What actual harm will result from allowing same-sex marriage?

The answer is, of course, none at all. The feelings of some religious people will be offended but that is about it. But Pema Levy says that opponents feel that their prior inability to articulate actual damage has hurt them in past legal cases and so they filed several briefs in tomorrow’s Supreme Court case where they marshal the evidence for the tangible harm that will arise if same-sex marriage is allowed.
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Is a sentence of life imprisonment without parole humane?

I hate the death penalty for many reasons that I won’t bother to go into here. But the recent results of an investigation about how over many decades the FBI faked forensic evidence to aid the prosecution in criminal cases should settle the case against it once and for all since it throws serious doubt on our ability to reach the level of certainty about guilt that a death penalty requires. (Thanks to Marcus Ranum for the link.)
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Subsidizing businesses and the rich

The level of determination shown by some to prevent the poor from leading decent lives is unbelievable. Take for example the people who work in restaurants and other places that depend upon tips to supplement their very low wages since such workers have lower federal minimum wage requirements than non-tip jobs. Republican legislators in the state of Minnesota seem to feel that some of these workers are earning too much and have taken steps to reduce it.
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The great gyrocopter escapade

Last week the media were all agog are about the exploits of a 61-year old postal worker Doug Hughes, who piloted his gyrocopter below the radar and landed near the White House and the Capitol building to deliver letters to each member of Congress protesting the state of campaign finance in the US, a worthy cause indeed since that is a scandal. You can read the letter here. It is a pretty good analysis of the problem.
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“Would you attend a gay wedding?”

The growing split between what the American public and the right wing crazies think about same-sex marriage is making the above question, which should be a no-brainer for any sentient being, now considered to be a tricky, ‘gotcha’ question. Naturally The Daily Show took the chance to have fun over it, especially with Rick Santorum who is looking even crazier this time around than in 2012, something I would not have thought possible.
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Religious (and general) support for same-sex marriage grows rapidly

While opposition to same-sex marriage is based entirely on religious reasons (although some opponents might try to disguise that fact by finding seemingly secular reasons), it is interesting that a new survey released yesterday by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that the majority of many mainline religious groups support it.
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What is the true ISIS origin story?

The sudden appearance of the group ISIS and the rapid growth in the territory that it holds, coupled with the extraordinary brutality of its methods, has spurred a great deal of interest in its origins and ultimate goals. Is it primarily a political organization with secular territorial goals that uses religion as a unifying and motivating element and brutality as a tactic, or is it a fanatical religious organization that uses the appeal of territorial gains and a new state as the motivating factor?
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The greatest or most selfish generation?

Politicians pander to those over 65 because they tend to vote in greater proportions and are also concentrated in key presidential states like Florida. Media also tends to pander to them because they tend to be the largest demographic that watches cable and other news shows. Tom Brokaw gave them the complimentary title of ‘The Greatest Generation’ because of the fact that they lived through World War II and that has somehow come to symbolize that they are somehow more meritorious than subsequent generations, a totally unfounded view.
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Why is it so hard to learn that no means no?

The comedy program Inside Amy Schumer used a parody of the popular TV show Friday Night Lights to highlight the problem of small towns where football is king, high school football players are treated like gods, women who are raped become the target of abuse when they report it, and that the very culture of football inculcates attitudes that justify the use of force to get what you want.
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