Lynne Stewart, in the vindictive and hysterical world of the war on terror, is one of its martyrs. A 73-year-old lawyer who spent her life defending the poor, the marginalized and the despised, including blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, she fell afoul of the state apparatus because she dared to demand justice rather than acquiesce to state sponsored witch hunts. And now, with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs, creating a grave threat to her life, she sits in a prison cell at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is serving a 10-year sentence. Stewart’s family is pleading with the state for “compassionate release” and numerous international human rights campaigners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have signed a petition calling for her to be freed on medical grounds. It is not only a crime in the U.S. to be poor, to be a Muslim, to openly condemn the crimes committed in our name in the Muslim world, but to defend those who do. And the near total collapse of our judicial system, wrecked in the name of national security and “the war on terror,” is encapsulated in the saga of this courageous attorney—now disbarred because of her conviction.
…the ACLU shines a light on a harrowing “debtors’ prison” system in Ohio — one that violates both the United States’ and the Ohio constitution. Ohioans are being jailed for “as small as a few hundred dollars,” despite the constitutional violation, and the economic evidence that it costs the state more to pay for their jail sentence than the amount of the debt.
Marriage, not to be confused with Holy Matrimony, is a legal contract requiring a license issued by the state. As such, it is inherently unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to enter into such a contract that is afforded every other consenting couple of legal age.
City Attorney Geno Zamora says in a three-page opinion that New Mexico’s statutory definition of marriage is gender-neutral and doesn’t define marriage as between a man and a woman. The law instead emphasizes the consent of the two people who want to wed, saying that marriage is “contemplated by the law as a civil contract, for which the consent of the contracting parties, capable in law of contracting, is essential,” Zamora noted.
Zamora also notes that New Mexico already recognizes marriages from other states, “without regard to the sex of the parties,” and that the state Constitution requires equal treatment regardless of gender. And while New Mexico’s statutory marriage application form is “described in terms of male and female applicants,” the form is trumped by the Constitution’s Equal Rights Amendment and the specific language of the marriage statute, “which does not require that the applicants be of the opposite sex,” Zamora’s opinion says.
The opinion says same-sex couples who have a marriage application denied should petition in district court for a writ directing a county clerk to issue a license “because the gender of the applicants is not a statutory ground for denial.
If you’re a Citizen, You’ll leave Out Your Religious Beliefs Out of Your Opposition to Same Sex Marriage
It’s much more expedient to have this discussion reminding people that the United States is a secular republic because the Constitution is much clearer about the the matter than The Bible.
Most court cases challenging prohibitions against same sex marriage are based on those prohibitions being violations of the 14th Amendment. I take another tact and focus on the etiology of that opposition being a violation The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. There is very little coherence, if any, in an argument in opposition to same sex marriage that isn’t based on a theology, faulty or otherwise.
Bigots who oppose same sex marriage forget that that outside of their church, beyond the intended sight of God, that marriage is a contract between two consenting adults. To insist and codify that people Here be obliged to marry as part of a religious act is theocracy - in opposition and defiance of the rules written down in the Constitution.
…I resent the hyperbolic tone which paints a grossly distorted picture which is hard to take seriously. And the fact that it comes from Rand Paul who’s base philosophy of stripping away basic protections from women and minorities that are infinitely and further more immediately more harmful is a joke.
But if there is a broken law, can’t the president say: “This is a broken law, and it’s creating more problems for us as a country, and for me as an administration, for all of us. Broken laws should not be enforced”?
Even broken laws have to be enforced. The president has said many times that this is a broken law and it needs to be fixed, but he cannot say to the Congress, which passes laws, “I don’t like this one so I’m not going to enforce it.” We have an obligation to enforce the law, the federal government.
But how we do it matters, and DHS is taking very important steps to do it in a strategic way. And the feedback from the communities that are affected from the law enforcement community, from the faith community, from other constituencies, has been really important in shaping how DHS does that, to their credit. DHS has been listening to concerns across the country to make sure that this new strategy gets implemented well.
And that where it doesn’t work; it gets adjusted.
Translation: Get back to me when you have the political will to force immigration courts to give the accused 6th and 8th Amendment rights due them. You’re going to have to hold Congress’ feet to a bonfire to make that happen because non-Latino xenophobes don’t give a damn about their families or rights.