Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OREGON: Judge Denies NOM's Attempt To Delay Marriage Equality Arguments

From Oregon United:
Moments ago, Judge Michael McShane denied the National Organization for Marriage’s attempt to delay tomorrow’s scheduled oral arguments in federal lawsuit challenging Oregon’s marriage ban. Previously, no party had stepped up to defend the ban. But this morning, the D.C.-based NOM filed a motion requesting to intervene in the case, simultaneously urging the judge to delay Wednesday’s oral arguments as he considers the last-minute motion. With Judge McShane’s ruling today, oral arguments will proceed as scheduled tomorrow afternoon at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene. However, the judge will consider NOM’s motion to intervene in the case and has scheduled oral arguments on that issue for May 14th. If the motion to intervene is accepted, Judge McShane would then schedule a second briefing schedule on summary judgement or move the case to trial.
(Tipped by JMG reader Ron)

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A Ridiculous Lie From Rafael Cruz

"All we have to do is turn on the news and every day we see more and more encroachment upon pastors from this administration. All they have to do is be aware of what’s happening around us and to be aware, for example, that in the city of San Antonio, if a pastor speaks on Romans 1, he could be even fined $500 a day until he retracts what he said. We’ve stayed at home and we allowed the wicked to elect wicked politicians to rule us. We get what we deserve, Rick. We need to get up the charge that God is giving us and move to the forefront and call this nation to repentance and call this nation to righteousness." - Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking on a Tea Party Unity conference call with crackpot Rick Scarborough, who warned that similar fines are going to imposed on Houston's pastors if Mayor Annise Parker gets her way.

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Too Gay To Function Mean Girls Cast Member Daniel Franzese Comes Out

Actor Daniel Franzese, who played the "too gay to function" Damian in Mean Girls, has come out with a letter to that character posted today on Bent. An excerpt:
I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014 - ten years later - looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the “art freaks.” Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that's rad. People have always asked if I was really gay? While my reps usually lied to protect me. My friends and family all knew the truth but now it's time everyone does. Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means "God is my judge" So, I’m not afraid anymore. Of Hollywood, the closet or mean girls. Thank you for that, Damian. (And Tina.) By the way, in June I am the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the Portland Gay Pride Parade. We go Glen Coco.
Read the full letter.

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TRAILER: Compared To What: The Improbable Journey Of Barney Frank

Open this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival. Executive producer: Alec Baldwin. Variety has the story:
When husband-and-wife directing team Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler approached Barney Frank about making a documentary, their pitch sounded lighthearted. In late 2011, Frank was preparing to retire from his Massachusetts seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, after a 40-year career in public office. “It was going to be a nostalgic look and what it’s like making the transition,” says Frank, 74, on a recent phone call from Maine where he spends a fair portion of his time now. But after collecting more than 100 hours of interviews, Frank recalls, “they decided they wanted to do more of my career.” The movie follows Frank’s journey as the first congressman to voluntarily come out of the closet in 1987 and it bookends that history with the summer 2012 wedding to Jim Ready (when the cameras trailed along at the tearful reception). “I regretted not coming out earlier,” Frank says. “My life was considerably improved when I wasn’t hiding things. Plus, I think it had a good political effect on prejudice.”

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Douche Of The Day - Todd Starnes

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Betty White Responds To Fan Questions

Betty White fielded questions from fans on social media last night at the close of an interview with Larry King. Near the end of the clip below, Betty reaffirms her defense of the gay community.

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Kylie Minogue To Perform At GLAAD Awards, George Takei To Be Honored

Kylie Minogue will perform at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on May 3rd.  The main honoree that night will be George Takei.
Takei will receive GLAAD's Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, k.d. lang, and Tom Ford. Over his career, the actor, advocate, social media star and author has remained one of the most outspoken LGBT voices in Hollywood. Since coming out in 2005, he has spoken out on issues including marriage equality, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), so-called "ex-gay therapy" and more. He has worked closely with GLAAD to bring equality to the Boy Scouts and supported GLAAD's Spirit Day campaign to show support for LGBT youth and end anti-LGBT bullying. To Be Takei, a documentary about Takei's life and career, premiered at Sundance in January and is scheduled for a theatrical release this summer.
GLAAD has launched a contest in which the winner will be flown to New York City and seated with Takei at the event.

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RUSSIA: Fingerprint The HIV+

A bill that mandates the fingerprinting of HIV+ people and those with other infectious diseases has been introduced in Russia's national legislature. Russian state news reports:
State Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov of the Liberal Democratic party told mass circulation daily Izvestia that he had prepared an amendment to the federal bill on fingerprinting to provide for a database of people carrying dangerous contagious diseases. This agency will collect medical records and make patients undergo fingerprinting. The information will then be collected in a special nationwide database. If the amendment is passed the new rules would apply to Russian citizens and foreigners who are visiting the country. Several federal ministries and agencies, including the Federal Migration Service, Interior Ministry, Emergencies Ministry and Prosecutor General’s Office have already approved the draft, the parliamentarian told the newspaper.
Under the proposed bill, those that refuse to be fingerprinted can fined 50,000 rubles. Foreigner who refuse to submit would be deported. (Via Towleroad)

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Which Case Will Get To SCOTUS First?

While various legal groups jockey to get to the Supreme Court, Freedom To Marry head Evan Wolfson speaks about the marriage equality cases currently before the various circuit courts of appeal:
Presumably, we will soon - meaning, in a matter of months - have rulings from one or more of the federal appellate courts. Then there's the possibility of further procedures as to whether the three-judge panels in those courts that will rule will then go to the broader, full panel of the entire circuit courts [a process called en banc review]. That could consume a few more months. When that gets resolved (either by bypassing that step or by having another set of arguments and further round of decisions), then whoever loses that ultimate appeals court ruling may ask the Supreme Court to hear the case. That's called "seeking cert." That stage then requires another few months of briefing and argument, with one side saying the Supreme Court should hear the case and the other side saying the Court should not hear the case. Then, it's up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it's going to take one of the cases or not. It takes only four of the nine justices to vote to hear a case.
There are presently 65 marriage equality lawsuits in progress in 31 states and US territories. Freedom To Marry has posted a handy chart.

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ILLNOIS: Hate Group Compares Dan Savage To The Holocaust And Abortion

The Illinois Family Institute, an SPLC-certified hate group and the former home of Peter LaBarbera, is responding to supporters who are angry that they posted an old "loathsome video" of Dan Savage. From IFI head Laurie Higgins:
Why view photos from Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen? Why view photos of lynchings? Why view photos of aborted babies? Why view the photo of the young napalmed Vietnamese girl? Why view photos of animals caught in steel leg traps or baby seals bludgeoned to death? Aren't these images shocking and obscene? I am not equating the enormity of the evil of the Holocaust and the American genocide of pre-born babies to that of the homosexuality-affirming movement. I am, rather, illuminating the necessity of occasionally viewing the evil in our midst about which humans have a remarkable capacity to delude themselves. As Christians, however, we should remain conscious of the fact that a life of unrepentant homoerotic activity will result in eternal separation from God. How do we measure the magnitude of temporal suffering relative to that of eternal suffering?
NOTE: We've never been able to find a usable photo of Laurie Higgins. Which is quite odd, considering how everybody else in the anti-gay industry tends to be quite proud of their hatred.

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Brian Williams - Gin And Juice

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Wingnuts Attack Gun Control Image

Right wing sites such as Twitchy are mocking the above "ignorant" image because the gun is expelling "the entire bullet - casing and all." And because the trigger doesn't appear to be pulled. That's what's important here, folks.

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INDIA: Supreme Court To Reconsider Ruling Upholding Anti-Sodomy Legislation

India's Supreme Court announced today that it will reconsider its recent ruling which upheld anti-sodomy legislation enacted under British rule. J. Lester Feder reports at Buzzfeed:
This is LGBTI rights’ advocates last chance to toss out the decision, which was a harsh blow after a 12-year litigation process. In January, a two judge panel (which included one of the judges who issued the original ruling) rejected their first attempt to have the case reconsidered, what is known as a review petition. The current motion, known as a curative petition, still faces long odds, because the five-judge panel that will consider it includes the two judges who rejected the review petition. The other judges on the panel will be the three most senior judges on the court. But the lawyers in this case got a major boost last week when a different two-judge Supreme Court panel issued a sweeping verdict recognizing broad rights for transgender people. Though the judges in the transgender rights case were careful to explicitly say they were not offering an opinion on the 377 case, their ruling reads almost like a point-by-point rebuttal to the ruling.
A date for the rehearing will be announced next week.

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Obamas Laud Frankie Knuckles

The above letter from the President and First Lady was included in the program at yesterday's memorial service for the late gay DJ Frankie Knuckles in Chicago. Speakers at the service included Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who praised Knuckles for "inventing a new musical form" in house music. Windy City Times has more about the event on their Twitter feed.

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AP Polls Americans On Science, Nobel Winners Depressed With Results

The Associated Press has polled Americans about their scientific beliefs:
Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there's a genetic code inside our cells. More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines. About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority — 51 percent — questions the Big Bang theory. Those results depress and upset some of America's top scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners, who vouched for the science in the statements tested, calling them settled scientific facts.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans were more likely to doubt science.

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Young Turks "Infiltrate" The 700 Club

The Young Turks are encouraging their viewers to "infiltrate" the 700 Club by getting Pat Robertson to respond to their questions in the daily "Online" portion of the show. Yesterday one of the questions got through.

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GEORGIA: First Marriage Suit To Be Filed

Today Lambda Legal will file Georgia's first marriage equality suit. Via the Georgia Voice:
April 10 was not your usual Thursday at Fulton County Probate Court. Because at one point during the day, Midtown couple Shane Thomas and Michael Bishop strolled in and applied for a marriage license. “Everyone there was friendly, but they still said no,” Bishop tells GA Voice.

In 2004, Georgia voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage as well as recognizing same-sex unions from other states. But since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year striking down a major portion of the Defense of Marriage Act in the renowned Windsor case, judge after judge after judge in states across the country are ruling that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

With that marriage license denial to Bishop and Thomas this month, in coordination with the actions of two other same-sex couples and one widowed lesbian, a chain reaction started which will lead to the April 22 filing of a massive class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia. The plaintiffs will enter this fight with the backing of Lambda Legal and the law firms of Bryan Cave and White & Case.
Read the full filing here.

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NYC Pride Reveals 2014 Grand Marshals: Laverne Cox, Rea Carey, Jonathan Groff

Via press release:
Heritage of Pride, organizers of NYC Pride and the annual New York City Pride March, today announced the Grand Marshals for 2014. This year’s marshals are Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Transgender Activist and “Orange is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox; and Broadway, film, and television actor Jonathan Groff, appearing this summer in “The Normal Heart.” “Our 2014 marshals are leaders in brilliant forms of activism through which LGBT people and their allies engage,” said March Director David Studinski. “Individually, they represent the diversity within the LGBT community and the various struggles our community members have and continue to face. Collectively, their stories reinforce that no voice is too small nor weak to make change in our world - and it starts with being yourself.”

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Veterans For Colorado Marriage

From Why Marriage Matters Colorado:
In its ongoing work to demonstrate that the broad majority of Coloradans support the freedom to marry, Why Marriage Matters Colorado, a coalition of state and national organizations, released a 30-second television spot featuring a group of local veterans standing up for their gay comrade in arms. The ad, airing statewide, features three military veterans who, together with their friend, U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant T. Ashley Metcalf – who is still actively serving his country – represent 45 years of military service. Sgt. Metcalf is gay, and his band of brothers – former Army Staff Sgt. Izzy Abbass, retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Mont’Ros, and former Marine Sgt. Will Glenn – talk about the importance of the freedom to marry for everyone.

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Feds Revoke Powdered Booze Nod

That was fast. Via USA Today:
Don't expect powdered alcohol to hit store shelves anytime soon. A product called "Palcohol" gained widespread attention online in recent days after it was reported that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the powdered alcohol, including vodka and rum varieties. But a representative for the federal bureau, Tom Hogue, said in an email to The Associated Press late Monday that the approvals were issued in error. Hogue did not immediately respond to requests for further details, including how the error occurred. In an email message, Palcohol's parent company Lipsmark said "there seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag." It said it will resubmit the labels for approval.

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TRAILER: True Blood (Season 7)

The final season.

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Medi-Cal Relaxes Truvada Rules

Via Wehoville:
California’s Medi-Cal program has made it easier for low-income people to get access to Truvada, a drug believed to reduce the risk of contracting HIV, by eliminating requirements that those people be provided with condoms and be tested monthly for HIV and that their doctors seek Medi-Cal’s permission before writing a prescription. The decision was applauded by AIDS Project Los Angeles, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and Project Inform in San Francisco — three of the state’s leading organizations focused on HIV education and prevention.
(Tipped by JMG reader Bill)

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Bring Your Own Big Wheel 2014

An annual race down San Francisco's Potrero Hill.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

OREGON: NOM Files Federal Motion To Intervene In Marriage Equality Lawsuit

"Marriage in Oregon is worthy of defense, yet the Attorney General has abandoned her duty to defend the marriage state constitutional amendment enacted overwhelmingly in 2004 and in effect has switched sides. As a membership organization, we speak on behalf of our members, including a County Clerk in the state, several professionals in the wedding industry, and voters. All of these individuals have a particularized interest in the outcome of the litigation, yet their interests are not being represented. We are working to protect the interests of our members who support true marriage against a collusive lawsuit that has the state joining with the plaintiffs against the interests of our members, and the state's voters." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, announcing that NOM today filed a federal motion to intervene in Oregon's marriage equality lawsuit on behalf of "a county clerk who must perform marriages and certify them, professionals in the wedding industry, and voters who cannot defend their interests in upholding the law themselves due to legitimate fear of reprisal."

"These recent news reports suggest that Judge McShane is in the same position as the two gay men challenging the marriage amendment, raising troubling questions about his impartiality. But regardless of what judge eventually hears this matter, it is wrong that a challenge to Oregon's marriage law would proceed in federal court with no meaningful defense of the constitutional amendment adopted overwhelmingly by voters. Their interests, and the particular interests of those involved in performing or celebrating wedding ceremonies deserve a defense. If our motion to intervene is granted, we intend to fully and aggressively defend the state constitutional amendment." - NOM chairman John Eastman, who is very upset that that Judge McShane is gay and raising a child with his partner.

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VIRGINIA: Christian Group Calls For 40 Days Of Fasting To Stop Gay Marriage

"The Family Foundation is asking that you join us for 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance for Marriage from August 27 until October 5, 2014. Our state and nation are mired in a morass of confusion and post-modern thinking that does not believe in absolutes nor that any truth can even be known. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current debate raging about what constitutes marriage. Pagan philosophies, a secular humanist education establishment and an entertainment industry that is absolutely determined in pushing the envelope on decency and morality have all combined to turn this great land into a country that our forefathers could not even begin to recognize." - Posted today by Focus On The Family, a "proud partner" of the Family Foundation of Virginia. (Via Right Wing Watch)

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VIRGINIA: 13 States + DC File Amicus Brief In Support Of Marriage Plaintiffs

The following states and Washington DC have filed a collective amicus brief with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in support of Virginia's marriage equality plaintiffs: Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Equality Case Files has the full brief. Money quote:
As in other cases raising constitutional challenges to state marriage laws, there is considerable agreement between Amici States and those States that defend exclusionary laws. All States agree that marriage is a core building block of society; as a result, they regulate entry into, responsibilities during and after, and exit from marriage. Moreover, States establish policies that encourage individuals to get and stay married because they recognize that marriage provides stability for families, households, and the broader community; that children are better off when they are raised by loving, committed parents; and that state resources are preserved when spouses provide for each other and their children. On all of these points— and many more—all States are in accord.
Gay-friendly briefs were also filed today by the NAACP, PFLAG, the Episcopal Church, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Family Equality Council, and many others. See them all here. You might be especially interested in a brief filed by a group calling itself Historians Of Anti-Gay Discrimination. I'm just now digging into it, tell us what you think.

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xkcd On Brendan Eich

(Via JMG reader Mike)

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker Introduces Sweeping LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill

JMG reader Mike writes:
The City of Houston has now posted the draft language of the ERO (Equal Rights Ordinance) on its web site. A large coalition of LGBT and non-LGBT groups contributed to getting this ordinance to this point, including pressuring the Mayor and Council to include private employers in the non-discrimination provisions. LGBT organizations included Equality Texas, HRC, Out & Equal Houston, Log Cabin Republicans, Stonewall Democrats and the Houston LGBT Caucus.The next step (after the draft is circulated to Council) is for it to be put on the agenda. The target vote on the ordinance is for mid-May.
Read the full proposed bill.

You might recall that the entire anti-gay industry lost their minds when San Antonio first introduced its ultimately successful version of a bill much like Houston's. Will we see yet another vicious and ugly battle?

The Human Rights Campaign praises Mayor Annise Parker via press release:
Today Houston Mayor Annise Parker introduced the Equal Rights Ordinance, which if passed, will protect all Houstonians from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations. The proposed ordinance covers both public and private workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, the ordinance will also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy.  Human Rights Campaign (HRC) National Field Director Marty Rouse issued the following statement: “We thank Mayor Parker for her leadership on this commonsense legislation. It is far past time to protect the citizens of Houston from all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston is an epicenter for business and culture. Cities thrive when all citizens feel welcome and part of the cultural fabric. Today, Mayor Parker told every Houstonian that they are a valued part of the city’s future.” Mayor Parker intends to present the draft ordinance to the City Council’s Quality of Life Committee on April 30. Consideration by the full City Council is scheduled for May 7.

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Obama Emcees The Easter Egg Roll

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WWE Poses For NOH8 Campaign

Via press release: "WWE has teamed up with charitable organization NOH8 to show its support for marriage, gender and human equality. Some of WWE’s most notable Superstars and Divas have jumped in front of Adam Bouska’s lens to publicly proclaim their support for equal rights and had a great time doing it! Everyone from Chief Brand Officer, Stephanie McMahon and her Superstar husband, Triple H to the cast of E!’s Total Divas joined the silent photographic protest campaign." You'll have to embiggen the image to see who is who.

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Mrs. Betty Bowers: The Party Of Lincoln Goes South, A Comparative Travelogue

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Atheists Sue School District Over "Under God" Portion Of Pledge Of Allegiance

Via Raw Story:
On Saturday, the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit in New Jersey on behalf of an atheist family seeking to erase the phrase “one Nation under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. According to the lawsuit, “John Doe and Jane Doe are atheists…who have personally experienced the public’s prejudice against atheists.” They have been told they are “arrogant for not believing in God,” and “Doechild is…aware of unfavorable public attitudes toward atheism, and has in fact been personally confronted and shouted at in response to his openly identifying as atheist.” Because of this, John and Jane Doe do not believe Doechild — who attends a public school in the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District — should be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on a daily basis, as that forces Doechild into a position in which classmates will come to recognize that he is a non-believer.
Read the full lawsuit.

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USPS Begins Milk Stamp Pre-Orders

Via press release from the White House:
The U.S. Postal Service officially revealed the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp today. The stamp’s official first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place May 22 at the White House. The public is invited to attend the May 28 Harvey Milk Forever Stamp special dedication ceremony in San Francisco. Details on the time and location will be forthcoming. Customers may order the Harvey Milk stamp now for delivery following the May 22 stamp issuance. The stamp image is based on a circa 1977 black and white photograph of Milk in front of his Castro Street Camera store in San Francisco taken by Daniel Nicoletta of Grants Pass, OR. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, was art director for the stamp.
Pre-order your stamps here.

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THAILAND: HIV Testing PSA

This PSA from a Bangkok-based HIV prevention group might not be office-friendly. Wait for the end when you can watch.

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American Man Wins Boston Marathon

For first time in 31 years, an American man has won the Boston Marathon.
American Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon men's title on a day that was marked by remembrances of the bombings one year ago. He held off Wilson Chebet of Kenya at the finish to win in a time of 2:08.37. Keflezighi, who will turn 39 next month, was cheered by massive crowds from Hopkinton to Boylston Street wearing a red and white top and blue shorts. He's the first American man to win in Boston since Greg A. Meyer in 2:09:00 in 1983, four years before Keflezighi immigrated to the U.S.
Keflezighi and his family emigrated from Eritrea when he was 12 years old. He won a silver medal for the United States at the 2004 Olympics. After all of the ugly anti-immigrant sentiment that poured out after last year's attack, it's wonderful that an immigrant American won today. The announcers in the clip below are beside themselves as Keflezighi crosses the finish line.

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Coldplay - Midnight (Moroder Remix)

It's so great to hear the classic Moroder sound. This clip might get yanked as it's from a Coldplay fan channel. The remix went on sale today at iTunes.

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Is Pennsylvania Next For Marriage?

The ACLU today reports that "both sides have agreed" that there is no need for the scheduled June trial in their Pennsylvania marriage equality lawsuit.
A trial became unnecessary after the commonwealth stated that it will not call any experts to counter the plaintiffs’ argument that there is no rational reason why lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage, nor does it plan to dispute the specific harms caused to the plaintiffs by the marriage ban. All legal papers in the case will be filed by May 12, meaning a ruling could come at any time after that date.

“We are pleased that this case will be moving forward quickly. Our clients have waited long enough for the state to recognize the love and commitment that these couples have for each other,” said John S. Stapleton, of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller.

Along with the motion, today’s filing included written testimony from six experts, including a report on the legal disadvantages that same-sex couples face in estate planning, taxes, health care, and family law in Pennsylvania because they cannot marry or have their marriages from other states respected by Pennsylvania. The motion also includes another expert report about the economic harms to the state’s economy and businesses caused by the commonwealth’s failure to allow same-sex couples to marry or to recognize their marriages from other states.
This is quite an exciting turn of events. In December the outside legal firm hired by Gov. Tom Corbett demanded to know the sexual histories of the plaintiffs in the ACLU's suit. I'll update this post as more details come in.

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Graham: Media Is Persecuting Christians

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Texas Reaches Marriage Tipping Point

According to a new independent poll conducted by Texas Tech, for the first time more Texans support marriage equality than oppose it. But only barely.
“Texas remains a conservative state, and the overwhelming majority of citizens consider themselves Republicans,” said Mark McKenzie, associate professor of political science who instructs the class that did the survey. “For Democrats to stand a chance of carrying Texas, they either must convince Texans to switch their party loyalties or capture all independent and Democratic voters. There is absolutely no room for error on the part of the Democrats.”

On the other hand, McKenzie said, even though Texas remains a conservative state, attitudes about gay marriage have changed in Texas during the last year. “In the past, support for gay marriage in this state was below 40 percent,” he said. “Now, were closely divided on the issue. 48 percent of Texans think gay marriage should be recognized whereas 47 percent are against. Democrats and Independents strongly support gay marriage, while Republicans are strongly opposed to it.”
The poll also shows that 44% of Texans approve of the Tea Party.

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Limbaugh Gets Second Cochlear Implant

Rush Limbaugh is off the air this week while he gets a second cochlear implant.
He received surgery for the first implant for his left ear about 13 years ago, he said, and doctors at the time advised him against getting the second implant in case a cure was developed for his deteriorated hearing. On his show Limbaugh said he was told at the time that one ear needed to remain untouched to apply the cure. Cochlear implant surgery replaces the hair cells attached to the cochlea with man-made electrodes that bypass damaged cells that cause hearing loss and stimulate the cochlea's hearing nerve, sending impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound. "I'd ask, 'How long is the cure gonna be?' They said, 'We're hoping 10 years.' Well, 10 years came and went and there was no cure," he said. As his hearing continued to deteriorate, Limbaugh said he finally decided a second implant was the best move.
RELATED: In 2003 Limbaugh was investigated for  buying “thousands of addictive pain killers from a black-market drug ring," leading to Limbaugh to confess to drug addiction on his show. Some have speculated that his hearing loss is the result of abusing Oxycontin, which can cause permanent profound deafness in high quantities. At the time Limbaugh declined to discuss a possible link between his drug abuse and his hearing loss. Limbaugh was arrested in 2006 on charges of "doctor shopping" to acquire painkillers, but those charges were later dropped after he agreed to attend rehab and surrender his firearm license.

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Typepad Blogs Under Attack

Typepad reports that they are working on the problem again today and that some sites should be back up soon.  For those that have asked, this isn't an attack on LGBT blogs.

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Feds Approve Powdered Alcohol

Via Orlando's WFTV:
The same government that won't let us have commercial drones or home DNA testing kits has made yet another brilliant regulatory decision. The U.S. Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has just approved — wait for it — powdered alcohol. A Bevlaw blogger first spotted the application, which approves seven different varieties of powdered alcohol. The blogger writes, "I am not astonished that this is a real product — but I am absolutely astonished that this is approved. The person that pushed this through must be very patient or lucky."
The company's website has since been amended, but critics are noting what used to be there:
"Let's talk about the elephant in the room ... snorting Palcohol. Yes, you can snort it. And you'll get drunk almost instantly because the alcohol will be absorbed so quickly in your nose. Good idea? No. It will mess you up. Use Palcohol responsibly." 
Another now deleted portion:
We’ve been talking about drinks so far. But we have found adding Palcohol to food is so much fun. Sprinkle Palcohol on almost any dish and give it an extra kick. Some of our favorites are the Kamikaze in guacamole, Rum on a BBQ sandwich, Cosmo on a salad and Vodka on eggs in the morning to start your day off right. Experiment. Palcohol is great on so many foods. Remember, you have to add Palcohol AFTER a dish is cooked as the alcohol will burn off if you cook with it…and that defeats the whole purpose.
UPDATE: BevLaw notes that California already has regulations for powdered distilled spirits.

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As Classy As Ever

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BROOKLYN: Bar Owner Sues Landlord For Lease Clause Banning Gay Bars

A bar owner in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is suing his landlord because his lease specifically bans him from the turning his business into a gay bar.
John McGillion says he wants to transform Lulu’s to take advantage of a growing gay and lesbian community in the neighborhood. But there’s just one problem: his lease specifically prohibits McGillion from running a gay bar. “I am barely scraping by on the proceeds of the bar. If I am permitted to operate a gay bar at the premises I believe that I will be able to make a considerable profit,” McGillion said in Brooklyn Supreme Court papers filed last week. Greenpoint was up and coming when John McGillion opened Lulu’s back in 2005, just a block from the East River. He added two mezzanine levels and “put a lot of money” into the business, McGillion said. Still, the joint “lost money, there’s no doubt,” he told The Post. McGillion, who owns a handful of other bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan, believes he could have done another “40 to 50 percent” more business as a gay establishment.

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Navy Baseball Does Frozen

600K views already.

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Steve Kardynal - Raining Food

From the guy whose most recent ChatRoulette video has gotten over 111M views. For this clip, his YouTube followers are arguing about food wasting.

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Where Nobody Lives

Via the Atlantic:
"There are plenty of visualizations based on population data, but nothing quite like what designer Nik Freeman has created: a map of where no one lives. Using data from the 2010 U.S. census, Freeman shades green the nearly 5 million census blocks with zero population. The resulting map highlights the 47 percent of the U.S. that remains unoccupied."
Most of the uninhabited areas are mountainous regions, deserts, and national parks.

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Exorcism Of The Day

There's a demon named Rejection: "Most exorcisms are complicated and involved. This one is simple and straight forward. In Ukraine, Bob encountered Victoria who had the demon Rejection which manifested with violent tremors. The exorcism is translated into Russian."

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Pew Issues Global Morality Survey

Pew Research has issued a report on a "global morality survey" they conducted last spring. As you can see above, homosexuality averaged out to be somewhat more acceptable than adultery and gambling in the 40 countries surveyed. In the USA:
An overwhelming majority of Americans said extramarital affairs were morally unacceptable. But fewer Americans said that abortion was unacceptable (49%), with 17% saying abortion was morally acceptable and 23% saying it was not a moral issue. Meanwhile, less than four-in-ten Americans are strongly opposed to homosexuality (37% unacceptable), premarital sex (30%), gambling (24%), divorce (22%) and alcohol usage (16%). For these issues, a majority of Americans said that they were either morally acceptable or not a moral issue. And when it came to the issue of contraceptive use, only 7% said this was unacceptable.
There's an interactive chart on the homosexuality question. The "acceptable" responses seem rather low, especially for the United States and Canada. The shaded percentage column below is "unacceptable." Hit the link for the full list of countries. The top five surveyed nations most accepting of homosexuality: Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Chile.

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Derrick Gordon: Don't Wait To Come Out

"Don't wait. Take advantage of everything that you have in front of you. Don’t wait because you’re scared. Don’t wait until you’re 35 or 40 years old and done playing the sport that you love. Because it’s stressful to live that way. I cried most of the nights when I was in the closet just because it starts to take a toll on you just because you’re worried about how people are going to think about you and what they’re going to say about you. Take advantage of it now. It’s going to make your life so much easier." - Recently out NCAA basketball player Derrick Gordon, speaking on Michelangelo Signorile's SiriusXM show.

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Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch

Clip recap: "The lawyer who led the defense of Proposition 8 now says his attitudes are evolving as he plans his daughter's lesbian wedding. Michigan officials are trying to invalidate hundreds of couples' marriage licenses, but now those couples are fighting back. And a Judge in Ohio has issued one of the most strongly-worded rejections of a marriage ban to date."

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tweet Of The Day - Pat Sajak

For those blissfully unaware, Sajak is one of the baggiest baggers ever to bag out of Teabagistan.  Therefore he is a hero over on Twitchy.

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Ralph Reed & Franklin Graham Denounce Gay Families On ABC's This Week

Rev. Franklin Graham and Ralph Reed appeared on ABC's This Week today to denounce gay parenting and gay adoption. Reed went all Regnerus and then immediately contradicted himself.
“The social science on this is clear,” Reed said. “This isn’t about Vladimir Putin, this is about what’s best for children here in the United States. The social science is irrefutable: a child who grows up in a home without the mother and father present, and they both very unique procreative, nurturing, and socializing roles, they’re nine times more likely to end up dropping out of high school; they’re five times more likely to end up in poverty; and they’re three times more likely to end up addicted to drugs and alcohol.”

“But the social science is also irrefutable that a child raised in an orphanage is in much worse shape than a child raised in a home,” Roberts objected. “And the fact that people are willing to take these children and raise them, and raise them in a loving way, is clearly better for these children.” “Would you agree with that?” host Martha Raddatz asked. “Would you rather have a child sitting in an orphanage than have gay parents?” “I think the social science is just simply not in yet on same-sex couples,” Reed said, in a notable departure from his comment thirty seconds ago. “I think the law has every right to set an ideal. And the ideal is a mother and a father.”
Graham then announced that gay people can go to heaven as soon as they stop being gay. Start at the 5:00 mark.

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ILLINOIS: Six Of Seven Anti-Gay State GOP Committee Members Lose Seats

Remember how NOM vowed revenge on former Illinois state GOP chairman Pat Brady for endorsing same-sex marriage? Brady did end up resigning but also gone now are most of his detractors on the state GOP committee.
Illinois Republicans across the state held elections for all 18 state central committee member posts this week, replacing six of the seven officials who signed on to a letter last year to hold a vote on removing Brady as chairman. The seventh person to sign the letter, Mark Shaw of the 10th Congressional District, was re-elected to a four-year term. Brady began making public statements in January 2013 in support of same-sex marriage, contrary to the party's platform that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Committee members in favor of his removal said he not only violated the platform, but commented without notifying them first. Brady, in turn, described the party as "on wrong side of history." He resigned from the chairman's post last May, citing his wife's battle with cancer and his desire to focus on his family after four years as chairman and two as a Republican National Committee member. He was succeeded by current chairman Jack Dorgan of Rosemont last June.

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Teabagger Vs Obama Doll

From the Omaha World-Herald:
Nebraska Democrats on Friday criticized a TV ad showing Republican governor candidate Beau McCoy knocking a Barack Obama doll off a fence post with his hand. The ad opens with McCoy saying, “More Obamacare in Nebraska? That is the last thing we need.” He then strikes a doll that resembles President Obama. “Beau McCoy hit a new low in his ad, where he is seen striking the president off a fence post,” said Dan Marvin, executive director of the Nebraska Democratic Party. “No matter what party you belong to, the depiction of violence displayed in McCoy's ad is completely disrespectful to the office of the presidency and sends the wrong message to our children.” Vince Powers, state Democratic chairman, called on McCoy to pull the ad.

(Via Aksarbent)

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NASA Promotes Global Earth Day Selfies

NASA wants you to step outside on Tuesday and send them an Earth Day selfie.
For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth-observing missions will be launched into space in a single year. To celebrate this milestone, NASA is inviting people all around the world to step outside on Earth Day, April 22, take a "selfie," and share it with the world on social media. Designed to encourage environmental awareness and recognize the agency's ongoing work to protect our home planet, NASA's "Global Selfie" event asks people everywhere to take a picture of themselves in their local environment. On Earth Day, NASA will monitor photos posted to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr. Photos posted to Twitter, Instagram or Google+ using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie, or to the #GlobalSelfie Facebook event page and the #GlobalSelfie Flickr group will be used to create a crowd-sourced mosaic image of Earth – a new “Blue Marble” built bit-by-bit with #GlobalSelfie photos.

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Seventh Cativersary

Seven years ago today I brought Shelley home from the East Harlem ASPCA. She was 18 months old, very underweight, timid, and FIV+. And she was so freaked out on the first day in my apartment that she tried to escape by climbing the chimney. Today she's a healthy ten pounds and the friendliest cat I've ever worked for, if also the quietest. As I like to do on this date, I encourage you to visit your local shelter and consider adopting an adult cat. At this writing there are 84 adult cats up for adoption at the East Harlem shelter. I'm partial to the Seinfeldian Seven.
RELATED: The ASPCA has a fantastic "cats over three are free" program for adult cats: "The Free Over Three adoption package includes spaying or neutering, vaccinations and micro-chipping. Adopters will also receive a certificate for free follow-up veterinary care at the ASPCA Animal Hospital within 14 days of adoption, a pet carrier and literature about cat behavior." The APSCA also supports a no-kill coalition of animal shelters all over the New York City area.

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