Sunday, April 07, 2013

SOUTH AFRICA: Gay Couple Marries In Traditional Zulu Ceremony

According to the below news report, this was the "first traditional African wedding ceremony" ever conducted for a gay couple.

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OKLAHOMA: Scott Lively Launches Drive To Legalize Anti-Gay Discrimination

Saying that Oklahoma is one of the few states where "homofascists" have not yet gained a firm foothold, hate group leader Scott Lively has launched a drive to amend the state constitution to legalize anti-gay discrimination. Via World Net Daily:
Rev. Scott Lively, who works with Defend the Family, now also has begun working with pastors and churches in Oklahoma City, under the banner of Oklahomans for the 1st Amendment, to take back Christians’ rights to believe, live and express their biblical beliefs. Essentially, the goal of the program is to affirm that the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and religion trumps laws set up to promote homosexuality by setting aside quotas for hiring and such. Lively told WND the effort was launched in Oklahoma for a number of reasons, including that the state is fairly conservative and the special “rights” for homosexuals still are a mostly new idea there. “The idea is to accomplish somewhere in the nation an amendment of sexual orientation regulations … as an example to the rest of the nation,” he said.
The above-linked article includes several dozen "examples of homofascism," most of which, unsurprisingly, have been debunked as outright lies.

RELATED: Lively is currently being sued in Massachusetts by an Ugandan LGBT rights group for crimes against humanity.

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32% Want Christianity As Official Religion


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Pastor Rick Warren's Son Commits Suicide

From today's New York Times:
The 27-year-old son of the Rev. Rick Warren, one of America’s most influential religious leaders, committed suicide, Mr. Warren said in an e-mail released on Saturday to staff members and congregants at his 20,000-member Saddleback Valley Community Church. Rick Warren said in the e-mail that his youngest son, Matthew, had “struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts.” After a happy evening with his parents, the e-mail said, “in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.”
As they typically do, wingnut sites like Michelle Malkin's Twitchy have harvested a bunch of tweets from random unknown people which they claim characterizes "the ghoulish left."

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Anthony Weiner For NYC Mayor?

Once again rumors are flying that former Rep. Anthony Weiner may be considering a run for mayor of New York City.
Political insiders were abuzz at news that Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, had granted a lengthy magazine interview for the first time since his resignation in an embarrassing sexting scandal in 2011. “The magazine piece is step one of a two-step process for him to run citywide this year,” said one Democratic Party source. “He’s looking at public advocate and comptroller, but he really thinks he can use this to get back in and run for mayor.” Weiner issued a terse “no comment” when asked about his plans. Weiner has $4.3 million left in his campaign account, including $248,710 that would be matched 6-to-1 under the public-financing system.
Weiner was a member of the New York City Council from 1992-1998 before winning the House seat given up when Chuck Schumer ran for the Senate. In 2005 Weiner finished second in the New York City mayoral Democratic primary.

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Tired Old Queen At The Movies #114

Clip description:
STAGECOACH (1939) The action is fast and furious as John Wayne takes us on a bumpy journey across Monument Valley in John Ford's legendary western classic, STAGECOACH. This is the film that became the blueprint for every western since. Shot on location, the film made a star out of Wayne and supplied excellent supporting roles for Claire Trevor, John Carradine, Andy Devine, Donald Meek and in an Oscar winning turn, Thomas Mitchell as a drunken doctor forced to deliver a baby under less than ideal conditions. Gun fights, dust storms, desert heat, and attacking Indians all do their best to keep the stage from getting through. Will they make it? Hitch a ride and find out!

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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Archdiocese Of San Francisco Responds To Flap About Anti-Gay Facebook Avatar

During last month's Supreme Court hearings on Prop 8 and DOMA, the Archdiocese of San Francisco changed their Facebook avatar to a division symbol with a scriptural reference beneath.   The avatar was later deleted along with hundreds of furious comments.  Yesterday the Archdiocese finally responded to media inquiries about the incident. Via San Francisco's KQED:
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has been outspoken in his opposition to same-sex marriage. So the archdiocese social media expert, Edison Tapalla, re-posted a couple of symbols playing on the "+" symbol. Those went over without huge criticism. But when he tried "÷," on March 26 he ignited a firestorm. Same-sex advocates posted about 320 comments in a tone so harsh that Tapalla took down the post a couple of days later. [snip] So what was all this meant to communicate? Tapalla said it was a comment on the sharp divisions around the issue of same-sex marriage. "It was more commenting on how people are separated," he said. "I wish that people could talk. I think we live in a world where mere disagreement is taken as hate. When you have such strong feelings on both sides, it's hard to come together and have a conversation."
A spokesman for the Archdiocese added: "We were slammed with some very ugly messages. It was obviously an organized attack. It's probably the same group that's been attacking us. They are very anti-Catholic and very bigoted." The Human Rights Campaign denies having responded to the incident. I wonder who could have sent all those angry commenters? (Tipped by JMG reader Don)

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Wil Wheaton Vs Tea Party

Former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton has a massive online following and yesterday he made the above comment to his 2.2M fans on Twitter, directing them to a hashtag used by Tea Party fans.  (#TCOT = top conservatives on Twitter.)  Michelle Malkin's Twitchy responded in their characteristic fashion.

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TRAILER: Bridegroom

Clip description:
BRIDEGROOM gives an intensely personal edge to the ongoing debate over the legal rights of same-sex couples. Interviews, photos and video footage all testify to the uncommon connection that drew together Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom. For six years they remained united despite extreme challenges from both family and society, until a tragic accident tears apart their dreams. Now one must fight to be recognized as his soulmate's legitimate counterpart. Tribeca Film Festival 2013 Official Selection.
Dates at the Tribeca Film Festival are here.

(Tipped by JMG reader Chuck)

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Ben Carson Apologizes Again

Last week Tea Party hero Dr. Ben Carson issued an insincere faux-pology after he'd appeared on national television to compare gay people to pedophiles and animal-fuckers.  Yesterday Carson was forced to make a more unequivocal apology to his employers at Johns Hopkins University.   
"As you know, I have been in the national news quite a bit recently and my 36 year association with Johns Hopkins has unfortunately dragged our institution into the spotlight as well. I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused. But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe. There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget. Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point. I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words.

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Martin Bashir Vs TN Rep. Stacey Campfield

Tennessee's "don't say gay" crackpot is back with yet another bigoted plan. This time Campfield wants to reduce public aid to families whose kids are getting low grades.

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Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): I'm Undecided

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Cat Power - Manhattan

"Don't look at the moon tonight. You can never be Manhattan." This is the "Best Video Of The Week" over on Stereogum: "Can you imagine if the Empire State Of Mind video had been just this? Quite possibly the loveliest, most pleasant three minutes of film I’ve seen all year. Every city deserves its own video just like this one."

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Sen. Mary Landrieu: I Support Marriage But Won't Back It Until Voters Evolve Too

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) today said that she personally supports same-sex marriage but that until the voters of her state also evolve, she won't be be backing the issue with her Senate vote.
Landrieu told CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta in an interview Friday that she personally believes "people should love who they love and marry who they want to marry," but that her obligation rests with the people of Louisiana who elected her. "My state has a very strong constitutional amendment not only against gay marriage but against gay partnerships. So I'm looking at the people of Louisiana trying to represent their interests," she said.
Thanks for nothing, Senator.

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ESPN Polls Readers On Gay Athletes

The poll is here. (Tipped by JMG reader Matthew)

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Valerie Harper On MTM Cast Reunion

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Christian "Decency" Group Attacks Magic Johnson Because He Loves His Gay Son

"Would you be proud to hear that your loved one had chosen a life that God calls an abomination? Maybe if you yourself had lived a life of reprobation – and yourself had lost the ability to think and act morally any longer. If Magic Johnson says he’s proud of his son for being a homosexual does his statement make it right in your heart and mind? For those who say there is no God, it’s fine to screw around, play around, commit adultery, engage in homosexuality. There is no right or wrong so do what’s right in your own eyes; do what comes 'naturally.' And if what you want to do isn’t considered politically correct today, just wait awhile then it will be okay in the near future. Polygamy? Pedophilia? Same-sex marriage? Beastiality?" - Bill Johnson, head of the American Decency Association.  (Via Right Wing Watch)

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Thomas Peters: Gays Are Threatening Me

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France's Ruling Socialist Party Adds Gay Equality Avatars To Social Media Accounts

As the marriage equality debate rages on in the French Senate today, the ruling Socialist Party (the bill's main backer), has changed their social media accounts to display the LGBT equality avatar made globally famous last month during the US Supreme Court hearings on Prop 8 and DOMA.  (Tipped by JMG reader Andres)

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Texas A&M Student Body President To Veto Bill To Defund Campus LGBT Center

Yesterday the Texas A&M student senate voted to allow "religiously objecting" students to withhold the portion of their student fees that funds the campus LGBT Resource Center.  Today the student body president announced that he will veto that vote.
News this week that some student senators had targeted the center thrust the traditionally conservative university into the national spotlight, and [student body president John] Claybrook said it was time to "stop the bleeding." “The damage must stop today,” Claybrook wrote in a letter announcing his intention to veto. “Texas A&M students represent our core value of respect exceptionally and I'm very proud of the family at this university. Now, more than ever, is the time to show great resolve and come together, treating each other like the family that we are.” A veto by Claybrook means that the legislation passed 35-28 on Wednesday will not represent the official opinion of the student body at Texas A&M.
It's unclear if the student senate will attempt to override Claybrook's veto, but the close margin of yesterday's vote indicates they would not succeed. (Tipped by JMG reader Austin)

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Brendon Ayanbadejo: Four Gay NFL Players Might Come Out Together

Via SB Nation, an interesting quote from Ayanbadejo:
"I think it will happen sooner than you think. We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out."
In today's interview with MSNBC, host Thomas Roberts brings up the above quote and asks Ayanbadejo about his history of LGBT activism and what may happen for him next.  Ayanbadejo was let go by the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, but he says that move was "just football" and unrelated to his advocacy to same-sex marriage.

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Tweet Of The Day - Matt Barber

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French Senate Narrowly Rejects Motion For Nat'l Marriage Equality Referendum

"The referendum motion has failed: 340 votes cast; 164 votes 'for' and 176 votes 'against'."  That was uncomfortably close, n'est-ce pas? Watch the Senate debate live here(Translation by JMG reader David in Paris)

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Federal Judge Orders FDA To Drop Age Restrictions On Morning-After Pill

A federal court today ordered the FDA to drop the prescription requirement for girls 16 and younger that wish to purchase the over-the-counter medication Plan B, which prevents pregnancy.
In a decision in a lawsuit filed by advocates, the judge, Edward R. Korman of Federal District Court, ruled that the government’s refusal to lift restrictions on access to the pill was “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” Judge Korman ordered the F.D.A. to lift any age and sale restrictions on the pill, Plan B One-Step, and its generic versions, within 30 days. “More than 12 years have passed since the citizen petition was filed and 8 years since this lawsuit commenced,” the judge wrote. “The F.D.A. has engaged in intolerable delays in processing the petition. Indeed, it could accurately be described as an administrative agency filibuster.”
The right wing has long mischaracterized Plan B as an "abortion-causing pill" and as an "abortifacient." In fact, the drug merely prevents ovulation.  You can expect screams of outrage across Teabagistan today.

UPDATE: Right on cue, blowhard Bill Donohue.
A 12-year-old girl in a New York City school cannot be given an aspirin by her teacher, even if she has a fever. The same girl cannot buy a large soda during lunch time because Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decreed that it is not good for her. But she can be given a pill, unbeknownst to her parents, that could arguably abort her baby. Neither Judge Korman nor Mayor Bloomberg has said what the aspirin-denying teacher should do if he sees a girl reaching for a large Coke to down her abortion-inducing pill. This is what we’ve come to in our culturally schizophrenic society. Our moral code is patently incoherent, and the contempt shown for parental rights is astonishing. Hopefully, this imperial decision will be overturned.

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Sen. Joe Donnelly Backs Marriage

"In recent years, our country has been involved in an important discussion on the issue of marriage equality. While serving in the House of Representatives, I had the opportunity to act on a core belief of mine: we are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans. I voted to repeal ‘don't ask, don't tell’ and was an original supporter of the bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their sexual orientation. It is also for that reason that I oppose amending either Indiana’s or our nation’s constitution to enshrine in those documents an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ instead of a ‘we.’ With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all." - Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN),  writing on his Facebook page and becoming the 53rd sitting U.S. Senator to endorse marriage equality.

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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp Backs Marriage

"In speaking with North Dakotans from every corner of our great state, and much personal reflection, I have concluded the federal government should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships. I view the ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief. The makeup of families is changing, but the importance of family is enduring." - Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), becoming the 52nd sitting U.S. Senator to endorse marriage equality. (Via Towleroad)

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Anti-Gay Assault In West Village

The NYPD has released a blurry surveillance photo of a man suspected of using anti-gay slurs before smashing a woman in the face with a ketchup bottle in a West Village diner.
The victim, 33, whose identity was not immediately released, was dining in the Waverly Restaurant, 385 Sixth Ave., with several other women when the suspect and a group of friends started arguing with them about 4:40 a.m., police said. The suspect, who cops described as 6-feet tall and about 200 pounds, started throwing epithets before grabbing a ketchup bottle and cracking it on the victim's head, according to the NYPD. The woman had a gash on her forehead after the attack, cops said.
Last night City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes the West Village, issued as a statement:
“I am deeply disturbed by the attack on Monday against an LGBT New Yorker at the Waverly Diner in Manhattan. The suspect made anti-gay statements and struck the victim in the face with a bottle. In New York City we celebrate our diversity and hateful acts like this have no place in our City. I thank the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for their swift response and I join the Police Department in asking for the public's assistance in locating the suspect. I urge anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477)."

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Tempe AZ Considers Civil Unions

Encouraged by the actions of the small town of Bisbee, the Phoenix suburb of Tempe last night began considering civil unions.
Tempe Councilman Kolby Granville called the Bisbee vote momentous. On Wednesday, Granville, a Democrat, told The Arizona Republic that he asked for the council executive session on civil unions. He wants Tempe to be the first Valley city to approve civil-union certificates for its residents. If approved, the legal rights would apply to an estimated 165,000 Tempe residents compared with 5,600 or so in Bisbee. “Tempe tends to be a leader in issues of civil rights,” Granville said. “And, to me, equality based on sexual orientation is one of those very same civil rights.” Granville pointed to Tempe’s move in 1999 to become one of the first Arizona cities to approve health-care benefits for domestic partners, which the city generally defines as unmarried couples of the same or opposite sex.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said Wednesday that he will file a lawsuit to stop Bisbee from enacting its ordinance.

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Tenth Brazilian State Legalizes Marriage

The Brazilian state of Parana has become the tenth in that nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
According to a count by the office of Rep. Jean Wyllys, Brazil's first openly gay lawmaker, ten states out of twenty-seven now automatically convert such unions into marriage, they include: Alagoas, Bahia, Ceara, Sergipe, Espiritu Santo, Piaui, Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul and the Federal District.
Marriages conducted in those ten states are recognized nationwide. (Via Zack Ford)

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How Senators Are Backing Marriage

Politico notes the quiet manner in which Senators have recently endorsed marriage equality.
There’s clearly a new playbook for senators just now coming out for gay marriage: quietly post something on Facebook, slip it into your Tumblr feed or release a statement to friendly media outlets. What most lawmakers are not doing is talking for the cameras. But for all the hoopla over their announcements, combined with media coverage of last month’s Supreme Court arguments on the issue, these moments are scripted to be public — but not too public. There’s little footage available for opponents to use in the next campaign or live interviews with reporters who might ask difficult or inconvenient questions.

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Petition Of The Day

Via press release:
A new “Oppose hate in the classroom” bill was introduced on Tuesday in Alabama to remove a requirement that sexual education teachers tell students that being gay is “a criminal offense” and “not an acceptable lifestyle to the general public.” All Out, the global movement for lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality, along with Advocates for Youth and AIDS Alabama, has launched a petition to call on Alabama lawmakers to swiftly pass the bill and stop lying to young people.

“Right now, Alabama is forcing teachers to lie to students and tell them that it’s illegal to be gay. This despicable mis-education must be repealed without delay,” said Andre Banks, Executive Director and Co-founder of All Out. “All around the world young people face stigma, shame and bullying at school because they are lesbian, gay, bi, trans -- or even just questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. Alabama needs to move out of the dark ages and make it legal for teachers to spread the facts about sexuality rather than damaging propaganda.”
The petition is here. The text of the bill is here.

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North Korea Warns US Of Nuclear War

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New From Marriage Equality Ireland

Ireland's Constitutional Convention begins April 13th.

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For Sale: Jon Bon Jovi's Soho Loft

$18M more than he paid for it six years ago. Details.

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Brendon Ayanbadejo Cut By Ravens

"Just a heads up I did an interview today and no way said I was cut because my views. I said my talk was louder than my production and at 36 when you are not producing it is a fair move. You can find cheaper guys to do what I do. Ravens are the best organization in the NFL period!" - Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadego, telling his Facebook followers that he was not released by the team due to his advocacy for same-sex marriage. (Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

Ayanbagego spent much of last night on Twitter reassuring fans and denouncing homophobes.

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WND Launches Billboard Campaign

World Net Daily founder Joseph Farah is soliciting donations to place the above billboard "from sea to shining sea."
“If you’re concerned about the future of America, heed God’s word in II Chronicles 7:14,” says Farah: “It says, ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ But if we don’t understand our sin, which is defined by the Ten Commandments, how can we turn from our wicked ways? And how will God hear us? And how will He heal our land?”
Also: "Those who contribute $50 or more will get an autographed copy of Judge Roy Moore’s autobiographical, “So Help Me God,” the story of his battle to keep the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court."

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Baldness Pattern Linked To Heart Disease

According to a new study, the manner in which you are losing your hair may indicate whether you are more likely to develop heart disease. 
The cohort studies revealed that men who lost most of their hair were 32 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease than those who did not have hair loss. When looking at balding subjects below the age of 60, 44 percent were more likely to develop coronary artery disease. The other three studies showed that balding men were 70 percent more likely to have heart disease, with younger balding men's risk rising to 84 percent. Vertex balding -- meaning balding on the top of the head and crown -- was shown to be an issue.

Researchers discovered that those with extensive vertex balding had a 48 percent higher risk of coronary artery disease. Moderate vertex balding went up by 36 percent, and mild went up to 18 percent. However, those who had frontal balding had no additional risks. All six studies together showed that the people who had vertex and frontal balding were 69 percent more likely to have heart disease than those with a full head of hair.
Just so you have something new to plotz over today.

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Dear Straight People

Beat poetry from Denice Frohman.

(Tipped by JMG readers Alan and Denise)

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Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli Asked: Have You Or Your Staffers Committed Sodomy?

This week Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed yet another federal appeal in support of his state's ban on sodomy.  But his campaign won't respond to a Mother Jones inquiry as to whether Cucinnelli or his staffers have ever committed sodomy themselves.
Cuccinelli, who is running to be Virginia's next governor, recently petitioned a federal court to reverse its ruling that the state's archaic "Crimes Against Nature" law is unconstitutional. That statute outlaws oral and anal sex between consenting adults—gay or straight, married or single—making such "carnal" acts a felony. The law is unconstitutional because of the Supreme Court's ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated such "anti-sodomy laws" across the country. [snip] But what about Cuccinelli and his aides? Mother Jones asked his campaign if Cuccinelli or anyone working for his campaign had ever engaged in any of the prohibited conduct and whether Cuccinelli would fire any campaign staff who had done so. We have received no response. But if Cuccinelli's campaign is being run by criminals against nature, don't the voters have a right to know?
Mother Jones provides the below handy chart.

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AP Stylebook Reminder

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Facebook Launches Phone Takeover App

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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Sen. Bill Nelson Backs Marriage

"It is generally accepted in American law and U.S. society today 'that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.' I believe that. The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all. Thus, to discriminate against one class and not another is wrong for me. If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn't those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians? Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn't, and I won't. So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional." - Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), in a statement issued today to the Tampa Bay Times.  Nelson makes it 51 members of the Senate that have endorsed marriage.

NOTE: Even though I haven't lived in Florida for almost two decades, I did my own little part with Nelson by emailing and tweeting him to note that I'd voted for him every time he ran for the US House and that as a fellow Orlandoan I deserved his support. Nelson was the keynote speaker at my high school graduation when he was still in the Florida legislature.

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Limbaugh On Homocon Doug Mainwaring

Just posted to NOM's YouTube page.

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LIVE: French Senate Debates Marriage

The French Senate began its marriage equality debate today. Opponents and supporters gathered outside in the rain and anti-gay city majors are among those that testified. Watch the coverage live right now.  It's not clear at this writing if today's session has adjourned. The debate is expected to last several days.

UPDATE: Reuters reports on today's action.
On Thursday hundreds of protesters waving flags with the words "Jobs, not gay marriage" gathered near the Senate under drizzling rain, surrounded by riot police trucks. Despite loud opposition and street protests last month that became violent, the gay marriage bill is expected to pass in the Senate thanks to backing by Socialists and allies supporting the bill. The debate is due to conclude on April 13. "There is one solution to find a way out of this political and social tension ... and that's for the Senate to reject the law," Frigide Barjot, a comedian and flamboyant spokeswoman for opponents to the gay marriage bill, told iTele news channel.
UPDATE II: I've moved this post back to the top as the debate is back in session. Here's a new live video link.

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No "State Religion" For North Carolina

The GOP-sponsored bill to declare Christianity as the official state religion of North Carolina has died and will not be resurrected.
North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis' office said Thursday that a resolution asserting North Carolina has the power to set an official state religion is dead, and won't go any further. The bill's primary sponsors were Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford, a tea party member. Eleven other legislators signed the resolution. Legislators introduce hundreds or even thousands of resolutions every year, honoring constituents or declaring their stances on issues, but they carry little legal weight.
The resolution had spawned widespread ridicule across the nation, including from some Christian groups.

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Roger Ebert Dies At 70

Famed film critic Roger Ebert died at the age of 70 today after a years-long battle with cancer.
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. He had been in poor health over the past decade, battling cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland. He lost part of his lower jaw in 2006, and with it the ability to speak or eat, a calamity that would have driven other men from the public eye. But Ebert refused to hide, instead forging what became a new chapter in his career, an extraordinary chronicle of his devastating illness that won him a new generation of admirers.
Ebert was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Gene Siskel, Ebert's partner in the long-running Siskel & Ebert At The Movies, died in 1999.

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Email Of The Day - Eugene Delgaudio

"Dear Joe, Should I step down? As much as it pains me to think about, this question has weighed heavily on my thoughts. And to tell you the truth, I don’t really know the answer. I have been the public spokesman for Public Advocate for over 30 years. But some of my critics -- especially in the media -- believe that I am 'too radioactive' to keep leading Public Advocate. And with all the attacks directed at me personally, I wonder if they’re right. Am I hurting the pro-Family Movement?

"As you know, these past few months have been tough for me, my family and my wonderful staff. The latest assault began with the vicious legal attack from the Southern Poverty Law Center designed to either shut Public Advocate down or bleed our bank accounts dry. Then there was the deranged shooter who was foiled by the Grace of God and arrested with my name next on his 'target list.' But I worry these personal attacks may be the reason Public Advocate supporters have stopped giving like they used to. If this is true, please tell me." -  Eugene Delguadio, in this week's money beg.

RELATED: There has never been any news report that Delgaudio's name appeared on the list of the FRC shooter.  Hit the link for more ridiculous claims.

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PAC For Bearded Pols Launches

A political action committee was launched today to support candidates with beards.  The group has already filed with the FEC. Andrew Sullivan will be thrilled.
The Bearded Entrepreneurs for the Advancement of a Responsible Democracy (BEARD) was founded by 30-year-old Jonathan Sessions, who sits on the Columbia, Mo., Board of Education, according to his website. “With the resurgence of beards in popular culture and among today’s younger generation, we believe the time is now to bring facial hair back into politics,” Sessions said in a statement.
Sessions notes that the last bearded major party candidate to run for president was back in 1916. And that guy lost. The last bearded man to win the presidency was Benjamin Harrison in 1888. (Tipped by JMG reader Gustav)

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Pepsi Debuts New Beyonce Ad

The ad also previews her coming single, Grown Woman.

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Gay Nightclub Sued By Two Women Who Claim They Were Raped By Staffers

Popular West Hollywood gay nightclub The Abbey is being sued by two women who claim that they were drugged and raped by club staffers.
According to the lawsuit a gay woman who says she had never had sexual relations with a man was at The Abbey with her girlfriend in November, 2011. She says she and her girlfriend had a fight, which upset the alleged victim. She ordered a drink at the bar and claims it was laced with a date rape drug. The woman then claims she became impaired and a busboy allegedly took her outside and raped her. Another woman -- who is straight -- claims she went to The Abbey in April, 2011, and was served a drink that was also allegedly laced with a date rape drug. She alleges an undocumented worker at The Abbey then took her across the street to his car and raped her.
The owners of The Abbey have declined comment. The two women are each seeking $10M in damages.

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Yet Another NY Dem Busted For Corruption

Democratic New York Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was arrested today on federal corruption charges.
“Stevenson is accused of taking bribes in exchange for official acts, which included drafting, proposing, and agreeing to enact legislation that would benefit the co-defendants’ businesses,” the release announcing the press conference declared. “Two of the other defendants are also charged in connection with their payment of a bribe to another Assemblyman, who was actually cooperating with the Government at the time. The charges include conspiracy to deprive New York State and its citizens of Eric Stevenson’s honest services, federal programs and Travel Act bribery conspiracy, federal programs bribery, and Travel Act bribery conspiracy.”
The "cooperating" Assemblyman not named above is thought to be Bronx Democrat Nelson Castro, who may be resigning today. Stevenson's arrest follows the bust of one-time Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D), who was handcuffed outside his Queens home on Tuesday on charges that he attempted to bribe his way onto the Republican mayoral primary ballot for New York City. Three other former Senate Democrats are already in prison with a fourth due to be sentenced soon. What a mess.

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Rachel Maddow On David Letterman

This time it's Letterman that scores the point.

(Tipped by JMG reader Nick)

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From Three Times Married Alveda King

"We are told by abortion advocates that it is 'unjust' that some women cannot afford to abort their babies, so tax dollars must be used to finance the killing of those children. We are told by same-sex 'marriage' advocates that it is 'unjust' that men cannot marry other men and women cannot marry other women, so 2,000 years of wisdom must be abandoned. And yet, the Bible tells us that human life is sacred. We are thereby to choose life over abortion. The Bible teaches us that natural marriage between one man and one woman is part of the procreative process. We are thereby compelled to choose holy and procreative matrimony. In forgetting our heritage, in distancing ourselves from God's moral rules, we are doing Uncle M. L. a disservice, and we are in danger of coming face to face with disaster. So, in remembering Uncle M. L. today, I urge America and the world to remember that he was a servant of God who, though imperfect, tried to point people to the truth." - Three times married and three times divorced Alveda King, who had also had two abortions and tried to get a third but didn't have the money.

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Frothy Mix 2016

"I’m certainly leaving the door open for that. We have not had a nominee that is ready to go out and articulate a unified vision of what conservatism is, what American’s first principles are about, and why we’re the greatest country in the history of the world. And then we wonder why we don’t win. I assure you that when this next Republican primary comes around for president, we will have a strong, principled conservative nominee because that’s where the Republican Party is across America." - Rick Santorum, interviewed yesterday by Newsmax.

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Perkins Attacks Pro-Gay Senators

"Luckily for us, FRC has the opportunity to work with young people every day who have a better grasp on the issue than senators twice their age. These are the 38%, the next generation of fearless leaders who are standing up for what's right when others won't. They're the brave millennials at FRC who tell their friends that they'll be kind and loving to anyone who makes bad decisions, but also let them know that 'rights come from our Creator. And that same Creator has a clear definition of marriage.' They're the interns representing FRC who slept on cold concrete for two days outside the U.S. Supreme Court, defending truth to a press corps surprised that anyone so young still believed in marriage. They are the hope. Not the weak-kneed politicians who let self-interest dictate their values." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via email.

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TRAILER: The Great Gatsby

The soundtrack includes tracks by Beyonce, Lana Del Rey, Jay-Z, The XX, Bryan Ferry, and Florence + The Machine.

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IL Hate Group Slams Sen. Mark Kirk

From the website of the Illinois Family Institute:
When polygamists and polyamorists come knocking on marriage’s door, we should all remember Kirk’s wise words that “government has no place” getting between people who love each other. And we certainly wouldn’t want to disrespect them. Mark Kirk’s public shift in position, like Barack Obama’s, does not constitute positive change.

Nor did they even change. For years they have simply lied to move up the political ranks, exploiting the naïve and gullible among us, and in Kirk’s case, feeding at the Republican trough. Any Republican who condescendingly proclaims that the “social issues” are irrelevant or insignificant or so unimportant as to be unworthy of his time or her attention deserves a slap upside the head and a boot out the door.
The IFI is ranked as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and is the former home of Peter LaBarbera.

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Quinnipiac Poll: 50% Back Marriage

Quinnipiac reports a "milestone" in their latest national poll:
Support for same-sex marriage has reached a 50 percent milestone, with American voters in favor 50 - 41 percent, compared to 47 - 43 percent in a March 8 Quinnipiac University survey and a dramatic shift in public attitudes on the subject from July, 2008, when voters opposed such unions 55 - 36 percent. Voters say 56 - 36 percent that the legality of same-sex marriage should be based on the U.S. Constitution rather than on laws in each state.
Embiggen the below image or hit the above link.
(Via Zack Ford at Think Progress)

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POLL: Clinton Vs GOP Field

In the same match up, Jeb Bush scored 43% to Clinton's 49%. I suppose we're in for 1314 more days of these things. Source.

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Texas A&M Student Senate Votes To Allow Defunding Of LGBT Student Center

By a vote of 35-28 the Texas A&M student government yesterday approved a rule that will allow students to opt out of funding the university's LGBT Resource Center on the grounds of religious objections. John Wright reports at Dallas Voice:
Less than 24 hours before the vote, the name of the bill was changed from the “GLBT Funding Opt Out Bill” to the “The Religious Funding Exemption Bill,” and specific references to the GLBT Resource Center were removed. However, opponents of the bill who packed a Student Senate meeting before the vote Wednesday said the name change did not alter the bill’s discriminatory, anti-gay intent. With the crowd spilling into the hallways, an overflow viewing room was set up, and the Senate meeting had to be stopped several times so administrators could clear fire exits.
The student body president says he has not yet decided if he will veto the measure. (Tipped by JMG reader Jasun)

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BOSTON: Dreamworks Studios Buys Rights To Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal Story

Dreamworks Studios has contracted with the Boston Globe for the movie rights to the Catholic sexual abuse scandal story that the paper broke ten years ago.
DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media announced their acquisition Tuesday, expressing the intention to create a drama with Tom McCarthy tapped to direct and co-write with Josh Singer. Holly Bario, DreamWorks President of Production, said in a statement that the story by the Globe was extremely important both for Massachusetts and eventually the global community.  "The Boston Globe's coverage of the Catholic priest scandal opened the door to a bigger story that had worldwide ramifications," said Bario. "The story of how this team of editors and reporters came to uncover the truth will make a dramatic and compelling film, especially with the talents of our director Tom McCarthy and his co-screenwriter Josh Singer on board."
As you'd expect, Bill Donohue has an opinion.
"Films about the sexual abuse of minors have all flopped – there is no market for such fare. People want to be entertained when they go to the movies, and there is no entertainment value in these flicks," said Donohue. Donohue also told CP that if "the film sticks to Boston alone, which admittedly was a pretty sick archdiocese, that may not be a problem." "But if it swings widely, painting all priests and bishops as miscreants, then it would be engaging in Catholic bashing. So we'll see," said Donohue.
In 2003 the Boston Globe won the Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the scandal.

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Fire Engulfs Russian Skyscraper

CBS News reports:
A fire broke out in an unoccupied 40-story apartment building under construction in Chechnya, a once war-torn republic in southern Russia. Emergency officials say 30 people were evacuated Wednesday but that no one was injured. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The building is part of a complex of high-rises under construction in the center of Grozny, the Chechen capital.

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WND Cheers Anti-Christ Poll

World Net Daily is thrilled about a poll released yesterday in which 26% of those surveyed claimed that they believe President Obama is or might be the Anti-Christ.

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From the Jewish Press

This is reportedly the second such case since the NYC Department of Health last year mandated that parents give written permission for the ceremony. The mother in this case says the ritual was performed without her consent. (Via Gothamist)

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Magic Johnson: I Love My Gay Son

In the first of three clips posted today by TMZ, retired NBA star and openly HIV+ safer sex advocate Magic Johnson expressed his love for his openly gay son.  In the followup clips Johnson talks about professional gay athletes coming out of the closet.

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Scamvangelist Challenges Bill O'Reilly

"Bill has no clue how he has demeaned Christians with his elitist 'Bible-thumper' remark, and has even doubled down in recent days. If he is so sure of himself it will be an easy $10,000 for the charity of his choice. Let him put his money where his mouth is or he is no different than the gutless wonders on MSNBC who will never take on those who stand for Biblical Truth on the issues of the day!"- Scamvangelist Bill Keller, offering to prove to Bill O'Reilly that the Bible says marriage is only for one man and one woman or else he'll pay up.

RELATED: In August last year Keller said he would sue the SPLC for $100M for their usage of the term "hate group" to describe some Christian organizations. That hasn't yet happened.  In March of last year Keller claimed that gay celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres and Anderson Cooper were responsible for the suicide of gay Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. Also last year Keller claimed that over one million Americans had promised him they would write-in "Jesus Christ" on their November 2012 ballots. Election workers reported no such result. Keller, a graduate of Dead Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, is a convicted felon who spent three years in prison for insider trading.

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