Link to KansasPrairie.net

2/12/2014

HOUSE APPROVES KANSAS LAW TO LEGALIZE DISCRIMINATION…ANOTHER GIANT STEP BACKWARDS FOR BROWNBACK…

Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 2:33 pm

Kansas lawmakers voted overwhelmingly today to pass a bill that opponents say legalizes discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Members of both parties joined together in the House on the 89-27 vote, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. If the Senate follows suit and Governor Sam Brownback signs the bill, as he has indicted, then anyone could opt out of anti-discrimination laws that protect gays and lesbians by claiming they violate their “religious freedom.”

For example, an employer could fire someone if they discovered the employee was gay. Or a landlord could kick a renter out of their home. The religious exemption extends past places of business to universities, where students or instructors could opt out of a school’s anti-discrimination policy.

The idea for the bill, called the “Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act,” came in reaction to the college town of Lawrence passing an anti-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation. The new state law would nullify that and any other local anti-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation by granting citizens the right to opt out if they felt it conflicted with their religious beliefs.

“I don’t think an ordinance should trump other people’s religious rights,” said Rep. Jan Pauls, a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee that heard testimony about the bill. During a forum earlier this year, Pauls gave an example to explain why she backs the bill, saying an employer should be allowed to fire a “cross dresser.”

“The question is personal belief as far as religion,” she said. “Should that be trumped by forcing people to then support a lifestyle that they don’t support due to their religion?”

“If this law were passed,” Pauls explained, “people could bring up their religion as a reason that they did not want to follow the ordinances.”

5/13/2013

MINNESOTA VOTES TO LEGALIZE SAME SEX MARRIAGE…

Filed under: prairie musings, LGBT — Peg Britton @ 3:36 pm

With deafening cheers and overwhelming emotion, the Minnesota Senate voted 37-30 to legalize same-sex marriage.

“Today, love wins,” said Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick.

The vote, on the heels of a vote last week in the House, brings to a close a decade of debate over marriage that has echoed through the Capitol, bringing thousands of friends and foes of gay marriage to its marbled dome to express their deeply held feelings.

The measure next moves to Gov. Mark Dayton, who will welcome it with his signature in a celebratory ceremony likely on Tuesday.

Once it is signed, Minnesota will become the twelfth state to legalize same sex-marriage.
“It’s historic and I can never be so proud of this body and of Minnesotans,” said Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis. On the Senate floor, Hayden said that his wife is white and noted that just 50 years ago, his loving relationship would have been barred.

More….

12/4/2012

“KILL THE GAYS BILL” SUPPORTED BY SOME PROMINENT RIGHT-WING AMERICANS…

Filed under: prairie musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights — Peg Britton @ 8:21 am

Conservative lawmakers in the Ugandan Parliament are pushing a bill that would make being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender a crime that is punishable by life imprisonment, and even death. Further, the current version of the bill would send teachers, parents and landlords to jail if they fail to report children, students and renters who are gay.

This “Kill the Gays” bill is supported by the speaker of Parliament, and could be voted on any day now. Just about the only way it can be stopped is through international pressure on the president of Uganda to veto the bill.

International pressure has worked in the past. When the bill was first introduced in 2009, President Museveni openly expressed his support for it, but then reversed his position and promised a veto after a worldwide outcry and threats from some nations to withdraw their aid.

One problem we face in bringing that pressure this time around is that prominent right-wing Americans like Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, and Bryan Fischer, head of the American Family Association, are openly praising the Kill the Gays bill. We need to make sure their voices are drowned out by a massive denunciation from the rest of America, so that President Museveni knows what is at stake if he caves and signs this murderous legislation.

Keep fighting,
Chris Bowers
Campaign Director, Daily Kos

8/20/2012

CHRIS ARMSTRONG WINS $4.5 MILLION SUIT AGAINST ANDREW SHIRVELL…

Filed under: political musings, print news, LGBT — Peg Britton @ 8:04 am

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key) Chris Armstrong was awarded $4.5 million in his suit against former assistant state attorney general Andrew Shirvell.

Former student body president of the University of Michigan, Chris Armstrong will be paid $4.5 million in a settlement with a former state assistant attorney general for harassment linked to a 2010 dedicated website he created, bullying the openly gay student leader.

University of Michigan alumnus and then state assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell created the website “Chris Armstrong Watch” accusing the newly elected student body President of a “radical homosexual agenda,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The site quickly drew national attention, and earned Shirvell bookings on talk shows to discuss his views on Armstrong, where he used terms including “Satan’s representative on the student assembly” and a “privileged pervert.”

After a year of trading barbs, the case finally hit court last week, with Armstrong suing over defamation, stalking and invasion of privacy. After one day of deliberation, the jury found for plaintiff Armstrong on all accounts, awarding him the large sum.
From the Washington Blade…

6/21/2012

HOUSE APPROVES: DOES KANSAS LAW LEGALIZE DISCRIMINATION?

Filed under: prairie musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 10:02 am

Kansas lawmakers voted overwhelmingly today to pass a bill that opponents say legalizes discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Members of both parties joined together in the House on the 89-27 vote, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. If the Senate follows suit and Governor Sam Brownback signs the bill, as he has indicted, then anyone could opt out of anti-discrimination laws that protect gays and lesbians by claiming they violate their “religious freedom.”

For example, an employer could fire someone if they discovered the employee was gay. Or a landlord could kick a renter out of their home. The religious exemption extends past places of business to universities, where students or instructors could opt out of a school’s anti-discrimination policy.

The idea for the bill, called the “Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act,” came in reaction to the college town of Lawrence passing an anti-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation. The new state law would nullify that and any other local anti-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation by granting citizens the right to opt out if they felt it conflicted with their religious beliefs.

“I don’t think an ordinance should trump other people’s religious rights,” said Rep. Jan Pauls, a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee that heard testimony about the bill. During a forum earlier this year, Pauls gave an example to explain why she backs the bill, saying an employer should be allowed to fire a “cross dresser.”

“The question is personal belief as far as religion,” she said. “Should that be trumped by forcing people to then support a lifestyle that they don’t support due to their religion?”

“If this law were passed,” Pauls explained, “people could bring up their religion as a reason that they did not want to follow the ordinances.”

6/5/2012

HUTCHINSON ADDS SEXUAL ORIENTATION TO THEIR NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE…

Filed under: political musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights — Peg Britton @ 9:03 am

Reports from Hutchinson confirm that the Hutch City Council has approved adding sexual orientation to their local non-discrimination ordinance.

Salina City Commissioners also passed a similar ordinance.

Progress.

5/22/2012

SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY ADDED TO SALINA’S NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE…

Filed under: political musings, LGBT — Peg Britton @ 6:43 am

Last night (May 21) the Salina City Commission voted 3 to 2 on “final action” to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their local non-discrimination ordinance.  The majority know Salina residents need to be treated fairly in employment and housing regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The ordinance is scheduled to become law on June 4.

It is expected that anti-LGBT extremists, led by Focus on the Family’s Kansas branch, the Kansas Family Policy Council, will launch an effort to have the ordinance repealed.  It was clear at the City Commission meeting that they intend to have a repeal measure on the November 6 general election ballot.

Also on June 4:  The Hutchinson City Council will be voting on banning firings and evictions based on sexual orientation.

Stay tuned…

5/17/2012

BROWNBACK’S ONLY POLITICAL CONTITUENT IS GOD……………

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So, I ask….how is it working out for you with Brownback as Governor?  What he said he would do if elected President, he is doing in Kansas at will.  He said he would, and he is. When he runs again for President, he can show by example what he’s done to Kansas.  Brownback’s tax legislation will be the end of Kansas as we know it.

Here’s an example of his plan:
“Now, Brownback seeks something far more radical: not faith-based politics but faith in place of politics. In his dream America, the one he believes both the Bible and the Constitution promise, the state will simply wither away. In its place will be a country so suffused with God and the free market that the social fabric of the last hundred years — schools, Social Security, welfare — will be privatized or simply done away with. There will be no abortions; sex will be confined to heterosexual marriage. Men will lead families, mothers will tend children, and big business and the church will take care of all.”

He’s not kidding.  It’s already happening in Kansas in case you haven’t noticed. His only political constituent as governor of Kansas is God.

Read this to follow Brownback’s plan for our future…

5/16/2012

WE LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES…

Filed under: political musings, LGBT, Mitt Romney — Peg Britton @ 12:44 pm

Does it matter if Mitt Romney bullied gay students when he was in high school?  Does it matter that he and his friends  bullied one gay student to the ground and cut his long blond hair while the victim cried and yelled for help?

It matters to me on a couple of points.  It mattered to everyone who participated, except for Mitt Romney.
First of all Romey has no recollection of the incident at all.  None.   Romney admitted nothing, confessed to nothing except his youth.  He said he might have gone too far with unspecified “pranks” but maintained he had no recollection of this event.

That is very hard to believe if for no other reason than it’s well-documented that we learn from our mistakes and the more serious are the  mistakes we make the most indelibly they are emblazoned in our memories as unforgettable lessons learned the hard way. We don’t forget those things. Cruel activities are rarely forgotten. This was cruel and ALL the other  high school boys who participated in this shameful act viewed it as such and remembered with clarity and embarrassment their involvement in it.

Pranks are another matter and are easier to forget.  This was no prank.

Those who participated in this cruel act of ridiculing a classmate for being gay and holding him down while Romney forcibly  cut his hair admitted to it, remembered it and stated it had stayed with them all their lives because of  the cruelty involved.  They learned a very hard lesson and owned up to it.  Romey did not.

5/15/2012

TEACHER/COACH JACK CONKLING’S ON LINE REMARKS ON HOMOSEXUALITY DRAW FIRE…

Filed under: political musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights, religion — Peg Britton @ 11:07 am

Teacher’s online remarks on homosexuality draw fire
By Mary Clarkin - The Hutchinson News - mclarkin@hutchnews.com

A Buhler USD 313 teacher/coach has caused a stir by writing on his Facebook page last week that homosexuality is a sin and ranks in God’s eyes the same as the sin of murder.

The Kansas Equality Coalition criticized what Prairie Hills Middle School social studies teacher/Buhler High School assistant freshman women’s basketball coach Jack Conkling wrote. It also urged USD 313 to review its policy on social media and bullying, whether by students or teachers.

Jon Powell, chairman of the Hutchinson chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said Conkling’s “inflammatory statements” could make students think it’s OK to bully fellow students.

Powell termed the posting “reckless,” “dangerous” and “irresponsible.”

“What would Mr. Conkling say to a student who is getting bullied for being gay or lesbian?” Kansas Equality Coalition Executive Director Thomas Witt asked in a press release issued this week.

High school students are among Conkling’s nearly 600 Facebook friends. Some posted comments or reactions, pro and con, to his statement written May 10, in the wake of President Obama’s announced support for gay marriage rights.

It was a former seasonal employee at Hutchinson’s Salt City Splash, where Conkling works in the summer, who alerted the Kansas Equality Coalition to the Facebook statement. USD 313 Superintendent Dan Stiffler learned about it from a teacher.

Conkling wrote: “Gay marriage is wrong because homosexuality is wrong. The Bible clearly states it is sin.”

He also wrote: “It ranks in God’s eyes the same as murder, lying stealing, or cheating.”

“I wrote what I wrote for my Facebook friends who understand my heart and my intent,” Conkling said Monday. “I understand that there were some folks who didn’t understand my heart, and while that’s sad, it is what it is,” he said, declining to elaborate.

Craig Williams, principal at Prairie Hills Middle School, said the school does not have a Facebook policy for teachers.

“We’re looking into it,” Williams said, but said he could not talk about a personnel matter.

USD 313 had a technology committee already looking at a policy for staff and social media, according to Stiffler.

“Where do you draw the line?” Stiffler asked, describing the challenge of setting rules that do not infringe on a teacher’s First Amendment freedom of speech.

“I know that it’s kind of tricky,” said USD 313 Board of Education member Laura Dick, unaware Monday of details of Conkling’s posting.

The News was unsuccessful in reaching other board members.

Hutchinson USD 308 hopes to have a policy by the next school year specifically addressing staff and use of social media, according to district spokesman Ray Hemman.

Hemman, too, described it as “tricky.”

School districts want teachers to be professional, but staff also “have a right to have a life,” Hemman said.

“All this talk in the news about gay marriage recently has finally driven me to write. Gay marriage is wrong because homosexuality is wrong. The Bible clearly states it is sin. Now I do not claim it to be a sin any worse than other sins. It ranks in God’s eyes the same as murder, lying, stealing, or cheating. His standards are perfect and ALL have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Sin is sin and we all deserve hell. Only those who accept Christ as Lord and daily with the help of the Spirit do their best to turn from sin will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There aren’t multiple ways to get to Heaven. There is one. To many this may seem close minded and antagonistic, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Folks I am willing to admit that my depravity is just as great as anyone else’s, and without Christ I’d be destined for hell, if not for the undeserved grace of God. I’m not condemning gay marriage because I hate gay people. I am doing it because those who embrace it will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And I desire that for no one.”

Facebook posting by Buhler USD 313 teacher/coach Jack Conkling

5/14/2012

SALINA CITY COMMISSIONERS MEETING TODAY…

Filed under: prairie musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights — Peg Britton @ 3:06 pm

Salina city commissioners today will decide today whether it will be illegal in Salina to discriminate against a person based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

Commissioners will meet at 4 p.m. at the Salina Community Theatre to consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

The issue is the only item on the agenda.

Hutch  passed a similar ordinance (?), 7-0.  They had lots of community input and it was not all positive, but it passed.

Here is one of many letters in support of the measure.  They are thoughtful, insightful and intelligent letters.

Thompson letter

2/28/2012

A tolerant town?

As a Libertarian, I strongly endorse the anti-discrimination proposal that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s equality ordinance. This is a timely issue that falls perfectly within the purview of local government.

The primary objections I have heard to the ordinance rely on sanctimonious theological arguments. I was raised in a mixed Christian and Jewish household, and the religious values to which I was exposed emphasized compassion and empathy. I was never instructed that respecting someone whose sexual identity differed from mine would spread moral decay, and I am saddened by the hysterical manner in which some people use biblical scripture as a justification for marginalizing others.

This ordinance demonstrates that Salina is a welcoming and tolerant community, and it will make the town a more attractive place for people to work and raise families (yes, even homosexuals have families). People deserve to be judged on their individual merits, regardless of their sexual orientation. Those who disapprove of homosexuality will remain free not to engage in it.

Most importantly, the measure represents a commitment to recognize the inherent dignity and individual value of every person, and this is something that all Salinans should be proud to support.

– MATTHEW THOMPSON, Salina

Here is a typical letter opposed to the ordinance which happens to be from Ellsworth residents.  I find it appalling and filled with ignorance of the subject.

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I’ll post the results of the results of the meeting.

Stayed tuned…

5/6/2012

SALINA’S GENDER IDENTITY AMENDMENT DRAWS STRANGE RESPONSES FROM AREA RESIDENTS……

Filed under: political musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights, Women's Rights — Peg Britton @ 11:47 am

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Here is the link to the  City of Salina’s page, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Amendment to City Ordinance Information”, including the long awaited link to the city prepared definition and fact sheet.  It has been a subject of heated controversy and misinformation since its introduction.

Below are a few of the letters in opposition to the ordinance that were submitted by Ellsworth County residents.  They, along with others, can be found on the above site.   Don’t you just wonder how all this misinformation, bigotry and prejudice against others can pass through seemingly intelligent minds in today’s enlightened society?

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4/30/2012

SENATORS ROBERTS AND MORAN VOTE NO ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN MEASURE…

Filed under: political musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights, Women's Rights — Peg Britton @ 1:06 pm

The Senate voted by a margin of 68 to 31 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for another five years. The 1994 law gives federal law enforcement agencies tools to combat crime against women. The reauthorization adds provisions relating to Native American and immigrant women, and sexual orientation. The House is likely to pass a bill similar to the current authorization.
By 68 yeas to 31 nays (Vote No. 87), Senate passed S. 1925, to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
KANSAS SENATORS PAT ROBERTS AND JERRY MORAN BOTH VOTED AGAINST THE PASSAGE OF THIS BILL.

Sen. Marco Rubio – a strong contender for the GOP vice-presidential nomination – is finding his vote against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act to be a source of controversy.

Rubio was on the short end of a 68-31 vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday. And with women’s issues hotly contested in the run-up to the presidential election, Floridians Saturday marched in Tallahassee, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, vowing a strong turnout at the polls on such matters as abortion, contraception, women’s health care and services for those who have been battered or raped.

“If they want war, they will get war,” shouted Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, at the Old Capitol. “It won’t come with guns or knives, but something the Republicans fear even more – our votes.”

3/26/2012

JIMMY CARTER LEAVES CHURCH OVER TREATMENT OF WOMEN…

Filed under: political musings, Pro-life/Pro-choice, LGBT, religion, Women's Rights — Peg Britton @ 8:27 pm

Ria Misra, Woman Up
After more than 60 years together, Jimmy Carter has announced himself at odds with the Southern Baptist Church — and he’s decided it’s time they go their separate ways. Via Feministing, the former president called the decision “unavoidable” after church leaders prohibited women from being ordained and insisted women be “subservient to their husbands.” Said Carter in an essay in The Age:

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

And, later:

The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.

After watching everyone from philandering politicians to Iran’s president taking a sudden look heavenwards when the roof starts to come down on them, it’s refreshing to see Carter calling out the role of religion in the mistreatment of women.

The question for Carter — and for others who find themselves at odds with leadership — is, when a group you’re deeply involved in starts to move away from your own core beliefs, do you stay and try to change from within or, at some point, do you have to look for the exit? Carter did give the former a shot — in recent years publicly criticizing and distancing himself from church leadership, while staying involved with his church. Now, he’s seeing if absence might do what presence did

See:  Losing My Religion for Equality by Jimmy Carter

3/22/2012

CONSERVATIVES WAR AGAINST WOMEN IS ALL ABOUT FORCING WOMEN TO BE COMPLETELY SUBMISSIVE TO MEN…

Filed under: political musings, Pro-life/Pro-choice, LGBT, GOP, Women's Rights — Peg Britton @ 5:29 pm

Alaska Republican Says Women Should Have To Get Permission From Men To Get An Abortion
March 22, 2012
By Stephen D. Foster Jr.

Conservatives aren’t even bothering to cover up the real reasons why they want to ban abortion anymore. Now they’re just admitting that they want to force women to be submissive to men. A male Republican lawmaker in Alaska has let the cat out of the bag.

According to The Mudflats, Rep. Alan Dick (fitting name) “said in a House Health and Social Services Committee Hearing last week that he doesn’t believe that when a woman is pregnant, it’s really “her pregnancy.” As a matter of fact, he would advocate for criminalizing women who have an abortion without the permission via written signature from the man who impregnated her. He stated, “If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it…”   He didn’t say whether a rapist would be able to send his signature by fax from prison, or not.

Rep. Dick’s sexist comments aside, Alaska Republicans are also seeking to pass legislation that would violate the privacy and personal liberty of women, and would even misinform them.

Despite the fact that the state Supreme Court in Alaska has ruled that women should have access to abortion without being burdened, Republicans in the state are waging war against women’s rights. In the state Senate, Republicans are pushing SB 191, which forces women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. In the House, the GOP is trying to pass HB 363, which forces state employees to lie to women about their pregnancy options and bans them from referring women to abortion providers and other abortion services.

Clearly, this war against women is all about forcing women to be completely submissive to men. Mr. Dick said as much. These conservative males want to turn back the clock on women’s rights in America and go back to a time when women were property and were restricted to carrying babies and cooking in the kitchen. Many of today’s conservatives even believe that women shouldn’t be allowed to have jobs and should be punished for having pre-marital sex. It won’t be too much longer before Republicans try to repeal women’s voting rights out of some sick belief that women can’t be involved in politics. The Republican Party has become a laughingstock. It is a party that belongs in 19th or 18th century America or perhaps further back. It certainly doesn’t belong in this century. At any rate, the GOP is full of raving sexist chauvinist pigs and since women make up over half of the American population, Republicans are basically committing political suicide by attacking their rights, their privacy, their health, and their independence.

3/16/2012

THE TABLES ARE TURNING ON MALE REPRODUCTIVE ACTIVITY…TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY…

Filed under: political musings, Pro-life/Pro-choice, LGBT — Peg Britton @ 4:57 pm

PBS
In Protest, Democrats Zero In On Men’s Reproductive Health

by Teresa Tomassoni

05:28 pm

March 15, 2012

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would regulated men’s use of reproductive health services.

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would regulated men’s use of reproductive health services.

For perhaps the first time in recent history, male reproductive health is at the forefront of political debate.

In at least six states, lawmakers — all women and all Democrats — have proposed bills or amendments in the last few weeks that aim to regulate a man’s access to reproductive health care. It’s their way of responding to the ongoing debate around contraception and abortion, said Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University.

Some would prohibit men from getting vasectomies, such as Georgia’s House Bill 1116, which states:

“Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies.”

Others, like an amendment proposed by Oklahoma State Sen. Constance Johnson, restrict where a man can ejaculate, effectively outlawing all manner of sexual acts. The amendment says:

“Any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.”

And Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner recently put forward legislation that would require men seeking drugs like Viagra to first get a cardiac stress test to ensure their heart is ready for sexual activity. Oh, and they would also have to obtain certification from one of their recent sexual partners that they are indeed experiencing problems with erectile dysfunction. And they would be required to see a sex therapist before getting a prescription.

The bill states:

“The physician shall ensure that the sessions include information on nonpharmaceutical treatments for erectile dysfunction, including sexual counseling and resources for patients to pursue celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.”

Turner says society has been programmed to accept the idea that legislators can regulate a woman’s ability to obtain contraception or get a safe abortion. “We don’t see anything wrong with it because that’s the way we’ve been socialized,” she told Shots. But now that the tables are turning and the focus is on men’s reproductive health, people think it’s strange, she said.

However, American University’s Lawless said that bills like Turner’s have almost a zero likelihood of becoming law.

Already, we are seeing some of them shot down. In January, the Virginia Senate voted against an amendment proposed by Virginia Sen. Janet Howell, a Democrat, which would have required a man to get a digital rectal exam and cardiac stress test before getting a prescription for an erectile-dysfunction drug.

Howell proposed her amendment in response to a controversial bill that would require women seeking abortions to undergo ultrasound imaging first. The bill eventually passed and was signed into law after vaginal ultrasounds were dropped from the requirements.

The ultimate goal in proposing bills related to male reproductive health is not to get them passed, Lawless said. By drawing attention to these bills, she said, Democrats are looking to motivate independent and undecided voters, especially women, to show up at the polls in November for the general election.

3/15/2012

THE FAR RIGHT’S TOP 10 TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD ATTACKS ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS…

Filed under: political musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights — Peg Britton @ 8:17 am

From EMILY’S LIST: Top 10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Attacks on Women’s Rights

By Alison McQuade on 03/14/2012 @ 10:50 AM

Tags: Why Women

The Right Wing decided it wanted to play Monday Morning Quarterback with my lady parts this year. It seems like an odd choice for a recreational activity, especially since there’s no legislative or medical reason to suddenly introduce radically restrictive and dangerous legislation on women’s health and bodies. Maybe someone should introduce them to Pinterest instead.

Here are our Top 10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Attacks on Women’s Rights (just in the last 6 months!)

1.   The Blunt Amendment. Reasonable religious exemptions weren’t enough for Roy Blunt. This amendment would have allowed your employer – not your doctor - to decide what kind of health care you could get based on his or her own personal moral or religious convictions.

2.   The All-Male Birth Control Panel, or the Man Panel. Congressman Darrell Issa convened a panel to discuss the coverage of birth control – but refused to include any women.

3.    Susan G. Komen Foundation defunds Planned Parenthood. Komen opted to cut off funding to the largest provider of reproductive health services in the US because of their new VP’s objection to a mere 3% of their activities.

4.    Rush Limbaugh Calls Sandra Fluke a Prostitute and a Slut. After Sandra Fluke stood up for women everywhere, Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves and called her a prostitute and a slut for speaking out in favor of birth control coverage. He also said she should have to put videos of her having sex online to compensate the taxpayers who “are going to pay for your contraceptives.” Classy.

5.    Forced Trans-Vaginal Ultrasounds. Republican legislators in Virginia invited the commonwealth into the exam room when they proposed a bill that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an invasive, medically-unnecessary vaginal probe before their procedure.

6.    Texas defunds Planned Parenthood. Under Governor Rick Perry, the state of Texas banned funding to Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services. In the end, though, this fight has only served to hurt low-income women looking for breast cancer screenings, birth control and pap smears.

7.    Women in the Military Should “Expect” to be Raped. Responding to a 64% increase in the reports of rape and violent sexual assaults in the military, Fox News pundit Liz Trotta responds, “What did they expect?” She goes on to say that there is a bureaucracy of people to support these women who are being “raped too much.”

8.    Foster Friess Suggests Women Put Aspirin Between Their Knees. Rick Santorum supporter, Foster Friess, reminisced about back in his day when ladies put aspirin between their knees for birth control. Back in his day, people also died of polio.

9.    Santorum wants to deny birth control coverage because he thinks it’s available and affordable. Despite the fact that most forms of birth control still require a prescription and 1 in 3 women have reported struggling to afford birth control. Santorum feels there is no barrier to access, so it shouldn’t be covered by insurance.

10.    Mitt Romney doesn’t understand a woman’s reproductive system. Romney has publicly supported “personhood amendments,” which would ban abortion by declaring life begins at conception. When asked about how this affects birth control, Romney seemed to be completely unaware that hormonal forms of birth control stop implantation, not conception and would be banned under any personhood amendment.

3/11/2012

LET’S PUT SANTORUM’S “WIN” IN KANSAS IN PERSPECTIVE…

Filed under: political musings, Pro-life/Pro-choice, LGBT — Peg Britton @ 7:38 am

Let’s put the Santorum “win” in perspective, shall we?

–Out of 725,000 or so active Republican voters in Kansas, only 30,000 or so voted.
–30,000 people is a smaller population than Salina and smaller than Hutch, but a smidge bigger than Hays. In other words, it’s not very many people.
–The total Republican turnout was 0.04, or 4%. That’s 4% of the *Republicans,* not 4% of all voters.
–Half of that 4%, or 2%, of those Republicans voted for Santorum.
–In most polls, the margin of error is 3% to 5%.

In other words, even in Kansas, Rick Santorum is insignificant. He’s a sideshow - a shell of an ideologue flogged by the media just to keep the primary cycle interesting. People should give him, and his misogynistic rantings, the attention they deserve: None at all.

From  Thomas Witt, Kansas Equality Coalition, Inc.

3/2/2012

THINK !!!

Filed under: prairie musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights — Peg Britton @ 9:37 am

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2/29/2012

TONYA PARKER, GAY TEXAS JUDGE, WON’T MARRY STRAIGHT COUPLES…

Filed under: prairie musings, LGBT, Civil/Gay Rights — Peg Britton @ 7:59 am

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Toronto Sun
February 24, 2012 05:24 PM EST

Tonya Parker, an African-American lesbian judge in Texas, refuses to marry straight couples until everyone in the state has the right to marry.

Turning away would-be newlyweds is “my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state,” Parker told a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas earlier this week.

She said it’s “oxymoronic” for her to perform a ceremony that can’t be performed for her.

Instead, she refers couples to other judges in the courthouse with an explanation along the lines of “I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,” she told the meeting.

In a statement to the media issued Thursday and quoted on the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate, Parker said she would never impede anyone from getting married, but said she is not duty-bound to officiate over ceremonies and so chooses not to.

Parker was elected to the bench in 2010. She is the first gay person elected judge in Dallas County and is believed to be the the first openly gay black elected official in the state’s history, according to Dallas Voice, a news site for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community.

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