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6 months ago @ Equality on Trial - 5/4 open thread · 1 reply · +8 points

This decision applies merely to the case of the specific plaintiffs who filed suit against the state. The decision is much more nuanced and not at all an affirmation of LGBT youths and their parents. The judges of the Texas Supreme Court are elected, and like all other statewide elected offices since the mid-'90s, are entirely GOP. This is not a progressive opinion nor a victory for our cause. For more info, see the following:

Eleanor Klibanoff, The Texas Tribune: Texas Supreme Court allows child abuse investigations into families of transgender teens to continue

Michelle Pitcher, Texas Observer: Texas Supreme Court Throws Out Protections for Trans Youth

As a side note on Texas news sources, the Tribune, like Texas Monthly which so far is not reporting on this story, tries to be a non-ideological mainstream source of news. The Observer, on the other hand, has a decidedly progressive editorial bent. Unfortunately, most of the state's major daily newspapers are now behind paywalls to some degree.

7 months ago @ Equality on Trial - 4/18 open thread · 0 replies · +6 points

So after so much obstinacy for so many years over ME, they finally have seen the light on the road to Damascus and renounced their former evil persecution.

7 months ago @ Equality on Trial - Prop 8 proponents ask ... · 0 replies · +4 points

Cute, but also missing the point. Your suggestions are based upon biological functionality rather than gender identity. A trans boy can't "stand" gracefully while doing "number one" because no respectable doctor will perform the necessary reassignment surgery to do so until the trans boy is able to give consent to the procedure as a legal adult.

8 months ago @ Equality on Trial - 3/14 open thread · 0 replies · +4 points

In other words, the march for LGBT rights with ME at the forefront now requires the slow, hard slog island by island unless the UK Parliament or Dutch legislators intervene.

9 months ago @ Equality on Trial - REPORTS: President Bid... · 1 reply · +5 points

Russia is planning various human rights abuses against Russian and Belarusian dissidents in Ukraine, journalists, political activists, and religious, ethnic, and LGBTQI minorities along with holding a kill list and plans for camp detention for certain Ukrainians according to a letter based upon intelligence sources released by Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocker, U.S. Representative to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, to Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former president of Chile.

We are deeply concerned about Russia’s continuing human rights abuses in the parts of Ukraine it already occupies and have every reason to believe those concerns will multiply following a new military offensive. I would like to bring to your attention disturbing information recently obtained by the United States that indicates that human rights violations and abuses in the aftermath of a further invasion are being planned. These acts, which in past Russian operations have included targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, unjust detentions, and the use of torture, would likely target those who oppose Russian actions, including Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI persons. Specifically, we have credible information that indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation. We also have credible information that Russian forces will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or otherwise counter peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations.

As the United States explores every opportunity to push Russia toward de-escalation and diplomacy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised these concerns to the Security Council on February 17, 2022. In particular, he stated that the United States has information that indicates Russia will target specific groups of Ukrainians. At the Human Rights Council, the United States raised concerns about Russia’s plans during the debate on your Office’s periodic report on the situation in Ukraine on December 15, 2021.

Axios: "U.S. tells UN Russia plans Ukraine human rights abuses after invasion"

And to think of Putin accusing Zelensky and the Ukrainians of being the Nazis in this conflict.

11 months ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/20 open thread · 1 reply · +5 points

Consider that one of these "oddments" in the South Pacific includes American Samoa, the only natively populated U.S. territory where the legality of same-sex marriage is unclear. The territory is the only one of the five territories permanently populated by civilians whose residents do not hold birthright citizenship. The territory's constitution creates a system of local government ruled by family clan associations rather than free votes. Last year's census gives the territory a population of 49,710, a decrease of 10.5 percent from the 2010 census.

Under the arcane Insular Acts of the early 20th Century, the Constitution does not follow the flag in U.S. territories. The Constitution only applies in those territories that Congress has incorporated as an integral part of the U.S. The only incorporated territory is Palmyra Atoll, with no permanent population, and only because incorporation cannot be revoked as Palmyra was separated from Hawaii, an incorporated territory, when Hawaii was given statehood. Hence, every territory other than Palmyra (and separately also D.C., in a separate Constitutional status apart from the territories) merely belongs to the U.S., but is not part of the U.S.

Uniquely among natively populated territories, American Samoa is not an organized territory meaning that Congress has not passed an "organic act" creating a system of self-governance for the territory. At some time in the past, Congress did authorize the State Department to consult with local officials to create a local constitution for American Samoa. The constitution thus created was approved by local voters and is de facto law. Congress, however, has never ratified nor rejected the territorial constitution, and, thus, American Samoa is considered unorganized on that technicality alone.

Many aspects of AS law do not conform to what is acceptable in the U.S. or the rest of it's territories. Its family clan-based local governance falls afoul of the Constitutional principal of one-man-one-vote required elsewhere, for instance, although it lines up with how the neighboring Republic of Samoa governs itself. AS also believes in communal land ownership rather than private property rights. A non-Samoan may not buy land in AS but may merely lease.

Marriage equality in the territory awaits either for some same-sex couple to seek a marriage license or to have an expatriate return having married elsewhere seeking legal recognition of his/her/their marriage. So far, neither has happened yet.

1 year ago @ Equality on Trial - 10/18 open thread and ... · 0 replies · +3 points

That's because the petulant county clerk at the time, Molly Criner, is now the county judge in Irion County choosing to seek higher office as the position of county judge is the chief executive in Texas counties. Her replacement as county clerk, Shirley Graham, has no objections to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Presumably, couples seeking a same-sex marriage in Irion County in a civil ceremony conducted by a local official must do so through a justice-of-the-peace since the county judge will likely remain obstinate until someone with standing sues her ass.

This is not likely to happen soon since last year's census gives the county a population of 1,513. It is not a particularly scenic place, and it is certainly no gay destination nor any kind of marriage or honeymoon destination, either. It sits under the geographic armpit of much more populated Tom Green County where the city of San Angelo has more than 100,000 people and more tolerant attitudes.

1 year ago @ Equality on Trial - 4/21 open thread · 1 reply · +3 points

The Census Bureau has released its topline data on congressional reapportionment. Texas will gain two seats while Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon will each gain one.

Losing one seat each are California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Beatrice Jin, Zach Montellaro, Ally Mutnick, and Allan James Vestal, Politico: Which states are gaining House seats in 2022 — and which are losing out

Earlier forecasts from various demographic prognosticators had expected Texas to gain three seats and for Florida to gain two. New York's population count was just 89 persons shy of allowing that state to keep its delegation intact giving Minnesota, the state that otherwise would have lost a seat, a sigh of relief. Rhode Island unexpectedly kept both of its seats costing Arizona a projected gain. Florida, New York, and Texas all had delayed and ineffective campaigns to encourage census participation. Let the recriminations begin!

The shifts in seats will make it harder for the Democrats to hold their slim House majority, and represent a red shift in the Electoral College unless Florida, North Carolina, and Texas become more competitive.

The bureau expects to release the block-level data needed for new maps by the end of September, a process that has been delayed due to Covid and interference from the Trump administration. The delay in adopting maps, and the inevitable lawsuits that follow, will cause many states to push back their filing deadlines and primary calendars. Expect the new maps to cause a rash of retirements when many incumbents find themselves in unfavorable districts.

1 year ago @ Equality on Trial - 4/12 open thread · 0 replies · +4 points

Oh, my goodness! Where to begin? I guess I have to pick apart the third from the end paragraph sentence by sentence.

A father “can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball,” one of Dobson’s newsletters once said.

Or he can get a dog. Never mind the whole double entendre nature of words such as pitching and catching.

He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard.

Is this supposed to be an analogy to genitalia and orifices? Must he pound it in rather than gently glide it in? Are straight, white evangelicals supposed to have square, straight-sided equipment? What about round pegs and holes? What about square pegs whose corners fit nicely within round holes or round pegs whose edges fit perfectly in square holes? Would that be gay? Or miscegenation? Or what?

He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.

I'm sure the boy has to stay in the shower for a full hour after Dobson steps out just to scrub that whole creepiness out of his eyes. You know this is exactly the type of conduct that Focus on the Penis and the Penis Research Council would accuse gay men of doing when they adopt or parent children through surrogacy.

1 year ago @ Equality on Trial - Department of Defense ... · 0 replies · +3 points

I wish instead that many recent state and federal officials should be listed on a registry of serial civil rights abusers.