Saturday, January 31, 2015

Green Shirt

This last week, Mary Cheney posted on her Facebook page:
"Why is it socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for men to put on dresses, make-up and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women (bitchy, catty, dumb, slutty, etc.) — but it is not socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans?" she asked. "Shouldn't both be OK or neither?"
Advocating blackface?! Yeah that was cheap of me, but zero shits are given on my end.

Earlier this week I was thinking of responding, but why speak as an advocate when you can post a response from a member of the community:

I cannot resist posting the top comment, which was posted by Betty Bowers:

Sorry, once again I couldn't resist.

I'm planning to post later on advocacy, because there are too many issue that I want to write about that cannot fit here. But if I can't find the words I won't.

Liam '15

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Alabama Song

Update I

***According to his Twitter Feed, Judge Steven Reed of Montgomery County will issue marriage licenses unless a stay is put into place. Super cool!***

Update II

*** Judge Callie V. Granade (awesome judge name) has issued a 14 day stay that also clarifies the original order. Particularly this section:  

3.Granting a Stay Will Irreparably Harm the Plaintiffs and Other Same-Sex Couples
As indicated above and in its order granting the injunction, the court has already found that same-sex couples face harm by not having their marriages recognized and not being allowed to marry. The harms entailed in having their constitutional rights violated are irreparable and far outweigh any potential harm to the Attorney General and the State of Alabama. As long as a stay is in place, same-sex couples and their families remain in a state of limbo with respect to adoption, child care and custody, medical decisions, employment and health benefits, future tax implications, inheritance and many other rights associated with marriage. The court concludes that these circumstance constitute irreparable harm.


On Friday Judge Callie V. Granade (greatest judge's name since Learned Hand) from the Federal Southern District of Alabama ruled that the State's Marriage Amendment and Statutes are unconstitutional under federal law. As of this moment no stay has been issued.

However because some people just want to be sued,  Alabama Probate Judges Association (which is a non-binding, but contains Probate Judges) had to weigh in. According to this report by Crystal Carr from ABC 33 in Birmingham, the dumb fucks Probate Judges have decided not to issue marriage licences:
"Judge Granade's ruling in this case only applies to the parties in the case and has no effect on anybody that is not a named party. The probate judges were not parties in this matter," Al Agricola, attorney for the Alabama Probate Judges Association, explained. "The legal effect of this decision is to allow one person in one same-sex marriage that was performed in another state to adopt their partner's child. There is nothing in the judge's order that requires probate judges in Alabama to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples." 
Hmm... I did not know that in the South the word "Attorney" is defined as "one who is dumber than a sun-baked jar of mayonnaise," but much is explained.

Ok let me 'splain this to you... Attorney General was named on behalf of State... you know that thing you belong to... the nice judge lady say laws stopping certain couples from marring are no longer there... if you don't marry people when they ask, you get sued.

Ughh. Is there a fucking See 'n Say that can explain this to the fucking knuckle dragging mouth breathers? The judge says "unconstitutional."

Ok,you do not need to be named for the decision have an effect on you! So yes, the Judge didn't order you to do anything; however it would behoove you to follow the law!!!!!!! 

Don't believe me; here is the Conclusion from Searcy v. Strange, No.14-0208-CG-N (S.D.Ala. Jan. 23, 2015):
For the reasons stated above, Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (Doc.21), is GRANTED and Defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docs. 47), is DENIED. 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that ALA. CONST. ART. I, § 36.03 (2006) and ALA. CODE 1975 § 30-1-19 are unconstitutional because they violate they [sic.] Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant is enjoined from enforcing those laws. 
DONE and ORDERED this 23rd day of January, 2015.
In summary, the Plaintiff won. The following section of the Alabama Constitution is no longer governing:
(a) This amendment shall be known and may be cited as the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.
(b) Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting this unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state.
(c) Marriage is a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman, which, when the legal capacity and consent of both parties is present, establishes their relationship as husband and wife, and which is recognized by the state as a civil contract.
(d) No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex.
(e) The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued.
(f) The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any common law marriage of parties of the same sex.
(g) A union replicating marriage of or between persons of the same sex in the State of Alabama or in any other jurisdiction shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state and shall not be recognized by this state as a marriage or other union replicating marriage. 
The following statute is no longer governing:
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Alabama Marriage Protection Act."
(b) Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting the unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state.
(c) Marriage is a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman, which, when the legal capacity and consent of both parties is present, establishes their relationship as husband and wife, and which is recognized by the state as a civil contract.
(d) No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex.
(e) The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued.
According to Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b), failure to issue marriage licenses can allow aggrieved parties to intervene as plaintiffs in pending actions, allow certification of plaintiff and defendant classes, allow issuance of successive preliminary injunctions, and which will allow successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorney’s fees.

Done. So here is a little Brecht:

Liam '15

Saturday, January 24, 2015

And Politics has gone to the Toilets

I have never felt that it is necessary to look up the location of public bathroom online. I never personally have had a need. I know that every store or business in America has adequate facilities. 

I am fortunate.There are people who worry about finding adequate bathrooms, where they will not be judged based on their sex. (There actually is website and an app that can help find a proper bathroom.)

This what trans activists would call privilege. I'm going way out on limb here (sarcasm) and say that everybody should be able to comfortably take a piss in public without the threat of ridicule or even violence.

I couldn't find who created this image to ask for permission and credit it. If anyone figures it out, please let me know, so that I can fix the situation.

I was really dismayed when I read about this story last week. According to this article in the Washington Post by Peter Holley, a Kentucky State Senator has proposed a bill restricting bathroom access to certain children:
If a school administrator allowed a transgender student to use a facility designated for the opposite sex or if a school “failed to take reasonable steps to prohibit the person encountered from using from facilities designated for use by the opposite biological sex,” students would be allowed to sue the school, according to the bill. Aggrieved students could seek up to $2,500 in damages from the offending school for each time they encountered a person of the opposite sex in school facilities, as well as “for all psychological, emotional and physical harm suffered,” according to the bill’s language. 
Hate the queers, and you'll get $2,500.  Thanks asshole.That's not incentivizing bigotry or anything. Fuck! I struggle to imagine what trans people go through, even though I am someone who does not conform to traditional gender-roles. It was difficult enough realizing that I am gay, but I've always had an ownership of my body, as if my body belongs to me.

Even without a scientific explanation of transsexualism, I find the bigotry against transgender people repulsive. Something is driving a group of people to not feel comfortable with either their gender or their bodies.And those people deserve support rather than ridicule.  However, when there is a scientific explanation that can predict with near certainty of who is and isn't trans based on a sexual dimorphic feature, bigotry becomes inexplicable.

Below is a video by Dr. Robert Sapolsky from Stanford University explaining the sexual dimorphism of the bed nucleus of stria terminalis.

Moving forward, let's take a look at what's being proposed. According to S.B. 76, 2015 Sen., Reg. Sess. (Ky. 2015) § 1(1)(a):
"Biological sex" means the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person's chromosomes, and is identified at birth by a person's anatomy;
The first clause of the first section is fatally flawed when it proposes sex is "determined by a person's chromosomes, and is identified at birth." 

One thing that immediately jumps out is the conjunction "and." Your chromosomes might not match what was identified at birth. 

Another problem that I notice with that clause is that there are a whole host of conditions related intersex. Just off of Wikipedia there dozens of conditions that either cause ambiguous genitals or affect the chromosomal definition given above:
XXY, XYY, XXX are possible Trisomies that occur on the 47th chromosome. They are also not covered by the in the definition of the bill.

To be fair the bill proposes a solution for transgender students at  § 3(3)(a)-(b):
 A student who asserts to school officials that his or her gender is different from his or her biological sex and whose parent or legal guardian provides written consent to school officials shall be provided with the best available accommodation, but that accommodation shall not include the use of student restrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms designated for use by students of the opposite biological sex while students of the opposite biological sex are present or could be present. 
Acceptable accommodations may include but not be limited to access to single-stall restrooms, access to unisex bathrooms, or controlled use of faculty bathrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms.
An unisex bathroom is a good idea; however it should not be a forced issue. If a person is comfortable in a gender specific bathroom, fantastic. People just want to change cloths, urinate, or defecate. It's just silly to think otherwise.

However the modicum of civility is undercut in § 5, where the bill state:
Because situations currently exist in which the privacy rights of students are violated, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act takes effect upon its passage and approval by the Governor or upon its otherwise becoming a law.
That's right; this is an emergency. There could be a queer in the shower. Women and children first... unless they happen to be queers. All hands on dick deck; c'mon people this a fucking emergency! A queer might be taking a piss. or worse...?! And they definitely will be violating your privacy in a public place!

Ughh. Kentucky.

Liam '15

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ils n'ont jamais vu Charlie Hebdo

It's been about a week since I wrote about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. And of course I am disappointed by the response of the world.

Over the past week there has been massive growth in Anti-Islamic organizations such as the French Neo-Nazi party, Front National and the German proto-fascist PEGIDA.

Anti-Muslim attacks have also skyrocketed. According to this article written by the AP and published by the NY Daily News:
Abdallah Zekri, head of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia, said that in a 48-hour period after the Wednesday massacre at Charlie Hebdo, 16 places of worship around France were attacked by firebombs, gunshots or pig heads — a major insult to Muslims who don’t eat pork.
All of this in spite of large denouncement of terrorism from the French-Muslim community, as well as groups across the Western World. The Anti-Muslim rhetoric alienates allies within the Islamic community, is poor international policy, and is as deplorable as the original attacks, as it silences people. It should come as no surprise that the Front National, a far-right movement, would capitalize on the killing of left-wing cartoonist. It is filled with deplorable douchebags, who wish for the eradication of non-white, non-Catholics from France.

I drew another cartoon, this time to speak out against violence in the name of Jesus.

Fuck 'em all. I know this probably won't piss off the right people, but it makes me feel better:

KKK fucks over christianity
Terrorism once again fucks over the religion of peace

Liam '15

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Not Quite Charlie

It was a trying week.

Very trying. When it comes to the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, I have been in the past of two minds:

One, people should be respectful of others. Drawing purposefully offensive cartoons will offend people, and you therefore should not be surprised when people are offended.

Two, when people are trying to offend you, you shouldn't get offended (well, violently offended.) You become the monster they portray you to be when you overreact. This is not to say that you shouldn't speak out against offensive bigotry or to repress an opinion. But rioting, burning shit, or killing people is not only amoral but also ineffective.

After this week, all I have to say is that I will not stand for silencing by violence.

The following cartoon is offensive. If you are a moderate Muslim, you by all rights should be offended. Both by me and by the people who are fucking over your peaceful religion. I understand that movements suck. If a there are one thousand people in a group and only one is an asshole, it makes it seem like the entire group is made of assholes. The trick is to be the bigger person, and continue to show your devotion to peace, even when being deeply offended.

Muhammad believed that god set forth trials and tribulations, fitna. Well so do I:

Muhammad Cartoon Charlie Hebdo
Terrorism yet again fucks over the religion of peace

And to the Atheist and the Christianist. Don't hate. Hatred is a self-replicating virus. Hating leads to more hate.

There are a billion muslims. Don't let two assholes speak for a billion.

Liam '15

Feel free to comment but, please, hold the racist, prejudicial bullshit for your own site. And don't comment if you haven't read the article. I fucking hate that... shit I just said something about hate.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

That's Fucked Up

Dear Leelah,

Like many queer teens, I was suicidal too when I was 17 years old. Anytime I was driving alone I would fantasize about pulling the wheel hard to the right and burying my car deep into the river. And when I would correct the steering wheel, I would become depressed, because I was a coward.

In college, I dated a guy who was practically disowned by his family. He would have mental emergencies and go into a state of deep anxiety over virtually nothing. Once he went so far as to propose a suicide pact. It was not the type of proposal I hoped for.

Shortly afterwards, I was going through a rough patch in my life. I was unemployed, and I felt unemployable. I laid out a full 30 day prescription of pain medication on my desk. If my roommate hadn't come home early and surprised me...

Needless to say, I get emotional when I read about teen suicide. It hurts. One of the things that led me to the edge was that I felt like I didn't have an advocate. No one was one my side. No one was willing to help.

Every time I read about another teen suicide, all I can think is I wish I could have helped. I wish I could been there for them. They needed an advocate. It's silly, and it's stupid, but I cannot help but feel that way. And then I do nothing, and nothing changes.

Maybe this time it is different.

When it comes to suicide and platitudes, I will not lie and say that I know it will get better for you. It may not. You might die homeless and unloved. I do not know what the future holds for an individual.

What I do know is that the world cannot get better without you. It will not get better for you ,and it will not get better for the next woman. We have lost far too many beautiful people due to depression and the lack of love and compassion. And you are beautiful.

This may be a bit disjointed but whenever I feel depressed I like to draw crappy cartoons to express my frustrations. It helps me survive to do something creative rather than to nothing at all.

Gay Conversion Therapy
Remove the adjective, and you get the sentence "Stop being."

If you are suicidal and you need an advocate, please call a friend. Or call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386. Join an online group. I read Joe.My.God daily. Leave a comment. Just please do something.

Liam '15

Thursday, January 1, 2015


It looks like marriage is coming to all Floridians after all.  Despite a ruling from an US District Court, a denial of stay request from both a Circuit Court and the US Supreme Court, most of Florida's County Clerks didn't seem to understand basic civics.

So Judge Robert L. Hinkle, issued a Federal Order:
In this consolidated case, the plaintiffs challenge provisions of the Florida Constitution and Florida Statutes banning same-sex marriage. Two plaintiffs are unmarried; they seek issuance of a Florida marriage license. The other plaintiffs are individuals (and an association representing individuals) who were married in other jurisdictions and seek recognition of their marriages in Florida. The defendants, all in their official capacities, are the Secretary of the Florida Department of Management Services, the Florida Surgeon General, and the Clerk of Court of Washington County, where the two unmarried plaintiffs reside. 
A preliminary injunction is in place and has been for more than four months. It holds unconstitutional the Florida ban on same-sex marriage. Now the Clerk has filed an emergency motion to clarify the preliminary injunction. She asks whether the injunction requires her to issue marriage licenses to all qualified same-sex applicants or only to the two unmarried plaintiffs. The founders of this republic adopted a Constitution and a system for its enforcement. When there are disagreements about what the Constitution requires, those who are affected may seek a definitive ruling in court. These plaintiffs did that in this case.

The Secretary and Surgeon General—as duly empowered officials of the State of Florida, represented by the Attorney General—joined issue. So did the Clerk. The result was an explicit ruling that Florida’s same-sex-marriage ban is unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals had stayed similar rulings in other cases. I stayed the ruling in this case while those stays were in effect and for 91 more days—long enough to allow the defendants to seek a further stay in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and, if unsuccessful there, in the United States Supreme Court. The defendants did that. They lost.

The United States Supreme Court allowed the ruling in this case to take effect. History records no shortage of instances when state officials defied federal court orders on issues of federal constitutional law. Happily, there are many more instances when responsible officials followed the law, like it or not. Reasonable people can debate whether the ruling in this case was correct and who it binds. There should be no debate, however, on the question whether a clerk of court may follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this case.

And a clerk who chooses not to follow the ruling should take note: the governing statutes and rules of procedure allow individuals to intervene as plaintiffs in pending actions, allow certification of plaintiff and defendant classes, allow issuance of successive preliminary injunctions, and allow successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorney’s fees. The Clerk has acknowledged that the preliminary injunction requires her to issue a marriage license to the two unmarried plaintiffs.

The Clerk has said she will do so. In the absence of any request by any other plaintiff for a license, and in the absence of a certified class, no plaintiff now in this case has standing to seek a preliminary injunction requiring the Clerk to issue other licenses.

The preliminary injunction now in effect thus does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other applicants. But as set out in the order that announced issuance of the preliminary injunction, the Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses. As in any other instance involving parties not now before the court, the Clerk’s obligation to follow the law arises from sources other than the preliminary injunction.

For these reasons, IT IS ORDERED: The motion to clarify, ECF No. 99, is granted. The preliminary injunction is clarified as set out in this order. SO ORDERED on January 1, 2015.

Excoriated! Now to the Clerks, do your fucking jobs and issue marriage licenses to consenting adults who just want to manage their families and affairs.

On a related note, according to this article by Tia Mitchell of the Savannah Morning News:
Couples who wanted to skip the pomp and circumstance of a wedding and get married at the Duval, Clay or Baker county courthouses will no longer have that option in the new year.
These counties’ decision to end the long-standing tradition of courthouse weddings is due, at least in part, to the continued debate over same-sex marriage in Florida against the backdrop of conservative Christianity. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle could rule any day and make gay marriage legal across the state. [I covered this in the above.]
There were 1,911 wedding ceremonies performed at the Duval County Courthouse in 2013, compared to 6,342 marriage licenses issued. About 330 Clay County couples are married at its courthouse each year, and Baker averages about 30.
Please read the rest of the article as it illuminates the douchiness of the situation.

People should be ashamed of themselves. Nearly a third of the Duval County weddings took place at the courthouse and now that is over because a gay couple might want to get married.

So if you're a gaythiest couple looking to get hitched, find a notary in Jacksonville and make it legit. Just review what you need and get it done.

Liam '15