Weekend Links: Ballot Selfies, Delhi Gang Rape, and ISIS vs. Twitter

– Defying a federal court order, the Alabama Supreme Court this week ordered probate judges in the state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Chief Justice Roy Moore defended the ruling, claiming that the court was merely standing up for state’s rights (state’s rights being the rallying call for bigots who are clinging desperately to the past).

A French man is suing Facebook for deleting his account after he posted an image of a sexually-explicit painting on the site. The man claims that Facebook violated his “freedom of expression”, demonstrating once again that the French don’t understand how free speech works. (Facebook is a private company, it can’t “censor” anybody. Only the government can do that.)

India has banned the airing of a BBC documentary about the 2012 Delhi gang rape, ostensibly because the government objected to an interview with one of the rapists in which he blames the victim for the attack (it’s more likely that the government is simply trying to whitewash the country’s image, and in particular its treatment of women). India’s government is now considering legal action against the BBC, as well as seeking a global ban on the documentary. Goddammit India.

ISIS supporters are issuing death threats to Twitter staff, including founder Jack Dorsey, for deleting their accounts. Threats of violence are explicitly banned by Twitter’s terms of service (you know those things you have to agree to when you create an account–yeah, obviously no one at ISIS bothers to read those things either).

A group of Colorado sheriffs, joined by law enforcement officials in neighboring states, are suing to overturn marijuana legalization in Colorado. The Colorado sheriffs claim that they are being forced to choose between violating state law and violating the U.S. constitution, but where in the constitution does it ban marijuana? These guys are just pissed off that they can’t break down people’s doors over an ounce of pot anymore.

The California Supreme Court has overturned San Diego County’s harsh sex offender residence restrictions, ruling that the law, passed by voters in 2006 and which prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, violates the 14th Amendment because it does not take into consideration the nature of the sex offenders’ crimes or their level of danger to the community. Finally, common sense has prevailed. Hopefully other communities in California that are considering such laws will reconsider.

– And finally, voters in New Hampshire who post “ballot selfies” online could face prosecution under state election laws. According to Secretary of State Bill Gardner, the ban on “ballot selfies” was enacted to prevent voter coercion or vote buying. Is this asshole serious? (Also, it’s no surprise that Gardner is a Democrat, considering that Democrats are the ones who believe that freedom of speech must be limited to preserve the “sanctity of democracy”.)

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