Monday, February 4, 2013

Protecting the Vulnerable

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., announced Thursday  (January 31st) that he has built a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act — an 18-year-old measure protecting domestically abused Americans...
The pending legislation would be a five-year extension of the act and would expand protections for gay and lesbian victims as well as American Indians.
Wouldn’t you know, it was first passed in 1994 by that great defender of Women, William (BJ) Clinton.
An advocacy group provided this real life case to demonstrate how important this legislation is to protect the vulnerable:

 “Last month, I read in the Burlington Free Press the story of Carmen Tarleton, a woman from Thetford, Vermont.  Five years ago, Carmen’s estranged husband broke into her home, beat her with a baseball bat, and poured industrial-strength lye on her, severely burning a great deal of her body and nearly blinding her.  Her doctors said that she had suffered “the most horrific injury a human being could suffer.”  Today, she is nearly blind, disfigured, and continues to experience pain from her injuries.  Stories like this one remind us that every day that we do not pass legislation that will help to prevent horrific violence and assist victims, more people are suffering.” 

Yes, we must pass separate, special laws to defend women, because we know they are different, weaker, more vulnerable, and less able to protect themselves than men. It is our obligation to protect those who are at greater risk of violence.
Last month the Department of Defense, through the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the 4 Services announced that no military job will be off-limits to women, unless the military branch can explain why they should be excluded. It is unfair to keep women out of combat and away from the front lines, since they are every bit as capable as men and can do any job a man can do. It is only an outdated idea of bigotry and discrimination that keeps women away from equal opportunity
This determination was made without any hearings, no testing, and no field trials. It is apparent that we take sports much more seriously than our military effectiveness. Have we lost our collective minds?

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