Washington Supreme Court bans Gary Randall’s judicial pick from the bench

It is Primary season in Washington state, which means the retired homophobic televangelist “of questionable ethicsGary Randall is again endorsing judicial candidates for his neighboring state of Washington.  No surprise he’s endorsed the two-fer pack of homophobes for the Supreme Court; he has a habit of identifying the dregs and foisting them on too-trusting Washingtonians.  

Gary Randall’s judicial recommendation: Convicted felon Michael Hecht

Take for example one Michael Hecht, Randall’s 2008 judicial recommendation for Pierce County (WA) Superior Court.  Of Judge Hecht the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct recently said he brought “great dishonor” to the state courts.  Then they censured him and recommended to the Supreme Court that he be barred from ever serving as a judge in Washington again.  It is a severe penalty, but after all Hecht was found guilty of felony harassment and patronizing a prostitute.

A Pierce County jury found him guilty of threatening to kill a man who claimed he sold sex to Hecht and of buying sex from another young man.

Just the kind of judge you’re likely to end up with if you vote for candidates recommended by a preacher from another state.

In an uncanny happenstance of timing, the Washington State Supreme Court has just announced that they have permanently barred Hecht from the bench.  It’s almost as if the Lord were trying to send Randall a message.  Can you hear the clarion call, Pastor Randall?  ”And why recommend thou the felonious scum to thy brother’s court, but considerest not the same for thine own court?”

I can’t wait to see who else Randall endorses this election.  But I do hope we’re in for a less disturbing disappointment this year.  Maybe a stealth graffiti artist or doorknob thief.  Please Pastor Randall, no more bilious homophobes or murderous felons.  It makes us doubt your direct line to God.

Related:

* Judicial Commission censures Gary Randall’s Pierce County judicial pick

* Gary Randall’s judicial pick convicted of felony

* Oregonian Gary Randall’s History of Manipulating Washington State Voters
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

WATCH: 8 GetEQUAL activists arrested at Capitol

The Advocate reports:

The direct action group GetEqual staged a sit-in in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon as part of an effort to push House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take a vote on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would outlaw workplace discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

—  John Wright

SLDN board member Dave Guy-Gainer on DADT compromise: 'The war is still not won'

Dave Guy-Gainer
Dave Guy-Gainer

UPDATE, 2 p.m.: SLDN has issued a national action alert on DADT. For more, go here.

Gay-rights activists strongly disagree (what else is new???) about whether a compromise announced Monday on “don’t ask don’t tell” is a good thing. For a decent summation of the two views, go here and here. As for me, I’m aligning myself with Tarrant County’s Dave Guy-Gainer, a board member for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network who said the following in an e-mail just moments ago:

We are now at 48 hours and counting. The events of yesterday brought about an agreement between those fighting for the demise of DADT; the White House; members of both the House and Senate; and the DOD as to how repeal CAN move forward. Never in its history have we been at such a cooperative juncture.

Secretary Gates, the President, and Congress are now in sync and Congress is not being asked to delay action. Delay beyond this session most likely would have been a death knell to repeal in any form. Congress is no longer fearful of casting a vote without DOD’s buy in. The power of Executive Order in dealing with open service will be clearly restored to the President. The LAW that says we are “incompatible with military service” will be erased from the books. Repeal allows the DOD to complete its study of HOW inclusion will happen and NOT IF it should without the continual disruption of partisan politics and the anti-gay rhetoric of those who support discrimination. Repeal of the law will enable those like Admiral Mullen to finally take action and not just wrestle with the wrongness he feels in his heart.

—  John Wright

BREAKING: White House OKs DADT plan

There was huge news out of Washington on Monday night, as it looks like the White House has signed off on a proposal to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell” by delaying implementation of the change until after the Pentagon completes its working group study.

The proposed repeal of DADT has been in doubt for weeks, after Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he was opposed to lifting the policy before the study is completed in December. However, this green light from the White House paves the way for the House and Senate to take up the repeal later this week.

The White House on Monday night issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of the delayed implementation proposal, which was submitted by congressional leaders who are committed to a legislative repeal this year.

“The White House announcement is a dramatic breakthrough in dismantling ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, in a statement. “The path forward crafted by the President, Department of Defense officials, and repeal leaders on Capitol Hill respects the ongoing work by the Pentagon on how to implement open service and allows for a vote this week. President Obama’s support and Secretary Gates’ buy-in should insure a winning vote, but we are not there yet. The votes still need to be worked and counted.

“If enacted this welcomed compromise will create a process for the President and the Pentagon to implement a new policy for lesbian and gay service members to serve our country openly, hopefully within a matter of a few months,” Sarvis said. “This builds upon the support Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed for open service during the February hearing in the Senate, and further underscores that this Administration is committed to open service.”

—  John Wright

BREAKING NEWS: Deal possible on DADT

The Advocate is reporting that representatives from Congress, the White House and LGBT groups were working on a deal this morning that would allow a legislative repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” to go forward this year. The proposed repeal of the military’s ban on open service is expected to be considered in both the House and Senate later in the week. From The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld:

LGBT groups met with officials at the White House while legislative affairs representatives from the White House and the Department of Defense met with the House and Senate leadership offices on Capitol Hill along with those of Rep. Patrick Murphy and Sens. Carl Levin and Joseph Lieberman.

A White House aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed the White House meeting. “Our understanding is that Congress is determined to act this week and we are learning more about their proposal now,” said the aide.

A Democratic leadership aide called the development “promising” but said discussions were ongoing. The House Democratic leadership is expected to meet about the proposal later this afternoon.

According to one person familiar with the White House meeting, the proposal that is being considered would legislatively repeal the statute this year, but the current policy would remain in place and implementation of repeal would not occur until after the Pentagon’s working group study is finished in December. Further, completion of repeal would require certification from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral Mike Mullen that the new law will not have a negative impact on readiness, recruitment, retention and other key factors that affect the military.

Also this morning, we received an update on the DADT repeal from Dave Guy-Gainer, a Tarrant County resident who serves on the board of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. I’ve posted Guy-Gainer’s update after the jump.

—  John Wright

Mark Reed reflects on arrest for chaining self to White House fence during DADT rally

Mark Reed, far right, was released from jail Monday and ordered to pay a $100 fine.
Mark Reed, far right, was released from jail after 24 hours on Monday and ordered to pay a $100 fine.

Ironically, as he stood with one arm handcuffed to the White House fence on Sunday afternoon, Dallas activist Mark Reed says he felt “liberated.”

Reed, a successful business owner who’s in his early 50s, said he’d never been arrested before and hadn’t even had a traffic ticket in 10 years.

In fact, he’d always figured that if he were arrested, he’d probably faint due to his fear of authorities.

Strangely, though, that didn’t happen.

—  John Wright

Texas congressman calls protesters who hurled anti-gay epithets 'polite, respectful'

A day after they screamed racist and anti-gay slurs at members of Congress, U.S. Rep. John Culberson, a Republican from Houston, praised Tea Party protesters as being “polite and respectful.” According to Media Matters, Culberson’s comments can be heard as he narrates the above video, which he reportedly shot yesterday from the steps of the Capitol. But Culberson wasn’t alone in defending the Tea Party protesters and trying to downplay their hateful actions. From Roll Call

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a leading voice in the tea party movement, said Sunday that protesters’ recent use of racial and homophobic slurs toward Members of Congress was no big deal.

“I just don’t think it’s anything,” King said, emphasizing that the incidents were isolated. “There are a lot of places in this country that I couldn’t walk through. I wouldn’t live to get to the other end of it.”

To focus on a few incidents is “embellishing something that is determined to undermine the people,” said the Iowa conservative.

King’s remarks come a day after tea party protesters spat on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and shouted a racial slur at Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); both are African-American. A protester also shouted a sexual slur at Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is openly gay.

Another Republican lawmaker also brushed off the racial epithets and suggested they were prompted by the parliamentary maneuvers being used by Democrats to pass a health care bill.

“When you use a totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Sunday on C-SPAN. “I think that people have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it.”

Nunes added that the slurs were “not appropriate” but that he would “stop short of characterizing the 20,000 people protesting, that all of them were doing that.”

Update: A member of the Texas delegation is also suspected of yelling “baby killer” at Rep. Bart Stupak during last night’s debate, but The Dallas Morning News has been unable to determine who was responsible. Culberson has reportedly denied responsibility.

UPDATE NO. 2: Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a Republican from Lubbock, has admitted to the “baby killer” remark and apologized, The DMN reports. Neugebauer has issued an apology:

“Last night was the climax of weeks and months of debate on a health care bill that my constituents fear and do not support. In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase ‘it’s a baby killer’ in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership. While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself. I have apologized to Mr. Stupak and also apologize to my colleagues for the manner in which I expressed my disappointment about the bill. The House Chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate.”

—  John Wright

Kirven arrested in D.C. protest

Chaz Kirven, right, was among the eight protesters who staged a sit-in Thursday in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's D.C. office, calling for passage of ENDA. Four, including Kirven, were arrested.
Chaz Kirven, right, was among the eight protesters who staged a sit-in Thursday in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s D.C. office, calling for passage of ENDA. Four, including Kirven, were arrested. (Photo e-mailed to Dallas Voice by Chaz Kirven)

Dallas activist C.D. (Chaz) Kirven was among the four activists arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C., when they staged a sit-in in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination in employment against LGBT people.

The action in D.C. was part of a bi-coastal protest: Eight people participated in the sit-in at Pelosi’s D.C. office, and 11 more staged a sit-in in Pelosi’s offices in her home district in San Francisco. A total of ten people were arrested between the two protests.

Chaz sent me e-mails early this morning, after she was released from jail. She said her court date is set for April 6, and she and the other protesters need our support. She was also rallying support for Lt. Dan Choi, who had been discharged under the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Choi was arrested yesterday after chaining himself to the fence around the White House as part of a protest calling for the repeal of DADT.

We’re trying to get in touch with Chaz now and will have a more complete story online as soon as we can. But for now, read Kerry Eleveld’s report at Advocate.com.

—  admin

Same-sex marriages begin in D.C.

Today is the first day for same-sex weddings in Washington, D.C. Couples were able to apply for licenses last week, but due to a mandatory waiting period, the licenses couldn’t be issued until today. Beginning at 9 a.m. Dallas time, the Human Rights Campaign is live-streaming some of the first same-sex wedding ceremonies in the nation’s capital. Watch by going here.

—  John Wright

How to get married in D.C.

Now that the nation’s capital is legally recognizing same-sex marriages, are you thinking about heading to D.C. to tie the knot? Well if so, check out this information at About.com on “How to marry in D.C. for gay and lesbian couples.”

It includes such important info as how much a marriage license costs in Washington, D.C. ($35), how long you have to wait after getting a license to actually get married (three business days), whether you need a blood test (no), and more.

—  admin