A digest of all the best from this weekend: Same-sex marriage debate exposes more cracks across the nation; an exploration of New York City's educational segregation; and more.
Same-Sex Marriage Debate Exposes Religious, Social Divides
No longer just a social or religious issue, the battle over same-sex marriage has reached within the walls of churches across the U.S., pitting them against one another. Some churches openly welcome gay members, hire gay clergy members, and bless gay unions. But others do not, preaching that homosexuality is a sin.
Read more: MSNBC.com/The New York Times (5/14)
Is the Educational Segregation at NYC's Schools Hurting the Kids?
Although on paper the New York City public school system appears to boast a diverse student population, its schools tell another story: Almost 38 percent of its schools are segregated, where a single race makes up 70 percent of a student body. This has educators and experts alike worried about the adverse effects of segregating young children in both their school and home environments.
Read more: The New York Times (5/11)
California Lawmakers Work to Legalize Undocumented Workers
As a contingency plan in case of likely federal inaction, the California Legislature is quietly moving a bill that would grant work permits to the state's undocumented workers. The measure would affect thousands of workers in agriculture, food service, and the accommodations industry. Although both parties have yet to come on an agreement, the move is in recognition of the state's dependency on these workers, which make up a large part of California's $37.5 billion agriculture industry.
Read more: San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times (5/11)
House Passes Bill to Aid State Prisons With Jailing Illegal Immigrants
Congress is ready to support state and local government requests to help foot the bill for jailing illegal immigrants — for a price. The House last week passed a bill to provide $165 million in funds next year, with a Republican-backed caveat: Funding would go only to states and cities that actively enforce immigration laws. The Senate is expected to pass a bill that would provide $255 million. This year, the federal government provided $240 million.
Read more: Los Angeles Times (5/10)
White Supremacy Gangs on the Rise in New Mexico Prisons
White-supremacy gang membership is on the rise in New Mexico's prisons, a disturbing trend that officials attribute to inmates attempting to band together to protect themselves from Hispanic gangs. About 160 New Mexico inmates are connected to white-supremacy gangs; 40 percent of the state's 6,500 inmates are connected to Hispanic gangs.
Read more: Santa Fe New Mexican/the Associated Press (5/11)
This article is part of our Next America: Communities project, which is supported by a grant from Emerson Collective.
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