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Archive for ‘Articles’
It’s taken a federal judge to do what Congress and the White House lack the courage to do; in California, US District Judge Virginia Philips ruled that the law (passed by congress and signed by President Clinton) has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the United States armed forces.
She is currently drafting an order to stop the ban’s continued enforcement, but government lawyers say she doesn’t have the authority to do so. Maybe the Government needs to reread the Constitution? The Judicial Branch determines the Constitutional status of Laws, not the Executive, and why President Obama would allow his government to make such a statement eludes me.
The ruling is the result of a suit brought by the Log Cabin Republicans in 2004, the LCR has about 19,000 members and includes currently serving military members and veterans. The injunction should be written within a week and the Government has a week to respond.
Will the Obama Administration continue to support DADT after his campaign promises to end the ban? Sadly, recent history says yes as the President’s personal beliefs appear to be at odds with his pledges. He has stated he opposes to gay marriage, for example, and saw no problem with California’s vote to strip marriage rights from gays in that state. Are we through the looking glass? A group of Gay Republicans are fighting a Democratic Administration for Gay rights?
What think you?
I’m sharing an observation from a site called newsvine.com, basically a site that shares news that people think is interesting and allows people to comment on these articles. There are some amazing posts that deal with a lot of subjects (you have to sort through a loot of trolls to get to them though.) What we have below is one of them by “Just Some Guy,” which was how he humbly asked to be credited when I approached him about using his brilliant observation here on SL, a reply to an earlier comment that I thought really showed the extreme to which people just don’t get this issue.
The original comment read:
I really wish people would stop comparing gay issues with issues related to the color of one’s skin. The two are so extremely different that it’s pathetic to compare the two.
And now the reply:
Ok, I was going to just stay quiet on this whole thing but the more I read through this comment thread, the more pissed I got.
Of course, as a gay man, I’m not discriminated against as blacks were. No, not at all.
It’s not like I can lose my job if for being gay. Oh wait…yeah, in most states I can.
It’s not like I can be refused housing based on my sexual orientation. Ummm. Wait, no, that happens too.
It’s not like I can be arrested, just because I’m gay. Except for when I can be. Those arrests made in gay bars in Texas at the beginning of the year showed that.
It’s not like police have refused to do their job in protecting me. Wait, yeah, that’s happened to me before.
It’s not like those in politics use my sexual orientation as a wedge issue, as they used skin color. Wait, yeah, that’s happening too.
And hey, it’s not like gays have had to fight to serve openly in the military. Because hey, gays still can’t serve!
Or how about the idea that gays won’t get services that everyone else gets when acting as customers. Lord no, that never ever happens.
Segregation? What segregation? It’s just to damn easy to tell kids to shut up about their sexuality during the years when they could actually use help figuring out what’s going on with them. From shutting down school clubs to getting suspended because you’re just a little too flamboyant. Hell, we don’t have to go to a different school, because no one can tell what we are so long as we just act like something we’re not and date some girls, damn it!
On top of all of that, I can’t marry the person I love. I can spend my entire life with the man I love, building a home and a life together, but if something happens to him that puts him in the hospital, I can be forced out, unable to sit by his side. And if he dies? Well, that’s even better. I can lose my home, my car, all of the things that surround the life I have built with this man. Even with an iron clad legal document granting me these things and power of attorney, his family can take me to court and either win the case or have it tied up in court so long that it costs me so much money I can’t afford to win.
Because I’m not his spouse, say bye-bye to survivors benefits when it comes to pensions or social security. But hey, that’s not discrimination. It’s not like you have these protections in your relationship…except, yeah, you do.
But hey, at least I have family, just like you. I mean, homosexuals never have to face their families disowning them for an inborn trait. Except for when that happens.
Hey, do you remember when your parents sent you to a camp to teach you how to be white? Because that’s what happens in a lot of gay families. Or, do you remember when your favorite grandparent found out you were black? And how she decided that she just didn’t want to talk to you until you could be something else?
No, jesus no, gay people know nothing of discrimination, and how dare we compare it to any other rights movement in this country, let alone the civil rights movement. Because so long as we are quiet, stay in the closet and don’t draw attention to ourselves, it’s all ok for us. I mean, sure, people are going to probably figure out when you buy a house with a guy and years later it’s just the two of you, and when you go to company events there isn’t ever a woman attached to you. No, nobody ever figures it out. And if they do, well, you shouldn’t have bought that house, you shouldn’t have tried for a serious relationship, because really, that’s just a dead give away!
I mean, sure there are obvious parallels, but there are just too many things gay people haven’t gone through that black people have. Our activists haven’t been killed (except when they are), we don’t stand to face any financial hardship (except when we do), we don’t get denied any rights (except for a few), we aren’t denied service either by stores (except for now and then) or those who are supposed to protect us (except for when they don’t).
And instead of recognizing that another group of people in this country are being discriminated against because of an inborn trait in everything from the job market to housing to school to who we are allowed to build our families with, you and people like you decide that because you don’t like us, all of the similarities don’t exist and you can just write it off as some people trying to piggy back on an unrelated movement. Instead of saying “It wasn’t right then and it’s not right now” you say “it wasn’t right for this group of people, but it’s sure as hell fine for this group I don’t belong to.”
That kind of thinking and the people who employ it disgust me more than those who are honest and just say “we don’t want to have it because fags don’t deserve it.” At least those people are honest in the reasons they give for wanting inequality to continue in this country.
I think I’m supposed to be the antithesis of a gay marriage supporter. Retired military (23 years in my case) are supposed to be against it and DADT, depending on who you ask. Actually, you may be surprised to learn that the military mindset is one thing, but every uniform holds an individual and the opinions of each individual are personal, not dictated.
But, I digress. Keep an eye on me I do that a lot.
Add to that I’m a practicing heterosexual… “Hi, I’m Tim and I’m a breeder.”
Dammit, there I go again, onward!
I’ve heard many say that President Obama has failed to live up to the promises he made in the campaign. This is true and false at once, he never supported gay marriage and in fact supports a heavy duty BF/GF view of how gay relationships should be treated.
Basically you can hold hands in public and get to visit each other in a hospital room, but that’s about as far as he’s every been willing to stretch. True the news and his followers made it sound like he was campaigning to appeal to centrists, but the campaign is long over and he hasn’t changed his tune. Add to that they slammed the brakes on repealing DADT and its really shaping up to support a rather rude saying I’ve been uttering of late.
“People voted for change and they got it: George W. Bush (George II) screwed you over face to face, Barack Obama (George III) screws you over from behind.” – Tim Boothby
Look at David Axelrod’s (longtime Obama stooge) attempt to spin the opposition to Gay Marriage into something less definitive:
“The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control.”
But, lets go back to the election cycle:
ABC NEWS INTERVIEW WITH JAKE TAPPER -June 16, 2008:
TAPPER: OK, last one, and that is same-sex marriage is now going on in California.
TAPPER: You oppose same-sex marriage.
TAPPER: Do you think that the fact that this is now going on in California, does that cause you to re-think your pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act?
OBAMA: No. I still think that these are decisions that need to be made at a state and local level. I’m a strong supporter of civil unions. And I think that, you know, we’re involved in a national conversation about this issue.
You know, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also think that same-sex partners should be able to visit each other in hospitals, they should be able to transfer property, they should be able to get the same federal rights and benefits that are conferred onto married couples.
And so, you know, as president, my job is to make sure that the federal government is not discriminating and that we maintain the federal government’s historic role in not meddling with what states are doing when it comes to marriage law. That’s what I’ll do as president.
TAPPER: Does it bother you, what California’s doing?
(Apparently the courts had a problem with it, but they aren’t referred to as constitutional Scholars, they actually are.)
DOMA was finally taken down, but not by the President or Congress, it was done by the courts against a spirited defense by this administration. The Department of Justice filed to uphold DOMA stating that it was constitutional and wasn’t motivated by anti-gay feelings. They argued that it also effected straight people, but went on to cite that states have refused to recognize incestuous and underage marriages, causing many gay rights activists to cringe at phrasing that put them in proximity of incest and pedophilia.
They also argued that the court shouldn’t look at Loving v. Virginia, a “miscegenation” case that the Supreme Court ruled that it unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages, when looking at gay civil rights cases, implying that they are different, placing the Justice Department in a position that could be easily construed as saying that gay marriage doesn’t rise to the level of other civil rights issues.
There is an implication that the administration HAD to file to uphold the existing law, despite a long history of previous administrations declining to do so in other cases.
John Aravosis has a stronger take on the subject.
And putting that little bit of religious right messaging aside, even if they “had” to file the brief against us, why didn’t they just file a brief that argued the technicalities about why the case should have been thrown out (e.g., the plaintiffs had no standing)?
No, what Obama did was throw the legal kitchen sink at us in a brief that could have been written by Antonin Scalia. They argued that DOMA is constitutional. Worse yet, they argue that it was a reasonable, rational, good law that actually saves the government money. They argued that DOMA wasn’t motivated by hate. That DOMA doesn’t discriminate against gays one bit because, apparently, gays can get married if they want… well, if they want to marry straight people of the opposite gender.
They invoked Loving v. VA, the miscegenation case, and argued how it doesn’t apply to gay marriage, undercutting the entire basis of our civil rights movement – saying that our civil rights are not akin, are not as worth, not as real, as the civil rights of blacks and other minorities. They went out of their way to try to diminish the legal impact of our two big Supreme Court victories, Roemer and Lawrence – that will have implications on every future civil rights battle we fight.
And again from John Aravosis
No. The Obama administration didn’t just lie to Politico, Obama lied to our community, or he lied to the court. But you don’t publicly call yourself a “fierce advocate” for gay rights, and then compare married gays to incest. You don’t make your first official legal statement on gay rights an outright attack on the underpinnings of our entire civil rights.
Our president had a choice. And he chose to throw us under the bus, and then knife us for good measure.
PS And here’s another lie from the Justice spokesman:
“The president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits.”
In fact, Obama argued last night that DOMA does not deny gays any rights or benefits:
In short, then, the failure in this manner to recognize a certain subset of marriages that are recognized by a certain subset of States cannot be taken as an infringement on plaintiffs’ rights, even if same-sex marriage were accepted as a fundamental right under the Constitution…. DOMA, understood for what it actually does, infringes on no one’s rights, and in all events it infringes on no right that has been constitutionally protected as fundamental, so as to invite heightened scrutiny.
[G]ay and lesbian individuals who unite in matrimony are denied no federal benefits to which they were entitled prior to their marriage; they remain eligible for every benefit they enjoyed beforehand…
DOMA does not discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of federal benefits. To the contrary, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited in federal employment and in a wide array of federal benefits programs by law, regulation, and Executive order.
You see, this is the problem with what Obama did to our community last night. He can talk all he wants about helping us get our civil rights (well, in fact, notice the Justice spokesman said nothing about Obama actually helping us get DOMA repealed), but the Obama administration’s own word will now be used against us, and against him, if he ever deigns to actually fulfill even one promise to our community.
It gets even more interesting when you factor in the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, a devout Mormon from Nevada (anyone remember what happened in the neighboring state of California?) in good standing with his church and opposed to gay marriage (to the point of saying that Democratic Party values mirror Mormon values… um…. WHAT?)
I personally have no heartburn with the mormon church myself, but their opposition in this issue is well known and a party that claims to be more progressive should really think twice before they place a man that voted for DOMA, stating on several occasions “I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.” He believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned, favors the death penalty, and he got a clean pass on referring to the president as being “light-skinned” and having “…no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,” just the sort of positions that every good progressive should embrace (yes that was sarcasm.)
Democrats are pushing themselves forward as the logical progressive alternative to republicans, but I think that the past 18 months of complete control of the White House and two years of control of Congress haven’t met any of the promises made to the community. They promise a four course meal and deliver crumbs, if you’re thirsty its BYOB.
HIV research is undergoing a renaissance that could lead to new ways to develop vaccines against the AIDS virus and other viral diseases.
In the latest development, U.S. government scientists say they have discovered three powerful antibodies, the strongest of which neutralizes 91% of HIV strains, more than any AIDS antibody yet discovered. They are now deploying the technique used to find those antibodies to identify antibodies to influenza viruses.
Interesting development, see more here.
A federal district court judge in Boston today struck down the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman.
Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage law violates the Constitutional right of married same-sex couples to equal protection under the law and upends the federal government’s long history of allowing states to set their own marriage laws.
There’ll probably be appeals, but its promising! The ruling basically states that marriage laws are set by the states and not the federal government (see 10th Amendment,) which can be a double edged sword, for example California voters amended their state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. Blame who you like for that, but essentially the people voted to curtail the constitutional rights of one segment of the population. A ruling on Prop 8 is expected, but the judge closed his office today without a ruling and isn’t supposed to work tomorrow (must be rough) so no verdict is expected this week at least.
Yes you read that right.
The gay soldiers arrested outside the White House protesting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will annouce today that they’re demanding that President Obama testify in their trial on minor civil disobedience charges.
Their novel argument: Obama himself called on gay rights advocates to pressure him, so they were just following orders.
It’s a short article, you can find the rest here. I gotta give these guys cool points, its a damned clever tactic.
From Advocate.com click to read the rest of the article:
Back in March, 18-year-old Fernando Gallardo got a seasonal job at a Las Vegas Walmart, hoping to make a few extra dollars. But a few weeks into the job, Gallardo says, his immediate supervisor asked him “point-blank” in front of four of his coworkers if he was gay, and from then on alienated him from the 50 other associates at that location.
Gallardo says that soon after the incident, he was stripped of many of his daily duties and asked to wear a yellow vest and walk around the store. By mid May his supervisor and two other managers stopped talking to him completely.
“I was completely ignored and shunned,” he wrote in a complaint to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. “I had nothing to do all day but wander around the store wearing a yellow vest no one else had to wear, much like Jews had to wear a yellow star of David in Hitler’s Germany.”
Yes, it really is the 21st century, yes there still are throwbacks.
At the risk of Kira kicking my butt for a rant… Congress is finally moving toward a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Apparently campaign promises mean something after all, all it takes is 18 months and the specter of a midterm election that is not looking good for the party in power to get them to finally acknowledge a demographic that helped put them in power. Why is Tim the Tech Support Ninja bringing this up you ask? DADT is a sore subject for me. Before started using my so-so web skills on a few sites I spent 23 years in the military, I’m a retired Air Force senior NCO. So when DADT was brought in I was stuck in a really crappy position. I was stuck having to at least appear to support a policy I disliked down the very marrow of my bones. I firmly believed that Barry Goldwater was right then and I still think he was right. “Barry Goldwater?” You ask. “Why is he quoting a conservative about gay rights?” Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that conservative and religious right are the same thing, Goldwater had his flaws but he was a pretty strong believer in keeping religion out of politics and government and that the constitution applied to all, in this case he thought DADT was an attempt to delay the inevitable. To quote the opening paragraph of the link to the left…
“After more than 50 years in the military and politics, I am still amazed to see how upset people can get over nothing. Lifting the ban on gays in the military isn’t exactly nothing, but it’s pretty damned close
Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar. They’ll still be serving long after we’re all dead and buried.
That should not surprise anyone. But most Americans should be shocked to know that while the country’s economy is going down the tubes, the military has wasted half a billion dollars over the past decade chasing down gays and running them out of the armed services.”
It never ceases to amaze me that a diehard conservative favored an outright lifting of the ban, but Barney Frank sold out and helped bring in DADT. Basically, DADT is the bastard love child of Colin Powell, Bill Clinton and Congress. Yes, that’s right, the military didn’t come up with it as a policy, Congress passed legislation that Clinton signed into law and the military was constitutionally obligated to follow the governing regulations laid down by congress, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress absolute authority “To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;” If anyone tells you that its a military thing, they’ve been misinformed. So, I have this to say, in a conclusion to this ramble. If anyone believes that there aren’t gay people in the military, think again, there always have been and always will be. If anyone uses the dumbassed argument that “I wouldn’t want to shower with a gay person.” Face it Sparky, if you’ve every been in any common shower room, military or civilian, you already have. Look at the statistics and do the math. If people think that gays can’t fight, history shows that they’re wrong. On to the big question. Did I ever serve with gays? Well, I know a few that were discharged for “homosexual conduct” but otherwise I have no official knowledge, because for me to know they would have had to apprise me of this after I had briefed them fully on their Article 31 rights (read them their Miranda Rights) and that never happened, so I didn’t ask and nobody told is my story and I’m sticking to it. Now, can somebody get this administration off its dead ass and start working on Gay Marriage, if republicans really are the problem then they are a voting minority in both houses. They can’t stop anything, so I’m not buying this cop out that the party in absolute power makes about everything they can’t get done because they don’t seem to be able to make a majority work. As Jon Stewart said (and here’s the link to the whole clip
“…Democrats will only have an 18 vote majority in the Senate, which is more than George W. Bush ever had in the Senate when did whatever the fuck he wanted to.” “…It’s not that the Democrats are playing checkers and the Republicans are playing chess. It’s that the Republicans are playing chess and the Democrats are in the nurse’s office because once again they glued their balls to their thighs.”
I know this deals with another subject, but it helps make a point, Dems have set the bar low and they’re still tripping over it, and people they view only as “demographics” are paying for it. Time to make phone calls and write emails and be heard.
This page is actually a last-minute insertion. I realized upon inspection of the coming comic pages that I needed some sort of ‘themed’ page to start out the thing. How do you like the flowers?
Next page is up on Thursday.