Friday, August 22, 2014

VIRGINIA: Anti-Gay Norfolk County Clerk Petitions SCOTUS To Hear Marriage Appeal

Via SCOTUSblog:
Arguing that lower federal courts have “subverted” the Supreme Court’s decision last year on same-sex marriage, a Virginia court clerk on Friday filed his own petition – the second filing seeking a ruling on the constitutionality of that state’s ban on such marriages and the fourth on the basic constitutional issue. The filing may complicate the Court’s chances of promptly considering that issue.

The new document was filed by lawyers for George E. Schaefer III, who is the circuit court clerk for the city of Norfolk. He has been taking part in the Virginia case since it began, and he is now defending the ban, after state officials opted not to do so. Already pending at the Court are another petition from Virginia, one from Utah, and one from Oklahoma. Another is expected soon from Virginia, to be filed by a different clerk.

On Wednesday, the Court blocked the issuance of licenses for same-sex marriages in Virginia pending the filing of a petition by the other clerk who is defending the ban, Michele B. McQuigg of Prince William County. Her petition is being prepared now by her lawyers, who may file it within the next week or so.

In the other two Virginia filings, one by the state attorney general and now by the Norfolk clerk, each claimed that it was the proper vehicle for the Court to review the validity of the Virginia ban. But the two are on slightly different procedural timetables within the Court, and that will be true as well for the McQuigg petition when it is filed.
Equality Case Files has the full filing.

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American Family Association: God Will
Use The Pagan Army Of ISIS To Punish America For Gay Debauchery


T-Shirt Now On Sale By Rick Perry PAC

Reported by the Texas Tribune.

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New Kid's Book: My Parents Open Carry

From the Amazon description:
Come join 13-year-old Brenna Strong along with her mom, Bea, and her dad, Richard, as they spend a typical Saturday running errands and having fun together. What's not so typical is that Brenna's parents lawfully open carry handguns for self-defense. The Strongs join a growing number of families that are standing up for their 2nd Amendment rights by open carrying and bringing gun ownership out of the closet and into the mainstream. If you open carry and have a difficult time explaining why to your family and friends, or if you want to learn about the open carry of a handgun, or if you've wondered if open carry is right for you, then this book is what you need. My Parents Open Carry was written in the hope of providing a basic overview of the right to keep and bear arms as well as the growing practice of the open carry of a handgun. We fear our children are being raised with a biased view of our constitution and especially in regards to the 2nd Amendment. Before writing this, we looked for pro-gun children's books and couldn't find any. Our goal was to provide a wholesome family book that reflects the views of the majority of the American people, i.e., that self-defense is a basic natural right and that firearms provide the most efficient means for that defense. We truly hope you will enjoy this book and read and discuss it with your children over and over again. As you read this book, you will learn about the growing practice of open carry, the 2nd Amendment, and the right and responsibility of self-defense. Home School Teachers: This book is an excellent text to use as a starting point on the discussion of the 2nd Amendment.
Matt Barber's site and other wingnut outlets are claiming that the book is already an "Amazon bestseller," but I'm not seeing it in the top 100 for kid's physical or e-books.  From one of the many scornful reviews: "Can't wait for the sequel, My Black Parents Open Carried Until the Police Shot Them 146 Times."

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Wingnuts Raise $235K For Ferguson Cop

Via Mediaite:
A campaign that emerged this week on set a goal of raising $250,000 for Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. After just four days, the campaign has garnered nearly 6,000 individual donations totaling more than $234,000. The page, set up by anonymous supporters, states, “We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives. All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees.”
GoFundMe has had to remove racist comments that have accompanied some of the donations.

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Coldplay - True Love

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AHF Launches Anti-PrEP Ad Campaign

The combative and controversial AIDS Healthcare Foundation is launching a print ad campaign against the use of Truvada as a daily HIV preventive. Via press release:
AHF’s ‘PrEP Facts’ ad campaign educating the public about adherence issues and PrEP initially started running this week in a few newspapers, magazines and online outlets in California and will continue and expand to six outlets in California and five news outlets in South Florida over the next week. AHF’s campaign also comes on the heels of recent—and what AHF believes are misguided—recommendations by both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for the widespread scale up and implementation of the problematic HIV prevention strategy.

“The eight major studies show the scientific data do not support the large-scale use of Truvada as a community-wide public health intervention to prevent transmission of HIV,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Medication adherence is the primary problem: Even in carefully monitored clinical trials, in which people were counseled monthly, had blood samples drawn and were even paid to participate, many study participants simply did NOT take Truvada every day as prescribed. As such, we want the public to know that the government-sanctioned widespread scale up of PrEP appears to be a public health disaster in the making.”
The ads will run in numerous LGBT, mainstream, and alternative papers including Frontiers, South Florida Gay News, Los Angeles Daily News, Miami New Times, Hotspots, Oakland Post, and Florida Agenda.

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Catholic Bishops Have The Florida Sadz

"We are sadly disappointed by the court's decision to reject marriage as the union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife. The decision fails to adequately consider that marriage unites a man and a woman with any children born from their union and protects a child's right to both a mother and a father. Our affirmation of marriage between a man and a woman is not motivated by unjust discrimination or animosity toward anyone. Human dignity is manifested in all persons; and all have the capacity for and are deserving of love. This is especially true of children, who should be given the opportunity, to the greatest extent possible, to be raised and loved by the mother and father who conceived them.

"Only the union of a man and a woman in and of itself can bring forth children and thus is the very origin of society. With its unique beauty and goodness revealed, the public has a worthy interest in protecting this institution in law as a means to ensure humanity is both nurtured and strengthened. The judge's ruling negates marriage as identified in our state constitution and approved by nearly 62% of the electorate in a 2008 ballot initiative. Despite this decision, we will continue to promote the truth of marriage, its foundational significance to society, and its importance to children. We are hopeful that ultimately the courts will recognize the true nature and meaning of marriage." - The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, via press release.

RELATED: The bishops had filed an anti-gay amicus brief is the case decided yesterday.

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FRC Has The Florida Sadz

"The people's voice and vote need to be respected to preserve the rule of law. Judge Hinkle assumes that the marriage debate will disappear - the same wrong conclusion made in 1973 by the judges who imposed abortion on demand. However, Judge Hinkle can't erase the reality that children need a mom and dad. He also can't wish away the very serious consequences that marriage redefinition has for free speech and religious liberty. Far from live-and-let-live, the redefinition of marriage is forcing people to violate the basic teachings of their faith, or lose their livelihood. A radical departure from natural law and human history, this Florida judge has further undermined the legitimacy of the courts in the eyes of the American people. These liberal activist judges may want to take America over the cultural cliff, but don't be surprised when more and more Americans refuse to follow." - Chris Gacek, "senior fellow" for the Family Research Council, via press release.

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MINNESOTA: Wedding Venue Agrees To Pick Up Tab For Gay Couple They Refused

Via the Associated Press:
The owners of a lodge in central Minnesota have agreed to pick up the tab for the wedding and reception of a same-sex couple they initially turned away. The Minnesota Human Rights Department says Cole Frey and his fiance have settled their discrimination case against the owners of Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation. The Rice Creek Lodge is a wedding venue in Little Falls. The Department of Human Rights investigated and determined there was probable cause of discrimination by the lodge owners due to sexual orientation. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Minnesota a year ago. Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey says it's the first public accommodation case for his department related to same-sex marriage.
(Tipped by JMG reader Ben)

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SPAIN: Lawmaker Blames Trillion Dollar National Debt On "Subsidies To Gays"

A Spanish lawmaker says that the nation's financial problems are due to "subsidies granted to homosexuals" by the previously ruling party.
Popular Party senator Luz Elena Sanín told journalists that Spain’s ruling conservative party had increased its public spending due to "the debts" caused by “subsidies for NGOs and homosexuals”. Sanín, who represents Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta in the Senate, said former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero with the country's opposition Socialists had forced the country’s debt to surpass a record €1 trillion with "his favours". The Colombian-born politician, now a Spanish national, added that her party had been forced to further aggravate the country’s economic crisis when coming to power in order to pay back the debt from Zapatero’s subsidies for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community. "Otherwise we wouldn't have this gaping economic hole," Catalan daily La Vanguardia reported her as saying during a press conference held to sing the praises of her party's economic model.
A member of the (now) minority Socialist Party is calling on Sanin to apologize or resign. The above-linked source reports that LGBT groups have denounced her claim as a "breeding group for homophobia."

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SCOTUSblog: The Court Has Given No Clear Signal On Taking Any Marriage Case

Lyle Denniston writes at SCOTUSblog:
Since early this year, the Supreme Court has stepped back into the same-sex marriage controversy five times. While it has done little to explain those actions, it has sent some signals about its thinking. Its most important signals may have been those it appeared to have sent Wednesday, in putting off the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Virginia.

Between the nine lines of that order, the Court implied that it will not be rushed into a decision about which, if any, cases it is going to review. And it left no doubt that the Justices themselves, not the lawyers or their clients, are in charge of the timing. The Court, in short, has not yet gotten caught up in the race to settle the basic constitutional issue just as soon as it could possibly do so.

The Court actually has said very little in the nearly fourteen months since its five-to-four decision in United States v. Windsor – the ruling that did not deal with state power to ban same-sex marriage but is being widely interpreted by most lower courts as if it had very much to do with that. It has not granted any cases on the validity of a state ban, and it has not even hinted — at least not reliably — at what it might eventually decide on the point.
Read the full essay.

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SAN FRANCISCO: Police Release Video Of Suspect In Murder Of Gay Man

Castro Biscuit reports:
The San Francisco Police Department has released a video depicting a “person of interest” in the Feather Lynn/Bryan Higgins homicide case we reported on last week. The video below shows a man in a dark gray hoodie which gets taken off at one point to reveal a red hoodie. Many news outlets last week had conflicting reports on the color of the hoodie of the person suspected to be involved in the death of Feather. The first part of the video was captured from a taxi dash cam and shows the man wanted for questioning “chasing” Feather (blacked out in the video) across Church Street in front of the cab near Duboce Avenue. Video was taken August 10th, the same day as the attack on Feather. If you have any information about this man please contact the SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.
My first report on the murder is here.

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TRAILER: Automata

A retread of I, Robot. Also: Melanie Griffith.

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BRITAIN: Comedian Taunts Westboro Baptist To Picket Islamic Extremists In Iraq, Westboro Agrees To Go

Via Gay Star News:
The Westboro Baptist Church has accepted comedian Adam Hills’ offer to go to Iraq. Hills, who hosts British TV show The Last Leg, ranted about the ‘God Hates Fags’ church after they claimed Robin Williams was in hell for being a ‘fag enabler’. They also said they would protest at the late actor’s funeral. The threat angered Hills, offering to fly members first class to Iraq to picket the extremist Islamists beheading Christians there instead. 'If you really believe in standing up to those threatening the Christian way of life, Westboro Baptist Church, how about putting your money where your mouth is, taking a direct flight to Iraq and picketing the people threatening to behead Christians if they don’t convert?' Hills said if they chose to fly, he believed one of two things will happen. 'Either you’ll die while defending your beliefs and you’ll be carried away to heaven by a gold chariot to sit at the right hand of God for all eternity,’ he said. 'OR if I’m right, and I’m willing to bet a dozen first class flights that I am, God will be standing at the pearly gates alongside a 5ft 8 hairy American comedian dressed as a middle aged Scottish nanny saying, “Heeeellllooooo”.
Yesterday Westboro tweeted: "Iraq, here we come." That was followed with their announcement that they will picket the Missouri funeral of Michael Brown. The comedian's clip below already has 1.3 million views.

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AG Pam Bondi: I Put My Hand On The Bible And Swore To Defend Florida's Laws

"We have a separation of powers in our state. I am not the judiciary. I am not the person to make that decision. The courts are. I am a member of the executive branch. I’m not a lawmaker. I’m not a member of the legislative branch. This needs to be decided by the United States Supreme Court. We want finality. There are good people on both sides. We want finality. That’s what we need. The U.S. Supreme Court’s going to hear this. They are going to make this determination. And if you hear that I have criticized people personally, I have not. I never will. This is me doing my job as attorney general. And I will continue to do that and if anybody wants me to moderate my message or stand for less I have a message for them: I am just getting started. All I’m going to say is I put my hand on a Bible and I raised my right hand and swore to uphold the Constitution of the state of Florida. This was voted into our Florida’s Constitution by 62 percent of the voters not even six years ago." - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, reacting to yesterday's ruling. Bondi, it should be obvious, is up for reelection this year.

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Fox News Solicits Commentary From Mark Fuhrman On Shooting Of Michael Brown

Yes, that Mark Fuhrman, the only person convicted of a felony in relation to the original OJ Simpson trial.

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Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert For Promoting Lesbian Sex

Andres Duque reports at Blabbeando:
The National Commission for Public Performances in the Dominican Republic announced today that they were banning a September 13th Miley Cyrus concert for, among other things, promoting lesbian sex. "The National Commission for Public Performances in the exercise of the powers given by the Constitution of the Republic through Regulation 824 of Law Number 1951Article 4306 - the purpose of which is to prevent public performances that offend the morals, good customs and relationship between friendly countries - imposes this ban based on Miley Cyrus' common engagement in acts during her concerts that defy morals and customs in ways usually penalized by Dominican law," a statement reads. They add that Cyrus "uses inadequate attire, corrupts language, uses perverse imagery and phrasing, uses phrases with double meanings, glorifies crime, violence and denigrating acts against civility and promotes sex, lesbian sex and the use of inadequate objects in public."
Duque notes that homosexuality is not illegal in the island nation but there has been significant anti-gay sentiment from religious leaders following the appointment of a gay US ambassador.

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FLORIDA: Anti-Gay Group To Open Five Regional GOTV Offices Across State

The Florida Family Policy Council has announced the opening of five new offices across the state as part of their "Take Back America" 2014 election campaign. The head of the group, John Stemberger, is also behind the anti-gay scouting group, Trail Life USA.

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TUESDAY: Seventh Circuit Court To Hear Marriage Cases From Indiana & Wisconsin

Here's a reminder for next week:
On Tuesday, August 26th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will hear arguments in court cases from Indiana and Wisconsin in which federal district courts ruled against the states’ bans on marriage for same-sex couples. Baskin v. Bogan of Indiana – which was consolidated with Lee v. Pence and Midori Fujii v. State of Indiana – and Wisconsin's Walker v. Wolf are slated to go before a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit at 9:30am CT. In total there have been twenty federal court rulings against bans on marriage equality across the country – seventeen federal district court rulings and three circuit court rulings upholding district court rulings – all since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor in June of last year.

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John Stemberger Has The Florida Sadz

"People ask me, are you on the wrong side of history? To me, this issue will never be on the wrong side of history because it's rooted in the human experience. A little boy who longs to have a father in the inner city – that will never be on the wrong side of history. The little girl who has two dads and doesn't have a mom and she wants someone to guide her through the changes that a woman's body goes through – that's never going to be on the wrong side of history. And the beauty of how a man and woman come together and life is born, that's never going to be on the wrong side of history.” - John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, reacting to yesterday's ruling.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

COLORADO: Tenth Circuit Court Continues Stay On Same-Sex Marriages

Equality On Trial reports:
The order notes that the Tenth Circuit has issued stays in other marriage cases, and says “[i]n the interest of consistency” this case will be stayed as well. A federal judge had issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ban in July. The court then halted proceedings in the case, pending issuance of the mandate in Kitchen v. Herbert, the challenge to Utah’s same-sex marriage ban in the Tenth Circuit. A request to halt the injunction was denied, but a temporary stay, until August 25, was granted so that the state could ask the appeals court for a stay pending appeal. Without this new stay, marriages could have begun in Colorado on August 25.

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New From Eugene Delgaudio

The same high production standards that go into Eugene Delgaudio's placards and banners are on display in this poorly edited and sound-borked clip about evil gays taking all them there religious liberties away. But hey, this is "Draft 1" according to the title.

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Nashville Mayor Endorses Marriage

"I believe that all people should be treated fairly and equally and that their individual dignity should be respected. Embracing and celebrating our growing diversity makes our city stronger. Nashville needs to continue in that direction, and it’s my hope that joining this effort will help us do that." - Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, joining Mayors For The Freedom To Marry.

Thank you, Mayor Dean. Now - about that anti-gay marriage hate convention at Opryland...

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BREAKING: Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida's Ban On Same-Sex Marriage, Issues Stay On Ruling

This is the federal case we've been waiting for.

Via the ACLU of Florida:
Today, a federal district court judge in Tallahassee held that Florida’s discriminatory marriage ban cannot be enforced in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. The ruling applies both to the granting of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Florida and the recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples performed outside of the state.

The judge’s ruling comes as a result of two separate lawsuits including one brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida. The ACLU of Florida’s lawsuit challenges the ban on marriage recognition on behalf of eight married same-sex couples, a Ft. Myers woman whose wife recently passed away, and SAVE, the largest LGBT-rights organization in South Florida. The lawsuit with which the ACLU of Florida’s lawsuit has been consolidated was filed by Jacksonville attorneys William Sheppard and Samuel Jacobson on behalf of two couples—one seeking to get married and another seeking to have their marriage recognized in Florida.

“I am overjoyed that the state we made our home in will soon recognize that what Carol and I had was marriage,” stated Arlene Goldberg of Ft. Myers, a plaintiff whose wife and partner of 47 years, Carol Goldwasser, passed away.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle held that by denying the plaintiffs fundamental right to marry, Florida’s marriage ban violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. He also held that the state’s rationale for denying recognition of the marriages not only had no rational basis, but would fail even a higher level of scrutiny, stating that “[t]he undeniable truth is that the Florida ban on same-sex marriage stems entirely, or almost entirely, from moral disapproval of the practice,” and that “moral disapproval alone cannot sustain” a ban restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.
Judge Hinkle: "Liberty, tolerance, and respect are not zero-sum concepts. Those who enter opposite-sex marriages are harmed not at all when others, including these plaintiffs, are given the liberty to choose their own life partners and are shown the respect that comes with formal marriage."

UPDATE: Read the full ruling.

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Heritage Foundation Wonk Ryan Anderson Has The Public Accommodations Sadz

 Anderson is extremely upset about the fine levied against that upstate New York wedding venue.

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Erasure - Elevation (BT Remix)

This is the first single from their coming album, The Violet Flame, due next month. (Tipped by JMG reader Warren)

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Brian Brown: The Tide Has Turned

"After winning many lawsuits in lower federal courts presided over by hand-picked, liberal, activist judges, the momentum behind the marriage redefinition agenda is waning. Remember, in addition to the Supreme Court's intervention in Utah and Virginia, federal judges in states like Wisconsin are taking notice and issuing stays on their own decisions to allow the legal process to play out. Much, much more importantly, we recently won a case at the lower level in Tennessee! You might not know about it because the media is doing everything it can to ignore the facts. The rush to judgment declaring marriage to be unconstitutional is not only premature — it's flat out wrong! Won't you please give a generous donation today to help NOM continue fighting to defend marriage and the faith communities that sustain it?" - Hate group leader Brian Brown, in a money beg centered on yesterday's stay continuance in Virginia.

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Today's Meme In Teabagistan

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Dan Choi Enters Politics

Dan Choi, who has largely dropped out of the public eye since the repeal of DADT and his high-profile trial for chaining himself to the White House fence, is entering San Francisco politics. From the bio page of his campaign site:
The injustice of the “Don't Ask, Don’t Tell” policy prompted Dan to take a leading role in protests against the law. Dan soon became the face of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal movement, and an LGBT rights activist. Dan organized and led marches and protests and engaged in a rigorous speaking tour, which included numerous television interviews and lectures at colleges throughout the nation in which he called for the immediate repeal of DADT. Once a court injunction was issued that effectively ended DADT, Dan immediately went to a recruiting station to reenlist in the Army.

Now, Dan has decided to channel his energies towards revitalizing the City College of San Francisco. As a dedicated student throughout his schooling, he has a passion for learning and education. Dan wants to see that all CCSF students have access to an enriching education as to provide them with the tools they need to achieve their goals both inside and outside of the classroom. Aware of the structural and economic issues facing the CCSF educational system, Dan is driven to be a part of the solution.
Choi was discharged from the Army shortly after serving as the grand marshal in San Francisco Pride 2009. DADT was repealed in 2011.

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Headline Of The Day


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NRA Vs "Elitist" Michael Bloomberg

From the clip recap:
Nobody insults your life like Michael Bloomberg. Billionaire, elitist, hypocrite. He's tried to ban your snack foods, your soda and most of all your guns. Bloomberg said the largest county in Colorado is "as far rural as you can get. I don't think there's roads there." That's what he thinks of your state too. Tell Bloomberg to keep his politics in NY and his hands off our guns and our freedom.

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SCOTLAND: Secession Drive May Fail

Scotland's referendum on independence from the United Kingdom is just weeks away and it appears that concerns about the economic impact of secession may have doomed the cause.
Many businesses in Scotland have reservations about independence. Standard Life, a pensions and investments company based in Edinburgh, in May said it had drawn up plans to move operations to England if Scots vote to secede, citing uncertainties over currencies and taxes. On Monday, National Australia Bank Ltd., owner of Scottish lender Clydesdale Bank, said independence might result in significant extra costs and risks for its business there. Nationalists need only a simple majority in the September ballot to end the 1707 union between England and Scotland that followed centuries of antagonism. To many Scots that marriage was a shotgun wedding. A disastrous attempt to establish a colony at Darien on the Isthmus of Panama in the late 17th century left Scotland's finances in ruins. England demanded the union as the price of a bailout.
Here's a pro-independence ad from Yes Scotland.

RELATED: Yes Scotland claims that Scotland's membership in the European Union will be "uninterrupted."
Scotland will remain part of the European Union after independence. As explained in its “independence roadmap” and in its white paper "Scotland's Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland", the Scottish Government proposes to agree the terms of Scotland’s continued membership of the EU between the date of the referendum, and the proposed date of independence on 24th March 2016. In that way questions relating to our ongoing EU membership can be settled before we become independent. Scotland already is part of the EU – so there is no doubt that we meet all the requirements for membership, and with our energy and fishing resources it is clearly common sense, and in the interests of the EU, that Scotland's place in the EU continues seamlessly. Even the UK government’s expert European legal adviser has accepted that this timetable is “realistic”. So Scotland’s EU membership will be secure by the time we are independent.

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Kristin Chenoweth For Marriage Equality

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Today's Prayer From The AFA

Today's prayer from the American Family Association lumps in gays with pedophiles and Baptist dog-fuckers.
Sovereign Lord, I pray that _________ and I will honor your standards of sexual purity in every area of our lives. I pray that we will not do as the rest of the world does in this area, and that we will not follow its practices. I pray instead that we will obey your truth and be careful to follow your instructions when it comes to sexual conduct. You promise us that the man who obeys your word in this matter will live. I claim your promise of life for everyone who keeps your standards. We know that much sexual sin has been committed in our community and nation. We repent of all acts of incest, adultery, homosexuality, pedophilia, and bestiality. We acknowledge that such things are detestable to you, and that they are perversions of your intentions for us. We acknowledge that we profane your name and only defile ourselves through our sexual sin. We pray against every effort of Satan to normalize sexual sin and make it acceptable in our culture. You teach us here that this is why you drove the Canaanites out of the land. They had morally forfeited their right to occupy the land through their sexual perversion. The land itself had become so defiled that it vomited them out.
The prayer concludes with a lengthy quoting from a version of Leviticus which curiously does not include the usual demand that all homosexuals be put to death. That must be a mistake. (Via Good As You)

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CINCINNATI: Archdiocese Nixes Ice Bucket Challenge Because Stem Cells

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a call for Catholics to refrain from participating in the viral ice bucket challenge because it funds an ALS study that uses embryonic stem cells.
"The beneficiary of the ice-bucket challenge funds a study using embryonic stem cells, which can only be obtained by destroying embryonic life. For that reason, we have determined that our schools should not raise money for the ALS Association, and should instead – if they wish – donate to another organization doing ALS research," the Archdiocese wrote in a prepared statement. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a disease that attacks the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary motion. On Tuesday, staff in the Archdiocesan system received an email from Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, obtained by WCPO, demanding they not participate in any challenge as representatives of Catholic schools. "If your school is planning an effort to raise funds, you should immediately cease such planning, or direct your fundraising to another organization with a similar goal, but whose practices are consistent with the Church," Riggs wrote.
As of yesterday, the challenge has raised over $31M. (Tipped by JMG reader Rocco)

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NEW YORK CITY: Protesters Hang Palestinian Flag From Manhattan Bridge

Via the New York Daily News:
A giant flag soliciting support for Palestinians in Gaza was unfurled from the Manhattan Bridge Wednesday — a second apparent breach of security in a month on an East River span. The banner boasting the colors of the Palestinian flag was hung about dusk from the south edge of the bridge close to the Manhattan side tower. Writing on the red, green, white and black flag read “Boycott,” “Divest” and “Sanction.” The flag also bore the words “GAZA IN OUR HEARTS.” Cops immediately removed the flag and were investigating to determine who displayed it. No arrests were reported. The flag was unfurled as about 500 pro-Palestinian protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge demonstration was organized via social media by New York Solidarity with Palestine and Direct Action.
City and federal agencies continue to get flack about last month's white flag stunt on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Rep. Paul Ryan: If Mitt Romney Runs Again In 2016, I'd Drive His Campaign Bus

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MASSACHUSETTS: Pastor Scott Lively Qualifies For Gubernatorial Ballot

The Boston Globe reports:
Springfield pastor Scott Lively has qualified for the November ballot as an independent candidate for governor. The Secretary of the Commonwealth's office confirmed Wednesday that Lively's campaign submitted 11,494 valid signatures, far above the 10,000 needed to secure ballot access as an independent this fall. Lively joins the future Republican and Democratic nominees as well as independent candidate Evan Falchuk as candidates certified for the November ballot.
The Human Rights Campaign reacts:
“Hate is not an American value, and Scott Lively’s long record of exporting vicious anti-LGBT bigotry is horrifying,” said Ty Cobb, Director of Global Engagement at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “Lively’s words and actions harm LGBT people from the United States to Uganda and beyond. He is one of the most notorious extremists engaged in this work, and this is an opportunity to highlight his deplorable rhetoric and advocacy.” Earlier this year, HRC Foundation released a detailed report of Scott Lively’s deeply troubling anti-LGBT global work. Lively traveled repeatedly to Uganda claiming that LGBT people are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Some Ugandan officials credit Lively with the idea of introducing new legislation to further criminalize homosexuality in the country, and prominent Ugandan LGBT activists have said the "bill is essentially his creation." Lively also traveled to Eastern Europe, and has taken credit for the passage of Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law.

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HomoQuotable - Richard Chamberlain

"I knew I was gay at age 11 or 12, but I grew up in the 1930s and 40s, when being gay was not an option. I spent a lot of time trying to be someone else. My friends knew, but in Hollywood I was a romantic leading man, so I always lived in fear of being outed. When I started writing my book at age 65, I thought it would be a guide-to-life kind of thing, but my partner at the time and my publisher said, 'You've got to make it personal, and being gay is part of the story.' "While I was writing, it was almost as if an angel walked into the room and said, 'Richard, it's over. All this fear, this self-loathing is just stupid.' The message got right into my bones, and all the fear and self-loathing vanished." - Richard Chamberlain, 80, speaking to the Bay Area Reporter.

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Open Thread Thursday

Tell us about your education. Is your job related to your degree?

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New App: Ignore No More

A new smartphone app allows parents to remotely lock up their child's phone until the child calls them back.
“If your children ignore your repeated calls and text messages to reach them, you simply lock their phones until they call you back,” says the description of the app. “When you lock your child’s phone with Ignore No More your child has only two options – he or she can call you back, or call for an emergency responder. No calls to friends, no text, no games, notta’ until they call you back. When they do, you can unlock their phone if you choose to do so.” The Ignore No More app supports a single household account, meaning that one account controls multiple “child” devices from multiple “parent” devices. The app does not interfere with first responder calls and is virtually impossible to be removed by the kids. If an unauthorized person attempts to uninstall or kill the app, the phone locks up. The parent will also receive an e-mail notification about someone attempting to tamper with the app.
$1.99 on Google Play.

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ASAP Science On Depression

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Brigham Young Boots Gay Greeting Cards

Brigham Young University has told Hallmark to get those gay greeting cards off of the racks.
Placed by Hallmark, the cards reading "Mr. and Mr." and "Mrs. and Mrs." were quickly removed when bookstore staff discovered them after photos surfaced online. The outside vendor stocked the shelves without realizing the school wouldn't want to sell the cards marketed to buyers celebrating unions between two brides and two grooms, BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said. Asked why they were removed, Jenkins referenced the BYU honor code. It states that while being attracted to people of the same gender doesn't violate the honor code, acting on those feelings is a violation. "Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings," it states.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Brian Brown Celebrates Virginia Stay

"We are pleased that the US Supreme Court has put a halt to the decision in Virginia redefining marriage in violation of the state’s marriage amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters. We had called upon the Court to take this step and are gratified that they will now be able to carefully consider the issues. This is another indication that the rush to judgment declaring marriage to be unconstitutional is not only premature, but incorrect. The US Supreme Court has determined that states have the right to define marriage and we remain confident that they will uphold all the various traditional marriage laws and constitutional amendments that have been wrongly invalidated by federal judges. We look forward to the US Supreme Court taking one or more of the three marriage cases now pending before them, and ultimately ruling that defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is entirely constitutional." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, via press release.

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Matthew Conner: How Is July Already Over

Clip description:
Focusing on the rise and fall of a promising relationship, the video follows Matthew Connor's character as he tears himself apart by remembering all the places where he and his ex-lover (portrayed by actor Hunter Canning) fell in love. Shot in black and white stop-motion and directed by photographer Marc McAndrews, 4,000 frames (out of a total 21,000 taken during production) appear in the final cut of the video and create a vintage effect, helping to emphasize the song's nature of longing for days past.
An unusual retro style. I like it.

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LGBT Groups React To Virginia Stay

Equality Virginia
It is disappointing that the Supreme Court stayed the 4th Circuit Court’s decision.  Lesbian and gay Virginians have waited long enough for the freedom to marry. Loving couples – and families – should not have to endure yet another standstill before their commitment to one another is recognized here in Virginia. Every day that this ruling is stayed, more lesbian and gay Virginians will suffer undue harm as they wait to insure their spouses, wait to adopt the children they are raising, and wait to have their relationships affirmed by the Commonwealth. Equality Virginia urges the Supreme Court to take this case as soon as possible and hopes that it will rule once and for all in favor of marriage equality.
In light of the stay, lawyers for the Bostic plaintiffs intend to file a response in support of the Commonwealth’s petition to urge the Supreme Court to review the Bostic case and resolve the incredibly important question it presents. Never before have federal courts across this country so swiftly, convincingly, and unanimously come to the same conclusion on an imperative constitutional question as they have when presented with the issue of marriage equality. The federal court system agrees, the majority of Americans agree, and the President of the United States agrees that it is time this country treats its same-sex couples and their children just the same as all other loving families. We are confident that when the Supreme Court reviews the Bostic case, it too will agree and end the flagrant injustice of segregating Americans based on sexual orientation.
Lambda Legal
Today, Chief Justice Roberts granted a motion to stay the freedom to marry for all Virginians achieved through a victory in Bostic v. Rainey. For now, same-sex couples like our clients Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff are once again denied the freedom to marry in Virginia and Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd’s marriage remains unrecognized where they live. Because the Court decided to grant the stay, we hope the case is accepted for full review as quickly as possible in order to minimize the harm that would be caused by the delay of the Fourth Circuit decision. Lambda Legal will do everything in our power to make sure this issue is decided as quickly as possible so same-sex couples can marry in Virginia.
Freedom To Marry
This Supreme Court’s stay of yet another freedom to marry ruling underscores the urgency of the Court’s granting a full review and bringing the country to national resolution by next year. Americans across the country are being deprived of the freedom to marry and respect for their lawful marriages, as well as the tangible protections and precious dignity and happiness that marriage brings. It is time for the Supreme Court to affirm what more than thirty courts have held in the past year: marriage discrimination violates the Constitution, harms families, and is unworthy of America.
ACLU Of Virginia
We are disappointed that the 14,000 couples we represent in Virginia will have to continue to wait to exercise their fundamental right to marry, or to have their marriages recognized in Virginia. Until the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality, many gay and lesbian Virginians will live without legal recognition of their relationships with their children, access to their spouse’s health insurance benefits, the ability to make medical decisions for their spouse, and countless other rights that other married couples take for granted. We hope that the Supreme Court will decide this case as quickly as possible so that families will not have to wait any longer than necessary to exercise these rights.

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FRC Cheers Virginia Stay Continuance

Via press release from the FRC:
The Fourth Circuit erred when it struck down the decision of the people of Virginia to define marriage as it has been understood for ages: as being between one man and one woman. Today, the Supreme Court put a hold on the Fourth Circuit ruling, allowing Virginia's law to continue to be enforced while the Fourth Circuit's opinion is appealed. We are glad that the Court saw the wisdom of slowing down the judicial process in this instance so that marriages will not be entered into that would later have to be nullified. Such irresponsible mayhem has been witnessed in Utah, and it resulted in legal chaos for state residents and state officials. Despite court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage, we remain optimistic that other Circuits will rule in favor of the right of states to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The consequences of redefining marriage are immeasurable. All Americans should hope, but, more importantly, fervently pray that the United States Supreme Court upholds the rule of law and allows voter-backed marriage amendments to stand.

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WATCH: Fayetteville Mayor Passionately Urges Passage Of LGBT Rights Bill

After nearly ten hours of often ugly and often heartbreaking public testimony, at 3:30am this morning Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan set up the final city council vote with the below passionate plea for the passage of his city's LGBT rights ordinance. Watch this and feel good about the south. Watch this and feel hope.

(Tipped by JMG reader Hog Fan)

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ADF Cheers Virginia Stay Continuance

"Virginians deserve an orderly and fair resolution to the question of whether they will remain free to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws. By granting our request to place a hold on the 4th Circuit’s decision, the Supreme Court is making clear, as it already did in the Utah marriage case, that it believes a dignified process is better than disorder. The Supreme Court acted wisely in restraining the lower court from implementing a ruling of this magnitude before the high court has a chance to decide the issue.." - Byron Babione, senior counsel for the viciously anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom, via press release.

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BREAKING: Full SCOTUS Continues Stay On Virginia Same-Sex Marriages

And of course they had to drag it down to the wire.

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Tweet Of The Day - John Stemberger

Florida hate group leader and fly champagne Lexus owner John Stemberger is referring to Bizzle, the rapper who was so outraged by the weddings at this year's Grammys that he issued a parody of Macklemore's Same Love in which he compared homosexuality to pedophilia and mental retardation with a bonus reference to Down Syndrome for extra Christian Love points. Courageous and godly! Praise! Glory! By the way, this week the National Black Justice Coalition denounced Stemberger for saying that America's inner cities have a "barbarian society." One wonders if Bizzle would mind that characterization. And the hypocrisy of posing on Lexus with a shirt that says "God Over Money" is really laughable. (Tipped by JMG reader Erik)

RELATED: Last month Stemberger declared that the fight against same-sex marriage "is worth dying for."

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Rabbit Season

Animal rights activists are furious with Whole Foods over the plan to begin selling rabbit meat.
On Sunday, rabbit-lovers organized a national day of action to draw attention to the production and sale of rabbit meat at the grocery chain, warning that dogs and cats could be slaughtered for meat next and accusing Whole Foods of being “bunny butchers.” Proving that virtually everything has an advocacy organization, the House Rabbit Society helped design leaflets adorned with adorable bunny pictures for protesters. And one petition asking Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit meat already has more than 13,000 supporters. For its part, Whole Foods has said its pilot program was launched after a four-year process to design a system of rabbit-slaughtering that maintains high standards of animal welfare. 
A spokesman for Whole Foods says that they are sensitive to the "companion animal issue" and are only responding to requests from customers.

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President Obama Denounces ISIS Murder Of American Journalist James Foley

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ITALY: Archbishop Says Proposed Hate Speech Law Harkens Back To Fascism

According to Archbishop Luigi Negri, Italy's proposed anti-homophobia hate speech law will drag his nation back to the days of Mussolini. 
The archbishop warned that the bill which proposes to criminalize "homophobia," will introduce "for the first time since the end of fascism 70 years ago, a crime of opinion that evokes the dark and troubled times, long subdued and always believed to be over, of state ideologies. "Times in which the State identified ideological positions which it forcibly imposed, and suppressed all those which did not match," he added. "In defending a certain lifestyle and its supporters, but especially those who theoretically profess homosexuality and practice it in society, the state discriminates in a serious and irreparable manner against other opinions and lifestyles," said the archbishop. "Our people risk losing the fundamental freedom of expression, freedom of choices, options, views and conceptions of life that make up the core of the experience of the people," Negri told the weekly magazine Tempi.
Negri claims that merely quoting from the Bible will result in priests and bishops being "dragged before the authorities."

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Robert Stacy McCain: Lesbians Are The REAL Danger To American Culture

"While much conservative criticism of the gay-rights movement has focused on male homosexuals, however, few conservatives noticed that lesbians actually bring greater ideological resources to the battlefields of the Culture War. They are both gay and women and, in terms of the Competitive Victimhood Derby that is modern progressivism, this places lesbians in a position to claim that they are suffering from double discrimination. Because feminism has always been a movement of the political Left, and because the Left is fanatically committed to gay rights, no woman who considers herself a feminist would dare disparage the militant lesbians who increasingly dominate the official institutions of feminism. Heterosexual women concerned about workplace harassment or abortion rights might not publicly lock arms in solidarity with lesbian radicals. The 'mainstream' feminist may quietly ignore the angry dykes ranting about the heteronormative patriarchy. Yet no woman could hope to maintain her status as a feminist if she were to publicly denounce the academic radicals who relentlessly strive to teach girls that lesbianism is the feminist ideal. - Robert Stacy McCain, writing for BarbWire.

RELATED: According to the SPLC, McCain was once a member of a white supremacist group called the League Of The South.

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Viral Video Of The Day

2.2M views for this 2014 Emmy Awards promo clip.

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INDIANA: Federal Court Rules State Must Recognize Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

Via press release from the HRC:
On Tuesday U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young ruled in Bowling v. Pence that Indiana’s law prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions is unconstitutional. The decision was stayed, pending an appeal. Judge Young previously struck down the state’s marriage ban in a ruling on a case known as Baskin v. Bogan, which was consolidated with two other cases for an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit in that case will hear arguments on Tuesday of next week. “Where you live should never determine your ability to have your marriage recognized,” said Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “These discriminatory bans only serve to harm LGBT families, and they should be erased from our nation’s laws once and for all.”

In his previous ruling in the Baskin case striking down the state’s marriage ban, Judge Young ruled that Indiana Governor Mike Pence was not a proper defendant in these marriage cases, as he did not have the authority to permit or deny marriage rights under the law. Hundreds of couples across the state began marrying until the Seventh Circuit stayed the ruling following a request from the state. Gov. Pence later announced the state would not be recognizing the same-sex marriages that took place during that window. With Judge Young’s latest ruling last night, he has reversed course. He writes, “The court, after witnessing the Governor do what he claimed he could not do, reverses course and finds him to be a proper party to such lawsuits. The court wishes to reiterate that it finds the Governor’s prior representations contradicting such authority to be, at a minimum, troubling.”
Yesterday's ruling was the 20th consecutive pro-marriage decision by a federal court.

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Today On Matt Barber's Site

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IRELAND: Straight Couple Reflects On "Armagayddon" In Hilarious Marriage PSA

It's "somewhere in Ireland, 2017" and a straight couple has barricaded themselves in their home because of the "armagayddon" wrought by same-sex marriage. Watch every hilarious second of this.

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Former NOM Official: It's Over, Same-Sex Marriage Will Be Legal Nationwide In 2015

Jeremy Hooper writes at Good As You:
From 2008–2013, some of the most crucial years of the marriage equality fight, Jennifer Roback Morse was on the front lines, serving first as a Proposition 8 spokesperson and then in a six-figure, senior role with the National Organization For Marriage's Education Fund. And during that time, she said all kinds of strange and hostile things in hopes of helping NOM stop the fair and right thing. She's now stopped trying. In her most pointed comments on the subject yet, Morse is now declaring, without qualification, that America will have fifty-state marriage equality by next year.

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Focus On The Family: New York Wedding Venue Is Under Gay Home Invasion

As I reported yesterday, the Liberty Ridge wedding venue in upstate New York has been fined $13,000 for turning away a gay couple. According to Focus On The Family, this constitutes a "home invasion" by them horrible gays because the owners live on the third floor of the joint.

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Local Haters Have The Fayetteville Sadz

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Kemar Jewel - Voguing Train

I can't get over how clean Philly's subway is.

(Tipped by JMG reader Ed)

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Freep This Virginia Poll

The poll is here. Today is the day for Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to give us the decision or do nothing and allow the stay to expire. In the unlikely event that the stay is not continued, marriages commence tomorrow morning.
At courthouses across the commonwealth, more than 60 clergy will stand ready on Thursday to perform ceremonies as soon as licenses are issued. If the Supreme Court does not issue a stay, the state's vital records department and supreme court plan to electronically send out marriage applications and licenses to circuit court clerks Wednesday afternoon, said Brian Coy, press secretary for Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "There are a lot of questions as far as the administrative aspects go," Coy said. "We're working on getting ready." The draft version changes "bride" and "groom" to "spouse," said Tina Sinnen, clerk of the Virginia Beach Circuit Court. But it's not final, and clerks have been warned it still may change. If the city's vendor who supplies such documents can't get new ones done in time, Sinnen said she may have to rely on the one computer in her office that can access the new forms in the state supreme court's computer system. That could mean a slower process and longer lines, she warned. "We're doing the best we can, and we hope people are patient," said Sinnen, who also is president of the Virginia Circuit Clerk's Association. "We think they will be. They've waited a long time for this to come to fruition. What's another 30 minutes?"
(Tipped by JMG reader Tom)

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LIVE VIDEO: Fayetteville City Council Considers LGBT Rights Ordinance
UPDATE: Bill PASSES By 6-2 Vote!

Watch it live right now. (Tipped by JMG reader Brandon)

UPDATE: A council member has already introduced an amendment that would force the ordinance to a public vote.

UPDATE II: After more than ten hours of debate and often VERY ugly public comments, very early this morning the Fayetteville City Council approved an LGBT rights ordinance by a 6-2 vote. This win is especially satisfying, coming as it does after three successive setbacks in Chattanooga, Baton Rouge, and Billings.

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