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4 weeks 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.

30 weeks 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.

31 weeks 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.

33 weeks 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.

38 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 3/3 open thread · 0 replies · +2 points

Wow! A PAN-PRI-PRD coalition of the nation's three traditionally largest parties spanning left and right would have been unthinkable even just a couple of years ago. The upstart MORENA party under the leadership of AMLO, the PRD-apostate who was their presidential nominee, shocked the country by winning the presidency and scoring stunning federal and state victories throughout the country on a progressive platform.

In a way, MORENA has been good for LGBT rights in that many state legislatures under their leadership have passed marriage equality, adoption rights, and easy gender-change procedures for identity documents. The party has also been effective at expelling or disciplining legislators who defy the party's pro-equality positions on these measures. However, under AMLO's leadership, there has been no movement on the federal level to enact these changes nationally that would render unnecessary the state-by-state board game we are currently witnessing.

Worse, AMLO's appeasement of Trump and his embrace of Trumpist populism is appalling. AMLO stands accused from his own leftist base of capitulating to Trump in abandoning NAFTA and Mexican workers in his support for the new USCMA trade agreement. He has effectively helped fulfill Trump's promise that Mexico would pay for the border wall by using state coffers to mobilize the Mexican army to intimidate Central American asylum seekers on Mexico's northern and southern borders while also supporting Trump's remain in Mexico policy for those refugees. He has also been just as horrible of a Covidiot in refusing to implement common-sense mandates regarding social distancing and masks.

Yes, MORENA has been helpful in speeding along adoption of LGBT rights in states across the country. However, these reforms were already inevitable everywhere due to existing court precedence. On the whole, AMLO has been bad for his country and for his party. He has squandered this rare opportunity to implement progressive reform, and his party will suffer accordingly.

Like the right in the U.S., the Mexican left has a propensity of falling for personality cults around dear leaders. MORENA needs to be crushed and go back to the PRD with the newfound understanding that success comes from championing popular policies that improve peoples lives rather than swooning over candidates like AMLO, Cuahutémoc Cárdenas, or whatever "savior" may emerge.

38 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - House of Representativ... · 1 reply · +3 points

Statehood for either PR or DC may not require a supermajority to overcome a legislative filibuster in the Senate as admitting states is technically not a legislative act. New states are admitted through joint resolutions rather than legislative bills, and their admission requires no new law to be published as part of the U.S. Code. Similarly, Article IV of the Constitution says that admitting new states is a prerogative of Congress providing no constitutional role for the president who has no authority to sign or veto any such resolution. Here is a compelling argument for that position.

Jon Walker, The Week: Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes

41 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 2/8 open thread · 1 reply · +4 points

The populated territories can get away with these weird arrangements because they're unincorporated. Under the outdated insular cases, which are unfortunately still precedential, the territories belong to the United States but are not of the United States. If they should ever become incorporated and therefore become of the United States where the Constitution irrevocably follows the flag, the territorial legislatures would have to conform to the one-man-one-vote principles of the Reynolds v. Sims decision of 1964 which prohibits at-large districts.

41 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 2/8 open thread · 0 replies · +4 points

There are other aspects that make Nebraska peculiar. It's unicameral lawmaking body is called the Legislature, but individual legislators are called senators. This is because the House of Representatives of the formerly bicameral Legislature was abolished in the 1930s. With only 49 senators, the state has the smallest legislative body of any state. Senators are elected to staggered, four-year terms.

The Legislature is also unique in that the senators are elected on nonpartisan ballots in a jungle primary with the November election in even-numbered years serving as a runoff where necessary. The senators have no party conferences, and coalitions ebb and flow according to geography or issues involving specific legislation. Nevertheless, candidates proudly proclaim their partisan affiliations while campaigning, and the state parties commonly endorse candidates. Now you have all the "fun facts" you never wanted to know about Nebraska.

42 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Pete Buttigieg becomes... · 0 replies · +4 points

The Texas Legislature is meeting in its biennial, 140-day regular session. Predictably, several GOP lawmakers are jumping at the chance to beat down transgender children and students with law books in order to prove what cissies they are. State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) and state Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) have each filed bills that would block transgender girls from participating on girl-specific athletic teams. Swanson's bill goes even further extending the ban to trans women in higher education which would place the state's colleges and universities in direct conflict with the nondiscrimination policies of the NCAA and many athletic conferences.

Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) has filed a bill that would provide criminal penalties to doctors or other health care professionals who treat transgender children with puberty blockers, hormone therapies, or any other transitional care.

Kate McGee and Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans want to keep transgender women out of women’s school sports teams

Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) is the new House speaker while Lite Guv Potty Patrick continues to run the Senate. Phelan was elected with the full support of House Democrats. Let's hope these bills don't see the light of day under his tenure just as his two predecessors routinely would have killed them.

Unfortunately, because demographic data for redistricting probably won't be released before the end of April, the Lege will undoubtedly be back in special session this summer giving them more chance for mayhem.

42 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - President Biden revers... · 0 replies · +1 points

I live about halfway between El Paso and Midland and receive network TV affiliates from both the El Paso and Midland-Odessa markets. The Midland-Odessa stations have been all over her since right after the Coup Clutz Clan attack on the Capitol.

Cudd is a former candidate for mayor of Midland whose views are too extreme even for deeply conservative Midland. She is wholly unapologetic and proud of her attempt to usurp democracy, and said to local media she fully intended to participate in a planned disruption of the Biden inauguration before she was arrested.

The national media has been reporting that she is a local florist without going into further detail. Other florists in the city have complained bitterly to local media about receiving bad Yelp reviews and hateful comments on social media since the riot despite not having any association with her. Midland has over 100,000 people, so it holds several flower shops.

That this woman acted according to her white privilege doesn't surprise me. Midland is a place where most people agree with her politics if not her tactics creating their own bubble. What astounds me is her sense of entitlement. It's a completely different matter to travel halfway across the country to try to overthrow the constitutional order and the will of the majority believing her views matter more than anyone else's, and then expect to be able to go on vacation out of the country as if it all was no big deal.