Hagel Denounces States Denying Same-Sex Military Benefits

U.S.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had stern words Thursday for states defying Pentagon policy by refusing to issue ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities.

“This is wrong,” he told a gathering at the Anti-Defamation League centennial dinner in New York.

Nine states are currently running afoul of Pentagon policy by refusing to issue same-sex spouse IDs at National Guard posts: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia, the Associated Press reports. The policy forces couples to travel to federal facilities to obtain the IDs, which are needed to get the benefits to which military couples, including same-sex couples, are now entitled to under law. The Department of Defense lifted its ban on gays serving openly in the military in September 2011, and the Supreme Court struck down part of a federal law denying federal benefits to same-sex couples last year.

“Not only…

View original post 40 more words

Calls To Limit Speech In The Snowden Era Underscore The Importance Of A Free Press

TechCrunch

The Snowden revelations have reignited a discussion about privacy — especially privacy in the digital age. That discussion will eventually, we can hope, not only reform how the government views the privacy of its citizens, but also how those citizens interact with private entities that might store massive amounts of their personal information.

It’s stunning to consider how much better informed we are as a global citizenry thanks to Snowden’s efforts and the journalists that have worked closely with him. They have carefully brought to light documents and information regarding the spying efforts of the United States government, and to a lesser degree, the British government on a scale that was previously unimaginable.

But the Snowden leaks have done more than uncover a secret world of surveillance. They are starting to drive change at the congressional level. Following revelations that the NSA taps the fiber-optic cables of the Internet, tracks…

View original post 1,232 more words