Virginia clerk does his best in a bad situation

Paul Ferguson is a public servant, but he is prohibited by law from serving all of the public equally and is required by law to discriminate.

He is not the first public servant in the Commonwealth of Virginia to face this dilemma, but he handled it about as well as he was allowed:

Participants gathered in the square to request marriage licenses from Paul Ferguson, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church.

“I commend each of you that is coming forward today for your courage. I think you do realize that by law, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not allow me to issue those marriage licenses to you,” Ferguson said. “I hope that if laws do change in the future, that you will choose to return one day to Arlington County to receive a marriage license.”

More than a dozen couples stepped forward to request marriage licenses from Ferguson. In turn, each was rejected.

“Diverse weights and diverse measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord,” the book of Proverbs says.

Ferguson has been charged to employ diverse weights and diverse measures according to the abominable law of Virginia. At least he was able to do so without adding insult to injustice.

* * * * * * * * *

Ed Brayton informs us that this July has been declared “Heterosexual Awareness Month.”

The event seems to be organized by the same kinds of people who spent college whining about why there was no White Students Union and no Men’s Studies department — the sort of privileged people eager to seem deeply aggrieved at even a symbolic gesture that doesn’t focus on their group and their own desperate need for all of everyone’s attention. You know … assholes.

But this might still do some good.

From the owners of Hobby Lobby to the president of Wheaton College, if there’s one thing heterosexuals have been demonstrating lately it’s a massive lack of awareness of heterosexuality — or at least of how heterosexual sex actually works.

So even if this Heterosexual Awareness Month event was only dreamed up as another chance for privileged chauvinists to punch-down at everyone else, perhaps it will serve a real purpose too. (Probably not.)

* * * * * * * * *

And speaking of basic human biology, here’s (via It’s Okay To Be Smart) a simple truth about human development that I’m not sure our friends in the “personhood begins at conception” crowd have thought much about:

But then I don’t think that crowd has thought much at all about any aspect of basic human biology.

I learned a new-to-me word from that video: rathe. Not quite as fun — or as ordinarily useful — as philtrum or purlicue, but still good to know. (Although it does change how I read “The Jabberwocky” …)

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  • AnonymousSam

    The more articles he posts on Cracked, the more I wonder how he ever kept his job at EGM. I know they made him censor his articles more than once.

  • P J Evans

     When you start reading about other species – it gets really interesting and really weird. Like the kinds of fish that change sex. Or avocado trees, where some have male flowers open in the morning, and female in the afternoon, and others do it the other way. And turtles, where the sex is determined by the incubation temperature. And the parthenogenic lizards and snakes.

  • Madhabmatics

     what’s confusing the end of Prometheus

  • veejayem

    Where does the tentacle-thing in the emergency escape pod fit in the Alien life-cycle?

  • Alien: Resurrection is based on the idea that the process changes the host DNA in such a way that the chest-burster is a part of the host.  Which, makes a certain amount of sense, implanting an embryo there would be very difficult so it makes much more sense to alter the host in such a way that they grow the embryo it’s own damn self rather than having to deposit the embryo in the host.

    This has nothing to do with the question of species by the way.  At one point my mother was wondering what all these furry fuzzballs on the ground were.  They were part of trees that had neither fur nor fuzzballs.  But when some insect or other found it useful it could alter the tree in such a way as to grow various things like, for example, furry fuzzballs.  They did not, so far as I recall, alter it on a genetic level, but getting something else to grow something you want even though it’s not set up to do so is the opposite of unheard of.

    So the host grows the embryo.  We know from largely forgettable movie four that the change that brings this about is at a genetic level.  We also know that simply grabbing some genetics from the host and making a clone doesn’t really get you what you want.  You get too much alien in your human and too much human in your alien.

    But forget all that for a moment.  Lets talk about sex.

    Say that the host has sex post implantation.  Host DNA is different in a way that includes the Alien DNA.  What becomes of Host’s kid?

    If the chestburster chestbursts right away then the Host’s kid never makes it to puberty.  But some things have delayed onset, see the last word in the previous sentence and various forms of baldness.  If the chestburster doesn’t develop and chestburst until such time as the host’s kid can have kids, then we have a possibility of preinfected people being in the breeding population.

    And then we can imagine what life might be like for them knowing that at any time now thingy breaks through their rib cage.  Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die takes on new meaning.

    But also:
    1) We have a source of new aliens that is not from a queen
    2) We have people who have a certain amount of Alien-ness in them from birth.
    3) We have host being something that follows family lines.  (Could it also be an STD?)
    4) We have a population of people, growing if they’re breeding, that are basically ticking time bombs, some of them are babies, how does the existing culture deal with them?
    5) We have possibilities never explored.

    Also never explored was surgically removing the chestburster from a non-clone pure-human who had been infected.  (Facehuggers were removed in Aliens, which killed the host, but no one waited until the facehugger did their thing, removed the alien chestburster, and sowed the person back up.)  What happens then?  Do they live a normal life?  Does another chestburster grow in the vacated space?  Does the alien DNA in them make additional changes?  What?

    Never explored.

  •  Similar ideas have been explored with the Genestealers in Warhammer 40,000. They started off as a straightforward Alien expy, but became the focus of a side-game (Space Hulk) that dealt with their odd life-cycle based on altering the sex cells of host species.