The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Developments in Prop. 8 and Komen

Earlier today, Komen's head of public policy, Karen Handel, resigned from the organization, mischaracterizing her opponents as having mischaracterized her:

Karen Handel, the charity's vice president for public policy, told Komen officials that she supported the move to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. She said the discussion started before she arrived at the organization and was approved at the highest levels of the charity.

"I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it," Handel said in her letter. "I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen's future and the women we serve."

A source with direct knowledge of decision-making at Komen's headquarters in Dallas said the grant-making criteria were adopted with the deliberate intention of targeting Planned Parenthood. The criteria's impact on Planned Parenthood and its status as the focus of government investigations were highlighted in a memo distributed to Komen affiliates in December.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, a driving force behind the move was Handel, who was hired by Komen last year as vice president for public policy after losing a campaign for governor in Georgia in which she stressed her anti-abortion views and frequently denounced Planned Parenthood.

Shorter version: Karen Handel is lying. But so are other people at Komen, who either can't see, don't understand, or don't care about the damage they've done to the organization by bringing naked politics into it. Then again, criticisms of Komen's politics and methods go back many, many years; their troubles this week may be less "implosion" and more "straw on the camel's back."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Writing for the court, Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt said,

Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.... The Constitution simply does not allow for "laws of this sort."

More analysis later. For now, lots of people are wondering whether the law remains in force pending appeal, whether the Supreme Court will hear the case, and whether the bigots in California will lose now or in five years.

Comments are closed