Alan analyses the upholding of the decision in the Glenn Marcus S/M trial:
Throughout the decision, Judge Ross exhibits a clear and articulate attempt to understand the differences between consensual BDSM and non-consensual criminal activity. She has numerous opportunities where she can take cheap shots at the S/m community by castigating them as freaks. But she does not. In fact, on several occasions, she endorses the rights of adults to legally engage in such activities, so long as there is consent. In this case, however, one of the parties argued that there was no consent. As a result, Judge Ross takes a careful analysis of the claims made by both Marcus and the victim. The judge indicates that the jury also carefully weighed the evidence and thus affirmed the findings of the jury.
Overall, this decision is actually a positive result for activists who support the right to engage in consensual S/m.
(more. . . )
Howard J. Bashman
A man is arrested in Las Vegas on federal criminal charges of traveling across state lines with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and using an interstate communication facility to attempt to persuade a minor to engage in sexual acts. The evidence against the man consists of the transcripts of multiple online chats between the man and a police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. On the date selected for their meeting, the man traveled from his home in Anaheim, Calif., to Las Vegas, where police apprehended him at the designated meeting place.
At trial, the man seeks to defend against the charges by maintaining that he believed that he was chatting with a 30- to 40-year-old woman who had been pretending to be an underage girl, and that he was expecting to meet that woman at the designated location in Las Vegas. When the man was arrested, he was carrying a personal digital assistant (PDA) containing more than 140 stories that described adults having sex with children. The prosecution sought to introduce many of these stories into evidence at trial, to rebut the man’s defense that he was not intending to meet an underage minor for sex. (more. . .)
Under pressure from a disabilities rights group, Seattle Children’s hospital administrators admitted Tuesday that they violated the law by failing to consult a judge before removing the uterus of a severely disabled 6-year-old girl known as “Ashley.” But they said they stand by the procedure as appropriate for some children with special needs.
“We believe we acted in Ashley’s best interests,” said Dr. David Fisher, medical director of Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, at a press conference.
Doctors say Ashley, 9, has the mental capacity of a three-month-old. With the blessing of the girl’s family, the hospital performed a hysterectomy, removed her breast buds and gave her hormone therapy — controversial procedures aimed at improving her quality of life by keeping her small and arresting her normal development into a sexually mature adult.
Washington state law forbids involuntary sterilization without court approval. A 38-page report first made public Tuesday by the Washington Protection and Advocacy System, a federally funded advocacy organization for people with disabilities, found that the hospital wrongly relied on the opinion of an attorney who advised Ashley’s family that a judge’s involvement was not necessary. (more. . . )
BY JAMES T. MADORE
April 26, 2007
ALBANY – Responding to concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn its decades-old Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, Gov. Eliot Spitzer signaled yesterday his intention to enshrine those rights in state law.
Spitzer, in prepared remarks, said he planned to introduce a bill “establishing a fundamental, statutory right to privacy for women in making personal reproductive decisions.”
He also noted that abortion was legalized in New York in 1970, long before the Roe decision, but “our law became outdated,” the speech text reads.
Spitzer’s move came a week after the high court, in a 5-to-4 decision, upheld the federal ban on a specific late-term abortion procedure that opponents term “partial birth abortion.” The ruling was a reversal from prior decisions, and showed the impact of two newly appointed conservative justices. (more…)
A Bentonville, AK resident is suing for trauma allegedly caused when his two sons stumbled across a sex guide book shelved with the military books at the library:
A Bentonville man asked the city to pay his two sons $20,000 and to fire the library director for including what he called “pornography” in the Bentonville Public Library collection.
“The Whole Lesbian Sex Book” by Felice Newman was removed from the library shelf after Earl Adams of Bentonville complained it is “patently offensive and lacks any artistic, literary or scientific value,” according to a letter he wrote and faxed Feb. 16 to Mayor Bob McCaslin.
Adams said his 14- and 16-year-old sons, Kyle and Ryan, looked at the book while the 14-year-old was browsing for material on military academies. He requested the city pay him $10,000 per child, the maximum allowed under the Arkansas obscenity law.
Author Felice Newman said in a press release today:
Boys have been pouring over sexually explicit materials in libraries since – well, since there have been libraries. Why was a copy of my book in the military section? Well, sometimes young people browsing the library shelves will tuck away a favorite book where they can find it later. These two young guys are the very reason libraries must be uncensored, and librarians must be free to order the books they feel will benefit the public.â€
I pulled the the Library Journal review off Amazon.com:
Newman’s sex guide for lesbians is superb. Why can’t more heterosexual sex manuals be this good? Newman, who, as the publisher at Cleis Press since 1980 has edited many other sex books, covers oral, manual, anal, and insertive-vaginal techniques with loving care. She includes a whole chapter on breast play, addresses safety repeatedly and thoroughly, and discusses transgender and bisexual orientations, SM, group sex, masturbation, and sex toys–all while acknowledging that some women prefer monogamy, some polygamy. Her bibliography and resource list are simply outstanding. Newman’s work updates and embodies the best of the half -dozen other lesbian sex manuals in print) all acknowledged in her bibliography). Even though this book is aimed at lesbians, it’s extremely suitable for heterosexual women (to enhance their own eroticism) and men (to tell them what turns women on). For all public libraries.
(reviewed by Martha Cornog, Philadelphia. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc)
You can send a message of support to the Bentonville Public Library here.