Video of Senate Judiciary Committee on Lindner/Jungbauer bill is available
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Friday, March 28, 2003
The New York Times editorializes on the Sodomy Law case.
The Rights of Gay Americans
homas McLaughlin, who is 14, says he has been harassed because he is gay — by his own school. He and his family report that when officials at Jacksonville Junior High School in Arkansas learned that he was a homosexual, a counselor called his mother to inform her. And a teacher wrote a letter telling him he would go to hell. The Supreme Court should think of Mr. McLaughlin as it considers the gay rights case that it heard arguments in yesterday. More than 84 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, primarily in high school, are exposed to antigay comments from students or faculty over the course of a year, according to a national survey. More than one-third reported being physically harassed.
A main reason antigay discrimination continues in schools — and on the job and in the streets — is that the law has not been emphatic enough about protecting gay Americans. Some states, and many localities, have antidiscrimination laws. But the Supreme Court has put its considerable weight on the other side. In a much-criticized 1986 decision, Bowers v. Hardwick, the court held that the right of privacy does not extend to sexual relations between gays.
The Supreme Court now has a chance to right that wrong. Two Texas men are challenging their convictions for engaging in consensual sexual relations in a private home. They argue that Texas's sodomy law deprives them of the right of intimate association other Americans enjoy. And they make a compelling case that the law renders gays second-class citizens. The fact that sodomy is illegal, they note, has been invoked to deny gay people jobs, deny them the protection of hate crime laws and bar them from visiting rights with their own children.
EY: I understand that Alan Simpson had an oped in yesterday's Wall St Journal on the same topic.
Posted by lloydletta at 3:37 PM
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Log Cabin Republicans comes out in support of the War in Iraq
This just in from LCR Inclusion Wins....
Last evening both boards of The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) and its sister organization, The Liberty Education Forum (LEF) voted to approve the following statement.
Log Cabin Republicans and The Liberty Education Forum support Operation Iraqi Freedom and the United States war on terror.
LCR and LEF offer its full support for the courageous United States and coalition armed forces and their full support for President George W. Bush and coalition leaders.
EY: Interestingly enough, the Minnesota chapter of LCR has members on both side of this question. Inna Valin posted earlier this yearon reasons for the war. Folks should check out Dennis Sander's Moderate Republic Blog for an alternative perspective.
This isn't the only area where we have members on both sides of controversial issues. On Guns and Abortion, we have LCR members who believe strongly in opposing positions.
My personal opinion: I believe LCR ought to focus on LCR's mission - which is not related to foreign policy. I feel the same way about NGLTF taking a position against the war.
Posted by lloydletta at 2:04 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
The price of coming out in Jacksonville
Outed to his parents then punished by school officials, a gay student goes to the ACLU
By Jennifer Barnett
March 21, 2003
Let's get this out of the way first: This story is largely one-sided.
It's written primarily from the perspective of 14-year-old Thomas McLaughlin, his family and friends - their version of the harassment he says he's endured at the hands of several teachers and administrators at Jacksonville Junior High School because of his sexual orientation .
It does not include any response from the educators involved. Those that could be reached say they've been instructed to keep quiet by Pulaski County schools superintendent Don Henderson, who is investigating. Henderson won't say whether any of them have denied Thomas' allegations.
So if there is any evidence that would call into question the ninth-grader's version of events, it will not appear in this story.
Arkinsas Times on the Thomas McLaughlin case
Posted by lloydletta at 12:37 PM
from Muth's Truths
February 11, 2003
"Junk Racism Meets Junk Lawsuit"
Uh-oh. I just found out I’m a racist. And to make matters worse, I’m turning my 2-year-old into a racist, as well. Oh, woe is me. You see, the other night Kristen and I couldn’t decide which video to watch. We had it narrowed down to “The Little Mermaid,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan.” What to do, what to do? Well, we did the only thing you CAN do when faced with such a difficult, if not impossible, decision... “Eenie, meenie, miney, moe, catch a tiger by his toe; if he hollers let him go, eenie, meenie, miney, moe.” Of course, to do so properly we donned white hoods and burned a cross on our front lawn.
OK, not really. Here’s what this all about.
In a widely successful and much appreciated attempt to take the mundane out of pre-flight preparations, Southwest Airlines’ flight attendants regularly impart little humorous twists to their intercom banter. “If you’re traveling with a small child - or an adult acting like a small child - please place the oxygen mask on them first before putting it on yourself...” Or, “There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only two ways off this airplane…” Or, “There is no smoking on the plane. If you must smoke, please step out onto the wing…” You get the idea. Well, two years ago, in preparation for a flight from Las Vegas, 22-year-old flight attendant Jennifer Cundiff announced over the intercom: “Eenie, meenie, miney, moe; pick a seat we gotta go.”
Racist? Yes, racist. At least according to two black sisters onboard the flight who claim in a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines that the verse was directed specifically at them and that it was actually a reference to an older version of the rhyme which used the “N-word” in place of “tiger.” (As a white guy, I’m not allowed to actually use the “n-word;” I can only refer to it as the “n-word.”)
“It was like I was too dumb to find a seat,” complains 48-year-old Grace Fuller to the Associated Press. Her 46-year-old sister whines that she felt alienated because passengers snickered at the rhyme. Well, duh. The passengers snicker at ALL the rhymes and banter. That’s their purpose.
And I’m sure the wonderfully cheerful Ms. Cundiff (somehow, inexplicably, ALL Southwest flight attendants are wonderfully cheerful) was just standing in the doorway praying for two “dumb” black sisters to get caught standing in the aisle so she could unleash all her pent-up racial bigotry and hatred with...a nursery rhyme.
Gimme a break.
Nonetheless, the sisters have filed a discrimination lawsuit against Southwest Airlines. They found themselves an ambulance-chaser who is seeking “unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.” Now, what are the odds of finding a publicity-seeking slip ‘n’ spiller willing to take a case such as this? I think in Vegas they call such odds a “sure thing.” Plaintiff’s’ attorney Scott Wissel (would I be risking a lawsuit by pointing out how close that name is to “weasel”?), is demanding that Southwest stop using the rhyme and force its employees to undergo training to prevent such racist incidents in the future.
This incident brings to life two of the worst plagues currently infesting American society: (1) The notion that even the most harmless and unintentional action can be misconstrued into something evil and racist by people who are obviously clinically hypersensitive - and (2) that any such ridiculous incident can be turned into an expensive and time-consuming junk lawsuit.
But here’s the real crime.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil dismissed the sisters’ claim of physical and emotion distress, but nonetheless set a trial date for March 4.
What Judge Vratil SHOULD have done was throw the suit out altogether, tell the sisters to get a life and explain to them that even if the rhyme WAS directed at them in an offensive manner, “sticks and stones can break your bones, but a children’s rhyme can never hurt you.”
Or maybe just a short “Grow up.”
She should have then thrown the book at Wissel - the larger the better (maybe a copy of the U.S. Tax Code) - for wasting the court’s time and admonished him with something along the lines of:
“Eenie, meenie, miney, moe, here’s a fine that you now owe, and if you holler, let me know, a night in jail is where you’ll go.”
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
EY: It is this type of nonsense that prevents real issues of racism being taken seriously. A Minnesota example...... Arlon Lindner's stupid comments have made National News, meanwhile, there has been no mainstream press commentary on the Stanek nomination for Public Safety Commissioner (Rick Stanek is a Minneapolis Cop, who has a record of police brutality and has been known to refer to African Americans with the racial slur Muth is referring to). For more by Chuck Muth, check out his site.
Posted by lloydletta at 11:53 AM
The Impact of the Equal Protection Argument
From: Does Discrimination Against Gay Men and Lesbians Count As Sex Discrimination? The Supreme Court May Soon Give An Answer
By JOANNA GROSSMAN AND BRIAN LEHMAN
Unlike the potentially narrow application of a ruling rooted in due process, a ruling that the Texas law violates the Equal Protection Clause will affect every federal and state action that discriminates against gay men and women - from employment to education to the military to marriage and adoption laws.
Moreover, the reasoning would control how federal courts interpret federal sex discrimination laws, and strongly influence state courts' interpretations of similar laws. Potentially, every sex discrimination law - from Title VII, the main federal antidiscrimination statute, to every state's antidiscrimination laws - could be used to redress actions taken against gay men and women.
Whereas a win under the Due Process Clause in Lawrence would be largely rhetorical, a victory under the Equal Protection Clause would bring some very concrete benefits to gays and lesbians, and dramatically expand their legal rights. For this reason, most people are significantly underestimating how important Lawrence could be to gay rights in this country.
EY: Interesting argument. I thought the appeal in the Texas case was based on equal protection rather than privacy rights. Ironically the Minnesota Sodomy law would still stand if this was overturned solely on the equal protection clause. Personally, I think the legislatures ought to bite the bullet and repeal these turkeys. I think the court will probably overturn Bowers - for political reasons. The White House has stayed neutral on this one.
Posted by lloydletta at 10:13 AM
Lawrence v. Texas: Is Discrimination Against Gays & Lesbians Sex Discrimination?
from James Nimmo, posted on the sodomy law repeal egroup.
Posted by lloydletta at 12:08 AM
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
MA on the Landlord licensing fees to pay for Project 504 Lead Abatement.....
The city should set a 10 fee on all rental units and drive the slumlords out of the city. Miller is a No Good Cracker like GW "Dummy" Bush !
Well MA refers to RT Rybak as "Slick Bobby" and Robert Lilligren as "Buggerboy"..... MA spiced things up on Minneapolis Issues. I kind of miss him there.
Posted by lloydletta at 11:49 PM
Who's Watching the Watch Lists?
02:00 AM Mar. 25, 2003 PT
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- The head of the venture capital firm formed by the CIA to identify technologies for improving national security said he opposes government agencies' growing reliance on watch lists.
Speaking Monday at the PC Forum technology conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, Gilman Louie, CEO of the CIA-backed In-Q-Tel, said he believes agencies should not rely merely on automated filtering tools to identify potential terrorists based on characteristics like travel patterns or citizenship status. One reason is the difficulty in removing your name from a list once the information has been shared with multiple parties.
Posted by lloydletta at 11:34 PM
I listened to Savage Nation Last week on "patriot radio (1280 AM)". I was curious as to what he's like. Anyway, I noticed that Farmers Insurance advertised. If any of you use Farmers Insurance, you might want to call your agent so they know how you feel about it. I called my agent about it.
Posted by lloydletta at 8:02 PM
Craig Miller's challenge calls out Greg Luce of Project 504..........
I am no longer on the Minneapolis Issues list, but wanted to respond to a forwarded post to me by Craig Miller about "doing in" the small city landlord. And, while I have some people's attention, sign on to Project 504's statement of support about this program
EY: Greg Luce used to work for CCHT, another "housing non-profit" with a checkered reputation.
Posted by lloydletta at 5:38 PM
The MFC takes aim at Planned Parenthood and the Minnesota AIDS Project..............
Defunding Groups Harmful to the Family
An army of lobbyists has descended on St. Paul. And they’re trying to talk your legislators out of the cuts needed to balance the state’s runaway budget.
Since November the media has warned us of Gov. Pawlenty’s outlandish plan to fix the state’s four billion dollar deficit without raising your taxes. But experts have observed that if state government would just not increase spending over the next two years, those billions would shrink to just two hundred forty million.
And let’s look at the silver lining in the deficit. The new pro-family majority can take initiative to de-fund the huge number of mostly liberal groups that feed at the public trough. I tell you, many of those groups are using your tax dollars for programs that contradict your values.
Take Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. It’s one of the state’s top abortion providers and a promoter of the “safe sex and contraceptives” message going to our teenagers. It gets a whopping three million dollars in government money every year.
Or how about the Minnesota AIDS project? This pro-homosexual group opposes abstinence-until-marriage sex education in public schools. Yet it pulls in over 2 million dollars in government grants every year.
The governor and legislature are hammering out budget cuts right now. We’ve made it really easy to contact them. Click on “email my legislator”. You plug in your postal address. The web site identifies your legislator. You write your email, push “send” and it goes.
Posted by lloydletta at 3:56 PM
FRC Broadcasts their efforts to keep this country Sodomy Free
Glad they are doing this -- this just will marginalize themselves further. The only argument I can see regarding this, is to say -- it may be a stupid law, but the state has a right to make stupid laws.
Meanwhile James Nimmo posts an item from Robert McDonnell on us_queers......
You might want to cover the childrens' eyes for this one! Ahem... thinking of becoming a judge? Well if you want to do it in Virginia, better make sure that you're squeaky clean. Delegate Robert F. McDonnell, a Virginia Beach Republican who is chairman of the state legislature's House Courts of Justice Committee, said last week that "engaging in anal or oral sex might disqualify a person from being a judge because both activities violate state law," according to the Daily Press. Yup, there's an old law in Virginia that bans oral and anal sex, regardless of the gender of the parties involved. Now clearly this is just a way to try and prevent homosexuals from becoming judges, since in McDonnell's mind they would automatically fall foul of the anal sex law, whereas presumably everyone else can pretend that they've a) never had a blowjob in their lives, or b) haven't gotten their brown wings yet. So will McDonnell be making sure that his committee asks everyone nominated for a judgeship, "Have you ever played Horatio on the trouser trombone or perchance taken it up the chuff?" Only time will tell. When asked if he had ever violated the arcane Virginia law, McDonnell said, "Not that I can recall." Man, his wife must hate his guts.
EY: Ofcourse, Tom "Phonesex" Prichard from the Minnesota Family Council proposes that the sodomy law in Minnesota get amended to allow for married couples to engage in oral sex.
Posted by lloydletta at 3:41 PM
Monday, March 24, 2003
Stride Proposes alternative plan to the 35W Excess Project
..............We will be presenting our alternative, complete with photos and maps detailing our plan, at a public
Saturday March 29, 10-12
Fifth Precinct Police Station
31st and Nicollet
Our hope is that an Environmental Impact Study be conducted to determine whether our alternative is a more sustainable and effective plan.
This plan is open to change. Please come offer your comments at our meeting on Saturday.
http://www.stride-mn.org for more info
Posted by lloydletta at 11:35 PM
Stupidity Virus hits the Minneapolis City Council
Eve White of the Property Rights Action Council called to let me know that a committee of the council just passed rental liscense fee increases of $3/unit to fund Greg Luce's Project 504. I'm sorry to say that CM Natalie Johnson Lee, Robert Lilligren, and Don Samuels all voted for this nonsense.
Posted by lloydletta at 11:29 PM
Sunday, March 23, 2003
Dibble responded to all of us on the recipient list...............
I cannot respond to a second hand account of what one of my colleagues is claimed to have said.
I can reiterate my communications on the subject. I’ve encouraged DFL’ers to withhold their support for contract ratification if domestic partnership benefits are eliminated. The Republican Governor and Republican leadership, to a person, have, since day one, promised to blackmail the entirety of the contracts and torpedo them if they do contain domestic partnership benefits. That will result in the return of every single state employees’ negotiated wage and benefits to the levels they were two years ago (even triggering a technical requirement that they refund any increases received back to the state). That sounds like an agenda of extremism and madness to me. Clearly, the choice is false and a classic use of a wedge strategy. Clearly the contracts must be ratified.
I have also made clear that the GLBT community, while mature enough to understand who is truly responsible – that a contrived dynamic has been constructed by the Republicans – will nevertheless be extremely unhappy when domestic partnership benefits are eliminated.
I know it is extremely frustrating and disappointing for you Eva, but the truth is, and will remain, that the Republicans -- their Governor, their legislative leadership, their party and its platform, their fundraising strategies, their activists -- with an extremely rare exception, are wholly arrayed against the interests of the GLBT community and are pursuing an anti-gay agenda with increasing vigor and enthusiasm.
EY: Who to believe - Dibble or Pappas? I tend to believe Dibble on this one.
Posted by lloydletta at 11:03 PM
Sent the following to Sen Scott Dibble (D, Minneapolis)
Hi Scott: I talked with Senator Pappas today about the contract ratification. She said you had told her that the gay community would fully "understand" a vote in favor of the contract without DP benefits in it - and that the gay community was behind the contract ratification vote. Is this correct that you told her this? I informed Pappas she was misinformed. I talked to C. Scott Cooper, Ann DeGroot and board members of OutFront Minnesota. They have never taken the position that it is ok for legislators to take this vote.
She also mentioned that I should be bringing these concerns to you, rather than her, because after all you are gay - and you deal with the gay stuff, and so she doesn't have to bother with it. Kind of reminds me of the Wiz's statement a while back on Minneapolis Issues list that constituents shouldn't expect Neva to take on sodomy repeal because she is an African American Woman and that white legislators should take this bill on.
This is a rather poor precident. Will Sen. Pappas next be telling her African American constituents to go talk with Keith Ellison or Neva Walker?
Rep. Lynne Osterman has said she is willing to do a floor amendment in the house to ratify the contracts as written. Rep. Osterman told me she believes the legislature should be focusing on policy, not being Human Resources directors.
Filing an ethics complaint against Arlon Lindner for saying something stupid isn't doing anything for the gay community. It is simply grandstanding. Republican leadership clearly stated they disagree with what he said. He has a right to say such things. Working on maintaining the negotiated benefits in the contract would do lots more for both your gay and union constituents. It is a bit disingenuous after all for AFSCME to say they want to be able to negotiate issues like pay freezes and health insurance, but then walk away from their negotiated health insurance and kowtow to the bigots regarding domestic partner benefits.
Posted by lloydletta at 10:59 PM
Editorial: Road bumps / Pawlenty's modest proposal
Published March 23, 2003 ED23
If the object of the game is to shift as many scarce dollars as possible into an accelerated road-building schedule without raising taxes, then Gov. Tim Pawlenty delivered an admirable plan last week.
If, however, the object is to make meaningful progress against mounting Twin Cities traffic congestion, then the governor has accomplished very little. No one should be misled by newspaper headlines boasting of a "billion-dollar road trip." Even Pawlenty acknowledges that his is a modest proposal, not a "be-all, end-all plan." In saying that, he has come close to conceding that additional taxes will be needed to make actual headway. For that bit of intellectual honesty Minnesotans should be grateful.
Any who doubt that more taxes will be needed should consider this number: $750 million. That's the additional sum it will take every year for 20 years for traffic not to get worse in the metro area. Pawlenty's plan borrows and leverages only a quarter of that -- $200 million extra per year for the next five years for the whole state. That's enough to fix a handful of two dozen metro bottlenecks. It's not enough to add lanes to the beltway or to build the new transit lines and connective bus routes the region needs so badly. For that to happen, a whole array of fees and taxes must be raised. That's an unpleasant prospect, but so is a future in which traffic diminishes Minnesota's quality of life and becomes a disincentive to growth and prosperity.
What makes Pawlenty's modest plan risky is that it squeezes money out of road maintenance and administration to finance new construction. It may well be proper to cut administrative costs, but safety is a serious question, and Minnesota's severe climate demands that the state care for the roads it already has before adding more.
More troubling is the administration's slap at transit. After absorbing $11 million in operating cuts over the past two years, transit would be forced to cut $50 million more for operations under Pawlenty's two-year budget. Fares would again rise and ridership would fall. It seems the administration is doing all it can to take buses off the streets, cut train frequencies and force more people back into cars. That makes little sense. Earmarking 5 percent of the administration's five-year road-building acceleration for park-and-ride lots and bus shoulder lanes is a nice gesture, but hardly impressive in light of wider cuts.
Posted by lloydletta at 10:41 PM
Text of Leviticus Crowd Flyer at hearing to repeal the Human Rights Act as it applies to gays.....
IN DEFENSE OF INNOCENCE ACT
HF341 SF 545
WHERE DOES YOUR LEGISLATOR STAND
It appears that your Senator Betzold and Rep. Bernardy do NOT support this bill.
*In 1993, the legislature added "sexual orientation" to the Human Rights Statute, giving protected class status to homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders, etc. This bill eliminates the codified phrase "sexual orientation" from our laws. It would not take any civil rights away from any individual. Homosexuals, bisexuals, etc. are equally protected under our violence and sexual harrassment laws. We will be the same as 37 other states that do not have "sexual orientation" in their laws. We should not protect sexual behaviors at the expense of our children.
*These special protections have brought the homosexual agenda into our schools and have even led to harassment and firing of people who object to this. We now have a transgender male teacher, in one school, using the ladies' restroom.
*There are over 22 recognized sexual orientations with special class status protection. Such as: bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, urophilia, sadism, voyeruism, masochism etc.
*Our children are learning about anal sex, bare backing and fisting as early as grade school!
*Instead of telling the truth that gay sex practices are risky, unhealthy, and dangerous, even to the point of premature death, they tell our children that these practices are normal and healthy.
PLEASE CALL SEN. BETZOLD AND TELL HIM TO SUPPORT SF 545. (763-571-0098)
ALSO CALL REP. BERNARDY AND TELL HER TO SUPPORT HF 34.1 (763-571-001)
EY note: There was no indication who paid for this flyer. Senator Betzold was apparently incensed that this flyer encouraged these characters to call him at home.
Posted by lloydletta at 10:24 PM