Morality

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  Republican Senator In Lavatory Arrest To QuitAugust 31, 2007 17:53 A conservative Republican senator was poised to resign last night after his arrest in a men’s public toilet.

Larry Craig, a family values campaigner from Idaho who opposes gay marriage, was under enormous pressure from Republicans to quit after it emerged that he pleaded guilty on August 8 to disorderly conduct during a police sting operation in a men’s toilet at Minneapolis airport.

The scandal has become almost a national obsession - and fodder for late-night comics - because of Mr Craig’s insistence that he is innocent, and only pleaded guilty to make the case “go away”. His explanation for why his foot bumped up against that of the undercover policeman in the next cubicle - that he has a “wide stance when going to the bathroom” - immediately entered the lexicon of creative political excuses. Since news broke of Mr Craig’s arrest and guilty plea on Monday, several of his colleagues have called for him to go. There were growing indications last night that he would formally announce his resignation today.

Mr Craig has already been dropped from Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign team. The episode comes after a string of Republican sexual and financial scandals.
  Bishop Surrenders; Charged With Choking Atlanta EvangelistAugust 24, 2007 13:55 The husband of televangelist Juanita Bynum turned himself in Friday to face charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats following a confrontation in which he left her badly bruised.

Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III, founder of Global Destiny churches, surrendered to police at the Fulton County jail Friday morning.

He refused to speak to reporters as he entered the jail.

The struggle happened early Wednesday in a hotel parking lot near Atlanta's airport, and a hotel bellman pulled Weeks off Bynum, Campbell said.

"They were talking about a reconciliation. They got into an argument. In the process of the argument, her husband walked out to the parking lot area, turned back around and started to choke Miss Bynum," Officer Ronald Campbell said.

"As he choked her, he pushed her down to the ground and started to kick her and also stomp on her," he said. "There was a bellman at the location who witnessed the whole assault, intervened, and pulled Mr. Weeks off of Miss Bynum."

Bynum gave WSB-TV Channel 2 pictures that showed her injuries.
  Abc News: Romney Muddles Abortion StanceAugust 23, 2007 08:52 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Tuesday in a Nevada television interview that he supports letting states "make their own decision" about whether to keep abortion legal.

"My view is that the Supreme Court has made an error in saying at the national level one size fits all for the whole nation," Romney told Nevada political columnist Jon Ralston in a televised interview. "Instead, I would let states make their choices."

Asked by Ralston if it was "OK" with him that Nevada is a "pro-choice state," Romney said, "I'd let states make their own decision in this regard. My view, of course, is I'm a pro-life individual. That's the position I support. But, I'd let states have this choice rather than let the federal government have it."

 
  Amnesty Backs Right To Abortion Despite ChurchAugust 19, 2007 09:05 Human rights group Amnesty International on Friday backed women's right to an abortion if their lives are in danger or if they have been raped in a move likely to anger the Catholic Church.

The church, which considers abortion to be murder and never justified, has urged Catholic organizations to withdraw their support for Amnesty over the policy. The Vatican says Amnesty has "betrayed its mission."

At the end of its annual meeting in Mexico City, Amnesty said it would work to "support the decriminalization of abortion, to ensure women have access to heath care when complications arise from abortion and to defend women's access to abortion ... when their health or human rights are in danger."

Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan told Reuters in July that the new policy, inspired by rapes in war zones such as Darfur, urged governments to provide safe abortions when women conceive after rape or incest or when a pregnant woman's life is threatened.

Bishop William Skylstad, head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in July the decision "undermines Amnesty's long-standing moral credibility" and called on the London-based rights group, founded by a Catholic layman, to reverse its policy.

 
  U.S. Military Practices Genetic Discrimination In Denying BenefitsAugust 18, 2007 15:38 Eric Miller's career as an Army Ranger wasn't ended by a battlefield wound, but his DNA.

Lurking in his genes was a mutation that made him vulnerable to uncontrolled tumor growth. After suffering back pain during a tour in Afghanistan, he underwent three surgeries to remove tumors from his brain and spine that left him with numbness throughout the left side of his body.

So began his journey into a dreaded scenario of the genetic age.

Because he was born with the mutation, the Army argued it bore no responsibility for his illness and medically discharged him in 2005 without the disability benefits or health insurance he needed to fight his disease.

"The Army didn't give me anything," said Miller, 28, a seven-year veteran who is training to join the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

While genetic discrimination is banned in most cases throughout the country, it is alive and well in the U.S. military.

For more than 20 years, the armed forces have held a policy that specifically denies disability benefits to servicemen and women with congenital or hereditary conditions. The practice would be illegal in almost any other workplace.

There is one exception, instituted in 1999, that grants benefits to personnel who have served eight years.
  U.S. Laws Protect Right To Wear Religious Garb At WorkAugust 07, 2007 10:45 A refugee from war-torn Somalia, Bilan Nur, came to the United States and succeeded in getting a job as a customer sales representative with Alamo Car Rental in Phoenix. As a Muslim, she wore a hijab, or head scarf, during the holy month of Ramadan.

But after the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, her employer refused to permit Nur to continue to cover her head at all, even though Nur was willing to wear an approved scarf with the Alamo Car Rental logo. The company fired Nur in December 2001 -- only eight days before Ramadan ended that year -- and declared her ineligible for rehire.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) -- the federal government agency that enforces U.S. anti-discrimination laws in the workplace -- took up Nur's case. Hers was the first post-September 11 backlash case brought by the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office.

After a six-year battle, EEOC won Nur’s religious discrimination suit. In June, a Phoenix jury awarded Nur more than $287,000 in back pay and compensatory and punitive damages.

In a statement released by the EEOC, Mary Jo O’Neill, the regional attorney for the EEOC Phoenix District Office, said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people of all religious beliefs. “No one should ever have to sacrifice her religious beliefs in order to keep a job,” O’Neill said.