Politics & Law

Elizabeth's picture

Global Gag Rule Gone ...

... for now. While I'm thrilled and celebrating I recognize that this is like a ping-pong match we play with women's lives every presidential election cycle. The rule was first initiated under Reagan in the mid 1980s, maintained by the first Bush, then reversed by Clinton then reinstated by the second Bush, and now reversed again. What will happen at the next changing of the guard?

Meanwhile, back on a celebratory note, it was very exciting for me to see how the twitterverse went wild when the revoking of the gag rule was announced. Check this out:

Twitter search for Obama global gag rule


Click here for the NARAL page announcing the repeal and for a link to thank President Obama for his quick action.

Caroline's picture

SCOT-PEP's funding withdrawn

SCOT-PEP, or the Scottish Prostitutes Education Project, describes itself as "promoting health and dignity in prostitution". Want their creds? Sure you do -

Between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007 SCOT-PEP worked with 557 individuals - recording 3,977 contacts. Services and support were provided to an average of 122 sex workers each month. 367 of our service users were indoor-based sex workers and 89 were street-based sex workers. During the year contact was maintained with sex workers in 37 establishments.

The average number of individuals accessing sessions were:

* daytime service - 10.43 (189 sessions)

* establishment outreach - 6.41 (86 sessions)

* night-time services - 10.94 (97 sessions)

We provided
info and advice to 404 individuals on 2,627 occasions;
a listening ear to 318 individuals on 1,669 occasions;
referrals for 192 individuals on 1,152 occasions;
high level support to 8 individuals on 12 occasions;
and our website received 5,729 hits.

Safe Sex Supplies - SCOT-PEP distributed 91,063 condoms.

Lou FCD's picture

GLBT Community Gets Double Snub

This may at first seem like a rather odd reaction for an atheist to take, but I am personally livid about the snubbing of Bishop Gene Robinson by HBO during Sunday's inaugural pre-game warm-up. I was already offended by the decision to have Rick Warren brought to the inaugural dinner table, but now I am flat out incensed.

Now, a secular country should not have a state-sponsored prayer to begin with. The First Amendment is pretty clear on the point that the government has no business promoting religion, and most definitely has no business promoting one religion over another. But there is a new administration coming in, an administration that has trumpeted its message of inclusiveness. The new President has bent over backwards to tap the shoulders of people across a wide spectrum of political philosophies, bent over to the point that he has left many of us scratching our heads.

But if the new administration is going to claim it is inclusive, claim to be a government of all people, then why is Rick Warren invited? Warren is inherently antithetical to the notion of inclusion.


Warren is a divisive, mean-spirited fomenter of hate and intolerance. The fact that he wears a nice suit and is very popular does not in any way alter the fact that his message is intrinsically the same message promoted by the likes of Fred Phelps. Warren has no business on the inaugural platform of a President who takes on the mantle of inclusion.

 (continue reading below the fold)

Caroline's picture

More on how to protest against Jacqui Smith’s proposals

Further to my post yesterday, I have some more information from the IUSW on how to protest against Jacqui Smith's proposals:

The second reading of the new bill is now on MONDAY THE 12TH.

We must get as many MPs as is possible to speak out against the governments proposals.

This is a draft letter from the IUSW.

Please will everyone concerned with this industry send this to your MP. If you need help finding out who your local MP is IM me and I will give you details. [or check out this site]

Clients can of course change the begining to something appropriate such as concerned member of the public.

This is urgent please do this asap.

Caroline's picture

Jacqui Smith and the New Prostitution Laws in the UK

carolineAs I'm sure you'll be aware, the UK's Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is proposing to change the law on prostitution. Councils would be given more power to close down brothels, clients would be "named and shamed" and  sex with someone "controlled" for another's gain would be outlawed.

It's not a good move, let's face it. Throwing women out into the street and denying workers the right to a safe environment to work in (and this is a Labour government?!), fostering a climate of fear, don't get me started on "naming and shaming..." This is bad news, quite simply. How bad? Read more.

Chris's picture

Erections for Peace

Apparently, getting in the good graces of Allah in the next world by waging a holy war is nothing compared to a steady supply of hard-ons in this world:

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills.


Blog: Literate Perversions

Chris's picture

Grit TV: Why Prop 8 Won

I highly recommend this episode of Grit TV for insights on the recent defeat for same-sex marriage rights in California via the passage of Proposition 8. The election results have produced a lot of anger and heat, and the conversation here manages to bring some light to what is a much more complex issue than is shown in most media or activism.

Chris's picture

Your Dose of Irony For the Day

Los Angeles Protests Stop Mormon Marriages
It's one of those odd twists that leaders of the Mormon Church probably never saw coming. Whenever opponents of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that eliminates the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry in California, protest outside a Mormon temple, they effectively stop church members from getting married, according Levi Jackman Foster, an ex-Mormon who lives in West Hollywood.

"A temple is the only place (Mormons) can get married," Foster says, "if they want to get sealed to God."

A Mormon temple, in other words, plays a vital role in a religion that strongly promotes marriage among its members.

Chris's picture

The History of Sex Slavery Hysteria

It's Election Day 2008 and I'm sitting in the Berkeley hills, looking across the Bay at San Francisco. My stomach is filled with butterflies edging, occasionally trying to edge itself into outright nausea at the thought of what's at stake today. It's not just the decision of Obama vs. McCain. That's deadly important, but here in California, there's a lot of very important stuff happening too. On the state level, they're fighting the battle over Proposition 8, which would undo the State Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal, and Proposition 4, your standard parental-notification for abortion law. The airwaves have been filled with ads for and against, and the result of either is just impossible to forecast right now. And then, right across the Bay that's outside my window, there's Prop. K, a city ordinance that would decriminalize prostitution within the City and County of San Francisco.

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