Saturday, September 07, 2013

Tokyo To Host 2020 Olympics

Beating out fellow finalists Madrid and Istanbul, the IOC today announced that Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Tokyo's bid came in at $5 billion to $6 billion, compared to $19 billion pledged by Istanbul, said Ed Hula, editor and founder of, which covers the business and politics of the Olympic movement. But Tokyo's government has already amassed a $4.9 billion Olympic fund to pay to prepare for the Games, Hula said. And a $1 billion national stadium that will be used for the athletic events and the Opening Ceremonies will already have been built for the rugby World Cup in 2017 and is not considered an Olympic expense. Turkey would have been the first Muslim country to host the Games, and with a median age of less than 30 years, one of the youngest. However, it missed out for the fifth time.

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Tweet Of The Day - Ben Cohen

Cohen debuts tonight on Britain's Strictly Come Dancing. (Via Towleroad)

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At Jose Sarria's Funeral

The funeral for Jose Julio Sarria, also known as the Widow Norton, was held yesterday at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.  Sarria, who was the first openly gay person to ever run for public office in the United States, left instructions for his service:
Female titleholders from his Imperial Court -- the gay organization and charity he started in 1965 -- are requested to wear "black/dark full length (understated) mourning attire, crowns, shoulder length veils covering both crowns and one’s face" along with "black gloves (opera length if wearing short sleeves)." Males titleholders are "respectfully requested to wear dark suits, crowns and white gloves."
More photos from yesterday's service can be found at the Facebook page of photographer Steven Underhill. Sarria was buried in a plot next to Joshua Norton, the eccentric 19th century miner who declared himself Emperor of San Francisco. (Tipped by JMG reader Eric)

UPDATE: JMG reader Steve points out that the San Francisco Chronicle has posted photos too.

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Steve Grand - Stay

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NEW MEXICO: State Supreme Court Sets Date For Marriage Equality Hearing

Late yesterday afternoon New Mexico's state Supreme Court agreed to decide on marriage equality in a hearing to begin next month.
Stepping into an intensifying debate over same-sex marriage in a state where such unions are neither expressly recognized nor prohibited by law, the high court set a hearing for Oct. 23 to consider a request from all 33 counties statewide to settle the matter. All five of the justices concurred in ordering a review of the case without comment. The justices had previously declined to intervene on the issue, saying they would leave it to the lower courts to rule on lawsuits being filed in different counties. Separately, several Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit challenging a Dona Ana County clerk who began voluntarily handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples last month. Several counties have done likewise since then, some on their own and some under court order. Both sides in the debate welcomed the intervention of the Supreme Court.
It's unclear what impact yesterday's decision might have on the lawsuit filed against Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins, who earlier yesterday asked the public for donations to help in his defense.

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HAWAII: Decision On Special Legislative Session On Marriage To Come Soon

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AUSTRALIA: Anti-Marriage Conservative Tony Abbott Elected Prime Minister

The same-sex marriage movement suffered a blow in Australia today when Tony Abbott was elected prime minister in a vote that news outlets are calling "decisive" and  "a landslide."
Abbott, a former boxer, Rhodes scholar and trainee priest, promised to restore political stability, cut taxes and crack down on asylum seekers arriving by boat. But it was frustration with Labor's leadership turmoil that cost the government dearly at the polls. Labor dumped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010, for Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard, only to reinstate Rudd as leader in June 2013 in a desperate bid to stay in power. "This was an election that was lost by the government more than one that was won by the opposition," former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke told Sky News. Election officials said with about 65 percent of the vote counted, Abbott's Liberal-National Party coalition had won around 54 percent of the national vote, and projected it would win at least 77 seats in the 150-seat parliament.
Sitting Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had promised to introduce marriage equality legislation within 100 days of his new term.

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Friday, September 06, 2013

Obama Tonight On Facebook & Twitter

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About That Air Force Sergeant...

For about a month all of Teabagistan has been up in arms about an Air Force sergeant who claims that his lesbian commander relieved him of duty because he "didn't agree with her position on gay marriage." Today retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who now works for the Family Research Council, sent out an update via press release:
Today, I learned that the Air Force chain of command at Lackland Air Force Base (San Antonio, TX) has read Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk his Miranda rights. This is a serious matter. When a member of the armed forces is Mirandized it is a strong indication that those officials believe there has been a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

As you may recall, Sgt. Monk was relieved of his duties on June 25th when he refused to agree with his openly lesbian commanding officer, Maj. Elisa Valenzuela, that a subordinate's expression of opposition to same-sex marriage constituted discrimination. Later, on August 20th Sgt. Monk filed a petition for redress with Valenzuela under the UCMJ (Article 138).

As I understand it, Sgt Monk is now under investigation for making false official statements (UCMJ 107) for stating publicly and to the press that he believed he was being discriminated against due to his Christian beliefs. These are not even official statements, friends. These are trumped up charges. This investigation is nothing more than intimidation. The Air Force is telling Christian service members that if you are a target of religious discrimination, you must remain silent about it or risk court martial.
We're guessing that there's a lot more to this story than Boykin is telling us.

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Sarah Palin Goes Bear Hunting

Sarah and Todd Palin are posting to her Facebook page from a bear hunt in Alaska, where Sarah is sporting the latest from the Lady Combat Survival line at Wasilla Guns & Ammo.

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Southern Baptist Convention Bars Military Chaplains From Performing Gay Weddings

Via the Sacramento Bee:
The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, has barred members from taking part in weddings, counseling sessions and couples retreats for same-sex couples. The North American Mission Board, an arm of the Nashville, Tenn.-based SBC, also prohibits chaplains from participating in any services that would appear to endorse or accept same-sex unions. The group issued the decision in the wake of the U.S. Department of Defense recognizing same-sex marriages and extending benefits to gay spouses.

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Pravda: Putin Invites Gays To The Kremlin

Emboldened by the ban on "homosexual propaganda," Russian neo-Nazis are entrapping, brutalizing, and even murdering gay teens. But Russia's official news agency claims that Vladimir Putin says that "homosexuality is not considered a shameful stain in Russia." Pravda adds that Putin welcomes any LGBT leaders to come see him personally at the Kremlin to voice their concerns.

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Kenneth Cole On Syria

Cole has released a follow-up Instagram clip defending his tweet.

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NEW MEXICO: Dona Ana County Clerk Requests Donations To Defend Marriage Suit Brought By GOP Lawmakers

New Mexico's Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins is asking for donations to help defend the lawsuit brought against him by state GOP lawmakers.  Ellins was the state's first county clerk to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses and since he tipped that first domino, seven other county clerks have joined in, bringing marriage equality to a slight majority of New Mexico's citizens. The "Sharer" mentioned in the above graphic is GOP state Sen. William Sharer, who last week said that gay men should "stop whoring around and marry a woman."  From the above-linked donation site:
For months leading up to his decision, Mr. Ellins and a close circle of confidants conferred with a legal team to make sure that if the decision to issue licenses were challenged, a quick and effective defense could be mounted. Before the first license was issued on Aug. 21, more than $10,000 in legal fees already had been incurred.

Mr. Ellins is mindful that not all of his constituents agree with the principal or the ideology behind his decision, and he has stated his intention not to spend taxpayer funds defending his decision to issue licenses. Legal action has now been filed and legal costs will begin to climb rapidly.

We're asking you to support Mr. Ellins and his daring leadership by making a donation to help cover legal costs already incurred, as well as legal costs that may be lurking in the near future. In the event that we receive more contributions than we need to cover the actual costs, we'll donate the excess to an organization that will continue the fight for equal rights for all New Mexicans in every sense of the word.
I'm kicking in $20 with an added quote from Ellins himself: "Let me put it this way, some people have balls, some people don’t, alright?"

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Freep This AFA Poll

The right answer is "ignore them." (Tipped by JMG reader Alan)

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PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Hires Outside Attorney To Fight Marriage Lawsuit

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has hired an outside attorney to defend against the marriage equality lawsuit brought in July. Because state Attorney General Kathleen Kane won't do it.
William Lamb, a Republican and founding partner of the West Chester-based firm Lamb McErlane, is one of the most prominent figures in that Pennsylvania legal community having served on the state Supreme Court and as district attorney for Chester County. Corbett's general counsel James Schultz said the "unique circumstances" of this case compelled the Office of General Counsel to retain expert assistance in this case. “The Office of General Counsel provides comprehensive legal services to numerous state agencies and executives, but we do not typically defend cases that solely challenge the constitutionality of a statute,” Schultz said. “Who better than a former Supreme Court Justice and his firm to assist in addressing this type of fundamental question?”
Lamb will earn $400/hour and members of his team will bill the state $325/hour each.

RELATED: The GOP ended up paying $3M (in federal money) to an outside firm to defend against Edith Windsor's successful lawsuit to overturn DOMA.

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Bill O'Reilly Backs Obama On Syria

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RUSSIA: President Obama Meets With LGBT Activists In St. Petersburg

The Washington Times reports:
President Obama told Russian gay rights leaders and other activists Friday that fighting for social justice helped him to get elected president. “I got my start as a community organizer,” Mr. Obama said during a meeting with activists in St. Petersburg, Russia. “I got elected president by engaging people at a grassroots level.” Mr. Obama, who has criticized Russia’s new anti-gay laws that outlaw “homosexual propaganda,” met with the director of a Russian LGBT network and others at the conclusion of the G-20 summit. He said the work of such activists is “critically important” to an open society.“I’m very proud of their work,” Mr. Obama said. “Part of good government is making sure we’re creating a space for civil society."
A spokesman for Russia's Human Rights First called today's meeting a "terrific first step."

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Pat Robertson Threatens To Sue Filmmakers Over African Charity Expose

Pat Robertson's Operation Blessings "charity" is threatening to sue the filmmakers behind Mission Congo, a documentary which claims that the charity scammed millions intended for African relief.
In an email Thursday, Chris Roslan, a spokesman for Operation Blessing, said allegations in the production company’s film promotion and the listing in the film festival website were false and defamatory and, “We are considering legal action.” After an order by the attorney general, the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs investigated Operation Blessing in the 1990s and accused the charity of “misrepresenting what its flights were doing.” No prosecution took place. Robertson has consistently denied the accusation of misusing donations and claimed that Virginia authorities’ failure to prosecute effectively cleared him of any wrongdoing.
(Via Right Wing Watch)

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Global Coalition Of Anti-Gay Hate Groups Endorse Russia's "Propaganda" Ban

From a letter signed by over 100 anti-gay and religious (mostly Catholic) groups from around the world:
The signing entities below are highly concerned about the heavy attacks that the Russian Federation is facing due to its recent Federal Law of June 29, 2013 No. 135-FZ “On Amendments to Article 5 of the Federal Law On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development ...” that protects innocence and moral formation of children by prohibiting propaganda of "non-traditional sexual relationships" among them.

We affirm that the natural family created through the marriage of a man and a woman is the foundation of any human society and is entitled to protection by society and the State as stated in the international Human Rights norm s, including Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 16 (3). Any harmful initiative for the natural family is destructive for the society as a whole. We also affirm that the children need special protection due to their innocence and immaturity.
The letter is being heralded across Teabagistan today as being from "over 100 human rights groups." Seriously. Among the American signees is the virulently anti-gay hate group Mission America, home to Linda Harvey.

UPDATE: Surprise, surprise. European Dignity Watch is actually the work of American wingnuts and is connected to the Heritage Foundation, which is now headed by former GOP Sen. Jim DeMint.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Union Organizers Stage Flash Mob At Raleigh Walmart

Their Facebook page is here.

(Tipped by JMG reader Brendon)

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HAWAII: Democratic Legislators To Meet With Gov On Special Marriage Session

Democratic legislators will today meet with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to strategize on calling a special session to vote on marriage equality.
A spokeswoman for the House of Representatives said Thursday the meeting is to be held at the state Capitol.  The meeting comes more than a week after Abercrombie released an 18-page draft of legislation that would allow marriage licenses to be issued starting Oct. 3 and ceremonies to begin Nov. 1. Also Thursday, several dozen Hawaii businesses endorsed the legislation, including Waikiki hotel operator Aqua Hotels & Resorts and several wedding-related businesses. The businesses aligned themselves with Hawaii United for Marriage, a group advocating a special session.
Hawaii United For Marriage wrote yesterday on their website:
If Governor Abercrombie calls a special session tomorrow, Hawaii lawmakers could vote on the marriage bill in the coming days. And if he doesn’t, our efforts to secure the freedom to marry may be delayed for months, and possibly until 2014. We told you yesterday that our lawmakers are being bombarded with messages from our opponents, urging them to block a special session — and they haven’t backed down. A delay is exactly what they want, which is why they’re ramping up like never before to stop a special session from happening. No matter what happens tomorrow, we won’t back down until we fulfill the promise of aloha for all of Hawaii’s families. We are determined — and I know you are too.
Hawaii is eight hours behind New York, so we may not know the result of today's meeting until quite late tonight.

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Tweet Of The Day - Wall Street Journal


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AUSTRALIA: Pastor Calls For Day Of Fasting Against Reelection Of Kevin Rudd

On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd drew international headlines for his smack-down of a local pastor and Christian radio host who attacked him during a public forum for Rudd's support of same-sex marriage. Today that pastor, Matt Prater, who heads up some outfit called the Billion Souls Revival Prayer Team, is calling for a national day of fasting and prayer against Rudd's reelection.  Prater's group is piggy-backing its campaign on Pope Francis' call for prayer about the situation in Syria. 
"We have a Prime Minister who has promised that if he is re-elected he will introduce 'homosexual marriage' within 100 days of being in office. Just as violence leads to more violence, so immorality begets more immorality. 'Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.' Australia has a strong Christian heritage as a nation so we ask that as you pray for peace in Syria, you also pray for revival and reformation for Australia. The Prince of Peace has all the answers for Syria and all the nations of the world. To God be the glory."
Australia's election is tomorrow.

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Brian Brown Has The Ginsburg Sadz

"Justice Ginsburg is obviously clueless when it comes to understanding the true nature of marriage. And that is terribly scary since she's one of the nine most important people in America when it comes to preserving the future of this great institution. Like so many who wish to redefine marriage, Ginsburg utterly fails to appreciate this deep, nature-inspired institution that connects men and women to each other and to any children born of their union. She's minimized and reduced marriage to simply government recognition of relationships as a tool to provide for adult satisfaction. This skewed — frankly, clueless — view of the nature of marriage held by Justice Ginsburg is what is at the root of what we are fighting against. And fight we must." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, in his sixteenth consecutive case of the sadz, this time because Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg officiated at a same-sex wedding last weekend.

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Spoof Ad For Christine Quinn

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NYC's Subway Kittens Have Been Adopted

The two kittens who became an issue in New York City's mayoral race have been adopted one week after the MTA shut down two subway lines in Brooklyn as they darted around the third rail. The Village Voice reports on their new home:
Luckily, we still live in Bloomberg's New York, a place where subway kittens can dream of one day growing up to become residents of a palatial Bushwick pad like the one where Arthur and August now live--complete with a towering cardboard box fort, a homemade scratching post, and all the Cinnamon Toast Crunch a cat could ever want. The sweet digs were built by Steven Liu, skilled scratch-post craftsman and occasional scratch-post himself. Liu built a cat playroom in his basement of his duplex, where he now takes in shelter cats. Arthur and August are currently sharing the place with two other kittens, Alice and Ralph. Liu catalogs the comings and goings of all the kittens and cats he fosters on his Tumblr, Scratch Pad.
The kittens' new owner is blogging about them here.

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Cops Arrest Driver Who Posted "World Record" Lap Around Manhattan Video

A week ago a YouTube user with the name Afroduck posted the below video in which its author claimed to have set the world record for completing the 26-mile drive around Manhattan in 24 minutes. (Parts of the roads that ring the outer edge of the island are limited-access highways, but some of the distance is on surface streets with traffic lights.) The video drew over 300K views and the ire of NYPD chief Ray Kelly, who vowed to find Afroduck.  Yesterday, he was arrested.
Christopher Tang, 30, was arrested after posting a video on YouTube Aug. 28 showing his wild joyride as he raced around Manhattan in 24 minutes. He was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, speed violation and traffic device violation, among other offenses. Cops also took away the 2006 BMW model Z4 — with a maximum speed of 155 mph — that the racing madman used for his stunt. The nut mounted a camera on his dashboard, which chronicled his 26.5-mile journey from the FDR Drive at E. 116th St. to Battery Park, and back up West St. until he reached his starting point again.

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Christian Radio Host Kevin Swanson: Tell Gay Couples To Die On Their Wedding Day

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Zimmerman's Wife Files For Divorce

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Vatican Recalls Official Envoy Over Molestation Rumors

The Vatican has abruptly recalled Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, its official envoy to the Dominican Republic, in the midst of child molestation rumors about Wesolowski and another priest. The Associated Press reports:
Wesolowski's sudden departure from the Dominican Republic in recent days has been the cause of feverish speculation in local media. Dominican television network NCDN, citing a statement from the director of a community group, reported that Wesolowski had slept in the same room as several altar boys at his beach house. Shortly before his removal, several residents of the mountain town of Juncalito made allegations of sexual abuse against the Rev. Alberto Gil Wojciech, also a Polish priest and a friend of Wesolowski. The community leader, Pedro Espinal, told reporters that Wojciech took altar boys to the home of Wesolowski.
RELATED: In July, the Dominican Republic's Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez called openly gay US ambassador nominee Wally Brewster a "faggot" during a press conference. A week later local Catholics staged a protest against Brewster by dressing in black and putting black ribbons on their cars.

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TRAILER: Robocop

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AFA Claims Victory Over Home Depot

"I'm glad to report to you that we are suspending the boycott of Home Depot. After monitoring the company for several months, AFA is satisfied the company has withdrawn its major financial contributions to gay activist groups and events. I truly believe this is a direct result of your willingness to become involved. In fact, more than 750,000 people signed the Boycott Home Depot Pledge. Although Home Depot has made changes, we will continue to monitor their behavior. We suspect Home Depot will publicly deny having made changes, but their actions speak louder than words. Your AFA will continue to challenge major U.S. companies to remain neutral in the culture wars rather than to use their resources to promote anti-family issues. Thank you for standing with us. Our efforts are making a difference!" - American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, claiming victory despite the fact that Home Depot's stock value has more than tripled since the start of their boycott and that they'll "publicly deny" today's claim. I'll reach out to the company today and ask about this.

UPDATE: Zack Ford at Think Progress beat me to it and already has a statement from Home Depot:
"We haven’t made any changes to our policies for inclusion and respect of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. We have not directed our associates to discontinue participation in Pride or other community events, and have no intention of doing so."
I've got a call in to Home Depot's media liaison and will update this post again if I get a response.

UPDATE II: I just got a call from Home Depot's communications director, who didn't have much more to offer than the above statement, but he was very friendly and direct in confirming what was said to Think Progress. I thanked him for company's continuing support of our community.

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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Katy Perry - Roar

Katy Perry today ended Robin Thicke's twelve-week run at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 with this track, her eighth number one pop single in only five years.  It's a bit odd that the production video hasn't come out until the single had already peaked.

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Limbaugh Has Written A Children's Book

Rush Limbaugh has written a children's book that he says will correct the American history being taught in public schools by godless communists. Via World Net Daily:
Called “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans,” the book is designed for young people, but Limbaugh stressed it will appeal to patriotic Americans of all ages. “For twenty years, people have been urging me to write a new book,” Rush Limbaugh said at the top of his radio show on Thursday afternoon. The book tells the story of the radio host’s alter ego, a middle-school history teacher named Rush Revere, who travels back in time and experiences American history as it happens, in adventures with exceptional Americans. In this book, he is transported back in time, with his talking horse “Liberty,” to the deck of the Mayflower. Limbaugh’s “True Story of Thanksgiving” has been a long time annual staple on his radio show; “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims” will expand on that stirring tale.
So what's the "true story of the Pilgrims"?

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LIVE VIDEO: San Antonio City Council Debates Ordinance For LGBT Protections
UPDATE: The Ordinance Has PASSED 8-3!

Watch the live video here. The public is commenting now. The most recent speaker at this writing brought up the subject of "anus sex."  Here's another video link.

UPDATE: The City Council has adjourned for lunch and the vote will presumably come immediately after today's session resumes at 1PM local time. (2PM Eastern.)

UPDATE II: I'm moving this post back to the top as the City Council is about to reconvene. Click the video link and stand by...

UPDATE III: The ordinance has PASSED by a vote of 8-3!
It's worth noting that San Antonio is the nation's seventh largest city by population.

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PHILADELPHIA: Nation's Oldest LGBT Bookstore, Giovanni's Room, Is For Sale

Philadelphia's Giovanni's Room, the nation's oldest LGBT bookstore, is for sale.
Ed Hermance, 73, has owned the independently run LGBT bookstore, nestled on the corner of Pine and 12th streets, since 1976. The Powelton resident plans to step down this winter and is exploring options for keeping the business running under a new owner, but will have to sell to a different buyer if there is not sufficient support for continuing Giovanni’s Room. “I know it’s possible for independent bookstores to thrive in the current environment. I don’t know if someone has the resources and the passion to continue the store,” he said. “If someone wanted to rent the space for a different kind of bookstore and no one wanted to continue Giovanni’s Room, I’d be pleased to rent it to them, thinking that it would be in their interest to help all the people who have depended on us.”
(Tipped by JMG reader Ed)

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Christians Are Victims Of DADT!!!

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CLAIM: Pat Robertson Scammed Millions Of Dollars Through African Charity

From the Guardian:
Mission Congo, by David Turner and Lara Zizic, opens at the Toronto film festival on Friday. It describes how claims about the scale of aid to Rwandan refugees were among a number of exaggerated or false assertions about the activities of Operation Blessing which pulls in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in donations, much of it through Robertson's televangelism. They include characterising a failed large-scale farming project as a huge success, and claims about providing schools and other infrastructure.

But some of the most damaging criticism of Robertson comes from former aid workers at Operation Blessing, who describe how mercy flights to save refugees were diverted hundreds of miles from the crisis to deliver equipment to a diamond mining concession run by the televangelist. Throughout the Rwandan refugee crisis, when more than 1 million people fled into neighbouring Zaire and started dying en masse of cholera, Robertson told his viewers that Operation Blessing was at the forefront of saving lives.
Read the full story. (Tipped by JMG reader Joel)

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Burning Man's Church Trap


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Sen. Bernie Sanders On Syria

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Evan Wolfson Endorses Christine Quinn

Unlike Dustin Lance Black and George Takei, Freedom To Marry head Evan Wolfson actually lives in New York City.

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Quote Of The Day - Lynn Ellins

"Let me put it this way, some people have balls, some people don’t, alright? Some of them truly believe that they need direction from on high and they’re not willing to do a constitutional analysis. Some of them are philosophically opposed so they wouldn’t do it unless they were brought to the shed and whacked." - Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins, who started the ball rolling in New Mexico.

UPDATE: I've just been sent the lawsuit filed against Ellins by New Mexico GOP lawmakers.  Note that the first name is state Sen. William Sharer, who last week said that gay men need to "stop whoring around and marry a woman." Read the full lawsuit here.

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Half Of The US Lives In These Counties

Business Insider: "Using Census data, we've figured out that half of the United States population is clustered in just the 146 biggest counties out of over 3000." The list of counties is at the link.

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LAUNCHED: "Marry Me In Minneapolis"

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, seen above officiating at Minnesota's first same-sex wedding, is in Chicago today to launch "Marry Me In Minneapolis," a campaign that invites Illinoisans to visit his city for their gay marriages.
Rybak's message is that Chicagoans no longer have to make a long and expensive trip to the coasts to get married, just the six-hour drive to his city. Many Midwestern gay couples have exchanged vows in Iowa — the only state bordering Illinois that allows same-sex weddings — but Rybak hopes to bring some of that business home with him. "I love Chicago and love to come spend money there, but if people there don't get the rights they deserve, I am more than happy to have them come and spend their money in Minneapolis," he said in a telephone interview before the trip. Rybak figures the campaign, if successful, could help Minneapolis profit on everything from hotel rooms to flowers to caterers. He said he expects the effort to bring in at least tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It's a wonderful campaign, but let's hope the need it fills is short-lived. (Tipped by JMG reader David)

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BRITAIN: Gay Group Nominates Lively & Robertson For 2013 Bigot Of The Year

The British LGBT rights group Stonewall has short-listed Scott Lively and Pat Robertson for their 2013 Bigot Of The Year award.  Gay Star News recaps the three other nominees:
British vicar George Gebauer stunned parents Aimi and Victoria Leggett when he refused to baptize their baby because they both wanted to be named as the child’s mothers. Not only that, he claimed the two moms probably ‘pinched’ the baby and gay people were ‘imbalanced’. UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie is also nominated, for when he said same-sex couples adopting was like throwing ‘children to the dogs’. And historian Niall Ferguson made headlines for saying following the ideas of gay dead economist John Maynard Keynes was to blame for the current recession.
It seems obvious that Lively should be this year's selection.

RELATED: Stonewall's 2012 "winner" was Scotland's disgraced former Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who vehemently opposed same-sex marriage while secretly conducting homosexual affairs with fellow priests. Local Catholic officials demanded that Stonewall's public funding be yanked after they selected O'Brien. That didn't happen. Two major banks also threatened to cease their sponsorship of Stonewall, but that didn't happen either.

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Headlines Of The Day

Perkins is doubtlessly thrilled. Hit the headlines for the stories.

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Your WUT Moment For The Day

240K views in two days.

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Chelsea To Get "SuperPier"

Back in April, I reported that Chelsea's Pier 57, which last year hosted an indoor version of NYC Pride's famed Pier Dance, had been leased to retail developers who promise a massive $200M makeover.  This week the project's management announced that the new complex will be called SuperPier. From the press release:
SuperPier, when complete in the spring of 2015, will be the most innovative culture, entertainment, dining and retail experience New York City has seen since the opening of Rockefeller Center in 1939. Nearly 12 acres of raw space will undergo an extensive renovation in preparation to accept the world's most sought after retailer, restaurant, and lifestyle brands, and fuse them with the most promising emerging talents in food, fashion, film, art and other creative fields. SuperPier extends on-over-& under the Hudson River at West 15th Street adjacent to The Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, The High Line, the Whitney, Chelsea Market, and sits at one of the most trafficked nexuses of the city. SuperPier includes 270,000 square feet of total leasable space for targeted uses such as food markets and restaurants; culture and recreation; creative retailers; and an "Incubox" marketplace.
If you want a preview of SuperPier, a Fashion Week "pop-up" event is slated to start tomorrow.

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Martha Wash - It's My Time

I've been streaming this track all summer and finally there's a video. A dance remix EP has also just gone live on iTunes.

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RUSSIA: Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Take Children Away From Gay Parents

A member of Russia's Duma has introduced a bill that would allow the state to to remove children from the homes of their gay parents. Pink News reports:
Lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlyov has proposed a bill that will would deny gay parents custody over their own children. If passed it would make “non traditional sexual orientation” a basis for the deprivation of parental rights. It places same-sex sexual orientation in the same category as alcohol and drug abuse. If passed the law would follow on from a piece of legislation signed into law by President Putin in July that banned gay and lesbian couples from foreign countries from adopting children.
The Washington Post reports that a draft version of the bill was posted today to the Duma's website.

RELATED: Last year Russia's official state news agency reported that Zhuravlyov, a member of the ruling United Russia Party, had been unanimously elected to run a reinstated nationalist party.
A nationalist party that once called itself “Putin’s political spetsnaz,” or special force, was reinstated in Moscow on Saturday, six years after the Kremlin had it canceled. Rodina (“Fatherland”) will remain staunchly loyal to President Vladimir Putin because of his patriotic stance, which is also at the core of the party’s ideology, said the new Rodina leader, Alexei Zhuravlyov.
Fatherland. Sound familiar?

UPDATE: Memeographs nails it.

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London's "Fryscraper" Melts Cars

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Brian Brown Has The Cuomo Sadz

"Does anyone really need to guess? It's payback. Come on. Cuomo talks a lot about corruption, but when his buddies vote his way, he's more than willing to give them a high-paying job in the administration. That's all this is. Give me a break." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, in his 15th consecutive case of the sadz. This time Brown is furious that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed former GOP state Sen. James Alesi to a state position. Alesi was one of the four Republican state senators who pushed same-sex marriage into the win column.

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An Alternative NYC Subway Map

I came across this schematic version of the NYC subway map last night. Its creator spoke to Gothamist last month:
"Personally, I think that every large network should always issue two maps, a good geographical map and a good diagram so that people can choose which they prefer. Paris and Berlin offer both, London only a diagram, New York only a semi-geographical map. You just can't please all people with just one design, and the gulf between the desires for simple straight lines versus geographical precision is almost always impossible to resolve. That's probably why there are so many independent maps of the New York subway on the internet and that you can buy."
View a large version here. I quite like it as it makes the transfer points more apparent, although those unfamiliar with the geography of the city might be confused. The standard map is here.

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Matt Barber On "Moochelle"

Two days ago the decidedly not slim Barber called the First Lady "Moochelle." Looks like he got some blowback from his own people.

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Perkins Cheers Texas National Guard

"Major General John Nichols, the commanding general of Texas Military Forces, made it clear that the state's marriage law came first. If Guardsmen want to take advantage of the Pentagon's directive, Nichols said they'd have to enroll at a federal installation. In a letter to local service members, he stood his ground on the Texas Constitution, which only recognizes man-woman marriage. If only every state leader had that kind of backbone! According to the Associated Press, officials in 13 other natural marriage states -- including Arizona, Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan, and Georgia -- said they'll turn their back on state law and embrace the new policy. Discourage your leaders from joining them! Contact your Governors and ask them to resist the Obama administration's latest attack on federalism." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via email.

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TRAILER: Salinger

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Open Thread Thursday

Tell us about your summer. Any big travel? Burning Man?

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Yet Another Weiner Incident [UPDATED]

UDPATE: The Weiner campaign has released a longer video of today's confrontation in which the Orthodox Jewish man heckling him can be heard slamming Weiner for being "married to an Arab."

UPDATE NOTE: The video below, which was picked up by numerous sites, was posted by blogger Jacob Kornbluh and it is not known if he edited out the "married to an Arab" remark. (Tipped by JMG reader Dwight)

UPDATE II: Twitchy notes that some Twitter users are now apologizing to Weiner after learning about the attack on his wife.

Anthony Weiner took a Rosh Hashanah visit to Brooklyn's Hasidic-heavy Borough Park today, where things got quite ugly.
After an Orthodox Jewish man called Mr. Weiner a “scumbag” as he was leaving a Boro Park bakery, the mayoral hopeful furiously spun around to confront the voter. “Very nice, very nice, in front of kids. That’s a charming guy right there,” Mr. Weiner, chewing on cookies, uttered during one of several campaign stops on a visit to the neighborhood on the eve of the Jewish New Year.

“You are disgusting, disgusting,” the man, Saul Kessler, replied, referencing the sexting scandal that forced Mr. Weiner to resign from Congress and continues to engulf his campaign. But Mr. Weiner, sagging in the polls as Election Day rapidly approaches, was not interested in brushing aside Mr. Kessler. “Yeah, it takes one to know one, jackass,” Mr. Weiner shot back from the bakery’s doorway. “What’s that? What’s that? You wait until I walk out to say anything, that’s courage, that’s courage!”
And it just went on from there.

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Where Does Congress Stand On Syria?

The Washington Post has created an interactive graph which notes the known positions of Congress members on a possible US strike on Syria. So far only two Senate Democrats have said that they oppose US intervention: Sen. Chris Murphy (CT) and Sen. Tom Udall (NM). Perhaps the most notable House Democrat to oppose intervention so far is Rep. Alan Grayson (FL), who has been very active on social media with his objections. Listed as "leaning no" are openly gay House members Rep. Mark Pocan (WI) and Rep. David Cicilline (RI).  On Saturday, openly gay Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI) issued this statement:
"I am pleased that the President is seeking Congressional authorization for any potential strike in Syria. I still believe there must be a strong and convincing case made to the American people and we must work to build an international coalition before we lead or join any military response. My judgment on any military action in response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons will be based on whether clear, focused and achievable objectives and goals are set.”

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