Diversity in Brief "“ May 9 Edition

A digest of all the best: Kansas passes a preemptive measure to stop the spread of sharia; Connecticut beefs up legislation to stop racial profiling; and more.

Obama, the Underdog

President Obama faces reelection while the economy is stagnant and his most significant legistlative accomplishments -- health care reform and a job-goosing stimulus -- are unpopular, writes National Journal's Josh Kraushaar. Further setting up an autumn dogfight is the other red flag, in that his previously enthusiastic base of college-aged voters, African-Americans, and Hispanics may be waning.

Read more: The National Journal (5/8)

Romney Is Still Far Behind in Hispanic Outreach

A conference call with the Republican National Committee, meant to introduce Republican Mitt Romney's Hispanic outreach team, instead turned into a grim picture of how much work Romney still has to do in swaying Latino voters. In the call, the RNC's director of Hispanic outreach said that Romney was "still deciding" on his immigration position; an hour later, she quickly admitted on Twitter that she misspoke, linking to a page with Romney's immigration policies.

Read more: The National Journal/The Next America (5/8); The Republic (5/8)

N.C. Voters OK Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Voters in North Carolina on Tuesday passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, effectively banning same-sex marriage in the state. It is the 29th state to define marriage as such.

Read more: The National Journal (5/8)

Kansas Legislature Passes Anti-Sharia Bill

The Kansas House this week unanimously passed what state legislators are calling a "preemptive measure" to thwart the spread of Islamic law. Although sharia is not specifically mentioned, the Kansas Laws for Kansas Courts Act prevents judges from making rulings based on foreign laws that contradict the state or federal constitutions.

Read more: The Topeka Capital-Journal (5/7)

Connecticut House OKs Legislation to Stop Racial Profiling

The Connecticut state Legislature this week approved a bill that would strengthen a 13-year-old law requiring the police department to report traffic stop information, including the race and ethnicity of the drivers. The push to strengthen the racial-profiling bill came after four police officers were arrested in January and accused of targeting Latino residents with false arrests and harassment.

Read more: The Boston Globe/The Associated Press (5/7); The News-Times (5/8)

First Latino Inducted into Astronaut Hall of Fame

Franklin Chang-Diaz became the first Latino inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame this past weekend. Costa Rica-native Chang-Diaz is a retired NASA astronaut who was the first Latin-American to go into space.

Read more: The Huffington Post (5/8)