June 20, 2014
A Score Of Complaints
Barry Petchesky obtained copies of every complaint filed with the FCC about Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on ESPN. There were twenty of them, so the research must have tied him up for a whole couple of hours or so. Here's a PDF with scans of the complete complaint forms. There were a couple of especially bogus complaints. For example, a viewer in Chatham, Illinois, objected to the Miami Dolphins "excusing" Don Jones for re-education because he tweeted "'OMG' and 'Horrible'." The complainant said "This is tyranny like in Communist countries! In America, the 1st Amendment guarantees free speech EVEN WHEN THE THOUGHT POLICE & the PC crowd don't like it."
Many of the complaints mention children seeing the kiss, but none describe any signs of malaise in those children - no screaming, no crying, no seizures, no sudden redecorating.
June 18, 2014
Texas, Round 2
We're going to double-up on Texas. Jon Stewart gives a good summary of the notion of "gay reparative therapy" and how it appeals to Texas Republicans.
Maybe this is part of that "Texas Economic Model" we've heard about.
More Begging For Those Special Rights
In Texas a judge has ruled that the birth certificates of two half brothers cannot include the names of the biological fathers. In most states (I would say all states, but maybe Texas is different) if a man comes forward at the birth of a baby to identify himself as the father and the mother agrees that's the father, then the authorities are delighted to put the father's name on there. It imposes genuine legal obligations on the father which might keep the kid off welfare rolls in the future (if Texas has welfare rolls).
But not in Texas, because, those two fathers of the two half brothers went and got themselves married to each other in another state, and while Texas doesn't recognize anybody's same-sex marriage, they can certainly recognize a Homer-sexual when they need to.
The men contracted with a surrogate mother and each fertilized an egg. The surrogate mother carried both so they could be born as fraternal twins. Now only the mother's name is on the birth certificate. What each father wants is to have his own name on his own biological son's birth certificate - which would be a no-brainer in any other part of the world than Texas - and each wants his husband's name on there as father too. The adoption of your spouse's child is not much of a big deal anywhere but Texas.
Temporary workaround for other expectant Texas fathers is to make sure the mother delivers in a neighboring state. New Mexico is quite nice.
How Big Is It?
June 12, 2014
Rick Perry Can Put A Checkmark Next To "San Francisco" Now
Texas Governor Rick Perry is not running for President and he had the not bad idea of speaking in San Francisco now while the Presidential election is far enough off that whatever he said might be forgotten. He spoke at the Commonwealth Club last night.
Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder.
"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry said. "I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."
"The large crowd gathered at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill included many Perry supporters. But the comment still drew a murmur of disbelief."
One reader made the comment that in order to keep all non-candidates for the Presidency on the same playing field they all should be asked "Do you agree or disagree with Rick Perry's ideology that homosexuality, like alcoholism, is a choice?"
June 6, 2014
Having reviewed the parties' and amici's filings, I am granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and denying defendants' motion to dismiss because I conclude that the Wisconsin laws prohibiting marriage between same-sex couples interfere with plaintiffs' right to marry, in violation of the due process clause, and discriminate against plaintiffs on the basis of sexual orientation, in violation of the equal protection clause. So saith Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Seventh Circuit. She was appointed by President Carter in 1979. She is a native of Green Bay and got her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law school in 1962. (Wikipedia)
These decisions have all been essentially the same. The state presents unbelievable arguments that have been shredded by every judge. Then the state's ban is ruled unconstitutional based on its violation of either due process or equal rights. The interesting variations lie solely in the writing skills of the judges, which range from literary to straightforward legalese.
The decision is not yet effective. The plaintiffs have until June 16 to submit a proposed injunction. After that is dealt with, she will address the defendants' motion for a stay.
Even so, some jurisdictions in Wisconsin are breaking out the party cheese and have begun issuing marriage licenses. "Minutes after learning about this decision, the Office of the Milwaukee County Executive announced the courthouse will stay open until 9:00 p.m. The courthouse will also be open Saturday, June 7, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to process marriage licenses." Usually there is a 5-day waiting period, but the county will waive the waiting period for a $25 fee! Yessirree, that's how you get some revenue. "Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says he will personally cover overtime pay for all employees if he has to." Okay, now they're just going crazy.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, stands firm with the Republican tradition to continue wasting taxpayer dollars on a losing case to deny people their 14th amendment rights. "While today's decision is a setback, we will continue to defend the constitutionality of our traditional marriage laws and the constitutional amendment, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters. I will appeal."
May 30, 2014
Time Has Stood Still For Texas Republicans
"Overall, Log Cabin Republicans of Texas has found incredible support within the Republican party — Texans, like the rest of the country, are evolving on LGBT rights issues," said Log Cabin Republicans of Texas Chairman Jeffrey Davis. "The Republican Party of Texas has even welcomed many of our members as delegates to the Texas State Republican Convention. However, the party has denied our several attempts to host a booth in the convention exhibit hall, citing archaic language in the party platform to support their actions. We deserve to occupy a booth just like anyone else, and it's time that the Texas GOP's hypocritical policies and procedures are replaced by new ones that match the general opinion of Texan Republican voters."
Here is the archaic language cited in the Texas Republican Platform:
Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle, in public policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples." We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.
This is not simply opposition to marriage or to an anti-discrimination law. The Texas Republican Party wants to roll time backwards a few decades.
May 28, 2014
N.S. Sherlock Lives!
Hold onto your hat, in September 2014 the U.S. Census will release an unprecedented report that those same-sex married couples we've been hearing about are, like, married! The mind boggles at trying to visualize the endless, heated conference room meetings to come to this point.
May 23, 2014
George & Tony's Wedding
Yesterday was George and Tony's wedding. They had a commitment ceremony 10 years ago, but now it's all legal. The wedding took place in Francis Stevens Park in Palm Springs and then we took over a nearby restaurant.
Gil, a priest, makes it official. I saw that he gave his title as "Rev," so I'll have to call him that now.
North Dakota Stands Alone
In 49 states plus the District of Columbia same-sex marriage is either legal, undergoing court challenge, or has been found unconstitutional and the decision appealed.
Only North Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage remains unchallenged. But Friday is another day.