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Boy Scouts Ban Gays, New Immigration Bill…and More

July 18th, 2012 by Taylor Walker


The Boy Scouts of America reconfirmed their policy banning both gay leaders and scouts on Tuesday. The story was covered widely, but WitnessLA thought that LA Times’ Steve Lopez made some excellent points. Here’s how he opens his column:

“The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth developed organizations,” says the organization’s website. The BSA is about character and responsibility, and the group “has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun.”

What kind of values?

Bigotry, for one.

On Tuesday, Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays as scouts or leaders.

“Scouting believes that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to achieve the life-changing benefits to youth through scouting,” said a statement.

Pardon me, but I don’t get it. How can “good people” work together if some of them aren’t allowed in the door? Just because the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 let the BSA policy stand doesn’t make it any less odious.

Be sure to read on, as the rest of Steve’s article is worthwhile.


CA Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard proposed a bill Friday that would protect the rights of immigrant families caught up in the foster care system–keeping child service organizations from removing children born in America from their immigrant parents in deportation or immigrant detention situations.

KPCC’s Leslie Berestein Rojas has the story. Here’s how it opens:

A measure voted on last spring by the California Senate that could allow some immigrants in deportation to hold onto their children, avoiding the foster care system, has been joined at the federal level by a similar federal House bill.

Introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), HR 6128 proposes amending federal law to make it easier for the relatives of children whose parents are in deportation to act as legal guardians, and making it more difficult for state and local governments to terminate the parental rights of immigrants in removal proceedings. From the new bill:

H.R.6128 – To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure that immigration status alone does not disqualify a parent, legal guardian, or relative from being a placement for a foster child, to prohibit a State, country, or other political subdivision of a State from filing for termination of parental rights in foster care cases in which an otherwise fit and willing parent or legal guardian has been deported or is involved in (including detention pursuant to) an immigration proceeding, unless certain conditions have been met, and for other purposes.


A new government order declares that anything that Guantanamo detainees say to their lawyers or in trial is presumed classified. The ACLU, one of the detainees’ lawyers, and various news sources are not thrilled, and have filed multiple objections.

ProPublica’s Cora Currier has the story. Here’s how it opens:

Can the government declare anything a Guantanamo detainee does or says automatically classified?

That’s the question posed by two challenges to a government order declaring “any and all statements” by the five detainees allegedly behind the 9/11 attacks “presumptively classified.” That includes their own accounts of their treatment, and even torture, at the hands of the U.S. government.

The government made that argument this spring at the start of the military commission trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others. The government says the defendants’ accounts, if made public without review by a government authority, could reveal details of the CIA’s detention and interrogation efforts.

Of course, much information about the programs—including torture of detainees—has long been public. The CIA’s so-called black-site prisons were acknowledged nearly six years ago by then-President Bush. More details about the program were released by President Obama in 2009.

The “presumptive classification” order extends to both detainees’ testimony and their discussions with their lawyers. In other words, anything said by a detainee, whether in court or to their counsel, will first need censors’ stamp of approval before it can become public.


An LASD deputy was caught on tape Friday appearing to stomp on a resisting suspect’s head. The LASD has relieved the deputy of duty with pay pending their investigation.

LA Times’ Robert Faturechi has the story. Here’s a clip:

It occurred Friday morning when deputies approached a man in downtown Los Angeles suspected of groping a woman’s chest. Authorities said the suspect, Alexis Husmario Torres, was uncooperative, initially refusing to take his hands out of his pockets and then fighting with deputies as they tried to restrain him.

A news crew from Telemundo caught much of the take-down on video. In parts of the footage, aired by NBC Los Angeles, the suspect is elbowed several times in the head while on the ground and stomped at least once in the head by a black-booted deputy.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said department officials were aware the arrest was caught on tape when they decided to launch the criminal probe but had not yet seen the footage. He said Telemundo has agreed to turn over its raw footage.

Posted in ACLU, Courts, Foster Care, Guantanamo, immigration, LASD | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Woody Says:

    Good for the Boy Scouts. No sane parent would want their child sleeping in the woods with a group leader who has a higher potential to be a sex predator on their child. — Canteen Boy and the Scoutmaster

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