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.
But the scene above took place four years before Monica, in 1994, long before Clinton handed his enemies a scandal on a platter that seemingly made such references acceptable. It was not at a Republican caucus or Christian Coalition meeting, but at a gathering of right-wing “Patriots” who had come to hear about forming militias and common-law courts and defending their gun rights — indeed, their families — from the New World Order. They numbered only a hundred or so and only half-filled the little convention hall in Bellevue, Washington, but their fervor saturated the room with its own paranoid energy. And the speaker, who could have passed even then for a local Republican public official — actually, he was nominally a Democrat — in fact was one of the nation’s leading Patriot figures: Richard Mack, then sheriff of Arizona’s mostly rural Graham County. As a leader in the fight against gun control (his lawsuit eventually led to the Supreme Court overturning a section of the so-called Brady Law), Mack was in high demand on the right-wing lecture circuit as he promoted the militia concept to his eager acolytes. He usually sprinkles his “constitutional” gun-rights thesis with his theories on church-state separation — it’s a “myth,” he claims — and “the New World Order conspiracy.”
This is one of the leaders of the “movement” with which respectable conservative voices and some Republican politicians allied themselves over the last two weeks. Personally, I think that the reason you didn’t hear from any of the prospective “human shields” here is that Mack didn’t have the guts to ask them.
Our long national nightmare if finally over:
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Lower court stands. Good news for gay couples who deserve fair treatment in public accommodations; bad news for those discriminatory photographers who are not good enough actors to fake being all booked up whenever a same-sex couple makes a service request.
That is it - there is nowhere else the bigots can take this case. It is over. Elaine has not only destroyed her business future by insisting discrimination and bigotry are valid business practices, she and her husband will go down as homophobic bigots who are socially, and now legally, on the wrong side of history.
The truth remains - bigotry does not win when weighed against the law of these here United States, the right would do well to take notice before they continue to destroy these ‘small business’
Criswell and others were leading the charge in an impassioned crusade against legal abortion, creating one of the first evangelical-Catholic coalitions in American political history. But birth control didn’t come along for the ride; it remained, until recently, a matter of Catholic concern. Could the same evangelical reversal be taking place today—this time, with contraception?
Catholics and Protestants weren’t always at odds over the morality of birth control. In the late nineteenth century, it was Anthony Comstock, a fiery Protestant crusader against vice, who lobbied to criminalize contraception as part of a heretical trifecta that included abortion and pornography. The “Comstock laws” of the 1870s outlawed abortion and made it a federal and, in some cases, a state-offense to transport birth control through the mail or across state lines. The laws weren’t dislodged until 1965, when the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that restrictions on birth control access violated the “right to marital privacy, and 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade.
A virulent wave of anti-Catholicism helped convince Protestant reformers that birth control was a moral imperative. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Catholic immigrants from southern Europe were pouring into the country, and native-born Protestants were troubled by the legions of offspring that was the norm for these newcomers. To white-collar Protestants living in east coast cities, large families were unseemly; children, once crucial sources of farm labor, were an expensive investment. Birth rates among “native-born white” (i.e. Protestant) women plummeted from 7.04 in 1800 to 3.13 in 1920, while the average Catholic woman was still having more than six children. If Catholics continued to reproduce at these rates, the country would be overrun by multitudes of “papists.” “There was a growing concern among Protestants that the wrong people were having too many children,” says Allan Carlson, a historian and the president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. “They were thinking, maybe birth control is the best way to clean up the country and the human race.”
Hope you filthy hippies are ready to get a good talking-to about your drugs and your communism and your satanic rock music, because this week it’s time to get a dose of revisionist history of the 1960s, courtesy of our textbooks for the Christian homeschooling market. Our 8th-grade text, America: Land I Love (A Beka, 1994, 2006), has no doubts about just what a terrible time the decade was, and why:
By the early 1960s, the teachings of humanist philosopher John Dewey, the father of progressive education, had permeated public education. Dewey was a leader in the secular humanist movement, which put man in place of or above God. Moral absolutes, such as those once taught in the McGuffey Readers, were replaced by humanistic ideas such as encouraging children to “follow their animal instincts” and to practice permissive “self expression” in the classroom…
God, sadly, has continued to slack off on fixing this for the past 34 years, probably because He has been busy helping with all those high school football games. In any case, those clearly illegal Supreme Court decisions were utterly at odds with the True Meaning of the Constitution:
The Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution had great respect for both prayer and God’s Word. It was because of our Christian heritage that most schools had included prayer and Bible reading in their daily routines for years. The Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution in a way that its writers would not have agreed with.
All we need are 38 State legislative bodies to approve the following 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. It’s time to end this fight once and for all. No need to fight the enemy when we only need to petition 38 States to convene and ratify.
The 28th Amendment to our United States Constitution should read as follows:
The Congress, the Supreme Court, the Executive Branch of United States nor the Congress of any of the fifty states of the United States of America and all municipalities, counties, or any other body politic associated with government within the jurisdiction of all fifty U.S. sovereign States shall not, in any way, shape, form or fashion abridge or infringe upon the rights of it’s citizens whether they be government employees, military personnel, or any person or persons not employed by said entities to openly and freely worship, or display or express their Christian faith based religious beliefs of ANY denomination at any time or any place within the jurisdiction of the United States of America, whether it be private, public or government property including any U.S. military installation or base situated in any part of the globe. In additon, any private business, that provides a private and or public service will have complete rights to refuse service to any person or organization based on it’s religious beliefs as well. The Supreme Court of the United States and all of its subordinate Courts as well as State District Courts will be stripped of any authority to hear any case regarding faith based religion of Christianity of any denomination unless it is regarding an abridgement clause violation or any other violation of this Amendment and shall be met with criminal punishment. Moreover, ALL previous rulings handed down by the Supreme Court regarding faith based religion as regards worship, open prayer led by public officials, students or displaying upon government, private or any public property within the borders the United States and it’s territories any religious items such as the Bible, The Ten Commandments, Christmas trees, nativity scenes, crosses or ANY other Christian symbol..etc., shall be deemed null void and officially reversed.
Ariticle Five shall also be Amended to include that the 28th Amendment to the Constitution shall never be repealed and have the same protections as States Suffrage rights. This shall remain the law of the land until time indefinite or until Almighty God says otherwise. (complete definitions of each word in this amendment as it is written in context shall be defined so as not to be misconstrued in ANY way by future generations NOR the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
It is time to end this war against faith based religion of Christianity.
We The People will have spoken for the final time. By the grace of our Alimighty God….so let it come to pass! Amen!
Uhh, yeah, good luck with that passing 38 state legislatures you psycho. There are so many things wrong with this legally that I really don’t know where to start. I suppose I should just stick with the fact that this directly contradicts the wording of multiple other amendments to the constitution.
You cannot just pass a new amendment that contradicts old ones and then ask the courts to sort it out afterwards. You have to specifically mention each earlier point of any amendments that this new amendment is intended to contravene and then say how this amendment would effect/supersede them.
Besides all of which what would happen in court would be… “My personal Christian beliefs say that it is ok to rape any woman I see between the ages of 12 and 24. I stand upon my 28th Amendment rights and deny that this court has any jurisdiction to prosecute me for the rape of those girls, it is just part of my Christian denomination’s beliefs.”
India’s Supreme Court recently upheld a law that criminalizes homosexul behavior with up to 10 years in prison. Of course, everyone’s favorite bigot is ecstatic.
What India's Supreme Court has done is entirely right. Homosexual conduct should be contrary to public policy everywhere.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) December 11, 2013
India's Supreme Court upheld a law passed by the elected representatives of the people. We need a Supreme Court which will do the same.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) December 11, 2013
Of course, India is a mostly Hindu nation. How does Fischer feel about Hindus? Do you have to ask?
[Hinduism] is a counterfeit religion,. It is an Eastern religion. It is, in essence, an occult religion. It’s a counterfeit, a false alternative to Christianity. It ultimately represents the doctrine of demons…
But as long as those demon worshipers opress teh gays, Bryan’s cool with it I guess?
The U.S. Supreme Court should find that the owners of secular, for-profit corporations have no right to impose their religious views onto employees by denying them access to contraceptives, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
Americans United urges this action in response to today’s announcement that the Supreme Court will consider the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. The cases challenge the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which requires most businesses to provide their employees with health insurance that includes access to no-cost birth control.
“The Supreme Court needs to make it clear that religious freedom is not a battering ram to use against individual rights,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United.
Added Lynn, “The question before the court is simple: Does the owner of a secular corporation have the right to impose his religious views onto his employees? And the answer is equally simple: No.”
That sound you heard emanating from the Supreme Court yesterday may well have been the unmistakably musical strains of the skids being greased.
The court, in a 5-4 vote, split along ideological lines in turning down an appeal to block the law that abortion rights advocates challenged as unconstitutional. The measure, adopted by Texas lawmakers in July, requires that abortion providers have a doctor on their staffs who has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. By rejecting the request, the justices signaled they do not think the Texas law puts an unconstitutional barrier before women seeking an abortion. The Planned Parenthood Federation said the law had forced 12 of the state’s 36 licensed abortion providers to stop offering abortions.
Once again, as it did in Citizens United and in Shelby County, a majority of the court determned to demonstrate to the nation that its members do not live in the same world with the rest of us. In Citizens United, we learned that, in the world where the majority of the court resides, unlimited corporate spending in our elections does not result in even “the appearance of corruption.” In Shelby County, we learned that, in the world where the majority of the court resides, we have attained the Day Of Jubilee and institutional racism plays no significant role in the local laws governing elections. And yesterday, we learned that, in the world where the majority of the court resides, having no doctor legally capable of performing an abortion in 24 counties in a state the size of Texas does not place an “undue burden” on women who are attempting to exercise their constitutional right. As always, it was Antonin (Short Time) Scalia, who is impatient with the fig leaves of civility and moderation with which the majority of the court usually cloaks its affection for authoritarian mischief, who cut to the chase.
Justice Antonin Scalia, in defending the high court’s action, said Breyer and the abortion rights advocates had no basis for “asserting that the [Texas] law is even probably unconstitutional.” He said Planned Parenthood had not “carried the heavy burden” of showing the law was unconstitutional, adding that there was “no special ‘status quo’ standard for laws affecting abortion.” Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. signed on to Scalia’s statement.
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.