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At least our local courts here get it and are finally recognizing joint adoptions by married same-sex couples.    Straight married couples take that right for granted.

Dane County judges have begun granting adoptions that recognize marriages of same-sex couples.
....
Dane County Circuit Judge Shelley Gaylord approved the adoptions, saying she was bound to recognize the marriage as constitutionally valid, according to a transcript of the closed hearing.

Gaylord said she was granting the adoptions in part because Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban has been found unconstitutional. Gaylord said the Rileys’ marriage in Iowa must be considered valid in Wisconsin under the Constitution’s equal protection clause and the full faith and credit clause, which requires states to honor each other’s laws.

http://host.madison.com/...

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Today the 9th Circuit court of appeals named its panel of judges to review several marriage equality cases at 1pm PDT on Tuesday September 8th, and civil rights hit the jackpot again just like it did in the 7th Circuit last week:

"Reinhardt wrote majority in Prop 8 case and SmithKline (latter held sexual orientation must withstand heightened scrutiny). Berzon joined Reinhardt in SmithKline. Gould wrote majority in Witt v. Air Force."
https://twitter.com/...
http://joemygod.blogspot.com/...
Given heightened scrutiny the outcome of these cases is a foregone conclusion, but I'll be interested to see if the court treats the arguments made by Idaho and the Nevada defendant-intervenors with the same contempt given Wisconsin and Indiana by the 7th Circuit.

Only Idaho is actually defending their ban.   Hawaii already has marriage equality and this case concerns a challenge to the former ban, and Nevada is no longer defending their ban but is instead represented by Monte Stewart and his merry band of bigoted Mormons at the Marriage Law Foundation, an anti-gay hate group affiliated with NOM.    Maggie Gallagher sits on the board of the Marriage Law Foundation.

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This is interesting - in response to a ruling earlier this week in the 9th Circuit which analyzed the Windsor v US ruling and found that it implies heightened scrutiny in regards to sexual orientation, the Nevada AG is going back to the drawing board on the Sevcik v Sandoval marriage equality case:

http://ag.nv.gov/...

A potentially significant case was decided by the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday of this week, the same day that a brief was filed on behalf of the State in Nevada’s same-sex marriage case. The Ninth Circuit’s new decision, entitled SmithKline Beechum Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, appears to impact the equal protection and due process arguments made on behalf of the State. After careful review of the SmithKline decision these arguments are likely no longer tenable in the Ninth Circuit.

This office will conduct further review over the weekend in order to evaluate the State’s argument in light of SmithKline. We will be discussing this with the Governor’s Office next week.

There was an earlier diary discussing the 9th Circuit ruling itself: http://www.dailykos.com/...
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Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:10 PM PDT

Gay Catholic fired

by skrekk

I'm utterly disgusted, yet not sure how I feel about this: an openly gay music director at a local Catholic church was recently fired due to his sexual orientation.  Apart from the bigotry and obvious hypocrisy (given the Church's lenient treatment of closeted gay priests and pedophiles), as an agnostic straight guy (even slightly anti-Christian) I still feel that any religion should be free to discriminate in whatever arbitrary manner it chooses.  Maybe.

Poll

Should religions fully conform to employment law?

36%26 votes
11%8 votes
50%36 votes
2%2 votes

| 72 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:14 PM PDT

FISA: Yes We Can

by skrekk

OK, maybe we can't do much to stop a bad bill from passing, but there are a few things we can do as a grassroots movement, both inside and outside of the political process.  Don't blame Obama; as a junior Senator there's little he can do other than vote against a bad bill.  We can encourage Obama, Feingold, and Dodd to filibuster, but they can't block the bill for the rest of the session.

First, call your Senator and tell him that you will actively oppose the reelection of anyone who votes in favor of a bill which includes telecomm immunity, or which prevents full investigation and prosecution of previous FISA violations.  

Second, if your Representative has been a bad boy, call him and give him this message: anyone who has voted to whitewash illegal behavior on the part of the government or corporations should not be in public office, and that you'll work to make sure that people who don't care about the Constitution are removed from office.  The original FISA wording was clear, and the law was broken - knowingly and willfully.  If your Representative voted against the FISA bill, be sure to call and make your support known.

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Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:02 PM PDT

Pentagon retribution is effective

by skrekk

Air Force Colonel Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor at Gitmo, was denied the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, apparently because he acted as a whistle blower in what was clearly unlawful political manipulation of the legal process by Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, and by former Pentagon general counsel William Haynes - the man who now oversees the military commissions...the same man who said:

We can't have acquittals.

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Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:48 PM PDT

Tortured editorials

by skrekk

I hadn't seen this diaried yet, so my apologies if it has been (also for the extensive article quotes).  Nothing will be new here for those of you concerned about this issue, but I want to direct you to read The Washington Monthly, which has a great series of editorials out right now from the likes of Wesley Clark, Jimmy Carter, Chuck Hagel, Larry Wilkerson, et al.  Also a pdf of the entire series.

In part this is a discussion about what torture really is:

On paper, the list of practices declared legal by the Department of Justice for use on detainees in Guantanamo Bay and other locations has a somewhat bloodless quality—sleep deprivation, stress positions, forced standing, sensory deprivation, nudity, extremes of heat or cold. But such bland terms mask great suffering.

It's not just waterboarding - it's virtually all types of abuse and "enhanced interrogation techniques".

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Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:41 AM PDT

UN harboring WMD; Bush attacks

by skrekk

Today the United Nations was found to be sequestering vast amounts of nerve gas and other WMD, presumably for a planned invasion of the United States.  The right-wing had long suspected that Saddam Hussein had spirited his imaginary WMD out of Iraq, just prior to the US invasion in 2003; now such concerns have been validated.  Black helicopters were also found to be staged on the roof of the UN building.

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Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:16 AM PDT

MSM vs nationalism & censorship

by skrekk

An excellent article on April 10th at Salon.com by Gary Kamiya about media self-censorship from 9/11 to the war in Iraq, where he discusses in depth the various personal and institutional reasons for self-censorship.  He also references some of the sources - books in particular - which were accurate and insightful in their analysis prior to the war (hmmmm...so that explains my sagging bookshelf - and alas - I have none of the books he cites).

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In the more conservative of the two local daily papers (count them - two! ...and owned by the same parent company) in Madison, WI, there was a recent column by Bill Wineke which advocates a pardon for Scooter Libby on the basis that he's a nice guy, and that other people were involved in leaking Plame's identity too.

Wineke does not seem to be a right-winger, is usually a pretty good columnist, and tends to look at issues from a moral or ethical standpoint...which is why I was surprised by his attitude.  Quoting from the column:

Now, President Bush ought to pardon Libby and let him get on with his life.

Libby may have been the only official stupid enough to lie consistently to a grand jury, but he was surely taking the fall for a White House that kept denying in all pious righteousness that it was involved in destroying the career of a trusted government official.

Poll

Recycling convicted felons back into government service is:

14%1 votes
14%1 votes
0%0 votes
71%5 votes
0%0 votes

| 7 votes | Vote | Results

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