Friday, May 29, 2015

ILLINOIS: State Senate Passes "Ex-Gay" Torture Ban By 2-1 Margin

The bill now goes to the governor's desk. From the NCLR:
“We couldn’t be prouder to add Illinois to the list of legislatures that have acted to protect LGBT youth, and we applaud the dedication of Equality Illinois and the tireless coalition on the ground. We hope Governor Bruce Rauner will join fellow Republicans like Chris Christie, who signed New Jersey’s conversion therapy ban in 2013. No matter our sexual orientation, gender identity, or political party, we can all agree that children’s lives are worth protecting. We call on Governer Rauner to sign this lifesaving bill and protect LGBT youth and their families from these dangerous and fraudulent practices.”

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Obama Issues Pride Month Proclamation

"From the moment our Nation first came together to declare the fundamental truth that all men are created equal, courageous and dedicated patriots have fought to refine our founding promise and broaden democracy's reach. Over the course of more than two centuries of striving and sacrifice, our country has expanded civil rights and enshrined equal protections into our Constitution. Through struggle and setback, we see a common trajectory toward a more free and just society. But we are also reminded that we are not truly equal until every person is afforded the same rights and opportunities -- that when one of us experiences discrimination, it affects all of us -- and that our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.

"Across our Nation, tremendous progress has been won by determined individuals who stood up, spoke out, and shared their stories. Earlier this year, because of my landmark Executive Order on LGBT workplace discrimination, protections for Federal contractors went into effect, guarding against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Federal Government is now leading by example, ensuring that our employees and contractors are judged by the quality of their work, not by who they love. And I will keep calling on the Congress to pass legislation so that all Americans are covered by these protections, no matter where they work.

"In communities throughout the country, barriers that limit the potential of LGBT Americans have been torn down, but too many individuals continue to encounter discrimination and unfair treatment. My Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors because the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that it can cause substantial harm. We understand the unique challenges faced by sexual and gender minorities -- especially transgender and gender non-conforming individuals -- and are taking steps to address them. And we recognize that families come in many shapes and sizes. Whether biological, foster, or adoptive, family acceptance is an important protective factor against suicide and harm for LGBTQ youth, and mental health experts have created resources to support family communication and involvement.

"For countless young people, it is not enough to simply say it gets better; we must take action too. We continue to address bullying and harassment in our classrooms, ensuring every student has a nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. Across the Federal Government, we are working every day to unlock the opportunities all LGBT individuals deserve and the resources and care they need. Too many LGBTQ youth face homelessness and too many older individuals struggle to find welcoming and affordable housing; that is why my Administration is striving to ensure they have equal access to safe and supportive housing throughout life. We are updating our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to better address the disproportionate burden HIV has on communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender women. We continue to extend family and spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

"And because we know LGBT rights are human rights, we are championing protections and support for LGBT persons around the world. All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2015 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth. - BARACK OBAMA.

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TENNESSEE: Chattanooga NBC Affiiliate Refuses To Air Freedom To Marry Ad

Dominic Holden reports at Buzzfeed:
“It’s just a very controversial and personal issue, and we just choose to not air a commercial on either side of that debate,” Tom Tolar, the president and general manager of Chatanooga-based WRCB, told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview. The ad crossed the station’s lines, he explained, because “people probably have really strong opinions on one side or other of the debate. It’s just an emotional debate for many people.” The station, an NBC affiliate that also broadcasts in parts of Georgia and North Carolina, didn’t have a position on ads about same-sex marriage until executives reviewed the commercial featuring Ehrenfeld on Wednesday, said Tolar. “We had not had a request before to run an issue-ad like that.”
Freedom To Marry says that no other station in the country has ever refused their ads, which have also appeared in Memphis and Nashville.

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This Is An Ad For Something

Recently Buzzfeed has been criticized for deleting articles that were critical of its advertisers. And you may recall that Andrew Sullivan was critical of Buzzfeed advertorials that are hardly distinguishable from regular articles. Today Buzzfeed posted the below extended Puppy Chow commercial into its YouTube channel. (The splash screen shows the Puppy Chow logo, but the product placement doesn't occur until the 2:00 mark.) It's really a cute clip, but is further evidence of the continuing digital merger between advertising, editorial, and entertainment. Anyway, the subject interests me as I just ran my first-ever sponsored post earlier this month.

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REPORT: Indicted Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert Was Being Blackmailed Over Sexual Misconduct

According to unnamed law enforcement officials, former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert was being blackmailed by someone with knowledge of Hastert having committed "sexual misconduct" with a male many years ago. Via the Los Angeles Times:
One of the officials, who would not speak publicly about the federal charges in Chicago, said “Individual A,” as the person is described in Thursday’s federal indictment, was a man and that the alleged misconduct was unrelated to Hastert’s tenure in Congress. The actions date to Hastert’s time as a Yorkville, Ill., high school wrestling coach and teacher, the official said. “It goes back a long way, back to then,” the source said. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.” Thursday’s indictment described the misconduct “against Individual A” as having “occurred years earlier.” Asked why Hastert was making the payments, the official said it was to conceal Hastert’s past relationship with the male. “It was sex,’’ the source said. The other official confirmed that the misconduct involved sexual abuse.
Hastert and his lobbying firm have declined to comment.

RELATED: Following the 2006 House page scandal resignation of former GOP Rep. Mark Foley, Hastert was alleged to have known about Foley's actions. Hastert retired from the House in 2007.

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Harlem Hate Pastor James David Manning: Sodomy Is A White Person's Disease

"Germany is a big hotbed for sodomy and everybody knows about France. And then of course in Belgium, and the Netherlands, and Switzerland, and Sweden, and Norway, and Finland. All that region is the hotbed and origination of modern sodomy. Not in China. You're not gonna find that in China. You're not gonna find that in India. You're not gonna find it in Africa. You're not gonna find it. It isn't there. Sodomy is a white people's disease. Now don't go thinking I'm speaking racially here. I'm just identifying a spade as a spade. Look into the eyes of these sodomite women and sodomite men. They are sick! They are demon possessed! They are possessed by the devil himself. Don't you go to sleep around a person who is a sodomite."- Harlem hate Pastor James David Manning, in today's YouTube sermon. Earlier this month Manning's church was added to the SPLC's list of hate groups.

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Ryan T. Anderson: Gay Marriage "Mess" Started With Legalizing Contraception

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Mozambique Legalizes Homosexuality

Homosexual acts will be legal in Mozambique on Monday as the law signed by the president in December goes into effect. The new criminal code no longer contains a murky clause which provided that "measures" could be taken against those who "habitually engage in vices against nature." That clause was written in 1887 when Mozambique was still a Portuguese colony. The country has a population of 23 million, 56% of whom identify as Christians. While the legalization of homosexual acts reduces the number of countries which criminalize homosexuality to 78, there are no other legal protections for LGBT citizens of Mozambique. (Via Pink News)

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HomoQuotable - Christopher Doyle

"Undoubtedly, the Left needed to dig up dirt against the Duggar family to discredit the family's conservative, Christian image. But for the liberal media to sensationalize this issue, and some of the articles are just vicious, is simply hypocritical, especially considering they barely mentioned the arrest of Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Co-Founder, Terry Bean, who was accused last November and charged with a felony for sexually abusing a 15 year old boy. Did you see national headlines for weeks about this scandal of a sitting member of the Board of Directors of HRC? Of course not, because the media wouldn't dare implicate the world's largest gay activist organization. Let's be honest, with 19 kids and counting, is it a surprise to any of us that one of the Duggar children would struggle with sexual immorality or addiction?" - Ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle, writing for the Christian Post. By the way, what was the name of Terry Bean's wildly popular reality show? You know, the one that ran for ten years with millions and millions of viewers? (Tipped by JMG reader Scott)

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Giorgio Moroder - Deja Vu (Megamix)

Via Stereogum:
Next month, the Italo-disco genius Giorgio Moroder will release Déjà Vu, his first album in many years, and he’s found an innovative way to tell us how the album will sound. In a new five-minute video, we hear short clips of every track on the album, set to an effects-heavy video of a couple dancing. It’s not an earthshaking music video or anything, but it’s enough to keep your attention while you absorb the music. And that music sounds good, like top-shelf cheesed-out dance-pop.

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Manhattanhenge Is This Weekend

Father Tony reminds us that the astronomical event known as Manhattanhenge is this weekend:
Manhattanhenge, the moment when the setting sun aligns precisely with the street grid in Manhattan, can be seen this weekend. Half the sun will align with the grid on Friday at 8:12 p.m., and the full-sun Manhattanhenge will happen the same time on Saturday, according to the Hayden Planetarium. The best view can be seen as far east in Manhattan as you can go without losing view of New Jersey. Good spots are cross streets like 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets. On a clear day, the typical resulting effect of Manhattanhenge is a "radiant glow of light" across the skyscrapers and buildings, "simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid," according to Hayden Planetarium.
The final Manhattanhenge of 2015 will be on July 13th.

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Homocon Guy Benson Backs Pam Geller

Fox News' right-hand-homocon is ever so pissed that Pam Geller won't be able to incite bombings on DC public transit. From the Hot Air piece he links to:
She’s forcing the state to admit that the threat of violence is so great that, as a matter of pure public safety, they’d rather give up easy revenue than take the chance of insulting “the prophet.” And, thanks to D.C.’s new policy, she’s gotten the state to spread the cost of censorship to other would-be issue-advertisers, which drives home the point to the wider public that the slippery slope on “hate speech” might be more slippery than the lefties who disdain her tend to assume.
Benson is also tweeting a link to win his new book over at the viciously anti-gay Townhall, where he is the political editor.

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One Week Of Silence From Family Duggar Research Duggar Council Duggar Duggar

The Family Duggar Research Duggar Council Duggar Duggar remains silent more than a week after the Duggar scandal made international headlines Duggar. The FRC's blog Dugger hasn't been updated since May 22nd Duggar, and the top post on their main site Duggar bears the same date, which is also the last day Duggar that the FRC Duggar issued their daily email blast Duggar. Obviously they are hoping Duggar that we're all just going to forget. Duggar.


Bryan Fischer: Angry God Is Flooding Texas Because Of Witchcraft And Sodomy

You knew this was coming.

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New York Times: Hotelier Ian Reisner DID Make A Campaign Donation To Ted Cruz

Via the New York Times:
When the gay hoteliers Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass found themselves under siege for hosting a dinner for Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who is running for president and has been vociferously opposed to same-sex marriage, they repeatedly stressed that the event was not a fund-raiser.

“There were no checks given, it was nothing like that,” Mr. Reisner told New York magazine, after The New York Times first reported on the mid-April dinner at the Central Park South penthouse. Protests and calls for boycotts of Mr. Reisner’s and Mr. Weiderpass’s properties, including their groundbreaking hotel for gay clientele, the Out NYC, ensued.

As it turns out, Mr. Reisner himself wrote a check to Mr. Cruz’s presidential campaign, making a $2,700 donation — the maximum allowed in a nominating contest — around the time the dinner took place. But shortly after The Times reported on the dinner, where about 18 people sat down at two tables in separate areas of the palatial penthouse, Mr. Reisner called the campaign and asked for his check to be refunded.

“In the interest of transparency, I gave Senator Cruz a $2,700 check to show my support for his work on behalf of Israel,” Mr. Reisner said in a statement he provided after The Times learned of the donation from two people with direct knowledge of it. “When I realized his donation could be misconstrued as supporting his anti-gay marriage agenda, I asked for the money back. Senator Cruz’s office gave the money back, and I have no intention of giving any money to any politicians who aren’t in support of L.G.B.T. issues.”
According to the Times, Mati Weiderpass "seemed surprised" to learn about Reisner's donation when asked about it last night at an event at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. At last night's event, one of the speakers just happened to be Ted Cruz. (Tipped by JMG reader Bill)

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TRAILER: A Walk In The Woods

Via Deadline:
Robert Redford decides it would be great idea to undertake a trek along the 2100-plus-mile Appalachian Trail with old high school buddy Nick Nolte in this Sundance 2015 entry. Before too long the two estranged chums discover the hike through 14 states from Georgia to Maine is going to be an uphill struggle. Literally and figuratively. The movie sparked heated bidding that upstart distributor Broad Green Pictures won with a whopping high-seven-figure P&A commitment. Directed by Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You, The Office) the movie also stars Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman and Kristen Schaal. It’s based on the Bill Bryson memoir and Route One Entertainment financed. It opens September 2, the Wednesday before Labor Day Weekend.

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DC Bans All "Issue" Ads On Public Transit Rather Than Deal With Pam Geller

Via the International Business Times:
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reportedly moved Thursday to ban so-called "issue" ads that promote political or religious subjects from appearing on its trains and buses. The board of directors for the authority, also known as Metro, approved a motion prohibiting issue ads through the end of the year, WAMU reporter Martin Di Caro tweeted. The decision came days after Pamela Geller, the woman behind the controversial "Draw Muhammad" contest in Garland, Texas -- where two gunmen linked to the Islamic State group tried to attack and died in shootout -- submitted a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to appear as a Metro advertisement. Geller is the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an "anti-Muslim hate group." Her "Draw Muhammad" event was seen as a response to the January massacre at Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical cartoons of Islam's founder.
DC's decision follows similar Geller-thwarting policy changes by transit officials in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

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MAP: LGBT Policy Tally Snapshot

From the Movement Advancement Project:
If the United States Supreme Court grants same-sex couples the freedom to marry, the majority of those couples will still face significant legal discrimination. According to a new report released today by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), 61 percent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population in the U.S. will continue to live in states with medium or low legal protections—or that have outright hostile laws.

Mapping LGBT Equality in America tallies 34 existing laws and policies pertaining to the LGBT population and uses those tallies to place states into four categories: High Equality States: 12 states & D.C., 39% of the U.S. LGBT population, Medium Equality States: 10 states, 9% of the U.S. LGBT population, Low Equality States: 13 states, 23% of the U.S. LGBT population, Negative Equality States: 15 states, 29% of the U.S. LGBT population.

52% of LGBT people would be at risk of being fired from their jobs, kicked out of their homes, or denied access to doctor’s offices and restaurants. 86% percent of LGBT people would live in states where their child is not protected from discrimination in school for having LGBT parents. 81% of LGBT people would live in states where harmful “conversion therapy” is still permitted. The number of LGBT people living in states with high and medium overall equality would remain unchanged. Rather, 12 states would shift from negative equality states to become low equality states.
Learn more here.

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Lindsay Lohan Completes Community Service At NYC's Ali Forney Center

Via People:
After nearly eight years in and out of the court room, Lindsay Lohan can finally say good riddance to probation. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Young ruled on Thursday that the actress – who was not present at the hearing – has completed her mandatory community service hours stemming from a 2012 reckless driving case, according to the Associated Press. "I am very grateful to those at Brooklyn Community Services, Duffield and The Ali Forney Center for welcoming me into their services and allowing me to finish my court ordered Community Service hours," Lohan tells PEOPLE in a statement.
Ali Forney Center founder Carl Siciliano writes to us: "Lindsay Lohan spent five days volunteering at the Ali Forney Center in order to complete her community service requirements. She worked at our drop-in center and at our office, rearranging our donations and storage closets, and assembling 400 gift bags, as well as a number of other assorted tasks. She was a hard worker, was friendly, and showed concern for the plight of the youths we serve. It's definitely not every day that we have a superstar folding socks and underwear for our kids!"

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AUSTRALIA: Major Corporations Publish Full Page Ad In Support Of Gay Marriage

Via ABC News Australia:
Some of Australia's biggest businesses have thrown their weight behind the push for gay marriage, with a full-page newspaper advertisement today. Corporations including Google, Qantas, Optus and the ANZ and Commonwealth banks have put their names to a list of Australian businesses backing marriage equality. Others supporters include law firms Slater and Gordon and Gilbert and Tobin, and the Football Federation of Australia. Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said the corporations approached the organisation send the message that Australia's business community was behind marriage equality. "It was about corporate saying it's not just about us individually supporting this, we want to do it collectively and send the strongest possible message," Mr Croome said.

The same-sex marriage debate has gained momentum this week on the back of Ireland's hugely successful referendum at the weekend. This morning, Coalition MP Warren Entsch said a number of Labor and Greens MPs had said they were willing to co-sponsor a same-sex marriage bill. "I have spoken to members across parties and independents, all have agreed that they're happy to put their names and signatures to this," Mr Entsch said. "It's just a matter of finalising it." Labor is preparing to introduce its own bill on Monday and Mr Entsch said he was working on a cross-party solution and expected to have a draft bill ready by August. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has emphasised any moves to legalise gay marriage must be owned by the Parliament, not a single party.
See more at Australian Marriage Equality.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke: Marriage Vote Means Ireland Is Worse Than The Pagans

"I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage." - Cardinal Raymond Burke, speaking Wednesday at Oxford University's Newman Society. More from The Tablet:
Though the talk consisted primarily in an overview of Pope Benedict XVI's chiefest intellectual contributions, Cardinal Burke adopted a more personal note in his answers to questions at the end. Responding to a question about the marginalisation of faith in the public sphere, he stressed the primary importance of fortifying the family in its understanding of how faith “illumines daily living”. ‘The culture is thoroughly corrupted, if I may say so, and the children are being exposed to this, especially through the internet.’ He told the audience that he was “constantly” telling his nieces and nephews to keep their family computers in public areas of the house so that their children would not “imbibe this poison that’s out there.”
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Burke says he would deny communion to pro-gay legislators. Burke gets booted from Vatican post after clashing with Pope Francis. Burke says families should not expose their children to their evil gay relatives.

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YouTube Celebrates Ten Years

Dan Savage makes the ten year best-of clip: "From the silly to the profound, from the personal to the political, we’re celebrating a decade of your creativity and self-expression. And, we’re doing it from A to Z.  With over 75 references and 18 filmmaking styles, we've tried to capture some of the richness and variety of YouTube from the last decade."

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Key West Gets Rainbow Crosswalks

Via the Miami Herald:
Key West on Thursday installed permanent rainbow crosswalks in the heart of the city’s LGBT entertainment district, at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets. “Spanning all four corners of the intersection, the crosswalks feature bands of all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized symbol of gay and lesbian unity,” according to a tourism news release. “Key West is very happy to be putting in the first thermoplastic permanent rainbow crosswalks in the state of Florida,” said Mayor Craig Cates. “It means so much to Key West to show our diversity, and also it goes perfectly with our ‘One Human Family’ motto.”
Rainbow crosswalks have been installed in other popular LGBT destinations such as the Castro and West Hollywood. (Photo via Aaron Huntsman)

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Live Well With HIV By Seeking Treatment

An important message from the CDC:  More than 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV. Approximately 168,000 of those people have never been diagnosed. Additionally, more than 50% of those infected with HIV are not being treated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) knows that the key way to help people living with HIV to achieve longer, healthier lives is by getting people the proper medical care they need in order to lower the levels of HIV in the body. Not only does viral suppression facilitate life spans that are near normal, but it inhibits transmission of HIV to others.

And only 30% of those living with HIV have achieved viral suppression. That number could be raised to 76% by getting people the proper care they need. People tend to avoid seeking care because of poor access, cost of pharmaceuticals, a lack of knowledge about treatments, and stigma attached to HIV, but the CDC's study shows how vitally important it is to get people tested for HIV, and into care as soon as possible once diagnosed.

In fact, a 20-year-old diagnosed with HIV who gets the proper medical treatment adds an average of nearly 40 years to his or her life. Treatment works, and that's the message of the CDC's campaign which is informed by the input of more than 100 people living with HIV.
No matter what your HIV status is, talk can still be the perfect foreplay. Start Talking. Stop HIV., CDC's national campaign created by and for gay and bisexual men, promotes open communication about HIV prevention among sexual partners and encourages men in all types of relationships to talk about: HIV testing, their HIV status, condom use, and medicines that help prevent and treat HIV. For conversation starters, visit the CDC's campaign site and Start Talking in an effort to Stop HIV among gay and bisexual men. Join the conversation on Facebook at Starting Talking, Stop HIV.

To read more about how HIV treatment works, visit the CDC's website to find out how to get in care, stay in care, live well, and find the resources and social services providers that will help you achieve viral suppression and live a longer, healthier life.


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Broadway Cares Salutes Cyndi Lauper, Donates $150K To True Colors Fund

Clip recap:
From Executive Director Tom Viola: I had the pleasure of dropping by the stage door of the Hirschfeld Theatre this week to join the cast of Kinky Boots in presenting Cyndi Lauper with a “big check” representing the $150,000 donated to True Colors Fund by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS from the more than $1.2 million in resources raised by the show since it opened in April 2013. Broadway Cares salutes Cyndi and True Colors Fund for everything they have done to advance equality for all and, in doing so, helping to end homelessness for gay and transgendered youth. “You change the world when you change your mind!” But our voices are stronger and the change embraces us all when we stand together.

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Former GOP US House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted On Banking Charges

Via Chicago's WGN-TV:
Federal prosecutors have indicted former U.S. House Speaker House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges. According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office was 73-year-old Hastert was charged “with structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000, and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his withdrawals.” According to the indictment, in 2010, Hastert agreed to provide Individual A $3.5 million in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A. From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew a total of approximately $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to Individual A.
RELATED: Hastert holds the record for longest-serving GOP House Speaker at 8 years. He retired in 2007. In 2006 Rolling Stone rated him as one of the worst members of Congress ever. He also allegedly had a role in covering up the page scandal that ultimately brought down Rep. Mark Foley.

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Funny Or Die Vs The Duggar Family

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BREAKING: NC Gov. Pat McCrory To Veto Magistrates Marriage Refusal Bill

"I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2." - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, via press release. Now we wait for an override attempt.

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Jonathan Saenz Has The Texas Sadz

Nearly two dozen anti-LGBT bills failed in the Texas legislature in recent months. Now that the hate clock has run out, Texas Values head Jonathan Saenz is blaming the Texas Chamber of Commerce, which came out against several of the bills.

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Family Duggar Research Duggar Council: What To Do If SCOTUS Rules Against Us

Next month the Family Duggar Research Duggar Council Duggar Duggar will hold a symposium Duggar on the "appropriate response" Duggar if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage. That should be fun! Duggar! Notice that three-times divorced "Dr." Alveda King is one of the panel experts. PS: Josh Duggar.

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Poland Again Rejects Civil Unions

By a vote of 215-146, Polish lawmakers have rejected placing a civil unions bill on the agenda for the coming legislative session.  Nearly 100 legislators reportedly abstained or refused to vote. This is the fourth consecutive year that such an action was rejected. The 2013 attempt to pass a civil partnerships bill failed to advance by 17 votes. The head of the Campaign Against Homophobia today said, "We are lied to by politicians – mostly conservative – who say that Poland is not ready for civil partnerships, let alone same-sex marriage."

RELATED: The European Union currently has 28 members. Same-sex marriage is legal in twelve of them: Belgium, Denmark, Finland (effective 2017), France, Ireland (effective later this year) Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia (effective date pending), Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland.)  Civil unions are legal in seven EU nations: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia (effective 2016), Germany, Hungary, and Malta. No partnership recognitions exist in nine EU nations: Bulgaria, Cyprus*, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.  (*A civil unions bill advanced in Cyprus early this month.)

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One Million Moms Vs Fox Network

Just in via email:
FOX has plans in 2016 to air "Lucifer," a new series which will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh. The series will focus on Lucifer portrayed as a good guy, "who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell." He resigns his throne, abandons his kingdom and retires to Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals. At the same time, God's emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld. Previews of the pilot episode depict graphic acts of violence, a nightclub featuring scantily-clad women and a demon. TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to FOX Network, urging them to drop plans to air "Lucifer."
The trailer looks pretty good. And Satan is hot.

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Pat Robertson: Gay Men Want Your Kids

The viewer who submitted the above question didn't say how old her son is, just that he lives with her. But that instantly makes the other man a pedophile according to loony tunes Pat Robertson.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Magistrates Refusal Bill Passes House In 66-44 Vote

The Campaign For Southern Equality reacts:
"It is shameful that this bill has passed our legislature. It is nothing more than state sanctioned discrimination and a naked attempt to make a political statement without much care for how it hurts and demeans others. To be certain, if this bill becomes law, it will invite a new round of court challenges. Ultimately, like Amendment 1, this law will fail,” says Luke Largess of Charlotte-based Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and lead counsel in General Synod of the UCC v. Reisinger, the lawsuit that struck down Amendment One last October.

“This discriminatory bill treats gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens and distorts the true meaning of religious freedom. We urge Governor McCrory to veto this discriminatory bill. We have the freedom to practice religion in our place of worship and to hold private beliefs. But as Americans, we’ve agreed that we will be governed by the principles of equality and fairness in our public and civic life. Senate Bill 2 is discriminatory and rooted in animus - it must not become law,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
Equality North Carolina is urging citizens to contact Gov. McCrory.

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Hulu Yanks Duggar Family Show

RELATED: At least a dozen major companies have pulled their advertising from TLC, but the network has not yet formally announced a cancellation.

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Fox Panel Goes Nuts Over Marco Rubio's Ridiculous Claim That Christians Will Soon Face Hate Speech Charges

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Headline Of The Day

Seriously? Details.

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MTA Launches Subway Simulator Game

New York City's Second Avenue subway line has been under construction for most of the time I've lived on the Upper East Side. The line doesn't open until late next year (allegedly) but today the MTA has launched a simulator game of sorts at its information center on 85th Street.
The simulated journey starts on the tail tracks north of the new 96th Street station and enables the virtual operator to guide the train through the tunnels, stopping at the 96th, 86th and 72nd Street stations. Virtual operators with the best times in making the complete journey will be able to post their initials on the leader board, but beware, breaking the rules and erratic driving add time to the score. Passing a red light, speeding, overshooting the platform and enabling the wrong doors to open are among the actions that will add time to the score. Stopping or accelerating abruptly will cause the passenger mood indicator to drop, which also can add time to the score, while a positive passenger mood will subtract time. The three new stations in the simulation were created using renderings as well as the actual materials being used in their construction, so the texture of floor and wall tiles and other materials are replicated in the virtual stations as closely as possible to how they will look when completed.
The first phase of the Second Avenue line is expected to carry 200,000 passengers daily and (slightly) reduce the insane overcrowding on the Lexington line, which famously carries more passengers every day than the entire combined rail systems of Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago.

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HomoQuotable - Armistead Maupin

"I'm the only gay man I know who has never been to Fire Island. I have not made a point of staying away -- its charms are legendary, of course -- but the occasion has simply never presented itself. Now, it's quite likely that I will remain forever virginal in that regard. Or at least until these guys are no longer collecting money at the dock. When I coined the term 'A-gay' forty years ago, these were just the sort of creeps I had in mind. It was never intended as something to aspire to." - Armistead Maupin, reacting to this New York Times profile of hoteliers Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass. (Tipped by JMG reader Aaron)

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George Pataki Announces 2016 Bid

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Rick Santorum Announces 2016 Bid

Via Yahoo Politics:
Conservative culture warrior Rick Santorum launched a 2016 White House bid on Wednesday, vowing to fight for working-class Americans in a new election season that will test his influence — and focus on social issues — in a changing Republican Party. The former Pennsylvania senator may have exceeded his own expectations by scoring a second-place finish in the race for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago. Yet as he enters a more powerful and diverse 2016 field, he may struggle even to qualify for the debate stage in his second run. "I am proud to stand here, among you and for you, the American workers who have sacrificed so much, to announce that I am running for president of the United States," the 57-year-old senator said, flanked by factory workers and six of his seven children in a cinderblock warehouse near his western Pennsylvania hometown. "The last race, we changed the debate. This race, with your help and God's grace, we can change this nation."
Take back America! USA! USA!

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Comcast Donates $1.5M In PSA Airtime For LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration

Via press release:
Organizers announced today that Comcast Corporation is the lead marketing sponsor of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. Comcast is providing $1.5 million worth of airtime to broadcast a 30-second National LGBT 50th Anniversary public service announcement (PSA). “Comcast NBCUniversal is a longstanding supporter of national and regional LGBT organizations. We are grateful to Comcast NBCUniversal for its generous support of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. Through Comcast’s support, the 50th Anniversary PSA will be the most broadcast LGBT television PSA in history,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Chair, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. “The PSA commemorates the launch of the organized LGBT movement at Independence Hall, civil rights progress, and shared American values." The organized LGBT civil rights movement was launched when activists from New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations for equality each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969. When 40 activists picketed in front of Independence Hall in 1965, it was the largest demonstration for gay equality in world history.
Philadelphia's Annual Reminder Day was launched by pioneering activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings. The celebration runs from July 2nd - July 5th and most events are free. Learn more here.

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AFA Money Begs For DC Radio Station

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FEDS: Start HIV Treatment Immediately

The federal government has halted a large clinical trial on early HIV treatment because results already in conclusively show that newly diagnosed patients do best if they start on anti-retroviral therapy immediately. Via the New York Times:
The study was stopped more than a year early because preliminary data already showed that those who got treatment immediately were 53 percent less likely to die during the trial or develop AIDS or a serious illness than those who waited. The study is strong evidence that early treatment saves more lives, the officials said. Fewer than 14 million of the estimated 35 million people infected with H.I.V. around the world are on treatment now, according to U.N.AIDS, the United Nations AIDS-fighting agency. In the United States, only about 450,000 of the estimated 1.2 million with H.I.V. are on treatment, according to the Centers for “This is another incentive to seek out testing and start therapy early, because you will benefit,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, which sponsored the trial. “The sooner, the better.”
Many HIV/AIDS advocacy groups have long said that treatment should start immediately. New York City's Department of Health began advising immediate treatment in 2011.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Marriage Refusal Bill For Magistrates Nears Final Approval

Via the Associated Press:
North Carolina legislators neared final approval Wednesday on legislation allowing some North Carolina court officials to opt out of same-sex marriage duties based on "sincerely held religious" objections. The House, in a largely party-line vote of 65-45, gave its tentative support to let magistrates and some registers of deeds employees have the option, but they would have to stop performing all marriage duties — for gay and heterosexual couples. The Senate has already approved the bill, which came from Republicans after gay marriage was legalized in North Carolina last October. The measure now needs just one more House vote scheduled for Thursday before it goes to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. He's expressed opposition to the religious exemption idea but hasn't said whether he would veto it.
Supporters of the bill claim that no gay couples would be turned away because other state employees will step in to issue licenses and officiate weddings. Democrats oppose any inconvenience to applicants. The final vote is today.

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HAWAII: State Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To 2013 Marriage Equality Law

Via the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge led by State Rep. Bob McDermott to the state’s Marriage Equality Act. Ruling that McDermott and other plaintiffs were not harmed or injured by the 2013 law, Supreme Court justices said they had no standing to challenge the law, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office. “The most important part of the Supreme Court’s ruling was its conclusion that the Legislature’s decision to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples did not, in any way, diminish the right to marry’ for the plaintiffs or anyone else,” said Attorney General Doug Chin, quoting the opinion.
You may recall that it was McDermott who led the so-called "people's filibuster" against the marriage bill during its debate in the state legislature.

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TEXAS: GOP Effort To Defy SCOTUS On Gay Marriage Dies For Current Session

Via the Associated Press:
Divisive efforts by Texas Republicans to defy the U.S. Supreme Court if same-sex marriage is legalized ended Wednesday night with conservative finger-pointing and opponents feeling relieved. The first session under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will end next week without a measure that gay rights activists considered one of the harshest in any U.S. statehouse: restrictions that would prohibit government officials from giving marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Senate deadline for passing bills was midnight Wednesday. But with less than four hours to go — likely enough time for Democrats to run out the clock if the bill came up — the proposal was dropped. Republicans instead only passed a resolution that reaffirmed their belief of marriage being between a man and a woman. "Good legislation was sacrificed, but appropriately so to see this language fail," said Democratic state Rep. Garnet Coleman, whose unrelated bill was used by the Senate to carry the marriage-license amendment. "It is offensive to my constituents, it's offensive to me, and it's offensive to our constitution."
Texas Values has the sadz.

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Larry Wilmore On The Duggar Scandal

(Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ALABAMA: House Kills LGBT Rights Bill

Via the Montgomery Advertiser:
A House committee Wednesday killed a bill that would have banned discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Christopher England, D-Tuscaloosa [PHOTO], would have added the classes to state protections against discrimination in employment, housing, accommodations, financial transactions and voting. “I believe in order to protect those classifications, they need to be enumerated,” England told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon. “There is some case history that if it’s not enumerated, it’s not protected.” The committee voted to carry it over, killing it for the remainder of the session. Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, who moved to have it carried over, said he “did not want anyone discriminated against,” but said that he had concerns about how the legislation would interact with existing statutes in Alabama. “It’s creating a new protected class that our nation does not recognize, much less Alabama,” he said. “When you are talking about those types of issues, this is much larger than marriage. This is far broader than that.”
Rep. Patricia Todd, the state's only openly gay legislator, reacted: "We haven’t passed any bad legislation, and that’s great. Alabama is further ahead than Arkansas, Texas and other states. But now it’s time to move forward with some positive legislation that protects people in the workplace, and that’s what this bill would do."

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NEW YORK CITY: Panti Bliss To Perform Five Shows At Irish Arts Center

Via press release:
On the heels of the recent Marriage Equality referendum in Ireland, Irish Arts Center is proud to present Ireland's High Queen, National Treasure, Performance Giant and Accidental Activist Panti in her smash-hit comedy show, High Heels in Low Places. Brought to New York City by Irish production company THISISPOPBABY, High Heels in Low Places runs at Irish Arts Center (553 West 51st St, New York) for five nights from Monday June 8th until Saturday, June 13th with an official opening on Tuesday, June 9th at 7:30 pm. Performances are Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 pm and Friday-Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets are from $15 and can be booked online or by calling 866-811-4111. [Photo credit: Conor Horgan]

High Heels in Low Places is Panti’s riotous stand-up show about life after “Pantigate,” which played to rave reviews and chock-a-block houses across Ireland. Critics called it “Hilarious” (Hotpress) and “a wickedly funny evening” (Irish Independent) with “impeccable one-liners” (The Evening Herald). Charting brushes with infamy, near misses with fame, and adventures in the seedy underbelly, the High Queen of Ireland invites you in to her ultra-padded, hyper-real, stiletto-shaped world, as she swaps stories from the gutter and trades secrets of the stars.
Get your tickets here. I'll be there on opening night.

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NEBRASKA: Legislature Overrides Pete Ricketts' Veto Of Death Penalty Repeal

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Quote Of The Day - Daniel O'Donnell

"As for many, there is a deeply personal element to this historic victory for me. I am very recognizably Irish-American, from my face to my name, but until these last few weeks, I have often felt that I don’t belong. Last month I was invited to Ireland by the Lawyers for Yes Campaign to help kick off the final weeks of advocacy. As the legislative sponsor of Marriage Equality in New York State, I shared my experience on the fight to achieve equal rights. Irish people from all over the world returned home to vote in this election. I returned to the birthplace of my family to help in any way I could. I feel proud to be Irish in a new way today after the people of Ireland declared that one can be Irish and gay and recognized in loving same-sex relationships. Thank you, Ireland, for voting for another step toward universal human rights for all." - New York Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, in a letter published today by the New York Times.

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Fox News Ignores Duggar Scandal

Read more at Media Matters.

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Feds to Induct Gay Rights Pioneer Frank Kameny Into Labor Hall Of Honor

Via press release from the US Department of Labor:
Frank Kameny, who for decades fought to end discrimination in the federal workplace, will be honored by the U.S. Department of Labor in June with an induction to its Hall of Honor. Kameny's legacy as a civil rights leader has made a monumental difference in improving the lives of all workers all across America. A World War II veteran and Harvard-educated doctor of astronomy with the U.S. Army Map Service, Kameny was discharged and barred from federal government employment in 1958 after U.S. Civil Service Commission investigators asked if he was a homosexual.

Kameny fought the injustice, eventually taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied his petition in 1961. The setback led him to become a co-founder of the first gay rights organization in Washington, D.C., and began his tireless fight to force the nation's largest employer — the federal government — to end discrimination in its employment practices based on sexual orientation. "Frank Kameny was a groundbreaking leader in the LGBT civil rights movement. He fought tirelessly to live out his truth and to end workplace discrimination," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "At the Department of Labor we work every day to carry on his legacy and ensure that all workers, no matter who they are or who they love, have equal access to opportunity."
Kameny died at age 86 in 2011. Earlier Hall Of Honor inductees include Ted Kennedy, Bayard Rustin, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, and the 9/11 Rescue Workers. Kameny's ceremony will take place on June 23rd and the Labor Department suggests the Twitter hashtag #ThankFrank. (Tipped by JMG reader Jeremy)

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Pat Robertson: Exorcism Totally Works

But just don't SING to those demons.

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Where Gay Men Are The Happiest

Via the Washington Post:
Planet Romeo, an Amsterdam-based dating and community site, collaborated with the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany to carry out an online survey of 115,000 gay men around the world. They combined rankings on public opinion, public behavior and life satisfaction – how gay men feel about society’s view on homosexuality, how gay men feel they are treated by other people, and how satisfied gay men are with their own lives, respectively – into one worldwide ranking on gay happiness. Iceland tops their list as the country where gay men are the happiest, followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The United States ranks 26th in the list. The 10 worst countries by this ranking are Kazakhstan, Ghana, Cameroon, Iran, Nigeria, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.
Hit the link and scroll down for the full ranking.

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NORTH CAROLINA: House To Vote Today On Same-Sex Marriage Refusal Bill

Follow along at this hashtag.

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Julianne Moore For Lambda Legal

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From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Tipped by JMG reader Mykel)

UPDATE: Urban Dictionary has it too.

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Another Duggar Bombshell: Josh Sued The State Of Arkansas Over DHS Investigation

From In Touch Weekly:
The Josh Duggar molestation case did not end when Springdale, Ark. police closed their investigation in 2006 because the statute of limitations had run out, In Touch Weekly is reporting exclusively. Police referred the matter to the Families in Need of Services agency, which has jurisdiction over minors. The Department of Human Services (DHS) was then brought into the case, In Touch has learned. Nine months after those agencies entered the Duggar molestation case, Josh Duggar sued the Arkansas Department of Human Services. A trial was held on August 6, 2007. The results of the investigation into the Duggars and Josh’s trial are sealed. But a source familiar with the Duggar investigation told In Touch it was likely that Josh “appealed the DHS decision or finding from their investigation.” The source notes that DHS had the authority to apply “restrictions or stipulations about him being at home with the victims."
So it appears that Josh Duggar sued so that he could stay in the family home with his victims. In 2007 he was 19 years old. The Duggars are refusing to comment about the trial. (Tipped by JMG reader Lynda)

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