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Whats Next for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

JERUSALEM For the third time this year, the Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on bribery, fraud and other charges.

But Mr. Netanyahu, who denies all wrongdoing, is not giving up easily, and it is far from clear what will happen next.

His fate now hangs on a combination of factors, including a decision by the attorney general on whether to indict him, possible court rulings on the legality of his remaining in office and the wild card, the will of the voters.

So while the accusations could well end Mr. Netanyahus career after four terms in office, there are just enough variables that could allow the wiliest of Israels political survivors to hang on to power.

Here are some of the options for how his conundrum could play out.

The next legal step is for the state prosecutors and the attorney general to decide whether to press charges in any of the three cases brought by the police. As prime minister, Mr. Netanyahu has the right to argue his case in a hearing before the authorities make any final decision to prosecute him in court.

He could end up making history not only as one of Israels longest serving prime ministers but as the first sitting one to be charged with a crime.

But political analysts say he is likely to draw the wild card and seek new elections first.

[How Mr. Netanyahus obsession with his image could bring his downfall.]

Israel is already in an election year, with national balloting due by November 2019, but elections may be called earlier. Analysts say the best time for Mr. Netanyahu to stand in an election would be after he has been summoned to a hearing and before the attorney general makes his final decision.

Assuming he wins the vote, he would then be fighting his case from a newly mandated position of strength.

For now, none of his declared opponents come close to Mr. Netanyahu and his conservative Likud Party in the polls. An election that takes place earlier rather than later would allow Mr. Netanyahu to run practically unopposed, some experts say, before any new potential rivals could get organized and gain ground.

In theory, decisions about whether to indict Mr. Netanyahu or not rest purely on the law and the evidence. In reality, analysts say, politics could play a role.

The attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, is in a delicate position.

A former military advocate general, he was selected by Mr. Netanyahu for the countrys top legal job. Once considered a Netanyahu loyalist, Mr. Mandelblit approved and has overseen the police investigations so far.

He has already brought fraud charges against Mr. Netanyahus wife, Sara, accusing her of misusing about $100,000 in public funds in her management of the prime ministers official residence. Mrs. Netanyahu is currently on trial.

But a sitting prime minister has never been indicted. There is pressure on Mr. Mandelblit to move swiftly. But there is also pressure to make sure he has an airtight case before handing down an indictment that could destroy a popularly elected prime minister.

The person in the most difficult position of all, other than Netanyahu, is Mandelblit, said Prof. Shmuel Sandler, an expert on Israeli electoral politics at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

If the election campaign has begun, however, it could make it easier for Mr. Mandelblit to press charges, Professor Sandler said. Because the voters would be choosing a new government anyway, there would be less risk that Mr. Mandelblit would be accused of bringing down a popular one.

On the flip side, if he weighs in with an indictment during the campaign, he could be seen as trying to sway the election. The alternative, however, would be keeping voters in the dark about whether a leading candidate is on the brink of being charged with a crime.

Critics have accused Mr. Mandelblit of foot-dragging in the cases concerning the prime minister. Mr. Mandelblit says he will make a decision as soon as possible.

If Mr. Netanyahu is indicted, legally he can continue to serve as prime minister while he is a defendant. An accused prime minister is not obligated to resign until a final conviction in court.

But if he were charged, critics would probably petition the Supreme Court to force him to step down. The Supreme Court has ruled that a cabinet minister charged with a crime must step down. The judges would have to decide whether the same standard applied to the prime minister.

If, at that point, Mr. Netanyahu had been re-elected, he could make a political argument to bolster his legal one. That argument, says Amit Segal, the political analyst of the Israeli television News Channel, would be: More than a million voters knew exactly what the charges were against me and yet they elected me again.

Then, the Supreme Court would be faced with the prospect of reversing the will of the voters.

Thats why Netanyahu desperately needs to be re-elected, Mr. Segal said in an interview on Monday. For him, the next election is not only a political challenge. Thats the least of his worries. First and foremost, its a legal one.

There has also been speculation in the Israeli news media over the possibility of Mr. Netanyahu reaching a deal, if he is prosecuted, in which he would step down or not run again in return for avoiding jail time.

Mr. Netanyahu presides over a fragile coalition that holds a one-vote majority in the 120-seat Parliament.

If he is indicted while in office, his coalition partners will have to decide whether to stick with him or to topple his narrow, right-wing and religious government.

Since the parties in the government mostly represent similar right-wing constituencies, they are wary of prematurely collapsing a government that is advancing their agenda. Mr. Netanyahu has reminded them of the trauma of 1992 when right-wing parties brought down a right-wing government only to watch the left take power and agree to what the right saw as the disastrous Oslo peace process with the Palestinians.

Some of the coalition parties are in electoral peril themselves and may not want to risk an election any sooner than they have to.

Aryeh Deri, the interior minister and leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, one of Likuds four remaining coalition partners, is facing possible charges, including fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and money laundering.

Contentious legislation, such as a new law regulating ultra-Orthodox enlistment into the military, which must be approved by Jan. 15, could also rock the coalition and bring on new elections.

Short of that, few believe any parties are about to bolt.

The entire political establishment has become so accustomed to Netanyahu being in power that nobody can believe in change, Sima Kadmon, a political columnist, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper on Monday.

As if Netanyahu were the sun and the moon, and all the others were only stars, and everything depended on ones location in this galaxy, she wrote. But this change will happen.

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Whats Next for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

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Israeli police recommend indicting Benjamin Netanyahu

JERUSALEM Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery charges related to a corruption case involving Israels telecom giant, prompting immediate calls for his resignation.

Police say their investigation has established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeqs subsidiary news website, Walla.

Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases. One involves accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolves around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a newspaper in return for positive coverage.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

The police recommendations regarding me and my wife dont surprise anyone, Netanyahu said in a statement. These recommendations were decided upon and leaked even before the investigation began.

The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused. Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence. Netanyahu held the governments communications portfolio until last year and oversaw regulation in the field. Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu.

Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a bribe-based relationship.

From 2012 to 2017 the prime minister and his associates blatantly intervened on a near-daily basis in the Walla news site, using the connections with Elovitch to influence appointments there and to promote flattering articles and pictures while quelling critical stories of the prime minister and his family, police said.

Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family.

The most serious bribery case yet leaves no room for doubt: a prime minister who is accused of the most serious offense for a public servant in the Israeli rule book cannot keep serving one minute longer, said Tamar Zandberg, head of the dovish opposition Meretz party.

The prime minister has no moral mandate to keep his seat and must resign today. Israel must go to elections.

Other opposition figures, including opposition leader Tzipi Livni, quickly joined in the call for Netanyahu to resign.

Netanyahus colleagues in the ruling Likud party have lined up behind up, attacking outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh for releasing the recommendation on his last day on the job. The appointment of Alsheikhs potential successor is being held up after a government-appointed committee rejected his candidacy.

The other coalition partners have previously deferred bolting, saying they would await a formal decision by Israels attorney general to press charges. But the latest development further threatens the wobbly government, already weakened by the recent departure of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his party. Netanyahus coalition currently enjoys only the slimmest of parliamentary majorities.

Elections are currently scheduled for November 2019.

Police are also recommending that charges be brought against Netanyahus wife, Sara, who has been at the center of much of the corruption allegations surrounding the longtime Israeli leader. Reports have surfaced of Sara Netanyahu relaying requests to Bezeq officials.

She has already been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending roughly $100,000 on private meals at the prime ministers official residence, even as there was a full-time chef on staff.

Sara Netanyahu has long faced allegations of extravagant living and abusive behavior. In 2016, a court ruled she abused an employee and awarded the man $42,000 in damages. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied, and of excessive spending and charging the state for her private, expensive tastes.

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Israli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted

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Associated Press Published 4:03 a.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018 | Updated 1:28 p.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018

The prime minister’s wife was charged with fraud and breach of trust in a separate case earlier this year.Video provided by Newsy Newslook

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently spoke in Washington, D.C. where he said that Iran is becoming more of a threat to the world.(Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

JERUSALEM (AP) Israeli police are recommending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in a corruption case involving Israel’s telecom giant.

Police say Sunday they have established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust.

The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeq’s news website, Walla.

Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second over trading positive media coverage for advantageous legislation for a newspaper.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

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Iraq, the Neocons and the Israel Lobby – John Mearsheimer

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/fora/showthread.php?t=…

Author and political scientist John J. Mearsheimer argues that neoconservative and pro-Israel lobby groups were both greatly influential to the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq.

—–

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt discuss “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.”

What is at the heart of the special relationship between the United States and the state of Israel? Does Israel truly represent a strategic U.S. asset in the Middle East? Are the two nations really partners in the same “War on Terror”, with the same threats up against them, and the same interests at stake?

Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt had become well-known authorities in our understanding of contemporary international relations theory, security, and policy long before their collaboration on The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Atlantic Monthly approached the pair in the fall of 2002 to research the depth of influence of the pro-Israel lobby on U.S. policy. By the time they returned with the results of their research, the magazine’s editor had decided not to go ahead with the piece, and was not even interested in a revision. At the prompting of an American academic peer, they decided to submit the article to the London Review of Books where it was finally published in March of 2006.

Mearsheimer and Walt argue that if there ever truly were significant strategic (i.e. balance of power considerations during the Cold War) and/or moral (i.e. common Judeo-Christian and democratic values) grounds to justify the unique level of American support afforded the Jewish state, they have long been exhausted. Has this unwavering support made Israel a liability in U.S. foreign policy? And, does this special relationship threaten, rather than enhance, American security in the Middle East, in the world, and at home? – World Affairs Council of Oregon

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982.

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John Mearsheimer

John MearsheimerJohn Joseph Mearsheimer /mrhamr/;3 born December 14, 1947 is an American political scientist He proposed the theory of offensive realism which describes the interaction between great powers as dominated by a rational desire to achieve hegemony in a world of insecurity and uncertainty regarding other states intentions Mearsheimer was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War in 2003 and was almost alone in opposing Ukraines decision to give up its nuclear weapons in 1994 and predicted that, without a deterrent, they would face Russian aggression His most controversial views concern alleged influence by interest groups over US government actions in the Middle East which he wrote about in The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy In accordance with his theory Mearsheimer considers that Chinas growing power will likely bring it into conflict with the United States His work is frequently taught to and read by twenty-first century students of political science Admirers see him as discounting rhetoric to show how states behave Critics charge him with having an outdated zero-sum view of the w John MearsheimerClick for more; https://www.turkaramamotoru.com/en/jo…There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

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John Mearsheimer

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John J. Mearsheimer (Author of The Israel Lobby and U.S …

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy byJohn J. Mearsheimer, Stephen M. Walt 3.95 avg rating 2,075 ratings published 2006 29 editions

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Mossad | Covert History Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

For the organization that coordinated pre-state Jewish immigration, see Mossad Le’aliyah Bet.Template:Infobox Govt Agency

Template:Coord/display/title

The Mossad (Template:Lang-he, Template:IPA-he; Template:Lang-ar, Template:Transl; literally meaning “the Institute”), short for Template:Transl (Template:Lang-he, meaning “Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”; Template:Lang-ar Template:Transl), is the national intelligence agency of Israel.

The Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counterterrorism, as well as bringing Jews to Israel from countries where official Aliyah agencies are forbidden, and protecting Jewish communities worldwide. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security), but its director reports directly to the Prime Minister.

The largest department of the Mossad is Collections, tasked with many aspects of conducting espionage overseas. Employees in the Collections Department operate under a variety of covers, including diplomatic and unofficial.[1] The Political Action and Liaison Department is responsible for working with allied foreign intelligence services, and nations that have no normal diplomatic relations with Israel.[1] Additionally, the Mossad has a Research Department, tasked with intelligence production, and a Technology Department concerned with the development of tools for Mossad activities.[2]

Mossad was formed on December 13, 1949 as the “Central Institute for Coordination” at the recommendation of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to Reuven Shiloah. Ben Gurion wanted a central body to coordinate and improve cooperation between the existing security services the army’s intelligence department (AMAN), the Internal Security Service (“Shin Bet”) and the foreign office’s “political department”. In March 1951, it was reorganized and made a part of the prime minister’s office, reporting directly to the prime minister.

Mossad’s former motto, be-tachblt ta`aseh lekh milchmh (Template:Lang-he) is a quote from the Bible (Proverbs 24:6): “For by wise guidance you can wage your war” (NRSV). The motto was later changed to another Proverbs passage: be-‘yn tachblt yippol `m; -tesh`h be-rov y’ts (Template:Lang-he, Proverbs 11:14). This is translated by NRSV as: “Where there is no guidance, a nation falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

In 1960, the Mossad discovered that the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was in Argentina. A team of five Mossad agents slipped into Argentina and through surveillance, confirmed that he had been living there under the name of Ricardo Klement. He was abducted on May 11, 1960 and taken to a hideout. He was subsequently smuggled to Israel, where he was tried and executed. Argentina protested what it considered as the violation of its sovereignty, and the United Nations Security Council noted that “repetition of acts such as [this] would involve a breach of the principles upon which international order is founded, creating an atmosphere of insecurity and distrust incompatible with the preservation of peace” while also acknowledging that “Eichmann should be brought to appropriate justice for the crimes of which he is accused” and that “this resolution should in no way be interpreted as condoning the odious crimes of which Eichmann is accused.”[4][5] Mossad abandoned a second operation, intended to capture Josef Mengele.[6]

During the 1990s, the Mossad discovered a Hezbollah agent operating within the United States in order to procure materials needed to manufacture IEDs and other weapons. In a joint operation with U.S. intelligence, the agent was kept under surveillance in hopes that he would betray more Hezbollah operatives, but was eventually arrested.[7]

The Mossad informed the FBI and CIA in August 2001 that based on its intelligence as many as 200 terrorists were slipping into the United States and planning “a major assault on the United States.” The Israeli intelligence agency cautioned the FBI that it had picked up indications of a “large-scale target” in the United States and that Americans would be “very vulnerable.”[8] However, “It is not known whether U.S. authorities thought the warning to be credible, or whether it contained enough details to allow counter-terrorism teams to come up with a response,”[9] A month later, terrorists struck at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.[8]

Mossad assassinated Latvian Nazi collaborator Herberts Cukurs in 1965.[10]

The Mossad gathered information on Austrian politician Jrg Haider using a mole.[11]

The Mossad is alleged to be responsible for the killing of Canadian engineer and ballistics expert Gerald Bull on March 22, 1990. He was shot multiple times in the head outside his Brussels apartment.[12] Bull was at the time working for Iraq on the Project Babylon supergun.[13] Others, including Bull’s son, believe that the Mossad is taking credit for an act they did not commit to scare off others who may try to help enemy regimes. The alternative theory is that Bull was killed by the CIA. Iraq and Iran are also candidates for suspicion.[14]

Assisted in air and overland evacuations of Bosnian Jews from war-torn Sarajevo to Israel in 1992 and 1993.[citation needed]

The killing of Hussein Al Bashir in Nicosia, Cyprus, in 1973 in relation to the Munich massacre.[15]

Cherbourg Project – Operation Noa, the 1969 smuggling of Israel Navy boats out of Cherbourg.

The alleged killing of Zuheir Mohsen, a pro-Syrian member of the PLO in 1979.[16]

The alleged killing of Atef Bseiso, a top intelligence officer of the PLO in Paris in 1992. French police believe that a team of assassins followed Atef Bseiso from Berlin, where that first team connected with another team to close in on him in front of a Left Bank hotel, where he received three head-shots at point blank range.[17]

The killing of Yehia El-Mashad, the head of the Iraq nuclear weapons program, in 1980.[18]

The killing of Dr. Mahmoud Hamshari, coordinator of the Munich massacre with an exploding telephone in his Paris apartment in 1972.[15]

The killing of Dr. Basil Al-Kubaissi, who was involved in the Munich massacre, in Paris in 1973.[15]

The killing of Mohammad Boudia, member of the PFLP, in Paris in 1973.[15]

On April 5, 1979, Mossad agents are believed to have triggered an explosion which destroyed 60 percent of components being built in Toulouse for an Iraqi reactor. Although an environmental organization, Groupe des cologistes franais, unheard of before this incident, claimed credit for the blast,[19] most French officials discount the claim. The reactor itself was subsequently destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 1981.[19][20]

The Mossad allegedly assisted Morocco’s domestic security service in the disappearance of dissident politician Mehdi Ben Barka in 1965.[21]

Operation Plumbat (1968) was an operation by Lekem-Mossad to further Israel’s nuclear program. The German freighter “Scheersberg A”, disappeared on its way from Antwerp to Genoa along with its cargo of 200 tons of yellowcake, after supposedly being transferred to an Israeli ship.[22]

The sending of letter bombs during the Operation Wrath of God campaign. Some of these attacks were not fatal. Their purpose might not have been to kill the receiver. Some of the more famous examples of the Mossad letter bombs were those sent to Nazi war-criminal Alois Brunner.[23]

The alleged targeted killing of Dr Wadie Haddad, using poisoned chocolate, in 1978. The PFLP-EO movement dissolved after his killing.[citation needed]

The Mossad discovered that Hezbollah had recruited a German national named Steven Smyrek, and that he was travelling to Israel. In an operation conducted by the Mossad, the CIA, the German Internal Security agency Bundesamt fr Verfassungsschutz (BFD), and the Israeli Internal Security agency Shin Bet, Smyrek was kept under constant surveillance, and arrested as soon as he landed in Israel.[24]

Mossad is alleged to have been involved in industrial espionage in Germany. In the late 1990s, the head of the BFD reportedly warned his department chiefs that Mossad remained a prime threat in stealing the country’s latest computer secrets.[25]

The killing of Zaiad Muchasi, Fatah representative to Cyprus, by an explosion in his Athens hotel room in 1973.[15]

The killing of Wael Zwaiter, thought to be a member of Black September.[26][27]

In 1986, Mossad used an undercover agent to lure nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu from the United Kingdom to Italy in a honey trap style operation where he was abducted and transported to Israel where he was tried and found guilty of treason because of his role in exposing Israel’s nuclear programme.[28]

The killing of Fathi Shiqaqi. Shiqaqi a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was shot several times in the head in 1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Sliema, Malta.[29]

On July 21, 1973, Ahmed Bouchiki, a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway, was killed by Mossad agents. He had been mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the leaders of Black September, the Palestinian group responsible for the Munich massacre, who had been given shelter in Norway. The Mossad agents had used fake Canadian passports, which angered the Canadian government. Six Mossad agents were arrested, and the incident became known as the Lillehammer affair. Israel subsequently paid compensation to Bouchiki’s family.[28][30][31]

Mossad assisted the UK Intelligence organisation MI5 following the 7/7 bombings in London. According to the 2007 edition of a book about the Mossad titled Gideons Spies, shortly after the 7/7 London underground bombings, MI5 gathered evidence that a senior al-Qaeda operative known only by the alias Mustafa travelled in and out of Britain shortly before the 7/7 bombings. For months, the real identity of Mustafa remained unknown, but in early October 2005, Mossad told MI5 that this person was, in fact, Azhari Husin, a bomb-making expert with Jemaah Islamiyah, the main al-Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia. Husin studied in Britain and reports claim that he met the main 7/7 bomber, Mohammad Sidique Khan, in late 2001 in a militant training camp in the Philippines (see Late 2001). Meir Dagan, the then head of Mossad, apparently also told MI5 that Husin helped plan and recruit volunteers for the bombings. Mossad claimed that Husin may have been in London at the time of the bombings, and then fled to al-Qaedas principal haven in the tribal area of Pakistan, where he sometimes hid after bombings. Husin was killed in a shootout in Indonesia in November 2005.[32] Later official British government reports about the 7/7 bombings did not mention Husin.[33]

In February 1998, five Mossad agents were caught wiretapping the home of a Hezbollah agent in a Bern suburb. Four agents were freed, but the fifth was tried, found guilty, sentenced to one year in prison, and following his release was banned from entering Switzerland for five years.[34]

The Mossad was involved in outreach to Refuseniks in the Soviet Union during the crackdown on Soviet Jews in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Mossad helped establish contact with Refuseniks in the USSR, and helped them acquire Jewish religious items, banned by the Soviet government, in addition to passing communications into and out of the USSR. Many rabbinical students from Western countries travelled to the Soviet Union as part of this program in order to establish and maintain contact with refuseniks.

In February 2011, a Palestinian engineer, Dirar Abu Seesi, was allegedly pulled off a train by Mossad agents enroute to the capital Kiev from Kharkiv. He had been planning to apply for Ukrainian citizenship, and reappeared in an Israeli jail only 3 weeks after the incident.[35]

Prior to the Iranian Revolution of 197879, SAVAK (Organization of National Security and Information), the Iranian secret police and intelligence service was created under the guidance of United States and Israeli intelligence officers in 1957.[37] After security relations between the United States and Iran grew more distant in the early 1960s which led the CIA training team to leave Iran, Mossad became increasingly active in Iran, “training SAVAK personnel and carrying out a broad variety of joint operations with SAVAK.”[citation needed]

A US intelligence official told The Washington Post that Israel orchestrated the defection of Iranian general Ali Reza Askari on February 7, 2007.[38] This has been denied by Israeli spokesman Mark Regev. The Sunday Times reported that Askari had been a Mossad asset since 2003, and left only when his cover was about to be blown.[39]

Le Figaro claimed that the Mossad was possibly behind a blast at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Imam Ali military base, on October 12, 2010. The explosion at the base killed 18 and injured 10 others. Among the dead was also general Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, who served as the commander of the Revolutionary Guards missile program and was a crucial figure in building Irans long-range missile program.[40] The base is believed to store long-range missiles, including the Shahab-3, and also has hangars. It is one of Iran’s most secure military bases.[41]

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has accused Mossad of assassination plots and killings of Iranian physicists in 2010. Reports have noted that such information has not yet been evidently proven. Iranian state TV broadcast a stated confession from Majid Jamali-Fash, an Iranian man who claimed to have visited Israel to be trained by the Mossad.[42]

The Mossad has been accused of assassinating Masoud Alimohammadi, Ardeshir Hosseinpour, Majid Shahriari, Darioush Rezaeinejad and Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan; scientists involved in the Iranian nuclear program. It is also suspected of being behind the attempted assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Fereydoon Abbasi.[43][44] Meir Dagan – who served as Director of the Mossad from 2002 until 2009 – while not taking credit for the assassinations, praised them in an interview with a journalist, saying “the removal of important brains” from the Iranian nuclear project had achieved so-called “white defections,” frightening other Iranian nuclear scientists into requesting that they be transferred to civilian projects.[36]

In early February 2012, Mossad director Tamir Pardo met with U.S. national security officials in Washington, D.C. to sound them out on possible American reactions in the event Israel attacked Iran over the objections of the United States.[45]

Assistance in the defection and rescuing of the family of Munir Redfa, an Iraqi pilot who defected and flew his MiG-21 to Israel in 1966: “Operation Diamond”. Redfa’s entire family was also successfully smuggled from Iraq to Israel. Previously unknown information about the MiG-21 was subsequently shared with the United States.

Operation Sphinx[19] Between 1978 and 1981, obtained highly sensitive information about Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor by recruiting an Iraqi nuclear scientist in France.

Operation Bramble Bush II In the 1990s, the Mossad began scouting locations in Iraq where Saddam Hussein could be ambushed by Sayeret Matkal commandos inserted into Iraq from Jordan. The mission was called off due to Operation Desert Fox and the ongoing Israeli-Arab peace process.

In what is thought to have been a reprisal action for a Hamas suicide-bombing in Jerusalem on July 30, 1997 that killed 16 Israelis, Benjamin Netanyahu authorised an operation against Khaled Mashal, the Hamas representative in Jordan.[46] On September 25, 1997, Mashal was injected in the ear with a toxin (thought to have been a derivative of the synthetic opiate Fentanyl called Levofentanyl).[47][48] Jordanian authorities apprehended two Mossad agents posing as Canadian tourists and trapped a further six in the Israeli embassy. In exchange for their release, an Israeli physician had to fly to Amman and deliver an antidote for Mashal. The fallout from the failed killing eventually led to the release of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of the Hamas movement, and scores of Hamas prisoners. Netanyahu flew into Amman on September 29 to apologize personally to King Hussein, but was met instead by the King’s brother, Crown Prince Hassan.[47]

The provision of intelligence and operational assistance in the 1973 Operation Spring of Youth special forces raid on Beirut. The sending of letter bombs to PFLP member Bassam Abu Sharif. Sharif was severely wounded, but survived.[49]

The targeted killing of Ali Hassan Salameh, the leader of Black September, on January 22, 1979 in Beirut by a car bomb.[50][51]

The killing of the Palestinian writer and leading PFLP member Ghassan Kanafani, also by a car bomb, in 1972.[52]

Providing intelligence for the killing of Abbas al-Musawi, secretary general of Hezbollah, in Beirut in 1992.[15]

Allegedly killed Jihad Ahmed Jibril, the leader of the military wing of the PFLP-GC, in Beirut in 2002.[53]

Allegedly killed Ghaleb Awwali, a senior Hezbollah official, in Beirut in 2004.[54]

Allegedly killed Mahmoud al-Majzoub, a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in Sidon in 2006.[55]

The Mossad was suspected of establishing a large spy network in Lebanon, recruited from Druze, Christian, and Sunni Muslim communities, and officials in the Lebanese government, to spy on Hezbollah and its Iranian Revolutionary Guard advisors. Some have allegedly been active since the 1982 Lebanon War. In 2009, Lebanese Security Services supported by Hezbollah’s intelligence unit, and working in collaboration with Syria, Iran, and possibly Russia, launched a major crackdown which resulted in the arrests of around 100 alleged spies “working for Israel”.[56] Previously, in 2006, the Lebanese army uncovered a network that allegedly assassinated several Lebanese and Palestinian leaders on behalf of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.[57]

In a September 2003 news article, it was alleged by Rediff News that General Pervez Musharaf, the then-President of Pakistan, decided to establish a clandestine relationship between Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Mossad via officers of the two services posted at their embassies in Washington, DC.

In January 2009 it was alleged by Indian news agencies that Mossad officers led a rescue mission to extract an Indian former member of parliament and an Israeli cultural attache who were arrested on the charges of producing methamphetamine.

Eli Cohen infiltrated the highest echelons of the Syrian government, was a close friend of the Syrian President, and was considered for the post of Minister of Defense. He gave his handlers a complete plan of the Syrian defenses on the Golan Heights, the Syrian Armed Forces order of battle, and a complete list of the Syrian military’s weapons inventory. He also ordered the planting of trees by every Syrian fortified position under the pretext of shading soldiers, but the trees actually served as targeting markers for the Israel Defense Forces. He was discovered by Syrian and Soviet intelligence, tried in secret, and executed publicly in 1965.[58] His information played a crucial role during the Six Day War.

The alleged killing of Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil, a senior member of the military wing of Hamas, in an automobile booby trap in September 2004 in Damascus.[59]

The alleged killing of Muhammad Suleiman, head of Syria’s nuclear program, in 2008. Suleiman was killed by a sniper firing from a boat while on a beach in Tartus.[60]

The alleged killing of Imad Mughniyah, a senior leader of Hezbollah complicit in the 1983 United States embassy bombing, with an exploding headrest in Damascus in 2008.[61]

The Mossad is suspected of killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas military commander, in January 2010 at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The team which carried out the killing is estimated, on the basis of CCTV and other evidence, to have consisted of at least 26 agents traveling on bogus passports. The operatives entered al-Mabhouh’s hotel room, where Mabhouh was subjected to electric shocks and interrogated. The door to his room was reported to have been locked from the inside.[62][63][64][65][66] Although the UAE police and Hamas have declared Israel responsible for the killing, no direct evidence linking Mossad to the crime has been found. The agents’ bogus passports included six British passports, cloned from those of real British nationals resident in Israel and suspected by Dubai, five Irish passports, apparently forged from those of living individuals,[67] forged Australian passports that raised fears of reprisal against innocent victims of identity theft,[68] a genuine German passport and a false French passport. Emirati police say they have fingerprint and DNA evidence of some of the attackers, as well as retinal scans of 11 suspects recorded at Dubai airport.[69][70] Dubai’s police chief has said “I am now completely sure that it was Mossad,” adding: “I have presented the (Dubai) prosecutor with a request for the arrest of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and the head of Mossad,” for the murder.[71]

In September 1956, the Mossad established a secretive network in Morocco to smuggle Moroccan Jews to Israel after a ban on immigration to Israel was imposed.[72]

In early 1991, two Mossad operatives infiltrated the Moroccan port of Casablanca and planted a tracking device on the freighter Al-Yarmouk, which was carrying a cargo of North Korean missiles bound for Syria. The ship was to be sunk by the Israeli Air Force, but the mission was later called off by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.[73]

The 1988 killing of Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), a founder of Fatah.[74]

The alleged killing of Salah Khalaf, head of intelligence of the PLO and second in command of Fatah behind Yasser Arafat, in 1991.[75]

For Operation Entebbe in 1976, Mossad provided intelligence regarding Entebbe International Airport[76] and extensively interviewed hostages who had been released.[77]

After the Mossad discovered the presence of two Iranian agents in Johannesburg[when?] on a mission to procure advanced weapons systems from Denel, a Mossad agent was deployed, and met up with a local Jewish contact. Posing as South African intelligence, they abducted the Iranians, drove them to a warehouse, and beat and intimidated them before forcing them to leave the country.[78]

After the 1994 AMIA bombing, the largest bombing in Argentine history, the Mossad began gathering intelligence for a raid by Israeli Special Forces on the Iranian embassy in Khartoum as retaliation. The operation was called off due to fears that another attack against worldwide Jewish communities might take place as revenge. The Mossad also assisted in Operation Moses, the evacuation of Ethiopian Jews to Israel from a famine-ridden region of Sudan in 1984, also maintaining a relationship with the Ethiopian government.

The Mossad secretly evacuated Zimbabwean Jews out of the country due to fears of persecution by the Zimbabwean government, which was allied with the Palestine Liberation Organization and Libya.[when?] The Mossad infiltrated the Zimbabwean government’s Central Intelligence Organization, in response to the supply of uranium from the Congo via Zimbabwe to North Korea, Syria, and Iran.[citation needed]

In July 2004, New Zealand imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel over an incident in which two Australian based Israelis, Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara, who were allegedly working for Mossad, attempted to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports by claiming the identity of a severely disabled man. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom later apologized to New Zealand for their actions. New Zealand cancelled several other passports believed to have been obtained by Israeli agents.[79] Both Kelman and Cara served half of their six-month sentences and, upon release, were deported to Israel. Two others, an Israeli, Ze’ev Barkan, and a New Zealander, David Reznick, are believed to have been the third and fourth men involved in the passport affair but they both managed to leave New Zealand before being apprehended.[80]

Mossad may have been involved in the 2004 explosion of Ryongchon, where several Syrian nuclear scientists working on the Syrian and Iranian nuclear-weapons programs were killed and a train carrying fissionable material was destroyed.[25]

Template:Israeli Intelligence CommunityTemplate:External national intelligence agencies

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Nation Of Islam | Encyclopedia.com

NATION OF ISLAM . The first several decades of the twentieth century marked a continuing challenge for African Americans. Attempting to carve out a viable socioeconomic, political, and cultural space was difficult in light of disenfranchisement, mob violence, and the scarcity of good jobs. Hearing rumors of increased opportunities, many African Americans participated in the “Great Migration” that marked the movement of African Americans into northern and southern cities in search of better life options. However, in places like Chicago and Detroit, African Americans quickly came to realize that racial discrimination could not be escaped through migration.

W. D. Fard (Master Fard Muhammad; 1891?1934?) appeared in Detroit in 1930, selling scarves and other goods, and engaging eager listeners in conversations that involved a history lesson concerning their true status as Asiatics, originally from Mecca. His teachings perplexed and intrigued listeners and, while his theories seemed fantastic, his audience grew as blacks in Detroit gained from his teachings a new sense of self-worth and a way to critique oppression encountered during the course of daily existence.

To secure the greatness blacks were meant to exhibit, it was necessary to reject the teachings, or “tricknology,” of whites, and embrace Islamthe black community’s true religion. Black Americans were lost within the wilderness of the United States, but Master Fard had been sent to restore them to their former glory through his teachings and written materialsthe Supreme Lessonsa blending of basic educational skills and metaphysics.

This, of course, was not the first time an articulation of Islamic teachings was expressed within the context of African American communities. Scholars have recently recognized an early Muslim presence in North America that might represent roughly 10 percent of the African population in North America during slavery. Diary accounts, autobiographies, and Works Progress Administration (WPA) documents all attest to such Islamic practices as prayer while facing east, dietary restrictions, and Islamic names given to children in early African American communities. This early Islamic presence serves as a cultural memory upon which more recent practices developed. For example, the Moorish Science Temple, developed roughly a decade before the Nation of Islam, espoused doctrines that combined Islamic teachings with other theological orientations. Members of the Moorish Science Temple believe Noble Drew Ali (18861929), the organization’s founder, is reincarnated in subsequent leaders. Some suggest that Master Fard was Noble Drew Ali reincarnated, an argument rejected by the Nation of Islam. Master Fard maintained a degree of mystery by suggesting that he was from the East, sent on a special mission, with more information to be revealed in time.

Some estimates suggest that Master Fard’s temple grew to roughly eight thousand members, one of the most important being Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Poole; 18971975). As part of the Great Migration, Poole came to Detroit from the South. But with a limited education, Poole found it difficult to secure employment that met the needs of his growing family. This economic situation, combined with his unfulfilled interest in church ministry, left him frustrated but open to the inspiring teachings of Master Fard. Upon first hearing Master Fard, there was a quick connection between the two that culminated in Poole’s name change to Elijah Muhammad and his being called to minister in Fard’s movement. With the mysterious disappearance of Master Fard in 1934, a power struggle emerged, centered on Elijah Muhammad. Forced to leave Detroit for a period, he traveled to cities such as Chicago, presenting the teachings of Master Fard.

The conversion of new members did not involve an emotional response as happened in so many black churches. It entailed an intellectual and psychologically deliberate acceptance of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The completion of this transformation, this acceptance of the black person’s true nature and destiny, was presented by the convert in a letter to Elijah Muhammad’s headquarters in Chicago. In this letter, the person seeking membership indicated participation in several meetings and a firm belief in the doctrines. The letter included a request for full participation in the life of the Nation and asked the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to provide the writer with the person’s original name. Until a new name was given, members made use of X, which represented the unknown. The old name represented the white race and the damaging effects of slavery (and a slave mentality) on the identity of black Americans. The X involved a rejection of the former self and the embrace of a new identity associated with a new relationship with Allah and his messenger, Elijah Muhammad.

Self-sufficiency was one of the Nation of Islam’s mantras, and it was expressed practically through the organization’s various business ventures, which included restaurants, bakeries, and a farm. This attention to economic self-determination as a step toward complete knowledge of self is in keeping with the organization’s push for separation from whites through the development of an independent black nation comprised of several states with rich farming land. In order to finance this new nation, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad called for the U. S. government to provide enough funds to sustain the black nation for twenty to twenty-five years. From the Nation’s perspective this was neither a loan nor a handout. It was overdue wages for centuries of uncompensated slave labor. According to the Nation of Islam, it was a small price to pay when one considered the institutions and accumulated wealth that resulted from centuries of chattel slavery.

In lectures Elijah Muhammad proclaimed that Fard was God (Allah) incarnate and that he, Elijah Muhammad, was the messenger of God commissioned to teach black Americans about their true nature as the original people of the earth, godlike and destined to rule the universe. The most troubling dimension of this teaching was the reference to white people as devils who were made by a wise, yet mad, scientist named Mr. Yakub as a predestined part of the 25,000-year cycle of history in which we currently live. This actual and historical devil race, the story goes, will rule blacks for a set number of years. Such a period of domination and destruction, the Nation taught, serves as a pedagogical tool by which blacks, who strayed from their original religion of Islam, are corrected and prepared for their future glory. The Nation of Islam would ultimately soften the more harsh dimensions of its theology, arguing that the devil doctrine entailed a metaphorical attack on white supremacy and discrimination as opposed to an attack on white Americans. While remaining controversial, this rethinking of the Nation of Islam’s more charged view is most notable as of the 1990s.

The Nation of Islam’s task entailed enlightenment, the presentation of the true nature of blacks and whites, and the tools necessary for blacks to transform themselves. Once blacks in Americathe Lost/Found Nationgained knowledge of self and accepted the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as the “Spiritual Head of the Muslims in the West,” judgment would occur through which whites would be punished and the earth purged by fire, and blacks would then regain control over the universe. The faithful of God (i.e., the Nation’s members) would construct a new civilization guided by principles of truth, freedom, justice, and equality.

Nation of Islam doctrine fluctuates between the complete destruction of whites and a measure of hope for the redemption of whites. The Nation’s concern with issues of justice begs the question concerning an inherent contradiction: Should a community be punished for fulfilling its destiny, even when this involves the oppression of other groups? Is it proper, as a matter of justice, to condemn a community for its actions when it has no choice but to behave in a certain way because it has no free will?

Inconsistencies in the Nation’s theology and rhetoric did not prevent growth and the alteration of the organizational framework to accommodate new members of various economic classes. For example, each local temple contained a minister who spread the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s teachings. To facilitate increased work and opportunities, the local minister was assisted by the captains of the Fruit of Islam (the collective of men who handed down discipline and provided security) and the Muslim Girl’s Training and General Civilization Class, and so on. In addition, Elijah Muhammad expanded his network of ministers to maximize national exposure made available through television, including documentaries such as The Hate That Hate Produced (broadcast in 1959), and also the Nation’s radio broadcasts and newspaper.

Aggressively seeking out members of the black community and the prison system, a process called “fishing,” provided the Nation with its greatest source of growth and visibility. Through personal contact with black prisoners, the Nation gained one of its best-known leadersMalcolm X (19251965)whose charisma and media appeal benefited the Nation of Islam as both its national and international profile increased in importance and prominence within popular imagination. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s personal moral failures, combined with the Nation of Islam’s lack of participation in the civil rights movement, resulted in Malcolm’s break with the Nation and his conversion to Sunn Islam in 1964. Malcolm X embraced racial equality as a basic element of Islam in light of his encounter with Muslims from various ethnic and racial groups during his pilgrimage to Mecca. This perspective would result in new strategies for the obtainment of social justice as a dimension of human rights discourse. He established the Organization of Afro-American Unity and Muslim Mosque Incorporated shortly before his death in 1965.

After the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s death in 1975, his son, Wallace Deen Muhammad (Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, b. 1933), was named head of the Nation of Islam. Attempting to bring the Nation into line with the larger, worldwide Islamic community, he rethought the aesthetics of the temples. He removed the Christian church trappings, such as pews (or chairs), and he replaced framed sayings by Elijah Muhammad with more Islamic ornamentation. Of more significance, the organization’s practices were altered radically through a quick effort to enforce the five pillars of Islamic faith, the practices and attitudes embraced by all orthodox Muslims. In keeping with this shift, the presentation of Master Fard as Allah and Elijah Muhammad as the final Messenger was removed because of conflict with the orthodox understanding of Allah and the role of the prophet Muammad as the final prophet. In place of his more exalted role, Elijah Muhammad was presented as someone who, although misguided at points, sought to help black Americans achieve better life options. As a symbol of theological and aesthetic change, the name of the organization was changed to the World Community of Islam in the West, and changed again in 1982 to the American Muslim Mission. Imam Warith Deen Muhammad ultimately established a council of religious leaders, known as imams, to assist with religious and organizational questions, and members were told to consider themselves as simply members of the world community of Islam.

The Nation of Islam had been prone to schism. Notable among these various organizations is the Five Percent Nation (also known as the Nation of Gods and Earths), founded by Clarence 13X (19281969) in 1964 among young New Yorkers and based on a radical interpretation of the Nation’s theology that presented blacks as gods with special knowledge based upon divine wisdom, often revealed through mathematics. However, the most visible and perhaps important of these splinter groups developed in 1978, when Minister Louis Farrakhan (b. 1933) formed a new organization named the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan affirmed the doctrines presented by Elijah Muhammad, including the teaching that Fard was Allah, and that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was the messiah, with one significant addition. Farrakhan argued, based on a vision, that he himself was the prophet carrying on the work until the return of the messiah and judgment.

With time, the theology of the Nation of Islam under Minister Farrakhan would again change to include the institution of fasting during the month of Raman, as opposed to the more limited restriction instituted by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Furthermore, members of the Nation are currently encouraged to play a role in politics. Farrakhan modeled this through his participation in the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s first run for the U.S. presidency in 1988, as well as his encouragement of Nation of Islam members to run for political office. This is clearly a break with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s rejections of political involvement in a society that is marked for destruction.

While relations with the Jewish community remain tense at best, Farrakhan has worked to improve connections to the larger Islamic world. For example, his participation in the jj (the pilgrimage to Mecca made by all financial and able-bodied Muslims) in 1985, as well as the availability of membership in the Nation without regard to race and ethnicity, speak to important shifts that make possible a repositioning of the Nation of Islam within the religious and political landscape of the United States and the world. However, this repositioning is not without significant tensions, as expressed, for example, through the Nation of Islam’s sympathetic relationship with Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi and the Libyan leader’s efforts to provide the Nation with financial assistance.

Periods of tension and questionable allegiances have been mixed with more productive moments. Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, for instance, have sought to maintain a high level of viability through efforts such as the Million Man March in 1995. This was a gathering in Washington, D.C., of black men from various religious, social, and economic backgrounds. The purpose behind the gathering was repentance for misdeeds that have damaged the unity and vitality of black America, and a commitment to restoring themselves to their proper role as black men within the black community. While this event was successful, with participation estimated by some to have reached well over one million, the Nation of Islam has not been able to sustain positive attention. To some extent it remains a marginal religious tradition with a membership that is difficult to state with accuracy. Membership estimates typically range between thirty thousand and seventy thousand. By contrast, there are roughly four million African American Sunn Muslims in the United States.

Elijah Muhammad; Islam, article on Islam in the Americas; Malcolm X.

Ansari, Zafar Ishaq. “Aspects of Black Muslim Theology.” Studia Islamica 53 (1981): 137176. Ansari provides a brief discussion of major theological themes within the teachings of the Nation of Islam, based on a concern with understanding its development within the context of the larger Islamic community.

Austin, Allan D. African Muslims in Antebellum America: Transatlantic Stories and Spiritual Struggles. New York, 1997. Austin presents the early Islamic presence in North America through biographical portraits of African Muslims enslaved between 1730 and 1860.

Clegg, Claude Andrew. An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad. Boston, 1996. This book provides an analysis of the Nation of Islam’s development through a biographical discussion of Elijah Muhammad, highlighting the manner in which Nation of Islam doctrine grew out of his personal convictions and struggles.

Essien-Udom, E. U. Black Nationalism: A Search for an Identity in America. Chicago, 1962. This is one of the early studies of the Nation of Islam. It provides analysis of nationalism within black communities through attention to the Nation of Islam’s method of conversion, doctrine, and social location.

Gardell, Mattias. In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farra-khan and the Nation of Islam. Durham, N.C., 1996. Using social history as a framework, this text explores the Nation of Islam. It moves from Elijah Muhammad through the alterations to the Nation’s doctrine and platform initiated by Louis Farrakhan.

Gomez, Michael A. “Muslims in Early America.” Journal of Southern History 60, no. 4 (1994): 670710. This article is a history of Muslim practices in the United States, beginning with the presence of African Muslims early in the slave trade. The author discusses this history within the larger context of African American religious and cultural life.

Lee, Martha F. The Nation of Islam: An American Millenarian Movement. Lewiston, Maine, 1988; reprint, Syracuse, N.Y., 1996. This book explores the Nation of Islam’s development in light of its rhetoric regarding the eventual destruction of whites and the coming greatness of blacks.

Lincoln, C. Eric. Black Muslims in America. 3d ed. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1994. Using a sociological lens, Lincoln provides the first detailed treatment of the Nation of Islam from its initial presence through the beginning of Farrakhan’s leadership.

Mamiya, Lawrence H. “From Black Muslim to Bilalian: The Evolution of a Movement.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 4 (1982): 138152. Mamiya outlines and discusses shifts in African American Islamic identity from the Nation of Islam to the presence of African American Sunn Muslims seeking connection to Muslims across the globe.

McCloud, Aminah Beverly. African American Islam. New York, 1995. This book is a survey of various African American Islamic communities. It also addresses such key issues as the role of women within the Islamic community.

Nuruddin, Yusuf. “The Five Percenters: A Teenage Nation of Gods and Earths.” In Muslim Communities in North America, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane Idleman Smith, pp. 109132. Albany, N.Y., 1994. This article provides a concise history of the Five Percent Nation, highlighting its connections to and impact on popular culture.

Pinn, Anthony B. “The Great Mahdi Has Come!” In Varieties of African American Religious Experience, pp. 104153. Minneapolis, 1998. Pinn provides a theological history of the Nation of Islam, giving primary attention to its development in light of its depiction of and response to moral evil.

Tate, Sonsyrea. Little X: Growing Up in the Nation of Islam. San Francisco, 1997. Tate’s book is a personal reflection on the Nation of Islam’s doctrinal shifts as Warith Deen Muhammad took over. Using the story of her family, Tate explores the impact of the Nation’s changing teachings.

Turner, Richard Brent. Islam in the African American Experience. Bloomington, Ind., 1997. Turner provides a history of the Islamic presence in North America, beginning with West Africa and moving through the Nation of Islam and African American involvement in Sunn Islam.

White, Vibert L., Jr. Inside the Nation of Islam: A Historical and Personal Testimony by a Black Muslim. Gainesville, Fla., 2001. White uses his personal history with the Nation of Islam as a means of critique, pointing out the Nation’s flaws and inconsistencies.

Wormer, Richard. American Islam: Growing Up Muslim in America. New York, 1994. Wormer discusses Islam from the perspective of young Muslims and the challenges they face growing up in the United States.

Anthony B. Pinn (2005)

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Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts – Wikipedia

Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S state of Massachusetts since May 17, 2004, as a result of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. Massachusetts became the sixth jurisdiction in the world (after the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec) to legalize same-sex marriage. It was the first U.S. state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[1]

In 1989, passing legislation first proposed in 1973, Massachusetts prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in credit, public and private employment, union practices, housing, and public accommodation.[2] In the decade that followed, political debate addressed same-sex relationships through two proxy issues: spousal benefits and parenting rights. Boston’s City Council debated health insurance for the same-sex partners of city employees in May 1991[3] and Cambridge provided health benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees the following year.[4] In 1992, Governor Bill Weld issued an executive order providing limited benefits for the same-sex partners of approximately 3,000 management-level state employees, covering only leave for family sickness and bereavement, far short of the health benefits LGBT activists were seeking, but probably the first state-level recognition of same-sex relationships.[5] The Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, replying in The Pilot, the newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese, said that Weld’s “domestic partners” decision harms the common good “by making a special interest group equal to the family” and confuses “civil rights and family benefits”. They asked: “Why should special recognition and assistance be given to friends who happen to share the same house?”[6] Legislation to establish domestic partnerships that would carry spousal benefits was introduced annually in the State Legislature without success. Its supporters focused on equal benefits and fairness rather than same-sex relationships themselves.[7] In 1998, when the Legislature passed a home rule petition allowing Boston to create such a status, Governor Paul Cellucci vetoed it because it applied to different-sex couples, which he thought undermined marriage, while he offered to sign legislation that applied to same-sex couples only. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s attempt to extend health care benefits to city employees’ domestic partners by executive order, instead[8] was successfully challenged by the Catholic Action League in court.[9]

The state had no explicit regulations with respect to foster care and parenting by gays and lesbians, either singly or in relationships, until, on May 24, 1985, the state Department of Social Services, with the approval of Governor Michael Dukakis, created a rule that foster children be placed in “traditional family settings”.[10] In December 1986, a commission that reviewed the foster care system recommended that sexual orientation could not be used to disqualify foster parents.[11] As Dukakis delayed accepting that recommendation, advocates for gay and lesbian rights threatened protests against his presidential campaign.[12] The ban on gay foster parents was enacted into law in the 1989 budget.[13] After a lawsuit challenging the ban was settled out of court, the Dukakis administration withdrew the policy in April 1990.[14] In the 1990s, court decisions further expanded the parenting rights of gays and lesbians. In September 1993, the state’s highest court ruled that state law allowed for second-parent adoption by a parent of the same sex as a biological parent.[15] In July 1999, the same court awarded visitation rights to each of two mothers after their separation.[16]

Same-sex marriage itself was rarely mentioned or addressed directly during these years. The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights launched a campaign on behalf of marriage rights for same-sex couples in Massachusetts in 1991. Governor Bill Weld said he would be willing to meet with the group and said he was undecided on the question.[17] When asked about “gay marriage” while running to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate in 1994, Mitt Romney said: “it is not appropriate at this time”.[18] In December 1996, considering the possibility of Hawaii legalizing same-sex marriage, Weld said that Massachusetts would recognize the validity of same-sex marriages licensed there. He called the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.[19]

In December 1998, state Representative John H. Rogers, a Democrat, proposed legislation to prevent Massachusetts from granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages established elsewhere: “a purported marriage contracted between persons of the same sex shall be neither valid nor recognized in the Commonwealth.”[20] In 1999, the Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance of Massachusetts called it a “hate bill” and a coalition of more than 150 religious leaders formed the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry to oppose it.[21] Others religious leaders organized in support of the measure.[20] Rogers revised his proposal to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman when he offered it again in 2001, with the additional provision that “Any other relationship shall not be recognized as a marriage, or its legal equivalent, or receive the benefits exclusive to marriage in the Commonwealth.” The chair of the Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance of Massachusetts said its prospects for passage were slim but it could serve as a countervailing proposal to efforts at establishing civil unions or providing benefits to same-sex partners of state and local government employees.[22][23][24] Alongside these legislative maneuvers, GLAD filed a lawsuit in state court challenging the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples in April 2001.[25]

In July 2001, Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage announced a campaign to amend the State Constitution with language similar to Rogers’ legislation,[26] called the “Protection of Marriage Amendment”.[27] Some signature gatherers complained that opponents of the amendment were harassing them and their opponents charged in turn that some signature gatherers were misrepresenting the petition’s content.[28][29] A sufficient number of signatures were certified in December.[30]

The President of the Massachusetts Senate controls the calling of a constitutional convention and its agenda.[31] Senate President Tom Birmingham, an opponent of the amendment, called a joint meeting of the Legislature as a constitutional convention for June 19, 2002, and immediately adjourned it for a month saying legislators needed for time to consider the agenda items.[32] When the constitutional convention met again on July 17, the amendment’s opponents knew that proponents had the 50 votes needed for passage. Birmingham, who was presiding, moved for adjournment without considering the amendment, and his motion passed 137 to 53. He called the amendment “wrong-hearted and wrong-headed” and defended the procedure: “Everybody recognizes a vote to adjourn was a vote up or down” on the amendment. “I did gavel the last constitutional convention to a recess because I felt the members needed more time to assess… Today we saw democracy in action. They may not like it, but they lost two to one.” A representative of the Catholic Action League, which supported the amendment, said: “Everything that is wrong with Massachusetts state government was apparent today for all the world to see”. One legislator who voted to adjourn said: “For those of us who believe in an open democratic process, this was not a comfortable vote”. State Senator Cheryl A. Jacques, an opponent of the amendment and a lesbian, said: “I’m proud to have done anything possible to defeat this hate-filled, discriminatory measure. I’ll take a victory on this any way I can get it.”[33] Arlene Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus later explained it was a critical moment because same-sex marriage had no chance of winning a popular vote at the time: “Not that we would lose by a little, because that wasn’t an issue. Rather, it was that we were going to get massacred”.[34]

In April 2003, a committee of the Legislature held a hearing on the constitutional amendment,[35] but took no action.[36] The four Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, long distracted by the revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by priests, did not address the issue until late May, when they ordered pastors to read and publish a statement to mobilize their parishioners to contact their legislators to urge then to support the constitutional amendment.[37]

Seven same-sex couples represented by Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders initiated a lawsuit in state court, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, on April 11, 2001. GLAD attorney, Jennifer Levi, argued the case in Superior Court on behalf of the plaintiffs. Levi argued that denying same-sex couples equal marriage rights was unconstitutional under the State Constitution. On May 7, 2002, Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Thomas E. Connolly ruled that the state marriage statute was not gender-neutral, no fundamental right to same-sex marriage existed, and that limiting marriage to male-female couples was rational because “procreation is marriage’s central purpose”.[38] He concluded his legal analysis by saying that the issue should be handled by the Legislature.[1]

The plaintiffs appealed directly to the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), which heard arguments on March 4, 2003. Mary Bonauto of GLAD argued the case for the plaintiffs. Assistant Attorney General Judith Yogman represented the DPH.[39] On November 18, 2003, the SJC ruled 4 to 3 that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The court said: “We declare that barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution.” It provided a definition of marriage that would meet the State Constitution’s requirements: “We construe civil marriage to mean the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others.” The court stayed its ruling for 180 days to allow the State Legislature to “take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion.”[1]

Governor Mitt Romney said he disagreed with the SJC’s decision, but “We obviously have to follow the law as provided by the Supreme Judicial Court, even if we don’t agree with it”. He said he would work with the Legislature to draft a law “consistent” with the ruling. He also backed an amendment to the State Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman while also providing by statute “basic civil rights and appropriate benefits to same-sex couples and other nontraditional relationships.”[40] Romney quickly joined legislators in attempting to satisfy the Goodridge decision by creating civil unions for same-sex couples.[41] His views were recognized as an attempt to establish his record on a controversial issue while planning to run for the Republican nomination for president.[42] Former Governor Weld took credit for laying the groundwork for the decision: “A lot of the stuff we did foreshadowed the opinion.” He said: “It is a thunderbolt, but a thunderbolt correctly heard.”[43]

Opponents of gay and lesbian rights opposed any compromise with the SJC. Brian Camenker, head of the Parents Rights Coalition, said: “As Martin Luther King pointed out in his letter from the Birmingham jail, there are some laws that are so unnatural that you have an obligation to openly defy them. The concept of stable, healthy gay relationships is largely a manufacturing of the gay propaganda machine.” He called the decision “complete lunacy” and said: “It’s beyond shocking. It’s madness. It’s four judges basically turning society inside out with no input from anybody else.”[44]

On December 11, 2003, the Massachusetts Senate put forward legislative language creating civil unions for same-sex couples to the SJC, asking if it satisfied the court’s requirements.[45][46] On February 4, 2004, the court replied that it was unacceptable to allow different-sex couples marriages but same-sex couples only civil unions, that the distinction between marriage and civil unions constituted unconstitutional discrimination, even if the rights and obligations attached to each were identical. It called the difference between the terms marriage and civil union “a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status.” As for the argument that the Federal Government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages as marriages justified the use of a different term, the court said: “Courts define what is constitutionally permissible, and the Massachusetts Constitution does not permit this kind of labeling… We do not abrogate the fullest measure of protection to which residents of the Commonwealth are entitled under the Massachusetts Constitution … because those rights might not be acknowledged elsewhere.” The court also reiterated the need for the Legislature to modify the state’s marital laws. “The purpose of the stay was to afford the Legislature an opportunity to conform the existing statutes to the provisions of the Goodridge decision.” It ended: “The answer to the question is ‘No.'”[47] Religious leaders responded with strong statements on both sides of the issue. Archbishop O’Malley said in a statement: “The tone and tenor of this answer clearly demonstrates the overly activist stance of the four-judge majority… Clearly, the justices who issued this opinion seem determined to blur the constitutional separation of powers and to usurp the rightful role of the Legislature.” He called for the Legislature to act during its scheduled joint session to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to a popular vote.[48] Governor Mitt Romney authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that called the latest SJC ruling “wrongly decided and deeply mistaken”, backed a state constitutional amendment and urged other states to take similar action, but did not endorse the idea of a federal constitutional amendment.[49]

Without coming to agreement on how to proceed, legislative leaders considered several legal options, including passing statutes to delay the implementation of Goodridge, a strategy outlined by Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School, until a referendum on a constitutional amendment could be held in November 2006.[50] Amending the Massachusetts Constitution is a multi-year process that could not be accomplished before the date set by the SJC for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[51] In order to amend the State Constitution, it is necessary for an amendment first to receive sufficient support at two state constitutional conventions, which is a joint meeting of the two houses of the General Court (the House of Representatives and the Senate), held during two successive two-year sessions, before going before the voters in a referendum during a normally scheduled November election. An amendment put forward by legislators needs a majority (101 out of 200) at two constitutional conventions and an amendment put forward by petition needs a 25% vote (50 out of 200) at two constitutional conventions.[51]

Advocates of same-sex marriage, who had been far outnumbered as demonstrators two years earlier, were a large and constant presence in the State House throughout the 2004 convention, coordinated by MassEquality, an umbrella organization formed to respond to the public backlash against Goodridge. They had mobilized constituent telephone calls with increasing success in the weeks before the convention and emphasized the impact on children being raised by gay parents.[52] The amendment’s proponents drew support from Massachusetts Citizens for Life and larger donations than they had previously received, along with personal lobbying in localities.[53]

The Legislature met in joint session as a constitutional convention on February 11, and after six hours of debate rejected two amendments, one proposed by House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran and the other by Senate President Robert E. Travaglini. Both banned same-sex marriage, one made civil unions possible and the other established civil unions. Finneran commented: “We are as divided as the nation on this. We are doing the best we can. We are human beings. We struggle. Sometimes we come up short.”[54] The convention met again the next day and defeated an amendment that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and disavowed any position on civil unions on a 103-94 vote that showed divisions in each party and Catholic legislators evenly divided.[55] Ronald Crews of the Massachusetts Family Institute blamed Finneran’s misreading of his own caucus for the failure of his own proposed language, a defeat in the convention’s opening moments from which Crews found it impossible to recover.[56]

At the end of March, after extended debate[57] and some tactical voting in which some legislators backed measures they would not ultimately support in order to prevent the adoption of an even stronger measure, the convention passed by a vote of 105-92 an amendment to ban same-sex marriage but allow civil unions. It also specified that civil unions should not be treated as marriages for federal purposes. The language adopted had Romney’s support. One report described the process: “Tenuous and shifting coalitions held together in the final vote, despite a series of parliamentary moves by liberal lawmakers to stop anything from moving forward. In the end, an amendment that was disliked by the political right and the political left was approved because it was the only measure that could draw the support of a majority of lawmakers.” The proposed amendment, if approved by a second constitutional convention in 2005, would be placed before the voters as a referendum in November 2006. Romney believed the vote justified asking the SJC to stay its ruling requiring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples on May 17, but Attorney General Reilly said there was no legal basis for making that request.[58]

As the constitutional convention concluded its work on the amendment, some politicians announced plans to make the November 2004 elections a referendum on same-sex marriage. In Vermont, following the enactment of civil unions legislation in 2000, a large group of its supporters had been defeated. One political action committee announced plans to target legislative candidates who supported same-sex marriage, eight Republicans and two independents.[58] Ronald Crews of the Massachusetts Family Institute estimated a possible shift of 10 to 15 seats against same-sex marriage.[59] The elections resulted in shifts that consistently favored supporters of same-sex marriage rights. Carl Sciortino, a gay activist and first-time candidate, drew support from supporters of same-sex marriage, but ran largely on traditional issues like education, taxation, and health-care, and narrowly defeated a 16-year veteran and same-sex marriage opponent in the Democratic primary on September 14.[60] Later that month, Speaker of the House Finneran resigned from the Legislature to be replaced by Sal DiMasi, who backed same-sex marriage.[61] Some candidates who backed a constitutional amendment did not make same-sex marriage a campaign issue as anticipated,[62] but it proved critical in a few races.[63][64] All 50 incumbents who opposed a constitutional amendment and faced challengers won re-election. Four supporters of Goodridge retired and successors with similar views replaced them. Five opponents of Goodridge retired and three of their successors were supporters of same-sex marriage. In special elections in the spring of 2005, three incumbents who supported a constitutional amendment lost to supporters of same-sex marriage.[65]

Despite Romney’s urging, Attorney General Reilly refused to ask the SJC to stay its decision, saying that implementation was not problematic and that a popular vote on a constitutional amendment was the only way to resolve the issue. On April 16, 2004, Romney asked the Legislature to pass legislation giving him authority to request a stay. He said the implementation of the SJC ruling presented legal complications, citing both a 1913 law that invalidates the marriage of nonresidents if the marriage is invalid in their home state and the possibility that a popular referendum on same-sex marriage might retroactively invalidate same-sex marriages.[66] Conservative groups like the Coalition for Marriage praised Romney for continuing to search for a way to block same-sex marriages.[66]

In April, C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts and several conservative advocacy organizations tried to block the implementation of Goodridge in state court until the attempt to amend the State Constitution was allowed to run its course. A single justice of the SJC dismissed the complaint on May 3.[67] A few days later, shortly before the Goodridge decision was to take effect, a conservative public interest law firm, Liberty Counsel, brought suit in federal court on behalf of an officer of the Catholic Action League and eleven members of the Legislature. It argued that the SJC’s decision deprived the people of Massachusetts of their right to a republican government. On May 13, 2004, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro denied their request for an injunction delaying implementation of the decision, as did the First Circuit Court of Appeals on June 29.[67] In November, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case without comment.[68]

On May 14, Democratic Representative Philip Travis filed legislation to impeach Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, the author of the Goodridge decision. Another bill targeted all four justices who signed the majority decision in that case.[69][70]

With respect to implementation, the principal dispute concerned the 1913 statute that denied a marriage license to a couple if their marriage would not be valid in their state of residence. The Massachusetts Town Clerks’ Association raised the issue for the first time on February 24, reporting that some of them were receiving inquiries from out-of-state couples.[71] New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer made the question more urgent when he issued a non-binding opinion on March 3 that “New York common law requires recognizing as valid a marriage… validly executed in another state”.[72] On March 31, Romney took the position that no other states recognized same-sex marriage and therefore residents of other states could not marry in Massachusetts. Reilly took the position that 38 states expressly denied recognition to same-sex marriages and that residents of other states could obtain licenses.[73]

Localities that supported the right of same-sex couples to marry resisted both those interpretations. On April 11, Provincetown’s Board of Selectmen decided their town clerk would approve marriage license applications from any couple that swore, as was customary, that their marriage was lawful. The town manager said: “We’ve never been the marriage police with heterosexual couples, and we’re not about to start with same-sex couples”.[74] Worcester’s clerk took a similar position on April 16.[75] Before the end of the month, an investigation by the Boston Globe showed that since 1976 town clerks had been repeatedly instructed not to question applicants for marriage licenses about their eligibility. A spokesman for the Governor said that the Goodridge decision “changed the definition of marriage, it changed the way the new marriage forms look, and it changed the way city and town clerks will carry out the requirements of the law.”[76]

When Romney suggested confusion over the 1913 law justified postponing the implementation of Goodridge, Mary Bonauto, the lawyer who successfully argued Goodridge, suggested he get the law repealed: “If he’s so concerned about problems, he can file an emergency bill to repeal that law. Massachusetts has basically said discriminating against people of the same sex is unconstitutional. So why would we try so hard to uphold another state’s discriminatory law?”[77] She asked: “Under the governor’s logic, if some state again started banning marriages between Catholics and Protestants, then would Massachusetts enforce that?”[78] In an interview on April 23, Romney said: “Massachusetts should not become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage. We do not intend to export our marriage confusion to the entire nation.”[79] His spokesman announced he was sending letters to the governors and attorneys general of the other states to explain his view that same-sex marriage was not legal in their state and asking “if we’re wrong” about that.[80] Denying license to all out-state couples became known as “the Romney plan”. It also allowed visitors from Ontario to marry, since same-sex marriage was legal there. The Governor’s legal counsel, Daniel Winslow, warned that a Justice of the Peace who could not in conscience officiate at a same-sex wedding should resign.[78]

On May 4, when the Romney Administration began training clerks to handle applications from same-sex couples, a Boston Globe report called it “a major shift from the governor’s earlier stance on enforcing limitations on licensing gay marriage.” The new forms were gender-neutral, identifying the applicants as “Party A” and Party B” and asking each to check a box for either male or female.[81] Clerks could require proof of residency if they asked that of all couples, but needed only to have applicants swear that there were no legal impediments to their marrying in Massachusetts. The administration said that earlier reports had been premature.[80][82] Some towns and clerks announced plans to knowingly issue licenses to out-of-staters, including Provincetown, Worcester, and Somerville.[83][84] Bonauto said that GLAD’s position was that applicants should never be less than honest, “let alone on a form signed under oath”.[85]

On May 16, 2004, Cambridge, which the New York Times described as having “a well-known taste for erudite rebelliousness”, decorated the wooden staircases of City Hall with white organza. Hundreds of applicants and supporters in celebratory dress”glittery party hats and boutonnieres”gathered in the street. City officials opened the building at 12:01a.m. May 17 “for a rousing party, with wedding cake, sparkling cider and the music of the Cambridge Community Chorus.” Some 262 couples obtained licenses, starting with Marcia Hams and Susan Shepherd. The first to wed in Cambridge were Tanya McCloskey and Marcia Kadish at 9:15a.m.[86] Cambridge City Clerk Margaret Drury was the first City Clerk in the U.S. to perform a legal same-sex marriage.[87] Massachusetts has a three-day waiting period before issuing marriage licenses, but many couples obtained waivers of the waiting period in order to be wed as soon as possible.[88][89]

Other cities and towns in Massachusetts began issuing applications during normal business hours. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino greeted three of the couples who were plaintiffs in Goodridge and said: “We’ve broken down the barrier. I am so proud of these people. I am very proud to be mayor of this city today.”[90] The first to marry in Boston City Hall were Tom Weikle and Joe Rogers, who lined up for their license application at 5:30a.m. and were wed about 11 a.m. by Boston’s city clerk.[86] Rejecting the Governor’s insistence that the 1913 statute be respected, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone addressed a crowd of same-sex couples that included several from New York gathered in front of Town Hall at 8 am.: “No matter who you are or where you come from, if you fill out the application, you will be given a license to marry. Those of you from out of state, welcome to Somerville.”[86] The seven couples who were party to the Goodridge lawsuit were all wed on May 17,[91] beginning with Robert Compton and David Wilson at Boston’s Arlington Street Church.[90] There were sizable celebrations in Northampton, Worcester, and Provincetown, while “explicit protests were scattered and few”.[92]

A Boston Globe survey found that half of the couples who applied for licenses on the first day had been partners for a decade or more. Two-thirds were women and 30% were raising children. Only the towns that had made an issue of issuing licenses to out-of-staters had appreciable numbers of them.[93] In the first week, 2,468 same-sex couples applied for licenses, including at least 164 from 27 other states and the District of Columbia.[81]

Governor Romney in a brief statement said: “All along, I have said an issue as fundamental to society as the definition of marriage should be decided by the people. Until then, I intend to follow the law and expect others to do the same.”[90] President George W. Bush took note of these events in Massachusetts with a statement calling for a constitutional amendment “defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife.” It said: “The sacred institution of marriage should not be redefined by a few activist judges. All Americans have a right to be heard in this debate.”[94]

News coverage of the day’s events in Massachusetts was extensive, though limited outside the United States.[95] The Today Show broadcast live coverage from outside Boston City Hall.[96] The three major networks lead their evening news shows with wedding coverage. The Cincinnati Enquirer ran the tag “For better or for worse” above the headline “Same-sex weddings make history”. It was the lead story in the Washington Post and the New York Times.[95]

On the same day, non-binding opinions by the attorneys general of two more neighboring states fueled debate about enforcing the 1913 law. On May 17, Richard Blumenthal wrote in a letter to Romney that the status of an out-of-state same-sex marriage in Connecticut was not “automatically void”, and Patrick C. Lynch reported that Rhode Island only invalidated a marriage that violated public policy as in cases of “bigamy, incest or mental incompetence”.[97][98]

The constitutional convention took up the compromise amendment approved in 2004. It failed on a vote of 157-39 on September 14, after many moderate legislators who had initially supported it refused to and most legislators opposed to same-sex marriage abandoned its compromise language.[99] State Senator Brian Lees, a Republican who co-sponsored the amendment in the previous convention, explained why he withdrew his support: “Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry. This amendment which was an appropriate measure or compromise a year ago, is no longer, I feel, a compromise today.”[100] Opponents turned instead to an alternative method of amending the Constitution that they thought would allow them to present an uncompromising ban on same-sex marriage to the voters. This method would require the collection of thousands of signatures on petitions but would need the support of only a quarter of the legislators to become a referendum. The process of gathering signatures was already underway when the legislators voted to reject the 2004 compromise.[99] Travis explained that the opponents’ fervor came in reaction to the position taken by gay and lesbian activists:[101]

We all want to give people the rights to have insurance and transfer property. No one is so rotten to the core that they wouldn’t even consider that. That would be inappropriate.

But we don’t want to call it marriage. And remember, they held out for marriage. Civil unions weren’t acceptable to the gay community in Massachusetts. They didn’t want a second-sister relationship like they have in Vermont. They wanted the full-blown description with the title of marriage.

An organization called VoteOnMarriage.org organized the petition drive. Its backers included Governor Romney, former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, former SJC justice Joseph Nolan, and Gilbert Thompson, president of the board of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston. The language of their amendment was:[102]

When recognizing marriages entered into after the adoption of this amendment by the people, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage only as the union of one man and one woman.

Unlike amendments in other states, the amendment did not explicitly forbid other forms of legal relationships for same-sex couples, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships. It did not attempt to invalidate same-sex marriages licensed since Goodridge.

Attorney General Reilly certified the language and format of petitions as valid on September 7, 2005. Advocates of same-sex marriage objected that the proposed amendment was clearly designed to reverse the SJC decision, a violation of the State Constitution’s rule that amendments could not be used for that purpose.[102] Deval Patrick, Reilly’s principal opponent for the Democratic nomination for governor, said “There was a strong argument that this should have gone a different way.” Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin said: “I think this is one of those instances where the institution of gay marriage may be less divisive to society than the referendum campaign will be. The emotions that this kind of issue brings out can be very detrimental to society. It has been around for a year and any honest person can conclude that it has not been detrimental to society.”[102]

VoteOnMarriage.org collected 170,000 signatures before the December 7, 2005, deadline, almost three times the number required. Paid signature collectors from Arno Political Consultants subsequently revealed that an unknown but large number of these signatures had been collected through fraud. The collectors told voters that they were signing a petition about a different issue or that the petitions were in favor of same-sex marriage.[103][104]

In a case lead by attorney Jennifer Levi, GLAD challenged Reilly’s certification of the petitions in court, claiming the effort contradicted a provision of the Massachusetts Constitution (Article 48, Section 2), which prohibits the use of such petitions for “reversal of a judicial decision.”[105] In July, the SJC ruled unanimously that the amendment did not constitute “reversal” of a judicial decision, given that the proposed amendment sought to define only those marriages performed after its passage.[106] If passed, the amendment would have restricted future marriages to different-sex couples but would not have invalidated the approximately 8,000 same-sex marriage licenses already issued.[107]

On July 12, 2006, the Legislature sitting as a constitutional convention voted 100 to 91 to postpone action on the initiative amendment until November 9, 2006, two days after the elections. Supporters of same-sex marriage sought the delay, which the amendment’s backers denounced and Romney criticized it.[108] As that date neared, Arline Isaacson, a lobbyist for the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, was not optimistic about her side’s chances and Senate President Robert Travaglini was considering allowing a vote to adjourn without acting on the measure.[109] Instead, on November 9, 2006, the legislators in convention voted 109 to 87 to recess until January 2, the last day of the legislative session.[110]

On November 19, 2006, Governor Romney led a rally against the Legislature’s delaying tactics in front of the Massachusetts State House. Romney said: “The issue before us is not whether same-sex couples should marry. The issue before us today is whether 109 legislators will follow the constitution.” He said he would ask a justice of the SJC to order the initiative placed on the ballot because the legislators were refusing to fulfill their constitutional obligations.[110][111] The next day, he sent the 109 legislators a copy of the State Constitution with a letter underscoring the document’s provision that the legislators sitting as a constitutional convention shall vote on initiatives: “Not ‘may’ vote … not ‘could’ vote … not ‘perhaps’ vote … It’s very clear.” His reference was to the clause: “final legislative action in the joint session … shall be taken only by call of the yeas and nays”.[112] He filed the lawsuit as one member of a group of private citizens on November 24, citing 5 occasions in 24 years in which the Legislature failed to vote on valid initiatives. Other plaintiffs included Ray Flynn and officials of VoteOnMarriage.org and the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts.[113] Named as defendants were the Massachusetts Secretary of State, who oversees the preparation of election ballots, William F. Galvin, and the President of the Massachusetts Senate who chairs joint sessions of the Legislature, Senator Travaglini. After a 20-minute hearing on November 30, Associate Justice Judith A. Cowin ordered an expedited hearing before the full SJC on December 20.[114] At that hearing, both sides agreed that the SJC could not enforce an order against the Legislature. An attorney for the plaintiffs said: “We’re not asking you to tell the Legislature how to do their business. We’re only asking you to declare what their constitutional obligations are.” An Assistant Attorney General representing the Legislature countered that the voters were free to replace the legislators at the next election.[115]

On December 27, 2006, the SJC ruled unanimously that Article 48 of the State Constitution requires legislators to take recorded votes on initiative amendments. The SJC’s opinion authored by Justice John M. Greaney said the legislators’ duties were “beyond serious debate”[116][117] and described their constitutional obligations:[118]

The members of the joint session have a constitutional duty to vote, by the yeas and nays, on the merits of all pending initiative amendments before recessing on January 2, 2007. With respect to legislative action on proposals for constitutional amendments introduced … by initiative petition, the language of art. 48 is not ambiguous.

Today’s discussion and holding on the meaning of the duty lays any doubt to rest… Those members who now seek to avoid their lawful obligations, by a vote to recess without a roll call vote by yeas and nays on the merits of the initiative amendment … ultimately will have to answer to the people who elected them.

He explained that the Court could take no action against the plaintiffs in the case: “[T]here is no presently articulated judicial remedy for the Legislature’s indifference to, or defiance of, its constitutional duties. We have no statutory authority to issue a declaratory judgment concerning the constitutionality of the legislative action, or inaction, in this matter.”[118]

VoteOnMarriage.org, which had gathered signatures on the proposal the legislators had failed to vote on, sued on December 13, asking a federal court to order them to vote or, in the absence of a vote, to order the amendment placed on the ballot. It also sought $500,000 from the 109 who voted to adjourn, the cost of its signature-gathering campaign.[119]

Arline Isaacson, one of the leaders of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, urged the Legislature to adjourn without voting on the amendment. She said: “We know that if the Legislature votes on the amendment, we will lose this year and next year, and it will go to the ballot, where it will likely pass.” Senator Lees said he thought the Legislature would not be swayed by the ruling and he stood by his opposition to taking a vote: “I will never vote to put a form of discrimination into the state constitution,”[116]

Before the legislators met, Deval Patrick, who was due to succeed Romney as Governor on January 4, said: “I hope by whatever means appropriate, the constitutional convention today ends this debate. I think a vote on adjournment is a vote on the merits.”[120] The joint session of the Legislature, promptly after coming to order and without debate, voted on the amendment on January 2, 2007, the last day of its 2005-2006 session. There were 62 votes in favor and 132 opposed, a sufficient number to require the amendment’s consideration at another constitutional convention.[121] Isaacson said that the SJC ruling “really tipped the scales against us.”[120]

When the State Legislature met as a constitutional convention in June, observers anticipated a closer vote than the previous January because of retirements and some announced changes in position. Advocates of the amendment charged that the political pressure on legislators on the part of Governor Deval Patrick and legislative leaders included job offers and trading votes on other issues. Opponents of the amendment cast the vote as one of conscience and personal rather than political lobbying.[122][123] The day before the convention, the state’s four Roman Catholic bishops in a letter to legislators endorsed putting the issue to a popular vote: “[T]he marriage debate should not be reserved only to lawyers and lawmakers. Every citizen has a stake in the outcome, because every citizen has a stake in the well-being of the family.”[124] Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley called several legislators to lobby for their votes and Governor Patrick said he offered some help in their re-election campaigns.[125] On June 14, 2007, the convention opened and proceeded immediately to a vote on the issue without debate. The measure failed to obtain the required 50 votes, as 45 voted in favor, 151 opposed the measure, and four were absent or abstained from the vote.[126] Two new legislators who were thought to support the amendment voted against it, while nine who had supported it in January, seven Democrats and two Republicans, changed their votes to oppose it.[125] VoteOnMarriage.Org announced it would attempt to unseat legislators who had switched sides to defeat the amendment.[127]

A Massachusetts law enacted in 1913 invalidated the marriage of non-residents if the marriage was invalid in the state where they lived. Historians and legal scholars believe it originated in an upsurge of anti-miscegenation sentiment associated with the notoriety of champion boxer Jack Johnson’s marriages to white women. Though moribund for decades, it was used to prevent same-sex couples who were residents of other states from marrying in Massachusetts. As the date neared for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Governor and some town clerks disputed how and whether that law should be enforced, and Romney had used the state’s authority to block the same-sex marriages of non-residents from being properly recorded. He told a news conference: “We certainly won’t record on our public health records marriages that are on the face of them not consistent with the law”.[128] The clerks soon relented under orders from the Attorney General.[129][130] In June 2004, GLAD brought a lawsuit, Cote-Whitacre v. Department of Public Health, on behalf of several out-of-state same-sex couples and several town clerks who objected to being forced to discriminate in denying licenses to such couples.[131] The SJC upheld the law on March 30, 2006, though it allowed that residents of states like New York and Vermont, which did not explicitly exclude same-sex couples from marriage, might pursue the case further.[132][133] On September 29, 2006, Superior Court Justice Connolly determined that same-sex couples who reside in Rhode Island can marry in Massachusetts after finding “that same-sex marriage is … not prohibited in Rhode Island”.[134] In May 2007, Judge Connolly declared valid the marriages of several same-sex couples, residents of New York, who married in Massachusetts before July 6, 2006, when a New York court issued a ruling that same-sex marriage was not legal there, New York’s first explicit prohibition on same-sex marriage.[135] In July 2007, the DPH ruled that same-sex couples from New Mexico, where whether the law prohibits same-sex marriage is disputed, can obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts.[136][137]

On June 15, 2007, following the defeat of the initiative to amend the State Constitution, Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute warned that gay and lesbian activists would try to repeal the 1913 law next so that “This radical social experiment will be exported to the other 49 states”. He said its repeal would “open the floodgates for Massachusetts to become the Mecca for same-sex marriage. Their goal is to strike down the marriage restrictions in every state. Their launching pad will be Massachusetts.” Isaacson said “no one is rushing” to take on that issue and that “In the short term, we want everyone to rest, breathe and appreciate the incredible victory that took place”.[138] Liberal columnist Ellen Goodman wrote: “Las Vegas? Mecca? So far, little Rhode Island is the only state that allows gay residents to wed in Massachusetts. We are the Las Vegas of Rhode Island.”[139]

On June 30, the Williams Institute at UCLA, in reply to an inquiry from Daniel O’Connell, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, reported that it calculated that allowing non-resident same-sex couples to marry would add $37 million to the Massachusetts economy in each of the next three years and add 330 jobs for the same period.[140]

The Massachusetts Legislature took up the repeal of the 1913 law the next month. On July 15, the Massachusetts Senate voted to repeal it on a unanimous voice vote.[141][142] The House approved the legislation on July 29 on a 118 to 35 vote[143][144] and Governor Deval Patrick signed it on July 31. It took effect immediately.[145][146] He said: “I think other states will make their own judgments, and I expect them tothat’s their own business. All we can do is tend our own garden, and make sure that it’s weeded, and I think we’ve weeded out a discriminatory law that we should have.”[147]

MassResistance mounted a petition drive for a referendum to reinstate the law in October 2008, but failed to collect enough signatures.[148]

On July 26, 2012, in a case involving a same-sex couple who established a civil union in Vermont in 2003, the SJC ruled unanimously in Elia-Warnken v. Elia that Massachusetts recognizes a same-sex civil union established a different jurisdiction as the legal equivalent of a marriage.[149] Chief Justice Ireland wrote: “Refusing to recognize a legal spousal relationship that granted rights equal to those acquired through marriage, in a State that did not allow same-sex couples to marry at the time, would only perpetuate the discrimination against same-sex couples” that led the court to tell the state Senate in 2004 that civil unions would not suffice as an alternative to marriage for same-sex couples.[150] The SJC took a comparable position on September 12 with respect to domestic partnerships established in other jurisdictions in a case involving a California couple, A.E.H. v. M.R..[151]

In the first year, more than 6,200 same-sex couples were married. That number fell to only 1,900 marriages in the second year. Out of the total of more than 8,100 marriages, 64% involved lesbian couples.[152] In comparison, more than 36,000 heterosexual couples are married each year in Massachusetts.[153]

The number of marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Massachusetts leveled off at about 1,500 a year in 2006 and 2007. They represented about 4% of all marriages in the state.[154] A total of 22,406 same-sex marriages were performed in Massachusetts from 2004 to 2012.[155] Subtracting the first year total, an average of 2,025 marriages were performed each subsequent year.

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December 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Whats Next for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

JERUSALEM For the third time this year, the Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on bribery, fraud and other charges. But Mr. Netanyahu, who denies all wrongdoing, is not giving up easily, and it is far from clear what will happen next. His fate now hangs on a combination of factors, including a decision by the attorney general on whether to indict him, possible court rulings on the legality of his remaining in office and the wild card, the will of the voters. So while the accusations could well end Mr. Netanyahus career after four terms in office, there are just enough variables that could allow the wiliest of Israels political survivors to hang on to power. Here are some of the options for how his conundrum could play out. The next legal step is for the state prosecutors and the attorney general to decide whether to press charges in any of the three cases brought by the police. As prime minister, Mr. Netanyahu has the right to argue his case in a hearing before the authorities make any final decision to prosecute him in court. He could end up making history not only as one of Israels longest serving prime ministers but as the first sitting one to be charged with a crime. But political analysts say he is likely to draw the wild card and seek new elections first. [How Mr. Netanyahus obsession with his image could bring his downfall.] Israel is already in an election year, with national balloting due by November 2019, but elections may be called earlier. Analysts say the best time for Mr. Netanyahu to stand in an election would be after he has been summoned to a hearing and before the attorney general makes his final decision. Assuming he wins the vote, he would then be fighting his case from a newly mandated position of strength. For now, none of his declared opponents come close to Mr. Netanyahu and his conservative Likud Party in the polls. An election that takes place earlier rather than later would allow Mr. Netanyahu to run practically unopposed, some experts say, before any new potential rivals could get organized and gain ground. In theory, decisions about whether to indict Mr. Netanyahu or not rest purely on the law and the evidence. In reality, analysts say, politics could play a role. The attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, is in a delicate position. A former military advocate general, he was selected by Mr. Netanyahu for the countrys top legal job. Once considered a Netanyahu loyalist, Mr. Mandelblit approved and has overseen the police investigations so far. He has already brought fraud charges against Mr. Netanyahus wife, Sara, accusing her of misusing about $100,000 in public funds in her management of the prime ministers official residence. Mrs. Netanyahu is currently on trial. But a sitting prime minister has never been indicted. There is pressure on Mr. Mandelblit to move swiftly. But there is also pressure to make sure he has an airtight case before handing down an indictment that could destroy a popularly elected prime minister. The person in the most difficult position of all, other than Netanyahu, is Mandelblit, said Prof. Shmuel Sandler, an expert on Israeli electoral politics at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. If the election campaign has begun, however, it could make it easier for Mr. Mandelblit to press charges, Professor Sandler said. Because the voters would be choosing a new government anyway, there would be less risk that Mr. Mandelblit would be accused of bringing down a popular one. On the flip side, if he weighs in with an indictment during the campaign, he could be seen as trying to sway the election. The alternative, however, would be keeping voters in the dark about whether a leading candidate is on the brink of being charged with a crime. Critics have accused Mr. Mandelblit of foot-dragging in the cases concerning the prime minister. Mr. Mandelblit says he will make a decision as soon as possible. If Mr. Netanyahu is indicted, legally he can continue to serve as prime minister while he is a defendant. An accused prime minister is not obligated to resign until a final conviction in court. But if he were charged, critics would probably petition the Supreme Court to force him to step down. The Supreme Court has ruled that a cabinet minister charged with a crime must step down. The judges would have to decide whether the same standard applied to the prime minister. If, at that point, Mr. Netanyahu had been re-elected, he could make a political argument to bolster his legal one. That argument, says Amit Segal, the political analyst of the Israeli television News Channel, would be: More than a million voters knew exactly what the charges were against me and yet they elected me again. Then, the Supreme Court would be faced with the prospect of reversing the will of the voters. Thats why Netanyahu desperately needs to be re-elected, Mr. Segal said in an interview on Monday. For him, the next election is not only a political challenge. Thats the least of his worries. First and foremost, its a legal one. There has also been speculation in the Israeli news media over the possibility of Mr. Netanyahu reaching a deal, if he is prosecuted, in which he would step down or not run again in return for avoiding jail time. Mr. Netanyahu presides over a fragile coalition that holds a one-vote majority in the 120-seat Parliament. If he is indicted while in office, his coalition partners will have to decide whether to stick with him or to topple his narrow, right-wing and religious government. Since the parties in the government mostly represent similar right-wing constituencies, they are wary of prematurely collapsing a government that is advancing their agenda. Mr. Netanyahu has reminded them of the trauma of 1992 when right-wing parties brought down a right-wing government only to watch the left take power and agree to what the right saw as the disastrous Oslo peace process with the Palestinians. Some of the coalition parties are in electoral peril themselves and may not want to risk an election any sooner than they have to. Aryeh Deri, the interior minister and leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, one of Likuds four remaining coalition partners, is facing possible charges, including fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and money laundering. Contentious legislation, such as a new law regulating ultra-Orthodox enlistment into the military, which must be approved by Jan. 15, could also rock the coalition and bring on new elections. Short of that, few believe any parties are about to bolt. The entire political establishment has become so accustomed to Netanyahu being in power that nobody can believe in change, Sima Kadmon, a political columnist, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper on Monday. As if Netanyahu were the sun and the moon, and all the others were only stars, and everything depended on ones location in this galaxy, she wrote. But this change will happen.

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December 8, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israeli police recommend indicting Benjamin Netanyahu

JERUSALEM Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery charges related to a corruption case involving Israels telecom giant, prompting immediate calls for his resignation. Police say their investigation has established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeqs subsidiary news website, Walla. Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases. One involves accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolves around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a newspaper in return for positive coverage. The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media. The police recommendations regarding me and my wife dont surprise anyone, Netanyahu said in a statement. These recommendations were decided upon and leaked even before the investigation began. The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused. Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence. Netanyahu held the governments communications portfolio until last year and oversaw regulation in the field. Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu. Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a bribe-based relationship. From 2012 to 2017 the prime minister and his associates blatantly intervened on a near-daily basis in the Walla news site, using the connections with Elovitch to influence appointments there and to promote flattering articles and pictures while quelling critical stories of the prime minister and his family, police said. Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family. The most serious bribery case yet leaves no room for doubt: a prime minister who is accused of the most serious offense for a public servant in the Israeli rule book cannot keep serving one minute longer, said Tamar Zandberg, head of the dovish opposition Meretz party. The prime minister has no moral mandate to keep his seat and must resign today. Israel must go to elections. Other opposition figures, including opposition leader Tzipi Livni, quickly joined in the call for Netanyahu to resign. Netanyahus colleagues in the ruling Likud party have lined up behind up, attacking outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh for releasing the recommendation on his last day on the job. The appointment of Alsheikhs potential successor is being held up after a government-appointed committee rejected his candidacy. The other coalition partners have previously deferred bolting, saying they would await a formal decision by Israels attorney general to press charges. But the latest development further threatens the wobbly government, already weakened by the recent departure of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his party. Netanyahus coalition currently enjoys only the slimmest of parliamentary majorities. Elections are currently scheduled for November 2019. Police are also recommending that charges be brought against Netanyahus wife, Sara, who has been at the center of much of the corruption allegations surrounding the longtime Israeli leader. Reports have surfaced of Sara Netanyahu relaying requests to Bezeq officials. She has already been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending roughly $100,000 on private meals at the prime ministers official residence, even as there was a full-time chef on staff. Sara Netanyahu has long faced allegations of extravagant living and abusive behavior. In 2016, a court ruled she abused an employee and awarded the man $42,000 in damages. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied, and of excessive spending and charging the state for her private, expensive tastes.

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December 8, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted

Share This Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about The Israeli Prime Minister is facing allegation of corruption and bribery stemming from a media scandal. A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Associated Press Published 4:03 a.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018 | Updated 1:28 p.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018 The prime minister’s wife was charged with fraud and breach of trust in a separate case earlier this year.Video provided by Newsy Newslook Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently spoke in Washington, D.C. where he said that Iran is becoming more of a threat to the world.(Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) JERUSALEM (AP) Israeli police are recommending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in a corruption case involving Israel’s telecom giant. Police say Sunday they have established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeq’s news website, Walla. Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second over trading positive media coverage for advantageous legislation for a newspaper. The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media. Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/12/02/israli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-indicted/2182645002/

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December 8, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Iraq, the Neocons and the Israel Lobby – John Mearsheimer

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/fora/showthread.php?t=… Author and political scientist John J. Mearsheimer argues that neoconservative and pro-Israel lobby groups were both greatly influential to the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq. —– John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt discuss “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.” What is at the heart of the special relationship between the United States and the state of Israel? Does Israel truly represent a strategic U.S. asset in the Middle East? Are the two nations really partners in the same “War on Terror”, with the same threats up against them, and the same interests at stake? Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt had become well-known authorities in our understanding of contemporary international relations theory, security, and policy long before their collaboration on The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Atlantic Monthly approached the pair in the fall of 2002 to research the depth of influence of the pro-Israel lobby on U.S. policy. By the time they returned with the results of their research, the magazine’s editor had decided not to go ahead with the piece, and was not even interested in a revision. At the prompting of an American academic peer, they decided to submit the article to the London Review of Books where it was finally published in March of 2006. Mearsheimer and Walt argue that if there ever truly were significant strategic (i.e. balance of power considerations during the Cold War) and/or moral (i.e. common Judeo-Christian and democratic values) grounds to justify the unique level of American support afforded the Jewish state, they have long been exhausted. Has this unwavering support made Israel a liability in U.S. foreign policy? And, does this special relationship threaten, rather than enhance, American security in the Middle East, in the world, and at home? – World Affairs Council of Oregon John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982.

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December 7, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

John Mearsheimer

John MearsheimerJohn Joseph Mearsheimer /mrhamr/;3 born December 14, 1947 is an American political scientist He proposed the theory of offensive realism which describes the interaction between great powers as dominated by a rational desire to achieve hegemony in a world of insecurity and uncertainty regarding other states intentions Mearsheimer was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War in 2003 and was almost alone in opposing Ukraines decision to give up its nuclear weapons in 1994 and predicted that, without a deterrent, they would face Russian aggression His most controversial views concern alleged influence by interest groups over US government actions in the Middle East which he wrote about in The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy In accordance with his theory Mearsheimer considers that Chinas growing power will likely bring it into conflict with the United States His work is frequently taught to and read by twenty-first century students of political science Admirers see him as discounting rhetoric to show how states behave Critics charge him with having an outdated zero-sum view of the w John MearsheimerClick for more; https://www.turkaramamotoru.com/en/jo…There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

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December 7, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

John J. Mearsheimer (Author of The Israel Lobby and U.S …

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy byJohn J. Mearsheimer, Stephen M. Walt 3.95 avg rating 2,075 ratings published 2006 29 editions Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating 2.67 avg rating 3 ratings published 2013 Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating did not like it 1.00 avg rating 1 rating published 2011 Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating Want to Readsaving Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book Clear rating

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December 7, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Mossad | Covert History Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

For the organization that coordinated pre-state Jewish immigration, see Mossad Le’aliyah Bet.Template:Infobox Govt Agency Template:Coord/display/title The Mossad (Template:Lang-he, Template:IPA-he; Template:Lang-ar, Template:Transl; literally meaning “the Institute”), short for Template:Transl (Template:Lang-he, meaning “Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”; Template:Lang-ar Template:Transl), is the national intelligence agency of Israel. The Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counterterrorism, as well as bringing Jews to Israel from countries where official Aliyah agencies are forbidden, and protecting Jewish communities worldwide. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security), but its director reports directly to the Prime Minister. The largest department of the Mossad is Collections, tasked with many aspects of conducting espionage overseas. Employees in the Collections Department operate under a variety of covers, including diplomatic and unofficial.[1] The Political Action and Liaison Department is responsible for working with allied foreign intelligence services, and nations that have no normal diplomatic relations with Israel.[1] Additionally, the Mossad has a Research Department, tasked with intelligence production, and a Technology Department concerned with the development of tools for Mossad activities.[2] Mossad was formed on December 13, 1949 as the “Central Institute for Coordination” at the recommendation of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to Reuven Shiloah. Ben Gurion wanted a central body to coordinate and improve cooperation between the existing security services the army’s intelligence department (AMAN), the Internal Security Service (“Shin Bet”) and the foreign office’s “political department”. In March 1951, it was reorganized and made a part of the prime minister’s office, reporting directly to the prime minister. Mossad’s former motto, be-tachblt ta`aseh lekh milchmh (Template:Lang-he) is a quote from the Bible (Proverbs 24:6): “For by wise guidance you can wage your war” (NRSV). The motto was later changed to another Proverbs passage: be-‘yn tachblt yippol `m; -tesh`h be-rov y’ts (Template:Lang-he, Proverbs 11:14). This is translated by NRSV as: “Where there is no guidance, a nation falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” In 1960, the Mossad discovered that the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was in Argentina. A team of five Mossad agents slipped into Argentina and through surveillance, confirmed that he had been living there under the name of Ricardo Klement. He was abducted on May 11, 1960 and taken to a hideout. He was subsequently smuggled to Israel, where he was tried and executed. Argentina protested what it considered as the violation of its sovereignty, and the United Nations Security Council noted that “repetition of acts such as [this] would involve a breach of the principles upon which international order is founded, creating an atmosphere of insecurity and distrust incompatible with the preservation of peace” while also acknowledging that “Eichmann should be brought to appropriate justice for the crimes of which he is accused” and that “this resolution should in no way be interpreted as condoning the odious crimes of which Eichmann is accused.”[4][5] Mossad abandoned a second operation, intended to capture Josef Mengele.[6] During the 1990s, the Mossad discovered a Hezbollah agent operating within the United States in order to procure materials needed to manufacture IEDs and other weapons. In a joint operation with U.S. intelligence, the agent was kept under surveillance in hopes that he would betray more Hezbollah operatives, but was eventually arrested.[7] The Mossad informed the FBI and CIA in August 2001 that based on its intelligence as many as 200 terrorists were slipping into the United States and planning “a major assault on the United States.” The Israeli intelligence agency cautioned the FBI that it had picked up indications of a “large-scale target” in the United States and that Americans would be “very vulnerable.”[8] However, “It is not known whether U.S. authorities thought the warning to be credible, or whether it contained enough details to allow counter-terrorism teams to come up with a response,”[9] A month later, terrorists struck at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.[8] Mossad assassinated Latvian Nazi collaborator Herberts Cukurs in 1965.[10] The Mossad gathered information on Austrian politician Jrg Haider using a mole.[11] The Mossad is alleged to be responsible for the killing of Canadian engineer and ballistics expert Gerald Bull on March 22, 1990. He was shot multiple times in the head outside his Brussels apartment.[12] Bull was at the time working for Iraq on the Project Babylon supergun.[13] Others, including Bull’s son, believe that the Mossad is taking credit for an act they did not commit to scare off others who may try to help enemy regimes. The alternative theory is that Bull was killed by the CIA. Iraq and Iran are also candidates for suspicion.[14] Assisted in air and overland evacuations of Bosnian Jews from war-torn Sarajevo to Israel in 1992 and 1993.[citation needed] The killing of Hussein Al Bashir in Nicosia, Cyprus, in 1973 in relation to the Munich massacre.[15] Cherbourg Project – Operation Noa, the 1969 smuggling of Israel Navy boats out of Cherbourg. The alleged killing of Zuheir Mohsen, a pro-Syrian member of the PLO in 1979.[16] The alleged killing of Atef Bseiso, a top intelligence officer of the PLO in Paris in 1992. French police believe that a team of assassins followed Atef Bseiso from Berlin, where that first team connected with another team to close in on him in front of a Left Bank hotel, where he received three head-shots at point blank range.[17] The killing of Yehia El-Mashad, the head of the Iraq nuclear weapons program, in 1980.[18] The killing of Dr. Mahmoud Hamshari, coordinator of the Munich massacre with an exploding telephone in his Paris apartment in 1972.[15] The killing of Dr. Basil Al-Kubaissi, who was involved in the Munich massacre, in Paris in 1973.[15] The killing of Mohammad Boudia, member of the PFLP, in Paris in 1973.[15] On April 5, 1979, Mossad agents are believed to have triggered an explosion which destroyed 60 percent of components being built in Toulouse for an Iraqi reactor. Although an environmental organization, Groupe des cologistes franais, unheard of before this incident, claimed credit for the blast,[19] most French officials discount the claim. The reactor itself was subsequently destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 1981.[19][20] The Mossad allegedly assisted Morocco’s domestic security service in the disappearance of dissident politician Mehdi Ben Barka in 1965.[21] Operation Plumbat (1968) was an operation by Lekem-Mossad to further Israel’s nuclear program. The German freighter “Scheersberg A”, disappeared on its way from Antwerp to Genoa along with its cargo of 200 tons of yellowcake, after supposedly being transferred to an Israeli ship.[22] The sending of letter bombs during the Operation Wrath of God campaign. Some of these attacks were not fatal. Their purpose might not have been to kill the receiver. Some of the more famous examples of the Mossad letter bombs were those sent to Nazi war-criminal Alois Brunner.[23] The alleged targeted killing of Dr Wadie Haddad, using poisoned chocolate, in 1978. The PFLP-EO movement dissolved after his killing.[citation needed] The Mossad discovered that Hezbollah had recruited a German national named Steven Smyrek, and that he was travelling to Israel. In an operation conducted by the Mossad, the CIA, the German Internal Security agency Bundesamt fr Verfassungsschutz (BFD), and the Israeli Internal Security agency Shin Bet, Smyrek was kept under constant surveillance, and arrested as soon as he landed in Israel.[24] Mossad is alleged to have been involved in industrial espionage in Germany. In the late 1990s, the head of the BFD reportedly warned his department chiefs that Mossad remained a prime threat in stealing the country’s latest computer secrets.[25] The killing of Zaiad Muchasi, Fatah representative to Cyprus, by an explosion in his Athens hotel room in 1973.[15] The killing of Wael Zwaiter, thought to be a member of Black September.[26][27] In 1986, Mossad used an undercover agent to lure nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu from the United Kingdom to Italy in a honey trap style operation where he was abducted and transported to Israel where he was tried and found guilty of treason because of his role in exposing Israel’s nuclear programme.[28] The killing of Fathi Shiqaqi. Shiqaqi a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was shot several times in the head in 1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Sliema, Malta.[29] On July 21, 1973, Ahmed Bouchiki, a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway, was killed by Mossad agents. He had been mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the leaders of Black September, the Palestinian group responsible for the Munich massacre, who had been given shelter in Norway. The Mossad agents had used fake Canadian passports, which angered the Canadian government. Six Mossad agents were arrested, and the incident became known as the Lillehammer affair. Israel subsequently paid compensation to Bouchiki’s family.[28][30][31] Mossad assisted the UK Intelligence organisation MI5 following the 7/7 bombings in London. According to the 2007 edition of a book about the Mossad titled Gideons Spies, shortly after the 7/7 London underground bombings, MI5 gathered evidence that a senior al-Qaeda operative known only by the alias Mustafa travelled in and out of Britain shortly before the 7/7 bombings. For months, the real identity of Mustafa remained unknown, but in early October 2005, Mossad told MI5 that this person was, in fact, Azhari Husin, a bomb-making expert with Jemaah Islamiyah, the main al-Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia. Husin studied in Britain and reports claim that he met the main 7/7 bomber, Mohammad Sidique Khan, in late 2001 in a militant training camp in the Philippines (see Late 2001). Meir Dagan, the then head of Mossad, apparently also told MI5 that Husin helped plan and recruit volunteers for the bombings. Mossad claimed that Husin may have been in London at the time of the bombings, and then fled to al-Qaedas principal haven in the tribal area of Pakistan, where he sometimes hid after bombings. Husin was killed in a shootout in Indonesia in November 2005.[32] Later official British government reports about the 7/7 bombings did not mention Husin.[33] In February 1998, five Mossad agents were caught wiretapping the home of a Hezbollah agent in a Bern suburb. Four agents were freed, but the fifth was tried, found guilty, sentenced to one year in prison, and following his release was banned from entering Switzerland for five years.[34] The Mossad was involved in outreach to Refuseniks in the Soviet Union during the crackdown on Soviet Jews in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Mossad helped establish contact with Refuseniks in the USSR, and helped them acquire Jewish religious items, banned by the Soviet government, in addition to passing communications into and out of the USSR. Many rabbinical students from Western countries travelled to the Soviet Union as part of this program in order to establish and maintain contact with refuseniks. In February 2011, a Palestinian engineer, Dirar Abu Seesi, was allegedly pulled off a train by Mossad agents enroute to the capital Kiev from Kharkiv. He had been planning to apply for Ukrainian citizenship, and reappeared in an Israeli jail only 3 weeks after the incident.[35] Prior to the Iranian Revolution of 197879, SAVAK (Organization of National Security and Information), the Iranian secret police and intelligence service was created under the guidance of United States and Israeli intelligence officers in 1957.[37] After security relations between the United States and Iran grew more distant in the early 1960s which led the CIA training team to leave Iran, Mossad became increasingly active in Iran, “training SAVAK personnel and carrying out a broad variety of joint operations with SAVAK.”[citation needed] A US intelligence official told The Washington Post that Israel orchestrated the defection of Iranian general Ali Reza Askari on February 7, 2007.[38] This has been denied by Israeli spokesman Mark Regev. The Sunday Times reported that Askari had been a Mossad asset since 2003, and left only when his cover was about to be blown.[39] Le Figaro claimed that the Mossad was possibly behind a blast at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Imam Ali military base, on October 12, 2010. The explosion at the base killed 18 and injured 10 others. Among the dead was also general Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, who served as the commander of the Revolutionary Guards missile program and was a crucial figure in building Irans long-range missile program.[40] The base is believed to store long-range missiles, including the Shahab-3, and also has hangars. It is one of Iran’s most secure military bases.[41] Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has accused Mossad of assassination plots and killings of Iranian physicists in 2010. Reports have noted that such information has not yet been evidently proven. Iranian state TV broadcast a stated confession from Majid Jamali-Fash, an Iranian man who claimed to have visited Israel to be trained by the Mossad.[42] The Mossad has been accused of assassinating Masoud Alimohammadi, Ardeshir Hosseinpour, Majid Shahriari, Darioush Rezaeinejad and Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan; scientists involved in the Iranian nuclear program. It is also suspected of being behind the attempted assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Fereydoon Abbasi.[43][44] Meir Dagan – who served as Director of the Mossad from 2002 until 2009 – while not taking credit for the assassinations, praised them in an interview with a journalist, saying “the removal of important brains” from the Iranian nuclear project had achieved so-called “white defections,” frightening other Iranian nuclear scientists into requesting that they be transferred to civilian projects.[36] In early February 2012, Mossad director Tamir Pardo met with U.S. national security officials in Washington, D.C. to sound them out on possible American reactions in the event Israel attacked Iran over the objections of the United States.[45] Assistance in the defection and rescuing of the family of Munir Redfa, an Iraqi pilot who defected and flew his MiG-21 to Israel in 1966: “Operation Diamond”. Redfa’s entire family was also successfully smuggled from Iraq to Israel. Previously unknown information about the MiG-21 was subsequently shared with the United States. Operation Sphinx[19] Between 1978 and 1981, obtained highly sensitive information about Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor by recruiting an Iraqi nuclear scientist in France. Operation Bramble Bush II In the 1990s, the Mossad began scouting locations in Iraq where Saddam Hussein could be ambushed by Sayeret Matkal commandos inserted into Iraq from Jordan. The mission was called off due to Operation Desert Fox and the ongoing Israeli-Arab peace process. In what is thought to have been a reprisal action for a Hamas suicide-bombing in Jerusalem on July 30, 1997 that killed 16 Israelis, Benjamin Netanyahu authorised an operation against Khaled Mashal, the Hamas representative in Jordan.[46] On September 25, 1997, Mashal was injected in the ear with a toxin (thought to have been a derivative of the synthetic opiate Fentanyl called Levofentanyl).[47][48] Jordanian authorities apprehended two Mossad agents posing as Canadian tourists and trapped a further six in the Israeli embassy. In exchange for their release, an Israeli physician had to fly to Amman and deliver an antidote for Mashal. The fallout from the failed killing eventually led to the release of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of the Hamas movement, and scores of Hamas prisoners. Netanyahu flew into Amman on September 29 to apologize personally to King Hussein, but was met instead by the King’s brother, Crown Prince Hassan.[47] The provision of intelligence and operational assistance in the 1973 Operation Spring of Youth special forces raid on Beirut. The sending of letter bombs to PFLP member Bassam Abu Sharif. Sharif was severely wounded, but survived.[49] The targeted killing of Ali Hassan Salameh, the leader of Black September, on January 22, 1979 in Beirut by a car bomb.[50][51] The killing of the Palestinian writer and leading PFLP member Ghassan Kanafani, also by a car bomb, in 1972.[52] Providing intelligence for the killing of Abbas al-Musawi, secretary general of Hezbollah, in Beirut in 1992.[15] Allegedly killed Jihad Ahmed Jibril, the leader of the military wing of the PFLP-GC, in Beirut in 2002.[53] Allegedly killed Ghaleb Awwali, a senior Hezbollah official, in Beirut in 2004.[54] Allegedly killed Mahmoud al-Majzoub, a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in Sidon in 2006.[55] The Mossad was suspected of establishing a large spy network in Lebanon, recruited from Druze, Christian, and Sunni Muslim communities, and officials in the Lebanese government, to spy on Hezbollah and its Iranian Revolutionary Guard advisors. Some have allegedly been active since the 1982 Lebanon War. In 2009, Lebanese Security Services supported by Hezbollah’s intelligence unit, and working in collaboration with Syria, Iran, and possibly Russia, launched a major crackdown which resulted in the arrests of around 100 alleged spies “working for Israel”.[56] Previously, in 2006, the Lebanese army uncovered a network that allegedly assassinated several Lebanese and Palestinian leaders on behalf of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.[57] In a September 2003 news article, it was alleged by Rediff News that General Pervez Musharaf, the then-President of Pakistan, decided to establish a clandestine relationship between Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Mossad via officers of the two services posted at their embassies in Washington, DC. In January 2009 it was alleged by Indian news agencies that Mossad officers led a rescue mission to extract an Indian former member of parliament and an Israeli cultural attache who were arrested on the charges of producing methamphetamine. Eli Cohen infiltrated the highest echelons of the Syrian government, was a close friend of the Syrian President, and was considered for the post of Minister of Defense. He gave his handlers a complete plan of the Syrian defenses on the Golan Heights, the Syrian Armed Forces order of battle, and a complete list of the Syrian military’s weapons inventory. He also ordered the planting of trees by every Syrian fortified position under the pretext of shading soldiers, but the trees actually served as targeting markers for the Israel Defense Forces. He was discovered by Syrian and Soviet intelligence, tried in secret, and executed publicly in 1965.[58] His information played a crucial role during the Six Day War. The alleged killing of Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil, a senior member of the military wing of Hamas, in an automobile booby trap in September 2004 in Damascus.[59] The alleged killing of Muhammad Suleiman, head of Syria’s nuclear program, in 2008. Suleiman was killed by a sniper firing from a boat while on a beach in Tartus.[60] The alleged killing of Imad Mughniyah, a senior leader of Hezbollah complicit in the 1983 United States embassy bombing, with an exploding headrest in Damascus in 2008.[61] The Mossad is suspected of killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas military commander, in January 2010 at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The team which carried out the killing is estimated, on the basis of CCTV and other evidence, to have consisted of at least 26 agents traveling on bogus passports. The operatives entered al-Mabhouh’s hotel room, where Mabhouh was subjected to electric shocks and interrogated. The door to his room was reported to have been locked from the inside.[62][63][64][65][66] Although the UAE police and Hamas have declared Israel responsible for the killing, no direct evidence linking Mossad to the crime has been found. The agents’ bogus passports included six British passports, cloned from those of real British nationals resident in Israel and suspected by Dubai, five Irish passports, apparently forged from those of living individuals,[67] forged Australian passports that raised fears of reprisal against innocent victims of identity theft,[68] a genuine German passport and a false French passport. Emirati police say they have fingerprint and DNA evidence of some of the attackers, as well as retinal scans of 11 suspects recorded at Dubai airport.[69][70] Dubai’s police chief has said “I am now completely sure that it was Mossad,” adding: “I have presented the (Dubai) prosecutor with a request for the arrest of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and the head of Mossad,” for the murder.[71] In September 1956, the Mossad established a secretive network in Morocco to smuggle Moroccan Jews to Israel after a ban on immigration to Israel was imposed.[72] In early 1991, two Mossad operatives infiltrated the Moroccan port of Casablanca and planted a tracking device on the freighter Al-Yarmouk, which was carrying a cargo of North Korean missiles bound for Syria. The ship was to be sunk by the Israeli Air Force, but the mission was later called off by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.[73] The 1988 killing of Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), a founder of Fatah.[74] The alleged killing of Salah Khalaf, head of intelligence of the PLO and second in command of Fatah behind Yasser Arafat, in 1991.[75] For Operation Entebbe in 1976, Mossad provided intelligence regarding Entebbe International Airport[76] and extensively interviewed hostages who had been released.[77] After the Mossad discovered the presence of two Iranian agents in Johannesburg[when?] on a mission to procure advanced weapons systems from Denel, a Mossad agent was deployed, and met up with a local Jewish contact. Posing as South African intelligence, they abducted the Iranians, drove them to a warehouse, and beat and intimidated them before forcing them to leave the country.[78] After the 1994 AMIA bombing, the largest bombing in Argentine history, the Mossad began gathering intelligence for a raid by Israeli Special Forces on the Iranian embassy in Khartoum as retaliation. The operation was called off due to fears that another attack against worldwide Jewish communities might take place as revenge. The Mossad also assisted in Operation Moses, the evacuation of Ethiopian Jews to Israel from a famine-ridden region of Sudan in 1984, also maintaining a relationship with the Ethiopian government. The Mossad secretly evacuated Zimbabwean Jews out of the country due to fears of persecution by the Zimbabwean government, which was allied with the Palestine Liberation Organization and Libya.[when?] The Mossad infiltrated the Zimbabwean government’s Central Intelligence Organization, in response to the supply of uranium from the Congo via Zimbabwe to North Korea, Syria, and Iran.[citation needed] In July 2004, New Zealand imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel over an incident in which two Australian based Israelis, Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara, who were allegedly working for Mossad, attempted to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports by claiming the identity of a severely disabled man. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom later apologized to New Zealand for their actions. New Zealand cancelled several other passports believed to have been obtained by Israeli agents.[79] Both Kelman and Cara served half of their six-month sentences and, upon release, were deported to Israel. Two others, an Israeli, Ze’ev Barkan, and a New Zealander, David Reznick, are believed to have been the third and fourth men involved in the passport affair but they both managed to leave New Zealand before being apprehended.[80] Mossad may have been involved in the 2004 explosion of Ryongchon, where several Syrian nuclear scientists working on the Syrian and Iranian nuclear-weapons programs were killed and a train carrying fissionable material was destroyed.[25] Template:Israeli Intelligence CommunityTemplate:External national intelligence agencies ar:az:Mossadbe:bg:bs:Mossadbr:Mossadca:Mossadcs:Mosadcy:Mossadda:Mossadde:Mossadet:Mossadel:es:Mosadeo:Mosadoeu:Mossadfa:fr:Mossadfy:Mossadko:hr:Mossadid:Mossadis:Mossadit:Mossadhe: jv:Mossadka:ht:Mossadku:Mossadlad:Mosadlv:Mossadlt:Mossadhu:Moszadml:arz:ms:Mossadnl:Mossadnew:ja:no:Mossadnn:Mossadps:pl:Mossadpt:Mossadro:Mosadru:sq:Mossadsimple:Mossadsk:Mosadsl:Mosadckb:sr:fi:Mossadsv:Mossadta:tr:Mossaduk:ur:vi:Mossadyi: ()zh:

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Nation Of Islam | Encyclopedia.com

NATION OF ISLAM . The first several decades of the twentieth century marked a continuing challenge for African Americans. Attempting to carve out a viable socioeconomic, political, and cultural space was difficult in light of disenfranchisement, mob violence, and the scarcity of good jobs. Hearing rumors of increased opportunities, many African Americans participated in the “Great Migration” that marked the movement of African Americans into northern and southern cities in search of better life options. However, in places like Chicago and Detroit, African Americans quickly came to realize that racial discrimination could not be escaped through migration. W. D. Fard (Master Fard Muhammad; 1891?1934?) appeared in Detroit in 1930, selling scarves and other goods, and engaging eager listeners in conversations that involved a history lesson concerning their true status as Asiatics, originally from Mecca. His teachings perplexed and intrigued listeners and, while his theories seemed fantastic, his audience grew as blacks in Detroit gained from his teachings a new sense of self-worth and a way to critique oppression encountered during the course of daily existence. To secure the greatness blacks were meant to exhibit, it was necessary to reject the teachings, or “tricknology,” of whites, and embrace Islamthe black community’s true religion. Black Americans were lost within the wilderness of the United States, but Master Fard had been sent to restore them to their former glory through his teachings and written materialsthe Supreme Lessonsa blending of basic educational skills and metaphysics. This, of course, was not the first time an articulation of Islamic teachings was expressed within the context of African American communities. Scholars have recently recognized an early Muslim presence in North America that might represent roughly 10 percent of the African population in North America during slavery. Diary accounts, autobiographies, and Works Progress Administration (WPA) documents all attest to such Islamic practices as prayer while facing east, dietary restrictions, and Islamic names given to children in early African American communities. This early Islamic presence serves as a cultural memory upon which more recent practices developed. For example, the Moorish Science Temple, developed roughly a decade before the Nation of Islam, espoused doctrines that combined Islamic teachings with other theological orientations. Members of the Moorish Science Temple believe Noble Drew Ali (18861929), the organization’s founder, is reincarnated in subsequent leaders. Some suggest that Master Fard was Noble Drew Ali reincarnated, an argument rejected by the Nation of Islam. Master Fard maintained a degree of mystery by suggesting that he was from the East, sent on a special mission, with more information to be revealed in time. Some estimates suggest that Master Fard’s temple grew to roughly eight thousand members, one of the most important being Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Poole; 18971975). As part of the Great Migration, Poole came to Detroit from the South. But with a limited education, Poole found it difficult to secure employment that met the needs of his growing family. This economic situation, combined with his unfulfilled interest in church ministry, left him frustrated but open to the inspiring teachings of Master Fard. Upon first hearing Master Fard, there was a quick connection between the two that culminated in Poole’s name change to Elijah Muhammad and his being called to minister in Fard’s movement. With the mysterious disappearance of Master Fard in 1934, a power struggle emerged, centered on Elijah Muhammad. Forced to leave Detroit for a period, he traveled to cities such as Chicago, presenting the teachings of Master Fard. The conversion of new members did not involve an emotional response as happened in so many black churches. It entailed an intellectual and psychologically deliberate acceptance of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The completion of this transformation, this acceptance of the black person’s true nature and destiny, was presented by the convert in a letter to Elijah Muhammad’s headquarters in Chicago. In this letter, the person seeking membership indicated participation in several meetings and a firm belief in the doctrines. The letter included a request for full participation in the life of the Nation and asked the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to provide the writer with the person’s original name. Until a new name was given, members made use of X, which represented the unknown. The old name represented the white race and the damaging effects of slavery (and a slave mentality) on the identity of black Americans. The X involved a rejection of the former self and the embrace of a new identity associated with a new relationship with Allah and his messenger, Elijah Muhammad. Self-sufficiency was one of the Nation of Islam’s mantras, and it was expressed practically through the organization’s various business ventures, which included restaurants, bakeries, and a farm. This attention to economic self-determination as a step toward complete knowledge of self is in keeping with the organization’s push for separation from whites through the development of an independent black nation comprised of several states with rich farming land. In order to finance this new nation, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad called for the U. S. government to provide enough funds to sustain the black nation for twenty to twenty-five years. From the Nation’s perspective this was neither a loan nor a handout. It was overdue wages for centuries of uncompensated slave labor. According to the Nation of Islam, it was a small price to pay when one considered the institutions and accumulated wealth that resulted from centuries of chattel slavery. In lectures Elijah Muhammad proclaimed that Fard was God (Allah) incarnate and that he, Elijah Muhammad, was the messenger of God commissioned to teach black Americans about their true nature as the original people of the earth, godlike and destined to rule the universe. The most troubling dimension of this teaching was the reference to white people as devils who were made by a wise, yet mad, scientist named Mr. Yakub as a predestined part of the 25,000-year cycle of history in which we currently live. This actual and historical devil race, the story goes, will rule blacks for a set number of years. Such a period of domination and destruction, the Nation taught, serves as a pedagogical tool by which blacks, who strayed from their original religion of Islam, are corrected and prepared for their future glory. The Nation of Islam would ultimately soften the more harsh dimensions of its theology, arguing that the devil doctrine entailed a metaphorical attack on white supremacy and discrimination as opposed to an attack on white Americans. While remaining controversial, this rethinking of the Nation of Islam’s more charged view is most notable as of the 1990s. The Nation of Islam’s task entailed enlightenment, the presentation of the true nature of blacks and whites, and the tools necessary for blacks to transform themselves. Once blacks in Americathe Lost/Found Nationgained knowledge of self and accepted the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as the “Spiritual Head of the Muslims in the West,” judgment would occur through which whites would be punished and the earth purged by fire, and blacks would then regain control over the universe. The faithful of God (i.e., the Nation’s members) would construct a new civilization guided by principles of truth, freedom, justice, and equality. Nation of Islam doctrine fluctuates between the complete destruction of whites and a measure of hope for the redemption of whites. The Nation’s concern with issues of justice begs the question concerning an inherent contradiction: Should a community be punished for fulfilling its destiny, even when this involves the oppression of other groups? Is it proper, as a matter of justice, to condemn a community for its actions when it has no choice but to behave in a certain way because it has no free will? Inconsistencies in the Nation’s theology and rhetoric did not prevent growth and the alteration of the organizational framework to accommodate new members of various economic classes. For example, each local temple contained a minister who spread the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s teachings. To facilitate increased work and opportunities, the local minister was assisted by the captains of the Fruit of Islam (the collective of men who handed down discipline and provided security) and the Muslim Girl’s Training and General Civilization Class, and so on. In addition, Elijah Muhammad expanded his network of ministers to maximize national exposure made available through television, including documentaries such as The Hate That Hate Produced (broadcast in 1959), and also the Nation’s radio broadcasts and newspaper. Aggressively seeking out members of the black community and the prison system, a process called “fishing,” provided the Nation with its greatest source of growth and visibility. Through personal contact with black prisoners, the Nation gained one of its best-known leadersMalcolm X (19251965)whose charisma and media appeal benefited the Nation of Islam as both its national and international profile increased in importance and prominence within popular imagination. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s personal moral failures, combined with the Nation of Islam’s lack of participation in the civil rights movement, resulted in Malcolm’s break with the Nation and his conversion to Sunn Islam in 1964. Malcolm X embraced racial equality as a basic element of Islam in light of his encounter with Muslims from various ethnic and racial groups during his pilgrimage to Mecca. This perspective would result in new strategies for the obtainment of social justice as a dimension of human rights discourse. He established the Organization of Afro-American Unity and Muslim Mosque Incorporated shortly before his death in 1965. After the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s death in 1975, his son, Wallace Deen Muhammad (Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, b. 1933), was named head of the Nation of Islam. Attempting to bring the Nation into line with the larger, worldwide Islamic community, he rethought the aesthetics of the temples. He removed the Christian church trappings, such as pews (or chairs), and he replaced framed sayings by Elijah Muhammad with more Islamic ornamentation. Of more significance, the organization’s practices were altered radically through a quick effort to enforce the five pillars of Islamic faith, the practices and attitudes embraced by all orthodox Muslims. In keeping with this shift, the presentation of Master Fard as Allah and Elijah Muhammad as the final Messenger was removed because of conflict with the orthodox understanding of Allah and the role of the prophet Muammad as the final prophet. In place of his more exalted role, Elijah Muhammad was presented as someone who, although misguided at points, sought to help black Americans achieve better life options. As a symbol of theological and aesthetic change, the name of the organization was changed to the World Community of Islam in the West, and changed again in 1982 to the American Muslim Mission. Imam Warith Deen Muhammad ultimately established a council of religious leaders, known as imams, to assist with religious and organizational questions, and members were told to consider themselves as simply members of the world community of Islam. The Nation of Islam had been prone to schism. Notable among these various organizations is the Five Percent Nation (also known as the Nation of Gods and Earths), founded by Clarence 13X (19281969) in 1964 among young New Yorkers and based on a radical interpretation of the Nation’s theology that presented blacks as gods with special knowledge based upon divine wisdom, often revealed through mathematics. However, the most visible and perhaps important of these splinter groups developed in 1978, when Minister Louis Farrakhan (b. 1933) formed a new organization named the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan affirmed the doctrines presented by Elijah Muhammad, including the teaching that Fard was Allah, and that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was the messiah, with one significant addition. Farrakhan argued, based on a vision, that he himself was the prophet carrying on the work until the return of the messiah and judgment. With time, the theology of the Nation of Islam under Minister Farrakhan would again change to include the institution of fasting during the month of Raman, as opposed to the more limited restriction instituted by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Furthermore, members of the Nation are currently encouraged to play a role in politics. Farrakhan modeled this through his participation in the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s first run for the U.S. presidency in 1988, as well as his encouragement of Nation of Islam members to run for political office. This is clearly a break with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s rejections of political involvement in a society that is marked for destruction. While relations with the Jewish community remain tense at best, Farrakhan has worked to improve connections to the larger Islamic world. For example, his participation in the jj (the pilgrimage to Mecca made by all financial and able-bodied Muslims) in 1985, as well as the availability of membership in the Nation without regard to race and ethnicity, speak to important shifts that make possible a repositioning of the Nation of Islam within the religious and political landscape of the United States and the world. However, this repositioning is not without significant tensions, as expressed, for example, through the Nation of Islam’s sympathetic relationship with Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi and the Libyan leader’s efforts to provide the Nation with financial assistance. Periods of tension and questionable allegiances have been mixed with more productive moments. Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, for instance, have sought to maintain a high level of viability through efforts such as the Million Man March in 1995. This was a gathering in Washington, D.C., of black men from various religious, social, and economic backgrounds. The purpose behind the gathering was repentance for misdeeds that have damaged the unity and vitality of black America, and a commitment to restoring themselves to their proper role as black men within the black community. While this event was successful, with participation estimated by some to have reached well over one million, the Nation of Islam has not been able to sustain positive attention. To some extent it remains a marginal religious tradition with a membership that is difficult to state with accuracy. Membership estimates typically range between thirty thousand and seventy thousand. By contrast, there are roughly four million African American Sunn Muslims in the United States. Elijah Muhammad; Islam, article on Islam in the Americas; Malcolm X. Ansari, Zafar Ishaq. “Aspects of Black Muslim Theology.” Studia Islamica 53 (1981): 137176. Ansari provides a brief discussion of major theological themes within the teachings of the Nation of Islam, based on a concern with understanding its development within the context of the larger Islamic community. Austin, Allan D. African Muslims in Antebellum America: Transatlantic Stories and Spiritual Struggles. New York, 1997. Austin presents the early Islamic presence in North America through biographical portraits of African Muslims enslaved between 1730 and 1860. Clegg, Claude Andrew. An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad. Boston, 1996. This book provides an analysis of the Nation of Islam’s development through a biographical discussion of Elijah Muhammad, highlighting the manner in which Nation of Islam doctrine grew out of his personal convictions and struggles. Essien-Udom, E. U. Black Nationalism: A Search for an Identity in America. Chicago, 1962. This is one of the early studies of the Nation of Islam. It provides analysis of nationalism within black communities through attention to the Nation of Islam’s method of conversion, doctrine, and social location. Gardell, Mattias. In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farra-khan and the Nation of Islam. Durham, N.C., 1996. Using social history as a framework, this text explores the Nation of Islam. It moves from Elijah Muhammad through the alterations to the Nation’s doctrine and platform initiated by Louis Farrakhan. Gomez, Michael A. “Muslims in Early America.” Journal of Southern History 60, no. 4 (1994): 670710. This article is a history of Muslim practices in the United States, beginning with the presence of African Muslims early in the slave trade. The author discusses this history within the larger context of African American religious and cultural life. Lee, Martha F. The Nation of Islam: An American Millenarian Movement. Lewiston, Maine, 1988; reprint, Syracuse, N.Y., 1996. This book explores the Nation of Islam’s development in light of its rhetoric regarding the eventual destruction of whites and the coming greatness of blacks. Lincoln, C. Eric. Black Muslims in America. 3d ed. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1994. Using a sociological lens, Lincoln provides the first detailed treatment of the Nation of Islam from its initial presence through the beginning of Farrakhan’s leadership. Mamiya, Lawrence H. “From Black Muslim to Bilalian: The Evolution of a Movement.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 4 (1982): 138152. Mamiya outlines and discusses shifts in African American Islamic identity from the Nation of Islam to the presence of African American Sunn Muslims seeking connection to Muslims across the globe. McCloud, Aminah Beverly. African American Islam. New York, 1995. This book is a survey of various African American Islamic communities. It also addresses such key issues as the role of women within the Islamic community. Nuruddin, Yusuf. “The Five Percenters: A Teenage Nation of Gods and Earths.” In Muslim Communities in North America, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane Idleman Smith, pp. 109132. Albany, N.Y., 1994. This article provides a concise history of the Five Percent Nation, highlighting its connections to and impact on popular culture. Pinn, Anthony B. “The Great Mahdi Has Come!” In Varieties of African American Religious Experience, pp. 104153. Minneapolis, 1998. Pinn provides a theological history of the Nation of Islam, giving primary attention to its development in light of its depiction of and response to moral evil. Tate, Sonsyrea. Little X: Growing Up in the Nation of Islam. San Francisco, 1997. Tate’s book is a personal reflection on the Nation of Islam’s doctrinal shifts as Warith Deen Muhammad took over. Using the story of her family, Tate explores the impact of the Nation’s changing teachings. Turner, Richard Brent. Islam in the African American Experience. Bloomington, Ind., 1997. Turner provides a history of the Islamic presence in North America, beginning with West Africa and moving through the Nation of Islam and African American involvement in Sunn Islam. White, Vibert L., Jr. Inside the Nation of Islam: A Historical and Personal Testimony by a Black Muslim. Gainesville, Fla., 2001. White uses his personal history with the Nation of Islam as a means of critique, pointing out the Nation’s flaws and inconsistencies. Wormer, Richard. American Islam: Growing Up Muslim in America. New York, 1994. Wormer discusses Islam from the perspective of young Muslims and the challenges they face growing up in the United States. Anthony B. Pinn (2005)

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Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts – Wikipedia

Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S state of Massachusetts since May 17, 2004, as a result of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. Massachusetts became the sixth jurisdiction in the world (after the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec) to legalize same-sex marriage. It was the first U.S. state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[1] In 1989, passing legislation first proposed in 1973, Massachusetts prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in credit, public and private employment, union practices, housing, and public accommodation.[2] In the decade that followed, political debate addressed same-sex relationships through two proxy issues: spousal benefits and parenting rights. Boston’s City Council debated health insurance for the same-sex partners of city employees in May 1991[3] and Cambridge provided health benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees the following year.[4] In 1992, Governor Bill Weld issued an executive order providing limited benefits for the same-sex partners of approximately 3,000 management-level state employees, covering only leave for family sickness and bereavement, far short of the health benefits LGBT activists were seeking, but probably the first state-level recognition of same-sex relationships.[5] The Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, replying in The Pilot, the newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese, said that Weld’s “domestic partners” decision harms the common good “by making a special interest group equal to the family” and confuses “civil rights and family benefits”. They asked: “Why should special recognition and assistance be given to friends who happen to share the same house?”[6] Legislation to establish domestic partnerships that would carry spousal benefits was introduced annually in the State Legislature without success. Its supporters focused on equal benefits and fairness rather than same-sex relationships themselves.[7] In 1998, when the Legislature passed a home rule petition allowing Boston to create such a status, Governor Paul Cellucci vetoed it because it applied to different-sex couples, which he thought undermined marriage, while he offered to sign legislation that applied to same-sex couples only. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s attempt to extend health care benefits to city employees’ domestic partners by executive order, instead[8] was successfully challenged by the Catholic Action League in court.[9] The state had no explicit regulations with respect to foster care and parenting by gays and lesbians, either singly or in relationships, until, on May 24, 1985, the state Department of Social Services, with the approval of Governor Michael Dukakis, created a rule that foster children be placed in “traditional family settings”.[10] In December 1986, a commission that reviewed the foster care system recommended that sexual orientation could not be used to disqualify foster parents.[11] As Dukakis delayed accepting that recommendation, advocates for gay and lesbian rights threatened protests against his presidential campaign.[12] The ban on gay foster parents was enacted into law in the 1989 budget.[13] After a lawsuit challenging the ban was settled out of court, the Dukakis administration withdrew the policy in April 1990.[14] In the 1990s, court decisions further expanded the parenting rights of gays and lesbians. In September 1993, the state’s highest court ruled that state law allowed for second-parent adoption by a parent of the same sex as a biological parent.[15] In July 1999, the same court awarded visitation rights to each of two mothers after their separation.[16] Same-sex marriage itself was rarely mentioned or addressed directly during these years. The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights launched a campaign on behalf of marriage rights for same-sex couples in Massachusetts in 1991. Governor Bill Weld said he would be willing to meet with the group and said he was undecided on the question.[17] When asked about “gay marriage” while running to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate in 1994, Mitt Romney said: “it is not appropriate at this time”.[18] In December 1996, considering the possibility of Hawaii legalizing same-sex marriage, Weld said that Massachusetts would recognize the validity of same-sex marriages licensed there. He called the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.[19] In December 1998, state Representative John H. Rogers, a Democrat, proposed legislation to prevent Massachusetts from granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages established elsewhere: “a purported marriage contracted between persons of the same sex shall be neither valid nor recognized in the Commonwealth.”[20] In 1999, the Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance of Massachusetts called it a “hate bill” and a coalition of more than 150 religious leaders formed the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry to oppose it.[21] Others religious leaders organized in support of the measure.[20] Rogers revised his proposal to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman when he offered it again in 2001, with the additional provision that “Any other relationship shall not be recognized as a marriage, or its legal equivalent, or receive the benefits exclusive to marriage in the Commonwealth.” The chair of the Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance of Massachusetts said its prospects for passage were slim but it could serve as a countervailing proposal to efforts at establishing civil unions or providing benefits to same-sex partners of state and local government employees.[22][23][24] Alongside these legislative maneuvers, GLAD filed a lawsuit in state court challenging the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples in April 2001.[25] In July 2001, Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage announced a campaign to amend the State Constitution with language similar to Rogers’ legislation,[26] called the “Protection of Marriage Amendment”.[27] Some signature gatherers complained that opponents of the amendment were harassing them and their opponents charged in turn that some signature gatherers were misrepresenting the petition’s content.[28][29] A sufficient number of signatures were certified in December.[30] The President of the Massachusetts Senate controls the calling of a constitutional convention and its agenda.[31] Senate President Tom Birmingham, an opponent of the amendment, called a joint meeting of the Legislature as a constitutional convention for June 19, 2002, and immediately adjourned it for a month saying legislators needed for time to consider the agenda items.[32] When the constitutional convention met again on July 17, the amendment’s opponents knew that proponents had the 50 votes needed for passage. Birmingham, who was presiding, moved for adjournment without considering the amendment, and his motion passed 137 to 53. He called the amendment “wrong-hearted and wrong-headed” and defended the procedure: “Everybody recognizes a vote to adjourn was a vote up or down” on the amendment. “I did gavel the last constitutional convention to a recess because I felt the members needed more time to assess… Today we saw democracy in action. They may not like it, but they lost two to one.” A representative of the Catholic Action League, which supported the amendment, said: “Everything that is wrong with Massachusetts state government was apparent today for all the world to see”. One legislator who voted to adjourn said: “For those of us who believe in an open democratic process, this was not a comfortable vote”. State Senator Cheryl A. Jacques, an opponent of the amendment and a lesbian, said: “I’m proud to have done anything possible to defeat this hate-filled, discriminatory measure. I’ll take a victory on this any way I can get it.”[33] Arlene Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus later explained it was a critical moment because same-sex marriage had no chance of winning a popular vote at the time: “Not that we would lose by a little, because that wasn’t an issue. Rather, it was that we were going to get massacred”.[34] In April 2003, a committee of the Legislature held a hearing on the constitutional amendment,[35] but took no action.[36] The four Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, long distracted by the revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by priests, did not address the issue until late May, when they ordered pastors to read and publish a statement to mobilize their parishioners to contact their legislators to urge then to support the constitutional amendment.[37] Seven same-sex couples represented by Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders initiated a lawsuit in state court, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, on April 11, 2001. GLAD attorney, Jennifer Levi, argued the case in Superior Court on behalf of the plaintiffs. Levi argued that denying same-sex couples equal marriage rights was unconstitutional under the State Constitution. On May 7, 2002, Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Thomas E. Connolly ruled that the state marriage statute was not gender-neutral, no fundamental right to same-sex marriage existed, and that limiting marriage to male-female couples was rational because “procreation is marriage’s central purpose”.[38] He concluded his legal analysis by saying that the issue should be handled by the Legislature.[1] The plaintiffs appealed directly to the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), which heard arguments on March 4, 2003. Mary Bonauto of GLAD argued the case for the plaintiffs. Assistant Attorney General Judith Yogman represented the DPH.[39] On November 18, 2003, the SJC ruled 4 to 3 that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The court said: “We declare that barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution.” It provided a definition of marriage that would meet the State Constitution’s requirements: “We construe civil marriage to mean the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others.” The court stayed its ruling for 180 days to allow the State Legislature to “take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion.”[1] Governor Mitt Romney said he disagreed with the SJC’s decision, but “We obviously have to follow the law as provided by the Supreme Judicial Court, even if we don’t agree with it”. He said he would work with the Legislature to draft a law “consistent” with the ruling. He also backed an amendment to the State Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman while also providing by statute “basic civil rights and appropriate benefits to same-sex couples and other nontraditional relationships.”[40] Romney quickly joined legislators in attempting to satisfy the Goodridge decision by creating civil unions for same-sex couples.[41] His views were recognized as an attempt to establish his record on a controversial issue while planning to run for the Republican nomination for president.[42] Former Governor Weld took credit for laying the groundwork for the decision: “A lot of the stuff we did foreshadowed the opinion.” He said: “It is a thunderbolt, but a thunderbolt correctly heard.”[43] Opponents of gay and lesbian rights opposed any compromise with the SJC. Brian Camenker, head of the Parents Rights Coalition, said: “As Martin Luther King pointed out in his letter from the Birmingham jail, there are some laws that are so unnatural that you have an obligation to openly defy them. The concept of stable, healthy gay relationships is largely a manufacturing of the gay propaganda machine.” He called the decision “complete lunacy” and said: “It’s beyond shocking. It’s madness. It’s four judges basically turning society inside out with no input from anybody else.”[44] On December 11, 2003, the Massachusetts Senate put forward legislative language creating civil unions for same-sex couples to the SJC, asking if it satisfied the court’s requirements.[45][46] On February 4, 2004, the court replied that it was unacceptable to allow different-sex couples marriages but same-sex couples only civil unions, that the distinction between marriage and civil unions constituted unconstitutional discrimination, even if the rights and obligations attached to each were identical. It called the difference between the terms marriage and civil union “a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status.” As for the argument that the Federal Government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages as marriages justified the use of a different term, the court said: “Courts define what is constitutionally permissible, and the Massachusetts Constitution does not permit this kind of labeling… We do not abrogate the fullest measure of protection to which residents of the Commonwealth are entitled under the Massachusetts Constitution … because those rights might not be acknowledged elsewhere.” The court also reiterated the need for the Legislature to modify the state’s marital laws. “The purpose of the stay was to afford the Legislature an opportunity to conform the existing statutes to the provisions of the Goodridge decision.” It ended: “The answer to the question is ‘No.'”[47] Religious leaders responded with strong statements on both sides of the issue. Archbishop O’Malley said in a statement: “The tone and tenor of this answer clearly demonstrates the overly activist stance of the four-judge majority… Clearly, the justices who issued this opinion seem determined to blur the constitutional separation of powers and to usurp the rightful role of the Legislature.” He called for the Legislature to act during its scheduled joint session to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to a popular vote.[48] Governor Mitt Romney authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that called the latest SJC ruling “wrongly decided and deeply mistaken”, backed a state constitutional amendment and urged other states to take similar action, but did not endorse the idea of a federal constitutional amendment.[49] Without coming to agreement on how to proceed, legislative leaders considered several legal options, including passing statutes to delay the implementation of Goodridge, a strategy outlined by Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School, until a referendum on a constitutional amendment could be held in November 2006.[50] Amending the Massachusetts Constitution is a multi-year process that could not be accomplished before the date set by the SJC for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[51] In order to amend the State Constitution, it is necessary for an amendment first to receive sufficient support at two state constitutional conventions, which is a joint meeting of the two houses of the General Court (the House of Representatives and the Senate), held during two successive two-year sessions, before going before the voters in a referendum during a normally scheduled November election. An amendment put forward by legislators needs a majority (101 out of 200) at two constitutional conventions and an amendment put forward by petition needs a 25% vote (50 out of 200) at two constitutional conventions.[51] Advocates of same-sex marriage, who had been far outnumbered as demonstrators two years earlier, were a large and constant presence in the State House throughout the 2004 convention, coordinated by MassEquality, an umbrella organization formed to respond to the public backlash against Goodridge. They had mobilized constituent telephone calls with increasing success in the weeks before the convention and emphasized the impact on children being raised by gay parents.[52] The amendment’s proponents drew support from Massachusetts Citizens for Life and larger donations than they had previously received, along with personal lobbying in localities.[53] The Legislature met in joint session as a constitutional convention on February 11, and after six hours of debate rejected two amendments, one proposed by House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran and the other by Senate President Robert E. Travaglini. Both banned same-sex marriage, one made civil unions possible and the other established civil unions. Finneran commented: “We are as divided as the nation on this. We are doing the best we can. We are human beings. We struggle. Sometimes we come up short.”[54] The convention met again the next day and defeated an amendment that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and disavowed any position on civil unions on a 103-94 vote that showed divisions in each party and Catholic legislators evenly divided.[55] Ronald Crews of the Massachusetts Family Institute blamed Finneran’s misreading of his own caucus for the failure of his own proposed language, a defeat in the convention’s opening moments from which Crews found it impossible to recover.[56] At the end of March, after extended debate[57] and some tactical voting in which some legislators backed measures they would not ultimately support in order to prevent the adoption of an even stronger measure, the convention passed by a vote of 105-92 an amendment to ban same-sex marriage but allow civil unions. It also specified that civil unions should not be treated as marriages for federal purposes. The language adopted had Romney’s support. One report described the process: “Tenuous and shifting coalitions held together in the final vote, despite a series of parliamentary moves by liberal lawmakers to stop anything from moving forward. In the end, an amendment that was disliked by the political right and the political left was approved because it was the only measure that could draw the support of a majority of lawmakers.” The proposed amendment, if approved by a second constitutional convention in 2005, would be placed before the voters as a referendum in November 2006. Romney believed the vote justified asking the SJC to stay its ruling requiring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples on May 17, but Attorney General Reilly said there was no legal basis for making that request.[58] As the constitutional convention concluded its work on the amendment, some politicians announced plans to make the November 2004 elections a referendum on same-sex marriage. In Vermont, following the enactment of civil unions legislation in 2000, a large group of its supporters had been defeated. One political action committee announced plans to target legislative candidates who supported same-sex marriage, eight Republicans and two independents.[58] Ronald Crews of the Massachusetts Family Institute estimated a possible shift of 10 to 15 seats against same-sex marriage.[59] The elections resulted in shifts that consistently favored supporters of same-sex marriage rights. Carl Sciortino, a gay activist and first-time candidate, drew support from supporters of same-sex marriage, but ran largely on traditional issues like education, taxation, and health-care, and narrowly defeated a 16-year veteran and same-sex marriage opponent in the Democratic primary on September 14.[60] Later that month, Speaker of the House Finneran resigned from the Legislature to be replaced by Sal DiMasi, who backed same-sex marriage.[61] Some candidates who backed a constitutional amendment did not make same-sex marriage a campaign issue as anticipated,[62] but it proved critical in a few races.[63][64] All 50 incumbents who opposed a constitutional amendment and faced challengers won re-election. Four supporters of Goodridge retired and successors with similar views replaced them. Five opponents of Goodridge retired and three of their successors were supporters of same-sex marriage. In special elections in the spring of 2005, three incumbents who supported a constitutional amendment lost to supporters of same-sex marriage.[65] Despite Romney’s urging, Attorney General Reilly refused to ask the SJC to stay its decision, saying that implementation was not problematic and that a popular vote on a constitutional amendment was the only way to resolve the issue. On April 16, 2004, Romney asked the Legislature to pass legislation giving him authority to request a stay. He said the implementation of the SJC ruling presented legal complications, citing both a 1913 law that invalidates the marriage of nonresidents if the marriage is invalid in their home state and the possibility that a popular referendum on same-sex marriage might retroactively invalidate same-sex marriages.[66] Conservative groups like the Coalition for Marriage praised Romney for continuing to search for a way to block same-sex marriages.[66] In April, C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts and several conservative advocacy organizations tried to block the implementation of Goodridge in state court until the attempt to amend the State Constitution was allowed to run its course. A single justice of the SJC dismissed the complaint on May 3.[67] A few days later, shortly before the Goodridge decision was to take effect, a conservative public interest law firm, Liberty Counsel, brought suit in federal court on behalf of an officer of the Catholic Action League and eleven members of the Legislature. It argued that the SJC’s decision deprived the people of Massachusetts of their right to a republican government. On May 13, 2004, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro denied their request for an injunction delaying implementation of the decision, as did the First Circuit Court of Appeals on June 29.[67] In November, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case without comment.[68] On May 14, Democratic Representative Philip Travis filed legislation to impeach Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, the author of the Goodridge decision. Another bill targeted all four justices who signed the majority decision in that case.[69][70] With respect to implementation, the principal dispute concerned the 1913 statute that denied a marriage license to a couple if their marriage would not be valid in their state of residence. The Massachusetts Town Clerks’ Association raised the issue for the first time on February 24, reporting that some of them were receiving inquiries from out-of-state couples.[71] New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer made the question more urgent when he issued a non-binding opinion on March 3 that “New York common law requires recognizing as valid a marriage… validly executed in another state”.[72] On March 31, Romney took the position that no other states recognized same-sex marriage and therefore residents of other states could not marry in Massachusetts. Reilly took the position that 38 states expressly denied recognition to same-sex marriages and that residents of other states could obtain licenses.[73] Localities that supported the right of same-sex couples to marry resisted both those interpretations. On April 11, Provincetown’s Board of Selectmen decided their town clerk would approve marriage license applications from any couple that swore, as was customary, that their marriage was lawful. The town manager said: “We’ve never been the marriage police with heterosexual couples, and we’re not about to start with same-sex couples”.[74] Worcester’s clerk took a similar position on April 16.[75] Before the end of the month, an investigation by the Boston Globe showed that since 1976 town clerks had been repeatedly instructed not to question applicants for marriage licenses about their eligibility. A spokesman for the Governor said that the Goodridge decision “changed the definition of marriage, it changed the way the new marriage forms look, and it changed the way city and town clerks will carry out the requirements of the law.”[76] When Romney suggested confusion over the 1913 law justified postponing the implementation of Goodridge, Mary Bonauto, the lawyer who successfully argued Goodridge, suggested he get the law repealed: “If he’s so concerned about problems, he can file an emergency bill to repeal that law. Massachusetts has basically said discriminating against people of the same sex is unconstitutional. So why would we try so hard to uphold another state’s discriminatory law?”[77] She asked: “Under the governor’s logic, if some state again started banning marriages between Catholics and Protestants, then would Massachusetts enforce that?”[78] In an interview on April 23, Romney said: “Massachusetts should not become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage. We do not intend to export our marriage confusion to the entire nation.”[79] His spokesman announced he was sending letters to the governors and attorneys general of the other states to explain his view that same-sex marriage was not legal in their state and asking “if we’re wrong” about that.[80] Denying license to all out-state couples became known as “the Romney plan”. It also allowed visitors from Ontario to marry, since same-sex marriage was legal there. The Governor’s legal counsel, Daniel Winslow, warned that a Justice of the Peace who could not in conscience officiate at a same-sex wedding should resign.[78] On May 4, when the Romney Administration began training clerks to handle applications from same-sex couples, a Boston Globe report called it “a major shift from the governor’s earlier stance on enforcing limitations on licensing gay marriage.” The new forms were gender-neutral, identifying the applicants as “Party A” and Party B” and asking each to check a box for either male or female.[81] Clerks could require proof of residency if they asked that of all couples, but needed only to have applicants swear that there were no legal impediments to their marrying in Massachusetts. The administration said that earlier reports had been premature.[80][82] Some towns and clerks announced plans to knowingly issue licenses to out-of-staters, including Provincetown, Worcester, and Somerville.[83][84] Bonauto said that GLAD’s position was that applicants should never be less than honest, “let alone on a form signed under oath”.[85] On May 16, 2004, Cambridge, which the New York Times described as having “a well-known taste for erudite rebelliousness”, decorated the wooden staircases of City Hall with white organza. Hundreds of applicants and supporters in celebratory dress”glittery party hats and boutonnieres”gathered in the street. City officials opened the building at 12:01a.m. May 17 “for a rousing party, with wedding cake, sparkling cider and the music of the Cambridge Community Chorus.” Some 262 couples obtained licenses, starting with Marcia Hams and Susan Shepherd. The first to wed in Cambridge were Tanya McCloskey and Marcia Kadish at 9:15a.m.[86] Cambridge City Clerk Margaret Drury was the first City Clerk in the U.S. to perform a legal same-sex marriage.[87] Massachusetts has a three-day waiting period before issuing marriage licenses, but many couples obtained waivers of the waiting period in order to be wed as soon as possible.[88][89] Other cities and towns in Massachusetts began issuing applications during normal business hours. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino greeted three of the couples who were plaintiffs in Goodridge and said: “We’ve broken down the barrier. I am so proud of these people. I am very proud to be mayor of this city today.”[90] The first to marry in Boston City Hall were Tom Weikle and Joe Rogers, who lined up for their license application at 5:30a.m. and were wed about 11 a.m. by Boston’s city clerk.[86] Rejecting the Governor’s insistence that the 1913 statute be respected, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone addressed a crowd of same-sex couples that included several from New York gathered in front of Town Hall at 8 am.: “No matter who you are or where you come from, if you fill out the application, you will be given a license to marry. Those of you from out of state, welcome to Somerville.”[86] The seven couples who were party to the Goodridge lawsuit were all wed on May 17,[91] beginning with Robert Compton and David Wilson at Boston’s Arlington Street Church.[90] There were sizable celebrations in Northampton, Worcester, and Provincetown, while “explicit protests were scattered and few”.[92] A Boston Globe survey found that half of the couples who applied for licenses on the first day had been partners for a decade or more. Two-thirds were women and 30% were raising children. Only the towns that had made an issue of issuing licenses to out-of-staters had appreciable numbers of them.[93] In the first week, 2,468 same-sex couples applied for licenses, including at least 164 from 27 other states and the District of Columbia.[81] Governor Romney in a brief statement said: “All along, I have said an issue as fundamental to society as the definition of marriage should be decided by the people. Until then, I intend to follow the law and expect others to do the same.”[90] President George W. Bush took note of these events in Massachusetts with a statement calling for a constitutional amendment “defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife.” It said: “The sacred institution of marriage should not be redefined by a few activist judges. All Americans have a right to be heard in this debate.”[94] News coverage of the day’s events in Massachusetts was extensive, though limited outside the United States.[95] The Today Show broadcast live coverage from outside Boston City Hall.[96] The three major networks lead their evening news shows with wedding coverage. The Cincinnati Enquirer ran the tag “For better or for worse” above the headline “Same-sex weddings make history”. It was the lead story in the Washington Post and the New York Times.[95] On the same day, non-binding opinions by the attorneys general of two more neighboring states fueled debate about enforcing the 1913 law. On May 17, Richard Blumenthal wrote in a letter to Romney that the status of an out-of-state same-sex marriage in Connecticut was not “automatically void”, and Patrick C. Lynch reported that Rhode Island only invalidated a marriage that violated public policy as in cases of “bigamy, incest or mental incompetence”.[97][98] The constitutional convention took up the compromise amendment approved in 2004. It failed on a vote of 157-39 on September 14, after many moderate legislators who had initially supported it refused to and most legislators opposed to same-sex marriage abandoned its compromise language.[99] State Senator Brian Lees, a Republican who co-sponsored the amendment in the previous convention, explained why he withdrew his support: “Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry. This amendment which was an appropriate measure or compromise a year ago, is no longer, I feel, a compromise today.”[100] Opponents turned instead to an alternative method of amending the Constitution that they thought would allow them to present an uncompromising ban on same-sex marriage to the voters. This method would require the collection of thousands of signatures on petitions but would need the support of only a quarter of the legislators to become a referendum. The process of gathering signatures was already underway when the legislators voted to reject the 2004 compromise.[99] Travis explained that the opponents’ fervor came in reaction to the position taken by gay and lesbian activists:[101] We all want to give people the rights to have insurance and transfer property. No one is so rotten to the core that they wouldn’t even consider that. That would be inappropriate. But we don’t want to call it marriage. And remember, they held out for marriage. Civil unions weren’t acceptable to the gay community in Massachusetts. They didn’t want a second-sister relationship like they have in Vermont. They wanted the full-blown description with the title of marriage. An organization called VoteOnMarriage.org organized the petition drive. Its backers included Governor Romney, former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, former SJC justice Joseph Nolan, and Gilbert Thompson, president of the board of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston. The language of their amendment was:[102] When recognizing marriages entered into after the adoption of this amendment by the people, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage only as the union of one man and one woman. Unlike amendments in other states, the amendment did not explicitly forbid other forms of legal relationships for same-sex couples, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships. It did not attempt to invalidate same-sex marriages licensed since Goodridge. Attorney General Reilly certified the language and format of petitions as valid on September 7, 2005. Advocates of same-sex marriage objected that the proposed amendment was clearly designed to reverse the SJC decision, a violation of the State Constitution’s rule that amendments could not be used for that purpose.[102] Deval Patrick, Reilly’s principal opponent for the Democratic nomination for governor, said “There was a strong argument that this should have gone a different way.” Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin said: “I think this is one of those instances where the institution of gay marriage may be less divisive to society than the referendum campaign will be. The emotions that this kind of issue brings out can be very detrimental to society. It has been around for a year and any honest person can conclude that it has not been detrimental to society.”[102] VoteOnMarriage.org collected 170,000 signatures before the December 7, 2005, deadline, almost three times the number required. Paid signature collectors from Arno Political Consultants subsequently revealed that an unknown but large number of these signatures had been collected through fraud. The collectors told voters that they were signing a petition about a different issue or that the petitions were in favor of same-sex marriage.[103][104] In a case lead by attorney Jennifer Levi, GLAD challenged Reilly’s certification of the petitions in court, claiming the effort contradicted a provision of the Massachusetts Constitution (Article 48, Section 2), which prohibits the use of such petitions for “reversal of a judicial decision.”[105] In July, the SJC ruled unanimously that the amendment did not constitute “reversal” of a judicial decision, given that the proposed amendment sought to define only those marriages performed after its passage.[106] If passed, the amendment would have restricted future marriages to different-sex couples but would not have invalidated the approximately 8,000 same-sex marriage licenses already issued.[107] On July 12, 2006, the Legislature sitting as a constitutional convention voted 100 to 91 to postpone action on the initiative amendment until November 9, 2006, two days after the elections. Supporters of same-sex marriage sought the delay, which the amendment’s backers denounced and Romney criticized it.[108] As that date neared, Arline Isaacson, a lobbyist for the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, was not optimistic about her side’s chances and Senate President Robert Travaglini was considering allowing a vote to adjourn without acting on the measure.[109] Instead, on November 9, 2006, the legislators in convention voted 109 to 87 to recess until January 2, the last day of the legislative session.[110] On November 19, 2006, Governor Romney led a rally against the Legislature’s delaying tactics in front of the Massachusetts State House. Romney said: “The issue before us is not whether same-sex couples should marry. The issue before us today is whether 109 legislators will follow the constitution.” He said he would ask a justice of the SJC to order the initiative placed on the ballot because the legislators were refusing to fulfill their constitutional obligations.[110][111] The next day, he sent the 109 legislators a copy of the State Constitution with a letter underscoring the document’s provision that the legislators sitting as a constitutional convention shall vote on initiatives: “Not ‘may’ vote … not ‘could’ vote … not ‘perhaps’ vote … It’s very clear.” His reference was to the clause: “final legislative action in the joint session … shall be taken only by call of the yeas and nays”.[112] He filed the lawsuit as one member of a group of private citizens on November 24, citing 5 occasions in 24 years in which the Legislature failed to vote on valid initiatives. Other plaintiffs included Ray Flynn and officials of VoteOnMarriage.org and the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts.[113] Named as defendants were the Massachusetts Secretary of State, who oversees the preparation of election ballots, William F. Galvin, and the President of the Massachusetts Senate who chairs joint sessions of the Legislature, Senator Travaglini. After a 20-minute hearing on November 30, Associate Justice Judith A. Cowin ordered an expedited hearing before the full SJC on December 20.[114] At that hearing, both sides agreed that the SJC could not enforce an order against the Legislature. An attorney for the plaintiffs said: “We’re not asking you to tell the Legislature how to do their business. We’re only asking you to declare what their constitutional obligations are.” An Assistant Attorney General representing the Legislature countered that the voters were free to replace the legislators at the next election.[115] On December 27, 2006, the SJC ruled unanimously that Article 48 of the State Constitution requires legislators to take recorded votes on initiative amendments. The SJC’s opinion authored by Justice John M. Greaney said the legislators’ duties were “beyond serious debate”[116][117] and described their constitutional obligations:[118] The members of the joint session have a constitutional duty to vote, by the yeas and nays, on the merits of all pending initiative amendments before recessing on January 2, 2007. With respect to legislative action on proposals for constitutional amendments introduced … by initiative petition, the language of art. 48 is not ambiguous. Today’s discussion and holding on the meaning of the duty lays any doubt to rest… Those members who now seek to avoid their lawful obligations, by a vote to recess without a roll call vote by yeas and nays on the merits of the initiative amendment … ultimately will have to answer to the people who elected them. He explained that the Court could take no action against the plaintiffs in the case: “[T]here is no presently articulated judicial remedy for the Legislature’s indifference to, or defiance of, its constitutional duties. We have no statutory authority to issue a declaratory judgment concerning the constitutionality of the legislative action, or inaction, in this matter.”[118] VoteOnMarriage.org, which had gathered signatures on the proposal the legislators had failed to vote on, sued on December 13, asking a federal court to order them to vote or, in the absence of a vote, to order the amendment placed on the ballot. It also sought $500,000 from the 109 who voted to adjourn, the cost of its signature-gathering campaign.[119] Arline Isaacson, one of the leaders of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, urged the Legislature to adjourn without voting on the amendment. She said: “We know that if the Legislature votes on the amendment, we will lose this year and next year, and it will go to the ballot, where it will likely pass.” Senator Lees said he thought the Legislature would not be swayed by the ruling and he stood by his opposition to taking a vote: “I will never vote to put a form of discrimination into the state constitution,”[116] Before the legislators met, Deval Patrick, who was due to succeed Romney as Governor on January 4, said: “I hope by whatever means appropriate, the constitutional convention today ends this debate. I think a vote on adjournment is a vote on the merits.”[120] The joint session of the Legislature, promptly after coming to order and without debate, voted on the amendment on January 2, 2007, the last day of its 2005-2006 session. There were 62 votes in favor and 132 opposed, a sufficient number to require the amendment’s consideration at another constitutional convention.[121] Isaacson said that the SJC ruling “really tipped the scales against us.”[120] When the State Legislature met as a constitutional convention in June, observers anticipated a closer vote than the previous January because of retirements and some announced changes in position. Advocates of the amendment charged that the political pressure on legislators on the part of Governor Deval Patrick and legislative leaders included job offers and trading votes on other issues. Opponents of the amendment cast the vote as one of conscience and personal rather than political lobbying.[122][123] The day before the convention, the state’s four Roman Catholic bishops in a letter to legislators endorsed putting the issue to a popular vote: “[T]he marriage debate should not be reserved only to lawyers and lawmakers. Every citizen has a stake in the outcome, because every citizen has a stake in the well-being of the family.”[124] Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley called several legislators to lobby for their votes and Governor Patrick said he offered some help in their re-election campaigns.[125] On June 14, 2007, the convention opened and proceeded immediately to a vote on the issue without debate. The measure failed to obtain the required 50 votes, as 45 voted in favor, 151 opposed the measure, and four were absent or abstained from the vote.[126] Two new legislators who were thought to support the amendment voted against it, while nine who had supported it in January, seven Democrats and two Republicans, changed their votes to oppose it.[125] VoteOnMarriage.Org announced it would attempt to unseat legislators who had switched sides to defeat the amendment.[127] A Massachusetts law enacted in 1913 invalidated the marriage of non-residents if the marriage was invalid in the state where they lived. Historians and legal scholars believe it originated in an upsurge of anti-miscegenation sentiment associated with the notoriety of champion boxer Jack Johnson’s marriages to white women. Though moribund for decades, it was used to prevent same-sex couples who were residents of other states from marrying in Massachusetts. As the date neared for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Governor and some town clerks disputed how and whether that law should be enforced, and Romney had used the state’s authority to block the same-sex marriages of non-residents from being properly recorded. He told a news conference: “We certainly won’t record on our public health records marriages that are on the face of them not consistent with the law”.[128] The clerks soon relented under orders from the Attorney General.[129][130] In June 2004, GLAD brought a lawsuit, Cote-Whitacre v. Department of Public Health, on behalf of several out-of-state same-sex couples and several town clerks who objected to being forced to discriminate in denying licenses to such couples.[131] The SJC upheld the law on March 30, 2006, though it allowed that residents of states like New York and Vermont, which did not explicitly exclude same-sex couples from marriage, might pursue the case further.[132][133] On September 29, 2006, Superior Court Justice Connolly determined that same-sex couples who reside in Rhode Island can marry in Massachusetts after finding “that same-sex marriage is … not prohibited in Rhode Island”.[134] In May 2007, Judge Connolly declared valid the marriages of several same-sex couples, residents of New York, who married in Massachusetts before July 6, 2006, when a New York court issued a ruling that same-sex marriage was not legal there, New York’s first explicit prohibition on same-sex marriage.[135] In July 2007, the DPH ruled that same-sex couples from New Mexico, where whether the law prohibits same-sex marriage is disputed, can obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts.[136][137] On June 15, 2007, following the defeat of the initiative to amend the State Constitution, Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute warned that gay and lesbian activists would try to repeal the 1913 law next so that “This radical social experiment will be exported to the other 49 states”. He said its repeal would “open the floodgates for Massachusetts to become the Mecca for same-sex marriage. Their goal is to strike down the marriage restrictions in every state. Their launching pad will be Massachusetts.” Isaacson said “no one is rushing” to take on that issue and that “In the short term, we want everyone to rest, breathe and appreciate the incredible victory that took place”.[138] Liberal columnist Ellen Goodman wrote: “Las Vegas? Mecca? So far, little Rhode Island is the only state that allows gay residents to wed in Massachusetts. We are the Las Vegas of Rhode Island.”[139] On June 30, the Williams Institute at UCLA, in reply to an inquiry from Daniel O’Connell, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, reported that it calculated that allowing non-resident same-sex couples to marry would add $37 million to the Massachusetts economy in each of the next three years and add 330 jobs for the same period.[140] The Massachusetts Legislature took up the repeal of the 1913 law the next month. On July 15, the Massachusetts Senate voted to repeal it on a unanimous voice vote.[141][142] The House approved the legislation on July 29 on a 118 to 35 vote[143][144] and Governor Deval Patrick signed it on July 31. It took effect immediately.[145][146] He said: “I think other states will make their own judgments, and I expect them tothat’s their own business. All we can do is tend our own garden, and make sure that it’s weeded, and I think we’ve weeded out a discriminatory law that we should have.”[147] MassResistance mounted a petition drive for a referendum to reinstate the law in October 2008, but failed to collect enough signatures.[148] On July 26, 2012, in a case involving a same-sex couple who established a civil union in Vermont in 2003, the SJC ruled unanimously in Elia-Warnken v. Elia that Massachusetts recognizes a same-sex civil union established a different jurisdiction as the legal equivalent of a marriage.[149] Chief Justice Ireland wrote: “Refusing to recognize a legal spousal relationship that granted rights equal to those acquired through marriage, in a State that did not allow same-sex couples to marry at the time, would only perpetuate the discrimination against same-sex couples” that led the court to tell the state Senate in 2004 that civil unions would not suffice as an alternative to marriage for same-sex couples.[150] The SJC took a comparable position on September 12 with respect to domestic partnerships established in other jurisdictions in a case involving a California couple, A.E.H. v. M.R..[151] In the first year, more than 6,200 same-sex couples were married. That number fell to only 1,900 marriages in the second year. Out of the total of more than 8,100 marriages, 64% involved lesbian couples.[152] In comparison, more than 36,000 heterosexual couples are married each year in Massachusetts.[153] The number of marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Massachusetts leveled off at about 1,500 a year in 2006 and 2007. They represented about 4% of all marriages in the state.[154] A total of 22,406 same-sex marriages were performed in Massachusetts from 2004 to 2012.[155] Subtracting the first year total, an average of 2,025 marriages were performed each subsequent year.

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December 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed


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