Saturday, August 30, 2014

Michael Sam, first openly gay NFL draft pick, cut by St. Louis Rams

The St. Louis Rams in the National Football League have cut draft prospect Michael Sam, the first openly gay draft pick in the NFL.  The team said that the decision was based strictly on football performance, and there were no tensions with the players.  CBS News has the story here.  Sam had been vying for a position for which there is a lot of competition and not a lot of flexibility.

Sam was said to have a reasonable chance to land a spot with another team.

We expect to see more openly gay players in other sports in the coming years, including MLB.
Update:  Sam will get a trial with the Dallas Cowboys.  Attitudes in Texas have changed since I lived there in the 1980s.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Head of Equality Maryland arrested at immigration rally at White House

Carrie Evans, head of Equality Maryland, was arrested at an immigration-related rally in Washington near the White House today.  The Baltimore Sun story is here
Evans objected to the deportation of illegal immigrant children from Central America. Her remarks reflected certain views on inherited privilege. 
It’s worth giving the link for US Citizenship and Immigration Services on same-sex marriage here
Again, solving the migrant minor children may become a matter of granting asylum, which could depend on finding sponsors and adoptive parents, which could now be same-sex couples in many cases.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GOP judge hammers attorneys for Wisconsin and Indiana on their same-sex marriage bans in 7th Circuit

Judges on a 3-person panel in the 7th circuit hammered at lawyers for Wisconsin and Indiana in Chicago today, according to a big AP story by Michael Tarm, as they tried desperately to defend state bans on same-sex marriage based on arguments regarding "tradition" and procreation.

Richard Posner, a Reagan appointee, was the most vigorous, raising questions as to why the state bans differed from miscegenation laws of the past, and why the procreation argument would work for sterile couples.   The AP story link is here.   The Supreme Court will see appeals courts heavily favoring striking down bans on same-sex marriage, except maybe in the Sixth Circuit, next term.

While all this happens, the super couple Will and Sonny on "Days of our Lives" had its first big fight, while Sonny remains attentive to Will's daughter.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Effort to curb anti-gay bullying in Minnesota

For this story, about an effort to curb anti-gay bullying in Minnesota schools, as sent to me by email, it's best to let the links tell their own narrative.
The Minnesota Child Protection League has the main reference, here.  The text of the bill in the Minnesota legislature is here.  And the Anoka-Hennepin School District has a report from its own task force here.
There are still arguments offered that an anti-bullying initiative is a smokescreen for promoting a "gay agenda" in schools.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Federal judge overturns Florida's same-sex marriage ban

A federal judge, Robert Hinkle, in Tallahassee FL has thrown out Florida’s same-sex marriage ban, but then stayed his own ruling, according to the Orlando Sentinel, link here.   

The judge wrote that arguments popular in the past about the family will be seen in the future as a pre-text for discrimination. 
The article also has a state-by-state map on the status of same-sex marriage laws.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fourth Circuit denies stay; same-sex marriages can start in Virginia the week of August 18; Supreme Court puts all this on hold at last minute

The Fourth Circuit in Richmond has denied, by a 2-1 vote, a request for a stay of its decision regarding gay marriage in Virginia and appeal to the Supreme Court.  Same-sex couples will be able to start marrying in Virginia as early as next week.  The Associated Press and ABC7 news have a story on the WJLA website here, including a PDF of the denial.

It was as recently as 2006 that Virginia adopted the Marshall-Newman amendment by referendum.  William and Mary GALA has been involved in opposing it.

Update: Aug. 20, 2014

The Supreme Court put a stay on the appeals court ruling, pending its hearing the case in the 2014-2015 term, USA Today here.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In divorce case, federal judge in Tennessee breaks "our" winning streak

While there was talk last week that the Sixth Circuit could end the “winning streak” for gay marriage, now a federal judge in Tennessee has upheld Tennessee’s ban on same-sex marriage, arguing that the Supreme Court ruling in DOMA really did not address state powers to define marriage for their own, and he did not believe that the Full Faith and Credit clause required Tennessee to recognize marriages that could not have been performed in Tennessee itself.  The SCOTUS blog has an entry by Lyle Denniston on the ruling by Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr. in Roane County, here  The case actually was a divorce case for ten men who had married (Borman v. Kyles-Borman), PDF link here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Major Baptist church in Washington DC addresses traditional attitudes in denomination toward homosexuality today

Today (Sunday, August 10, 2014), Dr. Stan Hastey, Interim Preaching Minister at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC, gave a sermon, “Saying it Plainly: Everyone Is Included”, in which he took up the issue of LGBT people in the Christian protestant church.  This topic has not been often addressed in the church in which I grew up.
Hastey talked about his brother, who died of AIDS at age 49, but who came out at age 34, at one time causing some issues in the family, and withdrawing from sight for several years while living in the Houston Montrose area.  Hastey referred to that area as comparable to Dupont Circle, although now in Washington a comparison should include Shaw and the U-Street area. 

Hastey said that there was one “clobber” passage in the Epistles (I’m not sure if that’s the one in Romans, or Corinthians), and a few in the Old Testament, mostly Leviticus.  In all cases he believed that the passages really referred to pagan practices of relationships with underage males.  He did distinguish between the idea of “gay” and “sexual orientation”, which he accepted as immutable.  Churches have seized on a few passages to condemn all homosexuals the same way they seized on a small set of teachings to subjugate racial minorities or sometimes keep women from working,  He referred to a statement by Dr. Martin Luther King, that the most segregated hour in America was 11 AM on Sunday morning.

A number of years ago, Dr. James Somerfield, then pastor at FBC, organized a group to see the film “For the Bible Tells Me So” (Movies blog, Oct. 14, 2007).  Somerfield now has the First Baptist Church in Richmond.

Note, also, on Saturday the Washington Post reported that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring asked the Supreme Court to review lower court rulings striking down Virginia’s 2006 Marshall-Newman Amendment, banning legal recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions in Virginia. 

On the biological immutability argument, I still notice an oddity occasionally, as like on Friday night at the Cobalt.  An unusual large percentage of the men present (statistically) were much taller than average, some probably over 78 inches.  Maybe there is some coincidental epigenetic correlation to adult height. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Sixth circuit could break winning streak in state-level gay marriage litigation

Observers are concerned that a three-judge panel in the Sixth Circuit could break the win streak on suits intended to strike down states’ anti-gay marriage laws and amendments.  Robert Barnes has a story in the Washington Post on Wednesday, an issue showing color illustrations of demonstrations in Cincinnati (not too far from the Great American Ballpark), link here.  The cases are from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee.  At least one judge is questioning why the people can’t decide this on their own.
The Post has two other stories on gay marriage litigation this morning, including where it stands state-by-state, here

Eric Eckholm has a similar article, with some sharp photography, in the New York Times here. 


I had, in my DADT-I book, suggested the idea that a state can legislate marriage benefits only when there is a dependent (an unborn child can count).  I’ve also suggested the idea that one can have benefits for one relationship in a lifetime, unless the former spouse dies.  That got some attention.

Wikipedia attribution link of Procter and Gamble in downtown Cincinnati. My last visit was in 1992 (and the plane had a scare returning).  

Friday, August 01, 2014

Ugandan court turns back anti-gay law

A court in Uganda has nullified the recent anti-gay law. The main argument seems to have been that there was not a quorum present in the legislature when the vote was taken.  The Guardian has a story by Daivd Smith, Africa correspondent, here.

But anti-gay laws remain in effect in a number of other African countries, most of all Nigeria, which has seen kidnapping of young women by "fundamentalist" thugs in the northern part of the country.

With Russia and Nigeria especially, there is a pattern than the passage of anti-gay legislation is predictive of horrors for others to follow.

Remember, the Nigerian president had actually complained about homosexual men not being attracted to women in his country and not giving the country babies.