Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Texas Legislators Introduce Bill To Void Local LGBT Rights Ordinances


Here we go! Just as I predicted when I blogged about the Arkansas and West Virginia bills that are the new face of anti-LGBT animus in state legislatures, I said that many other red states would soon follow their homophobic lead. Today comes word that the biggest red state of them all, Texas, is planning on joining the rush to deny equal rights to LGBT citizens:
A Fort Bend County Republican has introduced a bill that would bar cities from adopting or enforcing non-discrimination ordinances that include protected classes not contained in state law. Texas law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. 
As a result, state Rep. Rick Miller’s House Bill 1556 would undo LGBT protections passed by numerous cities, including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and Plano. Altogether more than 7.5 million Texas are covered by such ordinances.
Will state legislators really override the local anti-discrimination ordinances that protect 7.5 million residents? We shall see....

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

MadProfessah Endorsements For March 3, 2015 Los Angeles Municipal Election


Finally, the moment you have been waiting for!  Here are MadProfessah's positions on how I will be voting in the March 3 2015 Los Angeles Municipal Primary Election, compared with endorsements from other organizations like the Los Angeles Times,  California Democratic PartyEast Area Progressive Democrats and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. For more information about judicial candidates, check out the LA County Bar Association.

The Ballot is quite short. Here are my endorsements (how I am voting) along with information about how others are encouraging you to vote.

L.A. City Council        MadProf   LA TIMES LA CO DEMS
District 14              MOLINA    Molina      Yes

Citywide Measures        MadProf   LA TIMES LA CO DEMS
Charter Amendment 1       NO        Yes        Yes
Charter Amendment 2       NO        Yes        Yes

Countywide Races          MadProf  LA TIMES  CA DEMS
Comm. Coll. Board, #1     VEGA     Hoffman   ---
Comm. Coll. Board, #3     KAMLAGER Kamlager  Kamlager
Comm. Coll. Board, #5     SVONKIN* Svonkin   Svonkin
Comm. Coll. Board, #7     FONG     Fong      Fong

Tune in later this week for the results... 

QUEER QUOTE: CA Proposed Ballot Measure Would Authorize Death Penalty For "Sodomites"


Wow. Now this is some pretty crazy stuff, even for heterosexual supremacists. A religious zealot has filed a proposed ballot measure called the "Sodomite Suppression Act" with the Attorney General of California that says "any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purpose of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or any other convenient method."

Matt McLaughlin filed the measure and paid the $200 fee required to get the ballot measure in the system. He then has to collect the signatures of 5% of the votes cast for Governor in November 2014. Because turnout was so low, the magic number is a mere 366,000 valid signatures to qualify an initiative statute for the statewide general ballot. I suspect we will see quite a lot of crackpot ballot measures filed seeking to make the November 2016 ballot.

Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

Monday, March 02, 2015

EYE CANDY: Stefan Williams





Stefan Williams is an attractive fitness model. He is active on Instagram and has been featured at Essence magazine, ManCrush blog and Morning Wood. Now he has been featured as Eye Candy!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

2015 DUBAI: Federer Beats Djokovic For 84th Career Title


Roger Federer beat World #1 Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-5 to win his seventh(!) Dubai Duty Free Open title and 84th ATP career title overall. Federer improved to 20-17 in his head-to-head against Djokovic, and is now 84-42 in career tournament finals. Federer has now won three titles 7 times: Halle, Wimbledon and Dubai.

The match was a high quality affair with Djokovic earning 7 breakpoints but failing to convert any of them while Federer converted both of the only to breakpoints he had, one in each set. He also served incredibly well, hitting 13 aces, raising his career total over the 9,000 mark.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

SATURDAY POLITICS: MadProfessah Urges NO Vote On *Both* Los Angeles Charter Amendments


The 2015 municipal primary elections in the City and County of Los Angeles are Tuesday March 3rd and yours truly has been active in the opposition to two duplicitous charter amendments that are on the ballot. The measures' supporters claim that they are intended to increase voter turnout by aligning Los Angeles' city elections with the state and presidential elections by moving the March 2021 primary election to June 2020 and the May 2021 general election to November 2020.  All future Los Angeles elections would be held every two years after that. There are many reasons why voters should reject this attempt to do lasting harm to our local democratic process and vote no on Charter Amendments 1 and 2.

The immediate effect would be to make Los Angeles the largest municipality in the country to have their local elections held in the context of the much more significant statewide elections held in even years. Oh, and for good measure they would give all officials elected in 2015 or 2017 terms of office that last five-and-a-half years instead of four year terms!

Even though the Los Angeles Times half-heartedly recommended a yes vote on these charter amendments, they highlighted the MULTIPLE problematic aspects of the measures:

But although we believe in the idea, we're disappointed in the execution. The City Council chose to align mayoral and citywide elections with gubernatorial elections starting in 2022, and to match the lower-impact council races with the presidential elections starting in 2020. 
If officials wanted the highest possible turnout for the highest-impact elections, they would have paired mayoral elections with presidential elections, which typically draw 70% to 80% turnout in the November runoffs. Also, there are more local races in a mayoral election year, so combining those ballots with the presidential would have meant higher turnout for a greater number of local races. 
 What's more, the city's March mayoral primaries tend to draw more voters than June primaries in gubernatorial years. Since 70% of city races are decided in the primary, some people worry that the city might not see a big boost in turnout by moving the mayoral race to the gubernatorial year. To switch to the new election cycles in 2020 and 2022, the City Council had two choices: either hold special elections in 2019 and 2021 for a shorter-than-usual 18-month term or lengthen the terms of city officials elected this year and in 2017 by 18 months, giving them a one-time, extra-long 51/2-year term. Not surprisingly, the officials chose the second path.  
As a result, voters won't know if they're voting in new City Council members for four years or 51/2 years — and won't find out until they learn whether the amendments have passed. There is also concern that local elections will be overshadowed by the national and state races. Local candidates will appear at the end of a long ballot that could include dozens of high-profile races. Campaigning may become more difficult and expensive as local candidates fight for voter attention and limited airtime. 
 Finally, moving the election won't address the underlying causes of low turnout — the civic malaise that prevents so many Angelenos from becoming engaged in the democratic process and leaves them feeling that local elections don't matter. Charter Amendments 1 and 2 treat a symptom of the disease, but not the disease. It is essential to continue to seek ways to cure that through campaign finance reform, civics education and diverse, engaging political candidates.
And this is what the supporters of the measure say about it to urge you to vote for it! Well, I disagree. We Angelenos deserve better. VOTE NO ON CHARTER AMENDMENTS 1 and 2!

Friday, February 27, 2015

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Spock Is Dead :(


Leonard Nimoy the actor who was most famous for playing an imperturbable alien on the classic television series Star Trek, has died at the age of 83, according to the New York Times.
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.
[...]
His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).
This is a sad day for all fans of science fiction!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

QUEER QUOTE: The Text Of What Anti-Gay Legislation Looks Like In A Post-Marriage Equality Era


Realizing that they have essentially completely lost the fight over marriage equality, heterosexual supremacists and homophobes and people who do not believe that LGBT people should enjoy the same civil rights as other targeted minorities have found a new way to enshrine discrimination against LGBT people in state law.

Here is the text of the West Virginia's copy-cat bill of the Arkansas law that was enacted earlier this week which prohibits and invalidates any ordinance in the state that protects LGBT people from discrimination.

It's called the West Virginia Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act (HB 2881) and is today's Queer Quote:
(a) No county, municipality or other political subdivision may adopt or enforce a local law, ordinance, resolution, rule or policy that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.
(b) Any local law, ordinance, resolution, rule or policy adopted before the operative date of this act that violates subsection (a) of this section shall be null and void.
Notice how similar this text is to Arkansas' Senate Bill 202:
14-1-403. Prohibited conduct.
(a) A county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state shall not adopt or enforce an ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.
(b) This section does not apply to a rule or policy that pertains only to the employees of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision.
I have no doubt that this will be a popular idea among Republicans in many other state legislatures. It will be interesting to see how LGBT advocacy organization react. What's amazing to me is that the sponsors of these legislation are still using the language of "no special rights" that first became popular over 25 years ago and was thought to have ben neutralized by the Supreme Court decision Romer v Evans striking down a Colorado ballot measure that explicitly prevented the enactment of ordinances that protected LGBT people. The difference now is that the "no special rights" crowd are no masking their anti-gay bigotry in the notion of "uniformity." In other words if a state does not have state protections for LGBT individuals then that condition should be uniform, and local municipalities and cities should not be allowed to have local ordinances doing so. Because otherwise LGBT people would have the "special right" of being able to sue someone if they were prohibited access to public transportation, denied service in restaurants and private businesses or fired from a job or denied housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Do you really think in 2015 a majority of Americans believe the right to not face discrimination because of an identity characteristic is a "special right"? Good luck with that.

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