Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Glee Spoiler: Special Education

Stay out of the comments if you haven't yet seen tonight's episode. Otherwise, dive in and dish the strangeness. (The above clip may vanish from YouTube, of course.)

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Dan Savage: McCain Is A Bigot

"There's really no other explanation for his backflips and his hypocrisy other than just irrational animus, which is the definition of bigotry."

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Tweet Of The Day II - GetEQUAL

Today's summit with GOP leaders at the White House was primarily about extending the Bush tax cuts and the START treaty. And it was attended by GOP leaders of the House, which has already approved the repeal of DADT. GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was also there, but he's one of the staunchest opponents of repealing DADT. So who, exactly, was the president supposed to be "advocating" to?

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Tweet Of The Day - NOM

The above tweet comes from the new Twitter account of NOM's Facebook moderator, Louis Marinelli, who formerly tweeted for them as OneMan-OneWoman. It's not the first time Marinelli has expressed support for the repeal of DADT, which is all the more bizarre as he believes that all homosexuals are mentally ill.

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ILLINOIS: Civil Unions PASS In House

The Illinois state House has approved its civil unions bill by a vote of 61-52!
Openly gay Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), who co-sponsored SB 1716, started his opening statement at 5:17 p.m on Tuesday. "Once in every generation," he said, "legislatures across the country have a chance to advance the cause of liberty and justice for all. The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (SB 1716) which passed to cheers in the chamber with a 61-52 majority vote, received support from the Democratic leadership in Springfield, including Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who was present.
Also this afternoon the Illinois state Senate moved its version of the civil unions bill out of committee by a vote of 6-2. The state Senate will now vote on a concurrence bill.

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President Obama On DADT Survey

"Today's report confirms that a strong majority of our military men and women and their families-more than two thirds-are prepared to serve alongside Americans who are openly gay and lesbian. This report also confirms that, by every measure-from unit cohesion to recruitment and retention to family readiness-we can transition to a new policy in a responsible manner that ensures our military strength and national security. And for the first time since this law was enacted 17 years ago today, both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have publicly endorsed ending this policy.

"With our nation at war and so many Americans serving on the front lines, our troops and their families deserve the certainty that can only come when an act of Congress ends this discriminatory policy once and for all. The House of Representatives has already passed the necessary legislation. Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally. Our troops represent the virtues of selfless sacrifice and love of country that have enabled our freedoms. I am absolutely confident that they will adapt to this change and remain the best led, best trained, best equipped fighting force the world has ever known." - President Barack Obama.

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Maddow On DADT: All Eyes On The GOP

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NYC Slashes Funding For Homeless Youth

On Thanksgiving Eve, the Ali Forney Center received a grim letter from New York City's Department of Youth and Community Development.
Due to a combination of City and State budget reductions for FY11 and FY12, DYCD has made the difficult decision to reduce Runaway and Homeless Youth Services funds by $969,407 and $700,000, respectively, beginning this fiscal year. In order to preserve residential services for young people in need of a safe place to stay, DYCD has decided to modify Street Outreach and Drop-In Center Services. As a result of the combination of State and City reductions, Street Outreach Services will be reduced by 50% in FY11 and eliminated in FY12. Drop-In Center services funded by the City Council will be reduced by 50% in FY11 and DYCD’s Borough-based Drop-In Centers in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens will be reduced by one-third in FY11 and 23% in FY12. The Staten Island Drop-In Center will be reduced by 10% in FY12
Ali Forney Center executive director Carl Siciliano:
LGBT youth make up 40% of New York City's homeless youth population. Every night there are hundreds who suffer on the streets with nowhere safe to go. While I agree that housing is the most crucially needed service, outreach workers and drop-in centers are a lifeline for kids who are stranded on the streets without shelter. These reductions frankly constitute an attack on the safety and welfare of our most vulnerable youth.

I have been in contact with members of the City Council who are outraged by the cuts and want them overturned. I have been asked to have as many people as possible turn out for a DYCD-sponsored Forum on Homeless LGBT Youth this W
ednesday at 5:30pm at 1 Center Street, so the City can see that people are upset by these cuts. In order to show your support for our youth in a time of crisis, I am asking each one of you to make every effort to attend.
If you are in NYC, please consider attending tomorrow afternoon's emergency meeting! Location: Borough President Scott Stringer's conference room, 19th floor, 1 Center Street.

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Photo Of The Day

Gothamist reports: "To raise awareness for World AIDS Day, which is tomorrow, December 1, 2010, amfAR ambassadors Liza Minnelli and Cheyenne Jackson, amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole and fashion designer and Project Runway runner-up Mondo Guerra rang the opening bell this morning at the New York Stock Exchange."

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DADT Survey Reactions

Senators Gillibrand, Udall, and Liebermann
"The Pentagon report makes it unambiguously clear that the risk of repeal on military effectiveness is minimal, that any risks can be addressed by implementing the report’s recommendations, and that a clear majority of active duty servicemen and women have no problem with repeal. The military has spoken and now is the time to repeal this policy that is damaging to our national security. The report is the product of one of the most, if not the most, extensive studies on a military personnel issue that has ever been conducted and its findings demonstrate that we can proceed with repeal of this discriminatory policy in a way that ensures that the U.S. military continues to be the best fighting force in the world. Men and women, regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation, who are willing to fight and defend our country should be allowed to do so without fear of discrimination."
Servicemembers United
"This thorough and comprehensive report makes clear to lawmakers and the American people once and for all that the U.S. military is capable of handling the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' The questions are now answered and the debate is now settled," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "It's now up to the Senate to bring the defense authorization bill back to the floor, allow 10 to 20 amendments to be debated on each side, and get this bill passed. We have the votes now if the process is fair."
People For The American Way
“For years, the Right has fought to preserve the discriminatory, ineffective Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, claiming that allowing gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country would put American troops in harm’s way. The Defense Department’s comprehensive study exposes this ugly, dishonest fear-mongering for what it is. The vast majority of U.S. troops do not feel threatened by serving alongside gays and lesbians, and our military leaders say repealing the policy won’t put national security at risk—in fact, the opposite is true. Allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly makes all of us safer. The arguments for keeping Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have come up empty. It’s time for the Senate to listen to our troops, to the courts, to the majority of Americans, and to their own common sense, and end this failed experiment in discrimination once and for all.”
Stonewall Democrats
"Recent statements by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and even Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) that more study needs to take place before repeal are just stall tactics, especially given the thorough, year-long process that the Defense Department undertook to study the issue of repeal. We also find it ironic that the Senators said that the upper chamber should be talking about jobs and not ‘political’ issues like DADT repeal. We remind the Senators that DADT is about jobs: the jobs of thousands of soldiers, some of them mission critical and irreplaceable, who were discharged from the military because of the discriminatory DADT. DADT repeal is not some fringe issue being pushed by a small minority; it is an issue supported by a large majority of Americans and now, we find with the official release of the study, by an equally large majority of the military."
"This report definitely answers the question of the impact of DADT repeal on the military. Specifically, knowing a soldier is gay has no negative impact on readiness," said Jonathan Hopkins, former Army Captain and veteran of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We've known this for a long time. Among military members who know they've served with someone gay, 92% said that repeal would have little or no negative effect on military readiness. 69% of servicemembers who responded to the survey said they served with someone they knew or suspected was gay. "This study gets to the facts, and exposes the invented argument of 'unit cohesion' as a myth," said Hopkins. "Those who've served with gay or lesbian soldiers, Marines, or servicemembers of any stripe recognize that gay troops have – as the Pentagon report says – a 'patriotic desire to serve' as well as a 'desire to fit in, coexist, and succeed in the military environment.'""I don't want any special treatment. I just want them to take the knife out of my back so I can serve," said an anonymous gay Marine on the OutServe network.
Human Rights Campaign
“This issue has been studied for fifty years, including by the military itself, and the results from over twenty-two studies are uniform: open service does not harm effectiveness,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The small handful of Senators blocking repeal no longer have any fig leaves behind which to hide. The time for repeal is now.” “America’s men and women in uniform are professionals who already serve with gays and lesbians and repeal will do nothing to change their dedication to protecting our nation,” said Solmonese. “Senators who said they want to hear from military leaders and troops now have their answers. Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will allow every qualified man and woman to serve without sacrificing the high standards that have made our military great.”

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The "Gay Partners In Housing" Question

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The "Gays In The Showers" Question

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DADT Survey Graph

You may have to embiggen the images to read the results. The red bars indicate responses which predict no impact should DADT be repealed.

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Complete DADT Survey Results

I've uploaded the complete Department of Defense document to my Scribd account. Bloggers, feel free to grab the embed code. It's quite a long piece, more than 160 pages, plus the appendices.

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Finland Wants Its Troops To Stop Smoking

Wait, Finland has an army? I kid, I kid.

(Via - Copyranter)

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WikiLeaks Gets Animated

HomoQuotable - Kevin Troughton

"For many gay men 'straight-acting' is highly attractive, but 'straight' is even more so. So if you're looking for a description of yourself that will have the maximum appeal on your dating profile and can't use 'straight', for obvious reasons, maybe 'straight-acting' isn't so bad. It's clear and descriptive, and it's fit for purpose, providing that you can overlook the implication that '-acting' means you're just putting it on. [snip]

"And what if the pressure to be 'straight-acting' gradually squeezes out camp behaviour? Will we have lost something important? Perhaps we should be pleased to see it go, an unnecessary relic of a time when gay men risked prosecution and when a lisp and a limp wrist were a relatively safe way of communicating your sexuality to other men. Or maybe it would be a sell-out, allowing ourselves to be railroaded into behaving like straight men – and, what is more, the kind of straight men who are most likely to give us homophobic abuse or a beating.

"Perhaps gay men should view 'camp' in the same way as we view a minority language or regional accent, something to nurture and encourage, even if we don't speak that way ourselves." - Guardian UK columnist Keven Throughton, in a piece titled "The End Of Gay Men Being Camp."

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Family Research Council Issues Plea To Call Senators On DADT Repeal

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DADT Study Results Are Out

The Washington Post has leaked the results of the hotly-awaited DADT survey, which is not due to be officially released until later this afternoon.
According to a survey sent to 400,000 service members, 69 percent of those responding reported that they had served with someone in their unit who they believed to be gay or lesbian. Of those who did, 92 percent stated that their unit's ability to work together was very good, good, or neither good nor poor, according to the sources. Combat units reported similar responses, with 89 percent of Army combat units and 84 percent of Marine combat units saying they had good or neutral experiences working with gays and lesbians. At the same time, the report found that 30 percent of those surveyed overall -- and between 40 and 60 percent of the Marine Corps -- either expressed concern or predicted a negative reaction if Congress were to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law, which allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military on the condition that they keep their sexuality a secret.
It appears that a rather large percentage of soldiers (particularly Marines) have had no problem working with gay servicemembers, yet still don't want DADT to be repealed.

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Kylie Minogue & The PS22 Chorus

Disco pixie Kylie Minogue dropped in on Staten Island's famed PS22 fifth grade chorus for a couple of numbers during her visit to NYC for the Macy's Parade.

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Comcast Clamps Down On Netflix

Comcast has just about closed on its deal to acquire NBC-Universal, meaning that they'll soon have a much greater stake in directing their customers to their own streaming entertainment properties. So it's not too surprising that they are already charging the competition more to deliver Netflix movies to Comcast customers.
Level 3 Communications Inc., an Internet backbone company that supports Netflix Inc.'s increasingly popular movie streaming service, complained Monday that cable giant Comcast Corp. is charging it an unfair fee for the right to send data to its subscribers. Comcast replied it is being swamped by a flood of data and needs to be paid. Level 3 said it agreed to pay under protest, but that the fee violates the principles of an "open Internet." It also goes against the Federal Communications Commission's proposed rules preventing broadband Internet providers from favoring certain types of traffic, it said. "Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content," said Level 3's chief legal officer, Thomas Stortz, in a statement.
Comcast has a history of "throttling" (slowing down) the signals of heavy download customers such as those accessing BitTorrent or Netflix. The FCC continues to back the Net Neutrality bill which would prevent internet providers from charging more for signals from their competitors. Netflix now accounts for about 20% of all internet downstreaming in North America.

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MINNESOTA: "Family Values" Group Denied Standing In Marriage Suit

Via a press release from Marry Me Minnesota, we learn of a positive development that took place last week.
On November 24th, Minnesota Fourth District Court Judge Mary S. DuFrense denied a motion by the Minnesota Family Council to intervene as defendants against a lawsuit brought by three same same-sex couples and one minor child to strike down Minnesota laws that deny marriage equality. In her rebuff to the Minnesota Family Council and its multi-million dollar backers in the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, Judge DuFrense held that the Council's "strong feelings" and "purely ideological" interest in the lawsuit do not give it standing in court. "We appreciate the Judge's decision to deny the Minnesota Family Council's motion and believe it ensures that our case will be decided on its merits, without the interference of anti-gay ideologues," said, Douglas Benson, Executive Director of Marry Me Minnesota, a non-profit organization formed by the litigating gay couples. The couples' lead attorney, Peter J. Nickitas of Minneapolis, declared, "This decision is a great victory for the plaintiffs and their families, marriage equality, and the integrity of the court system."

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Kenyan TV Covers Prime Minister's Call For The Arrest Of All Homosexuals

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Elton John To Headline AFER Fundraiser

Elton John in November 2008: "We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage. I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership."

Despite that position, Elton will be performing a charity concert for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group backing the repeal of Prop 8. Via press release:
Sir Elton John will perform a concert on Wednesday, January 19 at a private home in Beverly Hills to raise funds for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The Foundation’s case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, is the federal constitutional challenge against Prop. 8. The Foundation was victorious in federal district court earlier this year, and will argue before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 6. “We are deeply honored to have the support of Sir Elton John,” said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. “The American Foundation for Equal Rights stands for the enduring principle that all Americans are created equal, and believes that ending state-sanctioned discrimination is a critical step we must take toward ending the hate crimes and suicides that continue to claim the lives of young Americans.” The event will be held at the "Green Acres" estate of Ron Burkle.

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Concerned Women Are Concernstipated About Being Labeled Haters By SPLC

"The SPLC began as a civil rights organization in the 1960s, but has been marginalized by 'gay rights' organizations. They no longer simply focus on the noble cause of fighting racism and have, instead, become another tool for the left. This time, the SPLC has taken their liberal propaganda too far. By demonizing traditional family groups that support traditional marriage, they just put a huge portion of the African-American community in California in the same category with the rest us so-called bigots.

"According to an Associated Press exit poll, 70 percent of African-Americans in California (virtually all of whom voted for Barack Obama) also voted for Prop 8 and in support of traditional marriage in 2008. The very people the SPLC supposedly seeks to protect from bigotry and 'hate crimes' are heavily in favor of the very institution that the SPLC is fighting against." - Botox addict and CWA president Penny Nance.

FACT CHECK: Good As You's Jeremy Hooper points out that CWA has actually not been added to the list of hate groups by the SPLC, they are merely listed as "anti-gay." Hooper also notes that merely being opposed to marriage equality is not, by the SPLC's standards, enough to be considered a hate group.

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ILLINOIS: Civil Unions Vote Today

The Illinois General Assembly is expected to vote on civil unions today and it looks like the vote may be very close. Kevin Wayne reports at Chicago Pride:
As the probable Tuesday vote looms, Equality Illinois and The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) continued to lobby legislators in support of the bill late Monday. Both advocacy groups have returned to the Capitol early Tuesday morning. "We are just a few votes away in the House for victory," Equality Illinois public policy director Rick Garcia told ChicagoPride.com Monday night. "We are working this evening in firming up our yes votes and making sure that all of our yes votes are on the floor tomorrow." "I'm feeling good about this," said Jacob Meister, TCRA Board Chairman. Meister's group along with LGBT change have contacted over 16,000 LGBT and allied voters, through an aggressive lobbying project over the last month. He said they have successfully been able to reach into "swing and persuadable districts" through what he describes as "sophisticated micro-targeting."
If the bill passes in the Assembly, it will go directly to the state Senate for a concurrence vote, where it is expected to pass. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has promised to sign it.

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David Lynch - Good Day Today

Director David Lynch takes a stab at dance music.

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Alliance Defense Fund Celebrates Win On "Keeping God" In Pledge Of Allegiance

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Quote Of The Day - Judson Phillips

"The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn't you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you're a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you're not a property owner, you know, I'm sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners." - Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, saying that only home owners should be able to vote.

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AFA: Prop 8 Repeal Will Be Upheld

The American Family Association's "marriage expert" is predicting a 2-1 split in favor of upholding the repeal of Proposition 8.

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Pomplamoose - Deck The Halls

Get the Pomplamoose holiday album for free when you donate a book to the Richmond Book Drive.

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Dan Savage On Colbert Report

At the end of the segment Dan gets a commitment from Stephen Colbert to do an It Gets Better video of his own.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Lady Gaga For The Repeal Of DADT

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SPLC Vs. FRC's Tony Perkins

Note that Liar Perkins quotes a made up statistic from the American College of Pediatricians which is a made up group. But points to Chris Matthews for giving SPLC the majority of the airtime.

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OutServe's Jonathan Hopkins On DADT

Shortly before this appearance on MSNBC, the relatively unknown OutServe issued a press release announcing contact details for their 27 chapters around the world.
“Making OutServe chapters available in these hopefully last critical weeks of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ debate will allow the media access to speak confidentially with gay and lesbian service members and regional OutServe leadership, who will be able to talk about their hopes and plans for a post-DADT military, one where they can serve openly and with integrity,” said JD Smith, OutServe co-director. “Post-repeal, we anticipate these chapters will serve as points of contact for military personnel who wish to reach out to actively serving gay and lesbian military members as a resource and as colleagues.” OutServe currently has more than 1,200 members worldwide. The organization’s largest regional chapters are those in Southern California and Germany, with 110 and 83 members, respectively. OutServe’s Afghanistan/Iraq chapter has 50 members. The organization’s average chapter size is 45 members.

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Christianist Groups Join Forces: Don't Believe Lies Of The Environmentalists

"Environmentalism is deadly to the gospel of Jesus Christ."

(Via - Right Wing Watch)

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Haters Already Crying About Prop 8 Panel

The judges for next week's hearing on the overturn of Proposition 8 have been selected and the wingnuts are already screaming about judicial activists!!11one!

Via National Review:
The Ninth Circuit has just announced that the panel hearing the appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s anti-Prop 8 ruling will consist of Stephen Reinhardt, Michael D. Hawkins, and N. Randy Smith. As regular Bench Memos readers know, Reinhardt (appointed by President Carter in 1980) may well be the most aggressive liberal judicial activist in the nation—and the most reversed judge in history. Hawkins, a 1994 Clinton appointee, is also regularly on the Left on the Ninth Circuit. Smith, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007, is much more of a judicial conservative.
The hearing is set for next Monday and as of today its telecast is still planned.

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Robert Gibbs: Obama Meets Today With Joint Chiefs Over DADT Study

The study is set to be released tomorrow. Wonk Room has the transcript:
GIBBS: I believe the President has seen part of [the report]…I think the President strongly believed that this was an issue that can and should be solved legislatively, encourage the Senate to act legislatively on the Defense Authorization bill and particularly on changing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That’s our position now and I don’t believe the release of the report will do anything but strengthen that case.

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Quote Of The Day - Bryan Fischer

"In a strange way, it is a badge of honor for these groups to be tagged now by the SPLC as hate groups. It’s a sign of desperation on the part of the SPLC, and a sign that they are so threatened by the truths that these groups speak that they are now flailing about trying to silence them rather than to debate them. They’ve given up winning on points, and so have taken to trying to run them off the field. Their strategy now is not to persuade the public but to demonize their cultural adversaries.

"I’ve often maintained that liberals, progressives, Democrats, socialists, Marxists, etc. - they’re all the same under the covers - hate free speech. They hate freedom of religion, and they hate freedom of the press, because such freedoms threaten their stranglehold on public discourse and their goal of indoctrinating the American people with their non-traditional moral values. They hate the First Amendment, for the very reason that it was designed by the Founders to protect robust public discourse on political and social matters." - American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer.

(Via - Good As You)

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DC Marriage Bureau Rejects Skype Marriage Of Dallas Gay Couple

The Dallas gay couple who got married via Skype with the help of a DC pastor has had their marriage ruled invalid because it did not take place within the District. From a letter sent to their DC-based pastor:
"The return is invalid because it has come to the attention of the court that the subject contracting parties to the marriage and you, the officiant, did not all personally participate in a marriage ceremony performed within the jurisdictional and territorial limits of the District of Columbia," the letter reads. Alexander-Reid also received a fresh marriage license from the court. Alexander-Reid could use it to re-officiate a Reed-Walkup ceremony, should they choose to marry again in D.C., this time "with all parties . . . in physical attendance."
(Via - Amanda Hess @ TBD)

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Hillary Clinton On WikiLeaks

Madame Secretary is pissed.

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Obama Calls For Federal Wage Freeze

President Obama today called for a two year freeze on the wages of all federal employees.
According to the administration, the two-year pay freeze would save $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and $28 billion over the next five years. The freeze would not apply to military personnel, but would apply to all civilian federal employees, including those in various alternative pay plans and those working at the Department of Defense. Federal workers shouldn't feel singled out: The White House says more tough choices are on the way. "This freeze is not to punish federal workers or to disrespect the work that they do," the White House said in a statement. "It is the first of many actions we will take in the upcoming budget to put our nation on sound fiscal footing -- which will ask for some sacrifice from us all."
Wanna bet the teabaggers still find a problem with this?

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This Should Be Good

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CANADA: "Ex-Gays" At Exodus Global Alliance May Lose Charity Status

Canada's New Democratic Party is working to rescind the charity status of Exodus Global Alliance, the "ex-gay" Christianist group recently denied such status in New Zealand.
"Our issue is that they purport to be able to cure homosexuality. Homosexuality is not an mental illness," said Matthew McLauchlin, co-chair of the federal NDP's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Committee. "If all we were talking about was promoting a certain religious view of homosexuality we wouldn't be having this conversation," he said. "They are promoting something that's directly against the public interest." McLauchlin, who ran for the NDP in three federal elections, said the Quebec wing of the NDP unanimously adopted a position to strip the organization of its charitable status at a convention in Gatineau on Nov. 20. "It can issue tax receipts for donations, but in our opinion it violates provisions of the Canada Revenue Agency that says that registered charities must offer a tangible public benefit," said McLauchlin.
While their website speaks of nothing but "curing homosexuality," Exodus makes no mention of such activities on their submitted request for tax-exempt status to the Canada Revenue Agency.

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Kim Kardashian Is Dead

In one of the strangest World AIDS Day campaigns ever seen, Kim Kardashian (who is famous for something, apparently) and artists such as Lady Gaga, Ryan Seacrest, and Justin Timberlake are declaring their "digital deaths" and refusing to use Twitter or Facebook until they've raised a million dollars. The money goes to Alicia Keys' Keep A Child Alive Foundation.

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Sarah Palin On WikiLeaks

Sarah Palin thinks that because she got Gawker to stop leaking excerpts of her book, the U.S. government should be able to stop the release of potentially damaging information by WikiLeaks. Which is hosted in Sweden, where "it is forbidden according to Swedish law for any administrative authority to make inquiries about the sources of any type of newspaper."

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Burlesque Bombs At Box Office

Burlesque was stinking up the joint at theaters nationwide this weekend and is now predicted not to make up its production cost.
According to estimates, two films are tied for fourth place this weekend: the $55 million Screen Gems musical Burlesque and the Fox thriller Unstoppable, each with approximately $11.8 million in ticket sales. Burlesque, which was hammered by critics (a less-than-stellar 33% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), got off to a pretty weak start with only $5.3 million in mid-week sales. For its first five days, Burlesque teased $17.2 million in ticket sales. Despite the presence of singers Aguilera and Cher, each whom have a considerable fan following (I think), it appeared that no one outside of those two camps were interested in seeing the latest Chicago wannabe.
I'm told that Burlesque even played to mostly-empty houses in Chelsea. Chelsea!

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Thomas Roberts - It Gets Better

Openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts mentions his own attempt at suicide as a result of anti-gay bullying.

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Black Friday Stampede

At least nobody got killed this year.

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Dr. Laura Signs With SiriusXM

Following a national uproar after she repeatedly used the n-word on the air, Dr. Laura Schlessinger has signed a multi-year contract with SiriusXM.
Schlessinger's syndicated advice program, Dr. Laura, will end on traditional radio Dec. 31. She begins at Sirius on Monday, Jan. 3. Schlessinger found herself in hot water when she used the N-word on her show while speaking to a black female caller. In August, days after the controversy, she said on CNN's Larry King Live that she would quit her program after the contract ended. Sirius' talk programming head Jeremy Coleman contacted her, according to Schlessinger. "The first and most important thing that appealed to me was the freedom to speak my mind without advertisers and affiliates being attacked by activist groups that just love to censor anything they don't agree with," she said. "That just about made my heart and head explode."
Schlessinger says her new show will be about the "morals, values, principles and ethics" that she has long stood for. A campaign calling on advertisers to boycott her new show has already been launched.

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Tweet Of The Day - Stevie Johnson

Buffalo Bills player Stevie Johnson took to Twitter to blame God because he dropped a potentially game-winning pass. God responded by unfollowing Johnson.

(Via - Gawker)

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Sen. Lindsey Graham: The Votes Are Not There For The Repeal Of DADT

GOP closet case Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) said yesterday that there are not enough Senate votes for a repeal of DADT.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Sunday the Senate likely doesn't have enough Republican votes during Congress' lame-duck session to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military. "I think in a lame-duck setting, 'don't ask, don't tell' is not going anywhere," Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, said on "Fox News Sunday." The statement puts renewed pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, who has vowed to call for a full Senate vote on the issue before the congressional session ends at Christmas break.
Democrats need two GOP votes in order to block a filibuster on DADT.

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KENYA: Prime Minister Raila Odinga Calls For Jailing All Homosexuals

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has issued a call for his nation's homosexuals to be rounded up and jailed.
"Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested," Odinga said at a rally on Sunday, in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. "Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested." Speaking to his home constituency, Odinga, also a member of parliament, argued that since August census results showed the national population was perfectly split between men and women, there was "no need" for homosexuality. "This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in this country. Men or women found engaging in those acts deserve to be arrested and will be arrested," Odinga said to cheers and laughter in the crowd.
Odinga took power in 2008 after a widely-disputed election that resulted in riots and the deaths of more than 1500 people. While rarely prosecuted (at the moment) sex between men is illegal in Kenya, with penalties ranging from 5-14 years in prison.

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Archdiocese Of Baltimore Launches Ad Campaign To "Promote Marriage"

It's rather a mild message as these things go, but the Archdiocese of Baltimore has launched an ad campaign to "promote marriage." Maryland is at the top of the list of states where same-sex marriage may next be a reality.

(Tipped by JMG reader Dominic)

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CANADA: British Columbia Supreme Court Weighs Decriminalizing Polygamy

In a trial that is expected to last through January, British Columbia's Supreme Court is hearing the case of a fundamentalist sect of the Mormon Church, who are arguing that laws against polygamy violate Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The case involves now-dismissed criminal charges brought against the leaders of a small polygamous community in Bountiful, British Columbia.
Residents of Bountiful practise what Wickett described as a form of "fundamental Mormonism," which includes plural marriage. Although the mainstream Mormon church renounced polygamy more than a century ago, members of the FLDS believe plural marriage is a tenet of the faith. The community in Bountiful has split into two factions and Wickett represents the congregation with ties to the U.S.-based FLDS. About 550 people in Bountiful are part of that faction, and about 55 of them are polygamous, said Wickett. Lawyers for the provincial and federal governments have argued that polygamy has created a long list of problems in Bountiful, including child brides, teenage pregnancy, the trafficking of young girls to meet the demand for wives, the subjugation of women and the expulsion of boys to reduce competition for brides.

Wickett said there is very little evidence before the court of any of that happening in Bountiful. Rather, he said, critics with a long-standing bias are relying on the experiences of polygamous communities in the United States. "Members of the FLDS know full well that their beliefs and practices are neither understood … nor accepted by the majority of Canadians," said Wickett. Wickett said if there is abuse within Bountiful — which he suggested is no different than in a monogamous society — the existing law makes it worse because victims would be reluctant to come forward.
Christianist websites in the U.S. are following the case closely as they have long contended that same-sex marriage opens the door to polygamy.

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Michael Cassette - Ghost In The Machine

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Week In Holy Crimes

Over the last seven days...

: Pastor Carl Lloyd arrested for sodomizing a child.
New York: Rabbi Yehuda Kolko arrested for violating order of protection against 12 year-old boy he's accused of molesting.
Japan: Buddhist priest Nobuaki Matsumoto busted for hiring middle-school age prostitute.
Florida: Pastor Daniel Richard Robida charged with unlawful sexual acts with a child.
Ireland: Father Raymond Brady charged with molesting ten boys.
Missouri: Pastor Travis Ray Smith on trial for felony statutory rape and child molestation.
Britain: Imam Hafiz Rahman found guilty of child molestation.
Wisconsin: Father Robert Chukwu agrees to repay half of $180K he's accused of embezzling from his parish.
Virginia: Pastor Irwin Baldwin sentenced to 90 years in prison for soliciting sex from who he thought was a 13 year-old girl. Baldwin is 82.
Britain: Father David Pearce charged with sexual assault on a child. Pearce is already in prison for similar charges.
New Hampshire: Pastor Timothy Dillmuth found guilty of failing to report child molestation.
Alaska: Pastor Shawn Justice found guilty on eight felony counts of sexual abuse of a child.
Florida: Pastor Rodney McGill found guilty of swindling $40K in a church mortgage scam. McGill was found guilty of a similar crime last year.
Manitoba: Orthodox Archbishop Kenneth William Storheim charged with two counts of sexual assault on unnamed persons.
Indiana: Pastor Robert McFadden sentenced to four years in prison for sexual abuse of a 16 year-old girl.
Pennsylvania: Father Geraldo Pinero suspended after feds raid his rectory to break up his online Ponzi schemes.

This Week's Winner
Texas: Father John M. Fiala has been charged with hiring a hit man to murder the 12 year-old boy who has accused the priest of raping him at gunpoint. Police say Fiala offered $5000 to an informant to murder the child. In a separate pending lawsuit the boy contends that Fiala's diocese had attempted to cover up his accusations of molestation.

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Leslie Nielsen Dies At Age 84

Actor Leslie Nielsen of Airplane! and Naked Gun fame died this afternoon in Fort Lauderdale.
His death was first reported in unconfirmed messages on Twitter late Sunday that suggested the actor had died in the hospital after suffering from pneumonia. His nephew Doug Nielson, told CJOB that Leslie had been in the hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for 12 days and that with family and friends by his side at 5:30pm Sunday "he just fell asleep and passed away." Born in Regina, Canada, Leslie Nielsen appeared in more than 100 movies and hundreds of television shows over the course of his career. Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002 despite also being a naturalized US citizen.

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Chase Whiteside - It Gets Better

(Tipped by JMG reader Pete)

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John McCain: DADT Is Working Fine

"The military is at its highest point in recruitment, in retention, in professionalism, in capability so to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false."

(Via - AmericaBlog)

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NEW JERSEY: Atheism Billboard Goes Up At Lincoln Tunnel

The American Atheists have erected the above billboard at the New Jersey entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel as part of a campaign to encourage people to "come out of the closet" about their atheism and "stop going through the motions" of taking part in Christmas shopping and celebrations. Some Christians, who are not the target of the campaign, are upset.
“I don’t think it’s any good for the kids. I’ve got a 7-year-old daughter — she believes in Christmas,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan. “I don’t think that’s right. We don’t go around telling them what we think about [atheists], so why should they put up something like that,” another man said. The billboard went up the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and is expected to be up through Christmas Day. [American Atheists president David] Silverman said atheists were unfairly targeted in the “war on Christmas,” a phrase often related to the public display of Christmas imagery on government funded property. “We get blamed for a war on Christmas every year. This time we’re actually going to pay attention to that. We’re actually going to earn a little bit of that,” Silverman said. “We have been blamed repeatedly for being unpatriotic, we have been told that there are not atheists in fox holes, we have been told that we are immoral. Nobody has ever cared if we would be offended.” While acknowledging “everybody has the right to believe as they see fit,” Silverman said his group believed there were “a lot more people” who were atheists, but feared publicly admitting it. “A lot of people in church, a lot of people in the mosque, a lot of people in the synagogue know they’re praying to air,” Silverman said.

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Wayne Besen On Porno Pete LaBarbera

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

INDIA: Pepsi's "Gay" Commercial

In this Pepsi commercial from India, a young woman's male friend pretends to be the lover of her fiance in order to help her break up her arranged marriage. An Indian filmmaker discusses what the commercial may mean about changing attitudes towards gays:
This advert is extremely interesting comment on today’s India, as most ads and images always are. On the one hand homosexual relationships are respectfully normalized in this ad. There are no snide looks or jeers by the four parents who are shocked to realize this fact about the boy; their reactions never stoop to mockery. There are no ‘hai hai, ya allah, yeh zamana kahan ja raha hai’ (O my god, where is the world headed too) looks or reactions. From the point of view of accepting people with different (or multiple) sexual orientations, this ad is truly celebratory and the makers need to be commended for it.

Interestingly, however, the girl in this seemingly ‘progressive’ ad continues to be denied her agency to decide what is good or bad for her. Her power relation with her parents continues to be in the previous century, though she has 21st century friends who are cool enough to act (very soon ads will have normal homosexuals too and not just pretenders) as gays without demeaning gays. If we use Pepsi’s cola colored lens to understand young India, it looks like it is saying ‘homosexuality – okay’, ‘girls having wild male friends – okay’, ‘parents deciding who their girls should marry – okay too’.
Obviously the person who titled this clip for YouTube feels differently.

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Missed Connections

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Tom Vilsack - It Gets Better

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's message is directed at rural kids. These days he is the Secretary of Agriculture.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Illinois Family Institute: Civil Unions Will Lead To Polygamous Marriages

The Illinois Family Institute, a SPLC-certified hate group, says that if civil unions are approved in Illinois, polygamous marriages will be next.
Section 10 of this bill states that any partner in a civil union shall be legally considered a "spouse" and "family." "This is same-sex marriage sans the name," said David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute. "That is simply something that American voters have rejected time and time again. Voters in 31 states have rejected redefining marriage and family at the ballot box. The people in Illinois are no different."

Those who want to redefine marriage often insist that the only necessary qualification for marriage is "love." Under that rationale, there can logically be no boundaries as to what constitutes marriage. Any combination or number of consenting individuals must ultimately gain the same legal and societal sanction as traditional marriage. While love is vital, it is not the definitive element of marriage, and love is certainly not the concern of government. We love many people we do not marry.
RELATED: Last week the Illinois Family Institute declared that Dan Savage promotes "anti-Christian evil" and therefore no public figure should associate themselves with the It Gets Better Project. The IFI also supports the repeal of any laws offering civil rights or hate crimes protections to LGBT Americans. From 2003-2006 the executive director of the IFI was Porno Pete LaBarbera.

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Quote Of The Day - Matt Barber

"So, center-right America: If you happen to believe in the sanctity of natural marriage and that, as a culture, we're best served by honoring the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic of our forefathers, you're now an official 'hater.'

"Of course, the tired goal of this silly meme is to associate in the public mind's eye mainstream conservative social values with racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The ironic result, however, is that, as typically occurs with such ad hominem and hyperbolic attacks, the attacker ends up marginalizing himself and galvanizing his intended target (I'm rubber, you're glue and all that).

"Hence, beyond a self-aggrandizing liberal echo chamber, the SPLC - and by extension the greater "progressive" movement - has become largely, as it stews in its own radicalism, just another punch line. It's often said that the first to call the other a Nazi has lost the argument. Congratulations, conservative America: They're calling you a Nazi. Carry on." - Liberty Counsel spokesbigot Matt Barber, riding the waahbulance over the SPLC's new hate groups list.

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Pope Benedict: Even If God Did Make You Gay, You Still Should Not Be Gay

In another excerpt from his coming book/interview, Pope Benedict says that he doesn't know if people are born gay or not. But even if God did make you this way, you shouldn't BE this way. Or something.
He said it was still an open question whether homosexual inclinations are innate or arise early in life. In any case, he said, if these are strong inclinations, it represents "a great trial" for the homosexual. "But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed," he said.
Remember, God doesn't make mistakes. But if he DOES make mistakes, that's your problem to deal with. Benedict also says there's no inherent contradiction in calling homosexuals "intrinsically disordered" and still offering them respect. Got that? Yes, you are a mentally ill freak. But we mean that in the nicest way.

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General Motors Thanks America

Yesterday General Motors ran this oddly affecting clip thanking Americans for bailing them out of bankruptcy.

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Obama: I Don't Think About Sarah Palin

That bit comes at 3:30. The rest is about Bristol Palin.

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Evening View

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tweet Of The Day II - Kathy Griffin

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Quote Of The Day - Tony Perkins

"The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing.

"This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC. The Left is losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination. It's a sad day in America when we can not, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.

"The Left's smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so. Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?

"Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination." - Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

Notice how all these reactions are coming on Thanksgiving, when none of their followers will hear about it?

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Sleazy Christopherson Dies At Age 55

Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, member of the highly influenced industrial/experimental groups Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, and Coil, died yesterday in Thailand at the age of 55. No cause of death has been disclosed. I was never much into Throbbing Gristle, despite their clear and often-cited lineage to Nine Inch Nails, one of my favorite bands ever. But it was Coil's horrific and funereal 1985 cover of Tainted Love, a caustic indictment of the treatment of AIDS patients, that made me a fan of Sleazy Christopherson (and partner/bandmate John Balance, who died in a fall in 2004.) The Sleazy Christopherson-directed video for Tainted Love is now on permanent display at New York's Museum Of Modern Art.

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Tweet Of The Day - Joan Rivers

Joan followed up that tweet with a message that she was headed to God's Love We Deliver for her "favorite part of the holiday," delivering Thanksgiving meals to homebound HIV/AIDS patients. Below is Kylie's performance in the parade.

(Video tipped by JMG reader Fritz)

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Brian Brown Is Ever So Pissed About NOM Being Labeled A Hate Group

"This is an absurd distraction emanating from a once-great organization’s real mission---with all the actual hate groups out there, how can Southern Poverty Law Center stoop so low? This report is not an attack on NOM but on the majority of Americans who believe that to make a marriage you need a husband and wife. It is also further proof of what NOM has been saying: today’s gay marriage movement is no longer about tolerance, live or let live—it’s about driving out dissenting voices from the public square.

"Gay marriage now serves as the tip of the spear to a new campaign to demonize and generate hatred against those who adhere to traditional views of sex and marriage. Regular readers of NOM’s work know how we characterize gay people: those who support our vision of marriage, we welcome to join our work. For gay marriage advocates (the majority of whom are not gay) we say: we think you are wrong, and we will fight for our right to vote for marriage in the public square." - NOM president Brian Brown.

Yeah, as for that section I bolded, yes, Brian...we DO know how NOM characterizes gay people and it IS hatefully. We see the evidence every day and this week your Facebook moderator threw all pretensions out of the window.

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Dolly Loves Her Gay Fans

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Tired Old Queen At The Movies #59

1960's The Apartment, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley McClaine.

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Open Thread Thursday

What's for dinner? Share your recipes, traditions, and disasters.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BITCH FIGHT: Teabaggers Vs. GOProud
Vs. Concerned Women For America

Does not! Does too! Nuh uh! Yeah huh! The founder of Tea Party Nation, GOProud's Chris Barron, and the botoxed death mask of Penny Nance form a hilarious circular firing squad over who is more teabaggery. Wheel out the clown car, cuz we got us a circus! Hey Penny, "encrouchment"? Really?

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Former GOP House Majority Leader Tom Delay Found Guilty Of Money Laundering

Former Republican House majority leader and one-time Dancing With The Stars contestant Tom Delay has been convicted of multiple counts of money laundering. Delay was found guilty of funneling almost $200,000 to the campaigns of GOP House and Senate candidates.
"I still maintain that I am innocent," DeLay told reporters. "The criminalization of politics undermines our very system. I'm very disappointed." Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said the verdict showed no one was above the law. "This case is a message from the citizens of the state of Texas that the public officials they elect to represent them must do so honestly and ethically, and if not they'll be held accountable," Lehmberg said. DeLay's sentencing was set for December 20, and he faces a possible maximum prison term of 99 years on the money laundering charge and 20 years on the conspiracy charge. Two other men facing charges in the case are awaiting trial. DeLay, a conservative Republican, helped Newt Gingrich spearhead the GOP revival in 1994 that won control of the House and Senate in the first midterm election under Democratic President Bill Clinton.
In 2006 Delay resigned from the House in the face of the scandal.

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HomoQuotable - Michael Triplett

"While the 'hate group' list is interesting, it is also largely meaningless in terms of who the media should talk to and who they shouldn’t. Included in the current list of 18 groups–who all, apparently, aren’t going to show up on the final list–are organizations associated with white supremacist and Christian Identity movements, but also major players in the social conservative political world: Concerned Women for America, National Organization for Marriage, and Family Research Council. While activists may not like the work these groups do, labeling them 'hate groups' based on SPLC’s designation and therefore off-limits for the media is nonsensical.

"Instead, the media needs to do a better job of deciding when and how it uses groups considered anti-gay. Part of the problem, of course, is relying on the same voices and people over and over again. This is a problem on all-sides of the debate where the same people are called by CNN and MSNBC and Fox to talk about gay issues, both on the pro-gay and anti-gay sides. If Perkins and FRC are overexposed, one could argue the same thing about a laundry list of gay male pundits and LGBT activist groups." - Michael Triplett, vice president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

Read Triplett's entire article on the NLGJA's blog.

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Photo Of The Day - Liberty Strike

Check out the Boston Globe's amazing recap of the images submitted for National Geographic's 2010 photography contest. The size of this post doesn't do the larger version justice.

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Quote Of The Day - Gary Cass

"The Southern Poverty Law Center has utterly discredited themselves by this provocative attack on organizations that promote traditional family values. Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as 'Hate groups' is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic. We call on Congress to cut off their funding. Defend Christians.Org will work to form a coalition of organizations to lobby Congress to withhold funds from SPLC. We will also demand Congress restrict Federal law enforcement from relying on the biased SPLC reports. The SPLC has been reduced to a far left propaganda organization that uses hype and hysteria to enrich a few liberal attorneys at taxpayer expense and has long out lived its usefulness." - Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, which was already on the hate groups list.

Does anybody know how much federal money the SPLC actually gets? Their Wikipedia page doesn't appear to mention such a thing.

UPDATE: Thought so! Readers point out the the SPLC does NOT get any government funding. Good luck with that call to Congress, dumbass. You can let Mr. Cass know of his error: 954-551-9770.

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