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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pride March in small town across river from OSU

Pride story front page Midvalley Sunday G-Tp. A1

PHOTO: Front page newspaper story by Neil Zawicki, "Message: 'We are all equal' Pride March in downtown Albany attracts a crowd," Mid-Valley Sunday Gazette-Times Democrat-Herald, p. A1,A6 posted online Jul. 22, 2017 as "Albany's first Pride March attracts robust crowd" reports on the Pride March in the small town of Albany, Oregon that is across the river from Corvallis and Oregon State University. Historically, Albany has been a very conservative rural town with many blue collar citizens employed in logging and lumber mills, which is in contrast to Corvallis's population of college students and professors who are more analytically minded, although not as liberal as a typical college town. Also see video by Jessica Habjan, "Video: Pride In Albany," gazettetimes.com posted Jul 22, 2017.

One speaker at the march noted how far Linn County (where Albany, Oregon is located) has come from the days when an ordinance was passed that took away the rights of homosexuals. (The specific ordinance is not mentioned in the newspaper, but I guess the speaker may be talking about the anti-gay measures successfully passed by Oregon anti-gay groups, which have not been repealed and are still on the books, such as Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages that has been overruled by the U.S. Supremer Court decision.)

"There were 550 confirmed marchers Saturday at Albany's first Pride March, an organized demonstration meant as a show of support and unity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. . .

Keith Kolkow organized the Albany event . . which began in front of the Albany City Hall. . . .

Notable in the crowd were at least a dozen representatives from the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis. Congregation member Ann Hawkins said Christianity and LGBT rights are one in the same. . .

The march comes on the heels of a contentious July 12 city council meeting . . .

"I think the council meeting last week went a long way to energize people," said march co-organizer Jerred Taylor. . .

The march kicked off, moving north up Broadalbin Street, with drums and rattling cow bells and marchers chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia's got to go!"

As the procession made its way west along First Avenue, the marchers stretched for two blocks, with the marchers shouting "Black, white, gay, straight -- love does not discriminate!" . . .

One person shouted from his car, "Damn faggots! Marching for what!?" but an Albany Police officer emerged from his patrol vehicle to encourage the heckler to move along, which he did. . .

Albany City Councilor Ray Kopczynski also marched. . ." (Quoted from Neil Zawicki, "Message: 'We are all equal' Pride March in downtown Albany attracts a crowd," Mid-Valley Sunday Gazette-Times Democrat-Herald, p. A1,A6 posted online Jul. 22, 2017 as "Albany's first Pride March attracts robust crowd")

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wayne Dynes declares 'queer' word obsolete plus Dan Savage on 'straight' truth

OSU Queer Resource Center headline 'QRC passes unanimously,' OSU Barometer, Mar. 15, 2001, p. 1

PHOTO: At Oregon State University, queer activism peaked with the creation of the "OSU Queer Resource Center" or QRC as reported in a front page student newspaper story "QRC passes unanimously," OSU Barometer, Mar. 15, 2001, p. 1. The QRC would later become the present-day OSU Pride Center for LGBTQQII+ students. During the 1990's self-described "queer activists" took back the word "queer" from its former use as a pejorative term for homosexuals by proudly identifying themselves as being "queer," instead of using the word "gay," as had become the popular fashion after the Stonewall riot in 1969. The identity of "queer" was promoted as being inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities, similar to how the "gay" identity was embraced by both gay men and gay women after Stonewall, until misogynistic behavior by gay male activists caused many women to adopt their historical lesbian identity. A prior generation of homosexual activists, including the former OSU Professor W. Dorr Legg, had a similar goal of inclusivity when they had adopted the identity of "homophile" during the 1950's and 1960's. Prof. Legg saw "homophile" also as a more correct English construction because it did not mix Greek and Latin, plus it communicated that "sex" was not as central to their identity, as mainstream society thought it was. The student newspaper story, shown above, said Christian Matheis voted as part of the ASOSU student fee committee to fund the OSU Queer Resource Center. Matheis was an early leader of the QRC. (See previous posts OSU Queer Resource Center documentary video review (10/20/10) and OSU QRC advocate Christian Matheis says farewell in 5,000 words (6/3/11))

I recalled the noble goals of queer activists in the 1990's and how it touched Oregon State University after reading the blog post essay by Professor Emeritus Wayne Dynes, "Vagaries of the word queer," dyneslines.blogspot.com posted Jul. 16, 2017, who essentially declares the "queer" word to be obsolete and says, ". . . Queer Theory is collapsing, together with its postmodern cousins in the academy. No one that I know of speaks of queer rights or queer marriage. So the q word has not, despite the aspirations of some observers, become the overall label of choice. That function has been assumed by LGBT - not in my view the ideal solution, but it has in fact become the answer." However, after some analysis he notes, ". . . there is still a use for the queer label. In the current assimilationist climate there is a danger that our heritage (if I may use the term) of outlaw/outsider affirmation will be swept away. . . the word queer should still be employed for this, dare I say, heroic affirmation of the outsider tradition. But the q word is contraindicated as a generic term, and those of us who object to its hegemonic deployment are justified: it does not apply to us." Prof. Dynes was a participant of the homophile movement as well as a witness to the Stonewall era. (See his biography "Wayne R. Dynes" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Ju. 17, 2017)

In my personal opinion, I see nothing wrong with the evolving fashions for how those with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity choose to identify themselves. In fact this is why I specified it in this generic way for my research endowment with the OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity. I fully expect it will change again in the future as new generations learn and adapt to new information and fashions.

For example, after decades of studying sex and gender roles, it was only recently that I noticed how the space of sexual orientation and gender identity can be theorectically modeled with either discrete and or continuous variables in a three-dimensional space.

What made me think of this concept was the answer written by a popular Seattle sex advice columnist and gay man, Dan Savage, "Savage Love: Savage Love Letter of the Day: 100% Straight Guys Who Also Love Sucking Dick," thestranger.com posted Jul. 11, 2017. In an answer to a reader's question, Savage notes, "self-identification isn't always congruent with behavior and behavior isn't always congruent with desire and blah blah blah. Think prisons, pirate ships, and boardings schools --think situational homosexuality. . . A few more wrenches to throw in the werks: There are straight guys who don't have dicks, DICKS. A straight guy with a dick could find himself in a relationship with a guy with a vagina. (Guy with dick marries woman with vagina, woman transitions to male, couple remains married. Voila: a 100 percent straight guy is having sex on the regular with another dude.)"

I had also thought of the double standards Savage mentioned in his previous post, but the new thing that I specifically thought of while reading Savage's current answer is that there is an axis of gender or biological sex, which can described with the discrete categories, such as male, female, intersex, or described with continuous variables (e.g. 25 percent male, 75% female.) Also, there is another axis of sexual identity or sexual orientation, which can be described with the discrete categories of heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, or with a continuous variable. Finally, there is a third axis of sexual behavior, which Savage points out can be incongruent with your identity without requiring the excuse of being in a situation where you feel it is your only option. For example, sexual behavior can be described with the discrete categories of heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, which may or may not be the same as your sexual orientation or identity.

Any college freshman student taking a combinatorial mathematics class can easily calculate the number of possibilties for any given model. The simplest case is the one most people think of, which is you are either straight or gay, and either male or female, while your sexual behavior matches your sexual orientation. In this simple model, all humans could be categorized as one of four possibilities -- a person could be straight and either male or female. Or a person could be gay and either male or female.

If you expand this simple model to include the axis of either homosexual behavior or heterosexual behavior, then the number of catgegories increases by a factor of 2 to be equal to 8 total possibilities. One example would be a heterosexual male who identifies as being a heterosexual, but has sex with his male friends like the person mentioned in Savage's column. As you add in all of the other possibilities, the number of combinations literally expands exponentially, and if you include continuous variables, such as being a percentage part male and part female, then there are an infinite number of possibilities.

Like I said, I have no problem with each person choosing their own identity, and I fully expect the fashions will change over time for how people identify themselves. However, I hope to live long enough to see if and how these changes in identity fashion will take place over the next few decades. I am curious too, what will be the impetus for these changes?

Finally, a side note to Prof. Wayne Dynes of a still current current usage of the word "queer" by by the "OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) that document LGBTQ+ histories at Oregon State, Corvallis, and Benton County", including the OSU Queer Archives Oral History Collection (OH 34). (See previous post OSU Queer Archives collaborates with German Professor Bradley Boovy (7/7/17)). In my opinion, even though I would not have used the word "queer for this archive, it does cover the breadth of Archive well and I can't imagine it causing confusion in the future, even though it could become quaint as the term "homophile" in the future.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

OSU alumna Tim Weber talks on HP 3-D printers

Tim Weber HP 3-D printer talk GT 7/15/17 p. A1

PHOTO: OSU alumna Tim Weber of HP Inc. in Corvallis, Oregon talks about HP 3-D printers, in his keynote address at a local technology festival for da Vinci Days, as shown in the local newspaper article by Jim Day, "The 3D printing revolution underway: HP expert discusses technology in Whiteside talk," Gazette-Times, Jul. 15, 2017, p. A1-A2 posted online Jul. 14, 2017 as "The 3D printing revolution: Tim Weber discusses technology in Whiteside talk". For more information see the trade publication article by Lucas Mearian, Senior Reporter, Computerworld, "manufacturing: HP said it has 30 reseller partners in North American and Europe," computerworld.com posted May 8, 2017 that says, "After announcing its first revenue from sales, HP Inc. today said it is now focused on scaling up its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing business that it believes will rival standard manufacturing technologies, such as injection molding. . . . HP claims its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers will enable mass production of parts through additive manufacturing (3D printing), instead of rapid prototyping, for which the technology is typically used. The new printers are unlikely to be used to produce millions or billions of production parts. Think, instead, in terms of hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of parts, HP said. The printer works by first depositing powder (about 100 microns thick, or the thickness of a standard sheet of paper) onto a print bed using a print bar that looks like a scanning bar on a typical 2D printer. The print bar has 30,000 nozzles spraying 350 million fusing agent droplets per second in specific patterns as it moves back and forth across a print platform." Also see, official HP site, "Introducing the HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solution - New 3D printing technology for a new era in manufacturing," hp.com accessed Jul. 17, 2017 linked to from top Google search for "HP 3-D printer open platfrom standards".

Local boy made good Timothy Weber gave Corvallis a taste of the future Friday night with a 40-minute talk on 3D printing to kick off the summer da Vinci Days program.

Weber, a Corvallis native who received his doctorate in engineering from Oregon State University, called himself "head nerd" of HP Inc.'s 3D printing team. . .

Weber emphasized that HP "is not a materials company," and that it is working with high-wattage international partners such as BMW, Nike, BASF and Siemens on an open-platform basis that all but assuredly will accelerate the pace of innovation -- and change.

About two-thirds of the way into the lecture Weber lost this reporter, when he launched into a discussion of HP's multijet fusion technology. It didn't get any better when he moved on to fabrication of functional polymer nanocomposites.

Then he reeled it back in when he started talking about the things 3D printers will be able to do with color, elasticity and texture. His example was an automobile tire whose tread would be color-coordinated. When you see red peeking through the tires, you know it's time to head to the tire store. No more pulling quarters out of your pocket to measure tread depth! . .

(Quoted from Jim Day, "The 3D printing revolution underway: HP expert discusses technology in Whiteside talk," Gazette-Times, Jul. 15, 2017, p. A1-A2 posted online Jul. 14, 2017 as "The 3D printing revolution: Tim Weber discusses technology in Whiteside talk")

Tim Weber, after graduating with his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University, joined my group at HP in the 1990's where I shared with him my knowledge of the HP Way that I had learned from experience over the prior two decades. Everyone who dealt with Weber saw him as being very smart and capable. It has been heartening to hear of his progress in the 3-D printer product arena. An interesting coincident is that the HP Corvallis Site was first envisioned and ordered built in the 1970's by a 1954 graduate of OSU John Young, to house the rapidly growing HP handheld programmable calculator business, which soon built HP's first portable personal computers. The first Corvallis HP building was occupied shortly before John Young became the first non-founder of HP to be named the President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard (the original HP was recently split into four companies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., Agilent Technologies, and Keysight Technologies.)

As a natural outrowth of the portable calculator and computer businesses, in the 1970's HP invented the first battery operable inkjet printers, which grew rapidly in sales after personal computers became common and the demand for printing rose exponentially. See previous post History of HP inkjet printers in American Heritage Invention & Technology (2/19/12) to read the original article text for my magazine article. My personal copy, a scanned PDF that is intended only for fair use under the copyright law is at this link: Thomas Kraemer, "Printing Enters the Jet Age, How today's computer printers came to eject microscopic dots with amazing precision," American Heritage Invention & Technology, Spring 2001, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 18-27 (PDF)

In my previous post Year 2016 in review - 11 years of blogging - Am I too blind to blog? *12/24/16) I also quote from related newspaper articles of interest by Staff, "Future of 3-D printing is topic of forum," Gazette-Times, Nov. 1, 2016, p. A2 and a follow-up article by Anthony Rimel, "HP Plans 3-D printers for manufacturing," Gazette-Times, Nov. 3, 2016, p. A2, online as, "HP exec says company's 3-D printers will lead to new industrial revolution," posted Nov. 3, 2016 that mentions Tim Weber, global head of 3-D materials and advanced applications for HP Inc. talking about. Clearly, he has adopted the HP founder's strategy that avoided dependence on the retail market, like inkjet printers ended up in, by focusing on 3-D printers and materials for manufacturers.

Also, my previous post HP 3-D printers praised by Jim Cramer CNBC Wall Street reporter (7/24/16) links to my letter to the editor (Thomas Kraemer, "High hopes for HP," Corvallis Gazette times Mid-Valley Sunday edition, July. 24, 2016, p. A10) and it preceded two related newspaper articles of interest by Staff, "Future of 3-D printing is topic of forum," Gazette-Times, Nov. 1, 2016, p. A2 and a follow-up article by Anthony Rimel, "HP Plans 3-D printers for manufacturing," Gazette-Times, Nov. 3, 2016, p. A2, online as, "HP exec says company's 3-D printers will lead to new industrial revolution," posted Nov. 3, 2016 that mentions Tim Weber, global head of 3-D materials and advanced applications for HP Inc. talking about. Clearly, he has adopted the HP founder's strategy that avoided dependence on the retail market, like inkjet printers ended up in, by focusing on 3-D printers and materials for manufacturers. Tim's PhD in Mechanical Engineering makes this a perfect cap to his career.

headline 'H-P executive predicts 700 new jobs' Gazette-Times Aug. 8, 1974, p. 2

PHOTO: Given that the first non-founder CEO of Hewlett-Packard, John Young, graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in electrical engineering in 1954, and given his strategy was to locate HP divisions near universities to help recruit engineering talent, it made sense to move the Hewlett-Packard calculator factory and research lab to Corvallis, Oregon in 1975, which was first reported in the local Corvallis newspaper story by John Atkins, "H-P executive predicts 700 new jobs," Gazette-Times Aug. 8, 1974, p. 2. (See previous posts HP breakup making Bill and Dave spin in their graves (8/11/15) , Don't Cali-fornicate Oregon and HP annexation history (6/14/12) and HP and Corvallis newspaper history (3/11/09) about the move of the Hewlett-Packard calculator division to Corvallis in 1975)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Homophile magazines in 1960's 'Perversion for Profit' film about U.S. Supreme Court obscenity rulings

Homophile magazine ONE May 1961 cover headline 'Homosexual Viewpoint'

PHOTO: The former OSU Professor W. Dorr Legg's homophile magazine ONE May 1961 cover headline 'Homosexual Viewpoint' as shown in the 1960's movie "Perversion For Profit"(1965), tcm.com watched on Turner Classic Movie cable channel Jul. 9. 2017 2:30-3:00am PT

homophile magazine 'Mattchine Review' April 1961 cover shown next to homosexual porno magazines 'Physique Spectacular' and 'Man Alive' showing men posing provocatively'

PHOTO: The homophile magazine 'Mattachine Review' April 1961 cover is shown next to homosexual "pornography" magazines 'Physique Spectacular' and 'Man Alive' with men posing provocatively' on the cover are also shown in the movie "Perversion For Profit"(1965), tcm.com watched on Turner Classic Movie cable channel Jul. 9. 2017 2:30-3:00am PT

VIDEO: The homophile publications hhat are shown above in this post were featured in this 1960's film, made by Charles Keating and Citizens for Decent Literature, Inc. For background information, see "Perversion for Profit," wikipedia.org accessed Jul. 11, 2017. This so-called "homosexual pornography" is shown in the film as examples of obscenity that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled is not protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution. While the Supreme Court has ruled that obscenity is not protected free speech, in fact, the former OSU Professor W. Dorr Legg's homophile journal "ONE" had had its free speech rights of publication upheld in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling shortly before this film was made. The film epitomizes the common anti-gay prejudices of the 1960's, for example, by conflating the ideas that homosexuals preyed on young men, turning them gay, and that homosexuals are part of a Communist plot to take over America. From: "Perversion for Profit_ Citizens for Decent Literature Film (1965)," youtube.com (30:57) posted Aug 16, 2012)

I finally got to watch the "Perversion for Profit" movie as shown on the "Turner Classic Movies" cable TV channel a few days ago. I knew that it had been created by an anti-pornography crusader who later became the head of President Richard Nixon's "Commission on Pornography." However, I had not heard about how much it focused on "homosexual obscenity" as the still frames shown above indicate. (See "Perversion For Profit"(1965), tcm.com and "Perversion for Profit," wikipedia.org accessed Ju. 11, 2017)

The producer of the film Charles Keating (December 4, 1923 - March 31, 2014) from the late 1950s through the 1970s, was a noted anti-pornography activist, founding the organization Citizens for Decent Literature and serving as a member on the 1969 U.S. President Richard Nixon's President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. He also stole billions of dollars from taxpayers by exploiting the loosened regulations on Savings and Loans in the 1980's that was championed by Republicans and President Ronald Reagan. (See Charles Keating From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The film's narrator, George Putnam (July 14, 1914 - September 12, 2008) was a famous L.A. TV news anchor. Putnam was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota. His radio career began on his 20th birthday in 1934 at WDGY in Minneapolis. (See George Putnam (newsman) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

I have not been able to determine what religious organizations were behind this. The Catholic Church was publically anti-pornography and anti-gay like many other churches back then. I am sure the film was made in reaction to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings on obscenity that were being issued during this era.

ONE Magazine Aug. 1953 'Homosexual marriage?' cover headline PHOTO: ONE Magazine was ahead of its time when it mentioned the idea of "homosexual marriage" in 1953 long before "gay marriage" or same-sex marriage became a cause of some gay liberationists. Former Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg was one of the major contributors to the ONE homophile magazine and he was a conservative who probably saw gay marriage as being a conservative value. (See my previous post W. Dorr Legg OSU archives records 1935-1942 (7/21/10) and James T. Sears, PhD, "1953: When ONE Magazine, Headlined 'Homosexual Marriage,'" GayToday.com posted Aug. 11, 2003).

1942 Letter signed by Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg stored in the personnel files stored in the OSU archives, Corvallis, Oregon

PHOTO: Letter signed by Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg from the original paper in OSU personnel files that are now stored on microfiche in the OSU Archives, Corvallis, Oregon. The letter, dated 1942, was requesting a sabbatical leave to allow Dorr to spread his "Christian Science" religious beliefs to soldiers at Camp Adair north of Corvallis, Oregon during World War II. Legg was a cofounder of the 1950s homophile political movement for homosexuals and the present-day Loc Cabin Republicans. See my previous posts:

Friday, July 7, 2017

OSU Queer Archives collaborates with German Professor Bradley Boovy

OSU German Professor Bradley Boovy helps archivist for OSU Queer Archives create oral history videos

PHOTO: Still frame of Oregon State University Dr. Bradley Boovy, Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as accessed Jul. 3, 2017 from the video player provided for the OSU Queer Archives Oral History VIDEO: Item 11: Bradley Boovy, June 6, 2017. (Video is part of the "OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) home page - Archival collections and materials in the university's archives that document LGBTQ+ histories at Oregon State, Corvallis, and Benton County" including the OSU Queer Archives Oral History Collection (OH 34), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon. OSU Queer Archives (OSQA): ORAL HISTORIES & Videos. (Note: the provided video player does not seem to be accessible to Microsoft Internet Explorer browser users like me who are low vision blind and using some standard accessibility settings because the player controls, such as the play button, are not visible, as seen in the still frame above. I was still able to play this video, but only because I could guess at where to hit the button to play or pause the video.)

I am not trained in the library sciences, but I found it interesting to read the journal paper by Natalia Fernández, Bradley Boovy, "Co-Founding a Queer Archives: a collaboration between an archivist and a professor," "Archival Practice," Vol 3 (2016) (also HTML and PDF) This journal describes itself as "A peer-reviewed, open-access journal published biannually, Archival Practice provides a scholarly forum for discussion of real-world application of archival theories and practices in the modern archival repository. This may include archival acquisitions, processing, reference, outreach, preservation, or management in any archival setting."

A new phrase to me that was used in their paper was "intersectional community activism" as one of its core missions. This is clearly a cutting gedge concept because a Google define:"intersectional community activism" links first to the OSU Queer Archives, but a less restrictive search suggests it is "is intentional in exploring social concerns through multiple dimensions of identity" and links to a page discussing "Intersectional Community Organizing for Social Justice" as well as the book "Enacting Intersectionality in Student Affairs: New Directions" by Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe. This might be a good topic for a future post, if I learn more about it.

Links related to the OSU Queer Archives:

On Jun. 11, 2017, I emailed the second part of my oral interview answers to the OSU Queer Archives, which after it is posted in the Archives I plan to post a link to it from my blog page. Unfortunately, I was unable to do a video interview due to my low vision blindness and partial paralysis -- just visiting a doctor is hard for me to do today -- but I am still able to touch type my answers, albeit very slowly, over a couple of weeks of time. (See my previous post OSU Queer Archives request for my participation (1/28/17))

See previous posts and related links

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Baker-McConnell ask court to require County legally record their 1971 marriage

Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue June/July 2017, p. 81

PHOTO: Cover of "The Advocate" magazine print edition (left) included inside (right) a photo of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell being legally married in 1970 as part of the article by Jacob Anderson-Minshall, "Marriage Equality Was Won by Widowers - the love stories behind the landmark cases both ended tragically," The Advocate, Jun.-Jul. 2017, p.80-81 advocate.com posted 5/3/2017. (Note: This was a special 50th anniversary edition of "The Advocate") As a law student, Baker took his marriage equality case to the U.S. Supreme Court (Baker v. Nelson 1972) where the court's decision essentially said that marriage is decided by State laws and not Federal laws. Baker believes his marriage is still valid because Minnesota State law did not prohibit same-sex marriage at that time, and so he has initiated legal proceedings to establish that fact. (See previous posts Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue (5/22/17) and Book by Michael McConnell on his marriage to Jack Baker that led to the first Supreme Court case on gay marriage (12/29/15))

The gay marriage pioneers Jack Baker and Michael McConnell recently cc'd me on their email to a marriage law attorney working with them, Yale Law School Professor William N. Eskridge, Jr., which included a PDF copy of a legal brief they have filed in their quest to get a Minnesota court of law to require a Minnesota County to legally record their 1971 same-sex marriage that was legally performed under Minnesota State law at the time, and never legally dissolved by any court order. Blue Earth County, without any legal authority or a court order, refused to record the marriage retroactively after it was legally performed, despite the fact that no Minnesota law prohibited same-sex marriages at that time and later anti-gay marriage legislation was not retroactive before it was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.

I was barely able to read the 30 page legal brief, given my worsening low vision blindness, but for my own notes I have selected a few quotes below, which may be hard to read and understand due to the legal language that I was too lazy to edit into some less technical language:

"Cases

Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971)

Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972) . . .

Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co. v. Nadasdy, 76 N.W.2d 670 (Minn. 1956) . . .

Obergefell v. Hodges,135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015). . .

United States Social Security Administration, Survivors Planner: If You're Surviving Divorced Spouse, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou3.html . . .

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

James Michael McConnell and Pat Lyn McConnell a/k/a Richard John Baker (Appellants or the McConnells) appeal from the April 7, 2017 Order of the Honorable Bradley C. Walker, Judge of Blue Earth County District Court, which denied their Petition for a Writ of Mandamus and requests for injunctive relief. (Add. 1 (Order).) . . .

The basis for all claims is that the County and its local registrar improperly refused to fulfill their ministerial duties to record Appellants marriage certificate and to provide them with certified copies of the recorded certificate as required by Minnesota law. . . .

STATUTORY BACKGROUND

When Appellants were married in 1971, marriages in Minnesota were governed by Minn. Stat. ch. 517 (the 1971 Statute). . .

After the examination period expired, and once the license was issued, the 1971 Statute provided no authorization to revoke, withdraw, or invalidate an issued marriage license. . .

Finally, and relevant to this appeal, under the 1971 Statute, the clerk of court was required to record the marriage certificate. The statute affirmatively mandated that [t]he clerk shall record such certificate in a book kept for that purpose.Œ Id. á 517.10. The statute even imposed a penalty for failing to comply with the mandatory duty to record the marriage certificate. . . .

. . . only three specific types of prohibited marriages were deemed automatically void: marriages between close relatives; underage marriages; and marriages where one party was already married. . .

All other prohibitedŒ marriages, 5 such as remarrying within six months of being divorced, were not automatically deemed void by the 1971 Statute. Same-sex marriages were not expressly prohibited by Section 517.03, and were not made absolutely void by Section 518.01. . .

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

The McConnells are residents of the State of Minnesota. (Add. 12, K 4.) They were married in 1971 after being issued a marriage license by Blue Earth County. (Id.) The McConnells, who were 74 years old at the time the Verified Petition was filed, have lived together as a married couple for more than 45 years. (Id.) They have been continuously recognized as a married couple by their family members, friends and colleagues, and in their church and community. . . .

On September 3, 1971, well within the six-month period of validity of the Marriage License, the McConnells solemnized their marriage in a ceremony conducted by an authorized minister of the United Methodist Church. . .

Previously, the McConnells had applied for and been denied a marriage license in Hennepin County on the sole basis that they were of the same sex, a decision that was on appeal at the time Blue Earth County issued the Marriage License. See Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971), overruled by Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584, 2605 (2015). The Minnesota Supreme Court¡s decision affirming the denial of the Hennepin County license application was issued on October 15, 1971. Id. The United States Supreme Court opinion dismissing the appeal was issued in 1972. Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972), overruled by Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015). . . . Connor received the Marriage Certificate on September 8, 1971.

Evidence submitted to the district court suggested that the County determined sometime before August 31, 1971¢that the Marriage License, although it had been duly issued, was defective, but the County provided no basis for the purported defect. (Add. 5.) The McConnells did not receive notice that the Marriage Certificate had not been recorded, and believed that it had been. . .

Forty-three years later, on September 29, 2014, Michael McConnell wrote to the County requesting three certified copies of the recorded Marriage Certificate. (Add. 15, * 24; Add. 28.) The McConnells sought the certified copies of their recorded Marriage Certificate for the purpose of securing certain Social Security benefits and for estate planning purposes. . . .

The United States Supreme Court, recognizing that marriage is a fundamental right, acknowledged the harm that flows from the failure to recognize a person ¡s status of being legally married. See Obergefell, 135 S. Ct. at 2601-02 (explaining that laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter).

Respondents also argued that an adequate remedy for their failure to record the McConnells¡ Marriage Certificate would be for the McConnells to get married again. . . .

Remarriage would deny that the McConnells are already married, and have been so for many years. This fact has tremendous personal significance to the McConnells, their friends, and family. It also has legal significance, to the extent that a marriage of 46 years conveys additional rights and benefits in comparison to a marriage of just a few months.5 Therefore, remarrying would not be as complete, beneficial, and effective of a remedy as simply compelling Respondents to record the Marriage Certificate, as the law requires.6

The duration of a marriage can have legal significance in many ways, such as affecting retirement and survivor benefits available from the Social Security Administration, private pension rights, spousal coverage under employee health and welfare benefit plans, inheritance rights and others. See, e.g., 42 U.S.C. á 416(f) (The term husband means the husband of an individual, but only if . . . he was married to her for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day on which his application is filed[.]Œ); United States Social Security Administration, Survivors Planner: If You're The Worker's Surviving Divorced Spouse, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou3.html (explaining that a 10-year marriage is required for eligibility for certain Social Security survivor benefits). . . .

First, there is no express authority in either the 1971 Statute or the current Marriage Statute that permits Respondents, after a marriage has been solemnized, and after the marriage certificate has been signed by the presiding official and returned to the County, to invalidate the marriage license or the marriage itself. The Marriage Statute expressly permits the clerk of court (or today, the local registrarŒ) to refuse to issue a license before a marriage occurs if, during the five-day examination period, it discovers that there is a legal impedimentŒ to the marriage. Minn. Stat. á 517.08, subd. 1 (1971); Minn. Stat. á 517.08, subd. 1b (2016). However, there is no express authority in the Marriage Statute for the clerk or the local registrar after a marriage license has been issued and a marriage has occurred to retroactively deem either the license or the marriage to be invalid. Neither Respondents nor the district court¡s Order identify any such express authority. . .

. . . the long-established rule in Minnesota is that once a marriage has occurred, it cannot retroactively be deemed a nullityŒ or voidŒ unless the legislature, by statute, has expressly declared that type of marriage void.

The legislature did not declare same-sex marriages voidŒ until 1997, at which point the McConnells had already been married for 26 years, and then did so only prospectively, not retroactively. See 1997 Minn. Laws ch. 203, art. 10, secs. 2 and 4. The 1997 legislation amended Minn. Stat. á 517.03 to, for the first time, expressly prohibit same sex marriage. At the time, á 518.01 declared marriages prohibited by á 517.03 to be void. However, the 1997 enactment was not retroactive; it expressly did not apply to marriages contracted within this state prior to March 1, 1979. 1997 Minn. Laws ch. 203, art. 10, sec. 4. The prohibition was repealed in 2013. See 2013 Minn. Laws ch. 74, sec. 2. Accordingly, not only was the McConnells marriage in 1971 not deemed void by the legislature at the time; it has never been deemed void. . .

CONCLUSION

For the reasons set forth above, Appellants respectfully request that the Court reverse the district court's Order and remand the case to the district court for issuance of the requested writ of mandamus and injunctive relief."

(Quoted from State of Minnesota Court of Appeals, notice of case filing No. A17-0688, Apr. 27, 2017. James Michael McConnell and Pat Lyn McConnell a.k.a. Richard John Baker, Appellants, vs. Blue Earth County, et. al. Respondents - accessed Jul. 1, 2017 from 30 page PDF copy)

(See previous posts Baker included in new gay marriage history book (6/16/17), Book by Michael McConnell on his marriage to Jack Baker that led to the first Supreme Court case on gay marriage (12/29/15) and Baker on gay marriage in 1972 vs. 2015 reaction to Supreme Court ruling (7/17/15))

Sunday, June 25, 2017

OSU small town (gay) Pride event is 'family friendly'

Corvallis Pride front page newspaper story Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jun. Jun. 25, 2017, p. A1, A12

PHOTO: Oregon State University, with an enrollment of 30,000 students, is located in the small college town of Corvallis, Oregon, with a population of about 50,000 residents, but it is still big enough to hold a "family friendly" (gay) Pride event in June. See the local professional newspaper story by Lillian Schrock, "Pride Corvallis holds a picnic in the park. Celebration of Pride: Corvallis event attracts hundreds to Starker Arts Park," Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jun. Jun. 25, 2017, p. A1, A12 gazettetimes.com posted Jun. 24, 2017 as "Young and old picnic in the park for Pride Corvallis", which includes links to videos and photo galleries. The newspaper article says, "Dharma Mirza . . . was picnicking in the park for Pride Corvallis, a family-friendly event to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. As a Muslim transgender woman ... She said the queer community saved her life by helping her overcome a drug addiction, homelessness and sex work. ... Mirza, who is HIV positive, is a board member of the Valley AIDS Information Network, Inc. She also founded Haus of Dharma, which puts on drag shows and advocates on behalf of the transgender and queer community. She planned to host a drag show following the picnic. Hillary Fishler, who organized Saturday's picnic, said she wanted the substance-free event to be a calm, safe space for people of all ages and identities. She hoped the event would bridge the divide between university students and the Corvallis community."

As somebody who is old enough to recall the 1969 Stonewall riot in New York City, and the first Gay Pride celebrations, it is a marvel at how far Pride has come. When i was living in San Francisco in the in the 1980's the very gay Castro Street would fill with drunken revelers for June gay pride events. I left during the AIDS crisis and so I do not know if S.F. still has some gay merrymakers to celebrate LGBTQI+ Pride Month in both a traditional manner as well as a "family friendly" way.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Zero Population Growth is the elephant in the room

My local professional city newspaper printed a very good opinion piece by Therese Waterhous, "As I See It: The growing problem with growth," Gazette-Times, Jun. 15, 2017, p. A8, which says in part, "The PERS debacle in Oregon is another example of overly optimistic predictions about growth. Never did a leader step up and say that predicting what economies will do is like rolling dice. It is. Thinking that PERS would forever be funded by investments at a certain rate has proven foolish. Currently we have the Trump administration relying on overly optimistic predictions of growth to repair the economy."

I have also been similarly skeptical of "growth" and said so in a previous letter to the editor: Thomas Kraemer, "Population growth still biggest environmental problem we face," Gazette-Times, posted Jan. 8, 2013, p. A9. I say, "Zero population growth used to be a widely supported goal, but it is opposed by greedy Wall Street plutocrats who also reward companies for building products that must be thrown out frequently. If legislators sincerely cared about the environment, they would require manufacturers to sincerely make products that were supportable and repairable for decades." (See previous post Corvallis plastic bag ban and gay marriage (1/8/13))

However, in my experience with managing the managers of multiple businesses, giving these managers a goal of growth is essential because nearly all businesses will stagnate, go obsolete and then out of business if they do not do continuous improvement, and the easiest way to measure it is with sales growth, but it can also can be measured by customer satisfaction and other factors, such as staying in business despite changes in the world. High tech companies must constantly do new products, to replace old and obsolete ones, just to stay even.

I also know from experience that the problem of population growth is a real one nobody wants to address logically or unemotionally, and therefore I appreciated the following letter:

"The previously popular "Zero Population Growth" movement was not mentioned in the insightful June 15 "As I See It: The Growing Problem with Growth" by Therese Waterhous.

Zero Population Growth addressed the bigger problem of limits to population growth, based on Earth's finite resources, which has been disingenuously ignored by "climate change" (formerly known as "global warming") activists.

The latest catchphrase "climate action" encompasses many praiseworthy environmental goals, but it is also silent on the need to address the elephant in the room - excessive population growth."

(Quoted from Kim Wilson, "Letter: Reviving zero population growth," posted June 21, 2017)

I love living in a college town!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Baker included in new gay marriage history book

Cover jacket of 2016 book by Michael McConnell, with Jack Baker, about the world's first gay marriage

PHOTO: The front and back cover jacket of a book 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, 2016. (See previous posts Book by Michael McConnell on his marriage to Jack Baker that led to the first Supreme Court case on gay marriage (12/29/15) and Baker on gay marriage in 1972 vs. 2015 reaction to Supreme Court ruling (7/17/15))

The pioneering gay marriage activism of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell is finally beginning to be included in the most recent gay history books. For example, Baker is included in the book by Nathaniel Frank, "Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America," Harvard University Press 2017. (See previous post Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue (5/22/17))

My low vision blindness has prevented me from checking it out to see if it contains any errors or other biases, which for decades has plagued the proper recording of gay marriage history and it led Baker and McConnell to write their own book shown above.

A very encouraging sign is what is said in the following book review in a New York City gay newspaper:

" In 2014, despite falling well short of the stated goal of the Prop 8 lawsuit, Becker released her controversial book, "Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight For Marriage Equality," . . . Olson and Boies published their truly awful book, "Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality." . . . The two books and the documentary were a media onslaught that was all the more offensive because they represented the organizations that had been battling for marriage for years as obstacles to winning the goal of marriage in all 50 states. Now comes Nathaniel Frank's "Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America," an exhaustively researched book that correctly attributes the basis for the ultimate marriage win to the case that the US Supreme Court heard at the same time as the Prop 8 case - Edie Windsor's successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 federal statute that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allowed states to do the same."

(Quoted from Duncan Osborne, "The Fight for Marriage in Broad, Informed Context," gaycitynews.nyc posted June 8, 2017)

Also see the following links:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Total solar eclipse will pass over Corvallis and OSU

Solar eclipse path Corvallis GT May 21, 2017, p. A1

PHOTO: The path and time of the total solar eclipse over that will be seen over Oregon State University and Corvallis, Oregon is shown in graphic for the newspaper story by Bennet Hall, "Summer of the eclipse," Gazette-Times, Sun. May 21, 2017, p. A1, A4. Corvallis is set for Aug. 21, 2017 at 10:16AM lasting about 1 iminute and 40 seconds. The last eclipse in Corvallis occurred on Feb. 26, 1979.

 Solar eclipse U.S. Postage stamp issued Jun. 20, 2017

PHOTO: "The Postal Service will soon release a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you touch it. The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp, which commemorates the August 21 eclipse, transforms into an image of the Moon from the heat of a finger." See press release U.S. Postal Service, "Total Eclipse of the Sun to be commemorated on a Forever Stamp," usps.com posted April 27, 2017

Some related links of interest:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cable fights Broadcast TV over retransmission fees hits Corvallis

The business press has been covering the fight between a large Cable TV company, Comcast Cable, and a large broadcast TV owner, who are quibbling over how much each company should pay to retransmit the over-the-air TV signal to cable subscribers. This fight has hit Corvallis because the Portland, Oregon CBS TV affiliate KOIN TV has been blacked out on the Comcast Cable TV system. See the local newspaper story by Bennett Hall, "Benton County cable viewers lose KOIN-TV," Gazette-Times, May 27, 2017, p. A1-A2 gazettetimes.com posted May 26, 2017, which says, "KOIN is owned by Nexstar media group, an Irving, Texas-based company that owns or manages 171 stations, making it the largest television broadcaster in the country. Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is the nation's largest cable company. It also owns NBCUniversal, making it a major producer of feature films and television programs."

My low vision blindness has prevented me from researching the latest FCC regulations and laws, but at one time there was a "must carry rule" for cable TV providers that required cable TV systems to carry all of the local channels receivable over-the-air in a city. In Benton County where Corvallis, Oregon is located, this has always included the Eugene, Oregon TV stations that are 40 miles south of Corvallis. However, the Portland TV stations have always been carried by the Corvallis cable TV system even though Portland TV stations are 80 miles north of Corvallis and not easily receivable without a huge antenna system.

Portland TV stations became easy to receive over-the-air via an antenna a few years ago when several of the stations installed a tranlator near Corvallis. I do not know if the FCC "must carry" rules are still in effect, and if they are, I do not know if they apply to translators or not. Trump Republicans want to deregulate everything, and so I am not counting on anything.

In any case, Comcast in Corvallis has for some unstated reason continued carrying the Portland network affiliates, as they have been doing for at least 40 years, however, when the HDTV transition occurred a few years ago, Comast is kept carrying the Portland stations only in low-definition -- at first they were rebroadcasting the station's 3:4 aspect ratio picture with the sides of the 16:9 aspect ratio picture cut off, but more recently they have been letterboxing the HDTV picture into a 3:4 aspect ratio picture and then pillar boxing that back into a 16:9 aspect ratio picture -- the result on a normal HDTV set hooked up to cable is a low-definition 16:9 aspect ratio picture with a smaller 16:9 aspect ratio picture inset inside of black bars all the way around it. On my 32 inch diagonal HDTV set, the final picture comes out to be 26 inch diagonal and none of the TV set's zoom functions will blow up the picture to fill the screen, probably because the TV set designers never thought that anyone would be so stupid to broadcast a picture in this format! Comcast Cable is doing the worst of all worlds for picture quality.

Why is Comcast doing this? Assuming they are thinking, perhaps it has to do with lowering the amount of bandwidth on their cable so they can provide more of their other services. Perhaps it is to be compatible with their cheap, legally mandated, basic cable that is regulated by law and they assume all of these low-end customers still have old fashioned 3:4 aspect ratio TV sets.

I can understand the business fight over retransmission fees, but I can't understand why Comcast in Corvallis can't retransmit both the Eugene and Portland TV stations, in the new HDTV format. Also, what has happened to the must carry rules? Have Trump Republicans eliminated it by deregulation? Corvallis has always been on the fringes of reception for both Portland and Eugene, which is why cable TV has been popular here for decades -- it avoids the hassle of using a big antenna system.

In any case, I wrote the following letter to the editor hoping to get the attention of the right people who can answer my "must carry rule" question. I am also curious if the reason for the two Portland stations installing translators in Corvallis was to avoid having to haggle over retransmission fees? The business press has reported that both Comcast and major broacasters want to fight over these fees. Since all of this is speculation, I did not include it in the letter, but it would make sense because other explanations don't add up, such as owners of both Portland and Eugene Stations not wanting to compete with their own station in another city.

Bennett Hall's May 27 story, "Benton County Cable Viewers Lose KOIN-TV," reported the fight between a giant TV broadcaster and a giant cable TV provider.

I am surprised that KOIN-TV has not bypassed Comcast cable by installing a high-definition TV translator near Corvallis, as did two other Portland TV stations Channel 2 KATU and Channel 8 KGW, to provide over-the-air HDTV reception.

Corvallis Comcast only provides Eugene stations in HDTV, which is why I now watch 2 and 8 via an antenna and could easily cancel cable service if it fails to meet my expectations.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: KOIN could set up translator," Gazette-Times, Jun. 6, 2017, p. A8 posted Jun. 4, 2017)

See previous posts:

Saturday, June 3, 2017

New Apple HQ on old HP site in Wired Magazine

Original HP Cupertino site before bulldozed for new Apple headquarters

Apple's new headquarters on old Cupertino HP site is shown by Google Maps

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) above, original HP Cupertino site before being bulldozed to make space for new Apple headquarters. Below, map of area surrounding the new circular building for Apple Computer in Cupertino, California as shown by Google Maps (accessed Jun. 3, 2017). The Hewlett-Packard Cupertino site was bulldozed to make space for it. This site was the second home of the HP Calculator division before it moved to Corvallis, Oregon in 1975. HP buildings were northwest and Southeast of Pruneridge Ave. and Tantau Ave., which is north of I-280 and south of E. Homestead Rd. as shown on the above map. (See previous post Apple to bulldoze HP site to build circular building for 12,000 employees (6/15/11))

HP Cupertino, California Silicon Valley site visitor's map circa 1984

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) visitor's map, circa 1984, to the Hewlett-Packard Company's Cupertino, California Silicon Valley site. This was the home to the new and growing HP computer business in the 1970s, including the HP Calculator division before it moved to Corvallis, Oregon in 1975. Steve Jobs recalls when it was an apricot orchard where as a kid he saw Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard walking the site before buying it. (Note: the above map was rotated so that North is pointing up on this blog page to match the other maps shown. Silicon Valley maps are often rotated to fit better on a page. (See previous post Apple to bulldoze HP site to build circular building for 12,000 employees (6/15/11))

A recent magazine article about the new Apple headquarters said:

According to Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, there was another factor. When Jobs showed a drawing of the clover leaf to his son, Reed, the teenager commented that from the air, the building would look like male genitalia. The next day Jobs repeated the observation to the architects, warning them that from that point on, "you're never going to be able to erase that vision from your mind." (Foster and Behling say they have no recollection of this.)

By June 2010 it was a circle. No one takes full credit for the shape; all seem to feel it was inevitable all along. "Steve dug it right away," Foster says.

By that fall Whisenhunt had heard that a former HP campus in Cupertino might be available. The 100-acre plot was just north of Apple's planned site. What's more, it had deep meaning for Jobs. As a young teen he had talked his way into a summer job at HP, just at the time when its founders-Jobs' heroes-were walking that site and envisioning an office park cluster for their computer systems division. Now HP was contracting and no longer needed the space. Whisenhunt worked a deal, and Apple's project suddenly grew to 175 acres.

(Quoted from Steven Levy, "One More Thing, Flawless curves, milled aluminum, Walled Gardens. This can only be Apple's new campus," Wired, JUn. 2017, cover, p. 5, 52-67 wired.com posted May 16, 2017 as "One More Thing, Inside Apple's Insanely Great (or Just Insane)New Mothership - Apple's New Campus: An Exclusive Look Inside the Mothership")

Ironically, if Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard (i.e. Bill and Dave) were still alive today, I am sure they would be happy that Steve Jobs was inspired by them. However, their Depression era frugalness and and engineer's sense of practicality would probably make them uncomfortable with all of the glitz of this new headquarters building. When I was the manager in charge of the HP building where Bill and Dave's offices were located, they wanted to look at my plans to remodel the building to make space for an advanced engineering lab, and they looked carefully at the costs of the Steelcase cubicles I planned to put in to be completive with other companies. Prior to that, HP famously had no walls, not even cubicle walls, but many engineers, especially software engineers felt the need for some sound buffering to help them concentrate. (See previous posts Apple to bulldoze HP site to build circular building for 12,000 employees (6/15/11) and Apple founder Steve Jobs cosmic connection to HP Corvallis (10/12/11))

Monday, May 22, 2017

Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue

Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue June/July 2017, p. 81

PHOTO: Cover of "The Advocate" magazine print edition (left) included inside (right) a photo of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell being legally married in 1970 as part of the article by Jacob Anderson-Minshall, "Marriage Equality Was Won by Widowers - the love stories behind the landmark cases both ended tragically," The Advocate, Jun.-Jul. 2017, p.80-81 advocate.com posted 5/3/2017. (Note: This was a special 50th anniversary edition of "The Advocate") As a law student, Baker took his marriage equality case to the U.S. Supreme Court (Baker v. Nelson 1972) where the court's decision essentially said that marriage is decided by State laws and not Federal laws. Baker believes his marriage is still valid because Minnesota State law did not prohibit same-sex marriage at that time, and so he has initiated legal proceedings to establish that fact. (See previous post Book by Michael McConnell on his marriage to Jack Baker that led to the first Supreme Court case on gay marriage (12/29/15))

The article describes how the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment and 5th Amendment were central to the two landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases on same-sex marriage, which in both cases involved a spouse that had died and the surviving spouse sought equal treatment under the law as given to any married couple:

". . . And it started decades ago. Before Michael McConnell agreed to move in with his boyfriend, he insisted Jack Baker . . . in 1970, they became the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license and took their fight to the Supreme Court (clearly, they lost). . .

"Lesbian couple Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer had been together for 40 years when a doctor told Spyer she only had a year to live. . . . They dashed up to Canada to wed in 2007. Spyer passed away two years later. Then the 80-year-old Windsor was hit with a $360,000 estate tax bill because the federal government didn't recognize their marriage. . . . took Windsor v. United States to the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. On June 26, 2013, in a 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court ruled that DOMA violated Fifth Amendment protection . . .

"Ohio residents Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together two decades when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. . . . couple quickly flew to Maryland to get married. . . When Arthur died not long afterwards, Obergefell was denied the right to be listed as the surviving spouse on Arthur's death certificate. Ohio hadn't legalized or granted recognition of same-sex marriages, so the state didn't consider Obergefell a spouse. He sued in Obergefell et al. v Hines. A federal district judge ruled Ohio must recognize the marriage, but the Sixth Circuit reversed that decision. . .

"Then June 25, 2015, in another 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell's favor, arguing the U.S. Constitution required states to not only recognize same-sex marriages from other states, but also allow same-sex marriages in their own state. In the opinion, Justice Kennedy referenced the Fourteenth Amendment . . ."

(Quoted from Jacob Anderson-Minshall, "Marriage Equality Was Won by Widowers - the love stories behind the landmark cases both ended tragically," 50th Anniversary edition, The Advocate, Jun.-Jul. 2017, p.80-81 advocate.com posted 5/3/2017)

While it is true Baker "lost" in the sense that his case did not establish legal same-sex marriage across America, Baker won in the sense that the U.S. Supreme Court's "Baker v. Nelson" decision left marriage up to State law and at that time the State of Minnesota had no law against same-sex marriage. This is why Baker believes his marrage is still legally valid, and he has initiated legal proceedings to establish this fact.

One final unrelated note aside, my low vision blindness has worsen to the point where I am unable to read the print edition of "The Advocate," other than small portions with assistive devices that are not practical for reading very much. As a result, I am reluctantly dropping my mail subscription after five decades of reading "The Advocate" magazine. Online reading will never replace printed magazines, which have been curated by a good editor and printed in a way that can be easily browsed and skim read.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fox News Hannity abuses sexual harassment laws to cement his power

newspaper headline Hannity lost his job in Santa Barbara Independent, 1989 see Businessweek, May 1-7, 2017, p. 57

PHOTO: Newspaper headline in the Santa Barbara Independent, 1989, after Sean Hannity lost his first job for insulting a Lesbian. Hannity is the last Fox News star remaining after sexual harassment claims, perhaps based on anonymous testimony by Hannity and others, have forced everyone else to leave. See article by Felix Gillette, "And Then There Was Hannity - Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, Megyn Kelly, One by one, the biggest personalities at Fox News have left the building," Businessweek, May 1-7, 2017, p. 54-59 photo on p. 57 bloomberg.com posted April 27, 2017

After reading the article by Felix Gillette, "And Then There Was Hannity - Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, Megyn Kelly, One by one, the biggest personalities at Fox News have left the building," Businessweek, May 1-7, 2017, p. 54-59, it is clear to me that Fox News Host Sean Hannity is intentionally turning Fox News into the "state TV" for President Donald Trump. However, I think liberals are prematurely celebrating the demise of Fox News, because I am guessing that Hannity's plan is to turn Fox News into the "Trump News" channel that he and other Trump-tards had seriously considered starting before the election. It is easy for me to speculate that Hannity proactively helped in getting O'Reilly fired by testifying against him. In a normal court legal proceeding Hannity's testimony would be a public record, but Hannity probably abused the sexual harassment laws that permit some anonymous testimony as a way to protect women and the victims of sexual harassment. Of course, this is purely my guess, which I only allude to in my following letter to the editor:

I was not surprised when the former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly lost his job after paying a total of $13 million to five women for agreeing not to sue or talk about their allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

However, I am concerned about how the laws enabling this lawsuit, which were originally passed to protect women's rights, have been undermined for the profit of both attorneys and Sean Hannity to cement his power as the last remaining star of Fox News.

The May 1-7 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Hannity was fired from his first radio job for insulting a lesbian, and he has a long public record of actively opposing women's rights.

In my opinion, it is correct that sexual harassment laws apply equally to everyone, but Hannity and his attorneys abused the law for their own gain, and after this becomes widely recognized, it will create resentment amongst many men, which will only weaken the meaning of these laws.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Hannity abused harassment laws," Sunday Gazette-Times, May 21, 2017, p. A8 gazettetimes.com posted May 1, 2017)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The homoeroticism of hazing by jocks and frats

OSU Delta Lambda Phi Barometer front page story Oct. 31, 2016

PHOTO: The front page and center spread of Oregon State University's student newspaper featured some of the new members of the colonized in 2016 IFC gay fraternity Δ Λ Φ (aka Delta Lambda Phi) that "focuses on creating a space for men of all sexual orientations and gender expressions to have the traditional Greek experience on campus." Gays boys who are out in a traditional fraternity often need to worry about being sexually assaulted during hazing rituals in "straight" fraternities that often include homoerotic dominance acts, such as sticking fingers in a guy's ass. (See previous post OSU gay frat Δ Λ Φ recruits (4/20/17))

Shortly after the above article about the formation of a gay frat at OSU was published, my local college town professional newspaper printed another story about guys in sports who have to endure homoerotic hazing rituals, in the Associated Press article by Reese Dunklin, "Sex Assaults in boys' sports minimized," Gazette-Times, May 8, 2017, p. A1-A2

"Across the U.S., perhaps nowhere is student-on-student sexual assault as dismissed or as camouflaged as in boys' sports, an Associated Press investigation found. Mischaracterized as hazing and bullying, the violence is so normalized on some teams that it persists for years, as players attacked one season become aggressors the next. . .

"An Idaho football player was hospitalized in 2015 with rectal injuries after he was sodomized with a coat hanger. That same year, a North Carolina teen suffered rectal bruising when he was jabbed through his clothes with a broomstick. Parents of a Vermont athlete blamed his 2012 suicide on distress a year after teammates sodomized him with a broom. . . .

"The upperclassmen didn't challenge the evidence in disciplinary proceedings, but described what they did to the freshmen as "wrestling and horse playing." . . .

"Although many of the cases AP identified included anal penetration, grabbing crotches or grinding genitals into teammates, those who often first learn of incidents - coaches, school officials - routinely characterize them as hazing, bullying or initiations.

"People don't want to think kids could act that way and chalk it up to jock behavior, said Danielle Rogers, who in 2011 prosecuted locker-room assaults by three athletes in Hardin, Missouri. . . .

"A group of five Florida baseball players had allegedly penetrated two teammates, one with a Gatorade bottle, during an out-of-town tournament in 2016. One boy told the coach, who responded, "It's just baseball, keep it to yourself," according to a police report filed months later.

"In Texas, a teacher reported in 2011 that basketball players were putting their fingers in teammates' bottoms. The coach insisted the action was merely a joke and not hazing, and his assistant called the complaint a "misrepresentation" by a "disgruntled player and father," school records show. The district told AP the allegations were reported to authorities, but police said they were not notified.

"Two New Mexico football coaches walked in just after a player was sodomized with a broomstick in 2008. The boys laughed it off as an "initiation" and coaches took no action, failing to halt a subsequent attack, district records show. Seven victims later sued, settling for $5 million. . . .

"The law enforcement report shows that a freshman confided to a coach that upperclassmen had sexually assaulted him and others with a pool cue in a cabin during an out-of-town tournament trip. . .

"The head coach called the boy's mother but "grossly minimized" his condition, so she allowed her son to remain with the team, authorities said. After his discharge from the hospital, the boy returned to the cabin, collapsed and had to be rushed into emergency surgery to repair a damaged bladder, colon and rectal wall. . .

" Some Leechburg players were sodomizing teammates with a phallic-shaped piece of wood they called a "yoshi" stick, records and interviews show. If someone goofed in practice, players would yell, "You're getting yoshied!"

"After showering at a 2010 basketball camp, he was tackled by four upperclassmen who tried to penetrate him with their fingers, according to his deposition in the family's pending lawsuit against the Olympia School District. The boy said he didn't want to worry his mom, plus he was "afraid to tell on my teammates."

"I felt like if I told someone," he testified, "then I would have been, you know, excluded from the team and not able to play varsity basketball." . .

"I want to get everything out there so people understand this is not normal," she said. "I am sick and tired as a parent of running into individuals, professional individuals, who do this 'Oh, boys will be boys.' "

(Quoted from Reese Dunklin, "Sex Assaults in boys' sports minimized," Gazette-Times, May 8, 2017, p. A1-A2)

I bet that the best way to stop hazing is show straight guys all of the gay porno that eroticizes hazing between sports jocks or frat boys. Most straight guys would not be caught dead doing anything that would turn on a gay guy.

Freudian theory had much to say about the relationship of anal eroticism and homoeroticism to the supposedly straight, heterosexual men. In many cases anal eroticism is intermixed with a dominance and submission act of one man asserting his dominance over another man.

In my experience with heterosexual men, most of them seem to have an obsession with not wanting to be "fucked in the ass" by another man, either literally or figuratively. The psychology of this phobia seems to be the drive that most straight men have as they try to assert dominance over other men so that the other man will submit to their every wish. Although there is a clear subset of gay men who find dominance and submission to be an enjoyable sexual fetish, I have never understood the joy in it.