Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Author of, Woman this is WAR!, Petitions Legislative Delegation to Ratify ERA

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2011
CONTACT: Jocelyn Andersen (863)206-8639

   On Tuesday, Jocelyn Andersen, Author of, Woman this is WAR!, petitioned the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Florida. Following is a transcript of her two minute speech:

   I am here on behalf of the Equal Rights Alliance supporting the Equal Rights Amendment. Only three states are needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and Florida should be one of them.
   Women are guaranteed only one right under the United States Constitution, and that is the right to vote. This should be unacceptable to all Americans.
   The 14th Amendment is often cited as giving women equal rights. It does not. It does not mention women at all but does specify that only men can vote. It is rather antiquated has been suggested that it be repealed.  
   American women enjoy many privileges today, but they are just that, privileges—not rights. Privileges are easily revoked while rights, on the other hand, are not.
   American Women are forced to accept revocable privileges in exchange for rights because we do not enjoy the same level of protection under the United States Constitution that American men do.
   Barry Goldstein stated in his Times article that 40 states have determined that gender bias against mothers exists in their family court systems. We need an Equal Rights Amendment to stop this discrimination against women and their children in our family court systems.
   Florida Senate Committees have overwhelmingly passed the Equal Rights Amendment, but it is my understanding that the House has never granted even one hearing or vote. I am asking you to support this by granting hearings and by voting to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the state of Florida.
   America is just three states away from ratifying an amendment that would guarantee Constitutional equality for all of its citizens, not just its male citizens.

Jocelyn Andersen is the author of "Woman This Is WAR! Gender, Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System," co-founder of the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition and Central Florida director for the national organization Equal Rights Alliance. She is available for comment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Could Judge Peter McBrien Have Prevented Madeline's Murder?

Controversial Judge at the Center of A Tragic Death: Citizens Protest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2011
CONTACT: Anne Hart 916-715-5243

Sacramento, CA - On Thursday, September 22, 2011, community members will hold a protest from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Sacramento Superior Court, 720 9th Street, Sacramentoregarding the abject failure of Sacramento family court to protect children in custody disputes. The protest will begin on the corner of 9th and H Streets.

One judge, Sacramento Family Court Judge Peter McBrien, has been a focus of community scrutiny for over a decade for his lack of judgment and destructive decisions. He destroyed ancient oak trees on a nature preserve to obtain a better view from his home which earned him the moniker of "Chainsaw" and resulted in a felony charge that he pled down to a misdemeanor. Additionally, he received a public reprimand from the Commission on Judicial Performance. He then became personally embroiled in the divorce case of Ulf Carlsson, and went far out of his way to destroy Mr. Carlsson by ensuring he was fired from his job. Judge McBrien committed numerous ethical violations along the way and earned another reprimand. Battered mothers report that he consistently places children with substantiated molesters, batterers, violent alcoholics, and drug addicts. Now, Judge McBrien failed to protect a toddler, who was then murdered.

After a statewide AMBER Alert, two-year-old Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay was found near Placerville, CA in her father's vehicle. She and her father Mourad Samaan were both dead.

Samaan had a pattern of not returning his daughter Madeline from visits and had told her mother that he was taking the child to Oregon against the court order. Prior to the toddler's death, Judge McBrien had refused to grant an ex parte request by Madeline's mother to order law enforcement to locate the father and child, and to place Samaan on supervised visits. Judge McBrien had a perfect opportunity to prevent this tragedy, but refused to assist the mother Marcia Fay, a California Deputy Attorney General, in locating and protecting her child.

California judges have a pattern of not believing women and children, and are trained to minimize concerns of mothers, according to Judge DeAnn Salcide (Ret), founder of Judicial Action Watch Society.

The United States has a pattern of not protecting women and children. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has sharply rebuked the United States for failing to protect women and children in the Gonzalez v. United States decision in August 2011, stating that the U.S. practices discrimination and violation of the right to equality.

We can begin changing these destructive patterns by demanding that Judge McBrien be removed from family court and from any position that gives him authority over vulnerable children.