Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. to uphold that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act can exempt a family-owned, or closely-held company, from a federal regulation requiring that employers provide coverage to their female employees for certain types of birth control deemed, in the religious opinion of employers, capable of facilitating an abortion.
The female nipple is so obscene, a number of places have gone as far as to prohibit the public feeding of infants. No week goes by without some story about a woman being ejected from a locale or, at the very least, being shamed for breast-feeding in public. For a while organizers have sought to make a change, but no efforts have drawn as much attention as the makers of the TaTa Top, a bikini offered in three different flesh tones that also features nipples.
The FBI has seized the escort directory and forum MyRedBook.com and indicted its owner and administrator on counts of racketeering and money laundering. At present, this effort doesn’t seem connected to a recent crackdown on the sexual trafficking of minors being undertaken by over 400 law enforcement agencies in over 100 cities nationwide. A number of arrest warrants have been served throughout the Bay, though additional details are unknown.
You will never stop sex work with law enforcement. You know how you will decrease sex work? By fighting poverty. You know how you will decrease trafficking? By making it safe for sex workers to come to police to report coercion and abuse. That safety isn’t something you can expect to magically happen on the part of law enforcement, because it won’t. That safety requires rights. And it requires a community and a world that will stand up for those rights.
Welcome to Sandy Springs, Georgia. Located just north of Atlanta, this city of 93,853 boasts IBM and Cisco Systems as its top employers, but you won’t find cutting edge innovation here. In fact, it could be said that some of its ordinances are just plain backward. For instance, you can’t sell sex toys here — unless the person buying has a prescription. This has been on the books since 2009, but it’s finally getting challenged.
In the 1970s, a law was enacted in Hawaii to protect policemen from prosecution for doing undercover prostitution stings, which pretty much made it legal for cops to get down with sex workers before arresting them. As part of a measure to decrease violence against people coerced into sex work, the recent House Bill 1926 would have nixed that exemption, but the Honolulu Police Department refused.
The “manifesting” prostitution statute in Phoenix is more than a wacky law that gives law enforcement a wide margin to interpret pedestrian behavior — in practice, it’s effectively turned race, and gender identity into evidence. If you’re a person of color — especially if you’re trans — it doesn’t matter if you’re walking to Sunday mass. Your very existence is a manifestation of prostitution, and you’re fair game to get picked up. This happened to Monica Jones. But she’s fighting back.
Fred Phelps, the founder of a Kansas-based group known for its anti-gay protests and picketing of military funerals, died of natural causes on Wednesday night at the age of 84. Westboro Baptist Church, a small but vocal congregation, was founded in 1955 to warn the world of God’s wrath toward our “deeply corrupted nation and world.” Since the 1990s, they have staged protests meant to disrupt and cause emotional distress to a number of people in the U.S. and elsewhere.
A U.S. citizen was detained by Customs and Border Patrol agents without grounds and interrogated twice over the course of five hours, a recent lawsuit reveals. She was asked personal questions about her relationship with a foreign national friend who was legally visiting the U.S. on a business visa, including whether they were sleeping together. The agents said they had access to their year-long e-mail exchanges. What had the guy done to get this much attention? He must have done something, right? Nope.
Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ hoped to use the still frames they captured from millions of Yahoo chat users to develop facial recognition software in order to monitor targets and ferret out new ones. But what they discovered during Optic Nerve shocked them: “It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.”