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Gay News Roundup


By Julia Rosen

It’s a pretty slow news day with a bunch of smaller stories, so I figured it was time for a linkfest. Here for your reading and commenting pleasure:

A recent poll found that 63% of LGBTs oppose the AZ law show me your papers law, 45% strongly. Meanwhile 33% of Heterosexuals oppose the Arizona law, 22% strongly. (via Pam’s House Blend)

Speaking of the AZ law, the Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is asking that the LGBT groups end their boycott of the state and accused them of “grandstanding” on the issue. Yes, let’s just throw people under the bus so you can make more money.

Lt. Dan Choi and Captain James Pietrangelo have attempted to subpoena President Obama in their civil disobedience trial. However, the White House guards turned away the process server.

Aubrey Sarvis from SLDN is warning that the final vote on the defense bill that currently has a delayed DADT repeal included may not get voted on until December. That is of course when the Pentagon working group is done with their report. Who knows what will be in there and it could complicate efforts for final passage.

Elana Kagan was asked about marriage equality during her confirmation hearing. As would be expected, she really didn’t break any ground, refusing to talk about potential issues that could come in front of her as a judge on the Supreme Court. Video is up at Towleroad.

On a personal note, this will be my last post here as your faithful blogger, as it is my last day working for the Courage Campaign. Expect to see more of Robert Cruickshank’s writing around these parts. It’s been a pleasure writing here and getting to know the regular commentors. And I’ll be watching closely as this trial continues. Who knew real court cases could be as action packed as a John Grisham novel.


  • 1. Lily  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Thanks for writing for us for so long. Hope your next job is as fulfilling.

  • 2. K!r!lleXXI  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I had no idea before that Julia is leaving Courage Campaign.
    Thank you for all your work here, Julia!
    Good luck in your next job!

  • 3. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Good luck in future endeavors, Julia. You will be missed here.

  • 4. Bolt  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Good luck, health, and love!

  • 5. Bob  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Somewhere over the Rainbow, Julia, you can know join us in commenting, would be great to read your posts from this side.

  • 6. JonT  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Thanks for being here Julia, good luck.

    As for the news:

    1) I'm beginning to suspect anything with 'Chamber of Commerce' in their names.

    2) Subpoena the president? Really? I respect and support Dan Choi and other GLBT's in uniform, bet even I think that was nothing more than a 'keep me in the news cycle' gambit.

    3) As for the defense bill, Obama has threatened to veto it if it contains the 'second engine appropriation' and the EADS tanker provisions. Has that changed? December? Really? Isn't that when the Pentagons 'review' is supposed to be complete? Don't like the sound of that.

    4) I saw the last hour or two of Elana Kagan's hearing. I like her. Sessions and Colburn are assholes. Particularly Colburn (sp?). What a douche.


  • 7. nightshayde  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I wouldn't be surprised if the "final" decision on DADT gets postponed until at least November 10th. Aren't the midterm elections on November 9th? Color me cynical — but moving forward on any pro-equality legislation before then would bring out the right-wing voters in stronger hordes than ever. DO NOT WANT.

    That said — if the Pentagon comes back in December and says "go ahead and scrap DADT — we're ready," it will take some steam out of the bigots' sails.

    I'm ~fortunate enough~ (tildes denoting wicked sarcasm) to live in Representative Buck McKeon's Congressional district. A co-worker and I wrote him e-mails telling him how disappointed we were that he stands for & actively endorses discrimination, and how saddened we were that he doesn't support the military enough to make sure our nation's best and brightest are all welcome. He wrote back spewing the old nonsense about how DADT is such a lovely thing and how we can't possibly threaten our fighting forces with something as unsettling as having known homosexuals in their midst. Sometimes it's tough being a shining beacon of blue light in such a nasty red-filled district. =(

    I wanted to throw something at my television yesterday when Sessions was questioning Ms Kagan. He was making my skin crawl.

    Julia — good luck with whatever you're doing next in your life. Come back & sit a spell whenever you're in the mood! =)

  • 8. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Thank you Julie! I feel grateful for all of you that help keep us informed. Best of everything to you!

  • 9. couragecampaign  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Thanks everyone for your comments!


  • 10. Kathleen  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

    If you want to see a more on point Q&A w/Kagan re marriage equality, see discussion of DOMA:

    It’s in the video “Day 3, Part 2″ at 2:42:28 (of 3:10:39)

    I think this is the direct link to the appropriate video

  • 11. JonT  |  June 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I had been watching this portion this afternoon (though running in the background while I did other things).

    Re-watched it for kicks (cause I guess I've got nothing better to do on a Weds night 🙂

    She avoided answering as best she could (and she should have, as the JD is currently litigating cases regarding DOMA). Their (JD's) initial arguments were quite offensive – glad they toned it down a bit, but still – they don't *have* to defend it do they?

    Anyway, it is an interesting line they have to walk, but Grassley's (sp?) point that as it's a 'matter of law', and the court should simply affirm it, regardless of arguments against it is… interesting.

    One of SCOTUS's main 'jobs' (IMO) is to continually evaluate the 'correctness' of law and it's application to the US citizenry.

    If a 'radical' right-wing congress and president passed a law saying all GLBT's had to report to a local re-education camp for 'sexual re-affirmation' (just making crap up here, bear with me :), Grassley's view would seem to be that SCOTUS should simply uphold that law – since of course the 'peoples representatives' made it a law, and therefore it is automatically correct and untouchable.

    A judge saying 'that is just wrong' would therefore be an activist judge and unsuitable for a judgeship.

    I am no lawyer, or even moderately lawyer-like. So I may be way off base, but I found Grassley's 'position' WRT what a judge (especially a SCOTUS judge) should be, to be complete bullshit.

    There's a damn good reason that the Judicial is a separate branch of the government. Probably the main obstacle to the theocratic desires of our hater enemies.

    PS: I like her, hope she gets the nod. 🙂

  • 12. Kathleen  |  June 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    The Justice Department IS required to defend the law when it's challenged in court. I think the fact that the govt brief dropped the old defense about "procreation" (which is what Grassley first asked about) is a good sign.

    For me, the most profound revelation was that she kept distancing herself form having been very involved in the decision-making process for the government's case – suggesting she may not feel she needs to recuse herself when a DOMA case comes the the Supremes. Which is good news, as we'll need her vote.

  • 13. JonT  |  June 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    @Kathleen: 'The Justice Department IS required to defend the law when it’s challenged in court

    Ahh- I did not know that. I thought it was similar to 'The Terminators' decision not to defend Prop 8.

    '…suggesting she may not feel she needs to recuse herself
    when a DOMA case comes the the Supremes. Which is good news, as we’ll need
    her vote.

    Yes, I agree of course. 🙂

  • 14. K!r!lleXXI  |  July 1, 2010 at 2:41 am

    The Justice Department IS required to defend the law when it’s challenged in court.

    Yes, but, I bet, the Justice of the SCOTUS is not required to defend the law, especially if it is just a statute that the people of the nation did not vote for, only their representatives… the law that is discriminatory to the whole class of law-abiding tax-paying citizens that have been marginalized and stigmatized for centuries for no good reason.  This is why we have SCOTUS — not to comply with any piece of legislation the government came up with, but to protect us from any discrimination and hardship this legislation may cause!  Am I not understanding something?  Why do they even ask her if she would be an obedient puppy for the government?  That's exactly what we do not need!  We need Justices to bring us Justice, whichever that is, no matter how powerful are the people who try to get that legislation become the law of the land!

    Now, I watched a bit of Kagan's hearings, specifically the bit about same-sex marriage and marriage as it is.  She said something like, There has to be a textual basis in the Constitution for every right.  I understand the value and status of the Constitution, as I understand that lawyers / judges / Justices of the Supreme Court always have to make their arguments and decision with regard to the Constitution.  But what I do not understand is how can we claim every right we have or might have in the future has to be grounded and pre-thought in the Constitution?  Does it mean that we assume that people who drafted the Constitution were soothsayers who could predict the future and every right every free man should and will ever have?  As far as I'm concerned, marriage by itself is not mentioned in the Constitution, however, in Zablocki v. Redhail (1978) SCOTUS described marriage as “one of the ‘basic civil rights of man’” — did this right have a textual basis in the Constitution? if so, how is it that marriage has to be between one man and one woman according to that textual basis?

    I don't believe that every right we might have should be deeply rooted in our Constitution and derived from it!  It's not the Bible which supposedly contains every piece of information God wanted to bring to our attention!  Constitution should be allowed to evolve and change with the changing society, and, in fact, it is allowed to — through amendments (we have 27 of them so far)!  Which only proves it does not have a complete set of our rights and thus we should not be only looking for textual basis for every right in the Constitution.  What we should be doing is studying new scientific evidence and eliminating discrimination against those who we did wrong by just because we didn't know better before the science figured it out.  Undoing the wrongs of the past generations is one of the most important jobs our highest court system carries out, and sometimes for that we need to look at the spirit of the law, rather than at the letter of it!


  • 15. Fluffyskunk  |  July 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

    <blockquote cite="Kathleen">"The Justice Department IS required to defend the law when it’s challenged in court."

    Can anyone cite the actual law that requires them to do this?

  • 16. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 9:31 am

    28 U.S.C. § 547(2).

    Except as otherwise provided by law, each United States attorney, within his district, shall—

    (2) prosecute or defend, for the Government, all civil actions, suits or proceedings in which the United States is concerned;

  • 17. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I wanted to address Kirill's comment above where he notes (correctly) that Kagan made a statement about there needing to be a textual basis in the Constitution for every right.

    She is not claiming that every right need be literally spelled out in the Constitution – she's just saying that there must be some basis for the right found in the actual text of the constitution–for example, in the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    To understand the context of this line of questioning and her response, read up on the historical background of the Court coming to the conclusion that there is a right of privacy. See especially Griswold v Connecticut

    In Griswold, Justice Douglas famously wrote for the majority that the right of privacy could be found in the "penumbras" and "emanations" of other constitutional protections. This remains a controversial holding. Should we be "imagining" rights that "must be there" because we think the other, explicit, rights surely intend to include them? The political and judicial debate on this still rages today.

    I'm quite certain that Kagan would say that she supports the holding in Griswold, but for reasons that can be found in the text of the Constitution, not the reason given in Douglas's opinion. I think she said as much, if not in answer to the question about Griswold, then in another similar line of questioning.

  • 18. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 2, 2010 at 12:37 am


    OK, agreed, I did not think anyone expects every right to be literally spelled out in the Constitution.

    Let's assume that the right of privacy is coming from Constitution (probably has something to do with liberties).  I still don't understand where the right to marry is coming from, and how did it become a fundamental right?

    In the light of Lawrence v. Texas, any sexual conduct between (and even among) consenting adults, with no regard to traditional conduct (Bowers v. Hardwick), or procreative function (Eisenstadt v. Baird, Roe v. Wade), or marriage status (Griswold v. Connecticut), is now protected under the law and is not a crime on the grounds of privacy.

    Thus, we conclude that consenting adults are free to have sexual relationships without a fear of prosecution, due to the right of privacy.  Then what's the difference between any such relationship and marriage?  For example, I am committed to Felyx, there is no doubt in my mind that we have such a relationship and that he's practically my husband because we both agreed on having such a relationship and we both feel that way without any ceremonies and licenses.  No one can tell us we are not spouses, no one can take it away from us, no one but us ourselves.  The only missing piece here is that piece of paper with our names on it, which for most of people doesn't really mean more than that post-it Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd have in Grey's Anatomy, because it's just a symbol of commitment, but not the commitment itself.  The relationship like I described is as good as marriage, and, in fact, is a marriage.

    All the cultural, traditional, spiritual and religious issues aside, in the eyes of the law, civil marriage is just a contract between two people and the state, a contract that becomes a part of public record which makes it not a private matter, but a public one.  The only thing that marriage certificate gives is the governmental and public recognition of a sexual union (all the benefits, rights and responsibilities aside for the sake of this argument).  Even though the very relationship between two people getting married is a private matter, the part that has to do with the governmental recognition of their relationship is, however, not private, that is the very reason why people even enter into marriages — to be openly, publicly recognized.

    So, my question is, how does it mean that marriage is coming from the right of privacy, and if it's not, then where the fundamental right to marry is coming from?

    The question is, of course, to everyone who would like to give it some thought.

  • 19. Bob  |  July 2, 2010 at 4:10 am

    What I thought I heard Kagan say, was that she would look to the law, all the way down, looking at the EVIDENCE of each individual case, and base her decisions in law, which is not affected by MORALITY or POLITICS, bang on

  • 20. Shun  |  June 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Thank you Julia for all your hard work!


    I posted this in the other thread too but since it is also gay news, I'm reposting here in case someone missed it:

    Good news to the same-sex binational couples:
    The CA Senate passed AJR15 bill that calls for the Congress and President Obama to pass and sign UAFA into law. As you may or may not know, the Uniting American Families Act calls for allowing same-sex partners to be able to sponsor their foreign partners to immigrate to the States. (only partners so not ‘married’ couples) Immigration is federally controlled, so no matter how many States allow same sex marriage, binational couples cannot stay together in the States unless the Federal government recognizes it.

    While this passage in CA doesn’t have any direct impact on the bill’s passage, CA becomes the first state to do so.

    The folks at Out4Immigration have been working very hard to help make this happen. They have also gotten many cities to officially support UAFA too. If your city isn’t an official supporter, there are ways to make that happen. If you can, head over to Out4Immigration or contact Tom ( [email protected]) to find out how. It’s important to let Congress know that there IS support all over the country for UAFA’s passage.

  • 21. Franck  |  June 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for that piece of news, Shun. As the non-American half of a binational couple, I can't help but cheer at anything that brings UAFA closer to being passed.

  • 22. Shun  |  June 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I completely understand what you mean. The passage of UAFA would mean so much to us.

    Perhaps you can see if your other half can do something in his city too?

  • 23. Franck  |  June 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I'll sure ask him to, but considering the leanings of his home city, I'm almost 100% sure they already put their vote behind UAFA already.

    In other news, my application to the DV lottery tanked. Again. Meaning, no joining him next year, either, barring unexpected events. These kinds of news tended to wreck my morale before, but right now I'm just feeling numb. I'll blame it on too many bad things already this year.

  • 24. Kathleen  |  June 30, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Franck, I'm so sorry for the bad news. 🙁 I so hope we can change this unjust and inhumane law sometime soon.

  • 25. JonT  |  June 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    @Franck: from your blog: ' Is it wrong that I'm feeling numb now? Yeah, that will probably hit hard later.

    Well, on to trying again for the 2012 edition… and hopefully, I can find another solution for US immigration than a random lottery with a 2%-and-dwindling chance of winning.'

    No, it isn't wrong that you are feeling numb. It *is* wrong that you actually have to go through this shit every fucking year. I wish I could help. My best wishes.

    PS: You too Shun.


  • 26. Straight Grandmother  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Franck, I feel so bad for you. I didn't know what you were writing about so I went and looked up DV Lottery. This shit is sooooo unfair. I see that there is a special rule for a foreign Fiancee, can come in for 4 months and then musst marry or go back. We so badly need changes in our laws to offer the same rights to GLBT's as hetros. I was really interested what Shun wrote about.

    Julia- BEST of luck in your future, I hope to hear back from you from time to time.

  • 27. Shun  |  July 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    My partner hasn't gotten anything on DV lottery either so I'm assuming he failed too. 🙁

    It's even sadder because while advocates/supporters of same sex marriage in the states can come out and fight all they want, people of binational couples don't want to/can't reveal too much about themselves. There's always a fear that immigration/customs will know that we are in a relationship and deny the other person's entry to the States. So we always have to lie at the border. It sucks. 🙁

    In related news however, New Orleans also just passed a resolution to support UAFA! 😀

  • 28. Franck  |  July 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Yay New Orleans! I'm a bit surprised by their decision, though my opinion on Louisiana might have been biased by Bobby Jindal's positions on same-sex matters.

    Say, Shun, would you be opposed to getting into regular contact with me? I have always tried to know more binational couples, so as to share resources and news.

    I keep thinking my difficulties came from not knowing who to talk to to resolve the issues I faced…

  • 29. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 2, 2010 at 12:43 am


    Say, Shun, would you be opposed to getting into regular contact with me? I have always tried to know more binational couples, so as to share resources and news.

    I am a part of a binational couple as well (the foreigner part, Russian).  Felyx and I would like to join that little group of yours if it's possible!  You can contact me on Facebook, or suggest any other way for us all to have a common place to share the news and resources (we could create a page or a group on Facebook, methinks).

  • 30. Franck  |  July 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    @ ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ
    I tried to contact you on Facebook but that site is overly complicated and won't let me send you a message or even add you to my friends list. Not to mention I can only access it once a week at best…
    If you want to contact me so we can discuss about it, my e-mail address is available in my blog (linked through my name up there)

  • 31. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you!  I found your contact information at Gmail and wrote you a letter.  I hope I got the right address.

  • 32. Kathleen  |  July 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Kirill, did you get my email?

  • 33. Shun  |  July 4, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Sorry for the late reply!

    I would love to get in contact with you all. I will try contacting Kirille first and see if I can get contacted to Franck that way. Getting to know Kathleen would be awesome too…if possible.

  • 34. Shun  |  July 4, 2010 at 10:52 am

    for some reason i couldn't contact kirille on FB…hmmmmm

  • 35. Kathleen  |  July 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Shun, happy to be in touch with you. Sounds like you're on facebook. If so, go to the "Prop 8 Trial Tracker" facebook page and look for me on the wall there – Kathleen Perrin. Send me a pm through facebook with your email addy and I'll pass it along to Kirille.

  • 36. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 4, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Thank you for the link you provided earlier for I am in contact with Tom, and he is giving me such wonderful pointers on how to help our binational couples by working to make sure that UAFA passes.

  • 37. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Sorry, guys!  I screwed up with privacy settings on Facebook, I didn't know I'm unreachable (several months ago I got really depressed, I deleted all my friends from FB and, I guess, changed all the settings there so no one could contact me — I was gonna kill myself, for real).  At first I thought you were trying to contact me without even being registered on FB, but now I found those settings and corrected them.

    @Shun, you can contact Franck and he will pass my email address to you, we're already in contact with him.  Or, you can send your email through Kathleen, but, like I said, I already fixed my settings and now I should be able to get those messages.  Sorry again!

  • 38. Shun  |  July 5, 2010 at 9:54 am

    @ Kathleen

    I will try sending you a message. 🙂

    @ Richard

    That's great! I wonder if their method can be used for other kinds of bills that affect the community as a whole too. But again, it's so awesome you're taking the time to do this. 🙂

    @ Kirille

    OK will re-try

  • 39. Sheryl Carver  |  June 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks, Julia, for everything you've done for us!

    Good luck in whatever comes next for you. May it be wonderful.

  • 40. Marlene  |  June 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Merci beaucoup, Julia… thanks for all your postings here, and bonne chance in any future endeavours!!

  • 41. Alan E.  |  June 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks Julia. It's been a wild ride.

  • 42. Felyx  |  June 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I was watching this section of the video and I came to 1:15:00 roughly where R-Texas Sen. John Cornyn is asking Kagan about the Harvard Law Military Recruiting decision. I was disgusted when I heard the man at 1:15:40 co-opt the phase 'Separate But Equal' when he severely chided Kagan for 'discriminating' against the military because they could not in all honesty and decency sign a non-discrimination policy!

    'Separate but Equal???'

    Good God Man!!! Just say what you mean…

    "How dare a butch woman discriminate against masculine military men for treating queers like second class citizens!!! What are we, Negroes!!!"

    As if the treatment of a privileged white male government funded military force being refused to recruit primarily young black men to die can be compared to a KKK lynching!

    Can the Repug-li-can'ts sink any lower?!!! (Coward couldn't even acknowledge that the real issue he is having is over gays…couldn't even say the word!)

  • 43. Monty  |  July 1, 2010 at 6:25 am

    You'd think using literally the same words would open their eyes a bit. Apparently not.

  • 44. Felyx  |  July 1, 2010 at 6:40 am

    That is the problem Monty…we do THINK!

  • 45. MichGuy  |  June 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Wish you the best Julia in your future endeavors ; ) Thanks for your work for a honorable cause !!

  • 46. Sheryl  |  June 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Adding my thanks for all of the commentaries on various issues and wishing you success in your next venture.

    As I'm all for equal rights, my son and I saw 8: The Mormon Proposition. I hope everyone sees it. I wish it could be shown to every LDS ward in California. Maybe the bigotry would then become evident. We had a great time discussing issues after the movie.

    Sheryl, Mormon mother with a wonderful who just happens to be gay.

  • 47. James Tuttle  |  June 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Well This isn't really gay news but I was on earlier and saw this compilation and just thought it was funny/disheartening. Some pre-clip notes though:
    1. I'm sure many of these clips were taken out of context.
    2. I know Democrats can be just as ignorant.
    3. I know a lot of gay republicans…I don't understand it AT ALL. goes.
    [youtube =]

  • 48. JonT  |  June 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    A fun watch James, thanks 🙂

    Unfortunately, I do not think these are as out-of-context as you would think. Many of these clips I had already seen – *in context*.

    While I'm sure there are some progressive nutballs out there somewhere, I really do not see quite the concentration of them as I do in the right-wing aspect of our society.

    Especially since the teabagger crowd started taking over the republican party.

    It's starting to get a little spooky. There is some serious hate in some of these folks. The kind of hate that kills people.

    'I know a lot of gay republicans…I don’t understand it AT ALL.'

    I haven't met anyone yet who identified as both gay and republican (maybe they were closet republicans :). Groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans confuse me greatly. I do not understand them.

    BTW: Just finished watching MILK. Man. Made me want to go march on something 🙂 I highly recommend it for those who haven't seen it.

  • 49. fern  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Thank you for everything and all the best in whatever your endeavors are.

  • 50. Michael  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Thank you for all you've done. You'll be missed.

  • 51. Straight Grandmother  |  July 1, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I wonder where Ronnie is? This is pretty big news the last few days, I hope he is okay. Maybe just on vacation or something.

  • 52. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I've wondered the same and hope he's okay. He hasn't posted to his fb page since june 24 – not even to respond to the birthday wishes left on his wall on the 27th..

  • 53. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Let me see if I can get a response when I text him.

  • 54. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I just heard from Ronnie. He is vacationing on Fire Island, and enjoying some liquid refreshment.

  • 55. fiona64  |  July 1, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Thank you, Julia, for all of your hard work with Courage Campaign.


  • 56. fiona64  |  July 1, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Apropos of nothing: several people have expressed interest in my writing over the course of time. I wanted to share something that I just put in my author blog, for those of you who like eBooks:

    Hi, everyone. Once again, I'm participating in Smashwords' summer sale promotion. Check out In The Eye of The Beholder, available in multiple eBook formats, for 50% off. Just use the code on the page when you check out, and the book is yours for $1.48.

    Thanks, as always, for your consideration.

    [bookcover:In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera|8183464]

  • 57. Jeremy  |  July 1, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Someone earlier, sorry I don't recall who, mentioned something about dept of justice vs scotus.

    Basically, as I learned it, congress makes the laws, the exective branch enforces the laws, & judicial system interprets the laws.

    The reason DoJ has to enforce the laws is that they are an executive branch department/comittee/etc. They have no power or authority to determine the legality of the laws, similar to police officers.

    If this post was in response to a misunderstanding of the original topic, my appologies. My old phone makes following threads a challenge sometimes.

    <3 jeremy

  • 58. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    In broad terms, yes. that's the division of responsibility between the three branches of government.

    Attorneys in the DoJ can give legal opinions regarding the law in their capacity as the government's lawyers, in the same way a lawyer you hire would give you his/her legal opinion as to the state of the law, or the likely consequences of an action you're considering taking. But their opinions don't have the weight of making law; judges have to do that.

    I think Kirill's confusion comes from the fact that we refer to a part of the executive branch as the Department of "Justice", but it has nothing to do with judges or the judicial branch of government.

  • 59. K!r!lleXXI  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:16 am

    No confusion, Kathleen, on my part.
    Oh, goodness, did I sound incoherent there?

    I was referring to Kagan in her possible future capacity as a Justice of SCOTUS, that as a Judge on that panel she does not have to support or uphold any law, because she would be a judge this time, not a lawyer for the government as she was in her capacity of Solicitor General before, in Department of Justice.

    And my question was, why would they ask her those questions now?  Now that she's nominated to the Supreme Court, not to the position in Department of Justice where, obviously, she would have to support any law the government has on the books.


  • 60. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for setting me straight, Kirille. 🙂 It's obvious I didn't ready your response very carefully.

    You're correct – her role as a SC Justice would be completely different than it is a Solicitor General. Why do they ask her? It's just all part of the weird posture everyone assumes in these nomination hearings. Maybe hoping she'll reveal bias in some way, thus undermining her nomination? I don't know — probably just because they're right wing politicians and need to play to their base.

  • 61. nightshayde  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:30 am

    It's interesting to see them going through their contortions. They ask their questions, hoping she'll give an official indication that she's a *gasp* LIBERAL (with a capital L). If she were to give the answers they want to hear, they'd jump all over her & complain about how she's unfit to be a justice. When she DOESN'T give the answers they want to hear, they complain that she's not being honest — and that she's unfit to be a justice. If she were to happen to give an answer indicating that her views were *gasp* CONSERVATIVE, they'd say she's lying and that she's unfit to be a justice.

    Why even bother with the hearing? It only gives a chance for political posturing by the Senators — especially when everyone knows they're going to overwhelmingly vote for confirmation anyway…

  • 62. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Exactly!  It all looks like a political show, and the hearing itself only shows us how good an actress she is and how good she is under the pressure of questions she has to weasel her way out of.  That reminds me of something… oh, right — politics!

  • 63. Bill  |  July 1, 2010 at 5:33 am

    So long, Julia. And all the best in your future endeavors.

    Thank you very much for your work here.

    It will be remembered always.


  • 64. Ray in MA  |  July 1, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Seeing discussions here being threaded about SCOTUS, this offers some insight into its history, and how it reacts to the culture and conditions of current "life"…

    The Supreme Court Upholds Forced Sterilization:

    Happy Fourth of July! (?)

  • 65. Felyx  |  July 1, 2010 at 6:47 am

    The Buck V. Bell Decision:

    The Supreme Court Upholds Forced Sterilization

    "We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the state for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence."

    Does this apply to NOMites and Repug-li-can'ts?…No seriously….


  • 66. Monty  |  July 1, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Mmm, eugenics.

  • 67. Ray in MA  |  July 1, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Actually, this case was referenced by a Germain defense lawyer during the Nurembourg Trial … an angled attempt to defend NAZI's extermination of unwanted members of society…

    Kinda parallel to the way NOM tries to justify things, too.

    It was later pointed out in the proceedings that the Nazi's extermination was for political reasons, and not for the benefit of society.

  • 68. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

    There are many examples of The Supremes coming up with some really bad law – examples that seem incomprehensible to us today.

  • 69. Josh  |  July 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

    When will they announce the verdict on this trial??

    Did they already and I missed it?

  • 70. JeffSD  |  July 1, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Nope were still waiting on Judge Walkers ruling. He could rule on it when ever he wants… so it could be tomorrow or it could be September (or any other time).

  • 71. Rod  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    This made my day. I also loved reading the comments of pissed off conservatives that see how "unfair" life can be.

  • 72. JonT  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Delicious 🙂

  • 73. Ray in MA  |  July 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Het's have the option NOT to get married to avoid the penalty tax… Gays' don't have a way to avoid the extra taxes:

    FOF: "If Google wants to be truly fair to its employees, it should consider extra compensation to married heterosexuals who are bitten every April 15"

    Note of interest: In MA, IBM does not offer health insurance coverage to same sex partners UNLESS they are Married in MA.

  • 74. Felyx  |  July 2, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Maggie is really low. In any group of friends or associates, like school or work, there is always that one person who complains about someone doing something nice for someone else…like it was a bad thing! What a spoil-sport!!!

    Google's policy doesn't hurt anyone, it just helps those who are disadvantaged.

    Her comment is just blatant horrifying proof that she and her group really want to corner the market on discrimination with recrimination!!! Why can't they just admit that they hate gays?

    Felyx – H8'ed by NOM because I exist. (Despised more so because I am happy and comfortable with who I am!)

  • 75. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 2, 2010 at 1:03 am

    About Google's decision.  Although we all know why Google did that (to show its support to gay community and same-sex marriage), for which we are grateful, their decision not to extend those benefits to other domestic partners can be partially discriminatory and may be challenged in court.

    If I'm not mistaken, in some states of the US domestic partnerships or other institutions like that (civil unions, etc.) are only available for same-sex couples of all ages or for opposite-sex couples with partners of a certain age (for example, in New Jersey people of 62 years old or more are not allowed to get married, instead they can only enter into a civil union).  Thus, since they cannot enter into a civil marriage, but only into a civil union, it is only fair to include them under the new Google's policy (that's what they say: for those who cannot get married!).

    On the other hand, in some other states (again, if I'm not mistaken) even closely related people can enter into domestic partnerships, no matter what genders and orientations they are (like a mother and her son — to receive certain benefits and tax breaks from the state), so those partnerships may not even be sexual unions, or some opposite-sex couples may enter into those partnerships even though they are allowed to get married.  This creates a fairness problem for Google: the policy is designed to help marriage-like sexual unions to receive compensation they would have been entitled to had the government allowed them to enter into civil unions, it's not designed for other kinds of personal partnership and for those who have the option of marriage because the compensation is marriage-like.

    Anyhoodle, for me it's simply yet another example of how detrimental and confusing is the absence of marriage equality, not just for same-sex couples, but also for elderly couples who are not allowed to marry on grounds of their age (too old to give birth — which implies procreation is the main reason to get married in the first place, which is bullshit as we all know).

  • 76. Kathleen  |  July 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Kirille, while it's true that some states' domestic partnerships are only available to os couples who are 62 years old or older, it's not true that these people are not allowed to marry. I know of no state that puts an upper boundary age limitation for marriage. Such a law would be blatantly unconstitutional.

    I'm not entirely sure why domestic partnerships have been made available to older people. If anyone knows where there is a record of legislative history that explains it, I would appreciate seeing it.

    I suspect it has to do with federal Social Security/Supplementary Security benefits. There are a number of benefits that a person can claim, beginning at age 62, that could potentially be lost (or the amount reduced) if that person marries, depending on the person's individual circumstance. A state domestic partnership might allow a person to get benefits like health insurance through a DPs partner's employment without jeopardizing his/her Social Security benefits because the feds don't recognize DPs.

  • 77. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 2, 2010 at 10:32 am

    YOu hit the nail right on the head, Kathleen. The reason OS couples who are 62 or over can receive DP's is to prevent them from losing Social Security benefits. Had this been available in WV, my adoptive mother and her boyfriend could have done that and she would have retained the social security benefits she was drawing as well as survivor benefits from John's pension from Union Carbide. And we all know how low social security checks are.

  • 78. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 2, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    @Kathleen and @Richard
    Thank you for correcting me.  I really believed opposite-sex couples are not allowed to marry in those states if one of the partners is over 62 years of age.
    Once again, I showed my ignorance and naiveté.
    I really should stop pretending I know something about something.

    And Mark R. from Fla, if you're reading this, I know you're spying on me, so I hope you know what an asshole you are.

  • 79. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 3, 2010 at 12:57 am

    @KirilleXXI–while you may be ignorant about some things here, you are also very smart. One of the ways you prove this is by coming here to ask questions about things you do not know and by reading carefully so that you learn. That is the difference between you and the repugnicants. You actually want to learn, while they take the attitude of "Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up already!" I also admire you for being so honest about admitting when there is something you don't know. Believe me, you have also taught me quite a bit while we have been here on this site, as have so many others. But then again, isn't that what a family and/or a community is all about–everyone sharing what he or she knows for the benefit of all?

  • 80. Franck  |  July 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I can't believe I'd be the last to forget about thanking you, Julia – even if you do leave just as I'm discovering the site. Thanks for your work!

    On another not too related subject, a local TV channel showed the trailer for 8: The Mormon Proposition yesterday. Either that means they intend to show it later this year, or they made a programming mistake and didn't realize which trailer they'd put between those of Toy Story 3 and The Expendables.

    Sadly, knowing my country's stance on homosexuality ("alien, unknown concept from them wacky Westerners"), I'm almost sure it's the second case.

  • 81. GraciesDaddy  |  July 2, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Julia: THANK YOU for your dedication and wonderful posts here on the Trial Tracker!! Safe journeys!

  • 82. Ronnie  |  July 3, 2010 at 12:38 am

    No don't go….stop…she's getting so far away….no seriously…You will be missed…Thanks for all your help Julia….I dedicate this song to you…and good luck in all your future endeavors…..<3…Ronnie:

  • 83. wolfinlv  |  July 4, 2010 at 11:53 am

    In all honest here in Nevada a person MUST have at ALL times their Identification driver's license etc. I beleive that it's in the laws, rules and regulations for VISA's and for Green Cards that they must be carried at all times. That police can ask you for identification anytime they want has always been a fact of life here… ALWAYS. I was told that once I got my driver's license to be without it was a big nono. That everyone should be required to have identification of some sort is not a new thing. I don't have an issue with it. If law enforcement wants to see my ID fine by me I have it on me at all times. Why are they fighting about having to have your ID on you? If you are in any other country in the world including the ones that are so upset over this you would be required to have identification would you not… why shouldn't we require the same?

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