Friday, June 07, 2013

FFRF Slams "Lord's Prayer" Student

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has issued a statement about the South Carolina public high school student who recited the Lord's Player during his valedictorian address.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is placing the blame for a string of problematic religious violations in Pickens County schools, Pickens S.C., upon its prayerful Board of Education. [snip] "The valedictorian who so insensitively inflicted Christian prayer on a captive audience at a secular graduation ceremony is a product of a school district which itself has set an unconstitutional example by hosting school board prayer," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. It appears that valedictorian Roy Costner IV, 18, was protesting a decision by the district to stop scheduling invocations and benedictions at graduations, possibly as a result of FFRF's complaints. FFRF will continue to monitor the situation.
Family Research Council tool Tony Perkins fires back:
Gaylor lists of string of abuses by the school district -- among them: the description of a new head football coach as a "Christian." To the chagrin of the atheists, the school district says it has no plans to take action against Costner for exercising his freedom of speech and religion. My question is: when will the adults show the same courage as these young people, who are saying no to repression by this radical minority? The response of the audiences in every one of these incidents is very telling. They all stand and applaud like a repressed people yearning to breath free. It's time for all of us to breath free!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Uncloaking The Downvoters

Disqus just alerted everybody that starting "over the next few days", you'll be able to see who upvoted or downvoted your comments.  Sort of how you can see who "liked" your posts on Facebook, but here you'll also be able to see who thinks you're full of it. Oh, this should be fun.

Labels: , ,

Philly Orchestra Performs For Fellow Passengers Stuck On The Beijing Tarmac

Well, four of them. Clip description:
When a group from The Philadelphia Orchestra found itself delayed on the tarmac for three hours waiting for their flight from Beijing to Macao as part of the 2013 Residency & Fortieth Anniversary Tour of China, a quartet of musicians decided to provide a "pop up" performance for the passengers.
Top rated comment on YouTube: "If this were in America they'd all be escorted off the plane, interrogated by the FBI, and labeled terrorists and placed on the no-fly list."

Labels: , , ,

POLL: Parents Chill About Gay Kids

More from Pew's latest study:
In 1985, a Los Angeles Times survey found that 64% of the public said they would be “very upset” if their child told them he or she was gay or lesbian. By 2004, that number had fallen by almost half (33%). Since then, it has declined another 14 points, to 19%. Instead, a majority (55%) now says they would not be upset if they learned their child was gay or lesbian, a 19-point increase since 2004 and a 46-point increase since the mid-1980s. Again, this has been an across-the-board shift in attitudes.

Yet the change has been more dramatic among some groups than others. In 2004, fully 82% of those 65 and older said they would be upset if their child told them they were gay, and 50% said they’d be very upset. Today, only about half (47%) say they’d be upset and just 24% say they’d be very upset.Among Republicans, the percentage saying they’d be very upset if they learned their child was gay or lesbian also has fallen by half – from 44% to 22% – since 2004.

Labels: , ,

Obama: Nobody's Listening To Your Calls

President Obama today addressed the latest flap:
"When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program is about. What the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers, and durations of calls; they are not looking at people's names and they're not looking at content.  If the intelligence committee actually wants to listen to a phone call they have to go back to a federal judge, just like they would in a criminal investigation."

Labels: , , ,

Mass Shooting In Santa Monica

Three known victims so far. One suspect reportedly in custody...

Labels: , ,

Luxury Manhattan Condo Owners Sue To Block Opening Of "Immoral" Denny's

New York City is set to get its first Denny's outlet, but not if the owners of the luxury downtown Manhattan condos who would live upstairs can help it.  Citing their building's bylaws against "immoral and offensive" businesses, the owners have filed suit.
Fearing an invasion of drunken rowdies with the munchies, residents of a swanky downtown condo building have filed a lawsuit grand-slamming a plan to put a Denny’s restaurant in their building. In a Manhattan Supreme Court suit filed Thursday, attorneys for the condo board at 150 Nassau St. portrayed “America’s diner” as unfit for their upscale address — where a 3-bedroom unit sold for $3.5 million in May. The suit contends Denny’s restaurants are a “haven for violence, disorderly conduct, and alcohol-drenched patrons.” In addition to blocking the project, the condo board is demanding at least $5 million in damages, including legal fees.
Currently the closest Denny's location to the city is about 20 miles away on Long Island.

Labels: , , ,



Labels: , ,

Lambda Legal On Prop 8

More infographics. On Monday the Supreme Court will issue its next round of rulings.  There's no hint as to whether the marriage cases might be unveiled in that round.

Labels: , ,

Queen Photobombs Live BBC Broadcast

In what the BBC is calling "one of the most bizarre bits of television" they've produced in a long time, today Queen Elizabeth walked into the live shot of the announcers describing her tour of the their newly remodeled studio. The Guardian reports:
The Queen "photobombed" the news on Friday in one of the more surreal moments in live broadcasting history as she officially opened the BBC's revamped Broadcasting House in central London. As BBC News presenters Julian Worricker and Sophie Long addressed viewers from their glass-windowed studio, the Queen, who was being given a studio tour, loomed into view behind them, peering intently from the newsroom. The two turned to see the diminutive Queen, resplendent in turquoise coat and hat, linger for several long seconds as BBC journalists crowded behind her raised a resounding cheer.

Labels: , ,

Australian PFLAG Launches Campaign: Congratulations, You're Having A Lesbian

A wonderful new marriage equality campaign has been launched in Australia:
A pregnant woman who is "having a lesbian" stars in a provocative new billboard to promote gay marriage. Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays spokeswoman Shelley Argent said the campaign was designed to garner support from mainstream families for gay marriage, on the grounds that gay children were "born that way". "Being lesbian or gay is not a choice," she said. "It's got nothing to do with culture or parenting skills. "It's just the way you are. You're born that way." The billboard shows a smiling woman baring her pregnant belly, with the slogan, "Congratulations, you're having a lesbian". Billboard giant GOA has donated space for the ads, worth up to $60,000, in Queensland.
The billboard campaign is being supported by the below clip.

Labels: , , ,

Stephen Fry Reveals Suicide Attempt

"I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don’t get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide. I’d go as far as to tell you I attempted it last year. I took a huge number of pills with a huge amount of vodka and the mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs. But I was still unconscious. Fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in an unconscious state and taken back to England and looked after." - Openly gay actor and filmmaker Stephen Fry, who for years has publicly discussed his battle with mental illness.

Yesterday Fry tweeted in response to news coverage about his latest attempt.

Labels: , ,

US Embassy Celebrates Tel Aviv Pride

From the US Embassy Tel Aviv channel on YouTube:
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro marched in Tel Aviv's gay pride parade. Speaking to a crowd of thousands of marchers, he acknowledged the achievements of the Israeli LGBT community for gaining equal rights and emphasized the work of the U.S. government to raise awareness of LGBT rights around the world. After the speech, Ambassador Shapiro marched with Embassy personnel for the full parade route to Tel Aviv's Gordon Beach.

Labels: , ,

Feds Confirm Secret Data Collection

Last night the Obama administration confirmed that it has been using Facebook, Google, and Apple to secretly collect data on foreigners overseas. The story was first broken by openly gay journalist Glenn Greenwald in articles published by the Guardian and the Washington Post. Today the New York Times reports on the acknowledgement by the feds:
The confirmation of the classified program came just hours after government officials acknowledged a separate seven-year effort to sweep up records of telephone calls inside the United States. Together, the unfolding revelations opened a window into the growth of government surveillance that began under the Bush administration after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has clearly been embraced and even expanded under the Obama administration. Government officials defended the two surveillance initiatives as authorized under law, known to Congress and necessary to guard the country against terrorist threats. But an array of civil liberties advocates and libertarian conservatives said the disclosures provided the most detailed confirmation yet of what has been long suspected about what the critics call an alarming and ever-widening surveillance state.
Federal officials said that the data collected "cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States." Information was collected via chat logs, video conferencing, emails, photos, and file transfers.

Greenwald appeared on CNN last night.
"There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States but around the world,” charged Glenn Greenwald. “So whatever the Justice Department wants to do, they can beat their chests all they want,” he said. “People like Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss can have press conferences threatening people for bringing … light to what it is they’re doing, but the only people who are going to be investigated are them. It’s well past time that these threats start to be treated with the contempt that they deserve. That’s certainly how I intend to treat them moving forward, with more investigation and disclosures.”
RELATED: Greenwald lives in Brazil because DOMA bars him from bringing his husband to the United States.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

It's National Donut Day

My celebration has already begun.

Labels: , ,

Al-Jazeera Reports On Clement Meric

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

FRANCE: Vigils And Rallies Held For Murdered Pro-Gay Activist Clement Meric

Memorial vigils and rallies were held across France last night for murdered 19 year-old pro-gay activist Clement Vigil, who died yesterday after being attacked by neo-Nazis outside a Paris clothing shop. Many have blamed France's anti-gay marriage movement for spurring the attack, an allegation hotly denied by former Manif Pour Tous leader Fridige Barjot, who has vowed to sue a prominent marriage activist for making that claim.

Multiple arrests have been made in the killing.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced earlier on Thursday that seven arrests had been made, including that of the individual suspected of delivering the final blow to Méric. French President François Hollande, speaking on an official visit to Japan, said he "condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms." "I have given the most rigorous possible instructions so that the authors of the odious act can be arrested at the earliest possible juncture," he said in a statement.

The Parti de Gauche (Left Party) reflected the mood of many, especially on the Left, in France. "The horror of fascism has just killed right in the middle of Paris,” they said in a statement. “Violently beaten to the ground by a group of activists from the extreme right, manifestly from the group JNR (Jeune Nationaliste Revolutionnaire)," the statement added. For his part, the leader of JNR, Serge Ayoub, also known as 'Batskin', has denied his group's involvement in the attack. "That's absolutely false," he said.
Among the groups memorializing Meric last night was the anti-fascist organization to which he had belonged.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Christian TV Recaps House Of Lords Vote

Labels: , ,

Tony Perkins Cheers Amendment To Allow Harassment Of Gay Service Members

"Fortunately, Congress is as frustrated with the hypocrisy as the rest of us. Yesterday, thanks a marathon mark-up on the Defense Authorization bill, sleepy members didn't make it home until 2 a.m.-- in part because they were so intent on passing a series of religious protections. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), the author of one such amendment, urged his colleagues to help end the wave of anti-Christian attacks.  By a 33-26 vote, the Committee gave the green light to Fleming's measure, which stops the Pentagon from restricting religious speech -- except in cases of 'military necessity.' Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) added another layer of protection by introducing (and later passing) language that allows chaplains to pray 'in Jesus's name.' The only faith-related amendment that failed was Rep. Robert Andrews's (D-N.J.), which would have created a special chapter of 'atheist chaplains.' Apparently, members thought the idea was as inane as the rest of us and killed it by a 43-18 vote." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via email.

NOTE: The details of the amended defense bill are here.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Transgender Former Navy SEAL To Anderson Cooper: I Just Want Happiness

Labels: , ,

ISRAEL: Police Say LGBT Center Shooting Was To Be Hired Hit On Gay Leader

Tel Aviv police yesterday said that the man who murdered two people in a 2009 mass shooting at an LGBT teen center was contracted to kill a gay local leader. The intended victim, police say, is the fourth man arrested two days ago for withholding information about the attack. Via Haaretz:
It is believed that the man who pulled the trigger was a hired gun who, when he did not find his target at the Bar Noar youth club, opened fire indiscriminately, killing Liz Trubeshi and Nir Katz and injuring dozens of others. While only one killer came to the club, police reportedly believe that at least two more people conspired with him and came to his aid afterward. All three are known criminals, with the killer and at least one accomplice being "soldiers" in a large, central Israeli crime organization who have been interrogated since the Bar Noar killings for arson and assault, police said.

The fourth, most recent arrest in the case, is apparently of an activist in the gay community. He has been detained for allegedly knowing the motive for the murders and obstructing the investigation by not sharing that information with police. It is believed this individual is directly connected to the motive, and that he was the target of the assassination, which involved revenge. The gag order prohibits making the motive public at this time. The activist is known to support young people in the gay community and help them with decisions regarding their sexual identity.
Haaretz notes that a pending bill to compensate the victims and their families is in jeopardy as the police now say that the attack was not an anti-gay hate crime.

The Times Of Israel reports that some gay journalists are skeptical about the latest statements by the police. In particular, they question the timing of the most recent revelations in a four year-old crime for coming on the eve of today's gay pride parade in Tel Aviv.
Gal Uchovsky, a gay culture journalist, wrote on the Channel 2 News website that an incident in which an individual walks into a gay youth center and shoots people is still a hate crime, even if his motives were personal. Uchovsky wrote that it was “conspicuous” that police made the arrest in the middle of gay pride week and that they were trying to portray the shooting as a personal vendetta and not a hate crime. “I call this a stain on the gay community,” he wrote.

Another journalist, Danny Zack, complained that the police were being too lax because they believed “it wasn’t a Palestinian terrorist or an Orthodox Jew” who committed the crime, meaning it didn’t have a nationalistic motivation, he wrote on the Channel 2 News website.

Activists familiar with the identity of the fourth man told Ynet news they were shocked that he was a suspect in the case. “He was a father figure to us,” one of the activists said, explaining that the man had arrived at the center shortly after the shooting to try to help, and that he expressed concern that the shooter would be let off the hook by pleading insanity.
Two of the three suspects in the shooting are related and one would have been 16 years old at the time of the attack. All three were previously known to the police for unrelated crimes. Police says that in addition to having withheld the motive for the crime, the intended victim is "suspected of sexual offenses."

Labels: , , ,

SOUTH CAROLINA: Public High School Student Says Lord's Prayer At Graduation

Focus On The Family has a new hero.
They tried to silence him. But the efforts of a South Carolina school district to ban prayer didn’t intimidate him — not one bit. Dressed in his cap and gown, with his honor cords hanging around his neck, Roy Costner IV, valedictorian of Liberty High School, ripped up a copy of his pre-approved speech shortly after he approached the podium at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday. “I’m so thankful that both my parents led me to the Lord at a young age,” he told the crowd. Behind him sat rows of faculty members. “And I think most of you will understand when I say: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” Following the crescendo of applause, boisterous cheers filled the room. Attendees quieted down as the young man continued the Lord’s Prayer.
The clip already has over 330,000 views.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Red Sox Win On Pride Night

While the haters at MassResistance were presumably marching around in furious little circles outside of Boston's Fenway Park, openly gay NBA player Jason Collins was signing autographs before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. While the Red Sox have been enduring some ugliness on their Twitter and Instagram accounts tonight, we can celebrate that they won on Pride Night with an exciting three-run homer that broke a tied score in the bottom of the ninth.

Labels: , , ,

New York Times Editorial: President Obama Has Now Lost All Credibility

From the New York Times editorial board:
Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.
Read the full stinging editorial.

UPDATE: The Times edited the above editorial after I excerpted it. The critical sentence now reads: "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. (Italics are mine.)

Labels: , ,

ILLINOIS: Gov. Quinn Calls Special Session, Another Chance For Marriage?

Illinois Gov. Quinn today called the state legislature back for a special session in two weeks in order to resolve a pension reform bill.  Some activists have speculated that a special session could provide one more shot at same-sex marriage before the new session begins in the fall.
The governor called for a special session of the Legislature on June 19th to deal with pension reform. Last Friday, lawmakers adjourned their spring session after failing to reach an agreement on pension reform. A bill backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan was overwhelmingly rejected by the Illinois Senate. A competing measure backed by Senate President John Cullerton was never called for a vote in the Illinois House.
I'll update this post if we hear from any of the marriage groups.

Labels: , ,

Frigide Barjot: Clement Meric Would Be Alive If France Hadn't Legalized Marriage

"This extreme fight is the result of a power that for nine months has refused to listen to the French people.  The President has caused extremism to grow by passing a law that the French didn’t want, and in a manner that was authoritarian and undemocratic.  When we refuse to act like a democracy, extremism grows. In a way, you could say that there was a death because of this denial of democracy.

"The President and Pierre Bergé, who financed Mr. Holland and is also a leader and a great financier of the LGBT community, are inciting violence against people protesting legitimately, not against homosexuals, but against the anthropological change of society. I condemn the violence and I condemn the remarks of Mr. Bergé.  I did not participate in the last [Manif Pour Tous] event, because I feared that the right-wing factions that have threatened me would be there and disrupt peaceful protesters." - Former Manif Pour Tous leader Frigide Barjot, actually blaming the murder of 18 year-old activist Clement Meric on the legalization of gay marriage.  (Via AmericanBlog)

NOTE: Clement Meric died today after being beaten into brain-death yesterday by anti-gay neo-Nazis who allegedly belong to the group that marched with Manif Pour Tous on May 26th.  Earlier today Barjot threatened to sue gay marriage activist Pierre Bergé for implicating her group in Meric's murder. Manif Pour Tous has been repeatedly praised by NOM president Brian Brown, who appeared at one of their anti-gay events earlier this year.  NOM remains silent on the murder of Clement Meric.

NOTE II: Barjot's quote above comes via Google Translate. French speakers are invited to visit the original source and provide corrections.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Dan Savage On Lesbian First-Timers

Labels: , ,

From Freedom To Work


Labels: , ,

World Net Daily: Christian America Must Wage War Against Pagan Homosexuals

"Those who embrace homosexual marriage and homosexual Scouting – or homosexuality in general – know little and practice nothing of Christianity. Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the 'Separation of Church and State,' the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media. If the American experiment with freedom is to end after 237 years, let each of us commit to brawl all the way to the end because, 'Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization.'" - David Lane, writing for World Net Daily.

Labels: , , ,

Esther Williams Dies At 91

ABC News has the obituary:
Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 91. Williams died early Thursday in her sleep, according to her longtime publicist Harlan Boll. Following in the footsteps of Sonja Henie, who went from skating champion to movie star, Williams became one of Hollywood's biggest moneymakers, appearing in spectacular swimsuit numbers that capitalized on her wholesome beauty and perfect figure. Such films as "Easy to Wed," ''Neptune's Daughter" and "Dangerous When Wet" followed the same formula: romance, music, a bit of comedy and a flimsy plot that provided excuses to get Esther into the water.

Labels: , ,

NEW JERSEY: Gov. Christie Appoints State Attorney General To US Senate

The Newark Star-Ledger has the story but neglected to update their place-holding headline:
Gov. Chris Christie today named state attorney general Jeffrey Chiesa to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Christie's announcement at a hastily arranged news conference ended days of intense speculation over whom the Republican governor would appoint to serve nearly five months before voters elect a replacement for the 89-year-old Lautenberg, who died Monday. New Jersey voters haven't sent a Republican to the Senate in four decades.
The New York Times has more:
Mr. Chiesa served as chief counsel to Mr. Christie from January 2010 through December 2011, when he was nominated to be New Jersey attorney general. He will not seek the Senate seat when his term is done, Mr. Christie said. The decision promised to shift the dynamics of the race, especially for Republicans.  On the Democratic side, Representative Rush Holt, who has represented central New Jersey for eight terms in Congress, on Thursday announced his intention to compete for the seat. He is likely to face Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, a prodigious fund-raiser who has become one of the state’s most visible politicians. He had been planning to run for the Senate even before Mr. Lautenberg died.  Representative Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat who has served 13 terms, is also expected to run. He has millions of dollars in campaign funds available for the race.

Labels: , , ,

Another Anti-Gay Osmonds Rally

The Osmond Family will host yet another anti-gay rally in Utah and this one features notorious crackpot liar "historian" David Barton.  LGBT ally and marriage equality supporter Marie Osmond, of course, has nothing to do with these events and denounced the last one. And it appears that for the next one, the Osmond Family is expecting trouble from the gays:
DISCLAIMER: This is a private event. We reserve the right to remove persons who are disrupting the event. No signs, costumes or public displays of affection will be allowed. Your payment to reserve your seat is your authorization of agreement to these terms.
The hosts are Alan Osmond and his wife Suzanne, the Mormon-focused Meridian Magazine, and asshat House Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). (Tipped by JMG reader Dave)

Labels: , , ,

POLL: Majority Of Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Say Legalization Is Inevitable

Jeremy Hooper writes at NOM Exposed:
This is what NOM is up against: a reality where even a majority of its own supporters know that marriage equality is going to happen, despite their driven efforts. This obvious inevitability is, far and away, the most damaging thing NOM faces—which is precisely why they are working so hard to deny it. They know that the writing on the wall demoralizes their support base and depresses their donations, so they are acting as if it's all a lie. They pretend the trajectory and polling is just something we've concocted rather than an accurate representation of where America stands. This Pew Poll shows them to be wrong. More importantly, it shows that even a majority of their own supporters know it.

Labels: , ,

NIN - Came Back Haunted

KROQ reviews the new NIN single:
The track harkens back to classic NIN, infused with the energy of the band’s legendary 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine bolstered with the epic scope of the 1994 follow-up, The Downward Spiral. Buzzing synthesizers and a hard, rolling bass line propel the decidedly industrial rock song, with Reznor’s distinctive vocals cutting through the dense maelstrom, screaming “I don’t believe it/ I had to see it/ I came back haunted” throughout the arena-sized chorus.

(Tipped by JMG reader Jerry)

Labels: , ,

MA Hate Group Demands Red Sox Cancel Pride Night At Fenway Park

Right Wing Watch points us to a campaign by MassResistance, one of the most vile anti-gay hate groups in the nation, which is calling on its supporters to deluge the Red Sox with demands for the cancellation of tonight's Pride Night at Fenway Park, where recently out NBA player Jason Collins is scheduled to throw out the first pitch.
The Red Sox have been around long enough to know that "Pride Week" in Boston is a hideous, obscene, and outright disgusting display of perverse activities. (Plus, in recent years, more young people have been drawn in through Boston Pride's management of Massachusetts Youth Pride every May.) And the Boston Red Sox organization are not only going to celebrate it at their ballpark, but will be financially supporting it from their ticket sales. Several people have reported back to us that when they call, the Red Sox staffers tell them that the Sox are NOT celebrating "Gay Pride Day." They're also telling people that it's only about "supporting tolerance." To claim that it's not connected with "Gay Pride Week" is simply a lie. One only needs to see all the advertising that's been generated about this sordid event. Don't let them get away with that!
MassResistance plans to appear outside the stadium to hand out anti-gay fliers and tell baseball fans that they're all going to hell for supporting perversion. Or something.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

God Kills 20, Saves 11

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (seriously) swooped into Oklahoma to ask tornado victims if they want to make sure that they go to heaven when the next twister strikes.  Because God totally sent their unsaved neighbors to hell when he murdered them.
"God sheltered them, then He saved them," said Michael Glassey, an RRT crisis-trained chaplain from Riverside, Calif. "I asked each one separately if they wanted to receive Christ as their personal Savior so that if this ever happened again they would have the assurance of going to Heaven, and that they could also experience a new beginning that very moment," Glassey said of a group of survivors who had found refuge in the midst of the storm at Emmaus Baptist Church, the local base of operation for the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains and Samaritan's Purse. "They all said, 'yes,' and each received Christ into their hearts," he revealed.

Labels: , , ,

Another Positive Marriage Poll

You'll have to embiggen the above image to see the details, but here's the gist of the latest Bloomberg Poll:
More than half of Americans support allowing same-sex couples to marry, endorsing the goal of gay-rights activists as the U.S. Supreme Court this month prepares to rule on the issue for the first time. Fifty-two percent say they back giving gay couples the right to marry, compared with 41 percent who are opposed, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted May 31-June 3. Of those supporters, more than half -- 61 percent -- want a national law rather than a state-by-state approach. During arguments in March, the justices signaled a reluctance to declare a right to same-sex marriage nationwide.

Labels: , ,

Tweet Of The Day - Bryan Platt

(Via Towleroad)

Labels: , ,

GERMANY: High Court Rules That Gay Couples Deserve Equal Tax Benefits

In what is being characterized as a setback to the administration of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany's highest court has ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to the same tax benefits granted to married straight couples.
The verdict requires a change in the law and is a red rag to some in Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and its traditionally Catholic Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), who worry that conservative values are being diluted. The ruling was widely expected after the court in February overturned a ban on same-sex couples adopting a child already adopted by one of the partners. "The provisions set out in the income-tax law violate the general rule of equality," wrote the Karlsruhe-based court, adding the law should be changed retroactively from August 2001. Same-sex partnerships have been legal in Germany since 2001 but do not enjoy the same tax benefits as married heterosexuals.
Openly gay Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle hailed the ruling, saying that the time has come "for German tax law to be as modern as its society." A spokesman for the Christian Social Union party denounced the news as an attack on the "sanctity of marriage." (Tipped by JMG reader Matthew)

Labels: , ,

David Mixner On Christine Quinn

"The attitude that it is no longer important to elect our own and that it is just 'gender/orientation' politics could not be more wrong. Our work is not done and we need powerful and unyielding openly LGBT candidates in office from school board to eventually President. That includes electing Speaker Christine Quinn.

"The Speaker has been there for the LGBT community time and time again. She has used her powers and connections to pass marriage equality. Time and time again she showed up in Albany and at rallies to make sure it passed the legislature. Often she was the ONLY elected official who bothered to make an appearance.

"When the hate crime epidemic hit the city she was out front on the issue before anyone else and used the resources of her office to organize a massive protest march demanding justice. She was visible, angry and show up to be counted. Her passion was from in her guts and not a position on an issue paper." - Former Clinton White House advisor David Mixner, denouncing the "shrill, angry and offensive rhetoric" used by supporters of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

Labels: , , ,

FRANCE: Paris Student Activist Left Brain-Dead After Attack By Neo-Nazis

France has been rocked by a vicious attack by neo-Nazi skinheads which has left a well-known leftist student activist brain-dead.  Former Manif Pour Tous leader Frigide Barjot has vowed to sue a prominent gay marriage activist for implicating her movement in the attack. Via The Local:
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced on Thursday that four arrests had been made, including that of the individual suspected of delivering the final blow to Clément Méric in an attack on Wednesday evening. Méric, an 18-year-old student at Sciences Po in Paris, was “violently attacked” by a group of three skinheads, including one woman, near Saint-Lazare train station on Wednesday evening, it emerged on Thursday.

Méric, known for his radical left-wing activism, was left brain dead by the beating, which has provoked a flood of horrified and angry reactions from many different quarters in France. French President François Hollande, speaking on an official visit to Japan, said he "condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms." "I have given the most rigorous possible instructions so that the authors of the odious act can be arrested at the earliest possible juncture," he said in a statement.
The skinheads, who reportedly wore brass knuckles, are said to be members of the extreme-right Young Nationalist Revolutionaries. Accusations and denials are flying on all sides.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, made sure to distance her party from the violence. She called the attack on the young student repulsive and detestable but said far-right groups such as the JNR had no ties with her party. Le Pen reacted angrily when it was put to her that one of the three aggressors was seen wearing a t-shirt with her party's logo.

"Making this kind of association is scandalous, I'd like very much to know who this witness is," Le Pen told RTL radio. "You have no proof at all." French industrialist and pro-gay marriage activist Pierre Bergé has caused a stir by implicating the anti-gay marriage movement, known as 'Manif Pour Tous' (Demo for all) in the attack on Méric. "Despite everyone who's insulting me, I say again: the Manif pour tous accepted into their ranks these fascists who killed Clément. For them to reflect on."
The International Business Times has more:
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said a dispute between left-wingers and skinheads erupted at a clothes sale in Paris 9th district. Meric and three of his friends were attending a Fred Perry private sale in the central Rue de Caumartin when a group of four neo-Nazis, including a woman, arrived at the premises. Eyewitnesses told Le Monde the four sported shaved heads and swastika tattoos; one wore a sweatshirt of British neo-Nazi group Blood and Honour.

Meric, a member of campaigning group Action Anti-fasciste, and his friends reportedly started mocking the skinheads' over their outfit and the subsequent verbal dispute eventually became violent as the two groups moved outside in the street. Meric was reportedly punched with a knuckle-duster and hit his head on the pavement.
RELATED: Below is a photo of the Young Nationalist Revolutionaries attending last month's Manif Pour Tour rally in the streets of Paris.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

The Latest Anti-Quinn Attack Ad

Judging by how often these ads are appearing on NYC television, whoever is funding the Anyone But Quinn campaign must have fairly deep pockets. In this one a man from the West Village declares that he'll vote for a Republican for the first time in his life if that's what it takes to defeat Christine Quinn. More ads from this series are at the link.

Labels: , , ,

ISRAEL: Police Make Fourth Arrest Related To 2009 Tel Aviv LGBT Center Shooting, Say Attack Was Not A Hate Crime

Tel Aviv police have arrested a fourth suspect in the 2009 shooting spree at an LGBT teen community center that left two dead and eleven injured.  The new suspect is reportedly "well-known" to the local gay community.  Three other suspects were arrested yesterday and none have yet been identified. Despite widespread speculation that the murders were an anti-gay bias attack, police now say the attack was based on a personal dispute and that the shooter was seeking revenge.
Investigators believe one of the suspects in the deadly 2009 shooting at the Barnoar gay youth center in Tel Aviv opened fire inside the center and killed Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Trubeshi, 16. Eleven other people were injured in the shooting attack. Police believe two other suspects aided the shooter. The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Thursday extended the suspects' remand by 11 days. A fourth suspect, a well-known figure within the LGBT community, was arrested overnight. Police officials said the shooting is not defined as a hate crime, adding that the suspects were under surveillance for months. The police representative at the remand hearing said the main suspect incriminated himself during his interrogation and became agitated after being told there was evidence against him.
According to police, the suspect said to be "well-known" to the gay community is not believed to have participated in the shooting itself, but has "valuable information" related to the attack. The other three suspects are alleged to have conspired "before and after the crime" and all three are suspected of numerous offenses unrelated to the community center shooting. 

Tel Aviv's gay pride parade is tomorrow.

Labels: , , ,

House Panel Adopts Amendment Allowing Harassment Of Gay Service Members

Yesterday the House Armed Service Committee adopted an amendment to the defense spending authorization bill that would protect members of the military who harass gay service members. Because Jesus. The amendment was authored by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) and it passed by a vote of 33-26.

Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade:
Fleming’s measure would expand the “conscience provision” in that already exists in defense law. It would protect discriminatory speech and actions and leave commanders with no recourse against prejudicial conduct when it occurs in their units. Further, the measure requires the Pentagon to implement regulations within 120 days after the bill becomes law. The defense secretary must consult with “official military faith-group representatives who endorse military chaplains” before the regulations are issued. President Obama signed the existing “conscience provision” under Section 533 as part of the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act. At the time of the signing, Obama called it “unnecessary” and said he was signing the defense package under assurances the Pentagon wouldn’t “permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct.”
Outserve-SLDN reacts via press release:
“Religious liberty is a core American value, and we support the accommodation of all beliefs. What we can never support is legislation that sanctions one belief at the expense of others and places unit cohesion, the safety of our troops, and their ability to accomplish the mission in jeopardy, and that’s exactly what this bill would do,” said Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson, an ordained Baptist minister.
Read the amendment here.

Labels: , , ,

Open Thread Thursday

What are your plans for pride events this year?

Labels: , ,

Two Minutes Of British Hate #16

The Church of England has surrendered and yesterday we seemed to get the same message from Christian Concern. But the Coalition 4 Marriage says, "We can still stop this from happening."

Labels: , , ,

Allen West: I Might Run For President

Tea Party hero Allen West couldn't win a second term in the House, so naturally he thinks he's ready to be president. Via the wingnut National Review:
Colonel Allen West, the former Republican congressman from Florida and one of the reasons to join National Review’s Norwegian Fjords Cruise this summer, revealed that he is considering running for the presidency in 2016 on Sean Hannity’s radio program Tuesday. West, who lost his bid for Florida’s 18th congressional district in 2012 after a prolonged post-election battle over voter fraud, said that he will make himself “available to run” for any office he is called to serve in by the American people. “I don’t think we should ever elect someone who wants to be president,” the veteran stated. “We should elect someone who is called to be president.” West, it seems, is open to receiving that call.
And every political blogger says, "Please, please, please!"

Labels: , , ,

Delgaudio Posts 80s "Highlight" Reel

Eugene Delgaudio's crackpottery goes back to the late 80s and he wants you to know it. Watch the fake reporter woodenly "interview" Delgaudio about his "political theater" stunts against Barney Frank, flag burning, and more.

Labels: , , ,

Billboard's 25 Great Gay Musical Moments

Billboard Magazine has published a Buzzfeed-y list of 25 great gay moments in pop music. On the list: the coming out of Frank Ocean and Ricky Martin, Adam Lambert's first #1 album by an out artist, Jay-Z's endorsement of same-sex marriage, and Lady Gaga's campaign for LGBT rights. Sylvester suitably makes the list pretty much just for having been Sylvester.

RELATED: Speaking of Sylvester, you can pre-order the reissue package of his greatest hits right now. Proceeds benefit San Francisco's AIDS Emergency Fund and Project Open Hand.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Teenage Hyper-Polyglot

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

Former NY Sen. Pedro Espada: I Was Corrupt Because I Was Almost Molested

Former NY state Sen. Pedro Espada faces a possible 43 year prison sentence on corruption charges. His lawyer has filed a plea for leniency that includes a claim that Espada was almost molested by a man when he was a child. Via Gothamist:
In a 21-page court filing relating to personal hardships that could be factored in to a more lenient sentence, his lawyer wrote, "He was the second of six children born to his parents and enjoyed a happy childhood until the age of 5, when he was the victim of an attempted sexual assault by a male relative. Mr. Espada is haunted to this day by the terrible memory." Espada told the Post that he was upset that this "revelation" came out. It's unclear what connection this almost-molestation has to stealing almost half a million dollars from tax-payers, but that's up to a judge now. He's set to be sentenced on June 14th, though Espada's been seeking a new trial, accusing the judge of "improperly pressuring the jury to reach its verdict."
RELATED: In a failed bid to be named Majority Leader of an evenly split state Senate, in 2009 Espada attempted to stage a coup and temporarily joined the GOP, effectively preventing a vote on marriage equality at that time. He is just one of six recently former members of the New York Senate who are in or on their way to prison.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Church Of England Surrenders On Marriage

The Church of England today formally announced that it will no longer object to Britain's same-sex marriage bill as it has become apparent to them that a clear majority of Parliament supports it.
In a short statement, the established Church said that the scale of the majorities in both the Commons and Lords made clear that it is the will of Parliament that same sex couples “should” be allowed to marry. The Bishop of Leicester, who leads the bishops in the House of Lords, said they would now concentrate their efforts on “improving” rather than halting an historic redefinition of marriage. 

It represents a dramatic change of tack in the year since the Church insisted that gay marriage posed one of the biggest threats of disestablishment of the Church of England since the reign of Henry VIII. And it comes despite a warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, that the redefinition of marriage would undermine the “cornerstone” of society. The climb-down comes as the newest diocesan bishop in the Church of England said that support for gay marriage was “understandable” because of the way gay people had been treated in Britain in the past.
Also announced today was that the Church of England will work through its bishops in the House of Lords to introduce a gay adultery clause into the marriage bill.
Under the current bill people in a same-sex marriages who discover that their spouse is unfaithful to them would not be able to divorce for adultery after Government legal experts failed to agree what constitutes “sex” between gay or lesbian couples. The bishops are also seeking to change a provision which says that when a lesbian woman in a same-sex marriage has a baby her spouse is not also classed as the baby’s parent. The result is that in some cases children would be classed as having only one parent.
Here is today's official statement from the Bishop of Leicester:
“Both Houses of Parliament have now expressed a clear view by large majorities on the principle that there should be legislation to enable same-sex marriages to take place in England and Wales. It is now the duty and responsibility of the Bishops who sit in the House of Lords to recognise the implications of this decision and to join with other Members in the task of considering how this legislation can be put into better shape.

“The concerns of many in the Church, and in the other denominations and faiths, about the wisdom of such a move have been expressed clearly and consistently in the Parliamentary debate. For the Bishops the issue now is not primarily one of protections and exemptions for people of faith, important though it is to get that right, not least where teaching in schools and freedom of speech are concerned.

“The Bill now requires improvement in a number of other key respects, including in its approach to the question of fidelity in marriage and the rights of children. If this Bill is to become law, it is crucial that marriage as newly defined is equipped to carry within it as many as possible of the virtues of the understanding of marriage it will replace. Our focus during Committee and Report stages in the coming weeks and months will be to address those points in a spirit of constructive engagement.

Labels: , , , , ,

CNN Posts FLOTUS Heckling Video

Labels: , ,

Ohio Activists: We Will Place Marriage Equality On The 2014 Ballot

Via press release from FreedomOhio:
“We have decided to be on the ballot in 2014 to allow for a continuing dialogue with voters across Ohio about why marriage matters. We will continue to build upon the hundreds of thousands of conversations we’ve had already, to identify supportive voters, and to raise the resources necessary to mobilize a full-on campaign.”

“We are also excited to announce that the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Ohio, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, National Freedom to Marry, the Gill Action Fund, the American Unity Fund and the BISC met today and discussed how to become involved in the campaign to bring marriage equality to Ohio in 2014.”

“Today’s meeting was only the beginning of the effort to chart a strategic plan to achieve marriage equality in Ohio,” said Elyzabeth Holford, Executive Director at Equality Ohio. “We all recognize our responsibility to Ohioans to make sure we get this right. And I know that together, we will. When we do move forward it will be with the same strong partners as the other successful states.”
UPDATE: There will be an interesting angle to this story coming later today. Stand by.

UPDATE II: I've gotten a couple of calls about this post and should be getting an official statement shortly. In the meantime, Chris Geidner has the gist of what I meant above by "interesting angle."
A representative of one of the organizations in the meeting, however, said no agreements had been reached as to the timing of going to the ballot and no plan was discussed regarding the news release issued by FreedomOhio on Wednesday. Another person confirmed that characterization.
UPDATE III:  Freedom To Marry sends us their reaction to the press release from FreedomOhio. It's a doozy.
A group of state and national organizations leading the fight to win marriage for all families in Ohio and across the country sought to clarify misleading characterizations put forward by Ian James’s Freedom Ohio following a meeting to discuss a strategy for winning the freedom to marry at the ballot box in Ohio.

However, contrary to the assertions made by Ian James in an unapproved statement, there was no agreement reached to put forward a ballot initiative in 2014 or any other specific date. Instead, all of the groups in attendance, including Freedom Ohio and nearly a dozen other leading organizations, agreed to work together to talk to Ohio voters about why marriage matters and strengthen our coalition in the months ahead, reserving judgment on the timing of a ballot initiative until a clear pathway to victory could be determined and carried out.

“Ohio families deserve to win marriage as soon as possible. And our national partners have won marriage equality in 13 jurisdictions. We are putting together a strong, honest coalition and a responsible plan to win,” said Elyzabeth Holford, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. “We intend to win and will do everything necessary to secure fairness for same-sex couples and their families.”

“We are committed to winning marriage in Ohio as soon as possible, and to developing the kind of robust campaign that has helped us achieve historic victories across the country,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director for Freedom to Marry. “What we need to do now is to engage in the real work to increase public support so we can win on the ballot—in 2016, or if possible sooner.”

“Ian James must have attended a different meeting than the rest of us,” said Marty Rouse, National Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign. “Representatives from 11 state and national organizations participated in today’s meeting. Ten of them came away with a clear understanding that we would refrain from deciding on timing until it was responsible to do so. We’re perplexed as to how Freedom Ohio came away with a different understanding.”

At the invitation of Equality Ohio, representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, national ACLU, the Equality Federation, Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the American Unity Fund and Gill Action convened for today’s conversations to discuss strategy, timing and a plan to win marriage in Ohio.

Labels: , , ,

ISRAEL: Arrests Made In Deadly 2009 Attack On Tel Aviv LGBT Center

Tel Aviv police today announced three arrests in the 2009 mass shooting at the city's LGBT Community Center which left two dead and 15 injured. Police will not say who has been arrested, other than they are Jewish. At the time of the attack, some had suspected foreign terrorists.

Via the Jerusalem Post:
In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday night, Tel Aviv Police Commander Bentzi Sau said that in the afternoon detectives from the YAMAR investigative unit arrested three suspects they believe were involved in the shooting. Sau would not give any further details about the case, which remains under a gag order.

He did confirm however, that the suspects are Jewish and that they have ruled out a nationalist motive in the shooting. The three will be brought in to the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning for a remand extension. The update was made to reporters only after police notified the families of the victims of the shooting.

Wednesday's arrests follow a previous breakthrough made by police late last year, which was announced by then Tel Aviv police commander Aharon Aksel in a conference call to reporters. That breakthrough also remains under a gag order.
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the shooting the following day in 2009, saying the attack had "the markings of terrorism." The shooting prompted a massive manhunt with hundreds of Israeli police and international terrorism experts involved. Some of the parents of the victims only learned that their children were gay after getting calls from local hospitals.

At the time of the attack, gay journalists and politicians suggested that it was the work of Israel's anti-gay and Ultra-Orthodox Shas Party.  From the Jerusalem Post in 2009:
"I warned in a column last year that Israel is a place which on the one hand has liberal laws, but on the other does not attempt to counter homophobia," Danny Zak, a journalist and gay rights advocate, told the Jerusalem Post during the demonstration. "A murder was waiting to happen," Zak added. "The Shas party has the blood of two innocent kids on their hands," he said. "Shas has blamed gays for earthquakes and diseases. This is incitement, but no one is put on trial for it," he said. Shas released a statement following the shooting in which it called for the attacker "to be found and tried. Murder is of course against the Torah's path and every attack is a contravention of the religion of Israel." Meretz MK Nitzan Horovitz, who is gay, arrived at the scene of the shooting. "There has been non-stop incitement," he told the Post. "I very much hope this is not the result of comments made by public figures and Knesset members. They need to understand that some people will take action." Last year, former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri said that homosexual behavior was the cause of earthquakes.
Vigils were held worldwide following the attack, with demonstrations taking place in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Francisco, and many other cities.

Labels: , , ,