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Catholics are more supportive of gay and lesbian rights than the general public and other Christians, according to a new report released today. The new report, which is the most comprehensive portrait of Catholic attitudes on gay and lesbian issues assembled to date, also finds that seven-in-ten Catholics say that messages from America’s places of worship contribute a lot (33%) or a little (37%) to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth.
“It may come as a surprise to many that rank and file Catholics are more supportive of rights for gays and lesbians than other Christians and the public,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. “But the best data available paints this consistent portrait across a range of issues, including same-sex marriage, workplace non-discrimination, open military service, and adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples.”
Among the key findings:
Nearly three-quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; 63% of Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military; and 6-in-10 (60%) Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.
Less than 4-in-10 Catholics give their own church top marks (a grade of an A or a B) on its handing of the issue of homosexuality; majorities of members of most other religious groups give their churches high marks.
A majority of Catholics (56%) believe that sexual relations between two adults of the same gender is not a sin.
“The strong evidence of Catholic support for gay marriage highlights the growing acceptance in American culture of the normalcy of same-sex relationships, and further showcases ordinary Catholics’ dissent from official church teaching on sexual morality,” said Dr. Michelle Dillon, a panelist on the call releasing the report and chair of the Sociology Department at University of New Hampshire. “Most American Catholics believe that one can be a good Catholic and disagree with the Vatican and the bishops on issues of personal conscience; gay-marriage has clearly become another issue, along with artificial contraception and divorce and remarriage, which Catholics believe is not core to what it means to be Catholic.”
“These data demonstrate that the momentum for legal recognition for same-sex unions is strong among American Catholics and likely growing with generational change,” said Dr. Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America. “Even among Latino Catholics, long supposed to be a group supportive of traditional social values, the numbers point to growing support for same-sex marriage. The question facing the American bishops, who oppose same-sex marriage on doctrinal grounds, is how it will choose to address this momentum”
Mexico’s Senate has abolished a law that made cheating on a spouse an offense punishable by up to two years in prison and suspension of their civil rights for up to six years.
Late Thursday, in a unanimous vote, the senators voted to “abolish and depenalize adultery” in the penal code. The vote was “a way to condemn a crime historically construed to allow men to hold women as property,” said leftist senator Pablo Gomez during the debate. The bill now awaits President Felipe Calderon’s signature.
The law required that the he adultery to be committed in the marital home and for the adulterer to be caught in the act.
After being at sea for two days, a crewmember is feared missing when she failed to show up for her shift last Tuesday.
The Mexican Navy has been conducting searches since Tuesday as the cruise was in the Mexican Riviera.
“Given the circumstances, we are very concerned about this crew member and are doing everything possible to assist with the search effort and investigation,” the California-based Disney company said in a statement.
The boat docked in Cabo San Lucas on Thursday and it will leave port shortly and dock in Los Angeles on Sunday.
In what stands as a major global music relief effort to benefit those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, over 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music have joined together for the worldwide release of “Songs for Japan,” an unprecedented compilation of 38 chart-topping hits and classic tracks, available worldwide on the iTunes Store for $9.99 starting today (www.itunes.com/songsforjapan).
Proceeds from the album’s sale will benefit the disaster relief efforts of the Japanese Red Cross Society.
The “Songs for Japan” track listing features an all-star lineup:
John Lennon “Imagine”
U2 “Walk On”
Bob Dylan “Shelter From The Storm”
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Around The World”
Lady Gaga “Born This Way”
Bruno Mars “Talking To The Moon”
Katy Perry “Firework”
Rihanna “Only Girl (In The World)”
Justin Timberlake “Like I Love You”
Madonna “Miles Away”
David Guetta “When Love Takes Over”
Eminem “Love The Way You Lie”
Bruce Springsteen “Human Touch”
Josh Groban “Awake”
Keith Urban “Better Life”
Black Eyed Peas “One Tribe”
Cee Lo Green “It’s Ok”
Lady Antebellum “I Run To You”
Bon Jovi “What Do You Got?”
Foo Fighters “My Hero”
R.E.M. “Man On The Moon”
Nicki Minaj “Save Me”
Sade “By Your Side”
Michael Buble “Hold On”
Justin Bieber “Pray”
Adele “Make You Feel My Love”
Enya “If I Could Be Where You Are”
Elton John “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”
John Mayer “Waiting On The World To Change”
Queen “Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)”
Kings Of Leon “Use Somebody”
Leona Lewis “Better In Time”
Ne-Yo “One In A Million”
Shakira “Whenever, Wherever”
Norah Jones “Sunrise”
Proceeds from “Songs for Japan” will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) to support its disaster relief efforts. The society will use the funds for the ongoing provision of immediate relief and for eventual recovery support to the affected population. The artists participating on “Songs for Japan,” the music labels and music publishers have waived their royalties and proceeds from the worldwide sales of the album to ensure that the JRCS receives as much support as possible from this global initiative. iTunes will also donate its proceeds from the album’s worldwide sales to the benefit of the JRCS, and has prominently featured the project throughout its stores worldwide.
Our national debate over urgently needed immigration reform is now careening through our state legislatures, city halls, and town councils due to political gridlock at the federal level. And nowhere is that debate more contentious than in Arizona, where in April of last year the state’s legislature sought to rid the state of undocumented immigrants with passage of S.B. 1070. The law is specifically designed to trigger a mass exodus of undocumented immigrants from the state by making “attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.”
S.B. 1070 remains unenforced due to legal challenges to its constitutionality by the U.S. Department of Justice, yet nearly a year later the Arizona State Senate appears intent on doubling down on that strategy by passing even more restrictive immigration measures. Among other things, the new push would unconstitutionally require K-12 students to prove citizenship, evict public housing tenants if an undocumented person resides there, and make it a crime to operate a vehicle while undocumented.
This crackdown may play well politically for some local elected officials but is it in the best economic interests of the state? The purpose of this report is to arm state legislators and their constituents across the country with an answer to that basic question. If S.B. 1070-type laws accomplish the declared goal of driving out all undocumented immigrants, what effect would it actually have on state economies? And conversely, what would the impact be on state economies if undocumented immigrants acquired legal status?
Mass deportation versus mass legalization
Costs and consequences
Deportation effects in Arizona
Decrease total employment by 17.2 percent
Eliminate 581,000 jobs for immigrant and native-born workers alike
Shrink state economy by $48.8 billion
Reduce state tax revenues by 10.1 percent
Legalization effects in Arizona
Increase total employment by 7.7 percent
Add 261,000 jobs for immigrant and native-born workers alike
Increase labor income by $5.6 billion
Increase tax revenues by $1.68 billion
The economic analysis in this report shows the S.B. 1070 approach would have devastating economic consequences if its goals were accomplished. When undocumented workers are taken out of the economy, the jobs they support through their labor, consumption, and tax payments disappear as well. Particularly during a time of profound economic uncertainty, the type of economic dislocation envisioned by S.B. 1070-type policies runs directly counter to the interests of our nation as we continue to struggle to distance ourselves from the ravages of the Great Recession.
Four students in Venezuela in protest of funding for public universities have sewn part of their lips together. The growing hunger strike began on February 23 with five students.
Students argue that the Universities cannot continue to operate if the government does not provide more funding.
One 18-year-old student, Gabriela Torrijos, stitched the left corner of her mouth together Friday as she and a group of other students maintained their hunger strike outside the U.N. Development Program office in Caracas. Several other students have partly sewn their lips in the past couple days.
Torrijos was in pain after she partially stitched her lips together with her own hands. “After seeing my friends take this action, I did it in solidarity with them,” she told The Associated Press.
University administrators have stated that by early April more than two dozen public universities in the country may not have enough funds to keep cafeterias running or purchase supplies.
Government officials deny the claims and say that anti-Chavez opponents are simply manipulating the students.
“If they want to walk naked through the street, let them do it. If they want to sew whatever they want to sew, let them sew it, but ... we’re going to keep working for our homeland,” Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said during a televised event in southeastern Bolivar state.
There are 18 confirmed deaths from Dengue in Paraguay and 20 confirmed deaths in Bolivia.
Dengue is transmitted by the mosquito and causes high fever, headaches, fainting, vomiting, and skin eruptions.
Paraguay is reporting 2500 infected where 1300 have been hospitalized. “In previous years we never had so many people hospitalized,” said Ivan Allende head of the Sanitary Vigilance Department in Asuncion. The mosquito larvae will die off with zero temperatures. “Until then we must insist people must collaborate watching out for stagnant water in bottles, old tires, and flower pots and obviously in toilets and sewage”.
Bolivia reports their infected total at 1670 but in the east of the country, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, bordering with Brazil and Paraguay, the area has been declared under “sanitary emergency”.
“We’ve registered a peak in the epidemics this year compared to 2010, which was quite mild compared to the record year of 2009 with 22 dengue deaths and 50.000 infections with the disease”, said Bolivian Health minister Nilda Heredia.
Nevertheless there is concern “since we believe a new strain of the disease has entered Bolivia from Brazil. This strain is different to the one from the two previous years and is more aggressive”, said Ms Heredia.
Jordan Van de Sloot has been maintaining that he killed the young Peruvian women in a fit of rage because she discovered his connection to Natalee Halloways disappearance while using his computer. Peru’s Police research of Van der Sloots laptop shows no such activity.
The technology chief of Peru’s police, Col. Oscar Gonzales, told The Associated Press.
“She didn’t view anything about Holloway. It’s a lie that she tried to ask him about (the case),” Gonzales said.
“We deny the colonel’s claim,” Altez told the AP of Gonzales. “We will be presenting our own expert analysis regarding the laptop.” He did not specify what it might show.
Altez says his client plans to plead guilty to killing Flores, but will argue temporary insanity — which is called “violent emotion” in Peruvian law — arguing that he began enraged after she looked in his laptop and learned of his relation to Holloway.
If Van der Sloot is allowed to claim temporary insanity, he could plead manslaughter with a 3-5 year term, versus first-degree murder that carries a 15-35 year sentence.
Van der Sloot was indicted last June in Alabama on federal wire fraud and extortion charges for allegedly trying to extort $250,000 from Holloway’s mother, Beth Twitty, in exchange for information on where she could find her daughter’s body.
Van der Sloot, 23, is accused of first-degree murder in the killing of Flores, whom he met at a Lima casino.
Thousands of Argentines marched in downtown Buenos Aires as a reminder of when the Junta ousted the government on March 24, 1976, marking one of the countries darkest periods. 35 years ago, the coup left an estimated 30,000 killed or unaccounted for.
General Jorge Videla is in jail sentenced to life imprisonment and is facing another trial for the disappearance and kidnapping of babies from political prisoners. So far 200 former officials have been sentenced and another 800 face trials.
Under the new Argentine calendar March 24 is the National Day for the Memory, Truth, and Justice Holiday and calls on citizens to think over what happened during the last of the many dark and violent periods that Argentines experienced throughout history.
Another demand from the marchers was the “Identity restitution for the stolen children”. This refers to the over 500 babies kidnapped when born in captivity and fathered by disappeared detainees. So far 102, thanks to the persistence from the Mothers and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo have been recovered from stepfamilies and given their proper names. The dictatorship came to an end in 1983.
Hispanic and Asian Populations Grew Fastest During the Decade
The U.S. Census Bureau released today the second in a series of 2010 Census briefs, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010, which looks at our nation’s changing racial and ethnic diversity and provides a snapshot of the racial and Hispanic origin composition of the United States.
The examination of racial and ethnic group distributions nationally shows that while the non-Hispanic white alone population is still numerically and proportionally the largest major race and ethnic group in the United States, it is also growing at the slowest rate. Conversely, the Hispanic and Asian populations have grown considerably, in part because of relatively higher levels of immigration.
Hispanic Population Growth
More than half of the growth in the total U.S. population between 2000 and 2010 was because of the increase in the Hispanic population. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, rising from 35.3 million in 2000 to 50.5 million in 2010. The rise in the Hispanic population accounted for more than half of the 27.3 million increase in the total U.S. population. By 2010, Hispanics comprised 16 percent of the total U.S. population of 308.7 million.
The non-Hispanic population grew relatively slower over the decade at about 5 percent. Within the non-Hispanic population, the number of people who reported their race as white alone grew even slower (1 percent). While the non-Hispanic white alone population increased numerically from 194.6 million to 196.8 million over the 10-year period, its proportion of the total population declined from 69 percent to 64 percent.
The overwhelming majority (97 percent) of the total U.S. population reported only one race in 2010. This group totaled 299.7 million. Of these, the largest group reported white alone (223.6 million), accounting for 72 percent of all people living in the United States. The black or African-American population totaled 38.9 million and represented 13 percent of the total population.
Approximately 14.7 million people (about 5 percent of all respondents) identified their race as Asian alone. There were 2.9 million respondents who indicated American Indian and Alaska Native alone (0.9 percent). The smallest major race group was Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone (0.5 million), which represented 0.2 percent of the total population. The remainder of respondents who reported only one race, 19.1 million people (6 percent of all respondents), were classified as “some other race” alone.
Nine million people reported more than one race in the 2010 Census and made up about 3 percent of the total population. Ninety-two percent of people who reported multiple races provided exactly two races in 2010; white and black was the largest multiple-race combination. An additional 8 percent of the two or more races population reported three races and less than 1 percent reported four or more races.
Three quarters of multiple race combinations were comprised of four groups in 2010: white and black (1.8 million), white and “some other race” (1.7 million), white and Asian (1.6 million), and white and American Indian or Alaska Native (1.4 million).
The population reporting their race as white, either alone or with at least one other race, was the largest of all the alone-or-in-combination categories (231.0 million) and represented about three-fourths of the total population. About 14 percent of the total population reported their race as black, either alone or with at least one other race, which was the second-largest of the alone-or-in-combination categories (42.0 million). There were 21.7 million people classified as some other race alone or in combination and 17.3 million people classified as Asian alone or in combination in the 2010 Census, making up 7 percent and 6 percent of the total population, respectively. The two smallest alone-or-in-combination categories were American Indian and Alaska Native (5.2 million) and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (1.2 million), making up 2 percent and 0.4 percent of the total population, respectively.
Asian Population Growth
The Asian alone population grew faster than any other major race group between 2000 and 2010, increasing by 43 percent. The Asian alone population had the second-largest numeric change (4.4 million), growing from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010. They gained the most in share of the total population, moving up from about 4 percent in 2000 to about 5 percent in 2010.
In the 2010 Census, just over one-third of the U.S. population reported their race and ethnicity as something other than non-Hispanic white alone (i.e. “minority”). This group increased from 86.9 million to 111.9 million between 2000 and 2010, representing a growth of 29 percent over the decade.
Geographically, particularly in the South and West, a number of areas had large proportions of the total population that was minority. Nearly half of the West’s population was minority (47 percent), numbering 33.9 million. Among the states, California led the nation with the largest minority population at 22.3 million.
Between 2000 and 2010, Texas joined California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii and New Mexico in having a “majority-minority” population, where more than 50 percent of the population was part of a minority group. Among all states, Nevada’s minority population increased at the highest rate, by 78 percent.
Race and Hispanic Origin Data
The Census Bureau collects race and Hispanic origin information following the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) standards for collecting and tabulating data on race and ethnicity. In October 1997, the OMB issued the current standards, which identify five race groups: white, black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. The Census Bureau also utilized a sixth category - “some other race.” Respondents who reported only one race are shown in these six groups.
Individuals were first presented with the option to self-identify with more than one race in the 2000 Census, and this continued in the 2010 Census. People who identify with more than one race may choose to provide multiple races in response to the race question. The 2010 Census results provide new data on the size and makeup of the nation’s multiracial population.
Respondents who reported more than one of the six race groups are included in the “two or more races” population. There are 57 possible combinations of the six race groups.
The Census Bureau included the “some other race” category for responses that could not be classified in any of the other race categories on the questionnaire. The vast majority of people who reported only as “some other race” were of Hispanic or Latino origin. Data on Hispanics or Latinos, who may be of any race, were obtained from a separate question on ethnicity.