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Federal judge blocks elimination of domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian Arizona state employees | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

Posted: July 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Federal judge blocks elimination of domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian Arizona state employees | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

Arizona, in its shining, enlightened governance, has been temporarily blocked from enacting "a provision eliminating domestic partner health benefits for gay state employees…while retaining spousal health benefits for heterosexual workers" introduced in September "as part of a last-minute budget deal." In his ruling, Judge John W. Sedwick wrote, "there is 'an inherent inequality' in allowing some employees to participate fully in the State's health plan, while expecting other employees to rely on other sources, such as private insurance or Medicaid."

State attorney Charles Grube argued "maintaining the same benefits for gay employees that their heterosexual co-workers will continue to receive would endanger other state services." Y'know, just like how the Catholic Church can't offer benefits for anybody if gays can marry.

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AVN – All Charges Dismissed Against Stagliano and Companies

Posted: July 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

In the case of John "Buttman" Stagliano vs. The United States of America, all 7 8 counts of obscenity charged against Stagliano (a pornographer, husband, and father) have been dismissed under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Judge Richard J. Leon described the prosecution's evidence as "woefully inadequate" after the federal government's star witness made a liar out of prosecutor Pamela Satterfield, the judge, or himself.

Plainly, this means the government never met the burden of proof, they never had a case, and they wasted American taxpayer's money on a 2-year investigation and a trial catering to misguided anti-porn activists' wet dreams. But if you think they'll stop their crusade, remember they're still getting bills passed through the back door. (Pun intended.)

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French National Assembly approves ban on face veils – latimes.com

Posted: July 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on French National Assembly approves ban on face veils – latimes.com

In what I hope will be judged by history as one France's most idiotic moves ever, "The French lower house of Parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing face-covering veils in a public place," Alison Culliford reports. "[T]he ban would affect only an estimated 1,900 of the millions of Muslim women in France," like Kenza Drider, an outspoken critic who said, "The government can accept my decision or not, I am not an outlaw. If I’m fined by the police, I will take it to human rights in the name of my freedom."

French politicians are calling the ban a victory for "values of freedom against all the oppressions which try to humiliate individuals." Y'know, like the freedom to choose one's own clothing. If the new ban survives a test of constitutionality, wearing a veil (a niqab) and "covering one's face in a public place will be subject to a fine of about $185 or community service."

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‘What Would You Do If a Gay or Lesbian Were In Your Shower?’ and Other Pentagon Survey Questions – Political Punch

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘What Would You Do If a Gay or Lesbian Were In Your Shower?’ and Other Pentagon Survey Questions – Political Punch

The Pentagon angered GLBT groups by spending $4.5 million on a survey they called "insulting" and "derogatory." In the survey, questions are "repeatedly phrase[d]…in terms of 'if' the repeal happens," Jake Tapper writes, despite Obama's announcements that the only question is when.

One "question asks troops 'If [DADT] is repealed and you had onbase housing and a gay or lesbian Service member was living with a same sex partner onbase, what would you most likely do?' Options range from 'I would get to know them like any other neighbors' to 'I would probably move offbase.'" Servicemembers United, a lobbying group, says "In questions about how the belief that a coworker was gay or lesbian impacted the unit's morale, the 'question and its accompanying answer choices…suggest a negative impact on morale. No options are given to express a belief in a positive impact on morale.'"

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Ugandan Gay Activist Found Beheaded :: EDGE Boston

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ugandan Gay Activist Found Beheaded :: EDGE Boston

This week, "some in Uganda are not waiting for the [Anti-Homosexuality 2009] bill to pass into law: a priest has vanished after delivering a sermon urging compassion for gays, and a young GLBT equality activist, who had also disappeared, has been discovered dead—his head severed from his body and thrown down a latrine." Although mainstream US media outlets have been silent on this issue, "[o]ne or more suspects had been arrested before the head’s discovery, according to a news report that has subsequently been posted at YouTube. The report noted that 'blood stained clothing' was discovered along with the head."

Killan Melloy reports, "The dismembered head of Pasikali Kashusbe, who, together with his partner—referred to only as "Abbey"—worked with GLBT equality group Integrity Uganda." Make absolutely no mistake: such horrors are partly the result of American conservatives' spewing hatred.

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Update: SayenCroWolf points us to this retraction by Box Turtle Bulletin: “We’ve worked hard at BTB in establishing our credibility, and I believe that a key component of that is also to maintain an atmosphere of transparency and accountability when we get it wrong. Along the way, I’ve learned that some sources on the Internet are trustworthy, and others are not worth the electricity it takes to power their servers.” It sounds like there’s still some mystery over what happened in Uganda but, either way, I’m really glad to see how quickly reputable sources can self-correct themselves when they receive new information. Good on you, BTB, and thanks to SayenCroWolf for the stunningly fast pointer, too!

Update: xMech points us to an even fuller explanation from Box Turtle Bulletin. Thanks!


Think Progress » Wisconsin GOP U.S. Senate candidate wants to outlaw homosexuality and pornography.

Posted: July 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Think Progress » Wisconsin GOP U.S. Senate candidate wants to outlaw homosexuality and pornography.

Cue the space music (no, srsly, there's space music), because Republican Senate candidate Ernest J. Pagels Jr. from Wisconsin is "vying for the opportunity to run against Sen. Russ Feingold (D) this September." His campaign's premise: "if elected I will initiate a bill to outlaw homosexuality, abortion, and all forms of pornography. I think these are three ills that are plaguing our nation and bringing it down." (Emphasis ours.)

Although he's in Wisconsin, Mr. Pagels's platform parrots the official Texas GOP 2010 platform, itself eerily similar to Uganda's unabashed anti-gay human rights violations. But don't worry, Pagels' 1-minute TV ad scrolled a Bible verse along with the space music, so we'll be fine. (Right?) Gotta give the haters props for staying on message….

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Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

"On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay," Tara Siegel Bernard reports. Google says its own employees—they call themselves Gayglers—brought up the issue. "On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage." That doesn't sound fair to many people, who see Google's move as compensating for the federal government's failure to guarantee equal socioeconomic standing for GLBT employees.

Some other companies, including Cisco, Kimpton Hotels, and the Gates Foundation already do this, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of course, the anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family isn't happy, saying a reverse discrimination lawsuit could be forthcoming since Google's policy excludes heterosexual couples.

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Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers

Posted: June 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers

According to the non-partizan Center for American Progress, "estimates suggest that disproportionate numbers of [homeless] youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender." Their report, On the Streets: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth breaks the issue down by numbers. 20-40 percent "of the homeless youth population…are gay or transgender, compared to only 5 to 10 percent of the overall youth population." On average, a gay or lesbian youth in New York becomes homeless at age 14.4. For transgender youth that age is even lower: 13.5.

"These vulnerable gay and transgender youth often run away from home because of family conflict and then face overt discrimination when seeking alternative housing, which is compounded by institutionalized discrimination in federally funded programs," they say. "Congress…should make a financial commitment to services directed at these young people."

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Booted Boy Scout Testifies | News | Advocate.com

Posted: June 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Booted Boy Scout Testifies | News | Advocate.com

For all the talk of the perils of "big government" and attempts to scale back federal control over local governments, religiously-backed groups like the Boy Scouts of America don't seem to think the same principles apply to them. After "Greg Lattera, the gay 25-year-old at the center of the Philadelphia Boy Scout trial" appeared on "television in 2003 and laud[ed] his chapter's antidiscrimination policy," the national Boy Scouts organization in Texas "pressured Philadelphia's Cradle of Liberty Council to expel him," which they did. That's when the municipality rescinded the group's $1-a-year lease on its "city-owned offices because the organization didn't comply with the city's antidiscrimination laws," Advocate.com Editors report.

Now the Boy Scouts are at trial against the city, trying to get their almost-free and definitely not-as-in-freedom lease back. "The trial will now decide whether Philadelphia has a right to rescind the lease."

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Update: The New York Times reported that “the jury found the city’s reason violated the scouts’ First Amendment rights,” and while the “judge said the city’s antidiscrimination policy was ‘principled’,” the ruling forces the city’s $1-per-year lease to be reinstated. It is certainly interesting that the First Amendment can be used to support both equality and discrimination.


The Texas GOP Wants To Punish Straight People Who Support Gay Rights | Gay Rights | Change.org

Posted: June 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

"Texas Republicans would like the state to have the power to criminalize LGBT folks for having sex," Michael A. Jones writes of the 2010 GOP party platform. But don't take his word for it, read the platform: "We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy." Since straight couples engage in sodomy more often than gay couples, I'm sure the GOP would prosecute equally strongly regardless of the perpetrator's sexual orientation. (End sarcasm.)

Moreover, the GOP platform reads, "We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such." Sheesh. As Michael wrote, "it is pretty shocking that in 2010, a state GOP…would support criminalizing queer folks and the straight people who support them."

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