HomoQuotable - Josh Barro
Josh Barro, writing for the New York Times.
Josh Barro, writing for the New York Times.
From the National Institutes Of Health:
A laboratory study led by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), lends further weight to the potential effectiveness of passive immunotherapy to suppress HIV in the absence of drug treatment. Passive immunotherapy for HIV is an experimental strategy that involves periodically administering broadly neutralizing HIV-specific antibodies (bNAbs) to control the virus. It would be advantageous to control HIV without antiretroviral drugs because of their cost, the potential for cumulative toxicities from lifelong therapy, and the difficulties some patients have adhering to drug regimens and tolerating certain drugs.Clinical trials are already underway.
Although bNAbs have proven effective at blocking infection by various strains of HIV in the laboratory, their effect on HIV in humans, and particularly on the virus particles that hide in immune cells (called latent viral reservoirs), has been unknown. In this study, NIH scientists obtained HIV from the latent reservoirs of 29 infected people in whom antiretroviral therapy fully inhibited viral replication. In the laboratory, the researchers found that several bNAbs—particularly PGT121, VRC01 and VRC03—effectively blocked HIV from entering the CD4+ T cells obtained from uninfected healthy donors. In addition, the scientists demonstrated in the laboratory that these antibodies could completely block HIV replication in CD4+ T cells obtained from infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy.
Mat Staver, head of the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, getting all foot-stompy for OneNewsNow.
From the Gainesville Sun:
[Attorney General Pam] Bondi has dug in her heels, telling reporters last week she is "just getting started" in defending Florida's ban. Doing so defies common sense and wastes taxpayers dollars as the issue awaits a decisive U.S. Supreme Court ruling. But the good news is that Hinkle's ruling, which was largely stayed pending appeal, takes Bondi out of the equation. The ruling found that Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott are duplicative defendants, allowing the case to instead move forward against the Washington County clerk of courts and two Scott appointees: the surgeon general and secretary of management services. Scott has said he supports "traditional marriage" before more recently dodging questions about the subject. It's time for Scott, Bondi and other state officials to stop spending public money defending a position that both the courts and most of the public no longer supports.This editorial makes an excellent point that was largely missed during last week's ruling hoopla.
Bryan Fischer, writing for the American Family Association, which uses Disqus.
dotHIV, the new initiative that combines digital innovation and the concept and spirit of the Red Ribbon begins today. The Berlin based organization will provide web addresses with the ending .hiv to companies and non-profits in an effort to raise awareness and funds for projects around the world working to prevent the transmission of HIV and end AIDS. “Imagine simply using .HIV as you use .COM. Each time you visit website.HIV, buy a ticket on movies.HIV, or shop at store.HIV, a small donation would reach HIV and AIDS projects,” said Carolin Silbernagl, co-founder of dotHIV and CEO of the TLD dotHIV Registry. The unique, inbuilt micro-donation capability is the main innovation of .hiv domain names. Every time a user clicks on a .hiv website, dotHIV donates 0.1¢ and thus releases funds to help support HIV projects across the globe. These micro-donations do not come at further expense to the user or the website owner. For brands, the easiest way to use a .hiv domain name is to simply redirect visitors from website.hiv to their standard .com homepage. No need to run an extra website, the content remains the same, only now it has a social benefit. This "Digital Red Ribbon" not only helps generate web traffic but shows social responsibility as well as commitment to digital innovation. And it involves the website visitors: Every click on a .hiv domain is doing good.More info here. Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon have already signed on.
Times Of Israel:
For only NIS 80, your little tyke can have that fashion forward fresh from the concentration camp look now on sale at international chain Zara. The children’s 65% cotton, 35% polyester white shirt with dark horizontal stripes sports a fetching yellow Star of David badge on its left breast. It’s called the “sheriff,” and a closer look reveals that the word is indeed lightly etched upon the badge. Jewish organizations took note of the “campy” look. From the Depths, a nonprofit that works to preserve unmarked graves and repurposed gravestones of Jews killed in Poland, posted a condemnation of the chain on Twitter and sent the company a strongly worded letter and subsequently spoke to the management by phone. In the phone conversation, From the Depths head Jonny Daniels was promised that sale of the shirt would end immediately.While the shirt has been pulled, the company's clumsy apology hasn't exactly helped. Here's a translation of what was posted in Hebrew on its site in Israel:
The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word ‘Sheriff’ is visible on the star at the front of the item. Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created. The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated. We sincerely apologize if, as a result, we have offended the feelings of our customers.The above-linked article notes that the Hebrew word for "exterminated" can also mean "destroyed." But that Hebrew word is also "the exact word used to describe the Nazi genocidal practices."
an easy win in yesterday's Democratic gubernatorial primary, taking 73% of the vote against former state Rep. Nan Rich.
Mr. Crist's Florida primary victory didn't come as a surprise. The former governor has largely ignored his Democratic opponent, who ran as the "real Democrat" in the race. Mr. Crist has been criticized for shifting his views since he joined the Democratic Party in 2012. He has also heartily embraced Mr. Obama, who won the state in 2008 and 2012 but has seen his approval ratings slide into negative territory among Florida voters, according to poll averages compiled by Real Clear Politics. Mr. Crist's campaign is stocked with former Obama advisers and staffers. The Democrat has raised $8.8 million, according to filings with the Florida Board of Elections, shy of Mr. Scott's $10.3 million. The question Tuesday night was whether Democrats would turn out in force for Mr. Crist, who will need a strong showing from the party's base if he hopes to unseat Mr. Scott in November.Crist's support for same-sex marriage has been "pinned" to the top of his Twitter feed for several weeks. Crist supported Florida's Amendment 2 when governor.
has yanked the diplomatic immunity for an ambassador it secretly recalled from the Dominican Republic before child molestation charges could be filed.
The former ambassador, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, has already been defrocked by the Vatican, the harshest penalty under the church’s canon law short of excommunication. Beyond that, the Vatican has also said that it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time it will hold a criminal trial for sexual abuse. But the Vatican has also caused an uproar in the Dominican Republic because it abruptly recalled Mr. Wesolowski last year before he could face a criminal inquiry and possible prosecution there. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome, and then invoked diplomatic immunity. The Vatican has said in the past that because Mr. Wesolowski was a member of its diplomatic corps and a citizen of the Holy See, the case would be handled in Rome.Wesolowski is a Polish citizen and authorities there are also seeking extradition.
Facebook page. Most commenters aren't buying it.
Michael Sam remains on the St. Louis Rams' roster after the team made the necessary moves to get to the league maximum of 75 players. To reach that number, the Rams made four moves Tuesday afternoon, including placing quarterback Sam Bradford and center Demetrius Rhaney on injured reserve. St. Louis also released safety Matt Daniels and defensive end Sammy Brown. That Sam made it through the first round of cuts is of little surprise after he posted two sacks against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday night. Through three preseason games, Sam -- the first openly gay active player in NFL history -- has five tackles and three sacks. Rams coaches' film review also credits the rookie defensive end with two quarterback pressures and a quarterback hit.ESPN drew widespread criticism yesterday after it reported on Sam's showering habits after games and practices. Via Yahoo Sports:
Before Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, ever set foot on an NFL football field, doubters had claimed that he would be a distraction to his team and shunned by his teammates. However, in the first media flare-up regarding Sam's orientation, he has received the definitive support of one of the strongest voices in his locker room. The precipitating incident was an ESPN report on how Sam, no sure thing to make the Rams' roster, was adjusting to life with his new teammates. And after some initial cliches, the report took a sharp turn, focusing for almost a full minute on Sam's showering habits. The report drew immediate criticism on social media, both for its selectiveness (how many other rookies' shower habits are a story?) and its gaze too deep into the locker room. But there's a larger issue here. For years, people who claim to know NFL culture have said that the locker room wouldn't accept a gay man. But within hours after the report aired, Rams teammate Chris Long shattered that myth with one eight-word tweet.
gotten worse for the World Congress of Families, an international coalition of anti-gay groups.
The controversial World Congress of Families conservative Christian conference is in chaos only days before its scheduled start, after four Melbourne venues backed out of hosting the event. “It’s a mess,” Margaret Butts, one of the organisers told Guardian Australia. “We have no venue at the moment – the police are telling us it’s a safety risk because of planned protests and demonstrations. “We are frantic at the moment trying to organise something else, we’ve had four venue cancellations. I can’t talk to you because we are just too busy right now.” Guardian Australia understands that despite the prominent speakers and hundreds of people expected to attend on Saturday, organisers had not planned event security or liability insurance. The event was initially to be held at St Patrick’s parish hall in Mentone, about 20km south-east of the city. It was then moved to St Cecilia’s Catholic church in Glen Iris, but that venue also withdrew.The leaders of major American anti-gay groups have signed a letter denouncing the cancellations.
after 13 years.
For years, Wowereit had enjoyed popularity far beyond the capital's borders, not least thanks to a deft turn of phrase and considerable fearlessness in the face of the tabloid media. "I'm gay and that's OK," he casually remarked in the runup to his election in 2001, becoming the first high-profile German politician to declare his homosexuality. Another snappy phrase, his 2003 description of Berlin as "poor but sexy", summed up his achievement in reinventing the formerly divided city as Europe's capital of cool, helping to attract tourists and investors from across the globe. On Tuesday, Wowereit said at the press conference called to announce his departure that he was leaving in response to increased speculation about his future from within his own Social Democratic party ranks. He said he had originally wanted to announce his intention in June, "but then we won the World Cup". He is to leave office on 11 December.
A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday. Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff's officials said. Vacca was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said. Authorities said the girl was at the shooting range with her parents. Her name was not released. A woman who answered the phone at the shooting range said it had no comment. She did not provide her name. It is not known if the range had an age limit on shooting or if the girl was going through a safety class.Burgers & Bullets. The Last Stop is their machine gun-themed restaurant.
Our guests have the opportunity to fire a wide range of fully automatic machine guns and specialty weapons. You will choose the guns which you want to shoot from our extensive collection and we provide the eye/ear protection, ammunition, and expert guidance. Our guests have an opportunity to choose from a wide variety of machine guns. Click here to view all of our available guns. Our 50 Cal. selections includes the Barrett Sniper Rifle, the Browning BMG .50 Cal ('the deuce'), and the Desert Eagle. We even have the actual firearms used in several Hollywood hits including The Terminator and Rambo II. To top it off, lunch is included inside the the World Famous Arizona Last Stop restaurant located onsite. You will be treated with the World Famous All American Hamburger, fresh cut french fries, and a drink. The All American Burger is guaranteed to be the best hamburger you have ever eaten.They do birthday parties. Fun for kids of all ages. Among the available weapons is the "M203 Grenade Launcher."
This graphic is like a warning poster from a pediatrician's office. Should baby wake, that hand is going right to that mouth. When hand meets mouth, those rings become food. That "food" becomes lodged. It's a tragedy waiting to happen. All credible organizations know and advise better. Must you flout the advice of all professional associations, NOM? How many lives must you endanger in the name of discrimination? Not to mention—aren't those both men's rings?
The man behind the controversial "Tattoo Jesus" movement will launch a new campaign "Death Row Jesus" on Wednesday to spread the message that God was the "worse criminal" while on earth. David L. Miller of the Little Pencil organization is known for his thought-provoking marketing campaigns that promote the Gospel. Last year, he erected 59 billboards throughout Lubbock, Texas, depicting the image of Jesus Christ clad in tattoos. But this time, he is opting for digital video advertisements that will launch in major cities throughout the U.S. "When people think about Jesus, they don't think about him being on death row, but if you think about what he did when he was on earth, that's really the experience he had," Miller told Lubbock's NBC affiliate KBCD 11. He continued, "We communicate very directly that Christ became the worst criminal in history when he took our mistakes on himself. The second message is we are all equally undeserving of God's grace." Part of the video depicts Jesus in an orange prison jumpsuit as He is beaten to the ground. Another part transitions to the scene of the crucifixion where He is dying at the same time that other inmates in prison are being set free.Last year Miller lost a federal lawsuit after trying to force a Texas public high school to display Tattoo Jesus on the jumbotron at football games. Alliance Defending Freedom is appealing the ruling.
got into a fight over the Knee Defender, which prevents the seat in front of you from reclining.
The fight started when the male passenger, seated in a middle seat of row 12, used the Knee Defender to stop the woman in front of him from reclining while he was on his laptop, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak. A flight attendant asked him to remove the device and he refused. The woman then stood up, turned around and threw a cup of water at him, the official says. That's when United decided to land in Chicago. The two passengers were not allowed to continue to Denver. Both passengers were sitting in United's Economy Plus section, the part of the plane that has four more inches of legroom than the rest of coach.Both passengers were booted off the plane in Chicago. No charges have yet been filed. United Airlines forbids the use of devices like the Knee Defender and the FAA has said that decision is up to each carrier.
Via the Associated Press:
Federal appeals judges bristled Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites. Judge Richard Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was dismissive when Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson repeatedly pointed to 'tradition' as the underlying justification for barring gay marriage. "It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry — a tradition that got swept away," Posner said. Prohibition of same sex marriage, he said, is "a tradition of hate ... and savage discrimination."
Posner frequently cut off Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fischer, just moments into his presentation and chided him to answer his questions. At one point, Posner ran through a list of psychological strains of unmarried same-sex couples, including having to struggle to grasp why their schoolmates' parents were married and theirs weren't. "What horrible stuff," Posner said. What benefits to society in barring gay marriage, he asked, "outweighs that kind of damage to children?" The answer has to do with "procreation," Fisher answered. "All this is a reflection of biology," Fisher said. "Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not... we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism."
The ACLU and Lambda Legal have essentially reiterated their equal protection arguments in appeals court filings, arguing that the bans deny gay couples state and federal legal protections and benefits that married straight couples enjoy. "The freedom to marry is a core aspect of personal liberty for all Americans," the ACLU said in its briefs. There was some levity during the hearing. As Samuelson struggled to offer a specific reason for how gay marriage bans benefit society, he suddenly noted a yellow courtroom light signaling his allotted time was up. "It won't save you," Williams told him, prompting laughter in court. Samuleson smiled, saying "it was worth a try."
Each judge - Posner, Williams and Hamilton - skeptical of arguments for marriage bans. My prediction: 3-0 ruling for #MarriageEquality.— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) August 26, 2014
Reagan-appointed Posner most vocal in skepticism, asking Qs about why states want to children with same-sex parents to be worse off.
— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) August 26, 2014
Williams expressed confusion over procreation argument for same-sex marriage ban. "Here are people who know they want to have children."
— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) August 26, 2014
First take: Plaintiff same-sex couples will win marriage case at 7th Circuit. It will almost certainly be 3-0, likely on equal protection.
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) August 26, 2014
Also: If you see the lawyer who represented Wisconsin, give him a hug. That was rough.
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) August 26, 2014
#7thCircuit, Judge Hamilton said: "You're making the same argument that was made in 'Loving,' and #SCOTUS rejected it."— freedomtomarry (@freedomtomarry) August 26, 2014
Brian Tashman writes at Right Wing Watch:
On today’s edition of the “700 Club,” a viewer told Robertson that her 13-year-old step-son, who “lives with his mother most of the time,” has “crushes on boys” and wanted the televangelist’s help. Repeating the myth that homosexuality is the result of a lack of parental bonding, Robertson said “his attraction is now toward other men because he’s raised by a woman.”
A Christian movie starring Lenny Kravitz and the former lead guitarist from Korn? Here's today's press release:
Funded by 2,500 investors who surged to support Director Darren Wilson’s Kickstarter campaign, HOLY GHOST raised a record-breaking $360,000 in just 45 days to become the #1 most-funded, faith-based film in Kickstarter history. The film’s producers, who turned to fans to fund HOLY GHOST, are now asking 25,000 of their most deeply dedicated fans to crowd-market and promote it with the launch of a new #HolyGhostExperience social media campaign. “Our fans crowd-funded HOLY GHOST, and now they’re our mass marketing and promotion team around the world. That’s why #HolyGhostExperience has gained instant traction, because tens of thousands are working to bring this project across the finish line,” said Braden Heckman, CEO of Wanderlust Productions. “Every day the HOLY GHOST team is working with supporters to spread the word by setting up events, signing up their friends, and engaging within their spheres of influence to give as many people as possible the opportunity to experience this movie.”Tagline: "We want to make God famous."
an $11B merger with the Tim Hortons donut chain.
The new global company will be headquartered in Canada, but each brand will be managed independently, with Burger King retaining its U.S. offices in Miami, the two companies said in a joint statement. The new base in Canada could allow Burger King to reduce its U.S. tax bill -- a recent report by KPMG found that total tax costs in Canada are about 46% lower than in the U.S. These so-called inversions allow companies to transfer money earned outside the U.S. to the parent company without paying additional U.S. taxes. As more companies have used inversions, President Obama and Congress have publicly criticized the moves because it cuts into U.S. tax revenue.The merger will vault BK over Subway as the world's third-largest fast food conglomerate with $23B in combined sales. There's no word on whether Tim Hortons will ever get that apostrophe.
busted for having gay sex in the parking lot of a park. Here's a story about the 2010 arrest:
The Rev. Wayne L. Ball, a Norfolk priest who pleaded guilty late last year to a misdemeanor sex offense, has been reassigned to St. John's Catholic Church in Highland Springs, according to The Catholic Virginian, a biweekly diocesan newspaper. The move is effective June 2. Ball, 42, has served as pastor of Norfolk's Holy Trinity Catholic Church since 2000. The current pastor at St. John's, the Rev. David V. McGuire, will replace Ball at Holy Trinity. In December, Ball pleaded guilty in Norfolk General District Court to the misdemeanor charge of frequenting a bawdy place. Norfolk police arrested Ball and a 41-year-old Richmond man on the night before Thanksgiving in a parked car in a Norfolk park. The judge continued Ball's case until July 8 and will dismiss the charge if the priest has no further criminal problems and completes 80 hours of community service by June 3. The man in the car with Ball received a similar deal.McDonnell has testified that his marriage was a "sham" and therefore he could not have colluded with his wife in taking all those bribes. Shortly after he took office, McDonnell stripped LGBT people from a statewide anti-discrimination executive order, declaring that there is no evidence of such discrimination. (Tipped by JMG reader Smith)
on the scene.
don't cancel on them.
The letter on the WCF website has been written to respond to what it claims has been “unremitting and grossly misleading attacks” in the lead-up to Saturday’s conference at St Cecilia’s school hall. “Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the positions of the World Congress of Families,” it reads. The letter has been signed by 80 prominent pro-life people including the former US presidential candidate and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Several Australian politicians have been criticised for supporting the WCF’s conference, including Senior Coalition Minister Eric Abetz who defended some of the groups more spurious claims, such as discredited links between abortion and breast cancer.In addition to Huckabee, WCF's complaint letter is signed by Brian Brown, Matt Barber, Mat Staver, Rick Scarborough, former GOP House Majority Leader Tom Delay, Janice Crouse, and a galaxy of hate group leaders from around the world. The WCF's 2015 convention is planned for Salt Lake City. (Tipped by JMG reader Gregory)
opening a new club next week in Times Square - but this one is meant to appeal to a mixed crowd.
The bar chain — known for its shirtless bartenders — plans to make the new location at 215 W. 40th St. a little more restrained than its other locations, the owner said. Shadow Boxers, which opens Sept. 2, will aim to serve not just the gay clientele of the Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen Boxers locations, but also the lunchtime, after-work and post-theater crowds as well. "At noon, when people from J.P. Morgan are here having lunch, [bartenders] won't be shirtless," said co-owner Rob Hynds. "Later at night, when the place sets up like a club, the shirts will likely come off." With two-for-one drink specials and a private underground "man cave" — a 1,500-square-foot private event space with a bar, dart board, television and leather couches and chairs — the goal is to draw in as many New Yorkers as possible, Hynds added.According to the owner, Shadow Boxers will be a "hybrid bar, a quality bar." The chain is also opening an outlet in Philadelphia.
Arby’s faced a key problem as it moved to attract customers: People thought the restaurant served mainly roast beef. To change that, the company made this poster showing a tall stack of every meat on the menu, from bacon to brisket. And then something unexpected happened. “People started coming in and asking, ‘Can I have that?’” said Christopher Fuller, the company’s vice president of brand and corporate communications. So Arby’s began granting their wish. The “Meat Mountain,” as it’s called, will not be listed on the menu, but store associates will make it for customers who ask. The price is $10.The sandwich is too big for ordinary Arby's boxes and will come wrapped in paper. Hit the link for the ingredients.
KKK-affiliated hate group leader Tony Perkins posted his ice bucket clip today, but noted that his money will only go to research that doesn't use Jesus-hating embryonic stem cells. He then challenged fellow hate group leader Tim Wildmon and Fox News liar Todd Starnes, whom we'd actually really like to see with a wet comb-over.
Thousands of people marched to the Department of Justice in Dublin this afternoon, in favour of extending marriage rights to gay and lesbian people in Ireland. Those behind the sixth annual March for Marriage including LGBT Noise and Marriage Equality said they hoped this would be the biggest - and last - gathering for marriage rights before a referendum on the issue in 2015. Organisers said 8,000 people took part in the march, many of whom held signs reading “equal”. Some dressed in sashes and tiaras after the news that the newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh had publicly come out as lesbian. Comedian and writer Tara Flynn, introduced speakers at a stage on St. Stephen’s Green. Ms Flynn recently starred in an LGBT Noise ‘Armagayddon’ video, which went viral internationally.
Wall Street Journal:
Recently, Target, Starbucks and Chipotle have asked their patrons not to bring their guns. After petitions by gun-control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Kroger said it would uphold local and state laws in the 34 states it operates. Carrying a firearm in a concealed manner is legal in all states, but open carry has more restrictions, especially for handguns. Though federal law doesn’t restrict the open carrying of handguns in public, several states—including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and Texas—ban the practice, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Thirteen states require a special permit or license to open carry. The remaining 31 states don’t require one. The laws are different for long guns, which are commonly associated with hunting.
hilarious disaster in which fewer than ten people showed up after American Family Association radio shrieker Sandy Rios had predicted it would draw "thousands of ex-gays." That failure came after they had canceled "Ex-Gay Pride Month" due to "anti-ex-gay extremism." Several weeks later a massive crowd of tens attended an "Ex-Gay Awareness Dinner" held at a secret bunker deep under Washington DC. Anyway, they're trying again this year and the announced speakers include Matt Barber, Peter Sprigg, Christopher Doyle, and Greg Quinlan, who once told a television audience that Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen had threatened to "inject me with AIDS."
Rose Of Tralee is a competition in which Irish communities around the world send a beauty queen to the finals in Ireland's County Kerry. This year's winner is Philadelphia resident Maria Walsh, who just came out. That may prove to be a problem for New York City's St. Patrick's Day group. Via Irish Central:
Right on cue a host of apoplectically angry commentators reminded us why it’s still news when Ireland’s Rose of Tralee sweetheart announces she’s gay. Across the internet they posted strong biblical condemnations or outright bigoted profanities, carefully calculated to wound. It didn’t matter though. Walsh has already won, so they could only lose. Now Walsh’s brilliant win sets the stage for another major public relations battle. In New York, like every prior Rose, she will be feted and fawned over during the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day season. The Rose of Tralee competition has already show us that Walsh has courage, heart and class, and so hopefully her example will inspire others to show her the same courtesy now. If New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is still discriminating against – rather than embracing – Irish gay people by 2015 (almost 100 years after the Rising that was fought in the name of freedom for all Irish people) they will look and sound like last century's men.The world's largest and oldest St. Patrick's Day parade, New York City's group continues to ban the open participation of LGBT groups. It will be very interesting to see how they handle Maria Walsh, particularly if Catholic League blowhard Bill Donohue succeeds in his reported bid to lead the organization.