|Siegal and Kopelov,|
Last month New York became the sixth and largest state, alongside Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia, to legalize same-sex marriage; Hawaii, Illinois, Delaware, and New Jersey offer civil unions. California's Supreme Court also legalized same-sex marriage in 2008 before it was invalidated by Proposition 8 in November of that year, while Maine's May 2009 legalization of same-sex marriage by its legislature was overturned by referendum in November of that year. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced support for a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. DOMA negates federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and allows any state to deny recognition of same-sex marriages performed in another state. With a Republican-held House, it stands no chance of passing, but if the Democrats can regain the House and retain the Senate, a dicey prospect at best, I see President Obama signing this bill into law.
I predict that in 15 years, nearly all the northeastern and Pacific coast states, much of the upper Midwest, and perhaps Florida and Colorado will have legalized same-sex marriage, but that the South will be the country's last holdouts.
|Amy Winehouse onstage|
during 46664 Concert In
Celebration Of Nelson
Mandela's Life, Hyde
Winehouse had struggled with eating disorders and substance abuse and addiction for years. In August 2007 she was hospitalized for a drug overdose, and at the end of the year, she was captured on camera smoking crack cocaine and talking of further drug use. In 2009, she returned to rehab for drug-related problems. Through often dazzling in her televised performances, had been hit or miss on tours, including her 2007 British 17-date affair, during which she was booed and suffered walkouts in Birmingham because of her incoherence and vehemence towards the audience. In June Winehouse canceled her comeback tour after a disastrous, shambling performance Belgrade, Serbia, which was captured on tape by angry and shocked concertgoers.
Winehouse leaves her parents, Janis and Mitch Winehouse, the latter a musician who'd released a jazz album of his own, and was about to perform in his first date in the US, in New York, as well as fans worldwide who mourn her untimely passing. RIP.
|Utøya Island, Norway / AP|
Breivik had previously blogged a great deal about his beliefs, posted personal information including his political stances on Facebook, and tweeted a sole quote on Twitter, ominously paraphrasing John Stuart Mill: "One person with belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests." Despite all of this evidence, initial media accounts of the tragedy wrongly noted that Islamic terrorists had claimed responsibility for the attacks, provoking many anti-Muslim responses not only in newspapers' online comments sections but in blogposts such as Jennifer Rubin's in the Washington Post. She's been thoroughly criticized, and Steve Clemons has already demanded an apology. (Glenn Greenwald noted, apropos of the discourse about "peaceful" Norway, that its troops are not only flying sorties in Libya but also participating in the Afghan War.) This horrendous attack appears to have nothing to do with Norway's military participation and everything to do with an extremist's ultraconservative hatred of his country's liberal politics.
One bit of information I hope Norwegian and other authorities pursue is Breivik's alleged connections to other ultranationalist ultraracists across Europe and North America. According to his manifesto, he met with similarly minded people in 2003 to reconstitute the Knights Templar with the aim of a neo-Crusade, and though this might be pure fiction, his actions might also be the leading edge of a new ultrarightist terrorist push in Europe and elsewhere.