counter statistics

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Anti-gay Tactics by Republicans in Dean Johnson and Al Juhnke's District

The Truth Truck People were in this district. If gays expect to turn this around, we need to figure out effective advertising to counter this. Radio ads would be good. This was Karl Rove's strategy, and is part of the reason why I have absolute contempt for Karl Rove. I also didn't vote for Bush because these tactics were used. Marginalizing an unpopular minority for political gain is wrong.

Death Penalty for Homosexuals

This is one of the signs carried at the 2004 Marriage Amendment Rally. This is all about hate.

From a reader tip:

Letters in the Willmar paper around election time about the Minnesotans for Marriage billboards--one billboard in Willmar and one in Benson.

Gay marriage’s a political pawn (10/26/2004)

I cannot believe that while recently browsing my home state's newspaper columns online, I would see hatred and bigotry sprout up where I grew up and against me and my family.

The question of gay marriage is being used in Minnesota like a pawn in a political chess game. I live in San Francisco now and saw pictures of this billboard in a recent story in the St. Paul newspaper when our beloved president, George Bush, was campaigning. And when my mother called in hysterics that they had put the same billboard up in Willmar, I was in shock that the people that I respected, learned from, and looked up to as a child would allow that hatred to be spread in their community against me. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

I just want to ask everyone that is in Willmar and surrounding rural areas: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? This election has nothing to do with gay marriage and you are in no way in jeopardy of losing the sanctity of marriage. As a gay man that grew up there, I would never deny the sanctity of marriage.

So leave this issue out of the election booth this year and vote from your heart. You all know the truth, do not vote in fear.

Brent R. Roelofs
San Francisco

A billboard smear (11/1/2004)

Recently an organization known as Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage has been placing billboards around west central Minnesota, and is running television ads on various cable outlets. These ads have all the elements of a smear campaign, and they have been aimed at my state representative, Aaron Peterson.

As in all smear campaigns, it is a surrogate organization, the MCDM, that conducts the smear while the opposition candidate remains seemingly blameless and consequently benefits at the ballot box. The ads also feature the essentially baseless accusation, in this case that Peterson favors gay marriage, while any check of his voting record reveals that he does not - but why bother with the truth when you are conducting character assassination?

The use of the term "liberal" as a pejorative label is another essential, this time directed at the Senate Majority Leader Dean Elton Johnson. Nor is this a local organization. If the established pattern holds, MCDM will turn out to be another suburban group using their access to money in an attempt to buy a rural election.

Politics is filled with individuals who build mountains out of single issues so that they can stand on them, and lecture the rest of us on our moral shortcomings. This unearned moral superiority allows them to claim that their cause is just. But there are no shortcuts in life to character, it must be earned and demonstrated to your community. No one should be allowed to claim a moral advantage when the means they use to advance their single-issue candidacy include lies and innuendoes, character assassination and other smear campaign tactics.

If the strategy of any organization is to win at all costs, to slander your opponent at every opportunity, then you also destroy Americans' confidence in the honesty of their representatives at the same time. You destroy the process of democracy itself. And if democracy fails, we all lose.

If I have one desire for Election Day, it is that Minnesotans honor democracy on Nov. 2 and vote their conscience, not their prejudices.

Richard Rolland
Benson

Billboard is horrible (10/25/2004)

It is so sad to see the level of political campaign smear and deception that has come right to our rural community here in Benson.

I am talking about the disgusting billboard placed in our community by some outside right-wing smear artists. It shows two smiling men in tuxedos and says, "Want gay marriage? Vote Democrat this November." The number 866-60-TRUTH is listed, but of course, it is actually a lie, not the truth.

Our Minnesota Legislature passed a law saying that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman in Minnesota. Democrats voted for the law. This wasn't good enough for some other people, so they started beating the political drum for a statewide referendum on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. Our own state representative, Aaron Peterson, voted for that to let the people decide in a statewide vote.

The outside right-wing groups, however, do not want fair and square elections. In Nevada a contractor hired by the Republican Party was registering thousands of people to vote outside government buildings and shopping centers. Last week they were caught red-handed shredding the registrations where people had checked Democrat as their party affiliation. The truth is clear, the right wing is afraid to have a fair election and will resort to destroying registrations and offensive advertising to obtain that end.

In all the elections I have seen over my lifetime (and that’s quite a few), I have never seen anything like the desperate right-wing smear tactics that I have witnessed this year.

Marianne Hilleren
Benson


It shows that voting for this amendment does nothing to stop these sorts of billboards attacking democrats.

Outfront Minnesota should contact the mother of the man who wrote from San Francico if they can find who she is.

Blog Stalking

Seems like if you visit Republican Minnesota and your ip is traced to a democratic group, the blog will expose your visit on the blog in a post.

I think this is bad form, and I hope other blogs - both liberal and conservative - will condemn the tactic.

Stonewall Chair Responds

Sat, 06 Aug 2005 15:50:06 -0700
Authentication-Results: mta154.mail.scd.yahoo.com
from=comcast.net; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
Reply-To:
From: "Paul Skrbec"
To:
Subject: FW: [TCGLBT] Re: Fwd: Warning
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2005 17:51:51 -0500
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.3416

Since I know that any response will be posted in your blog, I will respond by saying that I am a GLBT Democrat. I am loyal to my party and to the cause of serving the members of the GLBT community within that party. As an elected representative of my caucus, I am bound to defend our organization's stated mission and purpose – I will continue to do that for the remainder of my term. My choice in language was strong and intentional: "While we will not go so far as to request that you ignore her, we will strongly encourage you to make no statements to her." In this statement I specifically stated that we would not go so far as to suggest that you be ignored, rather that no STATEMENT be made to you - a fact that you illustrated well in your last 3 e-mails to me. We do not advocate that a leader ignore any member of their constituency. When you post this statement to your blog, I request that you post it in its entirety.


Peace & GLBT Pride,

Paul R. Skrbec
Chair, Stonewall DFL
Inver Grove Heights, MN
pskrbec@comcast.net


Paul has now banned me from the "non-partisan" TCGLBT list - with 23 people. There's many more on the GayTwinCities list. But his post to the legislators attacking me was made public.

More Juhnke Mail - Stonewall DFL Chair to DFL Legislators: Don't Communicate with Eva Young

Clarification: This came from Al Juhnke. He put his sarcastic comments at the header, then attached Paul Skrbec's message that was sent to the entire democratic delegation in the legislature.

Eva Young Wrote:

"I know the Stonewall DFL people are very unhappy with you . I've yet to
find someone in Stonewall DFL who has good things to say about you. I have
contacts and good relationships with a number of Stonewall DFLers. Notable
exception being Megan Thomas."

This will be my final letter to you Eva as you are a dangerous person when it comes to human rights. Below is the response from the Stonewall group regarding your efforts (obviously you are wrong again). As you can see. our DFLers are onto your act and hopefully everyone (including Scott Dibble) will be very careful when speaking with you:

8-6-05

Dear DFL leaders,

I normally do not respond to elected leaders in bulk, however in this instance I feel that is warranted and justified in my role as Chair of Stonewall DFL. I received a communication from Eva Young (R) by way of a non-partisan GLBT political issues user group which I host. This user group is open to all political backgrounds in an effort to forward the causes of the GLBT community. There are times however, when individuals are not able to see beyond politics and use the forum as a means of pushing a partisan agenda. This is not acceptable to me as the host of a political forum and it is certainly not acceptable to me as a life long DFLer to watch and say nothing as the opposition prepares to attack members of my party.

As stated below by Al Juhnke, Ms. Young's intentions should not be trusted at face value. If you choose to engage in communications with her via e-mail, you should know with great certainty that your words will appear in her blog and will are likely to be used against you by your political opposition. While we will not go so far as to request that you ignore her, we will strongly encourage you to make no statements to her.

While Eva states that she is a leader in the GLBT community, we must be clear in pointing out that she is a REPULBLICAN leader and as such, part of the DFL opposition. As a caucus, we are committed to defeating republicans in the next election, helping our DFL leaders remain in their current seats and win back control in the MN House of Representatives.

Our 2006 action plan is currently being developed and the screening of candidates by our party will be held in January – March of 2006 (in many cases, before precinct caucuses). Please visit our web site (www.stonewalldfl.org) in December for more information about the 2006 Stonewall endorsement/screening process. In the meantime, I remain at your disposal for questions and any help that our caucus can provide. Thank you for supporting equality and inclusion in our government.

Peace & GLBT Pride,

Paul R. Skrbec
Chair, Stonewall DFL
Inver Grove Heights, MN


I wonder if DFL Chair, Brian Melendez is also of this opinion?

For the record, I do not state I am a leader of the gay community. I only represent myself. Paul Skrbec and Stonewall DFL certainly don't represent my views on a number of issues. I have been President of Log Cabin Republicans. Dennis Sanders is the current President of Log Cabin Republicans.

UPDATE: Paul Skrbec responds.

First Swiftee Now Juhnke

I sent an email to a few gay lists, some gay blogs, plus a copy to Minnesota State Representative Al Junhke, DFL, Wilmar, PAC Man extraordinaire and the self proclaimed spokesperson for rural democrats.

Now he's sent out two emails to he same group:

X-Apparently-To: lloydletta@yahoo.com via 68.142.207.144; Sat, 06 Aug 2005 06:42:21 -0700
Authentication-Results: mta125.mail.mud.yahoo.com
from=house.mn; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
X-Mailer: Novell GroupWise Internet Agent 6.5.1
Date: Sat, 06 Aug 2005 08:41:31 -0500
From: "Al Juhnke"
To: ,,
,
Cc: ,,
,
"Karen Clark" ,
"Keith Ellison" ,
, ,

Subject: more news


Eva Young is the President of the Log Cabin Clan in Minnesota? After reading Paul Koering's story, she and her leadership team should resign.

Apparently the Log Cabinites are too concerned with the next cocktail party to focus on the work that they tell the world they do.

This story is representative of the abject failure of the Guerriero Administration and, once again, I will not be surprised if we're met with Board members who support Patrick (not 100% -- at least the ones who talk to me) frilly statements of love and praise for his leadership....and back in Minnesota it was Mike Rogers who reached out to Paul Koering...heard his story and offered him the love and support he need to come to terms with his life.

Is ANYONE SOMEONE ANYONE AT ALL IN THE LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS Compentent and if so, where are they and why are they hiding?
Mike Rogers | Email | Homepage | 04.13.05 - 10:08 pm


North Dallas Thirty has a good response to this one. I responded to the same people and groups Juhnke sent this to here.

Then this:

X-Apparently-To: lloydletta@yahoo.com via 68.142.207.133; Sat, 06 Aug 2005 06:25:12 -0700
X-Originating-IP: [156.98.78.242]
Authentication-Results: mta188.mail.re2.yahoo.com
from=house.mn; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2005 08:23:44 -0500
X-Mailer: Groupwise 6.5
From: "Al Juhnke"
Cc: chromium1212@hotmail.com, comments@scsuscholars.com,
editor@gayorbit.net, gaypatriotWest@aol.com, "Karen Clark"
, "Keith Ellison" ,
sen.scott.dibble@senate.mn, westover4@yahoo.com
Subject: Oh my......
To: "Eva Young" , gaytwincities@yahoogroups.com,
mn-logcabin@yahoogroups.com, tcglbt@yahoogroups.com


The Culture and Family Institute Hit Piece on me that Swiftee keeps pointing out was attached. Swiftee was successful in getting Lloydletta's Nooz booted from the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers. More on this here.

I responded to the same group:

Lolol, Al - now you are reading from one of Michele
Bachmann's favorite anti-gay groups, the Culture and
Family Institute. They are also promoting the
"research" that the average age of death of a gay man
is 41, etc., ad nauseum. Seems like you have gone to
the Jeff Gannon school of Journalism.

I dispute this "story" in several places:

Here:

http://lloydletta.blogspot.com/2005/04/swiftee-drags-up-old-stuff-since.html

Peter LaBarbera had interviewed me for this "story" - and I told him that I'd condemned the sentiments expressed on this site at the time on the queerpolitics list - and he asked me the archives were still available so he could check for this. The
archives are not. Recently I did locate an email I sent at the time to the anti-gay Rep Trovillion in Florida, who was listed on the USA Queers site. I include the entire text of the email below.

From: Eva Young
To: Rep. Trovillion
Date: Wed Nov 28, 2001 12:47 pm
Subject: Fw: Homosexual Hit List Targets Leaders
For Death (fwd)

Dear Rep. Trovillion:

While I disagree with your position on homosexuality, I am appalled to see that you are listed on the "usqueers.com" website which was brought to my attention by an article in the Conservative News Service.

See the text appended to this message to see what the page says, and how you are listed on the page.

I have signed on to a letter which is appended which asked Ross to take down this hateful site.

Eva Young
Minneapolis, MN
Log Cabin Republicans Member

Appended:
1. Text from site, and your listing on the site.
2. Text of open letter by many gay activists condemning the violent sentiments
expressed on this site as well as asking the site owner, B. Allan Ross to take the site down.


You can read the appended items in my previous post here.

I also sent a copy of my letter to worldnet daily.

After getting this, my good buddy Al Junhke responded:

This story is just as credible as the Lavender story you use to attack me.

Now do you understand?


Rep Junhke:

I understand fully. I had no recourse to try to go after the CWA for their story - because I didn't have any damages. (Generally you have to have financial damages). I also understand that the CWA wants to go after me because I've gone after them - and not just on gay lists - on Republican lists. So I understand it's just politics. After this thing got published, the Washington Blade - a gay newspaper called me and did a story. Even though I told my side of the story, the Blade story ended up taking the CWA spin on it quite a bit. It's still the first thing that comes up when you google "Eva Young, Log Cabin Republicans". On the other hand, the way most gays look at the article, is that it's an honor for me. I must have been somewhat effective to have the CWA write a hit piece on me - and on Log Cabin Republicans. An example of that is here.

The answer for you is simple. Rather than whining (and that's how your emails come across), just calmly correct the record. You made a huge mistake forward the CWA article to Mike Demons of Gay Orbit (that blog has a much bigger readership than mine).

Write a letter to the editor to Lavender to dispute their coverage. Call them afterwards to make sure they agree to publish it. If they don't publish your letter, if you send it to me, I will publish it and forward it to gay lists and local gay blogs.


In my view, Mike Krause ought to have quoted from the messages (without naming names, just city of residence) of the conversations on those lists when he wrote his column in Lavender. I later touched base with Mike Krause at the DFL City convention, which I was observing. Krause told me that a green candidate who was more of an environmentalist than you are, pro-choice and opposed to the constitutional amendment to marginalize gay relationships should run for your seat. That person could raise money in the twin cities pretty easily. Krause is a partisan DFLer - and his article was highly critical of not just Al Juhnke, but Matt Entenza [DFL house minority leader].

I know the Stonewall DFL people are very unhappy with Al Juhnke. I've yet to find someone in Stonewall DFL who has good things to say about him. I have contacts and good relationships with a number of Stonewall DFLers. Democratic State Senator, Scott Dibble will be coming to a Log Cabin Republicans meeting to discuss what's going on at the legislature.

It is not in the gay communities best interest to only support democrats. Gays should be active in both parties. Between 20 and 40 percent of gays vote Republican. When the Republicans quit the gay bashing, there's a good chance that a majority of gays will start voting Republican. There's a strong limited government, leave us alone streak with many gays. It helps Democrats when Republicans gay bash - because it's great for fundraising in the gay community. I'm interested in taking away that issue in politics. I also don't want the Bachmann amendment on the ballot - because I don't want part of who I am being up for a vote. That's my business - and should not up to a state referendum.

My own Representative - Rep Ellison - has been excellent and articulate in his work on the civil law committee. I heard his arguments in Grand Rapids. Ellison also voted for including creationism in the Science standards, and supports the stadium boondoggle (I am not sure what he's doing on the referendum for that thing).

Since Al Junhke strongly advises other rural DFL legislators to support the Bachmann amendment, it helps gays rather than hurts gays to get him out of office. I heard from a DFL legislator (who knows I'm republican) that Ann Lenczewski from Bloomington and another legislator advised Bev Scalze and Denise Dietrich to vote for the amendment - because "you don't want the billboards of gay men kissing" in your district. What Ann Lenczewski missed with her bad advice on strategy is that I've heard from a number of DFL sources that both Scalze and Dietrich told gay supporters and others who were concerned about human rights they would vote against the amendment. The issue now isn't the issue of what their stand is on the issue, but that both these legislators tell people one thing to pander for votes, then vote the opposite way. Letters to the editor on that point in their district to make that point could be devastating.

Democrat Al Juhnke Goes on the Warpath

He sends a "WARNING" to fellow DFLers:

X-Apparently-To: lloydletta@yahoo.com via 68.142.207.145; Sat, 06 Aug 2005 08:14:25 -0700
X-Mailer: Novell GroupWise Internet Agent 6.5.1
Date: Sat, 06 Aug 2005 10:13:56 -0500
From: "Al Juhnke"
To: "Aaron Peterson" ,
"Al Juhnke" ,
"Alice Hausman" ,
"Andy Welti" ,
"Ann Lenczewski" ,
"Barb Goodwin" ,
"Bernie Lieder" ,
"Bev Scalze" ,
"Bill Hilty" ,
"Brita Sailer" ,
"Carlos Mariani" ,
"Connie Bernardy" ,
"Cy Thao" ,
"Dan Larson" ,
"David Dill" ,
"Debra Hilstrom" ,
"Denise Dittrich" ,
"Diane Loeffler" ,
"Frank Hornstein" ,
"Frank Moe" ,
"Gene Pelowski" ,
"Irv Anderson" ,
"Jean Wagenius" ,
"Jeanne Poppe" ,
"Jim Davnie" ,
"Joe Atkins" ,
"Joe Mullery" ,
"Joe Opatz" ,
"John Dorn" ,
"John Lesch" ,
"Karen Clark" ,
"Katie Sieben" ,
"Keith Ellison" ,
"Kent Eken" ,
"Larry Hosch" ,
"Leon Lillie" ,
"Loren Solberg" ,
"Lyle Koenen" ,
"Lyndon Carlson" ,
"Margaret Kelliher" ,
"Maria Ruud" ,
"Mary Murphy" ,
"MaryEllen Otremba" ,
"Matt Entenza" ,
"Melissa Hortman" ,
"Michael Nelson" ,
"Michael Paymar" ,
"Mike Jaros" ,
"Mindy Greiling" ,
"Neva Walker" ,
"Nora Slawik" ,
"Patti Fritz" ,
"Paul Marquart" ,
"Paul Thissen" ,
"Phyllis Kahn" ,
"Rick Hansen" ,
"Ron Latz" ,
"Ruth Johnson" ,
"Sandra Peterson" ,
"Sheldon Johnson" ,
"Steve Simon" ,
"Tom Huntley" ,
"Tim Mahoney" ,
"Tina Liebling" ,
"Tom Rukavina" ,
"Tony Sertich"
Cc:
Subject: Warning


Dear Colleagues:

Call me naive but.........I have recently learned that the "Eva Young" e-mails that we receive on an all too frequent basis are from an anti-DFL source.

I did not realize that this woman was the former chair of the Log Cabin Republicans. As such, her main charge is to elect more GOPers to office.

Recently, she has stepped up her attacks on Democrats (including El Tinklenberg, MIke Hatch, myself, and other rural Dems). She is rambling and anecdotal in her statements.

After recent correspondence with her (unlike many of you, I really did not know who she was so I actually replied to her), I am convinced that she is very unstable. Be very careful not to respond to her e-mails or your response will be twisted and could end up on a blog or in other mailboxes.

If you all, like me, care about the gay human rights issues, stay away from this person. Remember, it is her goal to elect GOP members to government offices. Having more Republicans in office will do nothing to further this cause.

Respectfully,

Rep. Al Juhnke - District 13B
281 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6206 (St. Paul Office)
320-235-4442 (Willmar Office)
rep.al.juhnke@house.mn (e-mail)
www.aljuhnke.com (web site)


Having anti-gay Democrats in office doesn't help the cause either. We've got plenty of creationism supporting Republicans in office. Al Junhke has voted for including Creationism in science classes in the last session.

Al Junhke sent around the Culture and Family Institute hit piece on me, and Mike Rogers attack on me.

DC Pastor Willie Wilson Again Assails Lesbianism

After writing their article that Willie Wilson "apologised" for his "sermon" which attacked Lesbians, Black Women and Gay Men (in the process describing his fantasies about lesbian and gay sex in crude and explicit terms), the Washington Post was pressured by GLAAD to write more about the story. This is the first time I've heard of something useful that GLAAD has done. All too often, they go after things that are trivial. GLAAD also was not helpful when I contacted them about an anti-gay cartoon in the Minnesota Daily which attacked Log Cabin Republicans. They had a picture of a lynching with African American lynchers in hoods - with the caption - Log Cabin Republicans are like.... African American Klansmen.

The Post followed up and investigated Willie Wilson's claims:

The Rev. Willie F. Wilson, who last week apologized for using "intemperate" language in a sermon about homosexuality, writes in a new posting on his church Web site that he remains deeply concerned about an "epidemic" of lesbianism among young black girls, calling it a "severe crisis" that threatens "the very survival of the Black family."


The Post gets it wrong here. This was Wilson's "apology" for his remarks that the Post referred to in their earlier story about the "apology".

"The situation is so grave that it should be declared a national emergency," Wilson writes in a defense of his original sermon posted over the weekend on the Web site of Union Temple Baptist Church, where he is pastor.

"Our girls, some as young as 10 and 11 years of age, are engaging in same sex relations," Wilson writes, citing as evidence an incident in an unnamed "local school" where girls were "asked to report to the gymnasium" so school officials could "decipher how many girls were involved in same sex relations." Those who were, he writes, outnumbered those who had not been "by a 10 to 1 count."

Wilson, a prominent local minister who ran for D.C. mayor in 2002, is executive director of the Millions More Movement, a national celebration planned to mark the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March.

In his Web posting, Wilson apologizes "to any and all whom I offended" July 3, when he delivered a sermon at his Southeast Washington church describing gay sex in graphic terms. "But I do not apologize for bringing to the forefront a very critical and crucial issue facing our young girls," Wilson writes. "Though many clergy, parents, school administrators, teachers, community and youth workers are aware of this very serious situation, no one has addressed it."

The reaction to Wilson's latest treatise on homosexuality was swift and furious, with several gay leaders accusing him yesterday of peddling damaging stereotypes, and national experts saying his warnings lack any basis in fact.

Gay leaders said Wilson's remarks are particularly troubling given his role in the Millions More Movement. Gay rights groups say they have been shut out of planning for the October event despite public assurances from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan that all black people, gay or straight, would be welcome. Farrakhan and Wilson have ignored phone calls, letters and e-mails from the National Black Justice Coalition, which represents black homosexuals, said Alexander Robinson, its chief executive.


Sounds like the way the Bush campaign treated Log Cabin Republicans in 2004. Log Cabin Republicans got harshly criticized by other Republicans for withholding endorsement for Bush. Log Cabin Republicans did the principled thing in 2004.

Yesterday, Robinson said Wilson's church has made a considerable effort to reach out to gay African Americans. But given his remarks over the past few weeks, Robinson said, "the impact on gay and lesbian people is to believe he's homophobic, that he's intentionally scapegoating lesbians. He claims that's not what he's doing. But since there's no logic to or rational way of reading what he's saying, one is led to that conclusion."


Kudos to Alexander Robinson and the National Black Justice Coalition for speaking out.

Wilson has a history of making controversial remarks. In the mid-1980s, he accused an Asian storeowner of "disrespecting" one of his flock and said angry Ward 8 residents might have "cut his head off and rolled it down the street."

In his most recent Web posting, Wilson writes that teenage lesbianism is rampant in Washington and nationally, calling it "epidemic, endemic and pandemic in the Black community." He blames its spread on the fear of pregnancy and abusive men, as well as "same sex girls' gangs," which he says use threats and intimidation to lure other girls into the same-sex fold.

Wilson writes that he knows about such things "not from hearsay or theory, but through actual counseling of parents, grandparents and their daughters and granddaughters." He says the numbers of girls lured into lesbianism are "prolific, astounding and mind-boggling."


Wilson's claims were bizzarre. The Washington Post required prodding by GLAAD (who responded to a call for help from the National Black Justice Coalition) to follow up and ask people to verify Wilson's claims:

National experts on adolescent sexuality scoffed at Wilson's perceptions of a rising tide of lesbianism among black teenagers. Ritch C. Savin-Williams, who chairs the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, said fewer than 3 percent of adolescents in the average high school identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.

"There is clearly evidence that more and more youth of all ethnicities are coming out and declaring their sexuality. But that's across the board," Savin-Williams said. "I don't think it's happening any more in the black community than in any other community."

As homosexuality among their peers becomes more visible, "you will have more kids experimenting who may not be quote-unquote really gay," added Lisa M. Diamond, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah who studies the development of sexual identity in young adults. "But folks who try it and are not actually gay don't tend to continue with it. They go back to dating the opposite sex."

Diamond said the notion that lesbianism is widespread among 10- and 11-year-olds "flies in the face of all the data ever collected."

Counselors who work in D.C. public schools said they are unaware of any rapid rise in the number of lesbians on school campuses. Nor had anyone heard of girls being herded into a gym and asked to reveal the nature of their sexual liaisons.

"No such event has taken place in D.C. public schools," said system spokeswoman Alexis Moore.


They also contact Wilson for comment:

Wilson declined yesterday to provide specifics about that incident or other claims in his Web posting.

School board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz said some D.C. schools have reported that gangs of gay girls sometimes get into fights and otherwise "rebelliously strike out" at a society that ignores and alienates them. But that's a far cry, she said, from Wilson's assertion that gay gangs are recruiting girls to be lesbians.

"What he's talking about, I think, is pretty ignorant. I think it's based in ignorance," Cooper Cafritz said. "I don't think there's a rampant epidemic of lesbianism undermining heterosexual black society."


This shows that it's good to pressure the mainstream media to do their jobs and investigate the story and don't just take the rantings of someone like Wilson at face value.

Follow the Money: Al Junhke

Wow, he's PAC Man.

Candidate Name Juhnke, Alan
Filing Year

2004
Donor Type
type H


Donor Type
Party
Donor Name
Employer

Donation Date

Donation Amount

InKindDon Amount
Kandiyohi County DFL

2004-10-29

$1,000.00

$0.00


Party Total:

$1,000.00

$0.00



InKindDon Amount
Committee of Thirteen Legislative F

2004-07-22

$250.00

$0.00
Education Minn PAC

2004-09-13

$325.00

$0.00
Faegre & Benson Ltd Liability Partn

2004-08-18

$200.00

$0.00
International Union of Operating En

2004-06-15

$500.00

$0.00
Minn AGPAC

2004-07-26

$250.00

$0.00
Minn Bank State PAC

2004-07-22

$200.00

$0.00
Minn Farmers Union PAC

2004-06-29

$150.00

$0.00
Minn Nurses Assn Pol Comm (MNA-PC)

2004-07-22

$200.00

$0.00
Minn Police & Peace Officers Assoc

2004-08-22

$500.00

$0.00
Northwest Petroleum NPPAC

2004-07-22

$250.00

$0.00
People in Construction Political Ac

2004-06-04

$200.00

$0.00
Rural Electric Political Action Com

2004-07-26

$125.00

$0.00
SEIU Minn State Council Political F

2004-08-04

$300.00

$0.00
SITCO PAC

2004-07-22

$250.00

$0.00
TRIAL-PAC

2004-01-28

$200.00

$0.00
Windingstad Political Action

2004-08-22

$500.00

$0.00


Political Fund Total:

$4,400.00

$0.00



InKindDon Amount
Barr, Arlys
Retired

2004-06-30

$200.00

$0.00
Gislason, Walter
Service Station Owner

2004-07-15

$200.00

$0.00
Hulst, Shirley
Retired

2004-06-20

$125.00

$0.00
Olson, Earl
Retired

2004-01-30

$200.00

$0.00


Individual Total:

$725.00

$0.00


Major Donors Report

Candidate Name Juhnke, Alan
Filing Year

InKindDon Amount
Ness, Robert

2003-09-22

$250.00

$0.00


Committee Total:

$250.00

$0.00


InKindDon Amount
CAR, Committee of Automotive Retailers

2002-09-03

$300.00

$0.00
Education Minn PAC

2002-07-26

$250.00

$0.00
Independent Community Bankers of Mi

2002-01-17

$250.00

$0.00
Laborers' Dist Council of Minn & ND

2002-07-26

$500.00

$0.00
MEDPAC Minn Medical Political Action

2002-07-26

$250.00

$0.00
Minn Dental Public Affairs Committee

2002-09-03

$300.00

$0.00
Minn DRIVE

2002-08-16

$300.00

$0.00
Minn Farm Credit Services PAC

2002-09-03

$250.00

$0.00
Minn Soybean

2002-01-28

$250.00

$0.00
Minn State Council #7

2002-08-16

$500.00

$0.00
Minn Wheat Political Action Committee

2002-08-12

$150.00

$0.00
MinnBank State PAC

2002-08-12

$200.00

$0.00
Northwest Petroleum NPPAC

2002-07-26

$250.00

$0.00
Road PAC of Minn

2002-07-11

$500.00

$0.00
Transportation Political Education

2002-08-12

$250.00

$0.00
VET-PAC of Minn

2002-09-03

$150.00

$0.00


Political Fund Total:

$4,650.00


Donor Type
Lobbyist
Donor Name
Employer

Donation Date

Donation Amount

InKindDon Amount
Schoenfeld, Gerald
Self

2002-01-16

$200.00

$0.00


Lobbyist Total:

$200.00

$0.00



Major Donors Report

Candidate Name Juhnke, Alan
Filing Year

2001

InKindDon Amount
CAR, Committee of Automotive Retailers

2000-10-06

$300.00

$0.00
Lks & Plains Reg Cncl Carpenters & Joiners

2000-08-29

$250.00

$0.00
MEDPAC Minn Medical Political Action

2000-10-12

$109.00

$0.00
Minn AFL-CIO

2000-09-15

$400.00

$0.00
Minn Dental Public Affairs Committee

2000-09-15

$300.00

$0.00
Road PAC of Minn

2000-08-29

$500.00

$0.00
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux

2000-10-03

$250.00

$0.00
Transportation Political Education

2000-09-28

$250.00

$0.00


Political Fund Total:

$2,359.00

$0.00


$1,935.71


Party Total:

$0.00

$1,935.71


InKindDon Amount
CAR, Committee of Automotive Retailers

1998-05-28

$500.00

$0.00
IMPACE-MEA Independent Minn PAC for Education

1998-08-07

$250.00

$0.00
Laborers' Dist Council of Minn & ND Pol Fund

1998-05-18

$250.00

$0.00
MAPE-PAC

1998-06-02

$150.00

$0.00
MFT Political Fund (COPE)

1998-08-05

$250.00

$0.00
Minn AFL-CIO

1998-08-18

$102.00

$0.00
Minn Dental Public Affairs Committee

1998-08-15

$200.00

$0.00
Minn PEOPLE Committee

1998-06-30

$500.00

$0.00
Minn Police & Peace Officers Assoc Leg Fund

1998-06-16

$500.00

$0.00
Minn Realtors Political Action Committee

1998-01-01

$250.00

$0.00
Road PAC of Minn

1998-07-14

$500.00

$0.00
Rural Electric Political Action Comm

1998-06-26

$105.00

$0.00
TRIAL-PAC

1998-06-18

$300.00

$0.00


Political Fund Total:

$3,857.00

$0.00

InKindDon Amount
Dayton, Mark

1998-10-27

$250.00

$0.00


Individual Total:

$250.00

DFL House Caucus
Alan

1996-09-11

$750.00

$0.00
Kandiyohi County DFL
Alan

1996-05-21

$500.00

$0.00


Party Total:

$1,250.00

$0.00

InKindDon Amount
CAR, Committee of Automotive Retailers
Alan



$205.82
Edmund Burke PAC
Alan

1996-10-30

$300.00

$0.00
IMPACE-MEA Independent Minn PAC for Education
Alan

1996-07-26

$400.00

$0.00
MFT Political Fund (COPE)
Alan

1996-08-27

$500.00

$0.00
Minn AFL-CIO
Alan

1996-09-24

$200.00

$0.00
Minn DRIVE
Alan

1996-11-04

$200.00

$0.00
Minn PEOPLE Committee
Alan

1996-08-13

$500.00

$0.00
Transportation Political Education League-MN
Alan

1996-06-12

$300.00

$0.00
TRIAL-PAC
Alan

1996-10-24

$250.00

$0.00


Political Fund Total:

$3,150.00

$205.82



InKindDon Amount
Dayton, Mark
Alan

1996-09-24

$250.00

$0.00
Short, Brian
Alan

1996-11-04

$150.00

$0.00
Zozniak D D
Alan

1996-11-04

$200.00

$0.00


Individual Total:

$600.00

$0.00


Donation Amount

InKindDon Amount
Kozak, Andrew
Alan

1996-12-31

$200.00

Friday, August 05, 2005

Al Junhke: Creationism Supporting, Bachmann Amendment Supporting Wilmar Democrat

Junhke supported Creationism in Science classes and the Bachmann amendment in 2004.

Junhke in his own words:

Just quit singling me out as some sort of gay basher..........that could not be further from the truth. It is extremely unfair and frankly just nuts. ....

And, one more time, real s-l-o-w-l-y let me state, I know of no Democrats that voted for the amendment that supported the content. It was a mean spirited evil ploy by the right wing fruitcakes in the GOP Caucus. Our votes were political only. period.

Could I have won in Kandiyohi County had I voted the other way? Probably. But, I would have spent my entire $25,000 campaign allotment on this one issue. Forget about education, health care, transportation, environment, or anything else. The entire summer and fall would be spent on one singular issue.

The other thing you do not understand is that I have a family. I was not going to let them become involved with hateful phone calls, letters, and ads. I needed to protect them, first and foremost. You really need to understand the political realities in small town Minnesota before you haul off and condemn those of us who choose to serve as Rural DFL'ers.

Again, if you do not want this before the body for votes, elect Democrats to run the House.

-ARJ


Yup, Al Junhke voted for the Bachmann amendment for the same reason Norm Coleman voted for it on the federal level, and George Bush pushed for the constitutional amendment: marginalizing gays in the constitution is seen as good politics. He voted to delete the legal equivalent language from the amendment, but when that failed, he voted FOR the Bachmann-Severson language. So I guess he'd say, to paraphrase John Kerry, I voted AGAINST the legal equivalent language before I voted for it.

In the Wilmar paper A 'Minnesota nice' campaign, with room for argument
Friday, October 15, 2004 By Tom Cherveny:

Both candidates oppose allowing same sex marriage, but differ on the proposed constitutional amendment. Wilhelm said people should be allowed to vote on it.

Juhnke said the amendment went too far by stating it would ban same sex marriage "or its equivalent." The additional wording would jeopardize benefit programs offered by some 120 to 130 large, Minnesota companies. The amendment itself would likely be struck down by the state's high court, as happened in Louisiana, he said.


But Juhnke voted for the amendment with the Bachmann-Severson wording anyway.


Al Junhke says on Creationism (personal correspondance):

I don't support creationism? I have no idea what you are talking about?


My response to Junhke:

Then you should contact the Minnesota Family Council, and have them correct your vote on their voter's guide.

Here's what you voted for:

"Require balanced scientific treatment of evolution in state-mandated science standards. A vote on an amendment to require that state-mandated science standards include an explanation of how new scientific new evidence can challenge scientific theories such as evolution. MFC supported this amendment."

EY: This is stealth language for so-called "Intelligent Design" creationism. I've given my own Rep. Keith Ellison grief for that one. Do a google search for "creationist claims" "teach the controversy" - and you'll find the explanation.


From the Index to Creationist Claims:

Claim CA041:
Students should be taught all sides of a controversial issue. Evolution should not be taught without teaching the controversy that surrounds it.
Source:
Meyer, Stephen C., Teach the controversy on origins. Cincinnati Enquirer, 30 March, 2002. http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_teachthecontroversy.htm
Response:

1. On the fundamental issues of the theory of evolution, such as the facts of common descent and natural selection, there is no scientific controversy. The "teach the controversy" campaign is an attempt to get pseudoscience taught in classrooms. Lessons about the sociological issues of the evolution-creation controversy may be appropriate in history or other nonscience classes.

If the object is to keep bad science from the classroom, the same standards should be applied to the counterarguments from creationists, which are all bad science.

2. There are controversies over details of evolutionary theory, such as the relative contributions of sympatric versus allopatric speciation. These controversies require a great deal of background in biology even to understand what they are about. They should not be taught to beginning students. They should be taught to graduate-level students in biology, and they are.

Links:
NCSE, 2002, Analysis of the Discovery Institute's bibliography

Further Reading:
Scott, E. C. and G. Branch, 2003. Evolution: what's wrong with 'teaching the controversy'. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(10): 499-502.

AFA Poll on IDiocy Clarified

Following up on my post about AFA's stacked "poll" on teaching the Intelligent Design "theory" in science classes.

Myers explains....

Should students be exposed to different ideas, or should they be shielded from information about intelligent design? Give us your opinion.

  • Yes, students should be exposed to the theory of intelligent design in public schools.
  • No, the theory of evolution is the only theory which should be taught in public schools.


Commenters pointed out that the AFA poll had the Creationism supporting answer checked by default.

PZ suggested a better version:

Should students be exposed to the best education possible, or should they be indoctrinated into religious concepts, like Intelligent Design creationism? Give us your opinion.


  • Yes, the theory of evolution is one example of a robust scientific theory which should be taught in public schools.
  • No, students should be taught sectarian religious concepts in public schools, at the expense of actual science.


Commenter Orac suggested a still better version:

Should students be exposed to the best science education possible, or should they be indoctrinated into religious concepts, like Intelligent Design creationism in science class? Give us your opinion:


  • Yes, the theory of evolution is one example of a robust scientific theory which should be taught in science classes in public schools.

  • No, students should be taught sectarian religious concepts in science classes in public schools, at the expense of actual science.



Commenter Les Lane suggests a simpler question:

What should students learn in science class?


  1. science only.


  2. both science and pseudoscience.


Gay Orbit calls for his readers to answer the AFA poll, but cautions:

Remember though, the "Yes to Creationism" option is checked by default, so if you are a big fan of proven theories like Evolution, please make sure to select it, or you’ll be one of the very many people who will have pushed submit without realizing they forgot to uncheck the AFA’s preferred option.


Good point.









What should students learn in science class?
Science only
Both Science and Pseudoscience



Free polls from Pollhost.com

Stonewall Democrats Blog, Trailmix, Re-surfaces

Congratulations to Jasmyne Cannick, who has been added as a contributor.

From an email to usaqueers:

Remixing and Relaunching

National Stonewall Democrats is proud to announce the
relaunch of our award-winning political blog Campaign TrailMix.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After recently relaunching our organiztional website,
TrailMix took some much-needed time off to enhance our blog
technology in order to serve our growing readership.

Today, we are proud to bring you the relaunch of TrailMix -
along with terrific new contributors such as
nationally-renowned journalists Mike Shea and Jasmyne Cannick. Take a
moment and visit TrailMix today.

About Our Contributors



Jasmyne Cannick
Chosen as one of ESSENCE Magazine's 50 Women Leaders
Changing the World (October 2005), Jasmyne Cannick is a board
member of the National Black Justice Coalition and a member of
the National Association of Black Journalists.

Cannick, who writes social and political commentary, is a
frequent presence on television and radio and has appeared
on numerous media programs, including BET News, Access
Hollywood, the Tavis Smiley Show, National Public Radio, Fox
News and has been featured in numerous print publications
including the New York Times and the Washigton Post.

Read More about Jasmyne Cannick




Mike Shea
Mike Shea is the Publisher and CEO of The Alternative Press
Magazine, one of the most well-respected music publications
in the nation. He is the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats Vice
President for Media Relations, and is a regular contributor
to INSTINCT magazine.

In 2002, Cleveland Scene Magazine named Mike as one of the
"Top 10 Most Influential People in Cleveland's Music Scene"
while that same year the Cleveland Plain Dealer listed Mike
as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Cleveland's
Music History. In 2004, AP was awarded "The Best Contribution
in Cleveland's Music Scene" by SCENE Magazine.

Read More about Mike Shea

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Take a Moment and Visit Campaign TrailMix
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

C 2005 National Stonewall Democrats. Contributions to
National Stonewall Democrats are not deductible for federal
income tax purposes.


Perhaps folks might want to stop by and ask what Stonewall thinks of Nancy Pelosi giving $2000.00 to Federal Bachmann Amendment supporter, Elwyn Tinklenberg.

Another place to raise that question is on Americablog and Blogactive.

Book Banning, Oklahoma Style

Harry Potter next?

Yowling's New Design

Awesome.

AFA has a Survey on Evolution vs Creationism in Science Classes

Here.

Vote!

Wirth House Event

You are Welcome at the Wirth House
The Minneapolis Parks Legacy Society
and the
East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association
invite you for a free tour of the

Theodore Wirth Home and Administration Building National Historic Site

Located in Lyndale Farmstead Park
3954 Bryant AV S

Theodore Wirth's Home and Offices will be open on
Saturday August 6, 2005
from Noon to 4:00pm
The last public tour begins at 3:15 pm

There will also be a short program beginning at noon and free refreshments

Should be fun.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Intelligent Design Proponent William Demski Comes Clean: ID motivation is religion, not science

Stranger Fruit explains.

A Cartoon is Worth a Thousand Words
Intelligent Design cartoon


Hat Tip: Pharyngula.

Political Strategy for Shining a Light on Intelligent Design Creationists

Lots of critical reaction to Bush's support of IDiocy in Science classes in the blogosphere. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit is scathing.

John Hawks (a physical anthropoligist at the UW Madison) fisks PZ Myers recent post about Bush supporting ID creationism. Hawks pulls this quote from Pharyngula (Myers blog):

Oh, yeah, and we also have to work to make sure that every goddamned Republican in our capitols is out on their ear in the next couple of election cycles. The root of our problem is that the know-nothings and lunatics are in power, and are trying to wreck anything that does not pander to their ideology -- and science opposes the Republican agenda.


For the most part I agreed with Paul Myer's post on this topic, but was troubled by this paragraph that targeted republicans. I happen to think good science education is a bipartisan issue. In his 2000 campaign Al Gore had made statements supporting creationism and Kerry's statements on the topic were quite weak. Polling shows that the public in the US supports the Discovery Institute talking point about "teaching the controversy" about evolution.

Myers responds here.

I live in a very liberal district in Minneapolis. I was appalled to find out that my democratic representative, Rep. Keith Ellison voted for a piece of legislation that would:

Require balanced scientific treatment of evolution in state-mandated science standards. A vote on an amendment to require that state-mandated science standards include an explanation of how new scientific new evidence can challenge scientific theories such as evolution. MFC supported this amendment.


I have written to Keith Ellison about this topic. I still mean to ask him about it at a town meeting. Keith has been excellent and articulate with his opposition to the Bachmann amendment at the house hearing on that topic in Grand Rapids. He should know better than to fall for Discovery Institute lies. I think part of Keith's problem is that he is a lawyer, and lawyers look at issues very differently than scientists.

Republicans Ron Erhardt and Ron Abrams both voted against this amendment to require the teaching of creation myths in science classes. Other democrats voted in favor of teaching IDiocy in high schools. Al Junke, a totally useless anti-gay DFL Representative from Wilmar was among these anti-science democrats.

You can see the complete MFC Scorecard here. Issue 5 on the 2003-2005 scorecard is the Creationism amendment.

As I told PZ last night at Drinking Liberally (a gathering of liberal bloggers organized by REW from Powerliberal), it's important for those interested in good science education to put together a political action committee which will score candidates on this issue. We need to do this at the state level, and also need to do it at local school board level.

The Discovery Institute types need to be marginalized. Letting them hide behind words like "conservative", "christian" or "republican" will not marginalize them. Instead, it will separate those who support good science education from science supporting republicans and conservatives. It's important to hold both Democrats and Republicans accountable for their votes to incorporate creation myths into science classes, and important to support politicians in both parties at federal, state and local levels who support strong science education.

It's instructive that Creationist supporting 6th District congressional candidates Michele Bachmann and Cheri Pierson Yecke run away from the Creationist label.

Hawks has an interesting proposal, a prize for demonstrating intelligent design creationism:

No biologist or anyone else has yet found evidence for an intelligently designed system that cannot be explained by evolution. For such evidence, it is not enough to claim that evolutionary theory has not yet explained the system -- science has not yet explained most of nature. It must be proved that the system could not have evolved; that it must have been designed. Intelligent design creationists have often claimed that such systems exist in nature, but they have never offered a proof.

I propose the formation of a prize for the production of such a proof. The matter is of paramount importance to public education, and the prize should have a magnitude reflecting this importance. I suggest $10 million. Indeed I think the matter is so important that the prize should be offered by a public or governmental agency, as a voucher of trust in science. Naturally, a fully qualified judging committee must be formed; I would suggest the National Academy of Science. But to put to rest all question of a conspiracy, I propose that every attempted proof to be submitted should be published along with a scientific critique, if one exists.

If, as I expect, no proof arises for the foreseeable future, it would be a strong public demonstration that intelligent design has nothing to explain about the rise of life on Earth. As long as no proof is produced, there is no reason to raise the question of teaching intelligent design in schools. If its advocates cannot even show one natural system that cannot be explained by evolution, clearly there is nothing to be gained by bringing ID into the classroom.

The prize is something that most Americans understand even better than fairness. It is a dare.


PZ Myers does a good job of kicking creationist butt in his latest posts about Demski, and Southern Baptist leader, Richard Land's bleatings supporting Bush's appalling statements.

Myers should focus on kicking creationist butt, and forget about kicking republican butt on this issue.

Looney Left and Wingnut Right Reacts to Roberts Work on Gay Rights Case

From Powerline blog:

Nor am I concerned if, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Roberts helped lawyers in his firm who were arguing before the Supreme Court, in a pro bono representation, that the Constitution protects people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation. Roberts was the lead attorney in his firm's appellate practice. I consider it natural that he would assist his colleagues in a matter like this. The legal position Roberts was helping his firm (and other attorneys involved in the case) advance regarding what the Constitution does and doesn't protect was wrong, I believe, as a matter of law. However, it was not immoral.
Posted by Paul at 01:34 PM


Huh??????? Wonder what Powerline Blogger, and Minnesota Family Institute legal arm advisory board member, John Hinderaker has to say about this. It's Paul the "deacon" rather than Hindrocket who comments on this on Powerline.

(From Wikipedia entry on Hindrocket:

He is an active voice in conservative and Republican circles, and has been considered a possible candidate for the Minnesota US Senate seat. Hinderaker is an advisory board member of the North Star Legal Center, the legal arm of the Minnesota Family Council/Institute; the NSLC also is "instrumental in giving definition and professional credibility to the conservative pro-family legal position in Minnesota." Hinderaker is a 1971 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and completed Harvard Law School in 1974.)


From Independent Gay forum:

The Roberts Revelation.
News that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts performed pro bono work on behalf of gay rights attorneys in the landmark Supreme Court Romer v. Evans case, originally reported by the Los Angeles Times ("Roberts Donated Help to Gay Rights Cause"), has ignited concern among social conservatives. While the pro bono work was at his firm's request, Roberts showed no hesitation, and the gay-rights attorneys praised his efforts in preparing them to go before the Court and successfully argue their case. All of which led right-wing radio host Sean Hannity to opine for several hours on Thursday that the disclosure seems to indicate Roberts does not share the judicial philosophy of Scalia, Rehnquist and Thomas.

The revelations could cause a number of social conservatives to turn on Roberts. A more interesting question is what gay political lobbies such as the Human Rights Campaign, which opposes Roberts over abortion, will do.

If left-liberals continue to work against Roberts, it's doubtful they'll actually get a nominee better on abortion, but now it's certain they won't get a nominee better on gay issues.
-- Stephen H. Miller


From Worldnet Daily:

Roberts donated time to 'gay rights' activists
Homosexuals won anti-bias ruling with help of high-court nominee

Posted: August 4, 2005
2:32 p.m. Eastern

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts

John Roberts, President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, donated his time to homosexual activists, helping them win a landmark anti-bias ruling from the high court in 1996.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Roberts helped represent "gay rights" activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. While the nominee did not actually argue the case before the high court, several lawyers familiar with the case say he was instrumental in reviewing filings and preparing oral arguments.

Now what will James Dobson say about this one.

WN Daily continues:

The Supreme Court ruling was decided on a 6-3 vote, with Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissenting. Bush has repeatedly said he would nominate Supreme Court justices in the mold of Thomas and Scalia. The ruling in Romer v.
Evans struck down a voter-approved 1992 Colorado initiative that nullified "gay rights" measures in the state.


Nope, Romer struck down a voter approved referendum that would outlawed city approved non-discrimination ordinances using equal protection clause.

The article continues:
The Times points out Roberts has stressed that a client's views are not necessarily shared by the lawyer who argues on his or her behalf, so the nominee could claim he did not agree with the homosexual activists he helped.

Walter A. Smith Jr., then head of the pro bono department at Hogan & Hartson, told the paper Roberts didn't hesitate to take the case: "He said, 'Let's do it.' And it's illustrative of his open-mindedness, his fair-mindedness. He did a brilliant job."

Roberts did not mention the Romer case in a 67-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire released this week.

"John probably didn't recall [the case] because he didn't play as large a role in it as he did in others," Smith told the Times yesterday. "I'm sure John has a record somewhere of every case he ever argued, and Romer he did not argue. So he probably would have remembered it less."

Jean Dubofsky was the lead lawyer for the homosexual activists and a former Colorado Supreme Court justice.

"Everybody said Roberts was one of the people I should talk to," Dubofsky is quoted as saying. "He has a better idea on how to make an effective argument to a court that is pretty conservative and hasn't been very receptive to gay rights."

She said he gave her advice in two areas that were "absolutely crucial."


And now the FRC has to say they weren't played for fools:

From: Family Research Council
To:
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 18:16:41 EST
Subject: Hot News or Hot Air?

Hot News or Hot Air?
To: Friends of Family Research Council
From: Tony Perkins, President
Date: August 4, 2005 - Thursday
==============================
Please forward this to your Friends and Family!
==============================

In This Edition:
--------------------------------------------
1) Hot News or Hot Air?

Hot News or Hot Air?

Today the Los Angeles Times reported that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts did pro bono work on the 1996 Supreme Court case that resulted in the striking down of a Colorado state constitutional amendment that prevented local government from offering protected minority status or preferences based on homosexual or bisexual orientation or conduct. Judge Roberts did the uncompensated legal work on the case, Romer v. Evans, while he was an attorney for the DC law firm Hogan and Hartson. After further investigation we were told that Roberts' role was apparently limited to providing a few hours of participation in a moot court procedure, as he routinely did for all the firm's pro bono clients. More on this as we learn more about this report.


Yup, the Bush team is treating the FRC like the Clinton team treated the HRC. Speaking of the HRC, here's Joe Salmonese's statement circling the wagons on this one.

Judge Roberts involvement in the case is noteworthy, but his participation adds little to our understanding of how he would vote on the court. The stakes are too high for guessing games over Judge Roberts' stance.

The Supreme Court makes critical decisions and it is the nominee's job to guarantee that he will protect individual rights and freedoms on the nation's highest court. Judge Roberts has consistently argued that as an attorney, he has zealously represented the interests of his client, no matter his personal views. Judge Roberts should make clear where he personally stands on important constitutional principles.

It also remains unclear the extent of Roberts' involvement in the case. In fact in a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire Roberts is asked specifically about his pro bono work and he does not mention the case once in his 67-page response. The Senate Judiciary Committee should aggressively and appropriately determine the answers to these questions.


HRC and FRC seem to agree on this one.

And gay conservative blogger North Dallas Thirty hits hard at HRC and Lamda legal, and asks some good questions:

Pull the Strings, the Puppets Dance
As per GayPatriot and The Malcontent, the blogosphere is abuzz this morning over the revelation that Bush Supreme Court nominee John Roberts provided pro bono legal assistance to gay activists arguing the case of Romer vs. Evans, in which the Supreme Court struck down Colorado's antigay Amendment 2 that prevented any form of state government from enacting any form of gay-rights protections.

This is obviously good news. However, this morning, I am seeing red and breathing fire, and there's a very good reason for it. This, more than anything else, lays absolutely bare the degree to which our so-called "gay rights" organizations will whore for Democrats and abortionists at the expense of gay rights.

Strong words, hm? Let me show you why.

Quoting from the Los Angeles Times (emphasis by NDT) [See NDT post for emphasis]:

Jean Dubofsky, lead lawyer for the gay rights activists and a former Colorado Supreme Court justice, said that when she came to Washington to prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court presentation, she immediately was referred to Roberts.

"Everybody said Roberts was one of the people I should talk to," Dubofsky said. "He has a better idea on how to make an effective argument to a court that is pretty conservative and hasn't been very receptive to gay rights."

She said he gave her advice in two areas that were "absolutely crucial."

"He said you have to be able to count and know where your votes are coming from. And the other was that you absolutely have to be on top of why and where and how the state court had ruled in this case," Dubofsky said.

She said Roberts served on a moot court panel as she prepared for oral arguments, with Roberts taking the role of a Scalia-like justice to pepper her with tough questions.

When Dubofsky appeared before the justices, Scalia did indeed demand specific legal citations from the lower-court ruling. "I had it right there at my fingertips," she said.

"John Roberts … was just terrifically helpful in meeting with me and spending some time on the issue," she said. "He seemed to be very fair-minded and very astute."

Dubofsky said Roberts helped her form the argument that the initiative violated the "equal protections" clause of the Constitution.


The points emphasized all lead to one central conclusion -- John Roberts not only gave advice on Romer, which could be done privately and without too much fanfare, he openly and publicly assisted people in preparing arguments and ensuring that they could be successful in front of the high court. In gay parlance, relative to his support on this case, he was not only out of the closet, he was setting the wastebaskets on fire as he walked by.

However, what are the "gay rights" groups saying?

HRC says "John Roberts Threatens to Tip the Supreme Court to the Far Right".

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (emphasis mine):

We especially call upon our allies in the Senate to determine whether Judge Roberts subscribes to the holdings of Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, among other cases, and will affirm that the civil rights and privacy rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are protected by the Constitution.

Finally, and my favorite, Lambda Legal (emphasis again mine):

In nominating Judge John G. Roberts to replace Justice O’Connor on the Supreme Court President Bush has just about guaranteed that divisiveness will continue to reign in the judicial nomination process. Some have suggested that Judge Roberts is well-liked, but with all due respect, we need to know if he will stand up for the rights of all Americans not whether some people think he’s a nice guy.

Really, these comments and allegations are complete and total insults to gays' intelligence. Every single one of these groups allegedly contributed time, money, and expertise (meaning staff) to the legal team in the Romer appeal. Does Lambda, for one, expect us to believe that they had no idea who was giving advice and practice assistance to their co-counsel? What were their people doing when Roberts was shooting questions at Dubofsky in a mock courtroom for the specific purpose of getting her ready to argue the case? Were they jumping door-to-door in Dupont Circle while he was helping her construct the arguments? Were they on their twelfth vodka-and-Seven at JR's while he was giving her his considerable insight on how best to appeal to each justice?

In short, these so-called "gay rights" groups flat-out hid and lied about John Roberts's record. There is no plausible way that they could be unaware of the fact that he assisted the legal team or that he himself helped, as Dubofsky cited above, to construct the argument that Amendment 2 violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment is the one working chance that gays have for arguing for ALL forms of equal protection -- and these groups are opposing and attempting to smear a nominee who has demonstrated that he feels the Fourteenth Amendment DOES apply to gays, and did so on a case that not even the allegedly "gay-friendly" Clinton administration would file a brief stating that they favored. What gives?

The reasons for these groups' studied ignorance and outright mendacity are blatantly obvious when you again review the statements previously cited. When you click on HRC's button, the first reason given to oppose Roberts is that he would "undermine a woman's right to choose". Lambda Legal is even more blatant, inserting an entire paragraph in their press release instructing you to "visit" another portion of their site "to learn more about the connection between reproductive choice and civil rights for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community". NGLTF's insane devotion to promoting and protecting abortion is already well-documented (Matt Foreman's statement that implies nobody knows what Roberts's stance was on Romer is not related, in my opinion, to abortion -- it's just another reminder of how little research he does prior to commenting).

Finally, and perhaps the biggest reason of all, John Roberts was nominated by the Bush administration. That equals automatic disqualification and blocking for Democrats and, like they did for the outing campaign run by Democratic consultants Mike Rogers and John Aravosis, they pay other people to do their smear work for them. Supporting abortion and Democrats at the expense of gay rights is par for the course for many "gay leaders", including current executive director Joe Solmonese and former board member Ellen Malcom, and for all of these organizations that called candidates who supported stripping gays of legal rights (ironically, by state constitutional amendments) pro-gay and gay-supportive. What makes it even easier is that organizations like HRC are run by lobbyists who are completely dependent on Dems for their income, i.e. Hilary Rosen and Mike Berman, and former Democratic staffers, i.e. Joe Solmonese, and are constantly short on cash. It's not hard for Dems to get them to jump on command -- just wave a dollar bill, and they come running over to your window.


Exactly. I happen to be pro-choice on abortion, but think that should this report hold out, groups like HRC and Lamda Legal have some 'splaining to do.

It's interesting the unhinged left Americablog commenters and wingnut right Freepers are both coming up with conspiracy theories on this one.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Roberts Helped Gay Activists Win Romer v Evans

James Dobson is going to have a cow. Wonder how Tony Perkins will respond?

From the LA Times.

Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for a coalition of gay-rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people against discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. While he did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the Supreme court, he was instrumental in reviewing the filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers intimately involved in the case.

ADVERTISEMENT
The coalition won its case, 6-3, in what gay activists described at the time as the movement's most important legal victory. The three dissenting justices were those to whom Roberts is frequently likened for their conservative ideology -- Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Roberts' role working on behalf of gay activists, whose cause is anathema to many conservatives, appears to illustrate his allegiance to the credo of the legal profession: to zealously represent the interests of the client, whoever it might be.

There is no other record of Roberts being involved in gay-rights cases that would suggest his position on such issues. He has stressed, however, that a client's views are not necessarily shared by the lawyer who argues on his or her behalf.

The lawyer who asked for his help on the case, Walter A. Smith Jr., then-head of the pro bono department at Hogan & Hartson, said Roberts didn't hesitate.

"He said, `Let's do it.' And it's illustrative of his open-mindedness, his fair-mindedness. He did a brilliant job," Smith said.

Roberts did not mention his work on the gay-rights case in his 67-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire released Tuesday. The committee asked for "specific instances" in which he had performed pro bono work, how he had fulfilled those responsibilities and the amount of time he had devoted to them.

But Smith said Wednesday that was probably just an oversight because Roberts was not the chief litigator in Romer vs. Evans, which struck down a voter-approved 1992 Colorado initiative that would have allowed employers and landlords to exclude gays from jobs and housing.

"John probably didn't recall (the case) because he didn't play as large a role in it as he did in others," Smith said. "I'm sure John has a record somewhere of every case he ever argued, and Romer he did not argue. So he probably would have remembered it less."

Jean Dubofsky, lead attorney on the case and a former member of the Colorado Supreme Court, said she came to Washington to prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court presentation and immediately was referred to Roberts.

"Everybody said Roberts was one of the people I should talk to," Dubofsky said. "He has a better idea on how to make an effective argument to a court that is pretty conservative, and hasn't been very receptive to gay rights."

She said he gave her advice in two areas that were "absolutely crucial."

"He said you have to be able to count and know where your votes are coming from. And the other was that you absolutely have to be on top of why and where and how the state court had ruled in this case," Dubofsky said.

She said Roberts served on a moot court panel as they prepared for oral arguments in the case, taking the role of a Scalia-like justice in peppering her with tough questions. And when Dubofsky appeared before the justices, Scalia did indeed demand specific legal citations from the lower court ruling. "I had it right there at my fingertips," she said.

"John Roberts ... was just terrifically helpful in meeting with me and spending some time on the issue," she said. "He seemed to be very fair-minded and very astute."

Dubofsky said Roberts helped her form the argument that the initiative was illegal because it violated the "equal protections" clause of the Constitution.


I wonder what HRC will say now.

Confederacy of Dunces

GR Anderson at City Pages blotter has a good post about the pettyness in the Mayoral contest between Peter McLaughlin and RT Rybak.

Americans United Blasts Bush IDiocy

I got this in my email today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bush Endorsement Of 'Intelligent Design' In Public Schools Is Irresponsible, Says Americans United
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
AU's Lynn Criticizes President's Support For Teaching Religion In Science Class

CONTACT

Press:
Joseph Conn, Rob Boston, or Jeremy Leaming
202-466-3234 telephone
202-466-2587 fax
http://www.au.org/

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BUSH ENDORSEMENT OF 'INTELLIGENT DESIGN' IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS IRRESPONSIBLE, SAYS AMERICANS UNITED

AU's Lynn Criticizes President's Support For Teaching Religion In Science Class
President George W. Bush's endorsement of teaching "intelligent design" in the public schools is irresponsible and undermines sound science education, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

During a White House interview with a group of reporters yesterday, Bush was asked whether "intelligent design," the latest version of "creationism," should be taught in public school science courses.

Bush told the reporters that he favors teaching intelligent design "so people can understand what the debate is about."


Standard Discovery Institute talking points.

"I think part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought," Bush said. "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."


More Discovery Institute Talking Points.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, called the president's comments uninformed and reckless.

"The young people of America are ill served by a president who confuses religion with science," Lynn said. "Bush has used his presidential pulpit to advance the ludicrous notion that evolution is in controversy and that 'intelligent design' is legitimate science. Surely, he knows that most religious people see no conflict between Bible teachings and the evidence of science.

"His irresponsible comments will likely score big points with Religious Right leaders, but they undermine the teaching of sound science in the nation's public schools," Lynn said. "The president has demonstrated a disturbing degree of scientific illiteracy, which may also explain his ideologically driven positions in other areas of scientific policy including stem cell research."

Added Lynn, "As a Yale graduate, President Bush should know basic science. Maybe he signed up for Biology 101 but didn't report for duty."

Americans United and the Pennsylvania ACLU are currently challenging an intelligent design mandate in public schools in Dover, Pa. The case is set to go to trial on Sept. 26.

The National Academy of Sciences, which was created in 1863 to provide information on the sciences to Congress and other branches of the federal government, has staunchly opposed teaching religious concepts as if they were sciences. In a 1999 statement, the Academy said, "Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of aspects are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science."

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 ruled that public schools may not teach creationism or "creation science" alongside evolution. In Edwards v. Aguillard, the high court invalidated a state law requiring "creation science" to be taught if evolution were taught. The Court said the state law violated the separation of church and state because it sought "to employ the symbolic and financial support of government to achieve a religious purpose."

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.


Hopefully Judge Roberts will be asked about Edwards v Aguillard.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Wetterling Rumor Update

The rumor that Wetterling was dropping out of the 6th district race is unfounded according to the 6th Congressional DFL Chair. See the details on Dump Michele Bachmann here.

Bush Supports Equal Time for Intelligent Design Creationism in Biology Classes

PZ Myers at Pharyngula lets him have it.

Knight Ridder's article on this suggests Bush is reluctant to get into details. "Bush didn't seem eager to talk about the topic" states the article.

Well duh, this is an issue that even Michele Bachmann likes to stay away from in public.

Monday, August 01, 2005

PZ Myers Kicks Creationist Butt

Again. You go PZ.

Black Pastors Begin to Speak Out for Gay Rights

Keith Boykin:

I could feel the love the moment I walked in the door. Kevin McGruder, Warren Sims, Colin Robinson and others stood at the entrance and greeted us as we walked into the worship hall. Rev. James Forbes, the senior minister of the church, stood nearby. I first met Rev. Forbes years ago when he and I were on Tavis Smiley's show on BET one night debating Tavis's own minister, Bishop Noel Jones of Los Angeles. During the show, I pointed out that Jesus never mentions homosexuality in the Bible, and Bishop Jones (incredibly) disputed that indisputable claim.

I was glad to see that some black ministers like Rev. Forbes were willing to stand up for black gays and lesbians. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, a candidate for mayor, spoke about her own experience with prejudice as a young black girl. She was followed by Dr. Sylvia Rhue, the religious affairs coordinator for the National Black Justice Coalition. Sylvia reminded the audience that there are two types of people in the church: the saints and the aints. Not everybody in church is a saint, she said.

Arun Gandhi, the grandson of legendary Indian spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi, spoke next. Gandhi said he hesitated to come to the event because his wife had been ill. But when he asked his wife, she insisted that he go and spread his message, he said. Gandhi, dressed in a suit with a thick salt-and-pepper beard, told several stories, including one in which a frustrated Christian minister couldn't explain why people weren't responding to his sermons. Gandhi told the man to stop talking about Christianity and start living it.

He also told a story of a powerful king looking for answers to the world. The king goes to a wise man who simply gives him a grain of wheat. The king places the grain in a special box at home and opens it up from time to time to show visitors. But after a year or so he realizes the grain of wheat has not changed anything. One day someone finally gives him the answer. If he had planted that grain of wheat in the soil, it would have grown and helped to create many more grains of wheat. But since he left it in a box, it could do nothing but be seen. Gandhi used this story to explain that those of us who have found peace must not close it up in our own boxes but must instead plant the seeds in others so that they can grow and spread.

Following Gandhi, Krishna Stone, a mother of a 10-year-old girl, spoke to the assembly. Dressed in what appeared to be a Japanese kimono, this fair-skinned black woman told us that our bodies are sacred places not to be hidden but to be enjoyed. She said she liked to think of her own body as an amusement park, a comment which drew laughter and support. Quoting from Dr. Rhue, Stone said that an orgasm is like a kiss from God.

With all the crazy homophobic preaching going on these days, it was refreshing to be in a black worship hall that was not filled with fear of human sexuality. In a service punctuated by Da'rrell Belton's musical selections of "Amazing Grace" and "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," it was the video memorial tribute that left me in tears. As Kenyon Farrow spoke at the microphone, still images of black gays and lesbians who had been victims of violence were projected on the screen behind him.


Pam Spaulding

These voices are so sorely needed right now. For every Rev. Forbes willing to speak out for the rights of gays and lesbians, there are several Rev. Willie Wilsons out there, preaching outrageous bigotry and ignorance to people in the pews. The latter are unashamed of their unhinged public statements bashing gays, and some even form unholy alliances with the Religious Right on "saving marriage" initiatives. Finally, some movement in a positive direction in the relgious black community.