|LGBT Protections Maintain Widespread Backing From Faith Groups|
“A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that strong majorities within all religious groups, including white evangelicals and Jehovah’s Witnesses, show sustained support for LGBT nondiscrimination policies,” writes Aysha Khan in Religion News Service. Khan points out that the survey reports that almost 70 percent of all Americans support ratifying laws that would shield LGBT people from job discriminations, housing, and other services. “Especially in these times and with this sort of politically charged issue, to see this level of agreement is actually pretty striking. We found broad support from pretty much every demographic, from every state and every major religious group – even among the groups who are generally more conservative on these LGBT issues,” PRRI senior research associate Maxine Najle tells Religion News Service.
|California Governor Gavin Newsome Announces Moratorium on Death Penalty|
On Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsome (D) declared a moratorium on the death penalty. The executive order puts a stop to 737 executions in the state, the largest death row in the nation. “I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom said. “In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.” According to PRRI polling, there is a large partisan gap on this issue. For convicted murderers, 55 percent of Americans support a sentenced of life in prison with no chance of parole and 44 percent support the death penalty. The two parties are mirror images of each other on this issue: 67 percent of Democrats prefer life in prison, and 67 percent of Republicans favor the death penalty.
|College Admissions Scam Implicates Many|
A nationwide college cheating scandal was madepublic on Tuesday, bringing charges for dozens implicated. Those implicated in the scheme include SAT/ACT administrators, college administrators, coaches from elite schools, dozens of parents and others, according to U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling. Operation Varsity Blues, as the FBI called the scheme, consisted of the facilitation of cheating on college entrance exams as well as bribing college administrators and coaches to recruit students as athletes, even when students had no prior athletic background.“There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy and I will add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either,” Lelling said. According to a 2017 PRRI poll, a majority (55 percent) of Americans agree children from all income groups have adequate opportunities to be successful, while 45 percent disagreed with this statement. Roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of Republicans say children from all income groups have adequate chances, while a majority (55 percent) of Democrats disagree.
|Racial Slur Levied at Three Black School Children in D.C. Forces School to Look Inwards|
A D.C. elementary school is grappling with how to move forward after an incident involving racial slurs. Last October, a white fifth-grader at Francis Scott Key Elementary School used a racial slur against three classmates during a football game at recess, according to an investigation on the incident. School officials confirmed the authenticity of the report,” writes Perry Stein in The Washington Post. According to the report, the student was not immediately disciplined, and the parents of the three black children were not notified of the incident, a move that some in the school argue has heightened tensions within the school. Key Elementary is in the Palisades neighborhood of Northwest Washington D.C. and consists of a mostly white and affluent student body. In a poll released last month with The Atlantic, only seven percent of Americans who have at least some interactions with people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds say they have these interactions at a school they are attending.