Gay marriage in New York

The process is only inching along at this point:

Old-time, backroom politics faced down hundreds of chanting protesters from each side of the highly charged gay marriage debate in New York on Monday as the issue stalled again over whether religious groups could be protected from discrimination charges under a same-sex marriage law.

And Albany’s notoriously entrenched politics won, for now.

After a three-hour conference behind closed doors, while groups from each side waited in a stifling hot hallway, Senate Republicans emerged without comment. A vote within the conference to even move the bill to the floor for final legislative approval was pushed to at least Tuesday as private negotiations continue between Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who made same-sex marriage a major initiative.

This doesn’t mean too much for either side right now. Perhaps there will be language that allows religious individuals to refuse to marry gay couples, but I hope that it is very, very limited. After all, it isn’t like it’s okay for a state-employed notary to refuse marriage to a black couple, so why carve out a difference concerning gay couples? Of course, that is what they’re doing when it comes to private organizations, but they need to be equally careful there.

What I find interesting about this whole thing is the sort of arguments coming from the religious right. Of course we still have all those invalid arguments from religion. Apparently it was never explained to these people that the U.S. government is secular; it, in fact, does not endorse or condemn Christianity. But what we don’t have anymore is the argument that we must – we just MUST! – follow the will of the people. The reason why is obvious:

Support for marriage equality/same-sex marriage/gay marriage is at a new high in New York, according to today’s new Quinnipiac Poll…Voters in the survey backed legalizing marriage between same-sex couples 58-36%, “higher than ever while statistically unchanged from 56-38% April 14.”

Problem, Christians?

Idiot cop gets no jail time for assault

Patrick Pogan did this to Christopher Long in 2008.

It’s hard to see how this isn’t a clear case of assault. This rookie schlub (it was his 11th day on the job) went out of his way to elbow a random cyclist to the ground. But that didn’t matter to the jury.

A former New York City police officer convicted of lying about a confrontation with a bicyclist in Times Square was given a conditional discharge on Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The former officer, Patrick Pogan, had faced up to four years in prison, but will avoid any time behind bars. He also will not be placed on probation.

This is one reason it is never a good idea to talk to the cops: juries will favor the police over random citizens almost every time. Pogan is obviously guilty of assault and deserves time in jail, but that barely matters since he once wore a police uniform. The only bright side is that he no longer can suit up.

Mr. Pogan, who was on the job for less than two weeks when the collision occurred, resigned from the police force. Because he was convicted of a felony, he would not be allowed to attempt to rejoin the Police Department.

This punk should have been convicted of assault and sent to jail. This slap on his wrist will not correct his sort of behavior in his future endeavors.

Vermont rated healthiest state; Maine 9th

Vermont tops states in health, Louisiana ranks last.

It was the second straight year that Vermont topped the rankings. It was followed by Hawaii, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Idaho and Maine.

Louisiana fell from 49th to 50th, replacing Mississippi. Rounding out the bottom 10 were South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada and Georgia.

California, the most populous state, ranked 24th and New York 25th.

Vermont, with the second smallest population of any state, had the third-highest public health spending and an obesity rate of 22 percent, four points below the national average.

It also had low child poverty and violent crime, a large number of doctors per capita and good high school graduation rates.

Hawaii had similarly low obesity, the highest public health spending, little air pollution, low rates of uninsured people, a low rate of preventable hospitalizations and low rates of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Mississippi led the nation in obesity at 33 percent of the population, while Colorado was lowest at 19 percent.

22% is the obesity rate in the healthiest state. That’s absolutely absurd. But let’s keep outspending every nation combined on our military. Health certainly isn’t relevant or important to life.

By the way, is it any surprise the South makes up the whole of the bottom 10?

Boy Dies Twice

Boy dies two times.

NEW YORK – A 12-year-old New York boy with brain cancer has died after his family battled a hospital to keep him on a ventilator.

The lawyer for the Orthodox Jewish family says Motl Brody’s bodily functions ceased Saturday. A machine had continued to work his lungs after he was pronounced dead Nov. 4 at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The boy had already been declared brain dead, but some adherents of Jewish religious law say death occurs only when the heart and lungs stop functioning.

The family had asked a judge to prevent further tests for brain activity. The hospital argued that its “scarce resources” were being used “for the preservation of a deceased body.”

After having no brain activity for nearly two weeks, a Jewish family thinks their child just died. They’re wrong. Despite what their irrational religious beliefs (sorry to be redundant) claim, their child died on Nov. 4. They wasted not only financial resources, but the medical resources of nurses and doctors who could have been improving and even saving the lives of those who were (and hopefully are) still alive. It was selfish and irresponsible of these parents to pit their crazy beliefs against the lives of others. Why do we give such deference to insane ideas?