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Thursday, July 2, 2015

OSU President sends email on SCOTUS gay marriage decision

From the office of the President of Oregon State University Edward J. Ray

PHOTO: "From the office of the President of Oregon State University Edward J. Ray" letter head for an official email memo to the OSU community giving his reactions to the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage. (See previous post OSU students react to SCOTUS gay marriage decision and the invention of 'religious liberty' by opponents (7/2/15))

I have appreciated Oregon State University President Ed Ray's leadership on gay marriage equality, especially given the fact that he holds a politically appointed position that is accountable to both the legislature of the State of Oregon and also the Federal government as a land grant State University President. It was only a decade ago that Oregon Republicans, to help get President Bush reelected in 2004, put on the ballot a State Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, and it passed by a majority of voters. Below is the text of the email sent to everyone at OSU from the OSU President that I received after the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage in Jun. 2015:

"Members of the Oregon State community,

Friday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutional right to marriage by couples of the same sex is remarkable and historic. Although the decision is long overdue, it advances equity and inclusion in America and I overwhelmingly support the court's decision.

Members of the LGBT community and allies nationally, in Oregon, and those who work and attend school at Oregon State University have waited far too long for the legal right of every American to pursue happiness in marriage. It was just a year ago in May that Oregon became the 19th U.S. state to recognize same-sex marriages. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday to make same-sex marriage a right nationwide, 36 states and the District of Columbia had already done so. All the while, in recent polling, a majority of Americans had already said they supported marriage equality as did nearly 80 percent of those ages 18-29.

Civil justice and fundamental equality are bedrock constitutional rights and they should not be decided by polls.

At Oregon State, we are fully committed to diversity and stand united for the dignity and inclusivity of all people. OSU's institutional values statement says that "Oregon State University is an authentic community, whose accomplishments and inclusive excellence, innovation and leadership promote a healthy planet, wellness and economic progress."

Yet, we recognize that such words accomplish very little without action demonstrating our personal commitment to each other.

President Obama had it right Friday when he praised the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court by saying: "Our nation was founded on the bedrock principle that we are all created equal. The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times - a never-ending quest to ensure those words ring true for every single American."

At Oregon State, even as we celebrate Friday's decision, we must never forget that there are many communities for whom equality is elusive, and achieving justice for all will still be a process - or as President Obama called it "a project for each generation."

I expect that this process to ensure equality will engage each of us every day here at OSU. And moving forward, whether at Oregon State University, throughout Oregon or across this great nation, we all must re-commit to the foundational principle upon which this country was created that equality is an inarguable right for everyone that we must all support.

Edward J. Ray, President, 600 Kerr Administration Building, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2128 (541-737-4133)"

(Quoted from email memo received from Edward J. Ray, President, Oregon State University that he sent to the OSU community after the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling Jun. 2015)

For people outside of academia, this memo may seem too "politically correct," but for its intended audience, at this time and place, it is perfect and reflects Ray's integrity, in addition to his political skills (and I do mean this as a compliment).

OSU students react to SCOTUS gay marriage decision and the invention of 'religious liberty' by opponents

I live in the rural, conservative part of Oregon, in a small college town dominated by the 30,000 students at Oregon State University, and so it has been fascinating witnessing the reactions to the Supreme Court's favorable decision for gay marriages, including the invention of "religious liberty" by the opponents of gay marriage who are now claiming to be victims of being deprived of their First Amendment right to free speech and also Tenth Amendment State Rights by vindictive gay activists who are seeking revenge against religious people -- I guess it takes bully to accuse gay people of being a bully who will hit the religious back for having passed Constitutional Amendments against gay marriage based on the Bible. I learned decades ago that bullies, if hit back, will always run crying to the teacher demanding punishment for the person who had defended themselves from the bully. (See previous post Gay marriage decision by SCOTUS resolves 1972 Baker v Nelson case (6/27/15))

The professional newspaper (circulation approximately 10,000) serving my small college town reprinted an editorial from a Constitutional lawyer's syndicated column by Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, "It's the end of two eras for the court," Gazette-Times, Jul. 2, 2015, p. A7:

"The gay-marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, marks the culmination of a 25-year period of gay-rights decisions that coincided with an era of gay-rights advocacy, starting with the 1969 riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York. . .

A look back at this era should start with the gay-rights cases, which will certainly enter the history books. One early sign of their importance can be seen in the half-dozen books about the litigation and the lawyers who pursued it that were published in the last year. Supreme Court cases can be fascinating, and books that go into detail about a case or a line of litigation are often worth reading. Anthony Lewis's "Gideon's Trumpet" gave birth to the genre -- it's one of the main reasons I became a constitutional lawyer. But it's highly unusual for so many books to come out in such a short time about the same line of cases. The reason is simply that when there's been a historical accomplishment, we want to read a first draft to understand how to allocate credit. (See Note 1) . . .

Note 1: For the record, although there's plenty of credit to go around, Evan Wolfson argued the first gay-marriage case in Hawaii in 1993. When I was a summer associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1996, I was given the chance to do a small amount of pro bono work for Wolfson's organization -- and it was obvious that he was at the cutting edge of something that would be a long time coming."

(Quoted from Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, "It's the end of two eras for the court," Gazette-Times, Jul. 2, 2015, p. A7)

I first noticed that Noah Feldman ignored the "Baker v Nelson" gay marriage case by referring to 25 years (1990-2015) of cases, and then abruptly adding the Stonewall comment. I agree there have been many books published seeking credit for gay marriage, but I bet Noah Feldman is unaware of the soon to be published book on gay marriage by Michael McConnell with Jack Baker, As told to Gail Langer Karwoski, "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World, America's First Gay Marriage," University of Minnesota Press, Jan. 2016.

The non-professional Oregon State University student newspaper ran several reactions by students to the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage:

" With decades of ruthless protests and hearings, a historical nationwide ruling to legalize same-sex marriage was made by the United States Supreme Court on Friday, June 26. "The future me that will get married someday has been waiting for this since she was a little girl, even though she didn't know it," said Lauren Pittis, a senior in botany and sustainability. . . Shelby Wanser, a senior in animal science who is also involved with the Pride Center, was filled with joy hearing the news. "I woke up to my friends telling me the news on my first morning that we were in San Francisco for Pride. . ."

(Quoted from Anna Le, "OSU students react to same-sex marriage legalization with pride," OSU Barometer, July 1, 2015, p. 1-2)

A student editorial writer, in reaction to the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, comes out as "pansexual" and not interested in gender as his selection criteria for somebody to love:

" Spending most of my childhood in Mexico, I was taught that being "gay" was a bad thing. I even remember being a little frightened to the idea of getting near a gay person or having any kind of physical contact. . . .

It was then when I was a teenager, I realized I was pansexual. To feel an attraction to someone because of the way they talk, smell or just look at me is, in a way, extremely liberating. "

(Quoted from Arturo W. R. Segesman, "Acceptance, equality are liberating, necessary," OSU Barometer, Jul. 1, 2015, p. 7)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

OSU Dr. Sex quits her column reported in local newspaper

OSU Dr. Sex front page G-T Jun. 30, 2015, p. A1

PHOTO: the front page of my small college town's local newspaper featured the front-page story by James Day, "20 years as Doctor Sex: OSU's Kathy Greaves gives up column, but will remain unspoken," Gazette-Times, Jun. 30, 2015, p. A1. (Education: Bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii (1992), master's (1995) and doctorate (2000) from OSU) Ironically, the G-T newspaper was deluged by angry readers for simply reporting on "gay marriage" a few decades ago, and today the editor still feels obligated to warn readers with a note that said, "This story contains adult language and sexual content that could offend some readers." See previous posts Street preachers raise free speech issue at OSU, Dr. Sex resigns and Bruce Jenner (6/3/15) and Artist of OSU Benny Beaver engineer mascot decal used it for other schools (6/6/15) to see a photo of tge classic Benny Beaver vs. the angry Beaver that Dr. Sex mentioned in the newspaper interview.

"Dr. Sex. Greaves, age 52, just finished her 20th year teaching human sexuality at Oregon State University. Greaves has pulled back from the Daily Barometer column that gave her the Dr. Sex nickname ... but she's not pulling back from being outspoken in class ... and during interviews. . .

Greaves said, "I got a celebratory tattoo for my 20th year." She then shows off the buck-toothed Benny Beaver on her left calf. "I went with classic Benny, not the rabid nutria," Greaves said of the updated OSU athletic logo. "That thing doesn't even look like a beaver." . . .

I get recognized all the time in airport. My guess is that it is all former students. Everywhere I go in Corvallis somebody recognizes me. I've had 40,000 students pass through my classes." . . .

. . .the two highest topics of interest for students are women's orgasms and anal sex. . ." (Quoted from James Day, "20 years as Doctor Sex: OSU's Kathy Greaves gives up column, but will remain unspoken," Gazette-Times, Jun. 30, 2015, p. A1)

I've speculated before about why she is quitting her column, other than her stated reason that she doesn't like the criticism of her work, and I still believe that a big reason has to do with the fact that being popular with the masses doesn't get one ahead in academia, where the "publish or perish" ethic prevails. OSU has always been fortunate to have dedicated instructors like Greaves who make students feel like they have learned something, compared to the more theoretical research oriented faculty who don't want to waste their time teaching students because they know it won't get them the fame, glory or a promotion to a better university position.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Gay marriage decision by SCOTUS resolves 1972 Baker v Nelson case

book by Michael McConnell with Jack Baker The Wedding Heard 'Round the World, America's First Gay Marriage,' University of Minnesota Press, Jan. 2016

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) publisher's flyer for the new book on the history of gay marriage by Michael McConnell with Jack Baker, As told to Gail Langer Karwoski, "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World, America's First Gay Marriage," University of Minnesota Press, Jan. 2016. See previous posts:

The U.S. Supreme Court of the United States gay marriage case "Obergefell v. Hodges" October Term 2014 decided Jun. 26, 2015 as posted at supremecourt.gov (PDF 429 KB 103 pages) was made on the same day of June that two other key gay rights decisions were made, Lawrence v. Texas and United States v. Windsor. (See post by Paul Smith, "Symposium: A fair and proper application of the Fourteenth Amendment," scotusblog.com posted Jun. 27, 2015)

"The five-to-four decision was based firmly on the Constitution, and thus could be undone only by a formal amendment to the basic document, or a change of mind by a future Supreme Court. Neither is predictable. Explicitly refusing to hold off deciding the issue to see how other parts of society may deal with the rising demand for gay acceptance and legitimacy, the Court declared that two clauses in the Fourteenth Amendment mean that a "fundamental right to marry" can no longer be denied because the partners are of the same sex. It did not create a new right, but opened a long-existing one to those partners." (Quoted from Lyle Denniston, "Opinion analysis: Marriage now open to same-sex couples: Analysis," scotusblog.com posted Jun. 26, 2015)

Arthur S. Leonard, a professor at New York Law School since 1982, explained how the 1972 Baker v. Nelson case was resolved by this SCOTUS decision:

. . . By fitting coincidence, the opinion was issued on the second anniversary of Windsor and the twelfth anniversary of Lawrence. . .

. . . the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, which reversed the trial courts in an opinion by Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton. Sutton held that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in 1972 that a challenge to the Minnesota ban on same-sex marriage did not present a "substantial federal question" remained binding as precedent on lower federal courts, but went on to reject the plaintiffs' constitutional arguments, opining that the question whether same-sex couples could marry or have their marriages recognized was one to be resolved through the democratic process, not through litigation. In granting the plaintiffs' petition to review that ruling, the Court ordered argument on two questions: whether same-sex couples have a right to marry, and whether states are obligated to recognize same-sex marriages. A majority of the Court has now answered both of those questions in the affirmative.

(Quoted from Art Leonard, "Supreme Court Issues Historic Marriage Equality Ruling," artleonardobservations.com posted Jun. 26, 2015)

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Also see the following links of interest:

Monday, June 22, 2015

OSU 'Beaver Queen' student graduation story read by parents in student newspaper

Lucille S. Balls graduates in OSU Barometer, Sat. Jun. 13, 2015, p. 6

PHOTO: The graduation of the Oregon State University student Luke Kawasaki, winner of the campus "Beaver Queen" drag competition, is featured in a special gradation day edition of the OSU student newspaper that is read by tens of thousands of parents, relatives and friends: See story by Arturo W. R. Segesman, "Lucille S. Balls says goodbye to OSU," OSU Barometer, Sat. Jun. 13, 2015, p. 6 and Heather Turner, "Beaming with pride: Luke Kawasaki takes center stage in OSU LGBTQ community, Commencement 2015," synergies.oregonstate.edu posted Jun. 11, 2015.

I recall seeing a drag act for the first time nearly half a century ago and I must admit that I didn't get it and I had no desire to do it -- in fact, gay liberationists at the time were viciously rejecting drag queens because they supported the stereotype that all gay men are effeminate, swishing, girly men who really want to be women, which was a stereotype that early gay rights activists found hard to break. Luke and other younger activists have proven that society has been able to get beyond these stereotypes and still remain sensitive to the offensives parts of drag:

After putting on makeup, a wig, a dress and a pair of striking high heels, Luke Kawasaki becomes Lucille S. Balls, winner of the Beaver Queen Pageant 2012.

Kawasaki, a senior majoring in human development and family science with a minor in queer studies, is a student staff member at the Pride Center, a member of the rainbow continuum and has hosted the drag show at Oregon State University for the past three years. . . .

Kawasaki grew up in Klamath Falls, a city in South Central Oregon. While growing up, the only times he could do drag was on Halloween, but now he has the courage to be himself and do drag comfortably whenever he likes. . .

(Quoted from Arturo W. R. Segesman, "Lucille S. Balls says goodbye to OSU," OSU Barometer, Sat. Jun. 13, 2015, p. 6)

-- Plus see the following articles and links:

Luke was also featured in another OSU publication read by parents and the public:

Growing up in what he calls a conservative community of Klamath Falls, Ore., College of Public Health and Human Sciences senior Luke Kawasaki says life wasn't easy after coming out to friends and family as a teen in middle school. . . .

Years later, when he packed his bags and moved into the INTO OSU building right across the street from the OSU Pride Center, he was filled with relief.

He landed a job at the Pride Center as an office assistant, where he worked to create a warm, welcoming and safe environment for the Oregon State LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community. He was promoted to the leadership team as the external coordinator and later as the leadership liaison, where he engages OSU's campus on the intersectional issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and ability.

"My time as leadership liaison has really helped me look at the work I do as being part of a larger anti-racist, anti-heterosexist, anti-misogynistic and anti-transphobic movement," he says. "Looking at social work as being a part of this movement gives me hope that tangible changes can be made in the lives of queer people of color, and that I will be able to contribute to the amazing work that is being done already."

Majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences, Luke is minoring - in the first graduating class - in Queer Studies. . .

"Sitting in Milam Auditorium listening to Kathy Greaves openly discuss topics of sexuality and sex really shook me," he says. "I was excited that there are professors who are willing to engage in a topic so visceral and taboo as sex and sexuality. It was then that I realized this major was really right for me." . .

Being versatile and dynamic perfectly describe Luke - also known on stage as OSU's local drag queen, Lucielle. Luke takes on the persona of Lucielle with more than a desire to express himself through dress that suits him best - he uses the stage as a platform to reject gender norms and make powerful political statements. . .

"Drag is more than just getting on stage in high heels and a gorgeous dress with makeup on my face," he says. "I use drag to tell the world that gender queer and trans bodies are not something to be feared or ignored. There is so much violence that is enacted onto trans bodies, and being able to resist that violence and bring that conversation to Oregon State University is why drag is so important to me."

In addition to winning the drag competition at OSU in 2012 and hosting the shows since being crowned, he was also a star in OSU's Dancing with the Stars in 2013 and hosted the Red Dress Fashion Show in collaboration with Student Health Services for World AIDS Day in 2014. . .

(Quoted from Heather Turner, "Beaming with pride: Luke Kawasaki takes center stage in OSU LGBTQ community, Commencement 2015," synergies.oregonstate.edu posted Jun. 11, 2015)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

First gay marriage error in PBS documentary TV Guide listing

Gay marriage error in TV Guide June 15, 2015, p. 57-58

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) A documentary film by Thomas G. Miller, "Limited Partnership" PBS TV "Independent Lens" (rerun Jun. 15, 2015, 11 PM to 12 midnight KOAC-TV Channel 7 Corvallis, Oregon Comcast Cable channel 710) featured the Boulder, Colorado marriage license obtained by Richard Adams (lived 1947-2012) and Tony Sullivan in 1975, who were erroneously credited as being the "first same-sex couple to be legally wed in the U.S" (left) by the TV Guide magazine June. 15, 2015, p. 57 print edition, but on the next page (right) of the June 8-21, 2015, p. 58P Pacific time zone print edition, the text description correctly says, "one of the first same-sex couples to marry," which is also the same text description used for Comcast cable TV boxes and other TV sets that use the TV Guide description service. In fact, the first legal gay marriage was in 1970 by Jack Baker and Michael McConnell -- see previous posts:

Thomas G. Miller's documentary, "Limited Partnership," PBS TV "Independent Lens," completely ignores the earlier U.S. Supreme Court case on gay marriage brought by Jack Baker and it instead focuses on the later immigration case brought by Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan, who was an illegal Australian immigrant. A County clerk receipt for the filing of their marriage certificate is shown in the documentary with a date of Apr. 21, 1975. A newspaper story is also shown reporting that the Colorado Attorney General, on April 25, 1975, had declared their marriage illegal, even though Colorado law did not specify the gender of marriage partners, similar to what Baker had earlier found with Minnesota laws that he challenged in his U.S. Supreme Court case. Of course, just like Baker's marriage, Sullivan's legally performed marriage was never ordered annulled by any court of law. The film shows some interesting clips of the comedian Johnny Carson making a joke about gay marriages.

Apple Apps written in Objective-C can now use 'Swift' language

U.S. Patent Number 5,883,639 'Visual Software Engineering system and method for developing visual prototypes and for connecting user code to them' Date of Patent: Mar. 16, 1999 PHOTO: The software methods used by Apple Computer to write iPhone apps was first developed in Objective-C, which is at the center of a U.S. software patent, which I am named as an inventor on at Hewlett-Packard: U.S. Patent Number 5,883,639 "Visual Software Engineering system and method for developing visual prototypes and for connecting user code to them" Date of Patent: Mar. 16, 1999. See previous posts U.S. Patent number 5,883,639 dated Mar. 16, 1999 (9/24/2011), Steve Jobs never acknowledged standing on the shoulders of giants (10/28/11)and HP 110, Apple, Steve Sakoman book (12/18/08) book by Steve Hamm, "The Race for Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer," Amazon.com accessed Nov. 18, 2008.

For years, Apple computer has been using the Objective-C language to write apps for the iPhone, but they are now migrating to the use of new, backward compatible, language, "Swift," as reported by Joshua Brustein, "A Swift Takeoff. Developers and academics are embracing Apple's new programming language," Bloomberg Businessweek, Jun.8-14, 2015, p. 39-40 posted as "Apple's Biggest Breakthrough That Almost No One Knows About. Swift, the new computer language introduced by Apple a year ago, has already won over legions of coders" bloomberg.com posted June 4, 2015

In addition to the above article, the business and strategic importance of software, including Swift and Objective-C, was featured in the next week's special print issue by Paul Ford, "The Code Issue, " Businessweek, Jun. 15-28, 2015, p. 1-112, cover whose press release boasts it is "on Demystifying Code" for managers. .

The "Introducing Swift," overview page at developer.apple.com accessed Jun. 8, 2015 says, "Swift is an innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project -- or for addition into your current app -- because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C." -- also see "Swift (programming language)," From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Jun. 8, 2015 and "Objective-C" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Jun. 8, 2015.

Objective-C was used extensively in many Hewlett-Packard instruments before the company split up into Agilent Technologies, which later spun off Keysight Technologies: See Martin L. Griss, "Software reuse at Hewlett-Packard," Hewlett-Packard Labs, March, 1991 (PDF) and Tom Love, "Object Lessons: Lessons Learned in Object-Oriented Development Projects," Cambridge University Press, Dec 13, 1997, p. 93. (Note: Hewlett-Packard Journal was published in 50 volumes, from 1949 until 1998 and HP Journal - online issues at HP Labs can be downloaded for the 1992 Issues referenced, specifically: HP Journal, Oct. 1992 (PDF).