Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OTTAWA: Soldier Victim Named, Suspect Described As Canadian Convert To Islam

The National Post has named the soldier that was killed in today's attack at Ottawa's Parliament Hill. Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist based out of Hamilton, Ontario, was standing guard at the National War Memorial this morning when the attack began. Reuters has emerging details about the 32 year-old Canada-born gunman who was killed near the scene by 58 year-old Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-At-Arms of the House Of Commons.
Canadian police were investigating a man named as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as a possible suspect in the shootings, a source familiar with the matter said. Two U.S. officials said U.S. agencies had been advised the suspect was a Canadian convert to Islam. Security in Ottawa came under criticism after the gunman was able to run through the unlocked front door of the main parliament building. Police said an operation was under way to make parliament safe. "It caught us by surprise... If we had known that this was coming, we would have been able to disrupt it," Gilles Michaud, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, (RCMP) told a news conference. It was unclear whether there was any connection between Wednesday's shootings and an attack on Monday when a convert to Islam ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, near Montreal, before being shot dead by police in the first fatal attack on Canadian soil tied to Islamic militants.
Three others were shot, but their injuries are not life-threatening. Other possible gunmen continue to be sought and much of the area remains under lockdown at this writing. Earlier reports of a third shooting at a nearby shopping mall are being called untrue. Following the shooting, security was tightened at the Canadian embassy in Washington DC.

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NYC Subway Breaks Ridership Record

Via the New York Daily News:
If you think the subway is more crowded than ever you’re right: The MTA set a ridership record last month. Subway trains carried 149 million passengers in September — the most of any September in more than 60 years, according to the MTA. The newly available figures also show 6.1 million people rode the subway on Tues., Sept. 23, making it the highest daily ridership since reliable numbers were first recorded in 1985, according to the MTA. The subways swelled during the People's Climate March last month. There were 2.9 million riders on Sept. 21 — the highest for a Sunday since the 1940s, the MTA said.
Twenty years ago the daily ridership averaged a "mere" 3.9M.

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Quote Of The Day - Dan Savage

"Let's take [Ross] Douthat at his word and just accept that it didn't occur to him the event was a fundraiser even after the MC began soliciting donations from the stage during the event. Let's focus on this this instead: Douthat isn't apologizing for crawling into bed with the ADF, an organization that wants to send Douthat's colleagues Frank Bruni (gay), Josh Barro (gay), Charles Blow (bi), and Jennifer Boylan (a trans woman married to another woman) to prison. He's not apologizing for speaking before the ADF. He's only apologizing for appearing at a fundraiser for the ADF. (Accidentally!)

"So... it's fine for writers at the NYT to speak before hate groups—rabidly anti-gay orgs like the ADF, anti-Semitic groups, the reconstituted KKK, White Citizen Councils—so long as the event isn't a fundraiser? So... it would've been fine for Douthat to have a 'conversation' with the organization that wants to send Frank Bruni and Josh Barro to prison but a line was crossed when Douthat helped raise money for the organization that wants to send Frank Bruni and Josh Barro to prison. And let's end with followup question for Ross Douthat: We know that your pals at the ADF want to send Josh and Frank to prison—along with all the other gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans folks who work at the New York Times—but do you? Do you believe that gay sex should be criminalized? And if you don't, Ross, what are you doing in bed with people who do?" - Dan Savage, writing for The Stranger.

NOTE: Savage is referring to Alliance Defending Freedom's opposition to the 2003 Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence V Texas, which struck down sodomy laws nationwide. Here's what the ADF wrote in March of that year.
Plaintiff’s arguments have serious problems, explained Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a national legal organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona. "They are asking the court to convert itself into a national legislature and to determine state policy regarding marriage, family, and sexual conduct outside of marriage. They are asking the court to judge a case that has no court record on which to rule. The plaintiffs are asking the court to suddenly declare as unconstitutional certain laws which have existed in unbroken succession since before the founding of the country." The ultimate goal of this case is not simply to end sodomy laws, Lorence explained. "Advocates of homosexual behavior would like to use a win in this case to advance their ambitious agenda. They want a court win to change the definition of marriage, because the real goal is to legalize same-sex ‘marriage.’ They want a win that will lift restrictions on homosexual conduct in the military, to legalize adoption by same sex couples, and to restrict free speech rights of individuals who have faith-based objections to endorsing, funding, or supporting homosexual behavior," Lorence said.
NOT incidentally, quoted in that post is the ADF's archenemy, then Houston City Councilwoman Annise Parker.

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ADF Vs Coeur d'Alene, Continued

In an attempt to swat away reports that Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies have consistently lied about the Hitching Post situation in the tiny Idaho town of Coeur d'Alene, the ADF has posted a response to the letter sent them on Monday by the town's attorney. First, an excerpt from the town's letter:
And here is how the ADF is spinning that.
“The city has said explicitly, repeatedly, and publicly that it would prosecute a for-profit business. That’s what the Hitching Post is, and it has never claimed to be anything other than that,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “While the Knapps do operate a ministry, they charge a fee for the ceremonies in order to be able to make a modest living. Therefore, the city, in its letter and elsewhere, is admitting that it would prosecute these pastors, who are clearly under a present threat of being sent to jail, fined, or both. The city has had months to figure out its own ordinance, and our clients have years of incarceration and devastating fines hanging over their heads. The city’s disingenuous waffling is indefensible.”

The religious corporation document filed by the Knapps on Oct. 6 did not change the chapel to a non-profit entity. It continues to operate as a for-profit LLC. City officials told the Knapps that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city repeatedly claimed its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
They "never claimed" to be anything but a for-profit business? You sure wouldn't know that from the hundreds of articles seen in Teabagistan, where readers believe that the Hitching Post owners are pious pastors who are thisclose to prison sentences. What the ADF is doing, clearly, is using Coeur d'Alene as a test case in their campaign to invalidate public accommodation laws nationwide. The Hitching Post has all the right elements: wedding venue, small town, beleaguered mom & pop operation, ordained ministers. What the ADF hasn't gotten, surely to their regret, are any outraged, ranting, homofascist litigants that they can point to and scream, "GAYSTAPO!"  For now, they have to twist the words of the Coeur d'Alene town attorney.

RELATED: Yesterday Andrew Sullivan quoted gay libertarian author Walter Olson, who supports those so-called "sincerely held religious belief" exemptions to public accommodation laws that protect LGBT Americans. But even Olson is calling out the ADF.
While I hope the Knapps succeed in establishing their exemption from this law, I am still shaking my head at the ADF’s framing efforts, which via Starnes set off a predictable panic about dangers to religious liberty (see also, last week, on the Houston pastors subpoena). In this instance, those efforts amount to something very akin to hiding the ball, including (as cited by Sullivan) the quiet legal revamping of the business onto a religious basis in recent weeks and the silent removal of extensive language on its website that until earlier this month had promoted the chapel as a venue for civil, non-religious wedding ceremonies. Now, the Knapps are free (or should be, in my view) to change their establishment’s business plan overnight to one that welcomes only ceremonies consistent with Foursquare Evangelical beliefs. But shouldn’t their lawyers be upfront that this is what’s going on?

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NYT Writer Ross Douthat Apologizes For Speaking At Hate Group Fundraiser

"I was not aware in advance that this event was a fundraiser and had I known, I would not have agreed to participate. I was invited by an events organizing group, not by ADF directly. I understood this to be a public conversation about religious liberty. This is my fault for not doing my due diligence, and I will be declining the honorarium." - New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, in a statement to Media Matters. Earlier this year Douthat expressed support for Arizona's attempt to legalize anti-gay discrimination, a campaign that was partly organized by Alliance Defending Freedom.

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FLORIDA: State Has Until Friday To Oppose Motion To Lift Marriage Ban

Via Orlando's Watermark:
“The day after the Supreme Court denied review in the marriage cases before it, we filed a motion with Judge Hinkle in Tallahassee explaining why the stay in our case should be lifted and our clients’ marriages should be recognized immediately,” said Daniel Tilley, the ACLU of Florida’s staff attorney for LGBT rights. That motion set an Oct. 24 deadline for the state to file a response to the request. “If Judge Hinkle indicates he will lift the stay, he will very likely give the State an opportunity to ask the Eleventh Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the stay in place,” Tilley said. “If the stay is lifted, couples married out of state will have their marriages immediately recognized in Florida, and same-sex couples will be able to marry right here in Florida.” If the stay remains, Tilley said they’ll have to get relief from the Eleventh Circuit.
RELATED: Last week Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi reversed course and asked the state Supreme Court to rule on marriage cases out of Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.

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Goodfellas Actor Sues The Simpsons

Actor Frank Sivero, best known for playing a mobster in Goodfellas, is suing The Simpsons for $250M over a character he claims is based on him.
Mr. Sivero, who evidently wants it to be known that he is not a clown and not here to amuse you, has filed a lawsuit against Fox and the creators of “The Simpsons,” saying that the character of Louie, a cartoon mafia man who occasionally appears on that show, is an appropriation of his likeness and an infringement on his right to publicity. Court documents reported at Deadline.com show that Mr. Sivero’s suit was filed Tuesday in California Superior Court for Los Angeles County. The lawsuit states that Mr. Sivero has had contact with “The Simpsons” since 1989 (when he lived in the same Sherman Oaks apartment complex as some of the show’s writers), and that the “appearances and mannerisms” of the Louie character, who first appeared on the show in 1991, “are strongly evocative of” Mr. Sivero. The suit asks for up to $250 million in damages and injunctive relief, considerably more than was netted in the notorious Lufthansa heist. A representative for Fox said the studio had no comment. A lawyer for Mr. Sivero did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Many Simpsons characters are based on real life people or famous movie characters. Mayor Quimby is based on JFK, Professor Frink is based on Jerry Lewis' Nutty Professor, action hero Ranier Wolfcastle is based on Arnold Schwarzenegger, and on and on.

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It's Time For Anti-Gay States To Secede And Form New Nation Called "Reagan"

Brian Tashman writes:
While speaking yesterday with Janet Mefferd about his book, “The Secessionist States of America: The Blueprint for Creating a Traditional Values Country…Now,” MacKinnon called for a movement of states, starting with South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, to establish a new country that will adhere to the Religious Right’s political agenda. Texas, MacKinnon explained, was not included in his secessionist blueprint because “there have been a number of incursions into Texas and other places from some of the folks in Mexico.”

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FRC Praises Puerto Rico Judge

"Judge Pérez-Giménez serves as a model of judicial restraint in the face of an epidemic of federal judges legislating from the bench on the issue of marriage. It is time for other courts to follow his example, and the Supreme Court shouldn't allow activist lower courts to redefine states' marriage laws.  Judge Pérez-Giménez not only rejected the constitutional arguments for redefining marriage, but succinctly made the case for natural marriage, noting that 'the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage.' He is correct in saying that this is among the 'principles of logic and law that cannot be forgotten.' Every judge considering a marriage case-and every public official charged with administering or enforcing his or her state's laws on marriage-should read and take guidance from this ruling." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via press release.

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MISSISSIPPI: Court Sets Rapid Schedule For Marriage Equality Hearing

This is the suit filed just Monday by some of Edith Windsor's legal team. (Others on the DOMA case were the ACLU and NYCLU.)

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Pat Robertson: Gays Are Terrorists

Via Right Wing Watch:
These people are terrorists, they’re radicals and they’re extremists. No Christian in his right mind would ever try to enforce somebody against their belief or else suffer jail. They did that during the Inquisition, it was horrible, it was a black mark on our history, but it isn’t being done now. There’s no Christian group I know of anywhere in the world that would force somebody to do something contrary to their deep-held religious beliefs or else face criminal penalties, but that’s what the homosexuals are trying to do here in America and I think it’s time pastors stand up and fight this monstrous thing. If the gays want to go out and do their gay sex, that’s one thing, but if they want you to force you to accept it and solemnify it by marriage then that’s a different matter and it’s an infringement on people’s religious belief.
Watch the full crazy.

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Shooting At Canada's Parliament

Via the Associated Press:
Police say a man believed to be a member of the Canadian Forces has been shot at National War Memorial, and there are reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament. Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired. The gunman reportedly ran toward Parliament Hill, which is under lockdown. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are advising people to avoid the area. Emergency responders are on the scene. The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has reportedly been safely escorted from the area. 

UPDATE: From a reporter on the scene.
UPDATE II: Sky News is live-streaming the situation.

UPDATE III: Multiple gunshots inside the Parliament's hallways. Unreal footage.

UPDATE IV: This is definitely terrorism.
UPDATE V: Simultaneous attack on nearby shopping mall.
UPDATE VI: President Obama has been briefed and the State Department has ordered US embassies to be on high alert.
UPDATE VII: NORAD is on elevated alert.

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Hitching Post Fact Check

As we learned yesterday, claims about Idaho's Hitching Post wedding venue are a total lie. But that hasn't stopped the avalanche of screeching out of Teabagistan - if anything, they've gotten louder.

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Protests Rock NYC Metropolitan Opera Over The Death Of Klinghoffer Production

Hundreds of protesters swarmed Lincoln Center on Monday night to rage against the Metropolitan Opera's debut of The Death Of Klinghoffer, which is based on the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and which detractors say is anti-Semitic and glorifies terrorism. Opposition to the show was spurred by right wing sites with Ben Shapiro's Truth Revolt leading the charge. The Death Of Klinghoffer was first performed in Belgium in 1991 and the Met's production is winning rave reviews:
The opening moments establish tribal rivalries between Palestinians, with green flags, and Israelis, with olive trees, in separate scenarios filled with soaring choral work. It sets the stage for simmering tension that is only occasionally interrupted. Performed by a superb cast, the production is anchored by Paulo Szot, who plays the captain. He brings great emotion to the role, in trying unsuccessfully to reason with the terrorists. Sean Panikkar, Aubrey Allicock and Ryan Speedo Green sing the roles of the terrorists with great conviction. Jesse Kovarsky is truly terrifying as the terrorist who pulls the trigger. The roles of Klinghoffer and his wife, Marilyn, are played by Alan Opie, who has a meditative aria following his murder, and Michaela Martens, whose final aria is filled with anguish and loss. She has the last word, and rightly so.
The protest spawned some sharp words between Mayor De Blasio and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who joined the crowd outside Lincoln Center on Monday.
Mayor de Blasio defended the Metropolitan Opera's right to show "The Death of Klinghoffer," and criticized predecessor Rudy Giuliani's protest against the controversial work. "I really think we have to be very careful in a free society to respect that cultural institutions will portray works of art, put on operas, plays, that there will be art exhibits in museum," de Blasio said Monday at an unrelated press conference. "And in a free society we respect that. We don't have to agree with what's in the exhibit but we agree with the right of the artist and the cultural institution to put that forward to the public." De Blasio hit Giuliani's record of cracking down on art he didn't care for. As mayor, Giuliani famously threatened to yank funding for the Brooklyn Museum over its display of an image of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung. "The former mayor had a history of challenging cultural institutions when he disagreed with their content. I don't think that's the American way. The American way is to respect freedom of speech. Simple as that," de Blasio said.
The Met posted the below trailer on Sunday.

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Toys R Us Yanks Breaking Bad Dolls

Florida Mom has won.
Toys R Us is pulling its four collectible dolls based on characters from AMC's hit series "Breaking Bad" after taking heat from a Florida mom who launched a petition campaign last week. The dolls are based on the series about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who turns into a crystal meth dealer, and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman. The figures have a detachable bag of cash and a bag of methamphetamines. Toys R Us, which is based in Wayne, New Jersey, told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the dolls are being removed immediately from its website and shelves. "Let's just say, the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical," Toys R Us said in a statement. The retailer had maintained that the figures were sold in limited quantities in the adult-action-figure area of its stores. The mom, who wrote the petition under the name Susan Myers, said that the dolls are a "dangerous deviation from their family friendly values."
Before the toys were pulled, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston had tweeted, "I'm so mad, I'm burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest."

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FLORIDA: Marriage Absent From Final Crist/Scott Debate Before Election Day

Last night's CNN-hosted debate between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist included no questions about same-sex marriage, but the pair heatedly sparred about jobs, the economy, the death penalty, medical marijuana, and Scott's Medicare fraud past. The Florida gubernatorial race is considered the nation's tightest. CBS Miami has the full debate in four parts.

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Cops Release Palin Family Brawl Report

From Talking Points Memo:
Amid the crackle and chaos of audio released by the Anchorage Police Department on Tuesday, an unmistakable voice could be heard. "Did you find your necklace?" the woman could be heard saying. "Track, that is such a God thing. See?" The voice almost certainly belonged to former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The audio was released as part of hours of recordings made by Anchorage cops in the aftermath of an alcohol-fueled brawl at a house party in the city in September. The recordings were released along with photos from the scene, and they documented the surreal situation police were faced with when they rolled up to the party. People were scattering and the Palin family was hovering around a stretch Hummer limousine they had brought with them that night. Previously, eyewitnesses had largely blamed the Palins for the brawls, and police documented their findings in reports. But ultimately, prosecutors decided to bring no charges.
The above-linked piece includes transcripts of the audio and links to photos taken in the aftermath. Below is an audio excerpt starring Bristol Palin.

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F-Bombs For Feminism

 E! Online has the story:
Warning: What you hear in this video may shock you. But we're not talking about the fact that these little girls (ages 6 to 13) are swearing like sailors. We're talking about the phrases they are using regarding gender inequality. In a video produced by FCKH8.com starring the "Potty-Mouthed Princesses," young girls all dolled up in pastel gowns drop F-bombs to remind everyone that society shouldn't be offended by curse words; we should be offended by the fact that women are still paid 23 percent less than men in the work force and the fact that one in five women is sexually assaulted or raped.
Right wing sites are going nuts.

UPDATE: The clip has been pulled from Vimeo. Below is a possibly short-lived mirror posted by a YouTube user.

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Humane Society Endorses Pam Bondi

JMG reader Greg yesterday received the above flyer from the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which "formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office." The vast majority of the group's 2014 endorsements for state and national office have gone to Democrats. They make no endorsement in Florida's gubernatorial race.

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The Carl DeMaio Scandal Timeline

If you're not up to speed on all the bizarre developments that have hit homocon Carl DeMaio's campaign for the US House over the last six months, the Voice Of San Diego has a timeline. Plagiarism, trashed offices, inside job theories, accused staffer, sexual harassment allegations, a stolen campaign playbook, and on and on and on. It's the most scandal-plagued run for office we've seen since the days of Carlos Danger.

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ASAP Science: Your Brain On MDMA

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Perkins Slams Obama On Constitution, Claims Idaho Marriages Are Stopped

"For a constitutional law professor, President Obama still has a lot to learn about the 14th Amendment. After years of leading Americans on, the former states’ rights, natural marriage defender finally came full circle yesterday, publicly defending the courts’ activism on an issue that still fiercely divides the country. 'Ultimately,' the President told the New Yorker, 'I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states.' The self-styled 'gay rights President,' Obama insisted that judges are right to trample the 41 million Americans who successfully enacted marriage protection amendments.  Unfortunately for the Left, which either willfully or ignorantly misreads the marriage landscape, the sea change in public opinion hasn’t been as radical as they claim. If anything, same-sex 'marriage' is losing ground as more people come to grips with the consequences of nonconformity -- which, as we learned over the weekend -- includes jail.

"The only place where there seems to be an overwhelming consensus on redefining marriage is in the chambers of 25 unelected judges, who have been arrogant enough to substitute their agendas for the will of 13 states. For now, the states are continuing to put up a fight, right down to the local officials forced to carry out the courts’ bidding. In Idaho, site of the first ministers ordered to perform gay 'weddings' or be imprisoned, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is giving the state a brief reprieve by putting a hold on the ceremonies for now. While the two sides appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling that struck down Idaho’s law, the Knapps -- and other ordained ministers -- will hold their breaths, hoping the same country that gave them conscience rights won’t jail the couple for exercising them." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, lying again about the Hitching Post and totally wrong about a stay on Idaho marriages.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

PUERTO RICO: Lambda Legal To Appeal "Aberrant" Marriage Lawsuit Dismissal

Via press release from Lambda Legal:
"The court's ruling directly conflicts with the wave of recent decisions finding these marriage bans unconstitutional and perpetuates the discrimination and harm done to same-sex Puerto Rican couples and their families," said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. "It defies the unmistakable import of the Windsor decision and flies in the face of the blizzard of rulings of the last year, the reasoned rulings of the Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits, and the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the rulings striking down five bans similar to Puerto Rico's. One struggles to understand how this judge came to a different conclusion. We will, of course, appeal this ruling to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals," Gonzalez-Pagan said. "All families in Puerto Rico need the protections of marriage."

On March 25th, 2014, Ada Mercedes Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Vélez filed a lawsuit to compel Puerto Rico to recognize their marriage, which they entered into in Massachusetts. In June, Lambda Legal joined and amended that lawsuit to include four more plaintiff couples, two seeking recognition of marriages entered into in other jurisdictions and two who seek to marry in Puerto Rico, as well as an organizational plaintiff, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s. "It is outrageous that loving committed LGBT couples and their families have been deprived of their civil rights and dignity," said Pedro Julio Serrano, founder and president of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s. "We are hopeful that justice will prevail and that the equality promised by the Constitution will be upheld." Lambda Legal attorneys Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Hayley Gorenberg, and Jael Humphrey are handling the case, joined by co-counsel Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, local counsel Celina Romany-Siaca of the Law Offices of Celina Romany, and Ada Conde Vidal representing herself and her wife.
Read more about the case.

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PUERTO RICO: Federal District Court Tosses Out Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit

Saying that the Puerto Rico marriage equality lawsuit before them "fails to present a substantial federal question," a US District Court today issued a dismissal based on the 1972 Minnesota Supreme Court case Baker V Nelson, which the US Supreme Court rejected that year on the same grounds. The suit was filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of three couples married in other states, two couples seeking to marry in Puerto Rico, and the LGBT rights group Puerto Rico Para Todos. From the ruling:
The plaintiffs have brought this challenge alleging a violation of the federal constitution, so the first place to begin is with the text of the Constitution. The text of the Constitution, however, does not directly guarantee a right to same-gender marriage, for “when the Constitution was adopted the common understanding was that the domestic relations of husband and wife and parent and child were matters reserved to the States.” Without the direct guidance of the Constitution, the next source of authority is relevant Supreme Court precedent interpreting the Constitution. On the question of same-gender marriage, the Supreme Court has issued a decision that directly binds this Court.

The petitioners in Baker v. Nelson were two men who had been denied a license to marry each other. They argued that Minnesota’s statutory definition of marriage as an opposite-gender relationship violated due process and equal protection – just as the plaintiffs argue here. The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected the petitioners’ claim, determining that the right to marry without regard to gender was not a fundamental right and that it was neither irrational nor invidious discrimination to define marriage as requiring an opposite-gender union. [snip]

Baker, which necessarily decided that a state law defining marriage as a union between a man and woman does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, remains good law. Because no right to same-gender marriage emanates from the Constitution, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico should not be compelled to recognize such unions. Instead, Puerto Rico, acting through its legislature, remains free to shape its own marriage policy. In a system of limited constitutional self-government such as ours, this is the prudent outcome. The people and their elected representatives should debate the wisdom of redefining marriage. Judges should not.
You can expect the final lines excerpted above to appear in a lot of hate group press releases. Dig further into today's ruling at Equality Case Files.

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NORTH CAROLINA: GOP State Senate Leader To File Bill Making It Legal To Refuse To Marry Same-Sex Couples

Via the News & Observer:
Senate leader Phil Berger said Tuesday that he would introduce a bill that would protect the jobs of magistrates, registrars of deeds and their employees who refuse to officiate at weddings for members of the same-sex if their refusal is based on religious beliefs. A magistrate in Berger’s home county of Rockingham quit because he said marrying same-sex couples would violate his religious beliefs. “The court’s expansion of the freedoms of some should not violate the well-recognized constitutional rights of others,” Berger said in a statement. “Complying with the new marriage law imposed by the courts should not require our state employees to compromise their core religious beliefs and First Amendment rights in order to protect their livelihoods.”
Equality North Carolina ain't having it: "If Senator Berger insists on being an extremist and pushing unconstitutional legislation, we will be fully prepared to fight this at the legislature in tandem with the business community." (Tipped by JMG reader Sean)

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FLORIDA: Major Cities File Joint Amicus Brief In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage

The cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Miami Beach today jointly filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs suing for same-sex marriage in a Tallahassee federal court. Also joining the brief are the popular LGBT tourism town of Wilton Manors, the tiny Miami-Dade County town of Biscayne Park, and the government of Broward County (home to Fort Lauderdale, which approved a resolution in support of same-sex marriage in June, but which is not party to the brief). Notably absent from the brief are the city of Miami and all major cities north of Orlando, but that doesn't necessarily mean that those city governments remain in support of Florida's ban.

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IDAHO: Gov. Butch Otter To File En Banc Marriage Appeal With Ninth Circuit Court
UPDATE: AG To Appeal To SCOTUS

Via the Spokesman-Review:
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announced today that he's filing a petition with the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for an en banc re-hearing of Idaho's same-sex marriage case. “I will continue defending Idahoans’ self determination and the will of Idaho voters who decided that traditional marriage is a core principle of our society,” Otter said in a statement. He said his office will file the petition later today. An en banc review at the 9th Circuit, because the circuit is so large, would mean that a larger 11-judge panel would re-hear the case, after a three-judge panel made the decision earlier. In smaller circuits, an en banc review is a rehearing by the full court. Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden earlier requested that 9th Circuit assign a full 11-judge panel to hear Idaho's case in the first place, rather than a three-judge panel; that request was denied. Wasden is not joining with Otter in today's petition.
Via press release from Otter's office.
“I have repeatedly pointed out to the courts that unaccountable judges imposing their perception of social change on the law – rather than public policy being changed through the democratic process – undoubtedly will lead to increased religious strife and restrictions on private property,” Governor Otter said. “For these important reasons, I will continue defending Idahoans’ self-determination and the will of Idaho voters who decided that traditional marriage is a core principle of our society.” Along with defending the critical definition of marriage in Idaho’s Constitution, Governor Otter also highlights in his request for rehearing that letting the three-judge panel’s decision stand will accelerate conflicts with First Amendment religious liberties and pose serious challenges to other portions of Idaho law. The Governor also said he continues to monitor same-sex marriage cases in other jurisdictions and the potential for the issue to be accepted for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
It's interesting that the attorney general isn't joining in.

UPDATE: The Spokesman-Review has added one line to the above story: "Wasden is not joining with Otter in today's petition. However, his spokesman, Todd Dvorak, said today that Wasden does plan to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming weeks."

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NORTH CAROLINA: Raleigh City Council Unanimously Approves Trans Protections

Via Equality North Carolina:
Raleigh City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday afternoon to include protections for transgender city employees in revised policy language recommended by the City's Human Relations Commission. With the vote, the state's capital city became the sixth city in North Carolina to protect all city employees in the LGBT community and the 10th state municipality to offer those protections, following Asheville, Boone, Carrboro, Charlotte, Chapel Hill and Buncombe, Durham, Mecklenburg and Orange Counties. The motion to pass the revised language, including protections for transgender workers, came from Republican Councilmember John Odom, thought by many to be the city's most conservative councilmember. The unanimous vote occurred without discussion or debate.
(Tipped by JMG reader Rob)

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Dallas Cowboys Cut Michael Sam

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World Series Bet: Chorus Vs Chorus

From the clip description:
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has no doubt that our SF Giants will handily win their 3rd World Series in 5 years. Should the KC Royals sneak their way to victory, the proud men of SFGMC will offer the following: 1. SFGMC Artistic Director Dr. Tim Seelig will conduct a rehearsal in a Kansas City Royalettes jersey. (He might even wear on of those little crown things that looks like a car air freshener gone wrong). 2. SFGMC will send See’s Chocolates, a San Francisco treat and Chorus sponsor, for the entire Heartland Men's Chorus to enjoy with their victory. 3. SFGMC will provide free 2 tickets and one night hotel accommodations in San Francisco to Heartland Men’s Chorus to use as they wish. 4. SFGMC will make a video singing whichever Kansas City “theme song” you can scrounge up, if there is one, for all your social media gloating. If there isn't one, we’ll sing “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” knowing most of you have. BONUS "BROOMSTICK SWEEP" BET: 5. If the Royals win in 4, SFGMC's Tim Seelig will leave the outgoing voicemail for Heartland Men's Chorus Director Dustin Cates.

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Pew Ranks "Trusted" News Outlets

From the Pew Research report:
Those with consistently conservative political values are oriented around a single outlet—Fox News—to a much greater degree than those in any other ideological group: Nearly half (47%) of those who are consistently conservative name Fox News as their main source for government and political news. Far fewer choose any other single source: Local radio ranks second, named by 11%, with no other individual source named by more than 5% of consistent conservatives. Those with mostly conservative views also gravitate strongly toward Fox News – 31% name it as their main source, several times the share who name the next most popular sources, including CNN (9%), local television (6%) and radio (6%) and Yahoo News (6%).

On the left of the political spectrum, no single outlet predominates. Among consistent liberals, CNN (15%), NPR (13%), MSNBC (12%) and the New York Times (10%) all rank near the top of the list. CNN is named by just 20% of those with mostly liberal views, but still tops their list, followed by local television (11%) and NPR (9%). Both MSNBC and Fox News are mentioned by 5% of those who are mostly liberal. Those in other ideological groups name the New York Times, NPR and MSNBC less frequently as top news sources.

Respondents with a roughly equal mix of liberal and conservative values also have a diffuse mix of news providers. CNN (20%) and local television (16%) are the most frequently-named top sources, with a long list of other news sources named by fewer than one-in-ten. Fox News (8%) is among the most-named sources in this “long tail,” along with Yahoo News (7%) and Google News (6%), both of which primarily aggregate and highlight news produced by other outlets.
For the record, I highly trust last place Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Local Hate Group Tells Officials To Refuse To Marry Gay Couples

Via the Charlotte Observer:
A group that backed a North Carolina constitutional amendment on gay marriage is telling public officials that they can refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses in their counties. The North Carolina Values Coalition sent an email Saturday to the state’s registers of deeds saying that their religious and moral beliefs are protected by federal and state constitutions. Registers of deeds issue marriage, birth and death certificates. They document real estate transactions and handle military discharge recordings. The officials can refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses by claiming their “First Amendment right not to violate their religious beliefs,” the coalition’s email states. Advocates of same-sex marriages balked at the assertion. Chris Brook, legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina, said every level of the federal court system has sided with same-sex marriages, and there was “no un-ringing of the wedding bells.” He said a few officials made a similar argument in the 1970s, when they said it was against their religion to marry an interracial couple.
The haters based their email on a statement by Alliance Defending Freedom. Of course.

RELATED: Enjoy their whopping case of the sadz.
The responsibility for this mess of shoving same-sex “marriage” on 30 states in our country lies with the US Supreme Court for striking down the federal definition of marriage in the Windsor case last summer and then refusing last Monday to take any of the five appeals from states whose Marriage Amendments have been struck down by lower federal judges as a result of Windsor. The destruction of natural marriage as a public institution and the American family can be blamed on the US Supreme Court. Same-sex marriage in our State is unthinkable, since just two short years ago voters overwhelmingly voted by 61% in a ballot referendum to recognize in our State Constitution that natural marriage is indeed the union of only a man and a woman. The actions of these unelected federal judges exceeds the enumerated powers given to our federal government in the 10th Amendment. It also overturns about two hundred years of legal precedent that it is the states themselves that have the power to recognize the true meaning of marriage. Instead, these liberal activist judges have fabricated a new constitutional right to same-sex “marriage.” These illogical rulings are in essence saying that our Constitution always has included a right to same-sex “marriage.” I bet Thomas Jefferson and George Washington would be surprised.

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FLORIDA: Pro-Charlie Crist TV Campaign Launched By LGBT Group SAVE Dade

Via Steve Rothaus the Miami Herald:
SAVE, one of South Florida’s best-known LGBT-rights groups, has produced a campaign video, Why We Vote, in support of candidates including Democrats Charlie Crist and Annette Taddeo. “I’m voting because Rick Scott and Pam Bondi refuse to recognize our marriage,” says SAVE board chairman Christian Ulvert, seen on-camera with his husband Carlos Andrade. Both men are plaintiffs in the ACLU of Florida’s federal lawsuit against Florida’s constitutional gay marriage ban. In an email to supporters of SAVE announcing the organization's final get out the vote push before the November 4 election, Ulvert appealed for help to buy airtime for the ad as well as funds for voter canvasses, phone banks, and get out the vote events. "All told, we're looking to set a new record of turn out among equality voters in make-or-break races for pro-equality candidates," wrote Ulvert. “We have the opportunity elect for the first time a pro-equality Governor and Lt. Governor in Charlie Crist and Annette Taddeo."

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New Android Ad Features Gay Proposal


(Tipped by JMG reader Phil)

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David Benham, Dominionist

"Unfortunately, the church, now that we have the keys to authority that Christ gives the Christian church, we give that dominion back through our silence. And so what we see now is the struggle for dominion. And one of the ways that we've lost dominion is because Christians, unfortunately, don't believe in the sovereignty of God. God is sovereign over all things. The Bible says in Psalm 24 'the Earth is the Lord's and everything in it,' including government, entertainment, media, education, the legal system, everything. My finances, my sexuality, everything is under God. Does this agenda, this sexual anarchy agenda, does it want dominion? Take a look. Has it got dominion in government? Has it got dominion in entertainment? Has it got dominion, I mean, you name it, in the marketplace? Yes. Absolutely it does. How does God get dominion back? The government exists for the punishment of evildoers and for the reward of those who do good. The problem is, is when we switch good and evil and evil and good. There's only one institution that can fight that dominion battle, and that's the church." - Failed HGTV star David Benham, speaking at an Alliance Defending Freedom event where New York Times columnist Ross Douthat also denounced LGBT rights.
RELATED: Wikipedia's entry on dominionism explains quite clearly why these are the most dangerous of all Christianists.

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Freep This Idaho Poll

Right here. (Tipped by JMG reader Rem)

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WYOMING: Marriage Licensing Begins

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Wyoming Joins The Sapphire States

Same-sex marriage just became legal in Wyoming after the state attorney general filed his notice of non-appeal. Weddings will commence immediately in state #32! Map legend.

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Phyllis Schlafly: Early Voting Must Be Stopped Because It Helps Democrats

"Democrats promote early voting for the same reason they oppose voter ID: because they view early voting as helping their side. In the absurdly long 35-day period of early voting in Ohio in 2012, Democrats racked up perhaps a million-vote advantage over Republicans before Election Day was ever reached. Republicans have been slow to realize how early voting helps the Democrats. Most top Republican political operatives firmly believed, right up to the morning of the 2012 election, that Mitt Romney was going to win. Romney lacked a message, too, but he was mainly defeated by the Democrats’ superb ground game, which exploited early voting in key states such as Florida and Ohio. By continuously updating their computer-based information about who had not yet voted, Democrats could harass and nag low-information voters until they turned in their ballots." - Phyllis Schlafly, admitting in World Net Daily what the GOP always officially denies.

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Monica Lewinsky: I Was The First Person To Be Destroyed By The Internet

The Lewinsky scandal, not incidentally, was broken by closet case homocon Matt Drudge. It was that "scoop" that is widely credited as launching his site into the wingnut behemoth that it is today.

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Tweet Of The Day - Bryan Cranston

Details.

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COSTA RICA: Survey Shows Some Cops Approve Of Abusing LGBT People

Costa Rica is generally regarded as relatively LGBT friendly, so this is disturbing. Via Inside Costa Rica:
In the survey, in which nearly 500 police, traffic, and immigration officers responded, 17.7% said they felt it was acceptable to demand bribes from gay people while 20.4% found it acceptable to detain gay people without probable cause. A further 15.7% said they felt it was acceptable to physically harm gay people without cause and 13.5% felt the sexual abuse of a gay person was acceptable. Further, many officers said it is better to ignore complaints of domestic violence in same-sex couples rather than respond. More than 60% of officers said they believe that homosexuality is a disease or illness. Deputy Minister of the Interior, Carmen Muñoz, called the situation a major challenge.
Costa Ricans are broadly protected by anti-discrimination laws, but same-sex marriage and adoption remains banned.

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AFA Launches Idaho Petition

From the American Family Association:
TAKE ACTION: Once again, homosexual bullies have targeted Christian-owned businesses in their attempt to silence all opposition to their sinful lifestyle. Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer is the chief executive officer for the city. We have prepared an email you can send to Mayor Widmyer. Or, you can call Mayor Widmyer or post a comment to the city’s Facebook page or Twitter. Urge Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter to get involved and defend Christian-based businesses in Idaho. Encourage him to publicly speak out in support of Donald and Evelyn Knapp's right to religious freedom of speech. One thing is for sure. If you fail to speak out, more pastors and ministers will soon face the relentless anti-Christian wrath of homosexual activists.
Read it here.

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TRAILER: The Comeback


(Tipped by JMG reader Wilson)

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Oscar De La Renta Dies At Age 82

Fashion legend Oscar De La Renta has died at the age of 82.
The man -- often described as the "sultan of suave" -- dressed every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy. Among those whose glamor factor his dresses jazzed up: Oprah Winfrey, Ann Hathaway and, most recently, George Clooney's bride Amal Alamuddin. "We will always remember him as the man who made women look and feel beautiful," former first lady Laura Bush said late Monday night. De la Renta designed the wedding dress for her daughter, Jenna. The cause of his death, announced by close family friends and industry colleagues, was not immediately clear. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, but said last year he was "totally clean." "The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die," he told an audience at New York's 92Y "Fashion Talks" series in June 2013. "We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life."

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The Entire Idaho Story Is A Lie

JMG reader Baltimatt points us to this:
City officials in Coeur d'Alene say they have not received any formal complaints that the Hitching Post wedding chapel has violated the city's anti-discrimination ordinance by refusing to solemnize same-sex marriages. A lawsuit filed in federal court Friday on behalf of Don and Lynn Knapp, ordained ministers and owners of the Hitching Post, claims the couple's constitutional rights to religious freedom are being violated by the city, through the city's anti-discrimination ordinance, because it compels them to officiate over gay marriages.  The law, adopted in 2013, prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity to be used as a basis for discrimination in housing, employment and other public accommodations. News of the lawsuit sparked national headlines over the weekend, primarily from conservative media, claiming that the city is threatening to arrest the Knapps. "We have never threatened to jail them, or take legal action of any kind," said city spokesman Keith Erickson.  [snip] Gridley wrote that the city will not prosecute legitimate nonprofit religious corporations, associations, educational institutions, or societies or other exempt organizations or anyone else as a result of their lawful exercise of their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion. When contacted by The Press for comment, Don Knapp said the Hitching Post is not operating as a not-for-profit religious corporation. He also said he does not know ADF Attorney David Cortman.
Also check out Jeremy Hooper's scoop about the Hitching Post's website.

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Today's GOP Winning Message

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No Charges In DeMaio Office Break-In

Via the San Diego U-T:
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced today that there was not enough evidence for her to file criminal charges in the May burglary of Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio's campaign office. Dumanis also said in a statement that her office would not pursue sexual misconduct charges against DeMaio — allegations that DeMaio has said come from the prime suspect in the burglary. DeMaio claims that a former campaign staffer, Todd Bosnich, broke into his office on May 27 and vandalized it. Bosnich went on CNN this month to accuse DeMaio of sexual misconduct. DeMaio has repeatedly suggested the accusations are a smokescreen against the criminal charges.
In other breaking DeMaio news:

Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio wants voters to know that he's down with the whole women's rights thing: access to birth control, equal pay, etc. But, behind the scenes, if you're a woman he disagrees with, you could be the subject of ridicule. On Jan. 22, DeMaio sent an email to two members of his staff, campaign spokesperson Dave McCulloch and then-policy director Todd Bosnich (Bosnich has accused DeMaio of sexually harassing him and trying to buy his silence). The email's subject line is "Kate Lyon" and includes a photo of an overweight woman wearing a bra and eating what looks to be a Twinkie chicken nugget. (The woman in the photo is not Lyon.) Based on the email's metadata, it appears to be authentic.
UPDATE: And even more sleazy news about DeMaio:
Anonymous emails, sent to the former staffer who accused Republican congressional candidate Carl DeMaio of sexual harassment, are the subject of FBI agent interviews with potential witnesses, sources have confirmed to NBC7 Investigates. DeMaio is locked in a nasty, raging battle against first-term incumbent Rep. Scott Peters for the 52nd Congressional District. But several sources close to the investigation told NBC7 that FBI agents and a lawyer from the U.S. Attorney's office asked questions focused on the accusation the Bosniches had received harassing emails, and an alleged hack of his Gmail account. The investigators also inquired about Bosnich’s claim that he was offered $50,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement. A source close to the investigation told NBC7 Investigates the emails threatened Bosnich's political career and put pressure on him to accept the $50,000, saying "you better keep your mouth shut and take the deal." FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth said his agency does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.

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