Religious/Right Wing Prejudice Interferring with the Administrative Duties of Judges and other Civic Officials

I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely disgusted I am with that right wing Republican Judge in Oklahoma.

Judge Bill Graves is a first class right wing jerk who should be removed from the bench without retirement benefits or severance pay.

He violates every judicial ethic requirement that exists.

The bench requires Judges to not only sit in judgement but to impartially administer such legal processes as name changes.

If I go before a Judge with the request to change my name to say “Rainbow Starchild” and the Judge thinks that is a silly hippie name and I am frivolous for changing my name to that he or she may ask me if I am certain I wish to do this.  But that Judge can not say, “I hate hippies and therefore am not going to legally change your name to some hippie fantasy name.”

I actually thought transsexual and transgender people’s fights for the right to change our names ended some thirty years ago.  It seems totally anachronistic to have to refight these battles, because a bunch of Christo-Fascist Republican bigots have decided transsexual and transgender people are the new battle front in the right wing war on LGBT/T people.

Now there are some HBS assholes out there who would actually side with this judge.  These pathological bigots think my taking a human rights/civil rights stand on the rights of all people means I’m not really transsexual.  This is funny since I’m forty years post-op, but their bigotry trummps their ability to think clearly.

If all one can see is identity and identity group solidarity then we wind up totally lacking in empathy for anyone outside our particular group.

It doesn’t matter what that group is.

We see it in the Mitt Romney and his friend among the Neo-Nazis who gathered last week in an orgy of racism and bigotry.  We also see the same sort of bigotry among the Jennifer Ushers and other highly dubious sisters of transsexual purity.

People have a right to change their names in this country.  Various states have different papers and procedures but in so far as I know every state has a procedure for changing one’s name legally.

There are certain names generally names of rich or famous people which are off limits as it is presumed that changing ones name to one of those names could be an attempt to confuse and capitalize on the other person’s fame or access to wealth.

Some states notably California used to permit a person to have two different names on their driver’s license/state ID card.  I know this because of actor friends who had to use different professional last names due to their name already being in use by another actor.

This brings us back to legally changing one’s name.

While the procedure may vary it generally includes filing of paper work and publicly posting a legal notice of intent which informs credit bureaus and creditors of your intent to legally change your name.

The court appearance is generally pro forma with no one objecting and with the Judge simply signing and stamping a seal on the petition.

Then you have to do all the rest of the leg work of informing all who are relevant including the official issuer of identification i.e. driver’s license/state ID of your name change.

This isn’t supposed to be a matter where a Judge gets to interject his or her opinion, as the Judge is acting as an agent of the court, and is merely reviewing the papers and any claims  as to why the petitioner should not be issued a change of name.

This is especially not an area where a Judge should be allowed to interject his religious opinion or base his refusal on religion.

A civil court is a secular institution and Judge Bill Graves is sitting on the bench of a circuit court.  He is not Torquemada and his court room is not an instrument of any church.  He is not an Imam and we do not practice Sharia in the United States, be that Sharia the Muslim version or the radical right wing Christian version.

If Judge Graves is unwilling to accord people their Constitutionally  guaranteed equal rights then he should step down or face censure.

We are a secular society where people are not required to live under the mythology of any religion.

President Barack Obama Letterman Interview

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Senate Republicans Spit on Veterans: Veteran benefits bill heads to vote as Democrats plead for end to GOP blocks

Perhaps the rich elite effete  chicken hawks like Mitt and the rest of the draft dodging Republicans would be more likely to support Veterans is some of their party actually served in the military.

From The Guardian UK:

Bill that would provide $1bn to help veterans who are returning home has been repeatedly sidetracked by Senate Republicans

in New York, Wednesday 19 September 2012

Veterans groups and Democrats are urging Republican senators to put political bickering aside and stop blocking a bill which would help offset high unemployment rates among veterans.

Senators were due to vote on Wednesday on the bill which would cost $1bn over five years to help veterans find employment in public work projects and as police officers and firefighters. It gives priority to the newest generation of veterans, post-9/11, whose employment prospects are almost three percentage points below the national average.

Minutes before the vote, Patty Murray, the Democratic senator who introduced the bill, gave an impassioned speech from the floor, asking for unity to pass the bill which she said “should not be killed by procedural games”.

She said “I urge my colleagues to join with us in waiving this point of order. To join with us in telling our veterans that we are not done investing in their care and benefits – not by a long shot.”

She said that a vote for the point of order proposed by the Republicans sent a message to veterans telling them: “We have spent enough on our veterans.” It would have a long-lasting impact, she said, not only to kill their ability to pass the bill but would also affect other veteran bills to improve mental health care access and to allow those who had lost the ability to have children access to fertility services.

She added: “Join with us in moving forward with a bill that is paid for, that won’t add to our deficit, and that shouldn’t be killed by procedural games.Join with us in putting veterans above political obstruction, and back to work.”

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Citing God and science, Oklahoma judge refuses transgender name changes

There is no god.

From LGBTQ Nation:

Monday, September 17, 2012

An Oklahoma judge has repeatedly denied transgender women their petitions for a name change to reflect their female identity, ruling that the requests were made for a fraudulent purpose.

In two separate cases, Oklahoma County District Court Judge Bill Graves has denied the name change request, citing science, DNA, and God’s own desire “for them to stay male,” reported The Oklahoman.

In the most recent case on August 30, Graves denied a request by James Dean Ingram, 29, to change her name to Angela Renee Ingram, and reportedly told Ingram that “you can’t change what God gave you.”

Last year, Graves told 62-year-old Steven Charles Harvey — who was seeking to legally change to Christie Ann Harvey — that a person cannot really change his or her sex because the person’s DNA stays the same, and because “God created man in his own image.”

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on the “disclosure” myth and the cissexist imagination

Looks like another blog for me to keep an eye on.  Maybe y’all should check it out too…

From Lefty Girl:

Lefty Girl
September 18, 2012

This Sunday, Erica and I posted our joint response to some unfortunate comments made by trans man porn star Buck Angel during an interview with Salon, in which he publicly bought into society’s trans-misogynistic victim-blaming narrative that trans women are being “disrespectful” if they do not disclose trans status in romantic/sexual relations with their partner. The following would be the most pertinent quote:

I’m a huge advocate for disclosure, because I believe a lot of people get themselves in bad situations because they do not disclose. For example, trans women who might hook up with a cis-gendered guy and then he goes home with her and finds out she has a penis and flips out and beats her up or kills her. That’s horrible, and I really believe by not disclosing it’s very disrespectful to the other person because they might not be into it and it makes them feel very freaked out about themselves.

Here I would like to elaborate on our previous response, more narrowly focusing on the issue of disclosure and drawing out more fully the implications of the above line of thinking.

In the initial posting, we touched on the case of Gwen Araujo, a trans woman of color who was tortured and then murdered by strangulation in Newark, California in October 2002 by four men, at least two of whom she had previously engaged in sexual relations.

According to the standard narrative of how events unfolded, it was during a party held at a private residence that these men began asking questions about Gwen’s status. One of them then went into the bathroom with Gwen and forced her to reveal her genitals against her will, confirming her trans status. It was this confirmation that preceded brutal violence in which Gwen was beaten on the head with a soup can and had a skillet smashed across her face. The setting only becomes more gruesome when we consider that much of the violence apparently occurred in front of party attendees.

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Why the Uproar Over Naomi Wolf’s Vagina?

From In These Times:

We need to stop castigating “bad” feminists for everything they do–even when they write silly books

BY Sady Doyle
September 12, 2012

Naomi Wolf’s new book is almost too boring to review. Despite all the coverage, and the mini-controversy it’s drummed up, Vagina: A New Biography has few thrills to offer outside of the look you get from a Barnes & Noble employee when you buy the thing. The only real story of Vagina is its role in Wolf’s ongoing expulsion from feminism.

But let’s cover the book first. Half of Vagina is comprised of sloppily recycled medical information that wouldn’t surprise a sixth-grade health class. Wolf, for example, is stunned to learn that nerves–even the pelvic nerve! Where orgasms come from!–are connected to the brain. Speaking of the brain: Wolf is also amazed, at length, by the fact that there are chemicals up there, and that those chemicals can make you have feelings.

Which leads us directly into the other half of Vagina: the daring assertion that getting laid makes you happy. Not that you should ever use such coarse terms around Naomi, who is apparently so linguistically and metaphorically refined that when a friend used the word “cuntini” to describe vulva-shaped pasta (it’s a long story) and served her some innuendo-laden salmon fillet, her “heart contracted” to such an extent that she “could not type a word of the book–not even research notes–for six months.” Wolf prefers florid, purple, highly euphemistic accounts of how unlocking the “Jade Gate,” via the “Goddess Array,” can lead to a “sense of deep emotional union, of postcoital creative euphoria, of joy with one’s self and with one’s lover, of confidence and volubility and the sense that all [is] well in some existential way.”

All of which means: Getting laid makes you happy. And yet it takes about 333 pages, in hardcover, for Wolf to spit that out. To be fair, Wolf also advances the breathtakingly original hypothesis that being happy can sometimes get you laid, as set forth in this experiment on page 34: “If you have a lover or husband who is willing… wait for a moment until he or she has said something really reassuring and admiring of you as a woman; then let him or her touch your nipple.” The nipple, Wolf argues, will be more responsive than it would be if your lover had, say, just uttered the word “cuntini.”

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Did NOM Chairman Joke It ‘May Be A Good Thing’ If Iran Drops Nuclear Bomb On New York?

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by David Badash
on September 18, 2012

Did John Eastman, the Chairman of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, say, “it may be a good thing” if Iran drops a nuclear bomb on New York? Eastman’s comments were made last month in front of an audience of Tea Party groups in California. In this video, below, Eastman clearly can be heard saying:

“If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, as we think they’re about to, with an intercontinental ballistic missile that they’ve picked up from Russia, and they aim it at New York, and it takes out the entire eastern corner grid…”

Then, immediately seemingly responding to an audience member, Eastman, laughing, says, “that may be a good thing.”

The audience laughed.

The audience member’s comments are inaudible, so it’s unclear what “may be a good thing.” Perhaps the audience member talked about Reagan’s “Star Wars” defense system?

Dr. Eastman is welcome to contact us to “fill in” what the audience member said that elicited his ”that may be a good thing” comment.

Eastman spoke to a group of California Tea Party members, and earlier in the video can be heard  comparing President Obama‘s tenure — and especially Obamacare — to Japan Emperor Hirohito’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. “I fear all we have accomplished is awakened a sleeping giant,” Eastman says, wrongly quoting Hirohito (the mis-quote comes from Japanese naval admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.)

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