Justice Scalia explains why Kim Davis should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or find a new job http://t.co/9ZuR1riM4w— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 2, 2015
Kim Davis has no where else to go, except perhaps to jail. Below, Steve Kornacki asks her attorney, Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel, where her asserted "religious liberty" to use her government post to impose her religious views on others stops. Would she have the right to refuse to issue a marriage license to a divorced person seeking to remarry? Congrats to Kornacki for asking that question with a straight face, given the fact that Davis herself has had three divorces despite her deep devotion to the teachings of Jesus.
Supreme Court says Kentucky clerk must let gay couples marry http://t.co/UKqlCfwQ0I— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 1, 2015
Kim Davis does not like the rulings she has been getting in court. We are clear on that. But she has now lost procedurally in three courts. With SCOTUS having denied a stay, she must now issue marriage licenses to the gay couples or she will be in contempt of court. There is a process for removing her from office, which should now commence. Her religious freedom has nothing to do with it. She is not acting as an officer of a closely held private corporation, as in the Hobby Lobby case, but as a government official. What she has sought to impose is not religious freedom (which belongs to all) but religious supremacy for her particular belief. That is establishment of religion, which is clearly prohibited by the First Amendment.
Davis's case can now proceed on its merits, but the multiple denials of her requested stay indicate that her chances of prevailing are considered dim. Justice Kagan, who handles stay requests for the Sixth Circuit, forwarded her request to the full Supreme Court, and there was no indication of a dissent in the denial of a stay.
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."
#CampaignZero #StraightOuttaCompton #BlackLivesMatter #HugoAwards
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.
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?"
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.
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