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Posts tagged "Rape"

h/t: Tara Culp Ressler at Think Progress Health


FCC: Create a "Sexual Violence" Warning for Television Shows

***Warning*** This petition text contains references to sexual violence.

Right now, millions of sexual violence survivors are at risk for re-traumatization from the television programs they watch. But there’s one easy thing the FCC can do to stop that — create a “sexual violence” content warning for television. 

I was recently watching the new TV series Bates Motel, and was surprised to see a very graphic rape scene half-way through the episode. The title of the program and the information listed for the episode did not include information about a rape scene, nor was there a content warning specific to sexual violence at the beginning of the show. And it’s not just Bates Motel — in the past year graphic scenes of sexual violence have appeared in The Walking Dead, Girls, Silent Witness, Game of Thrones, and other programs.

The picture you are seeing is of myself and my co-workers, friends and fellow survivors, Anna Perez and Christine Kobie. As survivors and advocates we understand how damaging this content can be to someone who is not expecting it and is not able to prepare for it. Survivors’ memories of their own assault can be triggered by sights, sounds, smells or even feelings that they experience. These triggers can bring back memories of the trauma and cause intense emotional reactions and physical reactions, especially in survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Millions of television viewers are sexual violence survivors. According to RAINN statistics, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That means that of the audience for the episode of Bates Motel which featured a rape scene, there were potentially over 450,000 survivors in the audience (assuming that out of the 4.6 million viewers, half were women and half were men). These survivors deserved a warning.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution — The FCC, via the TV Parental Guidelines, should create a “sexual violence” content warning at the beginning of any television show that will be airing an episode with sexual violence.

Such a warning will empower survivors by giving them the choice on whether or not they want to watch, and if they do, they can prepare themselves for the scene. It will also allow families to decide what type of violent content they want to view. The FCC has already designated “fantasy violence” as a subset of violent content that affects viewers differently than other forms of violence, they need to do the same for sexual violence.

Please join us in asking the FCC to create a “sexual violence” content warning, including a resource for survivors like the RAINN 24-Hour Hotline (800) 656-HOPE, to be shown before programs with scenes of sexual violence.

Federal Communications Commission and TV Parental Guidelines 
TV Parental Guidlines 
Tammy Sun, Director Media Relations, FCC 
Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC 
Robert McDowell, Comissioner, FCC 
Mignon Clyburn, Comissioner, FCC 
Jessica Rosenworcel, Comissioner, FCC 
Ajit Pai, Comissioner, FCC 
Create a “Sexual Violence” Warning for television

[Your name]


Former Vision Forum leader Douglas Phillips resigned from his ministry last year, but it looks like the once-popular leader in the “biblical patriarchy” and Christian homeschooling movement isn’t out of trouble yet. On Tuesday, one of his former followers sued him for “inappropriate, unwanted, and immoral sexual acts.”

Last October, Phillips closed his own ministry after admitting to a “lengthy” extramarital affair. At the time, however, he said that he and his unnamed paramour “did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense,” but that the relationship “was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.” Lourdes Torres, who brought the suit against Phillips, says that she is the woman to whom the Christian leader is referring. Her allegations contradict Phillips’s characterization of the relationship as consensual. 

Patriarchy leaders like Phillips believe that women fall under the dominion of men, specifically their husbands. In the family structure advocated by Phillips’s Vision Forum, the man is the spiritual and hierarchical leader of the family, to whom his wife and children are expected to defer. It’s an idea practiced by, among other families, the Duggars, along with many other large “Quiverfull” Christian families — Phillips himself has eight children with his wife. That meant coming forward with her allegations was a loaded option for Torres. The lawsuit explains that “ Ms. Torres would have felt compelled to submit to Douglas Phillips,” but that “the purity culture would have meant at the same time, her submission made her ‘damaged goods’ in her eyes, the eyes of her family, and her community” Torres’s suit continues: 

Douglas Phillips used Ms. Torres—against her wishes and over her objections—as a personal sex object. Douglas Phillips repeatedly groped, rubbed, and touched Ms. Torres’s crotch, breasts, and other areas of her body; rubbed his penis on her; masturbated on her; forced her to watch him masturbate on her; and ejaculated upon her. This perverse and offensive conduct repeatedly took place over the course of several years.” 

The allegations against Phillips get rather graphic:  

Douglas Phillips entered Ms. Torres’s bedroom and without her consent began touching her breasts, stomach, back, neck, and waist. Phillips then began to masturbate and ejaculated on her. Ms. Torres asked Phillips to stop and broke down crying. Despite Ms. Torres’s repeated requests for Phillips to stop masturbating and ejaculating on her, Phillips proceeded to return and repeat this perverse and offensive conduct. Each night that Phillips returned, Ms. Torres requested that he stop. Defendant blatantly disregarded her requests but continued to masturbate and ejaculate on her each night.

Phillips also told Torres that his wife “would die shortly and enable him to marry Ms. Torres.” Torres met Phillips when she was just 15 years old, in 1999, as Slate noted. She eventually moved in to his family home, living and working with Phillips and his family. By then, Phillips was “the pastor of her church, her boss, her landlord, and the controller of all aspects of her life,” the lawsuit says. 

According to the suit, Torres and her family informed Phillips’s Boerne Christian Fellowship Church of his alleged conduct in January of last year, and then cut off contact with the Phillips family and Vision Forum. In October, around the time Phillips shuttered Vision Forum, Torres says she received the following email from his wife, Beall, essentially warning her to keep quiet: 

During the last ten weeks, and ultimately for the last nine months, you have been lighting bombs all across the country. Right now, you may have a perception of peace, but what you don’t know is that these bombs are about to explode in a manner that will change all of our lives forever. It will affect your life, your marriage prospects … your parents … and thousands of other people. It is far worse than you imagine. The VFM board has encouraged me to let you know about these and to work with you to give you an opportunity to stop impending destruction. 

Torres is suing Phillips himself, along with both the now-defunct ministry wing of Vision Forum and a for-profit company with an almost identical name for an unspecified amount of damages. In October, Phillips indicated that he would retain control of the for-profit company after closing his ministry. But in December he seemingly changed his mind and shut down the for-profit business, too. 

The Vision Forum scandal is actually one of two major crises plaguing the leaders of the Christian patriarchy movement in recent months: Bill Gothard resigned earlier this year from the Institute in Basic Life Principles after at least 34 women accused him of making unwanted sexual advances. 

The full lawsuit is below: 

Douglas Phillips Lawsuit

Source: Abby Ohlheiser for The Wire



Trigger warning: This article discusses rape and sexual assault. Please read with caution.

My back was pressed up against plexiglass, a wall of windows facing out into the hallway. I was on display, an exhibit for other college students to peer at as they walked to their classes.

The counselor opened up a cabinet behind her — it was stuffed with off-brand tissue boxes, and I wondered if that was all she had in those cabinets. She set a box on her desk, within my reach.

“How is the wedding planning going?”

“We’re not getting married anymore,” I told her. “He called it off.”

My ex was smacking his lips, brownie crumbs on the corners of his mouth. He looked at me and told me: “I just can’t trust that you’re going to be a godly, submissive wife.” I cringed.

The counselor was trying to be empathic to my situation. She looked at me and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. That’s horrible.”

“Yeah,” I answered.

The counselor’s expression changed. She asked, “Was there, possibly,sexual sin?”

“Well, I don’t know how to talk about it,” I told her.

Cold, shivering, my back against blue shag carpet. Pain, cursing, “No, no, please, no,” falling out of my mouth.

“If there was sin in your relationship with him, Samantha, you need to repent of it,” she cooed. “Unrepentance can do so much damage to your heart.”

“I don’t think, I don’t think I would call what happened sin, though,” I stammered. “He — he hurt me.”

“It’s important, though, that you face what you are responsible for,” she continued as I sat there in disbelief. “If you don’t repent, then your relationship with God is broken and can’t be mended. You need God’s grace and forgiveness — and you need to forgive your ex as well. If you don’t forgive him, then bitterness will take seed and that bitterness will be so much worse than anything he could have done.”


The secretary looked up from her notepad and keyboard.

“They said that if I wanted to change my chapel seat, it would have to be approved by Student Life?”

“And why do you need to change your seat assignment?”

“My ex, he — well, he follows me around after chapel and it’s making me uncomfortable.”

The dean emerged from her office. “What do you mean?”

“He sits two rows directly behind me, and he waits for me when chapel is over, then he follows me around, trying to talk to me,” I told them.

“This sounds like a personal issue that needs to be resolved between the two of you.”

“But I’ve tried. I’ve asked him so many times to stop — to just leave me alone. But he doesn’t. He follows me everywhere, and he says horrible things, and causes scenes.”

“From what we’ve heard, you’re the one causing scenes,” the dean told me. “You could learn a little self-control. Stop antagonizing him, and he’ll eventually leave you alone.”


I graduated from Pensacola Christian College, a fundamentalist Christian school in Florida. I enrolled there because my family and I honestly believed that I would be safe there. We believed that the dangers present at secular colleges were absent from PCC’s campus — there was no partying, no drinking, no drugs, and most especially no sex.

The reality was much different and much harsher. I wasn’t safe. At all.

Over the years that I was in a relationship with another PCC student, I was manipulated, verbally attacked, physically abused, sexually assaulted and raped. When I finally — finally­­ — had the courage to tell my ex that he couldn’t call me a “goddamn f**king bitch” anymore, he broke our engagement two weeks later.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I was facing more than the end of a relationship.

Initially, the changes in the way people treated me at college were almost imperceptible — so slight I thought I was imagining things, that I was paranoid. Friends wouldn’t look me in the eye when they passed me on the sidewalk. People who used to smile and shout my name when they saw me started going out of their way to avoid me. RAs, once friendly, withdrew and began giving me demerits for the slightest infractions.

A month later, I was summoned to appear before a dean in Student Life, the administrative body responsible for enforcing their strict morality code. When that meeting gave the dean nothing to punish me with, she forced me into “counseling” — an experience that made me terrified of seeking professional help for years after I graduated. Not getting the help I needed means that, today, I still have panic attacks and night terrors.

My rapist stalked me until I graduated, following me around the cafeteria, to my classes, pestering me with a litany of Please, I just want to talk to you! Why won’t you talk to me?!”

And slowly, people I had believed were my friends pulled away. I called one of them, his roommate, hoping that he might be able to get him to leave me alone after the administration refused to help me. His only response: “You weren’t the person I thought you were. I’m not going to speak to you again.”

I was an outcast.

I didn’t understand what was happening, so I tried talking about some of what I’d been through with the few people who were still speaking to me. I opened up to someone, only for her to call me a liar a few days later and tell me that my rapist had “told her what had really happened.”

One of the few friends I had left was a graduate assistant. She had an apartment with a kitchen and let me keep a few groceries there. It was my last semester, and I only had two classes every morning. I would rush to class, afraid that my rapist would be waiting for me somewhere, then head straight to the GA’s room as soon as it was over.

I hid in her room for months. He couldn’t come anywhere near me as long as I was there, and I didn’t have to deal with people avoiding me, people abruptly stopping conversations, people making sure I could hear them mocking me.

At PCC, there is no recourse for someone like me. The only way to tell anyone what had happened to me would have been to march into the hostile Student Life offices and tell someone — which could have easily resulted in my expulsion. Even my attempt to explain to the counselor what my rapist had done only prompted her speech about repentance.

The student body, staff, and faculty are given absolutely no education whatsoever about abuse or violence or rape, and the only messages students do receive are Sunday school teachers who hold up half-eaten candy bars and torn apart roses and say, "This is what you are if you have sex.”

They don’t talk about consent, or show students what resources are available to them outside of Student Life, which is primarily focused on answering questions like, “What were you wearing? Were you alone with him?”

Pensacola Christian College markets itself as “one of the friendliest college campuses in America.”

In reality, it is one of the most dangerous places for abuse victims that I know.

Source: Samantha Field for XOJane

Rachel Maddow: Michigan is ‘way more insane than anyone nationally gives them credit for’ (via Raw Story )

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow weighed in on Michigan’s “rape insurance” law on Wednesday, one night before it takes effect, saying it is just one example of state lawmakers’ anti-woman stance. “Michigan, you are amazing,” Maddow said. “I continue…

imageAnn Coulter likens U.S. demographic shift to ‘being raped,’ blames Democrats (via Raw Story )

In the video embedded below, arch conservative pundit Ann Coulter likened the shift in U.S. demographics to “being raped” as a room full of attendees of the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference guffawed and applauded. Coulter was appearing…


h/t: Kiera Feldman at The New Republic

Bob Jones University stifled sex abuse claims: ‘If you report it, you hurt the body of Christ’ (via Raw Story )

A conservative Christian university abruptly dismissed the consulting firm it had hired to look into its handling of sexual assault investigations. Until recently, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sex abuse were told not to…

Anti-choice activist Lila Rose argued on CNN’s Crossfire Wednesday that “rape doesn’t unrape a woman,” stipulating that all women who are raped and subsequently become pregnant should be forced to carry that child to term.
Though the majority of the abortion debate nationally has traditionally centered around the convenience of non-rape, non-incest-related abortions (as those two categories are usually the the exceptions, not the rule), Rose chose on CNN to go where many conservatives dare not: the grey area that a lot of conservatives believe but dare not speak for fear of alienating those on the fence about the issue.
"When a woman is raped, that’s a horrible injustice against her," Rose said to Sally Kohn. "The rapist should be held to the fullest extent of the law, liable for that, culpable for that. The woman needs healing and the support of her community. But an abortion doesn’t unrape a woman. An abortion just adds more violence on top of that first she endured.” [emphasis mine]
Kohn repeatedly attempted to ask Rose to clarify her comments to allow her to backtrack her iron clad “every woman must bear her rapist’s child” belief. Rather than listen and engage in discussion, Rose steamrolled the conversation and kept speaking.
"You mentioned, Sally, late-term abortion. I want to address that real quick. Late-term abortion is horrific. But all abortion is horrific. Even in the first trimester. Keep in mind: hearts beating at three-and-a-half weeks." 
Actually, science has pretty definitively shown that a fetus’ heart forms around the fifth week of a pregnancy - but what are a few facts between conservatives, right?
Finally taking control of the conversation, Kohn followed up on the rape pregnancy statement by stating, “You are saying, in effect, that the rapist should have more rights than the woman.”
“Absolutely not,” Rose declared. “The rapist isn’t allowed to kill anybody.” Note how Rose reframed the question as one of killing and not of rights - something Kohn let slide. No one asked if one person had more of a right to kill someone; the question had to do with rights to one’s bodily decisions.
In a fantastic follow-up to Rose’s far right statements, Ilyse Hogue - NARAL Pro-Choice America President - said, "Isn’t it great that we live in a country where Lila Rose could decide where she would choose to carry her rapist’s pregnancy to term. But her version of morality doesn’t actually dictate what I can choose to do in that moment. And that’s what religious liberty is about… it’s about you getting to choose what would be right for you in that circumstance I don’t get to tell you what to do, and you don’t get to tell me what to do.”


From the 01.22.2014 edition of CNN’s Crossfire:

H/T: Tim Peacock at Peacock Panache


The BBC will be plunged into a major crisis with the publication of a damning review, expected next month, that will reveal its staff turned a blind eye to the rape and sexual assault of up to 1,000 girls and boys byJimmy Savile in the corporation’s changing rooms and studios.

Dame Janet Smith, a former court of appeal judge, who previously led the inquiry into the murders by Dr Harold Shipman, will say in her report that the true number of victims of Savile’s sexual proclivities may never be known but that his behaviour had been recognised by BBC executives who took no action.

Smith’s investigations, which followed the Pollard inquiry into why the BBC shelved a Newsnight programme about Savile, will send shockwaves through the corporation.

A source close to the inquiry told the Observer: “The numbers are shocking. Many hundreds and potentially up to 1,000 people were victims of Savile when he was representing the corporation. The report will overshadow Pollard. It will go right to the heart of how Savile was able to get away with the most heinous of crimes under the very noses of BBC staff for more than 40 years.”

The sheer scale of victims’ testimonies being examined has delayed the publication of Smith’s report by a month.

Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac), which has been consulted by Smith’s inquiry, said: “In Savile’s lifetime I wouldn’t doubt [that 1,000 people had been abused by him on BBC property]. The other thing I have found extraordinary, and very sad, is the number of people I have spoken to connected to the BBC, and that is a lot of people, who said: ‘Oh yes, we all knew about him.’

"I was talking to someone at BBC Manchester in Salford who said ‘we knew about Stuart Hall. He had a room where he would take women and young people’. You think: ‘Oh my God, these people were offending almost in open sight and no one thought to intervene.’"

Liz Dux, a lawyer representing 74 of Savile’s victims, said Smith had been forensic in her examination of witnesses and her report was likely to cause serious concerns for those at the top of the organisation. She said: “Every single opportunity Savile took it. He never had a quiet day basically so these numbers wouldn’t at all surprise me.

"Dame Janet is very widely respected and I am confident she won’t leave any stones unturned. The clients who gave evidence said that they felt they were listened to very sensitively and sympathetically and were able to give their evidence in a lot of detail. This will not be a what-the-BBC-want sort of report."

A second report on the scale of Savile’s abuse within the NHS has also been delayed due to the number of places in which Savile committed crimes and it is not expected until June.

Smith has used a similar methodology to that employed during the Shipman inquiry, which found the GP had killed hundreds of patients, not just the 15 for which he received life sentences before taking his own life in his prison cell.

Her team sent letters to every member of BBC staff past and present asking whether they had witnessed criminal acts by Savile in order to piece together his pattern of behaviour and establish an understanding of the scale of his crimes.

In three known cases, one of which involved a BBC cameraman who has since died, Savile carried out his abuse with others connected to the corporation, the review has heard.

The report will, however, express frustration that some of those closest to Savile or culpable for allowing him to go unchallenged have refused to co-operate. His criminality peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, when he was middle-aged and at the height of his career at the corporation, but continued right up until the last filming of Top of the Pops in 2006 when at the age of 79 he groped a girl aged between 13 and 16. Smith’s review has been in contact with more than 1,000 witnesses and victims, including the 138 who are pursuing civil claims for compensation, but the scale of those affected by Savile’s crimes dwarfs the number who have so far come forward.

The Observer understands the BBC has provided more than £10,000 in funding, and the assistance of a business consultant, to Napac to allow it to increase its helpline services. Further money is expected to be made available when the review is published.

Lord Hall, the BBC’s director general, met the charity’s chief executive shortly before Christmas and asked for his support when the Smith report is launched.

Dux hopes the BBC will respond to Smith’s findings by offering further support to the victims, who are due to receive limited compensation through a scheme being agreed with the corporation, the NHS and the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust. Those raped by Savile are unlikely to receive more than £50,000 in compensation.

Dux, head of abuse cases at Slater & Gordon, said: “What I hope doesn’t happen is that the BBC goes into some sort of navel-gazing period. Rather than look internally, look at how they are behaving and accept some corporate responsibility, which is not what they have done so far.

"I have asked for counselling for my clients who have given statements but the BBC have done nothing; my clients have been left absolutely high and dry."

If the BBC really cared about these people then they would have contacted them as soon as they have given evidence and said: ‘We accept that you have gone through an awful ordeal and whatever the outcome of the report we have made facilities to let you go and see this counsellor.’”

She added: “Whether these cases are resolved by settlement scheme or by court the amount of damages the victims of the BBC will get is absolutely tiny compared to what they have spent on their own legal fees, the Pollard inquiry and their own staff. The damages for compensation in civil law for rape is rarely over £50,000 and that is something that is life-changing and hideous. They are actually getting an insulting amount”.

A spokesman for Smith’s review declined to comment.


After taking a drubbing in last year’s state elections, Virginia Republicans are debating whether their party has come to be defined by its extremists. But in a congressional district in Northern Virginia, one of the state’s main instigators of culture warfare, state Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black, is running in the Republican primary to replace longtime GOP moderate Rep. Frank Wolf, who is retiring. And he’s guaranteed to ignite wedge-issue passion. Exhibit A: As a state legislator, Black opposed making spousal rape a crime, citing the impossibility of convicting a husband accused of raping his wife “when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth.”

Black has referred to emergency contraception, which does not cause abortions, as "baby pesticide." Black also fought to block a statue of Abraham Lincoln at a former Confederate site in Richmond. He wasn’t sure, he explained at the time, that statues of Lincoln belonged in Virginia. He has argued that abortion is a worse evil than slavery. And once, to demonstrate why libraries should block pornography on their computers, Black invited a TV reporter to film him using a library terminal to watch violent rape porn.

In 1998, Black was elected a delegate to the Virginia House. He sparked multiple battles over social issues until he was voted out of office in 2005. But Black wasn’t done. In 2011, after moving several times around Northern Virginia in search of a friendly district, Black was voted back into the Legislature, this time to the state Senate.

In the GOP nomination fight to replace Wolf, Black, who commands substantial support among the conservative grassroots, would have a strong chance to beat his moderate opponents if the party chooses to nominate candidates through a convention, rather than a primary. (Black sometimes raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his House races. Tea partiers and social conservatives have dominated Virginia Republicans’ nominating contests in recent years.) The party will decide between the two on January 23. Republicans have held the seat Black is seeking for 14 years, but the congressional district voted for Mitt Romney by only a slim margin in 2012. A not-so-conservative Republican nominee may be key to keeping the seat in Republican hands. Since returning to the Legislature in 2011, Black has preferred to present himself as a fiscal conservative, not a fire-breathing social conservative. But he may still have to defend his years as Virginia’s foremost far-right warrior.

Black entered politics in the late 1990s after retiring as a military prosecutor. He spoke frequently to media outlets about sexual assault in the military, and called military rape “as predictable as human nature.” “Think of yourself at 25,” Black told a newspaper in 1996. “Wouldn’t you love to have a group of 19-year-old girls under your control, day in, day out?”

Black’s first political position was with the Loudoun County Library Board in Northern Virginia, where he wrote a policy blocking pornography on library computers. The move drew national attention. First Amendment litigation against the Loudoun County Library Board struck down Black’s restrictions and wound up costing the county $100,000. During that time period, Loudoun librarians say they only ever received one complaint about porn on their computers—against Black, when he pulled his rape pornography stunt.

Still, Black used the controversy to vault himself into the Virginia general assembly. From 1998 to 2006, when a Democratic challenger unseated him, although he was rarely successful in passing legislation, Black never missed an opportunity to be at the front lines of every social battle in the statehouse.

The 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, for example, inspired Black to suggest legislation requiring Virginia students to address their teachers as “Ma’am,” “Sir,” “Mr.,” “Ms.,” or “Mrs.,” because, Black explained, “The counterculture revolution of the ’70s took the war into the classroom. Before that time, public schools were a model of decorum, and then we began this thing we’ve seen play out at Columbine.”

In 2003, Black led a fight to prevent a statue of Abraham Lincoln seated with his son Tad from gracing the grounds of the Tredegar Iron Works, a Civil War-era foundry that supplied the Confederate army with cannons. “Putting a statue to [Lincoln] there is sort of like putting the Confederate flag at the Lincoln Memorial,” Black told the Washington Post, adding that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC ought to be enough. Black even asked the Virginia Attorney General, Republican Jerry Kilgore, to investigate whether any state laws prohibited the National Park Service, which leases Tredegar, from erecting the statue. (None did.)

In 2002, as the Virginia general assembly repealed a ban on spousal rape prosecution, Black wondered if it was really possible for a husband to rape his wife. He said changing the law could cause a man “enormous fear of the damage to his reputation” if his wife ever filed a false rape claim. Last month, after the Weekly Standard highlighted Black’s remarks on spousal rape, a member of Black’s congressional campaign staff emailed the Loudoun Progress to say, ”Black was not taking a position for or against marital rape.”*

As a member of the general assembly, Black introduced the legislation—later copied by then-state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP’s 2014 gubernatorial candidate—that would allow Virginians to purchase “Choose Life” license plates, with funds going to Virginia crisis pregnancy centers. Since the plates became available in 2009, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia calculates they have raised $223,000 for these facilities, where staff have been found to tell women, falsely, that abortion increases their chance of breast cancer and infertility.

For two years in a row, Black introduced legislation requiring women younger than 18 to provide a notarized note from a parent before having an abortion. To justify the bill, he said abortion was a greater evil than segregation or slavery. In 2005, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch, he promoted a bill that would have required abortion providers to tell women that a fetus being aborted 20 weeks after conception may be able to feel pain, a medically unsupported claim. Black sent senators plastic figures of fetuses with a letter asking, “Would you kill this child?” as a Senate committee prepared to vote on the bill.

Black was at his most virulent when targeting Virginia’s same-sex couples. He championed legislation to ban same-sex couples from adopting children, claiming that gay men and women are more prone to violence, alcoholism, and suicide. When it became clear the bill would fail, according to a 2005 Washington Post article, he amended it to require adoption agents to investigate whether the prospective parents were “known to engage in current voluntary homosexual activity.”

In 2003, Black tried to pass legislation preventing same-sex couples to apply for low-interest home loans from the Virginia Housing and Development Authority. The current policy, he explained, "subsidize[s] sodomy and adultery." Black even, in 2005, urged his constituents to picket a local high school that had staged a student’s one-act play about a gay high school football player. Portraying same-sex relationships in “a cute or favorable light,” he contended,put children at risk of contracting HIV. “If I’m the last person on the face of this Earth to vote against legalizing sodomy,” Black once said, “I’ll do it.”

Black’s campaign and state Senate office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

h/t:  John Prager at AATTP

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress


LostProphets Former Frontman Singer/Rapist Sentenced To 29 Years In Prison For Multiple Rapes Including An Attempted Rape Of An Infant (Yes, You Read That Correctly), Claims That The Infant Rape Was “Mega Lolz” [TW: Graphic Descriptions of Rape and Sexual Assault, Rape, Sexual Assault, Child Sex Abuse, Child Sexual Assault, Child Rape, Child Abuse, Pedophilia]

Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins was sentenced today to serve 29 years behind bars and another six under “strict probation,” for, among other horrifying things, the attempted rape of a baby.

Watkins, 36, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of sexual assault involving children and six counts involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children.

Watkins also admitted to the attempted rape of an 11-month-old baby boy, footage of which was shown in court.

Two unnamed female co-defendants, one of whom is the mother of the child Watkins assaulted, were also sentenced to 14 and 17 years.

"Those who have appeared in these courts over many years, see here a large number of horrific cases," said the Cardiff Crown Court judge during sentencing. “This case breaks new ground.”

Though he didn’t speak in court today, Watkins did have a prison phone conversation with a fan after pleading guilty on November 26, in which he denied being a pedophile.

"I’m going to put out a statement on the 18th just to say it was mega lolz," Watkins told the female fan. “I do not know what everybody is getting so freaked out about.”

According to the Guardian, “mega lolz” was a phrase commonly found on Lostprophets merchandise a few years ago.

"Today’s sentence does not mark the end of our investigations," said Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle.

The South Wales Police have joined forces with Interpol, German police, and the US’s Homeland Security to determine if Watkins had abused children in other countries as well.

[mug shot via BBC News]

RELATEDRock Star Pleads Guilty to Attempted Rape of a Baby [Same Trigger Warnings As Above Article]

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress Health