Friday, November 07, 2008

The Next March On Washington

As I've said here before, I consider the 1993 March On Washington to have been the single most thrilling event of my entire life. I will never forget the rush of goosebumps and tears as my posse of Florida queers rode up that enormous subway escalator into Dupont Circle as hundreds of our brothers and sisters applauded our arrival from above. That weekend I took part in my first ACT UP demonstration at the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and laid sobbing in the middle of F Street as the Grim Reaper marked chalk outlines around our bodies. Still, somehow, the overwhelming mood was hopeful. Clinton had just taken office and all things seemed possible. And in many, many ways, things did get better.

This week we're beginning to see the rumblings of a call for another March On Washington. Could the lightening of 1993 strike again? Or would we see another scandal-ridden fiasco like the 2000 Millennium March? Would it be remotely possible to organize and conduct another March without the overlords of the Human Rights Campaign? Should we? How would we marshall our new and eager army of young queers? These kids are champing at the bit for a shot at their own Stonewall, their own Queer Nation. The LGBT world of the 21st century is larger, younger, and I think, smarter. I would love to watch.

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PhoboQuotable - Jim Quinn

"Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have -- or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their -- for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us. I mean, just like they charge -- look, if I'm a tobacco smoker, I pay more, right? Why? Because I'm risking my life, and the insurance company has an interest in that, because the chances were more likely they're gonna have to pay off on me than somebody else. So why don't they charge gay men, especially, higher premiums? Because they're engaged in an activity that will have an impact on that -- on the health care system. That's -- I don't know, is there something wrong with that?

"Anyway, the people of -- of California, you know, maybe they didn't articulate it quite that way, but somehow they understood. And they voted against gay marriage. And the mayor of San Francisco is just beside himself over this. But they did the right thing. Look, if you're gay and you want to have a relationship, and you want to have it -- you know, you want to have it legalized and sign a contract, I have no problem with that. Go ahead. I'm not gonna come knock on your door, it's not a problem for me. Just don't -- don't try to muddy the waters by calling it a marriage -- it's not." - Conservative radio host Jim Quinn, via Media Matters.

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Oregon Town Elects Nation's First Transgender Mayor

Another one for the history books.
Barack Obama wasn't the only candidate who made history Tuesday. On the same day the United States elected its first black president, the tiny town of Silverton, Ore., elected the country's first openly transgender mayor. Stu Rasmussen served two terms as Silverton's mayor in the 1990s, but he was still living in the closet -- and dressing in men's clothing. He came out a few years ago, proudly donning a skirt and high heels. On Tuesday, Rasmussen won a third term, by 13 percentage points. He attributes his victory to his deep knowledge of the issues. "The first 30 seconds they think, am I in freak show? Is there a camera behind me? What's going on here?" Rasmussen told a local news station about voters' reaction to him. "And then we get down to discussing whatever the issue is -- city business or whatever -- and they figure out this guy's different, but he knows what he's talking about."
Rasmussen: "I identify mostly as a heterosexual male. But I just like to look like a female. Some guys' mid-life crisis is motorcycles or sports cars or climbing mountains or trophy wives or whatever. I always wanted cleavage, so I went out and acquired some."

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From 52 To 48 With Love

You may remember Sorry Everybody, the site that went viral with photos of sad-faced Americans posting messages of apology to the world for Dubya's reelection in 2004. Today we have the similarly conceived From 52 To 48 With Love, in which young people on both sides on this year's election (mostly) express messages of unity and offer olive branches to the other side.

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Stuart Smalley Still In It

Al Franken continues to refuse to concede in his Senate bid in Minnesota.
The vote gap between Senate candidates Norm Coleman and Al Franken fluctuated throughout the day Thursday, with Franken closing to within 236 votes by Thursday evening. The fluctuations are normal, said a spokesman at the Secretary of State's office, as county's double check their work and report minor changes. A typo in Pine County got fixed Thursday, giving Al Franken 100 more votes and tightening Minnesota's unresolved Senate race even tighter. Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's lead over Democrat Al Franken stood at 236 votes Thursday night. With nearly 2.9 million ballots cast, the difference between the top two candidates is about one one-hundredth of a percentage point.
Franken is a friend of the LGBT community on all issues and has vigorously defended marriage equality. Cross your fingers, folks.

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It's A New World Order


Damn funny shit from the reliable folks at 23/6.

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Bloomberg Proposes Plastic Bag Tax

Mayor Bloomberg hopes to help the city's budget woes (oh, also: the environment) by instituting a five to ten cent tax for every plastic bag issued by Gotham's stores.
The controversial charge could raise at least $16 million for the cash-strapped city while keeping tons of plastic out of landfills, city officials said Thursday - but some outraged shoppers aren't buying it. "Bloomberg is a piece of work," Clemelda Gipson, 39, said outside a D'Agostino grocery store in Chelsea. "Food is expensive and now we have to pay for the bags, too? They should try to come up with ideas and solutions and not just more taxes." Others said they would bring their own cloth bags rather than pay more at the store. "I think it's a good idea. There is way too much plastic being used at the grocery stores anyways," said actress Denise Lute. "We need to be eco-conscious. If I'm charged a nickel it'll make me take my own bag."

New Yorkers use an estimated 1 billion plastic bags per year. City officials aren't sure what bags they plan to tax, or how they'd collect it - though they're considering allowing merchants to charge an extra penny per bag, giving them an incentive to track it. "They're charging sales taxes already. There's not some massive new overhaul or bureaucracy that's needed," said Rohit Aggarwala, Bloomberg's head of environmental affairs. "We are hoping that at 6 cents a bag, people would change their behavior."
San Francisco already bans non-biodegradable bags, while Ireland taxes every plastic bag at 33 cents - a move that has reduced their use by 94%, usually in favor of canvas totes. But with most of us here in Manhattan being car-less, we're less likely to be toting around canvas bags for impromptu purchases. I used to have one hanging up on the back of my apartment door, but despite my good intentions, I left the house without it exactly 100% of the time and eventually it was lost.

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Priorities

(Via - Andrew Sullivan)

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Racist Kicked Off Texas Football Team For Anti-Obama Facebook Status

And we thought the power of Facebook could only be used for good. Mollygood reports:
Apparently this anti-Obama Facebook phenomenon is really getting out of control and, luckily, some ignorant crazies are being forced to pay the consequences. Meet Buck Burnette, a football player for the University of Texas and blatant racist. Shortly after the election, his status read: "all the hunters gather up, we have a #$%&er in the whitehouse." Classy guy, that Buck. As you can imagine, coach Mack Brown kicked him off the team immediately. Buck then issued an apology that was obviously not written by him.

Clearly I have made a mistake and apologized for it and will pay for it. I received it as a text message from an acquaintance and immaturely put it up on facebook in the light of the election. Im not racist and apologize for offending you. I grew up on a ranch in a small town where that was a real thing and I need to grow up. I sincerely am sorry for being ignorant in thinking that it would be ok to write that publicly and apologize to you in particular. I have to be more mature than to put the reputation of my team at stake and to spread that kind of hate which I dont even believe in. Once again, I sincerely apologize.

Racists! In TEXAS.

(Via - Queerty)

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Obama Baby Boom

There's already been a boomlet of kids being named Barack, Michelle, and Obama.
The U.S. election has triggered a new generation of mini Barack Obamas with parents in Kenya and the United States naming their newborns after the new president-elect. At the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in Kisumu, western Kenya, Barack's ancestral homeland, several mothers were naming their babies after the U.S.'s first African-American president. The mothers told Reuters Television that they wanted their babies to grow up to have the same successful traits as Obama. I would like that by the time he is in his 40s he becomes the president of this country," said Nancy Otieno proudly of her newborn son Barack Obama. Another new mother, Millicent Akoth, named her new daughter Michelle Obama after the soon-to-be first lady. South Florida couple Patrick and Sasha Hall were reported on Wednesday to be among the first since the election to bestow the name Obama on their child, Obama Hall, according to the Miami Herald.
Other are wondering if we'll see another baby boom exactly nine months after Tuesday night's wild celebrations. Barack Obama himself may have been conceived on the night of JFK's election.

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A Real World Case Study In The Cause For Marriage Equality

JMG reader and fellow blogger Jake has written a chilling account of the legal morass he and his partner find themselves in as they care for a mentally challenged family member. It begins:
Thomas (not his real name) came to live with us on October 13, 2007. Developmentally disabled since birth, Thomas had been essentially abandoned by his father years ago. He’d been living with his mother for the last 15 years in a personal hell he still doesn’t have the skills or even the understanding to describe. From what he’s been able to tell us, she was grotesquely abusive. Instead of merely beating him, she’d make him bring her whatever she was going to beat him with to prolong his terror and humiliation. When she beat him until he bled, she wouldn’t let him clean up the bloodstains on the walls and floor … so he couldn’t escape the reminders of his beatings anywhere he went in the house. When he didn’t make his bed the way she wanted, she made him sleep on the floor next to it. For five years. When a man she was having an affair with committed suicide, she told Thomas she wished he had been the one to kill himself. She clearly had never taken him to a dentist. Or even taught him how to brush his teeth. And while she was constantly dressed in sequins and hats, she dressed him like a retarded, homeless stereotype: pants that were too short, used underwear that was 12 sizes too big and cracked plastic shoes that made him walk with a limp.
You must go read the entire post.

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More Prop 8 Protests Coming

Prop 8 protests are planned for many California locations tonight and over the weekend. In San Diego:
Friday evening at 9pm community activists are urged to meet at Laurel & Sixth, then the group will walk to City Hall. Also, on Saturday at noon, gather at First & University in Hillcrest and march to 30th & University in North Park.
Andy Towle has a great roundup of other locations and is adding to the list through the day.

Pam Spaulding notes
a Chicago protest against Focus of The Family's James Dobson.
In Chicago there will be a demonstration on Saturday to protest Prop 8 leader James Dobson's visit to receive his Museum of Broadcasting award. Focus on the Family gave $800,000 to bankroll Prop 8.
"In California we saw the very direct effect that anti-gay hate can have on the life choices available, or unavailable, to the gay community," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. "Dobson put his media empire and $150 million annual budget at the service of defeating equal rights by passing California's Proposition 8, removing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples."
The action will be held at 5:30 PM, Saturday, November 8 outside of the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, 1 W. Wacker Drive (corner of Wacker & State). For information about Saturday night's protest, contact the Gay Liberation Network at 773-209-1187 or LGBTliberation@aol.com.

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HomoQuotable - Melissa Etheridge

"Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

"Okay, cool I don't mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We're gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that's not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won't have to pay their taxes either." - Melissa Etheridge, writing on The Daily Beast.

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Obama Win Leaves Supporters With Nothing To Fill Their Empty Lives

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Gays Protests At LA Mormon Temple

Via LA Times:
More than a thousand gay-rights activists gathered Thursday afternoon outside the Mormon temple in Westwood to protest the role Mormons played in passing Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. It was the latest in an escalating campaign directed against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its role in marshaling millions of dollars in contributions from its members for the successful campaign to take away same-sex marriage rights.

Church officials made few public statements during the campaign. On Thursday, they issued a statement asking for "a spirit of mutual respect and civility." "The Church acknowledges that such an emotionally charged issue concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life -- family and marriage -- stirs fervent and deep feelings," church spokeswoman Kim Farah wrote in an e-mail. "No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information." She did not elaborate. Outside the Los Angeles temple Thursday, dozens of protesters screamed "Bigots" and "Shame on You" at half a dozen men in button-down shirts and ties who looked out at the demonstration from behind the temple's closed gates.
The LA Gay & Lesbian Center has set up a website called InvalidateProp8.org to solicit donations to fund the overturn of the referendum.
Send a message to the Mormon Church, whose members raised more than $15 million to fund the deceitful advertising campaign for Proposition 8, the initiative that takes away the right to marry for same sex couples in California!

Make a donation, in the name of the president of the Mormon Church, to support the legal organizations working to invalidate Proposition 8 and to fund grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. For every donation of $5 or more, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center will send the following postcard to President Thomas Monson’s office in Salt Lake City, acknowledging your donation in his name:

Dear President Monson:

A donation has been made in your name by _________________ to “invalidateprop8.org” to overturn California's Proposition 8 and restore fundamental civil rights to all citizens of California. The money will be donated to legal organizations fighting the case and to support grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. Although we decry the reprehensible role the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leadership played in denying all Californians equal rights under the law, we are pleased a donation has been made on your behalf in the effort to overturn the discrimination your church members helped enshrine in the California Constitution. Given that throughout its history the Mormon Church has been subjected to bigotry, we hope you appreciate the donation in your name to fight religious bigotry here in California.

Let’s work to overturn Prop. 8 while sending a message to the Mormon Church that it’s wrong for any organization to exert political influence to deny the civil rights of any group!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Video: Last Night's Arrests At Prop 8 Protest In West Hollywood


The WOW Report provides this 2-minute clip of the LAPD beating and arresting protesters at last night's Prop 8 march in West Hollywood. Police clubbed one protester repeatedly on his legs after he broke through their barrier. It's unclear exactly what was to be gained by breaching the barrier, but clearly the police overreacted.

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ACLU: We'll Be Back, And We'll Win

Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project:
Even in famously liberal San Francisco, we had to go through the process of trying to pass a simple domestic partnership law five times, and we lost twice. If you run up an unbroken string of victories in any battle for civil rights, that simply means you waited too long to get to work. Change that matters is never smooth or easy.

It will be important to go over the campaign carefully and learn from our mistakes. But we need to resist the temptation to blame ourselves for the loss. The perfect campaign hasn’t been run anywhere yet. Thousands of very good people worked their hearts out on this, and they deserve our thanks. The victims of an injustice should never be blamed for failing to end it unless they don’t try. And you can’t say that we didn’t try, and try damn hard.

We didn’t lose by much. Eight years ago, on virtually the same question, we could only get 39 percent. On Tuesday, we got over 48. While our opponents may be celebrating now, the handwriting is on the wall. They won’t be able to hold on much longer. There are other states where we’ll be able to get marriage in the next few years, and others where we’ll get domestic partnerships and civil unions.

We’ll be back in California. And we’ll win. You can depend on it.
Read Matt Coles' entire post on CNN's AC360.

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SiriusXM: Today At 4:15PM

I'll be on Michelangelo Signorile's show on SiriusXM at around 4:15PM today to talk about Matt Barber and his threats to sic the FBI on gay blogs. SiriusOutQ is Channel 109 on your SiriusXM tuners or you can listen online.

UPDATE: The interview was moved up 15 minutes to the new time posted above.

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The Mind Of Morel

Washington DC's MetroWeekly has posted a lengthy interview with house music kingpin DJ Rich Morel in which Morel talks about performing with and producing for Cyndi Lauper, the famous Blowoff parties, and his fantastic new album, Death Of The Paperboy.

An excerpt from Doug Rule's The Mind Of Morel:
MW: Your new album is called The Death of the Paperboy. You mean that both in the metaphorical sense - in the sense of loss of innocence and time of change - but also in the literal sense.

MOREL: Exactly. It's a metaphor but it's actually a true narrative as well. After [2004's] Lucky Strike, which had some similar thematic ideas within it, I had written maybe four or five of the songs that are on The Death of the Paperboy but I hadn't written the title track yet. They were all following a similar theme that for me had an adolescent perspective -- and I mean that in the most positive of ways. Meaning, there was a certain naiveté surrounding the perspective of the writer, who was me. For instance, ''No Makes Me Lonely'' is a simple broken love song basically, but it was written through the perspective of a 17-year-old more than somebody my age.

When I was writing these songs in my headspace, I was constantly reflecting on things that had happened to me when I was a kid. ''The Death of the Paperboy'' came about because I was reflecting on that and it kind of summed up the whole cycle of songs that I was writing. I thought it was a good title and starting point because that event was one that had a monumental change. I remember the impact of it and I remember how things changed after it. Did you ever see that movie The Ice Storm, with Sigourney Weaver? It's that type of thing where everything was kind of idyllic and you're living your life, everything's fine, and then this event happens and you realize that everything you count on and everything you think isn't necessarily the way it is.
[Photo Credit: Todd Franson]

JMG EXCLUSIVE: Here's Rich Morel's fantastic remix of The Killer's Human, which is easily one of my favorite tracks from 2008.


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Christianist Troll Avalanche

Yesterday's story in WingNutDaily has brought us an avalanche of haters from God's Gentle People. I'm letting most of their comments stand, as you folks tend to deal with them quite well. However, I have had to ban a few of our own today for making racist comments. As I've said here several times, the main reason JMG has such a robust community is that your opinons are not moderated or censored. Yet as I seem to do every six months or so, once again I must plead for civility here. Venting with foul or obscene language is not only OK here on JMG, it's often necessary and effective. Racist expressions and threats of personal violence are NOT.

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Icing On The Cake

North Carolina has finally been called for Obama.
President-elect Obama has won North Carolina, a symbolic triumph in a state that hadn't voted for a Democrat in more than a generation. The Associated Press declared Obama the winner Thursday after canvassing counties in North Carolina to determine the number of outstanding provisional ballots. That survey found that there are not enough remaining ballots for Republican John McCain to close a 13,693-vote deficit. North Carolina's 15 electoral votes brings Obama's total to 364 -- nearly 100 more than necessary to win the White House. Missouri is the only state that remains too close to call. Obama's win in North Carolina was the first for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter won the state in 1976.
Nice to have some good (if only symbolic) news today, especially from my home state.

(Tipped by fellow Tarheel/JMG reader Brawley)

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Obama Celebration In Union Square


Eric Leven sends us his video of the spontaneous Obama celebration in NYC's Union Square just moments after the election was called. I love how somebody is up in the Discount Shoe Warehouse flipping their sign on and off.

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WeHo Prop 8 Protest Photos

Japhy Grant has photos from last night's Prop 8 protest in West Hollywood, where the LAPD responded in riot gear and roughed up at least one protester who wouldn't leave the street.
After a group of 1000 protesters left a planned West Hollywood rally to protest Prop 8., they headed eat along Sunset to the CNN building and later to Hollywood and Highland. I was among the people at the front of the group and the march was peaceful and protesters were communicating and working with Sheriff’s Department, which allowed the protesters to police themselves.

Then the Los Angeles Police Department showed up, issuing a “tactical alert” calling all available officers to the scene. Things went downhill and tonight the Hollywood area is awash in SWAT teams, police helicopters and scattered reports of protesters being arrested and beaten. For the most part, what I observed was peaceful and it wasn’t until the L.A.P.D. showed up that any protesters started to get belligerent– even then, the man in the first photo below was attacked for crossing the police line formed at Hollywood & Highland. Whether the police crossed a line is a question to be asked tomorrow.

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Christianists Vow To Extend Their Winning Streak To All 50 States

Emboldened by their three-state sweep of hate, the Christian Coalition is vowing to extend their anti-gay battle to the rest of the states without a marriage amendment.
Among the most important news from yesterday's elections were the banning of homosexual "marriages" in the states of California, Florida, and Arizona. Indeed, the citizens of California overturned a tyrannical judicial decision by 4 California judges (in a 4-3 decision earlier this year) by passing Proposition 8 yesterday.

The President of the Christian Coalition of America, Roberta Combs said: "The American people are proud of their fellow citizens in the states of California, Florida and Arizona for upholding traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Christian Coalition of America will continue to fight to ensure that government serves to strengthen and preserve, rather than threaten, our families and our values."

Thus far, 30 states have outlawed homosexual "marriages" by an average close to 70% approval by voters through amendments to the state constitutions. In addition, the voters in Arkansas yesterday approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. It will be the goal of Christian Coalition to ensure that the other 20 states adopt similar amendments banning homosexual "marriages" including the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut which also had two judicial decisions, by one vote margins, legalizing these abominations.
We are witnessing the beginning of a social civil war more ugly than any in memory.

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Times Are Hard At The Times

I know the newspaper world is hurting and that the NY Times is facing a bunch of layoffs, but selling yesterday's paper for $15 seems a bit much.

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HomoQuotable - Lee Tucker

"To the kind souls who decided that I’m not equal, and voted to strip me, and others in my community of their constitutional rights, congratulations. Your bigotry and fear have won this day. In 40 years, when viewed through the prism of history, you’ll find yourselves as respected and loved as the racists and segregationists of the 1960s. In 40 years, when the first gay or lesbian wins the highest office in the land, you’ll be sharing the same lonely corner as those folks who yesterday couldn’t “vote for a n*gger,” and woke up to discover that an African American was president, and that history had passed them by.

"Until that day, I fear for the lives of your gay sons and lesbian daughters. The ones who can’t talk to you about it, and suffer silently. They’ll be dying for your choice, because teen suicide rates in gays and lesbians is driven by fear, and by feelings of worthlessness that proposition 8 reinforces. No doubt the ones who finally do come out, will suffer the indignity of either the scam of “reparative therapy” or homelessness, as so many do. Until that day, I fear for the children of gays and lesbians, who will face ridicule and discrimination at school because their families “aren’t real” and their mommies or daddies “aren’t really married.”

"Finally, I fear for you. If the God you worship is the one about whom I’ve read, you’ve got some serious explaining to do. Like the woman in John 8, I’d offer you the first stone, but I’m already bloodied by Proposition 8." - Lee Tucker, writing on his blog. Lee is a longtime friend of mine from my San Francisco days.

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Today At 2PM: Prop 8 Protest At Los Angeles Mormon Temple

Via the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center:
WHAT: Leading supporters of marriage equality will hold a news conference in front of the Los Angeles Mormon Temple in response to the Mormon church’s leading role in the deceptive advertising campaign for Proposition 8. At the urging of church President Thomas Monson, Mormons contributed more than $15 million to fund the initiative which would repeal the right of same-sex couples to marry.
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m.
WHO: Speakers include: Lorri L. Jean, CEO, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Religious and community leaders
WHERE: Los Angeles Mormon Temple, Corner of Selby Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. Westwood, California 90025

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27% Of Gays Went For McCain

Unbelievably, exit polls indicate that 27% of the gay vote went to John McCain. The Log Cabin Republicans are celebrating: "That is up from 20% four years ago. That equals 1.3 million votes - the most any Republican candidate for President has received."

(Via - Towleroad)

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Open Thread Thursday

I haven't asked this one in about a year, but since the Obamas are getting a puppy....what's YOUR pet situation?

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Condi Rice On Obama's Victory


Condi's verklempt reaction to the election makes you wonder who she voted for.

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Ellen On Prop 8 Vote

Via Fox News:
Ellen DeGeneres says she is "saddened beyond belief" a ban on gay marriage has been approved by Californian voters. DeGeneres married Australian actress Portia de Rossi in August, three months after the Californian Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage. Yesterday's vote for Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage, leaves the stars and thousands of other gay couples in legal limbo. "Barack Obama is our new president. Change is here. I like millions of of Americans, felt like we had taken a giant step toward equality," the talk-show host said on her website. "This morning, when it was clear that Proposition 8 had passed in California, I can’t explain the feeling I had. I was saddened beyond belief. "Here we just had a giant step toward equality and then on the very next day, we took a giant step away."

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Palin Thought Africa Is A Country


Now that Palin's GOP handlers are off the leash, we find she's even stupider than we thought. She thought that Africa was a country, not a continent. And she couldn't name the three countries in NAFTA.

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Turmoil At WeHo Prop 8 Protests

I'm getting reader emails reporting after the Prop 8 rally in WeHo ended tonight, protesters moved onto Santa Monica Boulevard and blocked traffic. At this writing, police are on the scene and according to one JMG reader, the scene is "escalating and getting ugly." More on this once news reports emerge.

UPDATE: The situation appears to have resolved without notable incident.

UPDATE II: Some protesters were detained by the LAPD, who called a "tactical alert" after the crowd proved too large to handle.
The Los Angeles Police Department declared a tactical alert Wednesday night in an attempt to handle opponents of Proposition 8, who marched from West Hollywood to Hollywood to protest the passage of the initiative defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Protesters marched together on streets in West Hollywood and Hollywood. Several protesters stopped at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, blocking traffic in the busy intersection. An additional group of about 500 protesters gathered in the 6400 block of Sunset Boulevard, near CNN's Los Angeles Bureau, prompting the LAPD to declare a tactical alert because of the need for additional officers, some of whom were brought in from other stations, Officer Jason Lee of the LAPD Media Relations Section said. Some of them were detained, but "the overall indication is that the demonstrators and marchers are peaceful," Lee said.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

5000 Protest Prop 8 At SF City Hall

JMG reader Joe Rodriquez sends us this live photo from his phone as an estimated 5000 angry gays and supporters rally at San Francisco City Hall in protest of the vote on Prop 8.

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You Are Being Watched

The Christianists are monitoring this and other LGBT blogs and calling for the criminal prosecution of those calling for violent revenge against the religious right in the wake of yesterday's vote on Proposition 8.

From Matt Barber, former spokes-twat for Concerned Women For America, current spokes-douche of the Liberty Counsel:
DATE: November 5, 2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“Gays” Call for Violence Against Christian Supporters of Prop 8

Lynchburg, VA – In a stunning reaction to the passage of state constitutional marriage protection amendments in California, Arizona and Florida, several self identified homosexuals on a number of homosexual blogs are advocating violence against Christians and other supporters of traditional marriage. Additionally, some homosexuals are calling for church burnings in response to yesterday’s three state referenda in defense of natural marriage.

In a blog entry titled “You’ll Want to Punch them” on Queerty.com, poster “BillyBob Thornton” wrote, “… I have never considered being a violent radical extremist for our Equal Rights, But now I think maybe I should consider becoming one.” “Stenar” asked, “Can someone in CA please go burn down the Mormon temples there, PLEASE. I mean seriously. DO IT.” “Angelo Ventura,” said, “… hope they all rot in hell, those servants of a lying, corrupt devil!

BAN RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM!” And, “Jonathan,” warned, “I’m going to give them something to be f – ing scared of. … I’m a radical who is now on a mission to make them all pay for what they’ve done.”

Meanwhile, over at JoeMyGod.blogspot.com, “World O Jeff,” said, “Burn their f–ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers.” While, “Tread,” wrote, “I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives.” “Joe,” stated, “I swear, I’d murder people with my bare hands this morning.”

And on the Americablog.com Web site, “scottinsf” posted, “Trust me. I’ve got a big list of names of mormons and catholics that were big supporters of Prop 8. … As far as mormons and catholics … I warn them to watch their backs.”

Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Alliance Action and Liberty Counsel, said, “This is not just a matter of some people blowing off steam because they’re not happy with a political outcome. This is criminal activity. The homosexual lobby is always calling for ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ and playing the role of victim. They claim to deplore violence and ‘hate.’ Here we have homosexuals inciting, and directly threatening, violence against Christians. This is not free speech; these are ‘hate crimes’ under the existing definition. Imagine if Christian Web sites were advocating such violence against homosexuals. There’d be outrage, and rightfully so. It’d be national front-page news. Federal authorities should immediately investigate these threats and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law. I also call on the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and other leaders within the homosexual lobby to immediately call for an end to these homosexual threats of violence against Christians.”
Please refrain from any possibly actionable calls to violence against our foul enemies and their property. There have been over 1000 comments today already, but I will go slog through them and remove any comments that might cause you legal repercussions, as remote as that prospect probably may be.

UPDATE: Barber's press release has been picked up by the wingnut/Christianist site World Net Daily and they have added numerous quotes from JMG readers.
Decisions by voters in Florida, Arizona and California to join residents of 27 other states with constitutional protections for traditional marriage have prompted threats of violence against Christians and their churches.

"Burn their f---ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers," wrote "World O Jeff" on the JoeMyGod blogspot today within hours of California officials declaring Proposition 8 had been approved by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent. Confirmation on voter approval of amendments in Florida and Arizona came earlier. On the blog website, "Tread" wrote, "I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives."

Another contributor to the JoeMyGod website said, "While financially I supported the Vote No, and was vocal to everyone and anyone who would listen, I have never considered being a violent radical extremist for our equal rights. But now I think maybe I should consider becoming one. Perhaps that is the only thing that will affect the change we so desperately need and deserve." A contributor identifying himself as "Joe" said, "I swear, I'd murder people with my bare hands this morning."

Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel, called the statements "hate crimes" for their intent to create violence against someone based on their beliefs. "This is not just a matter of some people blowing off steam because they're not happy with a political outcome. This is criminal activity," he said. "The homosexual lobby is always calling for 'tolerance' and 'diversity' and playing the role of victim. They claim to deplore violence and 'hate.' Here we have homosexuals inciting, and directly threatening, violence against Christians."

One contributor went so far as to threaten to take out his frustrations on his own family.

"You want me to come back to Idaho for Christmas? Oh wait, my partner and I can't share the same bed? We can't show any affection or any outward sign of our love for each other? Well sorry family ... no Uncle Adam and all his expensive gifts and delicious cooking for you. Your childrens' presents will now be donations in their name to the equal rights organization of my choosing. As will their and your birthday presents, wedding presents, graduation presents, and everything else I give going forward." The writer continued, "Remember, I'm angry. And I'm strong from my years at the gym and really am ready to take my frustration out on someone or something."

Barber said the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and "other leaders within the homosexual lobby" should call immediately for an end to such threats.

There were suggestions of a different type of violence, too.

"Hope the gay waiters at their hotel p---ed in all the drinks they served these cretins," "Jake" wrote about protectors of traditional marriage.

"If you're planning a heterosexual wedding in California … be prepared for picketers. Designate someone to watch the parking lot … You're going to have lots of unexpected expenses. Add $500 to your budget for security. … Be prepared for the flowers not lasting to the reception or the tuxedos showing up two sizes too small or the music at the reception being a way too loud or the cake tasting a little funny," stated another threat. "Be afraid. Be very afraid. We are everywhere."

Another even listed addresses of Mormon facilities. Mormon, Catholic and other religious groups were active in supporting the marriage definition. "I do not openly advocate firebombing or vandalism. What you do with the information is your own choice," wrote Jeremy.

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WeHo: Prop 8 Protest Tonight

From the City of West Hollywood site:
Supporters of Equality For All and Members of the No on Proposition 8 Community to Gather in West Hollywood Tonight at 7 p.m.

Supporters of Equality For All and members of the No on Proposition 8 community will gather at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood at 7 p.m. this evening. The City will close San Vicente Boulevard between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to accommodate the gathering.

Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has been one of the most ardent advocates for the legal rights of same-sex couples and the right to marry. It was one of the first cities in the country to pass a resolution in support of same-sex marriage. The City, along with a number of other cities in California, filed an amicus brief in the case in support of same-sex marriage rights. The City of West Hollywood is known throughout the world for its pioneering efforts on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) rights and established one of the first domestic partnership laws in the country in 1985.
(Tipped by JMG reader Andrew J.)

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HomoQuotable - Dan Savage

"African American voters in California voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8, writing anti-gay discrimination into California’s constitution and banning same-sex marriage in that state. Seventy percent of African American voters approved Prop 8, according to exit polls, compared to 53% of Latino voters, 49% of white voters, 49% of Asian voters.

"I’m not sure what to do with this. I’m thrilled that we’ve just elected our first African-American president. I wept last night. I wept reading the papers this morning. But I can’t help but feeling hurt that the love and support aren’t mutual.

"I do know this, though: I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there—and they’re out there, and I think they’re scum—are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.

"This will get my name scratched of the invite list of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which is famous for its anti-racist-training seminars, but whatever. Finally, I’m searching for some exit poll data from California. I’ll eat my shorts if gay and lesbian voters went for McCain at anything approaching the rate that black voters went for Prop 8." - Dan Savage.

According to the math at Obsidian Wings, if a slight majority of California's blacks had voted against Prop 8, rather than the 69% who supported it, the measure would have failed.

On the other hand, maybe the No On 8 side just tippy-toed too fucking gingerly around outright attacks against the religious right, for fear of appearing to attack religion in general. Most of the No On 8 ads (especially the early ones) were weak soap operas - silly, trifling, soft-selling of basic human rights that didn't even have ACTUAL GAY PEOPLE in them. We should have been screaming bloody murder from the very start.

Only that Mormon Home Invasion ad had the proper tenor....and that one came from the Courage Campaign, not No On 8. When the Mormon millions began to flow, what we should have done is point out the outrageous hypocrisy of a church that is mostly known for its historical affinity for racism and polygamy DARING to tell other people how to live. My ad would have started with, "This is Mormon founder Joseph Smith. And this is his wife. And so is this. And so is THIS. And so is THIS....." Smith's 33 or so wives would have fleshed out a 30-second clip very nicely.

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No On 8 Says "Not So Fast"

Citing as many as four million still uncounted ballots, California marriage equality advocates are refusing to concede a loss on Proposition 8.
The Associated Press this morning reported that Californians adopted the measure calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage and overturning the state Supreme Court decision that gave gay couples the right to wed just months ago. But opponents of the measure say they would not concede the outcome, despite vote totals showing supporters of Proposition 8 with a 400,000-vote advantage. Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide.

"The fact is depending on the turnout model we are looking at millions of votes yet to be counted," Kendall said. The race is too close to call. People's fundamental rights hang in the balance." Passage of Proposition 8 could represent a crushing political defeat for gay rights activists, who had hoped public opinion on the contentious issue had shifted enough to help them defeat the measure.

It also could represent a personal loss for the thousands of couples from California and others states who got married in the brief window when they could. Legal experts have said it will have to be resolved in court whether their unions remain valid if Proposition 8 is approved.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen was expected to issue an estimate of the number of uncounted ballots late today or Thursday. It could take days to process all of them. Proposition 8 supporters declared victory early today, saying their model shows them with an insurmountable lead.

Frank Schubert, manager of the Yes on 8 campaign, declared victory shortly after midnight -- but opponents called that declaration "presumptuous." "We had more than 100,000 (supporters) walk precincts for us, and they have delivered a great victory," Schubert told supporters.
Yes On 8's lead has widened by almost 100,000 over the afternoon.

All Precincts Totals

Choice
Votes %
(checked) Yes
5,319,905 52.4%

No
4,841,736 47.6%

98% of precincts reporting

Updated 11/05 12:20PM PST

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"Wasilla Hillbillies Looting Neiman Marcus From Coast To Coast"

From Newsweek:
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
And right now Palin is on CNN saying, "There is no 'diva' in ME!"

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Prop 8 Challenges Begin

The San Francisco City Attorney and legendary lawyer Gloria Allred have both announced separate lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

From the San Jose Mercury-News:
The San Francisco City Attorney's office says he plans to challenge the validity of a ballot measure that would change the state constitution to ban gay marriage. Spokesman Matt Dorsey says City Attorney Dennis Herrera will file the legal challenge in the California Supreme Court if the measure passes. With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Proposition 8 is leading with 52 percent of the vote. But there are still as many as 3 million ballots left to be counted. The first lesbian couple to be married in Los Angeles County after the Supreme Court threw out the gay marriage ban also plans to announce a lawsuit against Proposition 8. Attorney Gloria Allred says that lawsuit will argue that the measure is unconstitutional.
From the Contra Costa Times:
The first same-sex couple to wed in Los Angeles last summer struck the first blow from gay advocates against the new voter-approved ban on gay marriages Wednesday, announcing they were filing a lawsuit against the measure. Robin Tyler and Diane Olson of North Hills said Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred will file the new lawsuit containing a new and controversial legal argument as to why Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Tyler, 66, and Olson, 54, married last June 16 in a traditional Jewish ceremony on the steps of the Beverly Hills courthouse, becoming one of the first two same-sex couples to marry in California under the new state nuptial laws they helped overturn. The two couples were allowed to marry on the eve of when the state begins to issue marriage licenses to same-sex partners because of their unique roles in lawsuits from Los Angeles and San Francisco that led to last May's Supreme Court decision declaring the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

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Gotham's Newspapers Are Sold Out

I couldn't find a single local paper today to read over lunch. Every newsstand is completely wiped out and now I see that Towleroad is reporting that people are lined up around the block at the NY Times headquarters to get today's issue. I should have realized that today's papers would be collectors items. Even worse, I had to read USA Today over my Lenny's Combo #1.

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Convict Holds Slim Lead In Alaska

The people of Alaska must have been smoking something.
Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was leading challenger Mark Begich with most of the election returns in hand Tuesday night, despite being found guilty of seven felonies and polls showing him in deep trouble. With more than 80 percent of the precincts reporting, Stevens held a 2-percentage point advantage over Democrat Begich.

About 4,000 votes separated the candidates. The razor-thin margin means the Senate race might not be decided for two weeks. Still to be counted are roughly 40,000 absentee ballots, with more expected to arrive in the mail, as well as 9,000 uncounted early votes and thousands of questioned ballots. The state Elections Division has up to 15 days after the election to tally all the remaining ballots before finalizing the count.

If the lead holds, Stevens will shock the nation and be the first person ever re-elected to the U.S. Senate after being found guilty on criminal charges. Polls had shown the Republican down by at least 8 percentage points on the day before the election.
Most expect the Senate to expel Stevens if he wins, which will open his seat for a special Palin-friendly election. Sen. Sarah Palin. Get ready for it.

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Lieberloser

From today's top rated diary on Daily Kos:
Joe Lieberman: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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Daily Grumble

Yeah this is all like totally petty and shit, but it just occurred to me that I am older than our new president. Damn. That's all I got.

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Celebrating Hate

Photo caption from the Los Angeles Times:
Bob Knoke, of Mission Viejo, Amanda Stanfield, of Monrovia, Jim Domen, of Yorba Linda, and J.D. Gaddis, of Yorba Linda, celebrate returns for Proposition 8 at an Irvine hotel.
And then they did shots and told AIDS jokes.

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Saturday: Furball @ The LGBT Center

This Saturday at the NYC LGBT Center:
DJ Quentin Harris will bring the bears out of their caves with his mixing magic. Be warned…fur ahead! Join Dance 208 as we celebrate everything furry. Fur Ball is back! Enjoy the fur attack. There are two floors of dancing, (SPIT Lounge with DJ Mike Grimes and Paul Short) go-go bears, cheap beer, bear art, and warm, warm fur...and over 700 furry friends. So leave the caves and shake it out! Let the fur fly!
On the flyer is my pal Joey, from his Pinups Magazine photoshoot. NSFW!

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Jared Polis Elected Colorado's First Openly Gay Congressman

Internet mega-millionaire Jared Polis was elected Colorado's first openly gay representative in Congress yesterday.
Democrat Jared Polis defeated Republican Scott Starin in the 2nd Congressional District race Tuesday, becoming the first openly gay person from Colorado elected to Congress. With 20 percent of the vote counted, Polis had 60 percent to Starin's 36 percent.

"The voters of our district have spoken clearly that they want change brought to Washington," Polis said. "I look forward to taking my out-of-the- box approach and creative ideas to help shake up Washington." Starin said that he was pleased with his showing in the race and wouldn't have done anything differently. "It's a difficult district for a Republican in a difficult year," Starin said.
Polis cofounded the online greeting card company Blue Mountain Arts, which was later sold to Excite@Home for $780M. He's since founded numerous successful companies and has become a generous philanthropist. He becomes the third openly gay member of the House of Representatives, joining Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank.

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Kenya Declares National Holiday

In Kenya:
Obama's Kenyan relatives erupted in celebration as the election results came in early Wednesday morning, and they proceeded to march through the streets singing "We are going to the White House!" [See the celebration above.] Agence France-Presse reports that Kenya has declared a national holiday in honor of Obama's election: "This is a momentous day not only in the history of the United States of America, but also for us in Kenya,'' President Mwai Kibaki said in a statement, according to AFP. ``The victory of Senator Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya. As a country, we are full of pride for his success.''
The woman in red is Obama's step-grandmother.

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History

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CNN's Fake "Holograms"


While CNN's much-ballyhooed "hologram" gimmick last night was interesting, it wasn't an actual hologram. Wolf Blitzer wasn't seeing those people in front of him, it was all done in the computer. Meh.

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Headlines

(Via - Gawker)

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Nate Silver, The Geeky God Of Polls

With all the often wildly-conflicting polls, the one site I kept drifting back to was stats geek Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight. History will be very kind to Silver's predictive prowess. His final call of 349 electoral votes for Obama is dead-on for the current results, although Obama's total may increase slightly as the couple of still deadlocked states are finally decided.

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Acceptance / Concession


As moving as Barack Obama's acceptance speech was, I was almost equally as touched by John McCain's classy and gracious concession.

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Anti-Gay Measures Win In FL, AZ, AR

Via Box Turtle Bulletin:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,008,420 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 776,896 (44%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 544,197 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 544,197 (43%)
90% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dems Take NY Senate Majority

The Democratic Party has won a majority in the New York State Senate for the first time in 44 years. And not since 1935 have the Democrats controlled both chambers of the state legislature and the governor's mansion. However, the presumptive Senate Majority Leader, Malcolm Smith, faces a quartet of Democratic senators (all from NYC) who have so far refused to commit to supporting a Democratic majority leader. If Smith does assume the post, many expect that marriage equality in New York may at last be coming, and soon. So far, however, Smith has refused to give his definitive position on the issue.

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Prop 8 Poised To Pass

Tempering our joy, things are not looking good for Proposition 8. Only 22% of precincts are reporting as of this writing, but things are trending badly. Updates on the below results are here.

UPDATE: The margin shrank overnight, but not nearly enough.

Proposition 8-Same Sex Marriage Ban

All Precincts Totals


Choice
Votes %

Yes
4,942,991 51.8%

No
4,592,317 48.2%

91% of precincts reporting

Updated 11/05 4:35AM PST

UPDATE II: Via San Francisco Chronicle:
Opponents of the measure, gathered at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, tried to put the best face on the disappointing results. "There are a lot of votes still to count, and we expect the race to go on late tonight and possibly beyond," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, the guiding force behind the "No on Prop. 8" campaign. Election officials estimated there could be as many as 2 million ballots left to count after election day, mainly from mail ballots that arrived Tuesday.

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Barack Obama, Our 44th President

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I'm Godless And I Approve This Message

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Election Results Open Thread

Post your reactions to the results as they are announced. It's going to be a long night.

UPDATE: Let's try out that big honkin' "live" electoral map at the top of the blog and see how it works.

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I Now Denounce You, Chuck & Larry

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Tim Robbins Couldn't Vote, Scattered Reporting Of Similar Glitches

Progressive activist and actor Tim Robbins got turned away from his polling place today and he rightfully blew a gasket.
There was some kind of ruckus and the cops were called. Apparently Robbins has been voting at that polling place for more than a decade, but today his name wasn't on the register. They told Robbins he had to fill out a provisional ballot but he didn't want to do it. An argument erupted between Robbins and the poll worker. Robbins allegedly got loud and the poll worker said he was calling the cops. Robbins accused the poll worker of trying to intimidate him so he wouldn't vote. Robbins went downtown to the City Board of Elections to get proof he was good to vote. Robbings: "This is what you have to do to vote... I had to go down to see a judge... My name was not on the roll, and I'm not the only one. According to workers, 30 people in 5 hours had been taking off the rolls. You can do the math on that. 6 per hour, per district across America..."
CNN is reporting similar situations across the nation....broken machines, names disappearing from registers, etc. However, so far the problems don't appear to be widespread. Cross your fingers on THAT.

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Google Prop 8 Flap Widens

More website owners are expressing anger at Google for publishing Yes On 8 banners on their sites.
Google has become embroiled in a row about gay marriage, after opponents of same-sex unions in California used the search engine's advertising network to post messages on popular websites against the owner's wishes. A number of American websites, including the widely read TechCrunch and Create Digital Music blogs, featured adverts backing Proposition 8, which would change California’s constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Peter Kirn, from Create Digital Music, told Times Online: “Not only was this ad was something I disagree with – it could have said 'Vote For McCain' even though I’m an Obama supporter – but it is also an ad that could be seen as offensive to some of my readers." He added: “This an extraordinary breach of trust we’ve put into Google ads.”

Mr Kirn has tried to use Google’s own software to remove the adverts from his site and has contacted the company about the issue. When the adverts remained on the site for several hours despite Mr Kirn’s best efforts to remove them, he said he was forced to remove all Google adverts from his site.

Popular technology websites, followed closely in Silicon Valley and the rest of California, seem to have been the main targets for the adverts. “Denying a fundamental right to a person - such as marriage - is hateful and backwards,” wrote Michael Arrington on TechCrunch. “Google doesn’t have any obligation to run ads like these, and I believe they would be correct in banning.”
I ran Google Ad Sense here on JMG for about two days a few months ago, but the script made the site load so slowly that I had to take it off. I got lucky.

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Obama: Brothers, Stop Sagging!

Finally Barack Obama has addressed the critical issue of laws against baggy pants.
In an interview with MTV's Sway Calloway, Obama fielded a question from Eric, a Huntington Beach, Calif., man who referenced a town ordinance that tried to outlaw a street fashion trend in which young men wear their baggy pants down well below their underwear.

Obama said such laws were "a waste of time," but didn't hold back on his own view on the fad. "Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants," he declared. "You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What's wrong with that? Come on. Some people might not want to see your underwear - I'm one of them. Here is my attitude. I think people passing a law against people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time. We should be focused on creating jobs, improving our schools, health care, dealing with the war in Iraq. Any public official that is worrying about sagging pants probably needs to spend some time focusing on real problems out there."

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Palin Won't Say Who She Voted For


Via Swamp Politics:
Citing her right to privacy, Gov. Sarah Palin refused to say who she voted for after emerging from her polling place in Wasilla, Alaska. That's right, she wouldn't say she voted for her own presidential ticket. We assume she did, but she stood on principle and wouldn't say. She did say the secret ballot is one of the "cool" things about the U.S. Agreed.
Hang on a minute. Was that a press conference?

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$73M Spent On Prop 8

People starving all over the world, children living in the streets, and the Christianists forced a fight that cost $73M.
Spending for and against a ballot initiative that would outlaw same-sex marriage in California has surpassed $73 million, almost twice the total that was spent in the 24 states where similar measures were put to voters since 2004, campaign finance records show.

Opponents of Proposition 8 had a slight lead in contributions as of Monday, having raised $37.6 million. Supporters of the gay marriage ban had raised $35.8 million. A little less than $33 million was spent on campaigns to pass or defeat gay marriage bans in the 24 states where they appeared on ballots in 2004, 2005 and 2006, according to the National Organization on Money in State Politics.

Experts have said the California measure has become the most expensive social issue campaign in U.S. history and is the costliest election this year outside the race for the White House. About 30 percent,or $22 million, of the donations reported by supporters and opponents of Proposition 8 have come from outside the state, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
Jeebus wept.


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Talking Points Memo: Yes On 8 Ads Are Ok On Our Site

Progressive blog Talking Points Memo had all of its ad space taken over by Yes On 8 ads yesterday via Google Ad Sense. Despite a massive outcry from readers and despite opposing Prop 8 in their editorials, TPM took no action. Josh Marshall's reasoning:
When we started accepting paid advertisements in 2003, I instituted a clear policy that we would never accept or reject ads on the basis of political content. We reserve the right to reject ads on the basis of 'taste' or 'appropriateness', which we do every so often. We also will not run ads containing hate speech or appeals to violence. But outside those two categories, which we interpret very narrowly, we run ads irrespective of, indeed, with an intentional indifference to their message.
Hmm. Some would say that the Yes On 8 ads DO qualify as hate speech. Other sites have blocked the ads, including the gay car enthusiasts site, Gay Wheels.

(Tipped by JMG reader Joseph)

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Gay-Baiting Rep. David Dreier (R-CA)

Another gay-baiting ad from the Democrats, this one from Blue America PAC, a group headed by Howie Klein. The Courage Campaign and others have called for Dreier to come out or at least oppose Prop 8. Nothing but silence.

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Rachel Maddow: Long Lines Are The New Poll Tax, Poor Can't Afford To Wait


Rachel Maddow says that long lines at polling places are a de facto poll tax - a very effective way to block out people who cannot afford to miss several hours of work.

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Palin Cleared In Ethics Probe

Completely coincidental that this report was issued late yesterday, yes?
A report released on Monday by a state board found that Gov. Sarah Palin did not apply improper pressure to try to dismiss a state trooper who was her former brother-in-law and did not violate state ethics laws in the firing of her public safety commissioner.

The report by the Alaska Personnel Board contradicts the conclusions last month of a separate inquiry into the matter overseen by a bipartisan legislative panel. The earlier inquiry found that Ms. Palin had breached a state ethics act by pressing to have the trooper, Mike Wooten, fired. The panel said, however, that the governor was within her rights to fire the public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan.

The personnel board’s report, based on an investigation led by an independent counsel, Timothy J. Petumenos, concluded that there was no evidence to prove Ms. Palin or any state employee had acted improperly in Mr. Monegan’s dismissal.

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