Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama: I'll Ask Congress On Syria

UPDATE: This is how Matt Drudge is spinning it.
UPDATE II: Boehner is quick to react.
UPDATE III: Cameron supports today's announcement.

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President Obama Speaks On Syria

At this writing the president is ten minutes overdue and reporters on the scene say they can see him on the phone in the Oval Office. Twitter watchers say that nearby anti-war protesters can occasionally be heard on the White House audio feed.

UPDATE: I've replaced the live stream with a recording.

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Cheney Vs Cheney

"For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage. Freedom means freedom for everyone. That means that all families — regardless of how they look or how they are made — all families are entitled to the same rights, privileges and protections as every other. It’s not something to be decided by a show of hands. Please like and share if you agree." - Mary Cheney (above right), writing today on her Facebook page. Yesterday Liz Cheney, who is running for the US Senate in Wyoming, announced that she opposes same-sex marriage. Mary married her partner in Washington DC last summer.

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Homocon Tweet Of The Day - Matt Drudge

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NYC Voting Guide

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Tim Tebow Cut By Patriots

Via ABC News:
After being let go by his third team in 18 months — and with the regular season just five days away — the quarterback's chances of immediately catching on with another team seem slim. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the Patriots had not announced the move. It was first reported by ESPN. Tebow's stay with the Patriots lasted just under 12 weeks and could be the end of his NFL career. The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback played in just three of New England's four preseason games and was sacked four times in the finale, a 28-20 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night.

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Stand By...

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Applause Plause

(Tipped by JMG reader Mark)

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HomoQuotable - Josh Barro

"The next mayor of New York, if he or she is to do a good job, will have to say 'no' a lot. Only Lhota gave the correct answer: No, you do not strand thousands of New Yorkers for 90 minutes in a futile effort to herd two cats whose lives we are inexplicably prioritizing over the rats who are run over, or drowned, or exterminated in the subways every day. The most terrifying aspect of this campaign is that New York is poised to elect its first non-asshole mayor since Abe Beame. There’s a reason big cities elect mayors like Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani and Rahm Emanuel and Richard Daley and Ed Rendell. The mayor’s main job is to say 'no.' Those guys are good at saying 'no.' Lhota is the only person in the field who resembles them." - Josh Barro, writing for Business Insider.

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Matt Barber: Miley Cyrus Is Satanic

"We have arrived. Shame on you, America. Our children – our adults – are depraved. They are 'occupied' by envy. They attack innocent people, beating and killing them for sport. They murder one another in the streets without love or mercy. They disobey, gossip, slander and hate God. They are insolent, arrogant, boastful 'little monsters.' They invent ways of doing evil. Hannah Montana is what America once was. MTV Miley is America today. She 'evolved' because we 'evolved.' You saw it on display. It’s ugly. It’s Satanic." - Hate group leader Matt Barber, writing for World Net Daily.

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SCOTLAND: Marriage Bill To Speed Up

Scotland's marriage equality bill is going to be fast-tracked through their parliament.
In an unusual move, MSPs will hold double sessions starting earlier in the day just to get through the weight of information from a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals who have been asked for their views on shaping the new laws. The Scottish Government faced accusations earlier this year that the equality legislation was slipping behind schedule and progress at Westminster for similar reform, but Ministers succeeded in publishing the Bill before the summer recess and have made clear that they expect the new law to be expedited as soon as possible. A Government source said: "After previous accusations about delays you can be sure that there will be no hold-ups on this."
The bill is expected to be ready for royal assent by March. England and Wales received royal assent on July 17th.

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Putin Cautions US On Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin today denied reports that Syria has used chemical weapons and urged the United States not to take action.
Mr Putin said it would be "utter nonsense" for Syria's government to provoke opponents with such attacks. Speaking to journalists in the Russian far-eastern city of Vladivostok, Mr Putin urged Mr Obama - as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate - to think about future victims in Syria before using force. He said it was ridiculous to suggest the Syrian government was to blame for the attack. "Syrian government troops are on the offensive and have surrounded the opposition in several regions," he said. "In these conditions, to give a trump card to those who are calling for a military intervention is utter nonsense." "So I'm convinced that is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict."He said that the US failure to present evidence to the international community was "simply disrespectful".
US military leaders last night confirmed that a sixth US warship is now within missile distance of Syria.

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Today's New York Daily News

Kitten-gate, now in day three.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Ruth Bader Ginsburg To Be First SCOTUS Justice To Officiate At Same-Sex Wedding

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will tomorrow officiate at a same-sex wedding in Washington DC, becoming the first member of the Court to do so.
The gala wedding of Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser and economist John Roberts at the performing arts center brings together the nation’s highest court and the capital’s high society and will mark a new milepost in recognition of same-sex unions. Ginsburg seemed excited during a recent interview about being the first member of the court to conduct such a ceremony and said it was only a logical next step. “I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship,” Ginsburg said. She added: “It won’t be long before there will be another” performed by a justice. Indeed, she has another planned for September. Ginsburg and Kaiser are close friends. She is perhaps the Supreme Court’s most ardent supporter of the fine arts, especially opera. Kaiser has been at the helm of the Kennedy Center since 2001 and is an internationally recognized expert in arts management and one of Washington’s most influential civic leaders.
The wedding will take place in the Kennedy Center atrium.

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IOC Responds To New York's LGBT Pols

The International Olympic Committee has responded to a letter sent them by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other local LGBT elected officials. Their letter asked the IOC to publicly condemn Russia's abuses of LGBT people. Here's the IOC's response in full:
Dear representatives of the state and City of New York,  We would like to confirm receipt of your letter of 9 August to IOC President Rogge. Thank you for having shared with us your concerns and proposals on the important topic of LGBT rights in Russia in the context of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The IOC agrees that the Olympic Games should be free of any kind of discrimination and I can reassure you that we work hard to make this a reality at each of the games. However, it is important to stress that the IOC remit is limited to the scope of the Games. For instance, the IOC cannot influence national legislation and has to respect the law of any host country.

In regard to Sochi 2014, the IOC is currently in close discussions with the highest government level in Russia and has received a number of assurances, but we are continuing the dialogue with Russian authorities on this important topic. As you will understand, it would be inappropriate and counterproductive to comment publicly on the details of the discussions while they are on-going.

However, we have widely communicated our position which was also published on our website at the end of July. Rest assured that the safety of athletes, spectators and others attending the Games remains a top priority for the IOC and we will continue to work to ensure that this will be the case in Sochi and future editions of the Games. I hope you find this background information helpful. Thank you for your important work and for your commitment to ensuring an environment free of discrimination.
The letter is signed by Christophe De Kepper, Director General of the IOC.

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NYC Mayoral Candidates Weigh In On Kittens-On-The-Subway-Tracks Debate

As Gotham continues to be roiled in debate over whether the subway should have been shut down for those two kittens on the tracks, the mayoral candidates have weighed in and only one would have let the trains roll over their little bodies. (Spoiler: It's the Republican seen above pointing Fluffy to an oncoming B train.) Via New York Magazine:
Republican front-runner Joe Lhota — whose previous job was, in fact, running the MTA — would not have stopped the trains. "No, Joe does not think a train line should be shut down" to save two kitties, a campaign spokesperson tells Daily Intelligencer. This puts Lhota at odds with his chief rival, John Catsimatidis, who points out to Daily Intelligencer in a peculiarly formatted e-mail that you can't spell Catsimatidis without "cats": I am an Animal Lover / Especially CATS / Supposed they were Baby Rats / Its up to the Policeman on the Scene to make decision / Not the Mayor.
All of the Democrats who responded via their spokespeople are pro-kitten. Anthony Weiner: "If Anthony is elected mayor, he will not only stop trains for kittens, he will personally crawl over the third rail to do it." Christine Quinn: "Chris would have stopped the trains for the kitties." Bill Thompson: "Bill would work to protect the subway kittens in such a situation." Why does Bill De Blasio remain silent?!?1?
UPDATE: The kittens have been named Arthur and August and will be available for adoption in three days if no owner comes forward. They are believed to be four weeks old.

UPDATE II: Here's today's New York Post.

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President Obama: If We Launch Attack On Syria, It Will Be A Limited, Narrow Act

USA Today recaps the statement made minutes ago:
President Obama said Friday he is considering a "limited, narrow act" as a military response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against its own citizens. Calling it "a challenge to the world," Obama said the use of chemical weapons threatens U.S. national security and merits a response. Obama emphasized that he still has not made any decisions about what actions the U.S. will take. He said his military advisers have looked at a wide range of options. "I meant what I said: that the world has an obligation to make sure that we maintain the norm against the use of chemical weapons," Obama said, following his administration's release of document he said proves Syria's recent attack. "We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on an incredible scale."

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Liz Cheney: I'm Not Pro-Gay Marriage

"I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage. I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves." - Liz Cheney, who is challenging Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), who is also anti-gay marriage.

RELATED: Cheney's openly lesbian sister Mary married her partner in Washington DC last year. Her father, Darth Cheney, supports same-sex marriage but last year said that if he'd done so while vice president he would have hurt Dubya's re-election chances.  Last month hate group spokesman Bryan Fischer denounced Liz Cheney over rumors that she did indeed support marriage equality.

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Ben Cohen On Strictly Come Dancing?

The Metro recaps Ben Cohen's rumored casting on Strictly Come Dancing, which is Britain's version of Dancing With The Stars:
Who is he: Chiselled member of England’s 2003 Rugby World cup winning squad, better known for his philanthropic work (he is founder of the anti-bullying organisation The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation) since retiring from the game in 2011.

Chances of being true: Strictly has a long history of welcoming rugby stars on to the dancefloor. Some of them have even done quite well (Austin Healy, Kenny Logan, Matt Dawson and, against all the odds, Gavin Henson). So we don’t think it would be entirely out of the question for Ben to follow in their footsteps. And besides, we all know the show needs eye candy.

Would be most likely to: Have women (and, given his big gay following, quite a few men) swooning on the inevitable week when his shirt falls off entirely by accident.
(Tipped by JMG reader Darryl)

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Bill Murray On Letterman As Liberace

I haven't seen Letterman in a month thanks to the TWC-CBS feud, but this happened last night. Bill Murray was the first guest on Letterman's show when it debuted 20 years ago today.

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US Strike On Syria Appears Likely

Secretary of State John Kerry just concluded a televised statement which seemed to make it very clear that a US strike on Syria is imminent.

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Daniel Hernandez On MSNBC

Early this week I reported on the despicable campaign to recall openly gay Tucson school board member Daniel Hernandez, who is credited with saving the life of former Rep. Gabriel Giffords. Today Hernandez appeared on MSNBC to discuss that recall attempt and the attacks on Cory Booker's sexuality.

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Fischer Has The Treasury Dept. Sadz

"There will be enormous federal pressure now on states to conform to the IRS. The Supreme Court decision placed an [improvised explosive device] under every state marriage amendment in the land. I predict we will very quickly see legal action in the 37 states that do not give legal recognition to same-sex marriage to force them to conform to federal policy on their tax forms, and you will get activist federal judges that will comply." - Hate group spokesman Bryan Fischer, telling the Washington Post that he agrees with gay activists that yesterday's Treasury Department decision to grant federal tax status to married gay couples in every state will escalate the fight for full equality nationwide.

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REPORT: Partner Of Glenn Greenwald Was Carrying 58,000 "Sensitive" Documents

Politico reports:
David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, was carrying 58,000 classified intelligence documents when he was detained by British authorities earlier this month, according to a new UK national security report. Miranda was detained for nine hours at London's Heathrow airport, a move that Greenwald called "a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process." But today's 13-page report, from UK deputy national security adviser Oliver Robbins, has reinforced Greenwald's critics, who believe he and his partner are hiding behind claims of journalistic freedom while disobeying the law.
Scotland Yard has launched a criminal investigation against Miranda.  Greenwald is quoted today by the Telegraph:
“The UK Government is incapable of pointing to a single story we have published that has even arguably harmed national security. The only thing that has been harmed are the political interests and reputations of UK and US officials around the world, as they have been caught engaging in illegal, unconstitutional and truly dangerous bulk surveillance aimed at their own citizens and people around the world, all with little accountability or transparency - until now."

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She Totally Forgot


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Kittens Shut Down Two Subway Lines

Thousands of New Yorkers had their commutes interrupted for about an hour yesterday when the MTA shut down two subway lines in Brooklyn because two kittens were darting about near the third rail.
NBC 4 New York can confirm that herding cats is a difficult feat. Video obtained by NBC 4 New York shows the kittens -- one black, one white with gray stripes -- racing up and down the tracks near the third rail, darting around empty bottles and other debris, at the B/Q Church Avenue station in Prospect Lefferts Gardens around midday. It wasn't known if the kittens were strays or pets. The MTA shut off power to the area so workers could go down and try to coax the kittens into carrying cases. People waiting for their trains offered to help, but the MTA said they couldn't because of safety concerns, witnesses said.
The kittens were eventually captured and taken to NYC Animal Care & Control, where they will presumably be put up for adoption.

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On Yesterday's Fast Food Strike

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Quote Of The Day - Rep. Steve McCarter

"What is wrong with this Governor and his administration? The comparison of the marriage of adult same sex couples to the marriage of twelve year olds is not only disgusting, but without comprehension of the issue. Same sex couples live in our communities. They have children that go to our schools. They are active participants in every aspect of our cities, towns and boroughs. They work and pay taxes. In fact, they are making great financial sacrifices by staying in Pennsylvania instead of moving to Maryland or Delaware. Coming on the day of the 50th anniversary of the greatest civil rights march and speech in our history, these hurtful and insensitive words from the administration make it clear that the Governor will never understand the struggle that is ongoing to give equal rights to LGBT friends and neighbors. I am absolutely astounded!" - Pennsylvania state Rep. Steve McCarter, referring to yesterday's brief filed on behalf of Gov. Tom Corbett.

RELATED: Corbett's spokesman has issued a statement denouncing his own legal team for the language in the brief.
Speaking for Corbett, who is on vacation in South Carolina, Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, spokesman for the Office of General Counsel, said the analogy was being taken out of context through a campaign of misinformation by the governors detractors. The reference to 12-year-olds was only meant to illustrate one group that is prohibited from marrying under state law, he said. But it's an analogy, the governor feels was inappropriate, Hagen-Frederiksen said. The governor never said it or wrote it, Hagen-Frederiksen said, but his detractors are acting like he did. So Corbett wants to clear his name and wants the public to know, he doesn't agree with it and he thinks it was an inappropriate analogy, Hagen-Frederiksen said. "That's coming form the governor's mouth," he said. Political enemies of the Republican administration spent a good part of Thursday trumpeting the 12-year-old reference as an alleged act of bias.

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More On New Mexico's County Clerks

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HHS Extends Medicare Coverage To Married Gays In Nursing Homes

Via press release:
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives. This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

“HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”

“Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Prior to this, a beneficiary in a same-sex marriage enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan did not have equal access to such coverage and, as a result, could have faced time away from his or her spouse or higher costs because of the way that marriage was defined for this purpose.”
(Tipped by JMG reader MarkOH)

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Email Of The Day - Eugene Delgaudio

"Dear Joe, This is an urgent update. The so-called 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act' (S. 815) -- better known as the Gay Bill of Special Rights -- is poised for a vote on the Senate floor when their session begins in the coming days. The only thing standing in the way of a vote on the Senate floor is Harry Reid, a known ally of the radical Homosexual Lobby. That's why your Public Advocate has been working overtime for weeks creating a grassroots campaign, gathering petitions and turning up the heat on Congress. Our program is so effective that I've gotten multiple calls from senators begging us to call off our supporters. But I refuse to back down while our values are still under attack. Unfortunately, Public Advocate is facing skyrocketing operating costs due to these vital programs. So please chip in $10 or $20 to help fund Public Advocate's ongoing fight defending our First Amendment religious freedoms. Thank you for your continued support of our pro-Family efforts." - Crackpot Eugene Delgaudio, who is now signing his emails as "Hon. Eugene Delgaudio."

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Booker Talks Gay Rumors To MSNBC

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban Barring Gay Couples From Veteran Benefits

Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
A federal judge in California on Thursday found that, as with the ban on federal recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages, federal veterans’ benefits laws that limit those benefits to opposite-sex spouses are unconstitutional. Finding no rational basis for the definitions in Title 38 of the U.S. Code that limit provision of veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples, Judge Consuelo B. Marshall found those statutes unconstitutional — echoing the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this summer striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.
What a week this has been!

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Tweet Of The Day - NOM

That poll is from the website of the AFA. Snork!

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Brian Brown Has The Treasury Dept Sadz

"The Treasury Department is grossly overstepping its authority. This is a nation of laws. Only Congress has the authority to change the law. This action continues a pattern of lawlessness across the nation where administrators and clerks have taken it upon themselves to interpret and re-write laws as they pertain to marriage. Only the legislative branches of the Federal or State governments enact or rewrite the law. The Obama administration is intent on forcing same-sex 'marriage' on an unwilling public. Congress alone has the responsibility of determining federal tax law." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, in his 14th consecutive case of the sadz, this time over the news that the married gay couples will get federal tax status in all 50 states.

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O'Reilly Apologizes For Claiming No Republicans Invited To MLK Celebration

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HRC's Chad Griffin Slams Sochi Sponsors

Image via Memeographs.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

NEW MEXICO: All 33 County Clerks Join Marriage Equality Suit As Defendants

Via press release from the ACLU:
Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico welcomed the news that all 33 County Clerks in New Mexico intervened in the freedom to marry lawsuit as defendants. ALCU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson: “We believe that the county clerks intervening in our lawsuit puts New Mexico on an expedited path towards a statewide marriage solution which would provide more certainty for the same-sex couples who married in our state. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will agree with the lower court decision which held that denying marriage to committed, loving same-sex couples is unconstitutional.
More from the Albuquerque Journal:
Since the floodgates opened, county clerks in most, if not all, 33 New Mexico counties have been visited by same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, Ivey-Soto said. He said it’s expected that lawsuits will be filed against county clerks who refuse to issue them. “Instead of getting picked off one by one, the county clerks decided they need an answer,” Ivey-Soto said. “County clerks need to know what is their responsibility.” All the state’s county clerks — 21 Democrats and 12 Republicans — offered to have their names listed in court briefs, he said.
Follow the latest developments at the Facebook page for Why Marriage Matters New Mexico. (Tipped by JMG reader Elise)

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Headlines Of The Day

Every site in Teabagistan has spent the last 24 hours denouncing the MLK celebration because "the only sitting black US Senator," who happens to be a far-right conservative, wasn't invited to speak. As it turns out, Scott had already told organizers that he would be out of town yesterday. That doesn't necessarily mean he would have been on the list of speakers, but it certainly undercuts the claims that yesterday was just another "Democratic dog-and-pony show of race hustlers," as Breitbart and others in the right wing-o-sphere have characterized it.
“Thank you for extending to Senator Tim Scott the invitation to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28th. Unfortunately, the Senator will be in South Carolina during this time, so he will be unable to attend the event. Please do, however, keep him in mind for future events you may be hosting.”

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Christian Radio Host Stan Solomon: That Faggot Dan Savage Deserves To Die

Right Wing Watch notes that previous guests on Solomon's show include Phyllis Schlafly, Alan Keyes, GOP Virginia lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson, and Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt. A partial transcript from the below clip:
"Jews, homosexuals, blacks, gays, Islamists, you may think they’re disparate groups, they’re not, they’re all tools. Because while we’re mad at these two punks, we’re mad at Trayvon Martin, that thug that deserves to be dead and I’m glad he’s dead. Pieces of crap, homosexuals like what’s that one guy’s name? [Dan] Savage. That faggot. That horrible, awful, terrible excuse for a human being who is at the White House promoting attacks on Christians. I hope he dies — he probably will — of every disease known. By the way, I’m sending him a fire hydrant for his birthday, I’m hoping he’ll sit on it; he’ll slide all the way down to the ground. Sorry fire hydrant fans, I don’t mean to insult fire hydrants."

RELATED: In 2010 Solomon resigned from the US House campaign of Marvin Scott after gay blogger Bil Browning published numerous anti-gay tweets in which he said loving Christian things like "GAY = Got AIDS Yet?" Browning noted at the time that Solomon has also called for the murder of abortion providers.  Solomon's website sells crackpot items like colloidal silver and books by Randall Terry.

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Liberty Counsel Has The "Ex-Gay" Sadz

"The minors we represent do not want to act on same-sex attractions, nor do they want to engage in such behavior. They are greatly benefiting from this counseling. Their grades have gone up, their self-esteem has improved, and their relationships at home are much improved. Legislators and judges in the state of California have essentially barged into the private therapy rooms of victimized young people and told them that their confusion, caused by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky abuser, is normal and they should pursue their unwanted and dangerous same-sex sexual attractions and behavior, regardless of whether those minors desire their religious beliefs to trump their unwanted attractions." - Mat Staver, wallowing in the sadz via press release from the Liberty Counsel, who today lost their appeal to block "ex-gay" torture in California.  Staver says that Liberty Counsel will appeal the case to the full Ninth Circuit or to the US Supreme Court.

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Proctor & Gamble Backs ENDA

Consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble has announced its support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
“With Proctor & Gamble’s support, we see once again corporate America leading the charge when it comes to ending workplace discrimination,” said Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Americans for Workplace Opportunity, in a statement. “Employees should be judged on their talents, and everyone should have the opportunity to provide for their families - one of the most fundamental American values. With P&G’s support, the momentum for ENDA grows. We urge the Senate to pass this bill.” ENDA includes an exemption for religious organizations and small businesses with fewer than 15 employees.
The company presently ranks 28th on the Fortune 100 with annual grosses of over $85 billion. (Tipped by JMG reader Elroy)

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KENTUCKY: Frankfort Passes Sweeping LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

The good news just keeps coming today. In the capital of Kentucky:
The Frankfort City Commission Thursday morning finally passed an ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations. At a specially called meeting, Mayor Bill May and commissioners Katie Hedden and Tommy Haynes voted in favor. Commissioner Robert Roach and Lynn Bowers dissented. The move makes Frankfort the fifth Kentucky city — alongside Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Vicco — with an ordinance protecting lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. The vote is the culmination of months of contentious debate both within the commission and the community. Because of amendments, the ordinance had three “first” readings before it received final approval Thursday. The issue was notable for its split of progressive and conservative religious leaders, particularly Baptist ministers, who often spoke at meetings.
(Tipped by JMG reader Blane)

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Feds Won't Stop Legal Pot Laws

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BREAKING: Married Gay Couples To Get Federal Tax Status In Every State

Sam Stein reports at Huffington Post:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Thursday that when it comes to taxes, it will recognize same-sex couples' marriages even if they live in a state that does not. The decision, which was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, marks the latest political progress for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Prior to this spring, the Internal Revenue Service did not recognize same-sex married couples pursuant to section 3 of DOMA. Once DOMA was overturned in June, the question became: What about same-sex married couples who moved to a state that didn’t recognize their marriage (a couple married in Massachusetts who moved to Arkansas, for example)? Thursday’s ruling by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew provides a uniform policy for the IRS; the state of celebration -- where the wedding took place -- now trumps the state of residency when it comes to federal tax status for same-sex married couples.
Freedom To Marry head Evan Wolfson reacts:
“This announcement makes today a day of celebration and relief for married same-sex couples all over America. At long last, the IRS will treat them as what they are: married. Freedom to Marry commends the administration’s swift implementation of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling for federal equality in an area that will have a direct, tangible impact on families’ financial health. The fact that this new respect applies only to married couples – not those joined by domestic partnerships or civil unions – highlights the need for an America where everyone can marry the person they love in any state, and have that marriage respected at all levels of government.”

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CALIFORNIA: Appeals Court Upholds Law Banning "Ex-Gay" Torture For Minors

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the attempt to block California's law that bans "ex-gay" torture for minors.
In resolving two separate legal challenges to the new law, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of a group of therapists and families who sued to block its enforcement. The three-judge panel was unanimous in upholding the statute, the first of its kind in the nation.

"(It) does not violate the free speech rights of practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad and does not violate parents' fundamental rights," Judge Susan Graber wrote for the court.

The therapists and families sued over the ban, arguing that it violates the free speech rights of therapists to discuss gay conversion with young patients, and families argued that the law tramples on religious freedoms to seek therapy to convert their children from homosexuality. The law barred licensed mental health professionals from using the therapy on those under the age of 18.
Another big loss for the Liberty Counsel! Stand by for the sadz AND threats about SCOTUS.

UPDATE: Courtesy of JMG reader Joe, I've posted the full 42-page ruling to my Scribd account.

UPDATE II: The National Center For Lesbian Rights responds via press release.
NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, who argued the case on behalf of Equality California in the Ninth Circuit, said: “This decision clears the way for this life-saving law to protect California youth from cruel and damaging practices that have been rejected by all leading medical and mental health professional organizations. The court of appeals ruled in very clear terms that state-licensed therapists do not have a constitutional right to engage in discredited practices that offer no health benefits and put LGBT youth at risk of severe harm, including depression and suicide. We thank Attorney General Kamala Harris, Deputy Attorney General Alexandra Robert Gordon, and the entire legal team at the California Department of Justice for their brilliant and tireless advocacy in defense of these vital new protections for LGBT youth.” “The court's decision today on Senate Bill 1172 is a major victory for anyone who cares about the well-being of our youth. It will directly impact the lives of thousands of young people by protecting them from this horrific practice," said John O’Connor, Equality California executive director. "We thank Sen. Ted Lieu for authoring this bill and Speaker John A. Perez for his bold leadership in getting the law passed."

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San Antonio City Council Holds Meeting On Non-Discrimination Ordinance

From KSAT News:
San Antonio City Council Chambers were at capacity as hundreds more formed a line stretching around the building Wednesday hoping to get inside to speak before the council about the city’s proposed Non-Discrimination Ordinance. The hotly debated ordinance would add sexual and gender identity to the list of protected classes. But in controversial wording of the ordinance, some opposing it say it would discriminate against those who do not agree with homosexuality. “I suspect that this is actually a political agenda being shoved upon us by some who want to please the elite in Washington because they’d like to move there someday,” said Brenda Saunders said to the council. “We see you. Your agenda is showing.”
The vote is next Thursday.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

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Tweet Of The Day: Sen. Ted Cruz

Congress is actually in its summer recess for another two weeks, but aside from that inconvenient fact, this time he actually has a point.

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Dead Heat In NYC Comptroller Race

In more surprising polling news, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has wiped out former Gov. Eliot Spitzer's big lead in the race for NYC comptroller.
The entire political and media world has jumped on Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's bandwagon, helping him poll-vault from 19 points down to dead even in just two weeks," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The black vote, which has shifted dramatically in the last two weeks, still tips to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Stringer holds a big lead among white voters. Did the avalanche of media criticism knock Spitzer out of the lead? Among self-described 'very liberal' voters, Stringer is way ahead. He leads among the college-educated, while Spitzer leads among those without a college degree." Likely Democratic primary voters who describe themselves as "very liberal" back Stringer 60 - 35 percent. "Somewhat liberal" Democrats back Spitzer 51 - 40 percent while moderate or conservative Democrats are divided, 47 percent for Spitzer and 44 percent for Stringer.
RELATED: A poll released yesterday similarly revealed that Public Advocate Bill De Blasio has soared to a 15-point lead over Christine Quinn in the mayoral race.

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NEW MEXICO: GOP Pol Tells Gay Men To Stop Whoring Around & Marry A Woman

"Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) married a Bactrian woman – modern day Afghanistan. Alexander may have engaged in homosexual activity, but he married a woman. He directed his officers to stop 'whoring' around and find a local woman to marry. WHY? BECAUSE. 'It is only through blood relations that hatred and war will end.' In other words, Alexander the Great thought that marriage was about creating and raising the next generation. This is the reason for Marriage." - New Mexico GOP state Sen. William Sharer, in a long rambling "historical" post on his personal website. Sharer is one of two dozen GOP lawmakers who are filing suit to stop same-sex marriage in New Mexico. (Tipped by JMG reader Elise)

UPDATE: JMG reader Robin points us to a Talking Points Memo post in which Sharer defends his words.
Sharer stressed to TPM on Wednesday that while he opposes defining gay marriage as anything other than between one man and one woman, he does not harbor any animosity toward gay couples and used the Alexander reference to argue his point that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. Marriage, Sharer argues, helps society avoid “violence and poverty.” "If we wanted to purposefully establish a culture of poverty and violence we would work to arrange for most children to be born to single teenage mothers with little or no family support. — Oh wait, that is exactly what we have done,” Sharer writes.

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Lawyers For PA Gov. Tom Corbett Call Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Meaningless

Yesterday lawyers for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett filed a brief calling the marriage licenses issued by Montgomery County "meaningless" and compared them to allowing 12 year-old children to marry.
Thirty-two of the couples have petitioned to intervene in the case, arguing that a ruling against Hanes could also invalidate their marriages. The state filed a brief Wednesday opposing the couples' participation, arguing that their marriage licenses hold no "actual value or legitimacy" and thus have no right to be defended in court. "Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his 'license'?" the state wrote. If the couples wish to defend their "purported marriage licenses," the state wrote, they should file their own lawsuit or wait for the outcome of a federal challenge to Pennsylvania's marriage law. "This case is about one thing: whether a local official may willfully disregard a statute based on his personal legal opinion that the statute is unconstitutional," they wrote.
Several of those 32 couples are longtime JMG readers and commenters.

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NJ Park Plans World's Tallest Drop Ride

Even the animation makes my balls hurt.

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Petition Of The Day

Over 30,000 signatures so far.

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Berlin To Hold Russia Protest

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