Kentucky to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriage
Kentucky must now recognize out-of-state gay marriages according to a federal judge’s ruling on Wednesday. A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was passed in 2004 and included an out-of-state ban. The judge said the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. The decision resulted from lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples wanting their out-of-state marriages to be recognized in Kentucky. The ruling only rules on out-of-state marriages and doesn’t rule on whether the state must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Michael Sam comes out
Missouri Tigers defensive end, Michael Sam, announced on Sunday that he is gay. While most of the response to the announcement has been positive, there have been a few exceptions. The most notable negative response came from Michael’s father who commented “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment...I’m old-school. I’m a man and a woman type of guy." Most experts believe Sam’s draft prospects won’t be affected by the news.
U.S. press freedom ranking falls
The United States has fallen 13 spots to number 46 in the Reporters Without Borders global press freedom ranking. In 2012 the U.S. dropped 27 spots to number 47 but climbed up to number 32 the following year. The RWB cited the assaults on whistleblowers Bradley (Chelsea) Manning and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as reason for the U.S.'s sharp drop in the ranking this year. Another factor was the seizure of thousands of Associated Press phone calls by the justice department.
Swiss voters approve immigrant quotas
In a referendum to decide whether to reintroduce immigrant quotas, 50.3 percent supported the measure. The vote split Switzerland east to west as the French-speaking east voted against the quotas while the German-speaking west backed them up. The outcome of the vote has upset and shocked many. The European commission said that the quotas “[go] against the principle of free movement of people between the EU and Switzerland.” The Swiss government, which opposed the quotas, will have to come up with the legislation within three years.
Winter snowstorm hits south
Eastern parts of the south were hit Tuesday and Wednesday by a winter storm that may be more devastating than the storm that hit the area two weeks ago. President Obama has declared a state of emergency for Georgia, where there have been hundreds of thousands of power outages. The storm is expected to affect over 100 million people as it moves north in the coming days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is sending power generators to Georgia and Pennsylvania while also preparing emergency operation centers throughout the southeast.