1998 posts categorized "Legal"

August 27, 2015

Why the Rentboy raid is about way more than just sex work

Rand Paul's patronizing, self-parodying response to #BlackLivesMatter

An interactive guide to police killings and the system that excuses them

Above the Keyboard Warriors’ Din

Keyboard_insert_by_Bigstock

In my Blade column this week, artists and activists overcome the background noise:

Hyenas would be better conversationalists, I sometimes think as I scan political arguments on social media. This is not unlike a Republican presidential debate, where a Bad Lip Reading parody is just as enlightening as the original.

When former president Jimmy Carter spoke candidly and with good humor last week about his cancer, millions were inspired by his serenity, humility, and grace. But the next day, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attacked him. When I said on Facebook that I recently read Carter's 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and found it fair and reasonable, I was met with scorn by someone who had not read it.

This reckless speed is all too common in public forums. So let us look at a few examples of activists and artists rising above the din of the keyboard warriors to propose useful reforms or tell their stories in ways that help us see differently.

After weeks of squabbles by various people over direct-action tactics in the Black Lives Matter movement, policy solutions were issued by activists DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett, and Samuel Sinyangwe. The effort, called Campaign Zero, is described as a "comprehensive platform to create systems and structures to end police violence." Their detailed plans (see joincampaignzero.org) are informed proposals by practical public policy advocates, notwithstanding sniping and trivializing like that of a self-described anarchist I encountered on Twitter.

The #CampaignZero planning team writes, "Police in England, Germany, Australia, Japan, and even cities like Newark, NJ, and Richmond, CA, demonstrate that public safety can be ensured without killing civilians. By implementing the right policy changes, we can end police killings and other forms of police violence in the United States."

Read the whole thing here.

#CampaignZero #StraightOuttaCompton #BlackLivesMatter #HugoAwards

Kentucky clerk vows to die fighting gay marriage

Well then he can just forget having Voices of Kentuckiana sing at his funeral.

Appeals court: Rowan County clerk can't keep denying marriage licenses during appeal

August 24, 2015

John Oliver: ‘Long Past Time’ to End LGBT Discrimination in America

August 23, 2015

Gay Rights and the Race Analogy

An essay by John Corvino.

RNC endorses 'Indiana on steroids' religious freedom bill

Thousands rally in Kentucky against anti-gay county clerks

Ellen Page confronts Ted Cruz: 'You’re discriminating against LGBT people'

Sen. Cruz simply turns the truth on its head and portrays discriminators as victims of persecution. That only makes sense if gay people are not human beings, or not rightful citizens, or if there is no secular public space. What Cruz and others call religious freedom is really religious supremacy for them over the rest of us. We have no choice but to fight back.

August 21, 2015

'We can end police violence in America' - #CampaignZero

#CampaignZero local policy agenda

DeRay McKesson and his colleagues release their local policy agenda to end police violence.

#CampaignZero state policy agenda

DeRay McKesson and his colleagues release their state policy agenda to end police violence.

#CampaignZero federal policy agenda

DeRay McKesson and his colleagues release their federal policy agenda to end police violence.

Illinois becomes fifth state protect youth from conversion therapy

Congrats to our colleagues in Illinois, and welcome to the club!

Scott Walker, translated

Jeb and Jindal on dropping babies

In a long-ago Doonesbury cartoon, Joanie Caucus says to her dying friend after he and his doctor trade some gallows humor, "How can you joke about this?" He replies, "How can you not?"

Rep. Nadler supports Iran Nuclear accord, condemns troubling rhetoric

Thank you, Congressman.

August 20, 2015

Panti Bliss, Ireland's accidental activist

Progressive Groups Ask Obama To End Bush-Era Religious Protection

GLAA is a signatory to this letter.

August 19, 2015

Chelsea Manning found guilty for having expired toothpaste

Merits of her case aside, the treatment of Chelsea Manning is a disgrace.

Book ban in Venice ignites a gay rights battle

August 18, 2015

Decriminalizing the sex trade

Thanks to Councilmember Grosso.

GLAA discusses the issue in our latest policy brief.

The recent Washington Post commentary misses a key point. Keeping commercial sex on the black market makes sex workers less safe. Legalization does not solve everything, but it would help with that. Regulation and inspection are also needed. And of course alternatives are crucial, otherwise consent is illusory. Consent implies choices, which are all too often absent for (say) trans women of color who were driven into sex work because of transphobia and discrimination.

The arrests currently being boasted of by MPD generate criminal records, which only make it harder for the sex workers to get better and safer work. Imperfect solutions may still improve things for the marginalized populations that are most at risk. Equating all sex work with human trafficking is false and counterproductive. Disapproval of commercial sex does not make it the same as kidnapping and slavery. If we cannot make these distinctions, we are doing no favors to the ladies on the stroll who are there to avoid starvation and who are kept there by public policy.

August 15, 2015

Cost of treating transgender troops called negligible

Stars and Stripes reports. Another anti-trans myth collapses under scrutiny.

Chris Christie Laughs About Veto of Trans Birth Certificate Bill

Gov. Christie thinks the rights of trans people are laughable. What is laughable is that this smug bully is the governor of a state, much less a presidential candidate. But the rights of our transgender brothers and sisters are no laughing matter. The legal denial of trans people's existence is cruel, pointless, and must stop.

Our friend Andy Bowen at Garden State Equality comments:

Hey Governor Chris Christie: 33 trans women have been murdered in the US in the last two years. Our survival is ‪#‎nolaughingmatter‬

Mississippi’s gay adoption ban somehow still exists—but not for long

Texas School Board Nixes Vote On LGBT Protections

August 13, 2015

Walter Dellinger on arguing before SCOTUS

My friend Walter Dellinger talks about his experience arguing before the Supreme Court, including when he was Acting Solicitor General under President Clinton during the 1996-1997 term.

August 11, 2015

White supremacy, racism killed Sandra Bland

I neglected to post this commentary last week. Our friend Lateefah Williams illuminates the structural racism behind the death in custody of Sandra Bland by sharing her own degrading experiences. Thanks to her for sharing this personal testimony. Those of us privileged enough not to face such treatment need to learn from those who do.

Christie again vetoes trans birth certificate bill

As @JoeSudbay says, "Such a prick."

Australia government debate exposes deep rift over #marriageequality

Stabber who killed teen at Jerusalem Pride admitted to psychiatric ward

Kenyan pastor and his partner marry, have to flee

Appeals court upholds clause in D.C. hate crimes law

August 07, 2015

Obama Allies Blast Schumer, Talk of New Leader

I am with these critics. Schemer's action in opposing this crucial peacemaking deal cannot be rewarded.

August 06, 2015

A man and his lawnmower

Kerry visits Malaysia, raises opposition leader’s sodomy conviction

Anwar Ibrahim's conviction on a trumped-up sodomy charge was one of the grimmer signs of the lack of democracy in Malaysia. Having loved someone from Malaysia who was heartbroken over it, I thank Secretary of State Kerry for having raised the matter. But as long as gay love is demonized, corrupt rulers will exploit it.

Voting Rights Act at 50

Texas ID law called breach of Voting Rights Act

Good news from Texas.