Golden Rule Guides Obama’s Support for Same-Sex Marriage: News Roundup

In the news this week: Obama draws on faith to support same-sex marriage, a converted Muslim employee in Kansas is called a terrorist, and other stories. 

As pundits and politicians struggle to divine the political fallout from President Obama's sudden endorsement of same-sex marriage, one thing has become clear: The Golden Rule invoked by Obama to explain his change of heart is the closest thing Americans have to a common religious law, and that has important implications beyond the battle for gay rights.
 
In fact, one of the most striking aspects of Obama's revelation on Wednesday that he and his wife, Michelle, support marriage rights for gays and lesbians, is that he invoked their Christian faith to support his views. In past years, Obama — as many believers still do — had cited his religious beliefs to oppose gay marriage. USA Today
 
A Muslim trained by a Jewish agency to work with a coalition largely composed of Christian churches, Ms. Faiza Ali is not just the poster child for monotheism. She forms part of a vanguard of faith-based community organizers who have been selected in part for their religious devotion and then trained to cross denominational lines in pursuit of common cause.
 
“There’s a healthy tension,” as Ms. Ali, 27, put it, “when I want to talk about an issue campaign and the first line of questioning I get is, ‘What’s that thing you’re wearing and where are you from?’ I kind of anticipated those questions. It was a reminder of how few people have met Muslims. I can answer their questions and address the stereotypes head on and then do the work together. It’s created a different sense of community for me.” NY Times
 
A Kansas City woman who converted from Christianity to Islam has been awarded $5 million in punitive damages by a jury who found the telecommunications giant AT&T created a "hostile work environment" after her conversion, according to a judge's order issued Friday.
 
Susann Bashir, a 41-year-old married mother, sued AT&T unit Southwestern Bell for what she said was a pattern of offensive and discriminatory conduct by her supervisors that began when she converted to Islam in 2005, six years after she started working for the company as a network technician.
 
After Bashir started wearing a religious head scarf known as a hijab, and attending Friday mosque services, her managers and co-workers called her names including "terrorist," and told her she was going to hell, said her attorney Amy Coopman. Reuters
 
Aboul Fotouh, who was expelled from the Muslim Brotherhood last year because of his moderate stance, is running second behind secular former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa but ahead of the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi. His fortunes surged with support from Salafi groups, including a reformed terrorist organization. The endorsements snubbed the Brotherhood and realigned the contentious inner workings of Islamists searching for a galvanizing political voice to rise from the "Arab Spring." LA Times