Doctors or other health care providers could not be disciplined or sued if they refuse to treat gay patients under legislation passed Wednesday by the Michigan House.
The bill allows health care workers to refuse service to anyone on moral, ethical or religious grounds.
The Republican dominated House passed the measure as dozens of Catholics looked on from the gallery. The Michigan Catholic Conference, which pushed for the bills, hosted a legislative day for Catholics on Wednesday at the state Capitol.
The bills now go the Senate, which also is controlled by Republicans.
Indeed, Bessie Smith was in the process of a comeback at the time of her tragic death at age forty-three. On Sept. 26, 1937, she was critically injured while on her way to a singing engagement, when the car being driven by her boyfriend Richard Morgan in which she was a passenger crashed into a truck on a road in Mississippi. According to legend segregation led to her death when a white hospital first refused her admission and by the time she arrived at a black hospital in Clarksdale, Miss., it was too late to save her and she bled to death. Although much has been said to dispute this claim, it is not implausible considering that this was the segregated south. The playwright Edward Albee dramatized the account in his 1960 play The Death of Bessie Smith.
Claire Sellick approached a woman in London’s tony theater district with a clipboard and a chance to win tickets to an upcoming show. All the woman had to do was answer a three-minute survey on locals’ theater-going habits. Or so she thought.
The first question was easy. “What’s your name?” Next came questions about her attitude towards the theater, with more personal inquiries interjected now and then. For instance, the survey company needed the woman’s date of birth (to prove she was legally able to win the seats) and her mother’s maiden name (for later verification) and her address, of course, to mail the tickets if she won the drawing. What about a phone number? Her pet’s name? The name of the first school she attended?
At some point, the woman began connecting the dots. “I work for a bank and this information could be used to open a bank account.”
“Yes,” Sellick responded.
Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government has advised airplane pilots against flying near 100 nuclear power plants around the country or they will be forced down by fighter jets. But pilots say there’s a hitch in the instructions: aviation security officials refuse to disclose the precise location of the plants because they consider that “SSI” — Sensitive Security Information.
“The message is; ‘please don’t fly there, but we can’t tell you where there is,’” says Melissa Rudinger of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a trade group representing 60% of American pilots.
Determined to find a way out of the Catch-22, the pilots’ group sat down with a commercial mapping company, and in a matter of days plotted the exact geographical locations of the plants from data found on the Internet and in libraries. It made the information available to its 400,000 members on its Web site — until officials from the Transportation Security Administration asked them to take the information down. “Their concern was that [terrorists] mining the Internet could use it,” Ms. Rudinger says.
The pastoral fields and white frame houses appear at peace, but this Pennsylvania farm town is deeply at war over teaching Darwin or Christian creationism in its schools.
Since last year the school board voted to have high school biology teachers raise doubts about Darwin’s 145-year-old theory and suggest an alternative Christian explanation for life. The city has since been deeply riven over the issue of separation of church and state.
In January the school board ordered teachers to tell students that Darwinism is not proved, and to teach as well an alternate theory, “intelligent design,” which posits that a grand creator, God, is responsible for the development of living organisms.
“Darwin’s theory is a theory … not a fact,” the school board declared in their statement to the teachers. “Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view,” said the report.
The command landed in the sprawling, red-brick Dover high school like a bomb. Biology teachers refused to read it, while around 15 students walked out in protest.
It really isn’t about Darwin. It’s about power and control. They admit it openly:
Both sides acknowledge the political context of the debate over Darwinism, and the relation to the re-election of staunchly Christian President George W. Bush.
“Christians are a lot more bold under Bush’s leadership, he speaks what a lot of us believe,” said Mummert.
“We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture,” he said, adding that the school board’s declaration is just a first step.
“It took 30 or 40 years to eliminate God in school, it will take probably 30 or 40 years to get him back. You take a little step first, a little bite, then another little bite and another,” said Steve Farrell, a nursery keeper, who dreams of the return to prayer in class.
Control over the school is a vital first step, because an ignorant society is vital to religious wingnuts.
Insanity is rare in devoutly religious individuals, but it is the norm in groups.