Australian Court Rejects Law Allowing Gay Marriage
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India Government Likely to Review Anti-Gay Sex Law
“That Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage.” Rodney Croome, national director of the advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality, said his group knows of about 30 same-sex couples who have married since Saturday, though the actual number may be slightly higher. The court decision essentially nullifies their marriages, as it means the ACT law under which they were wed was invalid. Alan Wright, who married his partner Joel Player just minutes after midnight on Saturday, said the court’s decision had inspired him to fight even harder for equality and focus his efforts on getting the federal government to change the law. “I am now immensely proud to be part of a very unique, committed and courageous group of people, who despite probably deep down knowing that it was going to be overturned … still stood up and said ‘no, we’re going to do this’,” Wright said. “In 10 years’ time, I will look back at this as being a very proud moment.” In its decision, the court wrote that the federal government is responsible for deciding whether same-sex marriage should be legalized. The ruling means that no Australian state or territory can make that decision, said Sydney University constitutional lawyer houston Anne Twomey. Lyle Shelton, managing director of Australian Christian Lobby, which opposes same-sex marriage, praised the court ruling and said common sense had prevailed. As for the ruling’s impact on the newly-wedded couples, Shelton said it was “really sad that they were put in a position” in which they were allowed to marry before the court handed down its judgment.
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Family Law Attorney Maya Shulman of the L.A. Firm Adelman & Seide Advocates Adoption of U.S. Children Over Foreign-Born
Sonia Gandhi, chief of the governing Congress party, also lent support to the activists and expressed her disappointment with the court order. “I hope Parliament will address this issue and uphold the constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens of India, including those directly affected by this judgment,” she said in a statement. Gandhi’s son and the party’s vice president, Rahul Gandhi, said such personal matters should be left to individuals. “This country is known for its freedom, freedom of expression,” he told reporters. India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community reacted to the decision with defiance. “We cannot be forced back into the closet,” said Gautam Bhan, an activist who had petitioned the court. “We are not backing off from our fight against discrimination.” Lawyers and supporters of gays, lesbians and transsexuals vowed to continue pressing for the removal of the law, which they say encourages discrimination, even if it is rarely invoked by prosecutors. The law, dating back to the 1860s, when Britain ruled over South Asia, states that “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. The 2009 New Delhi High Court ruling, which said the law violated fundamental human rights, infuriated conservatives and religious groups who say homosexuality represents a threat to traditional Indian culture. In a rare alliance, the groups including the All India Muslim Law Board, Christian groups and Hindu spiritual leaders argued that gay sex is unnatural and that India should maintain the law.
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The Supreme Court’s holding in Citizens United paved the way for corporate “personhood” and the idea that corporations are free to exercise the First Amendment rights historically held only by humans. So there appears to be some legal support for the position that a chimpanzee can bring a habeas petition, but the question remains: Are chimpanzees enough like humans that they qualify for personhood? In fact, how do we even define a person? It’s a deep philosophical question as well as a scientific one. According to the petition, the most important cognitive ability in determining personhood is autonomy, which appears to be the establishment of an independent set of values, opinions and beliefs. This is supported by a laundry list of specific cognitive abilities, including empathy, self-knowing, imagination, sequential learning and a host of other sophisticated attributes that I’m quite certain some members of my own family do not exhibit. Leading primatologists, whose affidavits are attached to the petition, assert that chimpanzees demonstrate substantial cognitive abilities. Of course, the obvious “slippery slope” argument against the petition is “where does it end”? Could this lead to habeas petitions for hedgehogs? Goldfish? iPads?
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/10/opinion/cevallos-chimpanzee-personhood/index.html
The Morning Plum: Have Obama and the health law bottomed out?
In a clear parallel to sentiment toward President George W. Bush at the same point in his second term, just over half in the poll said events in recent months had dealt Mr. Obama a setback from which he wouldn’t likely recover. More Support for $10.10 Minimum Wage The federal health-care law is becoming a heavier political burden for President Obama, despite increased confidence on the economy and the public’s own generally upbeat sense of well-being, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. Neil King reports. Photo: Getty Images. Asked what shaped their view of the president this year, almost 60% cited the 2010 health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, as a chief factor. The poll found faith in Mr. Obama had dropped noticeably in recent months among young voters and Hispanics, two groups that had been among his steadiest supporters. “The president is being weighed down by one issue, his health-care law,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who helped direct the poll. “It’s probably fair to say that as goes health care, so goes the Obama presidency for the next year.” Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who worked on the poll alongside Mr.
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A New Law to Shield Police in Panama?
Notably, a majority says by 51-43 thatthey are bothered more by the terrible rollout and people losing plans than by GOP efforts to sabotage the law. Republicans are still mostly winning the public opinion war over the ACA. But the poll also finds only 26 percent favor total elimination of the law. (Republicans will argue another31 percentfavors a major overhaul, which is true, but Dems can try to speak to that with a keep and fix message, while Republicans are trapped in a total repeal stance .)Also:58 percent say it hasnt had much of an impact on them; and Dems still hold a six pointedge on the health care issue.After a crush oftruly horrificpress about the ACA,only one quarter of the country wants to get rid of the law, suggesting the law is probably still on probation with many voters, despite all its problems meaning there may still be room to turn things around. Meanwhile, a New York Times poll similarly finds half the country disapproves of the law and Obamas approval rating is at 42 percent, but both of those are improvements since November. The Times headline Obama sees a rebound in approvalratings seems like a big reach. But this claimfrom the article seems fair: The political fallout from the websites start-up might be over. Indeed, its possible the worst numbers reflect the awful rollout problems of November which have now stabilized and that the law will now begin to work moderately well. And that is all that matters: If it does work moderately well, and enrollment continues, andmajorities continue to say it hasnt affected them adversely, and only small minorities want to get rid of it, the law could recede from the headlines and have a mitigated political impact. Dems may be able to fight the Obamacarebattle to a draw and fight out the 2014 electionsover other issues, too.Of course, if it fails over the long haul, it will be a full blown political disaster for them. But only time will settle this.
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Under the law, are chimps people?
Attorney Shulman, an AV-rated attorney houston and six-time, Southern California ‘Rising Star,’ partners with Robert A. Adelman, a distinguished certified family law specialist and multiple-year, AV-rated ” Super Lawyer .” While many ‘would — be’ parents are turning to Eastern European countries for the ‘desirable’ blond children, or turning to Third World nations to make a social stand for children in need, Attorney Shulman says there’s a rising tide of unwanted, underserved children in America who may never find a ‘forever home.’As a result, many are doomed to spend their childhood years in the foster care system, which she points out, is a very unhappy place for a child to live. “Since most adoptive parents prefer a newborn baby to a child who has been in the system for a few years, there are thousands of children living their lives in the foster care system,” says Attorney Shulman. “With many celebrities popularizing foreign adoptions, there is a huge population of overlooked children, here in the U.S., who are never going to find a home.” As a family law attorney houston with a specialty in adoptions, assisted reproduction technologies (ART), and surrogacy contracts, Ms. Shulman has seen what issues can arise from foreign adoptions, for both the adopted parents and the foreign-born adopted children. “There are a lot of issues that adoptive parents don’t anticipate when bringing in a child from another country,” she says. “Taking a child 6,000 miles away from home is tough enough without having to adjust to the barriers of language, culture and genetic differences. Up until recently, we’ve seen international adoptions increase from the Ukraine, Russia, China, the Czech Republic and Africa, while domestic adoptions have decreased. Adoptive parents may think they are doing a great service for a child from a Third World country, when in fact, foreign adoptions are rife with problems.” Ms.
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Poll:Health Law Hurts President Politically
With his testimony? With his partner’s report? A protected source? But the question is WHAT IS BEHIND THE SENTENCE? Why these numbers out of thin air? We experts in criminal law know that crimes that carry a sentence of more than 6 years mean YOU CANNOT BE RELEASED ON BAIL, and what’s more, the LAW provides that you can be detained for the MINIMUM duration of the applicable sentence. I remind you, the term is 8 to 12 years. In addition, onTwitter public opposition to the law was evident. For example, for Rafael Candanedo this is just further evidence of the dictatorial system Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli wishes to impose. Con la Ley 651: se formaliza la dictadura, con su dictador. PANAMA AHORA (@rafaelcanda) December 10, 2013 With Law 651: the dictatorship and its dictator are made official Mcsuyelis Diaz thinks that before conjuring up this kind of law, ways of preventing police brutality should be found: Ley 651 OK los policias t matan se confunden disparan 1ero y se disculpan despues y ademas d eso si le dices algo t meten preso #votaCD#fail McSuyelis Diaz (@ArlinDiaz1) December 10, 2013 Law 651 OK the police kill you they made a mistake and fired first and apologized later and in addition to that if you say anything, they’ll arrest you. Miguel Antonio Bernal goes even further and sees in the law an elaborate plan that will lead to fraud in the general elections of 2014: Mientras aspirantes a Presidente callan, RM y la Belfond arman Ley (651) de Palo y Plomo contra ciudadanos.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/12/12/a-new-law-to-shield-police-in-panama/