The Department of Defense (DoD) has blocked access to LGBT advocacy websites on military computers, according to an expose in AMERICAblog last week.
Websites such as GLAAD, AMERICAblog, Bilerico, Towleroad, and HRC Blog are categorized as "LGBT" and are not permitted by the filter service used by the Pentagon. Another website, Outserve.org, which is dedicated to creating a network of LGBT military members and respect for LGBT members in the service, is also prohibited under the category of "LGBT." In a statement released by the DoD, the Pentagon qualifies that these pages are also "Blog/Personal Pages" which are not permitted either. The DoD justifies that blogs and personal pages are restricted in accordance "with DoD policy allowing military commanders the option to restrict access to personal pages for operational security reasons." However, blogs by Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and the blog of anti-gay extremist group Family Research Council are permitted.
The DoD utilizes web filtering software produced by Blue Coat Systems, which also provides filtering services to countries hostile to LGBT people such as Syria and Saudi Arabia. The company has previously come under scrutiny from LGBT advocates for blocking anti-bullying and suicide prevention websites, such as the Trevor Project, in school districts by offering the option to restrict access to LGBT sites. Other filter categories provided by Blue Coat Systems include "Abortion," "Alternative Sexuality/Lifestyle," "Alternative Spirituality/Belief," "Political/Activist Groups," "Sex Education," and "Violence/Hate/Racism."
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .