Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Obama Speaks To Troops In Iraq


Quite the reception.

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Freepers React To Vermont

Since you asked......

-"I await the volcanoes, the tsunamis, the hurricanes and hopefully, the destruction of Vt and its pacifist secular socialism by the Lord. I actually do want it to happen with good Americans being protected as we see in the OT, when God protects believers that do good and trust the Lord. Since VT doesn’t seem to believe in the Biblical God or His standards, perhaps a nice lesson in humility would be a nice taste of God’s wrath."
-"Homosexuals like to target beautiful areas and states to infect them with their agenda to force the abhorrent lifestyle upon the unsuspecting, though often liberal-tending, population. It is going on all over the country."
-"Now it is time for the animal-lovers to file a lawsuit to get recognition of marriage between humans and animals. Equal protection and all..."
-"And I guarantee that kids in Jr High and younger who have this stuff pushed at them daily....as “love” and marriage, HAVE NOT A CLUE, what it takes to commit a homosexual act. If they are told the truth, they will naturally be repelled"
-"I really would love to see millions of conservatives not republicans move out of their liberal states think about it they will lose money red state gets mroe money we have the second amendment recognised to people who go to church not laughed at we would increase the electoral college count too"
-"they account of 5% of the population yet there is so much fact and numbers about them being sick , dying,disease, serial killers, child molesters etc we have to counter the Hollywood for two girls being together is sexy, it is not the lesbians are not Hollywood they are manly looking wearing strap ons. men who are doing it are poking in a hole where our waste comes out and then they suck it. disgusting and not cool. yes it is sick and visual but I found it is the only way for us normal people to understand how sick these people are"

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DC To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages From Other Jurisdictions

Washington DC's City Council has voted unanimously to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where such unions are legal.
The D.C. Council voted today to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions. Domestic partnerships are already legal in the nation's capital, and gay couples married in other states are recognized as domestic partners when they move to the city. But today's legislation, billed as an important milestone in gay rights, explicitly recognizes them as married couples. The initial vote was 12-0. The unanimous vote sets the stage for future debate on legalizing same-sex marriage in the District and a clash with Congress, which approves the city's laws under Home Rule. The council is expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who is gay, called the amendment a matter of "basic fairness."
New York state similarly recognizes same-sex marriages from other states. Let's keep the good news rolling!

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Vermonters Really Earned Their Freedom To Marry Today

Today's victory in Vermont didn't materialize out of thin air - it took years and years of tireless work by local and national activists who had to sit down over and over again with legislators, business leaders, and clergy to educate them about our issues.

At the top of the "Thank You" list should be Vermont Freedom To Marry. How about a nice email to VFTM Chair Beth Robinson? Write her here: brobinson@langrock.com.

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PhoboQuotable - Michael Savage

"So there are the vermin now celebrating twisted perverse marriage in the middle of America. It's a victory for perversion in my opinion. You want me to tell you what makes me sick? When I see two puffy white males kissing each other, I wanna puke. When I see two women kissing each other, on the lips, as lovers, I wanna vomit. Why? It's unnatural. It's against all of the laws of mankind. It's against all the laws of humankind. It is suicide for a society to embrace such behavior." - Radio host/closet case Michael Weiner Savage, responding to the approval of same-sex marriage in Iowa. Audio here.

(Via Media Matters & Towleroad)

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Russian Activists Found Guilty Of "Popularizing Homosexuality"

Gay activists in Russia have been found guilty of "popularizing homosexuality" for demonstrating with pro-gay posters.
A court in Ryazan has found the organizers of two public events protesting homophobia guilty of popularizing homosexuality and ruled they be fined 1,500 rubles each. Nikolay Bayev and Irina Fet were found guilty of popularizing homosexuality among minors and the court ruled to fine them 1,500 rubles each, an organizer of the Moscow gay parade Nikolay Alexeyev told Interfax. On March 30, the gay activists staged public event demonstrating posters reading, "Homosexuality is normal" and "I am proud of my homosexuality." The judge ordered the posters be destroyed. Sexual minorities held their rallies near schools and near a regional children's library, the court said.
"We will now file a complaint with the Russian Constitutional Court," Alexeyev said
Unreal.

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Vermont APPROVES Marriage Equality!

By a vote of 100-49 the Vermont House of Representatives has overridden Gov. Jim Douglas' veto! Marriage equality comes to Vermont! The fourth state to approve same-sex marriage, Vermont is the first to do so legislatively, rather than by judicial fiat. California's legislature approved same-sex marriage twice, but was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

GO VERMONT!

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Watch Vermont's Override Attempt

The Vermont House and Senate will vote today on the attempted override of Gov. Jim Douglas' marriage equality veto. Watch it live here.
The vote to override the veto will start Tuesday morning in the Senate, where a 26-4 vote on the bill itself indicates an override is likely. The House vote, possibly later this morning, will be more dramatic. Smith and other House Democratic leaders are urging Democrats who voted against the bill to support the majority and vote for the override. If all 150 members are present, 100 votes are needed for an override. Counting all members who voted for the bill in two votes last week, plus the speaker, who did not cast a vote but may on the override, there are 97 who support the bill. Two Democrats who voted against the bill have said they would change course and support the override.
UPDATE: The Senate has easily overridden Douglas' veto by a vote of 23-5.

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Like It Or Not, Yes On 8 Ad Featuring Gavin Newsom Wins Top Industry Prize

The Yes On 8 ad men who created the infamous "Like It Or Not" clip featuring SF Mayor Gavin Newsom have won the top prize at an industry convention.
Frank Schubert walked off a big winner at the just-concluded 2009 Pollie Awards for his come-from-behind knockout punch to same-sex marriage, and he had a special guy to thank: Mayor Gavin Newsom. Schubert and his crew were honored at the American Association of Political Consultants' annual meeting in Washington, D.C., for their successful fight to pass Proposition 8 in November, which banned same-sex marriage in California. Schubert acknowledged that half the crowd at the Gaylord hotel ballroom didn't agree with his stance. Still, he was happy to give the political pros from across the country a 45-minute seminar on his victorious campaign, where he was asked: "How did you come from 14 points behind in the polls and win?" Well, Schubert explained, they were very disciplined, they had tremendous support from the faith community and they had "a gift from God: Gavin Newsom."
Here's the ad again.

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Rick Warren Lies

Pastor Rick Warren appeared on Larry King last night to say that he has never been anti-gay or against gay marriage. Funny, we remember Warren comparing same-sex marriage to pedophilia and incest.

AmericaBlog
reminds us of the exact quote:
Steven Waldman: One controversial moment for you in the last election was your support for Proposition 8 in California.
Rick Warren: Eight, yeah, yeah.
Steven Waldman: A couple questions about that. First, just to clarify, do you support civil unions or domestic partnerships?
Rick Warren: [long answer about civil unions]
Steven Waldman: What about like partnership benefits in terms of insurance or hospital visitation?
Rick Warren: Not a problem to me. But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage, an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.
Steven Waldman: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?
Rick Warren: Oh I do.
I guess in Warren's world, even your most famous quote never happened if you say it didn't.

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Vermont Gov Vetoes Marriage Bill

As expected.
Gov. Jim Douglas vetoed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, setting the stage for an override vote by the legislature. Mr. Douglas, a Republican, announced in March that he would veto the bill, which the Senate passed overwhelmingly and the House of Representatives approved 96 to 52.
The Vermont House only needs five more votes to override the veto.

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Iowa Senate Majority Leader On Marriage Repeal Attempt: "You've Already Lost"

Watch this suh-weet video in which Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal refuses to co-sponsor an attempt to repeal Iowa's marriage equality bill.

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Focus On The Family Employee Busted For Focusing On Underage Sex

Somebody at Focus On The Family was clearly thinking of the children.
A man who narrates Christian CDs has been arrested on suspicion of using the Internet to arrange sex with a teenage girl. Juan Alberto Ovalle, 42, thought he was corresponding with a girl under the age of 15, but instead it was undercover officers with the Jefferson County District Attorney's office, according to court documents. Ovalle works for a Spanish-speaking arm of the Colorado Springs Christian group Focus on the Family and narrates Biblical text for CDs, according to Internet Web sites that sell the products. "We're shocked," said Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman with Focus. Schneeberger said the group "is beginning its own process of looking into the allegations" and that it "will work with authorities" if asked. Ovalle serves the Trans World Radio ministry and also the Spanish broadcasting department of Focus on the Family, according to one of the sites. "He founded Spanish Christian Audio in 2001 to help Christian organizations with their audio needs," the site said. Ovalle was arrested Friday when he drove to Lakewood to meet the young girl, who was actually an undercover officer, to have sex, the DA's office said in a media release.
Ovalle was charged with two felony counts: attempted sex with a minor and internet luring of a child.

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Fun With Wingnuts

Rachel Maddow has some fun with the persistent wingnut meme that Obama is the anti-Christ.

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National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's 2009 New York Leadership Awards

Last night my loyal companion Aaron and I attended the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's annual New York Leadership Awards, where San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and designer John Bartlett were recognized for their contributions to the LGBT movement. Here's a quick slideshow of the event; I'll add more thoughts on the evening later today. Full screen versions of the below photos are here.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Levi Johnston Talks To Tyra

Rocket scientist Levi Johnston, the former would-be son-in-law of Sarah Palin appeared on Tyra Banks' show today to say that he and Bristol absolutely had safe sex all the time. Except for all those times when, you know, they didn't. And that they knocked boots in the Palin home with Sarah's knowledge.

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Toronto: World's First Murder Conviction For Knowingly Spreading HIV

In what is being called the first such result in the world, a Ugandan immigrant in Canada has been convicted of two counts of first degree murder for knowingly infecting women with HIV.
During the trial, which began in October of last year, prosecutors said that Johnson Aziga had unprotected sex with former female co-workers and women he met at bars. Aziga had been aware he was carrying HIV since 1996 and public health officials had ordered him to disclose his illness to any potential sexual partners. During the trial, the jury of three women and nine men had to decide if the illnesses and deaths could be directly linked to Aziga, a Ugandan immigrant who worked for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. The Crown said that seven women were infected with HIV and that two of them died after Aziga, in police custody since 2003, neglected to tell them about his illness. Aziga met both of the deceased women while working for the Ontario government, the court heard. Another four women were also exposed to the virus, but later tested negative for HIV, prosecutors told the court.
Under Canadian law, a first-degree murder conviction means a mandatory life sentence.

(Tipped by JMG reader Suzanne)

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CBS: Is Iowa The Tipping Point?

From today's Hot Topic on the CBS news blog:
The decision by the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn that state's gay marriage ban is prompting questions about whether or not the battle over gay marriage, long a central focus in the culture war, has reached a tipping point in American culture. Iowa, as gay marriage backers like to point out, is not a liberal, coastal state like Massachusetts and Connecticut – the two states that already offer legal gay marriage – or California, where the narrow passage of a ballot initiative banning gay marriage last year galvanized the gay rights movement.

It is, instead, a Midwestern state in what is commonly called "the heartland" – an area of America thought to be more reticent to warm to liberal ideas, particularly when it comes to social issues. That's why Richard Socarides, a former adviser on gay rights to President Clinton, argued that the decision "represents the mainstreaming of gay marriage" – it's not just for the "tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving left" anymore.
The author points out that Iowa has a long history of progressive politics relative to its neighbors, but speculates that its "heartland of America" reputation might work to swing more states to the correct side of the issue.

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Iowa's Bishops Are Shaking In Their Dresses With Righteous Anger

A secretive all-male group of dudes in embroidered dresses are angrily stomping their bejeweled slippers about Iowa's approval of same-sex marriage. Via Catholic News Service:
Iowa's Catholic bishops vigorously disagreed with the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous decision April 3 that strikes down state law defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman. "This decision rejects the wisdom of thousands of years of human history. It implements a novel understanding of marriage, which will grievously harm families and children," the bishops said in a statement prepared by the Iowa Catholic Conference. The bishops vowed to continue to protect and promote marriage as a union between a man and a woman and asked Catholics and other citizens of Iowa to call for a constitutional amendment on marriage.
"Grievously harm families and children." Bold words coming from a group whose name would be the question to the Jeopardy answer "They are often convicted of child molestation."

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Walkability

A new real estate website calculates how many useful destinations are within a walkable distance from your home and assigns a "walkability score."
Although the idea of a compact town center is not new, walkability has become easier to quantify, thanks to Walkscore.com. The website's algorithm takes a previously subjective idea - being able to step out your door and walk to places you need to go - and boils it down to a single number. Now online real estate sites, including Zillow and ZipRealty, are beginning to add walkability ratings to their home listings. "When people live in a walkable neighborhood, they are able to save a lot of time and money that they would otherwise be pouring in their gas tanks," said David Goldberg, communications director for Smart Growth America, a Washington-based coalition of organizations promoting smart planning and building, and an advisory board member of Walkscore.com.
I typed in my address and got a rating of 98 out of 100, thanks to the 24-hour drugstore, the grocery store, the post office, and the dozen or so restaurants on my block. I imagine most Manhattan addresses would score similarly, so this site probably isn't very useful for this borough. Check your neigborhood's walkability here. San Francisco leads the list of "most walkable neighborhoods" followed by NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

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NYC: Bye Bye Balducci's

Gotham's foodies are crying in their $40/lb goat cheese over the news that both of NYC's fancy-schmancy Balducci's are closing.
Balducci's, the storied high-end grocery chain that first opened in Greenwich Village 63 years ago, is closing its two Manhattan locations at the end of the month. Balducci's is probably best remembered by New Yorkers for its store on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village, which operated from 1972 to 2003. After the Greenwich Village store shuttered, Balducci's only Manhattan location for a while was on West 66th Street near Lincoln Center. That store will close, as will what is now Balducci's Manhattan flagship, a 17,000-square-foot store that opened in 2005 in a former bank at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street in Chelsea.
What will appear next in that gorgeous Chelsea building? I think it was a carpet store before it was Balducci's.

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Daily Grumble

The fact that Molly Ringwald is now playing a grandmother-to-be on TV makes me feel rilly, rilly old. That's all I got on that.

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SNL: The Fast & The Bi-Curious

Is this even funny? SNL has done the "ZOMG!1!! They're GAY!" thing so many times, I expect it in pretty much every skit anymore.

(Via - Towleroad)

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Divine's Mother, Frances Milstead, 88

Frances Milstead, the mother of drag legend Divine, died two weeks ago in Fort Lauderdale at the age of 88. Although she was estranged from her son at the beginning of his drag fame, upon learning of his new career Frances became Divine's biggest fan - attending his movie premieres and penning the 2001 memoir My Son Divine. Up until her death, Frances had been a icon in South Florida's gay community. Her MySpace page, which chronicles her love for her son and her health battles, is still up.

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North Dakota: It's OK To Discriminate

North Dakota's House of Representatives has voted against extending anti-discrimination protections to LGBT citizens.
Representatives voted 54-34 to reject the measure. It sought to ban discrimination in housing, employment and credit on the basis of a person's sexual orientation. North Dakota law already extends the same protection to a number of categories, including a person's race, color, sex, religious beliefs and national origin.

Being gay or lesbian "is not something that you're born with, that you have no choice in," said Rep. Robin Weisz, R-Hurdsfield. "It is a behavior, and it is a lifestyle choice." The legislation may force North Dakotans who oppose homosexuality to accept it, Weisz said. "I don't think (the bill) is needed," Weisz said. "I do believe it has consequences that aren't in the best interest of this state, that do intrude on the rights of others."
Contact Rep. Weisz at rweisz@nd.gov.

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HomoQuotable - Matt Drudge

"False. False. False. I do not love sex with men. My site is not anti-gay. I present both sides of the anti-choice-life issue. I am not anti-tolerant! Except against big-government freaks. I liked Chaka in the eighties, and have not watched Young and the Restless in twenty years! But I do watch Judge Judy!” - Blogger Matt Drudge, telling New York Magazine that he does not appreciate being named as one of Out Magazine's "Power 50" homos in media.

Out's profile for Drudge reads in part: “The archly conservative 42-year-old … also happens to love Chaka Khan, The Young and the Restless, and sex with men … Unfortunately, his agenda is often anti-gay, anti-choice, and anti-tolerance."

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PhoboQuotable - Steve King

"This is an unconstitutional ruling and another example of activist judges molding the Constitution to achieve their personal political ends. Iowa law says that marriage is between one man and one woman. If judges believe the Iowa legislature should grant same sex marriage, they should resign from their positions and run for office, not legislate from the bench.

"Now it is the Iowa legislature’s responsibility to pass the Marriage Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, clarifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, to give the power that the Supreme Court has arrogated to itself back to the people of Iowa. Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering." Iowa state Rep. Steve King, writing on his official state site.

Another "gay marriage Mecca"? OH NOES! If you are an Iowa resident, please visit this action page and tell Gov. Culver that you support the decision of his state's Supreme Court. Be sure to mention this study which suggests that Iowa could see $160M pumped into its economy over the next three years from gay couples rushing in from nearby states to marry.

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The Chicken Formerly Known As Obama

The New York Times reports that Obama Fried Chicken in Brooklyn has caved to the threats of activists.
From the restaurant’s perspective, the name change grew out of pride in the new president and a keen sense of commerce. From other perspectives, it was tone-deaf at best, and racist at worst. When the restaurant, Royal Fried Chicken on Rutland Road in Brownsville, changed its name last week to Obama Fried Chicken, the reaction was swift. “Community leaders came. They told us we have to change the name,” said Mohammad Jabbar, 33, the manager. “They said if you don’t change it they will take action.”
The restaurant will now be known as Popular Fried Chicken. Obama's reps say, "The White House has a longstanding policy of disapproving uses of the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes.” Hmm, so what about the Chia Obama? I guess I'll have to get up to the OFC in Harlem before they give up too.

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Iraq: Six Gay Men Killed By Own Tribes

Iraq's interior ministry reports that six gay men have been killed in the last ten days by members of their own tribes in the Baghdad suburb of Sadr City after being disowned by family members as "perverts." A local cafe popular with gays was also set on fire. The AFP reports on the latest of the killings:
The bullet-riddled bodies of three Iraqis said to be homosexuals have been found in Baghdad's Sadr City, bastion of anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a defence ministry official said on Sunday. "Three corpses of homosexuals have been recovered in Sadr City. Two of the bodies, found on Thursday, had pieces of paper attached on which was written the word 'Pervert.' The third body was retrieved on Friday," the official said. Residents told AFP that the bodies of two men aged 16 and 18 were found on waste ground on the outskirts of Sadr City, and that several days previously two homosexuals had been dumped in the street with their arms and legs broken. During Friday prayers in Sadr City, a poor district of Baghdad where some two million Iraqis live, Sheikh Jassem al-Mutairi slammed what he called "new private practices by some men who dress like women, who are effeminate." "I call on families to prevent their children from following such a lifestyle," he added.
This is the country YOU are paying for.

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VT: Marriage Veto Could Come Today

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas could issue his veto of marriage equality as early as today. The bill passed the state House on Friday and will be reconsidered as a formality tomorrow by both chambers due to new language exempting churches from sanctifying gay unions. The state Senate has more than enough votes to override a veto, but the fight will be close in the House. If the override push is successful, we could see marriage equality in Vermont by mid-week.

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Where Things Stand

NPR provides the below map to marriage equality in the United States, now updated to reflect the decision in Iowa. Green states have full marriage equality or civil unions/domestic partnerships, blue states have DOMA-style laws against recognizing same-sex relationships. Go here for the interactive version which explains the situation in each of the striped states, although it could be argued that Washington state, which offers some domestic partners benefits, should be striped as well.

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Iowa Celebrates

Friends and family gathered at the Iowa Supreme Court to celebrate on Friday. Check out Alan Light's great photos on Flickr.

(Via Wayne @ World Of Wonder)

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This Week In Holy Crimes

Here's a brief little recap of what's going on out there in church land....

Indiana - Pastor Daniel Moore arrested for sexual misconduct with a minor.
Iowa - Pastor James Wiles and wife arrested for financial exploitation and abuse of elderly.
Rwanda - Pastor Steven Gatema arrested for murdering business rival.
Delaware - Pastor Harry Benson arrested for child molestation.
Phoenix - Pastor Charles Carfrey arrested on four counts of sexual assault.
Texas - Pastor Frank Brown arrested on multiple counts of child molestation.
South Carolina - Pastor Christopher Daniels charged with burning down own church and insurance fraud.
Michigan - Father Johnson Pappusamy arrested for sexual assault.
Georgia - Pastor Thomas Thompson arrested for identity theft and fraud.
Florida - Rev. Francis Guinan and Fr. John Skehan convicted for embezzlement.

This week's winner:
Tennessee - Rev. Henry Lyons went to prison after defrauding the National Baptist Convention of $4M during his reign as their president. He used the money to buy luxury homes, jewelry, and to support his several mistresses. And now that he's done his time, he wants to be president again.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Monday: New York Leadership Awards

On Monday the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force hosts its annual New York Leadership Awards. This year's honorees include designer John Bartlett and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Tickets available here. My coverage of the 2008 awards is here.

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

NYC: Iowa Celebration At Union Square

Last night Dr. Jeff outfitted me in one of his colorful native costumes and we headed to Union Square to join a small but energetic crowd of activists celebrating yesterday's approval of marriage equality in Iowa. Speakers included heads of several New York-based marriage equality groups, lead by Civil Rights Front activist Heath Tucker who organized several renditions of the Iowa State fight song, much to the chagrin of University of Iowa alum Dr. Jeff. Great fun!

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Friday, April 03, 2009

VIDEO: Wingnuts Getting The Bad News

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Obama Fried Chicken Protests Planned

Well, you knew somebody was going to take offense at NYC's Obama Fried Chicken restaurants, right?
Two New York City fried chicken restaurants in predominantly black neighborhoods are under fire for putting President Barack Obama's name on their signs. City Councilman Charles Barron said Friday that he will organize a demonstration next week outside the Obama Fried Chicken in his Brooklyn district if the sign doesn't change. Opponents also say they may target Obama Fried Chicken & Pizza in Harlem. Barron said he has been getting calls from outraged residents in his district.
Apparently it is totally legal to use the president's name in this fashion. Whether it's appropriate is another question.

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Will Iowa Affect The Prop 8 Decision?

“Today, the Iowa Supreme Court recognized that the constitutional guarantee of equal protection requires that same-sex couples have ‘full access to the institution of civil marriage.’ The ruling makes clear that civil unions or domestic partnerships cannot meet the demands of full constitutional equality.

“We hope the California Supreme Court will uphold the essential principle of equality regardless of political controversy, just as the Iowa Supreme Court has done. The eyes of California and the world are now on the California Supreme Court, which must determine whether equal protection means equal, and whether Californians will continue to share that equality in the freedom to marry.” -Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Minter was among the pro-marriage equality lawyers who spoke before the California Supreme Court during last month's hearing on Proposition 8.

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Caption This

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Explaining Iowa's Ballot Process

Towards the end of the clip, the correspondent touches on how Iowa's constitutional amendment process works.

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No New Baby For Madonna

Malawi has shot down Madonna's latest baby safari.
A judge has rejected Madonna's request to adopt a second child from Malawi because of a requirement that prospective parents live in the southern African nation for at least 18 months, a judge and a lawyer said Friday. The judge who confirmed the decision did not make the ruling, but saw it. The lawyer was present when the ruling was made. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case. The 50-year-old pop superstar can appeal the ruling to Malawi's Supreme Court.
Critics say that Madonna should give financial assistance to the child in question, rather than taking her from "extended close family members."

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Freepers React To Iowa's Decision

Enjoy the 'sploding heads....

-"This is scary. Unlike Massachusetts, Iowa is an agricultural breadbasket. Watch crop yields plumett now. God takes His revenge in many ways. Just ask those people burned out of their homes (or had their crops dry up from drought) in California. Russia’s crop yields plummeted too, once she became an atheistic nation in 1922."
-"More judges added to the ‘people to horsewhip’ list."
-"This is for all of those that said the Family Protection Act was not necessary. How's it feel to have three judges spit in the eyes of the overwhelming majority."
-"We live in a Judicial Tyranny."
-"We are fools if we think that God’s judgment will not come to this land. Fools."
"IOW marrigage based on popping an orgasm rather than benefit to society."
-"I am beginning to believe that there is no silent majority. The queers and the unemployed are running the country. I am a slave, 2/3rds of my taxes go into the pocket of someone else."
-"There is no justice in the land."
-"The USA is much more the fascist dictatorship than the kind of govt of the people it was founded to be."
-"I have no problems with gays getting married. They just have to marry someone of the opposite sex, just like normal people. No special privileges for them!"
-"True. They can even have a 100% gay marriage...a queer can marry a carpet muncher!"

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Iowa's Supreme Court Ruling

Pam Spaulding has the complete PDF of the ruling.

In this case, we must decide if our state statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the Iowa Constitution, as the district court ruled. On our review, we hold the Iowa marriage statute violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. Therefore, we affirm the decision of the district court.

...The plaintiffs produced evidence to demonstrate sexual orientation and gender have no effect on children raised by same-sex couples, and same-sex couples can raise children as well as opposite-sex couples. They also submitted evidence to show that most scientific research has repudiated the commonly assumed notion that children need opposite-sex parents or biological parents to grow into well-adjusted adults. Many leading organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Child Welfare League of America, weighed the available research and supported the conclusion that gay and lesbian parents are as effective as heterosexual parents in raising children.

...When individuals invoke the Iowa Constitution's guarantees of freedom and equality, courts are bound to interpret those guarantees. In carrying out this fundamental and vital role, "we must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding." M'Culloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 407, 4 L. Ed. 579, 602 (1819). It speaks with principle, as we, in turn, must also. See State v. Wheeler, 34 P.3d 799, 807 (Wash. 2001) (Sanders, J., dissenting).

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Google To Buy Twitter?

Via Tech Crunch:
Google is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter. We don’t know the price but can assume its well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding. Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars, although that was based partially on overvalued Facebook stock. Google would be paying in cash and/or publicly valued stock, which is equivalent to cash. So whatever the final acquisition value might be, it can’t be compared apples-to-apples with the Facebook deal. Why would Google want Twitter? We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game.
I guess we can expect to see Google Ad Sense embedded in future tweets.

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PhoboQuotable - Peter LaBarbera

"Today Iowa becomes the first state not on either of the nation’s two liberal coasts to impose counterfeit, homosexual ‘marriage’ or its mischievous twin, ‘civil unions,’ on its citizens through judicial tyranny. To call this decision bankrupt is to understate its perniciousness. The evil genius of the pro-sodomy movement is that it targets noble institutions like marriage and adoption in the name of ‘rights,’ and then perverts and uses them to normalize aberrant and destructive behaviors.

"Homosexual ‘marriage’ is wrong because homosexual behavior itself is wrong and destructive – as proved by its role in the needless, early deaths of countless ‘gay’ men. We must shake loose of the secularists’ and libertarians’ amoral nonchalance regarding ‘same-sex marriage’ by asking questions like this: how exactly would two men consummate their ‘gay marriage”’ Answer: by engaging in what one Founding Father, Noah Webster, writing in saner times, rightly defined as a ‘crime against nature.’" - Peter LaBarbera, founder and spokesdouche for Americans For Truth About Homosexuality.

(Photo credit: Michael Petrelis)

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Iowa APPROVES Marriage Equality!!!

This morning the Iowa Supreme Court issued its decision approving marriage equality, making Iowa the first midwestern state to do so.
The Iowa Supreme Court this morning struck down a 1998 state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman. The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families. The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America.

Richard Socarides, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay civil rights, said today’s decision could set the stage for other states. Socarides was was a senior political assistant for Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin in the early 1990s. “I think it’s significant because Iowa is considered a Midwest sate in the mainstream of American thought,” Socarides said. “Unlike states on the coasts, there’s nothing more American than Iowa. As they say during the presidential caucuses, 'As Iowa goes, so goes the nation.’”
Celebration!!! GO IOWA!!!

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UFC's Dana White Apologizes For Gay Slur

Responding to GLAAD's request, Ultimate Fighting Championship founder Dana White has issued an apology for using a gay slur in a posting on his video blog.
"As far as the gay and lesbian community, my comments were not directed toward them. I have no problem with the gay or lesbian community. I'm actually a supporter of many of their issues. The last thing that I would ever want anybody to think about me or think is cool is to go out and attack somebody because of their sexual orientation. That was not my intention. That's not the way I said it and I apologize for anybody that I've offended or hurt."

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Tonight In NYC: Iowa/VT Marriage Rally

Marriage equality activists will gather at 6:30pm tonight in NYC's Union Square to react to the decisions by the Iowa Supreme Court and Vermont's House of Representatives. The Iowa decision is expected to be posted online here by 9:30am Eastern time. Vermont's House is expected to formalize last night's vote sometime in mid-afternoon.

Join the Facebook group The Power here.

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Pope Condoms Selling Well In France

The International Women's Health Coalition reports that "I Said No!" pope condoms are all the rage in France. The condoms were produced in response to Ill Papa's recent demented declaration that condom availability actually speeds the spread of AIDS. On Monday, Belgium became the first nation to lodge a formal protest over the comments with the Vatican.

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Former Secretary Of The Army Clifford Alexander Calls DADT "A Bowl Of Bigotry Surrounded By A Curtain Of Silk"

This clip starts out with Rachel Maddow interviewing Colin Powell, who affirms his support for the repeal of DADT. But the winning quote comes from former Secretary Of the Army Clifford Alexander at the 3:30 mark.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

BREAKING: Vermont House Approves Marriage Equality Bill 95-52

After four hours of heated debate, late tonight Vermont's House of Representatives approved marriage equality tonight by a vote of 95-52.
The legislation, S.115, gives same-sex couples the right to marry in Vermont. The bill will be brought up again Friday for final approval, then return to the Senate, where changes to language must be approved. Should the Senate OK those changes, the bill will head to Douglas’ desk and a promised veto. That veto — which Douglas declared last week he would deliver — would not kill the legislation. Instead members of the House and Senate will try to override the veto by securing a two-thirds majority of support in each chamber. The Senate would need 20 votes; the House would need 100 with all members in attendance.
As noted above, the number of votes needed to override a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas is very close to what tonight's vote was.

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Vermont Marriage Vote Live Stream

I can't embed their player, but you can go here to watch the Vermont House debate their imminent vote on marriage equality. The vote can come at any minute now.

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GLAAD Demands Apology From UFC Head Dana White Over Anti-Gay Slurs

When the audience of your "ultimate fighting" circus act surely includes a large number of gay men, you probably shouldn't use the word "faggot" in your video blog. GLAAD wants an apology:
On Wednesday, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White unleashed a torrent of expletives, including an anti-gay slur, on his video blog hosted on YouTube. White was extremely angry over an article written by a journalist regarding the use of credentials at UFC events. UFC, which is considered to be the largest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization in the world, has become extremely popular in recent years, and the organization’s fights and reality shows air regularly on Spike TV and pay-per-view. In the video, White rants, “And here’s a quote from a guy who wanted to remain anonymous because of fear of repercussions. Shut the f**k up. Any f**king guy who won’t put his name on it. First of all, whoever gave you that quote is a pu**y and a f**king f**got and a f**king liar and everything else.” Although White doesn’t state the name of the article, based on the author’s name and the content he most likely was referring to this article on the Sherdog website.

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PhoboQuotable - Judith Reisman

"American classroom indoctrination is now found in "hate" and sexual diversity training and in 3,500 nationwide Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) school clubs. Under color of a "Safe Schools Movement" battling alleged "bullying" of so-called "gay" children (K-12), some see GLSEN as a modern version of the Hitler Youth and as preparing the ground for a larger, sweeping, schoolroom Youth Brigade. [snip]

"Both the GLSEN youth and the Hitler Youth were trained to be revolutionary leaders of the brave new world order. GLSEN school clubs and their teacher sponsor/trainers are now funded by major corporations and by some state funds. GLESN's Day of Silence and "GAY ALLY!" pledge cards for kindergartners and other children (left) are direct assaults on traditional parental, American values.

"German children's literature historians document Hitler's pioneering ban of both the Ten Commandments and biblical stories from Nazi school texts in favor of coarse and violent tales that ridiculed religious believers and their values. Without his NSTA teachers, Hitler could not have created a goose-stepping, unthinking army. [snip]

"The claim it was preventing AIDS and the alleged "bullying" of children labeled "gay," "trans," etc., allowed GLESN's nose under the tent. That pornographers, pedophiles and homosexually radical school superintendents, principals, teachers and librarians have been training schoolchildren to be "politically correct" followers is well-documented." - WorldNetDaily columnist Dr. Judith Reisman from yesterday's GLSEN And The Hitler Youth.

GLSEN responds: "We can only hope this is some sort of sick April Fool’s joke."

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Anti-Gay Robocalls In Vermont

Vermonters reported receiving anti-gay robocalls from the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage yesterday in advance of today's House vote on marriage equality. The automated recording urged residents to call their legislators and demand a "no" vote. Desperation move? We should have the result of the vote sometime after 3pm.

(Via JMG reader Rebecca)

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Iowa Marriage Decision Due Tomorrow

Tomorrow the Iowa Supreme Court will issue its decision on marriage equality.
The case involves six same-sex Iowa couples who sued Polk County Recorder Timothy Brien in 2005 after his office denied them marriage licenses. The lawsuit argued that it would be unlawful to ban same-sex couples from marriage based on the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Iowa Constitution. The state’s Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1998 by a 40-9 margin in the Senate and an 89-10 margin in the House, defines marriage as being solely between a man and a woman. Iowa District Court Judge Robert Hanson sided with the plaintiffs, but later put a hold on his decision awaiting a verdict from the Supreme Court.
The decision will be posted by 8:30am on this site. Cross your fingers, kids. Iowa would become the first midwestern state with marriage equality. The state has no residency requirement, meaning gay couples from other states would be free to marry there.

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Glenn Beck: Fascism Is Coming

Glenn Beck, the current darling of the right wing, says that Obama isn't bringing socialism after all. He's bringing fascism.

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Don't Touch The Queen

Some Brits are miffed because the First Lady put her arm around Queen Elizabeth. Others point out that the Obamas are not royal subjects and therefore not bound by the protocols observed by heads of state from Australia, etc.

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This Month In Whistleblower

The wingnuts at WorldNetDaily have devoted an entire issue of their monthly magazine to Barack Obama's nationality. From WND founder Joseph Farah: “To me, this is a historic issue of Whistleblower magazine. I do not pretend to know where the information you are about to read will lead. But I do know that it is explosive, profoundly important and represents much more than the future of the Barack Obama administration. No less than our Constitution – the foundation of our national liberties and the rule of law in America – is at stake.”

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Obama Fried Chicken

NYC now has two Obama Fried Chicken outlets - one in Harlem, the other in Brooklyn. Some folks are calling for the president's people take action against this unauthorized usage of his name; others are betting he'll just ignore this so as to not seem petty.

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Gay Xbox Developer Settles Harassment Suit With Microsoft

Microsoft has agreed to pay a UK-based Xbox developer £45,000 for the anti-gay harassment he endured on the job.
According to the designer, who worked on the firm's Xbox games at the Lionhead Studios in Guildford, he was called "fag boy Jim" by colleagues, who sent mocking emails making fun of his sexuality. He alleged that the company's human resources department "blatantly disregarded" his complaints. The two parties reached a settlement agreement at an employment tribunal held this week in south London. A confidentiality clause means the terms of the settlement cannot be disclosed. A Microsoft spokesman said: "We are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution to this matter with Mr. Durrant. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but we can confirm that Mr. Durrant will not continue his employment at Lionhead as part of the agreement.
Microsoft has a 100% rating on the HRC's Corporate Equality Index and has endorsed ENDA.

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Caption This

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Open Thread Thrusday

What kind of exercise routine do you have?

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Glenn Beck Mocks Barney Frank's Speech Impediment

Is mocking Barney Frank's speech impediment any worse than ridiculing Ahnold's accent? I'd say, yes - when it's also meant to belittle his gayness.

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Leaving On A High Note

Connecticut's Love Makes A Family is leaving on a high note.
An advocacy group that was a major player in Connecticut’s gay marriage debate has decided to close its doors at the end of 2009. Leaders at "Love Makes a Family" say the 10-year-old group wants to conclude its work on a victorious note in the wake of last fall’s state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The Hartford-based group was formed in 1999 to lobby for legislation letting gay couples legally adopt in Connecticut. It later grew into a statewide coalition of people and organizations supporting gay marriage.
Can you foresee the day when other major LGBT rights groups can successfully close shop?

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Wanda Sykes Gets Fox Chat Show

Excellent news for fans of recently out comedian Wanda Sykes.
Fox is planning on launching a new Saturday late night show featuring Wanda Sykes, according to sources with knowledge of the network's plans. The show is said to be more in the mold of Bill Maher's HBO show than a typical talk show. It will air Saturdays at 11 and will be an hour long. The network is considering launching the show either this fall or in January, when the network has historically launched many projects so as to capitalize on the promotional power of the American Idol audience.
It's too bad that Skyes' success comes at the expense of the erratically funny MadTV, which she will replace.

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More Christianist Lies From The Family Research Council

Check out the latest "action alert" from the Family Research Council.
Many members of Congress are simply unaware of how dangerous the proposed "hate crimes" law is. FRC Action will warn them that this could lead to simple expressions of religious faith-including sermons and radio broadcasts-being prosecuted as "hate." Our nation is at a danger point. In 2007, such a "hate crimes" bill actually passed the House (HR 1592) and the Senate (SB 1105)-but died when President Bush threatened a veto. Now, President Obama has made passing the Hate Crimes law a top priority. A "hate crimes" law is really a "thought crime" law that punishes a person's beliefs-part of the Left's intolerant agenda to silence the voice of Christians and Conservatives in America and eliminate moral restraint.

How would it happen? A federal "hate crimes" law prohibiting "bodily injury" could be construed by many law enforcement officials and judges to include words that inflict emotional or psychological distress. That means an "offended" homosexual could accuse a religious broadcaster . . . a pastor . . . Sunday School teacher . . . or other individual of causing emotional injury simply by expressing the biblical view that homosexual behavior is morally wrong and unhealthy. That's all it could take to trigger a wave of federal prosecutions and begin an era of censorship like America has never seen! Click here to give a secure online gift to help FRC Action warn Congress to again reject the "hate crimes" bill.
The Family Research Council wants nothing less than an American theocracy and feels absolutely no shame about lying their way to their goal.

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Riots In London As President Obama Meets With G-20 Summit Leaders

As widely predicted, London's financial district is seeing rioting mobs today as President Obama meets with world leaders during the G-20 Summit.
As President Obama was holding one-on-one meetings Wednesday with the leaders of Russia and China, thousands of protesters marched in the streets of London, and there were several violent clashes with police. A mob of protesters, many of them with their faces hidden by bandanas, smashed windows at a Royal Bank of Scotland building in the City, as London's financial district is known. RBS has been one of the highest-profile banks hit by the current economic crisis and was essentially nationalized to keep it from failure, at a cost of billions of dollars to British taxpayers. Protesters scrawled "Thieves" on the side of the building, which they entered through the broken windows. They threw a printer and other office equipment into the street. Several intruders made it to the building's roof. Hundreds of protesters charged police, who hit back with batons. Police estimated that at least 4,000 demonstrators were in the area, which also includes the headquarters of the Bank of England.

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Sweden Approves Marriage Equality

Today the Swedish parliament approved legislation that will make that country the seventh in the world to grant full marriage equality rights to all citizens.
A broad majority in the Swedish parliament Wednesday approved adoption of same-sex marriage legislation after a six-hour debate. Six of the seven parties in parliament had backed the proposal drafted by the Committee on Civil Affairs to introduce a gender- neutral marriage law. Only the Christian Democrats, one of the four parties in the ruling centre-right coalition, opposed the move. Yvonne Andersson said her party wanted to maintain "a several hundred-year-old concept" about marriage. Supporters of the gender-neutral legislation included Evon Frid of the Left Party who said it was "not a negative change, but a positive change." The proposal was approved by a 261 to 22 vote, with 16 abstentions. The new legislation is to take effect as of May 1, and replaces the legislation approved in 1995 that allows same-sex couples to form a union in Sweden via registered partnership.
Seven countries now with full marriage equality: Sweden, South Africa, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium.

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Improv Everywhere - Best Funeral Ever

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Daily Ungrumble

Better Off Ted, starring Mrs. Ellen DeGeneres, is high-larious. Funniest show I've seen in ages. It's up against American Idol and therefore probably doomed to a single season, but check it out while you can.

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Daily Grumble

Never had an allergy of any kind in my entire life. So why is that now, in my semi-dotage, am I getting completely stomped by "spring allergies"? Agony. And nothing helps, so far.

:::stomps off hacking and wheezing:::

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Feds To Drop Charges Against Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens

Oh, Alaska. If only this were an April Fool's joke.
The Justice Department plans to drop all charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens, the 85-year old Alaska Republican convicted last year of lying on Senate financial disclosure forms to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations from a businessman, according to a news report this morning.

Attorney General Eric Holder has concluded that the conviction of Stevens cannot be supported because of problems with the government's prosecution, which had been openly criticized by the trial judge, National Public Radio first reported. The Justice Department would not comment on the report this morning. Justice will withdraw its opposition to a defense motion for a new trial and will dismiss the indictment against Stevens, NPR reported, but that will require a court filing and none had been filed yet.
Prosecutorial misconduct. Sigh. Stevens lost reelection in October to the mayor of Anchorage, Democrat Mark Begich.

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More Trouble For Repeal Of DADT

Elaine Donnelly's Center For Military Readiness has sent President Obama a list of over 1000 top retired military officers who say they oppose the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
More than 1,000 retired military officers, including several who were top commanders, are urging President Barack Obama and Congress to maintain the law that bars gays from serving openly in the armed forces. Obama is consulting with the Pentagon on the issue and says he supports eventual repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits gays in the military from being open about their sexual orientation. A bill that would allow gays to serve openly has been introduced in Congress.

A statement issued by the retired officers Tuesday said passage of that bill "would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force." Among the signatories were Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., a former commandant of the Marine Corps; Adm. Leighton W. Smith, a former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Gen. Charles A. Horner, who commanded U.S. aerial forces during the 1990-91 Gulf War; and Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, a former vice chief of Naval Operations.
The full list of 1000 names is available at Good As You. Earlier this week Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that DADT will likely not be repealed soon as the government is "busy" with other things.

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Top NY Court To Review Same- Sex Marriage Recognition

The anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund has gotten New York's Court of Appeals to agree to review the state's recognition of gay marriages from other jurisdictions.
The state’s highest court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments in two cases that challenge New York’s recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere. Lower courts have already sided with two government entities that revised their policies to honor the marriages, but those decisions were appealed by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian group that is waging multiple legal battles in New York to stop state and local entities from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples who were wed in places, like Massachusetts and Canada, where the ceremony is legal.

Neither case involved Gov. David A. Paterson’s directive last May that ordered state agencies to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed outside New York State. One case, Godfrey v. Spano, stems from the Westchester County executive’s 2006 decision to begin officially honoring out-of-state marriage licenses for gay couples the same way it did for heterosexual couples. The other case, Lewis v. New York State Department of Civil Service, was filed after the department agreed in 2007 to begin recognizing out-of-state, same-sex marriages for the purpose of extending health insurance to spouses of public employees.

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