Tag Archives: Equality

‘Love Wins’: Thailand Set to Be First Southeast Asian Nation to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

“While there is no doubt that the legalization of marriage for LGBTI couples is a key milestone for Thailand, much more must be done to guarantee full protection,” said one campaigner.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-18-2024 by Common Dreams

LGBTQ+ activists celebrate the Thai Senate’s passage of a bill legalizing marriage equality outside the Government House in Bangkok on June 24, 2024. (Photo: Irish Embassy Thailand)

LGBTQ+ advocates around the world on Tuesday cheered the Thai Senate’s passage of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a move that—if approved by the country’s king as expected—would make Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to do so.

The Bangkok Post reported Thai senators voted 130-4, with 18 abstentions, in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriages in the country of 72 million people. The Thai House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the legislation in March. The legislation would become law if it passes further review by the Senate and the Constitutional Court and is approved by King Rama X. Royal assent is a formality that will almost certainly be granted.

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In Snap Election, French Left Forms Alliance To Counter Far Right and Neoliberals

Leaders of the new alliance vowed to “extinguish the flame” of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party and make a “total break” from President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-worker policies.

By Edward Carver. Published 6-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: Nouveau Front Populaire

France’s left-of-center parties announced on Thursday a new alliance aimed at countering both the ultranationalism of Marine Le Pen and the neoliberalism of President Emmanuel Macron in parliamentary elections that Macron called unexpectedly on Sunday.

The new alliance, called the Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP), formed following days of intense negotiations as several parties, most notably the center-left Parti Socialiste (PS) and the left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI), joined forces to put forth a common platform and avoid competing candidates in races for the 577 seats in the National Assembly.

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Macron Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Gains in EU Contests

“We live in a Europe where neofascism and absenteeism are on the rise—a combination that allows the oligarchs to plunder,” said Yanis Varoufakis.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

French President Emmanuel Macron called snap legislative elections on Sunday after his party suffered a major defeat in European Parliament contests, with Marine Le Pen’s far-right, xenophobic National Rally scoring twice the support of Macron’s Renaissance.

In a nationally televised speech following the elections, which saw the far-right make gains across much of the European Union, Macron said that “the rise of nationalists and demagogues is a danger for our nation and for Europe.”

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Scientists Blockade EU Commission Offices to Demand Degrowth

Amid elections in Europe, opponents of ongoing planetary destruction argue that the “science is clear: politicians’ obsession with infinite economic growth is leading us straight to disaster.”

By Edward Carver. Published 6-7-2024 by Common Dreams

Degrowth advocates from Scientist Rebellion and affiliated groups blocked the entryway to the European Commission office in Brussels on June 7, 2024. Using posters, they wrote a slogan, “The future is degrowth,” onto the building’s facade. (Photo: Growth Kills)

A group of about 20 scientists and allies on Friday blocked the doors to the European Commission office in Brussels to demand degrowth policies as European Union elections unfold in which no party has such an agenda and pro-environment candidates are expected to lose seats.

The degrowth advocates, who came from Scientist Rebellion and affiliated groups, called for the EU to stop using Gross Domestic Product as an index of prosperity and an end to “over-consumption and the advertising that drives it,” among other demands. Carrying placards with messages such as “Green growth is a myth,” they prevented employees of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, from getting to work Friday morning, they said in an emailed statement.

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Sanders Praises $35 Cap on Inhalers Just Six Months After Probe Into ‘Outrageous’ Prices

“Americans who have asthma and COPD should not be forced to pay, in many cases, 10 to 70 times more for the same exact inhalers as patients in Europe and other parts of the world,” said the independent senator from Vermont.

By Jon Queally. Published 6-2-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: NBC News

Less than six months after launching a probe in the U.S. Senate into “the outrageously high prices” that asthma patients and others across the country pay for inhalers, Sen. Bernie Sanders celebrated the official start of a new program by one of the largest makers in the industry on Saturday to cap out of pocket costs at $35.

Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said Saturday was “the first day of a new program instituted by the major pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, which will allow people with asthma and COPD to purchase brand name inhalers at their local drugstore or pharmacy for only $35 dollars.”

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US Supreme Court Accused of ‘Full-On Gutting of the Equal Protection Clause’

The right-wing majority’s ruling in South Carolina case will make it “nearly impossible for any plaintiff to prove racial gerrymandering in court,” said one legal expert.

By Julia Conley Published 5-23-2024 by Common Dreams

Activists gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments in the Alexander v. South Carolina Conference of the NAACP gerrymandering case in Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Upholding a district map that was previously found by a lower court to be unconstitutional due to its racially gerrymandered boundaries, the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing majority demonstrated on Thursday that it is “a MAGA Court,” according to one advocate for judicial reform.

In a 6-3 decision along partisan lines, with Justice Samuel Alito writing the majority opinion, the court ruled in favor of a South Carolina district map which was drawn by the GOP-controlled state legislature and moved 30,000 Black voters from the state’s 1st District to the 6th District.

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‘We Must Fight Against Fascists’: Protests Greet Far-Right Summit in Spain

“We are not going to allow them to take even one step back,” one protester said as far-right political leaders set their sights on the European Union elections.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Dozens of people protest during a rally against the “Viva 24” event in Madrid, Spain on May 19, 2024. Photo: EFE Noticias/X

As European Union voters prepare for June elections, far-right leaders gathered in Madrid for a weekend rally hosted by Spain’s Vox party—a gathering at the Palacio de Vistalegre that drew protests and warnings about their plans for the continent.

Rally speakers delivered “strong messages against illegal migration and the bloc’s climate policy while declaring their support for Israel in its war against Hamas,” according to The Associated Press.

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In ‘Abandonment of Public Education,’ Louisiana to Allow Tax Dollars to Pay for Private Schools

“We must build and maintain a public education system that serves all children,” said one Democratic lawmaker.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-18-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry testifies during a hearing in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call)

After an aggressive push by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, the Louisiana Senate advanced a bill this week that would allow public funds to be used for private school tuition—sending what one Democrat called an “abandonment” of the state’s public schools to the state House, where it is expected to pass.

The state Senate approved the Louisiana Giving All True Opportunity to Rise (LA GATOR) Scholarship Program in a vote of 25-15 on Thursday, with just four Republicans joining the Democratic Party in opposing the bill.

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‘Argentina Stopped’: Unions Hold Second General Strike Over Milei Austerity

“It is a day of resistance and demand,” said trade groups that organized the action “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: vijay banga/X

Argentina’s primary trade union federation on Thursday held another nationwide general strike, the second called since President Javier Milei, a far-right economist, took office in December and began pursuing sweeping austerity and deregulation.

The South American nation’s unions organized the strike “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage,” according to a statement from the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the Argentine Workers’ Central Union (CTA), and the Autonomous CTA.

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Mistrial Declared in Abu Ghraib Torture Suit Against US Contractor

“This will not be the final word; what happened in Abu Ghraib is engraved into our memories and will never be forgotten in history,” one plaintiff vowed.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 5-2-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. Army Spc. Charles Graner tortures hooded and handcuffed prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo: U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command)

The federal judge presiding over a case filed by three Iraqis who were tortured by U.S. military contractors in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison two decades ago declared a mistrial Thursday after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

After eight days of deliberation—a longer period than the trial itself—the eight civil jurors in Alexandria deadlocked over whether employees of CACI conspired with soldiers to torture detainees. The Virginia-based professional services and information technology firm was hired in 2003 during the George W. Bush administration to provide translators and interrogators in Iraq during the U.S.-led invasion and occupation, conspired with soldiers to torture detainees.

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