The fingers have been flying recently, writing letters to the editor. Our local paper, The Visalia Times Delta, published on October 24 a letter bemoaning the recently passed SB 1172. The California legislature passed, and Governor Brown signed, legislation that outlaws “reparative” therapy for anyone under the age of 18. Predictably, the right wing is furious with this blatant usurpation of parental rights. The writer of Wednesday’s letter seems to feel that parental rights trump any other concerns, and that disproven and harmful therapies are justifiable if parents think they are acceptable. I wrote a response. You can read both after the jump.
October 27, 2012
June 16, 2012
It’s weird, every now and then, how things work out.
For years, various political figures have issued proclamations honoring June as LGBT Pride Month. Whether a Mayor of a major city, or the President of the United States, the whereas‘s and the therefore‘s have highlighted the triumphs and tragedies of the gay pride movement across the United States, and marked the month in remembrance. Some cities do it every year, Presidents (who are Democrats) issue one annually, and other government bodies sometimes do and sometimes don’t.
This is the story of Visalia’s LGBT Pride Month proclamation.
It was all quite accidental.
May 26, 2011
August 4, 2010
The United States Court for the Northern District of California has ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional, and has declared it invalid. A stay was issued, so same-sex marriages will not begin again, while the opposition appeals.
Read the ruling here.
June 8, 2010
February 25, 2010
I’m a frequent reader/contributor at the online forums of the local paper, the Visalia Times Delta. There’s been an ongoing “discussion” about gay rights, and a recent post about how ‘nobody cares about you being gay’ spurred me to write a rebuttal. The typical ‘if you’d just stay in the closet everybody would be happy’ bullshit was spread around again, so I fired off a salvo in reply. I’ve reposted it here after the fold. You can read the entire thread, if you wish, here.
Follow the link below for the rest of my post…
February 7, 2010
Proposition 22. Proposition 8. Ballot initiatives in Maine. Almost anywhere there is legal recognition for our relationships, some right-wing religious nutjob is trying to destroy them. In some places, they’re winning, at least for the moment.
But stop and think for a moment. This is what they are fighting against:
Lord Alfred Douglas, in 1894, called it “The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name”. Things have changed some since then, but there are still people out there that want to shove it back into silence. Force it back into the dark corners and hidden places, remove all mention of it from public discourse. For them, only swift and severe condemnation is acceptable. Any other conversation about the subject is immediately labeled “promoting homosexuality”.
It has bothered me for some time why this is so. Why the rabid response to the issue any time it comes up? I think I’ve figured it out…
October 21, 2009
Many have asked about the rights and benefits that are denied to same-sex couples. Following is a summary report from the GAO of the 1,138 federal rights and benefits provided via DOMA to married couples. These rights don’t even begin to address the those granted to married couples by the state.
Defense of Marriage Act: Update to Prior Report
GAO-04-353R January 23, 2004
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) provides definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” that are to be used in construing the meaning of a federal law and, thus, affect the interpretation of a wide variety of federal laws in which marital status is a factor. In 1997, we issued a report identifying 1,049 federal statutory provisions classified to the United States Code in which benefits, rights, and privileges are contingent on marital status or in which marital status is a factor. In preparing the 1997 report, we limited our search to laws enacted prior to September 21, 1996, the date DOMA was signed into law. Recently, Congress asked us to update our 1997 compilation. We have identified 120 statutory provisions involving marital status that were enacted between September 21, 1996, and December 31, 2003. During the same period, 31 statutory provisions involving marital status were repealed or amended in such a way as to eliminate marital status as a factor. Consequently, as of December 31, 2003, our research identified a total of 1,138 federal statutory provisions classified to the United States Code in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving benefits, rights, and privileges.
Click to download the full report.