Saturday, January 18, 2014

Virginia Scraps Plan To Make Oral Sex Between 17-Year-Olds A Felony

Sodomy obsessed former AG Ken Cuccinelli
Apparently nationwide mockery - actually even international mockery since even British news outlets ridiculed the state - has made Virginia Republicans think twice about resurrecting the state's twice invalidated sodomy statute and instead make oral and anal sex offenses on the same level as other sexual offenses by amending other provisions of the Virginia Code.  What's left of the sodomy statute would only apply to bestiality and incest offenses.  The substitute legislation can be seen here. Its an approach that follows the argument that was made on this blog on more than one occasion.  No doubt the Christofascists at The Family Foundation and Ken "Kookinelli" Cuccinelli will be most distressed that gays will not be targeted for more severe criminal penalties than heterosexuals.  Think Progress has a summary:

Responding to concerns about a proposed bill that would have brought back much of Virginia’s infamous “Crimes Against Nature” law and potentially made felons out of 17-year-old couples engaging in consensual oral sex, the Virginia Senate Committee for Courts of Justice unanimously adopted a substitute version on Wednesday. The revised bill would generally treat prostitution, child molestation, and other illegal sex acts the same way for oral and anal sex as for vaginal intercourse. 

Claire Guthrie GastaƱaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and a former chief deputy attorney general of Virginia, told ThinkProgress that her group opposed Garrett’s original proposal as it would still not pass constitutional muster. “If we want true reform,” she notes, “we want clarity in the law that treats sex as sex, so the rules are the same for everybody.”

While Garrett did not respond to an inquiry from ThinkProgress about the potential impact of the bill, he later told the Huffington Post, “I have heard the concerns and have started to draft an amendment to my bill that will deal with the unintended consequences of a bill that is nothing but well-intended.”

Garrett worked with the committee to amend the bill to address the concerns. He told the Washington Post that his aim was to protect children and would support clarifying its language to make clear that “sex acts are sex acts,” adding that “we need to make sure we protect children… not from each other.”

If enacted, it would end a decades-long struggle between privacy advocates and anti-LGBT groups like Virginia’s Family Foundation. The Crimes Against Nature law, which made oral and anal sex (even between consenting married couples) a felony in Virginia, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas. But the state legislature refused to update the law and as a result, federal courts ruled in 2013 that even the provisions of the law dealing with child predators were unenforceable.
It is encouraging to see that the Virginia GOP may be finally coming to fear nationwide and international mockery more than the threats of The Family Foundation's dominatrix like president, Victoria Cobb.  Ms. Cobb must be acting like someone peed in her Cheerios after this change in the proposed bill.
The Virginia GOP's anti-gay dominatrix

Are Anti-Gay Clients Now Too Toxic For Big Law Firms To Take Them?

Law firms aren’t exactly lining up to kill these two men’s marriage.
I was forced out of a large local law firm because of a fear that I, as an openly gay partner, would "offend the sensibilities of conservative clients."  That statement was made separately from the meeting when I was told I was no longer wanted, but one did not need to be a rocket scientist to connect the dots.  That of course occurred in Hampton Roads - not a bright center of the progressive universe except when compared to Southwest Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Mississippi, etc.  But now large mega firms based elsewhere (perhaps even Richmond?) seem to be firing severe homophobes as clients.  A piece in Think Progress looks at the phenomenon.  Here are some excerpts:
On Thursday, Utah announced that it hired attorney Gene Schaerr to lead its effort to defend marriage discrimination in a case that is likely to wind up before the Supreme Court. Utah’s announcement was mildly surprising because Schaerr is not Paul Clement, the de facto Solicitor General of the Republican Party who defended the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act before the justices.
Schaerr and Clement do share another thing in common, however, beyond their representation of high-profile anti-gay clients. Both men left their jobs at large law firms shortly after taking on an anti-gay case.

Clement left behind a partnership at the firm of King and Spalding after gay rights groups and Coca Cola, one of King and Spalding’s top clients, pressured the firm to drop its defense of the anti-gay DOMA law. He went on to argue the DOMA cases at a small law firm founded by a former Bush Administration official.

Although the circumstances of Schaerr’s decision to leave his law firm are a bid more opaque — the firm, Winston & Strawn, released a vague statement saying that “Gene Schaerr, our former partner and formerly one of the co-leaders of our appellate and critical motions practice, has decided to resign from the firm in order to take a position as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Utah” — it’s hard to miss the similarities between this resignation and Clement’s. Simply put, lawyers do not typically resign from law firms because they take on a new client — taking on new paying clients is exactly what makes a law firm’s partners valuable to the firm.

Beyond the risk that a major client may balk at the firm’s activities, there’s another obvious reason why large law firms may not want to take on major anti-gay cases. Firms compete for top graduates and recent law clerks in their hiring process, and most new lawyers come from an age group that overwhelmingly supports marriage equality.
[T]he fact that a firm is also engaged in anti-gay defense work can easily be enough to push clients and potential hires into another firm’s arms.

Indeed, both Winston & Strawn and King and Spalding profess to value diversity as, in King and Spalding’s words, “an integral part of our culture.” The firm Schaerr is leaving to become Utah’s top anti-gay counsel offers a generous domestic partner benefit to same-sex couples that effectively cancels out the negative federal tax treatment afforded to gay couples that are unable to marry.

A common defense offered by lawyers who take on unpopular clients is that every party to litigation deserves competent counsel — and this is normally a very good argument. In this case, however, Utah already has plenty of lawyers . . . 

Saturday Morning Male Beauty

Bachelor "Star" Makes Derogatory Statements About Gays

Found this image on FB which says it all
Apparently Duck Dynasty doesn't have a monopoly on anti-gay assholes.  The show The Bachelor has Juan Pablo Galavis (pictured at left) who seems to be vying for the honor of asshole of the week - although, it will be hard to top Vladimir Putin.  What's disturbing is that Galavis, the show's first Hispanic bachelor, ought to know better since the same folks that hate him also hate us gays.  For the record, I have little use for "reality shows" and tripe like The Bachelor, but do we really need to be giving bigots a platform?  Huffington Post looks at Galavis' comments, especial that gays are more "pervert."  Here are excerpts:
The hunky star of the latest season of "The Bachelor" unveiled his very candid opinions about the possibility of a future gay bachelor at a "network party" on Friday night.

When asked whether or not he thought the hit ABC reality show featuring a gay or bisexual bachelor would be a "good idea," Juan Pablo Galavis reportedly told The TV Page's Sean Daly, "No... I respect [gay people] but, honestly, I don't think it's a good example for kids..."

Galavis, the 18th man to score the coveted role of "The Bachelor," continued his conversation with Daly -- but not before pointing out his gay friend Peter (because if you have a gay friend, you can't be homophobic, right?) -- and added:
"Obviously people have their husband and wife and kids and that is how we are brought up. Now there is fathers having kids and all that, and it is hard for me to understand that too in the sense of a household having peoples… Two parents sleeping in the same bed and the kid going into bed… It is confusing in a sense."
Galavis, who is the show's first Latino bachelor and also its first single father, also stated that "there's this thing about gay people... it seems to me, and I don't know if I'm mistaken or not... but they're more 'pervert' in a sense. And to me the show would be too strong... too hard to watch."
News bulletin to Galavis: being a bigoted asshole isn't a good example for kids either.  Moreover, we gays exist and have no intention of slinking back into hiding, so he and his fellow bigots best get used to us being around and being visible.

GOP Controlled House of Delegates Wants Power to Defend Laws

Attorney General Mark Herring
For the first time in 20 years a Democrat, Mark Herring, holds the Office of Attorney General and Republicans in the GOP controlled House of Delegates are freaking out.  Under Republican Attorney Generals even the batshit craziest laws passed by a Republican majority were guaranteed to be defended when challenged.  Now, the minions of The Family Foundation are fearful that Herring might rightly refuse to defend clearly unconstitutional laws so favored by the Virginia GOP and the Christofascists at The Family Foundation.  The solution?  Pass legislation that would allow House Republicans defend insane laws much as the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives defended DOMA.  Here are highlights from the Washington Post:
The Republicans who dominate the Virginia House of Delegates are gearing up for legal battle with state Attorney General Mark R. Herring, the first Democrat to hold the post in twenty years.

Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) has put forward a bill that would give General Assembly members legal standing to represent the commonwealth when the governor and attorney general choose not to defend a law.

If the bill succeeds, it could set up a situation like the one in the U.S. House of Representatives, where Republicans hired a private attorney to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
The attorney general’s office declined to comment directly on the legislation, but spokeswoman Ellen Qualls noted that “the constitution of Virginia provides for a duly elected attorney general to do this very job.”

Republicans said they are concerned about a few policies in particular: abortion clinic regulations, the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and redistricting. On the campaign trail, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, then the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, promised to use administrative powers to make newly enacted clinic regulations less onerous, and Herring said he wasn’t sure he would defend those regulations. The new attorney general also declined to say before taking office whether he would defend the marriage ban in court. Two challenges to the constitutionality of the marriage amendment are currently underway.

Democrats were more skeptical.  “If someone doesn’t like the fact that the attorney general is defending or not defending the law, the solution is an election,” Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) said. Individual lawmakers could hire a lawyer if they want, he said, but taxpayers shouldn’t pay for it.

Gilbert argued that the legislation is not partisan because it could benefit Democrats in a future administration. “It doesn’t give any particular party any advantage,” he said.

And even if the bill fails or McAuliffe vetoes it, Gilbert said the House might already have standing to defend laws on the books. “It’s not crystal clear,” he said. 

Should Herring decline to defend a law, he can point to recent precedent. As attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II (R) refused to defend one of then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s education reforms in court, saying he believed the legislation, allowing the state to take over failing schools, is unconstitutional.
 Sadly, it's all too typical of the Republicans - special rights for themselves and lesser rights for everyone else.  If a bill is passed, I hope McAuliffe vetoes it.

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down

With the nation's demographics changing against them Republicans have sought to limit the ability of those who are not angry white far right Christians and/or those primarily motivated by greed to vote.  Anything rather than change the party's homophobic, racist, anti-women vulture capitalism platform pillars.  One state where this was done was Pennsylvania whether some in the GOP boasted that the new voter ID law would insure a Romney victory in 2012.  Romney lost Pennsylvania and now that law has been struck down by a state court judge.  The judge's reason could equally apply to Virginia's new voter ID law that claimed to fix voter fraud problems that never existed. The New York Times has details.  Here are excerpts:

In a strongly worded decision, a state judge on Friday struck down Pennsylvania’s 2012 law requiring voters to produce a state-approved photo ID at the polls, setting up a potential Supreme Court confrontation that could have implications for other such laws across the country.

The judge, Bernard L. McGinley of Commonwealth Court, ruled that the law hampered the ability of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to cast their ballots, with the burden falling most heavily on elderly, disabled and low-income residents, and that the state’s reason for the law — that it was needed to combat voter fraud — was not supported by the facts.

“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election,” the judge wrote in his 103-page decision. “The voter ID law does not further this goal.”

In addition, Judge McGinley ruled, the state’s $5 million campaign to explain the law had been full of misinformation that has never been corrected. He also said that the free IDs that were supposed to be made available to those without driver’s licenses or other approved photo identification were difficult and sometimes impossible to obtain.

Opponents of voter IDs called the ruling a “devastating indictment” of the Pennsylvania law.

James Schultz, the governor’s general counsel, said the state was studying the ruling. “We continue to evaluate the opinion and will shortly determine whether post-trial motions are appropriate,” he said. It was also unclear whether, if there is an appeal, the high court would be able to rule in time to allow the law to take effect for May’s primary.

As in other states that have passed similar voter ID laws in recent years, Pennsylvania’s law was spearheaded by Republican legislators and signed by a Republican governor, in Pennsylvania’s case without any Democratic legislative support.

Opponents contend that such fraud is rare — in Pennsylvania’s case, the state could not point to a single incident — and that the laws were intended to suppress Democratic turnout, since those who do not possess a state-approved photo ID are more likely to be in groups that tend to vote Democratic.

“The type of problem that is addressed by voter ID laws is virtually nonexistent, which does raise the question of why they are passing these laws,” Witold Walczak, legal director of the A.C.L.U. of Pennsylvania, said after Friday’s ruling. “And the answer is that it is a voter suppression tool.”
“The court really looked at the actual impact of the law,” Ms. Weiser said. “Some of the past decisions have come without doing a real, close look at the impact. The issue is how they affect people in practice, not in theory. And in practice, it turns out that a significant number of people can’t get the photo ID they need.”

The plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania case included several voters who believed they had been disenfranchised, as well as the N.A.A.C.P., the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters and Philadelphia’s Homeless Advocacy Project.

“We feel we are in a very good position to be able to defend this law when it goes before the Supreme Court,” Mr. Walczak said, “though it would be foolish to try to predict what the Supreme Court will do.”
 If a majority of voters will not support a political party's platform and/or candidates it ought to be a wake up call that the platform or candidates need to change.  When, if ever, will the GOP get that message?

Friday, January 17, 2014

More Friday Male Beauty

Putin Slanders Gays While Giving "Assurances" Gays Will Be Safe in Sochi

Too many people seem to forget that Vladimir Putin is a former KGB operative - a secret police bureaucrat/enforcer.  Not exactly a kind and charitable line of work.  And then one must remember the widespread arrests that have gone on under Putin's dictatorship presidency, especially among Putin's political adversaries and those who do not tow the line in respect to Putin's efforts to cozy up to the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church, an institution that has a foul history of supporting reactionary extremism and propping up tyrants or unfit rulers.  And then there is the rampant corruption that is a daily fact of life in Putin's Russia - a good glimpse of this can be found in an article in the February issue of Vanity Fare.  In an interview Putin has stated that gays can be assured of safety in Sochi at the 2104 Winter Games - as long as they "leave the children in peace," implying, of course, that gays are predators who prey on children.  The man is a total bastard and asshole to put it mildly.  Fox News has details on Putin's slimy PR campaign.  Here are excerpts:
Russian President Vladimir Putin says gays should feel welcome at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, but they must "leave the children in peace."

Putin told volunteers Friday that gays visiting Sochi "can feel calm and at ease," and vowed that there would be no discrimination at the games. But he emphasized that, according to a law banning homosexual "propaganda" among minors, gays cannot express their views on gay rights issues to anyone underage.

Putin and other politicians have defended the June propaganda law as a protection of child rights, but critics believe that the law discriminates against sexual minorities.

In the wake of international outcry against the bill, Russian authorities have put limits on the right to protest during the Sochi games, which run Feb. 7-23.
Why do I increasingly think of Adolph Hitler as  I watch Putin and his campaign against gays and his attempts - just as Hitler did while persecuting Jews - claim gays are not subject to mistreatment even as they are subjected to violence and Putin himself suggests that gays prey on children.  I wish the Olympic athletes all the best during the Winter Games, but as far as Putin/Russia itself goes, I hope that Games are an unmitigated disaster. May they lose huge amounts of money and end up showing Russia off as a second class country.

P.S. I am reading Red Fortress, which is a history of the Kremlin and Russia.  It's reminded me that much of Russia's unfortunate history has been due to corrupt, ruthless, and/or incompetent leaders.  The Russian people are consistently the ones who lose out in the process.  In Putin, who wants to do things "the Russian way," this sad track record has not changed.

Has Seeing Gay Marriages Change the Minds of Utah Residents?

HRC and other organizations have long argued that coming out can be the most powerful act of advocacy that one can undertake.  Once gays are no longer some faceless quantity but instead friends, family members, neighbors, etc., it becomes much more difficult to hold on to one's hate and bigotry.   New surveys in Utah suggest that perhaps the same phenomenon holds true with gay marriage.  People find it easy to oppose same sex marriage until they see living, breathing, normal looking same sex couples actually marrying and exhibiting joy and happiness - just like other couples getting married.   The Salt Lake Tribune looks at what's happening in Utah in the wake of the December 20, 2013, court ruling striking down Utah's gay marriage bans.  Here are story highlights:

A new poll for The Salt Lake Tribune shows that Utahns’ views on same-sex couples’ relationships have dramatically shifted in the decade since voters amended the state’s constitution to prohibit them from receiving any legal recognition.

Residents are now evenly split on whether same-sex couples in Utah should be allowed to get state-issued marriage licences — 48 percent for and 48 percent against — and nearly three-fourths (72 percent) said same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions or domestic partnerships in lieu of marriage.

On one side: Paul, who lives at Sundance in Utah County and participated in the survey.
"I just don’t have any religious basis for why marriage should be between a man and a woman, and, personally, I don’t see that there is a meaningful difference between the rights of heterosexual couples as opposed to homosexual couples," the 24-year-old said in an interview. "I’ve never really understood the idea that two people should not be able to be married if they want to be."

And on the other: LaNae, 50, of Orem, who also took the survey.   "I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman," LaNae said. "That is what marriage means — a man, a woman and God.
The latest poll follows landmark decisions this year on marriage rights of same-sex couples by a federal judge in Utah as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Support for same-sex marriage was strongest among non-Mormons, people between ages 18 and 34 and those who described themselves as Democrats. Slightly more than a third of respondents (36 percent) said their views on same-sex marriage have shifted over time, something that was equally true of Mormons and non-Mormons. Overwhelmingly, people in both of those demographic categories said their views had become more accepting.

But perhaps in one surprise, the broad support for civil unions or domestic partnerships included 65 percent of respondents who said they were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sixty-nine-year-old Mike, of American Fork, said he opposes marriage rights for same-sex couples but over time has come to believe civil unions should be an option. . . . .  "Years ago, I would have thought that homosexuality was an individual choice," said Mike, who is Mormon and came to his views during discussions through the years with friends who are gay. "I’ve come to conclude more and more that it’s not a choice, but something that is inborn and a lifelong attraction rather than something someone chooses. If people choose to live in a same-sex relationship, they should enjoy all the legal benefits that occur with a marriage, without calling it a marriage and still using that term for man-woman relationships."
Very interesting findings.  Moreover, I believe that something similar is happening in Virginia where now a slight majority of Virginians support gay marriage.  The message again is to live out and authentically.  It's the way to change hearts and minds. 

Duck Dynasty Ratings Tank for Season Premier

While the swamp fever ridden members of the far right and the Christofascist ranks have continued to vigorously supporting the batshitery of Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, the most important critics - i.e., TV viewers - seem to be voting against Robertson's homophobia, racism and male chauvinist pig beliefs by turning the channel dial to something other than Duck Dynasty.   Americans Against the Tea Party has details:
It seems that homophobia, racism, Islamophobia, and suggesting that people marry teenagers is not what Americans want in a role model. Fundamentalist whack-job Phil Robertson and his merry band of fauxbillies saw their ratings plummet with the beginning of season five.

While conservatives were expecting their hero to enjoy a healthy boost in popularity due to his support of “real” American “Christian” values, they instead found Bibleman and crew losing about 28% of their viewership compared to the previous season premier.

While fake Christians have staunchly defended him to the point of lunacy (even if they hadn’t read the interview), after Robertson’s remarks that people with darker skin were happier in the Jim Crowe era, likenings of homosexuality to a predisposition toward animal fornication, comments that the Chinese and Muslims have been trying to take over the world for the past eighty years, and suggestions that men should go out and bag a fifteen year old wife, Americans seem to finally be realizing what sort of person their “role model” truly happens to be.
If the flight from Duck Dynasty continues to hold, then perhaps Americans are less easily duped that I sometimes think is the case.

Rush Limbaugh And A Glimpse Into The Conservative Mindset

This blog points out often the manner in which facts, science and objective reality simply no longer matter to the far right an much of the Republican Party base.  Those who some might call the "true believers" - people who simply "know what's true" based on ideology.  I often wonder how such people function in the objective world and/or come to conclusions about issues and concerns since thinking seems to play little or no role in the process.  A piece in The Atlantic focuses on Rush Limbaugh and how he just knows what ids true and what is not.  Perhaps this kind of blind certainty gives a glimpse into the mind of a member of the far right and today's GOP base.  Here are excerpts:
He knew that [Supreme Court Justice Clarence] Thomas was a conservative, and that his political adversaries were leftists. And that's all it took to "know" that Thomas was innocent. Evidently, no true conservative would ever sexually harass anyone, and no leftists would tell the truth about being sexually harassed by a conservative.

Limbaugh offered all this to make a point about Christie and the dearth of people defending him:
Christie may well be worth defending, is my point. I don't know. He may well be worth a Clarence Thomas-type defense, but notice that nobody is coming forth with one. They've all got that caveat. "He's home free IF he's not lying." This is not a comment about Governor Christie, so please don't misunderstand or be confused. I'm trying to illustrate (What's the word?) the emptiness of the Republican ... I'm trying to make the point that over there in the RINO Club, the Republican establishment, the wildebeests, whatever, there's not an ideology. There's not a belief system. There's not a foundation on which to base a defense, as I had with Clarence Thomas—and, by the way, he's not alone.
Got that? Were Christie and his supporters all true conservatives, they would be assured that Christie is in the right. Whereas as non-conservatives, the only way to ascertain the truth is a dispassionate analysis, qualified with hedges such as, If he's lying about everything, then he isn't blameless after all. Christie may well be innocent, Limbaugh argues, but no one can know for sure because he isn't a conservative.

Then he introduces another wrinkle:
It's just every Republican who has entered the fray defending Christie has to put a caveat out there "if he's telling the truth." Now, if there were a fervent ideological foundation, if there was a substantive reason of believing in Governor Christie, then whether he lied wouldn't matter. They'd be out there defending him left and right just to make sure the Democrats don't get away with this. And I'll admit that was part of the reason that I jumped into Clarence Thomas. There was no way they were gonna get away with this if I had the ability to have a little bit of something to do with it. There's no way. I wasn't gonna sit there and put up with this. I'd done enough to find out he was a fine man and know this was a witch hunt. They were out to seek and destroy.
But if Christie lied, then his accusers wouldn't be "getting away with" anything, would they? Their attacks would be accurate. Unless, Limbaugh seems to be saying, Christie was a true conservative, in which case the attacks on him would be illegitimate, because attacks on true conservatives are by definition illegitimate, at least when they're coming from leftists.
True conservatives cannot fail, they can only be failed. They cannot sexually harass leftists. They can only be falsely accused. That is Rush Limbaugh's ideology. I'm not sure what to call it. But it isn't deserving of the name conservatism.
There was once a time when Republicans valued logic, reason and actually analyzed facts.  Those days are long gone.  Now all that remains is unfounded certainty and ideology.  And the GOP race for abject ignorance seems to be accelerating.

Friday Morning Male Beauty

What Do You Tell A Gay Man Who Is Afraid to Come Out of the Closet?

From time to time I receive requests for advice from gay men who are in the closet and struggling to either come out and rebuild a new life or who sometimes simply want a sympathetic ear.  Sometimes the requests come by e-mail, sometimes by telephone calls to me at the office and, on a few occasions, in person meetings.  The later always arise from a call seeking an appointment to discuss "a confidential matter."  Coming out is hard - perhaps the hardest thing one can do after years of being married to a woman and having children.  I experienced that road all too well.  But there is life after coming out even if it doesn't fall into place as quickly as we would want.  

Recently, I received a call from a man in a somewhat confounding situation.  He lives in a moderate sized city in the Bible Belt, is gay, is separated from his wife of many years but not divorced, is afraid to come out because of fears of what it would do to his career (which given the city he is in is likely a valid fear), yet he wants to find someone for a committed relationship who is like him in the closet.  He asked me for advise on how to find that special someone.  Frankly, I am at a loss as to what to tell him.  By not coming out, to my view, the opportunities of meeting someone are limited.  Craigslist or Adam4Adam, etc., are not exactly sites for finding a long term committed relationship. I'd love to receive readers' thoughts on this issue.

For those not living in a Bible Belt city, an advice column in the Washington Post had the advice I would more typically tell someone coming out.  Here is the column:
Q. Carolyn, my spouse told me earlier this week that they want a divorce. I had a gay affair, and they found out in November. I thought we might make it, and I was pushing for us to work past this, but it looks like that's not going to happen. We both love each other, but I guess emotional love isn't enough. The thing is -- I don't even know where to start. I can't tell my family. I don't want to come out. I feel like a failure. No one in my family is divorced. Is there a step-by-step guide to this? Where do I live? What do I tell people? How do I navigate? (we have no kids, and we've already agreed to split everything 50/50, so this will be painful but not spiteful. I just don't know what to DO and I feel paralyzed.)

A. Carolyn Hax :

I can't tell my family.

Yes, you can, and have to. The bulk of your problem(s) right now trace right back to this truth: Who you are and the life you're living are not in harmony. You are one person and trying to live as another. Until you resolve this fundamental dissonance, you will remain at a loss for what to do next. Where you start is to accept who you are, then you decide how you want to live (from among the options available to you, I should say, since the option of preserving the illusion of your marriage is now off the table).

I don't want to come out.

See above.

I feel like a failure.

You are not a failure; your marriage has failed. Big difference. This will go a whole lot better if you resist the urge to see cosmic meaning in earthly things. When it all feels overwhelming, take each piece and deal with it as pragmatically as you can. Make lists, for example: 1. Find place to live. 2. Schedule the move. 3. Notify people on need-to-know basis. Etc.
No one in my family is divorced.

Hey, somebody had to be first! Flippant as hell, but you know what? You go with it. It's the only option that won't make you nuts.

Is there a step-by-step guide to this?

No, but ... well, there probably is a guide in a blog somewhere, so I'll leave that to Google. But right now what you probably need more than anything is a safe place to sort out all of your feelings in this. A good, reputable therapist is an investment in your future, at this point, one I suggest you make. (Don't be afraid to shop around.)

Where do I live?

Not for me to say, but, if you're really unsure, look for something short term while you regain your emotional footing.

What do I tell people?

"[Wife] and I are separating. I'd rather not get into details right now, thanks."

How do I navigate?

With confidence that you will be okay, and that any seismic shifts will be scary but also necessary and, for that reason, ultimately to your benefit. Hang in there.
I have found that often our own fears and the fear of what others will think are our biggest obstacles. We cannot let them paralyze us and keep us trapped.

The GOP's Culture War Over Light Bulbs

With all of the problems facing America one would think that concern over the demise of the incandescent light bulb in favor of the more cost efficient CFL bulbs should be a non issue.  After all, although costing more up front, the new bulbs last far longer and use much less energy.  But not so in the insane world of the far right and the members of the GOP who constantly prostitute themselves to this forever aggrieved group.  Once again, I have to wonder how the Hell people become so insane and so enraged over something so insignificant.  The Daily Beast looks at this batshitery.  Here are excerpts:

[O]ne fact about this new budget is worth contemplation. It carries forward the culture war over light bulbs. Yes, light bulbs. And the reasons for the light-bulb culture war? Well, pretty much the same reasons for the rest of the culture war. Light bulbs became culture-war fodder about three years ago when they started to look like curly fries at Arby’s. They started costing more. They got… funny. And confusing. Now we had to learn about things like “lumens”—which sounds vaguely European, like some legume favored by those socialized-medicine-loving people of Scandinavia. Of course this happened after Obama became president. And, of course, libruls and gummint people started talking them up.

But it was George W. Bush’s Department of Energy that got this ball rolling, back in 2007, and the light-bulb industry immediately embraced the switchover to CFL bulbs (compact fluorescents—the squiggly spiraley ones) because they had the technology on hand to start making them and capture market share. They last far longer than incandescent bulbs and save enormous amounts of energy. If every American household replaced 15 old-style bulbs with 15 CFLs, or better yet LED bulbs (the ones that often have that kind of fan-like look on the narrow part of the body leading up to the bulb), we’d save an equivalent of more than 40 power plants’ energy output.

If liberals are for it, they automatically turn anti. A study last spring by a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania found the following: She took two sets of liberals and conservatives and explained to them that CFL bulbs cost more upfront but saved money over the long haul and could reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources. At this point, liberals and conservatives reacted with more or less equal enthusiasm. But then? As Grist reported it: “Slap a message on the CFL’s packaging that says ‘Protect the Environment,’ and ‘we saw a significant dropoff in more politically moderates and conservatives choosing that option,’ said study author Dena Gromet.”

So if official, educated-seeming people say it’s good for the planet, oppose it. Even if you liked it before you knew it was good for the planet.

Michele Bachmann was once the czarina of this counter-revolution, but now that she’s leaving, this constituency has its heroic avatar in the person of Mike Burgess, a congressman from, where the hell else, Texas.  

Burgess likes to rail against these pushy liberals and their tricky, communistic light bulbs. He recruited Joe Barton (a fellow Texan) and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn (not exactly the House’s brightest… bulbs) to draft pro-old-bulb legislation. In this budget, he’s tucked in a provision that would bar funding for enforcement of the new light bulb standards. 

This is just so far beyond ridiculous. Light bulbs as a source of elitist resentment? Conservatives get angry when liberals sneer at them for being stupid, and sometimes liberals are condescending, and conservatives have a right to be angry. But another way to keep people from sneering at you for doing stupid things is not to do such stupid things.

[M]aybe GE can invent a CFL bulb that doubles as something you can affix to the end of your shotgun and take out into the woods and kill endangered species with. Then the Texans’ll snap ’em up. 
And people wonder why I left the GOP?  I would need to have a lobotomy to remain a Republican.

Was Anti-Gay Animus the Real Motivation for the Marshall-Newman Amendment?

Anyone who has followed the activities of The Family Foundation for any length of time knows that the organization holds deep animus for LGBT individuals and consistently works to deprive gays of equal civil rights and to keep us inferior under the law.  And anyone who closely followed the effort to pass the Marshall-Newman Amendment knows that one of its main proponents was The Family Foundation and that the legislation was pushed by Republicans deeply in bed with The Family Foundation.  Now, however, documenting this animus may be important.  Both United States v. Windsor and the recent ruling in Oklahoma found anti-gay animus as the motivation for DOMA and the Oklahoma gay marriage bans and ruled that animus toward a group did not constitute a valid rationale for discriminatory laws.  On January 30, 2014, the U.S. District Court will hold a hearing in Bostic v. Rainey where the plaintiffs are seeking a ruling as a matter of law that the Marshall-Newman Amendment and related statutory bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional.  The plaintiffs' memorandum of law lays out evidence of the anti-gay animus behind the Marshall-Newman Amendment.  Here are highlights of that anti-gay bias:
7. House Bill Number 751 also claimed that while “heterosexual marriage requires sexual exclusivity,” same-sex couples who marry “merely prefer sexual exclusivity, but do not demand it.” In addition, House Bill 751 declared that “marriage between homosexuals . . . contains an ‘understanding of the need for extramarital outlets.’” Id.

12. House Bill Number 751 also included in its “legislative findings” that there are “lifeshortening and health compromising consequences of homosexual behavior” that inure “to the detriment of all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or inclination.” Id.

13. In 2004, Richard Black, one of the co-sponsors of House Bill Number 751, publicly stated, “The whole agenda of the homosexual movement is to entice children to submit to sex practices.  Those groups lead children to experiment with potentially fatal sex practices that spread AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.” Lustig Decl. Ex. A (The Washington Times, “Gay-Straight” Clubs in Schools Anger Foes, Nov. 17, 2004).

14. In 2004, Robert Marshall, one of the co-sponsors of House Bill Number 751, authored an article in The Washington Post in which he referred to marriage between gay and lesbian individuals as “counterfeit marriage” and stated that the Affirmation of Marriage Act was “needed to resist the agenda of activist homosexuals” because the “danger” they posed was “real.” Lustig Decl. Ex. B (The Washington Post, No “New Jim Crow” in Virginia, July 3, 2004).

19. Campaign materials in support of the Marshall/Newman Amendment included a television commercial that told voters, “[God] created them male and female. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and they will become one flesh, for God’s design.” Lustig Decl. ¶ 16 (attesting to accuracy of transcription of commercial).

20. Before the Marshall/Newman Amendment was adopted, Virginia Delegate Kathy J. Byron advocated in its favor stating, “By changing the definition of marriage, the family, too, would be redefined, ultimately destroying the traditional family.” Lustig Decl. Ex. D (The Washington Post, Gay Marriage Ban Advances in Va., Jan. 14, 2006).

21. Then-Virginia Senator (now-Attorney General) Kenneth Cuccinelli urged his colleagues to adopt the Marshall/Newman Amendment by claiming “[t]he homosexual left has been on the attack against marriage and family for 40 years,” and that the amendment was necessary for “regaining lost ground.” Lustig Decl. Ex. E (The Washington Post, Va. Senate Backs Ban on Gay Marriage, Feb. 8, 2005).

22. More recently, Attorney General Cuccinelli publicly stated that homosexuality “brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.” Lustig Decl. Ex. F (The Washington Post, Cuccinelli Basks in Richmond’s Warmer Climate, Feb. 5, 2008).

23. Similarly, Attorney General Cuccinelli has stated that homosexual acts are “intrinsically wrong” and “don’t comport with natural law”; and that homosexual behavior “is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.” Lustig Decl. Ex. G (The Virginia Pilot, Steve Shannon for Attorney General, Oct. 26, 2009); Ex. H (Huffington Post, Ken Cuccinelli Loses Petition to Uphold Anti-Sodomy Law, Apr. 10, 2013).

25. Virginia law permits private adoption agencies to refuse adoptions based on the sexual orientation of the prospective parents. Va. Code § 63.2-1709.3.

26. Neither Virginia’s Human Rights Act nor its Fair Housing Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Va. Code §§ 2.2-3901, 36-96.3.

27. Virginia’s hate crime law does not punish violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation. Va. Code § 18.2-57(B).

28. From 2004, when the Affirmation of Marriage Act was adopted, to today, there have been at least 270 hate crimes in Virginia targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation. Lustig Decl. ¶ 17 (attesting to tabulation of statistics available at
Thus, the question becomes whether or not the judge in Bostic will recognize the real motivation behind Virginia's gay marriage bans and dismiss the tired - and failed and rejected - justifications for the blatant anti-gay bigotry that these bans embody?  If that is the court's course of action, under the ruling in Windsor and the Supreme Court rulings in Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, the Marshall-Newman Amendment and the statutory bans should be ruled unconstitutional. What do readers think?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

More Thursday Male Beauty

Uganda President Museveni Blocks Anti-Gay Bill

In what some - especially among American Christofascist who have invested heavily in exporting homophobia to Africa - may see as a surprising move, Yoweri Museveni (pictured at right), the president of Uganda, has blocked an extreme anti-gay bill passed by the Uganda Parliament.   Even more interestingly, he has confronted Speaker Rebecca Kadaga concerning irregularities in the manner that she rammed the anti-gay measure through Parliament without further study on the measure as requested.  While not mentioned, Museveni may well have also been conscious of the widespread condemnation that Uganda has been receiving from western nations, many of which provide significant aid to Uganda.  Whatever Museveni's motives, it is good fortune that this bill which would have condemned gays to possible life imprisonment has been short circuited at least for the time being. The Daily Monitor looks at the development.  Here are excerpts:

Parliament- President Museveni has confronted Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for passing the controversial Anti-gays Bill without quorum and described homosexuals as “abnormal” beings who can be “rescued” through economic empowerment.

In an eight-page letter to Speaker and MPs dated December 28, 2013, the President said he was forced to contrite on the issue by “a small group of our MPs, led by Hon Kadaga” who forced through the Bill even after he had advised to shelve it until the government had studied it in depth.
“Some elements, however, insisted and even without quorum of Parliament, passed it,” the President said. “How can you pass law without the quorum of Parliament after it has been pointed out? What sort of Parliament is this? How can Parliament be the one to break the Constitution and the Law repeatedly?”

The President said the rescue for homosexuals is first and foremost, economic, focusing on rapidly industrialised Uganda, modernisation of agriculture etc. By delaying government projects needed to create jobs for the unemployed youth, the President said the MPs are exposing the unemployed youth or “impecunious students” to the risks of homosexuality and other temptations.
“Even with legislation, they will simply go underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons,” he said.

The President said he would support a life sentence for one who lures normal youth into “these disgusting behaviours” – especially homosexuality. He said the NRM Caucus will find a scientifically correct position on the proposed anti-gay legislation.

Let us hope that this is not merely a temporary set back for the American Christofascist backed hate merchants inside and outside of the Ugandan Parliament.  A friend is currently working in Uganda and to say that the country is an economic and social basket case is an understatement.  For many MP's this fixation on gays is merely a way to distract an ignorant and gullible populace from realizing that one of Uganda's biggest problems is its corrupt and incompetent government.  Of course a corrupt government and ignorant population are the perfect fertile ground for the lies and untruths marketed by American Christofascists.  As the lose the so-called culture wars in America, these modern day Pharisees are seeking to export hate overseas.


Richmond Times Dispatch Endorses Pro Gay Legislation

The always bitter and hateful Victoria Cobb at The Family Foundation who would like to see gays criminalized and kept as a forever inferior class of citizen recently criticized Virginia Democrats of ignoring the issue of job creation while furthering "divisive social issues."  If anyone has championed divisive social issues over the years it is Cobb and her fellow Christofascists who, if given their way, would make Virginia welcoming only to far right white Protestants, something that makes Virginia increasingly noncompetitive for new and progressive businesses.  Imagine Ms. Cobb's distress in reading today's Richmond Times Dispatch in which the main editorial applauds efforts to increase the civil equality of gay Virginians.  For non-Virginians, the Times Dispatch is among the most conservative newspapers in Virginia.  Ms. Cobb and her fellow hate merchants are truly losing the so-called culture wars when even the Richmond Times Dispatch is supporting expanded gay rights and a repeal of Virginia's gay marriage bans.  Here are editorial highlights:

Terry McAuliffe wasted no time issuing his first executive order as governor. It forbids discriminating in state employment for reasons of race, sex, color, faith, national origin, political affiliation or — significantly — sexual orientation or gender identity.

All fair-minded individuals should cheer McAuliffe’s directive. They also ought to root for legislation in the General Assembly that would permit adoption by gay couples in Virginia. At present, state law allows adoption by straight couples, and by gay or lesbian individuals, but not by gay or lesbian couples. That makes no sense.

Both Democrat Janet Howell and Republican Joseph Yost have introduced measures to permit adoption by “a person other than the spouse of a parent.” The language is written to get around Virginia’s ban on gay marriage. Legislation that would start the process of repealing the state’s marriage amendment — which is written into the constitution — has been introduced as well.

Both proposals will run into opposition, but repealing the marriage amendment faces a tougher uphill climb, despite swiftly changing public attitudes. It would be nice to see them all move forward. But given the staunch social conservatism in the GOP-controlled house, the year’s most significant change in state policy on LGBTQ issues might already have occurred: McAuliffe’s executive order. It’s a small step, but a good one.
I can just envision the spittle that must be flying around The Family Foundation offices today.  Just the thought makes me smile.  The truth is that Ms. Cobb and her cohorts in bigotry are not nice and decent people.  They are bigots and consistently work to undermine the religious freedoms of others.

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

Why the Oklahoma Gay Marriage Ruling is a Blueprint for Virginia's Marriage Cases

Virginia plaintiffs Tim Bostic and Tony London

I was quoted yesterday in GayRVA on the federal court ruling this week in Oklahoma that struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban.  The opinion was well written and relied on both the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Lawrence v. Texas and United States v. Windsor which made it clear that moral disapproval and animus, respectively, toward a particular group could not justify deliberately discriminatory laws.  While the Oklahoma and Utah rulings are not technically binding precedent on either the Eastern District or Western District of Virginia, they lay out a reasoning easily applicable to the two pending gay marriage lawsuits in Virginia.  Especially when one looks at the anti-gay animus and moral disapproval of gays which was a steady current in the propaganda war led by The Family Foundation and its allies to push passage of the Marshall-Newman Amendment in 2006.  The New Civil Rights Movement reviews the Oklahoma ruling and the reasoning is 100% on point for Virginia.  Here are excerpts:

The Judge notes that Oklahoma’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage “intentionally discriminates.”

He labeled Oklahoma’s ban “a classic, class-based equal protection case,” and cited numerous press releases noting animus as the reason the law was passed, like this:
State Representative Bill Graves said, “‘This is a Bible Belt state . . . . Most people don’t want that sort of thing here. . . . Gay people might call it discrimination, but I call it upholding morality.’”
And he effectively slammed every so-called “pro-family” anti-gay group, every evangelical and every Christian organization’s arguments against marriage equality.
The Court recognizes that moral disapproval often stems from deeply held religious convictions… However, moral disapproval of homosexuals as a class, or same-sex marriage as a practice, is not a permissible justification for a law.
But wait — it gets better!

Judge Kern writes “there is no rational link between excluding same-sex couples from marriage and the goals of encouraging ‘responsible procreation’ among the ‘naturally procreative’ and/or steering the ‘naturally procreative’ toward marriage.”
Permitting same-sex couples to receive a marriage license does not harm, erode, or somehow water-down the “procreative” origins of the marriage institution, any more than marriages of couples who cannot “naturally procreate” or do not ever wish to “naturally procreate.”
And then, bingo!
If a same-sex couple is capable of having a child with or without a marriage relationship, and the articulated state goal is to reduce children born outside of a marital relationship, the challenged exclusion hinders rather than promotes that goal.
Kern keeps on hitting it out of the ballpark, exploding the so-called “every child deserves a mom and a dad” claim groups like NOM and the Family Research Council use.

He writes “the Court cannot discern, a single way that excluding same-sex couples from marriage will ‘promote’ this ‘ideal’ child-rearing environment. Exclusion from marriage does not make it more likely that a same-sex couple desiring children, or already raising children together, will change course and marry an opposite-sex partner…”

“The Court concludes that denial of same-sex couples from marriage “does nothing to promote stability in heterosexual parenting.””
Excluding same-sex couples from marriage has done little to keep Oklahoma families together thus far, as Oklahoma consistently has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.
And then, finally, this:
“Exclusion of just one class of citizens from receiving a marriage license based upon the perceived ‘threat’ they pose to the marital institution is, at bottom, an arbitrary exclusion based upon the majority’s disapproval of the defined class. It is also insulting to same-sex couples, who are human beings capable of forming loving, committed, enduring relationships.”
What happened in Oklahoma is identical to what happened in Virginia and, if the judges in Virginia are responsible jurists, they have no option but to rule as the U.S. District Court in Oklahoma ruled.

Objections To Marriage Equality Decisions Are Actually Objections To The Constitution

With federal District Courts in Utah and Oklahoma having recently struck down deliberately discriminatory gay marriage bans in those states the Christofascists and their whores trained circus dogs in the Republican Party are hyperventilating.  Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) has even introduced the "State Marriage Defense Act Of 2014," which would require federal agencies to look into a person's "legal residence" when determining marital status and how federal law would be applied. The result?  If one was a legally married couple and moved to an anti-gay state you'd suddenly no longer be married and all attendant marital benefits would disappear.  Weber's bill is an affront to the U.S. Constitution and the concept of equal protection.  A piece in Think Progress looks at how these anti-gay marriage extremists ultimately are attacking the U.S. Constitution.  Here are highlights:

Federal judges have overturned state bans on same-sex marriage in three states now — California, Utah, and Oklahoma — in addition to decisions by state courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, and New Mexico. The most recent rulings in Utah and Oklahoma are thorough but reach a simple conclusion: defining marriage as only between a man and a woman accomplishes nothing and only serves to discriminate against same-sex couples. The U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law, the judges wrote, so the disparate treatment of these amendments violates this principle. 

Opponents of marriage equality respond to these decisions by decrying “unelected judges” who are “overturning the will of the people.”

These statements imply that a majority vote (or a supermajority, as was the case when Oklahoma passed its ban) should supersede Constitutional protections, but that notion actually betrays the fundamental principles of the Constitution. Indeed, the founding fathers were insistent that a pure democracy with majoritarian rule would fail, which is why they instead created a republic, a representative government with checks and balances and a Constitution that is particularly difficult to amend. Here’s what some of them had to say about pure democracy:
John Marshall: “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
John Adams: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
James Madison: “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”
Alexander Hamilton: “It has been observed by an honorable gentleman that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved, that no position in politics is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”
Though the U.S. Supreme Court has thus far stopped short of addressing the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage, it has asserted that marriage is a “fundamental right.” The judges in Utah and Oklahoma have observed that by denying individuals the ability to choose who they marry on the basis of sexual orientation contradicts that right, because a right without the freedom of choice is no right at all. People may disapprove of same-sex couples marrying — though fewer do with each passing poll — but the Constitution and its judicial branch were specifically designed to protect minorities from the discriminatory whims of the majority, and in these cases, it is doing just that.

The Christofascists hate accurate history of the nation's founding documents and the intent of the Founding Fathers because they consistently are at odds with the Christofascists' goal of a theocracy and majority mob rule.  It's little wonder that they try to take over local school boards so that they can rewrite history.

U.N. Panel Questions Vatican Officials on Child Sex Abuse

As much as the Vatican and the rest of the corrupt Church hierarchy would like to forget about the still exploding sex abuse scandal and blame it on "a few bad apples" or on "the gays," the issue just will not go away.  And rightfully so.  This is a worldwide criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice and protect predators who prey on children and youths often with impunity.  Adding to the Vatican's headaches is the effort of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child to get some honest answers from the Vatican.  The New York Times looks at this ongoing problem for the Vatican which wants to simply sweep the dirt under the rug and feign ignorance.  Note how the Vatican disclaims any responsibility outside of the Vatican's wall - even thought the Pope directly appoints bishops and cardinals and the reality is that the Catholic Church is ruled like a feudal monarchy. Here are excerpts:
GENEVA — In an unusual appearance before a United Nations committee, Vatican officials faced questions on Thursday about the Holy See’s handling of sexual abuse of children by the clergy.

The officials, including Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, who served as the Vatican’s chief sex crimes prosecutor for a decade up to 2012, are appearing before the Committee on the Rights of the Child to show how the Vatican is implementing a legally binding convention promoting child rights, which it signed in 1990.

Human rights organizations and groups representing victims of clerical abuse welcomed the hearing as the first occasion the Vatican has had to publicly defend its record.

“It’s a moment that has given hope and encouragement to victims across the globe,” Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in Geneva ahead of the hearing.

In questions posed by the U.N. committee before the hearing, the Vatican was asked to provide details of cases of sexual abuse committed by clergy that were brought to its attention, to detail measures for ensuring clergy accused of sexual abuse did not remain in contact with children, and to explain what explicit instructions it had given to ensure compulsory reporting of sexual abuse to the competent national authorities together with the cases where instructions had been given not to report abuse.

Written answers from the Vatican emphasized the distinction between the Holy See and the Catholic Church and said that although it encouraged adherence to the principles of the convention globally, it was responsible only for implementing the convention in the territory of the Vatican City State.

“It was quite shocking. It was a pretty direct, pretty blunt effort to sidestep the questions,” Pam Spees, an attorney with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which is seeking to hold Vatican officials responsible for sexual abuse crimes, said in an interview.
For those swooning over Pope Francis this response ought to be a slap in the face and a wake up call that nothing has changed under Francis other than PR tone and window dressing to dupe the gullible.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Virginia GOP Congressional Candidate: It’s Not Rape If Your Wife Is "Wearing A Nightie"

Will the GOP war on women ever end?  The anti-woman batshitery seems endless, and not surprisingly some of it is coming out of Virginia.  Take for instance GOP Congressional candidate and Virginia state Senator Richard H. “Dick” Black (pictured above) who must have been separated from Todd Aiken at birth.  It is worth noting that Black is the darling of The Family Foundation which has accused Democrats of "being divisive" because they support equal rights under the civil laws for gay Virginians.  Meanwhile, Black obviously sees women as chattel property of their husbands who must yield to their husbands' desires no matter what.  Virginians need to take a good long look at Black because he symbolizes the mindset of the vast majority of today's Virginia GOP.  The New Civil Right Movement has details.  Here are excerpts:
A Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress is under fire today after a video surfaced showing him opposing a bill that to make it illegal for a person to rape their spouse. It’s not just that Virginia state Senator Richard H. “Dick” Black was against the bill, but — just like Todd Akin — it’s his comments that have many up in arms.

“I do not know,” Black said in an ad made from a 2002 Virginia House debate, “how on earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth…”

Citing state police statistics, the ad at the end notes that between 2002 and 2010, “there have been more than 800 reported victims of spousal rape in Virginia.”

Sen. Black wants to become a U.S. Congressman. And given Virginia’s recent history of electing anti-gay, anti-women Republican politicians like Governor Bob McDonnell (Gov. Ultrasound, as Rachel Maddow called him) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Black may have a good chance of going to Washington.

Noting that Black “commands substantial support among the conservative grassroots,” Mother Jones reports today that he “has referred to emergency contraception, which does not cause abortions, as ‘baby pesticide.‘ Black also fought to block a statue of Abraham Lincoln at a former Confederate site in Richmond. He wasn’t sure, he explained at the time, that statues of Lincoln belonged in Virginia. He has argued that abortion is a worse evil than slavery. And once, to demonstrate why libraries should block pornography on their computers, Black invited a TV reporter to film him using a library terminal to watch violent rape porn.”

Sen. Black, according to Mother Jones, “was at his most virulent when targeting Virginia’s same-sex couples. He championed legislation to ban same-sex couples from adopting children, claiming that gay men and women are more prone to violence, alcoholism, and suicide.”

In 2003, Black tried to pass legislation preventing same-sex couples to apply for low-interest home loans from the Virginia Housing and Development Authority. The current policy, he explained, “subsidize[s] sodomy and adultery.
There's more, but you can quickly see why Black is a favorite with the racist homophobes at The Family Foundation.

Virginia House of Delegates Subcommittee to Consider Marriage Ban Repeal

As previously noted, one GOP controlled committee in the House of Delegates killed any consideration of a repeal of the vile anti-gay Marshall-Newman Amendment.  However, as the Washington Blade is reporting that a different committee may breathe at least temporary life into efforts to repeal Virginia's ban on any legal recognition of gay relationships.   One does have to wonder whether recent court rulings in Utah and Oklahoma are starting to pressure the Virginia GOP to defy the dictates of The Family Foundation, a hate group except for formal designation.  Here are story excerpts:

The Washington Blade has learned a Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee on Jan. 20 is scheduled to consider a bill that would repeal the commonwealth’s statutory same-sex marriage ban.
The House Civil Law Subcommittee is expected to take up the measure — House Bill 939 — that state Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County) introduced last week.

“This is the first time the House of Delegates will get to actually address Virginia’s statutory ban on same-sex marriage in the Code of Virginia in at least the last five years as opposed to the Constitution of Virginia,” Surovell told the Blade on Tuesday. “While marriage rights face an uphill battle in the heavily Republican Virginia House of Delegates, I am encouraged to learn that it will at least hold a hearing on the bill.”

State Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), chair of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, on Jan. 9 announced it will not consider any so-called first reference constitutional amendments during the 2014 legislative session. These include proposed resolutions that sought to repeal the state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The House Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee last year killed Surovell’s proposed resolution that sought to repeal a 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

State Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria) last week introduced a proposed resolution that sought to amend the state constitution to allow same-sex marriage in Virginia. The proposal would have also allowed the commonwealth to recognize gay nuptials legally performed in Maryland, D.C. and other jurisdictions.

Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk on Jan. 30 is scheduled to hold a hearing in a federal lawsuit that challenges the commonwealth’s same-sex marriage ban. The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Virginia in August filed a class action federal lawsuit on behalf of two lesbian couples from the Shenandoah Valley who lack marriage rights in the state.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Lieutenant Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring all support nuptials for gays and lesbians.

One thing is certain: the issue of gay marriage is not going away in Virginia no matter what the Virginia GOP and its puppet masters at The Family Foundation try to do.