Tuesday, May 29, 2007



by Robert Halfhill

It is over three decades past time for the Supreme Injustices on
Minnesota's Supreme Court to realize that the Stonewall Rebellion
happened 35 years ago and that it is way past time for them to start
realizing that they are living in the 21st century, not the 20th and
certainly not the 19th. For while the legal profession would have us
believe that judges are above the political fray and issue objective
rulings based solely on the law, the Minnesota Supreme Court justices
have proven themselves to be a claque of reactionary, venal,
Neanderthal men and women, issuing decisions on the basis of their
homophobic hatreds and biases. Just a few of their homophobic
assaults on our communities are:

On May 18, 1970, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell applied for a
marriage license in Hennepin County. Gerald R. Nelson, Clerk of
Hennepin County District Court, refused to issue the license. The
Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Nelson's denial, the justices
demonstrating that their view of human history was still based on
millennia old myths by declaring that "The institution of marriage as
a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and
rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of

The Minnesota Supreme Bastards removed Hennepin County District
Judge Crane Winton from his judgeship on May 25, 1984 because he
would not promise NEVER to violate Minnesota's sodomy law in the
future, although heterosexual judges who had been brought up on
charges of violating Minnesota's fornication and adultery laws were
allowed to keep their positions. Supposedly liberal justice Rosalie
Wahl raised the issue that two of the hustlers Winton had had sex
with were a few months short of their 18th birthdays. This was not
part of the record when Winton's case reached the Minnesota Supreme
Court and higher courts are supposed to rule solely on the legal
record when cases reach them and not drag in matters that they have
only read about in the news media.

On December 1, 1986 the Hennepin County District Court ruled that
the sodomy statute was unconstitutional because it violated the right
of privacy. On October 2, 1987, the Minnesota Supreme Injustices
overruled the Hennepin County District Court and upheld the sodomy
statute. It was not until July 2, 2001 when Hennepin County District
Judge Delila Pierce granted class action status to her earlier ruling
that the sodomy law was unconstitutional and thereby extended it
statewide. Hennepin County did not appeal Judge Pierce's ruling,
thus making it final when the deadline for an appeal passed on August
31, 2001. If the Minnesota Supreme Court had not been thus bypassed,
the other decisions of the Supreme Buffoons do not warrant much
confidence as to what their ruling would have been if they had not
been bypassed.

On July 31, 1990 when the case of a Marshall, Minnesota landlord
who had refused to rent to an unmarried couple came before the
Minnesota Supreme Court, the Court suddenly went crazy and, in a
berserk rage, turned against twenty years of legal rulings barring
discrimination against unmarried couples. Justice Lawrence Yetka,
speaking for the majority, asked "How can there be a compelling state
interest in promoting fornication when there is a state statute
prohibiting it?" The Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner, Stephen
Cooper and others deplored the Court's ruling on September 6, 1990.
Attorneys for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights asked the
Court to reconsider its decision on September 10, 1990 but the Court
reaffirmed their reactionary ruling on October 8, 1990.

On April 2, 1993, the Minneapolis City Council voted 10/2 to
reimburse City employees for the out of pocket health care expenses
of their domestic partners. On August 27, 1993, the Minneapolis City
Council voted to provide full health benefits to the domestic
partners of City employees. In the Sunday, September 5, 1993 STAR
TRIBUNE, Lou Gelfand calculated in the "If you ran the paper" feature
on page 29A that if all 40 of the City employees who said they would
take advantage of the domestic partners benefits followed through,
the yearly cost of $87,840.00 would be less than 1% of the City's
total cost for benefits for its employees of $11,900,000.00. However
on December 28, 1993, James Lilly of North Minneapolis filed for a
temporary injunction in Hennepin County District Court to prevent the
Domestic Partners Ordinance from taking effect. Lilly was
represented by the right wing Homes School Legal Defense
Association. Judge Deborah Hedlund granted a temporary injunction of
December 30, 1992, preventing the medical benefits for the domestic
partners of City employees from being issued as scheduled at the
beginning of 1994. On June 3, 1994, Hedlund made the injunction
permanent and barred the City from even reimbursing the out of
pocket medical expenses of their employees' domestic partners. The
Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Hedlund's ruling on January 30,
1995, even though Minnesota cities had previously been allowed to act
on matters comparable in importance to providing medical benefits for
the domestic partners of City employees. The Minnesota Supreme Court
refused to even hear Minneapolis' appeal of the Appeals Court ruling
on March 31, 1995.

When Julie Goins' employer, the West Group, told her that she had
to take a five minute walk to another building to use an unisex
bathroom instead of using the women's bathroom in the building when
she worked, Goins, a male to female transsexual, sued under the
Minnesota Human Rights Act. She won in the Minnesota Appeals Court
on November 21, 2000 but the Supreme Homophobes reversed the Appeals
Court on November 29, 2001 and ruled against her on the grounds that
she had refused to tell her employer whether she had completed the
sex reassignment surgery. In other words, the West Group wanted to
know if her genitals had been altered and Goins had refused to answer
their question or submit to a genital inspection. Besides the gross
violation of the right of privacy involved in forcing Ms. Goins to
submit to an inspection of her genitals by company officials as a
condition of continued employment, medical professionals in the field
of sex reassignment surgery all require the reassignee to live as the
opposite sex for a year before their genitals are altered to minimize
the chance of the patient later regretting that they had made the
change when it was too late to alter it. The Minnesota Supreme
Court's decision would make it impossible for transsexuals to follow
their physician's instructions while they were waiting for their
final surgery.

For far too long have the reactionary Supreme Neanderthals been
getting progressively too big for their britches while pretending to
be above the political fray and issuing homophobic decisions. We
need a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersexed activist on
that court to begin cutting them down to size and making them realize
that they are hanging on 35 years past the Stonewall Rebellion. In
future elections, the GLBTI communities should run a full slate of
GLBTI activists and contest every seat on that court that is up for
election until we have thrown ALL the homophobes out.


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