(huffington post) – Boy Scouts End Ban On Gay Adults

Boy Scouts End Ban On Gay Adults

Vote allows religiously affiliated scout groups to set their own LGBT policies.
Lydia O’Connor Associate News Editor, The Huffington Post
The Boy Scouts of America voted Monday to lift a long-established ban on gay adults  as employees and volunteers within the organization. The BSA’s full executive board voted 45 to 12 in favor of the change, effective immediately. The vote came after the National Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution earlier this month stating that “no adult applicant for registration as an employee or non-unit-serving volunteer, who otherwise meets the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, may be denied registration on the basis of sexual orientation.
“BSA President Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense, had called for an end to the ban. “For far too long, this issue has divided and distracted us,” Gates said in a video released Monday. “Now it’s time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of scouting to be a force for good in the community and in the lives of its youth members.”The resolution, which allows previously removed leaders to reapply for their positions, lifts the BSA’s across-the-board ban on gay leaders, but allows religiously affiliated troops to determine their own policies regarding LGBT adults, as scout units are chartered by other non-profits to which the BSA licenses its intellectual property.“Finally, hardworking and devoted gay adult leaders can serve openly and honestly in Scouting without fear of rejection or retribution,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the advocacy group GLAAD. “Today’s historic vote will strengthen Scouting and sends a message of acceptance that will resonate for years to come, as future Scout leaders are judged by their ability to lead and not their sexual orientation.”Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said the vote “is a welcome step toward erasing a stain on this important organization.” He added: “Including an exemption for troops sponsored by religious organizations undermines and diminishes the historic nature of today’s decision. Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period.”“There are differences of opinion, and we need to be respectful of them,” Michael Harrison, a businessman who led the Boy Scouts in Orange County, California, who supported the resolution, told The New York Times this week. “It doesn’t mean the Mormons have to pick a gay scoutmaster, but please don’t tell the Unitarians they can’t.”The Mormon church quickly issued a statement saying that it was “deeply troubled” by the vote and that its “century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined.””The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation,” the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints statement said. “However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.
“Zach Wahls, an Eagle scout and executive director of Scouts for Equality, told The Huffington Post earlier this month that the resolution was imperfect, but a major step.“It’s better than it was,” Wahls said, adding, “I honestly thought we were in for a 10-year wait.

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(reuters) – Bobbi Kristina Brown autopsy sheds little light on bathtub mystery

An initial autopsy on Bobbi Kristina Brown on Monday found no significant injuries and no obvious underlying cause of death for the daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, who died on Sunday after sustaining irreversible brain damage in January.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office in Georgia said Brown, 22, had no previously unknown medical conditions that would have contributed to her death.

It also said it has issued subpoenas to help gather documentary information on her death, and would conduct additional tests that are expected to take several weeks.

Brown, the only child of Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown, died at an Atlanta-area hospice where her family had placed her a month ago after giving up hope she would recover. She died six months after an unexplained incident that left her unresponsive in a bathtub in her suburban Atlanta home.

“Krissy was and is an angel. I am completely numb at this time,” Bobby Brown, in his first comments on his daughter’s death, said in a statement issued by his lawyer.

“My family must find a way to live with her in spirit and honor her memory. Our loss is unimaginable. We thank everyone for the prayers for Krissy and our family as we mourn my baby girl,” he added.

The Medical Examiner’s office had said earlier that efforts to determine what happened to Brown in January would be “challenging” given the time gap between the bathtub incident and her death. She was found face down in the bathtub by her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, and a friend on Jan. 31.

A $10 million civil lawsuit filed last month by the court-appointed conservator for Brown accused Gordon of causing her “life-threatening injuries” and of stealing from her bank account while she was in a coma.

No one has been criminally charged in the case, which has been referred to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for further review.

Brown’s death came three years after her Grammy-winning mother, who had battled substance abuse, drowned in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel at age 48.

Entertainment news website Entertainment Tonight, citing an unnamed family source, reported on Monday that a funeral for Brown was expected in Atlanta this week. It said her body would then be taken to New Jersey to be buried alongside her mother in Westfield. Representatives of the family have released no details on funeral arrangements.

(The story has been refiled to fix spelling in headline, Bobbi instead of Bobby and add statement from father Bobby Brown in paragraphs five and six)

An initial autopsy on Bobbi Kristina Brown on Monday found no significant injuries and no obvious underlying cause of death for the daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, who died on Sunday

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(The Intelligencer: Bucks County | Montgomery County) – Verizon workers vote to authorize strike, if necessary 

Verizon workers in nine states – including Pennsylvania and New Jersey – have voted to go on strike if necessary over a dispute about a new contract, a union official said at a rally Saturday.
“Our members are clear and they are determined,” said Dennis Trainor, an official with the Communications Workers of America union. “They reject management’s harsh concessionary demands.”

At the rally in New York, the CWA announced that 86 percent of Verizon workers who voted in a recent poll backed strike action if required. A contract that covers 39,000 workers represented by the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers expires at midnight on August 1.
The contract covers employees the nine states from Massachusetts to Virginia who work for Verizon’s wireline business, which provides fixed-line phone services and FiOS Internet service.
The unions say the telecom giant is demanding that workers sharply increase their health care contributions and make concession on pensions.
Verizon spokesman Rich Young said that the company had made the unions “a solid proposal that recognizes the changing communications landscape and offers a path toward success.”
Many of the aspects of the contracts that were set “decades ago” were no longer relevant in an industry that was facing increased pressure and structural change, Young said. He also said that the company had been training non-union employees to take on additional roles to ensure that there was no disruption to customers in the event of a strike.
The contract also affects wireline workers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, as well as Washington, D.C.
About 45,000 Verizon workers went on strike in August 2011 for about two weeks.<

Repeating:
Verizon workers in nine states – including Pennsylvania and New Jersey – have voted to go on strike if necessary over a dispute about a new contract, a union official said at a rally Saturday.

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