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The Daily Beat is a daily news podcast inspired by the power of social media to spark social change. Tune in Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. as BTR’s social media director, DJ Jen, culls the “Twitterverse” and “blogosphere” to bring you the top stories regarding social justice and human rights issues. Not to mention, we’ll also feature some of BTR’s top tracks.
Don’t miss a beat!
Four seniors at the University of Michigan will launch an organization on Monday to address the “silent epidemic” of sexual assault on college campuses.
On Valentine’s Day, One Billion Rising will stage a global dance flashmob to raise awareness about rape and violence against women and children.
Here are just a few individuals taking part in One Billion Rising:
Leo Gerad, International President of The United Steelworkers
Rosario Dawson, Actress and activist
Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance
The Ugandan Parliament reconvened on Tuesday following its Christmas break and announced a packed agenda, including revisiting its so-called “Kill The Gays” bill, according to Pink News.
The original draft of the anti-gay legislation includes a provision for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as someone with HIV engaging in homosexual acts, sex with a minor or repeated offenses of homosexuality.
On a related note, GetEQUAL, an LGBT civil rights organization, slammed President Obama for attending a prayer breakfast tied to the “Kill The Gays” bill.
According to The New Civil Rights Movement, The National Prayer Breakfast hosts attendees from all 50 states and from 160 countries around the world. The event is sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, a radically conservative religious right Christian evangelical organization.
Members of the Fellowship Foundation have ties to anti-gay hate in Uganda, and are tied to Uganda’s infamous “Kill The Gays” bill, reports David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement.
“For another year, President Obama has chosen to set aside his stated values of inclusion in order to attend the National Prayer Breakfast — an event rooted in hatred of LGBT people and covered up by pastries and coffee,” Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL and a seminary graduate, said via a statement.
IN OTHER NEWS
Yesterday Alabama Republicans advanced legislation to close the state’s five remaining abortion clinics.
According to an article in Think Progress, the Women’s Health and Safety Act passed the Republican-controlled House Health Committee on Wednesday morning and could come to a vote in the full legislature as soon as today. The bill requires clinics to meet certain architectural standards and have a physician present for all abortions. The Republicans claim these new provisions are for the safety of patients, but others suspect the bill is designed to make compliance as difficult as possible.
Adam Peck of Think Progress reports:
“This bill targets regulatory standards of architectural structure, equipment and staffing that are totally unnecessary and cannot be met by the clinics,” said Gloria Gray, director of the West Alabama Women’s Health Center in Tuscaloosa. “How does requiring a six-foot hallway make it safer for a woman to have an abortion?”
In Tennessee, an abortion clinic that had been open for nearly four decades was forced to close after a similar bill was passed in that state last year.
Finally, New York City’s teen pregnancy rate has decreased by 27 percent over the past decade. According to an article in Feministing, Health Commissioner Tom Farley attributes the change, in part, to … surprise! the provision of contraceptives in public schools.
The New York Daily News writes:
The city has worked to make it easier for kids to get birth control — giving out condoms at schools and making birth control and the morning-after pill available in some school clinics, a sometimes controversial move.
Farley said the numbers show that strategy is working.
“It shows that when you make condoms and contraception available to teens, they don’t increase their likelihood of being sexually active. But they get the message that sex is risky,” he said.
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