SCOTUS Caveman alert – Scalia: Women don’t have constitutional protection against discrimination

What’s next in the intellectual bloviating of conservative activist SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia – is slavery OK? We already know he doesn’t believe in the right for two consenting adults to engage in anything other than PIV sex.

He was interviewed recently and let loose this flaming pile of horseshite:

In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?

Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don’t need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don’t like the death penalty anymore, that’s fine. You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.

What do you do when the original meaning of a constitutional provision is either in doubt or is unknown?

I do not pretend that originalism is perfect. There are some questions you have no easy answer to, and you have to take your best shot. … We don’t have the answer to everything, but by God we have an answer to a lot of stuff … especially the most controversial: whether the death penalty is unconstitutional, whether there’s a constitutional right to abortion, to suicide, and I could go on. All the most controversial stuff. … I don’t even have to read the briefs, for Pete’s sake.

Amanda Terkel at Huff Post covered the reaction to “Little Tony’s” latest belching of retrograde thinking.

For the record, the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” That would seem to include protection against exactly the kind of discrimination to which Scalia referred.

Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, called the justice’s comments “shocking” and said he was essentially saying that if the government sanctions discrimination against women, the judiciary offers no recourse.

“In these comments, Justice Scalia says if Congress wants to protect laws that prohibit sex discrimination, that’s up to them,” she said. “But what if they want to pass laws that discriminate? Then he says that there’s nothing the court will do to protect women from government-sanctioned discrimination against them. And that’s a pretty shocking position to take in 2011. It’s especially shocking in light of the decades of precedents and the numbers of justices who have agreed that there is protection in the 14th Amendment against sex discrimination, and struck down many, many laws in many, many areas on the basis of that protection.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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ALERT FOR DADT REPEAL ADVOCATES IN VIRGINIA: Stop what you’re doing, pick up the phone, and call your senators

The senate has scheduled a final vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal for tomorrow. Even though a majority of senators support repeal, we need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster – and when they last voted, we had 57. This could be our last chance for years. Every single call counts. And with the vote just hours away, every single minute counts.

Click here to call Sen. Mark Warner at (202) 224-2023 and Sen. Jim Webb at (202) 224-4024 and tell them: I’m counting on you to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

1.     Call one senator’s office, and tell the staff person who answers where you live so they know you’re a real constituent.

2.     Tell them you want the senator to support the standalone bill repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – and that you’ll remember how they vote when they’re next up for election.

3.     Thank them, hang up, and make your second call to the other senator.

4.     Click here to let us know you made a call – we use this information to guide our lobbying efforts, so please don’t skip it.

Whether your senator is a courageous champion of repeal, or a die-hard opponent – you still need to call. Right-wing activists are desperately trying to stop this bill, and I can guarantee they are lighting up the phone lines right now. If you don’t get through right away, try again.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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NYC Alert: 3 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Events

A trio of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” events will be coming soon to New York City, two tomorrow.

Pictured above is Iraq War veteran Anthony Woods, discharged under “Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He was a candidate for US Congress in 2008. He was photographed by Brooklyn photographer Jo Ann Santangelo. She will be having a display of photographs from her project “Proud to Serve,” a recent 4 week, 10,167 mile road trip around the United States documenting the lives of LGBT veterans and servicemembers. Let us support those putting faces to the statistics.

Exhibit opening and book release this Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 5:30 at New York City's The LGBT Center, Manhattan.

There will also be a roundtable discussion among activists and media professionals at the NYC Gay Center at 7:00.  Clinton White House LGBT advisor Richard Socarides, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, Nathaniel Frank formerly of the Palm Center and Center for American Progress' Winnie Stachelberg are expected.

Hosts include The Center and its Young Leaders Council (YLC), Knights Out, The Service Member’s Legal Defense Network (SLDN), The Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and the Lesbian and Gay Law Associate of Greater New York (LeGaL).

As most of us know, DADT disproportionately affects women, and people of color.

Next week, plan to attend the Gay Veterans of Color Speak Out panel discussion at the New York City's LGBT Community Center on Monday, November 15th at 6:30 PM (208 W. 13th street). 

A speaker slot is still open. Interested parties should contact organizers here. Transportation costs can be covered.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Alert: HRC Unveils New “Proud” Collaboration w/Designers Alex & Chloe

I’m just passing along this essential information to the Blend “forward thinking fashionistas.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2010

Paul Guequierre | paul.guequierre@hrc.org | Phone: 202/423.2860

Human Rights Campaign Unveils New “Proud” Collaboration with Designers Alex & Chloe

New Proud Collection in time for National Coming Out Day October 11th


http://www.hrc.org/alexandchloe

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization is unveiling its newest collaboration with innovative Los Angeles-based designers Alex & Chloe. Following the success of last year’s collaboration, Alex & Chloe have done it again, creating a new bold limited-edition “Proud” collection exclusively for Human Rights Campaign to encourage all forward thinking fashionistas to come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or straight supporters and raise awareness for LGBT equality. Alex & Chloe are the ultimate authority when it comes to style and originality securing them a dedicated global fashion following among trendsetters and celebrities worldwide.

“We are extremely honored to work with the Human Rights Campaign and fully support their continuing effort to attain equal rights for all people. WE LOVE YOU HRC!” – Alex & Chloe

Launching the collection in time for National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is only fitting since Alex  Chloe have been out as supporters of HRC and LGBT equality for years. National Coming Out Day was founded by activists who believed LGBT people needed to be visible and equality could not be achieved from the closet. The goal of NCOD is to educate America about the lives of LGBT people, to dispel myths and misconceptions and help people live fuller lives. This year’s NCOD theme is “Come Out for Equality” and seeks to open a dialogue between LGBT and straight Americans and urges everyone to come out and get involved in the work for equality.

Made in the USA, the 100% combed cotton, custom dyed t-shirt features eight screen printed activist buttons (notable mentions include: “Closets are for clothes”, “I heart HRC” and the Alex & Chloe logo) on the front left chest and a big safety pin on the bottom right. It is available in unisex sizes XS-XXL in vintage black and is enzyme washed for softness.

The necklace features a laser cut black acrylic “equal sign” pendant with Human Rights Campaign debossed along the bottom edge along with an Alex  Chloe logo charm on an antique brass extender chain that can be worn from 22″ to 26″ inches in length. It comes beautifully packaged in a handsome 100% recycled Alex & Chloe gift box.

Previous designs have been released by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis, Kenneth Cole, Christian Siriano, Heatherette, Nike and American Apparel.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright