Freedom of Speech is one of the most fundamental principles upon which our Country was built. Introduced by the Founding Fathers in the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, it contains no ambiguity. Paid for in blood, by thousands of fellow Americans who fought and died so that future generations could possess, cherish, and pass this gift on, it has been vital to the past, present and future of our Great Nation. Yet, in present days it has become one of the most controversial issues and subjects for interpretation.

Porn Newz - Adult Industry News, Events & Articles

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pole Tax Proposed in Pennsylvania

Prompted by Texas bill embroiled in constitutionality battle
By: Peter Warren
Posted: 05/30/2008

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Republican State Rep. in Pennsylvania has proposed implementing the same "pole tax" on strip clubs there that was declared unconstitutional in Texas but is still being more

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Free Speech Fundraser

May 28, 2008
Message from

we are having a revere radio network fund raiser. we have one month to raise one thousand dollars. with one thousand dollars we could the equipment we need to upgrade to have a better and more interactive radio station.We are ALL VOLUNTEER STAFF. Keep Free Speech Alive

Sex Shop For Women Causes Chester County Controversy

May 27, 2008

WEST CHESTER, Pa. -- A quiet Chester County community has become riddled with controversy. The issue is a sex shop some say must go.

"Sexuality is something that is natural. I'm not exploiting it like everyone else," business owner Jill McDevitt said.

The 22-year-old said she thought West Chester would be the perfect place for her new store. The downtown is trendy and packed with young students.

Feminque Boutique, which has been open for three weeks, is an adult store catering to women, selling lingerie, lotions and adult novelties. Those are in a back room.

But she said not everyone has welcomed the more


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Will a sexy sell help save the environment?

Written by Gabriele Steinhauser
Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Can online porn and vegan strip clubs save the rainforest? The erotic industry believes there’s a market for idealists who want to hug more than just trees.
Four years ago, Tommy Ellingsen and Leona Johannson decided to do something for the environment.

Like many other eco-activists, the young Norwegian couple opted to set up a Web site to educate others about the death of the rainforest, and to collect donations for the cause.
Yet, unlike other similar-minded idealists, they chose “to have a little bit more fun with the issues,” said Ellingsen, 31.

Fun, to Ellingsen and Johannson, meant sex, and the result was the creation of a Web site whose acronym, FFF, stands for an unprintable verb in front of ""
In return for a monthly fee of $15, members can download and watch homemade porn - all in the name of saving the planet.

FFF, which bills itself as "the only 100% karma improving eco porn site," features videos and photographs starring Ellingsen and Johannson, 25, as well as volunteers who want to donate more than just money.

This unusual fund-raising strategy has been a success.
In the past four years, the non-profit organization, which is registered in Norway, has taken in annual revenues of $100,000 to $120,000, according to more

Remembering 2 forgotten women in our free-speech history

May 27, 2008

The past might as well not have existed if the record of history does not recount it.
By that measure, Olive Henrietta Rabe is almost nonexistent. Her memory in American law is largely limited to a single line on a single page in United States Reports. There in volume 269 on page 644 one will find the following entry:
“Mrs. Olive H. Rabe, of Chicago, Ill., for respondent.”
Though much has been written about that statutory free-speech case — United States v. Schwimmer (1929) — and the men in it (especially Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.), few if any have ever paid attention to the lawyer who represented the respondent, Rosika Schwimmer, a more

The Price Paid for Free Speech and others

May 27, 2008

TV Journalist Barry Nolan: Why I Was Fired For Protesting Bill O'Reilly
Interesting how during the Bush/Rove years people were punished for exercising their free speech.
I guess someone was right from an earlier blog that there is No such thing as FREE speech in America anymore.
Perhaps they are correct. If you cannot speak without fear of repercussions, then you cannot speak freely.
The Terrorists have Won! They have succeeded. We have voluntarily surrendered our rights our to not crazy ideological religious fanatics.
PS -- Interesting developement. Perhaps I spoke too soon.
Supreme court: anti-bias laws cover reprisal claims
read more

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunshine law supporters beaming in ’08

May 26, 2008

— In a dismal budget year when most of the news from the Legislature was gloom and doom, First Amendment advocates emerged from the recently concluded session basking in sunshine.

Lawmakers struggling to find more than $4 billion in budget cuts may have been too distracted to pass the usual onslaught of exemptions to Florida’s landmark government-in-the-sunshine laws.

The record for new exemptions created in a single year was 15, the fewest ever was seven. This year, lawmakers created only three, and advocates don’t see them as a major problem.

“This is the best year ever,” said Barbara Petersen, president of the nonprofit, media-backed First Amendment more

Sex Sells, So Legislator Urges State to Tax It

May 26, 2008

SACRAMENTO — Of all the proposals made by the government of California to help close the state’s $17 billion budget gap, only one drew a bevy of exotic dancers from San Francisco to speak against it.

A Southern California assemblyman has proposed a 25 percent tax on the gross revenues of all producers and distributors of adult entertainment, enraging an unlikely alliance of pornographic film producers, the state Chamber of Commerce and cable television operators. The bill would cover every end of distribution, from movie makers to cable stations to stores that sell pornographic magazines, and would include strip clubs.

The logic behind the bill, said its Democratic sponsor, Charles Calderon, is twofold. One, an enormous tax on the estimated $4 billion industry would fill state coffers, and two, the industry deserves it.

“There is an impact on our society,” caused by pornography and other adult entertainment, Mr. Calderon more

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Restrictions on adult stores are welcome

Staff Reports
Article Launched: 05/25/2008 01:00:00 AM EDT

The location of adult stores that sell sex toys and sexually oriented videos and publications can be a problem for Connecticut communities, but towns and cities got a bit of help from the state Supreme Court last week in regulating them.

The justices ruled unanimously that a town, and specifically its legislative body, has the authority to enact restrictions on where such adult stores can be located. At issue was a Berlin ordinance that bars sexually oriented businesses from being within 250 feet of a residentially zoned neighborhood.

Such a restriction is logical and reasonable. However, lawyers for Very Intimate Pleasures Inc., argued that the Berlin Town Council had no authority to usurp the community's planning and zoning decisions and its zoning laws.

The state Supreme Court felt otherwise.

In upholding an earlier Superior Court decision in the case, the justices set a precedent that no doubt will be hailed by Connecticut's towns and cities. Lawyers for VIP have indicated they will appeal the ruling to the federal district court in Bridgeport, basing their appeal on First Amendment issues.

For the time being, however, the state's municipalities can regulate where adult businesses are located in their communities. The state Supreme Court ruling has reaffirmed the right of local legislative bodies to control the destiny of their towns...go to article

Free Speech: it includes the right to say things you don’t like.

May 25, 2008

You know, people are always really surprised when I say I don’t support hate speech laws.
I’m no fan of bigots. Really. In fact, I think racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, ableists, and other miscellaneous bigots are some of the stupidest, most dislikeable people on the planet. So, naturally, I’m no big fan of hate speech. Really. Especially since a lot of it targets me, being of the Jewish persuasion and a big ol’ gay and all.
But you know what? I’m a civil liberties advocate, and will defend your right to say stuff I don’t like. The way I see it, the harm caused by censoring speech usually outweighs the benefits.
The problem with censoring “offensive” speech is that it’s often a slippery slope. And, in a world that hates “non-conforming” people, guess who’s going to be the most frequent target of heavy-handed laws? I mean, most anti-pornography ordinances, allegedly to “protect women” (and I have ranted about this numerous times), end up targeting porn made for women by women. Oh, the more

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Actually Happens in ‘Violent Pornography’?

Lucrezia Magazine
Written by FCK

Phrases such as “extreme perversion”, “violent pornography” and “those abused in the making” give an imprecise description of the majority of the images and films under discussion. In most of the available material, the environment is highly controlled and regulated, deliberately set up as an artificial recreation. In general, the models and participants are extensively interviewed and every aspect of the intended recreation is explained in detail, so that each participant is well-informed. There are always many people on the location, carefully studying the participants’ mental state and psychological balance before, during and after the whole experience. These interviews are filmed and the models are given all the information about what is to happen and what to expect from the experience in writing. They are given a safe signal which they can use if needed, and they are watched in case they need assistance. The people creating the experience are knowledgeable in muscular, skeletal and neurological function, and there are medically proficient members of the crew, keeping watch on the event. There are also photographers and film crew taking the stills or film. This makes most of the material extremely safe, sane and consensual, with the participants protected, and in a secure, controlled environment. Therefore, the accusations that the material available is “violent”, “extreme perversion” and “abusive” towards those involved are in fact incorrect and inflammatory.The comparison of domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, torture, self-harm and sexual abuse with images that depict BDSM (aka ‘violent pornography’) shows a lack of understanding of BDSM practice. There is no consideration for or appreciation of the differences: instead, the images and films spoken of in the proposal are seen to be the same as exploitation and corruption, involving non-consensual aggression. In reality, the difference here is that people who commit acts such as domestic abuse, grievous bodily harm and sexual abuse violent others’ consent, are morally corrupt and need serious help. They are psychopathic, with no conscience and no social remorse. Graham Coutts, the murderer of Jane Longhurst, who had material deemed to be ‘violent porn’ on his computer, is an example of a person who is mentally unwell, with no empathy and no sense of wrong. Jane did not consent to what happened to her, but despite the laws in place at the time, a crime was still committed. People with sure moral and ethical minds know what is right and wrong, regardless of what laws are in place; they don’t need a law to tell them that to act out an image or a scene from a film on a non-consenting human being is strongly ill-advised, and entirely illegitimate. These people can make their own minds up and judge decently, justly and with conviction. The defence of ‘corruption’ from viewing an image is weak and inadequate. Others can see the same image over and over and not make the same choice. 60 years of research shows no conclusive evidence that these ‘violent images’ case violent acts.

First Amendment and "Free speech zones"

May 24, 2008

If your Thomas Jefferson were alive, he'd be pissed over this. The whole concept of speech codes,as well as Free speech zones, flies in the face of liberty and freedom. However, this has not stopped the elitist academics from doing so. Especially when it deviates from their ideas,their beliefs,and their concepts. The line of freedom on campus must return,just not with the ability to carry a weapon,but with speech,religion, and political affiliation. Otherwise, the colleges and universities will be completely lost to opposing ideas,other than liberals socialist.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Playboy has news for the Hub

May 23, 2008
By Chris Reidy

The folks who bring you Playboy magazine have some news that might be of interest to Boston, long a place that has cherished free speech.

The Playboy Foundation has announced the creation of a Freedom of Expression Award, which comes with a $25,000 grant to "fund the work of a noteworthy advocate for the First Amendment."

One purpose of the award is to "help focus public attention on the continuing threats to our civil liberties," Christie Hefner, chairman and chief executive of Playboy Enterprises Inc., said in a statement.

The new award is an addition to the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards , which were established in 1979 to "honor individuals who have made significant contributions in the vital effort to protect and enhance First Amendment rights for Americans," the Playboy Foundation said in a press release.

Lanesville church sues city over denial of proposed hall Claims First Amendment rights violated

By Richard Gaines
May 23, 2008

A church rooted in Lanesville since 1830 has sued the city in federal court, claiming the zoning board violated its First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of religion by requiring on-site parking to go with its planned construction of a fellowship hall.
The board's ruling in March — sought by six residents of the city's most northern and independent-minded neighborhood and supported by dozens more — overturned the finding of Building Inspector William Sanborn, who had given the Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville permission to go ahead with the community building, which church leaders have said is essential to accommodate the growing number of children in its congregation.
After consulting city lawyers, Sanborn, in December, found the hall qualified for the religious exemption in the zoning more

‘Violent Pornography’ in Film

Lucrezia Magazine
Written by FCK

I dislike the term ‘violent pornography’, because it suggests sadistic, abusive and brutal imagery that is exploitative and obscene in content. It ignores the fact that stills from a film can be easily misconstrued. Consequently, interpretation of an innocent representation could leave an individual guilty of possession. The government proposal states that “people who come into contact with pornography material by accident” will not be affected. However, it also states that “viewing images”, i.e. “downloading the information on to the computer” will render a user liable, if that information is deemed to be violent pornography.So the main issue here is clarity as to who the proposed law is aimed at, and who it is protecting? An argument for this law is that young children who have access to the internet can come across inappropriate images, but personally I think this simply highlights parents’ obligation to provide supervision. I agree that adult material with sexually explicit content should never be viewed by people under the age of 18, but innocent minds are not the only ones being controlled here. One claim goes: “These forms of violent and abusive pornography go far beyond what we allow to be shown in films or even sold in licensed sex shops in the UK, so they should not be available online either.” I disagree with this statement, as there have been many general release adult films produced for public viewing, including Wolf Creek, Hostel, James Bond: Casino Royale, Devil’s Rejects etc, that contain violent, abusive content of an artificial nature. Certainly these motion pictures are not designed for pornographic purposes; however, they do show extreme bloodshed and torture, with brutality and bondage of some kind. So the question remains, if a single frame was downloaded onto a computer from any of these mainstream films, and incorrectly labeled, would a person go through investigation, media attention, family shame and horrific invasion of privacy due to the misinterpretation of potential ‘violent pornographic material’?Furthermore, the government makes statements such as: “We do feel it necessary to provide some form of protection for the public. There is a responsibility to ‘reduce demand’ for this kind of material, both to protect those who were abused in its making and the public.” – this suggest that we the public need saving from ourselves. Adults are being treated as naïve idiots who need to be told what to look at and what to think. George Orwell’s 1984 comes to mind as a probable future for us.
Additionally, the terms ‘sexual violence’ and ‘extreme perversion’ are used regularly to justify the creation of the law, but I question this terminology. A dramatization or fantasy mock-up could be created with actors depicting a scene of rape, but the actors involved are playing a part and completely in control of the situation. If an image is captured from this sequence and then shown on the internet, we have another situation where misunderstanding could lead to investigation and prosecution. The problem when using the term ‘sexual violence’ in reference to a clip or image seen on the internet is that an investigation would have to prove that the people shown in the material were non-consenting.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lobby group blasts council over brothel ban idea

May 22, 2008

A sex industry lobby group says the Wangaratta council is going too far by trying to ban brothels.

The council will ask the Victorian Government for permission to change planning rules so brothels cannot be established in the region. Councillors say they are taking action because the community is opposed to brothels and adult stores. But Eros Association representative Fiona Patten says the council should not be making moral decisions for the community.

"There is a large percentage of the population that does use these businesses, that buys adult books and novelties, that visits sex workers and they should have every right to do that," she said.
"They're adults and councils should not be making moral decisions. Let the market decide."

Google case claims porn approved, not pro-life ads

WorldNetDaily - A Free PressFor A Free People
April 09, 2008

'It seems to me to be the most appalling case of religious

Internet giant Google is facing court action in the United Kingdom after it refused to accept an advertisement from a Christian organization promoting its own biblical views on abortion.
The advertisement that Google refused to more

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Paper Makes Bigot of Principal Who Resigns Over High School's 'Gay Club'

By Warner Todd Huston
May 21, 2008

A small paper in South Carolina called The Statesman indulged in some blatant hetero bashing this week in a story about a high school principal who resigned because of his convictions that the school should not allow a homosexual club to be started in his school. Naturally, the paper tries to make it seem as if the principal is an unreasonable bigot. The paper even conveniently forgot the part of the principal's resignation letter that clearly explains why he disagreed with allowing a club based on sexual activity in a high school -- and the explanation had nothing to do with any anti-gay sentiment.
The headline of the piece, "Irmo principal to resign after gay club approved for school," frames this as if homosexuality was the only issue here but that is only an ancillary problem as far as the principal is concerned. The first line of the story affirms that the paper views the principal as a bigot....(read more)

Irmo principal Eddie Walker's resignation letter (PDF)
Lexington 5 statement on Eddie Walker resignation (PDF)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bisexuality, BDSM and the Myth of Violent Pornography

Written by FCK
Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Who I amMy name is on the petition to the government, as one more person who understands what this ban symbolizes. I live in the North West of England in Greater Manchester. I am a bisexual woman aged 25, who is engaged to, and lives with, a female partner. I work in the media and so, for personal protection, I will use my pseudonym of fck.
Bisexuality and the BDSM Community.

As a bisexual woman, I have the capacity to love and sexually be with a person of either sex. Due to misconception, bisexuality is sometimes referred to as promiscuity, polygamy, ‘living the swinging lifestyle’ and/or being ‘confused’.# Furthermore, the erroneous idea that bisexuals carry STDs simply supports fear of a widespread sexual orientation. Some believe that people who express their sexuality as Bi are in fact following a trend, publicized by celebrities and media idols. It took me many years to come to terms with my desire and my need to romantically, sexually and emotionally connect to someone of the same sex. more

Joy King Talks Porn Tax on CNN

By: David Sullivan
Posted: 05/20/2008

LOS ANGELES - Assemblyman Charles Calderon's proposed California state tax on porn continues to make national news headlines.

Wicked Pictures VP of special projects Joy King defended the adult industry on CNN in a segment about the proposed more

Monday, May 19, 2008

Court Allows Some Restrictions On Sex Shops

May 19, 2008

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled in favor of some restrictions on sexually oriented businesses in Berlin.

The high court says Berlin can restrict sexually oriented business from opening near a residential neighborhood.

The high court's ruling Monday came a month after hearing arguments from attorneys representing the town and VIP, a store that sells adult DVDs, lingerie, and more


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Sound and Fury

The Sound and Fury
The debate pitting social responsibility against commercial viability vis-à-vis sexually explicit content seems never louder than when someone tosses a mention of so-called "extreme" content into the middle of it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Calif. Porn Tax Bill Stalled in Committee

By: Mark Kernes
Posted: 05/13/2008

SACRAMENTO - After an hour and a half of discussion, Assm. Charles Calderon's porn tax bill, AB 2914, never made it before the nine members of the Assembly Revenue & Tax Committee for a vote yesterday, with Calderon electing to keep the bill in the suspense file.

"The suspense file is for any bill that costs more than a certain dollar amount, a threshold, and in this committee, that's $500,000 to implement," explained Matt Gray, California lobbyist for the adult entertainment more

Sex-shop owners fighting proposed 25 percent tax

The Orange County Register
May 13, 2008

Teachers: Tax on strip clubs, pornography and adult items would help fix budget, calling it a luxury.

Sex shops and strip clubs would have to pay an extra 25 percent tax on their sales and services under a proposed state law meant to offset the costs of allowing such businesses into a community.

But California's $4 billion-a-year adult industry has attacked the proposal by Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Montebello, as unconstitutional and based more on opinion than on fact. Adult-business owners in Orange County say the tax would put strippers out of business and break sex shops that already must abide by strict rules about where they can more

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ether-slime poses slippery legal questions

The Virginian-Pilot
May 11, 2008

THEY'RE CREEPY and they're skanky. They're odious and icky. They make us really cranky. We all love to hate spam.

Few people get the warm First Amendment fuzzies as they're deleting dozens of promotions for anatomical enhancements and erotic limericks from their e-mail inbox.

But there are free speech issues to be considered as states try to crack down on those obnoxious spammers. The Virginia Supreme Court decided last week to plunge into the ether-slime and sort out some of the questions raised by the Old Dominion's anti-spam law.

Earlier this year, the justices upheld the high-profile conviction of notorious spammer Jeremy Jaynes, who prosecutors say unleashed more than 10 million fraudulent messages daily during his heyday in more

Journalist facing fines urges press to protect 1st Amendment

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former USA Today reporter facing fines for failing to reveal her sources for stories about the 2001 anthrax attacks said Saturday that news organizations need to go on the offensive in the fight to protect the First Amendment.

"As we all know, the news business is on a collective nervous breakdown," Toni Locy told a coalition of open-government and press groups. "It's time to stop running. It's time to turn and fight. If we don't fight for the First Amendment, who will?"

Locy, who now teaches journalism at West Virginia University, spoke at the annual convention of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

She said the country needs a shield law that would protect reporters from having to reveal their sources.

"The First Amendment needs some help," she said. "In this environment that we're in now, it needs some help."

Locy is appealing an order from U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton that requires her to pay as much as $5,000 a day until she gives up her sources for stories about the government's investigation of the anthrax attacks.

The order comes as Locy has been drawn into a lawsuit by former Army scientist Steven Hatfill, who came under FBI scrutiny after the attacks. Hatfill accuses the government of violating his privacy by talking to more

Friday, May 9, 2008

Free speech must win

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is adding its prestige to a needed challenge of a new Indiana law that would create a kind of registry for materials that many might find offensive, but that are nonetheless protected by First Amendment guarantees on free speech and expression.

The museum has teamed with bookstores, publishers and the ACLU of Indiana to challenge the law set to take effect July 1 that would require retailers to register with the state and pay a fee if they want to sell alleged sexually explicit material.

On the face of it, this one may seem hard to argue with. That is why it is critical the façade be peeled back to better understand the potential mischief that lies beneath.

Proponents claim the law is necessary to protect communities from pornography vendors that pop up, especially along interstate highways.

Those proponents argue that the law does not prohibit a business from selling sexually explicit material. It simply requires that business to declare its intent by registering with the state and paying a fee.

This is a bill that never should have been passed in the last Indiana General Assembly.

As we noted here several weeks back, on the sorry occasion of Gov. Mitch Daniels signing the measure into law, the measure is assailable on several fronts.

Critics note, with cause, that the law's language is so broad that it fails to define sexually explicit in a manner that protects an array of literature, photography and matters clearly protected under the First Amendment's broad more

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Anti-Gay Group Wins College Suit

A federal judge in Georgia ruled on April 29 that several pages dealing with gay issues in a "Safe Space" training manual adopted at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a state university in Atlanta, violated the First Amendment prohibition on government establishment of more

Bill targets sale of adult video games

Posted on May 8, 2008

-Congressmen from both political parties have partnered to sponsor legislation designed to prevent children from purchasing or renting adult video games.

Reps. Jim Matheson, D.-Utah, and Lee Terry, R.-Neb., announced May 7 the introduction of the Video Game Ratings Enforcement Act, H.R. 5990. The bill would require retailers to check the identification of customers seeking to buy or rent games rated M for "mature" or AO for "adult only." Games rated M have content that may be suitable only for those at least 17 years old, while AO games include material that is appropriate only for those 18 or older, according to an industry ratings board.

The measure does not bar parents from renting or purchasing M- or AO-rated games for their children, but it mandates stores display explanations of the rating system to help parents in purchasing or renting video games. Retail violators could receive a civil penalty of as much as $5,000.

The congressional action came at the close of a record-setting sales week for a controversial new game, "Grand Theft Auto IV." The game, which was released April 29, broke all-time sales records for a first week and first day. Worldwide sales for the first week were six million copies at a retail value of more than $500 million, according to FOX Business. The game's opening day was 3.6 million copies sold for a value of about $310 million, FOX more

California tax proposals target beer-loving, pornography-watching yacht owners

Democratic lawmakers search far and wide for new revenue to balance the state budget, though Republicans have vowed to stop any tax hikes.

By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
11:18 PM PDT, May 8, 2008

SACRAMENTO -- As state leaders hunt for politically palatable solutions to the swelling budget shortfall, some Democrats are proposing unorthodox ways to generate cash.

Strip clubs, six-packs, grocery bags and iTunes downloads are all in their sights as alternatives to broad income or sales tax hikes. So are gas guzzlers and yachts -- and a tax loophole for criminals.

Despite tough odds of overcoming an oath signed by their Republican colleagues to stop any tax hikes, Democratic lawmakers seem confident that their ideas will carry the day. They predict the public won't stand for painful cuts to schools and healthcare to close a shortfall the governor now pegs as high as $20 billion, and say anti-tax forces will ultimately have to accept that more revenue is needed to bring the state into the black.

GOP lawmakers say the majority party simply has an insatiable appetite for taking money from Californians. The California Republican Party recently released an Internet video, set to the O'Jays' "For the Love of Money," in which the tax ideas float across the screen after footage of Senate leader Don Perata (D-Oakland) telling the media in March his prescription for balancing the budget: "Raise taxes. That clear enough? Raise taxes." more

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Same Sex Marriage and the American Political Science Association

Among diverse affiliations, I am a member of the American Political Science Association. This year, I will speak to their national conference on issues related to gender studies. APSA is a highly respectable and well organized — organized the American way — association, which I enjoy being a member of. To be honest, I have more interest in APSA endeavours in favour of political science than in my own country association, a member of which I am nevertheless. I have never really understood how it works, if it works at all (well most of my colleagues seem to be happy with the French association of political science, but I cannot decide whether it is because it is actually an interesting professional association or because my colleagues are as French as the association — at least it is quite objective a statement that the website of the French association, if not the whole association itself, is by no way very organized).

For a reason still unknown to me, APSA took fire on an unpredictable issue: the meeting site of 2012 in New Orleans. It happens that the state of Louisiana bans same sex unions in its constitution, which does not even recognize the validity of same sex unions contracted in other states. So, some members, considering that such a law is discriminatory decided to ask for a boycott of all places that would have anti-same-sex unions laws. APSA should not meet in such more

Efforts to relocate adult shop ongoing

By Jeff Bollier

The News: A proposed relocation of Supreme Video, 945 N. Washburn St., was nixed after the new property's owner notified city officials he had another lease in place for the site.The background: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has worked on relocating the store for more than three years in order to reconstruct and widen North Washburn Street as part of the U.S. 41 expansion plans.The impact: The DOT has had to restart its search for a comparable relocation site. The negotiations continue. more

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Same-sex marriage supporter Loving dies

By LISA KEEN, Washington Blade

The woman who started a ball rolling toward knocking down laws banning interracial marriage and who late in life also spoke out against bans on gay marriage has died.

Mildred Loving died Friday, May 2, in Milford, Va. She was 68. The cause of death was not available, but gay activist Mitchell Gold, who met with her a year ago about speaking out against anti-gay marriage laws, said Loving was already quite frail with arthritis and cancer at that time.

Gold, founder of Faith in America, an organization to fight anti-gay religious bigotry, said he and two colleagues visited Loving at her rural Virginia home in early May 2007. They were hoping to persuade her to take part in an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision that struck down anti-miscegenation laws. Gold said they talked about the Loving case and “what’s happening to gay people.”

“We asked if she would come to Washington and be a significant part of the celebration,” said Gold. He recalled she said she would if she could, “but it was clear her health was failing … and we didn’t know whether she could physically make it.” So, instead, said Gold, Loving prepared a statement that was read at the celebration.

In that statement, Loving said, “I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others.” more

Same sex reforms

5/06/2008 3:00:16 AM

DE facto gay and lesbian couples will be given equal legal rights to heterosexual de facto partners after an announcement by Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland last week.

McClelland, who is Barton MP, said that more than 100 areas of law would be reformed to grant gay and lesbian partners equal rights under Commonwealth law.

The reforms have attracted criticism from some members of the gay community because they will not alter marriage laws or sanction same-sex unions

But they will give gay couples the same rights as de facto heterosexual couples in areas including tax, superannuation, social security, health, aged care, veterans' entitlements, workers' compensation and employment more

Same-Sex Marriage Ban Stalls

By Bradley Vasoli, The Bulletin

Harrisburg - The Pennsylvania Marriage Amendment, a constitutional measure to define marriage in the commonwealth as a union between one man and one woman, was tabled indefinitely yesterday.

Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster) withdrew his amendment from consideration after Pennsylvania House of Representatives Speaker Dennis O'Brien (R-Philadelphia) stated that he would refer the amendment, if passed out of the Senate, to the House Committee on State Government and it had become clear that its majority chair, Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia), would not schedule the measure for timely consideration.

"Sen. Brubaker's very disappointed," his spokesman Nathan Flood said. "Sen. Brubaker hopes that the speaker of the House would reconsider sending the bill to the state government committee."

Mr. Flood said that it is procedurally important that the state Constitution codify marriage law as applying only to couples of one man and one woman because many Pennsylvania laws treat marriages that way. The introduction of homosexual marriages in one fell swoop, he said, would confound the application of many of those earlier statutes.

"There are about 1,200 laws that were written with the understanding that a marriage was between one man and one woman that would be affected and that would have to be altered," he more