I think when we can see everyone as beautiful just as they are, we may come closer to being truly human. Hugs
I think when we can see everyone as beautiful just as they are, we may come closer to being truly human. Hugs
Conservative ideologues are currently gathered in Washington DC for Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing, where a man named Jesse Connors was given an opportunity to tout his website, TrueLife.org.
In addition to providing Biblical analysis and local church listings, Right Wing Watch reports the site also has a number of “instructional” videos that Connors claims were “built to convert a homosexual.”
Connors must have felt the spirit, because he became overwhelmed by emotion and began to weep, especially when discussing one of the star’s of his “ex-gay” video, a man who died of HIV/AIDS-related causes.
There’s a lot that could be said about this little scene, and I’ll let you do the talking in the comment. But first, watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP…
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a criminal defendant may be retried even though the jury in his first trial had unanimously rejected the most serious charges against him. The vote was 6 to 3, with the justices split over whether the constitutional protection against double jeopardy barred such reprosecutions.
The case arose from the death in 2007 of a 1-year-old Arkansas boy, Matthew McFadden Jr., from a head injury while he was at home with his mother’s boyfriend, Alex Blueford. The prosecution said Mr. Blueford had slammed Matthew into a mattress; Mr. Blueford said he had accidentally knocked the boy to the floor.
Mr. Blueford was charged under four theories, in decreasing order of seriousness: capital murder (though the state did not seek the death penalty), first-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide.
The jurors were instructed to consider the most serious charge first and move to the next only if they agreed unanimously that Mr. Blueford was not guilty. In this way, they were to work their way down to the appropriate conviction, or to an acquittal.
After a few hours of deliberation, the jurors announced that they were deadlocked. The forewoman told the judge that the jury had unanimously agreed that Mr. Blueford was not guilty of capital or first-degree murder but was divided, 9 to 3, in favor of guilt on the manslaughter charge.
The jury deliberated for another half-hour but could not reach a verdict. The court declared a mistrial.
Prosecutors sought to retry Mr. Blueford on all four charges. His lawyers agreed that he could be retried on the less serious ones but said double jeopardy principles should preclude his retrial for capital murder and first-degree murder.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said Mr. Blueford could be retried on all of the charges because “the foreperson’s report was not a final resolution of anything.” When the jurors returned to their deliberations after the forewoman spoke, he said, they could have changed their minds about the two more serious charges.
“The fact that deliberations continued after the report deprives that report of the finality necessary to constitute an acquittal on the murder offenses,” the chief justice wrote. Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the majority opinion.
Mr. Blueford’s lawyers also argued that the trial judge should not have declared a mistrial without first asking the jury whether, in the end, the defendant had been found not guilty of some charges. Chief Justice Roberts said the judge had acted appropriately, as “the jury’s options in this case were limited to two: eitiher convict on one of the offenses, or aqcuit on all.”
In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the majority had improperly given prosecutors “the proverbial second bite at the apple.”
“The forewoman’s announcement in open court that the jury was ‘unanimous against’ conviction on capital and first-degree murder,” she wrote, “was an acquittal for double jeopardy purposes.”
Justice Sotomayor said the trial judge should have asked for a partial verdict from the jury before declaring a mistrial. She added that the protections of the Constitution’s double jeopardy clause were needed in light of “the threat to individual freedom from reprosecutions that favor states and unfairly rescue them from weak cases.”
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan joined the dissent in the case, Blueford v. Arkansas, No. 10-1320
East Lansing, Mich.
THE debate over same-sex marriage in the United States has become a battle between two totally opposing visions. Proponents of gay equality want the Supreme Court to proclaim same-sex marriage a fundamental right of citizens, which the court, given its conservative bent, seems unlikely to do. Opponents dream of a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions, which also seems improbable, given rapidly evolving attitudes toward homosexuality.
President Obama has stepped into the breach, but the nuance of his recent announcement — affirming the ideal of equality while also expressing deference to state prerogative over marriage law — has not simplified matters. The contradiction in his remarks seems impossible to reconcile.
But there is a way. The Supreme Court, which will almost certainly have to take up the issue, should hold that while states may refuse to authorize same-sex marriages, they may not void — that is, refuse to recognize — gay marriages lawfully conducted in other states.
Yes, such a ruling would effectively make same-sex marriage legal throughout the country, because it would require Texas to recognize same-sex unions performed in Massachusetts. It would no doubt infuriate opponents.
But it would also be the best judicial solution. It would recognize the Supreme Court’s limited authority over marriage laws and leave it to state courts to resolve differences across states in areas like divorce, child custody and inheritance, as they have traditionally done.
It would allow the Supreme Court to manage, rather than impede, an inexorable process of social change. It would acknowledge that the unequal patchwork of state marriage laws cannot be sustained long-term. (Six states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage; 30 states have constitutional amendments prohibiting it.)
Sooner or later, the Supreme Court will have to confront the problem; challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 statute that forbade federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and Proposition 8, the 2008 ban on same-sex marriage in California, are already making their way through the federal courts.
Some observers expect the court to dodge the issue. They assume that the best that can be hoped for is a long period of legal skirmishes that will gradually chip away at states’ denial of the rights and privileges of gay couples who marry where it is legal to do so. But a protracted and agonizing battle would not be good for anyone.
I happen to believe that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. But I also believe that the court isn’t ready to go that far. Directly mandating that states rewrite their laws to allow same-sex marriages (and that county clerks issue marriage licenses to gay couples) would risk the kind of backlash that followed court-ordered school desegregation in the 1950s.
In contrast, a more limited ruling that forbade states from voiding other states’ marriages would recognize equality as a fundamental norm of citizenship while also speaking to values, like fairness and neighborliness, that are often obscured by anti-marriage ballot initiatives. An example of this can be found in Wyoming, where Republican legislators defeated a bill last year that would have prohibited recognition of out-of-state marriages. (Wyoming is one of 10 states that do not issue same-sex marriage licenses but also do not have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.)
Even dire opponents of same-sex marriage can appreciate the injustice of stripping away liberties granted by other states. Voiding some marriages, but not others, is so powerful an expression of inequality and disrespect for interstate reciprocity that it requires a stronger justification than anti-gay animus.
Currently, many states use principles that originated in international law to argue that they do not have to respect same-sex marriages performed in their sister states. The idea is that sovereign countries can withhold comity, or legal reciprocity, if there is a basis in policy for doing so; the United States need not recognize polygamous marriages or unions involving a child bride, for example, because those unions are widely seen as harmful to vulnerable parties.
But this analogy does not carry over to the states. Florida might argue that New York’s recognition of same-sex marriages is antithetical to Floridian culture and values, but that is out of sync with constitutional norms of federalism and equality, at a time when same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships have become common.
(I even believe that states should have to recognize so-called evasive marriages — in which couples travel out of state to marry, and then return home — though the legal scholar Steve Sanders, who has advanced an argument similar to mine, does not go that far.)
Mr. Obama was right both to embrace equality as a principle and to respect the process by which the understanding of marriage gradually evolves to include same-sex couples, within the premises of federalism. What is needed now is a similarly coherent and sound ruling by the Supreme Court.
The Constitution allows for creative solutions to seemingly intractable conflicts. The justices should neither mandate state marriage law nor tolerate the arbitrary use of state power to void a critical legal status awarded to more and more American couples.
I have been interested in sex since before puberty…way before in some cases. Now I don’t buy into the hype and hysteria centered around sex in the U.S.A. I have been in other countries, seen the way they deal with sex and the body, nudity and morality. I am a Gay man, ( shocked, nah me neither, ) and I know that a lot of what is said about gay’s by people who would try to force them to change is flat out wrong. I often tell people not to tell me how I feel, I know that. You can tell me how you feel, but sorry, only I know what is going on in me.
But back to sex. So some years ago I started reading a few books from the library dealing with sex, to try to understand a few things. Like the hysteria some people have over the fact that young people have sexual feelings and needs.
I got a new IPad, and one feature I love is the Ibook. I read a 64 page sample of the book I just posted on…Sex and Punishment. I loved the history so I bought the whole book and it did not cost much…only 12 dollars and change.
I learned a few things so far…Like until the time of the Jewish people, there was almost no prohibition about same sex activities. Also sex laws were designed from the start to protect a Males property….the woman and her …part. Also sex could be used as a punishment…a man rapes some one and you could rape him or his wife type thing. Anyway it is funny that all the early sex laws almost never punished the male…it was always the female who paid the price and her body belonged to the male.
There is a lot of other grand information here, like why somethings were made into laws and some reasons for other things. I found it fascinating that what many profess is the highest morality came about for reasons totally devoid of morality or that what we are told were rules from the very beginning in time is not so, they are regional and recent rules.
I love the book so far…hugs.
Well after we got got up, I was showered , dressed, and waiting. Ron was showering, when the call came in. Normally we get up at 0430 and if work calls they call about 0500. Today they called at about 0530. They were going to put Ron on call. I explained that Ron had no P.T.O. time and I did , so they agreed to switch us. Ron will go in and take my unit, I will be on call. That means I get two dollars an hour until they call me and tell me I am off call and econed. Once econed, I can’t be called in at all. So I have a day to rest and relax, unless they call me in, which I really doubt. In two years I have only been called in once.