Posts tagged "usa"
[warning for homophobic/sexual harassment and brief mention of homophobic violence, institutionalization]
The lawsuit says the alleged discrimination and harassment began in September 2006 after Weeks and Jones told one of their supervisors at the Seventh District, Sgt. Jon Podorski, that they were a couple. The two had been squad car partners since early 2006 and began a relationship in July of that year, the lawsuit says.
“Almost immediately thereafter, the sergeants began harassing them and subjecting them to a hostile working environment on a frequent and continuing basis,” the suit says.
“Plaintiffs complained about the discrimination to MPD in January 2007,” it says. “However, this had the effect of continuing and increasing the harassment and hostile work environment.”
According to the lawsuit, several of the sergeants named in the suit continuously made derogatory comments about Weeks and Jones in the presence of fellow officers and supervisors. Among other things, the suit says the sergeants – who served as Weeks and Jones’ supervisors – urged them to have sex with men, with one sergeant referring to Jones as the “butch one” and Weeks as the “femme one.”
During a May 2007 party in which many Seventh District officers were in attendance, one sergeant shouted in a loud voice to both Jones and Weeks, “Do you wanna fuck?” the lawsuit says.
“Plaintiffs were mortified, embarrassed and threatened by this verbal assault, which was within earshot of many of their colleagues,” the suit says.
In September 2007 an officer told Weeks and Jones he wanted to watch them have sex and that he would “pay them $5,000 for the opportunity to do so,” the lawsuit says.
“On February 17, 2009, someone put an open tampon and parts of the tampon wrapper on plaintiff Weeks’ desk,” it says. “Plaintiff Weeks reported the incident to defendant and requested an official investigation. Defendant never initiated an investigation,” according to the lawsuit.
Attorney Harris said the two women were shocked and horrified over an October 2006 incident that occurred shortly after they informed Podorski of their relationship.
“Plaintiffs and Sgt. Podorski responded to a call on Stanton Road regarding an alleged assault with a deadly weapon,” the lawsuit says. “The matter concerned a mother, a relative and a child. The mother and relative had responded violently after the child had informed them that she was gay.”
The lawsuit continues: “Plaintiffs intended to arrest the mother and the relative for the violent offenses. But Sgt. Podorski instructed the plaintiffs to instead take the child to the Psychiatric Institute of Washington and have her committed because she was gay,” the lawsuit says.
“He also stated that no arrest should be made because it was ‘only’ a domestic disturbance. Plaintiffs objected to this order,” the lawsuit says. “Sgt. Podorski was later investigated by the MPD for this incident and, upon information and belief, he was suspended. Nevertheless, despite the complaints made by plaintiffs about Podorski’s harassment and his discriminatory conduct, he has never been disciplined for his harassment of plaintiffs,” the lawsuit alleges.
Harris said her clients separated as a couple over a year ago, in part, due to the stress they encountered from the harassment and discrimination charged in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, among other things, calls for compensatory damages and back pay for what Jones claims is the loss of a promotion due to bias on the part of police officials.
The whole article is a lengthy but worthwhile read.
Seimone Augustus (#5) won her second gold medal today playing for the U.S. women’s basketball team in their rout of the French team! It’s been a good couple of days for us.
On ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Seimone Augustus discusses her sexuality and her engagement to Tay Varner. Augustus will be playing for gold tomorrow at 21:00 London time (4 pm EDT).
“The state is not required to show that denying marriage to same-sex couples is necessary to promote the state’s interest or that same-sex couples will suffer no harm by an opposite-sex definition of marriage,” Kay wrote. “Rather, the relevant question is whether an opposite-sex definition of marriage furthers legitimate interests that would not be furthered, or furthered to the same degree, by allowing same-sex couples to marry.”
As with many state courts, including New York’s highest bench in 1986, Kay concluded that the state’s interest in incentivizing different-sex couples to marry and provide a stable household for children they might accidentally conceive provided a sufficient basis to sustain the law against constitutional challenge. He also professed to be agnostic on the question of whether children are better raised in households headed by two biological parents in a marital relationship than in ones headed by same-sex couples –– and concluded the unsettled question meant that the rationality of the Hawaii marriage policy, therefore, could not be definitively rebutted.
Kay likely became the first judge to cite as evidence the controversial –– now infamous –– recent study by University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus, which the Hawaii Family Forum (HFF) cited in its brief. After summarizing the plaintiffs’ evidence of scientific studies that show “there is no support for the assertion that children fare better when raised by opposite-sex rather than same-sex couples,” he wrote, “On the other hand, HFF presents evidence that children do best when raised by their two biological parents.” Presumably quoting directly from the HFF brief, Kay characterized Regnerus’ research as “finding that children raised by married biological parents fared better than children raised in same-sex households in a range of significant outcomes.” Even the author, who is under professional review by the University of Texas for the lack of peer review of his published study, would concede that Kay’s characterization was incorrect. Regnerus compared children raised by their married biological parents to those households in which either parent had at some time engaged in a same-sex relationship with another adult, including many single-parent households and households affected by divorce.
So, despite a Supreme Court ruling in a birth defects lawsuit nearly 20 years ago that essentially requires federal trial courts to exclude “junk science,” Kay looked to Regnerus –– or rather an even less reputable conflation of Regnerus –– to conclude that the child-rearing question is “debatable” and therefore not dispositive in his analysis. Since he was ruling on summary judgment motions, the plaintiffs had no opportunity to raise a formal objection to consideration of the Regnerus study.
Kay also pointed to the 11th Circuit’s infamous 2004 decision in the Florida gay adoption case, which similarly relied on the proposition that the impact of having gay parents on kids was “debatable” to justify rejecting a constitutional challenge to the state’s bar on “homosexuals” adopting children. Sad to say in Gay City News, the 2006 ruling from New York’s Court of Appeals was cited in this same context.
Kay also bought HFF’s argument that Hawaii is “entitled to experiment with its social policy to determine what is in the state’s best interest.” Citing as well a publication from the Witherspoon Institute, the right-wing foundation that provided funding for Regnerus’ study, he wrote, “Under rational basis review, the state is not required to show that allowing same-sex couples to marry will discourage, through changing societal norms, opposite-sex couples from marrying. Rather, the standard is whether the legislature could rationally speculate that it might. It is at least debatable that altering ‘that meaning would render a profound change in the public consciousness of a social institution of ancient origin.’”
Unwilling to leave the matter there, Kay cited old cases of incest prosecutions and wrote, “Once the link between marriage and procreation is taken away, and encouraging a socially desirable family structure is deemed irrational, there is no rational limiting principle for other types of relationships.”
Read the entire article at the link for a full summary of this ridiculous ruling.
Megan Rapinoe (#15), Heather Mitts (#2) and the USA women’s football team celebrate after defeating Japan 2-1 to win the women’s gold medal on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Another shot of our first gold medallist of these games, from the actual final match this time.
Tomorrow, you can catch the four lesbians of the Dutch field hockey team (Marilyn Agliotti, Kim Lammers, Maartje Paumen, and Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel) compete for gold at 20:00 London time (3 pm EDT).