Thursday, February 28, 2013

Civil Unions Pass CO House Committee

Two weeks ago Colorado's civil unions bill passed in the state Senate by a vote of 34-21.  The bill now proceeds to the full state House.

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Here's The President's Prop 8 Brief

SCOTUSblog has an analysis:
Much of the logic of the government’s brief — its first entry into the controversy over California’s Proposition 8 — could be read to support a right to marriage equality in every state, but it did not endorse that idea explicitly. [Snip] In essence, the position of the federal government would simultaneously give some support to marriage equality while showing some respect for the rights of states to regulate that institution.

What the brief endorsed is what has been called the “eight-state solution” — that is, if a state already recognizes for same-sex couples all the privileges and benefits that married couples have (as in the eight states that do so through “civil unions”) those states must go the final step and allow those couples to get married. The argument is that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of legal equality when both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are entitled to the same marital benefits, but only the opposite-sex couples can get married. 

The eight states that apparently would be covered by such a decision are: California (whose Proposition 8, which denies marriage to couples who already have all of the other marital benefits, would fall), Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island.
Read the full brief.

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Homocons Join GOP Prop 8 Brief

Yesterday we learned that about 75 GOP figures had signed onto a joint Supreme Court brief supporting the overturn of Prop 8.  Today we get the full list of names and note that a number of  well-known homocons have signed on. Most notable, of course, is that the brief itself bears the name of former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, the homocon mastermind of 21 successful anti-gay state ballot initiatives during the Bush II administration. 

Other homocon brief signees include former Log Cabin head R. Clark Cooper, former UN ambassadors spokesman Richard Grenell (who spent two hot minutes with the Romney campaign before getting canned), former Log Cabin head Patrick Guerriero, former Rep. Michael Huffington,  former Rep. Jim Kolbe, and former MA state Rep. Richard Tisei, who ran unsuccessfully for the US House last year.

RELATED: Last month a separate trio of homocons, David Benkof, Doug Mainwaring, and Robert Oscar Lopez, filed a Supreme Court brief against the repeal of Proposition 8.

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PFLAG Files Prop 8 Brief

Parent, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) today filed a Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of Proposition 8.  The brief includes numerous real life stories of gay people and their families and is relatively light on legal citations. Hit the link and read the stories.

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Bishops Order Priests To Encourage Attendance At NOM's Hate March

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a letter to all American dioceses that orders every parish to consider encouraging parishioners to attend NOM's hate march on the Supreme Court.
We are grateful for this opportunity to express support for the Marriage March and to encourage participation in this event. We realize that the march will occur during the solemn days of Holy Week, but we ask that you consider promoting this event in your diocese and parishes and encourage participation where possible.  The march will be a significant opportunity to promote and defend marriage and the good of our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will. It also complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty (http://www.usccb.org/life-marriage-liberty) that was approved last November. This is a decisive time for marriage in our country. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this march.
Pretending that he himself is not a defacto Vatican employee, Brian Brown reacts: "We welcome the active participation and support of the Catholic Church in the march."

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Teabaggers Target Rep. Aaron Schock

The ultra right-wing Club For Growth announced today that they will put up a primary challenger to closet case Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) because he isn't teabagger enough. After citing a litany of "liberal votes" made by Schock, the group closes their letter to him with this:
Congressman Schock, your liberal record speaks for itself. You understandably would like to hide the reality that you are a pro-stimulus spending, pro-ObamaCare, pro-debt limit increase, pro-tax increase, pro-labor “Republican”, but all the evidence points to that very fact. Your actions as a member of Congress matter, and because of you and your votes, taxes and debt are higher, ObamaCare is funded, labor bosses receive their handouts and both your constituents and Americans have less economic freedom. Congressman Schock, please stop pretending to be a fiscal conservative. The voters of Illinois’s 18th Congressional District are not blind: they can tell when someone is pretending to be something they’re not.
Interesting last line, eh? Schock's chief of staff fires back: "Congressman Schock was elected by—and works for—the over 700,000 constituents in the 18th District—not unelected special interest groups based in Washington."  Some of the comments at the above link are quite amusing.

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Just Read This

No spoilers. No post labels. Just read this.


Obama To File Prop 8 Brief

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NFL Players Chris Kluwe And Brendon Ayanbadejo File SCOTUS Brief On Prop 8

NFL stars and LGBT allies Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo today filed a joint Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of Proposition 8.  From the brief's introduction:
Sports figures receive a celebrity status that influences a large majority of the American population. For far too long, professional sports have been a bastion of bigotry, intolerance, and small-minded prejudice toward sexual orientation, just as they had been to racial differences decades earlier. That is finally changing, and changing drastically. The NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA, at the league level, team level, and individual level, are finally speaking out against homophobia and intolerance of LBGTQ individuals. More and more of us realize that using demeaning slur words like “faggot,” “queer,” and “gay” can have serious, negative consequences. Not necessarily consequences for us. Instead, consequences for the children and adults who look up to us as role models and leaders. Consequences for children and adults who mimic our behavior when they interact with others. And consequences that can be severe, long-lasting, and not infrequently lead to suicide and other serious harm.
Interestingly, the brief also cites the lyrics of top-selling hip-hop artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Hit the link and read more.

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Robertson Can Pray You A Million Dollars

"It's done! In Jesus' name!"

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LGBT Groups File Prop 8 Brief

Almost 30 local LGBT groups have filed a joint Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of Proposition 8.  Headlining the brief are the the Utah Pride Center, the Campaign for Southern Equality, and the Equality Federation. A majority of the groups are from the South.  Hit the link and read their arguments.

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House Passes Inclusive VAWA

The House has approved the LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act over the vehement objections of anti-gay hate groups. The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994, but it expired in 2011 and was not renewed last year. The act provides federal assistance to health care providers and law enforcement agencies that prosecute domestic violence.  When the bill passed in the Senate two weeks ago, Tony Perkins denounced it as a "feminist slush fund that extends special rights to people based on their sexual behavior." Suck it, Tony.

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FRC's Prayer Of The Day

From the Family Research Council's prayer team:
Pray that pro-family leaders, Democrat and Republican, and our sharp pro-family lawyers will rise to neutralize this blitz campaign to confuse Americans and the Court. Continue to pray for each member of the Supreme Court and for those will argue the case for Biblical, natural marriage. May God extend mercy to America amid this onslaught of evil (Josh 1:6-8; Pr 28:4; Is 59:19; Acts 4:31; 1 Tim 2:1-8).

Pray for a sweeping awakening among Americans and in the High Court that will turn the tide in the marriage argument for righteousness. May the right of states to govern themselves and to uphold marriage be reaffirmed and may DOMA be preserved, intact! May pro-family business and governmental leaders from both parties arise successfully to defend marriage in Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota and across the land (2 Chr 7:14; Ps 14:34; 82:1-5; Joel 1:14; 2:12-18; Lk 18:1-8).
We are evil. And they are not a hate group. (Via Good As You)

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Taiwan Animators On The Pope

Nailed it.

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California Files Prop 8 Brief

From the brief's conclusion: "Proponents lack standing to pursue this appeal. If this Court has jurisdiction over their appeal, it should affirm the decision below."

NOTE: Today is the deadline for amicus briefs on both cases and AFER tells us that there will be an avalanche of filings. I'll pull out the most interesting ones and provide a recap later in the day.

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Breitbart Headline Of The Day

There's little joy today in Teabagistan, although a few commenters are pleased.

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HomoQuotable - Andrew Sullivan

"The damage Benedict XVI has done to the Catholic Church and the papacy may be far from over. All I can say about yesterday’s developments is that they seem potentially disastrous and also indicative to me of something truly weird going on underneath all of this. Benedict’s handsome male companion will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day. Are we supposed to think that’s, well, a normal arrangement?  This man – clearly in some kind of love with Ratzinger (and vice-versa) will now be working for the new Pope as secretary in the day and spending the nights with the Pope Emeritus. This is not the Vatican. It’s Melrose Place." - Andrew Sullivan, implying that the Pope is gay. And yes, Bill Donohue's head has already exploded.

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Invisible No Longer

Visit the pro-gay SCOTUS march page. (Via Scott Wooledge)

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Gay MS Mayoral Candidate Murdered

Marco McMillian, who some say was the first openly gay political candidate in the history of Mississippi, was found murdered yesterday.  McMillian was running for mayor of the small town of Clarksdale.
Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith said the body of 34-year-old Marco McMillian was found on the Mississippi River levee Wednesday at about 10 a.m. The sheriff's office said Wednesday in a news release on its Facebook page that a person of interest was in custody, but had not been formally charged. The department also said authorities had been looking for McMillian since a man crashed the candidate's car into another vehicle on Tuesday. McMillian was not in the car. The sheriff's office said deputies responded to the two-car crash on U.S. Highway 49 South near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines on Tuesday about 8 a.m. Will Rooker, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, declined to release other details. He said the investigation is ongoing.
In 2004, Ebony Magazine named McMillian as one of its "30 up-and-coming African Americans" under age 30 for his HIV activism.

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Weirdest Fox Clip Ever?

I'm not even gonna set it up. Just watch.

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New California Marriage Poll

Click over to Zack Ford at Think Progress for the rest of the results.

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Tony Perkins: We Don't Hate You

"At FRC, we hate no one. We actively affirm God's love for everyone. We also affirm what we believe to be sound theological and sociological reasons for upholding sexual morality and preserving marriage as the institution between one man and one woman. Is this hate? Most reasonable people would say no. Evidently the Southern Poverty Law Center disagrees, and under the guise of 'anti-bullying,' the SPLC is willingly fomenting hostility and violence that is jeopardizing the lives of the people with whom they disagree, just to advance their cause.

"It is time the public sees the SPLC for what they really are – bullies intent on intimidating and silencing those who oppose their anti-parent, anti-Christian policies." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, who routinely calls all gay men potential pedophiles, whose group has called for the imprisonment of gay Americans, and whose group lobbied in support of Uganda's proposed gay death penalty, once again lying that the FRC is only on the SPLC's hate list because of marriage.

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Dan Savage On Ben Cohen

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GOProud Rides The Marriage Train

It was only last month that GOProud finally made the "major announcement" that they now support same-sex marriage after endorsing the presidential candidate who signed a hate group's pledge to place a ban on it in the federal constitution. And don't forget that their officially released 2011 agenda included opposition to "federal marriage reform." (A position now conveniently zapped from their website.)  GOProud is now obviously feeling safer with so many GOP figures coming out in support of the cause. They're totally heroes! Move over, Rosa Parks!

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Olson & Boies Announce Book Deal

Next year, when all the dust has hopefully settled, Prop 8 attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies will publish a jointly-written book about their battle for marriage equality.
"Our collective journey tells of a crucial and historical civil rights movement that brings us closer to the ideals on which our country was founded," Boies, 71, said in a statement issued by Viking. Olson, 72, said he and Boies between them have "nearly 100 years in the law."  "We have never handled a more important, dramatic and emotionally compelling challenge," he said in a statement. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), promised the Boies-Olson book will be a "dramatic, intimate, and informed account of this historic issue."
The book's title: "A Just Cause: Law, Love, and the Case for Marriage Equality."  It should be out sometime in mid-2014. (Tipped by JMG reader George)

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Perez Hilton Is A Father

From his website:
Dear Friends, I want you to hear this directly from me, right here. I am ready to announce that earlier this month I was blessed with the birth of my first child, a beautiful and healthy baby boy - with lots of hair on his tiny head! My family is overjoyed at this newest and most cherished addition. Thank YOU for welcoming PerezHilton.com into your homes, offices, classrooms, cell phones and wherever else you may read my five websites. And thank you for welcoming ME into your lives! I am so humbled to welcome this little man into my life. And I am honored and ready for the challenge of guiding him through his. With love, Perez.
Jezebel is seeing a lively discussion.

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Quote Of The Day - Phil Horgan

"A key teaching of Christianity is to hate the sin, but love the sinner. We incarcerate convicted persons for their crimes, not out of hate for the individual. But with Whatcott, the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that criticism of behaviour can be treated as potentially hateful speech against the minority. Will criticism of activities at gay pride parades be treated similarly? Will criticism of certain homosexual sexual activities be now conflated as an example of hate speech of an individual or minority? This conflation of behaviour with the person or group, is a proposition at odds with most religious teachings, and of concern coming from our highest court." - Phil Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League, reacting to yesterday's unanimous ruling that upheld hate speech laws.

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From NOM's Blog

They's all hip and shit!

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Open Thread Thursday

AOL chat room flashback! A/S/L?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MN Marriage Bill Introduced

Openly gay Minnesota state Sen. Scott Dibble today introduced his marriage equality bill. The full text of the bill is here.
“This is a day that Minnesotans should be very proud of," said Sen. Scott Dibble, a Minneapolis Democrat who is a chief sponsor of the bill. "Our challenge in coming weeks is that we really have this discussion with renewed energy, about why marriage matters, why family matters." The new legislative push is the culmination of a 10 year fight over the issue, beginning with proposals to further restrict marriage solely to heterosexual unions. Sensing a national, tidal shift on the issue, advocates now believe this is the year Minnesota will join fewer than a dozen states that have legalized same-sex marriage. The new proposal would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, but ensures that religious leaders who are opposed are not forced to wed same-sex couples. Only faiths and religious groups that welcome same-sex unions could perform the ceremonies.
In a news video at the first link above, GOP state Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen blathers that homosexuality is a choice and that "the concept that you are born that way is a lie." Ho-hum.  If Dibble's bill is successful in both chambers (and that is far from certain at this point) same-sex weddings would commence in August. (Tipped by JMG reader Larson)

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Matt Gold - Oh Joe

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Gay Pianist Van Cliburn Dies At 78

Renowned concert pianist Van Cliburn, who in 1998 was unsuccessfully sued for palimony by his former partner in a case that made global headlines, has died of bone cancer at the age of 78.
Mr. Cliburn, a Texan, was a lanky 23-year-old when he clinched the gold medal in the inaugural year of the Tchaikovsky competition, and the feat, in Moscow, was viewed as an American triumph over the Soviet Union at the height of the cold war. He became a cultural celebrity of pop-star dimensions and brought overdue attention to the musical assets of his native land.

When Mr. Cliburn returned to New York, he was given a ticker-tape parade in Lower Manhattan, which offered the sight of about 100,000 people lining the streets and cheering a classical musician. In a ceremony at City Hall, Mayor Robert F. Wagner proclaimed that Mr. Cliburn’s accomplishment was “a dramatic testimonial to American culture” and that “with his two hands, Van Cliburn struck a chord which has resounded around the world, raising our prestige with artists and music lovers everywhere.”
Here's his most famous piece.

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One Million Moms Vs Amazon

What took them so long?
Dear Joe, Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite commercial promotes gay marriage. Instead of Amazon remaining neutral in the culture war while showcasing how their product has no glare even at the beach, they chose to promote sin. The commercial starts off with a guy and a girl sitting on the beach with their Kindles. At the end, the girl mentions her husband is getting her a drink, and the guy says, "So is mine." They both turn around to see their 'husbands' waiting for their drinks. Both men at the bar wave to their spouse. Homosexuality is wrong just like other sexual sins of heterosexual sex before marriage, adultery, and pornography, but Amazon has chosen to promote gay marriage in their advertisement. This ad has been airing during programs such as "American Idol" when children are likely watching. These commercials are airing nationwide and are damaging to the minds of young children and adolescents.
Their attached form letter demands that Amazon "pull this commercial immediately" or "at least" edit out the ending that reveals that the man is gay.

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Let's Have A Papal Kiki

Read the ballots.

(Tipped by JMG reader Bill)

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LAUNCHED: Pet Food Stamps

A New York-based non-profit has launched a program they are calling Pet Food Stamps, which will ship pet food to impoverished families who might otherwise be forced to surrender furry family members to animal shelters, or worse, release them to fend for themselves on the streets. In order to qualify for the program, pet owners must document that they are on public assistance.  From the group's website:
There are over 50 million Americans who currently receive Food Stamps, many with dogs or cats, who simply cannot afford to feed their animals, and these cherished companions are dropped off at animal shelters where they will most likely be put to sleep. As more families struggle with difficult choices like paying the rent or buying food, some have to choose between keeping their pet and putting food on the table. The Pet Food Stamps program, due to the generosity of contributors and patrons, are able to eliminate that heart-wrenching decision by making sure these pet owners are given free monthly home delivery of all necessary food supplies to maintain the health and vitality of their pets.
Initial reaction to the program has been so strong that the group's website crashed yesterday as thousands of animal lovers attempted to make donations. Totally unsurprisingly, the program has been denounced in some corners of Teabagistan as furthering "the entitlement mindset of the takers." Over at the wingnut Townhall, they're even wondering when Pet Food Stamps will become an official federal program. Eye roll.

Pet Food Stamps donation link.

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Guns For Beyonce Tickets?

Hip-hop mogul Blue Williams wants to launch a program in which New Yorkers can trade in their guns for Beyonce concert tickets. And the NYPD might be down for it.
Williams, the head of Family Tree Entertainment, has pitched the city’s first private-sector gun buyback program to NYPD brass and is waiting for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s okay. "We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it,” Kelly told the Daily News, adding that the proposal needs more study. If given the green light, Williams — who has managed the wildly successful careers of OutKast and Cee-Lo Green and has the ear of hip-hop and rap royalty — said he’ll solicit help from none other than Beyoncé.
Beyonce has three concerts slated for Brooklyn's brand new 19,000-seat Barclays Center in August. Tickets start at $225 and go as high as $3529.  And that's before the scalpers add their cut.

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Action Alert: IL Rep. Rita Mayfield

NOM has issued an action alert.
Representative Rita Mayfield, a Democrat from Waukegan, has announced that she will be tallying emails received for and against same-sex marriage, and she will take that information seriously into account as she weighs her vote. Please take a moment right now to send Rep. Mayfield a short messaging asking her to OPPOSE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. Her email address is mayfieldr@ilga.gov.
What are you waiting for? We'll need every vote. (Tipped by JMG reader John)

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Pope: The Lord Snoozed On Me

"There were moments of joy and light but also moments that were not easy. There were moments, as there were throughout the history of the Church, when the seas were rough and the wind blew against us and it seemed that the Lord was sleeping. I took this step in the full knowledge of its gravity and rarity but with a profound serenity of spirit." - Benedict Palpatine, in today's farewell address.

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300 Corporations & Cities File DOMA Brief

A coalition of almost 300 corporations, cities, and other organizations, some of whom also appear on yesterday's Prop 8 brief, have filed a Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of DOMA.  The ACLU reports via press release:
Signers include Amazon.com, Apple, Bank of New York, CBS, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Facebook, Google, JetBlue, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co, Liberty Mutual, Marriott International, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, NIKE, Pfizer, Starbucks, Twitter, Viacom, Walt Disney Company and Xerox and the cities of Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Seattle, among others.

Other supporters, including religious leaders, retired military personnel, children’s rights groups and former cabinet secretaries are expected to file their briefs later this week. Some groups will be holding a press conference at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. announcing their support for Windsor’s case, as well as the Supreme Court case seeking to repeal California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
Scanning the full brief, I also see Adobe, Alaska Airlines, Diageo, Intuit, M&M Mars, Pfizer, and REI.  Sorry, haters. It's time to also boycott Flash, booze, spreadsheets, candy, boner pills, and camping tents! Enjoy your sober, flaccid, YouTube-free caves! And no Little Mermaid or Lion King for the kiddies, not that you'll be able to buy an anti-gay TV or cable provider.

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Fire Island Bans Nude Sunbathing

In response to reports of public sex and other actually serious crimes, park rangers with the National Seashore authority have banned nude sunbathing on all of Fire Island, which comprises 17 residential communities along the barrier island off of Long Island. The main trouble spot appears not to be the popular gay communities of Cherry Grove and The Pines.
The surging popularity of Lighthouse Beach in particular has led to increased complaints and observations of assault, sex, masturbation and prostitution, said Fire Island chief ranger Lena Koschmann. On some summer days, as many as 4,000 people descend on the narrow strip of land east of Robert Moses State Park Field 5, in the shadow of famed Fire Island Lighthouse. "We've been struggling to make it work because Fire Island has a history of that type of use and people have been coming there for years," Koschmann said. "The more we talked about it and researched it, the more we realized that that use wasn't compatible with an area like Lighthouse Beach."
The ban was also prompted, in part, by the decimation of sand dunes by Hurricane Sandy, meaning that nude sunbathers are now more visible to tourists. A spokesman for the National Seashore also complains that rowdy partiers at Lighthouse Point have been setting up mobile DJ stations. She adds that invitations to public sex at the parties have been posted on social media networks. The disappointed co-founder of Young Naturists and Nudists America says that her group will now relocate to New Jersey's Gunnison Beach.

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Christians Send Paris Mayor Pennies To Cover Damage From Anti-Gay March

Last month openly gay Paris Mayor Betrand Delanoe a levied a €100,000 repair fine against the organizers of a massive anti-gay marriage rally in order to cover damage done to the landscaping at a city park.  In response, attendees are sending Delanoe an avalanche of tiny checks because it will cost Paris more than the amount of each payment to issue receipts.
Organizers urged supporters to send checks for between 10 cents and 1 euro, or about $1.30, to City Hall. When 9,000 people did, raising $1,175, Delanoe admitted the donations were literally more trouble than they were worth. He told French radio he did not know what to do with the money as he was obliged to issue a receipt for each check. Apart from the cost of staff labor and envelopes he added: "It's going to cost me more in postage than I've received."  Officials say the Champ-de-Mars lawns, normally reopened after a winter rest in April, will remain closed off to the public until June.
RELATED: The upper house of the French legislature is scheduled to vote on marriage equality on April 2nd. It is expected to pass and President Francois Hollande has vowed to sign the bill.  The bill passed overwhelmingly in the lower house last month.

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Headline Of The Day

The Canadian Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that hate speech laws are a "constitutionally valid" limit on freedom of expression. The precedent-setting ruling resulted from the case of an anti-gay preacher who distributed homophobic fliers in Saskatchewan.  Pastor Bill Whatcott (below) had won an earlier appeal of his conviction in the provincial court.

The Saskatchewan law, which is similar to others in Alberta, BC, the Northwest Territories and federally, “appropriately balances the fundamental values underlying freedom of expression with competing Charter rights and other values essential to a free and democratic society, in this case a commitment to equality and respect for group identity and the inherent dignity owed to all human beings,” wrote Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein for the court. “Framing speech as arising in a moral context or within a public policy debate does not cleanse it of its harmful effect,” the judges decided.
In their ruling, the Supreme Court issued three guidelines for lower courts to consider in hate speech cases.
First, these laws must be applied objectively, which is difficult in the case of subjective emotion, though not impossible, the judges ruled. Second, hate must be understood to be the extreme manifestations of the emotion described by the words “detestation” and “vilification,” but nothing less. “This filters out expression which, while repugnant and offensive, does not incite the level of abhorrence, delegitimization and rejection that risks causing discrimination or other harmful effects,” they wrote. Third, tribunals must focus their analysis on the effect of the expression at issue, namely whether it is likely to expose the targeted person or group to hatred by others.
Whatcott's fliers claimed that a local Saskatchewan gay publication was publishing ads from pedophiles. Four citizens then filed complaints. Whatcott has long been a martyr to American evangelicals who frequently cite his case as an example of homofascism. Expect many more of those claims in the coming days.

UPDATE: Longtime JMG reader Tone was one of the four complainants in the original case against Whatcott.  Feel free to congratulate him for sticking with the case all these years.

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The Pope Waves Goodbye Behind His Bullet-Proof Shield From God's Wrath

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Marilyn Musgrave [UPDATED]

In 2003 as a Colorado legislator, state Rep. Marilyn Musgrave wrote and sponsored the bill that successfully banned same-sex marriage. In 2004 then-US Rep. Marilyn Musgrave sponsored and voted for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006 then-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave was given a 0% rating by the Human Rights Campaign. In 2006 then-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave appeared at the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit to declare that same-sex marriage was the single issue that most-imperiled the survival of the United States. In 2006 then-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave again sponsored and again voted for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In 2007 then-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave voted against ENDA. In 2008 the American Conservative Union honored then-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave as the "most conservative" member of Congress.   And on February 26th, 2013 former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave signed onto a GOP Supreme Court brief that endorses the full marriage equality of gay Americans.

We have truly won. It won't happen right away. But it's inevitable.

UPDATE: STOP the celebration, everybody. Musgrave is DENYING the above-linked New York Times story.
“I’m very befuddled by this story,” Musgrave told FOX31 Denver. “There’s absolutely no truth to that. I’m reading it thinking, ‘what in the world?’ “I wasn’t even aware of it. I have not changed my position. I’m trying to imagine where anyone would get that information and I can’t figure it out.” The brief, organized by former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, who is openly gay, urges the Supreme Court to declare that gay and lesbian couples have a Constitutional right to marry. Musgrave is cited in the lede paragraph of a story by the New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg as part of a growing group of conservative Republicans supporting Mehlman’s brief. Musgrave’s former district director, former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel, has signed the brief.
Damn, damn, damn. Too good to be true, indeed. In his post on the Times story, Jeremy Hooper even said, "If you had asked me yesterday morning to name an American likely to come out for marriage equality, Ms. Musgrave would've ranked somewhere below a cryogenically frozen version of Ronald Reagan." Somebody at the Times has some explaining to do.

UPDATE II: The New York Times has issued a retraction: "An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that former Representative Marilyn Musgrave, Republican of Colorado, had signed on to the brief. The brief was signed by her former district director, for himself."

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Today In Christian Love

"I believe that Oscar Pistorius is cursed for openly supporting homosexuals. According to the Holy Word of God, homosexuality is an abomination to God, and any person who supports homosexuals are doomed for hell." - South African Pastor Oscar Bougardt, telling his Facebook followers that God made Pistorious murder his girlfriend because he'd made an It Gets Better video. 

But wait, there's more.
He later removed the comments, but told the Cape Times: “I will continue to make statements until I die. Someone needs to speak out about their filthy lifestyles.” “One of the reasons I removed it was because homosexuals have been harassing me, screaming at me and verbally abusing me,” he added. “It’s not because I’ve changed my stance on what I said. I feel it’s a truthful comment.” He then went on to blame South Africa’s high crime rates on “homosexuals coming into our communities, picking up boys and giving them drugs and alcohol." “Our children are getting confused by these perverts,” he said.
Pink News notes that Bourgardt is being investigated by the South African Human Rights Commission for a long history of anti-gay comments, including one saying that Bishop Desmond Tutu will "burn in hell" for accepting gay people.

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BRITAIN: Speaker Of House Of Commons Intro's Ben Cohen As "Openly Gay"

In an appearance before ParliOut, a group of gay Parliament staffers, Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow mistakenly introduced rugby star and anti-homophobia activist Ben Cohen as "openly gay."  Cohen took the gaffe in good humor. Via Gay Star News:
In his speech as reported by the Evening Standard, Bercow said: "I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Ben Cohen before but I’m delighted to remedy that serious deficit. For those of you who aren’t aware his background is a rugby international – capped no fewer than 57 times for his country – and he is openly gay and had dedicated himself to fighting for gay rights." As the applause laughed, Cohen interjected by saying "Don’t tell my wife!" "No he’s not openly gay," Bercow awkwardly continued on, adding "I am not in favor of outing people against their will and that was an ignorant outing that I apologize to Ben for. I’m not sure how I’m going to be getting back from this faux pas."

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Macklemore: You Can Play

More support from the nation's top-selling hip-hop artist.

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Pope Uses Final Tweet To Express Pity For Anybody Who Isn't A Christian

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Phoenix Approves LGBT Rights Bill

By a vote of 5-3, last night the Phoenix City Council broadened anti-bias protections to include LGBT residents. As usual, opponents lined up to scream that men in dresses were going to invade the city's restrooms.
The Human Relations Ordinance revolves around adding three phrases to the city's anti-discrimination policies when it comes to employment, housing, city contracts and public accommodations: "sexual orientation," "gender identity" and "disability." Phoenix is one of the few major cities in the country that hadn't adopted a similar policy protecting civil rights of the LGBT community. Critics called the bill problematic.

"It gives an open door to any sexual predator, not the transgender community, but any sexual predator that pretends to be transgender. That person can go into the women's restroom and this gives them easy access to women and, especially, children," said Joe La Rue of the group Alliance Defending Freedom. Other cities which have implemented similar laws say those fears are unfounded.

Tucson changed its anti-discrimination policy in 1999. According to city officials, there have been no lawsuits and no criminal prosecutions. The mayor's office in Salt Lake City said the change has been positive there, too. The city has had no legal challenges and only one complaint in 2010.
Yes, that's the same ADF who recently saw one of their attorneys sent to prison for making kiddie porn with her daughter.  Also vehemently opposing the bill, unsurprisingly, was the Archdiocese of Phoenix.

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NOM Spokesman Jennifer Roback Morse: Gays KNOW They Are An Abomination

"I’ve noticed in my encounters with men who are same-sex attracted particularly that they have a sense of shame. Have any of you ever noticed this? I’ve noticed that a lot of the people who are very active in the movement to redefine marriage will describe that when they were teenagers that they had a sense of wrongness — of being wrong — and of God thinking they were an abomination, like they all knew that verse. So they have this sense of wrongness and I think that many of them believe that redefining marriage is going to make them feel better. I think they think that if all of us will approve of them that they will feel better. Making yourself feel good about doing something that is deeply wrong for you is not in the end going to work." - NOM spokesman Jennifer Roback Morse, speaking at the Catholic Women's Conference in Florida. Yesterday Morse testified against same-sex marriage before the Illinois House. (Via Zack Ford at Think Progress)

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Obama Will Gay-Doctrinate Your Kids

So sez some Alabama teabagger. Bonus claim: Hitler!

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Jesus Vs Jesus

Six years ago an Italian clothing company miraculously received a US trademark to make clothing bearing the word "Jesus." And ever since then the lawsuits have been flying. Via the Wall Street Journal:
The owner of the trademark, Jesus Jeans, has clamped down on Jesus-themed apparel, pitting its litigators against more than a dozen other startup clothing lines it claims appropriated "Jesus" without the company's blessing. The company doesn't have a trademark on images of Jesus, just the word. Before taking on Jesus Surfed, Jesus Jeans objected to "Jesus First," "Sweet Jesus," and "Jesus Couture," among others, which abandoned their trademark efforts. In some cases, when met with resistance, Jesus Jeans warned that it could sue for damages. Attorneys for Jesus Jeans say they are just trying to protect the value of their brand—no different from Nike's claim over the winged goddess of victory.
The first ad campaign for Jesus Jeans shocked Italians in the 1970s as it featured denim hot pants and the slogan, "He who loves me, follows me."

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Brian Brown Vs. Rep. Richard Hanna

"There's absolutely no doubt that we are going be involved in the next election for Richard Hanna's seat. What folks don't understand is that we have Republicans and Democrats who support us, but if a Republican betrays the party platform, betrays his constituents, and does what Richard Hanna does, you can bet we're going to primary him. And if a Democrat wins in the end, so be it." - Hate group leader and Vatican stooge Brian Brown, vowing revenge on Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), who yesterday signed a joint GOP brief supporting the overturn of Prop 8.

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Quote Of The Day - Morrissey

"War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality. If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men. They even get medals for it. Women don’t go to war to kill other women. Wars and armies and nuclear weapons are essentially heterosexual hobbies." - Morrissey, speaking to Rookie Magazine.

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Two Minutes Of British Hate #7

The House of Lords won't be pushed around!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

LIVE VIDEO: Illinois House Committee
UPDATE: Bill PASSES 6-5!!!

Things have been delayed at today's scheduled Illinois House Executive Committee vote on marriage equality, possibly because GOP reps have caucused over a bill on carrying concealed firearms.  IF the House Executive Committee gets to the table today the live video link is here.  Refresh, refresh, refresh.

UPDATE: Things are finally beginning. Hit the link for live video.

UPDATE II: The bill has passed by a 6-5 vote after some VERY ugly testimony from the local hate groups.

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Cardinal Roger Mahony: Stop Condemning Me For Shielding Child Rapists

"I can't recall a time such as now when people tend to be so judgmental and even self-righteous, so quick to accuse, judge and condemn.  And often with scant real facts and information.  Because of news broadcasts now 24/7 there is little or no fact checking; no in-depth analysis; no context or history given.  Rather, everything gets reported as 'news' regardless of the basis for the item being reported--and passed on by countless other news outlets.

"We have ended up with a climate in which it's the norm to instantly pass judgement on one another, taking in and repeating gossip, sharing someone else's judgment as the truth, no regard for other people who may be harmed.  Whatever happened to the norm of giving others the benefit of a doubt until hard evidence proves otherwise?" - Cardinal Roger Mahony, complaining on his blog that people are super-mean to to him just because he shielded pedophiles from the police.

Oh, and guess where Mahony is today?

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Dozens Of Major Corporations To File Supreme Court Brief Against Prop 8

Later this week dozens of major corporations will file a joint Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of Prop 8.  The names are huge, people. Fortune Magazine reports:
On Thursday, dozens of American corporations, including Apple, Alcoa, Facebook, eBay, Intel, and Morgan Stanley will submit an amicus brief in the landmark Hollingsworth v. Perry case broadly arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that laws banning same-sex marriages, like California's ballot initiative Proposition 8, are unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

According to a draft copy obtained by Fortune, the companies argue that such laws "send an unmistakeable signal that same-sex couples are in some way inferior to opposite-sex couples, a proposition that is anathema to amici's commitment to equality and fair treatment to all."

At least 60 companies had committed to signing the brief as of Tuesday evening, according to Joshua Rosenkranz, who is counsel of record on the brief and head of the Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. That number is expected to rise by Thursday, however, according to Rosenkranz. Others who have already committed to sign include AIG, Becton Dickinson, Cisco, Cummins, Kimpton, Levi Strauss, McGraw Hill, NCR, Nike, Office Depot, Oracle, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Xerox.
An excerpt from the brief declares that Proposition 8 "leaves companies in the untenable position of being compelled implicitly to endorse the second-class status to which their gay and lesbian employees, clients, customers, and business associates are relegated. Until the law no longer relegates same-sex couples to second-class status as inferior 'domestic partnerships,' our adherence to the law compels us to abide by a distinction that stigmatizes and dehumanizes gay men and lesbians."

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Headline Of The Day

Of course they snubbed Gov. Christie, after all, he totally won Obama's his second term!
The list of speakers for the March confab currently includes the party’s failed 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, as well as former VP hopeful Sarah Palin and a string of current officials and 2016 hopefuls like Sen. Marco Rubio. But Christie, who infuriated some Republicans for praising President Barack Obama’s performance post-Hurricane Sandy, will not be among them. On the one hand, it spares Christie — who’s running for reelection in a blue state — the agita of having to make an appearance that Democrats would use against him in 2013.
Come on, Governor! They don't want you. Ditch the GOP, come out for marriage, and be the sensible guy you can be, but for the good guys. If Charlie Crist can do it....

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Senate Confirms Hagel

It was a mere formality once the filibuster ended earlier today.
The Senate confirmed former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) as the next U.S. Secretary of Defense on Tuesday, ending a long and contentious nomination process marked by an unprecedented GOP filibuster of a presidential cabinet level nominee. The final vote tally was 58 in favor, 41 opposed.
All of the opposed were Republicans.

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We Saw Your Junk

A response to Seth McFarlane's Oscar number.

(Tipped by JMG reader Fritz)

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Jesus Set The Minimum Wage

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PhoboQuotable - Peter Sprigg

"A person who believes they are, or wishes to be, the opposite sex from that which is written in the chromosomes of every cell of his or her body, is suffering from a disconnection with an immutable biological reality. The solution to this problem is not actions - up to and including self-mutilating surgery amputating healthy body parts - which will reinforce this disconnect with reality. I must oppose this bill because it will not work. This bill would force the state and private actors - employers, landlords, and others who provide public services - to officially and legally affirm the very delusion that puts these suffering individuals at odds with reality. Not only will it not make their lives better, but it will prevent them from getting the very help they do need to make their lives better." - Family Research Council vice president Peter Sprigg, testifying today before the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering a bill to ban gender identity discrimination.

RELATED: Sixteen states and numerous cities and counties presently outlaw gender identity discrimination. (Shamefully, New York state does not, although GENDA is once again under consideration.) In the map below, those 16 states are the darkest-shaded. States where only local protections are provided are shaded lighter. Maryland is shaded as it is because a large portion of residents are covered under Baltimore's 2002 ordinance.

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Father Tiger - Head Hung Low

You might recall that Father Tiger's holiday song was a big hit with you back in December.

(Tipped by JMG reader Jared)

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Church Sign Of The Day

Source.

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