A Montana man has applied for a license so he can be legally married to the two women he calls wives. Though Nathan Collier officially married one of the women, he had a “spiritual ceremony” with the other, because bigamy is illegal. Collier said that he was inspired by Chief Justice John Robert’s dissent decision in the Supreme Court’s recent case that made same-sex marriage legal across the United Sates. Roberts argued against the ruling, saying the same logic could be employed by polygamists. Collier and his wives were recently featured on the reality show Sister Wives. If a local litigator denies Collier, he said he plans to sue. Discuss
It's Independence Day weekend—which states are the most excited about that? A new study by financial website Wallethub found that Virginia is by far the most patriotic state in America based on “military engagement” and “civic engagement." Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Alaska took the second, third, fourth and fifth most-patriotic spots, respectively. The least patriotic? Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. The survey also found that in 2001, 38 percent of Americans said the U.S. was the best country in the world, and in 2014 that number fell to just 28 percent. See where your state ranked (and see how they calculated everything) here. Discuss
Shocker: Christians remain dramatically divided concerning last week's same-sex marriage ruling. When a new survey by Barna Group asked if they “strongly” or “somewhat” favor the Supreme Court’s decision, 28 percent of “practicing Christians” said they do. When it comes specifically to Catholics, 53 percent agreed, but only two percent of evangelicals favored the decision. That’s starkly different from the 76 percent of no-faith responders who said they favor the SCOTUS's ruling. Of evangelicals, 86 percent—by far the largest percentage of any individual group—said “same-sex marriage is morally wrong.”
Despite these objections, 51 percent of Christians and 24 percent of evangelicals said they “agree that Christians can support legal marriage for same-sex couples and also affirm the church’s traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman.”
According to reports, the Navy Yard in Washington D.C.—the same location of a deadly shooting that killed 12 people in 2013—is on lockdown. Throughout the morning there have been conflicting reports regarding a shooter currently on the site, but according to CNN, officials have yet to find evidence of an active gunman. Earlier this morning, police received a 911 call about a shooting in one of the buildings. Tweets from the area (like this image shown from @PJElliotRadio) show a large SWAT presence. We’ll post more updates throughout the morning as they become available.
Back in December, a nasty outbreak of measles at Disneyland brought the anti-vaccination movement back into the spotlight. Some argued that a decline in vaccinations was endangering communities by re-introducing diseases. Now, California has passed a law mandating vaccinations for all schoolchildren. Most states require some vaccinations for school, but have exemptions for personal beliefs. California’s law only offers medical exemptions for kids who have “serious health issues.” This means for unvaccinated children who don’t have medical exemptions will not be allowed to enter daycare centers or public or private schools. Unvaccinated students who currently are under personal belief exemptions can stay in schools until they reach the next “vaccine checkpoint” in kindergarten and seventh grade, at which point they will have to get vaccinated or obtain medical exemption.
"The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases," California Gov. Jerry Brown wrote in a statement. "While it's true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community."
There has been plenty of backlash against the new law, with opponents arguing that parents have to right to choose not to vaccinate their kids. The opposition even has some celebrity support: After it was announced that Brown had signed the bill into law, Jim Carrey went on a Twitter rant, calling Brown a “corporate facist that must be stopped.” Discuss
Across the South, several predominantly black churches have been damaged—some completely destroyed—by fires since June 21, just days after a racist gunmen killed nine people at South Carolina’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Investigators believe that at least three of the six were caused by arson. At one church in South Carolina, no cause for the fire has been found, and though the two other fires appear to have causes other than intentional arson, investigators are still looking into them. A fire chief in Gibson County, Tennessee, told his local news station that though lightning is thought to be the cause of a local church burning, “We want to be sure, 100 percent sure, that this was an accidental fire, not on purpose.”
The FBI is investigating the fires, though at this point they are not sure any are linked, several are believed to be the work of arsonists. This Sunday, members of Charlotte’s Briar Creek Road Baptist Church met at the site of a large fire that resulted in its main building being demolished. There, Rev. Rhonda Kinsey told the congregation, “I am standing on your shoulders. I am leaning on you. Part of our heart was consumed. Thank God, He is a heart-fixer." Discuss