Saturday, June 13, 2009
American Civil Liberties Union
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
Human Rights Campaign
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce
It reads as if it were written by one of George Bush's top political appointees. I cannot state strongly enough how damaging this brief is to us. Obama didn't just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn't motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn't be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn't discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can't).
He actually argued that the courts shouldn't consider Loving v. Virginia, the miscegenation case in which the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages, when looking at gay civil rights cases. He told the court, in essence, that blacks deserve more civil rights than gays, that our civil rights are not on the same level.
And before Obama claims he didn't have a choice, he had a choice. Bush, Reagan and Clinton all filed briefs in court opposing current federal law as being unconstitutional (we'll be posting more about that later). Obama could have done the same. But instead he chose to defend DOMA, denigrate our civil rights, go back on his promises, and contradict his own statements that DOMA was "abhorrent." Folks, Obama's lawyers are even trying to diminish the impact of Roemer and Lawrence, our only two big Supreme Court victories. Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights gains with this brief. He's taking us down for his own benefit.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Unfortunately, neither President Obama nor Congress shows much appetite for moving to end a ban that is not only unfair to gay men and lesbians but damaging to the military as well.
Advocates for gay soldiers believe that the administration, on its own, has the authority to prevent the discharge of gay people, perhaps by issuing “stop-loss” orders such as those used to keep troops serving past their original commitments in Iraq — many unwillingly. How much better to use the power to prevent the loss of gay service members eager to keep serving.
President Obama should see if there is indeed any action he could take on his own while awaiting the military’s assessment. In the end, it will be up to Congress to root out “don’t ask, don’t tell” by overturning the law that brought it about.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
In his June 1 "Pride Month" proclamation, Barack Obama boasted of appointing Senate-confirmed openly homosexual nominees to high executive offices, described reluctance to accept homosexuality as "discrimination and prejudice," and called for passage of the entire homosexual political agenda, including programs for "LGBT youth."
The Bush years are the gift that keeps on giving. They were masters of the message deeply infiltrating the culture with seeds of fear and hate. Thank you very much Karl Rove and your minions. These guys and gals were taught how to harness the airwaves of television and the Internet. They became the titans of manipulation showering divisive messages, and the work was extraordinary. They were more skillful then Madison Avenue. Maybe Microsoft should hire you to merchandise their new search engine, Bing!
Every major issue facing this country has been tarnished by their polarizing messaging -- whether it is climate crisis legislation, nuclear proliferation, Mid East peace, stem cell research and treatment, women's reproductive rights, health care reform, or gay marriage. These issues have been infused with emotion, partisan affiliations and religiosity. Yet here we are late for the train with a well oiled message machine, a weary populace, and a greedy media willing to sell their mothers for a story.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Dozens were moved in an attempt to split up relationships and curb illegal sexual activity at the 1,200-inmate Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, though some straight women were sent to the wing strictly because of their appearance, the inmates and corrections officers said.
Civil rights advocates called the moves unconstitutional punishment for "looking gay." The warden denied that any housing decisions were made based on looks or sexual orientation, and said doing so would be discriminatory. The practice was stopped recently after the Associated Press began questioning it, according to several inmates and one current employee.
"I heard him say, 'We're going to break up some of these relationships, start a boys wing, and we're going to take all these studs and put them together and see how they like looking at nothing but each other all day instead of their girlfriends,'" Drumheller said. Drumheller said Back told him the plan one day in a prison office. The other two guards, who are both female, said Back's reasons for moving the prisoners were commonly known among guards, though officials would deny the reasons for the moves if inmates asked or complained
The attack inside the famed Holocaust museum, as described by bystanders and authorities, turned the crowded building and Washington's nearby tourist-thronged Mall into a scene of fear and chaos, with black-clad SWAT teams, hovering helicopters and racing emergency vehicles. Stunned witnesses described a fusillade of gunfire -- five shots or more -- the blood-streaked floor and the screams of frightened visitors inside the museum and on the street.
His online book, "Kill The Best Gentiles," contains hundreds of pages of conspiracy theories that include Holocaust denial, the ancient hoax of the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" and wild webs of fantasy about Jewish plotting against white people.
"This is a longtime white supremacist and anti-Semite approaching the end of his life who may have decided to go out shooting," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group in Alabama that tracks right-wing extremists.
It is rather sad that other than Rachel Madow and a few others the only "news anchors" if you will who have the balls to take on the issue of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and other LGBT issues in order to show the idiocy of the anti-gay loons are on the Comedy Channel. Namely, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Colbert is currently in Iraq entertaining troops and did a skit which, while leaving room for a more forceful denunciation of DADT, mocked the idiocy of the policy. Here is a clip:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Formidable Opponent - Don't Ask, Don't Tell|
What is distressing is that now with even a majority of conservatives supporting a repeal of DADT, the Obama administration continues to lack the fortitude and integrity to push for repeal or at least a stop loss directive that could halt expulsions of LGBT service members. While the debate around DADT is a philosophical debate for many, living here in the presence of a huge number of military personnel, this horrible policy impacts on the lives of real living, breathing individuals literally on an everyday basis.
I urge readers to please contact their representatives in Congress and the White House to demand that DADT be repealed.
A. In my studies, as well as others, people in sexless marriages report that they are more likely to have considered divorce, and that they are less happy in their marriages. Some of our former respondents have kept in touch with me, and the happiest ones are actually those that have moved on to other partners. It may be that lack of sex is a signal that all intimacy in a marriage is over, and that both would be happier in other situations. I know that this may not be a popular idea with the religious and political right, but it may be a better solution than staying in a marriage that is hurtful and unfulfilling.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
I love Rachel's show and in particular her willingness to call it like it is without the ass kissing that is so prevalent through out most of the main stream media. As for Obama, I am still waiting to be proven wrong and that he's not a cynical liar when it comes to LGBT issues.
TERRY MEEUWSEN (co-host): This is Theresa. This is difficult. She says, "How should we, as parents of a homosexual son, handle the ongoing challenges facing us, such as staying true to our faith and following the commandment to 'love your neighbor as yourself'? This is very difficult for us."
ROBERTSON: Well, first of all, he's not your neighbor. He's your son; that's a different thing. You owe him, you know, advice and counsel and guidance. You're his parent. First of all, you didn't say how old he is. Secondly, I am not at all persuaded that so-called homosexuals are homosexuals because of biological problems. There may be a very few, but there are so many that have been made homosexuals because of a coach or a guidance counselor or some other male figure who has abused them and they think there's something wrong with their sexuality. So you need to get deep into why he is what he is, instead of just saying, "Well, he's a homosexual so how do I handle him, and how do I be Christian?" Well, I think you ought to tell him, "Listen, son, you know, here's what the Bible says about this, and it's called an abomination before God, so I've got to tell you the truth because I love you." That's what I think. All right, what else?
MEEUWSEN: And then you do that -- you love him.
ROBERTSON: You love him. Of course you love him. And you accept him. You love him, but at the same time, you can't let him just go, you know, he'll wind up --
MEEUWSEN: Without knowing truth, yeah.
ROBERTSON: Well, I mean, if somebody's on their way to hell, they'll -- I mean, you've got to love them to rescue them.
Frankly, if any one is an abomination, I'd say it is Robertson who shakes down old women and the ignorant so that he can live like a multimillionaire. Why on earth the Norfolk Airport Authority accepts Robertson/Regent University's money to display huge signs in the airport concourse bewilders me.
In the first quarter of 2009, demand for legal services in New York decreased by nearly 10 percent over 2008, according to the Hildebrandt International Peer Monitor Index. At least 10,000 employees at major firms across the country have lost their jobs so far this year, according to the macabre but wildly popular “Layoff Tracker” run by another blog, lawshucks.com.
Monday, June 08, 2009
I wanted to respond to your post regarding the necessity of coming out. I came out to my mom during my first year of law school after falling in love with a wonderful man. Being from a Catholic and Latin American background, she did not take it very well. She wanted to put me in reparative therapy and was extremely verbally abusive until I was finally forced to move out of my home during my final week of exams.
I am glad that I am out and I am proud to be gay. I do not regret one bit my decision, but I wish I had not been in such a vulnerable situation. I just speak from my own personal experience that often the price of being honest at a young age may be too high a price for some of us to pay.
The federal appeals court in Boston earlier threw out a lawsuit filed by Pietrangelo and 11 other veterans. He was the only member of that group who asked the high court to rule that the Clinton-era policy is unconstitutional.
“I think this decision is an absolute travesty of justice and I think every judge on this court should be ashamed of themselves,” said Pietrangelo, who served six years in the Army, seven years in the Vermont National Guard and fought in Iraq in 1991. “It’s nothing short of rubber stamping legalized discrimination, the same way Nazi Germany legalized discrimination against Jews. “The Supreme Court is not infallible, they get things wrong, and they got it wrong this time,” he said.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Words cannot adequately express the fear and often terrible self-hatred that one experiences growing up and coming to the realization that you are homosexual in our sexual orientation. For years I wondered why God has cursed me so and I tried prayer and other means to “change” myself to no avail. Yes, you can try to repress and deny the reality – and I did this for literally decades – but the truth is that one cannot change one’s sexual orientation, a fact now recognized by all of the legitimate medical and mental health associations in the United States but still ignored by the majority of Christian denominations. To be told that you are sinful and until recently criminalized takes a tremendous toll on one’s life and can lead to a life filled with unhappiness. In fact, I know of several gay men personally who committed suicide because they could not “change” and live in accord with what their churches taught them. One was a Lutheran. Then there are others I know who have been enrolled in bogus “ex-gay ministries” – often by their families - and come out still gay, but severely emotionally damaged. A few I know have become alcoholics as a result and others have felt no recourse but to walk away from a faith tradition that only condemns them.
In my own case, I married a woman and fathered three wonderful children. However, in the process I always maintained a “glass wall” between myself and my former wife, my children, and virtually everyone in my live. I lived as an actor on perpetual stage so than no one would learn of my terrible secret. The result was that I wasn’t the husband and father I should have been and I lived a life of constant fear of discovery and emotional isolation and self hate. Eventually I reached a point where I had to either face who/what I really was or end my life (something I have tried to do on two occasions, once almost succeeding). At this point in my life, I have (i) ended my marriage in a horrific divorce where I was treated exceedingly harshly due to my sexual orientation and (ii) finally come to terms with and accepted my sexual orientation. I am now in a committed loving relationship with a wonderful man who is one of the kindest, most compassionate, and most Christian acting in his actions towards others people I have ever met. I truly do not believe that God looks harshly on our love and relationship.