't been keeping up, Sam is "the best defensive player in college football's best conference" who bravely went on ESPN and came out as gay. So if he's drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft or signed by an NFL team as an undrafted free agent, he will become the first active openly gay player in NFL history. Cheers to that!

    'Course he knows his path to that title won't be an easy one. It's already proven to set tongues wagging. Which drove Hansen to give an absolutely rousing, inspiring, kickass speech about Sam's predicament and what it says about American hypocrisy -- on and off the field.

    Check it out ...

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    Four employees at a group home for disabled adults in New York allegedly encouraged two severely handicapped men to attack each other. Eric McHenry, Justin McDonald, Stephen Komara, and Rosemarry Vanni face felony charges for “endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.”

    The incident came to light after cell phone video footage emerged showing three of the workers egging on the two men, encouraging them to hit each other, knock over the other’s wheelchair, and offering praise when they did. The men are in their 50s, but have the mental development of preschoolers.

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    A year after offering $65 million to any man willing to marry his lesbian daughter, a Hong Kong tycoon is desperate to find a suitor and has doubled his sum. Now, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung is willing to dish out a casual $120 million to any man who can romance his daughter Gigi.

    Gigi Chao, who is 34 and has been with her wife Sean Eav for more than nine years, responded to her father's latest proposal with an emotional open letter in the South China Morning Post. In Gigi's sad plea to her dad, she talks about how admirable he is as a businessman but how foolish he's been in matters of the heart.

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    It's hard not to look at Amanda Knox and feel conflicted. Just a day after an Italian court ruled her guilty in the death of roommate Meredith Kercher and sentenced her to more than 28 years in prison, the 26-year-old came out on Good Morning America to say she's not going back to Italy "willingly." I'll confess my first thought was, "darn right!" and an unofficial survey (aka a perusal of my Facebook feed) shows I'm in the majority in my support of Knox and her vow to fight extradition.

    And yet ... I'm a law abiding citizen, a rule follower. Refusing to listen to the courts? Possibly becoming a fugitive from justice? Neither sits well with me, or with anyone I know.

    So why is it that we're so willing to come out in support of Amanda Knox? When she's suggesting the very things we'd normally look down upon?

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    An Italian court found Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty today for the 2007 murder of Knox’s roommate Meredith Kercher. They sentenced her to 28 years in prison, and Sollecito to 24.

    But wait! Wasn’t her 2009 conviction overturned in 2011 when an appeals court decided that the evidence was circumstantial at best? Chick’s been home in Seattle for a while now and even wrote her memoirs on the whole thing.

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    The case is a tragic one. Marlise Munoz was a young wife and mother when she collapsed in her kitchen at 2 a.m. on November 26. The 33-year-old had suffered a pulmonary embolism, and lay unconscious on the floor for at least an hour before her husband found her and called the paramedics. She was 14 weeks pregnant.

    Though Marlise was declared “brain dead” on November 28, the baby was still alive, which means that under Texas law, she must be kept on life support to support the growing child. Her husband Erick has said repeatedly that his wife would not want to be kept alive on machines, and that since the baby was deprived of oxygen for an “indeterminable” amount of time, it’s continued development shouldn’t be a priority in the decision to end the physical life of the mother.

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    Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who suffered from a brain injury and has been on life support since receiving a routine tonsillectomy a little less than a month ago, will be kept alive until January 7, a court decided this week. After an extensive battle with the hospital that has been arguing in favor of removing the teen from her ventilator, Jahi's suffering family considers this a small and bittersweet victory. The upcoming week will be a sad but busy one for family members, as they prepare to make arrangements to have Jahi moved from the hospital to an extended-care facility.

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    It's been very cold in many parts of the country including New York City where I live. Sadly, there are many homeless people who sleep out on the streets. A homeless man froze to death last week while sleeping in the park outside my children's school, which greatly saddened my community who tries to help those in need as much as possible. It could feel overwhelming, but helping just one person could be that gesture to get others to help more.

    Two companies -- Whatever video and clothing maker Thread Society -- wanted to clothe the homeless, give them more layers in hopes to keep them warmer in these frigid temps. That's when they met the homeless 53-year-old father of two Jaroslav Nemcovsky. They spoke to him, learned his story, and what resulted was an extremely beautiful gesture that has changed this man's life.

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