Thursday, June 30, 2005

I got the Newsradio DVDs a while ago. Just watched an episode in which one of the characters gives a figurine of Boba Fett to another character as a good-luck charm for a poker game.

I finally noticed one of the ending credits of the episode:

                          J.T. HUTT

That's one way to get your point across

Man to try to seize home of Supreme Court justice.



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Court allows gay mother to keep child:

Friday, the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned a Circuit Court ruling by refusing to take a five-year old boy from his lesbian mother. After the boy’s biological mother died in a car accident in 2002, the mother’s family sought to get custody of the child and have the boy taken away from the mother’s partner.

A trial court sided with the partner and awarded her primary custody, with visitation rights to the grandparents. That ruling determined that the partner was the child’s “psychological parent” – one who, while not related to a child biologically or through adoption, has functioned as a parent in every way. West Virginia appeals courts have recognized psychological parents in the past, but never involving gay couples.

However, the grandparents appealed and the Circuit Court reversed the trial judge’s ruling, deciding to remove the boy from a parent he had lived with since birth. The Circuit Court refused to apply the psychological parenthood doctrine in the context of a gay couple.

Friday, the court reversed the Circuit Court ruling and returned custody to the biological mother’s partner, the first time that the high court has recognized the standing of a gay or lesbian parent to seek recognition as a psychological parent.

The court’s opinion said a “psychological parent” could be a biological, adoptive, foster or stepparent, as long as the parental relationship began with the consent of the legal parent or guardian. “Both of the child’s biological parents not only acquiesced in, but actively fostered, the relationship,” Justice Robin Davis wrote in the majority opinion.

The boy’s biological father, who was not involved in the child’s life, supported the mother’s partner having custody of the child.

The ACLU, which had intervenor status in the case, praised the ruling, stating, “The Court, in its wisdom and compassion, has recognized Tina … the surviving parent of a little boy who has already lost one of his mothers.”

Damn straight.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Born gay? How biology may drive orientation

Saturday, June 18, 2005

recrudescent \ree-kroo-DES-unt\, adjective:
Breaking out again after temporary abatement or suppression; as, a recrudescent epidemic.
tocsin \TAHK-sin\, noun:
1. An alarm bell, or the ringing of a bell for the purpose of alarm.
2. A warning.
peregrination \pehr-uh-gruh-NAY-shun\, noun:
A traveling from place to place; a wandering.
punctilious \puhnk-TIL-ee-uhs\, adjective:
Strictly attentive to the details of form in action or conduct; precise; exact in the smallest particulars.
etiolate \EE-tee-uh-layt\, transitive verb:
1. (Botany) To bleach and alter the natural development of (a green plant) by excluding sunlight.
2. To make pale or sickly.
3. To make weak by stunting the growth or development of.
malversation \mal-vur-SAY-shun\, noun:
Misconduct, corruption, or extortion in public office.
bibulous \BIB-yuh-luhs\, adjective:
1. Of, pertaining to, marked by, or given to the consumption of alcoholic drink.
2. Readily absorbing fluids or moisture.
rodomontade \rod-uh-muhn-TADE; roh-duh-; -TAHD\, noun:
Vain boasting; empty bluster; pretentious, bragging speech; rant.
hebetude \HEB-uh-tood-; -tyood\, noun:
Mental dullness or sluggishness.
lubricious \loo-BRISH-us\, adjective:
1. Lustful; lewd.
2. Stimulating or appealing to sexual desire or imagination.
3. Having a slippery or smooth quality.
gamine \gam-EEN; GAM-een\, noun:
1. A girl who wanders about the streets; an urchin.
2. A playfully mischievous girl or young woman.
pusillanimous \pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muss\, adjective:
Lacking in courage and resolution; contemptibly fearful; of weak spirit; mean-spirited.
desuetude \DES-wi-tood, -tyood\, noun:
The cessation of use; disuse; discontinuance of practice, custom, or fashion.
sybarite \SIB-uh-ryt\, noun:
A person devoted to luxury and pleasure; a voluptuary.
salmagundi \sal-muh-GUHN-dee\, noun:
1. A salad plate usually consisting of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, served with oil and vinegar.
2. Any mixture or assortment; a medley; a potpourri; a miscellany.
trencherman \TREN-chuhr-muhn\, noun:
A hearty eater.
preponderate \prih-PON-duh-rayt\, intransitive verb:
1. To exceed in weight.
2. To incline or descend, as the scale of a balance; to be weighed down.
3. To exceed in influence, power, importance, number, amount, etc.
emolument \ih-MOL-yuh-muhnt\, noun:
The wages or perquisites arising from office, employment, or labor; gain; compensation.
limn \LIM\, transitive verb:
1. To depict by drawing or painting.
2. To portray in words; to describe.
manumit \man-yuh-MIT\, transitive verb:
To free from slavery or servitude.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Church condemns move to allow gay couples to adopt:

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics, said the plan was "clearly not in the best interests of children". He said: "Such a measure would distort the understanding of the family, cause harm to children and promote the status of homosexual relationships.

"Homosexual unions are notoriously fragile and unstable, and the small number of homosexual couples living together make the suggestion that this measure would increase the number of potential adoptive parents unrealistic."

Cardinal O'Brien added: "To place children in such a situation is to put them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognised in the UN Convention on the rights of the child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case."

Morag Mylne, convener of the Church of Scotland's church and society council, said: "For a child, welfare is seen in terms of security and happiness and stability and a loving environment.

Yes, we can tell they have nothing but the best interests of the children at heart when they're trying to keep them in orphanages. What a crock.

And then there's the bullshit about gay relationships being "fragile and unstable", and the implicit bullshit that "security and happiness and stability and a loving environment" cannot be found in a gay household. What a bunch of bigoted crap.

Friday, June 10, 2005

My brother mentioned over dinner a politician in Florida who was so virulently anti-gay that he authored a pro-gay amendment that was exceptionally poorly-written so that he could ensure it would be voted down, decreasing chances of somebody passing a better-written version. And that he was apparently caught in a gay chat room, hitting on minors.

I wasn't terribly surprised, having heard about the same thing happen to a mayor in some town in Washington. But I couldn't remember which town.

And then, lo and behold, I finally get to check my e-mail and see an editorial dad sent me.

It was Spokane.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Conservatives See Liberal Bias in Class -- and Mobilize:

Concerned that public schools are becoming sites of liberal indoctrination, activists have generated a wave of efforts to limit what teachers may discuss and to bring more conservative views into the classroom.


It's an important battle front, proponents say, because younger students are more impressionable. They are concerned about multicultural lesson plans that go into detail about the Muslim faith, and cite incidents such as a young child being reprimanded by a teacher for writing about wanting to become a soldier.

An aggrieved faction of conservative high school students and parents appears eager to take up the cause:


· A group known as Christian Copts of California has distributed 5,000 booklets in Florida and California this year denouncing a seventh-grade world history section as an "attempt to engrave Islam in the minds of ... children."


The posters, hung by senior Chris Bowler, were provocative. They touted the clubs' website, which links to footage of beheadings at the hands of Islamic extremists. The site says the images show "the true doctrines of Islam put into action."

So basically these people are shouting "liberal bias" because the schools aren't allowing people to be prejudiced, hate-mongering bigots.

Says a lot about what they imagine conservatives are.
Italian court says gay man can drive:

ROME (Reuters) - A Sicilian court condemned road authorities on Monday for suspending the driving licence of a man after finding out he was gay.

The court on the Mediterranean island said being gay was merely "a personality disturbance" which had no bearing on a person's ability to drive, Ansa news agency reported.

The 23-year-old man, who was identified as Danilo G., got into trouble with the road licence authorities in the city of Catania after they discovered he had been exempted from military service because he was gay.

The authorities suspended his driving licence ahead of further checks on his "suitability" to take the wheel.

The man's lawyer, Giuseppe Lipera, denounced the move as "utterly scandalous and offensive" and has demanded 500,000 euros in damages.

"Danilo ... is deeply perturbed by what has happened. He has lost his hair and is suffering shock," Lipera was quoted as saying by Ansa.

In a written ruling released on Monday, the Sicilian court said: "It is clear that sexual preferences do not in any way influence a person's ability to drive motor cars safely."

The judges added that homosexuality "cannot be considered a true and proper psychiatric illness, being a mere personality disturbance".

Homosexuality is legal in Italy, but openly anti-gay comments from politicians and officials rarely cause a stir.


Saturday, June 4, 2005

Gene change alters sex orientation in fruit flies.

Research links fruit fly gene to sexuality.

Sounds like some fairly solid evidence that homosexuality is genetic in nature, right?

Well, apparently some people don't agree (this is the last in a series of letters).

I particularly like Mr. Hayward's rationale for dismissing the evidence:

Go buy some pheromones and see if you are capable of attracting anything other than bugs. If humans were ever largely responsive to pheromones, the effect was socialized into something meager eons ago.

The amazing subtlety and hidden nature of human sexuality (and the study thereof) is boiled down to "buy some pheromones and see what happens". What a brilliant scientist we have on our hands. Almost as brilliant as this engineer:

Kids, if you're wondering whether being gay really is something you're biologically "born with," here's a simple do-it-yourself science experiment to figure it out. Take one of the children's toys where you match a shape to a certain shaped hole cut in a box. Now, take either two of the cubes (that the shaped holes are cut in) or two of the shapes. Do they fit together in any way? I didn’t think so.

I wonder why?

So his entire logical basis for the myriad diversity of life and sexuality is... children's toys. How did he get into Purdue again?