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Russian dairy to fire women over abortions | World | News | Toronto Sun

Posted: August 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wonder what the desegregation of Church and State would look like? Actually, you don't need to wonder, just look at Russian company "Russkoye Moloko" (Russian Milk), whose "ecologically safe" dairy products are sold all over supermarkets in the former Soviet Union. President of the company, Vasily Boiko-Veliky, has announced that his company will fire any woman who has an abortion because they "don’t want to work with killers," as well as any employee who refuses to be married in Russian Orthodox Church ceremonies.

Why the strict regulations? Well, "Boiko-Veliky said the record heatwave Russia has endured this summer was punishment for sin and that church weddings could improve things." Obviously. The crackpot Boiko-Veliky seems to think this will go over well: "I expect [my 6,000 employees] to be faithful and to repent," he said, adding he wants "to prevent future sins by employees" with the rules. He is apparently unconcerned his company's rules violate Russian labor law.

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Mike Verdugo Fired for Gay Porn Role? Or for Complaining About Harassment by Hollywood PD? – Broward Palm Beach News – The Juice

Posted: August 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Mike Verdugo Fired for Gay Porn Role? Or for Complaining About Harassment by Hollywood PD? – Broward Palm Beach News – The Juice

A police officer in Broward County, Florida, is facing revocation of his officers' license for a 15 minute appearance in a gay porn flick 14 years ago. Mike Verdugo, an officer with over 10 years of service on the force, was one of the first openly gay officers in the area. But when he came out of the closet in 2007, "suddenly everything changed," Verdugo says. He faced discrimination and even filed a complaint. Shortly thereafter, he was demoted. But the story doesn't end there.

After a reality-TV show appearance, a fan recognized him from the long-forgotten porn scene and posted a clip online. Now city officials want him off the force, despite a previous sentencing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) of a year probation and "ethics" training, discipline for omitting the one-off porn role on his original job application years ago. Hm…witch hunt, anybody?

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UPDATE: Picking up this story, SexAndThe405 notes that AVN, an adult entertainment conference, occurred just last weekend, in the same city where Verdugo was being demonized. Coincidence? Maybe not…. But there’s good news, too. As reported by South Florida Gay News, “The State of Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission has upheld the Settlement Agreement in the case of Mike Verdugo.” This means he is “eligible to be hired by any other department if he so chooses,” one of Verdugo’s lawyers said.

COSTA RICA : Gays Unite Against Referendum on Civil Unions – IPS ipsnews.net

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on COSTA RICA : Gays Unite Against Referendum on Civil Unions – IPS ipsnews.net

Religious groups in Costa Rica have collected 150,000 signatures (mostly at Christian places of worship) petitioning the government to put a proposed law banning same-sex civil unions to popular vote, rather than have it decided by the legislature. Discussion of passing a same-sex civil union law has been ongoing in the predominantly Catholic nation since 2006.

Alexandra Loría, one of 4 lawyers who began the petition, said the referendum was timed to coincide with municipal elections and would therefore likely get a high voter turnout. She rejects opponents' arguments that the referendum is an attempt to violate human rights. "It is about human rights, which cannot be left in the hands of a group of homophobic Catholics," Ombudswoman Ofelia Taitelbaum said, adding "we are completely against" it. Meanwhile, the Costa Rican Coalition of Sexual Diversity Organisations and Groups (CONODIS) campaigns against it, and says it will take the legal fight to international courts, if it must.

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High court upholds Mexico City same-sex marriage law – LGBTQ Nation

Posted: August 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on High court upholds Mexico City same-sex marriage law – LGBTQ Nation

The tides are turning, and same-sex marriage is a reality. While yours truly are politically opposed to government-sanctioned "marriage" and believe the rights it grants should be legal as opposed to religiously-influenced unions in each and every case, we acknowledge the reality that the world simply doesn't function that way—at least not yet.

And that's why we're thrilled to hear that just one day after the defeat of "Proposition Hate" in California, Mexico's Supreme Court rejected the conservative federal government's challenge to a landmark law legalizing same-sex marriage back in March with a resounding 8-2 ruling. The fact is, that while marriage is largely an outmoded institution, the sentiments, feelings, and yes, the legal rights it grants to the people who want it are necessary, important, and honorable. Denying basic sentimentality of mutual love to anyone—for any reason—is shamefully fear-filled. So we say good for you, Mexico. And therefore, good for us all.

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KTAR.com – AZ gay marriage ban in trouble?

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on KTAR.com – AZ gay marriage ban in trouble?

Following the victory against "Proposition Hate" in California, conservatives across America are preparing to defend local challenges to their home State's bigoted bans on same-sex marriage. In Arizona, where a similar law bans gay men and lesbians from marrying their partners, GLBT activists marched to the federal courthouse in downtown Phoenix in celebration, hopeful that "the beginning of the end to discrimination" is near. "While I find marriage equality incredibly important, I think there are a lot of other issues equally important to our community," marcher Pam Weir said. "But, marriage is something that's easily accessible by the entire nation that will pave the way for all of our other rights to come through."

Lawyers at the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative law firm, say overturning Prop 8 "jeapardizes the democratic process." In reality, it's a victory against tyranny of the majority. (Watch source video from 1:52 for local report.)

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Judge strikes down Prop. 8, allows gay marriage in California – latimes.com

Posted: August 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” Judge Vaughn Walker wrote in his decision overturning Proposition 8, the controversial ban on same-sex marriage in California. He concluded that the measure, approved with voter ballot by a slim margin of 52.3%, “fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. … Because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Supports of “Proposition Hate” repeatedly used “think of the children”-style arguments in testimony at the 2 and a half week trial.

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China Seeks End to Public Shaming of Suspects – NYTimes.com

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

"According to the state-run media, the Ministry of Public Security has ordered the police to stop parading suspects in public and has called on local departments to enforce laws in a 'rational, calm and civilized manner,'" Andrew Jacobs reports. Chinese police are under scrutiny with increasing civil unrest being expressed online. "Last October, the police in Henan Province took to the Internet, posting photographs of women suspected of being prostitutes. […] The police later said they were not punishing the women, but only seeking their help in the pursuit of an investigation."

The Chinese public was not placated: "Why aren’t corrupt officials dragged through the streets?" an Internet posting read. "These women are only trying to feed themselves." Public shaming was embraced by the Communist Party. If you think America is better, think again: public shaming is actually being considered in Massachusetts.

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‘I was scared to sleep’: LGBT Youth Face Violence Behind Bars | The Nation

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘I was scared to sleep’: LGBT Youth Face Violence Behind Bars | The Nation

"Many judges in rural Louisiana still conflate sex offenses with sexual orientation and gender identity," says Wesley Ware of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana in an article by Daniel Redman. "50 percent of the gay youth picked up for nonviolent offenses in Louisiana in 2009 were sent to jail to await trial, while less than 10 percent of straight kids were." This heart-wrenching piece is just painful to even read.

"Sending LGBT victims of violence into isolation, instead of punishing their attackers, is common practice across the country, even though a federal court has held the practice to be unconstitutional and the American Psychological Association opposes it," and "In an East Coast state that's the subject of an ongoing investigation, prison authorities permit religious volunteers to enter a youth facility to lead explicitly antigay Bible classes. Lesbian youths who refuse to attend the programs have had their sentences extended from nine to upwards of thirteen months."

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Law.com – Atlanta Lawyer Takes on Botched Circumcision Claims Nationwide

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

"I didn't set out to be a circumcision lawyer; it just sort of happened," said David J. Llewellyn of his legal practice suing doctors, hospitals, and medical supply makers around the United States. Llewellyn recently won a $10.7 million default judgment "against Mogen Circumcision Instruments, claiming one of its devices severed the head of the boy's penis during a bris, a Jewish ceremony for a male infant," Katheryn Hayes Tucker reports.

"The circumcision of infants is the American sickness, and unfortunately, we're spreading it around the world because of a small group that's pushing it," Llewellyn said. He recalls his early days fighting the practice, being routinely confronted with jokes and questions like "what does it matter?" The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) remains neutral on the matter, claiming "most of the complications that do occur are minor," and advising parents to "determine what is in the best interest of the child." But how, I wonder, are parents to know?

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Gay Couples Sue Hawaii | News | Advocate.com

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Gay Couples Sue Hawaii | News | Advocate.com

Four lesbian couples and two gay male couples are suing the State of Hawaii in an effort to obtain "the equivalent rights and responsibilities of marriage, just weeks after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a civil unions bill passed by the state legislature," The Advocate reports. "The suit does not seek marriage rights…. Rather, it seeks equal rights and responsibilities for same-sex couples who currently are offered limited protections known as reciprocal beneficiary arrangements, available to adults who cannot marry under state law." Equal rights include access to health care and family court where the frequent deferral to the State's definition of marriage cause partners of gays and lesbians to be denied health coverage or fair resolution of issues like alimony, property division, and child custody.

"What is the excuse for withholding these other important protections?" asked Lambda Legal national marriage project director Jennifer C. Pizer. Two of the plaintiff couples have children.

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