Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Via JMG: NEW JERSEY: Roommate Charged With Hate Crime In Suicide Of Rutgers Student

The roommate of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi (left) was today indicted on hate crime charges stemming from the secret webcasting of Clementi having sex with another man. Clementi leaped from the George Washington Bridge last year after learning about the broadcast.
Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student, was indicted on 15 counts including charges of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and tampering with evidence by a grand jury in Middlesex County, N.J. Prosecutors allege that not only did Ravi invade Clementi's privacy, but he tried to cover it up. Both Ravi and his alleged accomplice, former Rutgers student Molly Wei, are accused of filming Clementi during a "sexual encounter" in his dorm room with a man and then streaming it live on the Internet. Evidence against Wei has not yet been presented to a grand jury. Prosecutors allege that on Sept. 19 of last year, Ravi filmed Clementi with the purpose of intimidating him because of his sexual orientation. Ravi "disclosed a photograph, film, videotape, recording or other reproduction of the image of [Clementi]...whose intimate parts were exposed," the indictment reads. When Ravi became worried about being charged with a crime, he sent false tweets in an attempt "to mislead a public servant who was engaged in such proceeding or investigation," the indictment reads.
Clementi's parents have released a statement applauding today's charges.

reposted from Joe

MSNBC - Same-Sex Immigration Bill Proposed In The Senate

Via JMG: Marriage Opponents Now In Minority

Nate Silver looks at the latest polling trends on same-sex marriage.
Republican candidates, who have placed less emphasis on gay marriage in recent years, probably cannot expect their opposition to it to be a net electoral positive for them except in select circumstances. If support for gay marriage were to continue accelerating as fast as it has in the past two years, supporters would outnumber opponents roughly 56-40 in the general population by November 2012. Past trends, of course, are no guarantee of future ones, and it’s always possible that the momentum toward increasing support for gay marriage could flatten out or even reverse itself. But this does put Republicans in a tricky position. Their traditional position on gay marriage is becoming less popular. But to the extent they disengage from the issue, they may lose even more ground. One way to read the trends of the past few years is that we have passed an inflection point wherein it is no longer politically advantageous for candidates to oppose same-sex marriage, which in turn softens opposition to it among the general public, creating a sort of feedback loop and accelerating the trend.

reposted from Joe

MSNBC - Teen Suicide Attempts Higher In Conservative Areas

Via The Scariest Gay Marriage Chart Ever

Via AmericaBlogGay:

I wonder if King & Spalding would defend anti-miscegenation laws for $900/hour

I wonder what King & Spalding, the law firm that was willing to debase itself by working with John Boehner to defend DOMA, wouldn't do for a fast buck?

Even more disgusting, the firm has the temerity to brag about its diversity policy on its Web site.  Yes, quite the diverse firm.  They offer domestic partner benefits to their employees, then expect those same employees to work to deny similar rights to millions of gay and lesbian Americans nationwide.  The firm is listed near the top of HRC's list of pro-LGBT firms.  I think that listing needs to be tweaked, because any law firm that's willing to do the bidding of the modern day Bull Connor's of the world should have an automatic "fail" in front of their names on any civil rights index.

If you work for King & Spalding, you are no better than someone who worked for firms that helped enforce discrimination against blacks and other minorities during the 50s and 60s and beyond.  I hope all of you $900/hour lawyers can live with yourselves, because your firm shouldn't be permitted on any law school campus in this country.

Perhaps now that DADT is supposedly coming to an end, some enterprising young law students can prepare King & Spalding a queen's welcome next fall when they try to recruit at the nation's top law schools.  Imagine interviewing for a job with a long line of students standing outside the door holding signs that read "HATE," "BIGOT," and "I am a man."  I suspect it might prove embarrassing.  (Though there's no reason King & Spalding's offices can't be greeted by protests now.)

Then again, is anything embarrassing to a law firm that would work to deny millions of Americans their civil rights?  And again, before anyone trots out the old "everyone and every case deserves representation, how would you feel if your law firm was working for, oh, Fred Phelps?  Or David Duke?  Or the Ku Klux Klan?  Still feel that everyone deserves their day?


PS About King & Spalding being so diverse, I decided to take a look at their stats. According to stats available online, King & Spalding reportedly has 0.65% gay attorneys. Yeah, pretty diverse.

Via AMERICAblogGay:

Poll: More than half of all Americans now support marriage equality

A lot of polls are showing this recently. And it matters.  First, because it does in fact show that there's a trend in our favor.  Second, the courts aren't immune from news, and trends, like this.  Maggie Gallagher can spew her bigotry all she wants, and she'll even win in the short-term because her bigots are well-motivated and well-financed by the Catholics and the Mormons.  But in the long-run, Maggie, the Catholic Church and the Mormons will be listed in the history books alongside the people who turned fire hoses on African-American civil rights marchers.