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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Federal Court Strikes Down Utah's Gay Marriage Ban

Derek Kitchen (left) and his partner, Moudi Sbeity, talk with the media outside Frank E. Moss United States Courthouse earlier this month, where a challenge to Utah's same-sex marriage ban by three gay couples was decided on Friday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:03 pm

A federal judge has struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it's unconstitutional.

The 53-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby says a 2004 ban passed by the state's voters violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Associated Press says:

"Attorneys for the state argued that Utah's law promotes the state's interest in 'responsible procreation' and the 'optimal mode of child-rearing.'

"The lawsuit was brought by three gay and lesbian couples in Utah.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Gov. Christie Signs New Jersey 'DREAM Act' Into Law

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a news conference Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:52 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill on Friday that will give some students who are in the U.S. illegally a break on their tuition.

Christie inked New Jersey's version of the DREAM Act, which the Republican governor supported in his last re-election bid.

The state's Legislature passed the bill after a compromise that dropped a provision that would also have allowed students in the country illegally to be eligible for state financial aid if they qualified under income guidelines, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reports:

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Parallels
4:01 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Uganda Passes Anti-Gay Bill That Includes Life In Prison

David Bahati, a member of Uganda's Parliament, is interviewed in 2011. Bahati was the driving force behind a controversial anti-gay bill that was approved Friday.
Ronald Kabuubi AP

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 6:46 pm

Uganda's Parliament ignored Western criticism and passed a bill on Friday that punishes acts of homosexuality with prison terms that can include life in prison.

The bill has been a source of controversy for years. Western governments and leaders, including President Obama, have criticized the measure, which President Yoweri Museveni must sign for it to take effect.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it's actual name, also makes it a crime to "promote" homosexuality, which could mean simply offering HIV counseling.

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NPR Story
3:39 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Mr. Cohen's Choir Music For Christmas

Ron Cohen, Robin's former choir director at the J.F.K. High School Choir in Plainview Long Island. (Robin Lubbock/Here & Now)

Here & Now’s Robin Young is joined by her former high school choir director Ron Cohen, who brings his picks for choral music for the Christmas season.

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NPR Story
3:39 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Target Fallout Continues After Security Breach

The fallout continues for Target Corporation, whose 1,797 stores have suffered one of the largest-ever credit card breaches in the U.S.

A class-action lawsuit was filed last night by a California shopper — the first of what lawyers expect to be a torrent of similar suits.

In addition, Target is likely to be subject to fines by card issuers for non-compliance with payment card security standards. And then, there are the fraudulent charges to consumers, which banks may also try to recoup from the Minneapolis-based company.

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NPR Story
3:39 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

US Economy Expands At 4.1 Percent Rate

The U.S. economy grew at a solid 4.1 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest pace since late 2011 and significantly higher than previously believed. Much of the upward revision came from stronger consumer spending.

The Commerce Department’s final look at growth in the summer was up from a previous estimate of 3.6 percent. Four-fifths of the revision came from stronger consumer spending, primarily in the area of health care.

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Black GOP Hopefuls See Promise In Retirement Flurry

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love addresses the Utah Republican Party's annual organizing convention in May.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:49 pm

It's not every day that three long-serving House members announce their retirements within hours of each other. It's rarer still that two of those seats have a distinct possibility of being filled by a black Republican after next year's election.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

What's In A Name?

According to the Social Security Administration, Sophia has been the most popular baby name in the U.S. since 2011. (Moxie&Mischief/Etsy)

The top baby names for 2013 are in.

According to babycenter.com, the top five names for girls are Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Mia. For boys, the top names are Jackson, Aiden, Liam, Lucas and Noah.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' Suspension Riles Conservatives

Phil Robertson is the patriarch of the family at the center of the reality show "Duck Dynasty." (A&E)

Cable network A&E has suspended Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family at the center of the reality show “Duck Dynasty,” after he made anti-gay comments in an interview with GQ.

Robertson was asked “What, in your mind, is sinful?” He answered:

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Defrocking Opens Deep Divide Among Methodists

Former United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer speaks with reporters after a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP)

The United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania defrocked the Rev. Frank Schaefer yesterday, after he said he could not uphold Methodist Church teachings on homosexuality.

Last month, a jury of fellow Methodist pastors convicted Schaefer of violating church discipline when he officiated the same-sex marriage of his son six years ago. The church suspended him from all ministerial duties at his small, Zion United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Penn., and gave him a month to decide if he could uphold all of the church’s teachings, including the ban on same-sex marriage.

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