Prop. 19 Opponents’ Verbal Bluster Is Just The Latest Sign That We Are Winning!


By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director


In response to Friday’s threat by the Obama administration that they will “vigorously enforce” federal anti-marijuana laws in California, regardless of whether voters enact Proposition 19 this November, I have the following commentary in today’s edition of The Hill.

Obama administration may back marijuana prohibition, but that doesn’t mean that California voters have to do the same
via The Hill

[excerpt: Read the full text and comment on it here.]

Despite the claims from Prop. 19 opponents that the measure would be ‘preempted’ by the federal government, at no time has the administration challenge the fact that Californians have the legal right to determine their own marijuana policies. Rather, the federal government has simply reinforced that they remain of the opinion that pot ought to be criminally outlawed — a position that is clearly out-of-step with the American public’s sentiment.

Furthermore, Californians have been here before and not just in 1996, when a majority of voters decided in favor of legalizing the statewide medical use of marijuana. Seventy-eight years ago this November, Californians overwhelmingly voted for the repeal of a morally, socially, and economically failed public policy – alcohol prohibition. Voters did not wait for the federal government to act; they took the matter into their own hands. And they will likely do so again this November.

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Queer and Loathing: Does the Foster Care System Bully Gay Kids?

From Mother Jones’ Magazine:

One teenager’s heart-wrenching—and telling—story.

— By Jason Cherkis

Nothing frightened Kenneth Jones more than the prospect of his first real date. He prepped for it like a court appearance, saving up for a black button-down shirt and for a salon treatment to tame his spiky locks and paint his nails with intricate black-and-gray swirls. He still remembers those last anxious teenage moments. “A lot of mirror time,” he recalls. “Tons of mirror time.”

He needed this to go well. As a gay foster child in Washington, DC, Kenneth spent most of his weekends alone. By the summer of 2009, the isolation had gotten so bad that he’d started calling his cell-phone carrier’s help line with imaginary complaints, just so he could vent to somebody about something. He would even text himself encouraging messages, like “Good job,” or “Damn you so strong.”

He needn’t have worried. Kenneth and his date took an afternoon swim, made out during G.I. Joe, and finished the evening at Chipotle. More dates followed. After a few weeks, taking his new boyfriend home seemed like the natural next step. And so it was that James, Kenneth’s foster father, returned to the apartment one night to find the boys talking and laughing in the front room. The introductions immediately turned into what Kenneth calls a “life-or-death situation.”

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Yet Another Reminder That We Went With The Wrong Candidate

Damn…  We could have had Hillary instead of Obama who seems to stand for nothing…

Recruiters to Accept Gay Applicants


By Kerry Eleveld

A Pentagon spokeswoman says recruiters have been told they must accept gay applicants, following a federal court decision striking down the ban on gays serving openly in the military, the Associated Press is reporting.

As The Advocate reported last Thursday, the Department of Defense issued new orders via email late Thursday afternoon informing all five branches of the military that they must comply with an injunction ordered by a federal judge on enforcement of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” according to Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.

“The Department of Defense will of course obey the law, and the email noted that, in the meantime, the Department will abide by the terms in the court’s ruling, effective as of the time and date of the ruling,” Cynthia Smith said in an e-mail. “Earlier today, the Staff Judge Advocate Generals [J.A.G.] from the Military Services, in consultation with the OSD Office of General Counsel, sent to their Service Staff Judge Advocate counterparts in the field an email informing them of the ruling by Judge Virginia Phillips of the Central District of California.”

The guidance came more than 48 hours after Judge Phillips initially placed the injunction on the policy – too late for gay veterans like Omar Lopez, who were anxious to reenlist when they first got wind of the policy’s suspension.

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Chloe’s Legacy

From Humboldt County’s North Coast Journal:


By Ryan Burns

Mourning parents hope to educate through the suicide of their teenage transgender daughter

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, Karin Fresnel was on her weekly shopping trip at the Eureka Co-op when she noticed that she was being watched — first while standing in the beer aisle, then again at the meat counter. Finally, the petite, blond-haired woman who’d been following her through the store stepped forward and said, “Can I ask you a personal question?”

“My first thought was, ‘I’ve been clocked,’” Fresnel told the Journal last week. As a transgender woman, such confrontations are common. Not three days earlier a stranger on the street had called her “an abomination in the eyes of God.” So, fearing the worst, Fresnel drew herself up to her full height (six-three in heels) and answered, “Yes, you may, and yes, I’m trans.”

But the woman wasn’t looking to insult. “Her response was, ‘Oh, thank God. Do you know of any resources up here? My son … daughter … is transitioning.” This woman was Allison Murphy of Clovis, a rodeo-loving suburb six miles northeast of Fresno. She was in town visiting her 18-year-old daughter, Chloe, who until last year was known only as Justin. Murphy, the portrait of a concerned mom, had unknowingly stumbled across an ideal resource. Not only is Fresnel a trans woman, she’s also involved in numerous organizations that fight discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and sexually ambiguous persons, including Humboldt Pride, which she co-chairs.

Fresnel and Murphy talked for nearly an hour in the aisles of the Co-op, and three days later they met up again — this time with Chloe. “She asked lots of questions,” Fresnel said. Chloe had been suffering from severe depression and crippling anxiety for years, but on this day, in the company of her mom and someone who could finally answer her questions, she seemed hopeful, even happy, Fresnel said. “The expression ‘bright as a penny’ came to mind when I met her.”

On Sept. 24, 18 days after this meeting, Chloe committed suicide. She was 10 days shy of her 19th birthday.

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The Elephant in the Room: Bullying, Gayness & Masculinity

From an e-mail sent by Riki Wikchins organization, True Child


At a time when there have been so many tragedies surrounding kids and sexual orientation, it’s helpful to remember how much this kind of bullying owes to masculinity and a gender culture that punishes those who don’t live up to its narrow ideals.

Dr. Michael Kimmel, one of the nation’s leading experts on masculinity and a board member at TrueChild, has an op-ed about the heartbreaking suicide of Rutgers freshman, Tyler Clementi, and gay teen suicides on Ms. Magazine Blog. Kimmel explains that writing these incidents off as anti-gay bullying hides much of the real issue. It is masculinity and gender norms, not just orientation, that are the root of the problem.

Writing that gay “teens” suffer such relentless abuse or bullying obscures as much as it reveals. Anti-gay sentiments are only partly related to sexual orientation. Calling someone gay or a fag has become so universal that it’s become synonymous with dumb, stupid or wrong. And it’s “dumb” or “wrong” because it isn’t masculine enough.

To the “that’s-so-gay” chorus, homosexuality is about gender nonconformity, not being a “real man,” and so anti-gay sentiments become a shorthand method of gender policing.

Many guys think being gay means not being a guy. That’s the choice: gay or guy.

Take Jesse Montgomery who suffered 11 years of a daily verbal barrage of “faggot,” “queer,” “homo,” “gay,” “girl,” “princess,” “fairy,” “freak,” “bitch,” and “pansy.” He was regularly punched, kicked, tripped. One of the students grabbed his own genitals while squeezing Jesse’s buttocks and on other occasions would stand behind and grind his penis into Jesse’s backside. By the way, Jesse Montgomery is straight.

Kimmel is right: it’s not enough to focus only on sexual orientation. For many of these kids, gay-bashing is not about sex, it’s about ideals of manhood and masculinity that are being violated. This is the elephant in the room: you have to confront masculinity, which is painful. As long as we focus just on gay-ness, we miss so much.

Riki Wilchins

Director of Programs and Research

P.S. On a related note, as a parent of a 4-year-old girl who is already playing dress-up, I was glad to see this new book about Dyson Kilodavis, another 4-year-old who likes playing dress-up. Check out “My Princess Boy” here (the Washington Post article is here )


*Michael Kimmel is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today. He is the author or editor of more than 20 volumes and his book, Manhood in America: A Cultural History, was hailed as the definitve work on the subject.

15 Million Americans Have Been Arrested Because Pot Is Illegal — When Will Our Dumb Marijuana Prohibition Be Overturned?

The real fear regarding the ending of Drug Prohibition is that it will hurt the Police/Prison Industrial Complex.

Ever wonder what happened to the Untouchables and all those police units that were mobilized to “Fight the War on Alcohol” during Prohibition once Prohibition was over turned?

Hint.  They weren’t retired or absorbed back into other units.  They were instead given a new war to fight. The War on Drugs was created.  Incidentally the original war on drug  focused then as it does today mainly on the poor and on people of color.

As for the dangers of illegal drugs.  Pharmaceutical Corporation generated drugs kill more people every year than illegal drugs do.  Indeed most of my friends who died of drug over doses got those drugs from a Doctor and they were manufactured by a major corporation.

From Alternet:–_when_will_our_dumb_marijuana_prohibition_be_overturned/

Criminal laws are not an effective way to control marijuana; removing criminal penalties does not lead to increased use; decriminalization creates savings in law enforcement.
By Kevin Zeese, CounterPunch

Posted on October 18, 2010,Printed on October 19, 2010
The great divide between politicians and the people is showing itself in California where polls show the voters support Proposition 19 and where the mainstream politicians mostly oppose it.

To many Americans, there are few policies more bankrupt than the prohibition on marijuana use, a recognition that a blue-ribbon panel reached four decades ago, urging an emphasis on drug education rather than incarceration.

In 1970, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended ending the illegality of marijuana in the United States. The Dutch also had a national commission that reached the same conclusion.

The difference was the Dutch listened to their experts and President Nixon and other American politicians ignored the U.S. experts. Well, the results are in – the experts were right and the politicians were wrong, even on the issue of how many people use marijuana. It turns out prohibition was less successful than decriminalization.

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California: Judge Signals She’ll Let Ruling on Military Policy Stand

From The New York Times:

October 19, 2010


A federal district judge in California said Monday that she is inclined to deny the government’s request to allow the Pentagon to enforce its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay and bisexual members of the military while her injunction against it is being appealed. “My tentative ruling is to deny the application for a stay,” Judge Virginia A. Phillips said at a hearing on the government’s request, according to Reuters. She is expected to issue a ruling to that effect on Tuesday. The Obama administration has defended the law, arguing that change should come from Congress, not the courts; last week the Department of Justice gave notice that if the request for a stay was denied or not resolved by Monday at noon, it intended to appeal to the Ninth Circuit “to allow the orderly litigation of the stay request before that court.”

Our “Fiercest Advocate” sic Obama once again panders to the ultra right wing neo-Nazis rather than support the people who elected him and supported him.  How freaking clueless is this guy, anyhow.  Working people, women, queers and people of color are your base.  We didn’t elect him to pander to some sort of moderate right wing conservative set that exists only in the minds of the DLC/DNC.

Yeah we are pissed off about Health Care Reform.  You fucked us good by surrendering to the Daddy Big Bucks Insurance Corporations instead of Nationalizing the process and ending the Corporate Death Panels who decide Mercedes payments for their big buck guys are worth denying claims.

Our “Fiercest Advocate” hasn’t done shit for LGBT/TQ people.

He is more right wing than Eisenhower.  Eisenhower didn’t appeal Brown vs The Topeka Board of Education decission.  He didn’t say that congress should make the laws and policies.  He sent troops to Little Rock to protect the kids right to attend the same schools as white kids.

Obama would have look for compromise.

I’m voting today.  I’ll vote straight Democratic Party ticket.  But damn it.  It is time for the creation of a party that represents the interests of the people instead of the corporations.


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