Monday, October 20, 2014

Brian Brown Has An October Surprise

Brian Brown was very quick to issue a money beg based on the wedding venue in Idaho.
With marriage under attack in federal courts all across the country, this November's elections have become all the more important. Just ask Donald and Evelyn Knapp of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Now that a federal court has struck down the state's marriage amendment, city officials have told them that, as ordained ministers running the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, they are required to perform same-sex weddings or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines! This is absolutely unconscionable! Now more than ever, men and women who believe in marriage MUST stand up and defend it... or the consequences for ordinary people of faith who believe in marriage will be dire.

We MUST elect marriage champions to office. We MUST hold the GOP accountable and send a message that candidates who don't represent our most basic and fundamental values are NOT acceptable. We MUST advance critical legislation defending marriage and religious liberty through Congress. And NOM has a plan to do just that! These efforts have just taken on such importance that I have revised our budget—increasing our expenditures on media, voter-education, viral internet advertising, phone and mailing campaigns, get-out-the-vote efforts and much more between now and Election Day!

But I need your help to raise the funds needed to execute these urgent and critically important plans. Won't you please make a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 or more today, knowing that your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar? These matching grants are extraordinary opportunities to maximize your gift in defense of marriage. I know you've already been generous to our cause, and I can't say "thank you" enough. But I also have to reiterate once more, that I will devote all of NOM's resources and energy to stand for the truth about marriage, and to advocate the importance of preserving it. Won't you stand with me by making a generous donation today?
The consequences will be DIRE!

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Headline Of The Day


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REPORT: Sarah Palin's Personal PAC Is Pretty Much Just A Huge Scam

Via Open Secrets:
Out of $1.4 million the PAC had available in the third quarter — $978,000 sitting in the bank at the beginning of the July 1-Sept. 30 period, plus another more than $433,000 raised during that time — SarahPAC managed to donate just $45,000 to fellow Republicans running in the midterms. That’s a little more than 3 percent. For the two-year 2014 cycle, the former Alaska governor’s PAC, a vehicle that helps her stay in the game amid talk that she may run in the 2016 presidential contest, has raised $2.5 million on top of more than $1.1 million that was in the bank at the start of the cycle. It has spent $2.7 million, with about $150,000 — or 5.5 percent — going to candidates.

What did SarahPAC spend most of its money on, then, in the third quarter? Many of the same consultants she has used all along — for speechwriting, fundraising, logistics and research. There’s even someone paid to consult on “coalitions.” Travel, presumably for Palin, is part of the equation; a PAC like this is useful for keeping a high profile nationally without having to pay those pesky airline and hotel tabs out of personal funds. And the PAC sent $10,885 to HarperCollins — publisher of all three of Palin’s books — for “books for donor fulfillment.” That wasn’t the only book purchase by the committee: A lump sum of $13,000 was listed as being spent for “lodging, SUV rental, books for donors.”
So that's about $2.5M for Palin and her non-candidate cronies so far. One of the "lucky few" to actually receive SarahPAC dough is anti-gay Duck Dynasty clan cousin and GOP House candidate Zach Dasher, whose campaign slogan is "My platform begins with God." All of this, by the way, is perfectly legal.

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Gwen Stefani - Baby Don't Lie

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MONTANA: Court Sets November 20th Date For Immediate Marriage Hearing

Montana and South Carolina are fighting to be the last state to fall after the huge victories of two weeks ago.

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ALASKA: Marriage Suit Plaintiffs Marry

Last week two couples married in Alaska after clerks waived the three-day waiting period and before the Ninth Circuit issued a temporary stay. Of the six couples named in the Alaska lawsuit, five were married in other states. Only one couple was unmarried. Until today.
Stephanie Pearson and Courtney Lamb exchanged vows outside the Frontier Building Monday morning in Anchorage. The wedding came moments after the couple picked up their wedding license. Monday is the first day same-sex couples could get their licenses following the Oct. 12 overturn of Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage, which was approved by voters in 1998. The licenses had been on hold while the state appeals the ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to get involved Friday, which cleared the way for marriage licenses to be issued. “Quite the emotional roller coaster it’s been,” said Lamb, smiling from ear to ear. “But very worth it in the end. Today is a great day.”
Photo by JMG reader Christopher.

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KANSAS: Court Sets Friday Date For Hearing On Immediate Marriage Demand

On October 10th, the ACLU filed a demand for the immediate lifting of the ban on same-sex marriages in Kansas, which is covered by the Tenth Circuit Court. Today a federal court set the hearing for that demand for this Friday at 10AM. Also on October 10th, the Kansas Supreme Court stopped the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in that state's Johnson County, where 52 marriage license applications have been filed. Only one of those licenses resulted in a wedding.

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MISSISSIPPI: Edith Windsor's Legal Team Files New Marriage Equality Lawsuit

From the Campaign For Southern Equality:
“As the lawyers who represented Edie Windsor, we are so honored to be able to file this case today on behalf of Rebecca Bickett, Andrea Sanders, Jocelyn Pritchett, Carla Webb, and the Campaign for Southern Equality. The Supreme Court took a gigantic step forward last year in Windsor, and since then, dozens of courts around the country have followed suit so that today, gay people in thirty-two states have the right to marry. It is now time to take the next big step by making sure that gay families in Mississippi are accorded these same protections. The Supreme Court has made it clear that no matter where a gay person lives —whether it is in Maine, Minnesota, or Mississippi—our Constitution requires that they be treated with the same dignity and respect under the law as everyone else,” says lead counsel Roberta Kaplan.
View the lawsuit. Last year a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Mississippi woman seeking to have her out-of-state marriage recognized for the purpose of divorce. Today's suit is the first to seek an outright overturn of Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage. Mississippi is part of the Fifth Circuit Court, which has yet to rule on the appeal out of Texas.

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WYOMING: AG To File Non-Appeal Notice Tomorrow, Marriages Could Start At Once

Wyoming has no waiting period to marry, so with tomorrow morning's filing it's possible that weddings could commence immediately.

UPDATE: Marriages will begin at 10AM per the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Today, the State of Wyoming announced that it will file a notice stating that it will not appeal a U.S. District Court ruling that found the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. As a result, same-sex couples can begin marrying at 10 am MT tomorrow.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming granted an order sought by four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality that the state immediately lift its marriage equality ban and begin allowing same-sex couples to marry. Citing two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit striking down Utah’s and Oklahoma’s bans on marriage for same-sex couples, Judge Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry violates the U.S Constitution.

Judge Skavdahl ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses, but placed that order temporarily on hold to permit Wyoming state officials to respond. Today, the state officials announced that they will file a notice at 10 am MT tomorrow, stating that they will not appeal the ruling and allowing marriages to begin.

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Pat Robertson: SCOTUS Is Causing An Onslaught Of Deadly Homosexuality

Robertson adds that the wedding venue owners in Idaho should "get on a plane" and get out of the state. It bears repeating that one can become an ordained minister online for about $20 and the owners of Idaho's Hitching Post only became ordained because the local position of justice of the peace had been abolished.

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Obama: The Constitution Does Guarantee The Right Of Same-Sex Marriage

"In some ways, the decision that was just handed down to not do anything about what states are doing on same-sex marriage may end up being as consequential—from my perspective, a positive sense - as anything that’s been done. Because I think it really signals that although the Court was not quite ready—it didn’t have sufficient votes to follow Loving v. Virginia and go ahead and indicate an equal-protection right across the board - it was a consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up. Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states. But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that's pretty rare. And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting." - President Obama, speaking to New Yorker Magazine. (Tipped by JMG reader Daniel)

UPDATE: The Human Rights campaign applauds.
“The President’s position on marriage equality is supported by dozens of federal court rulings over the last year, which have ruled discriminatory state bans on marriage unconstitutional,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “America’s core values of liberty and equality under the law were enshrined in our Constitution by our founders to protect those who face inequality inflicted by the majority. It’s only a matter of time before committed and loving gay and lesbian couples can legally marry in every corner of this great nation.”

The President’s previous position allowed states to continue enforcing discriminatory laws and state constitutional amendments that prohibit same-sex couples from legally marrying. Those bans have been struck down as unconstitutional by dozens of state and federal court rulings across the country in recent months and years. Four such rulings out of the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals were allowed to stand by the Supreme Court of the United States earlier this month. While all of the rulings vary slightly in the legal justification for striking down the bans, all point to either the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection or due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Crackpot Pastor Flip Benham Disrupts Same-Sex Weddings

Last Monday, crackpot anti-gay activist Pastor Flip Benham, father of the would-be HGTV twins, joined two other Christian protesters to scream insults at happy strangers marrying outside a North Carolina courthouse. Via Matt Comer at Q Notes:
Three anti-LGBT protesters were present outside the register’s office, including well-known street preacher and convicted stalker Flip Benham. He interrupted several couples’ weddings as supporters held up a large rainbow flag to block his view. Another protester waved a bible in the air as he screamed several profanities and vulgarities. He was asked by sheriff’s deputies to tone it down or leave. He opted for the latter. Despite the protesters, those gathered celebrated at each of the several weddings held outside the register’s office.
Photo source. (Via Right Wing Watch)

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INDIA: Chat Show Examines LGBT Issues

This weekend popular Indian chat show host Aamir Khan broadcast an examination of the issues LGBT Indians face in a country whose highest court recently recriminalized homosexuality. The first segment (in Hindi) is below, but you'll probably want to watch the non-embeddable version here, which is subtitled in English. Khan, who appears to be an ally, opened the show by warning the home audience that children should leave the room. Most audience members are not very supportive of the interviewees.

UPDATE: JMG reader Luis found the English-subtitled version on YouTube and I've replaced the original Hindi clip. More about the show from Gay Star News:
Guests included transgender woman Gazal Dhaliwal and her parents, popular psychologist Deepak Kashyap and LGBTI activists. Khan listened sympathetically as his LGBTI guests told their coming out stories. Several stressed the importance of parental relationships in shaping their lives and fighting depression and suicidal thoughts. Khan said LGBTI people should not feel fear or shame in accepting their sexual orientation, which they were born with. Doctors explained that homosexuality was not a disease and could not be cured with yoga while lawyers explained the colonial origins of Section 377 of the penal code, which criminalizes gay sex. The show has a reach of 129.6 million and had a massive impact on viewers. The hashtag #FreedomForLGBT became the top trending topic globally on Twitter and 1.7 million missed calls were made to a hotline set up by the show to protest the anti-gay law.

(Tipped by JMG reader Krupa)

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Best Cities For Liberals & Conservatives

Livability has compiled a list of the best places to live if you are liberal or conservative. Via press release:
Our editors, working with advisory board member Kevin Stolarick, Ph.D, (the founding research director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management) and using data from several geographies, gauged the ideological skew of the congressional representation of a city. They utilized nonpartisan watchdog GovTrack’s analysis of the members of the House of Representatives on a conservative/liberal spectrum. Then, using data from Esri, editors looked at how residents of each city self-report their own political leanings on a five-point scale from very liberal to very conservative. The last piece of the political puzzle was the splits in the vote during the 2012 presidential election. In addition, our editors asked Experian Marketing Services to help create a basket of goods -- one restaurant, one automotive brand, one magazine, one retailer and one TV show – that are heavily favored by one end of the political spectrum or another. They then backtracked and found areas where people uses those goods and services to a high degree.

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Philadelphia International Records Closes

Philadelphia International Records, the label that with New York City competitor Salsoul Records is credited with helping launch the global disco phenomenon, has shut down.
The "Love Train" that has carried "The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP)" to "people all over the world" for almost half a century made its last physical stop at 309 S. Broad Street this week as the legendary Philadelphia International Records label, founded by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame producer-songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, was officially shut down with the sale of its historic building to a prominent local developer. "The closing of the company and building is definitely bittersweet, but we are extremely proud and honored to have been able to create so much great music out of our '309' location," said Gamble & Huff in a joint statement. "It was such a blessing and miracle how all of this came together over 50 years. More importantly, we would like to thank all of the wonderful musicians, artists and staff members who helped make Philadelphia International Records what it became - and what it remains - an incredible African-American institution and music and cultural brand."
The building will be demolished and a 40-story luxury condo will be built on the site. I could post dozens of Philly International tracks that would be familiar to most of you, but here's just a few of their well-known smashes.

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Monica Lewinsky Joins Twitter

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WYOMING: Could Today Be The Day?

Late Friday night Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead declared that he will not appeal the marriage equality ruling issued that morning by a federal court. According to Mead, he will send formal notice "no later than Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 5:00 p.m." - which is when that court's stay expires. Local activists have demanded that the notice be filed immediately. Wyoming has no waiting period to marry.

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RUSSIA: Anti-Gay Lawmaker Tells Postal Service To Reject Tom Of Finland Stamps

Notorious anti-gay lawmaker Vitaly Milonov has demanded that Russia's postal service refuse to deliver letters that bear the Tom Of Finland stamps recently issued by Finland's government.
Speaking to the TASS news agency, he said: “They are basically elements of homosexual propaganda, which is banned in our country.” “I ask the leadership of Russian Post to pay close attention to this request. In addition, I urge the Finns themselves, our close neighbours, to refrain from using these stamps when sending letters to Russia.” After the stamps went on sale on in September in Finland, Itella reported that it had received pre-orders from 178 countries, and that the range of stamps were the best selling in its history.
Milonov has led numerous anti-gay demonstrations, some of which have resulted in violence against LGBT Russians. If you ordered any of those stamps, maybe you should send Milonov a postcard.

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TODAY: Duggar Brood Takes Anti-Gay Marriage Rally Tour To Arkansas

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John Oliver On SCOTUS

Last night John Oliver declared that the ban on cameras in the Supreme Court has made press coverage of oral arguments blindingly dull. Taking a cue from the popularity of the Keyboard Cat, Oliver then presented an all-dog version of SCOTUS, complete with a bulldog Scalia and a Chihuahua Ginsburg.

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Bright Light Bright Light - Arms Of Another

Scruffy Welsh cutie Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, is currently opening on Elton John's European concert tour, which comes to Brooklyn's Barclays Center on New Year's Eve.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: "There Is No Crying Need" For SCOTUS To Step In On Marriage

Yesterday Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at a forum held at Manhattan's famed 92nd Street Y, where she told NPR's Nina Totenburg, “As of now, all the Courts of Appeal agree, so there is no crying need for us to step in.” When Totenburg asked if there was a chance that same-sex marriage could ever go back to being illegal, Ginsburg declined to answer, saying, "I can't give an opinion on that." The full interview can be viewed here and that part begins at the 4:00 mark.

RELATED: Totenburg also joked about the "Notorious RBG" phenomenon, which has spawned numerous t-shirts and a Tumblr. Ginsburg noted that she owns a "large supply" of the shirts.

Ginsburg: I think a law clerk told me about this tumblr and also explained to me what Notorious RBG was a parody on. And now my grandchildren love it and I try to keep abreast of the latest that’s on the tumblr. I have—and in fact I think I gave you a Notorious RBG...
Totenberg: Two of my three. I bought one.
Ginsburg: I have quite a large supply.
Totenberg: Do you have the one—what’s the one ‘you can’t have truth without Ruth'”
Ginsburg: Without Ruth. [nods]

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Townhall Writer Attacks Houston's "Old Bull-Dyke" Mayor Because Jesus

"If I were gay I wouldn’t give a flip if pastors spoke against my particular penchant -- like Houston’s old lesbian mayor has been doing – because I cherish this thing called 'liberty'. Yep, as a hypothetical gay dude I would still embrace freedom of speech and not get my neckerchief in a wad because some Southern Baptist doesn’t like my checking Jethro’s oil. Indeed, as an imaginary gay man I’d still embrace the First Amendment and would fight my gay backside off for others' right to say and do whatever, just as long as I didn’t have to pay for it and I could ridicule the crap out of it. Which brings me to this point: I don’t like fascists, straight or gay. Which means I don’t like Houston’s old lesbian mayor. I think she’s un-American. I think she’s a bull-dyke who wants to foist her weltanschauung on Texans. All of us should cherish and protect such liberty because it's this freedom that sets us apart from such clowns as ISIS. Speaking of Islam, if Houston’s old lesbian mayor wants to get pissy, she should focus her radical-feminist-lesbian rage at Islam because, unlike the Christians who graciously would like to convert her, Islam, on the other hand, would like to kill her." - Doug Giles, writing for Townhall.

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Tweet Of The Day - Evan Wolfson

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Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch

Clip recap: "We just picked up more states with the freedom to marry, and the number could continue increasing over the course of this week. But in several states, officials are blocking the start of marriage despite courts ruling against their bans. We'll have the details on how couples are fighting back. Plus, more bad news for the National Organization for Marriage. This time it's a ruling in Virginia that means they'll lose out on over half a million dollars."

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Human Rights Campaign Endorses PrEP

Via the Associated Press:
The largest U.S. gay-rights organization Saturday endorsed efforts to promote the use of a once-a-day pill to prevent HIV infection and called on insurers to provide more generous coverage of the drug. Some doctors have been reluctant to prescribe the drug, Truvada, on the premise that it might encourage high-risk, unprotected sexual behavior. However, its preventive use has been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and many HIV/AIDS advocacy groups

The Human Rights Campaign, which recently has been focusing its gay-rights advocacy on same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination issues, joined those ranks with the release of a policy paper strongly supporting the preventive use of Truvada. It depicted the drug as "a critically important tool" in combatting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. "HRC does not take this position lightly," the policy paper said. "We recognize there is still ongoing debate ... and that there are those out there who will disagree with our stance."
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation denounced HRC's move and said that it plans to expand its anti-PrEP media campaign.

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KANSAS: Gov. Sam Brownback Leads Rally Against Same-Sex Marriage

Via the Kansas NBC affiliate:
Governor Sam Brownback spoke out against same-sex marriage at a rally on the east side of Wichita. The Whistle Bus Stop Tour rally this morning brought dozens of speakers out, all of which oppose same-sex marriage in Kansas. The rally was also met by opposition of those who feel Kansas needs to get on-board with many other states in the country and allow same-sex couples the same liberties. More than one hundred people packed the Summit Church parking lot this morning to take a stance on same-sex marriage. Those in the crowd are hopeful an amendment they voted for in 2005, stating that marriage shall be constituted by one man and one woman only, will hold up. It’s a sentiment that Gov. Brownback echoed. “70-percent of Kansans voted to put in your constitution that marriage is the definition of a man and a woman,” said Gov. Brownback. Other state officials took to the podium, delivering a message that could soon become reality. “If we lose the battle you will have to accept the view that marriage can be anything three judges say it is,” said U.S. representative Tim Huelskamp.

(Tipped by JMG reader Matthew)

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Media Matters: Right Wing Ebola Hysteria

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IDAHO: Hate Group Sues City For Right To Discriminate Against Gay Couples

Remember the Idaho wedding chapel that said it would close before it would ever serve gay couples? Now that same-sex marriage is legal in that state, the owners have changed their minds and decided to sue the town of Coeur d’Alene in order to again make it legal to discriminate against LGBT Americans. The owners are being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. News of the lawsuit comes, unsurprisingly, from Todd Starnes.
“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco said. “The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.” Alliance Defending Freedom also filed a temporary restraining order to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance. “The Knapps are in fear that if they exercise their First Amendment rights they will be cited, prosecuted and sent to jail,” Tedesco told me.

It’s hard to believe this could happen in the United States. But as the lawsuit states, the elderly couple is in a “constant state of fear that they may have to go to jail, pay substantial fines, or both, resulting in them losing the business that God has called them to operate and which they have faithfully operated for 25 years.” The lawsuit comes the same week that the city of Houston issued subpoenas demanding that five Christian pastors turn over sermons dealing with homosexuality and gender identity. What in heaven’s name is happening to our country, folks. I was under the assumption that churches and pastors would not be impacted by same-sex marriage. “The other side insisted this would never happen – that pastors would not have to perform same-sex marriages,” Tedesco told me. “The reality is – it’s already happening.

Last year Coeur d’Alene adopted a public accommodations ordinance that protects LGBT residents from discrimination. The town's bill exempts religious entities, but the Hitching Post also performs civil ceremonies.

RELATED: While no public accommodation protections exist statewide in Idaho, the towns of Boise, Sandpoint, Ketchum, Moscow, and Pocatello have similar laws to Coeur d'Alene.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

NEVADA: Several Las Vegas Wedding Chapels Won't Marry Same-Sex Couples

Via the Las Vegas CBS affiliate:
After making calls to about 15 wedding chapels, 8 News NOW found that several of them refused to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. The Elvis Wedding Chapel, which welcomes traditional and Elvis-themed weddings, said they wouldn't marry same-sex couples. However, when the 8 News Now cameras were rolling as we tried to get their stance on camera, they refused to open the door. "I'm not going to tell you,” David with the Elvis Wedding Chapel said, "It just -- there is no story here.”

Dolly Deleon, the owner of the Vegas Wed Chapel, said she's a born-again believer in Jesus. "My faith won't allow me," Deleon said. She said she's been asked to wed same-sex couples before, but has found that mostly people accept it when she says no. She did not know that a couple who is turned away based on race, sex, or sexual orientation could file charges against her. That could then lead to a misdemeanor arrest. "I would be a hypocrite if I said I'm a Bible-believing person and yet I would perform marriage that believe is solely against God's law,” Deleon said.
So far it doesn't appear that any of these businesses have actually turned away a gay couple.

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Today In Crazyland

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Headline Of The Day

This is the guy who said that it was "evil" to introduce kids to their gay relatives. Details.

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ARKANSAS: Federal Court Denies State's Request To Delay Marriage Case

Via the Associated Press:
A federal judge has denied Arkansas’ request to delay proceedings in a lawsuit challenging the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.  Attorney General Dustin McDaniel earlier this year asked the court to put the case on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case involving Utah’s gay marriage ban. Last week, the high court declined to consider appeals in that case and four others. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker rejected McDaniel’s request as moot.
Back in May a state judge struck down the Arkansas ban and over 500 couples received marriage licenses before a stay was issued by the state Supreme Court one week later.

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Vandals Deflate Paris Butt Plug

Via the Independent:
A giant inflatable ‘Christmas tree’ appears to have been vandalised overnight on Friday, hours after its creator admitted being partly inspired by a joke about an anal sex toy. The controversial piece entitled ‘Tree’ by US artist Paul McCarthy was erected over the Place Vendome in Paris as part of the FIAC international art festival. Its 80ft high presence immediately drew outcry from some residents, who said Paris had been “humiliated” by the installation. Others dismissed the sculpture as a "provocation" and called for its removal.
The artist says the piece will be re-inflated. (Tipped by JMG reader Buxton)

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ITALY: Mayor Of Rome Registers Sixteen Foreign Same-Sex Marriages

Via Bloomberg:
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino today defied Italian law by transcribing 16 same-sex marriages that were celebrated abroad onto city hall registers. “Today is a special day that I hope will soon become a normal day,” Marino posted on his social media account along with pictures of himself wearing the mayor’s sash, posing with the smiling couples and their families inside Rome’s city hall. “How can you not call this love?” he asked in another post. The move is controversial for a country that does not recognize same-sex unions of any kind. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano immediately responded through his own social media account, saying the mayor’s transcriptions weren’t valid. “According to Italian law, this is not possible,” Alfano posted. “Marino’s signature can’t be a substitute for the law, all he did was give these very respectable couples his autograph.”

(Tipped by JMG reader Andrea)

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HomoQuotable - Matt Stolhandske

"As a gay man, I should hate Melissa and Aaron Klein. They’re the Portland-based Christian bakery owners who, in 2013, refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. And despite their insistence that they’re only morally opposed to gay marriage, not gays, they make their disdain for equality quite clear: 'I didn’t want to be a part of her marriage, which I think is wrong,' Aaron Klein recently said of one of the women he rebuked. I’m also an evangelical Christian. I can’t understand why Klein or any other Christians twist the words of Jesus Christ to justify this behavior. To me, it’s a deeply harmful and embarrassing bastardization of our faith. But I don’t hate the Kleins. In fact, I’m raising money to cover the $150,000 punitive fine they received from Oregon. [snip] To them I say: this is what an olive branch looks like. I am not rewarding their behavior, but rather loving them in spite of it. It is time for these two communities, which both cite genuine love as our motivation, to put aside our prejudices and put down our pitchforks to clear the path for progress." - Matt Stolhandske, writing for the Washington Post.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

WYOMING: Governor Will Not Appeal, Marriages To Commence By Friday

"This result is contrary to my personal beliefs and those of many others. As in all matters, I respect the role of the courts and the ruling of the Court. While this is not the result I and others would have hoped, I recognize people have different points of view and I hope all citizens agree, we are bound by the law." - Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, in a statement announcing that he will not appeal today's ruling. That notice will be delivered to the court "no later than Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 5:00 p.m." - which is when the stay expires. Wyoming has no waiting period to marry. Done and done.

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Wyoming And Florida: Cerulean Sisters

Cerulean is gayer than cyan. Because Miranda Priestly.

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BREAKING: Federal Judge Strikes Down Wyoming Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Can you STAND IT? I guess he didn't feel like waiting until Monday. Equality Case Files has the ruling, so dig in.

UPDATE: From the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in the challenge to the State of Wyoming’s ban on marriage equality. The court’s order granted a request by four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality, who had filed a federal lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s marriage ban, for an order requiring the state to allow couples to begin marrying immediately.

Citing two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit striking down Utah’s and Oklahoma’s bans on marriage for same-sex couples, Judge Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry is unconstitutional. Judge Skavdahl ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses, but placed that order temporarily on hold to permit Wyoming state officials to appeal his ruling. Marriages will begin in Wyoming at 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 23, or as soon as the state officials defending the challenge inform the court that they do not intend to appeal, whichever is sooner.

The four couples and Wyoming Equality are represented by Cheyenne attorney Tracy Zubrod, the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP, the law firm of Rathod Mohamedbahi LLC, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

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Celebrations In Arizona!

Grab a tissue, monkeys.

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Alaska Rejoins The Sapphire States

Sapphire is much gayer than royal blue, doncha think?

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SCOTUS Denies Alaska Stay Demand

And that makes state #31! Via Equality Case Files.

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Meet Ms. Equality Case Files

As I've said here before, over the last few years JMG has increasingly become a de facto collaborative community blog. Sure, I write all the posts, but much of the content here is driven by your emailed, tweeted, and Facebook'd tips - without which this here website thingy wouldn't be nearly so fast to report the latest developments. Recently a friend was watching me work and seeing the tips roll in, he commented about my "army of boots on the ground." I loathe that expression, so I quickly advised him that the preferred term around here is "flying monkeys." And with that, it's long overdue that I introduce you to Kathleen Perrin, the activist behind Equality Case Files, our virtually instantaneous source to this avalanche of pro-gay rulings. Say hello to one of our best flyers!

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ARIZONA: First Couple Marries!

Via HRC Arizona: "Arizona's 1st recognized same-sex marriage of the day! Congrats Karen & Nelda Majors!" More from Why Marriage Matters Arizona:
Karen and Nelda, a couple living in Scottsdale, AZ, met, as many couples do, during their early years of college, 55 years ago. Nelda was a sophomore, Karen was a freshman, and the two women lived just in the same dorm, just down the hall from each other at Sam Houston University in Huntsville, Texas. They became fast friends. Though the women relished their newfound friendship, both knew that their connection might mean something more. Karen and Nelda evolved from being best friends to a couple about 6 months after they met. “I came back from spring break and told Nelda I loved her.” Karen gushed, “It was all so new and amazing for me.”
(Tipped by JMG reader Chris)

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Tweet Of The Day - Meghan McCain

(Via JMG reader Sam)

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ARIZONA: AG Tom Horne Will NOT Appeal

Via Arizona Central:
Arizona same-sex couples can begin marrying immediately, after Attorney General Tom Horne announced this morning he will not appeal the court ruling striking down Arizona's marriage restriction. Horne said legal ethics dictated he drop any appeal of the 9th Circuit court's ruling. Horne has issued a letter instructing county clerks to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. "Effective immediately, the clerks of Arizona county superior courts cannot deny a marriage license to any otherwise eligible licensees on the grounds that the license permits a marriage between persons of the same sex," Horne wrote in his letter. County clerks are expected to be at various stages of readiness for couples who have been anticipating the ruling.

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Gov. Jan Brewer Has The Arizona Sadz

"In 2008, Arizona voters approved a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Now, with their rulings, the federal courts have again thwarted the will of the people and further eroded the authority of states to regulate and uphold our laws.

"It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years.

"As Justice Scalia opined, such action is tantamount to 'an ssertion of judicial supremacy over the people’ and is an image of the judiciary 'that would have be en unrecognizable to those who wrote and ratified our national charter.' Simply put, courts should not be in the business of making and changing laws based on their personal agendas.

"It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed. Historically and traditionally, that power belongs to the states, and to the people. If society wants to recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions, that decision should be made through our elected representatives or at the ballot – not the courts." - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, via press release.

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HOUSTON: Ted Cruz Joins Area Pastors In Denouncing Mayor Annise Parker

Video by the Family Research Council. Of course. Remember, all of this hysteria comes from the Christianist battle to repeal Houston's LGBT rights ordinance - local legislation that exists in similar form in more than one hundred major US cities and municipalities.

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This Week's TIME Magazine

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