Friday, September 19, 2014

VIRGINIA: House Approves Resolution To Defend Marriage Ban With Own Lawyers

The Virginia House of Delegates yesterday approved a resolution co-authored by loony tunes Rep. Bob Marshall that authorizes the chamber to defend the state's same-sex marriage ban with its own lawyers. Attorney General Mark Herring has refused to the defend the ban and Virginia is among the states due to have its ban reviewed by the Supreme Court at the end of the month.
HR 566 started as a move to allow the branch to hire a lawyer to “represent the House of Delegates to halt any attempt by the Governor to expand the Medicaid program without the explicit approval of the General Assembly.” But in language added in a reprinting of the bill today, a clause was added which would allow the republican dominated house to hire private council to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Specifically, it would allow the Speaker of the House, William J. Howell R-53 to hire counsel to represent the legislative body in state courts and gain the power to remove the AG for his “improper role in challenging Virginia’s marriage laws.” The employed counsel would then be able to “represent the position of the Commonwealth in pending litigation involving the challenge to the constitutionality of Virginia’s marriage laws”
The histrionic resolution contains 19 "whereas" citations.

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG:  In February, Marshall filed an amendment that would grant Virginia state legislators the right to claiming standing in marriage lawsuits. In September 2013, Marshall petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn Virginia's legalization of sodomy. In May 2012, Marshall attempted to block the appointment of an openly gay state judge because the nominee has "an illegal husband." In 2011 Del. Bob Marshall claimed it is a felony for a state office to fly the rainbow flag. Marshall has also called on Virginia to issue its own currency, and has claimed that God punishes women who have abortions by giving them deformed children. After the DADT repeal bill passed, Marshall tried to have gays banned from the Virginia National Guard.

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New Yorkers Line up For iPhone 6

ABC News reports on Twitter that iPhone 6 lines are blocks long at all five Manhattan Apple stores this morning.  Above is the four block-long line at Meatpacking District store, where fans have been camped out for days. Industry watchers estimate that as many as ten million phones will have been sold by Sunday. The first retail sale was made in Australia, but the eager customer's triumphant on-camera unboxing didn't turn out so great. 

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Feds: Married Gays Are Now "Families"

Via the Charlotte Observer:
New census data released Thursday made a simple but substantial change in categorizing same-sex married couples: They now are considered families. In prior years, the U.S. Census Bureau counted such couples as “unmarried partners,” even if they were legally married. But now, starting with the new annual American Community Survey, they are in among the family totals. That picture includes nearly 56 million married-couple households in the nation last year, according to the new estimates. Same-sex couples accounted for a sliver of that total, some 251,695 homes. Same-sex couples who live together but are not married are still counted as “unmarried partners,” the same designation for unmarried opposite-sex couples. The Census Bureau has counted same-sex couples since 1990. The change in handling same-sex married couples followed the June 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, said Rose Kreider, chief of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. Gay married couples in states where that practice is legal must receive the same federal benefits that other married couples receive, the court ruled.
The annual version of the census surveys about 3.5 million households.

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ISRAEL: At Jerusalem Pride 2014

Gay Star News reports:
Hundreds of people marched through the Israeli capital yesterday night for Jerusalem Pride despite two delays due to the war in Gaza. Different media reports said 500-2,000 people took part in the 13th edition of the event, although numbers were down on previous years when several thousand people attended. The event is usually held in July but had to be postponed twice because of fighting in the Gaza strip. A large police force escorted the marchers because previous events have been protested by ultra-Orthodox groups, but there were no incidents this year. Jerusalem Pride is smaller and more political than the more exuberant event in Tel Aviv, which was attended by more than 100,000 people in June. Noa Luzzati, an 18-year-old lesbian from the city of Modi’in, told the Jerusalem Post, 'Here people don’t accept gay people as they do in Tel Aviv. 'One of the reasons is that the government is based here and many of the religious people are homophobic. So I don’t feel safe here.'

RELATED: In 2011 and 2012 ultra-Orthodox protesters paraded donkeys near the Jerusalem Pride parade route to denounce the "bestiality" of the event. In earlier years ultra-Orthodox rabbis placed a curse on the parade, calling for its participants to feel "heavenly judgment."

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Streaming: New Holly Johnson Album

The first new album in 15 years from former Frankie Goes To Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson is streaming in full today at the Guardian. I'm really digging it. Ordering details and tour info is here.

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HRC Puts Porno Pete On Notice

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How Does A Pirate Get To Work?

You know what today is.

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BRITAIN: Cameron Promises Devolved Powers For All Nations In United Kingdom

During his triumphant speech early this morning, British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed that "just as the people of Scotland will have more power over their affairs, so it follows that the people of England, Wales, Northern Ireland must have a bigger say over theirs." He continued, "The question of English votes for English laws - the so-called West Lothian question - requires a decisive answer. So just as Scotland will vote separately on their issues of tax, spending and welfare, so too England as well as Wales and Northern Ireland should be able to vote on these issues." Some have worried that the government will be pushed further right without liberal Scottish votes in Parliament.

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Today's Front Pages In Britain

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Final FRC Hate Summit Roster

After yesterday's addition of Sarah Palin, the Family Research Council dropped about a dozen crackpots and deleted their "invited but unconfirmed" names from its Values Voters Summit speakers roster. In addition to the confirmed fuckweasels above, Maggie Gallagher will lead a panel titled "Moral Decline Causes Big Government." Mat Staver will sit on a panel titled "The Assault On Constitutional Rights In A Nanny State." NOM's evil triad of Brian Brown, Frank Schubert, and John Eastman will have a panel all to themselves: "The Future Of Marriage: To The Supreme Court & Beyond."

Frothy Mix, interestingly, will Skype in from Pluto (or wherever his flying saucer may be) to lead a panel on "Reclaiming Blue Collar Conservatives." Heritage Foundation anti-gay wonk Ryan T. Anderson will lead a panel about the "tough questions" on "marriage and religious liberty." (Expect lots of cake talk!)  The most entertaining trio of crackpots promises to be World Net Daily founder Joseph Farah, Janet "Loony Tunes" Porter, and Pastor Rick Scarborough - who will hopefully discuss that class action suit against homosexuality when they talk about "Standing Up To The Assaults On Our Faith"

The list of exhibitors at the Values Voters Summit includes just about every anti-gay and "ex-gay" hate group you've ever heard of, including the World Congress of Families and the Red-Caped Catholic Loons, who presumably will provide the usual bagpipe accompaniment to their Hitler Youthian rants. The NRA will be there to demonstrate proper Uzi usage for grade-schoolers and the Association of Mature American Citizens will be handing out materials denouncing those homofascist commies at the AARP. See the whole list here.

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Jennifer Lopez - Booty

With this track, Nicki Minaj's Anaconda, and half of the other songs on the radio right now, Billboard could launch a chart just for songs about big asses. Butt, what would it be called? At least this video has some mildly lesbionic moments.

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RNC Launches 2016 Straw Poll

The Republican National Committee has launched an online 2016 presidential straw poll in which one can vote for three candidates IF contact details are also provided. Among the 32 choices in the GOP clown car: Sarah Palin, Allen West, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Frothy Mix, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul.

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Senate Approves Arming Syrian Rebels

Via the Associated Press:
In the heat of an election campaign, Congress cleared the way for the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic State militants Thursday night, reluctant ratification of a new strategy that President Barack Obama outlined scarcely a week ago. The 78-22 Senate vote sent Obama legislation that also provides funding for the government after the end of the budget year on Sept. 30, eliminating any threat of a shutdown. The House approved the bill on Wednesday. In an appearance at the White House soon after the vote, Obama said he was pleased that a majority of both Republicans and Democrats had supported the legislation. "I believe we're strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together," he said. Noting the killing of two Americans by the Islamic State group, he said that "as Americans we do not give in to fear" and would not be put off by such brutal tactics. In the Senate, 44 Democrats, 33 Republicans and one independent voted for the bill, while nine Democrats, 12 Republicans and one independent opposed it. The issue created new fault lines for this fall's elections for control of the Senate as well as the 2016 race for the White House.
How long until those weapons are used against us?

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Archbishop Of Philadelphia: Don't Beat Up Gays Even If You Disagree With Them

"A key part of a Catholic education is forming students to respect the dignity of every human person whether we agree with them or not. What students do with that formation when they enter the adult world determines their own maturity and dignity, or their lack of it. Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian. A recent beating incident in Center City allegedly involved, in some way, a part-time coach at Archbishop Wood High School. After inquiries by school leadership, the coach was contacted regarding the matter and he resigned. Archbishop Wood's handling of the matter was appropriate, and I support their efforts to ensure that Catholic convictions guide the behavior of their whole school community, including their staff."- Archbishop Charles Chaput, in a statement issued last night.

RELATED: Last year Archbishop Chaput ordered all five of his districts to organize buses to transport parishioners to NOM's hate march in Washington DC. He did the same thing this year. Chaput had a terrible case of the sadz when Pennsylvania legalized same-sex marriage.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Open Thread: Scotland Poll Results
UPDATE: BBC Calls It, "The UK Survives"

The polls have closed in Scotland and the votes are being tabulated. Since there was no exit polling, all eyes are on the 32 Scottish councils as they report their results. The first reports are expected at around 9PM Eastern time and we should know if the world has a new independent country about five hours later. The Guardian will be updating the returns at the above link.

UPDATE: Glasgow voted YES for independence, but the margin was smaller than expected. Once Glasgow reported, the BBC immediately called it. "There will be no independent Scotland."

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Bryan Fischer Has The Air Force Sadz

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Annie Lennox - I Put A Spell On You

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COLORADO: Tenth Circuit Holds Marriage Equality Case Until SCOTUS Rules

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals today put Colorado's marriage equality case on hold until the Supreme Court rules on the issue.
This appeal is abated pending further order of this court. The deadline for the appellant’s opening brief will be established when the abatement of this appeal is lifted. The parties shall notify this court within 10 days of a decision on the petitions for writ of certiorari pending before the Supreme Court of the United States in Kitchen v. Herbert, Supreme Court No. 14-124, and Bishop v. Smith, Supreme Court No. 14-136. It is further ordered that the parties shall file status reports 30 days from the date of this order if no decision on the pending writs has been issued by that time.
Gay means stay. Always. (Via Equality Case Files)

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Todd Starnes: Schools Fight Abstinence Programs To Protect The Profits They
Earn From Giving Out Free Condoms

Brian Tashman writes at Right Wing Watch:
Starnes told host Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, that he suspected that school officials were worried that the student’s t-shirt would persuade so many students to become abstinent that they would lose out on the profits they apparently earn through distributing “free condoms.” Sadly, Starnes never bothered to explain exactly how students being convinced to remain abstinent would undermine the school's ability to profit from providing free condoms.

RELATED: After seeing about a dozen anti-Starnes tweets on a certain theme, I came across the meme that spawned those tweets. There's even a caption generator for the meme.

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Liberty Counsel: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Must Recuse Herself From Marriage Cases

Earlier this week Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that until federal appeals courts disagree on same-sex marriage, there's no need for SCOTUS to "rush" to hear one of the cases. Ginsburg then observed that an anti-gay ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court would likely speed the issue. Today the Liberty Counsel called on Ginsburg to recuse herself from any of those cases.
“In casting a vote publicly before the case is even heard, Justice Ginsburg has violated the Judicial Code of Conduct,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is now her duty to recuse herself from cases involving same-sex marriage.” According to Canon 2 of the Judicial Code of Conduct, “A judicial employee should not lend the prestige of the office to advance or to appear to advance the private interests of others.” Canon 3(D) declares, “A judicial employee should avoid making public comment on the merits of a pending or impending action."  "Justice Ginsburg’s comments implied that the merits of the state constitutional amendments defining marriage as one man and one woman were such that the Supreme Court would have to overturn them with haste, if upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Staver. “This is an inappropriate comment for any judicial employee, much less a Supreme Court Justice!”
Liberty Counsel has been on an unbroken losing streak regarding LGBT issues for at least a year. Don't expect this latest nonsense to get any traction.

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Quote Of The Day - PA Rep. Brian Sims

"One of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes it takes a horribly negative experience to get people out of their seats, for them to be active and engaged. It’s not necessarily because they’re opposed but because they aren’t aware of the need. So we are going to be sure to utilize this horrible event to make sure that they hear about it. I’m going to be bringing two people with me who will be able to tell them all about it." - Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, vowing to take the Philadelphia gay-bashing victims with him to the state capitol to spur attention to the pending bill that would re-add sexual orientation and gender identity to state hate crime laws. Sims represents the Center City area where the attack took place. (Tipped by JMG reader Edward)

RELATED: A petition was launched this morning which urges Pennsylvania legislators to vote for the bill.

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Philly City Councilman Calls For DOJ To File Hate Crime Charges In Mob Attack

Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney today called upon the federal government to investigate last week's mob gay-bashing as a hate crime as there are no such laws in the state of Pennsylvania.
Kenney called the incident "a violent and vicious attack on two human beings because they are gay." "It's a crime of violent bias that calls for the full weight of federal prosecution by the United States Department of Justice," he wrote in a statement. No arrests have been made in the case, although police were talking to several persons of interest Wednesday night. Investigators plan to interview more of the people in the video Thursday, said one law enforcement source involved in the case. The investigation, the source said, could stretch into the weekend. "We are continuing our interviews, trying to be as thorough as possible on exactly what took place," the source said. "We are trying to find out who participated in the actual attack and who stood by, and who was merely a witness."
Details on why Pennsylvania has no such laws are here.

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Linda Harvey: Gay Rights Cause Abortion

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Barney Frank: Pot Will Be Legalized

"Former US House Representative Barney Frank argues that the ignorance underlying resistance to same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization is similar. In both cases, he says, reality will overcome prejudice and ultimately be adopted as the law of the land."

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Ann Coulter: I Want To Drown Libertarians

"The biggest current danger for Republicans is that idiots will vote for Libertarian candidates in do-or-die Senate elections, including Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Colorado. Democratic candidates don't have to put up with this crap -- they're even trying to dump the official Democrat in Kansas to give the stealth Democrat a better shot. When we're all dying from lack of health care across the United States of Mexico, we'll be deeply impressed with your integrity, libertarians. If you are considering voting for the Libertarian candidate in any Senate election, please send me your name and address so I can track you down and drown you." - Ann Coulter, in a column that includes multiple demands for donations to the Senate campaign of Scott Brown.

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Palin Joins FRC Hate Summit Roster

Christian hero Sarah Palin, seen above this week flipping the bird to paparazzi as she exited a yoga class sans make-up and sans wedding ring, was today announced as a headliner at next weekend's Family Research Council Values Voter Summit. Tony Perkins is thrilled:
"We are pleased to announce that Governor Sarah Palin has been confirmed to appear at this year's Values Voter Summit. Governor Palin has always been a steadfast supporter of natural marriage and every human's right to life. She not only 'talks the talk' but also walks by her convictions. We are proud to stand with the Governor and are honored to have her presence, for the first time, at the Values Voter Summit," concluded Perkins. The ninth annual Values Voter Summit will be held from September 26-28 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. FRC Action's Values Voter Summit is cosponsored by AFA Action, American Values, Liberty Institute, Liberty Counsel, Liberty Counsel Action, and Family Research Council. The Values Voter Summit annually draws thousands of social conservatives from across the country. An exhibit hall, book signings, radio row, new media row, and much more will be packed into this three-day conference.
Other speakers include Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Erick Erickson, the Benham brothers, and all 83 Duggars.

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PHILADELPHIA: Lawyers For Mob Say Gay-Bashing Victims Started Fight

Via Penn Live:
NBC10 in Philadelphia reports that defense attorneys who represent some of the suspects claim one of the beating victims threw the first punch. In addition, those defense attorneys tell NBC10 more video exists that will paint a different picture of what happened. All this differs with the account of witnesses, the victims and police, who insist that the group of twenty-something males asked the two male victims if they were a couple. When the gay men told them they were, the group allegedly attacked the couple while screaming homophobic slurs at them, NBC10 reports. Members of the group allegedly punched and kicked the 27- and 28-year-old victims in the face, head and chest, while others stood by and watched, according to NBC10.
There will be no hate crime charges in the case thanks to a 2008 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in a lawsuit brought by the anti-gay hate group Repent America. Via Philly Mag:
Given the reports that there were gay slurs used during the attack, we and others have been reporting this as a possible hate crime. Even the Philadelphia Police Department used the term “hate crime” in an early bulletin. But it turns out that the gay bashing was not a hate crime at all, at least not in Pennsylvania. In 2002, sexual orientation and gender identity were added to the Pennsylvania Constitution as protected classes under the state’s ethnic intimidation law, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court deemed that addition unconstitutional in 2008 after extreme-right Philly-based activist Michael Marcavage of Repent America filed suit against then-Governor Ed Rendell and others. These days, the law includes "malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin," but there's no coverage if you are attacked for being gay. And even though the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office states in its online FAQ that a "hate crime has been committed" when an attack is because of "a victim's real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity," the District Attorney has now confirmed that this attack is not, in fact, a hate crime, at least not legally speaking.
RELATED: In 2004 Michael Marcavage and other members of Repent America were arrested in Philadelphia and charged with hate crimes after crashing the OutFest pride festival. The charges were immediately dismissed as "having no merit" but the so-called Philadelphia 11 then filed the lawsuit which resulted in the overturn of Pennsylvania's hate crimes statute. Marcavage has been arrested other times for similar actions.

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Scott Lively: The Human Rights Campaign Has Targeted Me To Be Murdered

"The so-called Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has taken a page from the left wing hate group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and published a new report called 'The Export of Hate.' A’ la SPLC, this publication is nothing less than an enemies list designed to help people like 'gay' activist Floyd Lee Corkins identify their assassination targets. I have special cause for concern in this matter because I am listed by HRC as Target #1. Not every 'gay' activist is physically violent, thankfully. Most limit their 'human rights advocacy' to harassment, intimidation and slander. But make no mistake, if they thought they could get away will killing every person on the HRC and SPLC hit lists, they would do it. They smolder with malicious hatred against anyone who stands in their way.

"I believe they are now deliberately trying to incite murder against me and every other person on their enemies list. That might have sounded a bit paranoid in years past, but post-Corkins it is just cold hard fact that some 'gay' activists are incited to murder by inflammatory leftist rhetoric. The HRC knows that, and yet their rhetoric in this Exporting Hate publication is MORE inflammatory than the SPLC’s rhetoric the drove Corkins over the edge! Because I am a Bible-believing Christian I am not afraid of death. But neither am I volunteering for martyrdom. As of today I am for the first time going to start taking precautions against the possibility of being assassinated by agents of the LGBT movement. For one thing, I will no longer publicize my travel schedule in advance. And I am demanding a retraction and public apology from both HRC and SPLC. To both of them I insist: STOP INCITING HATE BEFORE YOU GET PEOPLE KILLED!!!!!" - Scott Lively, who has incited violent hatred in Uganda, writing for BarbWire.

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Seen In Queens

My buddy Tom came across this sign in Jackson Heights.

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Today's Front Pages In Great Britain

More here. (Tipped by JMG reader Kyle)

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72 Years In Love

The lesbian couple who married in Iowa last week after 72 years together have told their life story. It begins:
Vivian was a farm girl near Creston. Nonie a farm girl near Yale. Vivian was an indoor girl, spending hours "teaching my dolls," practice for her dream of becoming a teacher. Nonie was an outside girl, helping on the farm and playing basketball, such a rough-and-tumble guard that she once broke a rib during a game. Neither considered romance much back then. Vivian caught the interest of a boy once who became a friend but she cut that short by telling a schoolmate: "I wouldn't go with him to a dogfight." Then Nonie saw Vivian from afar one day, and it changed everything. Both were attending Iowa State Teachers College (now known as the University of Northern Iowa) in 1942.

"I could tell you exactly what she had on," Nonie said. "A gray dress with black velvet trim and big pearl buttons." That was it. They never spoke. But after Nonie dropped out of school and returned to Yale to work, she heard the school in town needed a new teacher. "I prayed that night that she would come to Yale," Nonie said. By chance, Vivian saw the job there and got it. She soon met Nonie, who asked her to a movie. Nonie had to work that night but told Vivian to go to the show, and she would join her later. "She was already bossing me around," teased Vivian, the soft-spoken one in the relationship. "But I had a new friend."
Hit the link for a video interview and the rest of their story.

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Facebook Won't Budge On Drag Names

Despite meeting yesterday with several Bay Area drag personalities, Facebook is sticking by its "real name" requirement. Tony Meverick reports at Buzzfeed:
Activists said they remain angry with Facebook after leaving the hour-long meeting with only little progress, as the company refused to budge on changing its long-held policy requiring users to show their legal names on their personal profiles. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Facebook spokesperson Andrew Souvall said that despite the discussion with activists, the company will continue to emphasize the importance of requiring all users to display their “real names.” “We had a good discussion with the group about their perspectives on our real name standard, and we stressed how the standard helps prevent bad behavior, while creating a safer and more accountable environment,” Souvall said in the statement. In recent days, activists have publicly challenged the policy, saying that it severely impacts people in the LGBT community who for one reason or another, choose not to use their given names. Drag queens said they were negatively impacted by the policy because using their legal names could isolate them on social media, seeing as they are widely known in their communities by their stage names or chosen names.
At the meeting Facebook admitted that the drag accounts were deleted after complaints. Previously it had been claimed that the accounts were only found after changes to a Facebook algorithm. For now, Facebook has reinstated the drag accounts for two weeks to give users time to decide about changing to their legal names.

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CDC Launches New HIV PSA Campaign

The Centers For Disease Control has launched a new PSA series titled "HIV Treatment Works."
More than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. This campaign features people from across the United States who are living with HIV talking about how sticking with care and treatment helps them stay healthy, protect others, and live longer, healthier lives. This campaign shows how people living with HIV have overcome barriers to get in care and stay on treatment. On this website, you will find information encouraging people living with HIV to get in care and stay on treatment, as well as resources on how to live well.
More videos in the series are at the link.

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SF Supervisor: I'm On Truvada

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener has become the first elected official to publicly disclose that he is taking Truvada as a daily HIV preventive. Josh Barro reports at the New York Times:
“A much larger segment of gay men should be taking a close look at PrEP,” Mr. Wiener, who represents the same Castro-based district once held by Harvey Milk, said in an interview on Wednesday. “I hope that my being public about my use of PrEP can help people take a second look at it.” According to data from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, there were 359 new H.I.V. infections in the city in 2013, 86 percent of them among men who have sex with men. Authorities including the World Health Organization and San Francisco’s health department say they believe that PrEP is a good strategy to cut new infections among gay men. But PrEP has been slow to catch on. According to data from the city, there were fewer than 1,000 active prescriptions for Truvada as PrEP in San Francisco at the end of 2013.
The Board of Supervisors will hold a meeting today to discuss increasing the number of people taking Truvada.

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Open Thread Thursday

Have you ever been physically gay-bashed?

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PHILADELPHIA: Catholic High School Fires Coach Over Gay-Bashing Attack

One of the suspects in last week's brutal mob gay-bashing of two gay men has been fired by the Philadelphia Catholic high school where he was a basketball coach. Most of the attackers are believed to be former classmates at the school. Via NBC Philadelphia:
Police say the man, who has not been officially charged, is a person of interest in last Thursday’s assault on two gay men. Police are in the process of interviewing several persons of interest after they released surveillance video and photos of a group of men and women who may have been involved in the attack. Sources told NBC10 some of the alleged attackers were alumni of Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa. A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia told NBC10 that one of the persons of interest was also the assistant basketball coach at Archbishop Wood. “He was not a teacher at the school but serving as a coach on a contract basis. He was terminated this evening and will not be permitted to coach in any Archdiocesan school,” the spokesperson said. “We expect all those who work with students in our schools to model appropriate Christian behavior at all times.”
The school has released a statement denouncing the attack.
Earlier today, Archbishop Wood High School became aware that some of its former students were allegedly involved in the assault of two men in Center City last week. This afternoon, administrators communicated with the entire Archbishop Wood school community to make it emphatically clear that the school does not, under any circumstances, tolerate or condone the violent and hateful behavior displayed by those who took part in this senseless attack. Administration also stressed that Catholic schools are centers of learning where students are expected to treat each other in a Christ-like manner at all times and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The actions of those who took part in the attack are reprehensible and entirely unacceptable. They are not an accurate reflection of our Catholic values or of Archbishop Wood High School.

(Tipped by JMG reader Str8 Grandmother)

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Air Force Drops "So Help Me God"

After an atheist airman complained that he was denied reenlistment because he refused to say the "so help me God" portion of the oath, the Air Force has dropped that requirement.
Following a review of the policy by the Department of Defense General Counsel, the Air Force will now permit airmen to omit the phrase, should they so choose. That change is effective immediately, according to an Air Force statement. “We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in the statement. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen’s rights are protected. “The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words ‘So help me God’ from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.”
The Air Force was the only military branch with such an oath.

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Scotland Goes To The Polls

Via the BBC:
People in Scotland are voting on whether the country should stay in the UK or become an independent nation. Voters will answer "Yes" or "No" to the referendum question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" With 4,285,323 people - 97% of the electorate - registered to vote, it is expected to be the busiest day in Scottish electoral history. Votes will be cast at 5,579 polling stations until 22:00 on Thursday. The result is expected on Friday morning. Strict rules mean the BBC - in common with other broadcasters - is not allowed to report details of campaigning until after the polls close. Once the polls have closed, ballot papers will be counted in each of Scotland's 32 local authority areas. These will include votes cast from the 789,024 postal vote applications, which was the largest volume of registration for postal votes ever in Scotland. After votes have been tallied, the counting officer in each area will communicate the result to the chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly in Edinburgh. With her approval they will then make a declaration of the result,.

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