Jun 26, 2015 10:44 am

How the Supreme Court’s decision for gay marriage could affect religious institutions

Sexual Orientation and Discrimination Laws

Even before the Supreme Court’s decision granting same-sex couples a constitutional right to wed, legal scholars and others have been trying to determine how such a ruling might affect religious institutions. It has been a question on the minds of the justices, too.

Indeed, during the April 28 oral arguments in the case, Obergefell v. Hodges, most of the justices asked about or commented on this issue. Justice Samuel Alito drew a possible parallel with Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian institution that lost its nonprofit, tax-exempt status in 1983 as a result of its policy banning interracial marriage and dating.

If the court ruled in favor of gay marriage, “would the same apply to a university or college if it opposed same-sex marriage?” Alito had asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who was arguing on behalf of the government in favor of gay marriage. “It is going to be an issue,” Verrilli answered. Read More

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Religion and Government, Religion and U.S. Politics, Supreme Court

Jun 26, 2015 10:36 am

5 facts about same-sex marriage

Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony, Florida
Partners Kevin Foster (right) and Joey Thibodeaux place wedding bands on each other’s fingers during their same-sex wedding ceremony in Florida. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a landmark ruling granting same-sex couples a constitutional right to marry. The 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizes gay marriage throughout the country, meaning that the 14 states that currently do not allow gays and lesbians to wed will now need to do so.

The decision rests in part on the court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment, stating that limiting marriage only to heterosexual couples violates the amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy states that “no union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.” Kennedy goes on to say that gay and lesbian couples “ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Here are five key facts about same-sex marriage:

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Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Supreme Court

Jun 26, 2015 10:15 am

Half of unmarried LGBT Americans say they would like to wed

In 2013, 52% of Unmarried LGBT Adults Said They Would Marry If Given the OpportunityIn a historic decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that the 14th Amendment requires states to license marriages between people of the same sex. The decision affects the lives of tens of thousands of Americans: About half the country’s unmarried LGBT adults said they would like to get married someday, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey.

Among the large majority of LGBT respondents who were unmarried or separated at the time of the survey, 52% said they would like to get married in the future, while 15% said they would not want to get married and a third (33%) were not sure.

In 2013, 16% of LGBT adults identified as already legally married, though gay men (4%) and lesbians (6%) were far less likely to be currently married than bisexual men (23%) or bisexual women (32%); most spouses of bisexuals were of the opposite sex.

There is overwhelming support for same-sex marriage among LGBT adults. Our survey, conducted online using the GfK Knowledge Networks panel, found that 93% were supportive of same-sex marriage, with 74% strongly in favor. There was less agreement on whether the fight for legalization should be a top priority for the community: 58% said it should, while 39% said the push for same-sex marriage took too much attention away from other important issues. Read More

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Supreme Court

Jun 25, 2015 3:09 pm

Hispanic population reaches record 55 million, but growth has cooled

U.S. Hispanic Population is Growing More SlowlyThe U.S. Hispanic population has been a key driver of the country’s population growth since at least 2000. But the group’s growth has slowed in recent years, and that trend continued in 2014, as evidenced by new figures released early today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Hispanic population reached a new high of 55.4 million in 2014 (or 17.4% of the total U.S. population), an increase of 1.2 million (2.1%) from the year before. However, that 2.1% rate continues a trend of slower growth that began in 2010.

Hispanic population growth had peaked earlier, in the 1990s. From 1995 to 2000, annual average growth was 4.8%, and growth has declined since then. From 2010 to 2014, the annual average growth had dropped to 2.2%. Part of the reason for this decline in population growth is the slowdown in immigration from Latin America, and in particular, from Mexico. Read More

Topics: Demographics, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Latin America, Mexico, Population Trends, U.S. Census

Jun 25, 2015 12:00 pm

Same-sex marriage makes some legal gains in Latin America

Views on Same-Sex Marriage in Latin AmericaWhile laws allowing same-sex marriage have become more common in European countries and in U.S. states, gay marriage advocates also have gained ground in some parts of Latin America. Most recently, the Mexican Supreme Court issued a ruling making it much easier for gay and lesbian couples to wed.

The Mexican high court decision gave same-sex couples the right to seek a court injunction against state laws banning gay marriage, but it did not technically legalize same-sex unions nationwide. (Gay marriage is currently legal in just a few Mexican states and jurisdictions.)

Still, the ruling is a major step toward full legalization, which would mean same-sex marriage would be legal in three of Latin America’s four most populous countries – Brazil, Mexico and Argentina – in addition to tiny Uruguay. Among the world’s major regions, only Europe has more countries permitting legal gay marriages. Read More

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Latin America, Marriage and Divorce, Mexico, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Jun 25, 2015 10:56 am

Why a mobile news startup couldn’t survive in a mobile news world

Circa is the latest casualty of a fragile digital news scene that is by no means immune to the risks facing startups in general. The mobile-native news app garnered a lot of attention when it launched in 2012 for its features that made it easier for people to follow a single news story over time. But it announced on Wednesday that it has been put on “indefinite hiatus” after running out of capital.

Using One's Phone for NewsIt’s easy to see why the company made a big bet on mobile: A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that 68% of smartphone owners at least occasionally use their device to follow breaking news events. And our analysis of comScore data from January 2015 found that 39 of the top 50 news websites had more traffic to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices than from desktop computers. It’s also worth noting just how quickly smartphones have flooded the market: In September of 2012, just before Circa launched, 45% of U.S. adults owned one. By the fall of 2014, that share was up to 64%. Read More

Topics: Digital Media, Media Revenue Models, Mobile, News Media Trends, Newsroom Investment and Resources, State of the News Media

Jun 25, 2015 10:25 am

From the very start, sharp partisan divisions over Obamacare

Wide Partisan Gaps Persist in Support for the ACA

Opponents of President Obama’s health care law have fought it on many fronts, ranging from multiple efforts by House Republicans to repeal or alter it to the legal challenge spearheaded by conservatives that led to today’s Supreme Court ruling on the law, which upheld a key provision. One constant in the battle over the Affordable Care Act has been the depth of the partisan divide over the legislation.

The partisan divisions over this issue are long-standing and deeply entrenched. Six years ago, when the legislation was still being debated, 61% of Democrats and just 12% of Republicans favored the proposal. In the five years since the ACA became law, those differences have endured. Read More

Topics: Health, Health Care, U.S. Political Parties

Jun 24, 2015 2:45 pm

Jindal followed a rare path, from Hinduism to Catholicism

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal leads guests in prayer last month at the Story County GOP breakfast at Oakwood Church in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal leads guests in prayer last month at the Story County GOP breakfast at Oakwood Church in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a newly declared Republican candidate for president, is hoping to attract support from conservative evangelical Christian voters. Jindal himself is a Catholic, and, as the son of immigrants from Hindu-majority India, was raised in the Hindu faith.

Jindal’s personal religious journey is a relatively rare one in the United States. In fact, four-in-five Americans raised as Hindus continue to identify as Hindus as adults (80%); no other major religious group has a higher retention rate, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. And none of the more than 35,000 Americans in the survey converted from Hinduism to Catholicism as Jindal did. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Catholics and Catholicism, Election News, Elections and Campaigns, Hindus and Hinduism, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Affiliation

Jun 24, 2015 1:29 pm

How many same-sex married couples in the U.S.? Maybe 170,000

A new research paper suggests that the number of married same-sex couples in the United States in 2013 may have been much lower than the Census Bureau’s initial estimate for that year.

Census Bureau Questionnaire
The Census Bureau does not currently ask directly about same-sex marriages or partnerships. Credit: U.S. Census Bureau

The bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey, published last year, had estimated there were 252,000 married same-sex couples in the U.S. But the bureau at the time acknowledged this was an overcount, which it blamed largely on heterosexual married couples who mistakenly checked the wrong gender box on the survey questionnaire.

Census Bureau researcher Daphne Lofquist said in a poster and brief write-up she presented at this year’s Population Association of America conference that only about 170,000 of the 252,000 first reported – about 68% – were likely married same-sex couples. The others either were not same-sex married couples or their status could not be determined. Read More

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Research Methods, U.S. Census

Jun 24, 2015 9:31 am

Today’s multiracial babies reflect America’s changing demographics

The Changing Face of Multiracial America, According to Census DataTo get a glimpse of how America’s racial demographics are changing, take a look at the differences between mixed-race Americans old and young.
The racial background of the largest group of multiracial babies (36%) is black and white, but just 18% of mixed-race adults claim this background, according to Census Bureau data.

Among multiracial adults, meanwhile, the largest share (25%) identifies as white and American Indian; this is more than twice the share among multiracial babies (11%). Read More

Topics: Demographics, Household and Family Structure, Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census