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Elizabeth's picture

Georgia Conservatives Use Budget Crisis to Attack Sex Researchers at Universities

"In this present economy, the taxpayers’ dollars are being used by the Board of Regents to inform students about such social topics. … I believe the timing is perfect to eliminate positions of professors and staff who are paid to provide such services.”

Those are the words of Charlice Byrd, a Republican representing Woodstock in Georgia's House of Representatives. She is quoted in a an article in Sunday's Atlanta Journal Constitution and she is not alone. Her colleague Calvin Hill (R-Canton) is "deeply disturbed" by the fact that the University system has experts on male prostitution and on oral sex.

You would think that these representatives and their Christian Coalition supporters (Jim Beck, president of the GA Christian Coalition reportedly wants legislative hearings on the issue) believe that researchers are offering courses in how to become a prostitute or how to perform oral sex.

We are talking about researchers whose research on sex-related topics provides the evidence needed to make smart policy on public health issues. These are exactly the kinds of people states need more of. And the state gets access to highly skilled researchers generally through their work in colleges and universities.

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Thomas Beckett and Elliot Spitzer

Thomas Beckett: Archbishop of Canterbury and Justice in America.

Does a question generally considered to speak to Church and State have any connection with jurisprudence and concepts of equal justice?

In the 12th Century, Henry II ruled an empire from England across the south and west of what is now France (Aquitaine). By Divine Right, this King of England was the law in every aspect of life. Every aspect save one. The other power in this empire was the Catholic Church.

Henry II ruled with the able hand of his lifelong friend and Lord High Chancellor Thomas Beckett. Even these two powerful men could not hold sway over the dominion controlled by the Church. Crimes and misdemeanors committed in the realm met with the justice of Henry’s court; unless a person holding office within the Church committed that crime. In that case, the Church held authority. More, Henry ruled every aspect of his own life, until it crossed a line of sacrament. There, Henry’s primacy bowed to the primacy of the Church.

Elizabeth's picture

But will Medicare pay for lube?

drawing "Penis Pump" You might have missed the part about the penis pumps. It was in a New York Times article about Medicare overpaying for things like oxygen tanks. Apparently Medicare, despite its potentially enormous bargaining power, spends more for many items than they would cost in your neighborhood pharmacy or surgical supply store. In the midst of the article is this paragraph:

For example, last year Medicare spent more than $21 million on pumps to help older and disabled men attain erections, paying about $450 for the same device that is available online for as little as $108. Even for a simple walking cane, which can be purchased online for about $11, the government pays $20, according to government data.

Elizabeth's picture

Over the Boardwalk

It's Labor Day in the United States, and in the US for many people that doesn't mean "let's celebrate workers," it means "let's get to the beach" so I was pleased to find a story in this morning's New York Times that was a beach-related public/private space kind of story that touches on issues of sexuality and human rights.

The question is whether the Boardwalk Pavilion in Ocean Grove, NJ, is public space or private space, and whether the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (a Methodist organization) must let the space be used by by gay and lesbian couples for the same purposes that straight couples use it: that is, for ceremonies celebrating their state-recognized unions.

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