Christian bakery ordered to recant over Bert and Ernie gay marriage cake or face court

first_imgThe Telegraph 6 November 2014A Christian bakery firm which refused to make a cake supporting gay marriage with a picture of the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie has been warned it will be taken to court unless it apologises and pays immediate compensation.Ashers Baking Co, based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, was told by a Government equalities agency that it was guilty of “unlawful religious, political and sexual orientation discrimination” for its stance on the Sesame Street-themed dessert. Daniel McArthur, general manager of the firm, said it would amount to endorsing the campaign for the introduction of same-sex marriage, and go against his conscience.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11211789/Christian-bakery-ordered-to-recant-over-Bert-and-Ernie-gay-marriage-cake-or-face-court.html The row erupted after it cancelled a £36.50 order to bake a novelty cake featuring the characters arm in arm under the slogan “support gay marriage” in May, saying that it went against the directors’ religious beliefs.center_img But the family-run firm said it was ready for a “David and Goliath battle” over the cake insisting it was “what God would want us to do”.last_img read more

USC announces new Title IX leadership to comply with federal investigation

first_imgCivil rights attorney Catherine Spear will assume the newly created position of vice president for equity, equal opportunity and Title IX, Senior Vice President of Human Resources Felicia Washington announced in a Universitywide email Tuesday. Spear will manage USC’s equity efforts and compliance with civil rights laws as the head of the Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX, which will replace and combine the existing Title IX Office and Office of Equity and Diversity. Spear will oversee the investigation and prevention of misconduct relating to legally protected classes, including race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and manage USC’s Affirmative Action Plan and Equal Opportunity Report. She will assume the role following former Executive Director of OED, Title IX and Office of Conduct and Professionalism Gretchen Gaspari’s departure from the University in June.  “By unifying these functions under her leadership, we will be able to combine the existing support, investigation, education, outreach, and compliance functions into one location,” the email read. “This integration should increase the accessibility, consistency, and effectiveness of University’s efforts to promote a safe and non-discriminatory living, learning, and work environment.” Spear previously served as the Associate Vice President of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at the University of Virginia, following her role as the first full-time Title IX Coordinator at Stanford University. Before joining Stanford, she worked as the chief attorney and later director of the Cleveland office of OCR for 19 years.“She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and I look forward to adding her expertise to our team of dedicated campus professionals in helping USC continue to confront discrimination in all of its forms,” the email read. The University signed an agreement with OCR, who will be monitoring the University for the next three years to ensure federal compliance, in February agreeing to carry out nine key reforms. These initiatives include a newly structured Title IX Office and proper centralized tracking of Title IX reports. Other reforms to be reported to OCR by July 15 include the review, training and guidance of Title IX employees. Before Spear assumes her responsibilities in the fall, senior investigator Lauren Helsper will serve as interim Title IX coordinator. As part of its restructuring process, the University will also reform the Office of Conduct and Professionalism, which oversees nonprotected class matters. Gaspari, whose tenure began in 2016, oversaw the Title IX Office amid the fallout of the investigation involving former campus gynecologist George Tyndall, who engaged in the sexual abuse and misconduct of more than 600 women. Following multiple investigations into the University’s handling of Title IX complaints, the Office of Civil Rights under the Department of Education determined the University had “failed” its students in its mismanagement of these complaints and mandated USC provide plans to restructure its procedures and improve its record keeping by April. last_img read more

Men’s basketball breakdown: How the Badgers got past North Carolina and advanced to the Elite Eight

first_imgLOS ANGELES — It was the bare minimum, but the Wisconsin men’s basketball team clawed its way past North Carolina for a 79-72 Sweet 16 win.The Badgers have advanced to the Elite Eight for the second year in a row.Led by Sam Dekker with a game-high 23 points, the Badgers battled back from down seven with 11:11 remaining to go on a 33-19 run to end the game.The comeback began with a three-pointer from sophomore point guard Bronson Koenig, followed by an and-one by sophomore forward Nigel Hayes to cut the Tar Heels lead to one.With 6:08 on the clock, fifth-year senior guard Josh Gasser found redshirt sophomore Zak Showalter on a backdoor cut, who finished at the rim to give Wisconsin a 61-60 advantage, its first lead since the 17:02 mark.A Showalter steal and fast break layup, followed by a Dekker basket, gave the Badgers a five-point lead they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the way.North Carolina’s Marcus Paige made two clutch threes in the final 1:09, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Tar Heels.Turning PointThe Badgers needed a spark. Senior forward Frank Kaminsky lit the match with a three to make it 60-59. Then, Showalter poured gasoline on the spark.He faked out his defender on a backdoor cut down the left baseline, where Gasser dished him the ball. Showalter then used the rim to protect his shot from getting blocked from behind, and kissed the ball off the glass to give Wisconsin a lead it wouldn’t relinquish for the final six minutes.Showalter upped the energy even further the next possession, when he stole the ball from North Carolina’s Nate Britt at halfcourt, streaked down the right side, and finger rolled it in.The next Badgers possession, Dekker drove to the rim to give Wisconsin a five-point cushion and capped off the change in momentum.It Was Over When…In a game like this, it’d be imprudent to declare the contest “over.” But when Kaminsky stepped to the free throw line with the Badgers up three and proceeded to sink both, giving Wisconsin a 77-72 lead with 16 seconds to go, it was as good as over.Wisconsin Player of the Game: Sam DekkerSam Dekker played arguably his best game at Wisconsin Thursday night, scoring a career-high 23 points. He also recorded his first double-double of the season by hauling in 10 rebounds.Dekker shot 66.6 percent from the field on 10-of-15 shooting (1-of-5 from three). He carried the Badgers in the first half, scoring 15 of the team’s 31 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including a put back off a Koenig miss to beat the buzzer and send Wisconsin into the half down only two (33-31).Dekker scored six points in the a span of one minute and 12 seconds toward the end of the first half, which gave the Badgers a 25-20 advantage. He also had a thunderous jam on a baseline cut and a feed from Koenig with 11:19 to go in the half.North Carolina Player of the Game: Justin JacksonFreshman forward Justin Jackson didn’t let his youth and inexperience show Thursday night, as he scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting.Jackson was 3-3 from behind the arc, where he shot only 28.1 percent from the entire season.He keyed up clutch shot after clutch shot. With 1:56 remaining in the first half, he sunk a three to give North Carolina a 31-28 lead. He drilled his final three of the day when his team was down 65-60, and kept the Tar Heels within a basket of the Badgers.Jackson ReturnsAfter 18 games and over 10 weeks of rehabbing his broken right foot, senior guard Traevon Jackson returned to action on Thursday. He entered the game with 16:19 left in the first half, after Koenig picked up his second foul.With Koenig in foul trouble the entire game, Jackson played nine minutes. On his first offensive possession back, Jackson knocked down his first shot from the right corner to give Wisconsin a 9-6 lead.Jackson finished with four points, one assist and one turnover.“It’s fine,” Jackson said after the game of his right foot. “It feels good.”Gritty GasserWhile Josh Gasser hardly ever stacks the stat sheet, his defensive contributions to Wisconsin are invaluable.Thursday, Gasser had the task of guarding North Carolina’s top scorer, junior guard Marcus Paige. Coming into the game, Paige averaged 14.1 points per game. He scored 12 on Gasser, with six of those coming on deep three-pointers in the final 1:09 of the game.On Jackson’s three-pointer, Gasser scooped up a loose ball in the paint and kicked it to Jackson in the corner in the midst of traffic.At the end of the first half, with Paige driving at him, Gasser forced a jump ball that gave Wisconsin a final possession, which led to Dekker’s putback and Wisconsin heading to the locker room down only two.Gasser made another big play around the hoop when Wisconsin trailed by its largest margin. With his team down 51-44, Gasser tipped an offensive rebound off a miss to Dekker who laid it in to keep the Badgers within five.After Wisconsin went up 65-60, North Carolina tried to regain the momentum and cut the Badgers’ lead to 65-64. Then, Gasser nailed a three from the left wing for three of his six points.Frank Finishes StrongWhen a candidate for National Player of the Year is on the court, a lot of attention will go his way. That’s what happened to Frank Kaminsky on Thursday.He didn’t score until the 8:39 mark of the first half and finished the first 20 minutes of play with only four points. He was 2-of-7 from the field, as North Carolina was making life difficult.That changed quickly in the second. Within the first one minute and three seconds of the half, he doubled his scoring on the game with a basket and two free throws.Kaminsky scored 15 second-half points on 3-of-4 shooting, going 8-for-8 from the free throw line. He sunk his lone three-point attempt to cut North Carolina’s lead to one (60-59) with 6:42 left in the game.QuotableBo Ryan on the caliber of his players: “You sit down to the breakfast with bacon and eggs. You look at the eggs, you know the chicken was involved. You look at the bacon, and you know the pig was committed. I heard that at Platteville in 1984, and I’ve used it in every banquet speech I’ve ever given, because I told the guy that told me that I was going to use it.”Ryan on Gasser containing Paige: “Josh Gasser is a guy who, whatever the assignment is, he’ll take it on. And he’s never wavered. Never wavered at all.”Nigel Hayes on Dekker’s production while he and Frank struggled offensively: “Frank and I really weren’t producing that well and Sam took it upon himself to fill that void and he did a great job doing that.”Zak Showalter on his fast break layup to give the Badgers a 63-60 lead: “After the basket before that, I’m gambled a little bit on the steal because I was tired. And I got the ball and I cramped up in both legs…I was about to cramp up. I was running in quick sand for a little bit, so going down the court was a struggle.”Showalter on the toughness and grit of North Carolina: “Frank had some blood on him. I had blood on me, so yeah this was a battle. They played tremendous. They made shots that we weren’t expecting them to make. They gave us everything we could handle and we just overcame it.”Frank Kaminsky on stretches where Wisconsin couldn’t get anything going offensively: “For stretches of this game I think we played great but for other stretches I don’t think we played up to our standards. Games are ebbs and flows. You just hope you have more good minutes than you have bad minutes and that was the case tonight.”Kaminsky on staying confident despite struggling in the first half: “A lot of it just comes with reading situations and trying to attack anything I could. I was able to get to the free throw line and knock down some free throws. And obviously when you’re shooting the ball and you need some confidence, that’s one place to try to get it from.”last_img read more

ALWAYS AN ANSWER: After 2 ACL tears, Brett Kennedy carved out the defensive role SU needed

first_imgBrett Kennedy didn’t realize in the moment his right knee had popped. He planted and pivoted his foot at midfield — a clearing-attempt dodge — but then crumbled to the ground. There was no contact. It was a move Kennedy had done countless times leading up to that point in his junior season.Maybe it was Essex County’s Watsessing Park’s field, which his father, former coaches and siblings compared to “concrete.” Kennedy had never been seriously injured before that April game against Glen Ridge. Yet, there lay Ridgewood (New Jersey) High School’s defensive leader on the hard field. His uncle and mother sprinted out with trainers from both schools. Tom, his father, was stuck in New York City’s Holland Tunnel, desperately trying to weave his Chevy Suburban and get to Watsessing Park when his wife called. “I’ve like really never gotten hurt before that, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Kennedy said.Kennedy eventually hobbled over to the sideline on crutches. The Glen Ridge trainer said it wasn’t an ACL tear, but the knee continued to swell. By the next morning, Kennedy didn’t believe the trainer. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt had to be an ACL tear or something worse than the initial diagnosis. Everything Kennedy would later become known for with the Orange — his speed, his aggressiveness — was jeopardized in that moment. The same would happen again after his second ACL tear less than two years later, prolonging the progress made at long pole in his final year at Ridgewood and preventing him from reaching the field during his freshman year at Syracuse. As a redshirt junior long-stick midfielder with the Orange, Kennedy has shaken the injuries to become a defensive “terror,” as head coach John Desko calls him. “That would’ve sunk most people,” NJ Riot club founder Lee Southren said. “If it sinks somebody on the first one, the second one really could’ve just basically had somebody think that their career’s over.” • • •Austin Fusco glanced up and saw space. A few seconds after Syracuse scored in the fourth quarter against then-No. 17 Johns Hopkins, the ball popped loose from the ensuing faceoff. Kennedy sprinted toward the X but then peeled back and hovered. Blue Jays defender Jared Reinson pulled off to chase the ball, but Fusco arrived first. He lifted a pass to Kennedy, who took four steps, one skip and a shot from 20 yards out that ended in the eventual game-winning goal for SU.It was the loudest Peter Dearth said he’d ever heard the Carrier Dome. Kennedy jumped into Nate Solomon’s arms. This was just Kennedy’s fourth goal with Syracuse, but he channeled the offensive skills remaining from his childhood, when he was an offensive midfielder first learning the sport.,“They used to call him ‘Brett the Jet,’” Southren said. “He was like a jet plane. You would fire him up, and he would just start running all over the field.”In the backyard of their Ridgewood home, Kennedy and his two brothers, Thomas and Jack, would sprint out to the lacrosse net nestled on their paved basketball court. They’d select a goalie and pepper tennis balls toward the net. Sometimes they’d miss and break a basement window, other times they’d go one-on-one and practice dodges.When he started high school, though, Kennedy switched to long pole. It played right into his physicality, a perfect fit for the “hyper-active kid,” his uncle and brother agreed. There were still offensive flashes, like in a Braveheart overtime — where each team uses one player and a goalie — when Kennedy won the one-on-one battle and scored the game-winner at a North Carolina tournament.But defense became his specialty. Shortly after Kennedy tore his ACL for the first time, defensive coach Sean Kelly left Don Bosco Prep and joined the Ridgewood staff. He studied film on every player leading into the summer, including Kennedy. His potential didn’t need uncovering, just fine-tuning: on-ball defense, point of attack — little things that needed to become muscle-memory before Syracuse.Still, Kennedy couldn’t start right away. He was on crutches. In between his physical therapy sessions at Excel Training, Kennedy and Kelly talked on the sideline at practices and tournaments. For Kennedy’s defense inside the 10-yard line to become consistent for longer than a few minutes, his stick needed to initiate contact from his hands. He couldn’t react to the attackmen and midfielders. He needed to dictate them.As Kennedy’s senior season neared, they used the umbrella drill to hone defensive approaches and break-downs from the left, top left, center, top right and right side of the net. Every angle needed to be closed off against top attackmen, Kelly told him. His instincts within the restraining box were sound, and now a complete defensive game formed.“The one-on-one is a violent confrontation,” Kelly said, “and if you watch Brett play, Brett plays violently and he plays full speed.”Kelly and Ridgewood head coach Mike Pounds helped turn Brett into the player that was second on the Orange with 42 ground balls and earned All-ACC honors during his redshirt freshman year in 2018. That came one year after Kennedy had suffered his second ACL tear on the same knee during SU’s annual alumni scrimmage, though. In that Sept. 2016 exhibition, Kennedy again came across the middle of the field, tracking Sergio Salcido, he said. This time, Kennedy knew it was the ACL when he fell. Tom and Kennedy’s uncle Bernie Jensen, sitting in the Carrier Dome stands, feared that too. And trainer Troy Gerlt confirmed in the training room less than a half hour after the scrimmage ended.,“When he gets beat, it doesn’t affect him,” Kelly said. “When he tears his leg, it doesn’t affect him. When he tears his knee the second time, it doesn’t affect him.”After the first tear near midfield against Glen Ridge, Kennedy and his family went to Kennedy Fried Chicken across the street following the game. Swelling had worsened by that point, and it would swell even more when they got home. The second time, when Kennedy and his family went to dinner at the then-Genesee Grande Hotel’s Salt Restaurant & Bar, there was no uncertainty hanging over the injury. Later that evening, Kennedy’s phone lit up with a text from Kelly asking how he felt. “Bummed,” Kennedy responded.“Let’s give it 24-48 hours, feel sorry about yourself and then on Monday we start recovering,” Kelly chimed back. “I can’t wait to read about your comeback story. I can’t wait to watch you play next spring.”For the next six months, Kennedy spent his days with Gerlt in the Manley Field House training room, slowly progressing from simple bends and stretches that defined the first two weeks. Shuffles with elastic bands became BOSU ball balances and high-rep kettlebell squats, before Gerlt eventually released Kennedy for jogs and sprints. An injury to Tyson Bomberry during 2018 against Albany gave Kennedy his first chance in the Orange’s lineup a week later. He initially started at close defense, not the position he was recruited for, but created two Army turnovers and picked up five ground balls.In Charlottesville, Virginia the following game, Kennedy broke out with two consecutive goals, the first coming when he sprinted for 40 yards down the field before finishing just outside the crease. The next came in transition, converting a pass from Dearth and pumping his fist as soon as the ball sunk into the net. “Everyone started to say, ‘Who the hell is this kid?’” Thomas, his older brother, said.Even as Kennedy became an All-American, texts still come from Kelly. “Spot checks,” he calls them. They’ll come at 4 a.m. (You’re probably sleeping and being lazy. I’m doing pushups, what’re you doing?). They’ll buzz Kennedy’s phone after games (Love that they had you and Fernandez on the wing together.). Kelly doesn’t let up, even at random times during the summer. “Dog days and humid, lots of excuses,” one text read. “What are you doing to get better? Don’t let the voices in your head talk you into taking the path of least resistance. First-team All-American and national championship are year-long jobs. The weak will always hate the strong, stay savage.”“Working out right now,” Kennedy typed after waking up in the morning to one of Kelly’s early-hour messages. “Got my number up to 265, 12 reps, pretty pumped,” he responded in August, during his second-straight fully healthy offseason.Kennedy always has an answer.Cover photo by Elizabeth Billman | Asst. Photo Editor Comments Published on February 4, 2020 at 4:15 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrew,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.last_img read more