exactly that

Posts tagged ‘LGBTQI’

But What Would Jesus Do? I Bet It Is Like That “Golden Rule”…

This, though, is neither.

Not by a long shot.

I might be a little rusty on my Bible these days, having not actually read it cover to cover like I have in days since passed, but those other concepts stick with me pretty intensely.

An appellate court in Richmond, VA decided that Albert Snyder, the father of slain Marine, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose funeral was protested by the deplorable ilk of the Westboro Baptist Church, will have to pay the appeals cost — an amount reaching some $16,510 — to Fred Phelps at a time to be determined by Phelps himself. Snyder’s lawyer (and I, but when do I matter?) believes that this should have been held until the Supreme Court had a chance to rule on this case.

Phelps and his followers are best known for their “God hates fags” slogan and their penchant for picketing the funerals of people who have died of AIDS and of servicemembers, some gay, some not. There is a reason he and his wonderful daughter are not allowed to visit the UK.

One of the reasons that I left the church is that I have long had a hard time believing that any god who is supposedly benevolent would support any kind of person who would espouse the kind of behaviour promoted by Fred Phelps or his followers, family, or church. I don’t believe that an omnipotent being such as the Christian God could possibly first create children and then believe that it is OK to turn his back upon them in such a cruel manner.

And it is despicable that any court or judge would award anyone an appeals award like this that would cause such a hardship while a Hate Speech decision is still pending. Especially when we are still seeing more and more decisions in the favor of protections against hate speech recently, like in the Harvard-Westlake School cyberbullying case [Trigger Warning on that link for descriptions of violence]. But I am not a lawyer.

The two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa., offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

Attorneys also said Snyder is struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The paper edition of S&S differs slightly, saying that the American Legion is helping to set up a fund to assist Snyder with the fees, and Snyder himself has one set up in his son’s name, if you are so inclined. They are also filing an amicus brief in support of the Snyder family as well.

Hate speech against marginalized groups should not be protected free speech. Funerals, of servicemembers or otherwise, should not be breeding grounds for protesters. Families should be left to mourn their lost in peace, particularly those who have lost their loved ones to these wars.

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But What Would Jesus Do? I Bet It Is Like That “Golden Rule”…

This, though, is neither.

Not by a long shot.

I might be a little rusty on my Bible these days, having not actually read it cover to cover like I have in days since passed, but those other concepts stick with me pretty intensely.

An appellate court in Richmond, VA decided that Albert Snyder, the father of slain Marine, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose funeral was protested by the deplorable ilk of the Westboro Baptist Church, will have to pay the appeals cost — an amount reaching some $16,510 — to Fred Phelps at a time to be determined by Phelps himself. Snyder’s lawyer (and I, but when do I matter?) believes that this should have been held until the Supreme Court had a chance to rule on this case.

Phelps and his followers are best known for their “God hates fags” slogan and their penchant for picketing the funerals of people who have died of AIDS and of servicemembers, some gay, some not. There is a reason he and his wonderful daughter are not allowed to visit the UK.

One of the reasons that I left the church is that I have long had a hard time believing that any god who is supposedly benevolent would support any kind of person who would espouse the kind of behaviour promoted by Fred Phelps or his followers, family, or church. I don’t believe that an omnipotent being such as the Christian God could possibly first create children and then believe that it is OK to turn his back upon them in such a cruel manner.

And it is despicable that any court or judge would award anyone an appeals award like this that would cause such a hardship while a Hate Speech decision is still pending. Especially when we are still seeing more and more decisions in the favor of protections against hate speech recently, like in the Harvard-Westlake School cyberbullying case [Trigger Warning on that link for descriptions of violence]. But I am not a lawyer.

The two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa., offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

Attorneys also said Snyder is struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The paper edition of S&S differs slightly, saying that the American Legion is helping to set up a fund to assist Snyder with the fees, and Snyder himself has one set up in his son’s name, if you are so inclined. They are also filing an amicus brief in support of the Snyder family as well.

Hate speech against marginalized groups should not be protected free speech. Funerals, of servicemembers or otherwise, should not be breeding grounds for protesters. Families should be left to mourn their lost in peace, particularly those who have lost their loved ones to these wars.

Planning Ahead

Something that has been tumbling around in my head is the issue of repealing DADTObviously.

Repealing the legislation isn’t enough.  There is still the matter of dealing with the UCMJ.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice.  The UCMJ is what the Military uses to maintain its own law and order, if you will excuse the term.  The UCMJ has some very specific things to say about so-called “homosexual acts”, as some would call it, in Article 125.

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient
to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall by punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Elements.

(1) That the accused engaged in unnatural carnal copulation with a certain other person or with an animal. (Note: Add either or both of the following elements, if applicable)

(2) That the act was done with a child under the age of 16.

(3) That the act was done by force and without the consent of the other person.

Explanation.

It is unnatural carnal copulation for a person to take into that person’s mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person or of an animal; or to place that person’s sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person or of an animal; or to have carnal copulation in any opening of the body, except the sexual parts, with another person; or to have carnal copulation with an animal.

If DADT is repealed, without Congress changing the UCMJ there is still the chance that all of these people who are now allowed to be free and open about themselves could still be punished under Article 125.  So, it comes as a great relief to find this in the Stars and Stripes online today:

A panel of legal scholars has suggested that Congress remove sodomy as a crime punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a recommendation that could boost efforts to end a ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military.

The Commission on Military Justice recommended that Article 125, which deals with sodomy, be repealed, arguing that “most acts of consensual sodomy committed by consenting military personnel are not prosecuted, creating a perception that prosecution of this sexual behavior is arbitrary.”

I mean, yay!  Someone is thinking ahead on this.  It isn’t often that I have witnessed the Military being proactive rather than reactive to something (if you can call it this).

Plenty of heterosexual couples have violated this, let me assure you.  I would be interested to see the stats that back up the claim that the majority of people discharged under Article 125 are straight.

Since I first found this article on the Free Republic (OH MY EYES!), I am sure that Conservajerks are going to be all over this one.  So let’s address something, shall we?

OpponentsZOMG!  If we repeal Article 125 then the Military will think it is OK to have sex with children!!1!

Fact: 1) You can not have sex with children.  Children can not give consent.  The correct term for that is rape.  2) Raping children would still be illegal under UCMJ Article 120, which covers and defines, say it with me now, rape.

Now, I have a few issues with Article 120 all on its own.  It deserves to be addressed, but it covers the child rape issue pretty clearly.  Any person who has not attained the age of sixteen years.  Pretty clear.  It is already illegal to rape children.  So, saying that we need Article 125 to prevent this is pretty much intentionally obtuse.

OpponentsZOMG!  If Article 125 is repealed, then the rape in the Military problem will get worse, because it will be harder to punish!!1!ELEVENTY!

Fact:  Ummm.  No.  Again, Article 120 already covers this.  Rape is already illegal, and the Military is already taking massive steps to prove that it takes rape and sexual assault seriously, with more training than you can shake a stick at.  Also, there is a little thing that the UCMJ has called Article 134, otherwise known as the “catch all” clause, meaning if they don’t think they can bust your ass with something else, they sure as hell are going to get you with this one.

So, we can put to rest the thought that Article 125 is so badly needed that we can’t repeal it.  In order to make the repealing of DADT, to allow service members to serve out and open freely, without fear of being hurt, abused, or otherwise hazed in their working environments, often leading to suicide or physical and mental illness, often left untreated because the service member is discharged without benefits .  It needs to go (and, let’s be honest, it needed to go, like, 100 years ago.  Really.) and the sooner the better.

Now, who do we talk to about getting this done?

This! Thisthisthisthis!

Via Shakesville!

Shaq is holding a pandaHey, Elaine Donnelly!
moar funny pictures

Someone in the Pentagon has, however, got it right:

The article in the upcoming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, which is published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was written by an Air Force colonel who studied the issue for months while a student at the National Defense University in Washington and who concludes that having openly gay troops in the ranks will not hurt combat readiness.

Awesome.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of Pentagon leaders, but their appearance in a publication billed as the Joint Chiefs’ “flagship’’ security studies journal signals that the top brass now welcomes a debate in the military over repealing the 1993 law that requires gays to hide their sexual orientation, according to several longtime observers of the charged debate over gays in the military.

While decisions on which articles to publish are made by the journal’s editorial board, located at the defense university, a senior military official said yesterday that the office of Admiral Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman who is the nation’s top military officer, reviewed the article before it was published.

As many other nations’ military forces, such as Israel, Australia, and Canada, will show us, allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the ranks isn’t going to destroy the world as we know it.  Personally, as an aside, I think this news holds more weight coming from an educated member of the military, someone who has been in the actual ranks, rather than that seeming know-it-all Elaine Donnelly (yeah, that one), whose military experience seems to be bossing military people around.  But, back to the article:

“After a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly,’’ writes Colonel Om Prakash, who is now working in the office of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. “Based on this research, it is not time for the administration to reexamine the issue; rather it is time for the administration to examine how to implement the repeal of the ban.’’

KA-POW!

To quote Maud from the liked Shakesville thread:

Yes, Mr. President, you were saying . . . ? I can’t hear your fierce advocacy over the sound of a man of integrity making a simple, firm declarative statement.

The article goes on to say something that anyone w/ a working concept of basic math could have told you.  DADT costs the military a Humvee full of money, and that, sure, there will be some disruptions, but there already are.  The civilian world is full of the hatred and homobigotry already, where yelling “that’s so gay” is an appropriate insult it seems, or where I get a chortle from a family friend because I mention that saying someone is “faggalicious” in front of The Kid at dinner isn’t flying with me.

The military will deal with these things as they come.  We need to give them room to do so, and trust the people who are actually inside the world’s largest organization to know how to handle it rather than some homobigot who has no idea what it is like to wear a uniform or what unit cohesion really means.  The time to do this is long past.  Job security and protection of livelihood should not have to come at the cost of living a lie.  Ever.

Support H.R. 1283

Via Pizza Diavola:

Today, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) sent out an email asking her constituents to express support for her three amendments to the defense authorization bill:

Dear [PD],

As Americans, we are so lucky to live in a free country, defended by the brave men and women of our armed forces. We owe them our gratitude, respect, and support for sacrificing so much for us.

That’s why I’ve just introduced new legislation in the Senate that will ease the burden on our military families. My three amendments are being considered, right now, during this week’s debate on the defense authorization bill — and I need your help. …

  • Give families with two parents on active duty the option to stagger their overseas combat deployments — so one parent can stay home as the primary caregiver for their children. In addition, after one parent returns, provide a 90-day re-integration period before the other parent is deployed. This amendment is supported by the National Military Family Association.
  • Reimburse military families who have to travel more than 50 miles from home in order to receive medical care — down from the current 100-mile requirement. This amendment is supported by the Military Coalition.

Provide flexible spending accounts for all uniformed service personnel — so military families receive tax breaks for spending on medical expenses and child care. This amendment is supported by the VFW, National Military Family Association, Military Officers Association of America, and other organizations.These amendments are the right thing to do for our servicemembers and their families. They do so much to protect us — now it’s time for us to stand up for them.

As you all may be aware this is something that I support fully, along with pretty much all of H.R. 1283.  The Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund has a list where you can find the contact information for your Congressperson, and I hope you will do so.  There is also a list of those already co-sponsoring this bill. (more…)

On prioritizing…

I had some thoughts for a while that I have been chewing over.

I am a GLBTQ ally, and I am trying to be more educated on the T part of that.  It’s been a lot of STFU&L for me, and very little else at the moment.  But, I am trying.

I think the hot button issue seems to be same sex marriage, at least that is the one that is getting all the press and all the attention.  I think it is important.  Very.  I think it is vital to having equality for all people.  One type of union for all those who choose to be part of it, and the same benefits and responsibilities for those don’t (after all, even my hetero marriage is a matter of necessity, which is a privilege I acknowledge.  Do I think it is the most important issue WRT gay rights and civil equality?  Not even close.  It turns out that I am not alone on this.  I have long been afraid to broach it, because I don’t want to seem as though I don’t think it’s important.  Like I said, I don’t think we can have equality so long as a type of union is offered to a certain group of people while it is withheld from others.

I agree that I think we should be focusing at least as much effort, and IMHO more, on making sure that people are protected from harm.  Harm from hate groups, from losing their livelihood, harm from having their lives torn apart simply because of who they are.  Smash the State is a pretty good thought train, if you ask me.

Where I disagree with Monica, respectfully so (for I have come to have mad respect for this lady!), is conflating of DADT with marriage equality or repealing of DOMA in criticisms of President Obama (full disclosure: I was not an Obama supporter in the primaries).  I don’t believe that marriage equality is on equal ground with DADT.  To me, so take it for what it is worth, DADT is right up there with ENDA and other protections, such as the Matthew Shepard act and other hate crime legislation, many of which I believe we should be demanding more in regards to including Trans people in those protections. (more…)

Someone hand me a tissue!

The funniest thing I have read today is that when Same Sex Marriage is passed then people will be able to sue pastors and churches for refusing to marry them, cuz, ya know, they don’t refuse to marry people now, for co-habitation, a non-virginal bride wanting to wear white, or myriad other reasons.  *wipes eyes, continues*

And when that happens the ACLU will jump to represent it b/c they secretly want to take control of the church, and smash the foundations of separation of church and state.  Cuz, ya know, it was set up to protect the church from the state, and not clearly written to be the other way around.

*composes self, continues*

image4The only thing that SSM is going to change is that it will allow all people who care for each other and want to commit to one another to do so, while seeking the right and protections it affords Hetero couples under the law.  No one is going to sue churches, and if they did they would be stupid, b/c churches are tax exempt institutions, and not bound to accept people they don’t want to.  They can right on being hateful and bigoted just like now…that won’t change either.

This is not about controlling anyone.  It isn’t about forcing people to change.  No one is going to force SSM on the Church if they aren’t willing to accept it, although more and more are.  

SSM equality is going to happen.  DADT is going to be repealed.  Hate crime laws are going to include gender identity, and gender expression will not be a reason to fire someone.  We all need to recognize that, in the name of treating people as equals and humanity that these things are necessary.  The continual push to deny this only shows people for the hateful bigots that they are.

And that isn’t going to get them invited to any weddings.

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