Sign Petition: Chair, ABA Business Law Section, Gonzaga Univ School of Law: Remove Cathy Brennan as liaison To ABA’s Commission on LGBT

From Change.org:  http://www.change.org/petitions/chair-aba-business-law-section-gonzaga-univ-school-of-law-remove-cathy-brennan-as-liaison-to-aba-s-commission-on-lgbt

Attorney Catherine (Cathy) M. Brennan Partner at Hudson Cook LLP has used her position as a lawyer to repeatedly harass, intimidate, bully and embarrass a portion of the community that she has been entrusted by the American Bar Association to help, transgender and transsexual peoples.Recently Cathy Brennan cyberbullied a transgender woman who had a docket date to change her gender marker by publishing that information and asking that others contact the judge in oppisition to her petition.

http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com/2012/05/24/the-bittersweet-change-of-gender-court-ruling-it-came-with-cyberbulling/

Cathy Brennan recently maliciously outed a 17 year old. Transgender Youth To His High School in retaliation for the youths ignorance regarding “rape jokes’ which he later appoligized profusly for after being educated about how those ‘jokes’ are unnaceptable.
http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/06/cathey-brennan-laywer-maliciously-outs.html

Cathy Brennan and co author Elizabeth Hungerford tendered a paper to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, in response to a query regarding the current international status of women stating that:

“the proliferation of legislation designed to protect “gender identity” and “gender expression” undermines legal protections for females vis-à-vis sex segregated spaces, such as female-only clubs, public restrooms, public showers, and other spaces designated as “female only.”  http://www.bilerico.com/2011/08/less_than_woman_less_than_human.php 

The event picture which was sent to a transgender woman via twitter is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/07/catherine-brennans-sorry-for-you-dick.html

It is unnaceptable that Cathy Brennan is a liaison to Gonzaga Univ School of Law for the ABA’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity  This allows her unfettered access to further stigmitize trans people from within the legal syastem.

The  very fact she holds that position validates her anti transgender views and further places in harms way the people she was entrusted to work for.

Sign Petition

Remove Cathy Brennan as liaison To ABA’s Commission on LGBT

Greetings,

I just signed the following petition addressed to: Linda Rusch, Chair, ABA Business Law Section, Gonzaga Univ School of Law.

—————-
Remove Cathy Brennan from her position as liaison to the American Bar Association’s Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Attorney Catherine (Cathy) M. Brennan a Partner at Hudson Cook LLP has used her position as a lawyer to repeatedly harass, intimidate, bully and embarrass a portion of the community that she has been entrusted by the American Bar Association to help, transgender and transsexual peoples.

Please read the petition information to understand the reasons why I am asking this of you.

I hope you will consider this petition a plea for our lives, for freedom from intimidation. .
—————-

Sincerely,

[Your name]

 

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Catherine Brennan’s “Sorry about Your Dick” TweetPic Ignites Trans Firestorm

From Planet Transgender:  http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/07/catherine-brennans-sorry-for-you-dick.html

By Kelli Busey
July 29, 2012

Reposted with permission

Catherine Brennan’s “Sorry about Your Dick” TweetPic Ignites Trans Firestorm

Attorney Catherine M. Brennan Partner at Hudson Cook LLP who’s protected twitter account is @bugbrennan sent the below twitter picture to Marti Abernathey, a transgender woman who writes for the TransAdvocate.

So what’s the big deal you ask? Just a imbecilic moronic juvenile insult, right? Not so, Cathy Brennan is a liaison to the American Bar Association’s Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and contributed to the…

So while Brennan’s not insulting transgender people with asinine twitter insults what other things has she done.

To name a couple Brennan co authored the now infamous letter to the UN intentionality timing it so the transgender community had no time to repute letter her before the commission ended. The crux of the letter was this paragraph…

where she makes it clear she does not believe a trans woman is female or should be allowed in public accommodations because to do so would place woman in danger of rape of fore mentioned transsexuals (men)!

But her most egregious conduct to date was to out a 17 year old trans youth to his school knowingly endangering his life.

So what’s this vengeful immoral hater of transgender people doing on a LGBT legal commission? That’s what I would like to know. I have resisted contacting Brennan’s professional contacts for years but I think its time we did that and I’m not alone.

American Bar Association
Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
321 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654

E-mail address: sogi@americanbar.org
Telephone: 312-988-5000

******
Staff
Robin L. Rone
Director

Phone: 312-988-5137
Fax: 312-988-5647
E-mail: robin.rone@americanbar.org

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The new Matrix revolution: Director says she’s now a pink-haired woman called Lana

From The Daily Mail UK:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2180453/Larry-Wachowski-Matrix-Director-says-hes-pink-haired-woman-called-Lana.html

By Daily Mail Reporter
29 July 2012

THE Hollywood director responsible for the hit Matrix movies has ‘outed’ himself as a pink-haired transsexual called Lana.

Larry Wachowski, 47, one of  the most influential directors in Hollywood after Steven Spielberg, has been undergoing hormone therapy as part of his sex-change treatment for nearly a decade. In a trailer for his latest film, the £80 million production Cloud Atlas, Wachowski says in a soft and breathy voice: ‘Hi, I’m Lana.’ It is the first time ‘Larry’ has appeared publicly as ‘Lana’.

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Transgender Candidate Out to Make History in Florida

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2012/07/25/watch-transgender-candidate-out-make-history-florida

Gina Duncan, a candidate for the Orange County, Fla., Commission, could be the first transgender person elected in the Southeast.

BY Trudy Ring
July 25 2012

A transgender candidate for the Orange County Commission in central Florida is drawing favorable attention from local media for her historic bid.

Gina Duncan, who was born Gregory Pingston and transitioned in 2007 at age 50, is a small-business owner and former bank executive focusing on economic issues in her race. Duncan, a Democrat, was recently profiled by Orlando Fox affiliate WOFL.

The segment focuses on her tireless campaign efforts and her emphasis on job growth in the region, treating her transgender identity as incidental, while acknowledging the potentially history-making nature of her candidacy, as she would be the first transgender person elected to office in the southeastern United States. Reporter Chase Cain does ask her when being transgender will not longer be an issue, and she says, “Maybe not in my lifetime, but someday being transgender means no more than being right- or left-handed.”

She will face incumbent Ted Edwards and write-in candidate Ariel Christenson in a nonpartisan election August 14. Watch the interview with WOFL below, and follow this link to Duncan’s and Edwards’s interviews with the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. Duncan’s campaign website is here.

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The Catholic Church’s Complicity In NOM-Regnerus’s Anti-Gay Hate Speech

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/opinion-the-catholic-churchs-complicity-in-nom-regneruss-anti-gay-hate-speech/discrimination/2012/07/29/44825

by Scott Rose
on July 29, 2012

Reposted with permission

We have been reporting on an invalid sociological study on gay parenting carried out by researcher Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin.

Regnerus’s known total of $785,000 for the study was arranged by The Witherspoon Institute and The Bradley Foundation, where Robert P. George – (head of the anti-gay-rights, scientifically disreputable, so-called National Organization for Marriage) – holds positions of authority. Witherspoon president Luis Tellez is a NOM board member. NOM’s Robert George is a long-time Catholic Church co-conspirator in the Church’s ages-long, Unholy War Against Gays. He is a current Board member of The Catholic League, whose motormouth president Bill Donohue has a long and shameful history of verbal gay bashing.

The Regnerus study currently is being used as an anti-gay-rights political weapon in the 2012 elections. With its toxic connections to the so-called National Organization for Marriage, the Catholic Church of course has been using the invalid Regnerus study as a political weapon against LGBT-Americans — who against their wills are obliged to subsidize one of the very worst of their relentless and ruthless oppressors worldwide — the tax-exempt Catholic Church – with their hard-earned tax dollars.

Clarity still is needed as to the real source of the funding for the Regnerus study. Sure, the Witherspoon Institute gave a known minimal total of of $695,000, and the Bradley Foundation a known minimal total of $90,000, but where exactly did they find those big bucks? Could the Church possibly have been involved in getting that money to Witherspoon and/or the Bradley Foundation?  Witherspoon so far has refused to cooperate with Freedom of Information Act requests from multiple reporters for its Regnerus study-related communications.

Like NOM, and like Regnerus’s study, the Catholic Church is scientifically disreputable. When science has seemed  to contradict Catholic dogma, the Church often has lashed out maliciously at scientists and those who advance science and have faith in it. In its Unholy War Against Gays, the Church has used gay-bashing lingo from scientifically disreputable organizations like NARTH, and individual, scientifically disreputable figures like Paul Cameron. To understand how ridiculous, unscientific and out of touch with reality the Catholic Church is on all matters pertaining to human sexuality — not only on homosexuality — consider that the Catholic Catechism calls masturbation “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” A long, loud Bronx cheer please. Hard though it may be for some to grasp, the religious dogma simply does not match the science of human sexuality. Sperm are not holy, there are far more than enough sperm to go around; no sane person need worry about “wasting” sperm. We are reminded of the joke: Why does the Pope wear a bathing suit into the shower? He doesn’t want to look down on the unemployed. The Church’s obnoxious, science-bashing stupidity is implicit in the dogma of “papal infallibility,” which apparently holds that the Pope, not science, understands sexuality generally, homosexuality in particular, and has a right, based on the Pope’s anti-scientific gay bashing, to meddle in politics and civil laws around the world with a goal of maintaining and/or redoubling sexual orientation apartheid.

Ludicrous, duplicitous claims from Catholic Church and NOM officials that they “love” gay people are properly understood in the context of those two parties’ large-scale psychological domestic-and-political violence against LGBTers. It is characteristic of abusers to make fake declarations of “love” for their victims. That is not love, and nobody should be fooled by the deliberately disingenuous abusers.

For background information on the thick-as-thieves relationship between 1) the anti-gay-rights Catholic Church, and 2) the anti-gay-rights, so-called National Organization for Marriage, go here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

Notice that that last link is to a NOM Blog post reporting on Ratzinger’s appointment of Bishop Salvatore Cordileone as Archbishop of San Francisco. The NOM Blog post headline is  Bishop Cordileone, “Godfather of Prop 8″, Promoted to Abp. of San Francisco.

Thus we see that NOM is tone deaf to Italian-Americans who object to jokey, knee-jerk references to people of Italian heritage as being heads of organized crime mobs, yet at the same time, “Godfather” certainly is fitting for the Catholic Church’s political gay-basher Cordileone. On the one hand, NOM should not have referred to him as the “Godfather of Prop 8.” On the other hand — (Mr. Cordileone) — if 1) the Catholic Church of Rome’s 2)  Unholy-War-Against-Gays-Mob- Shoe fits you — (and that anti-gay-rights patented Catholic Church Mob Footwear certainly does fit Cordileone) — then you are accurately described as wearing it.

That the NOM-leaders-financed, invalid Regnerus study is deliberately misleading and defamatory of gays is beyond all question.  An amicus brief filed by eight major professional associations including the American Medical Association was filed specifically to define exactly what — in an ACP brief relying on the Regnerus study — misrepresented the Regnerus study, but the brief also went on to define what in the Regnerus study itself disqualifies it from being taken seriously as science. Neither NOM nor Catholic Church officials have ever seriously engaged with the rationally-articulated, science-based dismissals of the Regnerus study as science. Naturally, the verified science goes in one Catholic Church ear and out the other, as the Church races full steam ahead with its illicit political propagandizing and gay bashing based on the invalid Regnerus study.

We never should have been forced into the position of having to defend against defamation in the form of a bogus sociological study that makes no valid comparison between its test group and its control group, and still less should we have been forced into anti-defamation action by such a study funded by persons aspiring to yoke us with their gay-bashing religious dogma via our civil laws. These monsters’ actions in defaming us on the not-very-well-disguised background basis of their theocracy-based bigotry go against the letter and the spirit of the Constitution of the United States.

A few stomach-churning examples of the Church using Regnerus as a weapon against gays and gay rights will suffice.

Even as the Church fights tooth-and-nail against proposed laws to lift the statutes of limitations on the prosecution of child rape — and let us say that again, for emphasis, because it is true — the Catholic Church in the United States (and elsewhere) fights tooth-and-nail against proposed laws to lift the statutes of limitations on the prosecution of child rape — Cordileone had the towering nerve to address the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 14, 2012, and to tell them that the Regnerus study indicates that: “The protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a work of justice and is foundational to the good of all, especially for those most vulnerable among us, our children.”

One verifiable, real-world phenomenon Cordileone’s gay-bashing propaganda leaves out of account, is that the number of children in foster care in recent decades has declined, thanks to responsible gay parents adopting children who were neglected, abused and/or abandoned by their irresponsible heterosexual parents. With its characteristic mean-spiritedness against gays, the Catholic Church is actively seeking to strengthen the stigma and the legal discrimination against those gay-headed families and their children. Cordileone outright lies about the Regnerus study, where he says that it is “one of the first studies on this topic to have a comprehensive and scientifically respectable approach.” His deliberately misleading statement about the discipline of the scientific study of gay parenting is despicable and beneath all contempt, and therefore, characteristic of Catholic Church officials’ lying, demonizing pronouncements against gay human beings. That, actually, as happens, is one of the reasons that Mussolini and the Vatican got along so well together. The Regnerus study does not — as Cordileone disingenuously alleges — have a “comprehensive and scientifically respectable approach.”  Had the Regnerus study been “comprehensive,” it would have surveyed — you know — actual children of gay parents. A gay parenting study like Regnerus’s that does not survey gay parents or their children can not in any sense be called “comprehensive.” The Godfather of Prop 8 is, as turns out, a shameless bullshit artist. Not a single scientist of good repute and without a conflict of interest in commenting on the Regnerus study has supported the Regnerus study as scientifically valid. Beyond the aforementioned AMA amicus brief, and as first reported here on TNCRM, a group of over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s signed a letter to the journal that published Regnerus, expressing concern over the study’s lack of intellectual integrity as well as over the suspicious circumstances of the study’s publication.

In response to the scientific debunking of the Regnerus study, the Regnerus study’s supporters pump out yet more bunk. A Baylor Institute for the Studies of Religion letter published in support of Regnerus bears the profoundly misleading title of A Social Scientific Response to the Regnerus Controversy. The Baylor letter contains deliberate subterfuges to dismiss as irrelevant the criticisms of the Regnerus study’s most glaring and obnoxious failings – including that it makes no valid comparison between its test group and its control group — yet these gay-bashing bigots have the nerve to call their anti-gay-rights propaganda a “social scientific response.” Most if not all of the signers of the Baylor letter have conflicts of interest in signing and publicizing it. The lead signer, for example, is Baylor ISR Director Byron Johnson; he also is a Senior Fellow of The Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study and which is heavily promoting it in anti-gay-rights political contexts. This reporter sent Johnson an e-mail asking him to acknowledge on the record his conflict of interest in signing the Baylor letter without disclosing his connection to the Regnerus study’s funding and anti-gay-rights political promotions. Johnson did not provide the courtesy of a reply.

Before I highlight a second main Catholic Church use of the Regnerus study as a political weapon in the Church’s Unholy War Against Gays, please take a look at some additional Church-Regnerus-NOM, anti-gay-rights propaganda, by seeing here, here, and then here in French, and here in Spanish — (in a publication called La Espada Catolica, The Catholic Sword – they’re apparently pining for the good old days of The Crusades, when they slaughtered Jews and Muslims all across Europe and the Middle East) —  and then here in German, and then here in Portuguese, and then here in Dutch and then here in Italian. The NOM-heads-funded Regnerus anti-gay defamation has spread all around the world, a veritable contagion of gay-bashing lies.

NOM and the Catholic Church both are seemingly very worried about the P.R. fall-out from their dishonorable connections to the invalid and defamatory Regnerus study. It is hardly a surprise that NOM’s Maggie Gallagher, a pathological anti-gay liar and professional anti-gay hate speech propagandist responds to science-based debunkings of the Regnerus study with yet more of her filthy, gay-bashing lies.

It also is hardly surprising that the disreputable Catholic League President Bill Donohue is sweating the science-based criticism of the Regnerus study. Best-selling author Anne Rice called Donohue out by name when she filmed a video announcing that she was leaving the Catholic Church, in no small measure because of the Church’s gay bashing and political gay bashing. Donohue demonstrated what low-down, hypocritical stuff he is made of, when he and his co-conspirator Timothy Dolan took to Dolan’s blog, trashed a 16-year-old girl who alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, and called the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests a “phony victims group.” If SNAP is a “phony victims group,” as Dolan and Donohue want the world to believe, then why, when SNAP was involved in Church child rape victims’ advocacy in the Los Angeles Diocese, did the Church settle with the victims for $660 million?

These vile, powerful Catholic adult males who abuse their power to trash a 16-year-old girl in public have no moral standing to carry out their Unholy War Against Gays. Yet, in response to my allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct against Mark Regnerus –presented to the University of Texas at Austin — Donohue sent an ad hominem attack against me to UT President William Powers. Dohonue discloses to UT President Powers that Robert George is on the Board of the Catholic League, yet he does not fess up about George’s connections to the funding of the Regnerus study; Donohue’s disclosure is thus a non-disclosure disclosure and an attempted misrepresentation of facts relevant to the Regnerus matter. In the letter, Donohue alleges that he is a trained sociologist, yet he makes no attempted scientific justification for Regnerus’s failure to make a valid comparison between his study’s test group and control group. A student in any Sociology 101 class would get an F for insisting that inappropriate test-group, control group comparisons are valid.

In his cowardly, dishonest and contemptible letter, Donohue scoffed at my having characterized a letter sent by the Archbishop Dolan to President Obama as threatening. Dolan’s letter to President Obama, meanwhile, which Donohue actually attached to his own letter to Powers — (as though the Dolan letter proves that Dolan made no threat to Obama) – warned President Obama that if he continued on the road to equality, he would “precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.”

If that is not a threat, what is it? Does Donohue maybe believe that the President of the University of Texas at Austin can not identify a Catholic Church threat when he sees one in print?

In his letter, Donohue further mislabels as “scurrilous” my past statement that Robert George has “a long history of telling dehumanizing lies about gay people.” Meanwhile, Robert George has said that homosexuality is “beneath the dignity of human beings as free and rational creatures.” He has argued to the Supreme Court of the United States that it should be possible to throw gay people into prison and to fine them for their intimacy. His NOM colleague William Duncan held a symposium session at Liberty University titled Homosexuals or Homo Sapiens; Who Deserves Protect Class Status? There are mountains of additional similar, verifiable “dehumanizing lies” that have been told by Robert George and his NOM co-conspirators in their foaming-at-the-mouth, Unholy War Against Gays.

George & Co. very literally say that gay people are not human, but Donohue wants UT President Powers to believe that it is “scurrilous” for me to report that Robert George has a long history of telling dehumanizing lies against gay people. Has Donohue even checked a dictionary lately for the meaning of “scurrilous”?

Donohue also lies outright in his letter to UT President Powers, where he says that “the “Fortnight for Freedom” events that were organized by the bishops had absolutely nothing to do with same-sex marriage;” Donohue is mistaking Powers for a fool, and assuming that he has no fact-checking capabilities.

My original letter to UT’s President Powers complained of the Regnerus study’s NOM-linked funders using the Regnerus study as a cudgel against gays in the bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” events. The justification for my mentioning that, was and remains a justified suspicion that Regnerus could be politically in collusion with his study’s funders. Whereas Donohue tells powers that the “Fortnight for Freedom” had “absolutely nothing to do with same-sex marriage, the documented truth is that in association with the “Fortnight for Freedom,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published a letter to its website that is one long hateful screed against marriage equality for gay couples. Demeaningly, the USCCB anti-gay screed forcefully deplores the fact that when equality becomes law, “same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage.” Though the USCCB screed demands that same-sex marriage be outlawed in order to protect “religious freedom,” the hateful screed is written in willful ignorance that whole Christian churches ordain out, married gay and lesbian ministers, and that those churches’ religious freedoms require for marriage equality to be our civil law. The screed is just absolutely shameless, lying anti-gay hate speech from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and then Donohue adds insult to injury by sending an ad hominem attack letter against me to UT President Powers in which he outright lies about the Church’s “Fortnight for Freedom,” which did in fact include heaping servings of political gay bashing.

With its blood-soaked history of persecutions of sexual and other minorities, you might suppose that the Church would have the sense to stop the persecutions, yet the Church knows no shame. With the Catholic Church’s “infallible” leader Ratzinger implicated in the unconscionable actions of shifting child rapist priests between parishes without notifying parishioners of the danger, the Church appears to believe that by scapegoating gays, it will succeed in distracting world attention from its malfeasance. Donohue is himself guilty of that brand of scapegoating of homosexuals; it is one of the reasons that Anne Rice called Donohue out by name. As is his wont when the Church is accurately criticized, Donohue retaliated against Anne by attempting to smear her, instead of apologizing for all of the Church’s wrongs inflicted on the innocent. When the Howell, Michigan, Catholic public school student Daniel Glowacki verbally gay bashed in his classroom on Spirit Day, NOM-linked attorneys of The Thomas More Law Center — (whose logo is a Catholic sword against a cross, and whose motto is “Battle Ready to Defend America“) — came to Glowacki’s defense, and NOM made a video with Glowacki as yet another of its vehicles for begging for gay-bashing blood money.  Ask yourselves, why has that organization named itself for Thomas More, who as Chancellor had some of his victims burned at the stake for the “crime” of translating the Bible into English? Why is its motto a war-mongering one, and its logo a Catholic sword with a cross?  Are they not yet satisfied with their floods of anti-gay hate speech and the anti-gay-hate crimes that stem from the social attitudes at least in part occasioned by that hate speech?

Name so much as one — just one! — major gay rights organization that has a similarly violence-drenched logo and motto. Those are NOM’s anti-gay-rights Thomas More attorneys with their hate-and-war-mongering ways, and NOM’s head honchos at The Witherspoon Institute arranged for the funding of the invalid Regnerus study. The war that the Catholic Church and NOM wage unjustifiably against totally innocent gay people, is fought by the Church and by NOM as a dirty, dirty, dirty war, which those bellicose anti-gay parties wage without any sense of restraint or decency.

The Catholic Church has never adequately acknowledged its complicity in the mass slaughters of Jews and others throughout the ages. After telling its “flock” for nearly two thousand years that all Jews had to be held accountable for the death of Jesus, the Church had its “infallible” Popeexonerate” the Jews!  Mass slaughters of Jews in the Crusades, umpteen Catholic human rights abuses of Jews in the Spanish Inquisition, with the Vatican having a branch called The Holy Office of the Inquisition, the Achtung! Sieg Heil! Old World Catholic Church charm of its Reichskonkordat political treaty with Hitler, plus the fact that the Vatican wished Adolph Hitler a happy birthday every year he was in power – the party in need of “exoneration” would hardly be the Jews.

The Church has yet even to settle with its victims in matters where it is irrefutably documented as being in collusion with Nazi war criminals. Vatican officials who helped known Nazi war criminals to evade justice through the ratlines to South America accepted assets stolen from Jewish as well as from gay Holocaust victims in payment for their criminal services. Yes; to assist a known war criminal to evade justice is in itself a crime. To accept fenced assets stolen from Holocaust victims to carry out the separate crime of helping war criminals to evade justice actually and truly is an additional, monstrous crime. Accepting fenced goods in payment for services is a crime. Catholic Church officials are guilty of those monstrous crimes.

Do not hold your breath, expecting the Church to acknowledge its complicity in getting gay Holocaust victims deported to be tortured and killed in concentration camps. Throughout Europe, there stand memorials to gay Holocaust victims, yet instead of acknowledging its role in those gay Holocaust victims’ tortures and murders, the Catholic Church picks up its  blood-stained sword of cutting-and-stabbing, anti-gay defamation — including the scientifically invalid Regnerus study – and very aggressively, selfishly and pitilessly wields it in repugnant, morally bankrupt attempts to skewer gay human beings and their rights along with them.

A Change.org petition asks IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman to investigate the Catholic Church for apparent violations of laws applicable to tax-exempt organizations such as the Catholic Church. The full text of the petition is extremely enlightening, and includes this: “The Church in every state very actively criticizes President Obama’s every LGBT initiative, naming him while condemning him, in ways that very evidently are negative endorsements of his candidacy, forbidden under 501(c)(3)-related law.” To sign the petition, go here.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Amazon Founder Pledges $2.5 Million to Marriage Battle in Washington State

From Frontiers LA: http://www.frontiersla.com/Blog/FrontierBlog/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10408454

By Karen Ocamb
7/27/2012

In response to an email plea from one of his first employees, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie pledged to contribute $2.5 million in the fight to retain same sex marriage rights in Washington State.

Last February, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the marriage equality bill in an emotional ceremony. Two rival groups of marriage opponents immediately tried to collect enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot to repeal the law—one failed.  However, in June religious activists collected enough signatures to force the question onto the November ballot. Referendum 74 asks voters to approve or reject the marriage equality law. If approved, Washington officially becomes the sixth state, plus the District of Columbia, to recognize gay marriages.

“To get this [pledge] from a straight, married couple sends a powerful message that marriage is seen as a fundamental question of fairness,” Zach Silk, the campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, told the New York Times Thursday.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Steven A. Ballmer have already donated $100,000 to the referendum campaign, the Times reports. But the historic pledge from Bezos, who runs a $48 billion-a-year retail empire, is considered a game-changer.

And the money is much needed, especially considering the cost of TV air time during this election year.  Washington United for Marriage needs to explain why it is important to keep marriage equality in the state—they have not yet noted, for instance, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement on Monday, July 24, the one year anniversary of the Marriage Equality Act, that same sex marriages have equality generated an estimated $259 million in economic impact and $16 million in city revenues. AND they need to explain HOW to vote to retain marriage—that is a vote to APPROVE or yes on Referendum 74.

Continue reading at:  http://www.frontiersla.com/Blog/FrontierBlog/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10408454

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The Future of Masculinity: Do We Need Real Men – Or Real Human Beings?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/future-masculinity-do-we-need-real-men-or-real-human-beings

Feminism has re-defined what it means to be female. But there’s still no consensus on what the ideal 21st-century man looks like.

By Abigail Collazo
July 26, 2012

To stay on top of important articles like these, visit Role/Reboot.

This weekend’s New York Times  “Room for Debate”  asks whether today’s men are “manly enough”: “A-list actors are getting facials in  Mansome, Morgan Spurlock’s newest documentary, and pumping their waxed chests in Steven Soderbergh’s  Magic Mike,  one of the summer’s most popular movies. But is all this exfoliated, chiseled perfection what women really want ? And should men really be making it a priority?”

In Charles Mee’s 2001 play  Big Love , one of the title characters delivers a soliloquy in which he bemoans the difficulty for men in living up to gender stereotypes. On one hand, men are expected to be civilized—calm, gracious, and sophisticated. But when violence is called for, and people—especially women—need defending, they expect men to be the rescuers, “going at the target like a bullet…with rage in his heart…with no breaks to hold it.”

The even bigger challenge is presented when the need for such violence has passed. After the conflict, men are expected to automatically revert back to calm, civilized members of society. Women, he argues, have the luxury of deploring the violence of men (because they can depend on that violence when they need its protection) without having to give in to such impulses themselves.

While the play is fictional, the idea that gender stereotypes adversely affect both men and women is very much a reality. I’ve witnessed this countless times from even my most feminist of girlfriends. They want men who are sensitive, who are considerate, who are emotional. But in only in very specific instances. Because at other times, they want the Alpha Male. The one who will fix the drain in the sink and protect them from rapists on the walk home. They want Don Draper.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/future-masculinity-do-we-need-real-men-or-real-human-beings

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Scalia suggests women have no right to contraception

Impeach Scalia!

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/29/scalia-suggests-women-have-no-right-to-contraception/

By David Edwards
Sunday, July 29, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says that the pivotal decision which reversed a law that prohibited women from using contraception is not supported under his interpretation of the Constitution.

During an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Scalia why he believed that it is a “lie” that women have a Constitutional right to abortion.

“Nobody ever thought that the America people voted to prohibit limitations on abortions,” the 76-year-old conservative justice explained. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that.”

“What about the right to privacy that the court found in 1965?” Wallace pressed.

“There’s no right to privacy in the Constitution — no generalized right to privacy,” Scalia insisted.

“Well, in the Griswold case, the court said there was,” Wallace pointed out.

“Yeah, it did,” Scalia agreed. “And that was wrong.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/29/scalia-suggests-women-have-no-right-to-contraception/

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Tricks, Traps, and Accountability

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/cfpb-anniversary-consumer-protection_b_1695547.html

Elizabeth Warren
7/23/2012

As we mark the one year anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), I’ve been thinking about how for years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, I asked students in my contract law class to read a credit card agreement — either an offer that they’d received in the mail or the actual agreement they’d signed onto — and answer some basic questions. Some were easy: When is your bill is due? Do you get points? The students always answered those.

The next questions went to the heart of the deal: Does your credit card have an arbitration clause, preventing you from suing in court if the company cheats you? No one knew. How long it would take you to pay off a $1000 purchase with interest if you paid the minimum monthly payment? They didn’t know. And when I assigned that basic question as homework, almost all of them spent hours knee deep in fine print without finding an answer.

Markets work when people can evaluate the prices and risks of different products, then pick the ones that work best for them. But when the terms of the deal are hidden, competition doesn’t work. And customers aren’t the only ones who are hurt. If a small bank with a limited advertising budget offered a better card, no one could figure that out and switch. That had been the state of the consumer credit market for years.

Following deregulation in the 1980s, a number of big banks figured out that they could build a very profitable business based on deception — tricks and traps buried in fine print, teaser rates that hid the true costs of mortgages, and obscure terms (like double-cycle billing) than no one understood. They sold a lot of mortgages, credit cards and other loans, sometimes deliberately targeting people they knew wouldn’t be able to pay in order to rake big fees off the top before they sold the loans to someone else.

Eventually the lousy mortgages crashed the economy. Families that already had been squeezed for a generation got hit from every direction. Their pensions and savings were wiped out, their friends and family members lost their jobs, and the values of their homes plummeted.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/cfpb-anniversary-consumer-protection_b_1695547.html

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How the New York Times Tries to Cover Its Ass on Glass-Steagall

From The Progressive:  http://www.progressive.org/nyt_pathetic_apology_banking_dereg.html

By Matthew Rothschild
July 27, 2012

So Sandy Weill, former head of Citigroup, woke up one morning this week to the epiphany that the banks are too big to fail and should be chopped up. Well, that’s not exactly cause for bestowing an honor on the guy.

After all, he was the chief architect of too big to fail.

He was the prime mover behind destroying Glass-Steagall, the New Deal law that built a wall between commercial banking and investment banking.

Now he wants that wall rebuilt?

Well, thanks a lot, Sandy, but you already destroyed the economy with your greedy power play when you ran Wall Street and bullied the Clinton crowd into foolish deregulation.

And you were paid handsomely by Citigroup for your dirty work.

Now you say you’re sorry.

Continue reading at:  http://www.progressive.org/nyt_pathetic_apology_banking_dereg.html

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Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It?

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/why-cant-we-end-poverty-in-america.html

By Peter Edelman
Published: July 28, 2012

RONALD REAGAN famously said, “We fought a war on poverty and poverty won.” With 46 million Americans — 15 percent of the population — now counted as poor, it’s tempting to think he may have been right.

Look a little deeper and the temptation grows. The lowest percentage in poverty since we started counting was 11.1 percent in 1973. The rate climbed as high as 15.2 percent in 1983. In 2000, after a spurt of prosperity, it went back down to 11.3 percent, and yet 15 million more people are poor today.

At the same time, we have done a lot that works. From Social Security to food stamps to the earned-income tax credit and on and on, we have enacted programs that now keep 40 million people out of poverty. Poverty would be nearly double what it is now without these measures, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To say that “poverty won” is like saying the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts failed because there is still pollution.

With all of that, why have we not achieved more? Four reasons: An astonishing number of people work at low-wage jobs. Plus, many more households are headed now by a single parent, making it difficult for them to earn a living income from the jobs that are typically available. The near disappearance of cash assistance for low-income mothers and children — i.e., welfare — in much of the country plays a contributing role, too. And persistent issues of race and gender mean higher poverty among minorities and families headed by single mothers.

The first thing needed if we’re to get people out of poverty is more jobs that pay decent wages. There aren’t enough of these in our current economy. The need for good jobs extends far beyond the current crisis; we’ll need a full-employment policy and a bigger investment in 21st-century education and skill development strategies if we’re to have any hope of breaking out of the current economic malaise.

This isn’t a problem specific to the current moment. We’ve been drowning in a flood of low-wage jobs for the last 40 years. Most of the income of people in poverty comes from work. According to the most recent data available from the Census Bureau, 104 million people — a third of the population — have annual incomes below twice the poverty line, less than $38,000 for a family of three. They struggle to make ends meet every month.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/why-cant-we-end-poverty-in-america.html

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Social Security is not headed for disaster

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:  http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20120729_Social_Security_is_not_headed_for_disaster.html

Barbara R. Bergmann
Sun, Jul. 29, 2012

The gloomy annual report of the trustees of Social Security has provoked the usual ominous predictions of big trouble ahead. Media accounts spoke of significant deterioration in the financial outlook of the system, and declared it unsustainable unless structural changes were made. The scare words might seem to justify the often-heard prediction that Social Security may last long enough to sustain our current oldsters, but that it is headed for bankruptcy and “won’t be there” for our younger citizens.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Into the future, Social Security can and will provide wage replacement at about the same level it does now. It does not depend for its resources on an entity that might run out of money, that has no way to raise more, and could go into bankruptcy. The U.S. government has the ability to raise enough revenue to pay out whatever level of Social Security benefits the public wants. In that, Social Security resembles all the other things the government pays for, including the national parks, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Defense.

At what level does the public want retirees supported?

All indications are that the public is satisfied with benefits that replace wages at about the present level. Can the richest country in the world afford to continue to do that? Of course. Our taxes are very low compared with those of most other developed countries. Our ability to spend more than we now do on government is very high. If necessary, the public would support higher taxes to maintain Social Security benefits.

The doom and gloom about Social Security, and the claims that it needs radical restructuring, derive from the way Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration explained the system to the public. To avoid accusations of “socialism,” citizens were made to understand that the pensions they would get would consist of their own money that they had put into a trust fund.

The trust-fund story made it politically easier to start the system and maintain support for it. But that story has made it vulnerable to the prediction that it is going bankrupt and will have to be radically changed. After all, if the pensions come out of the trust fund, and the fund will shrink to zero in about 2033, as predicted, then isn’t the system unsustainable?

Continue reading at:  http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20120729_Social_Security_is_not_headed_for_disaster.html

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Occupy the Dam: Brazil’s Indigenous Uprising

From Yes Magazine:   http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/occupy-the-dam-brazils-indigenous-uprising

In the Amazonian backcountry, tribes are challenging construction of the world’s third-largest dam—by dismantling it. Here’s what they can teach us about standing up to power.

posted Jul 23, 2012

Last month, hundreds of indigenous demonstrators began dismantling a dam in the heart of Brazil’s rainforest to protest the destruction it will bring to lands they have loved and honored for centuries. The Brazilian government is determined to promote construction of the massive, $14 billion Belo Monte Dam, which will be the world’s third largest when it is completed in 2019. It is being developed by Norte Energia, a consortium of ten of the world’s largest construction, engineering, and mining firms set up specifically for the project.

The Belo Monte Dam is the most controversial of dozens of dams planned in the Amazon region and threatens the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Amazonian people, plants, and animals. Situated on the Xingu River, the dam is set to flood roughly 150 square miles of already-stressed rainforest and deprive an estimated 20,000 people of their homes, their incomes, and—for those who succumb to malaria, bilharzia, and other diseases carried by insects and snails that are predicted to breed in the new reservoir—their lives. Moreover, the influx of immigrants will bring massive disruption to the socioeconomic balance of the region. People whose livelihoods have primarily depended on hunting and gathering or farming may suddenly find themselves forced to take jobs as manual laborers, servants, and prostitutes.

History has shown again and again that dams in general wreak havoc in areas where they are built, despite promises to the contrary by developers and governments. Hydroelectric energy is anything but “clean” when measured in terms of the excruciating pain it causes individuals, social institutions, and local ecology. The costs—often hidden—include those associated with the privatization of water; the extinction of plants that might provide cures for cancer, HIV, and other diseases; the silting up of rivers and lakes; and the disruption of migratory patterns for many species of birds.

The indigenous cultures threatened by the Belo Monte Dam, including those of the Xikrin, Juruna, Arara, Parakanã, Kuruaya and Kayapó tribes, are tied to the land: generations have hunted and gathered and cultivated the same areas for centuries. They—as well as local flora and fauna—have suffered disproportionately from the effects of other hydroelectric dams, while rarely gaining any of the potential benefits. Now they are fighting back.

Continue reading at:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/occupy-the-dam-brazils-indigenous-uprising

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Come Together, to Save the Arctic

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-mccartney/come-together-to-save-the_b_1694616.html

Paul McCartney
07/23/2012

1968. That was a hell of a year. The people were on the streets, revolution was in the air, we released the White Album, and perhaps the most influential photograph of all time was taken by an astronaut called William Anders.

It was Christmas Eve. Anders and his mission commander Frank Borman had just become the only living beings since the dawn of time to orbit the moon. Then, through the tiny window of their Apollo 8 spacecraft their eyes fell upon something nobody had seen before, something so familiar and yet so alien, something breathtaking in its beauty and fragility. “Oh my God!” Borman cried. “Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!”

“You got a color film, Jim?” Anders snapped back. “Hand me that roll of color quick, will you…” For a minute or so, two human beings in a tin can nearly 400,000 kilometers from home scrambled furiously to fix a roll of Kodak into their camera. Then Anders lifted it to the window and clicked the shutter and captured our delicate home planet rising slowly over the horizon of the moon. Earthrise. That single image made such an impact on the human psyche that it’s credited with sparking the birth of the global environment movement — with changing the very way we think about ourselves.

That was more than 40 years ago, the blink of an eye in the grand sweep of time, but something quite remarkable has happened since then. For at least 800,000 years the Arctic Ocean has been capped by a sheet of sea ice the size of a continent. But in the decades since that photo was taken, satellites have been measuring a steady melting of that white sheet. Much of it has now gone, and it seems likely that there’ll be open water at the North Pole in the lifetimes of my kids. I might even see that moment for myself.

Think about it. Since Earthrise was taken we’ve been so busy warming our world that it now looks radically different from space. By digging up fossil fuels and burning our ancient forests we’ve put so much carbon into the atmosphere that today’s astronauts are looking at a different planet. And here’s something that just baffles me. As the ice retreats, the oil giants are moving in. Instead of seeing the melting as a grave warning to humanity, they’re eyeing the previously inaccessible oil beneath the seabed at the top of the world. They’re exploiting the disappearance of the ice to drill for the very same fuel that caused the melting in the first place. Fossil fuels have colonized every corner of our Earth, but at some time and in some place we need to say, “No more.” I believe that time is now and that place is the Arctic.

That’s why I’ve joined Greenpeace’s campaign to create a legally protected sanctuary around the North Pole and a ban on oil drilling and industrial fishing in Arctic waters. My name will be among at least 2 million that Greenpeace is taking to the pole and planting on the seabed 4 kilometers beneath the ice. We’re coming together to secure the Arctic for all life on Earth.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-mccartney/come-together-to-save-the_b_1694616.html

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Climate change study forces sceptical scientists to change minds

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/29/climate-change-sceptics-change-mind

Earth’s land shown to have warmed by 1.5C over past 250 years, with humans being almost entirely responsible


guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 July 2012

The Earth’s land has warmed by 1.5C over the past 250 years and “humans are almost entirely the cause”, according to a scientific study set up to address climate change sceptics’ concerns about whether human-induced global warming is occurring.

Prof Richard Muller, a physicist and climate change sceptic who founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (Best) project, said he was surprised by the findings. “We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds.” He added that he now considers himself a “converted sceptic” and his views had undergone a “total turnaround” in a short space of time.

“Our results show that the average temperature of the Earth’s land has risen by 2.5F over the past 250 years, including an increase of 1.5 degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases,” Muller wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times.

The team of scientists based at the University of California, Berkeley, gathered and merged a collection of 14.4m land temperature observations from 44,455 sites across the world dating back to 1753. Previous data sets created by Nasa, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s climate research unit only went back to the mid-1800s and used a fifth as many weather station records.

The funding for the project included $150,000 from the Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation, set up by the billionaire US coal magnate and key backer of the climate-sceptic Heartland Institute thinktank. The research also received $100,000 from the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research, which was created by Bill Gates.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/29/climate-change-sceptics-change-mind

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