After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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National News Briefs

By |2008-01-17T09:00:00-05:00January 17th, 2008|News|

by Rex Wockner

Dykes on Bikes wins trademark case

San Francisco’s Dykes on Bikes motorcycle club won the right to keep its trademarked name Jan. 7 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a man who claimed the phrase is anti-male, scandalous and immoral.
Attorney Michael McDermott of Dublin, Calif., had challenged the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s acceptance of the trademark, claiming the word “dyke” is widely understood to describe “hyper-militant radicals [who are] hateful toward men.”
He appealed to the Supreme Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed the case in July, saying McDermott hadn’t demonstrated how the organization’s name harms him.
Asked for comment on the case’s resolution, McDermott told the San Francisco Chronicle via e-mail that the Supreme Court “has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda.”

Sen. Craig expands legal strategy

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who was arrested last summer for allegedly seeking sex with an undercover cop in a Minneapolis airport men’s room, is trying some new legal arguments in his quest to have his guilty plea reversed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
In a brief filed Jan. 8, Craig’s lawyers argue:
* Minnesota’s disorderly conduct statute under which Craig pleaded guilty requires that “others” (plural) be alarmed by the conduct and, in Craig’s case, only one other person was involved, decoy cop Sgt. Dave Karsnia.
* Karsnia couldn’t have been upset by Craig’s actions — which allegedly included peering through a crack into Karsnia’s stall, moving his foot invitingly and repeatedly sliding his hand under the stall divider — because Karsnia was moving his own foot enticingly.
* And disorderly conduct must be “offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous or noisy,” which, the lawyers argue, Craig’s conduct was not.
Craig has repeatedly said he isn’t gay or bisexual and doesn’t cruise men’s rooms, even after The Idaho Statesman newspaper published the stories of eight men who claim they had sex with him or experienced sexual come-ons from him.
Craig has maintained his foot moved into Karsnia’s stall because, “I’m a fairly wide guy [and] I tend to spread my legs when I lower my pants so they won’t slide,” and that his hand went below the stall divider because he was fetching a piece of toilet paper that was underneath or stuck to his shoe.

Trans official returns HRC award

The president of the San Francisco Police Commission, Theresa Sparks, returned her 2004 Human Rights Campaign Equality Award during a meeting with HRC President Joe Solmonese in San Francisco Jan. 5.
Sparks, who is transgender, told the Bay Area Reporter she can’t stand to look at the trophy anymore, given HRC’s behavior during the continuing controversy over whether to include gender-identity protections in the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
In November, HRC supported a version of ENDA that protects gay people but not transgender people, after gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., insisted the bill would pass the House, which it did, only if “gender identity” were excluded from the language.
Hundreds of other national, state and local LGBT groups refused to support the “trans-free” ENDA, leaving HRC nearly alone in backing Frank’s version.
The House-passed bill moves next to the U.S. Senate.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.