Monday, September 30, 2013

NEW JERSEY: Gov. Chris Christie Files Appeal Of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Gov. Chris Christie has filed his promised appeal of Friday's court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
Citing "far-reaching implications," Acting Attorney General John Hoffman made the request in a letter to the state Supreme Court, which usually does not weigh in on cases until after an appeals court has made a ruling on them. Hoffman said he is also asking the judge who issued the decision Friday to grant a stay, delaying the implementation date from Oct. 21 until the matter can be settled. An appeal from Christie's administration is no surprise. Within hours of the ruling, Christie's spokesman issued a statement saying he did not intend to let the trial court order stand in an issue in an issue that has been fought repeatedly both in New Jersey's courts and Legislature.
RELATED: While the court case continues, Democratic legislators continue to press for enough votes to override Christie's veto of last year's successful marriage bill. Today state Senate President Steve Sweeney declared that he had the support of 27 senators, just over the two-thirds majority needed for an override. It's unclear where the whip count stands in the state Assembly.

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Breitbart Cheers Pending Shutdown

Smiley face! Because this is a win for Teabagistan!

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President Obama Slams GOP's Coming Shutdown Of The Federal Government

USA Today recaps:
President Obama blamed an imminent government shutdown on House Republicans Monday, and said his health care plan is "moving forward" despite GOP efforts to de-fund it. "You can't shut it down," Obama said of the law at the White House. Obama also said a partial government shutdown -- which would start at midnight unless there is an 11th hour deal -- will damage economic recovery and hurt "real people right away." Obama said the shutdown will close federal offices, delay checks, close parks, and damage loan programs. Meanwhile, Social Security, Medicare, mail, and public safety functions will continue despite the shutdown, Obama said. "The federal government is America's largest employer," Obama said. "These Americans are our neighbors." Accusing the Republicans of trying to re-fight last year's election and the health care battles of 2009-10, Obama called delay and de-funding efforts "the height of irresponsibility."
Watch the full speech.

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BROOKLYN: City Moves On Orthodox Businesses Over "Modesty" Dress Code

The NYC Commission On Human Rights is seeking to fine Ultra-Orthodox Jewish businesses for posting dress code notices that target "immodestly" dressed women. Gothamist reports:
"There's nothing wrong with a dress code," says Clifford Mulqueen, the Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel for the Commission on Human Rights. "What the law says is that you can't advertise in a way that might make one protected group of individuals uncomfortable. When you speak about sleeveless shirts or low-cut necklines you're specifically referring to women's dress, and that may make women feel unconformable and unwelcome." But the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council argues that the signage, which has since been removed from the storefronts on Lee Avenue, is merely a request. "From our understanding of the signs, they express a wish, not a condition of service, similar to the dress code of the Court Room where this case will be heard," Yossi Gestetner, Co-Founder of OJPAC said in a statement.
An attorney for the shops says, "Frankly, it’s very troubling that the commission thinks it’s okay for the Four Seasons restaurant to impose a dress code but not a bakery owned by a Hasidic businessman." The case will be heard in January and the businesses face a $5000 fine each.

OJPAC has been running radio ads about the flap.

RELATED: A Hasidic group in Williamsburg last year succeeded in having a bike lane removed because of the way those slutty female bike riders tend to dress.

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HomoQuotable - David Bromstad

"Dear fans, I've read your feedback on my participation with The Salvation Army USA, as an openly gay person whom just happens to also be a celebrity, I took the Salvation Army's request to participate in their fundraiser as one step in the right direction towards equality. If we simply separate ourselves from those that we assume appose us or our beliefs then we will never make strides in the right direction. I applaud the Salvation Army's symbolic handshake towards acceptance and would be foolish to not extend my hand in acceptance." - HGTV host David Bromstad, responding on his Facebook page. (Tipped by JMG reader Phil)

RELATED: Towleroad notes that a Salvation Army official last year declared that homosexuals should be put to death.  The Salvation Army later apologized for the "miscommunication."

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WEST VIRGINIA: Lambda Legal To File Suit To Overturn Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Tomorrow Lambda Legal will file a lawsuit that seeks to overturn West Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. Via the Charleston Gazette:
A spokesman for Lambda Legal wouldn't release details of the West Virginia lawsuit on Monday. According to the group's website, it has been working with Fairness West Virginia, a gay rights group, "to find a way for all same-sex couples and their families in the Mountain State to get equal legal treatment and protections." Casey Willits, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, would only confirm Monday that Fairness has been working with Lambda. "We've been working with them and looking at issues this summer regarding West Virginia and how it fits into federal legal precedent," Willits said. Delegate Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson, said Monday he wanted to wait until after a press conference to comment, but told the Gazette, "I think we may be hearing about an important lawsuit on the Constitution." Skinner, a Martinsburg attorney, is the first openly gay member of the state Legislature.
Things are heating up all over!

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Washington Post Shutdown Poll

Details.

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World Net Daily: President Obama Must Be Overthrown Because Ted Cruz

"The time has come to mass in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19, and to engage in peaceful civil disobedience, Ghandi and Martin Luther King style, to finally force Obama to resign the presidency and leave office immediately – or else face the music for his recent conviction for election fraud and other crimes. This week, with the failure of Sen. Ted Cruz’s efforts to block funding for Obamacare in the Senate, and the expected cave-in by Speaker John Boehner, it is clear that we have no representative form of government. As in 1776, the people must now take action to rid the nation of this new, far more evil tyrant, who makes King George III look like a Boy Scout. Please join me in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, and let’s demand an end to this president’s 'reign' before all is lost and our nation drowns in a sea of corruption and subversion of the freedoms our Founding Fathers fought and died for, which freedoms they bequeathed to us to protect and preserve for future generations. This is your duty if you are an American patriot!" - Larry Klayman, writing for World Net Daily.

RELATED: In the above-linked piece, Klayman adds: "A citizens’ grand jury, with yours truly as its people’s prosecutor, as you readers know, has not only indicted and convicted Obama for fraud over his lack of eligibility to be president, but also pending are indictments and more trials."

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Berlin To Headline Palm Springs Pride

Somehow I've never seen Berlin, so I'm rather excited about this. Details are here. Trivia: Giorgio Moroder won one of his three Oscars for Berlin's Take My Breath Away, which was on the Top Gun soundtrack. (His other two were for the score for Midnight Express and for Irene Cara's title hit from Flashdance.) Here's Berlin's 1983 club smash.

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NEW JERSEY: Small Town Mayor Vows To Perform State's First Same-Sex Marriage

Last year Lambertville Mayor David DelVecchhio was named New Jersey's Mayor Of The Year.  Today he vowed to perform that state's first same-sex marriage if Governor Chris Christie's appeal is unsuccessful.
DelVecchio, a Democrat, said he will perform the state’s first legal gay marriage ceremony for Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey at midnight three weeks from today, as long as a judge doesn’t grant a stay of the Sept. 27 ruling. A handful of couples has already expressed interest in weddings, he said. Lambertville, across the Delaware River from New Hope, Pennsylvania, has a large gay population. “This is just a continuation of the first civil union,” DelVecchio, 56, said today in an interview. “If a stay is not granted on the 21st, we’re going to move forward with this.” Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled last week in Trenton that she “will order the state to permit any and all same-sex marriages.” Unless the ruling is blocked, it would take effect Oct. 21, making New Jersey the 14th state to allow gay marriages along with the District of Columbia.
Christie's promised appeal has not yet been filed.

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Countdown Clock

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TRAILER: American Jesus

Opening this week at the Woodstock Film Festival.

Source.

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Queer History Month Starts Tomorrow

October is Queer History Month and the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History will launch an exhibit in Brooklyn on Saturday.
On the (Queer) Waterfront: Brooklyn Histories is a scatter-site-specific investigation of the queer histories of the beloved borough where the museum got its start. Through a series of performances, talks, community gatherings, and related events, it will explore the waterfronts and the stories they hold, starting new conversations about the queer history and contemporary life of Brooklyn.
There will be a launch party in DUMBO that day.

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SPOILER: Breaking Bad

Stay out of the comments if you've not yet seen last night's series finale for Breaking Bad. Otherwise dive in and dish.

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Quote Of The Day - Linda Harvey

"Former attorney general of Ohio Jim Petro and his wife have jumped on the 'gay marriage' bandwagon because their daughter Corbin got hitched, so the fantasy goes, to another woman in Massachusetts. He joins another prominent Ohio politician, U.S. Senator Ron Portman, in recently discovering human rights our forefathers missed. This propaganda, using children as guinea pigs, is the rotten fruit of same sex marriage as it has played out in Massachusetts and other parts of the liberal Northeast and West Coast and it may come to Ohio unless voters get wise. The daughters of future quasi-liberal politicians in Ohio and elsewhere will hear in school only one approved opinion, and it's not one that reveals the harmful truth about homosexual conduct, gender change chaos, and -- oh, yes -- prospective parenting options." - Linda Harvey, writing for American Thinker.

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Katy B - 5AM

She sounds a bit like Olive's Ruth-Ann Boyle.

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Fred Karger Vs Brian Brown

Brown elaborates on NOM's blog:
The story to which Karger is referring is indeed a testament to how religious liberty works - and Fred's being miffed about it is an ominous indication of what would happen to religious congregations such as this one, which have the right to hire and fire their own clergy personnel, if Karger and other same-sex 'marriage' activists had their way. No doubt he would rather see the government step in and deny this congregation its first amendment rights with respect to religion, and force them to keep employing a pastor who is at odds with the congregation's beliefs. But that kind of anti-religious tyranny, which is a part of the ideal same-sex marriage regime, is precisely what we here at NOM are working against - so this story (or rather, the backlash to it) serves as a useful cautionary tale. Thanks for the news tip, Fred!
Brown opened his response by calling Karger a "NOM obsessive, serial, frivolous case-filer."

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VIRGINIA: Lambda Legal & ALCU Ask For Swift Ruling In Marriage Equality Case

Today the ACLU and Lambda Legal asked for a summary judgment in their Virginia marriage equality case. Their suit is separate from the Virginia case joined today by AFER. Via press release:
"The papers we filed today ask the court to get to the heart of the matter," Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. "Barring same-sex couples from marriage is clearly unconstitutional. We do not want a country divided by unfairness and discrimination. Same-sex couples are in loving, committed relationships in every region of our nation and should be treated the same way, whether they live in Maine or Virginia." "Virginians denied the freedom to marry have no meaningful legislative path to gain the same protections for their families as other loving and committed couples," said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. "That's why we've had to ask the federal court to overturn Virginia's sweeping bans on recognizing same-sex relationships. We shouldn't have to go to federal court to get Virginia to do what's right."

On August 1, 2013 Lambda Legal, the ACLU, ACLU of Virginia, and Jenner and Block filed the lawsuit together as co-counsel in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The plaintiffs argue that through the Commonwealth's constitutional and statutory marriage bans and through Defendants' enforcement of them, the Commonwealth and Defendants send a purposeful message that they view lesbians, gay men, and their children as second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that heterosexuals and their families are able to enjoy through marriage. The plaintiffs in the case: Joanne Harris, 38, and Jessica Duff, 33, together since 2006, are from Staunton and have a four-year-old son, Jabari. Christy Berghoff, 34, and Victoria Kidd, 35, are from Winchester and have been together almost ten years. They have a ten-month-old daughter, Lydia.
RELATED: It's going to be a busy month for the good guys with important marriage action due in New Mexico, Hawaii, Michigan, and possibly Virginia.

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Mike Rogers Outs Sen. John Barrasso

Outing kingpin Mike Rogers, who has an unblemished record in these things, yesterday posted the above tweet about GOP Sen. John Barrasso, who has a 15% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. Rogers has not yet expounded on his claim. Barrasso, a former Wyoming state senator, was appointed to the US Senate in 2007 after the death of GOP Sen. Craig Thomas. The following year he won the special election to fill the remainder of Thomas' term and he was reelected last year with 76% of the vote. With three children from his first wife, Barrasso remarried in 2008 before the special election. (Ahem.) He vehemently opposes same-sex marriage and voted against the repeal of DADT. Last fall the Vote Smart project wrote: "John Barrasso refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders."

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NYC Opera Faces Bankruptcy

The New York City Opera's now-running production of Anna Nicole may be its last.
After the curtain falls following the last performance of “Anna Nicole” – an audacious chronicle of tabloid diva Anna Nicole Smith that opened the company’s 2013-14 season – the “People’s Opera” will have only a few days to raise millions of dollars. The 70-year-old company, which has faced financial challenges for a decade, will file for bankruptcy next week if it does not reach its fundraising goals. Earlier this month, the company began a Kickstarter campaign aimed at crowdfunding $1 million of the $7 million needed to carry out the rest of the season. The three remaining productions scheduled for 2013-14 are to be canceled if the goal is not met. To continue to 2014-15, an additional $13 million would be needed. “We have until Monday to raise the rest of the money we need to save our season and save the Company,” general director George Steel wrote in an email to supporters last night, with “Urgent Message” in the subject line. As of yesterday, $1.5 million had been raised, spokesman Risa Heller told the Associated Press.
The company left its longtime home at Lincoln Center two years ago and has since performed at venues around the city.

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Meet Virginia's Marriage Plaintiffs

Earlier today I posted about AFER joining their case.

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Michigan Marriage Case: October 16th

A federal judge will hear arguments to overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage on October 16th.
The challenge to Michigan's ban was in play before the Supreme Court spoke, but attorneys for a pair of Detroit-area nurses believe the decision helps their case. "If marriage is a fundamental right, then logic and emerging Supreme Court precedent dictate that the legitimacy of two adults' love for one another is the same in the eyes of the law regardless of sexual orientation," lawyers Carole Stanyar and Dana Nessel said in a recent filing. They represent April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who live with three adopted children in Hazel Park. They sued in 2012 because Michigan law bars them from jointly adopting each other's kids. At the suggestion of the judge, the case has become even more significant and includes a challenge to Michigan's ban on gay marriage. The state attorney general's office, defending voters' endorsement of the gay-marriage ban, said the Supreme Court has recognized that states have a right to define marriage.
The case is being opposed by the Michigan Catholic Conference. Of course.

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Facebook Graphic Of The Day

Source.

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VIRGINIA: AFER's Olson & Boies To Join Lawsuit For Marriage Equality

AFER's Ted Olson and David Boies, the team that brought marriage equality back to California, will today join the July lawsuit that seeks to overturn Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. The Washington Post reports:
The addition of Olson and Boies to a case in Norfolk willprobably bring more attention to the challenges to Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages. The state’s voters in 2006 amended the state constitution to ban such marriages, as well as civil unions, and to forbid recognition of unions performed elsewhere. Thirteen states, including Maryland, plus the District of Columbia, allow gay marriage. Olson said AFER was invited to join the case by attorneys for the plaintiffs, Norfolk residents Timothy Bostic and Tony London, whose marriage application was turned down, and Carol Schall and Mary Townley, who have a 15-year-old daughter and whose marriage in California is not recognized by the commonwealth.
More about the case:
The Norfolk complaint makes extensive use of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion that DOMA “places same-sex couples in an untenable position” and “humiliates” the children raised by such couples. The lawsuit compares the Virginia ban with Kennedy’s finding that “DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others.
Ted Olson: "Given what was said in DOMA [decision] and given the record we made in California and given what we’re going to establish in Virginia, we’re going to be able to persuade a majority of the court that this is the right thing."

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Pet Shop Boys - Thursday

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COLOMBIA: Judges Declare That Two Couples Are Married, Gov't To Appeal

Blabbeando's Andres Duque reports a development in Colombia's complicated journey towards marriage equality:
In a surprising statement released on Wednesday, Colombian attorney and long-time LGBT-rights advocate Germán Humerto Rincón Perfetti announced that a civil court judge had declared Julio Albeiro Cantor Borbón and William Alberto Castro Franco "united in civil matrimony" in a ceremony that took place on September 20th. Then today the leading national newspaper El Espectador announced in its front page that Elizabeth Castillo and Claudia Zea had joined them on Wednesday when a second civil court judge also granted them a marriage license. "I join you in a legitimate civil matrimony with all the prerogatives and rights that civil law grants you and the same obligations imposed by civil law," said the judge before the couple signed their marriage license. [snip]  Yesterday the Inspector General's office announced that it would fight to stop these marriages using a fast track appeal legal form called a "tutela". Lawyer Mauricio Albarracín argues that for a "tutela" to proceed the applicant has to prove these marriages violate a person's rights which Albarracín says will be impossible for Ordoñez to prove. The issue will probably head back to the upper courts in the future but as of this week Julio Albeiro Cantor Borbon is married to William Alberto Castro Franco and Claudia Zea is married to Elizabeth Castillo.
Hit the link for a detailed explanation of the situation.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Olympic Torch Is On The Move

One wonders if the Olympic torch relay might see some protests this time around. It sure seems like a good opportunity. ABC News reports on today's launch:
Using the sun's rays, the Olympic flame lighting for the Winter Games in Sochi went off without a hitch in southern Greece Sunday, ahead of its journey across Russia's nine time zones and even a trip to space before the Feb. 7-23 games. The ceremony was held with actresses dressed as ancient priestesses at the birthplace of the Greek games held in antiquity, with the flame lighting using a parabolic mirror. Actress Ino Menegaki, in the role of high priestess, called out to the ancient god of the sun, Apollo, before the flame was lit and passed to 18-year-old Greek alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou. NHL star Alex Ovechkin will be the first Russian involved in the torch relay. Newly elected International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach was present at the ceremony.
Russia Today has the route.

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Exorcism Of The Day

Clip recap: "Bob Larson and the Teenage Exorcists went to London recently, and encountered many demons of witchcraft. Beth had a curse going back 17 generations to Freemasonry. Watch as the Teenage Exorcists take over and tell the demon where to go!" Acting! The bit at 1:45 is especially funny.

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Cameron Flick Grosses $2M In One Night

Kirk Cameron's new movie asks (and presumably answers) why God kills the fuck out of millions of people every year even though he loves them so fucking much. Here's how things went when the movie debuted this week.
Kirk Cameron's latest independently financed faith-based film, Unstoppable -- which ran on 700 screens Tuesday as part of a one-night live event -- has grossed over $2 million from approximately 150,000 ticket sales, according to Rentrak. By comparison, the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal drama Prisoners pulled in $2.2 million on 3,260 screens in the same time frame. That makes Unstoppable the most successful event in the history of NCM Fathom Events, the Colorado-based entertainment company founded in 2002 that broadcasts live simulcasts of everything from Metropolitan Opera performances to Rolling Stones concerts to big-name boxing matches in movie theaters around the country.
Cameron's 2008 movie, Fireproof, grossed $34M after being made for a mere $500K. (Tipped by JMG reader George)

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Morning View - Cleveland MOCA

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Obamacare For Fox & Friends Dummies

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Facebook Graphic Of The Day

Source.

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And Here We Go Again

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One Million Moms Vs CBS

Via email:
"Dear Joe, If possible, try to imagine the worst possible characteristics a mother could have. Then multiply that by ten, and you have the entire plot to one of the new TV shows airing this fall. The premiere of "Mom" aired this week, and it was shocking. The character playing the mom and actress playing the part of her mother both set terrible examples and are the farthest from a positive role model for women today. Children will also see this program - which airs entirely too early for the content presented - and they will be effected negatively by this broken television family. Offensive content in the program included two teen pregnancies, an affair, sexual innuendos and crude language."

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ben Cohen's First Week On SCD

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Afternoon View - Cleveland Museum Of Art

The buildings on the right and left house the main exhibits. In the middle today local artists were selling prints of their work.

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Bertolli Zings Barilla

Unlike the Garafalo ad we saw yesterday, this one is real. Via AdWeek:
Barilla is struggling enough this week without its competitors piling on. But Bertolli doesn't care. Seizing on comments made by Barilla's chairman about how the company would never put gay couples in its advertising, Bertolli Germany quickly posted pro-gay imagery in its social feeds, happily taking advantage of its rival's misstep. "Love and pasta for all!" reads the caption on the Facebook photo above. "We just wanted to spread the news that Bertolli welcomes everyone, especially those with an empty stomach," a rep for Orca im Hafen, Bertolli's social-media agency in Germany, tells AdFreak.
(Tipped by JMG reader Larry)

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Maher: Ted Cruz Has Twerked America

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Headline Of The Day

Details. (Tipped by JMG reader Paul)

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Morning View - Cleveland Gear

The Positively Cleveland folks have had us on the go-go-go since the minute we arrived. Hopefully I'll have time later today to recap some of the Gay Games items that we've learned. Tonight they have us finishing our evening at a club called Bounce. We'll be there by around 10pm, so I hope to see some JMG folks there. Join us!

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Serbian Gov't Bans Belgrade Pride, Activists March On PM's Office

For the third year in a row, yesterday the Serbian government banned Belgrade Pride, citing security concerns over threats of violence by neo-Nazi groups who battled hundreds of riot police at Belgrade Pride 2010. After Prime Minister Ivica Dacic announced the ban on state television, activists marched on his office.
"After a long discussion on whether the march would pass without severe consequences, the security assessments indicated severe threats to public safety," Dacic said after a three-hour meeting with security chiefs. "This is not a capitulation to the hooligans," he said. But as night fell, around 200 gay activists waving rainbow flags and banners that read "This is Pride" gathered outside Dacic's government office before walking to parliament flanked by riot police. They chanted "This is Serbia" and "We have pride". "Tonight we exercised our right to gather peacefully, and I don't believe we bothered anyone in Serbia," said Goran Miletic, a human rights activist and the organizer of the gay pride march.

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Quote Of The Day - Guido Barilla

"Yesterday I apologized for offending many people around the world. Today I am repeating that apology. Through my entire life I have always respected every person I've met, including gays and their families, without any distinction. I've never discriminated against anyone. I have heard the countless reactions around the world to my words, which have depressed and saddened me. It is clear that I have a lot to learn about the lively debate concerning the evolution of the family. In the coming weeks, I pledge to meet representatives of the group that best represent the evolution of the family, including those who have been offended by my words." - Guido Barilla, in a video message posted yesterday to the company's Facebook page.

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Crazy Eyes Vs Wolf Blitzer

Meditate recaps:
The argument became animated over a variety of assertions Bachmann made, at one point prompting Blitzer to insist that what she asserted was flatly “not true.” Blitzer began by asking Bachmann to explain her assertion that the ACA will result in the deaths of women, seniors and children. “That’s the greatest fear that Americans have,” Bachmann explained. “It’ll be very unpleasant if the death panels go into effect – that’s the IPAB board. If we have denial of care for women, children, senior citizens, or if we have problems where people aren’t given the drugs that they need – maybe they’ll be denied drugs for breast cancer – you bet this can happen.” “But millions and millions of Americans will now have health insurance,” Blitzer said.
Lies right to his face and keeps talking.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

It's Over Everywhere But Teabagistan

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Brian Brown Has The New Jersey Sadz

"This is another outrageous example of judicial activism. An activist judge has overreached her authority and chosen to impose same-sex ‘marriage’ on the entire state of New Jersey. Judge Jacobson has trampled on the right of the people of New Jersey to define marriage, a right that the Supreme Court has upheld in the very case she misuses to redefine marriage. This is a gross abuse of power that cannot be allowed to stand. We urge Governor Chris Christie to appeal this lower court ruling immediately. It’s essential that a single lower court judge not be allowed to impose her own views of marriage on the entire state." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, in a statement posted to NOM's blog.

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ExxonMobil To Offer Same-Sex Benefits

ExxonMobil, long one of the largest corporate holdouts on LGBT equality, today announced that it will extend spousal benefits to gay employees.
The company says it will recognize "all legal marriages" when it determines eligibility for health care plans for the company's 77,000 employees and retirees in the U.S. That means if a gay employee has been married in a state or country where gay marriage is legal, his or her spouse will be eligible for benefits with Exxon in the U.S. as of Oct. 1. Exxon, which is facing a same-sex discrimination complaint in Illinois, said it was following the lead of the U.S. government. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which had allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states. In recent months, federal agencies have begun to offer benefits to legally-married same sex couples. "We haven't changed our eligibility criteria. It has always been to follow the federal definition and it will continue to follow the federal definition," said Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers in an interview.
Freedom To Work reacts via press release:
"Today is a victory for the freedom to work. After years of stubbornly refusing, we commend Exxon for joining the majority of the Fortune 500 business leaders that already treat gay and lesbian married couples equally under employee benefit plans," said Tico Almeida, founder and president of the LGBT organization Freedom to Work. "It's a shame Exxon waited until after the Labor Department issued official guidance explaining that their old policy does not comply with American law, and now it's time to move forward."

"We'd like to begin settlement talks next week in our Illinois lawsuit stemming from evidence that Exxon gave hiring preference to a less qualified straight applicant over a more qualified lesbian applicant," added Almeida. "It's time for Exxon to stop wasting its shareholders' money by running up legal bills on discrimination proceedings that can be settled right away if the corporation would simply add LGBT protections to Exxon's official equal employment opportunity document."
The Human Rights Campaign notes that the company still does not include LGBT employees in its official non-discrimination policies.
Granting health benefits to all married couples is a step toward equality but it is certainly not the kind of leadership exhibited by ExxonMobil’s competitors,” said Deena Fidas, director of the HRC Workplace Equality Program. “There is no federal law protecting employees from discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity and ExxonMobil refuses to join the majority of their Fortune 500 colleagues in adopting their own such policies. One has to wonder, what good are benefits for your same-sex spouse if you risk being fired for disclosing your sexual orientation in order to access them?”

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Tweet Of The Day - Evan Wolfson

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New Jersey Ruling Reactions

ACLU-New Jersey
This is a great day for all of New Jersey. The court has recognized the love and commitment that same-sex couples share is no different from anyone else’s,” said Udi Ofer, executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act made it clear that civil unions discriminate against same-sex New Jersey couples. Today’s decision leaves no doubt that only the freedom to marry provides the equality that same-sex families deserve. We encourage the state to respect the court’s decision and to not further prolong the inequality suffered by New Jersey families. The ACLU-NJ will continue to work with our allies across the state to encourage the legislature to bring full equality to New Jersey as soon as possible."
Human Rights Campaign
“Civil unions are separate and unequal, particularly in light of this year’s historic Supreme Court term,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin. “There are no rational arguments why couples in New Jersey should be relegated to second class status. State officials should not appeal this sound decision and no longer stand in the way of loving couples being able to make a lifelong commitment with full state and federal recognition.” HRC offers our congratulations to Garden State Equality, the plaintiffs in the case, as well as Lambda Legal representing them in court.
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
This is a significant victory for same sex couples in New Jersey. The state's motto is 'Liberty and Prosperity'. Now lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples will get the chance to experience the ideas behind the motto through the freedom to marry. We applaud Garden State Equality, New Jersey United for Marriage, ACLU and Lambda Legal on today’s victory. We’ll celebrate today, and tomorrow we will continue the hard work of changing legislator’s hearts and minds until the freedom to marry is guaranteed for all New Jerseyans.

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NEW JERSEY: Superior Court Judge Rules That Same-Sex Marriages Are Legal

In a ruling that Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to appeal, a New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled this afternoon that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson sided almost entirely with a group of same-sex couples and gay rights groups who sued the state in July, days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key parts of a law that blocked the federal government from granting benefits to gay couples. Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican in the midst of a re-election campaign and a possible presidential contender, said through a spokesman Friday that he plans to appeal the decision, which he believes should be determined by a popular vote rather than a court.

Jacobson made the ruling effective Oct. 21, giving Christie time to appeal and likely ask a court to delay implementation of her order. "Gov. Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day," spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement Friday. "Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination."
Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal react:
"We've won a great ruling today, and there is no turning back," said Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. "Garden State Equality was proud to help initiate this historic case. We have long been leading the charge for equality, and we will continue to pursue every avenue to make sure New Jersey's same-sex couples enjoy the dignity of marriage as quickly as possible."

"Eleven years ago, when we asked Lambda Legal to work on our behalf, we were prepared for a long, hard road for our family and for other same-sex couples and their kids," said Cindy Meneghin, plaintiff in the lawsuit along with her high school sweetheart, Maureen Kilian, and their two children. "The U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA was historic for the nation but out of reach for us here in New Jersey. Today, with this ruling, the full benefits of that historic Supreme Court decision are within our reach, and we couldn’t be happier."

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Gays Are Bullying Barilla

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Hope Poster Creator Turns On Obama

Shepard Fairey, the creator of the iconic poster that came to represent the 2008 Obama campaign, has turned on the president, much to the delight of right wing sites.
A camera crew from TMZ asked Shepard Fairey if he’d use the same word underneath his portrait of then-Sen. Obama, given his track record as president. The 43-year-old Fairey paused for a moment as he and a companion got into a waiting vehicle. “I’d put a few different ones,” Shepard said, adding that some of them may not be fit for print. Then he turned back around to face the crew, thinking of an idea. “How about drones?” Fairey said.
TMZ's report is being gleefully mentioned on World Net Daily, etc.

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"Coach Dave" Defends Westboro Baptist

"What if God told Fred Phelps that he hates fags? Who are WE to judge?"

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Athlete Ally Slams IOC

"When given the choice to stand up and affirm Principle 6 of the Olympic charter, the IOC simply backed down. And so we now head into uncharted territory in Sochi, a place where LGBT people - and others trying to support them - will be subject to persecution because of these heinous laws passed after Sochi was named the host city. Ultimately, enduring this travesty may be the great legacy of the 2014 Games because the complete disconnect between the gay propaganda laws and the Olympic charter is galvanizing people to join together. And together, we can change a sports culture, which is apparently not only rife with homophobia, but in need of a serious priority check. Standing up for equality is always the right thing to do." - Hudson Taylor, founder of Athlete Ally, via press release.

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Headline Of The Day

Details.

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White House Explains Obamacare

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WNBA Ref: Technical Foul For Kissing

USA Today reports:
Well, this is new. Diana Taurasi and Seimone Augustus were defending each other during Thursday night’s WNBA conference finals game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Phoenix Mercury. As the commentators note, Taurasi and Augustus have known each other for a very long time and there is genuine affection to complement the competition. Apparently, that affection crossed the line for the referee Thursday night. Both players were called for fouls after squaring up and then pecking each other on the cheek.
USA Today calls the foul excessive, noting that male players often give each other affectionate pats on the butt.

(Tipped by JMG reader Justin)

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"Ex-Gay Awareness Dinner" Rejects Reporter From Right Wing Watch

Right Wing Watch reporter Peter Montgomery registered to attend PFOX's "First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month Dinner and Reception," which is being held at a super-secret location. Because, you know, oppression. Anyway, PFOX sent Montgomery his money back even though he told them that he merely intended to observe and not disrupt. Here's what he noticed on the registration form:
Code of Conduct -- PFOX requires attendees to sign and adhere to certain standards of conduct, and is not responsible for the individual conduct of attendees. We reserve the right to refuse any person to register or attend for any or no reason at our sole discretion, and disruptive conduct will be grounds for removal without a refund. Attendee agrees to uphold the principals [sic] and beliefs of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays -- that we support the ex-gay community, ex-gay rights, and providing hope to those with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion that change is possible. No cell phones, recording devices or photos may be used or taken during the event. I agree to the above conditions.
Crackpots Harry Jackson and Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) will be presenting at the dinner. No photos! By the way, we would love it if an intrepid JMG reader somehow gained entry to this event. Make sure to dress very self-loathing if you manage to get a ticket.

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Can A Penis Unlock An iPhone?

If it can be done with a cat's paw and with a human nipple, why not see if it works with a penis? According to Manhunt, it does. All the usual "hey, this link might get you fired" warnings apply. Especially for the video. And the animated gif.

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Wingnut Backscratching In Louisiana

Earlier this week I reported that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had appointed hate group leader Tony Perkins to the state Law Enforcement Commission. The SPLC has more on the Perkins-Jindal relationship.
Jindal named Perkins to the Louisiana Commission on Marriage and Family in 2008, supposedly on the basis of “expertise in community programs and assistance.” The Commission on Marriage and Family website provides meeting minutes for the past three years. Perkins is listed as absent for seven out of seven meetings. Since Perkins has a day job in Washington, D.C., and is apparently unable to attend those meetings, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be any better about attending the Commission on Law Enforcement meetings. But Jindal appointed him, and Perkins accepted, because they both have something to gain. Jindal dreams of running for national office, and he wants support from and access to religious-right primary voters. That’s why he’s scheduled to speak, as he’s done in the past, at the FRC-sponsored Values Voter Summit in D.C. next month. Perkins, on the other hand, dreams of running for office again in Louisiana, and he’s been floated recently as a possible challenger to Sen. Mary Landrieu. He maintains residency in Baton Rouge despite apparently spending most of his time in D.C. The commission seats give him an opportunity to pad his resume and keep his name in circulation back home.
The above-linked article goes on to describe Perkins' history with the Ku Klux Klan and a Louisiana white supremacists group, which I've mentioned here many times. Read it again anyway.

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FRC Prays Against Obamacare Vote

From the FRC's Prayer Team:
Help Lord! Give the American people the knowledge, inspiration and determination to urge the demise of Obamacare. May Americans make the Senate phone lines ring off-the-hook from now until Obamacare is defunded. Please change the hearts and minds of those who are intimidated, afraid to take a stand for what is right or who are simply deceived. May they fear God and not man! (Ex 3:7-9; 1 Sam 17:26,42-51; 2 Kg 13:14-19; Ps 20:7; 56:11; 144:1-2; Ec 12:13; Is 1:18; 28:9-18; Hos 4:6; Joel 3:9-10).

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CO High School Lip-Dubs Katy Perry

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Wendy Davis To Run For Texas Governor

Next week Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, who catapulted to national fame for her marathon filibuster of an anti-abortion bill, will formally announce to her bid to run for governor.
Ms. Davis’s decision has the potential to turn the race to determine Gov. Rick Perry’s successor into a rare competitive showdown between long-suffering Texas Democrats and the Republican conservatives who have ruled state politics for decades. She would enter the race as a substantial underdog, but her candidacy would represent the most serious challenge to the Republican lock on the office. Two Republicans, Mr. Perry and George W. Bush, have held the office since the party began its winning streak in governor’s races in 1994, with Mr. Bush’s victory over the incumbent, Ann W. Richards.
Yesterday Davis tweeted: "A week from today, I’m announcing something big. Can you chip in now to show the strength of our grassroots network?"

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