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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 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 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 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 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.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

OSU female STEM majors and drag featured in student newspaper

OSU Barometer May 1, 2017, p. 15 (left) STEM, p. 7 (right) drag

PHOTO: Headline about the lack of female STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) majors at OSU (left) and the annual OSU Pride Week Drag show (right) are featured in the latest OSU student newspaper, just in time for the family visit weekend. The total OSU enrollment is approximately 30,225 students and 24 percent (7254) are majoring in engineering, 80 percent men (5836) and 20 percent women (1418). Alos, according to data printed in OSU Momentum! sidebar, "Engineering by the numbers," Spring 2017, p. 13 the OSU College of Engineering 2016 enrollment numbers are 1,731 female out of a total of 8,724 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled, according. (See Jaya Black-Lazo, "Lack of women in STEM majors at OSU apparent," Barometer, May 1, 2017, p. 15-16 and "OSU Spring Drag Show provides form of self-expression, creates community for LGBTQ+ individuals ," OSU barometer, May 1, 2017, p. 1, 9) Also see previous post OSU 'Beaver Queen' student graduation story read by parents in student newspaper (6/12/15) - "The graduation of the Oregon State University student Luke Kawasaki" who is shown still performing this year in the photo above.

From the student newspaper:

" Engineering is one of thmajors at Oregon State University with the largest number of students, as well as the largest disparity between men and women. According to the Oregon State enrollment and demographics report, 24 percent of the university is made up of engineering students, the largest major by far at OSU. Based on average enrollment for 2017, undergraduate engineering students identifying as male numbered 5,836 while women numbered only 1,418. . . However, not every major at OSU is dominated by men. The College of Forestry has a fairly equal distribution of men and women. . ."

(Quoted from Jaya Black-Lazo, "Lack of women in STEM majors at OSU apparent," Barometer, May 1, 2017, p. 15-16)