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New York actor and model uses gay inequality to dodge jury duty

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  1. Good one!
    Can’t believe no one else has thought of using that excuse so far.
    Maybe now the government will have to try and change this this century by making us equal.

    1. A government (which is a private corporation) cannot make a human being equal.

      Our equality stems from our humanity, not from the government. The government has no interest in your humanity.

      1. “A government (which is a private corporation)…”

        WHAT!!?? What planet are you from?
        Last time I looked, we voted for our government.

        1. Spanner,

          I may be wrong but I suspect that is from planet ‘freeman on the land’. Freeman etc is an elaborate political conspiracy theory which believes that the government is a private corporation and that laws only apply to you if you personally consent to them. It is, of course, utter bollocks. It’d be funny if people weren’t getting themselves banged up by acting in front of policemen/judges as though it were true.

  2. I agree with the guy. At the same time though I wouldn’t
    want to miss out on jury service because it’s interesting
    (and obviously very serious). All in all though I would
    have done the same as him.

  3. Brilliant. Let’s all do it.

  4. Great story, and an inspiring young man.

    1. Using the word “Dodge” in relation to Jury Duty is offensive and goes against the message of this individual. A good story, but reported with bias.

      1. I totally agree.
        He wasn’t dodging, he made a poignant, conscientious objection.

  5. Kudos. This guy needs a good firm handshake. He embodies the whole stonewall spirit. Well done him.

  6. Skipping out on jury duty is not the impressive, I’ve seen more clever and ingenious ways that people use to get out of it which more interesting.

    Most likely the guy just wanted to be excused as he has other things to do and while at the same time try to impress other gays. Heck he might have made the whole thing up for all I know.

    And lastly, no we are not second class citizens just because the USA corporation refuses to incorporate our marriages. Those who think that way are giving too much power to the government and have assumed citizenship with the USA corporation. I am not a citizen of the USA corporation, I am a citizen of the US Republic, born with natural rights.

    1. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2011, 8:13am

      Yawn… Good luck with that!

    2. de Villiers 11 Mar 2011, 9:26am

      There are natural laws but no natural rights.

    3. How about you try convincing those American members of the LGBT community who can be or have been fired from their jobs because of who they are? There are currently 19 states with NO LGBT employment protection laws.

      There are also 19 state (though not all the same states) which do not consider crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity to be hate crimes.

      5 states outright ban gay adoption.

      39 states ban gay marriage either by statute or state constitution, including 20 which also ban other kinds of same-sex unions.

    4. You may have “natural” rights but they don’t equal human rights.
      Good luck defending your so called “natural” rights in court.

    5. he is a friend of mine and he was by no means dodging….he had a gut feeling and wanted to act accordingly. You’d think other gay people would be quicker to support an activist instead of strengthening the stereotype that we are all judgy bitches. Take a deep breath and give kudos where they are due. Especially when it is a fellow gay male trying to empower us all.

  7. Steve Sampson 11 Mar 2011, 12:20am

    I have twice served on a jury. I live in Michigan which does not allow same-gender marriage. If I am again called to serve on a jurt I will decline because of the same reason. A stand must be taken.

  8. I’m in Australia and will use the same excuse. This could be a world-wide phenomenon. Great pro-active idea!

    1. FeministSmithie 11 Mar 2011, 6:55pm

      Excellent idea: a worldwide gaycott on public duties until we receive our rights!

  9. Love this story, good for him.

  10. In Australia some of the politicians are saying that we can’t have marriage equality becuase they the MPs “simply recognises marriage as one of the bedrock institutions of society, which is the basis for forming families and which is underpinned by tradition”

    I guess if we’re not part of the bedrock of society then why should we be called upon for jury serivce…stuff them!

  11. The laws in America are almost akin to the apartheid way of thinking one law for Them and on law for Us: shameful

  12. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2011, 8:11am

    Good call!

    Totally support this and hope more do it, wherever they are in the world.

  13. Fair play to the young fella. Food for thought for the New York authorities.

  14. Not just a pretty face then. Rare gift of common sense. Very useful. Great job Jonathan.

  15. de Villiers 11 Mar 2011, 9:28am

    This seems a bit isolationist – almost a bit like the American authoress Ayn Rand where people go on strike and disappear from society.

    I would have thought that gay people serving on juries, being in public life, demonstrating that we should all have equality under the law would move public attitudes more than withdrawal.

    1. MrSebereena 11 Mar 2011, 3:22pm

      But if no one takes any stand, and just lets the status quo roll on, how are things ever going to change? Do you seriously think that the suffragette movement would have been successful without their aggressive stance? Or apartheid repealed with a leaflet drop (I appreciate there is still a massive push needed there to keep the equality ball rolling)?

      It is unfortunate that people rest on their laurels, thinking: ‘Oh, it’s alright. The right-thinking people will get it changed, it just takes time…’. There is a massive wealth of evidence to kill that theory stone-dead.

      I know it’s only a small thing the model has done, but it is a very very good thing – it gets people thinking, people who wouldn’t have thought that way before. Instead of showing people we can be equal, we need to show people how we are not equal. It highlights it.

      1. de Villiers 11 Mar 2011, 3:47pm

        The Suffragettes at no time refused to take part in public life on the basis of being women. Quite the opposite.

        1. FeministSmithie 11 Mar 2011, 6:52pm

          Please remember that ‘suffragette’ was the derisive (as diminutive) term for ‘suffragists’ (what they called themselves).

          1. Now more commonly referred to as “Wimmin”. ;)

  16. Brave and principled young man (and gorgeous too!).
    Pepa – there are no ‘natural rights’ in any practical sense if you live in a polity which does not recognise or permit the exercise of them. And it makes no sense for such polity to expect people to sit in judgement of their peers when most of the subjects of said judgement are not in fact their peers. Real equality under the law is the only remedy for that.

  17. Well done that man! Hopefully it made the rest of the jury think a little as well. Sometimes uncomfortable and unfair situations are just swept under the carpet if it doesn’t directly affect us/them.

  18. Dan Filson 11 Mar 2011, 9:55am

    A note of dissent. Yes it’s good he made his point – every soapbox can serve its purpose – but the judge let him off his civic duty, in my humble opinion, too readily.

    Our friend also got himself a shed load of free publicity which I am sure will do his career as a model no harm at all. I’m just an old cynic.

    1. Mmm, well I think you are a *bit* of an old cynic – dodging jury service and then mentioning it on Facebook is not a tried-and-tested route to international media attention (which I’m sure had a lot to do with his all-round gorgeousness…)

      I think he gave a very honest account of how it happened and I sympathise with what he did. Still, I think if we all did it, it ultimately plays into the hands of the opposition – and would mean that every time a gay person appeared in front of a jury it would be a guaranteed heterosexual bunch (yes, very, very hypothetical…)

  19. Pepe, you’re in denial. Barring gay couples from marrying most certainly is discrimination and denying them the rights that come with marriage does relegate us to second class citizenship be we American, British or any other nationality. In a true democracy rights are expanded, not contracted. Targeting one specific group of people to exclude from the majority who have all the rights, benefits and privileges of marriage is nothing more than pure discrimination. Religion does not own civil marriage as long as national and state governments issue marriage licences and certificates.

  20. I’ve just finished a day in Court watching a homophobic bigot get his just desserts for threatening my Partner and I for the heinous crime of holding hands in public.

    If called, I would still do Jury Service. Having spent a day in Court watching the machinations of the judicial system first hand it has opened my eyes to how and why people seem to get a particularly harsh/light sentence. It is not something I would duck out of.

    Yes, I am a ‘second class’ citizen in the eyes of many, but unless I am willing to stand up and be counted, that is all I will ever be. I’m not going to sit at the back of the bus.

  21. great love it. really honest brave courageous

  22. I guess I’m going to have to be one of the lone voices against this particular show.

    This guy was incorrect on one of his assumptions, in New York State, gay couples CAN adopt children. His other statement is also only technically correct. New York State may not perform marriages between members of the same sex. However, New York State DOES recognize those marriages. If this guy wants to get married he can go to Massachusetts where they no longer have any residency requirements, or to Canada. If they wanted to go somewhere more exotic, maybe Washington DC or Mexico?

    This guy has brought attention to the issue, but it seems more self-serving than a political act to me.

  23. Did anyone else notice he is an actor/model? Could it have been a statement to attract publicity? True or not seems fishy

    1. Does it matter? Actors, mps, gay activists etc all do it…it give them personal attention as well as publicity to a causee…perhpas if he wasn’t a good looking actor then there might have been no publicty at all and that would have been a total waste of time for everyone!

  24. To everyone giving Lovitz kudos, imagine if you were the one on trial. Wouldn’t you want someone like Lovitz in the jury, someone smart and not eager to convict simply for the sake of siding with the government? If you’re really passionate about justice and equality, don’t shirk your jury duty.

  25. Proud Gay Canadian 12 Mar 2011, 11:53am

    My total and unabashed admiration goes out to this young American !! Judge and criticize all you want, he did well !!!


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