Marriage Law Is Challenged as Equaling Discrimination

New York Times

May 7, 2010

By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

BOSTON — Nancy Gill has worked for the Postal Service for almost 23 years. But because she is married to a woman, she cannot provide the same health benefits to her spouse that her co-workers at the post office can provide for their families.

Ms. Gill, 51, and Marcelle Letourneau, 47, married in Massachusetts in 2004 and are the lead plaintiffs in a suit challenging the federal law — the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA — that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. The women, who live in Bridgewater, Mass., are challenging the section that denies marriage-related benefits to same-sex couples, saying they are being denied equal protection under the law.

The case, filed in March 2009, was argued Thursday in Federal District Court here before Judge Joseph L. Tauro. It is the first major challenge to the act and is likely to end up before the Supreme Court.

Mary L. Bonauto, director of the civil rights project for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, argued on behalf of the couple and 15 other plaintiffs, calling the case “a classic equal-protection issue.”

Ms. Bonauto said that the purpose of the act was to “show that same-sex marriage was immoral” but that it ended up hurting such couples by making them pay twice for health insurance, for example, or denying them death benefits.

The Obama administration’s Justice Department was in the position of defending the law, just as it had done in a case last year, even though Barack Obama had called during the 2008 presidential campaign for repealing it. Advocates for gay rights have said they have little hope that Mr. Obama will actively seek a repeal, given the political climate and the priority of other issues.

Scott Simpson, arguing for the government on Thursday, opened by acknowledging the administration’s opposition to the act, but saying he was still obliged to defend its constitutionality.

“This presidential administration disagrees with DOMA as a matter of policy,” Mr. Simpson said. “But that does not affect its constitutionality.”

The act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Continue reading at: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html?scp=1&sq=same%20sex%20marriage%20rights&st=cse

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2 at Faith-Based Bank Are Indicted Over Bribes

New York Times:

By ROBBIE BROWN
Published: May 7, 2010

ATLANTA — When government regulators here shut down Integrity Bank at the height of the recession, in August of 2008, the bank was seen as just another failed lender that had overvalued the real estate market and collapsed.

But a federal indictment unsealed on Friday accused two former vice presidents at the bank of hastening its downfall by selling fraudulent loans to a hotel developer in exchange for bribes.

The two executives, Douglas Ballard and Joseph Todd Foster, were charged with conspiracy, insider trading and bank fraud, according to the indictment. Mr. Ballard was also charged with bribery. The developer, Guy Mitchell, who received $80 million in loans, was charged with conspiracy and bribery.

Founded on Christian principles in 2000 in an Atlanta suburb, Integrity used the motto “In God We Trust.” The bank gave customers free Bibles, and employees prayed together at meetings. Onetime investors included a Georgia state senator and the former CNN host Lou Dobbs.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/business/08bank.html?ref=us

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The Banality of Evil

Hannah Arendt used that phrase to describe Adolf Eichmann.

Over the course of my life time I have met a few very evil people. People who though seemingly very nice I have later learned were members of the KKK, John Birch Society or other viciously racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic or misogynistic organizations.

What is being exposed regarding the criminal conspiracy of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy is a perfect example of how monstrously evil people can at once nice cultured people and at the same time do things like child rape, lynchings and the commission of genocide.

Willow has stated that she has corresponded with some of these people and they have exchanged pleasant conversations. She then extrapolates from those exchanges that other sisters view of these people as monsters is inaccurate. She cites the very confused Dr. Lawrence’s friendship with these people as an example of how they couldn’t possibly hate transsexual people without noting how the Nazis used Jewish collaborators to aid them in their commission of genocide against all Jewish people. The Nazis even had a name for these collaborators, who they called Sonder Kommandos.

The cowardice of people like Rekers and Bailey which compels them to keep their own homosexuality/transgenderism/transsexuality hidden while attacking other who are out and proud is identical to those one occasionally learns about. Like the leader of the American Nazi party who was Jewish, or the leader of Aryan Nation who was half black.

It is easy to say, “But these people were nice to me.” It is rare for people who actually have the position of power that garners respect within Academe to display the snarling vicious mind that is the mien of Fred Phelps and his cult of evil minions.

More often one finds a Martin Heidegger, someone insightful, cultured, even charming as well as vicious bigot and a Nazi.

One thing I have discovered about Janice Raymond is that her anti-transsexual ideology is motivated not by feminism but by Catholicism. The same motivator that drives Maggie Gallagher in her vicious campaign to deprive LGBT/T people the right to marry their partners.

I was raised Catholic and at an early age saw that it used religion as justification for a wide range of bigotry including vicious Antisemitism, homophobia and some of the vilest misogyny one find anywhere outside of fundamentalist Islam. At the same time the church introduced me to art and music such as Bach and Handel.

Which is the true face and is it not just possible that the smiling face of the culture is not just a mask that hides the banality of their evil?

The Feminine Boy Project Still Threatens Gender-Nonconforming People

This is actually the second posting of this article.  With permission of course:

By Cynthya BrianKate

barbieboy001@yahoo.com

(Author’s note: Since the original draft, some minor facts were found to be incorrect, and have been corrected.  Anyone who has questions can email me at the above address.)

For two decades the federal government funded a brainwashing project to keep children from “acting queer.”  This collaboration between ant-LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender, Intersex) psychologists and “religious right” leaders, known as the Feminine Boy Project laid groundwork for current psychiatric abuses against transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

This was funded by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) from 1972-1986.  The original stated goal on the grants was “treatment of prehomosexuality,” the, idea that if children were kept from stepping outside gender stereotypes they wouldn’t turn out gay.  When being gay was taken out the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in the mid-to-late 1970s, the goal was changed to “treatment of pretranssexuality,” conflating gender identity and sexuality as the same, based in biased assumptions that anything other than stereotypical gender and heterosexuality were wrong. Children were declared “pathological” for behavior like boys playing with dolls, wearing dresses or helping in the kitchen, or girls climbing trees, playing with boys’ toys or wearing boy clothes.

Here are some of the main people who were involved.

Richard Green is a colleague of John Money., who instituted the “Money protocols” for nonconsensual surgeries on intersex children after forcing David Reimer to live as a girl, until Reimer changed back to male before killing himself.  During this “experiment” Green co-wrote the book Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment.  Green has made a career of pathologizing LGBTI people, including inflammatory comments like his “1995 Dateline” remark “plays with Barbies at five, sleeps with men at twenty-five.”  While head of the now-closed Human Sexuality branch of Stony Brook University ’s psychology department he got NIMH to approve nearly $1 million for the Project.

George Rekers belongs to several anti-gay fundamentalist groups, published his essay “Gender Identity Disorder” through notoriously anti-gay Family Research Council and is “scientific advisor” to NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), which claims to “cure” gays despite the American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s condemning “reparative therapy.”

They worked with doctors like Susan Coates, behaviorists like O. Ivor Lovaas and David Barlow and had the staff of several institutions at their disposal.

Several institutions were used to justify funding and brainwash children.  Fuller Theological Seminary is an Evangelical Christian college.  Mel White says in his book Stranger At the Gate that it was while he was a student at Fuller he was introduced to Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell and asked to ghost-write their autobiographies.  Rekers used Fuller to get funding for the Project and justify his involvement in it..  Logos Research Institute is a “religious-right” think-tank promoting fundamentalist “science,” currently funding actor Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort (known as YouTube’s “Banana Guy” for claiming bananas disprove evolution)’s edited edition of Darwin ’s Origin of Species.  Green used Stony Brook to get most of the NIMH grants and do most of the clerical, statically and administrative work of this “Study” and most of the brainwashing went on at UCLA, though others happened at New York City ’s Luke’s Research Hospital ’s Childhood Gender Identity Unit.  The NIMH grants archived in pgs. 257-258 of Phyllis Burke’s book Gender Shock allege that this last was connected with a grant to the Roosevelt Institute.

Green and Rekers called for patients through mental health practitioners who knew of prepubescent children who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes, mainly feminine boys, though there were some masculine girls.  Some were referred by school authorities for gender nonconformity, some brought in by parents.

Children were diagnosed using pseudoscientific “Gender tests” including the “Barlow Gender-Specific Motor Test,” using stereotypes to “measure” gender identity by whether children sit/stand/move like men or women “should.”  Diagnosed with “pathological gender development,” they’d be recommended for invasive behavior modification, including placement in special playrooms, repeatedly coached to choose gender-stereotypical toys with staff spying through mirrors.  Behaviorists like Shasta Mead directly interacted with children; slowly gaining trust to reinforce stereotypical behavior, repeatedly suggesting they’d rather wear or play with the “right” items.  Children were made to wear wrist counters to monitor whenever they thought about playing with the “wrong” toys.  Rewards and demerits were issued for “right” and “wrong” choices.  Parents were enlisted to police childrens’ choices, throw out toys, force boys out of the kitchen and” “steering” children more toward stereotypical choices at home as well as in the facility. This would go on until the child was declared “cured.”

This Project was declared “successful” though it succeeded only in traumatizing children “Becky,” for example, was declared “successfully cured” because the eight-year-old saw a male orderly old enough to be her father as her “boyfriend.”  The “poster child,” called Kraig by Rekers and Kyle by Green, attempted suicide.  Another Project survivor has written a play called “the Blue Dress,” dramatizing the abuses suffered.    None of this stopped expansion of “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) and “Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood” (GIDc) to pathologized/transgender/gender-nonconforming people, no matter how emotionally healthy.  The DSM-IV guidelines even specify boys playing with Barbie as a “symptom.”

Stony Brook’s administration denies Green ever taught there, despite the NIMH grants archived in Phyllis Burke’s book Gender Shock and Green thanking his Stony Brook staff in his book The Sissy Boy Syndrome, with several still working there today.  Both books can be found in that university’s student library.

In 1980 Dylan Scholinski, a young transgender man then named Daphne, was incarcerated in psychiatric institutions for years under “Gender Identity Disorder.”  His memoir The Last Time I Wore A Dress shows his school reported him to psychiatrists and he was diagnosed using the Barlow Gender Motor Test and treatment including forced makeovers.  In 2000 a six-year-old child was taken away from loving parents for “exacerbating a mental disorder.”  The “disorder?”  Aurora Lipscomb told her parents she was not a boy but was a girl, and her parents supported her decision to live as a girl.  Because her parents “exacerbated” her “gender identity disorder” the court took Aurora from loving parents and put her in a household where for four years she was forced to live as a Christian boy rather than a Jewish girl.  She is out of that home and healing from the experience, which she should have never had to go through.

Currently there’s a push to rewrite the DSM to make it even more pathological toward transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people.         These changes were proposed by Ken Zucker and Ray Blanchard.  Zucker’s been pathologizing LGBTI people for many years,  has run Clarke Gender Institute, whose handling of transgender and intersex have so angered both communities that some activists call it “Jurassic Clarke” and as expert in the Lipscomb case, recommended the court take Aurora Lipscomb from her family.  Blanchard is a colleague of J. Michael Bailey, author of racist, LGBTI-phobic book called The Man Who Would Be Queen, and advocate for selective abortion of “gay babies.”  Blancahrd helped write the discredited gender theories Bailey based his book on and both and belong to eugenicist think-tank Human Biodiversity Institute, whose membership include anti-immigrant group VDARE and the author of The Bell Curve, which claimed African-Americans were intellectually inferior.

The proposed changes include renaming GID “Gender Incongruity Disorder,” putting anyone who in any way steps outside gender stereotypes at risk for being declared mentally disordered, not only transgender people but also possibly gay, lesbian and bisexual people, as well as feminine men and masculine women.  These also include adding intersex to the list of gender disorders, which makes no sense as intersex is a physical variation, being biologically in between male and female, having nothing to do with mental health.

The APA has likely closed the period for public comment on their website at www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx but I’d still recommend writing to them there and I certainly recommend writing them at apa@psych.org to let them know you don’t want them to put these changes through.

.

Sources, Additional Information and Proof:

1)      Aurora Lipscomb archive, www.mermaids.freeuk.com/aurora1.html

2)      Burke, Phyllis, Gender Shock: Exploding Myths of Male and Female, Anchor Books

3)      Colapinto, John, with Reimer, David, As Nature Made: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, Harper Books, 2000

4)      Conover, Pat, Transgender Good News, New Wineskins Press 2002

5)      DSD Fact Sheet, Organisation Intersex International, found at www.intersexualite.org/DSD_Activists.html

6)      Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision), American Psychiatric Association

7)      DSM-V Committee feedback link, http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx

8)      Exposing Junk Science About Same-Sex Behavior, found at http://blog.ejsssb.org/category/george-rekers/

9)      Green, Richard, The Sissy Boy Syndrome and the formation of Adult Homosexuality, Yale University Press 1987

10)  Green, Richard, and Money, John, Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, Johns Hopkins Press 1969

11)  J. Michael Bailey’s statements about wanting to abort “gay babies, found at http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/HBES/Bailey%20on%20homosexuality.htm

12)  “Kirk Cameron’s ‘Origin Of Species’ Plan: Ex-Actor To Distribute 50,000 Altered Darwin Books,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/22/kirk-camerons-origin-of-s_n_294349.html

13)  NARTH Scientific Advisory Board, http://www.narth.com/menus/advisors.html

14)  Petition, “Objection to DSM-V Committee Members on Gender Identity Disorders.” http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/objection-to-dsm-v-committee-members-on-gender-identity-disorders

15)  Proposed DSM-V Revisions, http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=192

16)  “Queer Science,” Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=96

17)  Rekers, George, Gender identity disorders, Family Research Council of America 1985

18)  Scholinski, Daphne,, The Last Time I Wore A Dress, Riverhead Trade 1998

19)  Serano, Julia, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Seal Press 2007

20)  TG Crossroads article archive of Ken Zucker’s pathologizing LGBTI people, http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/kenneth-zucker.html

21) The Blue Dress (play written by a survivor of the Feminine Boy Project), http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/22941/boy-in-a-blue-dress/

22)  TS Roadmap archive on Ray Blanchard, http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/ray-blanchard.html

23)  TS Roadmap archive of transgender criticism of J. Michael Bailey, www.tsroadmap.com/bailey/

24) White, Mel,  Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America , Plume Books 1995

25)  Wilkinson, Stephanie, “Drop the Barbie!: If You Bend Gender Far Enough, Does It Break?”, Brain, child the magazine for thinking mothers, 2001, www.brainchildmag.com/essays/fall2001_wilkinson.htm

Friday Night Fun and Culture

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Friday Night Funnies

Thanks to Joe My God for reminding me of this one

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DOMA Challenge Begins in Federal Court

From Feminist Daily News

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=12388

US District Court judge Joseph Tauro heard arguments in a challenge of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) yesterday. The case, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, was filed on behalf of seven gay and lesbian married couples and three widowers by the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAAD). According to the Christian Science Monitor, the widowed plaintiffs were denied death benefits for their spouses, others paid more in taxes because they were not able to file joint returns, and another was unable to obtain health insurance for his husband.

The suit alleges that Section 3 of DOMA, which states “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife,” violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution.

Passed in 1996, DOMA defines marriage as between one man and one woman and denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

According to The Advocate, GLAAD attorney Mary Bonauto said in court that DOMA “takes one class of married people in the commonwealth” of Massachusetts “and divides it into two.” Further, she argued that same-sex couples, as a class are “utterly disregarded” under DOMA, thus making Section 3 of the law a “classic equal protection” violation. According to the Boston Globe, Bonauto also said that “all the federal government has ever cared about is that the person is married at the state level [and] for the first time ever, DOMA departed from that.”

President Obama has previously expressed support for repealing DOMA, leaving the Justice Department in a precarious position, defending a law in court that the Administration does not agree with. Justice Department lawyer W. Scott Simpson, said during his argument that “This presidential administration disagrees with DOMA as a matter of policy…But that does not affect its constitutionality,” reported the Boston Globe.

Another lawsuit challenging the law was filed by the state of Massachusetts in July 2009. Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage, is also the first to challenge the constitutionality of DOMA. Its lawsuit, filed by state Attorney General Martha Coakley, claims that the law forces the state to discriminate against its approximately 16,000 same-sex married couples.

In addition to Massachusetts, same sex marriage is also legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 5/6/10; The Advocate 5/6/10; Boston Globe 5/6/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/9/09

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