Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Open Thread Thursday

So how did things go at YOUR prom?

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Your Daily Minute Of Crazy

OK, Rep. Michelle "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann isn't in this one, but it's from a rally with her, so it counts. And extra points for the crazy ladies behind Palin.

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Teabagger Arrested For Making Death Threats To Nancy Pelosi Over HCR

The FBI has arrested a California man for making telephoned death threats to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her backing of the health care reform bill.
Charges against the man have yet to be disclosed, but they are expected to be filed in federal court in California. Several federal officials said the man made dozens of calls to Pelosi's homes in California and Washington, as well as to her husband's business office. They said he recited her home address and said if she wanted to see it again, she would not support the health care overhaul bill that since has been enacted. One official said the man is believed to have spoken directly with Pelosi at least once. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly. A call to the FBI office in San Francisco was not immediately returned, nor was a call to a spokesman for Pelosi.
Yesterday another arrest was made for similar threats made against Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Last month a mentally ill Philadelphia man was arrested for two year old YouTube threats against Rep. Eric Cantor as the GOP desperately scrambled for any proof that they too were being targeted.

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GLAAD Vs. CNN

GLAAD has issued a call to action over yesterday's CNN segment asking "Does homosexuality need a cure" which featured the famously insane "ex-gay therapist" Richard Cohen.
We have spoken extensively to key producers and publicity representatives at the network this afternoon and they indicate that they understand the seriousness of our complaints. They are scheduling a meeting with GLAAD and key bookers at CNN so that this type of mishap can be avoided moving forward. In the meantime we’ll be keeping a close eye on future reporting and calling on our members to speak out about faulty reports. Please contact CNN Newsroom and voice your concerns about the platform extended to the discredited Richard Cohen and CNN’s failure to consult credible scientific authorities before proceeding with this report.
GLAAD invites you to complain directly to CNN yourselves via their feedback form.

UPDATE: GLAAD reports that they had been invited by CNN to refute yesterday's segment in a broadcast scheduled to air this morning, but CNN canceled at the last minute today.
After extensive conversations with CNN producers and publicity representatives yesterday afternoon and following our blog and twitter action, CNN called GLAAD in the evening, telling us they had received numerous complaints about the segment and inviting us to appear on this morning’s broadcast with Kyra Phillips to discuss our concerns. GLAAD then scheduled a representative to go on CNN but received a phone call from the network at 7 A.M. today telling us they had decided to cancel the segment. They also issued this statement: "By bringing this story to the fore, we engage various advocates from all sides. This story does not end here and CNN will continue to explore other views and positions." Just like the segment itself, CNN’s statement misses the mark and provides no explanation for its actions. GLAAD urges you to help us hold the network accountable.

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Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel Peddles Fake Anti-Gay Pediatricians Group

The Liberty Counsel has issued an alert that the so-called American College of Pediatricians has sent a warning to the nation's educators to be on the lookout for students "experiencing same-sex attraction or gender confusion."
The letter reminds school superintendents that it is not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient confusion about their sexual orientation and that most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged. For this reason, schools should avoid developing policies that encourage nonheterosexual attractions among students who may merely be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion. Such premature labeling can lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks. There is no scientific evidence that anyone is born homosexual. Therefore, the College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long, and unchangeable. To the contrary, research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people. It is not the school’s role to diagnose or attempt to treat any student’s medical condition, and certainly not the school’s role to “affirm” a student’s perceived personal sexual orientation. The “Facts About Youth” website counters the propaganda published by the pro-homosexual pamphlet called “Just the Facts,” which is riddled with inaccuracies.
The above is obviously really about GLSEN's coming Day Of Silence, although they slyly don't say so. But there's one more little problem. The American College of Pediatricians (ACPEDS) isn't real, as was exposed earlier this week by Box Turtle Bulletin's Timothy Kincaid.
Despite the name, ACP is not a institute of higher learning. Nor is it a professional organization for pediatricians. This is an advocacy group dedicated to political goals which is using an authoritative sounding name to fool the unaware. Yes, their officers and their board are all pediatricians (usually older gentlemen in the South), but their “Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee” reads like a members roster of the virulently anti-gay National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).
Kincaid goes on to show that the 15 doctors listed as ACPEDS members are either part of the famously discredited NARTH or otherwise part of the anti-gay lie machine. ACPEDS, Focus On The Family and the Liberty Counsel are boldly lying to the nation's teachers and school administrators, knowing that few of them would be able to discern a legitimate doctors organization from the fake one they've cooked up in their relentless campaign to endorse the beating, bullying, torture and harassment of gay youth.

Kincaid notes that the real pediatricians group, the 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics, is actually quite gay-friendly and has endorsed gay parenting. Read Box Turtle Bulletin's excellent dissecting of this entire fraud being perpetrated by shameless Christianist liars.

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Rep. Alan Grayson Continues To Rip "No Obama Voters" Doctor

Rep. Alan Grayson is trying get the sanctions imposed on the Florida doctor who says he doesn't want to treat anybody who voted for Obama. The doctor is now a teabagger hero.

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Houston Pastors Want Mayor Annise Parker's Non-Bias Order Rescinded

Last month openly lesbian Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued a sweeping non-bias order granting employment protections to LGBT workers "at every level of municipal government." Predictably, the city's Christianists are screaming about men in dresses.
“Forcing women in particular using city facilities to be subjected to cross-dressing men invading their privacy is beyond the pale and offensive to every standard of decency,” said Pastor Steve Riggle, senior pastor of Grace Community Church and an Executive Committee member of the Houston Area Pastor Council (HAPC). “This is not only morally wrong it exposes the city and therefore the taxpayers to endless litigation and expenses,” added Pastor Hernan Castano, senior pastor of Iglesia Rios de Aceite and a member of the HAPC Executive Committee. “It is irresponsible and indefensible.” Notably, however, supporters of the executive order are insisting that it remains unlawful for men to go into the women’s restroom.
The Houston Area Pastor Council says Parker's move should have been expected because she's a dirty dyke: "We are appalled but not surprised that this mayor has so early in her administration proven that we were right in asserting before the election that her sexual preference is central to her public policy."

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Bristol Palin's PSA On Teen Pregnancy: Pause Before You Play

Bristol Palin's is making the morning show rounds to promote her new anti-teen pregnancy campaign, which is funded by the shoemaker Candies. Palin says the new campaign isn't about abstinence per se, but she does encourage that whole "no sex until marriage" thing. HuffPo has the PSA.

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Rupert Murdoch: Fox Shouldn't Be Supporting The Teabaggers

Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch says his network "shouldn't be supporting the Tea Party or any other party." I guess he doesn't watch his own shows. At this same interview, Murdoch was asked if he could name any Democrats working for him. He couldn't.

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Spring? What Spring?

I thought I could put off replacing my apartment's ancient A/C for at least a month. Guess not.

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PhoboQuotable - Tony Perkins

"The law should count for something when the Census Bureau counts America's population, but apparently it doesn't on President Obama's watch. The President's Commerce Department is actively encouraging people to ignore U.S. marriage law and invent new definitions for their relationships. What kind of government actively lobbies citizens to lie on their forms?

"When it comes to advancing the extreme homosexual agenda, this White House has no limits, not even the facts. The Defense of Marriage Act forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex relationships as 'marriages.' If this video were honest, it would state, 'If you are a same-sex couple, you should mark the box that says 'unmarried partner,' even if you are legally married according to the laws of the state in which you reside.'" - Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, complaining about yesterday's release of official Census Bureau videos urging LGBT Americans to identify themselves on census forms.

VIDEO: Here's another of the seven clips, this one is from the HRC's Harry Knox, who directs their Religion & Faith program.

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GOP Flacks Call For Steele To Resign

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The Taiwanese Male Whitney Houston

The UK's Daily Mail reports that there's a new Susan Boyle out of Taiwan.
Susan Boyle needs to look out - there's another YouTube singing sensation shooting up the popularity charts. Lin Yu Chun is short, fat, has a bowl-cut hairstyle and wears a red bow tie, but the Taiwanese youngster sings exactly like Whitney Houston. Which explains why a clip from the karaoke TV show Super Star Avenue has become a massive hit on YouTube and Twitter. His pitch-perfect rendition of the Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton mega-hit 'I Will Always Love You' blew a panel of judges away. The amazing performance recalled the way Susan Boyle surprised Britain's Got Talent judges with her version of 'I Dreamed A Dream'. But now it seems Lin is ready to take her crown as the year's most unlikely music star and he is the bookies' favourite to win the talent contest. The grand prize on Super Star Avenue is almost as jaw-dropping as Lin's performance - the chance to release an album, as well as $1million (£650,000).
He's pretty good, but like with Susan Boyle, one has to wonder if it's not the disconnect between image and voice that makes it interesting.

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Elian Gonzalez, Ten Years Later

So yesterday I'm flipping through the NY Daily News at lunch and when a photo caught my eye I thought, "Oh, who's that handsome lad?" It was Elian Gonzalez, now 16 years old and still a Cuban hero ten years after his Miami custody battle gripped both nations. Elian's birthday is a national holiday in Cuba, with parades held in his honor. Today he's a member of the Young Communists, hence the PR blitz from the Cuban government.

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Terrance McNally Marries In DC

While Christianists around the nation protested and rained down death threats on tiny college productions of his play Corpus Cristi, author Terrence McNally married his partner in Washington DC.
On Tuesday, the 71-year-old playwright and his partner, Tom Kirdahy, 46, exchanged vows on the banks of the Potomac River with the new same-sex marriage law in the nation's capital. Never mind their 25-year age difference, he said. They don't feel it, except for their tastes in music. During a small ceremony under a tree blooming with white flowers, Kirdahy read from a scene in McNally's play "Corpus Christi," in which a gay Christ-like figure named Joshua marries two apostles. "It is good when two men love as James and Bartholomew do and we recognize their union," Kirdahy read. "Love each other in sickness and in health." Kirdahy, a lawyer and Broadway producer, choked up as he recalled seeing the play before meeting McNally. "The first time I saw it, I knew that I could love the writer of those words," he said. Once they met, McNally said, it was love at first sight. Since then, they have battled McNally's lung cancer and worked together, as well as apart. After nearly 10 years and a clean bill of health, it feels like a lifetime, McNally said.
Witnesses to the wedding included actors Tyne Daly, John Glover, and Malcolm Gets.

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50 Most Stressful Colleges

The Daily Beast has ranked the 50 most stressful colleges using a weighted system examining tuition costs, campus crimes, acceptance rates and other factors. Stanford tops the list.

1. Stanford
2. Columbia
3. MIT
4. University of Pennsylvania
5. Harvard
6. Princeton
7. Vanderbilt
8. Carnegie Mellon
9. California Institute of Technology
10. Northwestern

Hit the link for the rest of the list, which includes much of the University of California system and bottoms out with the University of Florida at #50. The University of Central Florida, my massive alma mater, didn't make the list. UCF has the third-highest enrollment in the country, but has the rep of being relatively laid back.

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TONIGHT: Justin Comes Out

On tonight's episode of Ugly Betty, teen actor Mark Indelicato's Justin character finally comes out. No spoilers, just know that the scene is reportedly touching, funny, and best of all, romantic. Set your DVRs.

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Community Service For ENDA 4

Yesterday the four GetEQUAL activists who staged a sit-in at Nancy Pelosi's DC office were sentenced to community service and ordered to stay away from Rep. Pelosi. Metro Weekly reports:
After the morning arraignment, about an hour passed before a status hearing where they faced D.C. Superior Court Judge Harold Cushenberry, who said he would drop the charges against the women in six months if they keep their ''stet agreement'' with the U.S. government. According to Claire Morris Clark, the attorney representing the ENDA 4 -- Chastity Kirven, Janine Carmona, Michelle Wright and Samantha Ames -- that agreement means the women cannot go to Pelosi's office inside the Cannon House Office Building or break any law during the six months. For D.C. residents Ames and Carmona, who are partners, the deal also means 60 hours of community service at an organization of their choosing. Kirven, who is from Dallas and Wright, who is from Fresno, Calif., were spared local community service due to the geographic hardship. ''This is a very good outcome,'' Clark said immediately following the ruling.

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VIDEO: Gays Protest At St. Patrick's

JMG reader Lauren sends us this clip she made of the Easter Sunday protest at NYC's St. Patrick's Cathedral. Lauren writes: "I shot and edited this piece on Sunday - as if it were for the 'news'. This is how the mainstream press should be telling our stories."

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Quote Of The Day - Roseanne Barr

"The pedo priests are trying to cover up the number of LITTLE GIRLS they have molested too, as if that doesn't matter as much as what happens to boys. Trust me, the number of girls raped and molested by priests is at least double the boys. They are trying to cover it all up so that they can end up purging gay priests, and laying the blame on them. The fact is pedos like to rape both boys and girls, and only a small number of pedos are exclusively into male children. I am starting to think that any parent who takes their kids to catholic churches from now on should lose custody. Taking your kid where you know sex offenders hang out is inexcusable!!!" - Roseanne Barr, writing on her personal blog.

(Tipped by JMG reader Mark)

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Today In Mildly Interesting Trivia

Mattel announced yesterday that they are changing the rules of Scrabble. Proper nouns such as place names will now be allowed.
Mattel said there would be no hard and fast rule over whether a proper noun was correct or not. A spokeswoman for the company said the use of proper nouns would "add a new dimension" to Scrabble and "introduce an element of popular culture into the game". She said: "This is one of a number of twists and challenges included that we believe existing fans will enjoy and will also enable younger fans and families to get involved." However, Mattel said it would not be doing away with the old rules altogether. It will continue to sell a board with the original rules.
Scrabble purists are already flooding Mattel's forums to complain. In other news, there are Scrabble purists.

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HomoQuotable - Michael Jensen

"It's 2010 and CNN expects me to seriously sit here and expect that this issue is really still up for debate? It certainly is in some quarters, but those are quarters that at this point respectable journalists should stay out of. I guess this means we can look forward to other CNN segments including 'The Holocaust — did it really happen?' with anti-Semites invited to discuss the topic, as well as 'Race in America: Should African Americans go back to Africa?' with Ku Klux Klan leaders brought on as 'experts.' And just to be well-rounded, how about 'Is the earth really flat?'

"When I contacted CNN, I honestly assumed they'd at least issue an apology for the offensive wording of Phillips' question and admit Cohen was a poor example for an 'expert' to discuss this issue. Instead, they defend their actions as if they are actually behaving responsibly by doing this story and doing it this way. Oh, and CNN? Don't bother 'exploring other views and positions.' You've now got zero credibility on the subject anyway, so why bother?" - AfterElton blogger Michael Jensen, calling out CNN for yesterday's outrageous segment on "curing" homosexuality.

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NYC's St. Vincent's Hospital To Close

St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan's West Village voted to close itself last night after failing to resolve an estimated $700M in debt. The famed hospital served the gay community as a sort of ground zero during the early years of the AIDS pandemic.
The exact timing for the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, which has about 400 inpatient beds, was not immediately clear, but the process of shutting down has already begun, and the State Department of Health will become involved to ensure an orderly closing. Elective surgeries are to end by April 14. “The decision to close St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan inpatient services was made only after the board, management and our advisers exhausted every possible alternative,” Alfred E. Smith IV, chairman of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, said in a statement. They were unable to come up with a plan, he said, “to save the inpatient services at the hospital that has proudly served Manhattan’s West Side and downtown for 160 years.” [SNIP] With its vote, the board effectively closed the last Roman Catholic general hospital in New York, a beacon in Greenwich Village that has treated victims of calamities from the sinking of the Titanic to Sept. 11. In recent years, its management troubles were worsened by the difficult economics of the health care industry, changes in the fabric of a historic neighborhood and the low profit in religious work.
Gov. Paterson said yesterday that he hopes to salvage St. Vincent's HIV treatment center, but that would require finding a partner.

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Spirit Airlines To Charge For Carry-Ons

Spirit Airlines announced yesterday that they will begin charging passengers $20-$45 to place carry-on bags in the overhead bins. SRSLY.
The cost depends on whether passengers are members of the airline's ultra-low fare club and whether they "pre-reserve" their carry-on bag in advance. Each passenger will still be able to bring one personal item that fits under a seat for free, such as a purse, briefcase, backpack or laptop computer. They also won't have to pay extra for items such as diaper bags, pet containers and cameras. Airline officials called it a "bring less; pay less" policy that would ultimately benefit customers. "In addition to lowering fares even further, this will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve inflight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process," Chief Operating Officer Ken McKenzie said in a statement.
The new policy goes into effect on August 1st.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Gibbs: Even Obama Would Find Recent DOJ-DADT Brief To Be Odd

Advocate reporter Kerry Eleveld grills press secretary Robert Gibbs about the DOJ's most recent brief in defense on DADT, which cited a 1993 quote from Colin Powell.

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Four Nutritional Servings In Every Scoop

From the makers of Bacon Salt, BaconPOP, Baconnaise, and Bacon-Flavored Mmmvelopes (for mailing your will to your lawyer, one presumes.)

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VA Gov. Bob McDonnell Recognizes Confederate History Month

VA Gov. Bob McDonnell has issued an order recognizing April as Confederate History Month, saying that it's important "to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War." McDonnell's most recent order of this type recognized Christian Heritage Week.
April’s Confederate History Month recognition is at least the fourth proclamation McDonnell has issued since his inauguration in January, according to the governor’s Web site. The previous proclamation recognized March 7-13, 2010 as Christian Heritage Week and quoted Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason citing religion or Jesus in comments. “These, and many other truly great men and women of America, giants in the structuring of American history, were statesmen of the highest caliber and integrity who did not hesitate to express their religious convictions, principles and faith,“ it states, before calling upon a special designation for the week.
Other states that recognize Confederate History Month: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. McDonnell made today's announcement in advance of next week's 149th anniversary of Virginia's secession from the Union.

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Anti-Gay Family Research Council Sees CA$H In Fight Against ENDA

The Family Research Council has launched a fund-raising drive based on their claim that all good Christians will be forced...FORCED!...to hire men in dresses if ENDA passes.
Do you think it's right for liberals running the government to ...

* Force a Christian bookstore to hire a man . . . who dresses in women's clothing?
* Force your child's religious school to hire homosexual instructors?
* Force your employer to fire or censure you for what they call "anti-gay harassment" . . . for simply keeping a Bible on your desk?

That's the nightmare you could face if the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Congress passes the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). And that's why it must be exposed. This law would change America forever by allowing all of the outrages I've stated above-and more. Most chilling, liberals in Congress almost passed ENDA in 2007! Will you stand with Family Research Council (FRC) now by sending a generous tax-deductible contribution to help us support our national effort to expose the disastrous consequences of this bill -- again? There is hope-if we act now.

You are standing in the way of the Left's immoral vision for America. And laws like ENDA are intended for one thing-to silence your "obsolete" Christian morality and tear down all boundaries to unhealthy sexual behavior. By sustaining your prayers and generous support of FRC, you're not only investing in the long-term health of faith, family, and freedom in America You're also strengthening the leading social conservative organization in Washington, D.C. Our respected team has decades of experience developing and blocking legislation, voicing the truth in and through the media, and mobilizing Americans.
Note the unattributed "obsolete" in the last paragraph. Somebody totally said that. Somewhere. Probably on the internet. The above press release closes with this scripture: "Ephesians 6:13 - Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

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Appeals Court Overturns Net Neutrality

In a decision that may have far-reaching impact on how you view streaming internet video, today a U.S. Appeals Court overturned the FCC's ruling that internet providers must provide equal access to all information on their networks.
The court's ruling also could pose legal problems for the FCC as it seeks to enact the expansive National Broadband Policy it unveiled last month. A spokesman for Genachowski would not say what the next steps would be for the FCC as advisors reviewed the court's 36-page decision. Among the options would be to appeal the ruling, seek direct authority from Congress to regulate broadband or have the commission attempt to classify high-speed Internet service under existing law so it would be subject to the same type of regulation as telephone service. "The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans," said FCC spokeswoman Jen Howard. "It will rest these policies -- all of which will be designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers -- on a solid legal foundation."
The huge winner in the case is Comcast, which has been accused of throttling (slowing down) the internet speeds of heavy-use customers and of planning to cripple the viewing quality of streaming video sites that compete with their own. Comcast contends that the FCC has no right to tell them how to handle traffic on their own system.

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CNN Asks: Does Gayness Need A Cure?

Masked in a story about the move to delete an archaic California law requiring the state to seek a cure for homosexuality, CNN unbelievably handed the issue off to the wildly insane "ex-gay therapist" Richard Cohen, who infamously recommends beating your gay away with a tennis racket and a pillow. In 2002 Cohen was ejected from the American Counseling Association, yet he continues to present himself as a "psychotherapist." In Twitter speak: WFT@CNNfail?

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HomoQuotable - Rufus Wainwright

"I have been with Jorn for five years and he's the light of my life. He's my inspiration, support and he's good in the sack, too! But I am very aware of living in the U.S., of the conundrum that you can't marry your gay partner and give him citizenship. He has to apply for a green card and he may or may not get accepted, which is annoying when you're in a committed relationship. If we were straight, we could get married and he'd get his American passport and it would make a lot of sense. I wasn't a huge gay marriage supporter before I met Jorn because I love the whole old-school promiscuous Oscar Wilde freak show of what 'being gay' once was. But since meeting Jorn that all changed." - Rufus Wainwright, changing his tune on same-sex marriage.

In 2008, Wainwright said he wasn't a "huge supporter of marriage equality" but later backtracked somewhat, saying "a girl likes to have options." It appears that his partner's immigration status may have something to do with his evolving opinion.

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Remembering Carl Walker-Hoover

It was one year ago that 11 year-old Carl Walker-Hoover hung himself in his bedroom closet after being relentlessly tormented by anti-gay bullies at his school. GLSEN requests that you honor Carl today by signing their petition that Congress pass the Safe School Environments Act, a federal bill that would provide funding for schools to prevent and respond to incidents of bullying and harassment. Carl's mother will appear on ABC's 20/20 this Friday night to talk about her son and the anti-gay bullying that pushed him to end his young life.

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That's Gay: "Ex-Gay Conversion"

Bryan Safi's latest That's Gay piece shreds the "ex-gay" nutters, including Richard Cohen, who coincidentally appeared on CNN today where he was shamefully given airtime to spew his assholery. I'll have that clip as soon as it appears on YouTube.

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On The Decline Of Gayborhoods

Straight columnist Matt Katz laments the spiraling decline of the nation's gayborhoods.
Gayborhoods were in their prime when they struck the right balance of seedy and shiny, with porn shops, hourly motels and peep-show joints next door to home decor shoppes, vegan bakeries and restaurants serving foix gras and $15 cosmos. In this way, they became the vanguard of something different, something that’s really more exciting and interesting than gay, per se, and this right at the time that every other place in America began to look increasingly the same. The gayborhoods succeeded in their fundamental mission: to offer safety, community and empowerment. But maybe they succeeded too well, because it turns out other people want that stuff too. Suddenly, everyone wanted to live there. And like avatars on Pandora, that popularity is what killed it. The rainbow flag that gays planted signaled to other assorted demographics – hipsters, liberal-leaning couples with young kids, actual artists, myself – that the neighborhood had been conquered, with flair. So we came, hungry for cheap space and a higher cool quotient. The death may have gone unrecognized by some. But for me, a straight man with a proclivity towards societally marginalized people (and neighborhoods), the kind of gayborhood where I lived has disappeared.
Read the entire essay, it's both sad and lovely.

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Photo Of The Day - Product Placement

(Via - ChuckMore)

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Dancing With The Stars Contestants Advocate For Marriage Equality

Last night Dancing With The Stars contestants Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel performed a waltz depicting an interracial couple prevented to marry. In interviews shown before and after their performance, both expressed support for marriage equality, with openly gay Van Amstel mentioning how he was "still in that boat" depicted in the dance.


(Via - Towleroad)

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Fear Of The Tax Man: Gainesville Church Drops "Mayor" From Its "No Homo" Sign

After the Americans For Separation of Church and State filed a complaint with the IRS, Dove World Outreach in Gainesville, Florida has dropped the word "mayor" from their infamous "NO HOMO MAYOR" sign.
The Dove World Outreach Center, the Gainesville church that has gotten national attention for its incendiary stance against Islam, has backed off its anti-gay message — at least as far as the mayoral race is concerned. After church officials posted a “No homo Mayor” sign last month, I reported how that political statement could jeopardize their tax-exempt status. To make it clear that the church is still against homosexuality, the sign has since been covered up with a hand-written sign that reads, “No homo.” “No homo,” of course, is a common refrain among young people theses days. According to the Urban Dictionary, “no homo” is “used after one inadvertently says something that sounds gay.” The church’s sign was referring to mayoral candidate Craig Lowe, a city commissioner who is gay.
Openly gay mayoral candidate Craig Lowe finished first in last month's election. Gainesville residents are voting all this week in the runoff.

RELATED:
After one of their anti-gay YouTube clips got pulled for TOS violations, Dove World Pastor Luke Jones submitted an unintentionally hilarious response titled "Homosexuality Hates Free Speech."

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Astroturfers Fight NY Gov. Paterson's Proposed Beverage Tax

NY Gov. David Paterson's controversial beverage tax, which is meant to fight obesity (and help balance the budget), is facing vigorous opposition from soft drink manufacturers. The astroturf group New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes has been running the below ad on NYC television every hour for the last few days. The proposed tax is one cent per ounce of sugared beverage, which includes colas, most sports drinks, powdered mixes, and some fruit juices.

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Tittygate Fallout: RNC Chief Of Staff Ken McKay Falls On His Sword

RNC chairman Michael Steele continues to find fall guys for the Club Voyeur tittygate scandal. This time it's his chief of staff, Ken McKay.
The resignation of Ken McKay, Steele's highest-ranking aide, is the most drastic in a series of attempts at damage control by the RNC after it was revealed March 29 that the committee had spent $1,900 to entertain young donors at a risqué West Hollywood nightclub. The staff member who authorized the expenditure was fired last week, and the RNC has implemented new spending accountability procedures. "The members of the Republican National Committee entrusted myself and every staffer to lead the loyal opposition against the destructive Obama agenda, build a stronger Republican Party and win elections," Steele said in a statement. "This is a role I take with the utmost seriousness. With this in mind, I want to do everything in my power to ensure that the committee uses all its resources in the best possible fashion."
Teabaggers and some centrist Republicans continue to call for Steele himself to step down.

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Birther Army Colonel Faces Court Martial

Army Lt. Colonel Terry Lakin says he doesn't have to obey the commands of his illegal Kenyan president. The Army says, "Deploy or face court martial." Via World Net Daily:
"On 30 March 2010, this command became aware of your intentions to refuse to follow deployment orders. Your stated reason for refusal was your belief that the election of the President of the United States is invalid because you believe he is not 'native born' [sic]. This counseling is to inform you that your deployment orders are presumed to be valid and lawful orders issued by competent military authority," said the document from the "counselor," Lt. Col. William D. Judd. The letter reminded Lakin of his April 12 due date at Fort Campbell, Ky. "Failure to follow your reassignment and/or deployment orders may result in adverse action including court-martial," the officer was warned. The document cited articles 86, 87 and 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: being missing, disobeying an order and contempt). "If found guilty … you could be sentenced to dismissal from the service … forefeiture of all pay and allowances; and confinement for a period of months or years in a military prison," the warning stated.
VIDEO: Lt. Colonel Lakin says "any reasonable person" would disobey this Commander In Chief.

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Socialists Can't Throw

Wingnuts are reveling in the president's wild pitch at the opening of the baseball season yesterday. Because socialist/Marxist/Kenyans can't throw. Or something.

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GetEQUAL Activists To Be Arraigned Over ENDA Sit-In At Nancy Pelosi's Office

Four activists from GetEQUAL will be arraigned today for their March 18th ENDA protest at Nancy Pelosi's office. Via press release:
Activists will gather outside the District of Columbia Superior Courthouse today in solidarity with four women arrested during a sit-in at Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Washington office two weeks ago. On March 18, led by co-founders Robin McGehee and Kip Williams, GetEQUAL staged simultaneous sit-ins at Speaker Pelosi's Washington and San Francisco offices to voice its demand that Pelosi bring a trans-inclusive Employee Non-Discrimination Act through markup and to a floor vote by the end of the month. Tired of false promises to pass ENDA, which would provide basic employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, the four women refused to leave the office without a guarantee that the bill would be brought to a vote. They were ultimately arrested for unlawful entry and face arraignment today on misdemeanor charges.

ENDA legislation has been stuck in the House Committee on Education and Labor since last year and another promise that it would be brought to the House floor for a vote in March did not happen. "As Congress returns from recess they have an opportunity to pass what the LGBT community has been fighting for 40 years: basic workplace protections. Every American has the right to a secure working environment," said Jay Carmona, one of the four arrested. "A person¹s gender identity or sexual orientation does not affect their ability to do the same work others do. They should be protected from discrimination and there jobs should be secure."
I'll update this post later today after the arraignment.

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Gay Polo League Launches In Florida

A gay polo league launched in Florida's tony Palm Beach County with a weekend event that drew 20 competitors from around the country.
Each team in the inaugural tournament was built around local Wellington professional players Roldan (9), Blake (7), Bollini (6) and Casey (5) and mounted through the efforts of Marc and Melissa Ganzi. The Gay Polo League’s mission is “to provide the GLBT community with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to participate in a unique sporting activity, promote participation in amateur competitions, as well as foster, develop, support and recognize sportsmanship, fellowship and goodwill among the members.” The VIP tent was host to a number of celebrities that included former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, six-time Olympic Dressage rider Robert Dover, Gale Brophy and others while the west side of the field was lined with tailgate parties that ranged from casual to extreme. “We just want to level the playing field,” offered Wigdahl after the awards ceremony. “We don’t want to be treated any better or any worse than anyone else. We just want to be accepted as equals.”
Over 1500 fans attended the debut match.

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88 Gay Couples Married In Mexico City

So far 88 gay couples have wed under Mexico City's new marriage equality law.
A statement from Mexico City’s government says 50 of the couples were men and 38 women. It said Monday that 37 more gay couples are scheduled to be married between April and June. Mexico City’s legislature passed the first law in Latin America explicitly giving gay marriages in the federal district the same status as heterosexual ones in December. The legislation also allows same-sex couples to adopt children. The law took effect March 4 over criticism by the Roman Catholic Church and a campaign against the measure by President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party.

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An Official Message From The Census

Officials from the 2010 U.S. Census staged a press conference at the NYC LGBT Center yesterday to announce the launch of a series of ad clips aimed at the LGBT community. I'll be running those clips over the next week. Here's the first, from Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

IT'S TRUE: Constance Tricked Out Of Prom

Constance McMillen has confirmed that a large fancy secret prom took place across town while she and special needs students attended what they were told was the "official" prom.
"They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them," McMillen says. "The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to." Last week McMillen asked one of the students organizing the prom for details about the event, and was directed to the country club. "It hurts my feelings," McMillen says. Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. "They had the time of their lives," McMillen says. "That's the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn't have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom]."
The ACLU says they aren't sure if they can take legal action over the deception.
Kristy Bennett, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said her organization was still gathering details about what happened Friday night to determine whether they would ask Davidson for sanctions. At the least, Bennett said the details about Friday’s prom would be used in the organization’s damages suit against the district, which is still being developed. “We are disappointed at the sparse attendance, and we’re looking further into the situation,” Bennett said. “Whatever we find will be brought to the court’s attention, whether it is in the damages trial, or whatever. There will still be a trial on the merits. The case didn’t end in the preliminary hearing.”
UPDATE: At the polite request of a parent, I've removed the photos of the prom.

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McCain: I Never Said I Was A Maverick

John McCain is trying to un-maverick himself.
Arizona Sen. John McCain is trying to shake loose the mantle of the maverick brand he shared with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin in 2008. "I never considered myself a maverick," he told Newsweek. "I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities." Palin, the magazine reports, apparently didn't get the message, and urged "fans four times in 15 minutes to send McCain the Maverick back to Washington" during a recent join appearance with the Republican officeholder at a fairground outside Tucson.
Let's go to the tape.

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Bill Donohue: End The Gay Cover-Up

Responding to criticism over his recent declaration that the Catholic Church "doesn't have a pedophile problem, it has a gay problem," Catholic League president Bill Donohue digs deeper.
"AP stories say the reason why there were so many male victims is because the priests did not have access to girls as altar servers. Nonsense. There have been girl altar servers in some U.S. dioceses since 1983, and almost everywhere since 1994. The statistics actually show that the more priests have access to girls, the less likely it is for girls to be abused. Here's the tally. As reported in 2004, between 1950 and 2002, 81 percent of the victims were male; in 2005, it stayed the same; in 2006, it dropped to 80 percent; in 2007, it climbed to 82 percent; in 2008, it jumped to 84 percent; and in 2009, it stayed at 84 percent. In other words, even though priests have less access to males, homosexual priests are molesting them at a higher rate. It's time to end the gay cover-up once and for all."
Donahue ridicules a researcher's logic-based opinion that "participation in homosexual acts is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man." Donahue: "So if two men sodomize each other, no one really knows if this qualifies as gay sex. Now I must admit that when I was studying for my doctorate in sociology at NYU, they never taught me such logic."

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HomoQuotable - Anthony Venn-Brown

"‘Situational heterosexuality’ is a term I’ve used for several years when people have asked how I could have been married for so many years and yet be gay. This term has also helped people gain a clearer understanding of what really happens when someone who is homosexual marries someone of the opposite sex and claims change. Confusion about what really happens in these situations still exists and often wrongly reinforces the ‘homosexuality is a choice’ and ‘homosexuals can change’ concept.

"How often have you heard someone say something like this ‘They couldn’t be gay, they’re married’. When someone says that to me, I just remain silent for a while with a smile on my face (having been a gay man in a heterosexual marriage) and wait for what I’m actually thinking to sink into the consciousness of the person who made the naive statement." - Former "ex-gay" evangelical minister Anthony Venn-Brown. Brown, now one of Australia's leading LGBT activists (so says Wikipedia, FWIW) compares the situational homosexuality found in prisons to the reverse situation faced by gay men in heterosexual marriages.

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Fred Phelps' Estranged Son Tells All


Nate Phelps fled his loony family years ago, but is telling the world about the horror of growing up Phelps.

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Auto-Tune The News #11

One of their best in a long time. The bit with Eric Massa totally kills. Ain't nuthin' wrong with a Massa massage.

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Photo Of The Day - Discovery Over Disney

From his vantage point near Disney World's Cinderella's Castle, photographer Kent Phillips captured the space shuttle Discovery on its way to the International Space Station this morning. Big better version here.

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Students To Wear Empty Holsters In Protest Of Rules Against Concealed Carry

Because it's the God-given right of every American college student to bring a loaded handgun to class, the Students For Concealed Carry On Campus are staging a national protest during which they'll wear empty holsters to school. The group claims that school won't even allow them to discuss the issue.
“Colleges aren’t content to ban the right to self-defense anymore,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for SCCC. “Now they’re trying to suspend the right to freedom of speech. They want to silence us and hope we’ll go away. It’s outrageous and our membership cares too much about self defense to remain silent.” The group was formed shortly after the Virginia Tech shooting, and advocates that persons with state-issued permits be allowed to carry concealed handguns on college grounds. “Compulsory defenselessness doesn’t make students safer, it makes them less safe,” said Burnett. “A piece of paper taped to the door saying guns are against the rules has yet to stop a criminal, whether a mass shooter or an armed rapist. It merely assures the criminal that victims are incapable of effective resistance. There are no security checkpoints or metal detectors to pass through in order to enter a college campus and absolutely no way for colleges to control what a criminal brings on campus. Until they can take responsibility for our safety and guarantee our protection, colleges can’t be allowed to deny us the right to self-defense.”
The group is being sponsored by the National Rifle Association.

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RickRolling The "A" Train

An acapella group from the University of Oregon rickrolled the A train to the blase reaction of New Yorkers, who must have been wondering if the train's destination was 2007, rather than Canal Street.

(Via Jen Carlson @ Gothamist)

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San Francisco Endorses New HIV Strategy: Begin HAART Therapy Immediately

Many HIV+ patients delay beginning anti-retroviral therapy for years after they become aware of their infection, waiting for signs that their immune system has begun to falter before starting treatment. San Francisco's Department of Health has just endorsed starting HAART treatment immediately upon diagnosis.
Behind the policy switch is mounting evidence that patients who start early are more likely to live longer, and less likely to suffer a variety of ailments — including heart disease, kidney failure and cancer — that plague long-term survivors. Studies suggest that in the early years of infection, when a patient may show few signs of immune system failure, the virus is in fact causing permanent damage that becomes evident later. For instance, in older patients who finally start taking the drugs, the effects of chronic inflammation take their toll. “The impact on health risk is comparable to that of diabetes,” said Dr. Steven G. Deeks, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Their immune system may look like that of someone 30 years older.” Dr. Diane V. Havlir, chief of the H.I.V./AIDS division at San Francisco General Hospital, said the new policy was already in effect for her patients. Although a decision whether or not to take the medicine rests with the patient, all those testing positive for H.I.V. will be offered combination therapy, with advice to pursue it. “The history of H.I.V. disease has always been about change,” she said. “We pride ourselves on working quickly with new data.”
Today's HIV drugs are far, far less toxic than those available when HAART therapy first became available almost 15 years ago, but they are still very tough on some patients and their long-term side effects won't be known for decades. Some San Francisco-based HIV specialists quoted in the above-linked story strongly oppose the city's new directive.

(Tipped by JMG reader Ru)

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DC's Gallaudet Plans Gay Jesus Play

DC's Gallaudet University is the latest school under attack for planning a performance of Terrance McNally's Corpus Cristi. Last week an 8am private performance of the play was canceled at Tarleton University in Texas after death threats rained in from God's gentle people. Fresh from their intimidation campaign in Texas, the red-caped Catholic loons known as the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property have launched a petition drive against Gallaudet.
"No. Blasphemy does not qualify as free speech," said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie. "Just as everyone is entitled to their own good reputation, Gallaudet University has no right to harm and slander the spotless reputation of the God-Man with blasphemy, then run to academic freedom for cover." Gallaudet University was founded in 1864 by an Act of Congress, and President Abraham Lincoln signed its charter. Since then it has received generous federal tax dollars. In fact, the university now receives approximately 70% of its funding from the federal government according to its web site. Therefore, if the university does not cancel Corpus Christi, it will be using tax dollars to bash the faith of 68 million Catholics. TFP Student Action is inviting its members to contact the president of Gallaudet University with a simple message: cancel the play.
Gallaudet serves a primarily deaf and hard-of-hearing student body. The play is scheduled for April 8-10.

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Caption This

(Photo via Towleroad)

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GOP Panics Over Low Census Return,
Sends In Karl Rove To Help

Teabaggers like Rep. Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann have been screaming that filling out the U.S. Census will get you rounded up and micro-chipped, leading to a genuine GOP panic that a serious undercount in conservative districts will lead to a loss of legislative seats. In some red state districts fewer than 10% of the forms have been returned so far. Karl Rove to the rescue.

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Did The Haters Secretly Move The Prom So Constance McMillen Wouldn't Find It?

A Mississippi blog is claiming that the alternative prom attended by Constance McMillen was a decoy and that the "real" event was secretly moved to another location. According to the below report, only seven kids showed up at the event Constance was told was the real deal.
The prom the school district promised at the country club in Fulton was a ruse. Only seven kids, Constance, and her date showed, and at the same time, everyone else held a “real” prom at a secret location out in the county. This is all after the school district had represented to Judge Davidson that Constance was invited to a parent-sponsored prom to be held at Tupelo Furniture Market. The school represented that Constance was invited in court filings, testimony, and representations by the school district and its lawyers. In reality, Constance had not been invited, but, based on the representations by the district and its counsel, Judge Davidson denied Constance’s request for a preliminary injunction that she could go to the prom.

The school reneged, or possibly didn’t ever intend to follow through on its representations to the court. The parents didn’t want Constance at the prom and didn’t want to be sued (as they told the Clarion Ledger), and so on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the prom. But what they’d done was secretly relocated it. Shortly thereafter, the school’s attorney announced (on Wednesday) that “the prom” was to be held at the Fulton Country Club on Friday. But yet only seven kids showed up. Meanwhile, there’s a rumor that school officials were directly involved in setting up the “fake” prom.
If true, it's amazing that hundreds of kids were able to keep the location change a secret. More on this as it develops.

(Via -Democratic Underground)

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Size Queen Fashion Alert

South Florida Gay News reports on a new t-shirt line.
Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, however, Gunner Thelander and Kevin Mahon both of Fort Lauderdale and the Inchwear Team have something other in mind than hearts. The InchWear t-shirts—displaying increments of 6,” 7,” 8,” 9,” & 10+”—dare men to let the world know just how big that…special attachment is. Or maybe, after the shirt and the pants come off, how they measure up in terms of honesty. One would assume the 10”+ would be the biggest seller. After all when codpieces were the fashion centuries ago brides frequently found most of their husband’s virility to be discarded padding. However, when asked, Thelander shocked SFGN, “Actually our biggest sellers are tied between the 6” and 8” models.” There’s honesty in South Florida? Who knew?
I suppose that unlike the infamous "AOL inches," at least you can ask the t-shirt wearer for immediate proof.

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Germany: Abuse Hotline Set Up By Catholic Church Melts Down On First Day

Catholic Church officials in Germany set up an abuse hotline for parishioners wishing to report their priests. The line "melted down" on the first day with thousands of calls.
The numbers were far more than the handful of therapists assigned to deal with them could cope with. In the end only 162 out of 4,459 callers were given advice before the system was shut down. Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn't prepared for "that kind of an onslaught'. The hotline is the Church's attempt to win back trust in the face of an escalating abuse scandal that threatens the papacy of German-born Pontiff Benedict XVI in Rome. Earlier this week it was alleged that an ally of the Pope, Bishop Mixa, beat children - a charge he has subsequently denied. Former girls and boys testified that he beat them with fists and a carpet beater which screaming; 'The devil is in you and I will drive him out!' Also, the bishopric of Trier reported that 20 priests are suspected of having sexually abused children between the 1950s and 1990s. Bishop Stephan Ackermann, who was appointed last year, said on Monday that three of the cases had been passed on to public prosecutors, with two more soon to follow. German media are calling the scandal 'the hour of the children'. Silent, often for decades after pressure was applied to both them and their families by the Church, they are now finding the courage to speak out.

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You Can Be Lady Gaga With 4 iPhones

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Freemasons To Headline NYC Pier Dance

Grammy nominated DJ duo The Freemasons will headline this year's 24th annual Dance On The Pier, the culminating event of NYC Pride. The opening set will be spun by DJ Steven Oliverri. The Freemasons are white-hot right now and the Pier Dance usually sells out, so expect this year's event to do so quickly. Tickets go on sale May 1st.

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The Real Life "English Patient" Was Gay

Newly discovered letters have revealed that Lazlo de Almasy, the Hungarian soldier who inspired the Best Picture Oscar-winning romance/drama The English Patient, was gay in real life. He never slept with a woman and he was in love with a Nazi.
Letters have surfaced in Germany proving that the World War Two spy who inspired the hero the the Oscar-winning film The English Patient was no womaniser but a gay man in love with a young soldier called Hans Entholt. The correspondence also indicate the Hungarian-born adventurer Count Laszlo de Almásy did not die of a morphine overdose after suffering terrible burns and dreaming of the woman he loved, the fate the befell the fictional hero played by Ralph Fiennes in the film. Instead Almásy succumbed to amoebic dysentry in 1951 never having once slept with a woman. While the Imperial War Museum in London holds reports he wrote for German intelligence in WW2 under lock and key, letters written by Almásy, who worked for Rommel's Afrika Corps, have been found in Germany, confirming the long-time rumours about his sexuality.
Almasy's lover Hans died when he stepped on a German land mine.

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Married On One Side, Not On The Other

Marriage equality activists gathered in Omaha on a pedestrian bridge connecting Nebraska and Iowa this weekend to demand their rights.
Gay and lesbian couples and supporters from Nebraska and Iowa marched to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and met in the middle with a message. "As soon as you cross the line, you're no longer married. You realize that? We've got to help Nebraska change that," said rally attendee Susie Brenner. She and her partner, Linda Beckstead, married after the Iowa ruling made it legal. The legal union is unrecognized in Nebraska. "We live in Omaha and we get no benefits," Brenner said. "We wanted to get married on the first day available and we want Nebraska to join with Iowa and make it happen." "We pay taxes. We vote. We serve our country," said Beckstead. "I don't think Nebraska understood that we want to continue."
Civil unions, domestic partnerships, and same-sex marriages are all banned by legislation and the state constitution in Nebraska. Hit the above link for video of this weekend's protest.

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PhoboQuotable - Michael Carroll

"I see no purpose in extending a societal imprimatur – and not insubstantial benefits – to folks whose relationships are of essentially no societal consequence. Taxpayers should not be in the business of subsidizing friendships, however close. Only when people enter into a relationship which presumptively involves the bearing and rearing of children does society have an interest in that relationship." - New Jersey Assemblyman Michael Carroll, explaining why he has joined the Alliance Defense Fund in their challenge to Lambda Legal's marriage equality lawsuit against the state.

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Coral Ridge Ministries: Don't Turn The Pentagon Into A Pink Palace

Learn2Discern is Coral Ridge Ministries' weekly Two Minutes Of Hate, most of which so far have been about them there evil homersexshuls.

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New York City: Gays Protest Pope

Andy Humm of Gay City News reports on yesterday's protest at NYC's St. Patrick's Cathedral.
About eight gay male demonstrators showed up to picket St. Patrick's over the Pope's continued refusal to accept his responsibility for the abuse crisis and the tendency of his defenders to blame the news media and gay people for the scandal. This week, Fifth Avenue was filled with Easter Paraders, many taking pictures of the demonstrators. When Archbishop Dolan's procession got to the front of the cathedral before entering for services, the demonstrators shouted "Shame!" repeatedly. After the doors of the church closed and the shouts died down, the Easter Paraders gave a sustained ovation to the demonstrators.
RELATED: A larger silent protest took place on Good Friday, apparently without gay involvement. The below YouTuber found their message "offensive." From the clip description:
On April 2, 2010, for at least three hours on Holy Friday, some familiar protestors came out with the clear intention of offending all who passed-by St. Patrick's Cathedral. Easter. Good Friday...For them nothing is sacred. Certainly not Good Friday since those who came to worship were handed florescent orange flyers with the heading, "Clergy Sexual Abuse". Wonder if this same crowd will come out to save our most vulnerable from abortion. Will they demand an end to the murder of their fellow Christians in Nigeria? Highly unlikely. Since they were protesting in-front of the Cathedral on Palm Sunday, one can safely assume they will return on Easter. Sadly, the police presence was noticeably non-chalant. This group claims to be faithful...to what, one should ask....

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No Underwear Subway Ride: Uncensored

Since so many of you asked how they did it.

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New Jersey District Court Rules:
Being Called Gay Is Not Defamatory

In a case involving radio shock jocks, a New Jersey district court has reversed an earlier precedent and ruled that defamation law no longer covers being called gay.
U.S. District Court Judge Joel Pisano reversed an earlier precedent and ruled that a person (even a public figure) cannot sue for defamation simply because he or she was called gay. Reversing a 2001 precedent, Lewis v. Harris, where a television star successfully sued a radio host for calling her a lesbian, Pisaso ruled that in contemporary New Jersey, saying that someone is gay--even if untrue--does not constitute defamation. The ruling, in Murphy v. Millenium Radio Group, 08, is a loss for freelance photographer Peter Murphy, who complained that "shock jocks" Craig Carton and Ray Rossi, hosts of the "Jersey Guys" show on WKXW 101.5 FM, "derogatorily inferred" he was a homosexual during a 45-minute segment.
Judge Pisano: "Given the decision in Lewis and the recognized evolution of the societal landscape, it appears unlikely that the New Jersey Supreme Court would legitimize discrimination against gays and lesbians by concluding that referring to someone as homosexual ’tends to so harm the reputation of that person as to lower him in the estimation of the community as to deter third persons from associating or dealing with him."

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

This Week In Holy Crimes

Over the last seven days...

Alabama: Pastor Bertha Wright arrested on 16 felony counts of Oxycontin prescription fraud.
Texas: Pastor Lester Cody pleads no contest to sexually assaulting a minor.
Texas: Youth Pastor Matthew Overstreet charged with sexually assaulting a minor.
Missouri: Father Patrick Grady pleads guilty to possession of child porn and trying to buy sex from a female minor.
Illinois: Deacon George Valdez charged with embezzling $315K from his parish.
Wisconsin: Pastor Leonard Van Vlaenderen charged with stealing $128K from his church.
France: Father Jacques Gaimard confesses to child molestation.
Ontario: Father John Duarte sentenced for molesting boys at Catholic mission he founded in Haiti.
France: Father Bonaventure Ouedraogo arrested for showing up drunk at the funeral he was to officiate and punching out one of the mourners.
North America: Bishop Accountability group claims that numerous accused priests are being quietly reinstated despite pending charges of child predation.

This Week's Winner-
Vatican City: Cardinal Angelo Sodano opened the Pope's Easter Sunday Mass today with a speech dismissing charges of the Ratzinger's complicity in the global child abuse scandal as nothing more than "petty gossip of the moment." Ill Papa made no mention of the controversy during his address.

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