Mayoral Candidate Marco McMillan of Clarksdale, Mississippi, was found dead on Wednesday in what authorities have ruled is a homicide. 22 year old Lawrence Reed, who was found inside McMillan's crushed car after a head-on collision, is currently in custody facing a murder charge. McMillian's body was later discovered nearby.
"It's too early in the investigation to know what the motive is," a spokesman of the Sherriff's Office said to CNN.
McMillan was the first openly gay man to run for mayor in Mississippi. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute tweeted that McMillian was "one of the 1st viable openly #LGBT candidates in Mississippi." McMillan's campaign centered around improving the employment rate in Clarksdale, as well as cracking down on crime in the impoverished Delta region.
McMillan's campaign team said on facebook "We remember Marco as a bold and passionate public servant, whose faith informed every aspect of his life." McMillan had previously served as Executive Director of Phi Beta Sigma, where he brought greater attention to HIV/AIDS and its impact on people of color. Ebony Magazine named McMillan to its list of thirty up-and-coming African-American leaders under thirty in 2004.
Media Resources: CNN 2/28/2013; International Business Times 2/28/2013; USA Today 2/28/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .