As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolJudge Vance Day Is a Turd
There’s a thing called the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability, and it’s basically a bunch of scalawags in a room, drinking under the table, playing footsie and sh*t and like, determining whether or not a judge should be booted from the bench. It’s pretty rare, you probably haven’t heard of it.

Either way, in this case Marion County Judge Vance Day is on the chopping block. Why, pray tell? Because the sad sack decided to stop performing weddings altogether about a year ago in protest of the newish marriage equality law. On the day the law passed he actually started telling his staff to turn same-sex couples away, referring them to other judges.

Apparently there are some other issues the commission is going after him for, but they ain’t tellin’. In lieu of that, here are some fun facts to consider:

1. Kitzhaber appointed the guy.

2. He’s a Republican.

3. At once point he had a framed picture of Hitler hanging in his office. No joke.

4. He has been accused of calling the veterans he worked with “raggedly assholes.”

I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
Because this dead horse has already been beaten into the earth by thousands of armchair activists on Facebook, I’ll make it as quick as I can: Last week Kaki Marshall, a lesbian that dresses like a man (this is relevant, I’ve read) strolled into the Roseway Barbership on Sandy Boulevard up in Portland. She asked for a fade, a type of haircut that is apparently hip enough (and difficult enough to do well) that there are hair cutteries out there that actually specialize in it. Good choice, m’lady! What happened next is quite different depending on who you are.

Representatives of the barbershop say that she asked for a “razor fade,” and that they didn’t do those there, only using a razor to clean up around the neckline. They say a conversation ensued and that she didn’t seem to understand, becoming irate. Marshall claims they refused her service because she was a woman, stating that they only gave men haircuts.

An angry Marshall walked away, but chooses to come back to the shop with video rolling. The footage only seems to show Marshall attempting to provoke another conversation, achieving no response from those working besides, “I don’t want to be filmed.” This video went online and now has ten billion thousand hundred views, many people cheering it as an instance of someone standing up for gender discrimination.

On the other side of things, Roseway Barbershop says they are being unfairly judged, that they have been giving people of all genders and orientations haircuts for years. According to KOIN 6, the Oregon Attorney General’s Office, State Bureau of Labor and Industries and the Better Business Bureau have no record of any complaints against them. One of the barbers there that night, Marty Pinz, has worked there for 25 years.

Let me make something very clear: I would enjoy taking a two-by-four to the skull of anyone who discriminates against another human being for any reason whatsoever. However, I have a hard time finding the discrimination here. Marshall’s Facebook page is full of politically correct buzzwords that are bandied about only barely coherently, and she even goes so far as to cite it all as stemming from the “sort of white supremacy culture that we live in,” according to an interview by KGW news. Don’t get me wrong, I believe judgment should be purely an endeavor of facts, and I’m feeling a bit sick about all of this. We’ll probably never know for sure, but if Marshall was just being belligerent here, the outing of that could set a lot of people a long ways back in terms of tolerance and understanding.

No matter how you feel, one thing is for certain: there is no stemming the tide of knee-jerk reactionaries who have chosen this instance to raise a fist in the air, despite the he said/she said nature of all this. In my opinion, only 1 in 10 comments (I wrote this down as I went) reflected a person who seemed to have either read the coverage or knew how to detect the most basic logical fallacies in their own statements. That is perhaps the real issue here, now that I think about it… and that’s not even mentioning how many times God has been invoked in Roseway’s defense… but I digress.

What happens next?
Marshall has called for a boycott of the shop, but says she won’t be filing a Labor Bureau complaint. Why? She said she’d rather give the barbers a seminar on “gender binary oppression,” stating, “I don’t believe that those two barbers had ever thought about gender before, but I think they are now.” You’d think that some good could come out of actually getting a bunch of bigots slapped with an official complaint, but I suppose benevolence is hard to turn down.


Sigh. I guess let’s just hope this wasn’t all just a misunderstanding. I know that sounds crazy, but it’d come with more backpedaling than anyone has budgeted for.