FROM Karen Ocamb
Obama's Second Inaugural: From DC to Southern California Today, President Obama made his second inaugural address to the nation. In his address, he linked Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall… respectively landmarks for women's rights, civil right and the rights of gays and lesbians. Environmentalists and other Obama supporters have been critical of what they perceive as the President's failure to address what they think is the most important issue facing the planet Earth. Today, he addressed the threat of climate change. How did it all sound in Southern California, the nation's most diverse region, often said to embody America's future? What was the impact of inaugural poet Richard Blanco and the benediction given by Rev. Luis Leon.
A Rumble in West Hollywood Since it was incorporated 27 years ago, West Hollywood has been known worldwide as a "gay destination." Some 37% of its residents are gay or lesbian. Now its reputation for enlightened self-government is under challenge. In next month’s city council election, veteran incumbents are accused of selling out to developers. Would term limits make for a healthier democracy? Or does their institutional memory make them more valuable than ever?
Ninth Circuit Delays Gay Marriage until December Same-sex marriage in California has been put on hold once again, this time by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. District judge Vaughn Walker, the one who found California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional , ordered marriages to begin day after tomorrow. Today the Ninth Circuit, without explanation, said arguments about a possible appeal will begin the week of December 6. Karen Ocamb, editor of Frontiers in LA, blogs at LGBT POV .
Same-Sex Marriage in California? Not Yet Federal judge Vaughn Walker gave gay and lesbian couples what they wanted today, but then snatched it back for the next six days. Last week, he declared that Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional , but delayed the effect of his ruling until today. Couples lined up at some courthouses in hopes his decision would go their way, and it did, but the judge created still more uncertainty.
Same-Sex Marriage in California Same-sex marriage is legal in California, at least until November, when voters are likely to get the chance to overturn last week's ruling by the state supreme court. The Massachusetts Supreme Court was first, back in 2003, the only other state that's legalized same-sex marriage . But the ruling in California went further, saying that discrimination against homosexuals is the same as racial discrimination. Many gays and lesbians are celebrating the opinion by Chief Justice Ron George, a former prosecutor appointed by a Republican Governor. Does the decision nullify "the will of the people," since a statewide same-sex marriage ban passed overwhelmingly eight years ago? Can the people nullify the court that nullified them? What's the likely impact on other states and the presidential campaign?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?