Shameless Journey video break: Steve Perry surfaces at Giants game 5 NLCS

Steve Perry sightings are rare, you know. Since he effectively retired from performing after Journey’s 1996 Trial By Fire album, you rarely hear from “The Voice” — or see him for that matter. Those rare sightings for Perry loyalists usually means more fantasies of him coming out of retirement. Note to the die-hards: I don’t see it happening. He (and his voice) can’t live up to expectations of 1980s SP. Just hit repeat on your MP3s and treasure that. I do.

It’s nice to see him happy and exuberant cheering on his beloved S.F. Giants with the crowd.

As far as the current iteration of Journey is concerned, the word is that a new album (with fantastic current lead singer Arnel Pineda) is going to be out in March 2011, with a world tour following. I’m a member of the Arnel Pineda fan site (he’s a really nice guy); go ahead and laugh — it’s like being 16 again, except at least there are more people in the group that are my age than I expected. The only other fan group I belong to is for L&O: SVU, so that makes two obsessions other than politics; the diversion keeps me centered if a bit eccentric. But you already knew I was a bit out of the ordinary…

So I’m putting the word out now — anyone out there who has connections to get badass concert seats (and a backstage pass) for me, you now know how to make this blogmistress really happy. :)

Related:

* Blogmistress music overload: my Journey immersion weekend
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Governor Rick Perry: Texas is ‘a Land of Opportunity’ Unless You’re Gay and Want to Marry

Perry

On the campaign trail, Governor Rick Perry talked up Texas:

That prompted a question, later on, from someone in the audience who wanted to know if the governor of Texas wants to be the next president of the United States. "No," Perry said. "I have no intention to go to Washington, D.C., except maybe to go to a museum, like the Smithsonian."

Social issues might be in the back seat, but they're still in the car: "There is still a land of opportunity, friends โ€” it's called Texas," Perry said. "We're creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. … Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?"


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Katy Perry Still Trying to Prove She Kisses Girls By Hitting Up Lesbian Parties

The best (only good?) part about reading how Katy Perry was "partying with lesbians" — she showed up at the all-girl Grouse Party at the Bendigo Hotel in Australia, after also "crashing" a prom — is that they got a quote from somebody named Muffy. You can't make this stuff up. [MTV UK; photo via]


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—  John Wright

Brian Brown States That Perry Decision Is Critical

Note from Louise: This clip, taken July 14th prior to the NOM Summer Tour 2010 kick-off in Augusta ME, is one that we (Snooky and I) thought irretrievably lost to the computer gods- but found the other night that the files were indeed saved. 

Altogether there are 21 clips from that event available on my YouTube account; Snooky was able to get essentially the entire NOM rally including interviews Brian Brown granted with press media and local CBS affiliate WGME. 

Enjoy!

~Louise~

——————————————————- 

Brian Brown admits on camera:

Ultimately, the Perry case, which attempts to overturn Proposition 8 in California, would overturn ALL state marriage amendments, definitions of marriage. So it's a threat to ALL states, including Maine…I think everyone agrees that ultimately it's going to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

This isn't over. But it's a damn good start. Let those wedding bells ring!

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Inalienable Rights: Perry V Schwarzenegger

There is a lot of discussion going on about the recent decision in the Perry Vs. Schwarzenegger case, and the related issues surrounding it.
Let's take a moment and look at some facts, some of the arguments being used, and the realities of Law in America.
One of the current memes being circulated with a lot of fervor is, in the law, literally without any basis or merit. This is the idea that Judge Walker's sexual orientation (which Judge Walker has never publicly discussed, ever) has bearing on his decision.
If Judge Walker's sexual orientation had a bearing on the case, then the sexual orientation of any judge who would rule on the issue will equally have bearing on the matter. Which means one would have to find someone without any sexual orientation (ergo, no gay, not straight, and not bisexual) to decide the case — and there are no publicly asexual judges currently sitting in the Northern Court that walker sits in.
People who use this argument are, therefore, essentially saying something that suggests that gay people are less than straight people — less trustworthy. This is established by the fact that if you mention the above to the people saying this, they say no, that's not the case, a straight person wouldn't benefit or be biased, when the basis of the argument most widely spoken against allowing gay people to marry is that they are “protecting traditional marriage” which would be, logically, a benefit to a straight person.
One cannot have it both ways, and so that shows a logical, reasonable failure of understanding, and demonstrates an irrational ideation that gay people are something to be avoided, or intensely disliked, or fearful of (in this case, the fear involved is that they will cause damage to the idea of traditional marriage).
When one is irrationally driven to aversion (avoiding, disgust), intense dislike (literally, hate), or fearful reaction to something, that's called a phobia. IN this case, Homophobia, which makes the statement regarding Judge Walker homophobic.
Now, the statement being homophobic doesn't mean the person is — they could, for example, merely be parroting the stuff said by the absolutely homophobic leadership of various organizations.

The case that Walker decided on, as well, was not about “gay marriage” as something distinct and separate from “traditional marriage”. In Law, it's all just “marriage”.
Marriage, under the Constitution, is a civil right. It has been, as well, of rover a hundred years, reaffirmed by 14 different rulings on the matter. This is why convicted mass murderers and child rapists can get married, even while on Death Row or in prison. Indeed, those weddings often take place in prisons, and the states and counties have to pay the cost of providing security and so forth for those weddings.
Now, one can argue that marriage shouldn't be a civil right, but that's just like arguing that the sky isn't blue — it's a fun little mental exercise, perhaps, but has little effect or bearing on the reality of the situation. It is, basically, a waste of time.
Indeed, it is an inalienable right. It is not a right of men to marry women or women to marry men. It is, simply and basically, a right to marry. And that's the word that is used: marriage.
How would those opposed to people exercising that right feel if someone passed a law that said they couldn't speak out against gay people. They probably wouldn't like it. In fact, it's a certainty they wouldn't, since that's what they say allowing gay to engage in marriage is going to do, it's what they saying passing ENDA is going to do, and it's what they say that passing DADT is going to do.
Its part of the fears they use, and what they are talking about when they say that is a State or Government passing a law that deny's them access to exercise their right to free speech.
Now, the government *can* do that. As one of the Family Research Council's leaders recently said, there are limits on marriage. This is true. He also said that the public should be able to put limits on marriage. That's true, too.
Now, here's the thing. In order to put limits on someone's ability to exercise a fundamental right, under the constitution, you have to pass a test that's generally called strict scrutiny. Sometimes its a lesser charge, but it depends on the way the question in court is phrased.
In this case, the question is based on two parts of the 14th Amendment; two parts which basically say that the States have to honor the bill of Rights (because the Bill of Rights is strictly speaking only applicable to the actions of the federal government, not the States).
One of these is due process, and under a due process claim, the standard in situations like this one — and free speech, and free press, and all the rest of the “big deal' rights — is strict scrutiny.
The other section is called Equal protection, and that one can be rational basis (the lowest standard) or intermediate basis (the middle one, with strict being the highest).
Strict scrutiny has three sections that have to be proven, and this is what Judge Walker did. He looked at the facts of the case — and note carefully that the only facts he can look at are those facts that are shown to him in the case itself. The same will apply in each of the appeals courts.
Now, strict scrutiny is a seriously hard test. And when you are arguing with them, you should point out that it exists specifically to protect rights.
First, there's gotta be a compelling governmental interest. That means something necessary or crucial, not merely something folks would like, but seriously important to protecting stuff like life and limb. Stuff like national security, preserving the lives of multiple individuals, and not violating explicit constitutional protections.
Next, it has to be narrowly tailored — which means that it has to follow a strict semantic meaning and go for strictly the specific thing that meets the above part. It can't just be an across the board deal. If it goes too far or doesn't deal, specifically, with the aspects that the government has an interest in stopping, then it's not a narrow enough rule or law, and fails this test.
And, lastly, because it is dealing with a critical right, it has to be the least restrictive means for stopping that exercise of that right. This is why you can yell “Fire!” in a park, but not in a crowded movie theater. Now, there can be a couple of ways to do it, and if they are equally the least restrictive, then it doesn't matter, but if one is more restrictive than the other, then the least must be used.
Now, anything that happens has to pass all three of those things to be considered “ok”. This is why Corporations get freedom of speech and that means you can't just say across the board that they cannot donate. They are thought of as people (and, therefore, it is conceivable that two of them could get married), just like marriage is a right, and as a result of that, they have freedom of speech.
In law, the judges have to look at the facts that are determined in the process of the trial. That's why judges need so much time to go over the trial record and all that. Once those facts are known (findings of fact) they are pretty much there permanently for that case.
For any other case, though, they have to be done again. From scratch. So, anyone planning to file in federal court against the unlawful restriction on their right to marry (and yes, all citizens of the US have a right to marry) best get a copy not merely of the ruling, but of the transcripts and filings as well.
Now, why's that, if one case can be cited in another? Because when you cite a case in a different trial, all that anyone is really allowed to look at is the conclusions of law — the part where they say this is what X does. The rest of it — the law that was challenged, the reasons why it was challenged, all of that stuff, is called “dicta”, and no longer matters. So, for example, when someone cites Loving V Virginia in a court of law, what they are doing is saying that at a different time in a similar case, the judges said that a law that stops people from exercising their inalienable rights was wrong.
In this case, Prop 8 was found to not meet a governmental interest (procreation is not a government interest in times of overpopulation), was not narrowly tailored (it prevented tens of thousands of citizens from exercising their right at all), and was not the least restrictive way of achieving the oft stated goal of protecting traditional marriage.
Which is why it failed the due process challenge.
And it's important to note that the questions Judge walker was asked were very simply stated: Does a specific law prevent citizens of the United States from exercising their inalienable rights in an unconstitutional manner?
There's no mention of marriage in that.
And that's why it isn't about marriage. It could be about freedom of speech, or the right of privacy, or freedom from search and seizure, or any of the other rights that we have. And that's critical to understand.
So ask yourself a simple question:
Do you want to grant to the States the right to take away *your* civil rights with a popular vote?
Because that is, in fact, what this case is about, and the Constitution of the United States says that they cannot.
So those who are trying to deny gay people the right to marry (and that right doesn't mean limiting it to someone of the opposite sex as that does not meet the test described earlier), are, literally, saying that they want to give the states the power to take away their rights under the law without any good reason.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Why Perry v. Schwarzenegger is unlikely to reach the US Supreme Court if we win

For a few months now, I have known about the potential that Perry v. Schwazennegger may not reach the US Supreme Court due to a standing problem that only the sharpest of the legal eagles picked up on, but I was not certain until Judge Walker denied a particular motion.

The good news is: Prop 8 will be struck down and marriages will be resuming if not next week, than in the next few months.   The bad news is, SCOTUS will likely not take the case if we win (not that that is neccesarily a bad thing, as we can still hit SCOTUS if Perry/AFER wins).

Here is why….

Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for a stay

Read pages 5, 6, and 7.  Under Diamond v. Charles and Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, the Proposition 8 Proponents (the Defendant-Intervenors) have do not have what is called “Article III” beyond the trial court.  Only GOVERNMENT intervenors have the ability to appeal.

San Francisco's Motion to Intervene Response

Imperial County's attempt to Intervene

You see, The Proposition 8 Proponents realized that they screwed up royally.   They didn't realize until months after AFER filed their case that they had no standing to appeal the case because they were not governmental intervenors under the Diamond and Arizonans for Official English Supreme Court cases.  

That is why they called up the Imperial County Board of Supervisors and asked them intervene.  Judge Walker finally ruled the day he released the Perry decision to deny Imperial County's motion.

You can see the entire Perry docket here.

By filing the motion to the court today to point out the elephant in the room, that the Proposition 8 Proponents have no standing on appeal by themselves without a governmental entity appealing on their behalf, AFER and San Francisco just publicly decapitated Yes On Eight's standing.

Yes there will be appeals, and yes AFER should get ready to take it to SCOTUS and should not rest on it's laurels and make the best case possible for equality as high as it will go, but the chances of this getting to SCOTUS just went from 100 percent certainty to less than 20 percent as soon as they filed that motion.  Remember, AFER's job with suing over Prop 8 was to get the plaintiffs (as well as anyone similarly situated who resides or visits California) marriage licenses.  As attorneys, not pointing out that the Yes on 8 doesn't have appellate standing would be a dereliction of their duty as the attorneys for the two couples.  They want to win for them, as well as striking down Article 1 Section 7.5 of the California Constitution so that everyone in California can enjoy the right that was taken from them bigoted voting majority in November 2008….

Never fear, however. AFER can always file in another state.   This goes to show that AFER plays three dimensional chess while the opponents to our equality play checkers.  I hear Washington and Oregon is nice this time of year…..

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Did the Legal Team in Perry Just Win For Good?

When the Perry v. Schwarzenegger decision was announced earlier this week there was – to quote Monty Python – much rejoicing.  But immediately following the excitement and celebration there came a dark echo of caution: “This isn’t over,” it said.  “There are still appeals to the Ninth Circuit, and eventually, to the Supreme Court.  Anything could happen.”

Except, what if that’s only half right?  What if part of the “anything” that could happen is that Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision isn’t appealed, never goes to the Ninth Circuit (much less SCOTUS) and Prop 8 is permanently, fabulously, dead?

In a motion filed late yesterday, lawyers for the plaintiff couples and the City of San Francisco argued that marriages should be allowed to begin immediately, rather than be stayed pending appeal.  One of their arguments was that an appeal might never happen.  They argued this because the governmental defendants – the Governator and the once (and future!) Governor Moonbeam – are not appealing and the Yes on 8 proponents – who were let in at the trial court as intervenors – don’t have standing to appeal.

In a nutshell, from a non-lawyer, it seems that Justice Ginsburg, in the opinion to Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona (which was decided on other grounds), expressed “grave doubts” as to whether the proponents of a ballot measure had standing to appeal a federal court ruling in the absence of governmental actors making an appeal.  In other words, the Yes on 8 folks might not have the right to appeal Walker’s decision.
This, apparently, is why Imperial County tried to get in on the case in the eleventh hour – the haters realized that without a government entity willing to appeal, they could be shit out of luck. But Walker shut them down, both saying they didn’t have a good reason to be let in and that they waited until after the deadline, so they really are SOL.  So unless Schwarzenegger or Jerry Brown have a sudden change of heart and decide to appeal the ruling (or Imperial County convinces a higher court that they really should be in on the case) Walker’s ruling could be the final word.

That would mean that the case doesn’t go up, Prop 8 is struck down, and marriage returns to California with no worries about SCOTUS.  In the meantime, Gill v. OPM will go up, with a much smaller ask of the Supremes, which should give everyone a better idea as to whether or not a ruling in favor of marriage equality in a Perry type case is even a possibility at this point.  If so, there’s 37 other states where this kind of suit can be filed and go forward (and hopefully there will be a few more states in the pro-marriage equality column at that point).  If Gill makes it clear SCOTUS isn’t going to save the day, well, then we can go back to the state-by-state strategy with California firmly in the “win” column.

I think this gambit, if it works, is brilliant. Let’s hope it does!
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Remember When HRC + ACLU Bashed the Perry Prop 8 Lawsuit?

In May 2009, when we learned Chad Griffin had lined up Ted Olson and David Boies to argue the shit out of Prop 8's unconstitutionality, America and California's Gay Inc. groups were furious. Now they're so happy!

CONTINUED ยป


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Queerty

—  John Wright

BREAKING: Ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Fed Prop 8 Case) coming down tomorrow

From the American Foundation for Equal Rights:

The federal court announced today that it will release its decision in the American Foundation for Equal Right’s landmark case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, on Wednesday. Text “EQUAL” to 69866 to get a text message with the official decision on your mobile phone the moment the court releases its decision, or sign-up for an email alert at equalrightsfoundation.org. Join AFER on its Web site to watch a live press conference with our plaintiffs and co-counsels Ted Olson and David Boies following the release of the decision. As we receive news about the details of the release, AFER will update our Facebook and Twitter profiles, along with our Web site.

Question – do you think the Obama administration will have any public comment/press release re: the ruling?

Review the PHB files on Perry v. Schwarzeneggar.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Federal trial over challenge to Prop 8 starts today

The battle over California’s Proposition 8, the ballot measure that in 2008 allowed voters to enshrine a ban on same-sex marriage in their state Constitution, continues as the trial in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger begins today in San Francisco.

Unlike previous lawsuits over Prop 8 that were based on the state Constitution, this one kicks the fight up to the federal level, saying that Prop 8′s ban on same-sex marriage violates U.S. constitutional rights of equal protection and due process.

This article in the Los Angeles Times points out how very different this trial is going to be, compared to past court cases dealing with same-sex marriage. There will be “weeks of testimony on wide-ranging issues,” for example.

But one thing the article doesn’t discuss is the idea of letting people vote on the civil rights of a specific segment of the community. Even as this trial gets underway, opponents are already working to force governmental entities in the U.S. where gay marriage is legal to put the question to a vote of the citizens. It’s a democracy, they say. The voters should get to decide.

Here’s the problem with that, though. The United States is not a pure democracy. It was never intended to be. The U.S. is a republic. There is a big difference. BIG difference.

Here’s one explanation from LexRex.com: ” These two forms of government, Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard f the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic, under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority.”

In other words, in a Democracy, the majority rules, always. But in a Republic, the courts have a duty to protect the rights of the minority against majority rule.

In the case of same-sex marriage, the courts have done their duty, time after time, by ruling in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. But last year the California Supreme Court neglected its duty by allowing an unconstitutional vote by the majority to run roughshod over the rights of the minority.

Let’s hope in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal courts โ€” all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court โ€” do their duty and uphold the laws of our republic and protect the rights of the minority against the mob-mentality votes of the majority.

—  admin