Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Threatens To Filibuster Obama's Tax Cuts Deal

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Elizabeth Edwards Dies At Age 61

CNN has announced that Elizabeth Edwards, the popular estranged wife of 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, has succumbed to cancer. A family spokesperson has issued a statement requesting donations to her cancer foundation in lieu of flowers. Edwards was an ardent supporter of the LGBT community and often advocated on our behalf. Good As You reminds us of the below speech.

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FLORIDA: Pioneering Gay Talk Radio Host Neil Rogers Reportedly Near Death

The Miami Herald reports today that pioneering openly gay talk radio host Neil Rogers, 68, has been moved into hospice care after his doctors decided against heart surgery. Rogers suffered a heart attack and stroke last summer and retired from on-air work to launch a popular internet-based show.

Always caustic and controversial, Rogers (who was often characterized as "the gay Howard Stern") came out on the air during Anita Bryant's pogrom against gay schoolteachers in 1977. That unprecedented move only spurred his popularity and Rogers remained the top-rated local talk radio host in South Florida for the next three decades.

I'll admit that while my Miami co-workers adored him, I could never stand to listen to "Uncle Neil" because he was always screaming. But I'll also admit to being highly entertained by all the right wing attempts to silence him, from protests at the station to lawsuits. My favorite Neil Rogers story: He once announced that South Florida was being turned into a living graveyard by "alta kocker" New York retirees who did nothing but steal Sweet & Low at Denny's. At his next live appearance at a Dade County mall, dozens of old ladies showed up to throw Sweet & Low at him.

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Obama Gets Pissy With The Left: Don't Try To Hold Me To Your Abstract Ideals

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Mission Incomplete: Pro-DADT Repeal Groups To Rally On Capitol Hill This Friday

A large coalition of pro-DADT repeal groups are joining the "Mission: Incomplete" rally sponsored by SLDN this Friday at noon on Capitol Hill. SLDN's Aubrey Sarvis, via press release:
“We call upon the Senate and the President to remain in session and in Washington until the National Defense Authorization Act is passed – which includes the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask.’ The Senate is scheduled to break for holiday vacation; we can’t let them leave. We must show our rage for repeal and insist the Senate stay in Washington until they have finished the job. We implore all who support repeal to join us outside the Senate this Friday. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, ‘If not now, when?’

“The lame-duck vote on repeal was set up and dictated by some of the same Senators – like John McCain and Mitch McConnell -- who are now delaying to kill the bill. They wanted the Pentagon report – now they have it. They wanted hearings – now they’re done. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he is determined to pass the defense bill with repeal. Senators must not be allowed to hide any longer behind process, procedure, and tax cuts for the wealthy, while the discrimination continues. We’ve lost 14,000 troops to this antiquated law, and by God, we must not lose another on our watch.
More information on the rally. The groups taking part are below.

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Yet Another Group Of Religious Leaders Create Document Slamming Gay Marriage

Ho hum, another coalition of religious leaders have banded together to announce that dirty queers are not about to soil holy matrimony.
Leaders of some of the largest religious communities in the United States have come together to express their commitment toward the protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In an open letter released today, entitled “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment,” leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United States affirmed the importance of preserving marriage’s unique meaning.

“The broad consensus reflected in this letter—across great religious divides—is clear: The law of marriage is not about imposing the religion of anyone, but about protecting the common good of everyone,” said Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, newly elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and one of the letter’s signers. “People of any faith or no faith at all can recognize that when the law defines marriage as between one man and one woman, it legally binds a mother and a father to each other and their children, reinforcing the foundational cell of human society.”
Riddled throughout the document's endorsers are clergy and congregants filthy with divorces, adultery, child molestation, and spousal abuse. But that's OK with God, because there's no gay fucking in there. Oh, wait.

(Via - Good As You)

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Whoopi Goldberg For New York Marriage

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HomoConQuotable - Jonathan Rauch

"There are real antigay bigots out there, but they are fading in number and strength. The people who matter now are the persuadables who are struggling to believe they can make room for us on equal terms even if they cannot agree with our 'lifestyle' — people who wish us no harm but who are struggling to adapt old ideas to a new situation and who worry about the dizzying pace of cultural change. Our job is to open their eyes, not slap their face.

"No, I’m not saying that the b [bigot] word should be banished like the n word or that we all have to agree on who does and does not deserve to be called a hater. All I am suggesting is that with majority standing must come a mental adjustment: a recognition that rhetorical overkill is a weapon that backfires, one that our opponents are already using to paint us as the real bigots, the real haters, the real threat to minority rights and tolerant values. [snip]

"As gays become a majority, the burden of toleration—and it is a burden—shifts to us. This is the most difficult adjustment a minority rights movement can make. Our opponents are betting we will fail to make it. In fact, that is now pretty much their entire strategy. Gay Americans and our allies are not ready to think of ourselves as a majority. And we are not fully there yet, certainly not solidly. But the benefits and, yes, burdens of majority status are descending with wonderful speed. We will miss the turn if we don’t start braking now." - Jonathan Rauch, co-founder of the homocon site Independent Gay Forum, saying that gay activists need to stop tossing around words like "bigot" and "hater" at our enemies.

Rauch contends that the feminist movement "missed the turn" and faded into obscurity with the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment. Andrew Sullivan adds: "When you are tempted to use the word 'hate', substitute 'fear' or 'bias'. It's usually more true and dials down the temperature a notch - where the rational advantage held by the case for gay equality still holds."

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New From The FCKH8 Campaign

The last clip from the Fuck H8 crew generated considerable criticism from, ironically, hate groups because it featured young kids dropping f-bombs right and left. More of the same in this clip.

(Tipped by JMG reader Hector)

UPDATE: JMG reader StrayKat23 sends us this "making of" video for the Fuck H8 2011 calendar. Also very NSFW.

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Tom Brokaw: Networks Should Continue Giving Airtime To Anti-Gay Hate Groups

Speaking to the Advocate's Julie Bolcer, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw said that networks should continue to give airtime to vicious anti-gay hate groups because that may spark outrage and create a national discussion.
"I don’t think you can shut down free speech,” he said. “We’re a free speech society. They’re entitled to their positions however wrong they may be. How do you begin to censor things?” Last month, Dan Savage of the It Gets Better campaign criticized CNN on air for interviewing antigay leaders such as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group. He said the attention legitimized the idea that there are “two sides” to gay and lesbian issues.

Brokaw argued that coverage of antigay viewpoints serves a purpose in that it can generate the kind of outrage that prompts nationwide conversations. He said the issue reminded him of his earlier years reporting on the civil rights movement, although he declined to draw a direct comparison. “I was called a Communist, but there were people who used the n word and said, ‘It’ll never happen in my lifetime,’ and in some ways, that was useful, because the rest of the country saw how outrageous it was and how intolerant it was,” he said. Asked how antigay views should be presented, he said, “You just say that they’ve got strong opinions. You treat like them like anyone else. You cross-examine and ask them the right questions.”
This Friday, Brokaw will host a documentary on the USA network titled Bridging The Divide, which will cover various civil rights issues including LGBT rights. The Advocate notes that Brokaw does not interview anti-gay groups in the documentary.

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Rep. Alan Grayson: Obama Has Lost The Game Of Chicken Over Tax Cuts

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Photo Of The Day

What does this MEAN?


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Fire Island Pines Boys Lip-Dub Mariah

They've just launched a Tumblr blog with all their videos.

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Quote Of The Day - Fake Steve Jobs

From the online diary of Fake Steve Jobs:
Let’s move on and return to our discussion of hating the homos. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone? Ring any bells? Or how about this: Judge not, lest ye be judged? Oh, and here’s one that you even put on your own Manhattan Declaration document, which is ironic because you don’t seem to understand what it means and in fact what you’re doing is the exact opposite of what this statement intended: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. In other words, do not become entwined with the state. Focus on the next world, not on this one. Or, to be more blunt: Stay the hell out of politics, you boneheads. If a state or federal government wants to marry gay people, that’s their decision. Leave it alone. Go say some prayers. [snip]

It’s bad enough that you’re hateful bigots. But to dress up your hate and bigotry as an expression of Christianity? That, my friends, is pure evil. If you want to go around hating people, fine. Go for it. It’s stupid, and pointless, but whatever. Go hate people. Just don’t go around saying Jesus told you to do it. So, listen up. You can’t put your bullshit in my app store. I’m sorry. But I won’t let you use my store to spread your hate. I don’t want any part in the spreading of your phony religion, either. There is no God. There is no heaven. There also is no hell, which is too bad, because if hell did exist, you would surely be spending eternity there, with red-hot pokers up your butts. And nothing would make me happier.
(Tipped by JMG reader Larry)

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GOP Takes NY Senate, Marriage Equality Probably Dead For Forseeable Future

I haven't blogged much about the mess that has been the status of two disputed seats in the New York Senate, but as of yesterday it appears that the GOP has taken both seats and will hold a slim majority in the chamber, effectively dousing (according to some) any chance for marriage equality in New York state until the next election.
On Monday, Republican Bob Cohen conceded to Democratic Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, who'll represent the people of New York's 37th Senate District. But Republicans also gained a seat over the weekend after a State Supreme Court justice rejected a request by incumbent Senator Craig M. Johnson for a hand recount, resulting in the victory of Jack Martins. Johnson, however, has said he'll appeal the decision and has secured a Tuesday hearing. Democrats gained a 32-30 majority two years ago, but now Republicans will control the chamber – even if Johnson prevails.
The New York state Assembly approved marriage equality in 2007 and 2009. But the issue was defeated in the state Senate last December when eight traitorous Democrats voted against it. Several of those Democrats were replaced with pro-marriage Senators in the 2010 election, but with the new GOP majority even getting the issue to another vote is now doubtful. Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has vowed to sign the bill if it ever reaches his desk.

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Richard Dawkins Reads His Hate Mail

"Our God is a loving God. I hate your fucking guts!"

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SAN FRANCISCO: Human Rights Campaign Moves Into Harvey Milk's Camera Shop

The Human Rights Campaign has announced that they are moving their Castro gift shop across the street and into the storefront that once housed Harvey Milk's camera shop.
In a press release, the organization is painting the move as a marriage of two greats in the gay civil rights fight: "We are the beneficiaries of [Milk's] groundbreaking activism and are honored to be part of the future he envisioned," said HRC president Joe Solomonese. But some gay advocates say that's a bit of a lofty declaration. Let's remember that Milk was actually effective in rousing San Francisco's gay civil rights movement in the 1970s. As for the HRC, many accuse the country's biggest gay civil rights organization of complacency. "I can definitely tell you the grassroots community is very frustrated and feels it's an insult for the HRC to be in that space," says Robin McGehee, the director of GetEQUAL, a gay rights org that stages direct protests. "I hope by being that space every day they're reminded by the direct actions and protests that Harvey Milk and Cleve Jones spurred out of that spot and never compromise equality."
The grand opening is set for next year's Harvey Milk Day. SRSLY.

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Erasure Re-Records A Little Respect With New York City LGBT Youth Chorus

As part of an anti-bullying campaign, Erasure has re-recorded their classic A Little Respect with the LGBT youth chorus from New York City's high school for at-risk gay youth.
A colourful new video for the track, shot in New York City and featuring Erasure lead singer Andy Bell, HMI youth and many other passers-by, will be released as well. The HMI Redux features a youth chorus from the Hetrick-Martin Institute who also appear in the music video, directed by filmmaker Jason Stein. The original version of A Little Respect, released in 1988, was on The Innocents, the first Erasure album to hit the UK #1 spot (first on 30th April 1988 and again in January 1989), a chart-topping position they revisited with each of their next four album releases.
The single is out today on iTunes and it's great! But I'm biased because it's my all-time favorite Erasure track. I'll post the video with the youth chorus as soon as I can get my hands on it.

RELATED: Here's a five year-old JMG short story about Erasure, AIDS, and friendship. Take a tissue with you.

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Not Asking

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No Same-Sex Couples For DWTS

The producers of Dancing With The Stars have decided that "America isn't quite ready" to see a same-sex couple compete on the show. The decision comes after Portia de Rossi declined an invitation to be the show's first contestant to dance in a same-sex pair.
"If Portia had agreed then this would have been a done deal," an ABC insider tells me. "She was the only star that could have pulled this off without completely offending the program's conservative viewers." But since the 'Arrested Development' beauty has rejected their offer, producers have decided to wait a few years and "not rush into creating a same-sex dancing couple just to get attention and publicity." The show has a soft spot for stunt casting -- Kate Gosselin, Florence Henderson, Bristol Palin, anyone? -- but isn't yet ready to invite on a same-sex couple. The last time a contestant did anything remotely gay -- Margaret Cho's rainbow dress -- she was promptly dumped by viewers.
Last week the same-sex couple on Israel's version of the show was eliminated.

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Karl Frisch - It Gets Better

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Liberty Counsel: Sen. Harry Reid Wants To See "Forced Intimacy" In Military Showers

And "sexual deviants" like WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning are a perfect example of why gays cannot ever be trusted.

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Repealing DADT Will Destroy The Earth

Harlem preacher David Manning is back with an explanation of how repealing DADT will bring about the destruction of the Earth. Manning's last video was removed under YouTube's hate speech rules due to his declaration that all Christians should feel free to use the words "faggot" and "dyke." Incidentally, Manning has multiple breaking and entering felony convictions for burglarizing over 100 homes in the 1970s. As you can tell from the signage, Manning is also a birther who says that President Obama is an "emissary of Satan."

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Sam Seder & Servicemembers United On Mitch McConnell's Plan To Stall DADT

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Teabagger Joe Miller Won't Give Up

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Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of the Karpel Group, today's swag booty is the newly remastered and reissued edition of ABBA's Gold: Greatest Hits, which is being released in a special CD+DVD package at retailers and online in North America today.
Mamma mia! ABBA has never sounded or looked better than on the new CD+DVD package ABBA Gold - Greatest Hits (Special Edition) (Polydor/Polar/UMe), released December 7, 2010. Featuring all of the group's hits and more--and the videos for each of them--this Special Edition package brings together 1992's six times platinum ABBA Gold - Greatest Hits CD and its gold-certified home video companion of the same title, both newly remastered.

The CD, which as a stand-alone album has sold more than 28 million copies worldwide, embraces 19 classics including the gold #1 anthem "Dancing Queen"; #3 gold "Take A Chance On Me"; Top 10s "Waterloo" and "The Winner Takes It All"; Top 20s "SOS," "Knowing Me, Knowing You," "Fernando," "Does Your Mother Know" and "The Name Of The Game," and Top 40s "Mamma Mia" and "Chiquitita." The DVD features all 19 video clips, taking full advantage of the progress in digital technology since they were last remastered.
We have five copies of this special ABBA package to give away. Enter to win by commenting on this post and please remember to leave your email address in the text of your comment. Entries close at midnight on Thursday, west coast time. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

VIDEOS: The Full Prop 8 Hearing

In case you were unable to watch it live, here's the complete 2.5 hour hearing of the appeal of Proposition 8 by the Ninth Circuit Court. For amusement, jump to the befuddled, stammering testimony of the Imperial County lawyer at 13:00 in the first clip.

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Texas GOP: Our Leader MUST Be Christian

Texas teabaggers have been circulating anti-Semitic emails calling for the ouster of state GOP head Joe Strauss, saying that Texas deserves a "true Christian leader." Ben Armbruster reports at Think Progress that calls for non-Jewish GOP leadership have gone public:
Last week, the Texas Observer’s Abby Rapoport reported that she had obtained an email exchange between two members of the Texas State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) — Rebecca Williamson and John Cook. “We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it,” Cook said in one of the emails. “Since the SREC governs state Republican Party affairs,” Rapoport wrote, “this marked the first time an elected party leader had semi-openly called for a ‘Christian conservative’ Speaker.”
Cook says he got into politics to put "conservative Christians into leadership positions" and that "some of my best friends are Jews, like Jesus Christ."

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David Boies & Chad Griffin On Hardball

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NOM Rides The Prop 8 Waaahbulance

NOM is crying crying crying about today's Prop 8 hearing at the Ninth Circuit Court.
"This hearing makes a mockery of the federal judiciary," said Brian Brown, president of NOM. "Citizens are entitled to a guarantee of impartiality from their judiciary. Yet here we have the spectacle of a federal appeals court justice ruling on a case in which his wife represents a group that is a participant. A cynic would be left to wonder if the fix is in for marriage in the Ninth Circuit."

"The long road to determine the constitutionality of Proposition 8 cannot be allowed to go through the courtroom of a Judge whose wife is a key participant in that case," said Brown. "It's obvious that Reinhardt will vote to overturn Prop 8. We can only hope that once this case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, that the people of California will finally get an impartial day in court. When they do, we are confident that marriage as the union of one man and one woman will be vindicated."
Sound effect for Miss Brown!

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GOP Iowa Gov-Elect Terry Branstad Demands Public Vote On Gay Marriage

He hasn't even taken office yet, but today GOP Iowa Governor-Elect Terry Branstad demanded that state lawmakers allow the public to vote on repealing gay marriage.
Speaking at a gathering organized by The Associated Press, Branstad noted that voters removed three Iowa Supreme Court justices after a campaign that targeted them for their support of a unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. “The Supreme Court, I think, made a tragic mistake in their decision on same-sex marriage,” said Branstad. The voters of Iowa have overwhelmingly rejected three members of the Supreme Court because of it and I think we need to restore support for the judicial system, and one way to do that is to give people the opportunity to vote on restoring the one-man, one-woman marriage.”

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ATLANTA: City To Pay $1M Settlement Over Police Raid At Eagle Nightclub

The city of Atlanta has agreed to pay a $1M settlement over last year's outrageous police raid of the Eagle, a popular leather bar where employees and patrons were forced to lie on a filthy floor as cops reportedly shouted anti-gay slurs. The Georgia Voice reports:
The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously this afternoon to approve a $1.025 million settlement in a federal lawsuit over the Atlanta Police Department's 2009 raid on the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The settlement must now go back to the federal judge for final approval. All parties in the case are under a gag order until the settlement is finalized. Before the vote, the council met in closed executive session to discuss the proposed settlement, which was reached Friday between city attorneys and attorneys for patrons and employees of the Eagle. The settlement resolution includes $1.025 million to go into an escrow account with Lambda Legal, one of two nonprofit legal groups that joined attorney Dan Grossman in representing the Eagle plaintiffs. The Southern Center for Human Rights also joined the case.
Those arrested on the night of the raid either had their charges dismissed or were found not guilty.

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Semper Fidel-ish

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Harvey Fierstein To Join La Cage

Four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein will join the Broadway revival cast of La Cage Aux Folles on February 15th for a 12-week limited run. Fierstein won the Tony in 1983 for writing the show, but this will be his first time actually appearing in it.
"I've loved watching this new production of LA CAGE and think director Terry Johnson and the wonderful company at the Longacre have really mined the material for its humor as well as its heart and humanity," Fierstein commented. "I'm thrilled to get the chance to play Albin a mere twenty-five years after creating him. It will be a challenge to follow in the footsteps of all the brilliant actors who have portrayed the role before me. But I do have one secret weapon - I know how to reach the author for rewrites."
Both current leads in the show, Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge, will leave the production when Fierstein comes on. Grammer's replacement has not been announced.

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LIVE VIDEO: Prop 8 Appeal Hearing

There's also a live stream from NOM further down today's postings, which may prove entertaining if things go our way. If you have access to a television, C-SPAN will be covering it live and online too. Things are set to begin at 1pm EST. Watch live ABC's live analysis here (they've apparently decided not to allow embedding of their live signal.)

UPDATE: I'm moving NOM's feed into this post as so far they are just going with the C-SPAN signal.

UPDATE II: Wow. The lawyer from Imperial County is TOTALLY being handed his head by these judges!

UPDATE III: The hearings are concluded.

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Smartphone Market Shares

Smartphone market shares stand at about a three-way tie, with third-place Android predicted by some to take first place in the next few months. Lots of wonky demographics at the link.

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This Thursday In New York City

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Focus On The Family: Satan Totally Wants You To Be Transgender

"Humans are made in the image of God – male and female. Satan, our enemy, hates God, and wants to deface God’s likeness wherever he can. We are all sinners, deeply impacted by our own sinfulness and enmity toward God, by the sins of others and by life in a fallen world. Gender confusion is one example of human brokenness.

"At the same time, God tells us the truth, and we must remain committed to speaking the truth: to the church, to the culture and in the political arena. Individuals are male or female. People can’t 'transition' from one to the other. I haven’t seen a third human gender discovered, and humanity is not 'multi-gendered.'" - Focus On The Family blogger Jeff Johnson.

(Tipped by JMG reader Kendall)

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Porno Pete: If You're Not Listed As A Hate Group, You Aren't Hating Hard Enough

Right Wing Watch reports that not only is Porno Pete LaBarbera proud of his SPLC designation as a hater, he says that if a Christianist group didn't make the list, they need to be more hateful.
“We are one of the rare groups that is opposed single-mindedly against the homosexual activist movement,” said LaBarbera, who founded AFTAH in 1996. “The so-called gay lobby has reached the zenith of its power. They are everywhere. I don’t feel like a homophobe; as one guy said, I’m homo-nauseated. They are everywhere. You can’t get away from them, even in the schools, so today we are interviewing Barb Anderson of the Minnesota Family Council.”

Both LaBarbera and Anderson agreed that AFTAH’s recognition by the SPLC is a point of pride. “There’s a lot of hatred out there in the so-called gay lobby,” LaBarbera said. Anderson agreed: “Absolutely. They call us a hate group but the emails and the responses we get from them are just full of anger and hateful comments that they make towards us.” “I think it’s becoming perhaps a badge of honor to be called a hate group,” said Anderson. LaBarbera added, “If you are not on the SPLC hate list, you are not doing enough.”
Petey, we are ALL homos-nauseated.

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Czech Republic To Gay Asylum Seekers: Let's See If Straight Porn Gets You Hard

The Czech Republic is being criticized for its bizarre requirement that gay men seeking asylum from persecution in their home countries must first prove their gayness by submitting to a penile tumescence test while viewing straight porn.
According to information provided by the Czech Ministry of the Interior, ‘phallometric testing’ for asylum seekers who claim to be gay may be used “where inconsistencies appear in [an] interview”. This procedure came to light in a German court regarding the claim of a gay Iranian man. In principle, asylum seekers cannot be forced to undergo the test and must give written consent and be fully briefed about the technique. However, those who refuse the test may be assumed to be lying and may fear that their application will be rejected outright if they refuse. In addition, bisexual people are unlikely to pass the test. Hungary is also said to have been using psychiatrists to test whether asylum seekers are really gay.
According to rules set forth by the European Union, such a test violates their ban on inhumane or degrading treatment.

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Legal Teams Arriving At Ninth Circuit Court

At this writing, the legal teams from both sides and the original Perry V Schwarzenegger plaintiffs are fielding quite the media circus outside the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco. Adam Bink is live-blogging the proceedings over at the Courage Campaign's site and you can follow the latest action on Twitter at the hashtag #Prop8.

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More Christian Anger At Apple Over Removal Of Manhattan Declaration App

Last week Apple deleted an app for the Manhattan Declaration, a document whose signers pledge to disobey any law protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination. The Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified hate group, is leading a petition campaign calling for Apple to restore the app. Today Christianist "humorist" Stuart Sheppard takes on the issue.

(Via - Good As You)

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The Family Acceptance Project

The Family Acceptance Project works to help "diverse families understand how to support their LGBT children." Here's one of their touching training videos. (There's a donation button at the link if you'd like to support their work.)

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What Might Happen Today With Prop 8?

Over at Metro Weekly, reporter Chris Geidner has posted an excellent 10-item FAQ sheet about today's hearing of Prop 8 in the Ninth Circuit Court. Question #8 asks: "What Could The Court Rule?"
With no specified timeline, the court will issue its ruling -- although the fact that the court gave the case expedited consideration as to briefing and the scheduling of the oral arguments suggests it is cognizant of the desire for a quick resolution of the case.

If the court holds that some party has standing to appeal Walker's ruling, it could affirm the trial court and say that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional or it could reverse the trial court and say that Proposition 8 is constitutional. At that point, the ruling would have "precedent" -- meaning the judges would need to adhere to it -- in all of the trial courts in the Ninth Circuit.

The court also could find that neither the proponents nor Imperial County have standing and dismiss the appeal. This would leave Walker's ruling in place and invalidate Proposition 8, but would limit the ruling only to his order and provide no appellate precedent that would apply to the entire Ninth Circuit.

To take the least likely position, it could dismiss the appeal and also hold that no standing existed at trial, which could lead the appellate court to vacate Walker's judgment and, effectively, erase the entire case. This would mean that Proposition 8 would remain in effect. Because the state of California was enforcing Proposition 8 at the time of trial -- and still now -- it would be extraordinary for the court to take this route.
Read Chris Geidner's entire analysis.

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NEW STUDY: Courts And Schools Punish LGBT Teenagers 40% More Frequently

According to a new study published today by Yale researchers, the nation's courts and schools punish LGBT youth 40% more frequently than their heterosexual peers accused of the same misbehaviors. Lesbian teenagers are especially at risk for discriminatory treatment.
The research, described as the first national look at sexual orientation and teen punishment, comes as a spate of high-profile bullying and suicide cases across the country have focused attention on the sometimes hidden cruelties of teen life. The study, from Yale University, adds another layer, finding substantial disparities between gay and straight teens in school expulsions, arrests, convictions and police stops. The harsher approach is not explained by differences in misconduct, the study says. "The most striking difference was for lesbian and bisexual girls, and they were two to three times as likely as girls with similar behavior to be punished," said Kathryn Himmelstein, lead author of the study, published in the journal Pediatrics.

Why the punishment gap exists is less clear. It could be that lesbian, gay and bisexual teens who got in trouble didn't get the same breaks as other teens - say, for youthful age or self-defense, Himmelstein said. Or it could be that girls in particular were punished more often because of discomfort with or bias toward some who don't fit stereotypes of femininity. "It's definitely troubling to see such a disparity," Himmelstein said. "It may very well be not intentional," she said. "I think most people who work with youth want to do the best they can for young people and treat them fairly, but our findings show that's not happening."
The Gay-Straight Alliance responds via press release.
"We hope the study will serve as a wake up call for those whose job it is to protect youth," said Carolyn Laub, Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network, a national organization empowering LGBT youth to create safer schools. "These alarming statistics underscore the need for alternatives to punitive school disciplinary practices as well as the need for school, police, and court officials to receive comprehensive training about the serious consequences of targeting LGBT youth, whether the perpetrators are student bullies or the adults themselves."
UPDATE: The deep thinkers at Free Republic weigh in.

-"40% more likely that they practice their filthy lifestyle in the open."
-"Different kids tend to be attention whores."
-"I’ll be homeschooling just to keep these freaks away from my normal kids."
-"Any CHILD walking around claiming to be LGBT is going to be a Leftist and come from a Leftist/Progressive home. Leftists are consummate troublemakers and problem children."

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LIVE VIDEO: Prop 8 Appeal Hearing

The Ninth Circuit Court will hear oral arguments in Perry Vs. Schwarzenegger beginning at 10am (California time.) NOM will be there with live video coverage and commentary. I'll post another live streaming video source, but you might want to pull this one out and save it in case we lose one of the other signals. ABC's non-embeddable video stream is here. (Save that one too.)

UPDATE: The live stream is concluded.

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Atlanta Ruggers - It Gets Better

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Baby Animals Only On Kentucky's Ark

According to the vice president of Answers In Genesis, there will be animals on Kentucky's "recreation" of Noah's Ark, but only babies. Because God was all about saving space.
"We think that God would probably have sent healthy, juvenile-sized animals that weren't fully grown yet, so there would be plenty of room," he said. ''We want to show how Noah would have taken care of them, taken care of waste management, taken care of water needs and food needs." Ark Encounter is designed to be a model of environmentally sensitive development, Mr Zovath said, to minimise its carbon footprint. "I don't believe in global warming, but I do believe that we have got to be good stewards of everything God's given us."
The theme park will also include: "The Tower of Babel, a first-century Middle Eastern village and a journey through the Old Testament, with special effects depicting Moses, the 10 plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea."

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Bigot Of The Day - Pamela Grothaus

"I don’t think I have ever met a homosexual who didn’t inform me of his or her homosexuality within minutes of our introduction. This has happened to me several times—with co-workers, clients, and, yes, even military personnel. I really didn’t care to know, didn’t need to know, and probably would have guessed anyway. Why do these people so desperately want to be identified, above all else, by their sexual preference? I certainly don’t feel compelled to announce my sexuality to anyone and everyone I meet. Can you imagine? Hi, I’m Pam, and I’m a heterosexual writer." - Pamela Grothaus, columnist for the Naples News.

Miami Herald columnist Steve Rothaus notes that the very first sentence of her online bio at the newspaper is this: "While I was busy building a marriage, raising two kids, and forging a career over three decades, the America I took for granted morphed into a nation I barely recognize today." Somebody is announcing their sexuality!

(Tipped by JMG reader Enzo)

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Kinsey Sicks - Touch-a Touch Me

(Tipped by JMG reader Spencer)

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Don't Leave Dogs In Cars

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Unconventionals - Long Distance Xmas

The Unconventionals, one-time British X-Factor contestants, very properly label this fantastically poppy holiday clip on YouTube with the tags "Phil Spector, Ronettes, Chiffons, Crystals, and Mariah Carey." I generally detest Xmas music, but freekin' HELL I love this. Featuring cameos by Matt Lucas and Boy George. (Unconventionals lead vocalist Drew Jaymson played Steve Strange in Boy George's musical Taboo.) PLAY LOUD! Download here for an extra gay Xmas.

(Tipped by JMG reader Fritz)

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Openly Gay USMC Vet Justin Elzie Speaks On His Discharge And Reinstatement

Former USMC Sgt. Justin Elzie is a JMG reader and commenter, as some of you may know. His book Playing By The Rules is now available online and at booksellers nationwide.

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SHOCKING: Bigoted Hate-Filled Anti-Gay Christian Pastors Oppose Repeal Of DADT

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Quote Of The Day - Bristol Palin

"You say you 'don't agree with the family's politics at all' but I say, if you understood that commonsense conservative values support the right of individuals like you, like all of us, to live our lives with less government interference and more independence, you would embrace us faster than k.d. lang at an Indigo Girls concert." - Bristol Palin, in a not so thinly-veiled lesbian slam at Margaret Cho, who last week said that Bristol was forced into Dancing With The Stars to further her mother's political ambitions.

RELATED: GOProud's Chris Barron loves Bristol's "Yeah, well YOU are a dyke" message.

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This Week In Holy Crimes

Over the last seven days...

Colorado: Pastor Joshua Amoroso charged with sexual assault of a 14 year-old girl.
Germany: Report implicates more than 250 priests and staffers in child abuse scandal at school in archdiocese once headed by the Pope.
Kentucky: Pastor Currie Pat Clark charged with 296 counts of sodomy of a 12 year-old boy.
Georgia: Pastor Brian Richard Gray charged with 58 counts of child molestation, statutory rape, and sexual assault of a 15 year-old girl.
New Jersey: Newspaper reveals documents proving Archbishop John Myers shielded at least four pedophile priests from prosecution.
Michigan: Pastor Curtis Burkhardt charged with exposed his erection to an 11 year-old girl at a campground. Burkhardt has a previous conviction for the same crime with a 3 year-old.
Australia: Father Brian Spillane found guilty on nine counts of molesting preteen girls. Spillane faces four more trials on 135 similar charges.
Oklahoma: Pastor Baron Hopgood charged with fraud in $200K check-kiting scheme.
Ontario: Father William Marshall charged with two counts of sexual assault. Marshall faces similar charges in several other cases.
Ohio: Pastor David Thompson sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling more than $1M from his church.
Britain: Father John Shannon convicted on 16 counts of producing child pornography.
Texas: Pastor Terry Nesmith on trial for molesting 9 year-old girl.
Australia: Father Kevin Philips pleads guilty to multiple counts of child molestation.

This Week's Winner
New York: An unnamed Hasidic rabbi and his son have fled to Israel after being accused of sexually molesting at least four underage female relatives. At least two of the alleged victims are the rabbi's daughters, one of whom says her father has been molesting her since the age of five. Two of the rabbi's other sons were arrested in New York and charged with the sexual abuse and rape of their sisters. One of the arrested sons, age 15, is accused of molesting his 8 year-old sister. Police note that the rabbi and the escaped son were driven to the driven to the airport by the rabbi's wife, who is his first cousin. The two have fourteen children and all names are being withheld to protect the victims.

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CALIFORNIA: State OSHA Fines Gay Porn Studio For Allowing Barebacking

The California division of OSHA has fined the gay porn studio Treasure Island Media for workplace practices that exposed employees to potentially infectious agents such as semen. The company is appealing the fines, which total over $21,000 for three separate citations. Lyla Katz reports at Xbiz:
"On Nov. 5, 2009, Treasure Island Media had failed to write or otherwise establish, implement and maintain an effective exposure control plan,” the 23-page investigation report said. “Employees were exposed to semen and other potentially infectious materials, due to work activities during filming and set cleaning.” The second serious citation said, “Treasure Island Media does not observe universal precautions during the production of their films. They have not instituted engineering and work practices controls to eliminate or minimize contact with blood and semen, including, but not limited to, the use of barrier protection such as condoms.”

Treasure Island Media's general manager Matt Mason told XBIZ that the company has cooperated with the Cal/OSHA investigation and administrative process. "We have appealed the citations and participated in the informal conference process and expect to take the matter to a hearing in 2011 with an administrative law judge," Mason said. Treasure Island Media has recently signed HIV-positive performer James Roscoe and has been promoting scenes with other HIV-positive performers.
A spokesman for CAL/OSHA said the fines did not arise from the studio's practice of employing HIV-positive performers. "Anybody may be infected, therefore you have to treat everybody's blood and other potential infectious materials [such as semen] as though it can be infectious."

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A Reading From The Hipster Bible

More readings here.

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Tweet Of The Day - Sarah Palin

Mama Grizzly is very touchy about the criticism of tonight episode of her reality show in which she goes hunting for caribou. Today Palin hosts wingnut hunting advocate Ted Nugent on a pre-show podcast.

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Sen. Mitch McConnell: Not Much Chance Of A Vote On DADT Before End Of Year

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Pogo - Whisperlude

Another brilliant entry from the Australian wunderkind.

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

John McWeasel

We agree with today's NY Daily News headline, but for different reasons.

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42nd Street: Then & Now

The New York Times says that with this week's opening of a new 40-story tower at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, the 30-year remodel of Times Square is finally over.
The plan, to radically make over 13 acres, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, primarily fronting 42nd Street, outlived three mayors, four governors, two real estate booms and two recessions. It faced widespread derision in the beginning from jaded New Yorkers who were wise to grand plans. It faces occasional derision today from New Yorkers who speak of the old Times Square with newfound fondness. It embodied both the hubris of urban master planning and its possibilities, and showed the value of ripping up blueprints and starting over in midstream. And it has been a touchstone experience for a city that is now building, or trying to build, several multibillion-dollar projects, including ground zero, the Atlantic Yards, Willets Point and the Hudson Yards. “So often, people say New York can’t build large-scale projects anymore,” said Lynne B. Sagalynn, a professor of real estate finance at Columbia University and the author of “Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon.” But, Professor Sagalynn said, “Times Square is an example of how a city was able to think on a grand scale and carry it out.”
There's a cool interactive slideshow thingy in the above-linked story.

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The United States of Auto-Complete

Here's what Google thinks the next words should be when you enter the name of a state. Hawaii, FTW.

(Via - Gothamist)

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GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions Takes Odd DADT Question About Gay High School Athletes

The interviewer was trying to make a comparison between presumably tough soldiers and high school athletes who may be showering with gay students, but it's not clear that Sessions really got the point.

(Via - Matt Comer)

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Google Buys 111 Eighth Avenue

Google has agreed to pay $1.8B for its massive Manhattan office building, which looms over Chelsea and covers an entire city block. Real estate watchers say the move signals a rebounding in New York's long-slumping office space market.
“This decision is further evidence that large-scale buildings are trading once again,” said Ross Moskowitz, a real estate lawyer at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and a former city economic development official, “and high-end users are looking to take advantage of these opportunities.” The brick building, which covers an entire block bound by 15th and 16th Streets, already houses Google’s East Coast headquarters and 1,800 employees, as well as Lifetime Entertainment, barnesandnoble.com, Nike USA and Deutsch advertising. But at 2.9 million square feet, it has more space than the Empire State Building and plenty of room for Google to grow.

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Nigeria Wants To Arrest Dick Cheney

Which is funny and totally deserved, but so not gonna happen. The real humor in this clip is this on-air bitch fight between the one-named liberal personality Lionel and GOP strategist/Quisling/closet case Ron Christie, who has a full-on queen attack. "WhatEVER!"

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NOM Celebrates 2010

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ABC's What Would You Do? Tackles Homophobic Parenting

Even though it's acting, this is hard to watch.

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Calling The Creation Museum

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Friday, December 03, 2010

POST-HEARINGS: White House Holds Meeting With DADT Repeal Groups

Following today's conclusion of the Joint Chiefs' testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the White House hosted an off-the-record meeting with members of various DADT pro-repeal groups. Chris Geidner reports at Metro Weekly that today's was the largest of several such recent meetings.
Two people who attended the meeting but asked to remain anonymous because of the off-the-record nature of the meeting told Metro Weekly that those organizations that were represented included Center for American Progress, Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans, National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, OutServe, People for the American Way, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, Stonewall Democrats and Third Way. [Politico's Josh Gerstein, who first reported the news, also reported that representatives from OutServe and the Palm Center attended the meeting, a fact confimed to Metro Weekly by a third attendee.] As such, it would make it the largest of several such White House meetings held about DADT repeal this year. The two attendees of the meeting said that the White House was represented at the meeting by Christopher Kang, White House legislative affairs; Christina Tchen, director of the public engagement office; Brian Bond, deputy director of public engagement; and representatives from the Domestic Policy Council and White House Counsel's Office.
According to Metro Weekly, White House representatives expressed optimism that a Senate vote on DADT will take place before the end of the year. One attendee reported that the meeting did not feel like pandering: "I know it wasn't. I've been mollified before, and this wasn't mollification."

Read Chris Geidner's full report.

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KANSAS: Disabled Iraq Vet Arrested For Stalking Westboro Church Members

An 26 year-old veteran who lost both his legs in Iraq has been charged with stalking members of the Westboro Baptist Church after police found him following the Westboro family van in a car stocked with handguns, a rifle, and dozens of rounds of ammunition.
Sedgwick County sheriff's detectives arrested Newell mid-morning Tuesday in the Wichita City Hall parking lot after a detective saw him following a van that carried Westboro church members. The church members were meeting in City Hall with police officials. Detectives found Newell in a vehicle backed into a parking space. In the vehicle, investigators found two handguns, a rifle and more than 90 rounds of ammunition, sources have said. The stalking charge accuses Newell of actions targeted at Westboro members and putting them in fear for their safety. The weapons charges accuse him of unlawfully carrying and concealing or possessing with "intent to use" an M4 rifle, .45-caliber Glock handgun and .38-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun.
At Newell's arraignment several lawyers arrived to offer pro bono defense services, prompting the judge to quip, "The more, the merrier." Reportedly "many other lawyers" have contacted him with the same offer. Newell, who uses a wheelchair due to difficulties adjusting to Army-supplied prosthetic legs, pleaded not guilty via a video link from his cell. He is being held on $500,000 bond on one felony and several misdemeanor charges. Other charges may be filed pending the result of an FBI search of his home.

Westboro's Megan Phelps comments on Twitter: "Peacefully protesting institutionalized sin on public sidewalks =\= loading up your car with weapons & lying in wait to commit murder. But somehow, in the totally backward minds of many of you, the former (loving our neighbor) is worse than the latter (planning murder)! Wtf?" Phelps claims that Newell was planning to murder her parents and the 26 children in the Westboro clan.

A defense fund has been set up for Newell via several popular conservative websites. Late this afternoon the Facebook page "Let Ryan Newell Go" was established. Westboro will continue with their planned Hanukkah picket of a Harvard student Jewish group tomorrow.

UPDATE: Shirley Phelps-Roper weighs in.
Westboro spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper said today: "Here is what I expect to happen: This guy is going to be called a hero, he may get a parade." People "will line up to sing his praises, to pay his legal fees and to get him a lawyer," she said. "Then he will be permitted to plead to some nothing charges." Phelps-Roper also said, "We've had communication about a federal investigation" involving Newell.

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Sen. Mark Udall (D) Polls The Joint Chiefs: All Agree They Can Implement Repeal

Over at the Wonk Room, Igor Volsky reports on a tactic taken today by Sen. Mark Udall. Several of the top military brass testifying today indicated that they were hesitant to institute the repeal in a time of war.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) — a strong proponent of repeal — said that the amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offered the perfect compromise: the certification process provides the military with the flexibility not to implement repeal right away, while undermining the possibility that the courts would force the Armed Forces to act quickly. Every Service Chief agreed that they were comfortable that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would take their concerns into consideration before certifying repeal and admitted that they could effectively implement the policy change.
Critics were quick to point out that such a compromise could stall the implementation of the repeal until the end of the Afghanistan war. (And longer, should other conflicts arise before then.)

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Tweet Of The Day

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That's Gay: The A-List Interview

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Billionaires Are "Good Without God"

Gothamist tips us to the latest atheism campaign which just launched on Chicago's public transit system. This one is from the Illini Secular Student Association at the University of Illinois.
ISSA explains, "A consequence of the centuries-spanning PR campaign conflating theism (and especially Christianity) with the impulse to charity has largely duped Americans into believing that Christians are the major givers and that non-believers are selfish, angry loners unconcerned with the struggles of the less fortunate...Not only is the stereotype untrue, it is perversely untrue." The bus campaign ads feature high profile philanthropists including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The ISSA's tagline? "Good without god."
RELATED: On their Secular Samaritan blog, today the ISSA notes that Catholic Cardinal George Pell is calling atheists "immoral, frightened, and without purpose."

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Today's DADT Hearing: Top Military Leaders Split 3-3 On When To Repeal

The Human Rights Campaign recaps today's hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke at length about the repeal of DADT.
Speaking today before a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Chiefs of the military services all expressed that they would successfully implement "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal should Congress change the law. Testifying were General James Cartwright, General George Casey, Admiral Gary Roughead, General James Amos, General Norton Schwartz and Admiral Robert Papp.

Among the six testifying, three expressed that the law should be repealed and three gave a mixed reaction, expressing some opposition to repeal at this time. Only one - Marine Commandant General James Amos - expressed his opinion that there could be strong disruption. In contrast his fellow Marine, General Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, made clear that not only could Marines carry out successful repeal but also there was "benefit derived from being a force identified by honesty & inclusivity."

General Amos did however express that he and his Marines would "faithfully support the law." "Not only do a majority of senior military leaders support repeal, they are unanimous that they will faithfully carry out any repeal passed by Congress," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "The vast majority of the American people are looking for action as are the thousands of men and women currently serving in silence."

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The Full Castro

According to Lauren Smiley's cover story in the latest issue of SF Weekly, some locals aren't taking too well to the recent mini-explosion of nude men strolling around the Castro. Nudity, per se, isn't illegal in San Francisco, but even lots of gay men don't like running into twigs and berries while doing their shopping. It's a long feature story, here's how it begins:
In Chinatown, it may be the Year of the Tiger, but in the Castro, it's almost always the Year of the Cock. Judging from a walk down Castro Street, cocks are the unofficial mascot. You've got the Sausage Factory (an Italian restaurant named with a wink), Hot Cookie (a bakery that sells chocolate-covered cookie cocks), and Rock Hard (a porn shop full of gigantic, X-rated cocks). To cap it off, the Castro just elected a supervisor named Scott Wiener.

But this year, the neighborhood found out that the male anatomy can still cause a stir when the real-life cocks arrived. In broad daylight. At the plaza on the corner of Market Street, right by the F-line trolley stop. Sometimes flapping down Castro Street. Or hanging out in line for coffee at Starbucks.

These cocks were not metaphorical or ironic in the least bit. They were sometimes more than 60 years old. Or dangling amid red pubic hair. Or cinched with rings, or pierced with metal, or hanging free with nothing on at all. They felt entitled for a reason: The law in San Francisco is more or less on their side. At least, they know it's extremely unlikely they'd ever be prosecuted for walking around in public naked.
I've never been one of the "naked people." Not at nude beaches, not at the clothing-optional gay campground where I've spent my summer weekends for the last ten years. But like almost all non-naked people do, I can't help observing the seemingly inviolable and inversely proportional nudity vs. attractiveness rule.

(Tipped by JMG reader Michael)
[Photo credit: Kimberly Sandie]

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Glee Preview: Baby, It's Cold Outside

Glee is changing America. There's no way it can't be.

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Geoff Kors To Leave Equality California

Equality California executive director Geoff Kors revealed today that he'll be leaving the organization this spring. EQCA spearheaded the unsuccessful attempt to defeat Proposition 8 in 2008. Seth Hemmelgarn at Bay Area Reporter:
Kors, who has been EQCA's only executive director since it was created in 1998, announced this morning (Friday, December 3) that he's resigning from the group, effective March 31. The date marks the eve of his ninth anniversary with the state's biggest LGBT rights organization. "I felt I'm ready to do some different things," Kors, 49, told the Bay Area Reporter , adding that nine years is a "long tenure" for the leader of a political organization like EQCA. He has yet to decide where he'll go next and has not applied yet for any other jobs.

Widely criticized for his leadership of the unsuccessful fight to defeat Prop 8 in the fall of 2008, Kors declined to talk about regrets or things he would've done differently. Instead, he talked about his accomplishments. He said when he became executive director, there was a staff of two, there was no statewide LGBT political action committee, and California was "a state with very limited rights" for same-sex couples. At the time, couples had less than 15 legal rights and protections, and there are now more than 400. He also pointed to employment and housing protections for transgender people
Read Hemmelgarn's complete analysis of Kors' tenure.

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