Questions regarding gay marriage rights and marriage equality were victorious on four state ballots this past Tuesday in what LGBT activists are calling a crucial turning point in national recognition of same sex marriage. The wins in Maine, Maryland Minnesota and Washington represent a stunning reversal from a string of defeats stretching back nearly a decade. As recently as this May in North Carolina, advocates for marriage equality had lost almost every single state initiative that involved gay marriage. Now the argument is over the significance of Tuesday’s clean sweep for gay rights groups, with supporters claiming a new mandate and conservative Christian groups vowing to strike back with more money and organized opposition in the next election cycle.
(Los Angeles Times)
PRESIDENT OBAMA GETS A SINGULAR MESSAGE FROM THE WORLD UPON WINNING A SECOND TERM: FIX CLIMATE CHANGE
After participating in a campaign where global warming and its related environmental issues were not discussed for the first time in nearly a quarter century, President Obama is now under pressure from those outside the carefully insulated world of presidential politics to act on the globe’s biggest economic and ecological threat. The UN’s lead negotiator for the organized group of the world’s 48 poorest countries pens an open letter to the newly reelected president in The Guardian that demands substantive action on climate change. Obama is urged to stop propping up policies that help those causing climate change and begin to lead the industrialized world in curbing emissions and helping countries ravaged by climate change that are too poor to act alone.
“I THINK THIS ELECTION WAS LARGELY A STORY OF MONEY. WE DID’N'T HAVE THE FUNDS TO COMPETE. ULTIMATELY, WE WERE NOT ABLE TO GET THE TRUTH OUT TO VOTERS.”
California voters on Tuesday rejected the Proposition 37 ballot initiative that would have enacted the nation;s toughest labeling laws for genetically engineered food. The country’s largest growers and food supply chains are unleashing a wave of new genetically modified products, giving rise to a backlash from activists concerned with the safety and environmental effects of such “frankenfood.” Despite California’s liberal bent and anecdotal evidence of strong support for strict GMO labeling, Prop 37 still managed to fail. Supporters of the measure point to the overwhelming and well-funded campaign against them led by the biggest names in agribusiness. Companies like Monsanto and Dupont spent tens of millions of dollars on ads as well as purchasing the support of scientists in their quest to reassure about the safety of genetically engineered food.
This was the sentiment of voters in Alachua County, Florida in overwhelmingly defeating a ballot measure on Tuesday that would have generated money for much-needed road repair projects by raising the county sales tax. The measure’s failure leave county officials without any means to pay for nearly half a billion dollars in repairs and other basic maintenance for county roadways. Such deficits are becoming more prevalent across the country as vital infrastructure begins to deteriorate while the overall economy — and revenue streams like property taxes — remains weak. And although public complaints about things like derelict roads continue to build, voters at the same time refuse to accept the idea of higher taxation to pay for those basic improvements, leaving the bumpy and crumbling status quo to carry on. .
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