04-17-2024  8:16 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

Five Running to Represent Northeast Portland at County Level Include Former Mayor, Social Worker, Hotelier (Part 2)

Five candidates are vying for the spot previously held by Susheela Jayapal, who resigned from office in November to focus on running for Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Jesse Beason is currently serving as interim commissioner in Jayapal’s place. (Part 2)

NEWS BRIEFS

Literary Arts Transforms Historic Central Eastside Building Into New Headquarters

The new 14,000-square-foot literary center will serve as a community and cultural hub with a bookstore, café, classroom, and event...

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Announces New Partnership with the University of Oxford

Tony Bishop initiated the CBCF Alumni Scholarship to empower young Black scholars and dismantle financial barriers ...

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival Returns to Mt. Hood Community College with Acclaimed Artists

Performing at the festival are acclaimed artists Joshua Redman, Hailey Niswanger, Etienne Charles and Creole Soul, Camille Thurman,...

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oregon

Yolanda J. Jackson has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. ...

Americans Willing to Pay More to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap, Creating a New Opportunity for Black Business Owners

National research released today provides encouraging news that most Americans are willing to pay a premium price for products and...

Idaho's ban on youth gender-affirming care has families desperately scrambling for solutions

Forced to hide her true self, Joe Horras’ transgender daughter struggled with depression and anxiety until three years ago, when she began to take medication to block the onset of puberty. The gender-affirming treatment helped the now-16-year-old find happiness again, her father said. ...

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shut down airport highways and key bridges in major US cities

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roadways in Illinois, California, New York and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, temporarily shutting down travel into some of the nation's most heavily used airports, onto the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges and on a busy West Coast highway. ...

Caleb Williams among 13 confirmed prospects for opening night of the NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) — Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection overall, will be among 13 prospects attending the first round of the NFL draft in Detroit on April 25. The NFL announced the 13 prospects confirmed as of Thursday night, and...

Georgia ends game on 12-0 run to beat Missouri 64-59 in first round of SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cain had 19 points, Justin Hill scored 17 off the bench and 11th-seeded Georgia finished the game on a 12-0 run to beat No. 14 seed Missouri 64-59 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Cain hit 6 of 12 shots,...

OPINION

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

COMMENTARY: Is a Cultural Shift on the Horizon?

As with all traditions in all cultures, it is up to the elders to pass down the rituals, food, language, and customs that identify a group. So, if your auntie, uncle, mom, and so on didn’t teach you how to play Spades, well, that’s a recipe lost. But...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Supreme Court makes it easier to sue for job discrimination over forced transfers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for workers who are transferred from one job to another against their will to pursue job discrimination claims under federal civil rights law, even when they are not demoted or docked pay. Workers only have to show...

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in US more likely to believe in climate change: AP-NORC poll

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States are more likely than the overall adult population to believe in human-caused climate change, according to a new poll. It also suggests that partisanship may not have as much of an impact on this group's environmental...

Figures and Dobson win nominations for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters decided primary runoffs on Tuesday for the state's newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District, setting up a potentially historic November race that could play a part in the battle for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Shomari...

ENTERTAINMENT

Luke Combs leads the 2024 ACM Awards nominations, followed by Morgan Wallen and Megan Moroney

Luke Combs leads the nominees for the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nods to his name, it was announced Tuesday. For a fifth year in a row, he's up for both male artist of the year and the top prize, entertainer of the year. The 59th annual ACM Awards...

Studio behind hit ‘Sound of Freedom’ wants to give audiences greenlight power

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Angel Studios wants to give audiences the power to decide what movies are made. The company behind last summer’s surprise box office hit, the child trafficking movie “ Sound of Freedom,” employs a crowdfunding model to finance projects from the ground up. ...

Margot Robbie making ‘Monopoly’ movie and Blumhouse reviving ‘Blair Witch’

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Margot Robbie has her sights on another toy. The “ Barbie ” producer and star is making a Monopoly movie, with Hasbro and Lionsgate behind it, the companies announced Wednesday at the CinemaCon conference in Las Vegas. Robbie, and her production company...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump goes from court to campaign at a bodega in his heavily Democratic hometown

NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from a Manhattan courtroom, Donald Trump visited a New York bodega where a man was stabbed...

Maui Fire Department report on deadly wildfire details how it was no match for unprecedented blazes

HONOLULU (AP) — When wildfires broke out across Maui last August, some firefighters carried victims piggyback...

Myanmar's ousted leader Suu Kyi moved from prison to house arrest due to heat, military says

BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s jailed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved from prison to house arrest as a...

AP PHOTOS: Colorful roadshows and rallies mark India's election season before voting starts Friday

NEW DELHI (AP) — Every five years, the world’s most populous democracy holds a giant election for millions of...

Croatia votes in a parliamentary election that's a showdown between its president and prime minister

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia is voting Wednesday in a parliamentary election after a campaign that centered on...

Death toll from 4 days of rains rises to 63 in Pakistan with more rain on the forecast

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Lightning and heavy rains led to 14 deaths in Pakistan, officials said Wednesday,...

Carmelita Cabello, left, and her partner of 31 year, Jaque Roberts, right, arrive at the Travis County building for a marriage license
Mark Sherman, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally.

Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

Gay rights supporters cheered, danced and wept outside the court after the decision, which put an exclamation point on breathtaking changes in the nation's social norms.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court's previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.

"No union is more profound than marriage," Kennedy wrote, joined by the court's four more liberal justices.

The stories of the people asking for the right to marry "reveal that they seek not to denigrate marriage but rather to live their lives, or honor their spouses' memory, joined by its bond," Kennedy said.

As he read his opinion, spectators in the courtroom wiped away tears after the import of the decision became clear. One of those in the audience was James Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court fight.

Outside, Obergefell held up a photo of his late spouse, John, and said the ruling establishes that "our love is equal." He added, "This is for you, John."

President Barack Obama placed a congratulatory phone call to Obergefell, which he took amid a throng of reporters outside the courthouse.

Speaking a few minutes later at the White House, Obama praised the decision as "justice that arrives like a thunderbolt." He said it was an affirmation of the principle that "all Americans are created equal."

The four dissenting justices each filed a separate opinion explaining his views, but they all agreed that states and their voters should have been left with the power to decide who can marry.

"This court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent. Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice.

"If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision," Roberts said. "But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

Justice Antonin Scalia said he was not concerned so much about same-sex marriage but about "this court'sthreat to American democracy." Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas also dissented.

President Barack Obama welcomed the decision via Twitter, calling it "a big step in our march toward equality."

The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But some state officials and county clerks might decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.

Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor formed the majority with Kennedy on Friday, the same lineup as two years ago.

The earlier decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courtsacross the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly. As recently as last October, just over one-third of the states permitted it.

There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA's Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.

The Obama administration backed the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Justice Department's decision to stop defending the federal anti-marriage law in 2011 was an important moment for gay rights, and Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in 2012.

The states affected by Friday's ruling are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, most of Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

___

Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko, Sam Hananel and Glynn Hill contributed to this report.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast