Editor's Note: What really matters to Latino voters in the 2012 election? Watch the In America documentary about Latino voters in October 2012 on CNN.
By Rafael Romo, Senior Latin American Affairs Editor
(CNN) - It’s a greeting that always makes Mark Jobe smile: “I really loved today’s Mass, Father Mark.”
Jobe is the senior pastor of New Life Community Church, which has 14 campuses across Chicago and its suburbs. He said he hears those words at least once a month, usually from newcomers - Hispanics raised in the Catholic faith who’ve started attending his non-denominational Christian church.
When Jobe launched New Life Community Church 25 years ago, the Midway neighborhood where his main campus is located was primarily populated by descendants of Polish, Lithuanian and Italian immigrants. Now, the neighborhood is primarily Hispanic.
Jobe estimates that as much as 70% of New Life’s 6,000 members are Hispanic.
“They don’t typically undermine [the church] where they came from,” Jobe said.
“They value the tradition, but what they often tell me is that they were not learning as much about the Bible and how it relates to their life today.”
The shift at New Life Community Church in Chicago is a reflection of a national trend, according to Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
“While three-quarters of first-generation Hispanics [in the United States] are Catholic, the percentage for second- and third-generation Latinos goes down to less than 60%,” Lugo said. “Generation makes a huge difference. Later generations are much more likely to be converts.”
Why does it matter? According to the Pew Forum, there are key political differences among Latinos based on their religious preference.
Patty Sheehan, 50, and partner Jocelyn White, 31 have been together seven years, but could not legally visit each other as family in an area hospital, until Thursday. They were among Orlando’s first domestic partners to register in central Florida’s first domestic partnership registry.
“It definitely solidifies our relationship as far as legal equalities that it brings to us,” said White, a graphics artist for the city.
The registry allows unmarried couples, including heterosexual pairs, some of the rights as married couples, including health care and end of life decisions, jail visits, and the right to participate in the education of the couple’s children.
Orlando, Gainesville, and the south Florida counties of Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach have all added domestic partner registration laws.
By Stephanie Siek, CNN
(CNN) - America’s embrace of Japanese pop culture, particularly manga and anime, hasn’t resulted in an embrace of Asian and Asian-American actors when those storylines go to Hollywood.
Two upcoming feature films based on Japanese material are already stirring controversy after rumors that white American actors will be cast as characters originally written as Japanese.
Tom Cruise is rumored to be in talks to play the lead role in the Warner Bros. adaptation of Japanese novel “All You Need is Kill,” replacing a Japanese main character. Warner Bros., which is owned by the same parent company as CNN, is also in the pre-production stages of making a live-action version of “Akira,” a graphic novel that was made into a landmark 1988 animated feature film in Japan. All of the actors rumored to be in consideration for the upcoming film’s main characters are white Americans, although casting calls invited actors of “any race” to audition.
That’s troubling to both the series’ devoted fans and advocates of diversity in casting.
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