Dear Mr. President: ... I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours. I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Jun 15, 2009 -
In September of 2004, a Superior Court in Washington state ruled the state's 1998 "Defense of Marriage" act unconstitutional
, a ruling which would have allowed the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2006, the state Supreme Court issued in an opinion in Andersen v. King County
overturning the lower court's ruling, noting "that our decision [pdf]
is not based on an independent
determination of what we believe the law should be." The legislature, in response, created the state-registered domestic partnership
in 2007, expanding many (but not all) marriage-related rights to same-sex couples. Last month, a new law expanded the partnership
to cover the remaining rights, creating an "all-but-marriage" partnership.
This year, the Washington Values Alliance has filed Referendum 71
, which would put this expansion to a ballot vote. The referendum will need 120,000 signatures to make it to the ballot. WhoSigned.org intends to make these signatures searchable
, this is creating some controversy
. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF
on Jun 2, 2009 -
Crimes of Necessity
On Oct. 14 2008 the B.C. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision
declaring that, due to the lack of adequate homeless shelters, it was unconstitutional for the City of Victoria to prevent homeless individuals from erecting temporary structures for protection from the elements. The ruling culminates a multi-year campaign by David Arthur Johnston
to establish the "right to sleep". As the decision is based on an interpretation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms
, the ruling applies to every municipality in Canada. In the wake of the decision, Victoria City Council passed a resolution which stipulates that such shelters must be removed by 7:00 each morning
. [more inside]
posted by dinsdale
on Oct 26, 2008 -
These are the documents that started it all. The Charters of Freedom.
As the USA celebrates another Independence Day, the National Archives presents the historical development of the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and their impact upon the nation and the world.
posted by netbros
on Jul 4, 2008 -
Women's rights: What's in it for men?
- "Women in rich countries largely enjoy gender equality while those in poor countries suffer substantial discrimination. This column proposes an explanation for the relationship between economic development and female empowerment that emphasises changes in the incentives males face rather than shifts in moral sentiment. Technological change that raises demand for human capital may give men a stake in women's rights." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jun 29, 2008 -
“People like you are not holding up the Constitution ..."
Or so said Major Freddy Welborn, Specialist Jeremy Hall's commanding officer in Tikrit. "Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation
, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers." (NY Times)
posted by fourcheesemac
on Apr 26, 2008 -
- "Please don't beat me. I'm having my period." ~ Mama Wangari
- "It is being both black and gay [which is problematic]." ~ Zanele Muholi (Nehanda Nyakasikana) [NSFW]
- "Sisters at heart, these women are: from Kibera to Loresho." ~ WM
- "My vagina wants an Uzi" ~ Larissa Klazinga (Amanda Atwood)
- "You are from Kenya? So are you Kikuyu or Luo?" ~ Wangui
Blogs of women from Africa. That is all.
posted by hadjiboy
on Apr 17, 2008 -
A Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court in Vermont has ruled that a man allegedly caught with child pornography on his laptop need not reveal his PGP password (yes, authorities shut down the laptop and now can't get at the alleged porn) pursuant to the Fifth Amendment's protections against self incrimination. The decision is here
[PDF]. A decent write-up (from CNET of all places) is here
. This appears to be the first decision ever to directly address this issue, and many commentators had thought it would come out differently. The major question is whether revealing one's PGP key is "testimonial" or not. According to the Supreme Court
, giving up fingerprints or blood samples isn't, nor is standing for a lineup, nor is handing over the key to a safe, but if it's combination
safe, well maybe that's different
. Never let it be said that your Fifth Amendment rights are easy.
posted by The Bellman
on Dec 15, 2007 -
Your Rights As A Photographer:
As most of us are no doubt aware, the right to take photographs in the United States is being challenged more than ever--people are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples have included photographing industrial plants, bridges
, buildings, trains,
and bus stations. Print and carry this pamphlet in your wallet, pocket, or camera bag to give you quick access to your rights and obligations concerning confrontations over photography. [via] [more inside]
posted by fandango_matt
on Nov 9, 2007 -
The Digital Freedom Campaign
believes that new technologies are essential to the creativity and innovation, and that digital technology enables anyone and everyone to be an artist and an innovator. The DFC is dedicated to defending the rights of artists, innovators, creators and consumers to use lawful technology free of unreasonable government restrictions and without fear of costly lawsuits.
posted by terrapin
on Mar 28, 2007 -
The First Freedom Project
--new from the Dept of Justice, announced at the Southern Baptist Convention
along with a call for their help---specifically and only to protect the religious from discrimination against them. Many are not impressed: The administration has often ignored the importance of the no establishment principle by supporting attempts of governments to endorse a religious message, using tax dollars to fund pervasively religious organizations, allowing religious discrimination in hiring for federally funded projects, ...
Legal strategies and actions from groups like the Alliance Defense Fund
are now official DOJ policy, it appears. ...In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies ...
posted by amberglow
on Feb 23, 2007 -
Tracked In America
--the stories of 25 individuals who have been targeted by the U.S. government. The stories span from World War I to the post-9/11 world.
posted by amberglow
on Jan 23, 2007 -
Clean water is a right:
"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development
. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study
is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless
on Nov 24, 2006 -
Israel recognizes same-sex marriageswn
performed abroad. But even heterosexual Israelis are still often forced to marry abroad by Orthodox rabbis. Israel has partialy recognized same sex civil unions since 1994.wp
The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa are the only other nations to legalize same sex marriage; however, most European nations recognize some form of civil union.wp
Gay Palestinians often seek refuge in Israel since they may be tortured or killed by the Palestinian Authority; this continues dispite the fact that Jordanian law, as would be applied in the west bank, does not criminalize homosexuality. Israel sadly does not often grant gay Palestinians refugee status, forcing them to remain hidden within Israel.
posted by jeffburdges
on Nov 22, 2006 -