News in Brief: “Pro-Family” Groups Bash Gay Marriage Ruling, and More

Conservatives and “pro-family” groups like the American Family Association (AFA) are already criticizing the historic ruling made Wednesday against California’s ban on gay marriage. Right wingers claim the ruling violates the US Constitution and criticized Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who made the historic ruling, for being gay himself, although it’s certain that straight judges make rulings about straight issues almost every day. “His situation is no different than a judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography statute,” AFA President Tim Wildmon said in a statement emailed to media. Meanwhile, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their families gathered across the country to celebrate the ruling, which established that California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, violated due process, disadvantaged the children of homosexuals and was based on stereotypes that assuming that homosexuals are somehow inferior to heterosexuals.

Greek Utility Workers Threaten Mass Strike Over Privatization Plans

Amid a growing financial crisis and violent social tensions, representatives of the union that represents the workers at the main electric utility company in Greece said that their union would strike and “plunge the country into darkness” if the ruling socialist party continues with plans to privatize 40 percent of the Greek electric industry. “The workers in DEH shall sell no factory [or] cheap energy to the opportunist scums,” the union’s president told workers on Thursday. “Our words are clear. There is a limit to everything. Our struggle is not for ourselves but for the consumer, and for that we will take things to extremes. We will bleed.”

Fisherman Say Oil in Gulf Not Missing at All

Writer Antonia Juhasz told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on Wednesday that fisherman living in the bayous of southern Louisiana countered claims that oil from the massive BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico is disappearing, telling members of their local parish near Venice Beach that they often encounter the slick that contaminates the ocean water and threatening their livelihoods.

Doctors Gave CIA a “Green Light” to Torture Detainees

An article recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that physicians had a larger role in facilitating the torture of US detainees that previously thought. The doctors basically gave “a green light to torture” by observing waterboarding sessions and making medical examinations of detainees before and after torture sessions executed by the CIA.

Extreme Droughts Force Russia to Ban Grain Exports

In a desperate move to mitigate food supplies, Russia has banned exports of wheat and grains after weeks of a devastating drought sparked wild fires and devastated the country’s crop, according to The New York Times. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told the press that the decision was necessary to prevent a rise in domestic food prices. The ban on exports will continue through the fall into next year.