Jon's Feed
Apr 1, 2015

Indiana Republicans meet with LGBT groups seeking fix to law

By Fiona Ortiz and Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – Republican lawmakers in Indiana were meeting with gay and lesbian groups on Wednesday as they rushed to re-craft a potentially discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act that sparked national outrage.

The rewritten law could be ready as early as Thursday, said Tory Flynn, spokeswoman for Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma.

Mar 31, 2015

U.S. Justice Department launches probe of Dallas truancy courts

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating truancy courts in Dallas County, Texas, for alleged violations such as blocking access to lawyers and excessive fines after complaints about a system critics say is one of the nation’s harshest.

The investigation of the Truancy Court and Juvenile District Court in Dallas County “will focus on whether the courts provide constitutionally required due process to all children charged with the criminal offense of failure to attend school,” the department said on Tuesday.

Mar 30, 2015

U.S. Justice Dept sues Oklahoma university over transgender professor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department filed a
lawsuit on Monday against Southeastern Oklahoma State
University, alleging the school discriminated against a
transgender assistant professor.

The DOJ said it also sued the Regional University System of
Oklahoma. The department said Rachel Tudor was denied a
promotion because of her gender identity and retaliated against
after she complained.

Mar 27, 2015

Arkansas Senate passes religion bill seen as targeting gays

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – The Arkansas Senate overwhelmingly approved on Friday a Republican-backed bill whose authors say is intended to protect religious freedoms but critics contend could allow businesses to refuse service to gay people.

The Republican governor of Indiana signed into law a similar “religious freedom” bill on Thursday, prompting protests from human rights groups and criticism from some business leaders.

Mar 27, 2015

Arkansas Senate approves controversial religion bill

By Jon Herskovitz and Steve Barnes

(Reuters) – The Arkansas Senate overwhelmingly approved on
Friday a bill its authors said is to protect religious freedoms
but critics contend could allow business owners to refuse
service to gays and lesbians because of their beliefs.

As the bill advances in the Republican-dominated Arkansas
statehouse, the governor of nearby Indiana signed into law a
similar “religious freedom” bill on Thursday, prompting protests
from human rights groups and some business leaders.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S. court halts Labor Department same-sex couple protections

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. district judge in Texas on Thursday issued a stay to halt the U.S. Labor Department from implementing a rule that would expand medical leave protections for same-sex couples, saying the move impinges on the rights of states that ban gay marriage.

The state of Texas, which has a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, last week sued the Labor Department over the rule that would grant family medical leave protections to all married same-sex couples.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S. court halts Labor Dept. same-sex couple protections

AUSTIN, Texas, March 26 (Reuters) – A U.S. district judge in
Texas on Thursday issued a stay to halt the U.S. Labor
Department from implementing a rule that would expand medical
leave protections for same-sex couples, saying the move impinges
on the rights of states that ban gay marriage.

The state of Texas, which has a state constitutional
amendment banning gay marriage, last week sued the Labor
Department over the rule that would grant family medical leave
protections to all married same-sex couples.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S. court halts Labor Department rule on same-sex couples

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. district judge in Texas on
Thursday issued a stay to halt the U.S. Labor Department from
implementing a rule that would expand medical leave protections
for same-sex couples, saying the move impinges on the rights of
states that ban gay marriage.

The state of Texas, which has a state constitutional
amendment banning gay marriage, last week sued the Labor
Department over the rule that would grant family medical leave
protections to all married same-sex couples.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S. gives approval for $350,000 rhino hunt sold at Texas auction

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A hunter who paid $350,000 last year at a Dallas auction for a license to hunt an endangered black rhino in Namibia will be able to bring home a trophy despite protests from animal rights groups that said the sale was immoral.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Thursday it had found that $550,000 in proceeds generated from two planned hunts in the southern African country will go to conservation and granted permits for them, including the one sold at the Texas auction.

Mar 25, 2015

Texas gets new batch of execution drug after supply ran short

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas has received a new stock of a lethal injection drug after its supply of the sedative it uses in executions fell to just one batch, prison officials said on Wednesday.

“The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has obtained a new supply of pentobarbital, which will allow the agency to carry out executions that are scheduled for the month of April,” spokesman Jason Clark said in a statement.