How’s That New AP Policy on Attribution Working Out?

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It was interesting to read the Matt Volz’s AP report about the Montana GOP’s continued efforts to make homosexuality illegal today, three months after blogs and the Missoula Independent broke and developed the story.

Given the AP’s penchant for criticizing other news agencies for lifting stories and its new attribution policy, it would seem that attributing the story to other journalists and bloggers would have been appropriate.

In practical terms, I’m glad to see the Montana GOP’s intolerance get wide exposure, but I’d certainly like to see mainstream journalists give credit to others first reporting news.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • Seems to me that the AP missed an important little fact. Twice since the Gryczan ruling, the Montana legislature has tried to repeal the sodomy and perversion statutes from the law. The last time was in 2001. Both times, the effort was derailed by the Montana GOP, and it's representatives to the legislature. So there is no basis for Greenwood's mousy little claim that 'it just hasn't come up to remove the plank from the platform'. Yes it has.

    One other thing that makes me nervous this year is that Nels Swindal is basically running as a GOP/Tea Party candidate for the Montana Supreme Court. Should Swindal get elected, there is little stopping the GOP from making this a 'state's rights' issue, in the same manner that local legislatures throughout the country are attempting to whittle away at Roe v. Wade.

  • @Wulfgar: I don't think we have too much to worry about. In addition to Gryczan, which you mentioned, we have Lawrence v Texas (539 U.S. 558). The holding of the court was that "sodomy laws" (I really hate that term. It's so vulgar and evil.) intrude on the liberty of people engaged in consensual sexual conduct in private, that people engaged in such behavior have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes (although they need not be in their home, just somewhere private). The decision enumerated specific circumstances where such a law could be justified, including (unfortunately) such sexual conduct between minors.

    The key is that the Texas law (and others the same case struck down as a result) was held to violate the substantive Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. My shaky legal understanding is that because it was the DP clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and not the Fourth, that means that decision is incorporated and therefore applies to each of the states.

    So regardless of the outcome of elections (Why the hell do we have elections for MT Supreme Court justices anyway? Tell me that.) for MT Supreme Court, the right of queer folks to engage in consensual sexual conduct in private should not be endangered.

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