ONTD Political

Last Friday was the deadline to submit amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in support of marriage equality. Over 60 different briefs were filed by various “friends of the court,” including coalitions, organizations, scholars, and individuals. Contained within them are a variety of arguments in favor of recognizing same-sex couples’ right to marry, ranging from the more legal and technical to the more historical, personal, and even quirky.

A few of these briefs made headline news. The Obama administration submitted a brief through the Department of Justice urging the Court to apply heightened scrutiny, which would make sexual orientation a protected class like sex. Nearly 400 companies informed the Court that marriage equality helps them recruit and retain talented employees, making it good for business and the economy. The Human Rights Campaign filed a “People’s Brief” featuring 200,000 signatures of support for marriage equality. There were also briefs from 226 mayors and 40 cities, over 200 members of Congress, and over a dozen states, all asserting that marriage equality is good law and good for the country.

But among the briefs were more subtle arguments and specific considerations that paint a more nuanced picture of just how the country will benefit from having marriage equality in all 50 states. In particular, many focused on themes that used to be reserved for arguments against same-sex marriage. Even if these less-legal arguments may not ultimately impact the Supreme Court’s ruling, they can still help inform the debate.Read more...Collapse )

With a vast array of evidence before them, the Supreme Court will be well-equipped to consider the question of marriage equality and the arguments from both sides on issues like the welfare of children, the cause of religious liberty, and the adherence to tradition. If history is any indication, the traditions of progress and justice will prevail.


This is a long read, but I found it to be an interesting and inspiring one. I think it's thrilling to see all of these organizations and individuals joining together in the fight for marriage equality. (I will also admit to being extra thrilled to see that my state is one of the "over a dozen states" that joined in on the amicus brief mentioned in the second paragraph.)

A 17-year-old high schooler from Virginia says she was kicked out of her prombecause the parental chaperones were worried she was inspiring “impure thoughts” among the boys in attendance. Even though her dress adhered to the “fingertip length” dress code requirement, she was asked to leave.

Clare recounts her experience in a guest post on her sister’s blog. After Clare and her boyfriend bought tickets to the Richmond Homeschool Prom, she bought a new dress that she made sure was long enough according to the event’s “fingertip length” rule. But Clare is 5’9″, and even though the hem of her dress was within the guidelines, she says her long legs led some chaperones to assume she was breaking the dress code.

After Clare and her friends hung out a little bit on the dance floor — she writes that they weren’t even dancing, just “swaying with the music and talking and enjoying ourselves” — Clare was pulled away by one of the dance’s organizers, who told her that some of the fathers chaperoning the event had complained about her. They reportedly said that her dancing was too “provocative” and she was going to “cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts.”Read more...Collapse )

Clare's guest blog post, which is worth reading because it contains additional details, including a comment about being "a little grossed out by all the dads on the balcony above the dance floor, ogling and talking amongst themselves."

Let's cut the crap and call this what it is: Slut shaming, with a capital S L U T. Served up with an extra dollop of "ewwww" on the side, due to those horny dads checking out the girls and complaining about one girl's dress because they were too turned on by it didn't approve of it.

P.S. Since when do teenage boys need any help to think "impure thoughts"? I didn't think even the presence of an attractive person was necessary, much less an attractive person dressed in a certain kind of attire. From what I know, most teenage boys are quite capable of generating their own (endless supply of) "impure thoughts," without any additional help at all!

P.P.S. It's been pointed out that this story is old, and I acknowledge that. I didn't realize it at the time I posted it. I was surfing around at ThinkProgress and somehow ended up on this story, after clicking from one story to another that was linked on the same page a few times. I'm not sure how I stumbled on the prom story, but I did and I didn't think to check the date before I posted it to the mod queue.

I realized the date problem shortly after posting and debated whether to asked the mods to kill the post; but before I made up my mind, the post showed up and started getting comments. In view of the comments, it seems appropriate to just leave well enough alone. Even though this story is old, it's still pertinent, and with "prom season" coming up in the next couple of months, it's even somewhat timely (in an outdated sort of way, lol).
....and whistling right right through the empty heads of its state legislators, in one ear and out the other"

OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) -- In an effort to block the state’s involvement with gay marriage, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday (March 10) to abolish marriage licenses in the state.

The legislation, authored by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, amends language in the state law that governs the responsibilities of court clerks. All references to marriage licenses were removed.Read more...Collapse )
A German biologist who offered €100,000 (£71,350; $106,300) to anyone who could prove that measles is a virus has been ordered by a court to pay up.

Stefan Lanka, who believes the illness is psychosomatic, made the pledge four years ago on his website.

The reward was later claimed by German doctor David Barden, who gathered evidence from various medical studies. Mr Lanka dismissed the findings.

But the court in the town of Ravensburg ruled that the proof was sufficient.

Reacting to the verdict by the court in the southern town, Mr Lanka said he would appeal.

"It is a psychosomatic illness," he told regional paper Suedkurier. "People become ill after traumatic separations."

A recent outbreak of measles in Germany has sparked a debate about whether vaccinations against the disease should be compulsory.

An 18-month-old boy in Berlin died last month of the disease.

The World Health Organization said it was "taken aback" by the 22,000 cases reported across Europe since 2014, urging to step up vaccinations.

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease characterized by a high fever, a rash and generally feeling unwell. The most severe cases can be fatal.

source: BBC news
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said two police officers were shot and seriously wounded shortly after midnight outside the Ferguson, Mo., police department. The shooting occurred as a protest outside the police station had begun to wind down.

A St. Louis County police officer and an officer from nearby Webster Groves, Mo., were shot, according to Belmar. He did not identify them by name.

The Webster Groves officer was struck once in the face. He is 32 years old and a five-year veteran of the force, Belmar said. He said the St. Louis County officer is 41 years old and a 14-year veteran of the force. That officer was struck once in the shoulder.

The two police officers who were shot had been standing in a line of more than a dozen officers, Belmar said at a news conference Thursday morning.

Belmar said the Webster Groves officer was shot just below his right eye, and that the bullet is now lodged in the back of his head. The St. Louis County officer was struck in the shoulder, and the bullet passed through and exited his back.

Despite the serious nature of the injuries, Belmar said, the officers aren't expected to have any "remarkable long-term injuries." He said he had spoken with both of the officers.

"I think it's a miracle that we haven't had any instances similar to this" before now, Belmar said, noting other occurrences of gunfire at protests in Ferguson.

"When you look at the tenor of at least some of the people" involved in protests, he said, it is difficult for officers to discern who might pose a threat.

The St. Louis County police chief added that when shots were fired last night, the officers saw muzzle flashes later estimated to be about 125 yards away. He said the officers drew their weapons but did not discharge them.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we were very close to what happened in New York," Belmar said, referring to the recent fatal shooting of two officers there.

"This is really an ambush, is what it is," he said later.

Belmar said he had been surprised by the amount of "agitation" at the protest.

At one point, he acknowledged that there was "an unfortunate association" between whoever fired the shots and the protesters who were there for what he called "the right reasons."

blaming protesters, you know the drillCollapse )

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) suggested Thursday that the solution to homelessness is wolves.

Young made the comment during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing during an exchange with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. He was arguing that gray wolves should be taken off the endangered species list, criticizing the National Park Service and his congressional colleagues who seek to protect the animals.

“How many of you have got wolves in your district? None. None. Not one," Young said, calling the gray wolf "a predator."

“We've got 79 congressmen sending you a letter, they haven’t got a damn wolf in their whole district,” Young added. “I’d like to introduce them in your district. If I introduced them in your district, you wouldn’t have a homeless problem anymore.”

A spokesman for Young told The Washington Post that the statement was meant to emphasize that "these predators pose serious threats to wildlife management and their listing has damaging impacts to local communities.”

Young is no stranger to controversial statements. In October 2014, he used profane language and made highly insensitive remarks about gay marriage and suicide at a high school. One of the school's students had taken his own life days before Young made the remarks.

Young also reportedly "freaked out" on his 2014 Democratic challenger ahead of a debate that same month.

By Paige Lavender. Posted: 03/05/2015 5:33 pm EST.

Source has video.
Gay Sodomite Zombies Will Also Have to Pay a One Million Dollar Fine, Before Being Shot in the Head.

California lawyer proposes punishing homosexuality by shooting people in the head
The state received a proposal that would make acts of sodomy punishable by death, along with a check for $200

Despite the fact that criminal sodomy hasn’t been allowed in California for years and that laws regarding the subject have generally fallen out of favor across the country, a delusional California lawyer submitted a ballot initiative this week to the state’s department of justice, proposing what he calls the “Sodomite Suppression Act.”

The proposal, from Matt McLaughlin of Huntington Beach, calls for the execution of all Californians performing homosexual acts. McLaughlin was even kind enough to attach a $200 check to the absurd document, as if the government procedure were to double as mass-murder-for-hire.

The lone homophobe has outlined his horrifying “bill” in seven measures, including the following tenets (obtained by the Huffington Post):

The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, govern of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha. [...]

Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head of by any convenient method. [...]

This law shall be known as ‘The Sodomite Suppression Act’ and be numbered as section 29 in Title 3 of the Penal Code, pertaining to offenses against the sovereignty of the state. The text shall be prominently posted in every public school classroom. ALl laws in conflict with this law are to that extent invalid.

McLaughlin’s attempt to criminalize homosexuality and make sodomy punishable by death would require more than 350,000 signatures in California’s next gubernatorial election, equaling 5 percent of the number of total votes. His obscene suggestion to actually murder individuals who engage in sodomy is only made more outrageous by his insistence that these “offenders” be shot in the head.

Judging by the fact that “Matt McLaughlin of Huntington Beach” has absolutely no presence on the Internet and remains virtually untraceable despite a few elusive clues, it’s likely this farce will end as a meme. Still, the implications are deeply frightening.
Alabama Supreme Court Halts Same-Sex Marriage

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Supreme Court issued an injunction Tuesday not only allowing probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses but giving other probate judges five days to explain to the court why they should not have to discontinue the practice.

The all-Republican court sided with a pair of conservative organizations Tuesday in ruling that the U.S. Constitution doesn't alter the judges' duty to administer state law. Seven judges concurred with the opinion, one concurred in part and one dissented.

The court says Alabama has defined marriage as between only one man and one woman for about 200 years. And it says a federal court used "sleight of hand" in a case that resulted in most of Alabama allowing gay marriages last month.Read more...Collapse )

Before Tuesday's ruling, gays and lesbians were able to marry in a majority of Alabama counties, but at least one-fourth of probate judges refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, or shut down marriage license operations altogether out of uncertainty over what to do.

At least 12 Alabama counties were not issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. At least another six were not giving licenses to anyone, gay or straight, to avoid the appearance of discrimination.


Rolling my eyes SO hard at this ridiculous ruling and the frantic desperation of its convoluted reasoning. Nice try, AL.

It's funny how the same folks who complain about the government wasting money are more than happy to fritter away tax dollars on an exercise in futility like this!

P.S. The comments at this source are actually not too bad; so far, the sane people seem to be greatly outnumbering the bigots and asshats. (So far, meaning that things can always change!!)
Two bills are up for a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, both of which could significantly impact the way the Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to use science to come up with regulations. The Secret Science Reform Act and the Science Advisory Board Reform Act both require the EPA to consider only publicly available, easily reproducible data when making policy recommendations. Scientific organizations and environmental groups, as well as a number of Democrats, disapprove of the bills, arguing that they favor industry over real science.

Over 50 scientific organizations spoke out in opposition to the Secret Science bill, noting that large-scale public health studies would be ineligible for consideration because large sample sizes could not be easily reproduced.

“I cannot support legislation that makes it easier for industry to implement their destructive playbook, because risking the health of the American people is not a game that I’m willing to play,” said Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) last week.

The Science Advisory Board (SAB) Reform Act would change the structure of the SAB, the board of scientists and economists that review EPA risk assessments. The bill would give industry scientists more opportunities to join the panel, while preventing academic scientists from discussing their own research, ostensibly to avoid conflict of interest. What it actually does is “turn the idea of conflict of interest on its head,” according to Andrew Rosenberg, the director of the Center for Science and Democracy.
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