From the April 21 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
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Another right-wing blogger has taken a stab at arguing that Judge Vaughn Walker should have been disqualified from the California same-sex marriage case because he is a gay man. But the post accidentally showed another reason why this argument has been deemed meritless and "ridiculous" by judicial ethics experts.
The blogger (presumably accidentally) argues that not only should Walker be disqualified from this case, but women judges must be disqualified from cases involving abortion.
Last night, as part of a series of National Review Online posts calling for Walker's disqualification, Matthew Franck hyped a guest post on the Patterico's Pontifications blog attacking Walker. The Patterico post, by Aaron Worthing, detailed an email exchange Worthing had had with San Francisco Chronicle reporter Bob Egelko about Walker.
In response to Egelko's remark that Walker "has no more of a conflict than a female judge, or a devoutly Catholic male judge, ruling on the right to abortion," Worthing stated: "[N]otice he also misses the issue of having your legal rights on the docket. A catholic male judge might have a certain preferred outcome in an abortion case, but he is not ruling on his personal rights."
Worthing responded to Egelko's analogy about a "devoutly Catholic male judge" ruling on abortion, but not about a "female judge" ruling on that issue.
I don't know why Worthing did not respond to the point about a "female judge," but a woman of childbearing age certainly has her own "legal rights on the docket" when ruling on abortion restrictions, and by the logic of Walker opponents, cannot hear such cases.
As we've already shown, by the logic of Walker's opponents, straight judges who are married or may someday want to get married must be disqualified from same-sex marriage cases. But now it's apparent that, in addition, female judges are disqualified from hearing abortion cases.
Or perhaps the real answer is that there are no grounds to disqualify Walker from the Proposition 8 case.
In an April 19 Washington Times column headlined, "NBA's gay gag order," Ted Nugent criticized the NBA for fining Kobe Bryant for using a gay slur, writing that "Bryant committed this egregious verbal foul because he used a word demeaning to homosexuals, the most protected class of people in America" and that "[t]hose among us who work tirelessly to shut down (and shout down, if the need arises) speech they disagree with must also be absolutely gay with pride and satisfaction over this fine."
Nugent further wrote that "[i]f the NBA had any true gay convictions, the NBA should host a Homosexual Night" during which "homosexuals could come down on the court, hold hands and prance around the court to music by the Village People. The NBA could then give each homosexual a pink basketball as a symbol of solidarity."
From Nugent's column:
Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was socked with a $100,000 fine by the NBA last week for calling a referee what the NBA thinks is a derogatory, ugly and vile name.
To be exact, Mr. Bryant committed this egregious verbal foul because he used a word demeaning to homosexuals, the most protected class of people in America.
Gay rights groups applaud the decision of the NBA, which must make all the homosexual basketball fans feel peachy and special. Who knows, maybe the NBA will use Mr. Bryant's $100,000 to buy courtside seats for gay basketball fans. Yeah, that's the ticket. Show some gay pride, NBA.
Those among us who work tirelessly to shut down (and shout down, if the need arises) speech they disagree with must also be absolutely gay with pride and satisfaction over this fine.
If the NBA had any true gay convictions, the NBA should host a Homosexual Night. During halftime, the homosexuals could come down on the court, hold hands and prance around the court to music by the Village People. The NBA could then give each homosexual a pink basketball as a symbol of solidarity.
Homosexuals are a protected class in America. If you think what happened to Mr. Bryant was a travesty, just wait until you see what homosexuals in the military do when they claim they have been mistreated because of their sexual orientation.
National Review Online blogger Ed Whelan has been trying for more than a year to disqualify the judge who declared California's bar on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Whelan argues that because the judge in question -- Vaughn Walker -- is gay and in a long-term relationship, federal law requires that he be disqualified.
That hasn't stopped Whelan though. Today, he has posted a 1,400 word National Review piece that pleads for "a request by Prop 8 proponents" asking the appellate courts to throw out Walker's ruling on the grounds that he should be disqualified because of his sexual orientation.
Whelan writes that Walker should be disqualified because he is in a long-term relationship with a man and "a reasonable person would expect him to want to have the opportunity to marry his partner," which, according to Walker's own opinion, confers benefits on couples.
Whelan does not break any new ground in his arguments today. So there's not much new for us to add.
However, we'll note again that by Whelan's logic, a straight judge who is married or in a long-term relationship would also have to be disqualified because proponents of Proposition 8 argued that the ban on same-sex marriage was "about preserving marriage" as it has been traditionally defined.
Since marriage as traditionally defined would not be preserved were same-sex marriage to be legalized, straight judges would have an obvious interest in stopping same-sex marriage.
That would be no more ridiculous than believing Walker should be disqualified from the same-sex marriage case.
From the April 19 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the April 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the April 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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The Washington Times isn't known for carrying open or enlightening views on LGBT issues. Indeed, it could be argued that the Times takes certain delight in painting itself as anti-gay, in reinforcing the homophobic smear that "homosexual orientation is contrary to human nature." From same-sex marriage to DOMA to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Times has consistently hammered this point. But the op-ed it published Tuesday on Perez Hilton lifted the gay-bashing to a disturbing level.
Hilton, the openly gay celebrity blogger who runs top gossip site PerezHilton.com, recently announced that he has written his first children's book. The Boy With Pink Hair is to be published in September by Penguin's Hispanic imprint Celebra. According to its publisher, the book "is a defining story about how believing in yourself and following your aspirations can not only bring out the best in you, but also in those around you."
In a statement about the book posted on his website, Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, says:
I am absolutely elated about this book, which comes from a very dear and genuine place within me. While I can identify in many ways with THE BOY WITH PINK HAIR, he represents so much more. This story is about every kid that's ever had a dream, felt excluded, wanted to belong, and hoped that one day they could do what they loved and make a difference. Today, with this book, that's exactly what I feel I have the opportunity to do. I hope everyone can share in the spirit of a boy that only wants to bring some happiness to the world around him.
But the Times chose to represent Hilton and news of the book deal by insinuating that he is, in essence, a pedophile.
In addition to the other issues making headlines - military conflict, congressional budget fights, and natural disasters - Fox News is soliciting your opinion on another key issue. Pink toenails. No, really.
The J.Crew ad in question is here. It depicts J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons painting her son's toes pink with the caption "Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon." For this, Fox News asks "[D]oes this cross the line?" as if it were their determination to make.
The story seems to flow from this Media Research Center story from this past Friday which goes even further than Fox and charges "J.CREW Pushes Transgendered Child Propaganda":
J.CREW, a popular preppy woman's clothing brand and favorite affordable line of first lady Michelle Obama, is targeting a new demographic - mothers of gender-confused young boys. At least, that's the impression given by a new marketing piece that features blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.
Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow, Jenna's indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future. J.CREW, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the façade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.
This is just part of MRC's decades-long campaign to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community, it just has the added element of being more absurd than usual. And this time, Fox gave them an assist.
In an April 5 Washington Times column headlined, "Marching in lockstep with homosexual agenda," Robert Knight fearmongered over the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," writing that GOP congressmen asked during a recent hearing "questions that revealed the military is clueless about how much this will hurt readiness, retention, morale and recruitment." Knight further wrote: "What if you don't respect your (male) commander for having sex with other men or wearing a dress and pumps while on leave?"
From Knight's column:
"We used to conform behavior to the military. Now we're conforming the military to behavior."
Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, belled the cat neatly during a hearing last Friday on the military's breakneck pace in implementing the new lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) law.
Mr. West, whose 20-plus years in the U.S. Army included combat commands, noted that he and others at Fort Bragg had to endure "sensitivity training" in the 1990s. It didn't enhance the "warrior ethos," he recalled.
What became clear at the hearing of the House Armed Services Committee's Personnel Subcommittee chaired by Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, is that the Pentagon is forging into unknown territory, driven by political correctness, not military need.
On the other side, Mr. Wilson, joined by Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Missouri Republican, Rep. Austin Scott, Georgia Republican, Mr. Coffman and Mr. West asked questions that revealed the military is clueless about how much this will hurt readiness, retention, morale and recruitment.
Both Mr. Stanley and Adm. Gortney insisted that chaplains and others troubled by the new policy will face no repercussions. Sure they won't. Adm. Mullen has already invited anyone who disagrees to leave the military.
"We're not asking anyone to change their beliefs, just treat everyone with respect," Adm. Gortney said. What if you don't respect your (male) commander for having sex with other men or wearing a dress and pumps while on leave?
In an April 4 editorial, The Washington Times attacked transgender people seeking the ability to change the gender listed on their birth certificates, writing: "It's fair to ask where all of this is heading. Could Jocelyn Wildenstein -- famously nicknamed 'Catwoman' for the feline appearance she achieved through multiple plastic surgeries -- decide after years of struggling with her identity that she is actually a cat?" The Times went on to further question the sanity of transgender people, suggesting that "perhaps these people are just messed up."
From the Times editorial:
Individuals who claim they're "transgender" are suing the New York City Health Department over what they say is discrimination. These people are upset because the city won't change the sex listed on their birth certificates unless they've had elaborate surgery to refashion their private parts and received subsequent psychiatric evaluations attesting to the permanence of their supposed "transition" to the opposite gender.
Practically speaking, none of the scientific (or pseudo-scientific) mumbo-jumbo matters too much, however, because self-identified transgenders and their allies are finding success for their radical agenda by merely asserting that it's a medical condition and going forward with counseling for "transition" (purportedly becoming the opposite gender) and radical surgery to "correct" their organs and sex characteristics. There is no more debate over the possibility that perhaps these people are just messed up.
It's fair to ask where all of this is heading. Could Jocelyn Wildenstein - famously nicknamed "Catwoman" for the feline appearance she achieved through multiple plastic surgeries - decide after years of struggling with her identity that she is actually a cat? With the precedents set by these new policies, all she would need to do to secure her new cat identity is find a doctor to certify that she was undergoing "appropriate clinical treatment" to secure the right to demand that her official government documents be altered to reflect who she has become. She's already had the surgeries.
The old saying about giving an inch and losing a mile comes to mind. As Sam Berkley, born Samantha, complained in a press conference about the lawsuit, "I don't feel comfortable with the government deciding whether I'm a man or not." Strike "man" and replace with "human" or "sane" and there's not much of a difference. We must then accommodate all departures from cultural norms - which becomes easier as the groups in opposition to the norms successfully erode them to suit their own ideas of how the world should be. This becomes even more tragic - dangerous, even - if we're accommodating mental illness in the name of misplaced sensitivity, inclusiveness or political correctness.
Of all the bigoted arguments the Washington Post promotes via its On Faith microsite, the most consistently infuriating are John Mark Reynolds' disingenuous attempts to co-opt the language of tolerance and to accuse those whose rights he wishes to limit of trying to impose their values on him.
I've previously noted that Reynolds has used the platform granted him by the Post to accuse gays (and those who believe in the legitimacy of gay relationships) of "the deepest form of sexism," to compare gay rights advocates to racists, call them "the hateful," and refer to support for gay rights as "prejudice."
Despite these nonsensical, up-is-down complaints, the Post keeps inflicting Reynolds upon its readers, and endorsing him as a distinguished panelist engaged in "respectful" and "intelligent" conversation. Reynolds' latest post:
Republican voters must find a candidate who would restore to states the right to ban abortion. We should not have a system where the values of some states are imposed on states that reject them.
[S]tates should be allowed to define marriage as they see fit without forcing the entire nation to embrace the values of the other states.
Reynolds never explains why he thinks states are the appropriate level for codifying values, leaving the reader to conclude that it is simply because he believes they are the level at which he can win. In any case, it's dizzyingly absurd for Reynolds to complain about imposing values on others in the course of arguing in favor of states doing exactly that to their residents. Why is it acceptable -- desirable, even -- for people in one county to "impose" their values on residents of a neighboring county, but unacceptable for the same to happen among states? Reynolds doesn't explain; he simply treats it as a self-evident matter of principle.
To be clear: I don't think the problem is that Reynolds has failed to recognize the inconsistency of his position, or to articulate why state government is the level at which values should be codified in law. I think the problem is that John Mark Reynolds is willing to say things he does not actually believe. See, I doubt John Mark Reynolds actually believes that "states should be allowed to define marriage as they see fit." I find it hard, if not impossible, to believe Reynolds would accept a state's decision to define marriage as a union between two men, or two women, but not between a man and a woman. It seems obvious that Reynolds does not really believe "states should be allowed to define marriage as they see fit" -- and that, instead, he believes states should be allowed to define marriage as he sees fit.
The Post's stated desire to host a respectful and intelligent discussion among people of diverse viewpoints is a laudable goal -- but it isn't served by promoting the disingenuous claims of someone who says supporting gay rights is like sexism and that those who seek marriage equality are imposing their values on those who wish to tell gays they cannot marry.
In a March 25 Washington Times column, Robert Knight wrote that the Obama administration "is lobbing nukes into the institution of marriage and the military" by repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and declining to continue defending the Defense of Marriage Act. Knight further suggested that the Obama administration is "trash[ing] marriage and the law."
From Knight's op-ed:
The left is lobbing nukes into the institution of marriage and the military. Obamacare is going forward, complete with funding for abortion and massive increases in the size of the already enormous Department of Health and Human Services. Defunding this increasingly unpopular power grab should be in every budget bill - but it's not.
Despite no promised certification that lifting the military's ban on homosexuality will harm readiness, recruiting or retention, President Obama's Pentagon already has produced materials hatched in a theater of the absurd. As Washington Times correspondent Rowan Scarborough reports, Marine commanders will have to ponder, for example, what to do if two male Marines are seen kissing in a shopping mall.
Now there's a scenario for building respect for the military among the nation's youngsters.
Boy: "Look, mom, those Marines are, uh, making out right there in the food court! I'm not sure I want to be a Marine after all."
Liberal mom: "Well, that's a relief. I didn't want you to be in the military anyway. All those guns give me the creeps. But why do you find this odd? Are you some kind of religious bigot? Honestly, we're going to have to call your school and ask them to step up the tolerance training. You won't even wear that nice polka-dot dress and the pumps I bought you."
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has announced its refusal to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which a liberal Massachusetts judge found unconstitutional. House Speaker John A. Boehner has questioned the "timing" of this dereliction of duty and has said the House will move to defend the law. Fine, but is there ever a good time to trash marriage and the law?
In a WorldNetDaily piece, Bob Unruh advanced the argument that California legislation aimed at having the history of the LGBT movement taught more extensively in social studies classes is "the worst school sexual indoctrination ever" and "sexual brainwashing." In fact, the bill instructs educators to teach about the "role and contribution of ... lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans."
In a Washington Times piece, Kerry Picket criticized the Department of Justice for saying that its Civil Rights Division is "committed to ending bullying and harassment in schools" and for highlighting its "authority to enforce federal laws that protect students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, national origin, disability, religion, and sex, including harassment based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes."
Echoing The Washington Times piece, a National Review Online blog post also attacked the Justice Department's initiative on bullying.
What's wrong with the department's anti-bullying initiative? If harassment rises to the level of a civil rights violation, shouldn't the Department of Justice step in to do something about it?
Not according to Picket. Picket writes that there is a "catch" to what the Department of Justice is doing. It is only targeting some types of bullying, and not dealing with the scenario in which an "overweight straight white male who is verbally and/or physically harassed because of his size."
But here's the thing. If a person is harassed "because of his size," and his size alone, the Justice Department does not have the power to step in. And it's irrelevant whether the victim is straight, gay, or bisexual or white, Asian, black, or Native American. In this context, the Department of Justice enforces civil rights laws, and there is no current civil rights law dealing with discrimination on the basis of weight. On the other hand, if the white male were being bullied because of his race or gender, there may be a role for the Justice Department.
Perhaps law professor David Bernstein at the libertarian Volokh Conspiracy blog put it best: Picket's piece "seems like a cheap rhetorical trick-trying to insinuate that the administration has something against 'straight white males' when the administration is simply staying within the limits of its legal authority."