Let us not relax & bask in the promising glow that is emanating from President-Elect Barack Obama; there is still a slew of bullshit, baloney, and bastardry before us, Dear Reader. It is true that the Transition Project for Obama/Biden has issued an anti-discriminatory policy that includes not only race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, and sexual orientation; it also includes gender identity in a trailblazing move towards inclusion and building an Executive Branch that recognizes ALL Americans, instead of pretending that the only valid citizens are hetero-normative White Bread God-Fearing cronies of the Commander-In-Chief. This is a big deal, y’all. It is also true that the embarrassingly disastrous Global Gag Rule is about to become extinct. The in-coming Administration has announced it’s intentions to repeal the Rule, which bars international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid dollars from providing information on abortion, whether or not the procedure is legal in the countries they operate in. The repeal is a welcome change that will undoubtedly save thousands of lives by allowing these groups to discuss abortion as an option, provide clinic referrals, and inform women about the consequences of illegal or unsafe procedures. This ban was instated the very first day of Dubya’s reign & it’s fade-to-black moment is long overdue. There is also truth in the reports that say Obama’s team has already compiled a list of more than 200 Bush Era policies that he plans on reversing immediately after inauguration. The G.W. handiwork on Barack’s chopping block are those actions considered most onerous or ideologically offensive, such as: funding caps on federal stem-cell research that held the scientific community in a chokehold since 2001, denying states the right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to appease the Big Auto & Utilities industries at the expense of the environment, the lax (non-existent) system of food and drug regulation over at the FDA that has based certification solely on the research submitted by the food or drug distributors, and the shamefully inadequate allocation of tax dollars for the Children’s Health Insurance program that millions of American bambinos could seriously use. We can begin to say Adieu to these politically-motivated and down-right detrimental administrative actions; this is thankfully true. Never the less, we should not assume that All is Well in these United States just because the mammoth turd that was G.W. is finally getting flushed. If you look closer at the toilet bowl, you’ll still notice the crap stains and shitty odor left behind. Disgusting metaphor, I know, but let me explain:
***** Freedom and Equality Receive a Massive Bitch-Slap in California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas*****
Here in the home of such notable gay-friendly sites as the Castro and West Hollywood, supposedly liberal & lefty California passed Proposition 8, a ban on same sex marriages. Similar legislation was passed in the Sunshine State and McCain’s Congressional stomping grounds. Plus, an unmarried couple adoption ban was passed in Arkansas, which effectively removes gay couples from the ranks of eligible parents. I must say that I am not entirely surprised by the legislated bigotry in AK, FL, or AZ, but I am still in shock about my beloved home state’s support for such an unnecessary and fucking mean piece of legislation. 52% of the voters approved the Constitutional Amendment that redefined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Wow. How did that happen? Media mouth pieces spoke plenty about the support Prop 8 received from the African-American community, but since the initiative's campaign was primarily financed by the Mormon Church, I think this blame is miss-guided. I’m more than a little pissed about the blatant religious dogma behind Prop 8 & even more annoyed about this particular church’s involvement. Don’t they have a state of their own? Utah was created by the (once polygamist) Mormons & is very much an extension of the church to this day. It seems to me that the Latter Day Saints outta’ recall their own questionable matrimonial history and avoid too much attention being cast on their political arm. Church-State separatists, like myself or our Founding Fathers, might not look to kindly at their continued tax-exempt status, y’know? As I predicted to anyone that would listen, Prop 8 has been promptly challenged in the court system. Attorney Gloria Allred, representing California’s first gay newly-weds Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, filed a suit against Prop 8 on November 5th. Entire counties & metropolitan areas have rebelled against Prop 8 & it’s discriminatory bullshit by also filing suit against the state. So far, Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County, the City of San Francisco, and the City of Los Angeles have teamed up to challenge the violation of civil rights in the state’s Supreme Court.
Further reading on the subject can be found in The Nation’s commentary section, titled Marital Discord: Why Prop 8 Won, by Richard Kim. He addresses the disinformation spread by the Yes on 8 campaign (It will be taught in school! Obama’s anti-gay!). Also, Shameless Magazine’s blog talks about the support statistics overlooked in the rush to blame black voters for Prop 8’s passage, titled Are we still at the Oppression Olympics?. Protests against Prop 8 are currently be organized nationwide by Jointheimpact.com & are set to kick off on Saturday, November 15th. There is even a Stockton protest listed on their page HERE. Holla’ back at the Haters on Saturday morning & I just might share a doobie or two in solidarity. Keith Olbermann choked me up in this special comment about Prop 8, located HERE. For a more local sarcastic take on things, see SFGate’s Culture Blog, titled I Think I Just Got Screwed by Prop 8. Does That Make Me Gay?, by Beth Spotswood.
***** Speaking of Bitch-Slaps, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia thinks Domestic Violence is No Biggie****
After the Supreme Court heard a case dealing with the scope of the Federal Gun Control Act, Scalia (who has never been accused of being a softie, a lefty, or even a Nice Guy) dismissed the notion that persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence should be disarmed by saying “it’s not that serious of an offense.” Transcripts of the hearing are located HERE and the exchanges between the Justices and the Department of Defense attorneys make for some disgustingly dismissive reading. A run down on what was at stake in this case from the LA Times is located HERE.
To be entirely forthright, I am urban-born & raised in a city with serious anger management issues so I tend to support gun control regulation. I don’t own one & don’t ever plan to because I have been known to lose my shit from time to time and a gun presents the opportunity to make a bad situation much much worse. In the case of people that have been convicted (that means “are guilty” as far as the law & the state are concerned) of domestic violence, however misdemeanor the charges, it is in the public’s best interest that those individuals lose the right to bear arms. That is exactly where we don’t want guns – in the hands of a person that loses their shit on their significant other. It makes sense. It’s a bug fucking duhh in my book. For Scalia to suggest that a misdemeanor D.V. charge signifies an acceptable level of spouse beating for gun ownership purposes is just nauseating. What a dick.
Last month was Domestic Violence Awareness Month & apparently, no one made the effort to inform Justice Scalia just how serious the offense really is. Allow me to illuminate the subject:
The US Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office reports, as of 1999, one out of every four American women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime. FBI statistics show domestic violence claims the lives of more than four women every day.
Guns are the most commonly used weapons in domestic homicides and, in recent years, nearly 1/3 of all the women murdered in the U.S. were done in by their husband’s/boyfriend’s sharp shooting.
A recent UCLA study found that when guns were kept in domestic violence homes, 2/3 of surveyed individuals reported them being used by a batterer to intimidate, threaten, or harm.
Dude, if you’re battering your partner, you’re ill-equipt to handle the responsibility of gun ownership. And Justice Scalia is a dick. No bones about it.