February 11, 2014
Nevada Follows The Path Of California & Virginia
Nevada's Attorney General (a Democrat) and Governor (a Republican) will not defend the state's constitutional provision that bans same-sex marriage. The Governor, up for re-election this year, said "It has become clear that this case is no longer defensible in court."
This and Virginia's decision flow from the U.S. Supreme Court's Windsor DOMA decision which last month led the 9th Circuit Appeals court to decide that classifications based on sexual orientation are subject to "heightened scrutiny." The 9th Circuit's decision specifically dealt with jury selection in a case relating to anti-HIV drugs where a gay man was excluded from the jury only because he was gay.
The Carson City Clerk had earlier withdrawn from the defense of the Nevada constitutional provision, so there are now no defendants. The couple that initiated the case have requested that their hearing be fast-tracked.
For those who would prefer to live in the dark ages, there will always be Indiana. But because Indiana has a more rational constitutional amendment process than California, their measure won't come to a vote until November 2016. As we have seen, a lot can change 2½ years. Even Hoosiers.
February 8, 2014
But In Russia
That is a sterilized, tame version of how it's done.
THIS is what it really looks like - real NSFW video of Russian gay bashings.
Becoming A Little More Equal
The Department's new policy guidelines will treat same-sex spouses of people involved in civil and criminal federal cases in the same manner as other married couples, and allow a same-sex spouse to refuse to testify against their spouse. Same-sex couples will also be allowed to file jointly for bankruptcy.
Under the new policy, federal inmates in same-sex marriages will have the same visitation rights as other married inmates. Additionally, same-sex couples will be recognized for certain benefit programs, such as the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program.
The policy change also extends to a program for survivors of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Now, the same-sex spouses of those killed will be eligible for the death and educational benefits the government provides.
"When any law enforcement officer falls in the line of duty or is gravely injured, the federal government should stand by that hero's spouse—no matter whether that spouse is straight or gay,'' the attorney general said.
I find it a little interesting that the Wall Street Journal uses "their" as the gender-free singular possessive pronoun. Is that actually in their style guidelines, or did this one just slip by?
February 4, 2014
January 26, 2014
Yesterday I went with Great Outdoors into Los Angeles to visit the ONE archives. ONE was an organization that grew out of the Mattachine Society and published a magazine entitled "ONE." The magazine ceased publication in 1967 and I had thought ONE had simply disappeared, but I was wrong. It transformed itself into the "Western Gay Archives" and then the "National Gay Archives" and finally the "International Gay & Lesbian Archives." I recommend they go ahead and register "Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Solar System" before somebody beats 'em to it.
"ONE Archives is the oldest continuing LGBTQ organization in the United States and the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world." The oldest item in its collection dates from the 1880s. Currently, they are busy archiving wedding photos.
ONE magazine was involved in establishing the first amendment rights that a lot of us take for granted today. In the post-McCarthy era, use of the word "homosexual" in a magazine was sufficient justification for the U.S. Post Office to deem it pornographic and ban it from the mails. Even as late as the 1990s the post office was seizing mailings sent by gay nudist organizations and labeling them pornographic. The workaround for that was to put the magazine in PDF format and send it out on a CD. The postal inspectors didn't want to take the effort to pop the CD into a computer.
They are on the campus of USC, affiliated with the USC Library, and housed in what used to be a frat house! The archives ask for your historical gay materials. Even if you think it's uninteresting or ordinary, ship it to them. They say they'd rather have unnecessary stuff to get rid of than to miss one iota of gay history.
"Successful Homosexuals." I assume that the man in the uniform represented a 1958 conception of "successful."
When it was a frat house it had a central fireplace whose chimney went up through the peak of the roof. Finding a fireplace to be inconsistent with the goals of the archive, they had it removed.
They used to house their pornographic and erotic materials in a different place, but deciding that was unnecessary and difficult, they combined all of their materials in one place.
"What Of The Draft?" This issue is from about 1966.
Undated, but it refers to the "Gay Liberation Front" at the bottom, so it's post-1969, I believe. These are the rights they were fighting for then: holding hands, arms around a friend's shoulder or waist, friendly kisses, and being permitted to do all three of those things in a bar.
Yes, of course, the lesbians are always wanting your children. If that were true, I would think they could just set up some lesbian-operated child abandonment stations. Parents who are totally fed up with their kids just bring them in and give them to the lesbians. Win win.
The archives include a lot of photo albums and scrapbooks that document what really goes on behind closed doors in the homosexual lifestyle. In these particular photos a potluck dinner is revealed at which lasagna, stuffed peppers and something in a crockpot were served to satisfy the hungers of the men. Do I see Brussels sprouts?! The unspeakable horror.
All the records and paperwork of the 1987 March On Washington were given to the archives in 1988.
Then we headed up to West Hollywood where we were on our own for about 4 hours. ONE Archives has a small display space up there where they were showing materials from the Athletic Model Guild and other bodybuilding or nudist sources of old. Also, MOCA at Pacific Design Center was displaying some of the artwork of Tom Of Finland and Bob Mizer of the Athletic Model Guild.
January 23, 2014
Virginia Goes, Like, All California
The Commonwealth of Virginia has had a provision in its constitution banning same-sex marriage since 2006. Which means, as surely as spring follows winter, that some people are suing. Today, Virginia's Attorney General Herring (Democrat) with the support of Governor McAuliffe (Democrat) has come over to our team and will not defend the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has actually joined the people who are suing in asking that the provision be declared unconstitutional by a federal court.
This puts Virginia in a position similar to California's when the lawsuit against Prop 8 began. The plaintiffs sued, in addition to the state's Registrar of Vital Records, the Clerks of the circuit courts of Norfolk and Prince William Counties. Those two Clerks will continue the defense.
Attorney General Herring was just elected and has been in office for only two weeks.
There is at least one Republican who opposes the Attorney General's decision, but does not go all bat shit insane: "'I don’t think he should do it, but I think he can do it, and I think it's probably within his job description to do it' if he thinks the ban conflicts with the U.S. Constitution, said state Sen. Thomas A. Garrett Jr. (R-Goochland), a former prosecutor."
The Attorney General's petition to the court can be read here.
When the Attorney General, exercising his independent constitutional judgment, concludes that a provision of the Virginia Constitution (or Act of the General Assembly) violates the federal Constitution, he is not duty bound to defend it. Although the practice is rare for Virginia Attorneys General, it is not unprecedented. Last year, former Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, declined to defend a constitutional challenge to the law establishing the Opportunity Educational Institution, 2013 Va. Acts ch. 805.1 In 2003, former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, on behalf of the Commonwealth, joined an amicus curiae brief with 43 other States, explaining that an attorney general is duty-bound to challenge a statute he believes to be unconstitutional, thereby serving a vital role in a constitutional system founded upon the separation of powers.
The propriety of not defending unconstitutional laws is well established under the federal Constitution. It was espoused by our founders, including Thomas Jefferson and James Wilson. The Department of Justice has consistently advised the Executive Branch that it is appropriate for the President to decline to enforce a statute that he believes to be unconstitutional.
The petition even cites Justice Scalia a couple of times:
Moreover, the Supreme Court implicitly approved the President's power not to enforce an unconstitutional statute in Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926). As the U.S. Attorney General wrote in 1980, "Myers holds that the President's constitutional duty does not require him to execute unconstitutional statutes; nor does it require him to execute them provisionally, against the day that they are declared unconstitutional by the courts." Justice Scalia has likewise said that the President's powers to resist legislative encroachments by Congress include the power "to disregard them when they are unconstitutional."
January 21, 2014
The Really, Really Final Book In The "Tales Of The City" Series Hits The Shelves Today
The Days of Anna Madrigal - $19.88 for the paperback at Amazon. Less for the Kindle edition, more for the hardback. In this book, Anna Madrigal, now 92 years old, journeys to Burning Man.
January 15, 2014
A federal district court judge has ruled that Oklahoma's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violates the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, specifically this: "No State shall...deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
The state trotted out the same brain dead mannequins that other states have tried to pass off as arguments against same-sex marriage, and the court dealt with them as previous courts have. A copy of the full decision is available here.
"Promoting the 'Optimal' Child-Rearing Environment" - no connection to banning same-sex marriage, excludes children of gay couples from the full legal benefits of married parents, Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates (so it ain't working), no opposite-sex couples marriages are conditioned on providing an "optimal" child rearing environment. Drug addicts, for example, are allowed to marry each other if they are of the opposite sex.
"Negative Impact on Marriage" - this "argument is impermissibly tied to moral disapproval of same-sex couples as a class of Oklahoma citizens. There are no moral requirements for any other group of citizens to get married. "The State has already opened the courthouse doors to opposite-sex couples without any moral, procreative, parenting, or fidelity requirements." The argument is not rational.
Finally, either the Attorney General of Oklahoma has more efficient attorneys than Utah's (quite likely) or the judge did it on his own initiative because he also is in the Tenth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court did just issue that stay in Utah, but a stay has been issued in the Oklahoma case.
UPDATE: More information about the unique twists of the Oklahoma case: Oklahoma's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is being defended not by the Attorney General, not by the Governor, but only by the Court Clerk of Tulsa County. The Court Clerk is being assisted by the Alliance Defending Freedom. According to Box Turtle Bulletin, Alliance Defending Freedom has consistently lost its cases. It was the ADF that provided the tow embarrassingly pitiful witness who attempted to defend Prop 8, but succeeded only in reinforcing the arguments of their opponents. So, this is a good thing.
January 13, 2014
Utah's Most Recent Arguments
Adam Liptak has pointed out the changes in arguments that Utah has made at various points in its attempt to prevent same-sex marriage. The best and newest one is the "gender diversity" argument - that children grow up best in a home with "gender diversity" which means one of each sex. The comments on that NY Times opinion piece are juicy. They especially delight in the "gender diversity" argument, saying that if that works then marriages in the future should be forced to be as diverse as possible, not just different sexes, but different religions, races, heights, etc. I would think a marriage of one male, one female and one transgender person would give greater "gender diversity" than traditional marriage.
The part where Utah's attorneys admit "We are not ruled by experts" is especially good, too.