5 Powerful Images from Istanbul

“Those of queer and Muslim have been enjoying the pride parade in Istanbul for over a decade, using it as an example of what is possible in a Muslim country. But this month’s pride left many of us angry. Vasip Şahin, the Governor of Istanbul, who belongs to a political party that lost in this year’s elections, and his government have banned the pride last minute, using the holy month of Ramadan as a pretext.”

Istanbul Pride

More at Islam and Homosexuality

Fewer Poor Uninsured After Health Law, Study Finds

Obamacare has been (and continues to be) an unequivocal success story at obtaining health coverage for poor folks in the U.S. according to recent findings by the National Health Interview Survey, confirming earlier polling by Gallup and others:

person signing up for healthcare coverage“In all, about 32 percent of poor Americans were uninsured in 2014, down from 39 percent in 2013. The share of near poor Americans who were uninsured declined to 31 percent from 39 percent.

“In states that expanded Medicaid, the share of people under the age of 65 who were uninsured stood at 10.9 percent in 2014, down from 14.9 percent the year before. In states that did not expand, where uninsured rates were higher to begin with, the share dropped far less, to 16 percent from 18.4 percent in 2013.

“Mr. Levitt said the law seemed to have had a greater effect on the long-term uninsured. The report found that the share of Americans uninsured for more than a year dropped to 9.7 percent from 12.4 percent, compared to a drop of about one percentage point for people who had been uninsured for just part of the past year.”

More at NY Times

Art Display Pulled From Maryland School After Complaints

“Honors students at Oxon Hill High School were given an assignment to create a display that shows what social justice means to them. The exhibit was in the school’s lobby for weeks. It was taken down on Monday.

The display featured a white police officer reading an obituary section. Next to that was a figure of a black man in a blood-stained shirt with his hands up.”

More at Fox 5

UCC Victorious in Lawsuit as Judge Strikes Down North Carolina Gay Marriage Ban

Somehow I missed this story from October 2014 when the United Church of Christ used “freedom of religion” grounds to get a court to strike down North Carolina’s law against same-sex marriage:

“A federal judge has struck down North Carolina’s marriage laws as unconstitutional, giving the United Church of Christ and its co-plaintiffs a monumental and historic victory for equality for all people. General Synod of the United Church of Christ et al vs. Cooper challenged the state’s Amendment One for violating the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.”

More at PR Newswire