California State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
The Civil Rights Clinic at Howard University School of Law
MALDEF and Other Civil Rights Organizations
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Bienestar Human Services
Coalition For Humane Immigrant Rights
La Raza Centro Legal
National Black Justice Coalition
National Lawyers Guild Of San Francisco
Asian Pacific Islander Groups
API Equality – LA
API Equality – SF
Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
Asian American Institute
Asian American Justice Center
Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund
Asian American Psychological Association
Asian American Queer Women Activists
Asian and Pacific Islander Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice
Asian Law Alliance
Asian Law Caucus
Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Alameda
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Los Angeles
Asian Pacific American Legal Center
Asian Pacific Americans for Progress – Los Angeles
Asian Pacific Bar Association of the Silicon Valley
Asian Pacific Islander Family Pride
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian, Bisexual Women and Transgender Network
Asian Pacific Islander Pride Council
Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council
Asian Pacific Women's Center
Asian Women's Shelter
Asian/Pacific Bar of California
Center for the Pacific Asian Family
Chinese for Affirmative Action
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Filipinos for Affirmative Action
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Japanese American Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles
Japanese American Citizens League
Khmer Girls in Action
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My Sister's House
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
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South Asian Bar Association of San Diego
South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
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California Cities and Counties
Counsel: Stephen Lewis and Michael Jenkins, City of West Hollywood Legal Services Division
City of Los Angeles
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Religious Organizations and Religiously Affiliated Individuals
Counsel: Raoul Kennedy; Elizabeth Harlan; Joren S. Bass; Philip Leider; Eric Alan Isaacson; Rev. Silvio Nardoni; Jo Ann Hoenninger
The United Church of Christ
The Union for Reform Judaism
Soka Gakkai International-USA
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
The United Church of Religious Science
The Metropolitan Community Churches
The California Council of Churches
The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry – California
The Reconciling Ministries Clergy of the California Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church
California Faith for Equality
Pastor David Moss, Trinity United Methodist Church, Chico
Pastor Dr. Robert Goldstein, St. Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Reverend Michael Schuenemeyer, United Church of Christ
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center
Reverend Lindi Ramsden, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry – CA
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Jewish Conservative Movement
Reverend Kathy Huff, First Unitarian Church, Oakland
Pastor Jay K. Pierce, United Methodist Church of Merced
Pastor Scott Landis, Mission Hills United Church of Christ, San Diego
Pastor Brenda Evans, Christ Chapel of North Park, San Diego
Diana Elrod, Women's Division Leader in the Castro District of Soka Gakkai International-USA and Nancy Burns, Northern CaliforniaSoka Spirit Representative
Reverend Kevin Bucy, Midtown Church, United Church of Religious Science, San Diego
Reverend Diann Davisson, Religious Science Minister, Long Beach Memorial Hospital
William McKinney, PhD, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley
Mary A. Tolbert, PhD, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley
The Al-Fatiha Foundation
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
Muslims for Progressive Values
American Psychological Association
Counsel: Jenner & Block LLP
American Psychological Association
California Psychological Association
American Psychiatric Association
National Association of Social Workers
National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
American Psychoanalytic Society
American Psychoanalytic Society
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Los Angeles County Bar Association
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Bar Association of San Francisco
Counsel: Amitai Swarts, Bar Association of San Francisco
Bar Association of San Francisco
Santa Clara County Bar Association
Counsel: McManis Faulkner & Morgan
Santa Clara County Bar Association
Senator Elaine Alquist
Senator Ellen Corbett
Senator Christine Kehoe
Senator Sheila Kuehl
Senator Carole Migden
Senator Darrell Steinberg
Assemblymember Noreen Evans
Assemblymember Loni Hancock
Assemblymember Jared W. Huffman
Assemblymember Dave Jones
Assemblymember John Laird
Assemblymember Mark Leno
Assemblymember Sally J. Lieber
Assemblymember Fiona Ma
Assemblymember Anthony J. Portantino
Assemblymember Lori Saldaña
Family Law Professors
Professor Scott Altman
Professor R. Richard Banks
Professor Grace Ganz Blumberg
Professor Janet Bowermaster
Professor Carol S. Bruch
Professor Jan C. Costello
Professor Barbara J. Cox
Professor Jay Folberg
Professor Deborah L. Forman
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Professor Lisa Ikemoto
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Professor Maya Manian
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International Human Rights Clinic, University of Toronto
Professor William Aceves
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Professor Brenda Cossman
Professor Chai Feldblum
Professor Hari Osofsky
Professor Beth van Schaak
Professors Kathleen Sullivan and Pam Karlan
Professor Kathleen Sullivan
Professor Pam Karlan
Professor William Eskridge
Professor Jesse Choper
Professor Jesse Choper
Professor Joseph Grodin
Professor Joseph Grodin
Professor M.V. Lee Badgett & Senior Research Fellow Gary J. Gates
Professors M.V. Lee Badgett & Gary J. Gates
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
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California District of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Legal Momentum, ERA, California Women’s Law Center
Equal Rights Advocates
California Women’s Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
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Counsel: Ronald Lindsay, Center for Inquiry
Counsel for Secular Humanism
Center for Inquiry
Out and Equal
Anti-Defamation League & LGBT Community Centers
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
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Stanislaus Pride Center
GLAD and The Equality Federation
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Counsel: Professor Suzanne Goldberg; Winston & Strawn LLP
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
People for the American Way and LGBT Bar Associations and Civil Rights Organizations
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom
Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center
Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
Marriage Equality USA
National Gay and Lesbian Law Association
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
People for the American Way
Pride at Work
Sacramento Lawyers for the Equality of Gays and Lesbians
Tom Homann Law Association
A personal blog by a Black, Gay, Caribbean, Liberal, Progressive, Moderate, Fit, Geeky, Married, College-Educated, NPR-Listening, Tennis-Playing, Feminist, Atheist, Math Professor in Los Angeles, California
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Amicus Briefs Filed in California Marriage Case
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Shah Mat! The King Is Dead, Long Live The King!
As of today, Anand is leading by one full point ahead with one more game to play. He has 8.5 points out of 13 (an impressive +4). In second place is Boris Gelfand with 7.5/13 and in third is the current world champion Vladimir Kramnik at 7/13. In the last round, Anand has the White pieces against Peter Leko (6.5/13) while Gelfand has Black against Alexander Morozevich (5.5/13). So unless Anand loses, Gelfand wins and somehow has a better tie-break score than Anand, the Indian Super-Grandmaster will be crowned World Champion later today.
UPDATE SAT 09/29/07 7:35 PM
Anand drew his last game with white against Leko. Kramnik won and Gelfand drew. Thus Anand wins by a full point (9/14) ahead of Kramnik and Gelfand who tied for 2nd at 8/14. In 2008, Anand will play a match against former World Champion Kramnik (in the complicated rules of world chess championship titles, the vanquished champion always gets a rematch with his vanquisher).
The Fight Over ENDA
Mad Professah agrees with the nine National LGBT organizations (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Stonewall Democrats, National Coalition for LGBT Health, Pride At Work (AFL-CIO), National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects, Mautner Project and National Center for Transgender Equality) that issued a statement on Thursday opposing a trans-free ENDA.
However, as I commented on Pam's House Blend I believe that a compromise position would be to have an "Upperdown vote" on the original trans-inclusive version of ENDA and if that failed, then you could bring up a version of the bill without the "gender identity" provision. At least my way would innoculate the sponsors of ENDA from charges of "throwing transgenders under the bus" if a vote on a bill in which both issues were linked was able to occur. However, legislatively, it might be impossible to have two bills heading for the House floor nearly simultaneously.
Also, I do feel like after so many decades of public service to the LGBT community Barney Frank has earned the benefit of the doubt and should not be subjected to invective on this strategic legislative decision he has made to attempt to engineer the passage of the first federal non-discrimination bill inclusive of sexual orientation in U.S. history.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Celebrity Friday: Bill Clinton
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Mychal Bell of the Jena 6 Released On Bail
Hate Crimes Cloture Vote Passes!
John Warner (R-VA)All Democrats and Sanders (I-VT), Lieberman (I-CT) voted in favor of ending debate on whether LGBT individuals should be included in hate crime legislation, which has been attached to the Defense Reauthorization Bill.
Richard Lugar (R-IN)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
George Voinovich (R-OH)
Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Gordon Smith (R-OR)
UPDATE 9:23pm PDT: I forgot to mention that after the cloture vote, the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent so the hate crimes bill has now passed both houses of Congress, the first trans-inclusive piece of federal legislation to ever do so. Of course, the current occupant of the Whote House has already annnounced his intention to veto the bill, if it makes it to his desk.
No Dirty Trick Campaign Against Republican Electoral Vote Initiative
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Cloture Vote On Hate Crimes Bill Thursday
HRC Backstory has the breaking news of the cloture motion filed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on S. 1105, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. This means that if the bill receives 60 votes on the floor of the Senate on Thursday September 27th, debate is terminated and a majority vote is called. The bill currently has 43 co-sponsors, with Republicans Snowe and Collins of Maine and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Pam over at The Blend has excerpts from a Boston Globe op-ed by Professor Cornel West of Princeton University and Dr. Sylvia Rhue of the National Black Justice Coalition where they seek to refute the nonsensical statements by African American preachers who have claimed passage of the hate crames bill would somehow censor them and force preachers to conduct same-sex marriages or face fines or imprisonment. West and Rhue respond:
The truth is that the Matthew Shepard Act protects all First Amendment rights. And, although that is a given, this bill goes out of its way to protect the free speech of ministers. Those pastors who wish to continue condemning and dehumanizing the gay community will be free to do so.
The hate crimes bill provides resources for the investigation of violent actions - not beliefs, thoughts, or words. The proposed federal statute does not punish nor prohibit free expression of one's religious beliefs. As University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey R. Stone recently concluded, "The argument of the pastors that the proposed legislation in any way threatens their right to preach their version of the Gospel is, to be frank, ridiculous."
Despite the ridiculousness of their claims, the powerful and cash-rich antigay lobby continues to mold opinion against this legislation with fear and falsehoods. Leaders like Jackson have used provocative "thought crime" arguments to obscure the truth that, according to the FBI, 1,017 people were the targets of violent crimes in 2005 because of their sexual orientation.
Their rhetoric steals attention away from the stories of gay couples being viciously beaten for holding each other's hand in public or a flight attendant sought out to be heinously murdered simply because he was gay.
These preachers don't care to hear the thousands of stories of lives and communities scarred by antigay violence. And, conveniently, those who bring up the reality that the Matthew Shepard Act is a constitutional and important means to prevent antigay violence are labeled by these clergy as "anti-Christian." The good intentions of this legislation have been greeted by malice by these manipulators of fact.
Contact your Senators and tell them to vote YES on S. 1105!
Television Is Back!
Heroes started its 2nd season on Monday
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
NY TIMES Columnist Assails Republicans On Race Issues
In one of the vilest moves in modern presidential politics, Ronald Reagan, the ultimate hero of this latter-day Republican Party, went out of his way to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 in that very same Philadelphia, Miss. He was not there to send the message that he stood solidly for the values of Andrew Goodman. He was there to assure the bigots that he was with them.The column is generally to talk about the Jena 6 protests of last week and to condemn the Republican presidential hopefuls for not attending Tavis Smiley's presidential forum on issues of interest to the African American community which Herbert links to the fact that Senate Republicans last week also prevented a bill to give Washington, D.C. (a predominantly Black major American city) from getting voting representation in Congress refusing to end debate even though there was a solid majority of 57 votes to approve the bill (D.C. would have received one voting Representative in the House, along with Utah receiving one, bringing the total up to 437 voting members in the lower House of Congress).
“I believe in states’ rights,” said Mr. Reagan. The crowd roared.
In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan’s presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”
Anyone else recall the ridiculous project announced by ("Bush's brain") Karl Rove and former Republican Party head (and
L.A. Mayor's Girlfriend Gets Harsh Punishment
Iran's President Claims His Country Has No Homosexuals
As Joe.My.God says, the reason why Ahmedinejad says there are no homosexuals in Iran is because they keep killing them. Mad Professah covered this story in July of 2006.
Monday, September 24, 2007
REVIEW: The Emperor of Ocean Park
re-read it in paperback over the summer. I would preface my review by saying that I am an avid fan of the mystery genre (I'm currently working my way through Ian Rankin's brilliant Inspector Rebus series) as well as a former international chess player and avid Supreme Court watcher. These interests are clearly shared by Carter, who when he is not writing mystery novels is Professor of Law at Yale Law School, which is probably the best law school in the country.
Interestingly, the main character in The Emperor of Ocean Park happens to teach at a prominent law school on the Eastern Seaboard. The character's name is Talcott Garland, whose father Judge Oliver Garland was an unsuccessful conservative nominee to the United Supreme Court and whose wife is in the running for a judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals.
When his father dies unexpectedly, Talcott risks his marriage, his career and possibly his own life in order to uncover the secrets unearthed by his father's untimely death.
The book is an engrossing but somewhat phlegmatic read, due to its length (over 650 pages) and subject matter. I look forward to reading Carter's New England White, and I hope that he doesn't take another five years to write his next mystery novel.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
HRC Speaks Up On Jena 6
My name is Joe Solmonese and I represent the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organization in the country. Am I am here -- we are all here from the Human Rights Campaign -- because this injustice cannot stand.The appearance by HRC at a predominantly African American, unabashedly progressive event is being noticed by several bloggers, including yours truly, especially since many progressive bloggers have not been covering the Jena 6 situation with as much ardor as they have followed other progressive cause celebres.
We are here because we know about bigotry. We know about hate. We know the pain in high school of standing apart. Of being taunted. Of standing up, only too often, to be shut down.
I am here -- we are here -- because you have stood with us. Because all of us know that one injustice against any of us is an injustice against all of us.
And I am here because I remember. I remember James Byrd. James was a gentle soul, a special soul. Someone who struggled his whole life with challenges, but was filled with love and was deeply loved in Jasper, Texas.
But James Byrd -- at 49 -- was savagely beaten, then chained to a pickup truck and literally dragged to his death. He was brutally murdered because he was black.
And then something really profound happened. Remember when George Bush was governor of Texas? Well, Governor Bush had a hate crimes bill on his desk. There was a lot of pressure to sign the bill because of what they did to James Byrd. So, George Bush said he'd sign that bill, but they had to take the gays out.
And here's what happened. Stella Byrd, who has just buried her beaten, broken, gentle James said, If some of us are left out, then all of us are. Valuing one life and not valuing another is not right. And the Byrd family said No. They said No. And they walked away.
So, I stand here today with solidarity. I stand here for social justice. I stand here to free those young men. To say this will not stand. It cannot stand. I stand here for the Jena 6. I stand here today for James Byrd.
We will not forget. We will never walk away.
Thank you very much.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
LA TIMES editorializes on JENA 6
Jena, La., has been portrayed by big-city reporters, who swarmed to the small town Thursday when it became the center of a racial protest, as a place caught in a time warp. African Americans, who make up about 12% of the town's population of 3,000, live in their own neighborhood, are buried in their own cemetery and reportedly can't even get their hair cut at the white barbershop. The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have likened Jena to Selma, Ala., which became a national symbol of Jim Crow repression in the 1960s.For the fellow progressives who don't seem to understand why bloggers of color are so focusssed on spreading the word about the Jena 6, I ask you one question: Do you think that white kids and black kids are getting equal treatment in a town where blacks and whites are buried in separate cemeteries?
Many white residents, meanwhile, find such criticism bewildering. To them, Jena is just a pleasant, friendly place to live and work. They say everything would be fine if all the media and outside protesters -- agitators, they would have been called in a not-so-bygone day -- would just clear out and leave them alone.
The reality is probably somewhere in between. Jena is no Selma; the uneven treatment accorded to black and white students by school officials and local prosecutors isn't nearly as overt as the discrimination that racked the South decades ago, when racism was enforced by law as well as custom. It's highly troubling nonetheless -- and the problems won't go away when the protesters pack up for home.
Jena became a stewpot of racial tension starting a little more than a year ago, after black high school students sat under a tree that had long been an exclusive gathering spot for whites. Three nooses were found hanging from the branches the following day. It's hard to imagine a more vicious or provocative symbol in the Deep South, where lynchings of blacks were all too common for nearly a century after the Civil War. The school's principal wanted to expel the three white students responsible, but the school board ruled the incident a prank and suspended them for just three days. That decision has had terrible consequences.
People of both races have committed violent acts in the year since, but the harshest legal penalties seem to have been reserved for blacks. White youths struck a black student with bottles at a party; only one was charged, with simple battery. The next day, a white man brandished a shotgun at a group of black youths, who wrestled the gun away from him. The gunman wasn't charged, but the boys were charged with theft for taking his gun. Finally, six black youths beat a white student outside the school gym. Some were initially charged with attempted murder, although the victim was well enough to attend a school ceremony that evening.
Charges against most of the "Jena Six" have rightfully been reduced, but that probably wouldn't have happened were it not for the media attention and national outrage generated by the case. Jena residents who think all is well in their town are fooling only themselves. Thursday's rally should mark the start of some long-overdue soul-searching and political housecleaning.
City Of Los Angeles Settles Tennie Pierce Case for $1.43 Million
L.A. Observed, L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Times are all reporting today, as Mad Professah noted earlier this week, the City of Los Angeles has settled the racial discrimination lawsuit of African American firefighter Tennie Pierce for $1.43 million. As the Weekly noted, the actual cost to city taxpayers is actually more than the original $2.7 million settlement vetoed by Mayor Villaraigosa in November 2006, because the City Attorney's office has already spent $1.35 million preparing to defend the city against the Pierce lawsuit. The Weekly provided the text of Mayor Villaraigosa's statement was:
MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA STATEMENT ON SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
MAYOR ANTONIO R. VILLARAIGOSA
City of Los Angeles
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued the following statement today regarding the settlement agreement in the case of Tennie Pierce v. City of Los Angeles:
“Today’s agreement is the best possible outcome for the taxpayers. It reduces the original settlement by nearly half, while protecting Angelenos from further liability.”
The settlement is paltry compared to the $6.2 million awarded in July to black lesbian Brenda Lee. However as part of the settlement Pierce will be eligible for his 20-year pension valued at over $1 million.
This is good news for newly installed Fire Chief Douglas Barry, although the Times pointed out the Fire Department has paid out $13.5 million in legal payouts over the past fiscal year!
Friday, September 21, 2007
San Diego Mayor Switches Position In Favor of Gay Marriage
Anand Leads World Chess Championship
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Jena 6 Update: Day of Action Thursday
Last fall in Jena, Louisiana, the day after two black high school students sat beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen."In Los Angeles, there are multiple ways one can get involved locally. In addition, here are some ways you can get involved:
A series of white-on-black incidents of violence followed, and the DA did nothing. But when a white student was beaten up in a schoolyard fight, the DA responded by charging six black students with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
It's a story that reads like one from the Jim Crow era, when judges, lawyers and all-white juries used the justice system to keep blacks in "their place"--but it's happening today.
...Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set so high -- between $70,000 and $138,000 -- that the boys were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them.
Sign the petition to support the
Jena 6 and be plugged in for future
action by visiting online:
this site, you can also make a donation
to the legal defense fund, buy a “Free
the Jena 6” t-shirt, and join thousands
in demanding that the DA drop all
charges against the 6 young men.
Call Governor Blanco at 866-
366-1121, 225-342-0991, or 225-
342-7015. Tell her to intervene in the
Jena 6 case, and to act immediately to
investigate the DA.
Call the Louisiana State
Visitor Bureau at 225-342-8119.
Tell them you won’t be visiting Louisiana
until justice is served in the Jena
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Pictures from Freedom To Marry Protest in Hollywood
You can urge the governor to support equality and sign the legislation by calling him at 916-445-2841 or by sending him an e-mail at and select "gender neutral marriage bill" from the drop-down subject box..
A Call For a National AIDS Strategy
- Strengthen prevention and treatment results through use of
- Establish prevention and treatment targets and require annual
- Define priorities for action in federal agencies and assign
tasks and timelines;
- Include the prevention and treatment needs of minorities and
high-risk groups as a main focus;
- Address social elements that increase susceptibility to HIV;
- Encourage more HIV prevention and treatment research; and
- Involve multiple sectors -- including government, business,
civil rights groups, faith-based organizations, researchers and
HIV-positive people -- in developing the strategy
The hope is that having a National AIDS Strategy proposed will raise the profile of the issue of HIV/AIDS in the presidential race, and highlights the fact of what is currently lacking in national AIDS policy.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Maryland Highest Court Narrowly Rejects Freedom To Marry Lawsuit
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT - MD. CODE (1957, 2006 REPL. VOL.), FAMILY LAW ARTICLE, § 2-201, (MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN ONLY) DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF GENDER
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - EQUAL PROTECTION - SUSPECT AND QUASI-SUSPECT CLASSIFICATIONS - SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS NOT A SUSPECT OR QUASISUSPECT CLASSIFICATION
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - DUE PROCESS - FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS - THERE IS NO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO MARRY A PERSON OF YOUR OWN SEX
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - RATIONAL BASIS REVIEW - FAMILY LAW § 2-201 IS
RATIONALLY RELATED TO A LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENTAL OBJECTIVE
This summary basically means that the Maryland chapter of the ACLU and Equality Maryland (representing the plaintiffs, Gita Deane et al) lost on every point of law they raised. The first of these rulings is exactly the opposite of the famous Baehr v. Lewin case in Hawaii way back in 1993 and rejects the Andrew Koppelman-Sylvia Law legal argument that sexual orientation discrimination is itself a form of sex discrimination. The second decision by the Maryland Court is even more devastating, it is saying that lesbian and gay people do not form a ``suspect class" like racial and religious minorities and thus the lowest form of judicial review can be used to review laws which treat people of different sexual orientations differently. The reason? Because although lesbian and gay people are an "insular minority" that have been subject to discrimination through history they are not politically powerless! The third ruling, that there is no fundamental right to marry someone of the same sex is unsurprising because I know of no court which has accepted this argument (not even the successful gay marriage decisions in Baehr or Massachusett's Goodridge or New Jersey's Harris). The fourth decision follows from the first three, in that once you have rejected the legal legs the plaintiffs are standing on to challenge the statute, all the justices have to do is come up with a reason ``rationally related" to a legitimate government purpose to uphold the discriminatory law. The reason the judges came up with was the odious decision which showed up in both the Washington and New York cases: ``fostering procreation and the traditional family structure"(!)
The Baltimore Sun quoted from the dissent by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, whom they noted is African American,
Bell said sex-based classifications are analogous to race-based classifications.
"It, therefore, is clear that an equal application approach cannot render constitutional a discriminatory sex-based classification," Bell wrote.
Bell, who is black, said: "To be sure, there are important differences between the African American experience and that of gay men and lesbians in this country, yet many of the arguments made in support of the anti-miscegenation laws were identical to those made today in opposition to same-sex marriage."
Someone needs to give that man a medal! Well, I guess the decision makes tonight's rally in favor of marriage in Hollywood even more important!
City of L.A. Playing Chicken With Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
Today, Tuesday September 18, Douglas L. Barry will take the oath of office as the first African American chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Time will tell if a jury will appreciate the guesture enough to innoculate taxpayers from a multi-million dollar payout of city funds to rectify previous racially dubious actions.
UPDATE FRI SEP 21 11:41PM:
In response to a comment from Brian Humphrey (Public Service Officer, Los Angeles Fire Department) I updated the original post to correct factual errors mentioned by Mr. Humphrey. Mad Professah regrets the errors and appreciates the feedback from the LAFD.
Rally To Urge Non-Veto Of AB 43 TODAY!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Don't F*ck With Erwin Chemerinsky
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Davenport Wins Bali Title After 1 Year Off Tour
Lindsay Davenport, former World #1 and 3-time Slam champion won her 53rd carrer title by defeating Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Welcome back, Lindsay! Craig Hickman has more details.
US OPEN 2007: Men's Top 10 REVIEW
2 Nadal, Rafael (ESP). Prediction: Semifinalist or earlier. Result: Quarterfinalist, lost to David Ferrer. Finally, Nadal ran into someone who could run down even more balls than he could and his body simply failed him. The World #2 failed to live up to his seeding again on the hard courts of New York as his unheralded countryman seized the opportunity to dazzle on tennis' brightest stage. Grade: B-.
3 Djokovic, Novak (SRB). Prediction: Finalist. Result: Finalist, lost to Roger Federer. The Serbian phenom made his major final debut in this tournament, cementing his status as the second best hard-court tennis player in the world, despite what his Mom thinks. Thanks to David Ferrer, Djokovic was spared having to face the current World #2 player in his third consecutive grand slam semifinal of the year, having lost to Nadal at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and thus got his first opportunity at tennis greatness in New York. Unfortunately, he blew it. He had five set points in the first set and two in the second set and still managed to lose both of those sets, in an eerie reprise of the compelling quarterfinal match between Federer and Roddick just a few days before. In addition, despite John McEnroe's sycophantic commentary which refused to acknowledge any flaws or deficiencies in Djokovic's game, many tennis fans were appalled by the Next Big Thing's on-court behavior (such as half-emptying a water ball on the court and throwing his racquet) which in almost any other case would have led to at least a warning from the umpire. Grade: A-.
4 Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS). Prediction: Quarterfinalist or earlier. Result: Semifinalist, lost to Roger Federer. Despite having never beaten Federer in 10 tries, Davydenko still showed up to the semifinal showdown with his nemesis playing hard and actually served for the first set and despite losing that set, did not fade away like lesser players but even when down two sets to none was still fighting hard deep in the third set where he again earned set points. True, he lost the match but the consisten Russian beat every player ranked beneath him and forced the #1 seeded player to work harder than he expected to. Grade: A-/B+.
5 Roddick, Andy (USA). Prediction: Quarterfinalist or earlier. Result: Quarterfinalist, lost to Roger Federer. Roddick played his best tennis against Federer for two solid sets while Federer was playing good, but not great tennis. Somehow, the Swiss player's serve was more effective than the American's despite being significantly slower (hey, maybe speed
6 Blake, James (USA). Prediction: Semifinalist or early round loss. Result: Fourth Round, lost to Tommy Haas. Despite placing second in the US Open Series, a favorable draw and again winning his hometown tournament the week before the US Open James Blake was unable to make his long-awaited breakthrough at a major tournament. However, Blake was able to make an important personal breakthrough by winning his first 5-set match ever against the veteran French magician Fabrice Santoro but could not repeat the feat against the more talented Tommy Haas. Grade: B.
7 Gonzalez, Fernando (CHI). Prediction: Quarterfinalist or earlier. Result: 1st Round, Lost to Teimuraz Gabashvili. The less said about 2007 after January for the Australian Open finalist, the better. Grade: D.
8 Robredo, Tommy (ESP). Prediction: Early Round Loss. Result: 3rd Round, lost to Ernests Gulbis. Despite (or perhaps because?) he's the best looking player in the Top 10, Robredo doesn't get very much respect from the rest of the players, particularly when he's not playing on a clay court. However losing to a baby-faced, 19-year-old Latvian player named Ernests Gulbis is not conducive to changing player's impression that The Pretty One (El Guapo) is pretty wimpy. Grade: C-.
9 Berdych, Tomas (CZE). Prediction: Fourth Round. Result: Fourth Round, lost to Andy Roddick. Berdych put on a reasonable performance against Roddick for approximately one set of tennis, but after losing that set, the crumpled like a house of cards and actually retired a few games later. Grade: C+.
10 Haas, Tommy (GER). Prediction: At least Fourth Round. Result: Quarterfinalist, lost to Nikolay Davydenko. The confident, talent German player did well to eliminate James Blake in one of the best matches of the two weeks in the 4th Round but was unable to beat the Russian backboard. Grade: B+.
Maybe Mad Professah should predict the results of the men's draw more often! At the 2007 US Open, I made 10 predictions and 4 were spot on, and 4 more could be interpreted as being correct. Only Davydenko and Haas performed differently than I expected. This is very different from Mad Professah's predictions of the Top10 women's players performances where only 1 out of 9 performed exactly as I predicted. Part of the secret is to make flexible predictions, e.g. "semifinalist or earlier" but I think those kinds of predictions are possible in the men's game because the number of players who can potentially get far in any tournament is greater than on the men's side.
Anyway, the Grand Slam season for 2007 is over, here's looking forward to Australia in 2008!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
EQCA Launches 10, 000 For Marriage Campaign
Take Action: Join 10,000 for Marriage!
Friday, September 14, 2007
Davenport Punctuates Her Return By Beating Top Seed Jankovic
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Company Donating 350,000 Trojan condoms to D.C.
The population of D.C. is roughly 600,000 people. The Washington Blade reported earlier in the week that Mayor Adrian Fenty had been expected to make the announcement of the donation soon and it apparently happened yesterday. Mad Professah certainly hopes that the condoms are donated come in all sizes, especially Magnums (pictured here)!
US OPEN 2007: Women's Top 10 REVIEW
play the 2007 Australian Openfor personal reasons). Now if she can only
win majors without
stands she might actually get some respect. Grudgingly. Grade: A-.
2 M. SHARAPOVA. Prediction: Finalist. Result: 3rd Round, lost to Agnieska Radwanska (30) POL. The defending champion had a patty cake draw designed to get her to the final where she could have a chance to repeat her made-for-TV ascension to the pinnacle of women's tennis over a battered and bruised player left standing from the top half of the draw. Instead, fearless Polish teen took her out despite being down a break in the third set and won the last 6 games of the match by getting in Sharapova's head by relentlessly and impolitely. GRADE: B-.
3 J. JANKOVIC. Prediction: Quarterfinalist or Champion. Result: Quarterfinalist, lost to V. Williams. Finally MadProfessah gets one right. The quarterfinal showdown with V. Williams was probably the highest quality match on the women's side, with the Pe'er-Vaidisova slugfest in the third round a close second. I truly feel that Jankovic is thisclose to winning a major. She should take a lot of time off and get down to Australia a few weeks early to maximize her chances of doing well in the slams in 2008. GRADE: B+.
4 S. KUZNETSOVA. Prediction: Semi-finalist. Result: Finalist. Kuznetsova exceeded her seeding by taking advantage of incredibly nervous playing by Chakvetadze in the semifinals who herself benefitted from Sharapova's nervous collapse in the 3rd Round, making the bottom half of the draw as wide open as the Holland Tunnel. Sadly, although the Russian was able to battle
through her nerves to grab the win Chakvetadze refused to keep in her grasp after being up a break in the third set, Svetlana demonstrated her own lack of mental fortitude with her sub-par performance in the championship match against Henin. But she can seek solace in the rise of her ranking to #2 in the World. Grade: A-.
5 A. IVANOVIC. Result: Quarterfinalist or Semifinalist. Result: 4th Round, lost to Venus Williams. I underestimated the performances of both Williams players in this tournament, probably overly influenced by the last few years of desultory results in New
York. However, this 4th round match was the sharpest Venus looked in the fortnight. Ivanovic had been overperforming her seeding in the Slams for 2007 and I expected her to do so at the US Open as well. Sadly, the draw did not comply. If she had played this tennis against Henin, she would have won her second major of 2007 and have a claim to be the #1 player, instead of the Belgian. Grade: B.
6 A. CHAKVETADZE. Prediction: Quarterfinalist. Result: Semifinalist, lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova (3) RUS. Although I'm sure that Anna is not hapy right now with this result, as she sits at home thinking about it she should be satisfied with her first major semifinal
and the knowledge that if she had been a bit more experienced (as she will be
next time) she could have been the Russian player to be at the other end of a
whipping by the World #1. The paycheck should assuage the pain. Grade: A-.
7 A. MAURESMO. Did Not Play.
8 N. PETROVA. Prediction: Fourth Round or Quarterfinalist. Result: 3rd Round, lost to Agnes Szavay HUN. The most mentally fragile of the Russians has the game to go far in a slam but consistently underperforms her seeding at the majors. She's not getting any
younger, so I hope she realizes soon that if she wants her best results to be ahead of her instead of behind her she needs to go through a serious gut check. Grade: C-.
9 S. WILLIAMS. Prediction: Early Round Loss. Quarterfinalist, lost to Justine Henin (1) BEL. I was vociferous that I didn't think Serena should be playing this tournament.
For your "average" Top 10 players, 3 quarterfinals and a major championship would be a yearly Grand Slam performance proud to bring home to Momma. But as we all know, Serena is not your "average" Top 10 player. I'm hoping that 3 losses in a row to Justine will get Serena incredible motivation to train hard and prepare to reverse these results in 2008. That would make Momma Oracene really proud. Grade: INCOMPLETE.
10 D. HANTUCHOVA. Prediction: Quarterfinalist. Result: First Round, lost to Julia Valukeno. A surprisingly bad result for the hard-hitting Slovak player who has returned to
the Top 10 after winning her second WTA title at Indian Wells earlier in the year. Grade: D.
Turns out that of the 9 members of the Top 10 who played in the 2007 U.S. Open, exactly 4 performed better than Mad Professah predicted before the start of the tournament and 4 performed worse, with only one performing exactly as I predicted.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The Race For Harvey Milk's Life
|Sean Penn||Matt Damon|
The race in Hollywood to complete a film adaptation of the Harvey Milk story, the first widely known openly gay elected official in the United States, is heating up. Oscar winner Sean Penn has agreed to play Harvey Milk, with Matt Damon playing fellow San Francisco Supervisor Dan White. White assassinated Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, and after employing the infamous "twinkie defense" received a lenient sentence which led to riots in the Castro district and other areas of the City. In 1982 openly gay reporter Randy Shilts published an amazing book recounting the details of the Harvey Milk story called The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk which Mad Professah can not recommend highly enough.
However, the film adaptation of the Randy Shilts book is not the movie that Matt Damon and Sean Penn are attached to. That film is to be directed by openly gay Bryan Singer (Superman, The Usual Suspects), produced by openly gay producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Hairspray, Chicago) from a script still to be re-written by Chris McQuarrie. It is currently set for a 2009 release, acccording to IMDb. The Penn-Damon film is set to be directed by openly gay Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho, Elephant) and produced by the openly gay team of Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks (American Beauty, Big Fish, The Nines) with a script by Dustin Lance Black.
So, the question is will there be two films of this amazing story, and will the better film reach the screen first? Recall that there were at least two films about Truman Capote in recent years. Capote was released before Infamous and won and Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman while the latter basiclly disappeared without a trace, despite receiving encouraging reviews.
The Harvey Milk story is incredibly important to the gay community so I hope that the competition in Holywood to get the film to the screen succeeds in getting the best film to the screen first.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
6th Year Anniversary of 9/11/2001
US OPEN 2007: #1 Seeds Win Titles
|R. Federer d. N. Djokovic 76(4) 76(2) 64||J. Henin d. S. Kuznetsova 61 63|
The 2007 U.S. Open concluded with the World #1's and top seeds winning their final matches in straight sets, the first time since 1996 (Sampras and Graf) the top seeds on both the women's and men's sides of the draw had claimed the title.
It was Federer's 12th major title, placing him tied for second on the all-time list of major singles chamipnships, behind Sampras' 14 titles. Federer has now won 4 sconsecutive U.S. Open titles and made the finals of all 4 majors in both 2006 and 2007. If it wasn't for World #2 Rafael Nadal, who beat him in both Roland Garros finals and the 2005 Roland Garros semifinal, he would have two calendar Grand Slams.
It was Henin's 7th major title of her career, and her second of 2007, cementing her place at the top of the WTA rankings. The diminutive Belgian also became the first player to beat both Williams sisters in a major championship and go on to win the title. It was also the second major championship of 2007 that she won without losing a single set (although she was pushed to tiebreaks against both Venus and Serena.) Henin did not play the Australian Open which was won be Serena Williams, and then she took Serena out in all three major championships during the rest of the year, each time in the quarterfinals.
Monday, September 10, 2007
The Wall Las Memorias, an AIDS memorial in Lincoln Park
Sunday, September 09, 2007
US OPEN 2007: Men's Final Preview
PREDICTION: Federer (in 4 sets).