Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Guess which nation will be the first to legalize equal marriage for LGBT people: the predominantly Catholic nation in the Old World with a conservative president, or the one led by a liberal and founded on the principle of the separation of church and state?
Amazingly enough, Monday’s news proved it to be the former. Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva announced that he would ratify a law to permit same-sex marriage, making it the sixth European nation where gay couples can wed — and far ahead of the United States when it comes to civil rights for LGBT people. Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Norway round out the European countries that validate the right of citizens to marry who they choose. Other nations where equal marriage is the law of the land? Canada and South Africa. Civil unions are affirmed in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, and Israel. The Portuguese bill, which passed a Socialist Parliament in January, comes after the nation legalized civil unions in 2001 for a country that is 90 percent Catholic.
And what of the United States, land of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” Here, same-sex marriage is illegal in 45 states, while a handful of others offer limited domestic partnerships. But the story doesn’t end there. Let us count the ways that the U.S. is not only lagging behind the world in civil rights for LGBT people, opting out of the opportunity to be a leader in the fight for personal freedoms.
Anna Clark is a freelance journalist in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in The New Republic, Grantland, the Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere. She can be found at www.annaclark.net and on Twitter: @annaleighclark.More Anna Clark.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.