Site moved to HunterOfJustice.com/, redirecting in 2 seconds!

44 posts categorized "States"

November 24, 2010

Official California position on unconstitutionality of Prop 8 will continue

With the now finally settled election of San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris as California's next Attorney General, Photo the risk is over that a state official would seek to reverse the refusal of the state to defend the constitutionality of Prop 8. The Republican candidate had promised that he would seek to intervene in the pending appeal in Perry v. Schwarzenegger to present the court with a formal defense of the law and, more importantly, to inject a defendant that unquestionably had standing to appeal. Because there will be no change in the state's position of declining to defend Prop 8, the standing question - whether the proponents of Prop 8 can properly appeal Judge Walker's ruling - will remain central to the outcome of the case.

Harris, a progressive Democrat, won one of the closest races in state history.  FYI, here are excerpts from an interview with her published in 2009:

My family has a long history of civil service. My parents met when they were taking part in the civil rights movement in Berkeley, California. Growing up, I was therefore surrounded by people who were always passionately fighting for this thing called "justice." I was ultimately inspired to make my own contribution to this noble cause through public service. I went to public schools in Berkeley and then on to Howard University in Washington, DC where I decided to pursue a career in the law. After law school, instead of joining most of my friends and classmates at the big downtown firms, I decided to go to the Alameda County District Attorney's office - the same office once headed by the great Earl Warren. It was the best decision I ever made. 

Who were your heroes growing up?

Apart from my mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who will always remain my greatest hero in life, my heroes growing up were the architects of the civil rights movement: the lawyers. People like Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, and Constance Baker Motley demonstrated to me that progressive social change could be successfully achieved in the courtroom.

What is your position on gay marriage? Do you feel that previous marriages that have already taken place should stay legal? 

I support marriage equality. It is a civil rights issue. I opposed Proposition 8 and the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold it was a sad day in California history. The court has allowed a ballot measure to strip rights away from Californians and fundamentally alter our constitution. But the fight for equality is not over. The history of the civil rights movement is a history of perseverance in the face of adversity. I wholeheartedly believe that equal marriage rights for all will soon be the law of the land.


November 08, 2010

State government map - updated

UPDATE 11/11/10 - Because of the narrow margin, the Minnesota governors race is subject to a mandatory recount, so the correct color would be yellow in the map below. The New York state senate majority is still in doubt. I will post a revised map when these races are decided.

Elx map

This post-election map shows which party controls each state government, the level at which most of the law concerning sexuality and gender is made. 

Red - Governor and legislature Republican

Blue - Governor and legislature Democrat

Green - Divided

Yellow - Still undecided

October 31, 2010

What to watch for on election night

Polls (see chart at right) say that fewer than half the voters in this election will be motivated by a candidate's position on abortion and only a third are much concerned with gay marriage. Whether these issues are foremost in voters' minds or not, however, the outcomes Tuesday night will have a huge impact on sexuality/gender law and policy for at least the next few years. Aside from the endlessly predicted changes 662-7 (or not) in who controls Congress, the most consequential outcomes are likely to be in state government, especially in the gubernatorial and state attorney general contests.

Here's my list of what to watch for when you're changing channels or checking twitter:

Gubernatorial and AG races

  • California - Everyone knows that the outcome of the battle between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman for the governorship may have an impact on Perry v. Scharzenegger, the challenge to Prop 8. Less well known is that the contest between Democrat Kamala Harris and Republican Steve Cooley to be Attorney General could have the same impact
  • Florida - As in California, both the governor and the AG in Florida can independently make litigation decisions when state law is involved. There are likely to be diametrically opposite decisions made if Dem Alex Sink is elected governor versus Republican Rick Scott, or if Dem Dan Gelber or Republican Pam Bondi becomes attorney general.
  • Illinois - Republican Bill Brady is battling Dem incumbent Pat Quinn; one clear contrast is Brady's vehement opposition to civil unions, which Gov. Quinn supports. If Brady is elected, any chance to move Illinois into the civil union category would disappear for at least the length of his term.
  • Maine - From Lisa Keen: "Equality Maine, the state LGBT civil rights group, says Tea Party Republican candidate Paul LePage would not only veto a marriage equality bill if one came to his desk, but "supports gutting the Maine Human Rights Act," which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. [Both] Democratic candidate Libby Mitchell [and] Independent candidate Eliot Cutler support same-sex marriage...
  • Minnesota - Dem candidate Mark Dayton has promised to sign a gay marriage bill; in response, anti-equality groups financed an ad suppporting Republican Tom Emmer, because "gay marriage has consequences."
  • New Hampshire - Last year, Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who said he opposed gay marriage, signed a bill legalizing it after lawmakers approved provisions affirming religious rights. Lynch is up for re-election, facing a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage, and the National Organization for Marriage is running ads against the governor depicting his signing of the bill as a betrayal of voters.
  • New York - Republican candidate Carl Paladino promised to veto a marriage equality bill and criticized Dem Andrew Cuomo for taking his children to a gay pride parade. The latter move may have tanked his campaign, although it was already a hot air balloon waiting to burst. Polls show Cuomo, who supports gay marriage, massively ahead.

Judicial retention in Iowa - Three of the judges who joined the Iowa Supreme Court's decision requiring an equal marriage law are before the voters for an up-or-down retention vote. Conservatives have organized an unprecedented campaign against them, and polls predict a close race.

House of Representatives:

  • CA 45 - Openly gay Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet is challenging incumbent Mary Bono Mack in this "Inland Empire" district, which offers one of the very few chances the Dems have to take a seat now held by a Republican. 
  • MA 4 - Barney Frank's re-election was a foregone conclusion until rumors spread that he was in trouble, seemingly validated by Bill Clinton traveling to the district to campaign for him and Barney loaning his campaign $200,000.  If Barney loses, it means the Dems are getting wiped out.
  • PA 8 - Former GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick is looking for revenge against two-term Democrat Patrick Murphy, who defeated him in 2006. Murphy has been the lead champion in the House of repealing DADT. 
  • RI 1 - Openly gay Providence Mayor David Cicilline is running to replace Patrick Kennedy, who retired. 

Trial court judgeship in Alameda CA Superior Court - Now an administrative law judge, Victoria Kolakowski could become the nation's first openly transgender member of the judiciary.

State legislatures -

  • New Hampshire House and Senate - From Lisa Keen: "This bellwether state enacted a marriage equality law just this year and already three bills have been filed seeking repeal in 2011. Meanwhile, the Democratic majority in both the state House and Senate are in peril...  [T[he margins of victory on the marriage equality bill in 2009 were razor thin... If Republicans do take back the majority in the legislature, a repeal bill has a strong chance of succeeding. 
  • New York - The incredibly dysfunctional NY State Senate has been on a roller-coaster, with Republicans having controlled it forever, more or less, until the 2008 election when Dems barely got control, but then couldn't deliver a majority vote for either marriage equality or a prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity. Paul Schindler at Gay City News identifes the critical races for this election cycle and maps out the chess pieces in play to try to line up the necessary votes on those two issues, a byzantine gambit that can't possibly be summarized in a paragraph. 
  • CA Assembly 5 - Andrew Pugno, one of the leaders in the campaign to pass Prop 8, is running in this Sacramento-area district to become a member of the state legislature.  Sure would be nice if he lost.
  • NC House 60 - Marcus Brandon could become only the fifth openly gay African-American member of a state legislature in the U.S.

State constitutional amendments - The Colorado right to life constitutional amendment is again on the ballot; in 2008, it got only 27% of the vote. Time to put a nail in the coffin of this idea. 

October 22, 2010

Florida adoption case symbolizes vast cultural change

If you want a sign of how profoundly social views of homosexuality have shifted in the last 20 years, look no further than what happened today in Florida, when conservative AG Bill McCollum decided not to ask the Florida Supreme Court to review an appellate court decision that the state law banning gay men and lesbians from adopting children is unconstitutional.

The law was passed in 1977 in a flurry of anti-gay bigotry inspired by Anita Bryant's victory in repealing an anti-discrimination ordinance that had been enacted in Dade County. The ACLU has brought lawsuits in state and federal and then state again courts for 20 years in the effort to eliminate the prohibition of gay adoption. Last month they won a decision in an intermediate state appellate court, and the state agency responsible for adoptions announced that it had no desire to appeal the ruling.

With McCollum's decision, the last of Anita Bryant's hateful legacy has been erased. Ding dong, the witch is (finally) dead.

Huge congratulations to ACLU lawyer Leslie Cooper.

October 14, 2010

The most important amicus briefs supporting Prop 8

I wouldn't be surprised if the appeal in Perry v. Schwarzenegger breaks a record for the number of amicus briefs filed in a Court of Appeals.  Those in support of Prop 8 are in, and there will be a gajillion more in support of the plaintiffs when that side's turn comes next month. It is doubtful that any of the judges will read more than a handful of them, and I would bet that not even their clerks will be tasked with seriously reading all of them. Most are beyond predictable.

I decided to pick from those filed so far the ones that I thought would most likely command attention and be read. I found three, each with a clear theme for its arguments: federalism, social science and moral philosophy, respectively.

The federalism amicus is the brief filed by the Attorneys General of 13 states. There is nothing remarkable about its content; I think its true message to the Ninth Circuit is - -  Back off, 45 states have laws banning same-sex marriage and 13 of us care enough about the issue to sign on to this brief. If the court upholds Judge Walker's decision, this brief will serve as a caution that the ruling should be limited to California.

I have no doubt that plaintiffs' lawyers are lining up an AGs brief for that side as well, but since they can't win by playing the numbers game, I would bet that theirs will be a the-sky-hasn't-fallen brief by the jurisdictions that have enacted equal marriage laws. Since the Prop 8 proponents have made a big deal out of arguing that all kinds of unknowable crazy things might follow if gay couples can marry, I have a hunch that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may file an amicus saying that its experience for the last 7 years has been, well, kinda boring.

The social science brief is from the American College of Pediatricians. This legitimate sounding group is actually a breakaway organization formed by a small number of conservative pediatricians when the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed second-parent adoptions. In its own words,

Of particular importance to the founders were (as it is today) the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and the importance of the fundamental mother-father family (female-male) unit in the rearing of children. 

The ACP brief does not own up to this ideological provenance, however, and instead asserts that the "collective membership of the College has observed firsthand the effect of varied and changing family structures on the wellbeing of pediatric patients, and it is also familiar with the significant academic analysis and sociological data that augment understanding of these issues." Total intellectual dishonesty. The remainder of the brief presents studies that support, or appear to support, the proposition that mother-father households are best for children.

Will this brief be effective?  A good amicus on the plaintiffs' side can both call out ACP for its bias and refute their arguments by presenting the results of other and more relevant studies, as well as pointing to the flaws in some of what ACP calls social science.  Nonetheless, the ACP brief is the kind of amicus that gives a judge who wants to reverse the District Court enough noise to support a rational basis argument.

Lastly, Robert George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton and the intellectual guru of anti-gay marriage supporters, has filed a brief arguing that the Walker opinion incorrectly characterized Prop 8 as reflecting sectarian religious views. Instead, George asserts,

[T]he law regarding marriage - a social institution, recognized and regulated for public purposes - involves the kinds of value judgments about the common good that can be found throughout our law... and that can be ascertained without appeal to religious authority...

One might even think that...same-sex relationships are morally valuable and good but different - incapable as such of realizing the specific purposes or ends of the institution of marriage. This would be a value judgment - a conclusion about the structure of a public good - but it would state nothing about the morality of sexual conduct between same-sex partners.

The George brief is well-written, but ultimately simply restates the natural law argument that same-sex partnerships could never constitute marriage. Its job is to persuade the Court of Appeals that reliance on natural law is not the same thing as the forced adoption of religious belief through the power of the state. Again, it may give a hook to conservative judges, but I doubt it will change any minds.

October 13, 2010

Florida AG will decide whether decision allowing gay adoption is appealed

Florida's Department of Children and Families has decided not to appeal the ruling last month by a state appellate court that the statutory ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional. However, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has the authority to appeal the decision on his own, even though DCF disagrees. 

McCollum has until October 21 to make his decision.

In an August interview during his unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination for governor this year, the AG told Florida Baptist Witness that he opposed allowing gay people either to adopt or to serve as foster parents.  He explained:

I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children. I think that it’s a lifestyle that I don’t agree with. I realize a lot of people do. It’s my personal faith, religious faith, that I don’t believe that the people who do this should be raising our children. It’s not a natural thing. You need a mother and a father. You need a man and a woman. That’s what God intended.

Meanwhile, under Florida law, the decision of the intermediate appellate court is binding throughout the state, and would remain so until or unless another appellate court reached a contrary conclusion. 

 

September 29, 2010

Florida agency ends ban on gay adoptions

The Florida Department of Children and Families has responded to last week's ruling that the state's ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians is unconstitutional, and the news is great.

In a two page memo
dated the day after the ruling, Alan Abramowitz, State Director of the Office of Family Safety, announced that the Department has submitted to the legislature language repealing the statute. "Effectively immediately," the memo states, "staff will discontinue asking prospective adoptive parents their sexual orientation." Forms will also be revised to delete any reference to sexual orientation.

The memo further states that "staff should be instructed not to use this information as a factor in determining the suitability of applicants to adopt and should focus his/her [sic] attention on the quality of parenting that prospective adoptive parents would provide, and their commitment to and love for our children." Thank you! I resent having to be so grateful for so obvious a statement of policy, but grateful I am.

No definitive word yet on whether the state will appeal the court ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. It would seem inconsistent with this swift implementation of the appeals court mandate. But it's a big election year in Florida and there will be a new governor, so it isn't over til it's over.

Thanks to Michele Zavos for passing along the memo, which she received through the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

Cross-posted from Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage

 

September 16, 2010

Gay marriage, gender roles and data from Iowa

According to a study by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism -

Images ...[M]arriage statistics show that female couples made up nearly two-thirds of the same-sex marriages in Iowa in the year after the state Supreme Court ruled it legal in April 2009. Although experts say a single year does not constitute a trend, they say the disparity is consistent with the traditional way Americans raise children and establish their gender roles early in life. The disparity also reflects similar trends in other states where same-sex marriages are allowed...

...Rather than examining the nature of gay marriage to determine the merit of opponents’ arguments, the public debate has focused mostly on opponents’ charge that gay marriage will destroy traditional marriage and proponents arguing that gay couples deserve equal rights.

The IowaWatch study found that similarities range from the way men and women often view marriage to the more mundane tasks of married life, such as doing yard work. Like people in traditional marriages, same-sex couples also talk about raising children and shielding them from the verbal slings of peers, the stability and unit-strength of a family and the value of loving relationships among parents and children, as well as legal necessities and financial security.

The study is based on more than a dozen interviews with gay couples and national experts and on an examination of journal articles, marriage statistics, census data, polls and court rulings...

[The marriage issue is part of Iowa politics this year because of two campaigns.] One is the gubernatorial campaign between Democratic Gov. Chet Culver and Republican challenger Terry Branstad, who, along with social conservatives hope to win enough legislative seats to get a vote to allow a referendum on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. In the other campaign, three of the state Supreme Court justices are fending off retention challenges led by anti-gay marriage forces...

[According to the health department’s statistics, o]f the 19,204 couples who bought licenses to marry during the year ending March 31, [the first year in which same-sex marriages were legal,] one out of ten were gay. [Same-sex marriages in Iowa were geographically concentrated.] In [two counties  -] Pottowattamie [Council Bluffs-Omaha metropolitan area] and Johnson [Iowa City] - the ratio was one out four.  The marriages occurred in 21 of Iowa’s 99 counties...

Continue reading "Gay marriage, gender roles and data from Iowa" »

August 29, 2010

VA Attorney General encourages legislature to harass abortion providers

Virginia state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has issued an official Attorney General's Opinion advising state legislators that they can lawfully single out abortion clinics and force them to comply with the same standards that regulate hospitals. According to The Atlantic, abortion rights groups believe that these regulations would force the majority of the state's clinics out of business.

Cuccinelli's opinion suggests that anti-abortion policies could be adopted by the Board of Health, regulating clinics, or by the Board of Medicine, which supervises physicians. It is addressed to Robert G. Marshall, a member of the VA House of Delegates.

The background for this move is a national anti-abortion strategy to enact TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws that are allowed under the Supreme Court's 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That was the case in which the Court declined to reverse Roe v. Wade, but allowed the states greater leeway in saddling abortion providers with a variety of special procedures, including elaborate "informed consent" protocols, so long as the regulations did not place an "undue burden" on women's access to abortions. Lower courts have since upheld many TRAP laws. The Fourth Circuit, where Virginia is located, established one of the most deferential interpretations of the undue burden standard in upholding a South Carolina TRAP law in Greenville Women's Clinic v. Bryan, 222 F.3d 157 (4th Cir. 2000).

More from The Atlantic:

While he was a Virginia state senator, Cuccinelli pushed for the passage of stringent new regulation of abortion clinics. Tarina Keene, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, explained that Cuccinelli's previous efforts were stymied by a slim Democratic majority in the state Senate that blocked his proposals from reaching the floor. ..

If the board were to follow Cuccinelli's advice, the state's 21 abortion clinics would have to undergo structural renovations and obtain staff members with new qualifications. The cost of these requirements would, Virginia abortion rights advocates estimate, put 17 of the state's 21 clinics out of business.

"We predict it's about $1.5 to $2 million per clinic in extra cost," Keene said. "It's just crazy. And the thing is, it's really just designed to shut these places down. It has nothing to do with medical care."
In March, Cuccinelli sent a letter instructing the state's universities that only the state legislature could adopt a binding anti-discrimination policy, so that university-level attempts to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination were not valid. Because it seemed to invite such discrimination, his opinion brought on a firestorm of criticism, including on campuses, forcing equally conservative VA Gov. Bob McDonnell to distance himself from it. Cuccinelli later posted an "explanation" on the AG office website.

Cuccinelli also filed one of the lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the health reform law, and issued yet another AGO declaring that police officers could question anyone they stopped about their immigration status.  What a guy...

June 19, 2010

DC activists look to issues beyond marriage

Last week's Capital Pride celebration led the DC Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance to outline its agenda for legal change, now that marriage equality has been achieved in DC. No folding up the tents for GLAA. From a Washington Post summary:

Number one is keeping gay marriage legal, says Rick Rosendall, the group's longtime political director -- that means keeping the courts and present and future Congresses at bay.

But the GLAA identifies several other issues that they'd like lawmakers and public executives to address. Toward the top of the list are protections for transgender residents, who are covered under the city's human rights act. But, Rosendall says, "enforcement leaves something to be desired," and they are subject to discrimination in employment, housing, heath care, and in the justice system.

Other top issues include curtailing school bullying and maintaining the police department's widely acclaimed Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit as a standalone entity. Police chief Cathy Lanier has proposed scaling back the unit, historically based in Dupont Circle, and instead training officers in each of the city's seven police districts to handle gay-related issues -- mirroring the spread of openly gay Washingtonians into other parts of the city.

The "Agenda" also includes a number of more ambitious items.

Like this one: "Prostitution: Legalize It, Regulate It, Zone It, Tax It." It reads, in part:

"As advocates of the legalization of prostitution, we think it needs neither sanitizing nor glorifying. It is not a profession filled exclusively with people who freely chose it from a host of other options. No doubt there are some in that category, like the college student turning tricks for extra cash. But too many turn to it by necessity. These include gay teenagers who have been thrown out of the house by their parents, and transgender people whom discrimination has left with few options."

Those folks, Rosendall says, are engaging in "survival sex." And what they need, he says, is not to get arrested, but to get "wraparound services," such as job programs, substance abuse treatment, health care, and housing. And, oh yeah, get rid of the street trade, and you get rid of the accompanying trash, loitering, and noise problems.

Needless to say, no city lawmaker has yet gone to bat for the idea.

Rosendall says that, while legal prostitution may be at the bottom of the GLAA's list of priorities, that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to be debated. "There should be someone making an intelligent, reasonable, coherent case laying out all the arguments," he says. "We're aware of the political reality, but someone needs to start the discussion." He adds: "Most of the public officials we talk to agree with us privately."

November elections could change the face and tone of Prop 8 litigation

Karen Ocamb, at LGBT POV, is pointing out the importance of this year's elections to future stages in the fight over the validity of Prop 8:

Barely mentioned in coverage of the closing arguments was the extremely important political context in which these arguments are being decided.

This November, Attorney General Jerry Brown – who refused to defend Prop 8 in court because he believes it’s unconstitutional – is running for governor. It is likely that if elected, he will continue to refuse to defend Prop 8 in court – just as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has done. However, if Brown’s Republican challenger Meg Whitman is elected, the case might change. Whitman voted for Prop 8 and will likely order that it be defended in the Ninth Circuit, joining Cooper and the Protect Marriage group.

Additionally – San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who is running to be Attorney General – says that she, like Brown, would refuse to defend Prop 8 in court. However, her opponent, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley said he would defend Prop 8 in court.

Everyone, on both sides, expects Judge Walker to rule that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Then the case moves to the Ninth Circuit, where the plaintiffs could face a significantly tougher bench. In the trial court, the defenders of Prop 8 have seemed almost pathetically the odd man out, sometimes to the point of laughter in the courtroom. If the state of California takes an active role in defending Prop 8 in the Court of Appeals, that dynamic could shift significantly.

June 08, 2010

Opining like a state

The Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic at Columbia Law School has posted the first comprehensive database of state Attorney General Opinions related to lgbt and AIDS/HIV issues. A 29-page summary chart of the contents is posted as well. The AG Opinions cover everything from administrative law to criminal law to changes of birth certificates - a fascinating window into how sexuality and gender issues play out in the capillaries of state regulatory mechanisms.  The database is another great product of the Columbia clinic; thanks to the students who did it and clinic director Suzanne Goldberg.

May 24, 2010

Congrats Ross!

Levi_Ross It's always fun to see a former student move up the professional ladder, so I'm happy to congratulate one of mine - Ross Levi - on becoming head of the Empire State Pride Agenda. Ross began working at ESPA as a legislative counsel, then served as Director of Public Policy, and will now be Executive Director. Little known fact: Ross is also the author of The Celluloid Courtroom: A History of Legal Cinema. Unlike the New York state legislature, Ross is smart, sane and a pleasure to know.  Buena suerte!

April 13, 2010

Nebraska requires doctors to screen women seeking abortion for mental illness

The Nebraska legislature apparently has taken to heart Justice Kennedy's spectacularly arrogant pronouncement in Gonzales v. Carhart that "[w]hile we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice [to have an abortion]. Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow." 550 U.S. 124, 159 (2007) (emphasis added). Yesterday Nebraska lawmakers finalized a bill that will require doctors to screen women for possible mental and physical problems before performing abortions. Gov. Dave Heineman declared that he will sign the bill today, along with a second new abortion law that will ban all abortions after 20 weeks, based on the premise that fetuses feel pain.

Well, somebody in Nebraska needs screening for mental problems. Both of these laws, scheduled to take effect in October, should be found unconstitutional in the lawsuit that doubtless will be filed to challenge them. Meanwhile, this chart from Daily Kos says it all -

NE-Chart

April 12, 2010

Wisconsin DA threatens to arrest teachers for following sex ed law

A local district attorney in Wisconsin - the same person who tried unsuccessfully to prevent the University of Wisconsin from using student fees to support student organizations he disagreed with [in Bd of Regents, Univ. of Wisconsin v. Southworth, 529 U.S. 217 (2000)] - has sent a letter to teachers in his county stating that they can be prosecuted for child sexual abuse if they demonstrate contraceptive methods to minors. Yes, he's an idiot and yes it's a ridiculous argument. But imagine that you are a high school teacher and you got this letter from your local prosecutor:

Criminal-liability
Juneau County DA Scott Harold Southworth closed his letter by imploring school officials not to comply with the sex ed law "because it risks the safety of our children." Who's perverted in this story?

HT - Barbara Kerr