Friday, August 01, 2014

VIRGINIA: County Clerk Asks Fourth Circuit Court To Continue Stay So She Can Appeal Directly To SCOTUS

With the representation of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Prince William County Clerk Michele McQuigg today filed notice with the Fourth Circuit Court that she intends to appeal their overturn of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage to the US Supreme Court. Utah has also announced its intent to file such an appeal, but has not yet done so. Via SCOTUSblog:
McQuigg, who is the county clerk of Prince William County, a jurisdiction just south of Washington, D.C., asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to delay its July 28 decision striking down the Virginia ban on same-sex marriages. She asked for a ninety-day delay to allow her to file a petition for review in the Supreme Court, which she said her lawyers would file by October 26. Unlike most other states involved in court battles over same-sex marriage, Virginia allows its county clerks — the officers who issue marriage licenses — to be in court to defend the state ban. In other states where a defense has been mounted behind such a prohibition, state officials have done so.  The Utah and Virginia cases may not be the last of the same-sex marriage cases that could reach the Court during its coming Term, because other cases are proceeding on expedited schedules in other federal courts of appeals. The Court will have complete discretion whether to take on any of the cases, and on which one or more it might choose for reviewing the constitutional questions. The Virginia case raises both of the issues that have arisen over same-sex marriages in the past year: state power to forbid gays and lesbians to marry anew, and state power to refuse to recognize such marriages that have been performed legally in other states. McQuigg is one of two county clerks in Virginia who have come to the defense of the state ban. They took over the defense when state officials decided that they would no longer support the constitutional amendment and state laws that outlaw same-sex marriage altogether.
Back in March, the Alliance Defending Freedom represented McQuigg in her filing to join Norfolk County Clerk George Schaefer in defending against the suit brought by AFER's Ted Olson and David Boies, who now stand a stronger chance of being the team to argue what should be the final same-sex marriage case in the nation. Unless Utah gets there first. Read McQuigg's full filing.

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Ben Carson 2016 Comes One Step Closer

The wingnut Washington Times today reports that Tea Party hero Ben Carson has taken a "major step" towards officially announcing his run for the presidency.
Emerging from two-days of meetings with supporters in Palm Beach, Fla., Dr. Carson told the Times on Friday morning he has selected Houston businessman Terry Giles to be his 2016 campaign chairman should he run and approved the formation of a PAC called One Nation. “Now is the time to start all of the appropriate exploration and investigation, and put down the structure that is necessary,” Dr. Carson said in a phone interview. Asked about the likelihood he will run for president in 2016, Dr. Carson said: “I would say we are definitely a step or two closer than we were a year ago.” He said the outcome of the 2014 elections in which Republicans are trying to seize control of the Senate would be a major factor, and that his new PAC would try to support candidates with similar viewpoints as his.
It's been 62 years since a political novice was elected president. That was Eisenhower and HE was a five-star general and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during WWII. Therefore we should support Carson's bid - purely for the Herman Cain 2.0 hilarity that would surely ensue.

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This Is A Major Network News Reporter

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Liberty Counsel: We Had A Hand In Stopping Same-Sex Marriage In Croatia

And yet Croatia approved civil unions two weeks ago.

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FLORIDA: Plaintiffs In Key West And Miami-Dade Suits File To Merge Cases

Last month the plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage suits brought in Florida's Monroe and Miami-Dade counties won their cases in stayed rulings that only apply in the counties in which they were brought. So they are now attempting to join forces and get in front of the state Supreme Court together.
"If it is approved, then this will be awesome news," said Vanessa Alenier, who along with her partner Melanie is challenging the ban. "This merger will just makes us stronger." Earlier this month, the couples from both lawsuits boldly went to court to stand up for their right to marry, even though they were accosted by some religious protestors after the hearing. Their cases resulted in historic decisions from Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel and Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, both of whom ruled in their favor. The fight for marriage equality now continues to the next judicial arena, the Third District Court of Appeal based in Miami, though the couples are trying to take their case straight to the Florida Supreme Court. If the higher courts (potentially including the U.S. Supreme Court) judge in accordance with Zabel's and Garcia's decision, then same-sex marriage will be legalized throughout Florida.
A third case has already been heard in a Tallahassee federal court and the ruling in that case, should it come before the proposed Monroe/Miami-Dade case, would also be applicable statewide.

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Pastor Poo Poo Has The Uganda Sadz

Ssempa, not incidentally, has a NYC-born white wife. One wonders how his African ancestors feel about that.

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GOP House Rep. Don Young Apologizes After Twisting Wrist Of Congressional Aide

Mediaite has the story:
Young had briefly left an off-the-record GOP meeting about the border crisis and attempted to re-enter through a side door, and according to House rules, members are not allowed to re-enter through that door while a meeting is in progress. The aide was stationed outside the door to prevent people from using it — a fact that Young was seemingly unaware of, as a Vine captured by NBC producer Frank Thorp depicts. In a statement given to Politico, Young explained that he “was caught off guard by an unidentified individual who was physically blocking [him] from reentering the room. Regardless, my reaction was wrong and I should have never placed my hands on the young man.
Now in his 22nd term, Young is the most senior Republican member of the House. So he should know the rules.

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Activists Dispute Federal LGB Count

As you surely know, anti-gay hate groups and Christian organizations have been doing cartwheels over the recently released CDC survey which reports that just over 2% of Americans collectively self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. (The survey questions did not touch upon gender identity.) The Washington Post today notes that activists are calling out the CDC.
“The truth is, numbers matter, and political influence matters,” said Scout, director of the nonprofit CenterLink Network of LGBT Equity, who goes by only one name. “If we really are 2 percent versus 4 percent, it means people are going to say, ‘okay, I’m only going to care half as much,’” he said. Scout and others believe that the survey, which is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is flawed. They point to other surveys, including some scholarly papers and less prominent government studies, that peg the number at closer to 4 percent. The CDC is investigating why its figures, particularly for bisexuals, differ from those in the other surveys. The influential NHIS, which queried about 35,000 adults last year, found that 2.3 percent of the adult population identified as having a same-sex attraction, with 1.6 percent labeling themselves as gay or lesbian and 0.7 percent identifying as bisexual. Another 1.1 percent responded that they were “something else,” did not know the answer, or declined to say, and 96.6 percent said they were straight.
The CDC is defending its survey methods but says that it is looking into why its results were so much lower than other similar polls.

RELATED: A 2012 poll conducted by Canada's Forum Research showed that 5% of the population self-identifies as LGBT.

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Viral Video Of The Day

Chelsea Clinton just tweeted out the link to this pop music clip which has earned over 18 million views in just under three weeks. Female empowerment via make-up removal is a familiar visual trope, but it's effectively employed here. Nice tune as well.

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KENTUCKY: Poll Shows Opposition To Gay Marriage Has Dropped by 20 Points

A poll issued in Kentucky this week reveals that opposition to same-sex marriage has dropped by 20 points in the ten years since that state approved its constitutional ban. Here's how they try to spin the numbers at the anti-gay Lifesite News:
A Bluegrass Poll, released yesterday, found that Kentucky residents support traditional marriage by 13 percentage points, 50-37. "If this were an election, it would be considered a landslide," said Martin Cothran, a spokesman for The Family Foundation of Kentucky, which promotes pro-family policies. The poll found that gay “marriage” is opposed by both men and women, whites and blacks, every level of education and income, and every age group outside those 18-34. Only a plurality of Democrats, self-described “moderates,” young people aged 18-34, and residents of Louisville supported same-sex “marriage,” most by surprisingly close margins. The only group to crack 50 percent approval of marriage redefinition was self-described “liberals” (67 percent to 21 percent). On the other hand, redefining marriage is opposed by majorities of blacks, those who live in the eastern and western parts of the state, registered Republicans, self-described conservatives, and people over 50. Those under the age of 50 are tied at 43 percent apiece.
But here's how the local media reports on the same poll:
Opposition to gay marriage in Kentucky has hit its lowest level since 2004 when voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. The poll - conducted for WKYT-TV, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and WHAS-TV - found 50 percent of Kentuckians today are opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The results mark a dramatic shift from 2004 when a Bluegrass Poll found 70 percent were opposed to gay marriage. The new Bluegrass Poll results are an even further shift from February when opposition stood at 55 percent. "Over time, there is clear movement on this issue," said WKYT political editor Bill Bryant. "This poll shows some public movement there." The poll found support for gay marriage now stands at 37 percent and the remaining 12 percent unsure. While gay marriage opposition decreased five percentage points since February, those formerly in the opposition camp appeared to equally move into the support and not sure categories in the latest Bluegrass Poll. Both increased by two percentage points compared to February.
Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down one month ago today. Cothran: "This issue is now in the hands of unelected federal judges who have taken the issue out of the hands of voters. As with issues like abortion, our views no longer matter."

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Ben Carson: Gay-Affirming Pastors Are Poking Their Fingers In God's Eye

Miranda Blue writes at Right Wing Watch:
Conservative activist and potential GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson joined James Dobson on Family Talk Radio yesterday, where the two got to talking about LGBT-affirming pastors. Dobson, joining a long line of anti-LGBT activists who don’t quite understand what bisexuality is, asked what pastors who endorse marriage equality are going to do about bisexual people, who he said “have sex with males and females at the same time.” “That’s called orgies, that’s what it used to be called” he said. Carson, for his part, despaired that pastors who approve of same-sex marriage have given a “finger-in-your-eye to God.”

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A Happy First Anniversary

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TODAY: SiriusXM At 3:30PM

Today at 3:30pm I'll be on Michelangelo Signorile's SiriusXM show to talk about some of the latest LGBT news items making headlines here on JMG. Mike's channel is SiriusXM Progress 127 and you can listen live online if you sign up for a freebie account. What's on your mind?

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Mary Lambert - Secrets

A couple of weeks ago I posted the lyric video to this track and today we get the production clip. I've already added this to my best-of-2014 playlist. The Brunhilde interlude is adorable and an extra point for the literal coming out of the closet.

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Rep. Eric Cantor To Resign House Seat

Days after his shocking primary loss to a Tea Party challenger, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that he was resigning his GOP leadership position. Today he announced that later this month he will leave Congress entirely.
Cantor said he has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the general election on Nov. 4. By having a special election in November, the winner would take office immediately, rather than in January with the next Congress. “That way he will also have seniority, and that will help the interests of my constituents (because) he can be there in that consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said. Cantor’s resignation marks the end of a successful 14-year congressional run that included his role as House majority leader for more than three years and the prospect of becoming the next speaker of the House. Cantor had not faced a close challenge since he was first elected in 2000. But Dave Brat, an economics professor from Henrico County, toppled the incumbent in a Republican primary on June 10.
Cantor's resignation is effective August 18th.

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Porno Pete Goes To Dore Alley

Whenever Porno Pete LaBarbera goes silent for a few days on Twitter, I usually figure that he's out slithering around some kink event with his camera. And sure enough, his recent absence from the Twittersphere came because he was stalking the attendees of last weekend's Up Your Alley Fair, the smaller version of San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair that precedes the main event by two months. He writes:
I was curious to see what out-and-proud San Francisco was like AFTER the city council passed its 2012 “public nudity ban”–which, curiously enough, exempts massive street fairs celebrating nudity and perversion. (This is San Francisco, after all.) So I ventured out to the world’s most sexually deviant city last weekend (Sunday, July 27) to cover its annual “Up Your Alley” street fair, also called “Dore Alley“–put on by the same proud perverts (er…sadomasochistic “leathermen”) that annually stage the notorious Folsom Street Fair. Organizers of the “Up Your Ally” fair call it “Folsom’s Dirty Little Brother,” which, considering Folsom’s unbridled debauchery, is quite a recommendation for boundary-defying libertines and tourist gawkers who are there for the freak show. I saw more exposed penises and butts in a few hours at the Up Your Alley fair than I’ve seen in a lifetime, or so it seemed–and that includes diaper-changes for my five kids! It got real old, real fast (and note the sartorial conformity of the proud sex rebels!). Of course, deviance begets deviance, so it makes sense that the immoral, perverse and once-taboo behavior of homosexuality would be disproportionately associated with various other sexual and gender perversions–including exhibitionism (a paraphilia). Think about it: if it’s OK to be a “proud” homosexual, why not be a proud exhibitionist? Or a proud sexual sadist? Or even a proud “slave”? Did you know that there is a special flag for “Leather Pride”? (It’s black and blue–no joke.) Moral Relativism 101 in action.
LaBarbera has posted a dozen or so (VERY not office friendly) mocking photos of Dore Alley attendees in the first of what he promises will be a several-post series. He's very outraged about having seen promotions of barebacking at the fair, but remains silent about his video partner's recent call for God to give HIV to all LGBT supporters. Curious, huh?

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PolitiFact: Bryan Fischer Rated A "Pants On Fire" Liar For AIDS Claims

After President Obama mentioned the loss of HIV/AIDS researchers on the downed Malaysian Airlines flight, hate group spokesman Bryan Fischer declared that Obama was "politicizing" their deaths in order to legitimize gay relationships. Fischer went on to claim, "We know how to stop AIDS: persuade men not to have sex with men." PolitiFact looked into Fischer's bullshit and gave him their worst rating as being a "Pants On Fire" liar.
Globally, the dominant form of transmission is heterosexual sex, said Sophie Barton Knott, UNAIDS spokeswoman. Nearly half of people with HIV are female, and most were infected through heterosexual sex. Most of the 50.9 percent of men with HIV got it through heterosexual sex, too, she said. The highest rates of AIDS among 15- to 24-year-olds is among women in many parts of the world, said Seth Faison, spokesman for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. And in Eastern Europe, the highest transmission rates of AIDS are among people who inject drugs. "Men who have sex with men are a high-risk group, but not the only one," he said. The bottom line? Preventing men from having sex with men will not end AIDS. Faison said the criminalization of same-sex activity actually can increase transmission rates. Being gay is a crime in at least 76 countries, and in those places, gay men are less likely to receive treatment, testing and prevention. The CDC also says stigma and homophobia are likely one factor behind the rise in HIV infections among young gay men in the United States. "In effect, efforts to ‘persuade men not to have sex with men’ is counterproductive," Faison said. "It will not stop AIDS." Fischer’s claim is ridiculous. It rates Pants on Fire.
But we all knew that, of course.

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NEW JERSEY: Federal Judge Dismisses Challenge To "Ex-Gay" Torture Ban

Zack Ford has the story at Think Progress:
After New Jersey passed its ban on ex-gay therapy for minors last year, two lawsuits were filed challenging the law, one by therapists wishing to continue to practice the harmful treatment and one by a family seeking to continue the treatment for their son. In November, a federal judge ruled against the therapists, and on Thursday, the same judge dismissed the family’s challenge, again upholding the ban. The ruling somewhat comes out of the blue. The case had been stayed back in March while the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether to take up an appeal in a similar case in California. Last month, the Supreme Court announced it would not be hearing the case, allowing the Ninth Circuit’s ruling upholding California’s similar ban on ex-gay therapy to stand. With that settled, Judge Freda Wolfson now felt it appropriate to issue a decision in this second case.
The losers in yesterday's case were the Alliance Defending Freedom, who know a lot about torturing children.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: SCOTUS Will Not Duck The Coming Marriage Cases

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has personally officiated gay weddings, says the Court will definitely hear the same-sex marriage cases heading their way.
Appeals courts in Denver and Richmond, Virginia, have upheld lower court rulings striking down state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Any of those cases could make their way to the Supreme Court in the coming months. Attitudes have changed swiftly in favor of same-sex marriage, which is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia, Ginsburg said. She predicted that the justices would not delay ruling as they did on interracial marriage bans, which were not formally struck down until 1967. "I think the court will not do what they did in the old days when they continually ducked the issue of miscegenation," Ginsburg said. "If a case is properly before the court, they will take it." The comment marked something of a change for Ginsburg, who previously had been seen as wary about the court getting too far ahead of the country in ruling on major social issues.
Ginsburg also shrugged off suggestions that she should retire while President Obama can still appoint her successor, saying, "Right now, I don't see any sign that I'm less able to do the job."

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UGANDA: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Anti-Homosexuality Act

Via the BBC:
Uganda's Constitutional Court has annulled tough anti-gay legislation signed into law in February. It ruled that the bill was passed by MPs in December without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal. Homosexual acts were already illegal, but the new law allowed for life imprisonment for "aggravated homosexuality" and banned the "promotion of homosexuality". Several donors have cut aid to Uganda since the law was adopted. "The retrogressive anti-homosexuality act of Uganda has been struck down by the constitutional court - it's now dead as a door nail," the AFP news agency quotes prominent journalist Andrew Mwenda, one of the petitioners, as saying. Kosiya Kasibayo, a lawyer for the state, said a decision had not been made on whether to appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court, the Associate Press news agency reports. The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in the capital, Kampala, says supporters of the anti-gay laws have been angered by the ruling of the five judges. They wonder whether their decision has anything to do with the president's visit to Washington next week for the US-Africa Summit, she says.
Pastor Martin "Eat Da Poo Poo" Ssempa says that he will demand that the parliament "investigate the impartiality" of the judges. Since the bill was stricken on a technicality, we can expect a push for its re-passage. However, it's possible that the international backlash and loss of foreign aid will mean that the bill will, this time, face an uphill battle.

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Alvvays - Marry Me, Archie

"Blissed-out pop" from Toronto. Like a crunchier early Blondie.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Israel & Hamas Agree To Cease-Fire

Brokered by the UN and Secretary Of State John Kerry:
In a statement released in New Delhi where Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling, the U.S. and U.N. said they had gotten assurances that all parties to the conflict in Gaza had agreed to an unconditional cease-fire during which there would be negotiations on a more durable truce in the three-week-old fighting. "This humanitarian cease-fire will commence at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place," the statement said. "We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian cease-fire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the cease-fire." The statement said the cease-fire was critical to give civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence. During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive humanitarian relief and have time to bury the dead, take care of the injured and restock food supplies. The time also will be used to repair water and energy infrastructure.

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Pastor Rick Scarborough: God Would Be Perfectly Justified In Nuking America Because We Have Gay Ambassadors

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CHINA: Man Sues Search Engine For Directing Him To "Ex-Gay" Torture Clinic

Via the Associated Press:
A gay Chinese man said Thursday he was suing a psychological clinic for carrying out electric shocks intended to turn him straight, as well as the search engine giant Baidu for advertising the center. The Beijing LGBT Center, which campaigns for gay rights, said it was the first court case involving so-called conversion therapy in China. China declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 2001. The center's executive director, Xin Ying, said some professional hospitals in China, as well as smaller private clinics, still provide conversion therapy and that the group hopes the case at the Haidian District People's Court in Beijing will lead to a ban on the therapy. Yang Teng, 30, told The Associated Press that the therapy given to him included hypnosis and electric shock and he was left physically and mentally hurt. He said he voluntarily underwent the therapy in February following pressure from his parents to get married and have a child.
Local activists demonstrated outside the court today carrying a banner that read: "Homosexuality is not a disease, we don't need to be cured." A judgment in the case is expected by the end of the year.

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SEATTLE: Judge Doubles Requested Sentence, Arsonist Of Gay Nightclub Gets Ten Years In Federal Prison

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
The Seattle man who set fire to a popular Capitol Hill club during a New Year’s celebration was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison - twice as long as the term requested by prosecutors. Facing federal charges in the dangerous but non-injurious blaze, Musab Masmari admitted to starting a fire inside Neighbours Nightclub during the first minutes of 2014. Masmari was caught on camera setting fire to a rear stairwell at Neighbours, a large, decades-old gay nightclub. About 15 minutes after midnight, Masmari poured gasoline in a stairway to Neighbours’ balcony and lit the pool of fuel. The fire was quickly doused with a fire extinguisher; there were about 750 people in the club at the time.

Masmari, a California native also known as Musab Musmari, was arrested days later on his way to Sea-Tac Airport after buying a one-way ticket to Turkey. Writing the court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg said evidence suggests Masmari was motivated by an “intolerable hate.” “One of Masmari’s close associates was interviewed by investigators and reported that Masmari confided in him that he ‘burned a gay club’ and that he did it because ‘what these people are doing is wrong,’” Greenberg said in court papers. Greenberg said another person close to Masmari said he had a “general hostility towards homosexuality.” Attorneys for Masmari Charles Swift and Jeffrey Cohen noted that prosecutors were unwilling to try to prove that hate motivated the arson.
Ten years still feels like a light sentence for the attempted murder of hundreds of people. But good for the judge.

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UGANDA: High Court Hears Challenge To Brutal Anti-Homosexuality Legislation

Uganda's Constitutional Court is hearing a challenge to the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which calls for punishments up to life in prison for "crimes" such as "repeated homosexual acts."
The activists argue that the law was passed in parliament without the necessary quorum of lawmakers. The 10 petitioners – including two Ugandan rights organisations – also claim that the law violates the constitutional right to privacy and dignity, as well as the right to be free from discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Judges have adjourned the hearings until Friday, when they are expected to rule on the quorum issue. Ugandan state lawyers defended the law on Thursday, the second day of the hearings, asking judges to dismiss the petition. "There is no evidence about the quorum," state attorney Patricia Mutesa told the court in the capital, Kampala. But prominent gay-rights activist Frank Mugisha, one of the petitioners, said he was optimistic that judges would rule in favour of scrapping the law. "I think that we could have a very good judgment tomorrow, and if we get that judgment then it's over – and we just have to celebrate," said Mugisha, who heads the Sexual Minorities Uganda group.
Sexual Minorities Uganda is the group suing Scott Lively for crimes against humanity. Lively is widely considered to have sparked the movement for the passage of the bill. Several nations including the United States have curtailed aid to Uganda is the wake of the bill's enactment. Ugandan Pastor Martin "Eat Da Poo Poo" Ssempa is losing his shit (see what I did there?) on Twitter over the prospect of the bill being overturned. Even if the bill is struck down on parliamentary technicalities, we can expect an attempt to have it re-approved.

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Archbishop John Nienstedt: I'm Not Gay

Early this month it was disclosed that the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis was investigating claims that scandal-plagued Archbishop John Nienstedt has had "inappropriate sexual relations" with priests, seminarians, and other men. Today the Minneapolis StarTribune asked him point blank:
Nienstedt said he believed that the investigation involved five allegations of sexual impropriety, including from the time he served in the Detroit Archdiocese in the 1990s. The allegations were made by priests and seminarians. The archbishop denied that he was a homosexual or engaged in homosexual acts. "I’m not gay,” he said. “And I’m not anti-gay.” When he led the charge for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota in 2012, he said he was only arguing that marriage should be between a man and a woman. “It wasn’t to put down people with same-sex attractions,” he said. When asked why Catholic priests and seminarians alleged he had same-sex attraction, Nienstedt responded, “I have no idea.” “But I made a lot of enemies by the stands I’ve taken in Detroit and here,” he said. “I assume it feeds into that.” Nienstedt didn’t know when the investigation would be complete. However, when it is, he said it would be sent to the papal nuncio in Washington, D.C., and a “statement will be made.” He didn’t know if the report would be made public.
Nienstedt is refusing to step down despite widespread outrage over evidence that he shielded pedophile priests from prosecution. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the archdiocese and Nienstedt says that other bishops have advised him to consider declaring bankruptcy, presumably in order to evade paying any judgments.

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TRAILER: Into The Woods

From the recap:
“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.  Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” helms the film, which is based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics. Produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall. Starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine, “Into the Woods” is a humorous and heartfelt musical that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.
The film opens on New Year's Day.

(Tipped by JMG reader Brad)

RELATED: Last month Sondheim revealed that he had agreed with Disney's requests for some fairly major plot changes.

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One Million Moms Vs USA Network

Just in via email:
Joe, USA's new summer program, "Satisfaction," has a name that says it all. I suppose the name "Unsatisfied" didn't sound as attractive. Like a revamped soap opera, spouses get themselves tangled in a web of lies and hurt the ones they love. "Satisfaction" airs on Thursday evenings at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT. The premier episode wasted no time in letting viewers know what this show is about. The episode began with a graphic sex scene, ended with another pornographic display, and mixed in a few more explicit scenes throughout the show. "Satisfaction" centers around a married couple who have no regrets and feel no remorse about committing adultery with someone else - or cheating on their own spouse.

Infidelity is the new trend sold as normal by USA. To put it on a scale, "Satisfaction" is more pornographic than the show "Mistresses." This program consists of so much exposed skin and erotic sexual content that it probably filled half of the one hour program. Hollywood is continuing to push casual sex, sometimes with multiple partners, as acceptable. But Scripture states clearly it is a sin. The Bible also says as Christians we must speak up against sin. If we remain silent, we are accepting it and are guilty of sin also. One Million Moms is determined to clean up broadcast airwaves. Take Action: Please send an email letter to the sponsors of this week's "Satisfaction." The sponsors are: Dyson, Subaru, Jaguar, Geico, State Farm and Target.  Urge advertisers to place it on their "do not advertise" list in protest of pushing sin directly into America's living rooms.

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Thanks, Christian White Men

In April, Truth Revolt writer Andrew Klavan declared that gays should thank Jesus for giving us our civil rights. Today he says that we should thank all Christian white men for...well, basically everything.

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BRITAIN: "Ex-Gay" Group Again Loses Court Battle For Transit Ad Campaign

Via the BBC:
The High Court has dismissed a charity's claim the London mayor was responsible for a ban on a bus advert which suggested people could "get over" homosexuality. The Core Issues Trust (CIT) had accused Boris Johnson of "currying favour" with gay lobby groups. The mayor's office had rejected the CIT's claims. Mrs Justice Lang said Transport for London (TfL) made the decision not the to run the adverts, not the mayor. Giving a summary of her conclusions, Mrs Justice Lang said: "Mr Everitt of TfL was strongly influenced by Mr Johnson's opinion when he made the decision not to run the advertisements. "Mr Johnson was not motivated by an improper purpose, namely, to advance his mayoral election campaign." The probe was ordered by the Court of Appeal after it said an earlier ruling on the issue was flawed. The posters produced by the Christian charity reading, "Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!" were designed in response to adverts by gay rights group Stonewall which stated: "Some people are gay. Get over it!" The advert was banned on 12 April 2012, the day before the mayor addressed an election rally organised by gay rights charity Stonewall.

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Nine Former "Ex-Gay" Leaders Unite In Opposition To Conversion Therapy Torture

The National Center for Lesbian Rights today posted a public letter from nine former leaders of the "ex-gay" movement in which they denounce so-called conversion therapy.
At one time, we were not only deeply involved in these “ex-gay” programs, we were the founders, the leaders, and the promoters. Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy. We know first-hand the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth. We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically “broken” about being LGBT. We know better now. We once believed that sexual orientation or gender identity were somehow chosen or could be changed. We know better now. We once thought it was impossible to embrace our sexual orientation or sexual identity as an intrinsic, healthy part of who we are and who we were created to be. We know better now. Looking back, we were just believing (and sometimes teaching) what we had been taught—that our identity needed mending. We grew up being told that being LGBT was disordered, sick, mentally ill, sinful, and displeasing to God. We grew up being told that loving, same-sex relationships were shallow, lust-driven, deceived, disordered, and impossible.

We grew up with the repetitive message that LGBT people were not enough — not straight enough, not Christian enough, not manly or womanly enough, not faithful enough, not praying enough. Never, ever enough. “Toxic” probably sums it up best. That message is poison to the soul. Especially a child’s soul. It can take a lifetime to get rid of that old programming and replace it with healthy, non-toxic views of yourself. Recovery from conversion therapy is difficult at best. Some remain forever scarred, emotionally and spiritually.Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen. Regrettably, too many will choose suicide as a result of their sense of failure. In light of this, we now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not “therapy,” but is instead both ineffective and harmful. We align ourselves with every major mainstream professional medical and mental health organization in denouncing attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity. We admonish parents to love and accept your LGBT children as they are. We beseech the church to accept, embrace, and affirm LGBT persons with full equality and inclusion.
The letter is signed by the co-founder of Exodus International and the former leaders of several other "ex-gay" groups.

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Teabaggers Explain Their Opposition To Immigrants, Obama, Gays, & Muslims

Clip description:
Conservatives explain to us how the Gays, the Muslims, the Mexicans, and President Obama are all working hand in hand to destroy the moral fabric of America. Filmed on site at an anti-immigration protest in Houston, pro-immigration supporters also chime in while dancing to Salsa music. Esta muy muy crunk.
You really should watch this.

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New Christian App: Shut Up, Devil!

From Charisma News, which last week declared that gay people are possessed by "putrid-smelling demons."
The Shut Up, Devil! app is an innovative resource that puts the power of the Word of God in your pocket. And because it's on your smartphone, which is almost always with you, you're ready to resist the devil whenever and wherever he attacks. Additionally the app features reminders that will help you keep the enemy at bay and silenced in your life. The app conception stemmed from Charisma House's upcoming book, Silence Satan by Kyle Winkler, which releases in September. Winkler is founder of Kyle Winkler Ministries, a media and teaching ministry broadcasting on the Christian Television Network.
And here's the tutorial.

(Tipped by JMG reader Scott)

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TRAILER: Birdman

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Headlines Of The Day

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/31/trolls-quickly-drown-reaganbook-social-media-site-in-sea-of-profanity-pornography/
http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/31/5952725/reaganbook-conservative-facebook-trolls
http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/225581/reaganbook-facebook-for-patriots-already-filled-with-porn-and-reptillians/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/31/reaganbook-is-the-latest-conservative-fail.html
Hit each headline for the story. And well done.

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WISCONSIN: State Supreme Court Says Domestic Partners Law Is Constitutional

Via press release from Lambda Legal:
Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state’s domestic partnership registry as constitutional, bringing a joyful end to a long legal battle by Lambda Legal on behalf of Fair Wisconsin and five intervening defendant couples. “We’re thrilled that Wisconsin same-sex couples can keep the limited but very important protections that the domestic partnership registry grants them,” said Christopher Clark, Counsel for Lambda Legal. “The statute is clearly constitutional, and the Supreme Court of Wisconsin agreed with us. Gay and lesbian couples in Wisconsin no longer have to fear that the protections they have will be taken away by unnecessary anti-gay legal action. “We also look forward to the day - fast approaching - when Wisconsin will join its neighbors to the south and west and the growing number of states across the country where same-sex couples have the freedom to marry, rendering limited domestic partnership registry unnecessary. Wisconsin same-sex couples are entitled to the full range of legal protections that only marriage provides,” Clark added.
The lawsuit was brought by Wisconsin Family Action, who claimed that the domestic partners registry, which granted hospital visitation rights among other items, violated the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and "any legal status that is substantially similar to marriage."

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S.E. Cupp: Conservatives Are More Accepting Of Atheism Than Liberals

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Open Thread Thursday

Was it obvious when you were a child? Did your family wonder? Show us photos if you've got any. Above: Irvington, New Jersey, Easter 1966, age six.

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Rove: Obama Loves Impeachment Talk

Via Politico:
Karl Rove is playing a bipartisan blame game when it comes to talk about impeachment. “[President Barack Obama] is playing with the American people by suggesting a constitutional crisis where none exists,” Rove said Tuesday on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” “Shame on him and shame on those people in the administration who participate with him.” And Rove turned his fire on the GOP, adding, “Shame on conservatives and Republicans who helped him along.” Impeachment chatter has reached new heights in recent days. While Democrats are pointing fingers at Republicans for pushing the conversation, the GOP is claiming that the other side of the aisle is exaggerating the threat of impeachment in attempts to fundraise.

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SEATTLE: Arsonist Of Gay Nightclub May Only Get Five Years In Prison

The man who attempted to murder over 700 LGBT people by setting fire to a packed Seattle nightclub on New Year's Eve is due to be sentenced today.
Under the plea agreement Musab Masmari will serve the mandatory minimum of five years in prison, although the judge in the case could sentence the 31-year-old up to the maximum 20 years allowed by law. Masmari will not face terrorism or a hate crime charges for setting the fire inside the gay nightclub, though prosecutors signaled they may have had a case after learning that a “confidential informant” told investigators that Masmari said homosexuals should be “exterminated.” Prosecutors told CHS Masmari’s motives will be in question as part of the judge’s sentencing. This week, Masmari’s defense filed a personal statement with the court where he blamed his actions on drinking too much alcohol before setting the fire. In the statement Masmari said he drank an entire “cheap bottle of whiskey” on New Year’s Eve and said he did not remember what happened afterwards.
Masmari was arrested in February while attempting to flee the country on a one-way ticket to Turkey.

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From The Ruth Institute

NOM spun off the Ruth Institute a couple of years ago. (Via Good As You)

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Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

US House Votes To Sue Obama

Via the Los Angeles Times:
The House vote to sue President Obama is the first such legal challenge by a chamber of Congress against a president and a historic foray in the fight over constitutional checks and balances. Wednesday’s nearly party-line vote followed a feisty floor debate and offered a fresh example of how the capital’s hyper-partisanship has led both parties into unprecedented territory, going to new and greater lengths to confront one another. The House approved the resolution in a near party-line vote, 225 to 201. It authorizes House Speaker John A. Boehner to file suit in federal court on behalf of the full body “to seek appropriate relief” for Obama’s failure to enforce a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would penalize businesses that do not offer basic health insurance to their employees. That provision’s effective date has been delayed by the administration twice and now won’t fully take effect until 2016. The GOP-led House has voted to repeal the law, even as it seeks to sue Obama for failing to enforce it.

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UTAH: Language School Fires Teacher For Blog Post Explaining Homophones Because There And Their Is Totally Gay

From the you-can't-make-it-up-department in Provo, Utah:
Homophones, as any English grammarian can tell you, are words that sound the same but have different meanings and often different spellings — such as be and bee, through and threw, which and witch, their and there. This concept is taught early on to foreign students learning English because it can be confusing to someone whose native language does not have that feature. But when the social-media specialist for a private Provo-based English language learning center wrote a blog explaining homophones, he was let go for creating the perception that the school promoted a gay agenda. Tim Torkildson says after he wrote the blog on the website of his employer, Nomen Global Language Center, his boss and Nomen owner Clarke Woodger, called him into his office and told him he was fired. As Torkildson tells it, Woodger said he could not trust him and that the blog about homophones was the last straw. "Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality," Woodger complained, according to Torkildson, who posted the exchange on his Facebook page.
The school has denied the teacher's claim of homophonia - but has also deleted his post from its website. Their clunky mission statement could use some work: "Nomen Global Language Centers substantially helps students from all cultures and walks of life to excel in each aspect of their English acquisition and to obtain their goals for the future. We achieve this goal by means of qualified and experienced faculty, dedicated staff, engaging and challenging curriculum, and professional and ethical student services." (Tipped by JMG reader Joseph)

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Missouri Heckler Screams At President Obama: Jesus Is The Lord Of Israel

Via Mediaite:
During his speech in Kansas City, Missouri Wednesday, President Barack Obama was once again confronted by some good, old-fashioned heckling. In the video of the event that streamed on the White House website, it was a bit hard to hear what the woman was screaming, but it appeared to be something along the lines of “Jesus is the Lord of Israel.” “I’m sorry, what are you hollering about?” the president said casually, letting the heckler repeat their message for the crowd. “I believe in God,” he said in response. “Thanks for the prayer. Amen. Thank you.” As Obama tried to continue his speech, the audience of (mostly) supporters broke out into a chant of “We love you! We love you!”

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ReaganBook Is Offline Because Bad People Are Trying To Destroy Their Freedomz

And whatever those protections are, getting around them will be delicious. (Tipped by JMG reader Achilles)

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Crazy Eyes Outdoes Herself: President Obama Wants To Use Immigrant Children For Medical Experimentation

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FLORIDA: Orlando's Parliament House Nightclub/Hotel Declares Bankruptcy

Orlando's legendary/infamous Parliament House, where I made my first tentative steps into a gay bar on April 18th, 1976*, has declared bankruptcy. Via the Orlando Sentinel:
Parliament House, a gay resort and entertainment complex, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday citing $15.5 million in debt. The 4.5-acre complex defaulted on loans during the recession in 2009 and has been locked into a foreclosure and refinancing battle since then, said bankruptcy attorney Scott Shuker. “It’s clearly the intent of Parliament House to continue operating and restructure its debts, but we just couldn’t reach agreement with two secured lenders,” Shuker said. The resort is approaching its 40th anniversary. Businessman Donald Granatstein and Susan Unger, both of Toronto, have owned Parliament House for 15 years. Shuker said the business suffered cashflow problems in 2009. Both lenders that held mortgages also went under during the recession. The complex is about 1.5 miles west of downtown Orlando along Orange Blossom Trail.
As any Orlando resident will tell you, the Parliament House has swung between wildly popular and closing-at-any-minute many, many times over the decades. I'm guessing that its current woes are probably related to the failed gay timeshare complex that the owners planned for the adjacent property. (Via Towleroad)

*The drinking age at that time was 18 so it was not terribly uncommon to find high schoolers (like me) in nightclubs.

RELATED: The Parliament House's iconic neon sign is considered an Orlando landmark and the one pictured above is actually a 2004 almost-replica of the 1960 original, which was destroyed by Hurricane Charley. As you can see from the late 70s postcard below, the original sign read "MOTOR INN" not "RESORT."

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MICHIGAN: Christian Radio Host John Balyo Confesses To Rape Of Second Child

Cornerstone University radio host John Balyo was arrested last month after federal investigators connected him to the rape of an 11 year-old boy. Today Balyo confessed to a second rape. Via the Detroit Free Press:
Former WCSG radio host John Richard Balyo admitted today that he and a second man handcuffed a 12-year-old boy to a motel bed, sexually abused him and took nine photos during the April encounter. "I did take images of a child and they were sexually explicit involving bondage and nudity,'' Balyo admitted today in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. "I performed sex acts as described. I knew it was wrong.'' Balyo and Ronald Lee Moser paid the boy for his involvement in the April 19th assault. His hands and feet were handcuffed and he was tied to the bed, according to courtroom statements today. While bound, Balyo took nine photos of the boy, first in his underwear and then naked. The boy's family wept in the back of the sixth floor courtroom as details of the assault were told to Magistrate Ellen Carmody during today's plea hearing.
In exchange for today's confession and guilty plea, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office will not file additional charges that may arise from the continuing investigation. Balyo faces life in prison on the first case and up to 50 years for the second. Cornerstone University requires its students to sign a "lifestyle pledge" that they will not engage in "every form of immorality, including immoral sexual behavior, homosexuality, lying, stealing and cheating." (Tipped by JMG reader Lynda)

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Quote Of The Day - Mark Joseph Stern

"The problem here, of course, is that an honest answer—'your honor, we believe gay people will destroy the marital institution altogether'—would undermine the supposedly secular, animus-free nature of these arguments. In developing them, anti-gay activists began with a conclusion—gay people don’t deserve the rights that we straight people have—then worked backward, camouflaging each prejudiced premise with a supposedly neutral talking point. Under any kind of scrutiny, these theories instantly fall apart, revealing their bigoted, constitutionally impermissible core. [snip]

"And yet the inanity continues full-throttle, because gay marriage opponents have backed themselves into the corner they’ve always dreaded. They can’t give up their quest now—but they’re barred from citing the explanations that they truly believe, deep down, to be correct. The result is the current tailspin of idiocy, a shifting argument with rootless standards roaming from rationale to rationale in a desperate attempt to find shelter from the storm of progress swirling around it. It’s a pathetic display, but not an unpleasant one to witness. Stripped of all logic and reason, the argument against gay marriage has been reduced to gibberish. Enjoy the babbling while it lasts." - Mark Joseph Stern, in a Slate essay titled When Did Arguments Against Gay Marriage Become So Silly?

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HOUSTON: Activists Publish Names Of Those Who Signed Anti-Gay Petition

Houston activists have posted a database containing the 50,000+ names of those who signed the petition to place a repeal of the HERO ordinance on the public ballot, so expect the usual screams of "homofascism." Volunteers continue to pore over the signatures in the validation process which is expected to be finished shortly. This morning JMG reader Mike Craig sent us the below video of his appearance before the Houston City Council last night. According to the testimony below, the number of valid signatures may not reach the required threshold. Craig stresses that contrary to the speculation of Mayor Annise Parker heard in the clip, his group is not contemplating a lawsuit should the repeal drive make the ballot and they are confident that they would win in a public vote.

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Daddy Days Returns To Provincetown

After a successful launch last year, Daddy Days is returning to Provincetown for the week of August 10th - 17th. The event is again sponsored, unsurprisingly, by the website DaddyHunt. Via press release:
"The success of last year's DaddyDays showed us how much we needed an event like this,” says Carl Sandler, founder of Daddyhunt. "Love and sex aren’t limited by age. With Daddy Days, we bring together not only daddies and daddy hunters, but guys that enjoy a broader definition of community. It's an incredible week, and we're excited to see it grow.” Provincetown Daddy Days kicks off on Sunday with a sweaty, sexy dance party at the historic Gifford House. Events continue throughout the week, including parties at the Vault, Crown & Anchor, Paramount and the Brass Key. For the second year in a row, the center of the action will be at the host hotel — Crew’s Quarters on Commercial Street. “2014 is the Year of the Daddy,” says Sandler. “From Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley in the news to Dom and Lynn on Looking, gay men are seeing that sex appeal only grows with age."
At this year's Bear Week, several of my friends estimated the average age of the attendees as in the mid-high 40s. I'm told that last year's Daddy Days drew a slightly older crowd.

RELATED: DaddyHunt was founded by Chris Turner, who met his husband Armistead Maupin through his own site. Turner sold the site several years ago.

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Right Now In South Carolina

South Carolina's attorney general has vowed to continue defending his state's same-sex marriage ban despite Monday's ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. But tell that to our heroes in Greenville. Follow their live-tweeting.

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Bears Hate J.Crew?

JMG reader Dick snapped the above photo at the J. Crew outlet in Soho. I called the store and the clerk that answered the phone said the slogan is a reference to the "campfire theme" of the window display. She said that she was unaware of the meaning of "bear" in gay circles and that the Columbus Circle store has the same display artist and therefore the same display and window slogan. Still, it seems like an odd word choice. Unless there's a straight window display artist working in Manhattan, which seems rather unlikely. Photo source.

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Janelle Monae - Electric Lady

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TheSarahPalinChannel.com

Click through and see where it takes you.

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Hate Group Leader Linda Harvey Issues Study Guide For Her "Ex-Gay" Book

Hate group leader Linda Harvey has issued a student study guide for her "ex-gay" title, Maybe He's Not Gay. Via press release:
"Youth groups, college roundtables, and adult Sunday school classes can now explore the many facets of the issue of homosexuality through in-depth discussions centered around Maybe He's Not Gay," said Harvey, founder and president of Mission America. Harvey is a Christian radio talk show host, a speaker, columnist and author who writes frequently about the homosexual political agenda and its destructive impact on America, particularly on our youth. The guide is available at no cost on the Mission America site. This highly-acclaimed book is tailored especially for teens and young adults but has been praised by adults who appreciate its common sense, biblically-based approach to a difficult and controversial issue. Published in January 2014, the book presents the view that adolescents who claim a "gay" identity are not getting the whole picture and have been misled into believing the "LGBT" identity is risk-free and inborn like race. They have also been persuaded, contrary to research and many personal testimonies, that there's no hope of change.
RELATED: You may recall that Harvey's book was reportedly pulled from Amazon after complaints that it violated the site's rules against books that promote abuse. Harvey claims to have removed the book herself.

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Janet Porter Is Onto You

Hate group leader Janet Porter is very upset that her new anti-gay site, ReaganBook, is being flooded with fake members. Just look at who liked her post! I tried joining as Joan Quigley, but gave up because the site was so slow. (Tipped by JMG reader Ronald)

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VIRGINIA: Marriage Of Anti-Gay GOP Former Gov. Bob McDonnell Was A Sham

Sanctity of marriage defender and GOP former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is being tried for corruption and according to testimony presented yesterday by his lawyers, his own marriage was a sham because his wife was in love with the man accused of bribing them. And since their marriage was in shambles, say their lawyers, they could not have colluded in the scheme.
The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in loans, designer clothes, vacations and a Rolex watch from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific. If convicted, they could face decades in prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Aber said during opening statements that McDonnell and his wife betrayed the public’s trust by lining their pockets with “secret gifts and cash.” McDonnell, a once-rising star in the Republican party who left office in January, had a duty “not to sell the power and influence of his office to the highest bidder,” Aber said. Attorneys for the McDonnells told jurors the governor did what any of his predecessors would do for a Virginia-based company. They questioned Williams’ character and said the couple couldn’t have been scheming together because their marriage was falling apart. Maureen McDonnell’s lawyer, William A. Burck, said the former first lady was “duped” by Williams into thinking he cared for her and she and her husband were pretending to be a happy couple. “They were barely on speaking terms,” Burck said.
McDonnell is expected to testify in his own defense and reportedly will read an email in which he begged his wife to "work things out" with him.

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Starnes: Woman Thinks Obama Is God

Here's what actually happened:
Obama dined at a barbecue restaurant with four Kansas City residents who had written him letters about their lives. Before sitting down with them, he had a moment with Dale Hopkins, a patron at the restaurant and possibly Obama’s most intense supporter. A pool report wrote up their moment together: "A woman with blonde hair and glasses rose to shake his hand from another table. 'He’s so handsome, oh my God!' she exclaimed. 'I’m paying for her food,' he said after hugging her. 'You’re so handsome,' she continued. 'The First Lady is so lucky.' She became choked up as she shook his hand a final time."
You probably shouldn't tweet "OMG" to Starnes, he'll say you've mistaken him for Jesus.

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Tony Perkins Has The Virginia Sadz

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit yesterday became the second federal appeals court to declare that a state (in this case, Virginia) defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman violates the U.S. Constitution. The three-judge panel divided 2-1, with the majority declaring that 'the fundamental right to marry encompasses the right to same-sex marriage.'

"Unfortunately, the majority is clearly and obviously wrong on this point, which dissenting Judge Paul V. Niemeyer described as mere 'linguistic manipulation.' As Niemeyer pointed out, the Supreme Court precedent of Washington v. Glucksberg (a 1997 case in which the Court rejected a 'right' to assisted suicide) lays out a specific analysis which must be undertaken before a new 'fundamental right' can be declared. It requires a careful description of the asserted right -- which in this case is clearly the right to marry a person of the same sex. It then requires a demonstration that this specific 'right' is 'deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition.' Since 'same-sex marriage' has only existed in the U.S. for ten years (and in more than one state for only six), it does not even come close to meeting that standard.

"Judge Niemeyer also faults the majority for 'failing to explain, for example, why this broad right to marry, as the majority defines it, does not also encompass the 'right' of a father to marry his daughter or the 'right' of any person to marry multiple partners.' We must hope that the Supreme Court has more logic -- and respect for its own precedents -- when this or a similar case reaches them." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via press release.

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OHIO: New Ad From Why Marriage Matters

Columbus television reports:
For the first time in a decade, marriage equality ads will be seen on Ohio TV. Starting Wednesday an ad supporting gay marriage will begin running statewide. The TV spot tells the story of George and Henry - they're two Ohioans who have been together fifty years. Although their marriage license says New York, here's how the commercial ends: "Hopefully, Ohio will be next." Next week, a huge rally will be held in Cincinnati. Mike Premo, of Why Marriage Matters Ohio told ABC 6, "We're expecting a really big turnout. It's going to be a historic day." The rally will be held the night before a federal court hears gay marriage cases from four states. According to Premo, "There's a tremendous amount of momentum and we've seen 28 rulings in a row from judges in favor of marriage equality across the country."

(Tipped by JMG reader Arthur)

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Zillow Buys Trulia In $3.5B Deal

Creating what is being characterized as an "online real estate juggernaut," on Monday the realty site Zillow reached a deal to purchase Trulia, its chief competitor, in an all stock $3.5B merger.
Under the terms of the deal, Zillow will pay 0.444 of one of its shares for each share of Trulia. Based on Friday’s closing prices, the takeover bid is worth $70.53 a Trulia share, a premium of roughly 25 percent. Together, the two will dominate the traffic for online home listings. Last month, Zillow reported 83 million users, while Trulia reported 54 million — a combined 61 percent of total Internet users for the category, according to the research firm comScore. “The companies know each other very well,” Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview. “We’ve been competitors and rivals for nine years, but I’ve always had respect for them.” Zillow has already become one of the best-known players in the market through its widely quoted “Zestimates” of how much a property is worth, a feature particularly popular among homeowners. Trulia, on the other hand, has tools that tend to draw more potential sellers and buyers.
Rascoff says that he does not expect anti-trust regulators to objects to the deal. Last year Zillow also bought StreetEasy and HotPads.

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