Monday, January 31, 2011

RuPaul's Drag Race - Queens In Space

Stay out of the comments if you haven't yet seen tonight's episode. Otherwise jump in and dish about the challenge and the elimination.

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Dubya's Daughter For New York Marriage

The younger Barbara Bush has joined her mother in endorsing same-sex marriage. The New York Times comments on the kids of prominent Republicans:
Ms. Bush is the latest child of a prominent Republican leader to embrace same-sex marriage, long considered anathema to the conservative movement. Gay rights advocates have been quick to seize on the generational split as evidence that the acceptance of same-sex marriage is blind to party affiliation and family values. Meghan McCain, the daughter of John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, has become an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, despite her father’s opposition to it. And Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, has forcefully backed it as well — and is widely credited with helping to persuade her father to do the same. In the case of Mr. McCain, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush, it is not just their children who have supported it. So, to varying degrees, have their wives. Laura Bush, in a television interview in May, said, “When couples are committed to each other and love each other” they should have “the same sort of rights that everyone has.”

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Gibbs Dodges Obama '96 Question

Outgoing White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today once again dodged Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson's questions about the president's 1996 position on same-sex marriage. One gets the sense that Gibbs is so ready to be through with this job.

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EGYPT: Google Launches Speak-To-Tweet

Google has created a work-around for Egyptians cut off from the internet. Via the company's official blog:
Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection. We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet. We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.
Nice work, Google.

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Filed Under: WTF?

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Mark King On Florida's ADAP Crisis

More than half of the nation's AIDS patients who are on waiting lists to get medications are in Florida. Last week Sen. Bill Nelson wrote both the president and Florida Gov. Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott, warning of a catastrophic public health crisis over the lack of ADAP funding. In the below clip, South Florida AIDS activist Mark S. King lays out the situation and what can be done about it.

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FLORIDA: Activist Judge Kowtows To GOP Agenda, Strikes Down Health Care Law

The right wing loathes those activist judges who are always imposing their agendas on the American people. Except when those judges are GOP appointees and do their bidding.
A federal judge in Florida has struck down the Obama administration's requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance, and questioned the constitutionality of the entire health care law. "I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate," wrote U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, the second federal jurist to rule against law that Obama signed last year. Two other judges have sided with the administration on the issue that may well wind up in the Supreme Court. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sakd the decision confirms that "the health spending bill is a massive overreach and Democrats 'exceeded the bounds' of Congressional authority." Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, praised the ruling, saying that "Congress does not have the legal authority to tell Utahns and other Americans that they must buy health insurance or else."
It's totally legal and fair to require people to carry auto insurance. But not health insurance, cuz that's totally communist!

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ARIZONA: Illegal Gun Sales Continue

Gothamist notes: "One investigator was able to pay cash for a .9 mm semiautomatic even after telling the seller he probably wouldn't pass a background check. Instead of refusing the sale, as required by federal law, the gun peddler pockets the $500 and directs his shady customer toward the tent with the cheap ammunition."

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HomoQuotable - Chris Barron

"With the gay left it’s all stick and no carrot. Instead of working to change hearts and minds the angry gay left would rather go on witch hunts. The witch hunts by the professionally outraged gay protestor class may feel good, but I think they are incredibly counter-productive. To most of the world a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich and folks who try to politicize everything usually end up doing more harm to their cause at the end of the day." - GOProud head Chris Barron, who also tweeted "The gay left = the American Taliban. Hateful, angry and dumb as shit."

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Sarah Palin & The Moose

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Wife Of Totally Gay "Ex-Gay" John Paulk To Headline Exodus Conference

Exodus International invites you to pray away the gay at their upcoming Phoenix conference where the "ex-lesbian" wife of "ex-gay" former rentboy/drag queen John Paulk will speak. You may remember Paulk from the hilarious incident in which Wayne Besen busted him partying and chatting up menz in a DC gay bar, prompting Paulk to flee the room screaming as he shielded his face from Besen's camera. Whoopsie! Paulk was then forced to confess to Focus On The Family head James Dobson that he'd been in the bar for the purpose of "flirting." That got Paulk booted as chairman of the board of Exodus International. I guess they trust his wife to stay out of Phoenix gay bars.

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Freep This Poll For GLSEN

Pespi is giving away boatloads of money to organizations that have "great ideas" and today is the final day to vote for the Gay & Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), who wants to place Safe Space kits in 10,000 public schools. Right now GLSEN is in third place to win a $250,000 grant for the project. Note: You can vote with your Facebook login and that doesn't appear to place any message on your page. Clickety-click, y'all.

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Sharron Angle: How To Stay Pretty After A Hard Day Of Teabagging Crazy Racism!

Over the weekend, Sharron Angle shared make-up and hair tips at a Las Vegas beauty show headlined as "An Evening Of Glamour." Yup.

(Via - Alan Colmes)

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Film Composer John Barry Dies At 77

Five-time Oscar winning film composer John Barry has died at the age of 77. Here's a few of my favorites from his lengthy filmography.

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Bryan Fischer: Vicious Gay Activists Are Determined To Destroy Chick-Fil-A

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Stonewall Dems: Walmart Is Homophobic

As Walmart ramps up its media blitz against the New York City government, hoping to finally gain a foothold in the nation's largest market, the Stonewall Democrats have issued a statement denouncing the company as homophobic.
"Walmart represents a culture of intolerance and insensitivity towards LGBT employees and issues that is unwelcome in New York. Just last year more than 100 Walmart stores were found to be promoting a children's book that suggested that gay people can overcome “sin” and convert to heterosexuality with the help of counseling. Walmart CEO Mike Duke signed a petition in his home state of Arkansas that was aimed at preventing adoption by gay and lesbian parents. The 2011 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates corporations on LGBT issues, gave Walmart 40%. That failing grade is in marked contrast to other retailers like Macy's and Costco which both received 100%. "Walmart's values are not our values and they are certainly not New York's. Stonewall Democratic Club is committed to building a city that is free from intolerance towards all LGBT people - a city that remains Walmart free."
A Walmart spokesperson has denied the charge, saying that the company supports its LGBT employees. Today the company launched its second round of radio and newspaper ads urging the public to fight attempts to keep Walmart out of New York City.

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GOP Rep. Randy Forbes: Put "In God We Trust" On Every Public Building

In recent years, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced a House resolution calling for the United States to recognize that it is a "Judeo-Christian nation." Another Forbes resolution called on the federal government to recognize that "the Holy Bible is God's word." Now he wants the feds to acknowledge that "In God We Trust" is the nation's official motto. Which it already is. But Forbes also wants the slogan plastered everywhere, as his resolution demands it appear "in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions." The resolution has 24 House cosponsors, including two Democrats.

(Via - The Friendly Atheist)

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BRITAIN: Gay & Straight Couples Launch Challenge To Marriage Laws

Led by activist Peter Tatchell, on Wednesday eight British couples, four gay and four straight, will file a challenge to Britain's marriage and civil partnership laws with the European Court of Human Rights.
Peter Tatchell is coordinator of the Equal Love campaign, which seeks to end sexual orientation discrimination in both civil marriage and civil partnership law."Since November, four same-sex couples were refused marriage licenses at register offices in Greenwich, Northampton and Petersfield. Four heterosexual couples were also turned away when they applied for civil partnerships in Islington, Camden, Bristol and Aldershot," added Tatchell.

"All eight couples received letters of refusal from their register offices, which we are now using as the evidential basis to challenge in the European Court of Human Rights the UK's exclusion of gay couples from civil marriage and the prohibition of straight civil partnerships. Since there is no substantive difference in the rights and responsibilities involved in gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships, there is no justification for having two mutually exclusive and discriminatory systems.
The petitioners contend that Britain's "separate but equal" system violates the European Convention On Human Rights, to which the United Kingdom is a signatory.

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Improv Everywhere: Worst Ice Skater Ever

Improv Everywhere: "For our latest mission an ice skater stranded alone on the rink transformed from a novice into an expert in New York's Bryant Park. The project was a collaboration with Ice Theatre of New York."

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Electric Cereal

The cereal brands at your grocery stores may soon be shouting and dancing at you courtesy of a new technology called eCoupling. An electric induction strip under the boxes powers the animation and records inventory levels as items are removed. Very Minority Report.

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COLORADO: Gay Activists And Allies Launch Campaign For Civil Unions

The LGBT activism group One Colorado and a coalition of gay-friendly faith leaders, unions, and education groups yesterday launched their campaign to legalize civil unions in Colorado. Box Turtle Bulletin blogger Daniel Gonzales sends us the below clip from the campaign's kick-off press conference.

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BRITAIN: Leading Christian Homophobe Stephen Green Unmasked As Wife Beater

Infamous anti-gay activist Stephen Green, who is well known as a British version of Peter LaBarbera, has been divorced by his wife. Because he'd been beating her with a piece of wood.
Caroline Green was often punished by her husband Stephen for failing to be a dutiful, compliant wife, but his final act of violence against her — the one that prompted her long-overdue decision to divorce him — was all the more chilling because it was coldly premeditated. Stephen Green wrote a list of his wife’s ­failings then described the weapon he would make to beat her with. ‘He told me he’d make a piece of wood into a sort of witch’s broom and hit me with it, which he did,’ she recalls, her voice tentative and quiet. ‘He hit me until I bled. I was terrified. I can still remember the pain. ‘Stephen listed my misdemeanours: I was disrespectful and disobedient; I wasn’t loving or submissive enough and I was undermining him. He also said I wasn’t giving him his ­conjugal rights. ‘He even framed our marriage vows — he always put particular emphasis on my promise to obey him — and hung them over our bed. He believed there was no such thing as marital rape and for years I’d been reluctant to have sex with him, but he said it was my duty and was angry if I refused him.
Green's wife also claims that their son had to be hospitalized after a beating from him.

RELATED: Last month the BBC raised the ire of LGBT activists when they interviewed Green as an "opposing voice" in a story about the birth of Elton John's son. Green has publicly endorsed Uganda's plan to execute homosexuals and his group, Christian Voice, has advocated for the overturn of Britain's laws against marital rape, saying that the Bible demands that all women must submit sexually to their husbands. Green has been the subject of numerous praising posts on Peter LaBarbera's site.

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Carol Channing Turns 90

Broadway legend Carol Channing turns 90 today and the three-time Tony winner has granted a rare video interview in which she reminisces about her career and her status as a gay icon. Hit the link for the clip.

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ILLINOIS: Gov To Sign Civil Unions Today

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will sign his state's civil unions bill today in a 4PM ceremony expected to be attended by a huge crowd.
A capacity crowd at a historic downtown Chicago venue? No, it isn't a concert or even the big game — it's to watch civil unions become legal in Illinois. When Gov. Pat Quinn signs the historic legislation Monday afternoon, he'll be joined by up to 900 members of the gay community and their supporters, many of whom have been waiting years for this moment to arrive. Free tickets to the bill-signing event were long gone by late last week, and the governor's office planned to set aside a portion of the space at the Chicago Cultural Center as standing-room only.
I'll look for a live video stream of the ceremony for posting later today.

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Fox News: Where's Egypt, Again?

(Source)

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EGYPT: Foreigners Begin Evacuation

The United States and many other nations have begun evacuating their embassy staffers and other citizens from Egypt as unrest continues. Americans will be airlifted to "safe haven" countries in the region, from where they must make their own arrangements to get home.
The United States planned to begin charter flights to help Americans leave the country Monday. Other governments and businesses have also said they plan to evacuate citizens amid escalating protests across the country. Canada's government has said it will begin charter flights bound for Europe evacuating as many as 6,000 of its citizens from Egypt Monday. Australia announced Monday that it planned to provide an emergency flight out of Cairo for its citizens on Wednesday. Thai Airways said Monday that it was preparing a special flight to Cairo to bring stranded Thais home at the request of the country's government. And Mexico's government urged its citizens in Egypt to consider leaving the country. Two special EL AL flights with Israelis returning from Egypt landed in Israel Monday morning, Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.
There are 380 American embassy staffers living in Cairo with their families. It's unknown how many other Americans are presently in Egypt, but the number is thought to be in the thousands.

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GLAAD To NBC: Apologize For Offensive Transgender Skit On SNL

GLAAD is asking for an apology from NBC after this weekend's airing of a Saturday Night Live skit that mocked transgender women.
The piece was a mock commercial for estrogen replacement therapy and featured men with facial hair wearing dresses, meant to represent transgender women. This segment cannot be defended as “just a joke” because there was no “joke” to speak of. The attempted comedy of the skit hinges solely on degrading the lives and experiences of transgender women. Dehumanizing holding people up for ridicule simply on the basis of their identity fuels a dangerous and hurtful climate and puts people in danger, especially given how infrequently the media shines a fair and accurate light on the lives of transgender people.
GLAAD wants the clip removed from Hulu and excised from future reruns of the episode. The clip is on YouTube (for the moment) and can be viewed on NBC's site.

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CHINA: Fake Obama In KFC Ad

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Matt Baume: This Week In Prop 8

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

This Week In Holy Crimes

Over the last seven days...

New York: Pastor Michael Clare charged with first degree rape of 12 year-old girl.
South Carolina: Pastor Ronald Satterfield charged with running a $3.3M Ponzi scheme that wiped out dozens of his congregants.
Texas: Pastor Larry Gene Martin charged with aggravated sexual assault on a 12 year-old girl.
Texas: Pastor Randy Carl Russell charged with making a terrorist threat for saying he was going to kill his daughter's boyfriend and his family.
New Brunswick: Father Albert LeBlanc charged with 40 counts of sexual assault on boys between the ages of seven and eleven.
Florida: Pastor Jason Allen Roberts charged with felony child molestation.
New York: Santeria priest Miguel Leon convicted of child molestation.
Indiana: Father Wayne Wigglesworth sentenced to ten years in prison for attempted molestation of a 15 year-old boy.
Wisconsin: Pastor Travis Gandy pleads no contest to possession of child pornography.
Georgia: Pastor Kenneth Terrell indicted on charges of embezzling $200K from his church. Last year Terrell was also charged with child molestation.
Tennessee: Pastor Samuel Peters charged with theft of donations to the Lions Club, which aids visually-impaired children.
Britain: Father Alexander Bede Walsh charged with four counts of molesting boys.
Nunavut: Father Eric Dejaeger charged with three counts of molesting Inuit children.
Utah: Pastor Aaron Witcher pleads guilty to two counts of raping a minor.
Michigan: Father Herbert Richey is still working for the Detroit Archdiocese despite having been defrocked for child molestation.

This Week's Winner
France: Father Antoine Videau has been convicted of stealing £2 million from church charity boxes intended for the poor. Videau used the cash to buy himself a Ferrari and take lavish Las Vegas vacations with his young mistress. Investigators found 28 separate bank accounts holding stolen parish money and discovered that Videau had also helped himself to £500,000 from the estate of a deceased archbishop.

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Fox Rejects "John 3-16" Super Bowl Ad

World Net Daily is upset because Fox has rejected a Super Bowl ad promoting the scripture John 3:16, which became famous for being seen at major sporting events thanks to Rollen "Rainbow Man" Stewart (seen above). They quote the ad's maker:
"The rainbow man, the guy we always used to see standing in end zones after field goal and extra point attempts holding up his John 3:16 sign – now there is a message of real hope. That message is a part of the culture of football. You see it all the time. You've seen it on the eyeblack, you've seen it on tattoos, you've seen it, as I've mentioned, the rainbow man and many others.

"In the midst of the commercials on everything that's trivial," Taunton says, "wouldn't it be wonderful if after this year's Super Bowl, in addition to talking about the game, people were talking, not about beer or potato chip commercials, they were talking about the gospel? Well, that's what we want to see happen." After a few months of working on the commercial and raising funds for its broadcast, however, Fox sent what Taunton calls "a carefully worded document" explaining the network "would not air anything with religious doctrine."
Not incidentally, Rainbow Man is now presenting his "message of real hope" from prison, where he is serving three consecutive life sentences for kidnapping.

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Intercourse The Penguin

According to a pastoral letter issued by Archbishop Michael Miller and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the only kind of fucking that is holy is vaginal procreative fucking. No blowjobs, no butt sex, please!
Married people living chastely can have vibrant sex lives. In the relationship between a man and a woman, chastity helps them love each other as persons rather than make each other an object of pleasure or satisfaction. Despite what the media and Hollywood suggest, the value of sexual intercourse does not lie in recreation, or physical gratification. Any physical pleasure should lead toward the ultimate expression of love between husband and wife, the total self-giving of one person to another. Sexual intercourse in marriage can be so intimate that it becomes an emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual experience. It strengthens and completes the bond of marriage. That is why the sexual act has to be unitive and procreative and why some kinds of sexual activity are not chaste. Though pleasure may be present, some acts are a misuse of sex when they fall short of what God intends.
Maggie will be so pleased!

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SOUTH CAROLINA: Woman Murders Dog For Chewing On Her Bible

A South Carolina woman says that God told her to murder her nephew's dog because it chewed on her bible.
Miriam Fowler Smith, 65, told cops on Monday that she hung and burned her nephew's pit bull after the animal took a bite out of her bible. She claimed God urged her to kill Diamond, a 1-year-old female dog, because the animal was a "devil dog" and would hurt neighborhood children. Smith was arrested on Sunday and remains in Spartanburg County jail. She could face faces 180 days or up to five years behind bars if she's convicted with felony animal cruelty. She does not have a lawyer yet. Authorities said Smith confessed to wrapping an extension cord around Diamond's neck, hung the animal from a tree, and then set the pup on fire.
(Via - On Knees For Jesus)

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Quote Of The Day - Dan Cathy

"In recent weeks, we have been accused of being anti-gay. We have no agenda against anyone. At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions. We seek to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect, and believe in the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself. We also believe in the need for civility in dialogue with others who may have different beliefs. While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees. [snip]

"Chick-fil-A's Corporate Purpose is 'To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.' As a result, we will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family. This decision has been made, and we understand the importance of it. At the same time, we will continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families. To do anything different would be inconsistent with our purpose and belief in Biblical principles." - Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy, claiming to have ended his company's support of the anti-gay marriage movement.

RELATED: The New York Times covers the controversy.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

USMC Commandant Issues Vow Of Adherence To Repeal Of DADT

From the official USMC YouTube channel:
On December 3, 2010, General James Amos testified that if DADT was repealed, the Marine Corps would step out smartly to carry out the new policy. On January 28, 2011, the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps released this video to the Corps describing the way ahead.
An amazing and welcome message.

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Parking Wars

This winter's record 59 inches of snow has generated an issue seen more frequently in other cities than in New York - parking spot wars over dug out spaces. Some folks say that if they go through the back-breaking work of clearing a spot in front of their building, they are perfectly free to block that space with garbage cans until their return. Others say, bullshit, a space is a space and that there's no such things as "dibs" on a public street. Folks who move the "dibs" markers often return to find that the contents of that garbage can are now on the roof of their car. According to news reports, there have been quite a few fistfights in the last few days.

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Here's The CPAC 2011 Agenda

CPAC has published the agenda for next month's conference, where attendance will be greatly diminished thanks to all the reich-wing groups that won't be seen in the same room as GOProud. (We wouldn't either!) Still, there's a fair representation of evil here, including Crazy Eyes, Harry Jackson, Rick Santorum, and Elaine Donnelly. Meeting topics include how to stop gay marriage and how to stop the repeal of DADT. But remember, GOProud says it's easier to be a conservative at CPAC than it is to be a homocon among gays. So it's interesting that their name appears nowhere on the agenda, innit?

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Twitter On Egypt: The Tweets Must Flow

Twitter has issued a statement which partially references events in Egypt.
Our goal is to instantly connect people everywhere to what is most meaningful to them. For this to happen, freedom of expression is essential. Some Tweets may facilitate positive change in a repressed country, some make us laugh, some make us think, some downright anger a vast majority of users. We don't always agree with the things people choose to tweet, but we keep the information flowing irrespective of any view we may have about the content.

The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. This is both a practical and ethical belief. On a practical level, we simply cannot review all one hundred million-plus Tweets created and subsequently delivered every day. From an ethical perspective, almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right. Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits.
Their "the tweets must flow" headline reminded me of this, of course.

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GETTING IT RIGHT: Naval Academy Honors Gay Marine's Burial Request

The Naval Academy has honored the final wishes of a gay Marine who had told his husband that he wanted his ashes interred at the USNA Columbarium. John Fliszar was a 1971 graduate of the Academy, but what's so heartwarming is how the Academy treated his husband, Mark Ketterson.
The memorial coordinator asked about his relationship to the deceased. Ketterson said that John Fliszar was his husband. “They were always polite, but there was this moment of hesitation,” Ketterson recalled. “They said they’re going to need something in writing from a blood relative. They asked, ‘Are you listed on the death certificate?’ ‘Do you have a marriage license?’ ” He was and they did, the couple having been married in Des Moines when gay marriage became legal in Iowa two years ago. Ketterson sent a copy of the marriage license. That changed everything.

“I was respected,” he said. “From that moment on, I was next of kin. They were amazing.” The USNA alumni association sent Ketterson a letter expressing condolence for the loss of his husband. The USNA says Fliszar’s interment followed standard operating procedure. “His next of kin was treated with the same dignity and respect afforded to the next of kin of all USNA grads who desire interment at the Columbarium,” said Jennifer Erickson, a spokesperson for the academy. “We didn’t do anything differently.”
There's more to this great story, hit the link.

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FLORIDA: House GOP Speaker Seeks To Enforce Gay Adoption Ban

Even though district courts have overturned Florida's ban on gay adoption, state House GOP Speaker Dean Cannon wants Gov. Rick Scott to enforce the ban still on the state books.
Cannon said the Legislature may reassert its position affirming the prohibition if that becomes necessary, but is awaiting word whether the Scott administration will continue to enforce the ban. “The tactical calculus is to make a change [in the law] would almost imply that you agree that there was some flaw identified by the Third DCA,” Cannon said of the Legislature’s options after the Third District Court of Appeal overturned the law last year. “Because that’s just in one district, it may make sense to wait and see if that Third DCA opinion is eventually brought up with another case and either overturned or affirmed by the Supreme Court,” he said. “Until we know how the governor and DCF secretary are going to apply it, it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Legislature should step in,” he said. “If we think we should, we’re certainly prepared and willing to do so.” Asked if the governor should enforce the law, Cannon replied, “Absolutely.”
Earlier this month Tea Party-backed Gov. Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott tipped his hand on gay adoption when he appointed an anti-gay adoption activist to head Florida's Department of Children and Families.

(Tipped by JMG reader Robert)

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Taco Bell Fires Back At Ingredients Lawsuit With Superhero Cartoon Series

In response to the lawsuit contending that they don't use what the USDA defines as "beef" in their products, Taco Bell has taken the unusual step of mocking the suit with a series of retro superhero cartoons, a move NPR finds surprisingly amusing.

(Tipped by JMG reader David)

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Too Butch For Asylum

American immigration officials examining the cases of gays seeking asylum here are often denying such requests if the applicants "don't look gay enough" to be persecuted in their home countries.
“Judges and immigration officials are adding a new hurdle in gay asylum cases that an applicant’s homosexuality must be socially visible,” said Lori Adams, a lawyer at Human Rights First, a nonprofit group, who advises people seeking asylum based on sexuality. “The rationale is that if you don’t look obviously gay, you can go home and hide your sexuality and don’t need to be worried about being persecuted.” Jhuan Marrero, 18, who was born in Venezuela but has lived — illegally — in New York since he was 4, said the immigration officer at his asylum interview last week challenged him about his macho demeanor. “I was brought up by my parents to walk and talk like a man,” said Mr. Marrero, who volunteers at the Queens Pride House, a gay and lesbian center in Jackson Heights. “The officer said: ‘You’re not a transsexual. You don’t look gay. How are you at risk?’ I insisted that if I was sent back to Venezuela, I would speak out about being gay and suffer the consequences.”
Some asylum attorneys have advised their clients to appear as flamboyant as possible during their hearings. Adding to the problem is a surge in applicants falsely claiming to be gay in order to escape economic problems in their home countries.

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If Posters Told The Truth

More honest posters for all ten of this year's Best Picture nominees are here.

(Via - Boy Culture)

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Ninth Circuit Court Denies Request To Suspend LCR's DADT Lawsuit

Late yesterday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the federal government's request that they suspend the Log Cabin Republicans' lawsuit seeking the repeal of DADT.
The opposed motion to hold these appeals in abeyance is denied. The briefing schedule is reset as follows: the government's opening brief and excerpts of record are due February 25, 2011; Log Cabin Republicans' answering brief and supplemental excerpts of record are due March 28, 2011; and the government's reply brief is due 14 days after service of the answering brief. The pending motions filed by proposed intervenor Joseph Zernik shall be addressed by separate order.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Maddow Alert

Word is that tonight Rachel Maddow will have a big exclusive story on slain Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato. I'll post clips here immediately afterward.

UPDATE: The Uganda story teased earlier today was obviously bumped for breaking developments in Egypt.

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Obama Speaks On Egyptian Unrest

Not exactly the resounding calling-out of Mubarak that many had hoped for, but still some strong words.

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Mubarak: I Won't Step Down

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak just held a press conference to announce that he will not step down. But he will dissolve the government.
Specifically, Mubarak said that the current government will be forced to resign and he would appoint a new one on Saturday. He gave no indications he himself planned to step down, despite increasing calls for him to do so. The 82-year-old autocrat, who assumed power in Egypt 30 years ago, made the announcement following a day of widespread protests, violence and demonstrations.
CNN reports that Obama administration insiders are not confident that Mubarak will be able to hold power. Meanwhile Egyptian-Americans and ex-pats have begun to hold protest sympathy rallies around the United States, including outside of the White House, where hundreds are gathered at this writing.

UPDATE: Google's usage report shows that internet access in virtually non-existent for Egyptians at the moment.

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HAWAII: Senate Approves Civil Unions!

The Hawaii Senate has just approved its civil unions bill!
The Senate voted 19-6 for the bill Friday, sending it to the state House of Representatives for additional consideration. Hawaii would become the sixth state to grant some of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself. A civil unions bill also passed the Illinois Legislature last month. Democrats, who control the Hawaii Legislature, have said they plan to approve the bill quickly this year and send it to new Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature. Abercrombie has said he supports civil unions.
Suck it, Tony Perkins!

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New Logo

NBC-Universal has a new really boring logo now that their merger with Comcast has been approved. And reviews are, uh, universally scathing. For you graphics geeks out there, Gawker has launched a "redo the new" logo contest.

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INDIANA: Lambda Legal Settles Prom Lawsuit On Behalf Of Trans Student

Lambda Legal has settled its lawsuit against an Indiana school district after a 2006 incident in which a principal physically blocked the door of a high school prom in order to prevent a transgender student from attending in a dress. Via press release:
"Gary School Corporation's new policies and trainings will help to ensure that other students don't face discrimination because of who they are or what they wear," said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office in Chicago. "It is unfortunate that Gary School Corporation has spent almost four years defending a discriminatory policy. The message for schools across the country should be clear - they should adopt and follow dress code policies that respect the rights of all students, and they should let all students attend the school prom without discrimination based on gender identity or expression."
The lawsuit was settled for an "undisclosed amount on terms agreeable to all parties." Finally, some good news today!

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BRITAIN: Deportation Reprieve For Uganda's Brenda Namiggade

Ugandan citizen Brenda Namiggade was already being escorted to London's Heathrow airport tonight when word came that Britain's Home Office had granted a temporary reprieve to her deportation. This comes after gay activists earlier today served UK Home Secretary Theresa May with a petition bearing over 40,000 names.

According to the BBC, some in the British government doubt that Namiggade is actually a lesbian and suspect she is using the claim to stay in the country. Namiggade has repeatedly stated that she is gay and that she fears for her life should she be returned to Uganda.
Her lawyer, Abdulrahman Jafar, said he would argue that Ms Namiggade should be allowed to remain in the UK regardless of her sexuality. "The press coverage about her activities certainly expose her to a real risk if she is to be returned to Uganda," he said. Ms Namigadde, who was held at a detention centre just outside London, has told the BBC's Network Africa programme she was "shaking" with fear at the prospect of returning to Uganda. She said she fled to the UK in 2002 after being beaten and victimised because of her sexuality. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, has said people facing persecution for their sexual orientation in Uganda should be given refugee status in other countries.
According to the head of the UK's Border Agency, an immigration judge had previously ruled Namigadde as "not homosexual."

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Scott Lively: How Do We Know David Kato Wasn't Killed By His Gay Lover?

Keeping with his theme of the inherent murderous violence of gay men, today repulsive anti-gay activist Scott Lively issued a statement raising the possibility that Uganda LGBT activist David Kato was killed by another gay man.
Ugandan homosexual activist David Cato was murdered yesterday in his home. To my knowledge, no one has been arrested for the crime so the motive at this time is purely a matter of conjecture. CNN is reporting that money and clothing had been stolen from his house, which would suggest a run-of-the-mill criminal intent. There is also the possibility that he was killed by a “gay” lover, as was the case with another homosexual activist two weeks ago in New York. Carlos Castro was castrated with a corkscrew by his boyfriend and bled to death in his hotel room.
The Boston Globe calls Lively's statement "feeble and callous." And note that not only does Lively (probably intentionally) misspell Kato's name, he fails to express any regret over the murder. As for police claims that the crime was motivated by robbery, here's what Box Turtle Bulletin's Jim Burroway thinks:
Police are attributing David Kato’s murder to robbery. We’ve seen it often enough elsewhere in Europe and America where local authorities are loathe to investigate hate crimes. The mere fact that items are missing doesn’t mean that a hate crime did not occur. If a homophobe is burning a gay man to death, for example, why not take a watch as a trophy and money to party with later? Yet that’s often enough for police to quickly try to eliminate the stigma of a hate crime in the local community. If police in this country are very resistant to investigate crimes as hate crime even when the evidence for those charges are overwhelming, how can we expect anything different in Uganda?

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2010: Soldier Suicides Vs. Combat Deaths

For the second year in a row, last year the number of U.S. soldiers who killed themselves exceeded those killed in battle.
One of the problems hindering the military's attempt to address soldier suicides is that there's no real rhyme or reason to what kind of soldier is killing himself. While many suicide victims are indeed afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after facing heavy combat in the Middle East, many more have never even been deployed. Of the 112 guardsmen who committed suicide last year, more than half had never even left American soil. "If you think you know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know,” Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli told the Army Times, "because we don't know what it is."

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IsCharlieSheenDead.com

The internet is a cold cruel place sometimes.

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Obama: Your Granny Is Safe

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LOUISIANA: Gay Man Brutally Beaten With Billiards Cue Stick In Hate Crime Attack

Yesterday a 52 year-old gay man suffered grievous facial injuries after a patron at a Shreveport, Louisiana bar attacked him with a billiards cue stick because he is gay. Witnesses say the two men hadn't even spoken before the attack.
Security personnel at the Sandbar held the alleged attacker, William Payne until police arrived. Payne was arrested and charged with attempted 2nd degree murder and the commission of a hate crime. "It was totally 100 percent a hate crime for this sexual orientation," said Sandbar manager Tim Huck. The bar provided police with video surveillance. Huck says it's disturbing, and shows Payne who is a large man, breaking the cue stick over victim John Skaggs' face with one powerful blow. "His hand was all the way back, and he's swinging like a baseball bat, after three aggressive steps in," said Huck. Shreveport police believe that the video will be powerful evidence of the alleged attack, and management at the Sandbar believes it will also help distinguish between a crime and a hate crime. "At no point in time had he talked to the man that attacked him, bumped him. After watching the video and from witnesses they hadn't even made any form of eye contact or anything," said Huck.
The bar manager says the victim was a regular patron who "never bothers anyone."

(Tipped by JMG reader Rick)

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DOMA AMICUS BRIEFS: Who's Who In
Vile Anti-Gay American Hate Groups

GLAD has posted a round-up of the anti-gay groups who have filed DOMA amicus briefs in their case, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management.
Agudath Israel of America
American College of Pediatricians [FAKE]
Attorneys General of SC, UT, IN, MI, CO
Concerned Women for America
Congressman Lamar Smith
Eagle Forum
Family Research Council
Foundation for Moral Law
Robert George
George Goverman
Liberty Counsel
Massachusetts Family Institute
NARTH
National Legal Foundation
National Organization for Marriage
Pacific Justice Institute
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
National Association of Evangelicals

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NARTH Files DOMA Amicus Brief

The luggage-lifters at NARTH have the hilarious nerve to file a DOMA amicus brief after their now-disgraced leader went on a ten day European vacation with a lithe young Latino hottie rentboy.

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SF Giants Pitcher Brian Wilson For Xbox

San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson, who gained positive notice here for his dyed-black World Series beard, appeared on Lopez Tonight yesterday to promote his new Xbox game. Which wouldn't be very interesting except that it's Brian Wilson, who always brings the crazy. Feels like he's angling for a post-baseball career in comedy, yeah? Stick around for the game trailer at the end.

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Tweet Of The Day - Robert Gibbs

As we saw last year in Iran, the roles of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube cannot be underestimated in these things.

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Hillary Clinton Calls For Calm In Egypt, Backs Right Of Protesters To Gather


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EGYPT: Police Battle Protesters With Tear Gas On Bridge Over Nile


UPDATE: In an interesting development since the above video was made, protesters are now embracing and welcoming the Egyptian army, which has just been deployed. This underscores the possibility of the military taking over the government.

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Maggie Gallagher: Ladies, Butt Sex Is The Wrong Way To Please Your Man

"Anal sex is painful, unsanitary, unsatisfying for women, and creates unique risks for serious physical diseases (if you doubt me, go read the Wikipedia entry on the subject) because the anus is not designed for sexual intercourse, increasing the risk of torn flesh and the intermingling of bodily fluids -- blood, semen, fecal matter -- that can spread an astonishing variety of diseases. The female partner is far more at risk than the man in these encounters. This should be a feminist issue. But women are doing it to please their boyfriends. Because we have created a sexual culture that empowers young males (even as it stunts their incentives to grow to become successful, confident and happy family men) and disempowers women." - Maggie Gallagher, in a Real Clear Politics column against abortion.

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BRITAIN: Activists Hold Kato Vigil Outside London's Uganda High Commission

LGBT activists staged a vigil for David Kato outside of London's Uganda High Commission today, after which they delivered a 40,000-name petition to UK Home Secretary Theresa May, demanding that Britain not send lesbian asylum-seeker Brenda Namigadde back to Uganda. Namigadde says she fears that she too will be murdered if forced to return. Add your name to the petition here.

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UGANDA: Pastor Shouts Against Gays At Kato Funeral, Fights Break Out

Hundreds gathered at the funeral for slain Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato today, where fights broke out after the pastor conducting the ceremony raged against homosexuals.
"The world has gone crazy," the pastor told the congregation through a microphone. "People are turning away from the scriptures. They should turn back, they should abandon what they are doing. You cannot start admiring a fellow man." Gay activists, wearing T-shirts featuring Kato's face with sleeves coloured with the gay pride flag, then stormed the pulpit and grabbed the microphone. "It is ungodly," the pastor shouted, before being blocked from sight. An unidentified female activist then began to shout from the pulpit. "Who are you to judge others?" she shouted. "We have not come to fight. You are not the judge of us. As long as he's gone to God his creator, who are we to judge Kato?" Locals intervened on the side of the pastor and scuffles broke out before he was taken away to Kato's father's house to calm the situation.
Villagers then refused to bury Kato's coffin, forcing his gay friends to carry it to the gravesite where they buried it themselves. One activist lamented: "After we had read statements from everybody, including Obama, after all the nice things friends said about David, that this man could stand up and throw dirt at someone who should be resting in peace. It's just disgusting."

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BRITAIN: Two Men Charged Under New Anti-Gay Hatred Incitement Law

Two British men have been charged with violating a new law against inciting anti-gay hatred.
Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, were accused of handing out leaflets called ‘The Death Penalty?’ outside a Derby mosque. It reportedly said that gay people should be executed and the pair are also accused of pushing it through letterboxes. The pair were reportedly arrested after a tip-off from a member of the public. If convicted at a crown court, they could face up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine. They will appear before magistrates today. This is the first time anyone has been prosecuted for inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The new law matched similar legislation against inciting racial and religious hatred.

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CockNBullKid- Hold On To Your Misery

Lots of buzz on this oddly affecting tune from Britain's Anita Blay, aka CocknBullKid. The single is already on sale in the UK and comes out here on March 11th. The UK iTunes page has some great sounding remixes.

(Via - Pop In Stereo)

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FRANCE: Constitutional Court Rules Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal

This morning France's highest court let stand a ban on same-sex marriage. The case had been brought by a lesbian couple raising four children.
In its decision, the Council noted that lawmakers had agreed that the "difference in situations of same-sex couples and couples made up of a man and a woman can justify a difference in treatment concerning family rights." "It is not up to the Constitutional Council to substitute its appreciation for that of lawmakers," the body said. It noted that its job is to simply rule on whether a measure abides by the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the French Constitution. In this case, it ruled that the articles in question are, indeed, "in conformity with the constitution." Cestino and Hasslauer have sought the right to wed. "It is not so much about getting married, but about having the right to get married," Cestino, a pediatrician, said in an interview this week. "So, that is what we are asking for: Just to be able, like anyone else, to choose to get married or not."
The court's ruling noted that France's parliament is free to make new laws on the issue.

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Riots Worsen In Egypt

The Egyptian government has cut off internet access in Cairo as unrest worsens on the third straight day of rioting.

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25 Years Ago Today

Where were you on this day in 1986?

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Obama Names Open Lesbian Roberta Achtenberg To Civil Rights Commission

Gay rights attorney and former San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg has been appointed by the president to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Achtenberg co-founded the National Center for Lesbian Rights and was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1990. In 1993, she became the first openly gay or lesbian person to be confirmed for a federal appointment when the Senate approved President Bill Clinton's nomination of Achtenberg as assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has served on the Cal State Board of Trustees since 2000.
RELATED: In 1995 Achtenberg left the above-mentioned HUD position to unsuccessfully run for mayor of San Francisco. And I voted for her even though her campaign worker totally ruined my bought-that-day suede jacket with a big sticker.

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The Official State Of Utah

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Protect Marriage Maryland Explains "Counterfeit Gay Marriage"

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Lawrence O'Donnell On Utah's State Gun

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Pastor Jim Garlow: This Is What Obama Should Have Said At His SOTU

"I have tragically hastened to destroy the No. 1 preserver of all that is good in society – the family, consisting of a mother and a father. In my need to be politically correct, and my desire to garner more votes from the nuclear family attackers, I was drawn in to their errors and sins of redefining the family. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

"I have helped to demoralize the military that defends us. I ran roughshod over 59% of the US Marines when I forced my social experimentation upon them, coercing them to accept lifestyles as normative, with no thought of troop readiness and cohesion. I was drawn in to the errors, lies and sins of political correctness, at the expense of truth. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness." - Manhattan Declaration co-author Pastor Jim Garlow, from his reimagining of the State Of The Union Address, were the president not a Marxist Kenyan friend-to-sodomites.

RELATED: In the past Garlow has announced that Satan loves gay marriage, that God passed Prop 8 because he fasted, and that the nation's Christians should pick up a musket and rise against homosexuals.

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Chris Matthews On Sarah Spudnut

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CDC Issues Interim PrEP Guidance

Last last year researchers announced some success in preventing HIV among gay men who were taking a daily dose of the HIV medication Truvada. The concept of warding off infection by pre-dosing with a medication is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP.) But alarmed by the prospect for abuse, yesterday the CDC issued some interim PReP guidance as studies continue.
CDC says it wanted to fend off improper use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (or, more catchily, PrEP) as it and other agencies work on more detailed guidelines, which will take “several months.” It says that the drug should only be used in men who have sex with men, since studies in other high-risk groups such as IV drug users are still underway. And it should be used only in high-risk men (with multiple partners or partners from an area with a high prevalence of HIV infection), who are most likely to benefit. Also, the drug isn’t the equivalent of the morning-after pill for HIV; it’s meant to be taken daily. “Support for adherence to the prescribed medication regimen must be a routine component” of PrEP, the CDC says. (In the study, the risk of HIV infection was reduced just 21% in men whose adherence was less than 90%, compared to a 73% lower risk of infection for those with adherence of 90% or better.) And other preventive measures, such as condom use, should continue to be taken.
The wholesale cost of Truvada in the United States is $1000 for a month's supply, a cost unlikely to be covered by insurance when the drug is used as a preventive. In some countries, Truvada costs as little as $12/month.

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HomoQuotable - Alan Chambers

"The leadership of Exodus international and its member ministries are grieved over the tragic murder of Ugandan gay activist David Kato and we send our sincerest condolences to his family & friends. [snip] Exodus International calls on President & Mrs. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to lead their government into an era of treating all of their neighbors as they would like to be treated. It is abominable that a nation with Christian leadership would endorse or allow anyone to be brutally murdered. In the words of Jesus Himself, those who are without sin cast the first stone. Exodus International condemns the murder of David Kato and calls for justice to be fairly applied, not covered up, when the murderers are caught." - Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, whose board of directors member Don Schmierer is one of the three American evangelicals blamed for the explosion in anti-gay violence and legislation in Uganda.

(Via - Box Turtle Bulletin)

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Fred Karger Vs. NOM

Fred Karger's Californians Against Hate have rebranded themselves as Rights Equal Rights as Karger takes his battle against NOM to New Hampshire.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rahm Emanuel Back On Ballot

This afternoon the Illinois Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Rahm Emanuel has met the residency requirements to run for mayor of Chicago.
The justices said Emanuel's opponents did not prove that he had given up residency when he served in the Obama administration in Washington. "Given the record before us, it is simply not possible to find clearly erroneous the (Chicago Board of Elections') determination that the objectors failed to prove that the candidate had abandoned his Chicago residence," the court ruled in a unanimous decision. "We therefore reverse the decision of the appellate court and affirm the decision of the circuit court, which confirmed the Board's decision."
Homocon blogger Kevin DuJan must be positively quivering with rage. Heh.

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Obama Condemns Uganda Murder

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David's work. At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. [snip]

"LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all." - President Barack Obama, via White House press release.

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Jes - Awaken

Lovely solo effort from former Motorcycle vocalist Jes Brieden, whom you may recall from their 2003 smash As The Rush Comes.

(Via - Pop In Stereo)

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Bill Donohue: Gay Activism Gives You AIDS

"The man who made the vile video died of AIDS. Had he followed the teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality, he would be alive today. Instead, he blamed the Church. [snip] It was not the Catholic Church that killed the artist, David Wojnarowicz: it was gay activists, many of whom are in the artistic community. They were the ones who demanded that the bathhouses be kept open, even as their brothers were dying left and right. To exploit this tragedy any longer is sick. Catholicism is the answer, not the problem." - Catholic League president Bill Donohue, complaining that those Jews at the New York Times are exploiting the Smithsonian censorship scandal.

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AFA: Still Rewriting AP Headlines

Right Wing Watch notes that the American Family Association is continuing its practice of rewriting Associated Press headlines on the news feed it publishes on OneNewsNow.

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MY NAME IS AVA: Tea Party Launches Bizarre Animated News Reporter

Christian Newswire has the press release:
Tea Party News Brief, LLC, headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, is the nation's first nonpartisan news service for the Tea Party Movement. The Tea Party News Brief launches the News Brief Animated News Show to provide weekly policy analyses on the 112th Congress for the Tea Party Movement. This weekly animated news program can be seen on www.teapartynewsbrief.com. This week's episode is "State of the Union Night."

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Clinton Condemns Uganda Murder

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a lengthy condemnation of the murder of Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato.
We are profoundly saddened by the loss of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato, who was brutally murdered in his home near Kampala yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues. We urge Ugandan authorities to quickly and thoroughly investigate and prosecute those responsible for this heinous act. [snip] This crime is a reminder of the heroic generosity of the people who advocate for and defend human rights on behalf of the rest of us -- and the sacrifices they make. And as we reflect on his life, it is also an occasion to reaffirm that human rights apply to everyone, no exceptions, and that the human rights of LGBT individuals cannot be separated from the human rights of all persons. Our ambassadors and diplomats around the world will continue to advance a comprehensive human rights policy, and to stand with those who, with their courage, make the world a more just place where every person can live up to his or her God-given potential. We honor David’s legacy by continuing the important work to which he devoted his life.
The Advocate has the complete statement.

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