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    December 24, 2008

    Bah-humbug from George Bush

    Posted by: Chris

    RichardgrenellHis presidency winding down, rejected by most as a failure in foreign and domestic policy, President Bush remains steadfast, determined not to engender sympathy, even during his final Christmas in the White House. On two important issues just this week, the Bush administration stuck a finger in our eye and even rubbed it around a bit.

    In the United Nations, an historic declaration was introduced in the 192-member General Assembly urging countries "to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention."

    The measure was sponsored by France and backed by 65 other countries, including every nation in the European Union and most of Latin America. But not the United States of Bush, despite a crystal clear Supreme Court ruling from 2003 that our own Constitution was on the exact same page as the U.N. proposal.

    The official American position was based on highly technical legal grounds. The text, by using terminology like “without distinction of any kind,” was too broad because it might be interpreted as an attempt by the federal government to override states’ rights on issues like gay marriage, American diplomats and legal experts said.

    It was at least refreshing to hear a powerful retort from Richard Grinell, a longtime acquaintance and gay Republican who was a spokesman for a succession of Bush U.N. ambassadors:

    "Concerns about a remote possibility (marriage) ignores the purpose of the resolution, which is to make sure that people are not killed or oppressed just because they are gay."

    A true conservative, Mr. Grenell said, is "always interested in less government involvement and more personal responsibilities."

    "If being gay is a criminal act, then the State Department has granted hundreds of criminals like me top-secret security clearance," he said. "Common sense says that we should be the leader in making sure other governments grant more freedoms to their people."

    George W Bush As if that weren't enough, the Bush health department has issued new rules intended to allow medical  professionals to provide medical care based upon "sincere religious belief or moral conviction":

    "This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience," says Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt in a statement. That sounds relatively harmless, not to mention respectful of personal religious beliefs, except when you remember that absolutely any form of personal bigotry can be called a "sincere religious belief or moral conviction."

    That's why there's no "religious belief" or "moral conviction" exception to the Civil Rights Act, although churches and related entities are excluded as employers from the watered-down Employment Non-Discrimination Act (that was then "watered up" with gender identity protections).

    So in the guise of respecting religious freedom, doctors, nurses and pharmacists won't risk federal funding even if they refuse treatment to lesbians and gay men based on religious views about homosexuality, and transgender folk based on beliefs about gender identity. Talk about entangling church and state.

    In many cases, state law will still prohibit these types of refusals but by no means everywhere. And President-elect Obama could initiate the process to reverse the rule, but that will take months.

    Thanks, President Bush. Merry Christmas to you, too.

    (Photo of Richard Grinell via Wikipedia)



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    1. Chuck on Dec 24, 2008 1:32:48 PM:

      Thank goodness that bigoted homophobe is on his way out. I hope the door DOES hit him in the ass as he leaves.

    1. Michael Schmidt on Dec 25, 2008 5:48:09 PM:

      Well we can all give President one mark, he and his gang of lackies are CONSISTENT.

      Thank goodness, shortly the White House will get a blast of sorely needed fresh air. As we all know, Bush is a bigot and all his merry gang seem to be content to follow his foot step.

      In the mean time, I am sure the idiot will continue to enforce what most of our country finally knows along with the world, an ill bread idiot from Texas will soon be returning to a rural farm where he belongs.

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