Weekend Links

14 Authors You Might Not Know Had Bigoted Views.

– The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer–always a voice of reason–has accused The New Yorker of “promoting child abuse” after the magazine put Bert and Ernie on its most recent cover to celebrate the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality rulings.

– In response to the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage rulings, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy tweeted that it was a “sad day for our nation,” leading the company to issue a statement separating itself from Cathy’s views.

– During a trip to Africa last week, President Obama pressed Senegalese President Macky Sall on gay rights. (Senegal is one of many African nations in which homosexuality remains a criminal offence). In response, Sall defended the country’s anti-homosexuality law, claiming that Senegal “is a very tolerant country which does not discriminate in terms of inalienable rights of the human being.” Because nothing says tolerance like persecuting homosexuals.

– On a related note, Amnesty International says that persecution of homosexuals is on the rise in Africa, with countries such as South Sudan, Burundi, Uganda and Nigeria considering anti-gay legislation.

A 71-year-old Japanese man is suing NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, for “mental distress”, complaining that the network uses an “excessive” number of words borrowed from English. Apparently, one English phrase the Japanese don’t have yet is “remote control.”

A 20-year-old University of Virginia sorority girl was terrorized by plainclothes Alcohol Beverage Control officers, spent a night in jail and was charged with three felonies…all because the ABC agents mistook her package of bottled water for beer. Charges against the girl have been dropped, but so far nothing has happened to the ABC agents who decided to attack an innocent young woman because they couldn’t tell the difference between water and beer.

Pop star Jennifer Lopez has apologized after singing “Happy Birthday” to Turkmenistan’s brutal dictator Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow during a concert in Awaza last week. Lopez claimed that, had she known of the country’s human rights record, she never would have performed there. (Hey, remember that time Berdimuhamedow fell off a horse?)

– In Saudi Arabia, seven activists have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to ten years for anti-government Facebook posts.

Two separate terrorist attacks claimed at least 47 lives in Pakistan last weekend. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant organization, has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in predominantly Shiite Hazara Town that killed at least 30 people on Sunday. In the other attack, a bomb detonated in range of a passing paramilitary convoy near Peshawar in northeastern Pakistan, killing 17.

– Last weekend, American Atheists unveiled the country’s first public monument to non-belief outside the Bradford County courthouse in Starke, Florida–already the site of a controversial Ten Commandments monument. This poses the question: Does a monument to reason cancel out a monument to superstition?

47 stunning photos of protests around the world (some NSFW images).

A federal appeals court has upheld a $675,000 judgment against a Rhode Island man who illegally downloaded and shared music online. The man was ordered to pay $22,500 for each of the 30 songs he shared.

A new Chinese law requires adults with elderly parents (defined as 60 or older) to visit their parents “frequently” and to make sure that their “financial and spiritual needs are met.” How would such a law even be enforceable?

– The story of America’s first legal same-sex marriage, which was actually performed in Minnesota in 1971.

– James Bovard on the Voting Rights Act: “[T]he worst violation of “voting rights” is the notion that election winners should have unlimited power.”

Anti-gay bigot Mike Huckabee assures Fox News viewers that he’s not a “homophobe”, proceeds to say something incredibly homophobic.

A 35-year-old Wisconsin man who immigrated to the U.S. from Russia as a teenager is now facing deportation due to convictions for marijuana possession from over 15 years ago. Goddammit.

In Nigeria, Islamic militants attacked a boarding school early Saturday morning, dousing a dormitory in fuel and setting it afire while children slept inside. At least 30 people were killed, most of them students. Authorities are laying responsibility for the attack on Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group that seeks to impose Sharia law in the country, and which has been responsible for at least 1,600 civilian deaths since 2010. Regardless of who is responsible for this atrocity, I hope that the perpetrators can be brought to justice, and my thoughts are with the family members of those killed.

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