But he’s not fired:
An assistant attorney general who has attracted national attention for a controversial blog that ridicules and denounces a University of Michigan student leader for his gay advocacy, religious beliefs and character has taken a personal leave following intense public scrutiny, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike Cox said today.
Cox spokesman John Sellek said, however, Andrew Shirvell will be the subject of a disciplinary hearing after he returns to work at an undetermined future date.
One imagines he bowed to public and private pressure, like Michigan’s Gov. Jennifer Granholm, like the following tweet published by Gov. Jennifer Granholm:
Andrew Shirvell, the borderline assistant attorney general of systemically harassing Chris Armstrong, a gay student councilmember at the University of Michigan, was defended by Attorney General Michael Cox. He is just as detached from basic decency and the universe of acceptable discourse as his employee. It’s more disgusting than watching Shirvell himself; it’s one thing to be a sick, sick man like him, and another thing entirely to defend his insanity.
And besides allowing poor Armstrong to suffer, Cox’s equivocating is doing violence to Shirvell himself. Cox is letting a clearly sick man humiliate himself on national television, denigrate his party and office, and preclude himself from employment within a realm of constructively critical discourse that he desperately needs to participate in.
It’s been a confusing month for DADT; first, a federal judge ruled the law unconstitutional, but it’s still in effect as the DOJ promised to appeal, and an effort to slip in a legislative repeal was aborted by Senate Republicans. And now…
A federal judge ruled Friday that a decorated flight nurse discharged from the Air Force for being gay should be given her job back as soon as possible in the latest legal setback to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton came in a closely watched case as a tense debate has been playing out over the policy. Senate Republicans blocked an effort to lift the ban this week, but Leighton is now the second federal judge this month to deem the policy unconstitutional. Maj. Margaret Witt was suspended in 2004 and subsequently discharged under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy after the Air Force learned she had been in a long-term relationship with a civilian woman. She sued to get her job back. Leighton hailed her as a “central figure in a long-term, highly charged civil rights movement.” Tears streaked down Witt’s cheeks and she hugged her parents, her partner and supporters following the ruling.
“Today you have won a victory in that struggle, the depth and duration of which will be determined by other judicial officers and hopefully soon the political branches of government,” the judge told her, choking up as he recalled Witt’s dramatic testimony about her struggles.
It seems inevitible that either this case or the Log Cabin Republicans’ will end up before the Supreme Court sooner rather than later; so a chance (I cannot say if it is a good or bad one) that the policy will be nullified even if when the GOP takes back Congress next year.
Senate Republicans, rallying behind former repeal advocate John McCain, blocked a defense appropriations bill that would have repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. So the United States remains in the ranks of such illustrious nations as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Red Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea, which prohibit out-gays from armed service.
The two Democratic senators from Arkansas–one of the two states in the union to still fly the stars and bars in their flag–also voted against the measure. They are Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor. Direct your anathema at them.
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid also voted against the measure, but only in order to exploit a quibbling parliamentarian rule by which he can reindtroduce a bill he voted against at a later date.
Personal note: Fucking hell. John McCain is such a sleaze-weasel. First he inflicts Sarah Palin on an unsuspecting nation, and now this?
Federal Judge in California has ruled that the ban on gays in the military violates the Constitutional rights of gay and lesbian soldiers to due process and to freedom of expression. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips — a Clinton appointee — also wrote that the policy has had a “deleterious effect” on the military and issued an injunction restraining the military from enforcing the policy, though the government may appeal. The Log Cabin Republicans filed the lawsuit against Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Phillips cited in her ruling the Obama administration’s desultory defense.”[D]efendants called no witnesses, put on no affirmative case, and only entered into evidence the legislative history of the act,” she wrote.
ii.) It’s about damn time. Only sixteen countries in the world still disqualify open gays from military service; we have left the illustrious company as Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, and North Korea.
iii.) Ironically, the only Democrat qualified to take any credit for this is the one who initiated DADT in the first place–Bill Clinton, who appointed Judge Virginia Philips to the Central District. (Who but William Jefferson “Definition of Is” Clinton could have endorsed such a legalistically, equivocal, and truth-parsing policy as DADT?)
iv.) The Log Cabin Republicans finally….accomplished something! That earns, let’s say, a two week moratorium on masochism jokes. Starting now.
iv.) Will it stick, or go to the SCOTUS?
Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that all 31 states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in the capital, though its decision does not force those states to begin marrying gay couples in their territory.In a 9-2 decision, the tribunal cited an article of the constitution requiring states to recognize legal contracts drawn up elsewhere.
It did not specify what degree of recognition must be granted to same-sex couples.
Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law, enacted in March, extends to wedded gay couples the right to adopt children, to jointly apply for bank loans, to inherit wealth and to be covered by their spouses’ insurance policies. Some of those may end up applying only in the capital.
In what is probably the most important judicial ruling in the history of LGBT-rights in America, Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the US District Court for the Northern District of California has declared amdendments to California’s constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman unconstitutional under both the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses. The final two paragraphs of the ruling:
Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition 8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result,see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings.
Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8. The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment without bond in favor of plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors and against defendants and defendant-intervenors pursuant to FRCP 58.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
This sets a precedent that could hasten the overturning of anti-gay amendments in some twenty states.
The verdict for Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the challange to California’s ballot-initiative driven amendment to their state constitution mandating the recognition of only those marriages involving one man and one woman, will be announced by Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
I would say “Cross your fingers,” but that wouldn’t do any good, and would in fact encourage pernicious patterns of thought. One of the steps towards salvation prescribed by Spinoza is the distinguishing between those things under our control and those things outside it, and this verdict is outside of it. So we should not worry over it, even if it comes back in favor of the amendment. If that should be the case, our cares should be about what next step is to be taken, either to take the case to the Supreme Court, or to overturn it at the ballot. This verdict may be outside our control, but our reaction to it is within it; should it come back against the amendment, we can allow ourselves to rejoice; and if for it, we can work and strive to undo its legacy through other organs. This is a fight our (my) generation will win, but only with time.