nothing like living in a police state that tell us what gender and sex we are and do.. I mean .. where would we be without big brother intervening in our idenity and on our body!!!!!
Florida Court Rules Transsexual Marriage Invalid
By Jim Loney
MIAMI (Reuters) - Florida's ban on same-sex marriages bars a woman who became a man through surgery from marrying a woman, a state appellate court ruled in a complex divorce case.
The ruling, issued by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, determined that for legal purposes, male and female refer to "immutable traits determined at birth" and cannot be changed through gender-reassignment surgery.
The decision came in a divorce case involving Michael and Linda Kantaras of Holiday, a town just north of Tampa. Michael Kantaras is a transsexual who married Linda two years after his 1987 sex-change operation and divorced her a decade later.
The appellate ruling, which overturned a lower-court ruling granting the two a divorce, said there could be no divorce because there was never a legal marriage.
Feminist Daily News Wire
House Tramples Constitutional Separation of Powers
The US House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would strip the federal courts, including the US Supreme Court, of its jurisdiction over same-sex marriage cases. The so-called Marriage Protection Act (H.R. 3313) was passed by a vote of 233-194. The bill’s aim is to block the federal courts from deciding the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that allows states to not recognize same-sex marriages bestowed in another state. Many constitutional scholars have long argued that the DOMA law is unconstitutional because it contradicts the full faith and credit clause that requires states to give full faith and credit to the laws of other states.
Opponents argue that the bill sets a dangerous precedent where Congress could limit the jurisdiction of the courts over other controversial issues such as reproductive rights. House Majority Leader Tom Delay said that he plans to continue the use of "jurisdiction stripping" laws to achieve other social policy objectives, The Hill reports.
"Today it’s the rights of lesbians and gay men. Tomorrow women’s rights, workers’ rights, and civil rights cases will be blocked from being heard,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “This federal ‘jurisdiction stripping’ strategy is just a way to promulgate racist and sexist laws without providing recourse in our nation’s courts. Without federal courts there would be no recourse for African Americans and women in case upon case where they are fighting for education, employment, voting, and pay equity.”
“Does the Delay Republican Party really want to, once again, stand in the doorway against women’s and civil rights?” Smeal asked.
Equality Florida launches voter mobilization effort
TAMPA, Fla. - Claiming the potential to tap as many as 350,000 voters, Equality Florida is starting a mobilization effort aimed at getting gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals to the polls this fall.
The Tampa-based human rights group is joining with 30 other groups in taping the pool of potential voters, hoping a strong turnout among those communities could make the difference in tight elections ranging from the presidential race to local offices.
Groups such as the Florida Consumer Action Network, the Human Rights Campaign and People for the American Way are joining the effort.
"Obviously Florida is a battleground state," Nadine Smith, executive director for Equality Florida, said Friday. "We will be a deciding factor in November."
Fort Myers couple will challenge Florida's ban on gay marriage
By JOAN D. LAGUARDIA,
Published by news-press.com
Two Fort Myers men have joined well known Miami attorney Ellis Rubin and 40 other gay couples in Florida to challenge the state’s refusal to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Their stand has two ironic twists. First, Rubin worked against gay rights in his first legal brush with the issue. Second, Fred A. Blumberg, the Fort Myers club owner who will sue the state for denying him a license, has long discounted marriage as a “straight institution.”
The times, they are a’changing, however, and Rubin, Blumberg and his 10-year partner, Gerald T. “Pete” Costello, will go to the Lee County marriage license office Aug. 9 to officially be refused.
Rubin will then immediately file a lawsuit in Circuit Court in Lee County to challenge the constitutionality of Florida’s law.
Marriage Protection Act condemned on both sides of aisle
Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the only openly lesbian member of Congress, on Thursday derided a GOP-backed measure stripping federal courts of jurisdiction over same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. "With this bill, we face no less than the specter of a sign posted on the federal courthouse door which reads, 'You may not defend your constitutional rights in this court,'" Baldwin (D-Wis.) said shortly before the House passed the bill on a mostly party-line vote. "'You may not seek equal protection here. You may not petition your government for redress here.' Today, the 'you' is gay and lesbian American citizens, but who will be next?"
Baldwin was later joined by former Georgia Republican congressman Bob Barr, who criticized his former colleagues Thursday for passing the antigay legislation, saying it was unnecessary and possibly unconstitutional. Barr, who has expressed opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, said the House bill was "just as dangerous." Barr has been a fierce opponent of gun control and abortion rights and also opposes gay marriage. However, he said the constitutional amendment and the Marriage Protection Act would take away from states the power to define marriage. "They raise an awful lot of red flags," Barr said of the proposals. The politician perhaps best remembered for leading the charge to impeach President Clinton spoke on a panel about same-sex marriage at the National Conference of State Legislatures. He served four terms in Congress before losing a primary campaign in 2002.
Barr was the primary sponsor of the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which defines marriage federally as a heterosexual union and allows individual states to deny recognizing marriages performed in other states. However, the 1996 law applies only to federal marriage benefits embedded in things like tax law and survivor payments and leaves states the choice of how to define marriage.
Baldwin, who made the closing argument for Democrats in their unsuccessful attempt to defeat Thursday's bill, spoke loudly, pointing her finger at times. But she made no mention of her own sexual orientation. The bill, which faces an uphill battle in the Senate, would strip the Supreme Court and other federal courts of their jurisdiction to rule on challenges to state bans on gay marriages under a provision of DOMA. Baldwin said the legislation "would do grave damage to the republic.... Enacting court-stripping legislation would seriously undermine the faith of the American people in this Congress, in the courts, and in the principles of separation of powers."