Despite all of the progress made so far on LGBT rights, on Tuesday, Louisiana voted to uphold the state’s anti-sodomy law, 67-27, despite it being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, in their landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision.
In its decision, the court ruled that laws prohibiting sodomy seek “to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals.”
Unless you live in Louisiana?
In fact, in addition to Louisiana and Texas, Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas and Oklahoma have all maintained their own anti-sodomy laws, despite their direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s decision. In three of these states — Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas — such anti-sodomy laws pertain exclusively to “homosexual conduct.”
The Louisiana bill in question, HB12, proposed to amend “crime against nature…” and was introduced in January by State House Representative Patricia Smith (D-Baton Rouge). Although it seems painfully obvious that there is no reason on Earth to maintain such a law, Smith’s proposed bill was a direct response to the targeted arrests of gay men in her district who were profiled and lured by undercover police to agree to consensual sex. At least 12 men have been arrested in this “sodomy sting” since 2011, despite the fact that prosecutors refused to bring charges in every single case.
After a Tampa Bay Times’ review of 200 cases that involved the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law found an “uneven application” and “shocking outcomes,” one Florida lawmaker is seeking to impede the media’s ability to scrutinize the law.
Earlier this month, state Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) filed an amendment that would “severely limit access to court records in the self-defense cases,” the Times’ Michael van Sickler reports.
The amendment would allow those found innocent in a Stand Your Ground case to “apply for a certificate of eligibility to expunge the associated criminal history record.”
Zimmerman has found a new career stealing the work of others and claiming it as his own.
The Zimmerman “painting”.
The remarkably similar Rick Wilson AP photo.
Florida, where only one person has been shot to death for texting at the movies so just shut up, liberal scum, is trying to decide how to make itself safer so Sean Hannity will feel more comfortable moving down there to kill bonefish. Luckily, the National Rifle Association is there to help.
The current bill would amend the state’s expansive Stand Your Ground law-which permits residents to use deadly force in numerous circumstances-so that it also allows the nebulous “threatened use of force.” In effect, it means that gun owners could walk free for brandishing their gun in a threatening manner or firing a shot indiscriminately to “warn” a potential assailant. That also means gun owners would get blanket immunity from the state’s “10-20-life” law, which mandates an automatic 10-year sentence for anyone accused of flashing or using a gun in the commission of a felony. Numerous Florida politicians, including Jeb Bush, have long credited that measure with significantly decreasing the state’s gun crimes.
It is occasionally mentioned here that the Republican party is terribly afflicted with a prion disease that has eaten away the party’s higher functions and driven the party mad. Short-term memory is the first thing to go.
Florida School Named After Klan Leader to Change Name ( Added Link to The Hate Watch Article I forgot to Include )
Not only am I glad they did this, I think it was a really positive sign, how a local Klan group’s attempt to get the school board to keep the name backfired.
Forty-three years after it was integrated by court order, Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla., will drop the name of the Confederate general who ran an infamous antebellum slaveyard, presided over the massacre of surrendering black Yankee troops, and was the first national leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Read More At Hate Watch
It was a long time coming.
Initial efforts to change the name of the school, whose student body is now 61% black, were made in the early 1990s but failed. A second attempt, led by local sociology professor Lance Stoll and a few of his students, also failed in 2007, even though Stoll surveyed the local community and jumped through a series of hoops imposed by the school board. The board defied its own policies then, with members voting 5-2 along racial lines to keep the name of the infamous Confederate.
Yes a group that is trying to “educate” Florida Public School students about what the constitution says, don’t think the establishment clause says what it says, which would mean that Bryan Fischer would love them, as long as he regards them “Christians.” The group calls itself “the National Center For Constitution Studies,” and it obviously doesn’t live up to its name. Anyone who really studied the constitution would disagree with them.
It seems Florida public school students have been handed a pocketful of lies about church-state separation thanks to a state judge who arranged for the distribution of mini copies of the Constitution from a right-wing group with theocratic beliefs.
Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, a South Florida gambling, dog-racing and hotel complex, has been around in some form since the 1930s. What started as a pari-mutuel betting track is today a Las Vegas-style destination for beachgoers, part of Florida’s booming gaming economy responsible for 2,600 jobs and nearly $382 million in spending in 2012. But Mardi Gras has made national news for something else entirely: an explosive labor dispute now before the Supreme Court.
On Nov. 13, the court will hear oral argument in Unite Here Local 355 v. Martin Mulhall and Mardi Gras Gaming. It is the latest case testing the boundaries of workers’ right to organize and could be among the most significant labor-related decisions since John Roberts was appointed chief justice of the United States in 2005.
At issue in Mulhall is the neutrality agreement, a contract widely used by private employers and unions to govern conduct and set ground rules for workplace unionization campaigns. About a decade ago, Mardi Gras employees began talking with Local 355 of Unite Here, a union focused on organizing hotel, casino and airport workers. Like other casino employees, they hoped that the union could help them bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Local 355’s website motto — “Lifting South Florida above the poverty line” — reflects the measured aspirations of this area’s low-wage service sector.
The trouble started in 2008, when Mardi Gras refused to comply with the neutrality agreement. Local 355 initiated legal proceedings, and the casino invoked an unorthodox defense: The contract it signed was unlawful under an anti-corruption statute.
Federal criminal law prohibits employers and unions from trading money or other “things of value.” According to Mulhall and Mardi Gras, neutrality agreements flout this interdiction and improperly circumvent employees’ right to secret-ballot elections, set out in the National Labor Relations Act. According to Local 355, the law forbids bribery and corruption, not mutually beneficial agreements between cooperating employers and unions.
A powerful conservative nonprofit group opposed to organized labor helped shape Mardi Gras’ strategy. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW) — whose stated mission is to “eliminate coercive union power and compulsory unionism” — came to represent Martin Mulhall, a Mardi Gras employee opposed to the union.
Mulhall sued Local 355 and Mardi Gras, but the case was thrown out by a Florida district court. On appeal by Mulhall, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit sent the case back down. In the appellate court’s view, the kinds of promises and information exchanged in neutrality agreements are things of value and therefore foster corruption as much as cash bribes do. Unite Here then appealed to the Supreme Court.
I posted this last night but I feel it ought to be Paged as well:
Florida House panel shoots down bill to repeal ‘Stand Your Ground’ law (VIDEO)
A bill to repeal Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law was shot down on Thursday by a panel of state lawmakers.
Before a packed house and after hours of impassioned testimony, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee rejected the proposal to repeal the state’s self-defense law, which removes ones duty to retreat and allows one to use force, including deadly force, if he/she reasonably believes his/her life is in danger, by a vote of 11-2.
I need to cut ahead a bit here because another bill did pass:
While the panel voted decisively against repealing SYG, it approved another measure that would not subject individuals who fire warning shots to a mandatory-minimum sentencing law known as 10-20-Life (10 for pulling a gun, 20 for shooting it, and life for shooting someone).
The impetus for the measure was a case involving a 31-year-old Jacksonville woman, Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly firing a warning shot at her husband.
Attorneys for Alexander invoked SYG during the preliminary proceedings but failed to convince a judge that it applied in her case. After refusing a plea deal by prosecutors, Alexander opted to go to trial. A jury took 12 minutes to render a guilty verdict. She was given 20 years.
The panel passed the measure by a vote of 12-1. It will now head to the Florida Legislature to be reviewed by both chambers in March during the 2014 legislative session.
I tend to think this was the right call by the legislature, although I’d like to have seen SYG amended to to make clear that getting out of your vehicle and confronting someone whom you think might be up to know good voids the self-defense provision.
As always, comments welcome.
This story has been discussed on LGF several times, so i felt it prudent to update the story for the group:
A Florida woman who claimed to be a victim of abuse yet was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for allegedly firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband was granted a new trial Thursday.
The appellate court ruling erased a decision by a jury that took just 12 minutes to convict Marissa Alexander, a mother of three, of aggravated assault.
The conviction of Alexander, who is black, sparked outrage and cries of a racial double standard in light of the exoneration of George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, for the death of Trayvon Martin, who was black. In particular, outrage aired on social media and among some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Alexander unsuccessfully tried to invoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as the same prosecutors who unsuccessfully worked to put Zimmerman behind bars told the court that she did not act in self-defense.
In granting the new trial, Judge James H. Daniel also seemed unmoved by the Stand Your Ground defense.
“We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous,” wrote Daniel.
As always, comments are welcome.