Blog Beat: Prop 8 Brief Cites Teen Deaths, Richmond’s Green Mayor Under Attack

  • From the KALW Informant: A link to a post from the blog Legal Pad that extracts passages from yesterday’s brief filed with the Court of Appeals, in support of a ruling overturning California’s same-sex marriage ban. The excerpts address recent tragedies concerning gay teenagers.

    After quotations from the likes of Lawrence, Romer and Loving, and after the dozens of pages of legal arguments on strict scrutiny, rational basis review, standing and the rest, gay marriage supporters offer some heart-wrenching current events in their latest filing in the case against Prop 8.

    “Last month, in a widely publicized tragedy, a young Rutgers student jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being outed on the Internet as gay,” reads the brief filed late Monday to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “A few days later, across the Hudson River in the Bronx, two 17-year-old young men were beaten and tortured to the brink of death by a gang of nine because they were suspected of being gay.”

    It continues: “Incidents such as these are all too familiar to our society. And it is too plain for argument that discrimination written into our constitutional charters inexorably leads to shame, humiliation, ostracism, fear, and hostility. The consequences are all too often very, very tragic.”

    The Appeals Court will hear the case in December.

  • BeyondChron has a post up titled 3 State Propositions That Aren’t Getting Enough Attention.

    …the three propositions that arguably have the greatest impact on California’s future – Propositions 24, 25 and 26 – are barely getting any attention at all. The state budget may be a boring subject, but Sacramento will remain a dysfunctional cesspool that generations of elected officials cannot fix until we make structural changes. Getting rid of the two-thirds budget rule by passing Proposition 25 is a critical first step, and passing Prop 24 will undo some of the most recent damage that is driving the state to bankruptcy. But even passing Props 24 and 25 is not enough, because Proposition 26 threatens to make a terrible situation worse – by extending two-thirds to all fee hikes. In fact, Prop 26 could make the passage of Prop 25 and the defeat of Prop 23 virtually meaningless.

    While progressives heave a sigh of relief that Jerry Brown has a slight lead even after Meg Whitman has shattered all spending records, I’m reminded of what my friend and fellow blogger David Dayen said years ago. Noam Chomsky could be elected Governor of California, and we’d all be shouting “sell-out” within months. The problems in our state government are so structural that no single politician or officeholder is going to improve things. If you want a sane budget process where a vocal minority of right-wing legislators can’t hold the state hostage for over 100 days, we need to pass Prop 25.

  • From Richmond Confidential, a piece on Mayor Gayle McLaughlin’s quest for a second term. McLaughlin, one of the highest-ranking Green Party elected officials in the U.S., was the subject of a nasty attack earlier in the month by the city’s police and firefighter unions, who publicized a 2001 bankruptcy, a $100,000 student debt, and nine years of Social Security disability payments for a psychological condition.

    Relatedly, a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday reports on speculation that ex-Richmond firefighters union’ head and “political kingmaker” Darrell Reese was behind the attacks. Reese denies the allegations.

  • From the Bay Citizen’s Pulse of the Bay: The coffee roaster Blue Bottle has given up on its attempt to serve coffee in trailers in Dolores Park. The proposal was met with a less than enthusiastic reaction from neighborhood residents. Said Blue Bottle co-owner James Freeman: “I don’t need this controversy.”
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Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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