Friday, April 30, 2010

Defense Secretary Gates To Congress:
Don't Make A Vote On DADT

This afternoon Defense Secretary told Congress not to attempt to vote to repeal DADT until the Pentagon has completed its study. The letter was co-signed by Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen. Both men have testified in favor of lifting the ban, eventually.
In a sharply worded letter, Gates said he believes the Defense Department must be allowed to review the potential impact of repealing the ban on openly gay service members before Congress acts. "Our military must be afforded the opportunity to inform us of their concerns, insights and suggestions if we are to carry out this change successfully," Gates wrote in response to an inquiry from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.). Repealing the policy before the military completes its review, "would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence, their views, concerns and perspectives do not matter on an issue with such a direct impact and consequence for them and their families," Gates said. The letter was co-signed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, who joined Gates in voicing personal opposition to the ban at a February Senate hearing.
Most will likely read Gates' letter as an indirect White House attempt to squash the issue before the midterm elections. Moments ago, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) fired out this dissenting press release:
“I respectfully disagree with Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. Congress should not sit on their hands. Now is the time for Congress to show strong leadership and repeal this disastrous policy. ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is wrong for our national security and inconsistent with the moral foundation upon which our country was founded. When we repeal this policy – and we will repeal this policy – we will strengthen America - both militarily and morally.”
The Human Rights Campaign and other activists are working to get the Senate Armed Services Committee to add the repeal of DADT to a pending defense authorization bill.

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John McCain: I'm The Last Line Of Defense Against The Invading Brown Hordes

According to Sen. John McCain's just-posted campaign ad, he and his proposed super-fence are the "last line of defense" against Arizona completely being overrun by Mexicans. You know, those brown folks who were there a few hundred years before the U.S. ran up its flag?

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ARIZONA: Cops To Stop Illegal Centaurs

The always innovative Arizona legislature has made it a crime to create mermaids, centaurs, and Slaggie Gilamonsters.
The Arizona state Senate on Thursday passed a bill making it illegal for a person to “intentionally or knowingly creating a human-animal hybrid.” The bill, which passed 16 to 12, would prohibit anyone in the state from “creating or attempting to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.” The measure would also outlaw “transferring or attempting to transfer a human embryo into a nonhuman womb,” “transferring or attempting to transfer a nonhuman embryo into a human womb” and “transporting or receiving for any purpose a human-animal hybrid.”
It's a felony to knowingly create an animal-human hybrid. But if you totally made that centaur by accident? Misdemeanor!

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Adorable Break

The Bronx Zoo debuted its lion cub triplets today. Born on January 27th, the cubs had been kept indoors until the weather allowed them to enjoy the outdoor portion of the zoo's African Plains exhibit. The Daily News is hosting a naming contest. Suggestions?

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Cyanide Terrorism Scare In NYC Subway

Lower Manhattan went on a terrorism alert this morning after a man dressed as a track worker was found in a subway tunnel carrying a quart of cyanide pellets and bottles of water. According to the NYPD, the man is a local college student who claims he planned to commit suicide deep in the tunnels so his body would not be found.
The 20-year-old Pace University sophomore told police he wanted to find a discreet alcove, mix the cyanide pellets with water and ingest it. "He did not want to be found," said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD's top spokesman. "He had no ID on him. He was looking for some isolated place in the system." The pellets, commercially sold and typically used as a pesticide or to clean jewelry, can create toxic fumes when heated. The suspect did have five flares in his backpack -- along with two liters of water and a quart can of cyanide - but police said the flares could not produce the heat needed to cause any damage. "This was not a terrorist plot," Browne said. "We believe it was part of a plan for an individual to kill himself alone."
The student, a political science major, was interviewed by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and remains in custody as Homeland Security and the FBI search his dorm.

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Gay Patriot Hacked?

JMG reader Russ tips us that it appears that homocon site Gay Patriot has been hacked today. The top post on the quite discombobulated site now features a message in Russian and a link to an Eastern European straight porn site. (No link as I'm getting a virus warning there.) A fresh wave of hack attacks on LGBT sites began about two weeks ago. Most have been sourced to Russia and its former satellites.

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Coral Ridge Ministries To Air Anti-Obama Special Nationwide

This is the trailer from Coral Ridge Ministries' coming anti-Obama television special. Michele Bachmann, Harry Jackson, and a cavalcade of your favorite crazies agree: We're all going to end up like Cuba! Whatever that means!

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Where ENDA Stands In The Senate

Dr. Jillian Weiss at Bilerico tips us to the above graphic on the status of ENDA in the Senate. Have you lobbied YOUR Reps and Senators about ENDA today? Do it now. Weiss points us to this ENDA spreadsheet which assesses the position of every member of Congress.

RELATED: The Family Research Council issued another desperate money plea to fight ENDA today.
If ENDA becomes law, the government will order businesses -- including faith-based businesses -- to cast aside their personal beliefs and hire homosexuals and cross-dressers, even if the employer considers these lifestyles immoral and inappropriate for their business. Even groups like the Boy Scouts and child care providers aren't exempt from the bill's oppressive demands. Worse still, ENDA will make it easier for activist judges to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act -- the most important protection for marriage that exists in our country! I know that because the most powerful open homosexual in the Obama administration says it will: John Berry, the director of the federal personnel office, says: "If we can get ENDA enacted and signed into law, it is only a matter of time" before pro-family, pro-marriage laws topple under its weight. You see, ENDA is just one step in the homosexual lobby's methodical plan to demand special rights for homosexuals...force the military to accept open homosexuality in its ranks...and ultimately redefine marriage for our entire nation.

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HAWAII: Christian Right Caught Off Guard

Chistianists in Hawaii are shocked, SHOCKED I tells ya, about yesterday's House vote to approve civil unions. (We're shocked too!) Unprepared for the vote, they are organizing to lobby the governor to veto the bill.
"It's not the end of the game," said Dennis Arakaki, executive director of the Hawai'i Family Forum and the Hawai'i Catholic Conference. "We still don't know what the governor's position is. That's the unknown. We're focusing on one person." Groups and churches against same-sex marriage said yesterday that they already were rallying their members to speak out against the vote, and predicted that the governor's office would be flooded with telephone messages and e-mails by today. Other civil-union opponents said the vote yesterday likely will fuel conservative organizing efforts and make civil unions an issue in the September primary and November general election. They said it could even be a factor in next month's special election for Hawai'i's 1st Congressional District seat.
Lt. Gov. James Aiona, the state's leading elected homophobe, has renewed his vow to put the issue to a public vote should it become law.

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Worse Than Exxon Valdez

The Gulf oil spill is shaping up to be the worst environmental disaster in American history. Fumes are now overwhelming the residents of New Orleans as the leading edge of the spill reaches the fragile marshes of the Mississippi delta. Compounding the disaster, poor weather has forced the Coast Guard to suspend their containment attempts. National agencies are mobilizing across the Gulf Coast.
Calling it “a spill of national significance” that could threaten coastline in several states, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the creation of a second command post in Mobile, Ala., in addition to the one in Louisiana, to manage potential coastal impact in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ordered an immediate review of the 30 offshore drilling rigs and 47 production platforms operating in the deepwater Gulf, and is sending teams to conduct on-site inspections. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana declared a state of emergency and to request the participation of the National Guard in response efforts.

A coastal flood warning was issued for Hancock County, the furthest county west in Mississippi, while coastal flood watches were set up in nearby Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes in Louisiana since tides were expected to be two to three feet higher than normal. About 40,000 feet of boom had been placed around Pass-a-Loutre, the area of the Mississippi River Delta where the oil was expected to touch first, a spokesman for Mr. Jindal said. The Navy provided 50 contractors, 7 skimming systems and 66,000 feet of inflatable containment boom, a spokesman said. About 210,000 feet of boom had been laid down to protect the shoreline in several places along the Gulf Coast, though experts said that marshlands presented a far more daunting cleaning challenge than sandy beaches.
The still-uncapped well continues to spew more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil each day. The surface slick is now bigger than the island of Jamaica.

VIDEO: President Obama says "BP is ultimately responsible, under the law, for paying the cost of response and clean-up operations."

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Ricky Martin Comes Out Against Arizona

At the Billboard Latin Music Awards, yesterday Ricky Martin called out Arizona's new immigration law as racist.
Ricky Martin thinks the new Arizona law is totally loca. The singer told the crowd at last night's Billboard Latin Music Awards that the legislation allowing police to stop anyone they think may be an illegal immigrant simply "makes no sense." This being his first major public appearance since coming out, the "She Bangs" star opted to keep his focus on the issues of inequality as a whole. "This is not in the script," he said at the ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico. "You are not alone. We are with you. Put a stop to discrimination. Put a stop to hate. Put a stop to racism…Long live love, long live peace."

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Glenn Beck: Feds Are Going To Kill Me

If something happens to Glenn Beck, "You know who did it."

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Democrats Push For Biometric ID Card

Despite the public outcry about the new law in Arizona, Democrats are pushing to force all Americans to carry a biometric ID card. From their immigration reform bill:
The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment. It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases. “The cardholder’s identity will be verified by matching the biometric identifier stored within the microprocessing chip on the card to the identifier provided by the cardholder that shall be read by the scanner used by the employer,” states the Democratic legislative proposal. The American Civil Liberties Union, a civil liberties defender often aligned with the Democratic Party, wasted no time in blasting the plan.
John Cole at Balloon Juice:
Polls pretty clearly demonstrate that half the country has no problem with the Arizona bill because it will not affect them- it only is an inconvenience for “others” (meaning brown people). But start talking about a national id with biometric data that everyone has to be issued, and you will think the death panels and health care reform debate were a walk in the park. And I’m not even talking about the actual merits and downsides to the id card. I’m talking about the freak-out that will be inevitable, some of which I will probably even agree with. This is just stunningly tone deaf.
The ACLU can't believe it either.
“Creating a biometric national ID will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives. Every worker in America will need a government permission slip in order to work. And all of this will come with a new federal bureaucracy — one that combines the worst elements of the DMV and the TSA,” said Christopher Calabrese, ACLU legislative counsel. “America’s broken immigration system needs real, workable reform, but it cannot come at the expense of privacy and individual freedoms,” Calabrese added.
(Tipped by JMG reader Aaron)

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UNANIMOUS VOTES: Anti-Bullying Bills Pass In Massachusetts And Georgia

Anti-bullying bills passed yesterday in both Massachusetts and Georgia! Both bills passed unanimously.

Invoking the suicides of Phoebe Prince and Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, lawmakers unanimously approved a sweeping measure to crack down on school bullying, saying its strict requirements for reporting student harassment make it one of the nation’s toughest. Yesterday’s legislation emerged with broad prohibitions against any actions that could cause emotional or physical harm, including text messages and taunting over the Internet. It also mandates antibullying training, for faculty as well as students, and requires that parents be informed of incidents at school.
The Georgia Senate voted 44-0 tonight to approve an anti-bullying measure that was backed by LGBT political group Georgia Equality. Senate Bill 250 squeaked in under the wire to receive a vote in the hectic final hours of the annual 40-day state legislative session. The measure's anti-bullying provisions originated in the state House, and appeared destined for failure this session until Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) was able to maneuver to have them added as an amendment to the Senate legislation. SB 250, sponsored by state Sen. Bill Hamrick (R-Carrollton), was approved in the Senate last March and originally dealt only with “unlawful disruption of or interference with the operation of public schools or public school buses.”
Both state's bills are expected to be signed into law by their governors.

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Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight

Christina Aguilera's new video debuted last night and is already being roundly dismissed as trite and derivative. My buddy Matthew Rettenmund at Boy Culture:
I realize GaGa does videos that go over the top, but I think when she does it there is a clear sense of purpose, even if the actual purpose is often difficult to sense! Christina's video feels like a GaGa rip-off in structure, and uncomfortably quotes from Madonna throughout (though the opening frames really remind me of Annie Lennox's jerky head movements in "Missionary Man"), including homages to "Human Nature," "Erotica," "Express Yourself" and "Erotica." A mess.
Rettenmund is the author of The Encyclopedia Madonnica.

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The Dancing Soldiers Of Afghanistan

JMG reader Bernard tips us that the Smoking Gun has all the dirt about the dancing soldiers in the Lady Gaga tribute clip that I posted yesterday. Your favorite's real name is Aaron Melcher.
The video was the brainchild of Aaron Melcher, a married 24-year-old soldier who graduated in 2004 from North Carolina's Gramercy Christian School. Melcher opens the video in a pas de deux, of sorts, with fellow enlistee Justin Baker, who is not nearly as enthusiastic a dancer as the gyrating Melcher, who incorporated elements of the original video's choreography in his desert remake. Melcher declined to answer questions. The video, he noted, was intended to be for "a couple of our friends and family and you can see that it has blown up way more than that...nobody in the video would like any further media coverage." When he first uploaded "Telephone: The Afghanistan Re-make," Melcher told Facebook friends to "feel free to share it with the world." He added, "it's the hotness." Melcher and several of his fellow soldiers have carefully monitored the spiraling number of views their video has received. On Wednesday, Pilon posted a brief update on his Facebook wall: "5,000 views...I'm going to be Famous!!!"
Lots more pics at the above link. The clip currently has almost 200K views.

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Tony Perkins Is Still Crying About Being Disinvited To National Prayer Luncheon

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins is still whinging about his February dis-invitation to speak at the National Prayer Luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base. Perkins expects the feds to roll out the red carpet for him despite his outrageous campaign of lies and slurs against the president. Sad trombone.

(Via - Good As You)

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Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX): Catch Them Immigrants Like Grasshoppers

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Challenger Announces Bid To Unseat Anti-Gay NY Sen. Ruben Diaz

Bronx Democrat Charlie Ramos has announced his intent to run against New York's most famously evil homophobe, state Sen. Ruben Diaz.
"This September I will run for the State Senate and take on Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. in the Democratic primary,” Ramos wrote in a “Dear Friend” e-mail he is poised to blast out this evening. “I’m running because the people of the Bronx are hurting and our State government is not helping our community, but making living conditions worsen.” “…The people of the Bronx deserve better than this. I would go a step further and say the people of the Bronx are at risk because of the failure of our State government. If I become your State Senator – I will be accountable only to you. My very first priority will be to protect our children and bring jobs to our community.”
In 2008 Diaz organized the largest anti-gay rally in New York history when he railed against same-sex marriage before thousands of Hispanic evangelicals outside of Gov. Paterson's NYC office. Diaz has very strong support in the Bronx and Charlie Ramos is going to need all the help that the LGBT community can muster. I'll provide his campaign and fundraising details here when they become available.

UPDATE: Contribute to Ramos here. Campaign website here.

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Opt-Out Organ Donation For New York?

The New York Assembly is considering a bill that would require residents to opt-out of organ donation. Under the bill, all adults in the state would be enrolled as potential organ donors unless they specifically choose to decline.
New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky nearly lost his daughter, Willie, at 4 years old when she needed a kidney transplant, and again 10 years later when her second kidney failed. "We have 10,000 New Yorkers on the list today waiting for organs. We import half the organs we transplant. It is an unacceptable failed system," Brodsky said. To fix that, Brodsky introduced a new bill in Albany that would enroll all New Yorkers as an organ donor, unless they actually opt out of organ donation. It would be the first law of its kind in the United States. "Overseas, 24 nations have it. Israel has it. Others have it. And it works without a lot of controversy," Brodsky said.
Nine out of ten polled New Yorkers say they would donate their organs, but only one in ten has signed up. I can't wait to hear what the teabaggers say about this. The gub'mint is a'comin' fer yer liver! Mandatory harvesting!

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KENTUCKY: Judge Reduces Charges In Attack Against Lesbian Teen

Saying there is not enough evidence to support felony charges, a judge in Kentucky has reduced the attempted murder charges against two teenage girls who have been accused of trying to throw a lesbian classmate off a cliff.
After a hearing Thursday, District Judge Henria Bailey-Lewis reduced the charges against Ashley Sams and Corinne Schwab to fourth-degree assault and menacing, both misdemeanors. Sams and Schwab, both 18, had been charged with attempted murder and kidnapping in the case, which has gotten widespread attention because of an allegation that they attacked Cheyenne Williams as a result of her sexual orientation. Corinne Schwab, left, and Ashley Sams did not comment but were all smiles after the charges against them were reduced Thursday. Attorneys for the two had strongly denied the attack and said the girls were pleased the judge reduced the charges. "I think justice was served," said Richmond attorney James Baechtold, who represents Schwab. Sams and Schwab committed no crime and will fight the misdemeanor charges, their attorneys said. The two high school seniors and their families declined to comment as they left court with a large number of supporters.
The Kentucky Equality Federation says they remain convinced that the attack was a hate crime. They have asked the FBI to investigate.

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Apple Kills Music-Streamer

Just a few months after Apple bought Lala, my favorite streaming music service, they are closing it down. They bought it to kill it.
Apple will shut down its Lala online music streaming service on May 31. The move comes just five months after Apple bought Lala for an undisclosed price. Could this indicate Apple is serious about opening up a Web-based version of iTunes software-based storefront based on the Lala platform? Some speculate Apple may announce a Web-based version of iTunes this June at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple has never said why it bought the company or what it planned to do with the service, but the purchase has prompted wide speculation that Apple is planning to introduce a cloud-based version of iTunes.
I listened to more music on Lala than anywhere else. Boo.

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Charlie Crist: Bye, Bye GOP

As predicted, yesterday FL Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Crist made the teabaggers happy by getting out of the GOP. Tea Party opposition to Crist's run for the Senate is largely credited with forcing his move.

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Bible Quiz Show

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JMG: Blog Year Seven Begins

Today is the sixth blogiversary of this here website thingy. As is tradition for today, here is my very first post.
I was born and raised in rural North Carolina.

My fondest childhood memory is of playing in the dense, acrid, poison fog that was belched out by the county mosquito control truck during its daily dusk-time trip down our dirt road.

The cry of 'Smokey! Smokey!' would fly up and down Nine Foot Road once the first faint sound of the pest control truck's generator was detected in the distance. Trailer screen doors would slam open and kids would pour into the street for ten minutes of gleeful, giddy, mad dashing around in the thick white clouds of DDT. We would smash into each other with full force in the blinding swirls and just scream and laugh hysterically, pick ourselves up and start running again. Parents had not a whit of concern about their children playing directly behind the spewing pipes of a pest control truck. In fact, NOT being allowed to play in the poison fog was often held out as potential punishment for misbehavior.

I think this explains a lot about me.
I appreciate you being here for these last six years. Help yourselves to some cupcakes and punch. Please don't let the cat out.

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SHOCKER: Hawaii House Approves Civil Unions, Bill Now Goes To Governor

In a surprise move and with only hours left in the legislative year, late yesterday the Hawaii House approved its civil unions bill by a vote of 31-20. The Hawaii Senate approved the bill back in January, but it later stalled in the House after massive protests were organized by Christian groups and by the Hawaiian Catholic diocese, who created anti-gay fliers for distribution to over 220,000 parishioners.

The bill now goes before Gov. Linda Lingle, who has 45 days to veto the bill or allow it to take effect without her signature. Should Lingle veto the bill, the 18-9 vote margin in the Hawaii Senate was sufficient for an override. The Hawaii House, however, needs 34 votes for an override, three shy of yesterday's action. In January, Lt. Gov. James Ioana promised that even if the civil unions bill becomes law, it would be overturned by public referendum in November.

RELATED: In February the ACLU and Lambda Legal announced that they were planning to file a lawsuit against the state for failing to provide equal protection to LGBT couples. Lambda Legal reacts to today's news via press release:
"Today's vote was down to the wire, but it represents years of steady work by Hawai`i's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and by concerned state legislators. There's no denying it's been a bumpy road, but like all arduous journeys, it makes the destination that much sweeter. After the seeming death of HB 444 last January, Lambda Legal and our colleagues at the ACLU of Hawai`i announced we would file a lawsuit seeking relief for the thousands of couples who need the very real protections civil unions will provide. In fact, we were already on O`ahu this week in final preparations for litigation if the legislature failed to act by today's end of session. We're delighted that, as long as Governor Lingle does not veto the bill, our lawsuit won't be necessary."

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Broadway Friday

-Brandon Victor Dixon, currently earning rave reviews in The Scottsboro Boys, will take the title role in the upcoming Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical. The show begins previews on October 8th.

-The 2010 Tony Awards nominations will be revealed on Tuesday at 8:30am. Watch live on the official site.

-Try to remember: Tomorrow The Fantasticks celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special event that includes over 50 alumnae of the show appearing for the curtain call and a group song.

-Cheyenne Jackson, Jesse Martin, and Rosie Perez are among the presenters at this year's Drama Desk Awards at Lincoln Center on May 22nd. Patti LuPone will host. "No fucking cameras!"

-Testa-fy! Tony nominee Mary Testa will star in the Off Broadway run of I'll Be Damned beginning July 1st at the Vineyard. She was fantastic in Xanadu.

-All that scam: Composer John Kander and the estate of Bob Fosse are suing Disney over royalties from the Oscar-winning film version of Chicago. The parties claim Disney has cheated them out of $12M.

-We don't need no jukebox-ucation. Pink Floyd's The Wall: The Musical. SRSLY.

-She's the top: Tony winner Sutton Foster will star in a revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes, set to open next season. Patti LuPone starred in the most recent Broadway production in the 80s.

VIDEO: Here's a new montage clip from Promises, Promises staring Kristen Chenoweth and self-proclaimed gay rights hero Sean Hayes. The show opened yesterday with two Burt Bacharach classics added to the original score: I Say A Little Prayer and A House Is Not A Home.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kelly Rowland - Commander

Kelly Rowland had the biggest hit in gay clubland last year with When Love Takes Over. Will this latest collaboration with David Guetta repeat that success? I'm not feeling it, seems too Ke$ha. Maybe it'll grow on me.

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LOUISIANA: Fishermen Sue British Petroleum Over Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

Louisiana-based shrimp fishermen have filed an economics damages suit against British Petroleum, Halliburton, and the owners of the oil rig that has caused one of the greatest environmental disasters in recent memory.
The lawsuit was filed late on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans as London-based BP and the U.S. Coast Guard fought to contain a massive oil slick expected to hit the Gulf Coast on Friday. The suit was filed on behalf of two commercial shrimp fishermen named in the suit, and all other coastal Louisiana residents whose livelihoods are threatened by the spill. The Coast Guard estimates that 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of crude oil a day is gushing from the sea floor where the blowout occurred, and authorities have said it could take weeks to cap the leak as BP mounts what it calls the largest oil spill containment operation in history. The suit names as defendants BP, which holds the lease to the offshore well; Swiss-based Transocean Ltd, owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform that exploded in flames on April 20 and collapsed two days later; and Halliburton Energy Services, which the suit says was engaging in cementing operations of the well and well cap.
Yesterday the Coast Guard began burning off the oil in an attempt to reduce the amount that reaches the fragile waters of the Mississippi delta.

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Steve Jobs: Flash Is Evil

Apple guru Steve Jobs today issued a denouncement of Adobe's popular Flash technology. Apple has been widely criticized because the iPad does not support Flash. Jobs' list of complaints about Flash is quite long and concludes with this:
Besides the fact that Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices, there is an even more important reason we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. We have discussed the downsides of using Flash to play video and interactive content from websites, but Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices. We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.
Have at it, fanboys.

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Pride Toronto Facing Down City On Funding Threat Over Anti-Israel Group

Pride Toronto is standing firm in the face of threats of losing their city funding over the inclusion of an anti-Israel group in this year's parade.
It’s Zero Hour for Pride Toronto — at least according to Toronto city councillor and mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti, who tried to reignite the debate over the parade’s inclusion of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) by issuing the Palestinian rights protest group an ultimatum that both QuAIA and Pride have now ignored. “I’m giving them 24 hours,” Mammoliti told Xtra yesterday, “I’ll give ‘em till midnight tonight. If they [QuAIA] don’t withdraw from the parade, I’ll be drafting up a motion at the next city council meeting asking to get rid of the funding this year completely and any resources that are associated with it. If we’ve already given any money to the parade, we’ll be asking for it back.”
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid plan to repeat their 2009 demonstration against the treatment of Palestinians in Israel. The pro-Israel group, Friends of the Simon Weisenthal Center, has commended the city for standing up to Pride Toronto, saying that denying them funding is consistent with the city's anti-discrimination policies.

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Quote Of The Day II - Jim Daly

"I’m not fearful that change will happen in America. It will happen. I don’t know what will happen with same-sex marriage, but I’m not going to be discouraged if we lose some of those battles. It’s going to be difficult in this culture and the way the demographics are going right now. You look at the under-35 age group. I think it’s splitting 60-40 support for same-sex marriage. There’s a lot of people in the U.S. [who] basically come to the conclusion that this is something between two adults. I will continue to defend traditional marriage, but I’m not going to demean human beings for the process." - Focus On The Family head Jim Daly, who recently replaced James Dobson.

Porno Pete LaBarbera is VERY unhappy with this seeming softening of FOTF under Daly. Read his bleating complaint with pleasure.

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RuPaul & Racers: Jealous Of My Boogie

Here's the finished video whose making was the subject of the last challenge on the finale of RuPaul's Drag Race.

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BRITAIN: Sex Counselor Loses Appeal Over Firing For Refusing To Treat Gays

A British high court has resoundingly rejected the appeal of a sex counselor who argued that his firing for refusing to treat gay patients amounted to religious discrimination.
Christianity deserves no protection in law above other faiths and to do so would be “irrational” , “divisive, capricious and arbitrary”, a senior judge said today, as he rejected a marriage guidance counsellor’s attempt to challenge his sacking for refusing to give sex therapy to gay couples. In the latest clash between the judiciary and Christian believers, Lord Justice Laws said that laws could not be used to protect one religion above another. He also delivered a robust dismissal to the former Archbishop of Canterbury who had warned that a series of recent court rulings against Christians could lead to “civil unrest.” To give one religion legal protection over any other, “however long its tradition, however rich its culture, is deeply unprincipled”, the judge said. It would give legal force to a “subjective opinion” and would lead to a “theocracy”, which is of necessity autocratic.”
By rejecting the appeal, the court may have set the precedent that "legislation for the protection of views held purely on religious grounds could not be justified." Ah, if only that were true on this side of the Atlantic.

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Soldier Gaga

Soldiers in Afghanistan interpret Lady Gaga in between missions. DADT must be working, clearly this was done without any gay help. Cute enough, though.

(Tipped by JMG reader Ted)

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VANCOUVER: Lesbian Teacher Fired From Catholic School After Partner Has Baby

A Vancouver music teacher says she was fired after co-workers at her Catholic school learned that she and her lesbian partner had just had a baby.
Lisa Reimer said Wednesday her music classes were cancelled and she was told to work from home marking papers until her one-year temporary employment contract with Little Flower Academy expires in June. She said the effect of the orders, which came after the school apparently received complaints from parents who didn't like a homosexual instructor teaching their children, amounts to dismissal. "I feel like I've been fired with a payout," she told reporters at a news conference. "All the families have been told I am on a personal leave, which I am not." She said the school took the action just as she was preparing to return to work after a three-week leave following the birth of her son. But in a statement issued late Wednesday, Celso Boscariol, the chairman of the school's board of directors, said Reimer "has not been fired, and she remains in the services of LFA until June 30 and will continue to be paid accordingly."
Upon her employment Reimer signed an agreement that as a non-Catholic, she would not speak against the Catholic faith or attempt to influence students with "non-Catholic values," something she says she has not done.

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UPDATED: Phoenix Man Stabbed To Death During Grindr Hook-Up With 19 Year-old

UPDATE: Police are saying that despite earlier reports, Grindr was NOT the service used by the killer to meet his victim. Via press release:
From the Phoenix Police Dept Press Office:

Hello all. Our detectives have learned through this continuing investigation that it was not the "Grinder" IPHONE application that was used by the victim to make contact with the suspect, it was in fact a different social network. Because this investigation is continuing, I do not have the information regarding the actual site that was used. I would ask that, as you continue to report this grizzly crime to your viewers readers and listeners, you use "unknown social network" in regards to how the victim and suspect were connected.

I will continue to update you on this investigation as information is received. Thanks as always,

Detective James R Holmes

Phoenix Police Department
Media Relations Unit
JMG: I have made changes to the post below, including removing the incorrect television report.

Phoenix police say 54 year-old Mark Woodland was brutally murdered on Sunday by 19 year-old Tommy Reed when the two hooked-up after meeting on Grindr an unknown social media site.
Phoenix Police Det. James Holmes said officers responded to a residence in the area of 40th Street and Greenway Road around midnight Sunday after a resident returned home to find his apartment ransacked. When officers went inside to check they found a downstairs bathroom door closed and the lights on inside, according to Holmes. They did not get an answer to a knock on the door. Holmes said when officers looked under the door they could see a body on the floor and when they forced the door open found the victim badly beaten. He also appeared to have been stabbed repeatedly, Holmes said. Phoenix firefighters were called to the home and the victim, 54-year-old Mark Woodland, was pronounced dead. Woodland's roommate reported he had received a text message from the victim around 5 p.m. saying he was going to pick up a male date, whom he met on a social networking application, and bring him home. Woodland apparently asked his roommate to not be at home. The victim reportedly sent a second text at around 6 p.m. to ensure that his roommate had left the apartment. The roommate left and returned around 11 p.m. to find the home ransacked.
Using the victim's phone, police were able to contact a friend in California who provided the user name of the suspect.

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Quote Of The Day - Donald Trump

"Well it all starts with the federal government not coming out with a law. They've been talking about it for years and they still haven't done anything about it. And Arizona is really getting crime-ridden. There's people coming over, there's killings all over the place, there's shootings all over the place. What are you going to do? I mean, are you going to stop people to see if they're supposed to be there? And personally as a citizen I wouldn't mind, I really wouldn't mind." - Donald Trump, telling CNN's Larry King that he has no problem with Arizona's racist new law.

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SUNDAY: DADT Rally At White House

GetEQUAL, Queer Rising, and Talk About Equality will join forces for an anti-DADT rally at the White House this Sunday. Via press release:
WHO: Speakers Include Lt. Dan Choi, Capt. Jim Pietrangelo II, Lt. Robin Chaurasiya, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, Spc. Jarrod Chlapowski, Maj. Mike Almy, Capt. Tanya Domi, Cpl. Brett Edward Stout, Sgt. Brian Fricke, Sgt. Justin Elzie

WHERE: Lafayette Park across from The White House

Sunday, May 2, 2010, 12:00 noon (EDT) to 3:00 pm (EDT)
A solidarity rally will take place on the same day at the Phoenix office of Sen. John McCain.

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Voice Of America On DC Marriage

Good As You tips us to this report on gay marriages in Washington DC from the Voice Of America, the official international news service of the federal government. The clip interviews newlyweds and discusses DC's growing gay marriage industry.

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Illinois Rep. Deb Mell Announces Engagment On House Floor

Yesterday Illinois state Rep. Deb Mell announced her engagement to her female partner on the floor of the state legislature.
"Two weeks ago I asked Christin Baker to marry me, and she said yes," Mell told the assembled legislature, eliciting warm applause from her colleagues. Of course, she won't be able to be married in Illinois, as same-sex marriages aren't recognized in this state. With that in mind, she recognized it as a moment of mixed emotions. "While this is a happy day, and one to celebrate, it is also bittersweet," Mell said. "Life can be tough even on a good day, so I believe if you find that person who you want to spend the rest of your life with, regardless if you're gay or straight it should be honored and celebrated." In a stirring and emotional show of support, seven fellow legislators rose after Mell to congratulate her and Baker on their engagement. Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, from Chicago, teared up as she remembered the early stages of Mell's and Baker's relationship, and vowed to fight for marriage equality in Illinois.
Dell plans to marry in Iowa. Here are the clips of her speech and of the reaction of her fellow legislators.

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HomoQuotable - Sean Strub

"The approach to prevention and treatment of HIV in the U.S. has undergone a radical and dangerous shift over the past few months. The new concept, called 'Test and Treat' (TNT) or 'Testing with Linkage to Care' (TLC) will dramatically increase HIV testing, identify more people with HIV and "link" them to care. Those are worthy objectives.

"The danger is that some policy leaders driving these ideas are more interested in 'treatment as prevention', meaning getting people with HIV on antiretroviral treatment, than they are in providing the best possible healthcare for them. Because antiretroviral treatment makes one less likely to transmit HIV, they believe treating all people with HIV is a good prevention strategy. Neither the state of the science or government guidelines support antiretroviral treatment for every person with HIV, but advocates, public health officials and pharmaceutical companies are promoting the idea.

"There are also plenty of TNT/TLC proponents, aware of the ethical issues, who rightly recognize that treatment should be recommended only within government-established guidelines supported by conclusive science. But when important public health officials announce publicly that they seek to put everyone with HIV on treatment, it is cause for concern and ethically unacceptable without informed consent." - Longtime HIV/AIDS activist Sean Strub, writing for POZ Magazine.

Strub says that the new campaign to begin drug treatment immediately upon an HIV+ diagnosis is more of an attempt to reduce the infectiousness of the public and overlooks the danger and side-effects of long-term HAART therapy. I expressed a similar concern earlier this month.

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Mithly: A Magazine For Gay Arabs

Mithly, a groundbreaking magazine for gay Arabs, has launched in Morocco. Although an online magazine for gay Arabs launched out of Lebanon in 2007, Mithly is first such print title.
Mithly means "the same as me" in Arabic; it is also a respectful way to refer to homosexuals. It is a word that the people behind Mithly magazine would like to see replace the more common "shazz," meaning pervert or deviant in Arabic, or "zemel," an expletive to describe gays in the Moroccan Berber dialect. Mithly was launched in the Moroccan capital Rabat earlier this month. Even though the magazine has received partial funding from the European Union, it was printed clandestinely and its first 200 issues were distributed under the counter. In Morocco, as in the rest of the Arab world, homosexuality is a criminal offense, punishable with six months to three years in jail. "So far the reporting about homosexuals in Morocco has been the monopoly of the mainstream media, most of which describe us as perverts and a menace to society," said a journalist for Mithly who identified himself only as Mourad. "Mithly is a chance for homosexuals to give their side of the story. We wanted to give homosexuals in the Arab world a voice."
You can read Mithly online here.

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Easy Eternal Rider

At the request of the family of the deceased, a funeral home in Puerto Rico posed the embalmed body of a motorcycle enthusiast astride his favorite ride. Beyond creepy.

(Tipped by JMG reader Chris)

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Disney Site Gets Male Fairy

Disney has added a male fairy to its popular online world of Pixie Hollow.
It was a pleasant surprise this week when Pixie Hollow publicist Sweet Pea announced to the community that it was welcoming a new member. His name is Slate -- and he's the joint's first guy. Like Peter Pan's famous blond friend, Slate has talent for tinkering. And if you must know, he's not a fairy; he's a "sparrow man." Whatever you say, Slate. Nice wings, by the way. Slate's also quite the metrosexual – he thinks that "Coal's Clothiers has got some great Sparrow Man threads -- and my good buddy, Gavin, up in Evergreen Overlook has some amazing hats and accessories for Sparrow Men as well." It's pretty clear that Slate will serve mainly as somebody else for little girls to dress up, a token boy in a flower-festooned pixie land. But his mere presence gives every kid the option of deciding for herself – and himself – their roles in that world. The fact that when young visitors create characters now they're presented with both a female and a male avatar and prompted to "please pick one" is a big deal for a generation that's going to grow up spending a portion of its life online. It says that there are choices.
Slate? They could have done better than that.

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Why Did DC Honor "Ex-Gay" Group PFOX?

Christian Newswire is crowing this morning about a certificate of appreciation given to the leader of the nasty "ex-gay" group PFOX by DC Mayor Adrian Fenty.
The government of the District of Columbia has awarded a certificate of appreciation to Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX). The certificate, signed by D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, recognizes Griggs for her "dedication, commitment, and outstanding contributions as Executive Director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays." "Regina's award is well-deserved," said Greg Quinlan, President of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays. PFOX presented the award to Griggs last week in honor of her ten years of volunteer service to parents and the ex- gay community. "Regina has served as executive director without pay. Instead, she prefers that donations be used to develop resources for families and teens, to promote unconditional love for all regardless of sexual orientation, and to seek equal access and protection for the ex-gay community," said Quinlan. "Her dedication is unparalleled."
The Gay & Lesbian Activist Alliance of Washington DC is NOT happy.
In an open letter addressed to Mafara Hobson, spokesperson of the mayor's office, Rick Rosendall, vice president of political affairs for GLAA, says: ''PFOX is notorious as a purveyor of junk science which constitutes an ongoing slander against gay people. ''GLAA in the past has defended PFOX's First Amendment right to express its noxious views, but PFOX certainly does not deserve any honor or recognition from our Mayor.'' Rosendall goes on to request three things: an explanation of the honor, a rejection of the ''ex-gay'' movement from Fenty, and a description of what Fenty plans to do to undo the perception that he approves of PFOX's mission. ''Given the Mayor's record of support for gay families,'' Rosendall adds, ''it is painful to see him honor someone with the pernicious record of a Regina Griggs.''
Seriously, Fenty. WTF?

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Fenty has issued an apology.
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty apologized Thursday over his decision to issue a certificate of appreciation honoring the leader of the ex-gay movement, which believes homosexuals can be rehabilitated. Fenty’s statement comes one day after local and national gay-rights leaders demanded to know why Fenty honored Regina Griggs, executive director of the Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays. Mafara Hobson, a Fenty spokeswoman, called Griggs’ award a “staff-level error.” “We apologize for the error as it runs contrary to the mayor’s vision of a more open and inclusive city,” Hobson said. “The mayor is proud of his ardent support of the LGBT community.”

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La Cage Montage

JMG reader CB points out a new montage clip for the revival of La Cage Aux Folles, which I'm posting since so many of you were curious about the casting of Kelsey Grammer.

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SLIDESHOW: Marriage Equality New York's 12th Annual Gala In NYC

Last night Marriage Equality New York staged their 12th annual fundraising gala in NYC, honoring LGBT advocates NY Sen. Jose Peralta, actor B.D. Wong, attorney Shannon Minter, and activist group Queer Rising. The evening was hosted by the ever-effervescent Marti Gould Cummings. I was unable to attend, but JMG staff photographer Dr. Jeff did his usual stellar work on the red carpet for us.

Lots of bold-face names in the photos below, including songstress/comedian Lea DeLaria, MENY head Cathy Marino-Thomas, Village People's Randy Jones, actor Leslie Jordan, Reichen Lekmkuhl, Broadway's Marty Thomas, NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm, NYC Comptroller John Liu, the cast of Hair, civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland, and many more.

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Open Thread Thursday

Tell us how technology has changed your reading habits. Kindle? iPad? Internet-only? Dead trees? What are you reading right now and how are you reading it?

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HP Buys Palm For $1B

Hewlett-Packard has bought struggling smart phone supplier Palm for $1 billion.
The companies announced Wednesday that the deal will see HP pay $5.70 for every Palm common share. Palm had closed trading Wednesday at $4.63 but traded as high as $18.09 in the past 52 weeks. When debt is included, the deal values Palm at $1.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of July. Last year Palm unveiled a stylish touch-screen phone, the Pre, that was well reviewed but didn't ring up many sales. Palm struggled to stand out in a market dominated by Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd.

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China Lifts HIV Travel Ban

Similar to a recent move by the United States, China has lifted their ban on visitors with HIV.
Days before travelers worldwide are to begin arriving for Shanghai’s world exposition, China has lifted a two-decade ban on travel to the country by people who carry the virus that causes AIDS or who have other sexually transmitted diseases. The action also removed a longstanding ban on travel to China by people with leprosy. The government approved amendments to a 1986 law governing quarantines and a 1989 law regulating entry by foreigners, removing prohibitions related to people with H.I.V., which causes AIDS, China’s State Council, a body roughly equivalent to the White House cabinet, reported on its Web site late Tuesday.
Unlike the United States, which took many months to implement the change, China's move is effective immediately.

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Powerball Winner Caught On Tape

As a local Missouri television crew followed Powerball officials at the convenience store that sold the winning $258M ticket, a rather ramshackle looking fellow walks up to inquire about his numbers. I love it when these winners seem to be hard luck cases. How did he stay so calm?

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Iowa GOP Candidate: Put Microchips In Immigrants Just Like We Do With Dogs

Iowa GOP congressional candidate Dr. Pat Bertroche says the government should put microchips in illegal immigrants. Just like we do with dogs at the pound.
Speaking at a forum Monday in Toledo, 3rd District Republican candidate Pat Bertroche said police should catch illegal immigrants and document their whereabouts. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that he added, "I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal?" Bertroche — one of seven Republicans seeking the nomination to run against Democrat Leonard Boswell — said in a statement Tuesday that his comment was social commentary on how inane the immigration issue has become. He said using microchips is as radical an idea as suggestions to build a fence across the nation's border with Mexico to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
The silicon chip inside his head got switched to overload.

(Tipped by JMG reader Craig)

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June 16th: Prop 8 Closing Arguments

Perry vs. Schwarzenegger Judge Vaughn Walker has set June 16th as the date for the closing arguments. Hilariously, Protect Marriage now wants to suppress the damning testimony of their own witness. Via Prop 8 Trial Tracker:
But besides setting a date for closing arguments, Judge Walker set a date for the defense counsel to submit their motion to suppress at least part of Dr. Tam’s testimony. As you recall, Dr. Tam was the right-wing San Francisco minister who believed that his kids will turn gay if marriage equality was allowed to remain. We’ll find out on May 7th how much of the testimony they want stricken from the record, and what is their basis. Our side will have until May 10th to then file an objection.

So what happens if Dr. Tam’s testimony is taken out? Dr. Tam was powerful evidence that Prop 8 was driven by animus and a hatred of homosexuals, which would be enough to strike Prop 8 — even under the more lenient “rational basis” grounds set up in Romer v. Evans (1996.) But while Dr. Tam’s testimony is damning and it should be kept in, there was a whole lot of other evidence that our side presented. In fact, when it came time for the defense to produce their “experts,” there wasn’t a whole lot of reason they could provide.
Although Walker is unlikely to render his verdict in time, I suppose there's a chance of a very big celebration come Pride.

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EARLY REPORT: Supremes "Skeptical" About Protect Marriage's Argument

According to early reports from today's Supreme Court hearing of the Referendum 71 case, justices on both sides of the ideological aisle are rather skeptical of Protect Marriage's claim that violent homosexuals will rain down retribution on the signers of the anti-gay petition. Even Scalia seems to be on the correct side.
Supreme Court justices from the left and the right were skeptical Wednesday as a lawyer for religious conservatives argued that Washington State has no right to release the names of the 138,000 residents who signed ballot petitions to overturn a same-sex domestic partnership law. Associate Justice John Paul Stevens dismissed the arguments as "touchy feely" and Justice Antonin Scalia said "Democracy requires a certain amount of civic courage." James Bopp Jr., a lawyer for Protect Marriage Washington, argued that those who signed the petition for Referendum 71 faced harassment and intimidation from gay rights groups if their names were released and maintained the right to privacy trumped the public's right to know. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, who argued for the state, also faced tough questioning as he maintained the voter approved Public Disclosure Act required the release of the names and there has been no evidence of harassment or intimidation.
The Court's decision could affect the transparency of the referendum process in every state.

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The Resurrection Of Crist

Florida Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Crist will announce tomorrow that he is leaving the GOP to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent. Teabaggers and other conservatives have flocked to support Crist's GOP primary opponent Marco Rubio, despite Crist's history of opposing gay rights and health care reform. Crist has long been ridiculed on wingnut blogs for his famous hugging moment with President Obama. A poll released last week shows Crist being trounced by Rubio in a GOP primary, but edging him slightly in the general election were he to run as an independent. Democratic candidate Rep. Kendrick Meek loses in all permutations of the survey.

(Tipped by JMG reader Band, who also provides the headline.)

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Arizona: Made In NYC

Angry about Arizona's new law, some consumers have launched a boycott of Arizona Iced Tea. Slight problem: the stuff is made in the NYC area, which is also home to the company's headquarters.
Online, misguided tea fans vowed to switch to Lipton or Snapple. "Dear Arizona: If you don't change your immigration policy, I will have to stop drinking your enjoyable brand of iced tea," Twittered Jody Beth in Los Angeles. "It is the drink of fascists," wrote Travis Nichols in Chicago. The company did not return messages asking if they planned to set the public straight. Founded in Brooklyn in 1992, the firm was based in Queens before moving into a new $35 million headquarters in Nassau County last year.
Actual Arizona companies: U-Haul, Best Western, Cold Stone Creamery.

UPDATE: Arizona Iced Tea has posted a notice to their website.

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Military Chaplains Call For Keeping DADT

Goaded on by the Family Research Council, a group of 40 retired military chaplains have sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to keep DADT in effect.
The chaplains argue in a letter to the commander in chief and defense secretary, due to go out Wednesday, that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would discriminate against some Christian chaplains. “We are deeply concerned that these changes would threaten the religious liberty of chaplains and service members,” the chaplains said in their letter, circulated Tuesday by the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund. A change in the military policy would force chaplains into a moral conundrum, they said, “whether they are to obey God or to obey men.” They also cite the recent dis-invitation of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins from an Air Force prayer meeting as evidence that a crackdown on those who oppose repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” is already under way.
Countering the above group, the Human Rights Campaign has organized a much larger group of clergy, including some military chaplains, who do support the repeal of DADT.
“As military chaplains, we routinely work with service members whose faith traditions and belief systems are different from ours. The idea that repeal of DADT will infringe on our religious liberty is insulting to all the serving chaplains who professionally minister to and with people of diverse beliefs every day,” said Captain John F. Gundlach, a retired Chaplain of the U.S. Navy. “It is time to realize that bigotry – not one’s sexual orientation – is incompatible with military service. It’s time for gay Americans to be able to serve our country proudly and openly, with continued courage, honor, and commitment.”

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VANCOUVER: 54 Year Old Man Busted For Grindr Hook-Up With Teen

A 54 year-old Vancouver man has been arrested after the mother of a 15 year-old boy called police to report that he and her son had hooked up for sex via Grindr.
Bren Tynan, 54, from Vancouver was charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching. Police said the suspect met the victim through geo-social networking app Grindr which allows app users to detect other users who are in proximity and converse with them. “The victim told police he met the suspect through a geo-social networking application called “GRINDR.” which is a social networking tool that targets gay and bisexual men,” said Cpl. Marlene Morton. Its basic concept is to connect the user to other gay and bisexual men who are nearby,” she said. “The application works on mobile devices that have a built-in GPS function,” she added. RCMP’s sex crimes unit Sgt. Jeanette Thiesen cautioned parents to be aware of what their children are doing.
Apple's rules stipulate that Grindr users must be 17 years old.

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How To Ruin Graduation

1. Turn your student invocation into an attack on the "worship of the intellectual mind" which is what everybody present is celebrating, really.
2. Go on for a long, droning, unbearable time.
3. Finish with a sobbing seizure in the the blood of the lamb.
4. Force call for ambulance over public address system.
5. Christianity jackpot!

(Tipped by JMG reader Michael)

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Tweet Of The Day - Arturo Sarukhan

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Rep. Steve King: Arizona Rep Has Already Ceded His District To Mexico

Moronic Rep. Steve King (R-IA) says that since Rep. Raul Grijalva is calling for a boycott of his own state, the U.S. has "already ceded" his district to Mexico. Bonus racist pandering points from Fox host Laura Ingraham in the below clip.
Well, it looks like the case is that, that he's trying to scare the businesses out of Arizona, or he's trying to get the businesses to change their position and press the legislature to reverse the law that was just signed by the governor the other day. I'm wondering if we look at the map of Congressman Grijalva's congressional district if we haven't already ceded that component of Arizona to Mexico judging by the voice that comes out of him, he's advocating for Mexico rather than the United States and against the rule of law, which is one of the central pillars of American exceptionalism.

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Coming To A School Near You

(Via - Library & Information Science News)

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Alabama Governor Candidate Promises English-Only Driver Tests

Tim James, GOP candidate for governor of Alabama, says if elected he'll do away with driver's license tests in all languages except English. The state currently offers the test in 12 languages.
James says the exams are a public safety issue. On his campaign website, he cited a 2004 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that connected a 72 percent increase in work/traffic-related fatalities to drivers' inability to read road signs in English. "It makes common sense to ensure everyone with an Alabama driver's license knows and understands traffic laws and traffic signs," he said. "Political correctness may endear you to the Rachel Maddow crowd, but here in Alabama, the safety of our people comes first." Drivers license exams are currently offered in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.

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TODAY: Supreme Court Hears R-71

The Supreme Court will hear the case of the terrifying homofascists today, as Protect Marriage Washington pleads to keep the names of the supporters of Referendum 71 shielded from public review. The Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders note the horrifying examples cited in one amicus brief. Via press release:
- A country club member in California, a supporter of Proposition 8, noted that "the openly gay members of the country club have changed their attitudes toward me. They used to greet me warmly; now, they give me looks of disdain and do not greet me as I pass."
- A person with a yard sign supporting Proposition 8 was disturbed on Halloween that some people "pointed and whispered to one another in disapproval" during trick-or-treating.
- A woman was upset that her brother, who is gay, would no longer speak to her after she told him she might vote for Proposition 8.

As the amicus brief says, these complaints "are not only trivial, they reflect a fundamental refusal to accept the legitimacy of speech that disagrees with the complainants' viewpoints, deeming it 'hateful' or 'harassing' simply because they do not like hearing it."

"There's nothing to see here, folks," said Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal. "There's no comparison between a few scattered instances of whispers and disapproving glares and the very real discrimination, harassment and even violence LGBT people experience every day all over the country. After all, more hate crimes are reported against gay people than any other group per capita in the United States." "The Petitioners are attempting to create a through-the-looking-glass world in which the aggressors are the victims and the victims the aggressors," said Gary Buseck, Legal Director of GLAD.
It's completely laughable from end to end. A ruling isn't expected for several months.

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