U.S. News | LGB

U.S. becomes 25th country to guarantee same-sex marriage rights nationwide with Supreme Court decision
  • Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion in the 5-4 ruling, which cast same-sex marriage as a fundamental constitutional right.
  • The ruling legalizes same-sex marriage in the 13 remaining states that have yet to have pass marriage equality legislation or have judicial rulings issued effectively legalizing the recognition.
  • The decision is the culmination of a nearly unbroken line of state and federal court decisions that have dismantled bans on same-sex marriage, most spurred by the Supreme Court’s US v. Windsor decision that ruled much of the federal legislation banning same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. … Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Read the full story at the New York Times and Quartz.

Israel News: Arab Israelis

Outrage erupts in Israeli Knesset after the deputy interior minister tells parliament member she should return her citizenship card for participating in a flotilla to Gaza
  • Coming during a debate on the proposed cancellation of law giving Israeli citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israeli Arabs, Yaron Mazuz’s provocation also included a comment about Arab MK Hanin Zoabi being “done a favor” by being allowed to be in the Israeli parliament.
  • In response, PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Arab MKs for speaking out against the Israeli army and accused them of “hypocrisy.”
  • Other MKs, from the Joint List Arab coalition as well as other parties, swiftly condemned the comments, calling for an apology.

“Ms. Zoabi, you are the first of those who should hand back their identity card. … We are doing you a favor that you are even sitting here. Terrorists don’t sit here. You are in a democratic state — respect the state. Anyone who acts against the state through terror has no right to be here. It is unacceptable for members of this institution to take part in terror flotillas against the State of Israel.”

Read the full story at The Times of Israel.

(Image Credit: Screen capture from Channel 2, via The Times of Israel)

Canada News | Minorities

Toronto government works to boost proportion of minority-led and diverse businesses receiving government contracts
  • The city council has begun rolling out a social procurement framework for business development, which could lead to a policy in which one of three short-listed bids for city contracts would be from diverse or minority-led businesses (including those identified as immigrant, racial/ethnic minorities, women, and/or gay or lesbian).
  • In 2012, 7% of bidders were minority-led or -controlled and received C$339 million in contracts, while in 2013, 5% were and received C$434 million.
  • The city and business leaders acknowledge that the highest hurdles facing minority business owners are lack of awareness about minority-friendly programs, aversion to working with the government because of perceived rigidity, and self-selection out of the contracting process from fear of lacking necessary connections.

Read the full story at Inside Toronto.