This weekend was the Conservative Political Action Conference, an uber-conservative political event where all kinds of crazy shit goes down each year. It was sad because some of these people are absolutely batcrackers crazers. Like, my dad is a Fox News-loving, Bush-voting Republican and he is embarrassed by these people. But at the same time it was delightful because all weekend my Twitter was blowing up with “Oh my God, Sarah Palin said what?!” incredulity. And I do love a good Twitter kerfluffle.
So here are some highlights — and feel free to add others in the comments. Keep reading »
As if you needed another reason to love former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!
Clinton just released a PSA for the Human Rights Campaign in which she comes out in full support of marriage equality for lesbians and gays:
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage. That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.” Keep reading »
“Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.”
This is a section of an editorial by Republican Senator Rob Portman that was published in The Columbus Dispatch on Friday, announcing that he has changed his hardline stance against gay marriage in light of the fact that this son, Will, is gay. “I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I’ve had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay,” he told CNN in a follow-up interview. Keep reading »
Welcome to the 21st century, Virginia! Despite the Supreme Court ruling in 2003 that state law can not deem sexual relations between consenting adults a “crime,” VA has continued to do so for 10 years — until this week. An appeals court finally nixed the state’s anti-sodomy law regulating “crimes against nature,” which criminalized anal and oral sex between consenting adults. The law was basically seen as a justification for VA authorities to further persecute gay and lesbian folks. Well, that is no more. Commit all the crimes against nature (between consenting adults, of course) that you want! [Huffington Post, Queerty]
A new defense secretary has just been confirmed and already he has a big issue to address: sexual assault in the military. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (Full disclosure: I used to work in her office), and Senator Janeane Shaheen (D-NH) recently sent a letter requesting Chuck Hagel immediately review a decision by an Air Force Lieutenant General to dismiss all charges against an officer who had been convicted of sexual assault.
Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson, a fighter pilot, had been charged with aggravated sexual assault on former colleague Kimberly Hanks at Aviano Air Base in Italy. Hanks had been socializing with Wilkerson and his wife at their home and stayed the evening in their guest bedroom; in the middle of the night, she woke up to find Wilkerson on top of her. He was found guilty and sentenced to a year in the brig (AKA military prison). But he never served any time in prison because his superior, Lieutenant General Craig A. Franklin, dismissed the jury’s conviction and reinstated him. Senators Boxer and Shaheen and others are rightfully concerned that a troop charged with sexual assault was let off scot-free.
Keep reading »
It wouldn’t be a day at The Frisky if I didn’t get to write about a sleazy politician! Today’s subject: New York Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, a Democrat from Brooklyn.
According to The New York Daily News, the 71-year-old complained to a fellow staff members about statutory rape laws in New York, because he thought his 14-year-old intern was “sexy.” The intern in question had only been working there six days and is the daughter of a Brooklyn judge he helped elect. There is currently a police probe into whether any criminal actions were committed.
Alas, this is not the first accusation of sexual harassment against Vito Lopez. (Sadly, it usually isn’t.) Keep reading »
The Supreme Court is preparing to take up the Defense of Marriage Act—and the very president who signed it is urging justices to strike it down. DOMA came at “a very different time” in US history, writes Bill Clinton in a Washington Post editorial. No state recognized same-sex marriage, and just 81 of 535 members of Congress opposed the measure’s passage. Some senators, Clinton notes, saw the law as a way of preventing a more extreme constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
The Supreme Court will examine whether DOMA supports “freedom, equality, and justice above all.” Since signing the measure in 1996, “I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution,” Clinton writes. Read more…
Last week Connecticut State Rep. Ernest Hewett (D) creeped out America with his lewd and inappropriate comment to a 17-year-old girl about the “snake” under his desk. (He meant his dick.) Now Hewett has explained to the Hartford Courant that this was not his typical behavior. How has he kept his record clean? Keep reading »
Texas State Representatives Jodie Laubenberg (
D R) and Jeff Leach (R) have introduced a so-called “fetal pain” bill called The Preborn Pain Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, claiming that a fetus, which is called an “unborn child” in the bill, can feel pain. The bill, if passed, would shorten the window of time that a woman can terminate an unwanted pregnancy by seven weeks.
The Texas Right To Life has claimed that fetuses feel “torturous pain” in abortion. But that claim holds no ground in, well, science. The Journal of The American Medical Association‘s 2005 review doesn’t show evidence of fetuses feeling any pain before the third trimester at the earliest. Additionally, the bill doesn’t require a woman to be absolutely positively 20 weeks pregnant. If the woman is unsure of how many weeks along she is, but it’s probable it could be 20 weeks, she will still be unable to terminate her pregnancy.
And that’s not even the worst part of the bill. Keep reading »