aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, March 24, 2008
GA Court Overturns Hadaway Contempt Conviction
ATLANTA - A long nightmare has ended for Elizabeth Hadaway, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court last year for not handing her daughter over to foster care after she lost custody solely because she’s a lesbian. A year and one day after a county court judge sentenced Hadaway to 10 days in jail, the Georgia Court of Appeals today overturned her contempt conviction. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented her in the appeal and secured the little girl’s return home from foster care last May, applauded the court’s decision.
“Just yesterday I was watching Emma hunt for Easter eggs and thinking how the possibility of going to jail and being separated from her again made it hard to just enjoy the moment,” said Elizabeth Hadaway, a 29-year-old paramedic who first took in the little girl when the child’s biological mother asked her to raise and adopt Emma. “I’m just so grateful that the court has lifted this burden so we can move on and I can keep focused on making sure Emma has a happy home and a good life.”
Hadaway’s struggle began in 2006, when a Wilkinson County Superior Court judge was on the verge of granting her request to permanently adopt Emma when he noticed in a home study that Hadaway was living with her female partner of seven years. The judge abruptly changed his mind about the adoption request solely because Hadaway is a lesbian. Although Emma’s biological mother told the court that she wanted the child to be raised and adopted by Hadaway, the judge denied the adoption and ordered that Emma be sent back to her biological mother. Hadaway met with the biological mother at a truck stop to hand over the girl. After accepting custody, thus satisfying the court order, the biological mother saw how distraught Emma was at being taken from Hadaway and again insisted that Hadaway should raise the girl. Because Hadaway took Emma back, the Wilkinson County judge then ordered that Emma be sent to live in a foster home and sentenced Hadaway and her attorney to 10 days in jail for contempt of court. The sentence was stayed pending appeal.
Emma, now seven years old, was eventually returned to Hadaway’s care last May after an expert commissioned by Wilkinson County Department of Children and Family Services found that the little girl was experiencing emotional trauma because of the separation from Hadaway. Next, a judge in another Georgia county granted Hadaway permanent custody. DCFS then let Emma return home, but not before she had been in foster care for three months, during which her welfare was seriously compromised.
“We’re pleased that the court has agreed with us that Elizabeth Hadaway shouldn’t do jail time simply for doing the right thing for her child, but it’s unfortunate that it’s taken almost two years of court proceedings to end up with things where Elizabeth, Emma, and Emma’s biological mom wanted them to be in the first place,” said Debbie Seagraves, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia. “Elizabeth Hadaway did everything the judge ordered her to do, and she should never have been punished.”
Via Gay News Blog.
Look out for cyclists
Sifting the Spitzer wreckage
What are the lessons to be learned from the Sptitzer wreckage? I’m far too far away to know—and it may still be too early for any of us to know—but I have to wonder if the whole model of the crusading reformer isn’t outdated and ready for the scrap heap.
From yesterday’s NYTimes (Doug, it would have been great fun to have talked this one through over Citarella coffee!):
“People think it was hubris and that he must have been a fraud, but that’s not right,” another aide said of the former governor. “He was a very good man who lost himself due to a combination of factors.
“He wanted so much to change things in Albany, but it didn’t work out the way he planned. He couldn’t meet the expectations of the public or the expectations he set for himself. They said he was pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough, that he was Mr. Softee and a steamroller. He felt damned if he did and damned if he didn’t at every turn.”
In such circumstances, without the ability to adjust or relax, “it’s only a matter of time before you self-destruct,” the aide said. “Ironically, he knew full well that he was being watched. He even talked about it. He said: â€˜If we ever stumble, they’ll be merciless.’ Those were his words.”
The walk down the hallway over, Mr. Spitzer cried, one of the aides said.
“I couldn’t look,” the aide said.
Also over the weekend, The New York Post talks Spizer as sex addict. The Moderate Voice has a good primer on addictive personalities, especially sex addiction, with a podcast and links to other resources.
YouTube videos in High Quality
I thought I noticed something. It happened on March 14:
You may have noticed that we’re now giving you the option of watching some YouTube videos in higher quality. We’re making these streams available on certain videos, based upon the source file uploaded to us, and over time you’ll find a greater percentage of the library is available to view in higher quality. This feature applies to all eligible videos uploaded from the YouTube community, and is not restricted to partner content, so everyone can enjoy this upgrade.
How do you watch higher quality videos? On your Account page you’re now able to choose “always show me higher quality when available” or “never show me higher quality.” We suggest you select “always show me...” only if you have a fast internet connection, otherwise you might find that videos don’t play as quickly or smoothly as you’re used to. Higher quality videos also have a link right below the video player which will allow you to select between the normal or higher quality settings.
We want to help everyone understand that YouTube will continue to evolve with the videos you’re creating. We’re especially excited about offering this upgrade in video quality to our community of filmmakers and animators, who have been requesting this feature for some time. As more of you guys produce great-looking videos, we want to make sure they can be seen in all their glory. So we’ll continue to increase quality behind the scenes and make tweaks to support your uploads. (Remember, we can now support uploads up to 1GB in size.)