Friday, August 28, 2015
On the highway to LGBTI civil rights, there are many collisions. Willful ignorance runs headlong into justice.Few are as fascinating as the wreck in Rowan County Kentucky. We, the American public, cannot stop ourselves from rubber necking as a cold hearted group, led by a county clerk, rudely deny a polite gay couple their marriage license.
The ‘good guys’ are two Davids – Moore and Ermold, who want to get married.
It is their legal right.
The ‘villain’ is Kim Davis who refuses to issue them a marriage license. She had also denied a second couple, James Yates and William Smith Jr.
The state governor has told her to comply, as has a federal judge.
Her representation, the right wing Liberty Counsel, has told her to refuse. She calls her homophobia ‘religious freedom’, the Liberty Counsel may call it a number of things, but what it really is to them is profit.
Davis’s behavior bothers me. I look at the messages not just to me, but to my kids and their counterparts in LGBTI families across the nation.
First is her attempt to disparage families such as mine and declare us invalid. Kids in LGBTI families, and kids who are LGBTI should not hear a government official would rather they didn’t exist.
Second is her behavior. I am teaching my kids principles of responsibility and citizenship. Davis violates that principle at every turn.
I have written her a letter.
Dear Ms Davis,
I understand you are angry the fight for marriage equality did not go the way you had hoped. I will not be able to persuade you into liking the Supreme Court’s decision, but as a public servant, I do expect you to respect it.
Respect is the key. You are demanding respect for your beliefs far beyond what is reasonable, and the couples are demanding respect for their ability to determine the course of their own lives. Their demands are not just reasonable; they are the way things should be.
As a Christian I do not understand the religious system you claim to have. Nowhere in the Bible does it demand you impede the family of a same-sex couple. It does not imply you should. Christ’s great commandment to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ is counter to your current behavior.
Much has been made of the fact you have been married multiple times. There are, theoretically, county clerks who would find your requests for re-marriage counter to Jesus’s directive on divorce.
But I would defend you. I feel Christ has given us the awareness to understand his directive on divorce was to a specific time and place. His purpose was not to saddle people like you into hopeless permanent unions, but to protect women from destitution.
I ask you reconsider your choices. You set a horrendous example for young people, like my sons, who should be learning how to effectively co-exist with others in society.
When my son Jesse is putting his foot down on something he needs to do, but doesn’t want to, he calls in his allies for credibility or support. ‘My friends don’t think that is fair!’ Invariably those he calls upon to do the wrong thing have a vested interest.
Such is your relationship with Liberty Counsel, an organization that gained $3.5 million (€3 million) in donations in 2013.
As the Lexington Herald-Leader observes: ‘Liberty’s attorneys know they can’t win the case in Rowan County. Same-sex marriage is legal since the Supreme Court’s decision and it’s Davis’ job to issue marriage licenses.
‘So, why is Liberty Counsel marching alongside Davis in this losing cause?
‘It takes a lot to keep that marketing machine humming and those executives paid, and the only way to keep those donations coming is to stay in the news. For that purpose a losing cause is just as good as, perhaps better than, a winning one.’
Your ‘friends’, who themselves will reap millions, are telling you to hang out until the end where you will be potentially unemployed, and perceived globally as a selfish intolerant hypocrite who was cruel to her neighbors.
As a ‘Good Samaritan’, I am telling you to do the opposite: do your job, respect people making their own life choices, and trust in God that love will prevail in the end.
If you do, the couples will walk away with the licenses they want and the protections they deserve.
You will walk away with dignity. You will be a woman who changed her mind, evolved and chose the path of compassion.
The Liberty Counsel won’t be able to use you for fund raising. You won’t be their pawn. You will be the real winner.
A few years later, you will be walking down the street of your town. You will see a gloriously happy little girl holding her dad’s hand. She will smile at you. As that warms your heart, you will look to her father and realize you know him. He is one of the men you tried to deny a marriage license. Your eyes will dart back to the little girl who will still be beaming at you.
In that moment, you will know without a doubt that you ultimately did the right thing.
The Bush campaign this week released excerpts from Bush's upcoming e-book, Reply All: A Governor's Story 1999-2007, about email exchanges the former governor of Florida had with his constituents.
Cortada is described in the book as a friend who wrote to Bush in 2004 about his support for a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
In his reply, Bush advised his friend that he could make his relationship more permanent through other legal means than marriage.
“Thank you for writing and I apologize for not responding earlier,” Bush wrote. “The tyranny of the present has gotten me!”
“I am sensitive to your point of view but respectfully disagree. If there is discrimination, there are remedies. The cases of violence against gay and lesbians are unconscionable and the laws in Florida exist to bring justice. Your relationship with Juan Carlos can be made more permanent through contractual obligations that set forth asset disposition and other issues. However, I don't believe that your relationship should be afforded the same status in the law as a man and a woman agreeing to marriage. The institution of marriage is under attack in our society and it needs to be strengthened. This does not have to be at the expense of other kinds of relationships but in support of the most important institution in our society.”
Cortada, an artist, and Juan Carlos Espinosa have since married.
In remarks to the Daily News, he said he would not vote for Bush.
“I like him. I respect him. But I disagree with him. I don't wish to see him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Cortada, who has known Bush for more than 20 years.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Rentboy.com CEO Jeffrey Hurant defended his business Tuesday (25 August) hours after being arrested by federal authorities on money laundering and prostitution charges.‘I don’t think that we do anything to promote prostitution,’ Hurant told reporters outside federal court in Manhattan. ‘I think we do good things for good people, and we bring good people together.’
The site’s Twitter account describes Rentboy.com as ‘The Original & World’s Largest Male Escort Site’ and has some 11,000 followers.
If convicted, Hurant could be sentenced up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000. Six others were arrested as well.
According to the full criminal complaint, the company had more than $10 million in gross proceeds in the past five years. More than $1.4 million has been seized from six bank accounts in connection with the investigation.
Users of the site pay a minimum monthly fee of $59.95 to search for a rentboy or masseur on the site by country and city. Escort’s profile pages generally detail the sexual acts each escort is willing to perform and the price.
The criminal complaint calls the site’s disclaimer a ruse. It reads: ‘This site may not be used for the advertising of sexual services or to engage in activities requiring the payment of money for sex or other illegal activities.’
It details several profiles of male escorts which included reviews of their sexual performance and details about which sexual acts took place and how much was paid.
The complaint also mentions that Rentboy.com each year holds the International Escort Awards which are better known as The Hookies.
Despite what Jeffrey Hurant says, Rentboy is online prostitution, the real question here though, why should it be illegal, it's just sex between two consenting adults (or more, depending on what you can afford)
But the even bigger question here is, what the hell does this have to do with Homeland Security and why are my tax dollars going to fund this kind of witch hunt when we were told this security task force was put in place to protect us from potential terrorist threats?