Quickies: Vote Tomorrow, Hate Crimes Legislation, On-Demand PrEP

  • Tomorrow is Election Day in the USA – Find out where you can vote and what’s on the ballot by following the link and entering your address. You can also text ‘everyvote’ to 30644 to get your polling place. (Standard text & data rates may apply.)
  • Anti-gay activists Whatcott and LaBarbera Arrested in Canada – Peter LaBarbera will be familiar to queer news junkies as president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, an extreme anti-gay group. Bill Whatcott is a local Saskatchewan activist. The two were arrested for refusing to leave University of Regina, where they set up an anti-gay, anti-choice booth to spread their messages of hate.
  • Philadelphia passes Hate Crimes Ordinance – “Less than two months after a brutal antigay assault in Philadelphia’s City Center saw a gay couple put in the hospital, the city council unanimously passed an ordinance that imposes elevated punishments for violent attacks based on gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability status.” PA hate crime legislation does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Second Study Suggests Efficacy of On-Demand PrEP – Participants in the study took two doses at least two hours before sex, and then two doses on consecutive days following sex, rather than the daily regiment. Researchers found “very significant reduction” in the risk of HIV infection in participants using this regiment when compared to the placebo group.
  • No Tras Actors in New Trans Film – Three Generations will feature Elle Fanning as a young trans man just starting to transition. His mother and grandmother will be played by Naomi Watts, and Susan Sarandon respectively. No word yet on whether transgender people will be consulting on the film or employed in the production crew.
  • Watch Ellen DeGenerese Play it Straight for Halloween – The clip shows Ellen dressed as Amal Alamuddin with a George Clooney dummy on her arm.

Featured image via The Center on Policy Initiatives

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  1. LaBarbera is a piece of work. I’ve read a lot of crappy stuff about him over at (which is no longer flagged as questionable on work internet! Yay!)
    I hope his stay in jail is incredibly boring, and incredibly long.


    I haven’t read the decision yet, just the dissent, but I wanted to highlight some great lines from that:

    Opening line:
    “The author of the majority opinion has drafted what would make an engrossing TED Talk or, possibly, an introductory lecture in Political Philosophy. But as an appellate court decision, it wholly fails to grapple with the relevant constitutional question in this appeal”

    A couple paragraphs from the middle sections:
    “How ironic that irresponsible, unmarried, opposite-sex couples in the Sixth Circuit who produce unwanted offspring must be “channeled” into marriage and thus rewarded with its many psychological and financial benefits, while same-sex couples who become model parents are punished for their responsible behavior by being denied the right to marry. As an obviously exasperated Judge Posner responded after puzzling over this same paradox in Baskin, “Go figure.””

    “These four cases from our sister circuits provide a rich mine of responses to every rationale raised by the defendants in the Sixth Circuit cases as a basis for excluding same-sex couples from contracting valid marriages. Indeed, it would seem unnecessary for this court to do more than cite those cases in affirming the district courts’ decisions in the six cases now before us. Because the correct result is so obvious, one is tempted to speculate that the majority has purposefully taken the contrary position to create the circuit split regarding the legality of same-sex marriage that could prompt a grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court and an end to the uncertainty of status and the interstate chaos that the current discrepancy in state laws threatens. Perhaps that is the case, but it does not relieve the dissenting member of the panel from the obligation of a rejoinder.”

    And the last line:
    “If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams.”

    I like to imagine the judge writing the last line, lifting his pen above his head, dropping it, and walking out of his office.

  3. That awesome dissent was written by Judge Martha Daughtrey, so that would be *her* dropping *her* pen and walking out of *her* office. I know very little about law, but I her dissent sounds very strong to me. Why have checks and balances if we can’t actually check other parts of government if we think they’re violating rights? It seems very likely that the case will go to the Supreme Court. From the LA Times:

    …Thursday’s decision will probably lead to speedy appeals to the high court. Under the Supreme Court’s calendar, appeals that are ready by late January can be granted a review in the spring and decided by the end of the term in June. Otherwise, they are pushed back to the fall.

    So, we could have a SCotUS ruling on marriage equality within a year.

    BTW, I saw in your comments that you live in Seattle. I’m moving to the area. Are you involved in the Seattle Skeptics scene?

    • I’m in the FB group Seattle Skeptics. (You can friend me – I’m probably the only “Jac” in there.) They post about pseudo science and quackery, nothing about social justice as far as I’ve noticed. I haven’t been to their meetups. Could also try I haven’t been in the position to attend evening events in Seattle, so I haven’t looked too far into those yet.

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