“Defining Marriage: A Debate!” at U of H tomorrow

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

One day we will get to the point where an University inviting guests to debate marriage equality will be greeted with the same scorn that an on-campus debate on women’s suffrage or whether or not African-Americans are 3/5 of a person would engender, but that day is not today. Just in time for the expected U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling on Prop. 8  tomorrow, Feb. 7, the Federalist Society and Outlaw at the University of Houston present “Defining Marriage: A Debate!” at noon in the Bates Law Building room 109.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage, will be on hand to defend the continued prohibition against marriage equality. Mitchell Katine, who served as local counsel in Lawrence v. Texas (the Supreme Court case declaring Texas’ law against “homosexual conduct” unconstitutional) will defend marriage as a civil right, constitutionally guaranteed by equal protection under the law.

As a bonus the first 70 attendees to arrive will receive a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich and waffle fries, because we like our civil rights debated with a side of irony.

After the jump get a sneak peak at the kind of keen logical arguments to be expected from Dr. Morse:

—  admin

Starvoice • 06.17.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Meredith Baxter turns 64 on Tuesday. For most of the ’80s, Baxter played Elyse Keaton on Family Ties. She’s mostly been seen in TV films and guest-starring roles. In an interview with Matt Lauer on Today back in 2009, she came out of the closet as lesbian. Her memoir Untied was released this past March.

THIS WEEK

For the next few months we get a taste of the Uranus-Pluto square that will dominate the next five years. Recent political turmoil has just been the set-up for major crises and changes ahead. Astrologically it looks a lot like 1848, 1939 and the ‘60s. Buckle your seatbelts; it’s gonna get bumpy.

………………….

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
As dystopian as the future looks, you’ll find a way to thrive. Trust your instincts and reconsider the most important lessons you learned from your mother. Talking with siblings can clarify that.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Frustrations in love and career are too big to solve by yourself. Fortunately you have some very wise and resourceful friends. As odd as their ideas may seem, they will likely help.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
It’s easy to worry yourself sick. Arguments make it worse. Focus on your career. Working through sexual issues is healing. Quiet time alone gives you space to think about what you need to do.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Sharing your innermost thoughts will open up ideas for creative fun. On the way, you open up some difficult childhood memories. Resolving an ugly past can clear the way for a better future.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Your home and partnership are heading for big changes. Be generous and comforting in bed. Family commitments need to change. Be clear on what those are. Be adaptive at work.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Obsessing on details leads to accidents and misunderstandings. Don’t neglect the important details; just keep it all in perspective. Your partner’s advice and practical support will prove helpful.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Now’s the time to find a job you enjoy. Channeling your sexual charisma into the job search is helpful, but if you already like your work that charisma can go back to what it does best.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Trying to manage your family or community will backfire. Focus on having fun. If you’re looking for love, play at being moody, broody and intense; but remember, you’re playing.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Conversations open up deep psychological insights. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your family, no matter how odd. Releasing old tensions could have surprising health benefits.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Reality is challenging your values and your plans, but that’s life. Adaptability and a sense of humor will help you stay true to your core while everything else goes crazy.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Be very sure that your career is in line with your ambitions. Being unhappy on your job track will get you derailed. Contempt for authority is well-deserved but pick your battles strategically.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
“Bad religion” is a subjective experience. Focus on your own personal beliefs; know where you find clarity, support and reassurance. Respect others’ paths while finding your own.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Judge to rule this week in Nikki Araguz case

Nikki Araguz

Transgender widow vows appeal if she loses case

JUAN A. LOZANO  |  Associated Press

WHARTON, Texas — The transgender widow of a Texas firefighter will likely learn next week whether his family’s request to nullify their marriage and strip her of any death benefits will be granted, a judge said Friday.

State District Judge Randy Clapp made the announcement after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed by the family of firefighter Thomas Araguz III, who was killed while battling a blaze last year. The suit argues that his widow shouldn’t get any benefits because she was born a man and Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

The widow, Nikki Araguz, said she had done everything medically and legally possible to show that she is female and was legally married under Texas law. She believes that she’s entitled to widow’s benefits.

“I believe the judge is going to rule in my favor,” Araguz said after the court hearing.

The lawsuit seeks control over death benefits and assets totaling more than $600,000, which the firefighter’s family wants to go to his two sons from a previous marriage. Voiding the marriage would prevent Nikki Araguz from receiving any insurance or death benefits or property the couple had together.

Thomas Araguz died while fighting a fire at an egg farm near Wharton, about 60 miles southwest of Houston, in July 2010. He was 30.

His mother, Simona Longoria, filed a lawsuit asking that her son’s marriage be voided. She and her family have said he learned of his wife’s gender history just prior to his death, and after he found out, he moved out of their home and planned to end the marriage.

But Nikki Araguz, 35, has insisted that her husband was aware she was born a man and that he fully supported her through the surgical process to become a woman. She underwent surgery two months after they were married in 2008.

Longoria’s attorney, Chad Ellis, argued that Texas law — specifically a 1999 appeals court ruling that stated chromosomes, not genitals, determine gender — supports his client’s efforts to void the marriage.

The ruling upheld a lower court’s decision that threw out a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a San Antonio woman, Christie Lee Cavazos Littleton, after her husband’s death. The court said that although Littleton had undergone a sex-change operation, she was actually a man, based on her original birth certificate, and therefore her marriage and wrongful death claim were invalid.

Ellis presented medical and school records that he said showed Nikki Araguz was born without female reproductive organs and that she presented herself as a male while growing up and going to school. He also said her birth certificate at the time of her marriage indicated she was a man.

“By law, two males cannot be married in this state,” Ellis told the judge.

Nikki Araguz, who was born in California, did not change her birth certificate to reflect she had become a female until after her husband’s death, said Edward Burwell, one of the attorneys for Thomas Araguz’s ex-wife, Heather Delgado, the mother of his two children.

But one of Nikki Araguz’s attorneys, Darrell Steidley, said that when his client got her marriage license, she presented the necessary legal documents to show she was a female. He also noted changes made in 2009 to the Texas Family Code that allowed people to present numerous alternatives to a birth certificate as the proof of identity needed to get a marriage license. That was an example, he argued, of the state trying to move away from the 1999 appeals court ruling.

The changes in 2009 allowed transgendered people to use proof of their sex change to get a marriage license. The Texas Legislature is currently considering a bill that would prohibit county and district clerks from using a court order recognizing a sex change as documentation to get married.

After the hearing, the firefighter’s family and attorneys for his ex-wife criticized plans by Nikki Araguz to star in a reality television dating show and implied she was only interested in money and fame that the case would bring her.

“That is absurd,” Nikki Araguz said in response. “I’m after my civil equality and the rights that I deserve as the wife of a fallen firefighter.”

If the judge rules against the firefighter’s family in their motion for a summary judgment, the case would then proceed to trial. Araguz said if the judge rules against her, she would appeal, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

—  John Wright

Starvoice • 04.29.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Lesley Gore turns 65 on Monday. Much has changed in music since singer Lesley Gore recorded her biggest hit “It’s My Party” back in 1963. But maybe it was Gore who “changed” the most. The iconic singer came out as lesbian in 2005 and stated she knew in her late teens that she was attracted to women. Now we have to go back and listen to all her lyrics again.

……………………………….

THIS WEEK

Uranus, newly in Aries, cranks up spontaneous individualism and assertion. The sun is in Taurus, semi-square to Uranus provoking a lot of stubbornness. Don’t challenge others with an uppity, obstinate attitude; look for creative new ways to show loyalty and resilience.

………………………………

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Life’s tough blows have been piling up, but don’t let it give you piles. Much as people depend on the solid, reliable you, you need to be able to let it out and lean on someone else.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Your friends are only human. Don’t take disappointments to heart. Cutting off communications is a big mistake, but so is over-talking the problem. A short break may be best.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Your friends’ ideas fare too much from the heart, not enough from the brains. Going along with them could hurt your rep and your wallet. Thank them for their ideas and change the subject.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
In your ideal relationship you’re the star married to your agent or manager. That means you can’t always be the boss! Arguments are normal but listening remains more important than speaking.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Novel sex techniques are a blast but require some safety. They also open up a lot of suppressed feelings. How well do you know your partner? Just be sure that he or she can be trusted.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
You and your mate have a great time exploring kinky new fun. Anything from silk scarf bondage to cattle prods is open to testing. Slow, careful and easy is the best approach, at first anyway.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
You are part of a team and everyone else is as important as you. As much as your special talents do contribute to the team, cultivate humility as one of those talents.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Argue about movie, art, sports, anything fun or creative; you’re sure to find amazing new ideas. Keep your mind and ears open and respectful of other notions. Be polite with the idiots.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Livening up your home life should be a fun creative challenge, not a painful economic one. Unleash your dark side in planning changes, but not in how you treat housemates.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Criticism of family, housemates or your community is surprising in its harshness. If you can’t be kind, give your loved ones a break and look for schmucks who deserve your wrath.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Financial surprises work your nerves. You need a break. Try something new and different even if it’s just a quiet stroll in a park or country road you’ve never trod before.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
The cost of living force some choices in how you unwind. Look ahead 10 years and imagine what friendships, talents and skills you’d like to have developed through your hobbies.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

GLAD’s Bonauto on DOJ’s DOMA brief: ‘We’re prepared to meet these arguments head-on’

I’m so glad we have Mary Bonauto on our side.

Via press release from GLAD:

The government’s appeal follows a decision issued on July 8, 2010 by federal District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro in favor of GLAD’s plaintiffs, seven married couples and three widowers, who have been denied access to federal programs because of DOMA. In that decision, Judge Tauro concluded that DOMA is unconstitutional.

“We see nothing really new in this brief, which reiterates many of the same arguments the government made in the District Court,” said Mary L. Bonauto, who is leading the DOMA team for GLAD. “We’re prepared to meet these arguments head-on, and bring to an end the discrimination that is suffered by married same-sex couples like our plaintiffs and that DOJ has admitted is caused by DOMA.”

You can read a copy of the brief by clicking here.

The next step in the case is for GLAD to file its response brief, which is due March 1, 2011.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Live Chat for the Prop. 8 Oral Arguments

The oral arguments begin at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET — and will be broadcast live on C-SPAN.

Our chat is joined by Professor David Cruz, a Constitutional Law expert from USC.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

The arguments against repealing DADT rooted in outlandish fear and homophobia

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

In the fight to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the argument of the lgbt community has been consistent.

Sexual orientation should not be used a criteria to keep people from serving their country. Lgbts can and have served in the military admirably and should not have to lie to continue to do so.

Now on the other side of the fence, the arguments of those who want to keep DADT (or keep lgbts out of the military altogether) have ranged from distortions to downright outrageous lies.

Let's look at the top five:

5. Gays will go “rape crazy” on military men – This year, discredited researcher Paul Cameron actually had the audacity to come out with a “study” claiming that gays are four to seven more times likely to rape their fellow servicemen. He even says that some perpetrators of heterosexual sex assaults can be termed as gay because apparently some gay men “like women too.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, while saying nothing about Cameron's phony study, actually echoed its main points:

Our military exists to fight and win wars, not engage in radical social engineering. Forcing soldiers to cohabit with people who view them as sexual objects would inevitably lead to increased sexual tension, sexual harassment, and even sexual assault.


4. Heterosexuals will abandon the military if DADT is repealed – Last year, The Military Times came out with a survey claiming that a majority of respondents (58%) said they opposed openly gay service and 10% said they would not re-enlist if the ban was lifted. However, the Palm Center and Gary Langer who headed polling for ABC News skewered the survey for numerous errors.

Robert Knight of the right-wing Coral Ridge Ministries earlier this year said the following:

” . . .25 percent of people in the military have said they'll either resign or they wouldn't re-enlist. It would hurt recruitment because the military draws from traditional populations that have very traditional values. It would hurt unit cohesion.”

However, it was discovered that the poll he was citing was nonexistent.  Knight's claim originated from a quote by World Net Daily writer Mychal Massie.  World Net Daily is a publication not necessarily know for its credibility. Amongst other things, it pushes the belief that President Obama is not a United States citizen.

 

3. Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal will lead to the draft, forced abortions, pansexual cross-dressing, forced abortions – Robert Knight again:

Forcing open homosexuality on the armed forces would destroy the volunteer military and bring back the compulsory draft. Since women are now deployed close to combat, and the only legal reason they are not eligible is their combat exemption, a new draft could include our daughters. And some would face pressure to have on-base abortions in order to complete their tours of duty.

Chaplains would be the first victims of Mr. Obama's homosexualization of the military, followed by anyone who violated “zero tolerance” policies for homosexual acceptance. Bible-believing Christians would quickly find themselves unwelcome in Barney Frank's new pansexual, cross-dressing military.

Other fallout includes family housing, reduction in retention, recruitment and unit cohesion, an increase in homosexual sexual assaults and a boost to overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Can you believe that? He forgot the wanton cannibalism.

2. Gays in the military will lead to increased diseases – Earlier this year, a right-wing group, America's Survival, put out a video claiming that gays serving openly in the military will lead to an increase in diseases like AIDS. The video was so offensive that it was removed from youtube.

America's Survival is led by Cliff Kincaid, head of the right-wing group Accuracy In Media. Kincaid and AIM has a long history of smearing the gay community.

Earlier this year, AIM was forced to retract a story on its web page which inaccurately accused Obama appointee Kevin Jennings of being a pedophile.

And Kincaid is probably one of the only few people in this country who openly defends Uganda's anti-gay bill including the part about the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”

Now what can top all of these ridiculous reasons? This one by the Traditional Values Coalition:

1. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell will lead to “sodomy on the battlefield” and sex parties:

Imagine the impact that the rampant spread of STDs, including HIV would have on the military? How will the military handle the spread of these diseases in the barracks? How will the military handle sodomy in battlefield situations?  . . . what about the unrestrained drug and sex antics committed by young male homosexuals?


The reasons for repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell are good enough to stand on their own.  But the claims of the opposition add credibility to these reasons simply because they are totally unprovable, illogical, and add nothing to the argument. They mainly come from a desire to exploit fear and ignorance. And a place of desperation.

Fear, ignorance, and desperation are qualities which have never had a place in our Armed Forces. And they don't deserve to be accommodated now.

But those who have served admirably and will continue to do so, regardless of sexual orientation, should be allowed in through the front door.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

BREAKING: Prop 8 Oral Arguments To Be Televised Live on C-SPAN

Good news!

By way of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Notice of Docket Activity

The following transaction was entered on 11/17/2010 at 3:54:16 PM PST and

filed on 11/17/2010

Case Name: Kristin Perry, et al v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al

Case Number: 10-16696

C-SPAN applied to televise live the case captioned above, scheduled to be heard in San Francisco, on December 6, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. C-SPAN’s request to televise live is GRANTED.

A maximum of two (2) video cameras will be permitted in the courtroom. C-SPAN will serve as the pool-feed for all media organizations that submit an application.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

C-SPAN to Televise Oral Arguments in Federal Prop 8 Case

Prop8 C-Span will televise oral arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal challenge to Proposition 8, when it goes before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Clerk of Court Molly Dwyer:

"C-SPAN applied to televise live the case captioned above, scheduled to be heard in San Francisco, on December 6, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. C-SPAN’s request to televise live is GRANTED. A maximum of two (2) video cameras will be permitted in the courtroom. C-SPAN will serve as the pool-feed for all media organizations that submit an application."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin