WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 27 June 2015

27 June 201527 June 2015


WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


This week we look at another step forward in marriage equality, NAIDOC week, life in Turkey and much more.


1. Another momentous day in the efforts to achieve marriage equality for same sex couples with the US Supreme Court decision yesterday to grant marriage equality to same sex couples as a Constitutional right.
Human Rights Watch reports: “In the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the court considered whether the US Constitution requires US states to license two people of the same sex to marry. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5 to 4 majority, said that marriage is a fundamental right that all couples are entitled to under the Fourteenth Amendment of the constitution, which provides for equal protection to all citizens under the law. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family […] They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The [US] Constitution grants them that right.” Justice Kennedy said.”
The implication of this ruling is that US states can no longer prevent same sex couples from marrying and they must now recognise these unions as legal.
And if you’re interested, this is Barak Obama’s speech about the decision.


2. And while we’re at it, here is an evidence base for what most of us already knew – kids with same sex parents are no worse off than those with heterosexual parents.


3. As we are on the eve of NAIDOC Week, a little reminder to check out the activities happening in your local area. There are many ways that you can help to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.


4. The Guardian has reported on the largest native title claim in NSW history after 18 years of struggle and legal processes. The Barkandji people have finally secured their traditional rights to over 128,000 square kilometres of their land.


5. For a little bit of serious reading, this is a great find. This article on ‘The Greatest Good’ by Derek Thompson, looks at the issue of donations to causes and how we can make a real difference. It talks about the issue os ‘effective altruism’ which “seeks to maximize the good from one’s charitable donations and even from one’s career”.


6. Australia has come under fire again for our treatment of asylum seekers with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights saying he is “bewildered by the “hostility and contempt” for them, including women and children, that is “so widespread among the country’s politicians”.” Aren’t we all?


7. Annual elections in Turkey occurred earlier this month with a surprising result. The Guardian covered the election result and the implications of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP no longer securing an overall majority. In the lead up to the election, the ABC did a feature story on issues facing young people in Turkey and the diverse and sometimes contradictory nature of this interesting country.


8. The New Internationalist has published a blog with ’10 signs that climate change success is coming’ that include Ikea’s pledge for $1 billion climate change finance, Norway’s largest pension fund divesting coal stocks, Saudi Arabia is considering phasing out fossil fuels by mid-century – and much more!


9. The UNDP features Aswan Harmed, the first female prosecutor in Somaliland. The number of women in the legal system has increased since Harmed became a prosecutor in 2010. In 2008 there were less than five women and now there are over 75 women working in the legal sector.


10. The benefits of meditation are widely known and in this story a group of school children in Harlem have learnt both how to meditate and also how to emotionally regulate themselves. Great stuff.


Thanks for your continuing support for our little project. Look forward to seeing you next week.