TV & Radio
Poll Examines Supreme Court Priorities
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
(08-03) 19:23 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --
Americans consider Supreme Court decisions about the rights of detained terrorists as important as its rulings on abortion, a poll found, even though abortion has been the most publicized issue in early debate about an opening on the Supreme Court.
Almost two-thirds of those polled, 63 percent, called the top court's decisions on abortion "very important," while 62 percent gave the same rating to its rulings about detained terrorists' rights, according to the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
The poll was taken before President Bush chose John Roberts as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
"This important question of the trade-off of civil liberties and protection is one the public takes very seriously," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "The public has been reminded recently of the ongoing threat of terrorism and what we should or should not have to sacrifice for our safety."
Kohut said public concerns about the issue of detainees' rights appear to be high, even though "this has not been one of the issues at the forefront of debate about the Supreme Court."
Last year, the Supreme Court declared the Bush administration out of line for jailing foreign terrorist suspects at the Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without access to lawyers and courts. The justices also said American terror suspects could not be held in legal limbo.
A state of war "is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens," O'Connor wrote in one of the cases decided last June.
Recent polling by ABC News and The Washington Post found that six in 10 Americans say the United States is adequately protecting the rights of people detained in the campaign against terrorism, such as those held at Guantanamo.
The Pew Research Center, in cooperation with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, looked at current public opinion on several issues that could come before the Supreme Court:
_Almost two-thirds, 65 percent, are opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion, but there also is public support for some limits on abortion. Almost three-fourths favor requiring women under age 18 to get parental consent before having an abortion.
_Just over half of those polled, 53 percent, said they support civil unions for gay people, while 36 percent said they favor gay marriage — a slight increase on both issues from a year ago.
_By almost 2-1, people think it's more important to conduct stem cell research that may lead to cures for debilitating illnesses than to avoid destroying potential life of embryos involved in such research.
_The public is divided over how far physicians can go in ending the lives of terminally ill patients.
_A majority, 55 percent, said they consider court decisions about religious displays very important.
The results are based on separate surveys conducted July 13-17 among 1,502 adults and July 7-17 among 2,000 adults. The error margin is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, larger for subgroups.
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Pew Research Center:
Majority Of Americans Support Rights For Gay Couples
by Paul Johnson 365Gay.com Washington Bureau Chief
Posted: August 3, 2005 5:00 pm ET
(Washington) Support among American voters for same-sex marriage has rebounded to its highest point since July 2003 and for the first time, a majority favors giving gay and lesbian couples many of the same rights as married couples.
While 53% of those polled by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press oppose gay marriage, 35 percent said they favor gay marriage. That is the highest number of people supporting same-sex marriage since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court took up the marriage issue in 2003, ultimately ruling in November that year that gay couples could wed.
Following the ruling support for gay unions plummeted and in last year's election 11 states banned same-sex unions in their constitutions.
But, as the pollsters note, the bigger news is the growing support for civil unions and legal protections for gay couples.
Fifty-three percent, the same number as oppose gay marriage, would permit gays and lesbians to enter into legal arrangements that would give them many of the same rights as married couples.
"This is exactly what the right wing is afraid of," Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage matters told 365Gay.com.
"If we stick with the conversation and persist in engaging the non-gay public on marriage equality the pubic will move to fairness."
The questions on same-sex couple rights were part of a broader series of surveys by Pew between July 7 and 17, prior to the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.
Gay marriage did not figure in the top five issues people believe the Supreme Court should deal with. Abortion topped the list, followed by terror suspect rights, religious displays, lawsuit award limits, and affirmative action.
A consistent majority of Americans (65%) are opposed to overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a woman's right to abortion. But most Americans also favor restrictions on abortion. Nearly three-quarters (73%) favor requiring women under age 18 to get parental consent before being allowed to get an abortion.
chicagotribune.com >> Leisure >> WomanNews
Feminism proves to be a big tent
Alison Neumer Lara
Published August 3, 2005
As public debate continues over Supreme Court nominee John Roberts Jr., some also are looking at his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, and her membership in a little-known political organization, Feminists for Life. Mrs. Roberts is the pro bono counsel to the anti-abortion group, which works to reduce the need for abortion by collaborating with forces on both sides of the issue.
How is that possible in a world where the terms feminist and pro-life rarely describe the same person? Not all female activists' efforts begin and end with Roe vs. Wade. Many organizations also address related family and women's issues, where positions sometimes intersect.
The chart at right takes a closer look at how three groups that lobby for women's rights, including Feminists for Life, stack up on matters outside abortion.
- - -
CONSERVATIVE, LIBERAL, IN THE MIDDLE: WHERE'S THE DIVIDE?
CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA
ABORTION: Opposes abortion in all forms. Lobbied against efforts to make emergency contraception (morning-after pill) available over the counter. Petitioning to repeal approval for abortion pill RU-486.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: The act "has become a huge funneling scheme to radical feminist activists who use the funding to basically set up anti-men programs," said Wendy Wright, senior policy director.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Helped launch the Marriage Protection Act, a bill that would keep courts from striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. Local chapters and national staff lobby for state marriage amendments.
TITLE IX: "Like much well-intended utopian legislation, Title IX has done little to help women and has wreaked havoc in sports programs around the nation. Now it is male athletes who are shortchanged."
WELFARE: Included welfare reform authorization (Healthy Marriage Initiative) and the adoption tax act on its legislative agenda.
FEMINISTS FOR LIFE
ABORTION: Recognizes abortion as a "symptom of, not a solution to, women's struggles in the workplace, at home and in society." The organization's tagline is "Refuse to Choose."
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: "Supporting the reauthorization of VAWA is the best way to demonstrate ... that pro-lifers support women and children--born and unborn," said FFL President Serrin Foster.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: No position; the topic is outside the group's narrow focus. FFL's membership includes some gay men and women, as well as those who oppose same sex marriage.
TITLE IX: No position; outside the group's focus.
WELFARE: Lobbied against the family cap, which would have cut off benefits for additional children born out of wedlock. "Basically, you're starving kids," Foster said.
FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION
ABORTION: Supporter of broad reproductive rights. Current core issues include improving access to RU-486 and emergency contraception.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: Supports the legislation. Key in passing the original law in 1994. Perpetrators of gender-based violence should face federal civil and criminal penalties, FM president Eleanor Smeal testified in 1993.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, including same sex marriage.
TITLE IX: Works to strengthen Title IX and ward off perceived threats, such as the 2003 Department of Education commission recommendation that would have changed funding for women's teams.
WELFARE: Lobbies to maintain existing benefits. Protested laws that would end the federal guarantee to welfare.
男と女の脳には差があるか？――脳科学者茂木健一郎氏（あすへの話題） (日本経済 2005/08/04夕刊)
August 4, 2005
latimes.com : Opinion : Editorials
The rules of the club
COUNTRY CLUBS ARE NOT KNOWN as havens of tolerance. So it is hardly surprising that the latest chapter in California gay-rights jurisprudence came from the verdant and petty grounds of an exclusive club — the Bernardo Heights Country Club in San Diego, as it happens.
On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that the country club could not deny a lesbian member's registered partner the same benefits it extends to the spouses of married members. In the anesthetized language of the law, this policy amounted to "impermissible marital status discrimination," and the court sent the case back to the lower courts.
The ruling is a welcome addition to California's growing body of law, both in the courts and from the Legislature, granting the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples. But it may also provide opponents of gay marriage an argument: If gays and lesbians already have most of the benefits of marriage, what does it matter if they cannot legally marry?
There are at least two responses to that question. The first, and most persuasive, is largely symbolic: Gays and lesbians should have the right to marry because to deny it to them is discriminatory. The debate over gay marriage is not merely about semantics; it is about the basic rights that define a society.
But what this answer has in moral clarity, it lacks in political viability. Only one state, Massachusetts, allows gay marriage, and there the governor has recently announced his support of a ballot measure to ban it. A measure that would make gay marriage legal in California is struggling in the Legislature, while proponents of a ban are working to put the issue before voters next spring.
The second answer is more practical. Marriage-in-all-but-name may provide gays and lesbians with most of the rights of married couples, but not all. Registered domestic partnerships in California are not recognized in other states. And registered domestic partners are not eligible for many federal benefits, including Social Security survivor payments.
Legalizing same-sex marriage may also give bigots pause, which counts as a practical help to gays and lesbians in their daily lives. Too much of the animus against gay marriage is indistinguishable from an animus against gay people, as the case of Koebke vs. Bernardo Heights Country Club makes clear.
B. Birgit Koebke has been a club member since 1987. She has been in a relationship with her life partner since 1993, and they registered their partnership with the state in 2000. After twice asking for spousal privileges for her partner, Koebke sued the club. Even given the usual standards for locker-room discourse — and this was a club that cost $18,000 to join in 1987 — the responses were appalling. Some members, according to the court's unanimous opinion, were overheard suggesting that she and her partner stage a lesbian sex show to help the club pay for the lawsuit.
Which brings to mind Groucho Marx's quip about not wanting to join any club that would have him as a member. Whether Koebke still wants to keep her membership is up to her, of course. The larger question of why gays and lesbians would want to join the club called "marriage" also remains; as many others have pointed out, heterosexuals are capable of ruining the institution on their own.
A better question, to extend this metaphor to the breaking point, may be to ask whether the state needs to be the bouncer at the door of this club. Let churches, mosques, synagogues and other private institutions define marriage; the state could provide simply a recognition of these partnerships, which it needn't call marriages (that argument really would be about semantics).
Despite its impracticalities, it is an appealing idea. And if a reconsideration of the state's role in marriage causes others to reassess their opposition to gay marriage, all the better.
California, US: Firms must treat domestic partners like married pairs, top state court says
Roberts Donated Help to Gay Rights Case
In 1996, activists won a landmark anti-bias ruling with the aid of the high court nominee.
By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 4, 2005
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay rights activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. He did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the high court, but he was instrumental in reviewing filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers intimately involved in the case.
Gay rights activists at the time described the court's 6-3 ruling as the movement's most important legal victory. The dissenting justices were those to whom Roberts is frequently likened for their conservative ideology: Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
Roberts' work on behalf of gay rights activists, whose cause is anathema to many conservatives, appears to illustrate his allegiance to the credo of the legal profession: to zealously represent the interests of the client, whoever it might be.
There is no other record of Roberts being involved in gay rights cases that would suggest his position on such issues. He has stressed, however, that a client's views are not necessarily shared by the lawyer who argues on his or her behalf.
The lawyer who asked for Roberts' help on the case, Walter A. Smith Jr., then head of the pro bono department at Hogan & Hartson, said Roberts didn't hesitate. "He said, 'Let's do it.' And it's illustrative of his open-mindedness, his fair-mindedness. He did a brilliant job."
Roberts did not mention his work on the case in his 67-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire, released Tuesday. The committee asked for "specific instances" in which he had performed pro bono work, how he had fulfilled those responsibilities, and the amount of time he had devoted to them.
Smith said the omission was probably just an oversight because Roberts was not the chief litigator in Romer vs. Evans, which struck down a voter-approved 1992 Colorado initiative that would have allowed employers and landlords to exclude gays from jobs and housing.
"John probably didn't recall [the case] because he didn't play as large a role in it as he did in others," Smith said Wednesday. "I'm sure John has a record somewhere of every case he ever argued, and Romer he did not argue. So he probably would have remembered it less."
Jean Dubofsky, lead lawyer for the gay rights activists and a former Colorado Supreme Court justice, said that when she came to Washington to prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court presentation, she immediately was referred to Roberts.
"Everybody said Roberts was one of the people I should talk to," Dubofsky said. "He has a better idea on how to make an effective argument to a court that is pretty conservative and hasn't been very receptive to gay rights."
She said he gave her advice in two areas that were "absolutely crucial."
"He said you have to be able to count and know where your votes are coming from. And the other was that you absolutely have to be on top of why and where and how the state court had ruled in this case," Dubofsky said.
She said Roberts served on a moot court panel as she prepared for oral arguments, with Roberts taking the role of a Scalia-like justice to pepper her with tough questions.
When Dubofsky appeared before the justices, Scalia did indeed demand specific legal citations from the lower-court ruling. "I had it right there at my fingertips," she said.
"John Roberts … was just terrifically helpful in meeting with me and spending some time on the issue," she said. "He seemed to be very fair-minded and very astute."
Dubofsky said Roberts helped her form the argument that the initiative violated the "equal protections" clause of the Constitution.
The case was argued before the Supreme Court in October 1995, and the ruling was handed down the following May. Suzanne B. Goldberg, a staff lawyer for New York-based Lambda, a legal services group for gays and lesbians, called it the "single most important positive ruling in the history of the gay rights movement."
In the blistering dissent, Scalia, joined by Rehnquist and Thomas, said "Coloradans are entitled to be hostile toward homosexual conduct." Scalia added that the majority opinion had "no foundation in American constitutional law, and barely pretends to."
The case was one of several Roberts worked on pro bono at Hogan & Hartson, a prominent Washington law firm that expects partners to volunteer time in community service.
In his answers to the Senate questionnaire, Roberts talked generally about his volunteer work.
"My pro bono legal activities were not restricted to providing services for the disadvantaged," he wrote, explaining that he often donated behind-the-scenes time and expertise on projects.
He said he participated in a program sponsored by the National Assn. of Attorneys General to "help prepare representatives of state and local governments to argue before the Supreme Court." He said that several times a year he reviewed briefs in "selected cases" and met with state or local attorneys in moot court before their Supreme Court appearances.
He also said he had worked with high school and college students and teachers "studying the legal system and the Supreme Court." And he said he had "actively participated on a pro bono basis in efforts to achieve legal reform."
Roberts personally handled two pro bono cases.
In the first, Roberts was asked by Rehnquist — for whom he previously had been a clerk — to represent a man who had been convicted of Medicaid fraud, sentenced to prison and fined $5,000. The federal government also had filed a civil suit in the case and won a $130,000 judgment.
In U.S. vs. Halper, Roberts' first appearance before the high court, he argued that adding a civil penalty to a criminal one was double jeopardy and therefore unconstitutional.
In 1989, the court agreed unanimously. Eight years later the court reversed itself, again 9 to 0.
The second case was a Washington, D.C., welfare case that involved about 1,000 residents who lost benefits when the city cut programs amid a budget crisis.
Roberts, representing homeless people and others who could not work because of illness or injuries, argued before an appellate court that the city had erred in not first formally notifying recipients about the change in benefits.
The court ruled against him in December 1995 in one of Roberts' few appellate losses.
According to others who worked on the case, Roberts asked the court to reconsider, then appealed to the Supreme Court. The high court declined to hear the case.
"Mr. Roberts was essentially the principal counsel," recalled R. Scott McNeilly, a staff lawyer with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. "He was very involved."
When the welfare recipients lost in the courts, McNeilly said, most "were put out on the streets. They lost the money they were using to take the bus to see a social worker or money they were paying to a friend to sleep on his couch."
In the questionnaire, Roberts described them as "the neediest people" in Washington.
Men overcompensate when their masculinity is threatened, Cornell study shows
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Threaten a man's masculinity, and he will assume more macho attitudes, according to a study by a Cornell University researcher.
"I found that if you made men more insecure about their masculinity, they displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq war more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle," said Robb Willer, a sociology doctoral candidate at Cornell. Willer is presenting his findings Aug. 15 at the American Sociological Association's 100th annual meeting in Philadelphia.
"Masculine overcompensation is the idea that men who are insecure about their masculinity will behave in an extremely masculine way as compensation. I wanted to test this idea and also explore whether overcompensation could help explain some attitudes like support for war and animosity to homosexuals," Willer said.
Willer administered a gender identity survey to a sample of male and female Cornell undergraduates in the fall of 2004. Participants were randomly assigned to receive feedback that their responses indicated either a masculine or a feminine identity. While women's responses were unchanged regardless of the feedback they received, men's reactions "were strongly affected by this feedback," Willer said.
"Masculinity-threatened men also reported feeling more ashamed, guilty, upset and hostile than did masculinity-confirmed men," states Willer's report, "Overdoing Gender: Testing the Masculine Overcompensation Thesis."
"The masculine overcompensation thesis has its roots in Freudian psychology, but it has become a popularly accepted idea that I felt should be empirically tested and evaluated," Willer said.
He questioned subjects about their political attitudes, including how they felt about a same-sex marriage ban and their support for President Bush's handling of the Iraq war.
"I created composites from subjects' answers to these and other questions," he said. "I also gave subjects a car-buying vignette, presented as part of a study of purchasing a new car."
Masculinity-threatened participants also showed more interest in buying an SUV. "There were no increases for other types of cars," Willer said.
The study produced "the predicted results," he said. "The intention of the study was to explore whether masculine overcompensation exists and where. But the point isn't to suggest these are the only factors that can explain these behaviors. Likewise, there may be a wide variety of other behaviors that could increase when men are concerned about their levels of masculinity."
In a separate study, Willer verified that support for the Iraq War, homophobia and interest in purchasing an SUV were all considered masculine by study participants.
Willer said he and a colleague are planning additional research on subjects' attitudes regarding violence toward women, using the same method for manipulating masculine insecurity.
"I'm planning another follow-up to the study that involves taking testosterone samples from participants to see if testosterone levels are a mediating factor in this process," he added.
The research involved 111 Cornell undergraduates and was funded by the Department of Sociology at Cornell.
Contact: Nicola Pytell
Cornell University News Service
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ブッシュ大統領、進化論に異議 「別の考えも教えよ」 (共同 2005/08/04)
Web Exclusive | Nation-Politics
Fanning the Controversy Over 'Intelligent Design'
By putting 'intelligent design' on a par with evolutionary theory, President Bush goes further than any president has since Ronald Reagan advocated teaching creationism
By MATTHEW COOPER/WASHINGTON
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 03, 2005 - TIME
A light-hearted White House conversation with representatives of Texas newspapers may have opened a new controversy for President George W. Bush. The President laughed when Knight-Ridder’s Ron Hutcheson asked for Mr. Bush’s "personal views" about the theory of "intelligent design", which religious activists advocate should be taught in U.S. schools as an alternative to theories of evolution. After joking that the reporter was "doing a fine job of dragging me back to the past," to his days as governor of Texas, Bush said: "Then, I said that, first of all, that decision should be made to local school districts, but I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught...”
“Both sides ought to be properly taught?” asked Hutcheson.
“Yes,” Bush answered, “so people can understand what the debate is about."
Hutcheson followed up: "So the answer accepts the validity of ‘intelligent design' as an alternative to evolution?" Bush replied, "I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought, and I'm not suggesting — you're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes."
Hutcheson tried one more time: “So we've got to give these groups—” But the president cut him off: “Very interesting question, Hutch,” which provoked laughter.
Despite the jocular tone of the exchange, Bush’s comments could have immense fallout. The president has gone farther in questioning the widely-taught theories of evolution and natural selection than any president since Ronald Reagan, who advocated teaching creationism in public schools along side evolution. “Intelligent design” is not pure creationism. Its proponents tend not to believe, for instance, the Biblical claim that the Earth is less than 6,000 years old. But they do suggest that the complex array of species on Earth could not have evolved on the basis of natural selection, and instead suggest the it reflects the hand of a hidden designer, most likely God — although some have suggested maybe aliens are a possibility.
Either way, they've found a powerful champion in the President of the United States who has gone beyond advocating local control to say that school children "ought to be exposed" to a theory that critics describe as being tantamount to religion.
高松市、４２種の申請書など性別欄を削除 性同一性障害者に配慮 (読売・香川版 2005/08/03朝刊)
香川：高松市が申請書類の性別欄廃止 (朝日・香川版 2005/08/02)