Elena Kagan: Anti-Anti-Discriminationist

June 14, 2010

In short, if the position she took in a 1996 memo is her position, then she might as well be a hand-picked candidate of the christianist dominionists.

Duncan Osborne turned up a 1996 memo from Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan arguing that religious freedom should trump compliance with state anti-discrimination laws.

A case involved a straight couple in California that wanted to rent an apartment so they lied and said they were married until they signed the lease. Afterwards, they admitted that they weren’t and the landlord broke the contract, saying her religion meant hat she couldn’t rent to an unmarried couple. The state of California found in favor of the couple, and the landlord took the case to the Supreme Court to overturn the California court’s decision. She was represented by the Concerned Women for America[], and here’s Elena Kagan, in 1996, arguing that the Clinton Administration should file a brief on her behalf:

“The plurality’s reasoning seems to me quite outrageous almost as if a court were to hold that a state law does not impose a substantial burden on religion because the complainant is free to move to another state,” wrote Kagan, who has been nominated to serve on the US Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, in an August 4, 1996 memo. “[G]iven the importance of this issue to the President and the danger this decision poses to [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s] guarantee of religious freedom in the State of California, I think there is an argument to be made for urging the Court to review and reverse the decision.”[…]

In her 1996 memo, Kagan said she was told that the Solicitor General, the office that handles government litigation before the US Supreme Court, was not joining the application.

“The deadline for filing is next week (though the SG’s office can of course ask for an extension), so if we want the SG’s office to reverse its decision, we will have to act very quickly,” Kagan wrote. Quinn’s handwritten response on the memo is indecipherable. It is not clear that the Clinton administration joined the petition.

How many Americans are tired of people getting away with anything just because they say that their religion compels them to do something?

We all know that ‘religious freedom’ means ‘freedom to live the way that christianist dominionists demand that you live – or else.’

Looks like the anti-constitutionist bloc on the SCOTUS is about to get its fifth vote.

So much for believing  that McCain lost in 2008, eh?

Again: Who Actually ‘Recruits’?

June 13, 2010

From the Bowling Green (Ky) Daily News:


Jimmy Harston lives on a quiet farm six miles north of Scottsville, but his messages along some of the busiest interstate highways in America are loud and clear.

“I didn’t really know what to put up at first, and I prayed about it,” he said.

For years, Harston has sought out places for billboards on the private property of landowners who, like Harston, wanted to express their Christian beliefs. The signs, which can be seen from the interstate, bear content such as parts of the Ten Commandments, “Hell is Real,” “If You Died Today Where Would You Spend Eternity?” and “Jesus Saves.”

“I put these up for the people who wants them on their property. They want the signs on their property,” he said. “The Lord put this on me … to do, and it’s not easy to do … and I don’t think I put up as many as I should.”

“I’m just a country boy that the Lord saved when I was a young man,” Harston said. “They’re just religious signs, and there may be some people out there that don’t know, and it may make them think.

In other words, he’s recruiting.

Think about that when next you hear christianists say that they have the right to dispatch certain types of people because said certain types of people allegedly ‘recruit.’

The Wants of the Infinitessimal Percentage of LGBs Who Desire a Career in the Military Trump the Desperate Need of Trans People For Basic Equality – Thank Gay, Inc.

June 11, 2010

From Pam’s House Blend:

I guess Congress can’t multitask. How does it make you feel about the federal legislative body being too feeble to put civil rights on the front burner? The disappointment is felt less in states where there are protections in place, but for those of us in flyover country without state-level ENDAs, any delay leaves LGBTs twisting in the wind, vulnerable to losing their jobs.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday said that a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act wouldn’t take place until Congress completes legislative action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

I’ll comment later.

Right now, I’m too angry for words.


June 9, 2010

Well, where trans lives are concerned that would appear to be the case.

A day later:


Incremental progress…

Its a lie.

Always has been, always will be.

ESPA: Organization or Myth?

June 8, 2010

It would have been more appropriate for me to do these screen snaps while the hearing was going on this morning, but the equipment I had access to then didn’t permit me to do so.

So, here we have the front page of the website of the Empire State Pride Agenda as of a few minutes ago:

Yes, there’s a block generally referring to GENDA.

Anything specific which would give anyone a hint that something was afoot with GENDA this week?

If there is, I don’t see it.

How about what one would find on the GENDA-specific page?

Specifics about this week?


BTW, here’s an enlargement of that last bullet point:


Uh huh….

Well, what about press releases?

Uh huh….

I ask all of you: On June 8, 2010, what is more important to your life – passing GENDA or Ross Levi’s big payday?

A Suggestion for a New GENDA Strategy: Tack Gay Marriage Onto the Bill, Then Maybe the Gay Sponsor of the Thing Will Bother to Show Up for Committee Hearings On it

June 8, 2010

From Jill Weiss at Bilerico:

A hearing was held today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill was voted down 12 to 11.

I listened in on a live webcast, and it was orchestrated very poorly. The first two speakers raised the issues of bathrooms and teachers. The supporters didn’t really seem to know their lines.

I know, we shouldn’t attack our allies; we should be grateful. Yes, thank you. But when they’re frankly unprepared to advocate well, we need to say so.

Oh, and there was the usual New York Senate intrigue and treachery. Senator Lanza originally voted yes, and then, after a harangue from Senator Diaz, changed his vote to no. That one vote change killed the bill. GENDA lay face down on the floor, with Senator Lanza’s knife in its back.

In short, this was Amateur Hour. Clearly, they didn’t bring their A-game to this effort.

The most damning observation comes at the end of her notes about the hearing itself (the audio of which, from what I gather from the NY Senate’s website, will be available soon):

Speaker 8: Where is the sponsor, Senator Tom Duane? I thought the idea of the new committee rules was to make this a better process. If the sponsor isn’t here to hear our thought process, how can this bill be made better?

Yes, there could have been a legitimate reason for him not being there.  No snarks here, I mean that.  People do get sick and/or have real family emergencies.  And if that comment from ‘Speaker 8′ proves not to accurately reflect the situation, I’ll update this post accordingly.

I must, however, note that Duane was in attendance for the floor vote on the don’t-tell-me-that-it-didn’t-suck-all-LGBT-New-York-State-political-capital-down-the-crapper gay marriage bill a while back.

I’m just observin’.

Moreover, I’m also repeatin’: Gay-first ‘incremental progress’ is a lie.  Always has been.  Always will be.


June 7, 2010

That’s the e-mail you need to send comments to regarding this Oklahoma City theocrat:

One of Oklahoma City’s council members voted against issuing a special event permit for the upcoming gay pride celebration because it runs counter to his Christian beliefs.

“I don’t want my vote to be construed as support, because I really don’t support that, the same way that I wouldn’t support a group of, say, pedophiles who wanted to assemble,” council member Brian Walters said, according to Oklahoma City’s Journal Record. “I would not vote yes on that either, [or] men who beat up their wives. Anything like that.”

So, has he also introduced legislation to ban catholic churches in Oklahoma City?

The ghost of Bill Hicks – as well as inquiring minds belonging to people who understand that, in the United States, the government cannot endorse religion by restricting the freedom to speak and assemble to those endorsed by one certain religion – want to know.