Romney: ‘Some Gays Are Actually Having Children. It’s Not Right on Paper. It’s Not Right in Fact.’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/romney-some-gays-are-actu_b_2022314.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


10/26/2012

We’ve witnessed many Mitt Romneys, but the one unearthed by the Boston Globe‘s Murray Waas yesterday is perhaps the most vicious and cruel: a zealot who, as Massachusetts governor, became hellbent on stigmatizing the children of gay and lesbian parents, labeling these kids as outcasts and causing them to suffer hardship throughout their lives.

Waas reveals how, after gays and lesbians in Massachusetts won the right to marry in 2003, Governor Romney wouldn’t allow the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics to revise birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The plan was to have the box for “father,” for example, relabeled “father or second parent.” But according to documents obtained by Waas, Romney rejected the plan, demanding the agency continue using old forms. Romney then demanded hospitals get permission from his office each time a child was born to a same sex-couple in order to cross out, with a pen, the label “father” or “mother,” and write-in, with a pen, “second parent.” (Romney also required gay male parents to get a court order before any birth certificate was issued.)

Those children would then go through life with birth certificates that marked them as strange, abnormal, less than everyone else, punished because Romney didn’t approve of their parents. As a Department of Health attorney warned Romney, the children would be disadvantaged and would have trouble applying to school or getting drivers licenses as adults, particularly in a post-9/11 world where they might be considered security risks, having birth certificates that appeared altered. It was a “violation of existing statutes,” the attorney warned Romney. But Romney waved off the warnings, not caring about the the legal, psychological or personal ramifications.

Romney hadn’t even previously fathomed that gay people had children. Boston Spirit magazine reported last month that when gay activists met with him in his office in 2004, as Romney was backing a failed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state, Romney remarked, “I didn’t know you had families.” Julie Goodridge, lead plaintiff in the landmark case that won marriage rights for gays and lesbians before the Supreme Judicial Court, asked what she should tell her 8-year-old daughter about why the governor would block the marriage of her parents. According to Goodridge, Romney responded,”I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/romney-some-gays-are-actu_b_2022314.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Women Who Use Surrogates Not Entitled To Same Parental Rights As Men Who Use Artificial Insemination, Court Holds

From Think Progress:   http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/25/1091251/women-who-use-surrogates-not-entitled-to-same-parental-rights-as-men-who-use-artificial-insemination-court-holds/

By Nicole Flatow
on Oct 25, 2012

New Jersey’s highest court has denied parental rights to an infertile woman who arranged with her husband to a have a child carried by a surrogate. A 3-3 tie voteforced the court to accept the opinion of the lower court, and reject arguments that a New Jersey law unconstitutionally discriminated against women when it granted rights only to infertile men.

The New Jersey Parentage Act (N.J.S.A.) allows infertile men parental rights to a child carried by their wife via artificial insemination, even though the sperm come from a different man. It does not, however, grant parental rights to infertile women like the plaintiff, who similarly seek to have children through alternative means using their husband’s sperm.

In distinguishing between the two scenarios, the majority opinion noted that surrogates also have a stake in the outcome, with the option to seek parental rights. In a famous New Jersey case involving “Baby M,” the same court found that a surrogate carrying a child with her own egg could not be forced to relinquish her parental rights, even though she had already agreed to give the baby away. But as the New York Times points out, couples rarely now use the egg of the surrogate, instead relying on an anonymous egg donor and the sperm of the father in what is called “gestational surrogacy.”

The surrogate in this case had already relinquished her parental rights, and was not disputing that issue. Instead, it was the state’s Department of Health and Human Services that intervened, claiming the woman’s name had improperly been included on the child’s birth certificate, and that the wife (A.L.S.) would have to go through the time and expense of the adoption process.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/25/1091251/women-who-use-surrogates-not-entitled-to-same-parental-rights-as-men-who-use-artificial-insemination-court-holds/

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Bic Pens for Women

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Harris-Perry to Mourdock: Assaults on choice are assaults on women

From Raw Story:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/27/harris-perry-to-mourdock-assaults-on-choice-are-assaults-on-women/

By David Ferguson
Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry,” host Harris-Perry directed an open letter to Indiana candidate for U.S. Senate Richard Mourdock, the latest Republican candidate to go on the record saying that there should not be an exception in abortion laws for victims of rape and incest, but rather that women should look at rape-induced pregnancies as a “gift from God.”

Harris-Perry wrote her letter to Mourdock from the perspective of a survivor of sexual assault, informing him that to women like herself, his words are worse than insulting.

“Dear Mr. Mourdock,” she wrote, “Sometimes I still flinch when I’m touched a certain way, even if it’s the loving embrace of my husband.”

“Those of us who are sexual assault survivors call these triggers. We spend our lives — the lives we lead after the attack — avoiding and managing these triggers,” she continued.

Harris-Perry said that she has never known a Congressional debate to require a “trigger warning,” but Mourdock’s remarks last week during a debate in Indiana needed exactly that.

“Rape and sexual assault are complicated experiences for survivors. Some of us fight, kick, scream, and resist at every moment. Some of us eventually give in to save our own lives or to manage the horror,” she said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/27/harris-perry-to-mourdock-assaults-on-choice-are-assaults-on-women/

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Women who give up smoking before the age of 30 can cut 97 per cent of health risks, says study

From The Independent UK:  http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/women-who-give-up-smoking-before-the-age-of-30-can-cut-97-per-cent-of-health-risks-says-study-8228919.html

Jeremy Laurance
Friday 26 October 2012

Smoking is more dangerous than previously thought but the benefits of giving up are much greater than expected, according to a study of 1.3 million women.

Those who give up smoking before the age of 30 can avoid 97 per cent of the health risks associated with the habit, researchers say.  Even giving up before 40 cuts the risk by 90 per cent.

But women who don’t give up and continue smoking into middle age lose at least 10 years of life.

The study, by researchers at Oxford University, is published to mark tomorrow’s 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Richard Doll, the physician who arguably has saved more lives than anyone else. He was the first, with his colleague Austin Bradford Hill, to make the link between smoking and cancer in the early 1950s, when four out of five men and two out of five women in the UK smoked. Now, thanks to campaigns highlighting the risks of smoking, the proportion is down to one in five in both sexes. Even so, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the UK, US and other countries.

The findings, from the Million Women study published in The Lancet, show that smokers who continue with the habit after 40 have 10 times the risks of those who stop at 40. The risks are highest among the heaviest smokers, but even light smokers, who consume between 1 and 9 cigarettes a day, have twice the risk of dying prematurely compared with non-smokers.

Although the figures are drawn from women smokers, experts said men faced a similar risk.

Continue reading at:  http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/women-who-give-up-smoking-before-the-age-of-30-can-cut-97-per-cent-of-health-risks-says-study-8228919.html

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The Formula for ‘Equal Opportunity’: Why Affirmative Action Isn’t Enough

From In These Times:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14079/equal_opportunity_recedes_amid_lost_political_consciousness/

By Michelle Chen
Thursday Oct 25, 2012

Once again, affirmative action is on trial in the Supreme Court.The pending case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, challenges U.T. Austin’s admissions policy, which aims to bring in more students of color by considering race among other factors. The case is driven by the misplaced racial anxieties provoked by affirmative action, but it might offer a platform for truly grappling with the nature of institutional racism and the oft-politicized, seldom-understood concept of “equal opportunity” in schools and workplaces.

The backlash against affirmative action—and more broadly against institutional efforts to desegregate schools and workplaces—has been accompanied by straw-man accusations of “reverse racism,” heard in debates about everything from President Obama to high school textbooks. Meanwhile, affirmative action’s detractors paper over the persistent inequities across our workplaces and classrooms.

A new book, Documenting Desegregation, sheds light on how racial inequity really works and why it’s so pernicious. The book traces the evolution of equal opportunity policies under the Civil Rights Act since its implementation in the mid-1960s. The authors, sociologists Kevin Stainback and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, tell Working In These Times that effective enforcement of civil rights depends on both strong pro-integration policies and, more importantly, grassroots political movements that can hold institutions accountable.

At the height of the civil rights movement, activists and progressive politicians crafted affirmative-action policies aimed at fostering desegregation, particularly in government-sponsored enterprises. At first, they worked. Using data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Stainback and Tomaskovic-Devey explain in an email to Working In These Times:

Our analysis of more five million private sector workplaces since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 reveals that Affirmative Action appears to have been successful at increas[ing] employment and even some coveted managerial jobs for African American[s] in the 1960s and into the 1970s.

However, that progress halted in the Reagan Era. Affirmative action, the authors say, “appears to have provided some benefits for racial minorities and women prior to 1980, and stalled in the 1980s. Many indicators of equal opportunity for blacks and women indicate some worsen[ing] since the 1990s.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14079/equal_opportunity_recedes_amid_lost_political_consciousness/

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Bill Maher: If Romney Wins, The ‘Anti-Intellectual, Anti-Science Freak Show’ Comes To DC

From The New Civil Rights Movement:   http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/bill-maher-if-romney-wins-the-anti-intellectual-anti-science-freak-show-comes-to-dc/politics/2012/10/27/52365

by David Badash
on October 27, 2012

Bill Maher last night warned that if Mitt Romneywins the White House, he’ll bring to Washington “the whole anti-intellectual, anti-science freak show.”

The abstinence obsessives, the flat earthers, home schoolers, the holy warriors, the anti-women social neanderthal, the closeted homosexuals, and every end timer who sees the Virgin Mary in the grass over the septic tank.

You’ve been warned!

New Rule: America, before you get in bed with Mitt Romney, remember, he may seem like a nice fella, from what we know about his core beliefs (nothing), his tax plan (nothing), his faith (off-limits), and his donors (anonymous), but a compulsive liar whose whole life is secret can get you a lot worse disease than ‘Romnesia’.

Now, when I talk about getting into bed with Mitt Romney, obviously I don’t mean that literally.  Please, Mitt Romney doesn’t even know what a blowjob is!  He thinks it’s something the Pep Boys do to clean out your carburetor.  No, what I’m trying to do is make an analogy to that old public service announcement about how when you go to bed with one person, you’re not just sleeping with them, you’re….  Well, it’s like that with Mitt. When you elect Mitt, you’re not just electing him, you’re electing every right-wing nut he’s pandered to in the last ten years.

Complete article at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/bill-maher-if-romney-wins-the-anti-intellectual-anti-science-freak-show-comes-to-dc/politics/2012/10/27/52365

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