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While You Were Sweating the Mueller Report…

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What with all the Mueller hoo-ha in recent weeks, you may have missed the Senate’s confirmation of an anti-gay bigot, Allison Rushing, to a lifetime appointment on a federal appeals court. Here’s how the Washington Post’s Eli Rosenberg and Deanna Paul deftly covered the story: “Rushing’s confirmation drew quick condemnation from Democrats and civil rights and LGBTQ groups. Many cited her internship with Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based conservative, Christian legal nonprofit, which played an integral role in recent Supreme Court cases, including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which it defended the Colorado baker who fought for the right not to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

ADF was also successful in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, securing a ruling that allowed companies to opt out of covering contraceptives for employees because of the owners’ religious beliefs.

In addition, Rushing defended the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, and said she supported the four conservative justices who dissented when the Supreme Court struck down the ruling in 2015.”

Rushing is only 37 years old, so the odds are pretty good that she will spend at least the next 40 years issuing contemptible rulings against us.

By the way, if you don’t read the Washington Post and confine your news consumption to The New York Times, you probably don’t know about this judicial calamity since The Times apparently didn’t bother to cover it. Because The Times is demonstrably better at covering LGBTQ issues now than it was in the bad old days — I’m thinking of its murderously inept coverage of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, (most of which was incompetently penned by Lawrence K. Altman and Gina “Piña” Kolata), and its insane refusal to use the word gay long after it had become common usage — it’s easy to slip into blind complacency when evaluating the Times’ more recent performance on gay issues.

Sure, the Times now has an openly gay man, Frank Bruni, and more astonishingly, a trans woman, Jennifer Finney Boylan, on its op-ed staff. But that doesn’t mean that they always get it right. In the case of Allison Rushing, The Times seems not to have gotten it at all.

Here’s a lede that certainly grabbed my attention: “Brunei is set to fast-track changes to its penal code that could see people from the LGBTQ community whipped or stoned to death for same-sex activity, human rights groups said on Monday, as they condemned the move.”

The article in the South China Morning Post continues: “Brunei introduced Islamic criminal law in 2014 when it announced the first of three stages of legal changes that included fines or jail for offences like pregnancy outside marriage or failing to pray on Friday. Previously homosexuality was illegal in Brunei and punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, but the changes would allow whipping and stoning to death for Muslims found guilty of adultery, sodomy, and rape, said rights groups.”

Brunei, not to be confused with the aforementioned Bruni, was formerly a British protectorate with a population of about 400,000; it sits on the island of Borneo between two Malaysian states and, according to the Morning Post, “is the first country in East Asia to adopt the criminal component of sharia at a national level.”

Now there’s progress for you. I have just crossed “tour of Brunei” off my bucket list.

A short article about Pete Buttigieg on nbcphiladelphia.com left a few things out. The piece ran under the title “Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg Talks Marriage, Millennials,” but the subject of millennials never came up. As for the marriage discussion, well, you’ll see:

“Buttigieg referenced the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling that granted, in a 5-4 decision, same-sex couples a right to marry. He married his husband, Chasten Glezman, last year. Speaking in Columbia, South Carolina, Buttigieg recalled when his father was undergoing chemotherapy and his mother learned she needed a triple bypass as an example of what’s at stake in the 2020 presidential election. Buttigieg said Glezman was able to stay at the hospital with his mother while he went to tell his father because his husband ‘is a member of our family.’” Um, tell his father what?

Updated 10:53 am, April 1, 2019
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