Such was the case in California and that intricately mobilized hate campaign had serious consequences. And the same is beginning to play out in Maine, where the fate of gay marriage is now in the hands of voters, who will be asked to cast their ballot for or against Question 1, an initiative that if passed would overturn the law. Playing dirty apparently pays, and it appears that gay marriage opponents in Maine have figured that out, as this is what the citizens of that state are currently getting on their TV screens:
Funny, that “gay marriage will be taught in schools”rhetoric lie was precisely the “gota que colmó el vaso” in the California Prop 8 debate. Many believe that inserting that little piece of bigoted dishonesty is what put on the fence voters on the side of voting against civil rights for Californians:
Very original Maine homophobes! Luckily, gay marriage supporters have put together some great ads of their own, taking the high road and showing what “family values” are really all about. Check them out after the jump.
As a food obsessed blogger, I was delighted to see that a food blog I frequent, Taco Journalism out of Austin, was featured in this great video from The Austin American Statesman.
At Taco Journalism, taco freak Mando Rayo takes you on a culinary tour of taquerías great and small, dazzling and disappointing. If you like tacos and like blogs, then I think you might love Taco Journalism. Pay Nando a little visit here.
That’s what Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega said late last week when defending tough new legislation which would restrict what can be said on radio and television in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. No sooner had this statement been made did Venezuela announce the closing of some 34 radio stations:
More than a dozen of 34 radio stations ordered shut by the Venezuelan government went off the air on Saturday, part of President Hugo Chavez’s drive to extend his socialist revolution to the media.
The association of radio broadcasters said 13 stations had stopped transmitting, following an announcement Friday night by government broadcasting watchdog Conatel that 34 radio outlets would be closed because they failed to comply with regulations.
While I was shocked at the Chavez-ordered takeover of RCTV in 2007, I am not shocked by this massive squashing of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in these radio station closings. I’m just disgusted.
We haven’t closed any radio stations, we’ve applied the law,” Chavez said on state television. “We’ve recovered a bunch of stations that were outside the law, that now belong to the people and not the bourgeoisie.”
Translation: “We’re closing down a bunch of stations that have criticized me because we can.”
ABC News has a good rundown of the content of that encounter, but a standout for me is this poignant statement by Gates:
Sergeant Crowley and I, through an accident of time and place, have been cast together, inextricably, as characters – as metaphors, really – in a thousand narratives about race over which he and I have absolutely no control.“
It isn’t about Crowley and Gates. It’s about how American society continues to deny that racial profiling even exists.
But back to this specific incident, Crowley doesn’t seem to have seen how profoundly wrong his actions were, that is, if we are to be guided by his statements at the Beer Summit:
Crowley was asked if the controversy was a “teachable moment” for the sergeant, as President Obama said he’d hoped this would become?
He said it was.
And the lesson?
“The media can find you, no matter where you live,” he said.
Wow, glad you learned something there Sergeant Crowley!
Summer is here and as we’re starting to don skirts and shorts, some of us (cough cough) might be a little pasty after a long, winter-like spring. And some of us (cough cough) might have briefly entertained the idea of visiting a tanning bed before showing ourpale thighs on the beach. If that’s the case (and you know who you are), please take the following as yet another reason why you shouldn’t go cooking yourself in one of those things:
The ultraviolet light used in tanning beds is as carcinogenic as asbestos, arsenic, radium and cigarettes, a special committee of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded. The use of sunlamps had previously been classified only as “probably carcinogenic in humans.” Moreover, the committee concluded that all types of UV radiation induce cancer, not just the UV-B that has been implicated in the past. Some tanning salons claim to use only UV-A, which was thought to be safer, but the committee said that is not the case.
The World Health Organization also says that the risk of cancer increases up to 75% when people start using tanning beds before the age of 30. Latinas come in all shapes and colors, some lighter than others. And society pressures all women to look perfect — tanning is part of that — but the price in this case is just too high: your health. So remember, if you get the urge to toast your nalguitas artificially, just repeat to yourself again and again: as carcinogenic as asbestos.
Here at VL we have covered lots ofstories about violence against transgender people, and unfortunately many of these cases of violence end in death. What I didn’t know was that the rate at which transgender murders occur worldwide was so high; a recent report by non-profit organization Transgender Europe (TGEU) shows that a transgender person is killed every 3 days. And another disturbing fact is that the majority of these murders are happening in Latin America:
The cases have been reported from all six World regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The majority of cases have been reported from Latin America and North America. On these continents the majority of cases have been reported from Brazil (59) and the U.S.A. (16) for 2008 and from Brazil (23), Venezuela (20), and Guatemala (10) for the first six months of 2009. Moreover, the preliminary results show a total of 11 murdered trans people reported for Colombia followed by 5 for Honduras and 4 for Mexico and Venezuela for 2008, and 6 for Mexico and 3 for Argentina, and the Dominican Republic for the first six months of 2009.
In total 91 murders of trans people were reported in 11 Latin American countries in 2008, and 73 murders of trans people in 11 Latin American countries in the first six months of 2009. The reported murders of trans people in Latin America account for 75% and 88% of the world wide reported murders of trans people in 2008 and the first six months of
The map associated with the study (image above) for 2009 to date shows the highest concentration of murders in South America, particularly in Brazil.
Planning a vacation to the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula this summer? You might want to know a couple of things before you go: 1) it’s hotter than all hell in the summer and 2) Yucatan’s Congress just overwhelmingly approved a ban on gay marriage in the Mexican state. And while they were at it, they managed to ban gay adoption and ensure that abortion be illegal in almost all cases:
With the vote of 24 of the 25 local deputies, the Yucatan Congress raised heterosexual marriage and families to the constitutional level via the approval of amendments to the state’s Civil Code. With this, marriage between people of the is same sex will be penalized as will abortion “unless it is totally justified”.
14 legislators from the PRI, 9 from the PAN and the representative for the Todos Somos Yucatán coalition (comprised of the Convergencia party and local political groups) voted in favor of the grassroots initiative promoted by the Pro Yucatán Network, made up of conservative groups, to reject all efforts by people of the same sex to form a family and adopt children.
In other words, if you aren’t looking a whole lot like the couple in the photo above and you want to get married or just adopt a kid, you’d better not “estar en Yucatán”.
And about that abortion issue: what exactly is a “totally justified” abortion? According to Mexico’s Anodis.com, the only circumstances under which abortion will be “justifiable” in Yucatán are “poverty, having more than 4 children, a terminal illness or risk of death for the mother”. If you have an abortion and don’t fall into any of these categories, you are facing a year in prison.
Meanwhile, PAN politicians attempted to disguise the ban as something other than hateful and discriminatory by alleging that “there still aren’t adequate conditions within Yucatán society to allow for unions between people of the same sex.”
An Ohio Latino teen, Robert Cantú (seen in the video above) was allegedly the victim of an unspeakable hate crime: last year, he was reportedly tied by his neck with a noose and dragged by a pickup truck in his hometown of Mount Vernon.
According to Cantu the incident occurred on or about May 30, 2008. Cantu said he was with a friend when Klein and three others jumped him, and tied a rope with a noose around his neck. The other end of the rope was tied to a truck and Cantu said he was dragged for several feet. After stopping the truck, the attackers, allegedly including Klein, exited the truck and began to attack Cantu. According to Cantu, a passer-by, Ezzy Thompson, who was known to Cantu, intervened, chasing off the attackers and removing the noose from Cantu’s neck.
“[Thompson] was with his girlfriend,” said Cantu. “He saw me on the ground and ran over and pushed the guys off me. He got the noose off me. I’ve known Ezzy for about eight years. He was just in the area.”
Cantú’s mother said it took police 10 months to make an arrest, and that only happened after the Anti-Defamation League applied pressure to authorities.
But that’s not all. A second victimization of Robert has also just happened, as his harasser, also a teenager, has been sentenced to a mere 10 days in jail after a plea deal.
LULAC Ohio is hosting a “Vigil for Justice” this Friday in Mount Vernon. Details after the jump.
Damn right he’s sorry. One sorry excuse for a human being. But that’s just my opinion.
What do you think? Are you convinced by Brown’s apology? Should the world just let him get on with his life as Rihanna has? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.