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Wise One
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Wise One » 2009 Apr 04 10:09

The times, they are a'changin'.

:clap: Get used to it. :clap:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Amy Probenski » 2009 Apr 08 10:35

Indeed they are!

With yesterday's multiple announcements/decisions, it is ever clearer what the tide of History is.

I so wish we could dissuade those who still stand in the way. Such people always oppose change that will bring happiness to others, only because those others are "different." They did so when they opposed reforming racial rules against marriage, opposed allowing blacks to vote, opposed allowing women to vote, opposed allowing birth control devices to be sold, etc., ad nauseum.

This is going to happen. It's a certainty that America will recognize unions between a broader class of couples than at present.

It is only this transitional period that is uncomfortable, as it was in all the cases cited above. Please, people, let's all get on board and get quickly to a new set of broader, friendlier, and fairer rules so that as many who want it can enter into publicly recognized, committed relationships with the same rights and privileges that most of already enjoy.

:love10: Just give love a chance.

PS. My heterosexual marriage seems to be just as good today as it was yesterday -- so I'm still looking for the "threat" that those folks in Vermont and Iowa pose to our marriage!

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Juggler
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Juggler » 2009 Apr 22 11:02

Amy Probenski wrote:My heterosexual marriage seems to be just as good today as it was yesterday -- so I'm still looking for the "threat" that those folks in Vermont and Iowa pose to our marriage!

You just don't get it, do you Amy? The threat to marriage is terrible, real, alarming, tragic, horrible!

If this won't convince you, then nothing will.

:joker:

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Neck-aint-red
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2010 Jun 05 08:12

Amy Probenski wrote:This is going to happen. It's a certainty that America will recognize unions between a broader class of couples than at present.

It is only this transitional period that is uncomfortable, ...

Today's news seems to indicate that you hit the nail on its head, Amy.

Times, they are a'changin' as WO said.

:thumbup:

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Amy Probenski » 2010 Jun 14 15:32

Thank you, Neck.

I rarely read his editorials because, as a rule, they are infuriatingly right-wing doctrinaire, trumpeting only ideology at the expense of fact-based, informed analysis.

Imagine my surprise at seeing the editorial below. It actually makes sense! Maybe Jerry bumped his head? One hopes he won't revert back to "normal" soon.
Jerry E. Clark in the Rockbridge Weekly wrote:Gays In The Military: Why Is This Even Being Discussed?

There seems to be some kind of logical disconnect going on in DC these days. Some politicians continue to waste the public’s time with respect to the “gays in the military” so-called issue.

The “issue” is not an issue at all. It comes down to getting religion involved in our national security. This is an emotional item that belongs elsewhere.

In fact, we have no business getting involved with who our fellow men and women wish to love or have a relationship with. We don’t have to like or dislike the sexual preferences of our fellow men and women, but we should respect their personal freedoms.

If there were any evidence that those preferring a so-called “gay” lifestyle impeded our fighting ability or ability to protect our great country in any manner, let the proponents of that evidence show up in a public forum and put it on the table.

They won’t show up because there is no such evidence; it’s all just emotion and religious-based opposition. That’s fine. Americans have the right to believe what they wish about such things. But it has no place in public policy and it attempts to create a new kind of second class group of citizens.

This debate is basically over and has been for decades. To go on and on about it is to totally waste the public’s time. The real issues are national security, war fighting ability and competence.

When somebody can show that sexual preference of one kind or another detracts from their operation of a weapon, a guidance system or other critical military function, then we’ll stand corrected. In the meantime, let’s get back to fighting our wars and common sense.

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Wise One
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Wise One » 2010 Jun 22 11:14

They are mean-spirited everywhere, but naturally they are meanest of all in Texas.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Uji
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Proposition 8 Struck Down

Postby Uji » 2010 Aug 12 09:24

Last week, Judge Vaughn Walker issued a highly anticipated ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger striking down California’s Proposition 8 – which amended California’s state constitution to restrict marriage to “a man and a woman” – on the grounds that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. This first edition of the Madia Law newsletter seeks to examine the impact of this decision on potential civil rights actions alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

I. What was the reasoning of the Perry decision?

Judge Walker invalidated Proposition 8 on two grounds: a) it violated the
Fourteenth Amendment’s “due process” clause; and b) it violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause.

The “due process” clause mandates that when the government passes legislation that burdens the exercise of fundamental rights, the government regulation must survive a very exacting review to ensure that it is narrowly drawn to accomplish a compelling governmental interest. Marriage is a fundamental right, so, in this case, Judge Walker applied “strict scrutiny” to Proposition 8 determine whether it was narrowly written to achieve important governmental objectives.

The “equal protection” clause seeks to ensure that states cannot deprive any person of equal protection under the law. Generally speaking, unless legislation creates a classification based on highly suspect criteria – such as race or religion – courts will presume the law is valid provided that it is simply rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest. Courts have traditionally demonstrated a high degree of deference when applying this “rational basis” test for classifications other than race, religion, ethnicity, and in some cases, gender. The Supreme Court has never held sexual orientation to be a highly suspect class, so Judge Walker analyzed Proposition 8 in the context of whether it was merely rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest.

Judge Walker held that Proposition 8 could survive neither the “strict scrutiny” nor “rational basis” tests of the Fourteenth Amendment. He found particularly important that the proponents of Proposition 8 failed to establish any evidentiary basis for the purported governmental interests they claimed were served by the proposition. He noted that Proposition 8’s proponents did not even call to testify many of the witnesses they originally claimed would provide evidentiary foundation to their case. Further, the judge dismissed the testimony of the proponents’ chief expert, founder of the Institute for American Values think tank, David Blankenhorn, on the grounds that he had no educational background in psychology, sociology, or anthropology, and his purported expertise regarding the effects of same-sex marriage was based on “reading articles and having conversations with people, and trying to be an informed person about it.”

Judge Walker contrasted the lack of evidence presented by Proposition 8’s proponents to the parade of psychologists, economists, historians, social epidemiologists, and political scientists presented by the plaintiffs to establish that no secular purpose supported Proposition 8. Judge Walker concluded that there was no evidence California had any legitimate interest in excluding gays and lesbians from marriage. He further found that “many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples.”

The will of California voters in passing Proposition 8 by referendum had no bearing on Judge Walker’s decision: “That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

II. What does the Perry decision mean for regulations in other states discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation?

Many states have passed state constitutional amendments or other regulations
similar to Proposition 8. Several states, including Florida, Mississippi, and Utah have passed legislation regulating or prohibiting the ability of gays and lesbians to adopt children.

The Perry decision does not serve as legal precedent to invalidate those laws because it comes from a different jurisdiction. However, parties will cite and use the reasoning and analysis in Perry when attempting to persuade courts in other states to invalidate such regulations.

Specifically, parties will likely use the unusually detailed analysis by Judge Walker of California’s purported governmental interest in Proposition 8 even under the traditionally forgiving “rational basis” standard of review. For example, parties challenging laws banning gay and lesbian adoption of children may use the Perry example to force state officials defending such legislation to produce a solid evidentiary basis demonstrating the state’s legitimate interest in such bans. “Tradition” alone cannot suffice as a legitimate state interest. If Perry is an indication, defenders of such legislation may have a difficult time providing a substantive evidentiary basis justifying such laws. Parties may then use Perry to encourage courts to engage in a detailed review of the lack of such evidence in order to invalidate the laws, even while applying the traditionally deferential “rational basis” test.

III. Will the Perry decision have any impact on cases involving sexual orientation discrimination by private employers?

Not on private employers – but most certainly on government employers. Perry struck down discriminatory legislation in California based on the Fourteenth Amendment. Because the U.S. Constitution restricts actions by the government – not private actors – Perry will likely not serve as controlling or persuasive authority in employment discrimination suits, unless such suits involve a government employer.

In just such a case, Madia Law has teamed with another firm to represent a former police officer alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against his former police department employer. Because the police department is a government employer, we have been able to allege several causes of action, including violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. The Perry decision will certainly serve as useful precedent in our case.

In order to prevent discrimination by private employers based on sexual orientation, the U.S. Congress must pass pending (and overdue) legislation. In the meantime, many states, including Minnesota, have passed statutes prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

:salut:

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Neck-aint-red
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2010 Aug 18 05:59

Thank you Uji for highlighting this. It is an important step toward what should be regarded as a properly inexorable step toward equality of a subjugated class in America.

I have a certain whipsawed feeling, though, since each of these major steps forward seems to be followed shortly by a few small steps backward. Nevertheless, the trend forward seems clear, thankfully.

On the other hand that nutty Supreme Court, packed with Bush activist ideologues, cannot be counted on to act in the interest of freedom to protect constitutional rights.

Until we get one more temperate judge, those wackos could rule to reinforce prejudice with the force of law.

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Amy Probenski
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Good Sense is Catching, even in Rockbridge

Postby Amy Probenski » 2010 Sep 06 00:07

Don't Ask, Don't Tell 'Insanity' Must End
Aug. 30, 2010
Editor, The News-Gazette:

Our Virginia senators, Webb and Warner, will have a historic opportunity as early as this month to vote away the insanity we know as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) law and policy. I hope they take it. During one week in August alone, we were witness to three high-profile examples of why DADT reduces our military readiness and ruins productive careers for no reasons rationally related to qualifications or performance on the job.

First, Army Capt. Jonathan Hopkins was involuntarily discharged under DADT. He was ranked No. 4 overall of the 933 graduates of his West Point class in 2001, and later endured three difficult tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning three bronze star medals, one for valor.

Second, Cadet Katherine Miller resigned from West Point and is transferring to Yale. She was ranked ninth overall in her class of over 1,100 cadets. She wrote that in “attempting to adhere to [the DADT policy] and retain my integrity, I am retrospectively convinced that I am unable to live up to the Army values as long as the [DADT] policy remains in place.”

Finally, Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach filed a lastditch federal law suit to block his imminent discharge after almost 19 years as a fighter pilot. Suffice it to say of Col. Fehrenbach that, in addition to his having earned nine air medals during 88 combat missions in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, he was personally chosen to defend the skies over Washington after 9/11.

After spending multi-millions of dollars to educate and train these outstanding people, why are we now firing them or forcing them into resigning? I know that I am repeating myself, but the insanity of DADT must be ended, and Senators Webb and Warner have the votes to help make this happen now.

E.A. LEONARD
Retired U.S. Army colonel
Rockbridge County

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lexingtonrick
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby lexingtonrick » 2010 Sep 08 15:21

Should Same-Sex Marriages be Legalized? A different prospective.

In a nutshell those against same-sex marriage say:

*Most religions consider homosexuality a sin.

*It would weaken the definition and respect for the institution of marriage (already suffering a 50% failure rate with 2nd and 3rd marriages failing in even greater percentages).

*It would further weaken the traditional family values essential to our society.

*It could provide a slippery slope in the legality of marriage (e.g.. having multiple wives or marrying a pet could be next).

*The gay lifestyle is not something to be encouraged.

Those in favor of same-sex marriage say:

*The main reason for denying marriage to gay couples is that all major religions consider homosexuality a sin. However homosexuality, most evidence shows, has a biological causation (Sorry bible thumpers, apparently God made some people that way then forgot to mention it).

*Same-sex marriage doesn't hurt society or anyone in particular. It is a personal commitment. If the church or certain groups disapprove, that's their right, but it isn't their right to stop it. Civil and religious marriages are two separate institutions.

*Marriage benefits should be available to all couples. Marriage is about commitment and responsibility. And with marriage comes additional legal status, benefits as well as responsibilities. It affects many things in society such as tax filing status, joint ownership of property, insurance benefits, and legal and financial responsibilities to one's mate.

Right off the top it is apparent that religious considerations are not going to be the deciding factor. Or perhaps I should say shouldn't be. The separation of church and state makes that clear.

The ban against interracial marriage was struck down on the basis of civil rights (over the protests of traditionalists and many churches). The creation of legal mixed race marriage became the law of the land and a traditional family had a new dynamic.

Something else has became the law of the land and for me it adds considerable weight to the discussion:

When adoption by gays as single parents, and in joint custody (with stepparents) became the law in 11 states a new dimension was added, a family could now consist of one or two gay parents and adopted or fostered children.
This rule of law acknowledges the legal adoption of children by gays but does not legally recognize those who are in a committed relationship prepared to be responsible for those children.

Perhaps there is lingering concern if gays can be really good parents?

A number of professional medical organizations -- including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association -- have issued statements claiming that a parent's sexual orientation is irrelevant to his or her ability to raise a child. A couple of decades of study indicate that adopted children with same-sex parent's fare about the same as those raised in the traditional male/female family............. it still comes down to having the ability to raise a child.

Opposition to Gay Marriage while at the same time recognizing the legality of gay adoption makes little or no sense. If a stable, committed and responsible two parent family is preferable then both the state and religious institutions should be in favor of legally sanctioned civil marriages and the legal protections they would enjoy simply because it strengthens this new family dynamic.

In the U.S., there are 270,000 children living with same-sex couples. Of these, one-quarter, or 65,000, have been adopted http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitu ... apshot.pdf. If same-sex marriages become legal more adoptions may be possible.

simple1

Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby simple1 » 2010 Oct 24 17:45

'marriage' is nothing but a piece of paper.....how many "single" parents are out there? how many "marriages" end in DIVORCE??? is it better to leave kids in a 'state' home where NO love or nurturing is given? that's why so many adoptions occur OUTSIDE the US. or is it against your so-called christian right to approve that! gay or so-called "straight :surprised: " can't stay married longer than a few years...we all get the "itch' for something new, even you so-called christian hypocrites!!!

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Trend Setter
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Trend Setter » 2011 Jan 01 12:46

Lawrence Goodall in the News Gazette published Dec 29, 2010 wrote:One More Piece Of Bigotry Erased In The United States

Editor, The News-Gazette:

I was born in 1944 in Richmond. I rode buses where the back exit door was the segregation line: whites in front; blacks to the rear. The Byrd machine and our governor, J. Lindsay Almond Jr., told us that we had to massively resist the federal mandate to integrate. We closed our schools. We forbade interracial marriage. We allowed blacks to serve us at lunch counters but not sit beside us.

But things did change. Landmark Supreme Court decisions overturned anti-miscegenation laws (Loving vs. Virginia), a new moral momentum elected decent and honorable governors like Linwood Holton.

A crowning achievement along this path was the election of the nation’s first black governor, Douglas Wilder.

Last Saturday the United States Congress continued in that tradition of decency and tolerance when it overturned “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in our military. Senators Warner and Webb cast a vote to help us erase one more piece of bigotry and prejudice. It was a vote to ensure that all Americans regardless of sexual preference are treated equally. Our senators stood tall with the likes of Gov. Linwood Holton. It’s unfortunate that U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte chose to stand with the likes of J. Lindsay Almond Jr.

LAWRENCE GOODALL
Lexington

ParkerLongbaugh

Gay/ Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell

Postby ParkerLongbaugh » 2011 Jan 04 15:51

I had a conversation about this with some family over the holidays, and many were surprised to hear my personal experiences with this poll. I thought maybe some of the local community here might be interested as well...

I was one of the folks selected to participate, and I did so. But the poll itself, the manner it was conducted and the published results (as well as the media reports thereof) made me go hmmmm, given what I know firsthand about the poll... :hmm:

1. The poll was over 100 questions in length, and asked primarily about experiences and observations. I don't know how many folks have experiences with polls, but that is LONG and tedious to participate in.

2. The poll was promised to be anonymous, but we had to use our chipped ID card to log in in order to participate. Several mil folks I talked to did not participate due to that issue and the lack of belief in true privacy of the answers. Many of us have had comments or such come back to bite us, sometimes from surprising sources and on surprising topics. For example, many of the questions were about "Have you served with a gay or lesbian military member?" or "Have you observed problems with gay or lesbian service members?" (not exact quotes) A leader answering yes to something like that certainly opens himself to problems under current regulation, and many of my peers cited that concern.

3. The final response rate was a little under 28%, meaning 72% of the folks who were contacted and directed to participate in the poll did not do so. :dontknow:

4. At the end of the survey, a chance was given to connect and live talk with someone about questions or concerns about the poll. This feature never worked- I tried it several times personally and was always told nobody was available.

5. On December 24th, I received a letter from the DoD dated 6 October about the survey. Nice process management there... :thumdwn:

So when the regs change shortly, they'll change and we'll drive on with the new rules. But I am not very trusting of the stats and such on it being reported, having seen the sausage-making process firsthand this time. :sigh:

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Wise One
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Re: Some Observations on the Mil's Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Poll

Postby Wise One » 2011 Jan 04 20:46

Thanks for sharing your personal experience with this poll.

My first reaction when asked to respond to polls is always, "Go away, don't bother me, I have better uses for my time." But the consequences for this particular one are important enough that I would have broken my usual rule.

I share your concern about the assurances of anonymity, given that you were required to provide a unique identifier. This is too bad, because technical means exist that allow the survey operator to enforce unbreakable anonymity, while also guaranteeing no more than one response from an individual. They rely on variants of public/private key encryption techniques. If they had been employed and explained in credible terms, this concern could have been allayed.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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...

Postby Crux » 2011 Jan 04 20:52

"So when the regs change shortly, they'll change and we'll drive on with the new rules".

I expect the new rules will only be a pain in the butt for a couple in every hundred or more

The actions and consequences will be far less in some services, than in others for sure.

Most will simply roll with it in the normal course of life and living.
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Neck-aint-red
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Powerful

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2011 Feb 04 00:49

Bigots try and try and try to impose their hatred. This is why, ultimately, they will fail.

[youtube]FSQQK2Vuf9Q[/youtube]

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Sam
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Re: Prejudice & Proposition 8

Postby Sam » 2011 Feb 04 02:01

defination - A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions---------

I would say there are qite a few on this forum hey what do you say Pal.
Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as
"extremists

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Crux
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WHHHAAAAAHHHH!!!

Postby Crux » 2011 Feb 04 06:58

RedNeck, Is that you crying again?

I was reading about GOPROUD.org last night... You know what that is?
Do you know they are annually at the CPAC convention. Suuurrree, some social conservative group wishes to again boycott the convention. Still, Andrew Breitbart of biggovernment.com is on the GOPROUD advisory board and will host a party with GOPROUD...

The Left is full of it's own blatant ideological intolerances sewn into the fabric of their BIG FLIMSY TENT... :baby:

crux
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Gay/ Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell

Postby Amy Probenski » 2011 Jul 25 22:26

Yes, the worst happened. My husband and I, until last week, thought we were very happily married. Then they went and legalized gay marriage in New York.

The conservatives were right. Gay marriage is a huge threat to our heterosexual marriage.

No, neither of us are gay nor do we have tendencies in that direction. We just liked it better when gays were forced to be miserable and suffer second class status. It pisses the hell out of us that gay people might be happy. Our shared schadenfreude over gay misery was the only thing holding us together. We can't stand each other anymore.

Unless we can find some other group suffering in misery that we can despise and smirk over, fast, we may have to divorce.

Damn you, gay marriage.

Whoopi wrote:If you don't like gay marriage, then don't marry a gay person.

ParkerLongbaugh

Re: Gay/ Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell

Postby ParkerLongbaugh » 2011 Jul 26 08:10

I've resigned from participating in the absurd political childishness that all of the left-right/conservative-liberal shouting matches on here always turn into. And apparently that now includes my own threads too, which I very much tried to just keep informative and non-political. Thanks a lot... :shakeh: