Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Oh, Scalia

Antonin Scalia is a bad, bad man.

A tape of a speech given earlier this month by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has drawn the ire of LGBT civil rights activists who worry the landmark high court ruling on sodomy could be revisited.

Scalia rarely speaks to the media and seldom allows the press into speeches he gives but a recording of a March 8 address at the University of Freiberg in Switzerland was obtained by CNN.

In one portion of the speech to law students at the university Scalia brings up the issue of homosexuality.

"Question comes up: is there a constitutional right to homosexual conduct? Not a hard question for me. It's absolutely clear that nobody ever thought when the Bill of Rights was adopted that it gave a right to homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct was criminal for 200 years in every state. Easy question."

He also told the students that foreigners waging war against the United States have no rights under the Constitution. [link]


Isn't it scary that this man is on the highest court in the nation?

Ouch.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Some coverage at last

Follow up on this post ...

The Toronto Star has reported that "Murder and abuse of gays is becoming endemic."

Good for them.

Domestic Violence in Ohio

Man, stuff like this makes me sick. Ohio's hatred for gays has become so intense it's made them blind to justice.

In case that has been closely watched by lawyers across the country an Ohio appeals court has ruled that domestic violence charges cannot be laid in cases where the couple is unmarried because of the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Opponents of the ban, passed in 2004, warned that it was so poorly worded it could be used to deny rights to unmarried opposite sex couples.

Since then prosecutors in several Ohio counties have refused to lay charges in cases of domestic violence involving non married opposite-sex couples.

An appeals court on Friday reaffirmed that, ruling that the state's Ohio's 25-year-old domestic violence law is in conflict with the marriage amendment.

The amendment states that Ohio cannot "create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals."

In a case involving a woman charged with domestic violence against her boyfriend the 2nd District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's dismissal of the charge based on the amendment. [link]

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Santorum goes fizzle

You know, I just realized I don't even post about Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum anymore, even though he's still my local asshat Senator. That's probably because that man is self-destructing faster than a ... thing that ... self ... destructs.

Yeeees.

Bush doesn't have to inform Congress about ... anything

I just found this one out from AmericaBlog:

You've gotta be kidding me.

Bush added an addendum (which he legally can't do) when signing the Patriot Act this time around, saying that he doesn't have to obey its language requiring him to keep Congress informed.

That is illegal. It's unconstitutional. You can't do that. A president can't just say he's going to ignore the law. [link]


Well, that makes me feel good.

Oh, boy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Take *that* White-Man-America

"When Governor Mike Rounds signed HB 1215 into law it effectively banned all abortions in the state with the exception that it did allow saving the mother’s life. There were, however, no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. His actions, and the comments of State Senators like Bill Napoli of Rapid City, SD, set of a maelstrom of protests within the state.

Napoli suggested that if it was a case of “simple rape,” there should be no thoughts of ending a pregnancy. Letters by the hundreds appeared in local newspapers, mostly written by women, challenging Napoli’s description of rape as “simple.” He has yet to explain satisfactorily what he meant by “simple rape.”

The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

Strong words from a very strong lady. I hope Ms. Fire Thunder challenges Gov. Rounds and the state legislators on this law that is an affront to all independent women."


Yoinked from : Indianz.com

Oglala Souix kick ass.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Choosing silence

For the past few months, we've heard that Iran and Iraq may or may not be killing gays. This all started when we heard that two young men had been hung in Iran. Now, the problem was that two different reports surfaced: one said the young men were hung for raping a young boy, but the other said they were killed for being gay. For this reason, I've held off posting about this: I wanted to know more about the story.

There have been several reports now, though, and so I think we can all agree that something is going on, even if we can't know the full story. After all, as the link I just posted states:

Consensual gay sex in any form is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


And now look at this recent report from Page One Q:

Religious death squads are killing gays in Iraq, Doug Ireland will report in tomorrow's weekly edition of New York's Gay City News, PageOneQ has learned.

"The Badr Corps is committed to the 'sexual cleansing' of Iraq," a 33 year old gay Iraqi exile in London told Ireland. Since the SCIRI's spiritual leader, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistni -- the highest Shia religious authority -- issued a fatwa ordering gays assassinated in "the worst, most severe way of killing," the Badr Corps in Iraq has begun to use the Internet to hunt down and kill Iraqi gays. [link]


This sounds very reliable. Just look here:

Ireland's interviews include one with Tahseen, an underground activist in Baghdad, who is hiding 5 gays in his home and reports on the disappearance and killings of a number of gay men.


Now, have you heard about any of this in the local news? Have any politicians addressed it? I don't know about you, but I learned about all this through blogs.

Earlier today, I saw a report on CNN.com. This report said that a man in Afghanistan who converted to Christianity is facing execution.

Within hours, a new story was up: President Bush had heard about this man, and he was troubled:

"I'm troubled when I hear -- deeply troubled -- when I hear the fact that a person who has converted away from Islam may be held to account," he said.

"I look forward to working with the government of that country to make sure that people are protected in their capacity to worship."


and

He added, "It is deeply troubling that a country we helped liberate would hold a person to account because he chose a different religion over another."


Now, I feel concern for this man as well. It's appalling when a country restricts the freedom of its citizens.

At the same time, I'm deeply, deeply saddened by when the President chose to voice his concern. Did he speak up when gay men or women were being killed? No. He waited until his religion was threatened.

The thing that bothers me the most is the political-ness of this all. (Yes, I am making up a new word ... shush). I can't help but wonder: if the President had spoken up earlier, some conservative, Christian GOP leaders might have protested. After all, this country does not like gays. If he had spoken up, he might have implied that gay people deserve more rights, like, say, marriage or, I don't know, life. So in order to make sure that he didn't imply such a thing, the President didn't speak up.

The President is a self-proclaimed compassionate Christian. Where's the Christianity in refusing to protect those who need help? Where's the Christianity in this blatant disregard of life? Allegedly this President is a champion of life, but let me see some real evidence: speak up, Mr. President. Defend the lives of those who are killed for who they love.

Silence is a powerful, powerful statement. We cannot ignore when the President chose silence and when he chose words.

I, for one, am disgusted by this whole thing.

Gays love the bird flu

Usually it's the fundamentalist Christians saying the wacky things. (Re: Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc.)

Look at this, though!

A prominent Kabbalah leader says that gays have brought a plague of bird flu on Israel. [link]


Well. How unique!

Ohio strikes again

We all know that I like to post news from my home state.

Well, look what some in Ohio are trying to do now.

A public library is no place for gay newspapers a member of the Upper Arlington library board says. Board member Bryce Kurfees wants Outlook Weekly, an Ohio LGBT paper removed.

The paper, and a second LGBT publication - Gay People's Chronicle - were the subject of a similar dispute last summer.

Both papers had been available, along with other newspapers, in the entranceway of the library. After a noisy protest by a conservative community group the gay papers were moved to a tall bookcase near the front desk in a compromise effort aimed at keeping them in the library but out of the hands of children.

Now Kurfees wants Outlook out altogether.

"You’ve got these erotic, pornographic articles and you’ve got an elementary school 100 yards away. It’s not a good combination," Kurfees told the Columbus Dispatch. [link]


What do they hope to accomplish? By hiding the gay news, they're not going to get rid of us. What a ridiculous plan.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Coulter, classy as ever

I return! Due to some compications, Spring Break was a little longer than we thought it would be. Nevertheless, that's over and on with the news!

Here's a good one.

According to Ann "AHHHHH!!!!!" Coulter, the coverage of the arrest of Claude A. Allen (Bush's former domestic policy adviser) was "revenge of the queers."

Oh, yes. Oh, yes, she went there.

This week at the New York Times, it was revenge of the queers. I'm sorry it took a tough period in Allen's life for the New York Times to feature him under a banner headline on its front page, but all in all, I'm glad to finally know about Claude Allen. I'm proud to have this great fellow sinner in our party.


Read up, my beauties. That woman has lost it.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ohio man running for senate on "kill gays" platform

I'm coming off hiatus briefly for some good ol' fashion Ohio news.

Merrill Keiser, Jr., is a trucker by trade, and he's hoping his next journey takes him all the way to Washington. His goal is a seat in the US Senate, but first he has to make it through the primary that will determine which Ohio Democrat will be the November ballot.

The Fremont man is causing some controversy with one of his beliefs. He tells News 11 homosexuality should be a felony, punishable by death. "Just like we have laws against murder, we have laws against stealing, we have laws against taking drugs -- we should have laws against immoral conduct," Keiser says. [link]


Of course, this man doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, but it's still interesting to see this sort of platform. I use the word "interesting," of course, to mean "brain-numbing, hurt-your-brain stupid."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Anti-abortion law passes, and apparently "We're ordering lobster and having a party."



Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. --George Washington




South Dakota: home of Mount Rushmore and, now, an anti-abortion bill. Let's put a check next to South Dakota on my Big List of 'Not If They Paid Me to Move There' States.

The anti-abortion bill (House Bill 1215) is, as a statement by Governor Rounds states, "An Act to establish certain legislative findings, to reinstate the prohibition against certain acts causing the termination of an unborn human life, to prescribe a penalty therefore, and to provide for the implementation of such provisions under certain circumstances." He goes on to say that while he expects legal snafus to come and obstruct the start-up of this law in July, he believes that "HB 1215 will give the United States Supreme Court [an] opportunity to reconsider an earlier opinion."

Good thing we have that liberal court with a woman on i-- Oh. Wait.



Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions . . . too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery. --Thomas Jefferson




Currently in the bill abortions can be performed if the mother will die (though in that case, the doctor is to attempt to save both lives if possible). A mother's declining health is not sufficient reason, mind you. And also at this time there is no provision for the victims of rape or incest. In fact, State Senator Bill Napoli said last Friday what he considers a 'good enough' rape to allow for an abortion:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.


Mmmhmm. So all those nonreligious thirteen-year-old (aha, statuatory rape!) girls who were sexually molested (but, sadly, not up the ass) by adult friends, family, or internet strangers and became pregnant are just shit out of luck. Also, clearly, they will have no mental issues whatsoever. Nicely done, Mr. Napoli.

Then again, it's not as if South Dakota has been a bastion of abortion previously. According to NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, "South Dakota is perhaps the most difficult place in the country to get an abortion. There's a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory counseling to discourage the procedure. The law requires parental notification in cases where the patient is a minor. Only one clinic, Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, offers the procedure." On top of that, no local doctor practices there -- a physician from Minnesota is flown in weekly (amid, from what I can tell, rampant protesting).



The plea of good intentions is not one that can be allowed to have much weight in passing historical judgment upon a man whose wrong-headedness and distorted way of looking at things produced, or helped to produce, such incalculable evil; there is a wide political applicability in the remark attributed to a famous Texan, to the effect that he might, in the end, pardon a man who shot him on purpose, but that he would surely never forgive one who did so accidentally.--Theodore Roosevelt




But what can South Dakota be honestly expecting out of this? Will abortions miraculously Not Happen anymore? Well, legally that could happen if the Supreme Court does reverse Roe v. Wade. But what's legality got to do with it? What we'll return to is what we had before: doctors (and "doctors") performing illegal operations, at-home operations, and travel to places that do allow abortion.

I'm pro-Choice, but that doesn't mean I'm pro-abortion. I wish women weren't having as many abortions as they are. But having a law doesn't stop an action -- addressing why that action occurs will. Why do women have abortions? So that they will not give birth. So figure out why (or how) women are becoming pregnant when they don't want to be, and do something about that.

*cough Not much you can do about some things, frankly, but having access to sex education and prophylactics sure would help cough*



The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatable things, called by the same name--liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatable names—liberty and tyranny. --Abraham Lincoln




Meanwhile, the rest of the world thinks we're rather bonkers, with France taking note that the law was signed off "just two days before the celebration of International Women's Day," and Britain quoting a supporter of the bill saying, "We're ordering lobster and having a party. We are thrilled." Google News is also a hotbed of fascinating reactions to the law, including New York's Editor & Publisher writing that South Dakota's Top Paper Refuses To Editorialize On Abortion Ban, and Seattle's Post-Intelligencer reporting that [Gloria] Steinman blasts South Dakota abortion law.

Finally, since I've tapped out the presidents on Mt. Rushmore for quotes, let me sign off with this one by Sharon Presley and Robert Cooke, authors of The Right to Abortion: A Libertarian Defense. Consider it, consider your life, consider the life of your daughters, sisters, and mothers, and then -- do something about this.



In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, the existential choice for a woman is not abortion vs. no abortion, but, as [Garrett Hardin] has pointed out, abortion vs. compulsory childbearing. If others can force her to be a mother... then she is coerced into putting her body at the disposal of the fetus as if she were an unclaimed natural resource or a chattel slave.... Thus, the woman's most fundamental right of choice, the right to control her own body and happiness, is being abrogated.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Announcement

I'm taking Ion home for a spring break, so there (probably) won't be any posts from us for the next seven days or so.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Man denied medical attention because he was gay

This like this are just hard to read.

Suit Alleges Man Died After Medical Attention Denied Because He Was Gay

A federal discrimination lawsuit was filed Thursday by the surviving family members of a man who died of a heart attack after the police chief allegedly prevented his friend from performing CPR.

The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the family, says that Welch, W.Va. Chief of Police Robert K. Bowman physically blocked Billy Snead from performing CPR on Claude Green, Jr. after Green suffered a heart attack while driving with Snead last summer in their hometown of Welch.

According papers filed in court Thursday Snead had begun performing CPR by the side of the road when Bowman arrived and told Snead to stop because Green was HIV positive.

When Snead didn't stop the CPR, Bowman grabbed Snead by the shoulders and physically barred Snead from continuing CPR at a critical point in Green's resuscitation. Snead, who had not realized at first that Bowman was a police officer, obeyed his commands.

While Green fought to stay alive, Bowman prevented anyone else from aiding Green until EMS workers arrived approximately 10 minutes later.

While they were putting Green in the ambulance, Bowman informed EMS workers that Green was HIV positive.

Although the EMS workers ignored Bowman's warnings and performed CPR on Green, he passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital. He did not have HIV. The court papers said that Bowman based his assumption that Green was HIV+ because he knew Green was gay.


This is why having a homophobic president and goverment is so terrifying. Because they feed the fear that leads to actions like this.

Wow. God's will, huh?

Need another reason not to eat at Dominoes (besides that greasy, cholesterol-filled pizza)?

I think I got one.

If Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan has his way, a new town being built in Florida will be governed according to strict Roman Catholic principles, with no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control.

The pizza magnate is bankrolling the project with at least $250 million and calls it "God's will."


Am I the only one reminded of "Utopian" societies like those in The Giver or "The Matrix"? Just curious.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Heck of a Job, Brownie

George W. Bush is a murderer.

Here's this nice video obtained by AP.

I cannot even begin to express how bad I feel about the shitstorm that came down on Michael "Pony Boy" Brown. I feel bad about joining in. Fooled by Rove again. Dammit.

But now, George Bush is a murderer. For sure. Officially. According to AP. A murderer.

Damn him.