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Ecuador’s highest court approves same-sex marriage

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Ecuador’s highest court on Wednesday approved same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling in the traditionally Catholic and conservative South American country.

The Constitutional Court said same-sex marriage had been approved in a five-to-four vote of its nine judges in a closed hearing.

Ecuador, where the church is very influential, thus joins Argentina, Brazil and Colombia in recognizing same-sex marriage.

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“It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian. It is more just than yesterday, that it recognizes that human rights must be for all people without discrimination,” said lawyer Christian Paula of the Patka Foundation, which provides legal advice for around 10 same-sex couples seeking to marry in the country.

The four dissenting judges argued that in order to recognize same-sex marriage, constitutional reform would have to be debated in the National Assembly.

Gustavo Medina, a former Supreme Court president, told AFP that Ecuadoran authorities were obliged to abide by decisions of the Constitutional Court, which were “binding and mandatory.”

Ecuador has recognized de-facto civil unions for same-sex couples since 2015.

The Constitutional Court approved same-sex marriage as it ruled on lawsuits by two pairs of men who wanted to wed.

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The men in one of those couples are named Efrain Soria and Javier Benalcazar.

“I want to say hello to Javier, who is in Guayaquil. Honey, I love you,” Soria told reporters in the capital Quito.

He urged other gays to stop hiding and “enjoy the happiness that comes from being equal, like anyone else.”

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Ecuador’s current constitution, ratified in 2008, defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It also bars same-sex couples from adopting children.

The Constitutional Court judges that approved same-sex marriage said they based their decision on the idea that all people are equal. They also said they sought to counter any kind of discrimination.

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Colbert names Trump’s siege on DC the ‘Tinyman Square’ incident

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It wasn't quite Tiananmen Square, where a still-unknown number of Chinese protesters were murdered by the government in 1989, but it was the closest thing President Donald Trump managed to score this week.

After watching the footage of the military tear gas, beat and shoot at protesters so Trump could march from the presidential bunker to St. John's Church for the cameras.

"It was like Tiananmen Square," Colbert deemed. "Except, in Trump's case, Tinyman Square."

Trump claimed on "The Fox & Friends" that no one was tear-gassed, so it's unclear what was stinging people's eyes and making them cough, choke and tear up. The Park Police released a statement saying it wasn't tear gas. While the moment was captured on video from dozens of different camera angles, one protester actually grabbed a canister of Oleoresins Capiscum, or "OC," the gas that was used.

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Vladimir Putin must love watching the US fall apart: columnist

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New Yorker columnist Susan Glasser made the astute observation that if Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to destabilize the United States with the election of President Donald Trump, he's clearly achieved his objective.

It was reported in March that Russian intelligence services are working to incite violence using white supremacist groups to try and sow racial chaos in the United States ahead of the November election.

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Conservative columnist links all Republicans to the attack on Lafayette Square

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Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump decided to walk across Lafayette Square for a photo-op. To get there, however, it took an outright battle with mounted park police, police covered in body armor and rattled Secret Service members who had just rushed the president to the bunker several nights before. Armed with semi-automatic weapons and military gear, they staged a siege on Lafayette Square against unarmed hippies, woke whites and people of color, again, forced to fight for justice.

Writing for the Washington Post Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot attacked Attorney General Bill Barr, who accepted responsibility for demanding that demonstrators be tear-gassed, beaten and shot with rubber bullets. Like Bull Conor ordering fire hoses on students marching in Birmingham, Alabama, Barr's attack on Lafayette Square for a photo-op proved he is willing to do what it takes to stroke the fractured ego of a president forced to cower in a bunker.

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