Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Mark Sanford Wins House Seat

Mark Sanford will once again hike the Appalachian Trail to Congress.
Disgraced ex-South Carolina governor Mark Sanford won his bid for redemption on Tuesday night, defeating Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch for his old seat in Congress. Sanford, a Republican who admitted an extramarital affair in 2009, was ready to quit politics for good if he was not victorious in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District. He will replace Republican Tim Scott, who was appointed to the Senate.

The former governor — once a rising GOP star considered presidential material — was an early favorite in the Republican district, which Mitt Romney carried by 18 percentage points in the 2012 election. But the revelation that Sanford's ex-wife, Jenny, accused the candidate of trespassing at her home caused the National Republican Congressional Committee to withdraw its support in mid-April and gave Colbert Busch an opening.

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"I do not intend to make any of you wait one minute longer." - Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, as he signed the marriage equality bill.

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Manhattan Declaration Has The Sadz

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Headed For A Baker's Dozen

And all eyes turn to Illinois and Minnesota. Via Memeograph.

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DE Governor To Sign Marriage Bill TODAY

Marriages will commence in Delaware even before Rhode Island. Cartoon source.

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LIVE AUDIO: Delaware Final Marriage Vote
UPDATE: Marriage WINS By 12-9 Vote!!!
Delaware To Become 11th State!!!

Listen live here. The Senate audio link is at the bottom left. Things are set to begin shortly...

UPDATE: Delaware Liberal provides a final encouraging forecast.  
UPDATE II: Here's a twist nobody seems to have expected.

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Eugene Delgaudio: The FCC Will Force Networks To Broadcast Gay Porn

"The FCC now has announced they plan to immediately allow the broadcast of explicit acts of sodomy, perversion and the use of curse words to FURTHER destroy our culture. The FCC proposes they become a Federal Porn Agency and that all TV stations be 'allowed' (i.e. forced) to broadcast language supporting porn, homosexual acts and other perversions all hours of the day and night. Please join me in demanding Congress freeze all funding and all nominations to the FCC board and to conduct hearings to stop this or to alternatively change the legal name of the FCC to Federal Gay Porn Agency." - Eugene Delgaudio, in this week's money beg.

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Free Big Macs For Life?

Ramsey was eating McDonald's take-out at home when he heard the screaming from a nearby house.

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New From The Red-Caped Catholic Loons

Somehow this is important enough for their YouTube channel.

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DJ Peter Rauhofer Dies Of Brain Cancer

Famed nightclub DJ, recording artist, and remixer Peter Rauhofer, who headlined at countless gay dance parties and clubs around the world, has died of a brain tumor. Specializing in "big room anthems," Rauhofer scored chart-topping remixes for scores of artists including Madonna, Cher, and Whitney Houston. From a message posted to his fan page on Facebook:
Today the music industry has lost one of it's true heroes. With a heavy heart I must now report that Peter Rauhofer has lost his battle with brain cancer. He passed quietly today and is survived by his mother, Helga, who resides in Austria. She will transport Peter back home to his final resting place there, but to all that knew Peter, his heart will always be in New York City. Through his music, Peter will live forever. The brightest stars always burn out too soon. Peter, you were loved and you will be terribly missed. Goodbye my friend. Please rest in peace knowing that you have brought so much joy to so many of us. I ask that his true fans keep his legacy alive by sharing his music with anyone who may not have had the opportunity to experience it for themselves.
During the height of the circuit party scene, Rauhofer was one of a handful of performers that were so well known that fans typically used their first names only: Victor, Junior, Susan, Peter. Below is one of Rauhofer's most recent remixes.

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Satan Has You On Camera

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Sen. Gillibrand Reintroduces Bill To Override State Bans On LGBT Adoptions

Today Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is reintroducing the Every Child Deserves A Family Act, which would attempt to override state-level bans on gay adoptions by restricting federal funding "for states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the foster youth involved."
Seven states currently ban a person in a same-sex couple from adopting his or her partner's children, and gay couples face legal restrictions when petitioning for joint adoption in five states. In all, according to the Family Equality Council, LGBT people face barriers to adopting or fostering children in 39 states.

In the past, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) have taken the lead on the legislation. But now that Stark is no longer in Congress, the bill has the backing of a bipartisan duo in the House: Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). Gillibrand is still the lead sponsor in the Senate.

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NEW JERSEY: Gov. Chris Christie Had Secret Weight Loss Surgery In February

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today told the New York Post that he underwent secret weight loss surgery in February.
The Garden State governor agreed to the operation at the urging of family and friends after turning 50 last September. He told The Post he was thinking of his four kids and how it was time to start improving his health when he decided to have the procedure. “I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he said. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.” He also insisted that, contrary to what observers may say, the effort to slim down was not motivated by thoughts of a presidential bid. “It’s so much more important than that,” he said. Christie checked in to a surgery center on Feb. 16. A source said he registered under a false name. The operation included placing a silicone tube around the top of his stomach, where it restricts the amount of food he can eat at one time and makes him feel fuller, faster.
An unnamed source tells the Post that Christie has already lost 40 pounds.

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Obama Congratulates Lambda Legal

It's their 40th anniversary.

(Via Towleroad)

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THURSDAY: MN House Marriage Vote

No vote has yet been scheduled for the Senate, where passage appears assured. (Tipped by JMG reader Mark)

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Walk Off The Earth - Material Girl

Of the five people on one guitar Gotye cover fame.

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In Case You Were Wondering

Via Copyranter.

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MINNESOTA: Local GOP Launches Recall Campaign Against Pro-Gay Democrat

Radinovich announced his support for same-sex marriage several days ago, saying, "This was not an easy decision, but at the end of the day I'd rather protect my integrity than my job."

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ABBA Museum Opens In Sweden

Following the naming protocol of ABBA: The Movie and ABBA: The Concert, opening today in Stockholm is ABBA: The Museum.
Some 40 sets of the trademark shiny flares, platform boots and knitted hats are on display in the museum. But visitors can also see digital images of what they would look like in costumes, record music videos and sing such hits as "Dancing Queen" and "Mamma Mia" on a stage next to hologram images of the band members. A telephone also has been placed in a corner and ABBA members have promised to "Ring, Ring" and speak to visitors occasionally. The collection includes models of the band's kitchen, a cottage where they used to compose their songs and the small, rustic park venues Bjorn and Benny played when they first met in the 1960s. Visitors can listen to the band members' recollections and one section is dedicated to the breakup and the story of the divorces.
Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

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Press Release Of The Day

From France's Manif Pour Tous:
More than 120 000 protesters in 15 French cities against Taubira's law: Building up to the Mega-Demonstration on May 26 in Paris.  Demonstrations for alterity in marriage all over France, demonstration against austerity at the place de la Bastille, it seems that it's high time for the President to listen to the French people!  It is high time that this law, a law that wounds democracy and weakens families and children, be abandonned. The executive branch's strategy is clear and politically manipulative: mollify the people by delaying debate on assisted reproduction to start again when the political climate is sunnier.

From the beginning, our message has been clear: WE WILL GIVE UP NOTHING.

This movement was born of opposition to this law. It will not stop until the law has been withdrawn. We will relentlessly continue to warn the French people of the dangers of this law. And we will defend the right of conscience for mayors opposed to this law. We will express this resolve massively, determinedly, peacefully during the May 26 MEGA-DEMONSTRATION in Paris and during other actions, diverse, peaceful, and continuous, until we are heard by the government.

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FRANCE: Manif Pour Tous Embarrassed By "Monster" Image Of Minister Of Justice

The above image went viral on French Twitter accounts yesterday, angering gay activists and embarrassing Manif Pour Tous.
The poster, designed by an anti-same sex marriage activist, depicts France’s Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, who is black, as a raging gorilla/King Kong, overwhelmed by a flow of demonstrators from the “Manif Pour Tous,” the main anti-same sex organization. The slogan is a play on words: “manif monstre” can mean ‘giant demo.’ The picture, posted on Monday night, was retweeted and commented massively by anti-gay rights activists and by both outraged anti- and pro-same sex marriage activists. French Guiana-born Christiane Taubira is, as François Hollande’s Minister of Justice, the main proponent of the bill legalising same-sex marriage. She has been the target of a large majority of the slogans and banners from anti-same sex marriage demonstrators.
The creator of the image later deleted his tweet and apologized. Manif Pour Tous followed up with a tweet saying that theirs was the only official account and that only their images should be "taken into account." (Tipped by Str8Grandmother)

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RuPaul Speaks With New York Times

Clip recap: "The world's most famous drag queen tells The Times's Marcus Mabry that despite progress on gay rights, the pendulum could swing the other way." Stick around for when Ru talks about "the love of my life for the last 19 years."

(Tipped by JMG reader Bill)

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DOMA Introduced 17 Years Ago Today

DOMA Project founder Lavi Soloway tells me via email: "We used 53 days as our countdown because that is the maximum number of days left in the Court's term. The decision can come sooner."

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Methodist Minister Faces Sanctions For Officiating Son's Same-Sex Marriage

United Methodist minister Thomas Ogletree is facing church sanctions for presiding over the wedding of his son and another man.
Dr. Ogletree, 79, is now facing a possible canonical trial for his action, accused by several New York United Methodist ministers of violating church rules. While he would not be the first United Methodist minister to face discipline for performing a same-sex wedding, he could well be the one with the highest profile. He is a retired dean of Yale Divinity School, a veteran of the nation’s civil rights struggles and a scholar of the very type of ethical issues he is now confronting. “Sometimes, when what is officially the law is wrong, you try to get the law changed,” Dr. Ogletree, a native of Birmingham, Ala., said in a courtly Southern drawl over a recent lunch at Yale, where he remains an emeritus professor of theological ethics. “But if you can’t, you break it.”
Ogletree says he was "inspired" by his son's request, adding, "I actually wasn’t thinking of this as an act of civil disobedience or church disobedience. I was thinking of it as a response to my son."  According to the above-linked article, over 200 New York-area Methodist ministers have said they would perform a same-sex wedding.

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North American English Dialect Map

Click over to the actual site because this massive map is so detailed that the above screen-grab is pretty useless. Hundreds of interactive links on the map will take you to celebrity pronunciation examples found on YouTube. I've always found the Brooklyn-New Orleans accent connection interesting. Goodbye, morning. (Tipped by JMG reader Sean)

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Rush Limbaugh Blames Falling Ad Sales On "Liberal Feminist" Media Buyers

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Headline Of The Day


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Frank Bruni On The Boy Scouts

"The Episcopal Church wants all aspects of the ban lifted, as does the National Jewish Committee on Scouting, whose former chairman, a Baltimore lawyer named Jay Lenrow, told me that while no troop should be forced to choose a gay leader, no troop should be prevented from doing so, either.

"He noted that our country was founded on a principle of religious freedom; that the Scouts’ bylaws require equal treatment of every religion’s teachings; and that certain denominations — the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), for example — ordain gay and lesbian ministers. By the Scouts’ current rules, those very ministers, fit for the pulpit, aren’t deemed fit to lead a troop.

"Isn’t that as much of an insult to their religions as the ban’s end would be to [Tony] Perkins, [Rick] Perry and their kind? - Frank Bruni, writing for the New York Times.  Hit the link and read his entire piece.

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TODAY: Final Delaware Marriage Vote

Today the full Delaware Senate will make the final vote on marriage equality.  The bill passed out of its Senate committee last week and passed 23-18 in the House late last month. Gov. Jack Markell has promised to sign the bill should it reach his desk. Cross your fingers, kids.  It's going to be very close.

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Glenn Beck To NRA: Bloomberg's A Nazi

At the NRA convention in Houston, Glenn Beck displayed the above image of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Via New York Magazine
"When somebody argues for gun control, they are either living in self-imposed ignorance or they are just living an argument of control," Beck stressed to the crowd of more than 10,000. He urged the group "to make sure that we give no more power to those in government at any level," and held New York City up as an example of where things are headed. "I am amazed at how many of my New York friends have become absolute dopes and just will accept the soda ban, the popcorn ban, the salt ban," he spat. "I've come up with a new advertisement for New York, a new slogan: 'You will love New York!'"

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IOWA: Bizarre Gay Marriage Fraud Case

A former Iowa court official pleaded guilty yesterday to filing a fraudulent marriage license on behalf of a Florida gay couple that she'd only spoken to on the phone.
Former Grundy County deputy clerk Brigitte Van Nice, 42, received a fine and a suspended sentence after entering the guilty pleas to perjury and forgery charges at the courthouse in Grundy Center, where she used to work. Van Nice was arrested and suspended from her job in October after investigators discovered that she issued a license last year to Joab Penney and his then-boyfriend Joseph Parker, who had never set foot in Iowa. She was later fired for violating judicial branch policies, court administrator Linda Nilges said.

Penney and Parker contacted Van Nice's office randomly when inquiring about how to get a license, which they could not get in Florida, where same-sex marriage is outlawed. Iowa allows same-sex marriage for couples who come to the state for a ceremony witnessed by two people. Prosecutors say Van Nice issued them a license after she filed documents falsely claiming she had officiated a Valentine's Day wedding for the couple and faked two witness signatures. Van Nice falsely told colleagues that she had met the men at a Waterloo truck stop, where they asked her to officiate and had lined up the witnesses.
Penney said he discovered the fraud when he attempted to file for divorce from Parker so that he could marry a woman. We can expect the right wing to somehow make hay out of this story.

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TRAILER: Girl Most Likely

Kristin Wiig, Annette Benning, and Glee's Darren Criss.

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Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of the Karpel Group, today's Swag Tuesday prize is a "Summer of Gatsby" goodie bag containing a t-shirt, water bottle, beach bag, mini-poster, and a CD copy of Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film The Great Gatsby.
Opening Friday, May 10, The Great Gatsby is a unique and imaginative retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story from trailblazing director Baz Luhrmann who has wowed audiences and critics with films such as Moulin Rouge! and Romeo & Juliet. Fantastic music, spectacular visuals and stunning costumes combine with Fitzgerald’s enduring drama and a talented international cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio. The cast includes Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Elizabeth Debicki and Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.

Luhrmann has infused The Great Gatsby with an eclectic collection of songs and score that drives the story and creates a bridge between the Gatsby era and today. Breathtaking sets and gorgeous costumes combined with the music and cast make it the must-see 3D film of Summer 2013! The Great Gatsby opens with special 10pm screenings Thursday, May 9. Opens in theaters everywhere, Friday, May 10!
Enter to win by commenting on this post. Only enter once and please leave an email address in your comment. Entries close at midnight on Thursday, west coast time. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Monday, May 06, 2013

ILLINOIS: Pro-Gay State GOP Head Pat Brady To Step Down Tomorrow

After months of screaming and in-person protests, the hate groups have finally gotten their scalp.
The Illinois GOP's beleaguered party chairman is stepping down because of personal and professional reasons. Top Republican officials have told the Daily Herald that Chairman Pat Brady of St. Charles will announce the move Tuesday morning, effective immediately. Brady declined to comment Monday about the decision. Brady — whose term expires in 2014 — came under fire earlier this year because of his statements supporting same-sex marriage. He later survived several ouster attempts by state central committeemen led by state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove and Jerry Clarke, former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.
It's a real blow that Brady could not hold on until after the state House votes on marriage. The bill passed in the state Senate in February. (Tipped by JMG reader Jake)

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MINNESOTA: Marriage Bill Advances

The Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee tonight advanced its marriage equality bill by a voice vote.
Supporters say they will have the 68 votes needed to pass the bill in the House but are staying mum on how close they are to that number. "We will pass this bill," said a confident Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, after the committee vote. House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, has said he wouldn't schedule a floor vote on the gay marriage bill until he knows it would pass. Senate leaders say they have the votes to pass it and scheduled a last-meeting hearing for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday morning to also review the fiscal impacts.

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Uruguay President Signs Marriage Bill

We knew he would, but still. Details. (Tipped by JMG reader Hong)

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ANOTHER New York Senate Dem Busted

Ho hum. Another day, another busted Democrat from the New York Senate.
Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson, once one of the most powerful politicians in Albany, surrendered to the FBI on Monday to face charges of embezzling funds from escrow accounts he controlled as a lawyer and using the money to finance an ill-fated run for district attorney. In their investigation, prosecutors recorded Sampson saying he would track down an informant implicating an associate and “take them out,” according to a 24-page indictment unsealed Monday.
RELATED: If convicted, Sampson could become the sixth Senate Democrat sentenced to prison in the last twelve months.  Former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith was arrested last month and is awaiting trial on charges that he conspired to fix the New York City mayoral race. Former Sen. Shirley Huntley pleaded guilty to corruption charges in March. Three other Senate Democrats were sentenced to prison late last year.

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New Yorker: Happy Mothers' Day

Jeremy Hooper points out the apostrophe placement in the New Yorker's latest cover story by Chris Ware. An excerpt:
Now that the numbers are in on same-sex marriage, many Republicans are falling like dominos all over themselves to express their support for something that only a few months ago they steadfastly claimed to stand against. They’ll probably soon claim that this is how they felt all along, and they were simply too hamstrung by politics to be able to say what they really meant. Well, okay. In the spirit of openheartedness and what life is really all about, I’ll go so far as to say that the fear of others may mask some deep-seated desire to understand, and maybe even to love. Because really, what is there to be afraid of?

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Heather Green - Sweet Little Something

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Tweet Of The Day: NOM's Thomas Peters

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You Can Change Just Like A Murderer Can

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Jerry Falwell Jr: Boycotts Don't Work

"Boycotts are ineffective and only cost Christian organizations time and money. They are futile and ineffective. Boycotting is not how Jesus did business. He was a carpenter and routinely mingled with known sinners." - Jerry Falwell Jr, responding to a Christian Post survey of religious leaders on anti-gay boycotts.

Concerned Women head Penny Nance disagrees.
"One of the most notorious victories occurred in 1986, when an American Family Association (AFA) boycott successfully convinced 7-Eleven to ban its distribution of Playboy and Penthouse magazines. In 2008, too, an AFA boycott led to a McDonald's executive stepping down from a homosexual rights association board. We win moral victories, but might not always gain ground in the public arena. But if we abandon the argument, then there will be no light in the darkness."
American Family Association head Donald Wildmon claims that boycotts work, but only if you do them one company at a time. There must not be much internal dialogue with One Million Moms.
"You cannot boycott the world. That is why AFA has generally stuck to one at a time as with Home Depot now," said Wildmon, son of Don Wildmon, who has pioneered many boycotts. "The idea is that if you demonstrate effectiveness with one company, others are going to take notice and listen when you approach them." "A boycott is only after you have exhausted all other means of getting results such as persuasion based on the reasonableness of your request," Wildmon argues.

"With companies, we just ask that they remain neutral in the culture war, not support one side or the other. Home Depot, for instance, has actively participated in homosexual pride parades across the country. For AFA, that crosses the line. We are not so much concerned about a company's internal affairs with their employees. It's when they financially support activism that we have a problem with. For example, giving financial contributions to the Human Rights Campaign or Planned Parenthood."
Home Depot's stock value has almost tripled since the AFA launched their boycott.

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Chris Kluwe Cut By Minnesota Vikings

The Star-Tribune reports that punter and gay marriage advocate Chris Kluwe has been cut by the Minnesota Vikings. The team is denying that the move has anything to do with politics.
“It has nothing to do with anything Chris Kluwe is off the field,” the GM said. “When we’re making decisions, we’re purely making them trying to bring in the best competition possible regardless of position. ... This was just another normal personnel move. It had nothing to do with Chris Kluwe’s off-field concerns, I have no issues if Chris Kluwe wants to express his opinion. That’s his right, that’s his freedom of speech. This is just a football decision to bring in a guy to come in to compete.”
RELATED: Last month gay marriage ally Brendon Ayanbadejo was released by the Baltimore Ravens.

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Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch

Clip recap: "Another state finally recognizes the freedom to marry, bringing the national total to ten. With work accelerating in Delaware and Illinois, that could increase to eleven or twelve in the next few weeks. Civil unions start in Colorado, and a civil union bill in tiny Arizona town could bring about civil unions for the whole state."

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Another Drunk Driving Catholic Bishop

Bishop Robert McManus of the Diocese of Worchester, Massachusetts was arrested in Rhode Island last night and charged with drunk driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and refusing a Breathlyzer test.
McManus is to be arraigned Tuesday in district court in Wakefield, R.I. “I made a terrible error in judgment by driving after having consumed alcohol with dinner,” McManus said in the statement. “There is no excuse for the mistake I made, only a commitment to make amends and accept the consequences of my action.” “More importantly,” he said, “I ask forgiveness from the good people whom I serve, as well as my family and friends, in the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Providence.” Pope John Paul II appointed McManus as the fifth bishop of the Worcester diocese in 2004.
Last year McManus forced Anna Marie College to cancel a commencement address by Sen. Ted Kennedy's widow, allegedly because of her support for marriage equality. (Tipped by JMG reader Allen)

RELATED: San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was arrested for DUI in San Diego last August.

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July 4th: Open Carry March On DC

Anti-war protester turned teabagger Adam Kokesh is planning a "open carry march" on Washington DC. From the Facebook page launched today:
On the morning of July 4, 2013, Independence Day, we will muster at the National Cemetery & at noon we will step off to march across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge. This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.
Bolding is mine. And Kokesh started out so promisingly. (Tipped by JMG reader James)

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Norelco Is Satan's Company

Via Memeograph.

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Male Strip Club Slated For Castro

According to a press release issued by investors, a combination restaurant and male strip club will open in the iconic Castro and Market building that most recently hosted a Diesel outlet. Via SFist:
“Our aim is to bring an upscale dining and entertainment experience to the Castro and the gay community at large,” said RR-SF spokesman Adam Alberti. “RR-SF seeks to fill a void, offering high caliber burlesque style entertainment in a clean, safe, and high-end environment that will give back to the very community where it is located,” he said.

During the day and evening, the restaurant will offer locally sourced and sustainable dining options with designer cocktails and premium wine and liquor. Inspired by the Crazy Horse in Paris, RR-SF will offer tasteful burlesque style entertainment for gay gentlemen, a service currently not offered in the City.

RR-SF is embracing a new cashless model that will raise the integrity of the institution, promoting team work rather than competition among employees. A percentage of money patrons spend will be donated to a community organization of their choice, selected upon entering the club. The philanthropic aspect of RR-SF creates a respectful and socially conscious mindset that will benefit the establishment, clientele and the local community.
A philanthropic strip club? Only in San Francisco. And so much for the rumor that an Apple store was moving in. SFist notes that the business must still past muster with the city planning department. (Via NewNowNext)

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Rick Perry: Boy Scouts Must Resist Gays Like Sam Houston Resisted Slavery

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TODAY: SiriusXM At 2:30PM

Today at 2:30pm I'll be on Michelangelo Signorile's SiriusXM show to talk about some of the latest LGBT-related news items. The gays are on channel 108 and you can listen live online if you sign up for a freebie account. What are your top five gay news items of the last week?

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ILLINOIS: GOP State House Rep. Ron Sandack Booed For Marriage Support

Hundreds of anti-gay protesters gathered Saturday outside the office of GOP state House Rep. Ron Sandack, where they booed him when he bravely took to their stage and declared his intention to vote for Illinois' marriage equality bill.
The Defend Marriage rally was organized by the Illinois Family Institute, a conservative non-profit that opposes Senate Bill 10—the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act—which was passed by the Illinois Senate in February and is awaiting a vote by the House. A counter-protest was organized by two Chicago-based pro-LGBTQ groups, the Civil Rights Agenda and the Gay Liberation Network. Sandack, one of only two Republicans in the Illinois House who support the same-sex marriage bill, did not plan to attend the rallies, but made a brief appearance to defend his position.
The Illinois Family Institute is an SPLC-certified hate group and the former home of Porno Pete.

(Via Good As You)

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TODAY: Minnesota House Committee To Consider Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Minnesota's Star-Tribune reports that a state House committee will today consider its marriage equality bill in what the paper describes as a "last-minute hearing."
The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to review the legislation Monday. That's after a state analysis showed a small impact on Minnesota's general fund. The analysis by Minnesota's budget office predicts that if gay marriage becomes legal, 114 state employees would enroll in state benefits for their married partners. That would cost the state about $688,000 a year. But it would be partly offset by about $190,000 from same-sex couples buying marriage licenses.
A vote before the full House and full Senate is expected later this week.  (Tipped by JMG reader Jim)

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Study: Gay Men Report Fewer Partners

According to a study released last month, gay men report having fewer sex partners even though the rates of HIV infection and other STDs have risen.
The mean number of male sexual partners MSM reported in the previous year fell significantly from 2.9 to 2.3 between the two surveys (p = 0.035) and was more marked in men under 24 years old (mean 2.9 to 2.1 partners, p = 0.027). The number of partners also fell in men aged 35 to 44 from 3.0 to 2.2, though this was not quite statistically significant (p = 0.07).

The fall in the number of partners was statistically significant in men with incomes under 150% of the US federal poverty level (3.0 to 2.1) and in men living in suburban metropolitan areas (3.2 to 2.1) but not in city-centre areas (2.6 in both surveys). There were declines in partner numbers in white (3.0 to 2.5) and black (2.4 to 1.9) men, though these did not reach statistical significance. In general though, there was a consistent picture of fewer partners among most groups.
The study also notes that 15% of gay men surveyed now say they have never been tested for HIV.  Previously that number was 25%. (Via Queerty)

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Sen. Schumer: Ban 3D Plastic Guns

After a Texas company claimed to have made the first working plastic gun by using a 3D printer, Sen. Chuck Schumer yesterday held a press conference calling for a federal ban.
Defense Distributed, a collective of gun access advocates headed by self-described “free-market anarchist” Cody Wilson, has announced it made such an untraceable gun with the new plastic-making technology. The nonprofit Texas group intends to post blueprints for “The Liberator” (pictured) online this week. The Liberator may look like a toy, but “this gun can fire regular bullets,” Schumer said, calling for legislation outlawing the technology’s weapons potential. The bill was drafted by Rep. Steve Israel (D-L.I.). To Schumer, the ramifications of make-your-own untraceable and undetectable weapons are “stomach-churning.”  “Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage,” Schumer said. “It must be stopped.”
Yesterday the company posted the below clip.

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RI Gives SF Archbishop The Sadz

"The meaning of marriage cannot be redefined, because its meaning lies in our very nature. Therefore, regardless of what law is enacted, marriage remains the union of one man and one woman – by the very design of nature, it cannot be otherwise. Marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any child conceived of their union. While those making great sacrifices to raise their children in less than ideal circumstances need and deserve our love and support, we cannot claim to have a just society if we do not look out for the most vulnerable among us: children." - San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, in a statement published by the Rhode Island Catholic Conference.

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Gingrich Lies About Gay Adoption

During a Meet The Press panel on same-sex marriage, yesterday Newt Gingrich issued the usual lie about gay adoption.
“But what I’m struck with is the one-sidedness of the desire for rights,” he added. “There are no rights for Catholics to have adoption services in Massachusetts. They’re outlawed. There are no rights in DC for Catholics to have adoption service. They’re outlawed.” “This passing reference to religion, we sort of respect religion — sure, as long as you don’t practice it,” Gingrich continued, saying we should go beyond the question of “Are you able to be gay in America?” and ask what it means. Whether that means, for example, eliminating “any institution which does not automatically accept that, and therefore, you’re now going to have a secular state, say, to a wide range of religious groups.”
Panelist Joy-Ann Reid shot Gingrich down, properly noting that Catholic Charities voluntarily withdrew their services rather than comply with anti-discrimination laws.

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Liza Joins NOH8 Campaign

Via press release, Liza's message: "Here's what I believe ... no shame, no blame, no guilt. Be happy. And be who you are. I love you." [Photo credit: Adam Bouska courtesy of NOH8 Campaign.]

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Albania Passes Hate Crimes Law

Gay Star News reports that Albania's legislature has approved a broad hate crimes bill that extends coverage to crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill also outlaws the publication of homophobic and racist materials, including on the internet.
Albania’s parliament amended Section 50/j of its criminal code to strictly punish a crime ’when the offense is committed due to reasons related to gender, race, color, ethnicity, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health status, genetic predisposition, or disability’. If a crime has occurred for the above reasons, including based on sexual orientation and gender identity, then the circumstances are aggravating and the perpetrator will be punished more severely (i.e. with no recourse to ‘mitigating circumstance’). Albania’s parliament also introduced the concept of crimes against the LGBT community through information technology. Article 119/a, adds a new crime to the list of offenses that is the ‘distribution of racist, homophobic or xenophobic materials through systems of communication and information technology.’
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Albania in 1996. No partnership rights exist at any level.

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Matt Barber On Jason Collins

"Collins had a girlfriend of eight years. In fact, they were engaged to be married before he dumped her. This would make him 'bisexual,' then, wouldn’t it? So – and bear with me here – if being “gay” makes him a hero, does being 'bi' make him a superhero? That. Is. Awesome! I don’t know: 'Captain Switch-Hitter'? (Sorry for the mixed metaphor.) Then again, if he’s 'bisexual,' might that actually diminish his heroism? Would it make him only half a hero, or would it just cancel out altogether, making him ordinary again? It’s all so confusing. Seriously, I’d encourage the next pro athlete engaged in some other hitherto-considered-deviant-sexual-lifestyle to ride the wave. Who knows, in today’s ever-'progressive' culture, I could see President Obama awarding the Medal of Honor to the first polo player courageous enough to admit having a thing for his horse." - Matt Barber, writing for World Net Daily.

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