Thursday, May 28, 2015

SPONSORED POST FROM THE CDC
Live Well With HIV By Seeking Treatment

An important message from the CDC:  More than 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV. Approximately 168,000 of those people have never been diagnosed. Additionally, more than 50% of those infected with HIV are not being treated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) knows that the key way to help people living with HIV to achieve longer, healthier lives is by getting people the proper medical care they need in order to lower the levels of HIV in the body. Not only does viral suppression facilitate life spans that are near normal, but it inhibits transmission of HIV to others.

And only 30% of those living with HIV have achieved viral suppression. That number could be raised to 76% by getting people the proper care they need. People tend to avoid seeking care because of poor access, cost of pharmaceuticals, a lack of knowledge about treatments, and stigma attached to HIV, but the CDC's study shows how vitally important it is to get people tested for HIV, and into care as soon as possible once diagnosed.

In fact, a 20-year-old diagnosed with HIV who gets the proper medical treatment adds an average of nearly 40 years to his or her life. Treatment works, and that's the message of the CDC's campaign which is informed by the input of more than 100 people living with HIV.
No matter what your HIV status is, talk can still be the perfect foreplay. Start Talking. Stop HIV., CDC's national campaign created by and for gay and bisexual men, promotes open communication about HIV prevention among sexual partners and encourages men in all types of relationships to talk about: HIV testing, their HIV status, condom use, and medicines that help prevent and treat HIV. For conversation starters, visit the CDC's campaign site and Start Talking in an effort to Stop HIV among gay and bisexual men. Join the conversation on Facebook at Starting Talking, Stop HIV.


To read more about how HIV treatment works, visit the CDC's website to find out how to get in care, stay in care, live well, and find the resources and social services providers that will help you achieve viral suppression and live a longer, healthier life.

THIS WAS A SPONSORED POST FROM THE CDC.

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Broadway Cares Salutes Cyndi Lauper, Donates $150K To True Colors Fund

Clip recap:
From Executive Director Tom Viola: I had the pleasure of dropping by the stage door of the Hirschfeld Theatre this week to join the cast of Kinky Boots in presenting Cyndi Lauper with a “big check” representing the $150,000 donated to True Colors Fund by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS from the more than $1.2 million in resources raised by the show since it opened in April 2013. Broadway Cares salutes Cyndi and True Colors Fund for everything they have done to advance equality for all and, in doing so, helping to end homelessness for gay and transgendered youth. “You change the world when you change your mind!” But our voices are stronger and the change embraces us all when we stand together.

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Former GOP US House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted On Banking Charges

Via Chicago's WGN-TV:
Federal prosecutors have indicted former U.S. House Speaker House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges. According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office was 73-year-old Hastert was charged “with structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000, and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his withdrawals.” According to the indictment, in 2010, Hastert agreed to provide Individual A $3.5 million in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A. From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew a total of approximately $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to Individual A.
RELATED: Hastert holds the record for longest-serving GOP House Speaker at 8 years. He retired in 2007. In 2006 Rolling Stone rated him as one of the worst members of Congress ever. He also allegedly had a role in covering up the page scandal that ultimately brought down Rep. Mark Foley.

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Funny Or Die Vs The Duggar Family

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BREAKING: NC Gov. Pat McCrory To Veto Magistrates Marriage Refusal Bill

"I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2." - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, via press release. Now we wait for an override attempt.

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Jonathan Saenz Has The Texas Sadz

Nearly two dozen anti-LGBT bills failed in the Texas legislature in recent months. Now that the hate clock has run out, Texas Values head Jonathan Saenz is blaming the Texas Chamber of Commerce, which came out against several of the bills.

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Family Duggar Research Duggar Council: What To Do If SCOTUS Rules Against Us

Next month the Family Duggar Research Duggar Council Duggar Duggar will hold a symposium Duggar on the "appropriate response" Duggar if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage. That should be fun! Duggar! Notice that three-times divorced "Dr." Alveda King is one of the panel experts. PS: Josh Duggar.

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Poland Again Rejects Civil Unions

By a vote of 215-146, Polish lawmakers have rejected placing a civil unions bill on the agenda for the coming legislative session.  Nearly 100 legislators reportedly abstained or refused to vote. This is the fourth consecutive year that such an action was rejected. The 2013 attempt to pass a civil partnerships bill failed to advance by 17 votes. The head of the Campaign Against Homophobia today said, "We are lied to by politicians – mostly conservative – who say that Poland is not ready for civil partnerships, let alone same-sex marriage."

RELATED: The European Union currently has 28 members. Same-sex marriage is legal in twelve of them: Belgium, Denmark, Finland (effective 2017), France, Ireland (effective later this year) Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia (effective date pending), Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland.)  Civil unions are legal in seven EU nations: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia (effective 2016), Germany, Hungary, and Malta. No partnership recognitions exist in nine EU nations: Bulgaria, Cyprus*, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.  (*A civil unions bill advanced in Cyprus early this month.)

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One Million Moms Vs Fox Network

Just in via email:
FOX has plans in 2016 to air "Lucifer," a new series which will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh. The series will focus on Lucifer portrayed as a good guy, "who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell." He resigns his throne, abandons his kingdom and retires to Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals. At the same time, God's emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld. Previews of the pilot episode depict graphic acts of violence, a nightclub featuring scantily-clad women and a demon. TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to FOX Network, urging them to drop plans to air "Lucifer."
The trailer looks pretty good. And Satan is hot.

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Pat Robertson: Gay Men Want Your Kids

The viewer who submitted the above question didn't say how old her son is, just that he lives with her. But that instantly makes the other man a pedophile according to loony tunes Pat Robertson.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Magistrates Refusal Bill Passes House In 66-44 Vote

The Campaign For Southern Equality reacts:
"It is shameful that this bill has passed our legislature. It is nothing more than state sanctioned discrimination and a naked attempt to make a political statement without much care for how it hurts and demeans others. To be certain, if this bill becomes law, it will invite a new round of court challenges. Ultimately, like Amendment 1, this law will fail,” says Luke Largess of Charlotte-based Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and lead counsel in General Synod of the UCC v. Reisinger, the lawsuit that struck down Amendment One last October.

“This discriminatory bill treats gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens and distorts the true meaning of religious freedom. We urge Governor McCrory to veto this discriminatory bill. We have the freedom to practice religion in our place of worship and to hold private beliefs. But as Americans, we’ve agreed that we will be governed by the principles of equality and fairness in our public and civic life. Senate Bill 2 is discriminatory and rooted in animus - it must not become law,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
Equality North Carolina is urging citizens to contact Gov. McCrory.

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Hulu Yanks Duggar Family Show

RELATED: At least a dozen major companies have pulled their advertising from TLC, but the network has not yet formally announced a cancellation.

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Fox Panel Goes Nuts Over Marco Rubio's Ridiculous Claim That Christians Will Soon Face Hate Speech Charges

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Headline Of The Day

Seriously? Details.

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MTA Launches Subway Simulator Game

New York City's Second Avenue subway line has been under construction for most of the time I've lived on the Upper East Side. The line doesn't open until late next year (allegedly) but today the MTA has launched a simulator game of sorts at its information center on 85th Street.
The simulated journey starts on the tail tracks north of the new 96th Street station and enables the virtual operator to guide the train through the tunnels, stopping at the 96th, 86th and 72nd Street stations. Virtual operators with the best times in making the complete journey will be able to post their initials on the leader board, but beware, breaking the rules and erratic driving add time to the score. Passing a red light, speeding, overshooting the platform and enabling the wrong doors to open are among the actions that will add time to the score. Stopping or accelerating abruptly will cause the passenger mood indicator to drop, which also can add time to the score, while a positive passenger mood will subtract time. The three new stations in the simulation were created using renderings as well as the actual materials being used in their construction, so the texture of floor and wall tiles and other materials are replicated in the virtual stations as closely as possible to how they will look when completed.
The first phase of the Second Avenue line is expected to carry 200,000 passengers daily and (slightly) reduce the insane overcrowding on the Lexington line, which famously carries more passengers every day than the entire combined rail systems of Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago.

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HomoQuotable - Armistead Maupin

"I'm the only gay man I know who has never been to Fire Island. I have not made a point of staying away -- its charms are legendary, of course -- but the occasion has simply never presented itself. Now, it's quite likely that I will remain forever virginal in that regard. Or at least until these guys are no longer collecting money at the dock. When I coined the term 'A-gay' forty years ago, these were just the sort of creeps I had in mind. It was never intended as something to aspire to." - Armistead Maupin, reacting to this New York Times profile of hoteliers Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass. (Tipped by JMG reader Aaron)

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George Pataki Announces 2016 Bid

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Rick Santorum Announces 2016 Bid

Via Yahoo Politics:
Conservative culture warrior Rick Santorum launched a 2016 White House bid on Wednesday, vowing to fight for working-class Americans in a new election season that will test his influence — and focus on social issues — in a changing Republican Party. The former Pennsylvania senator may have exceeded his own expectations by scoring a second-place finish in the race for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago. Yet as he enters a more powerful and diverse 2016 field, he may struggle even to qualify for the debate stage in his second run. "I am proud to stand here, among you and for you, the American workers who have sacrificed so much, to announce that I am running for president of the United States," the 57-year-old senator said, flanked by factory workers and six of his seven children in a cinderblock warehouse near his western Pennsylvania hometown. "The last race, we changed the debate. This race, with your help and God's grace, we can change this nation."
Take back America! USA! USA!

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Comcast Donates $1.5M In PSA Airtime For LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration

Via press release:
Organizers announced today that Comcast Corporation is the lead marketing sponsor of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. Comcast is providing $1.5 million worth of airtime to broadcast a 30-second National LGBT 50th Anniversary public service announcement (PSA). “Comcast NBCUniversal is a longstanding supporter of national and regional LGBT organizations. We are grateful to Comcast NBCUniversal for its generous support of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. Through Comcast’s support, the 50th Anniversary PSA will be the most broadcast LGBT television PSA in history,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Chair, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. “The PSA commemorates the launch of the organized LGBT movement at Independence Hall, civil rights progress, and shared American values." The organized LGBT civil rights movement was launched when activists from New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations for equality each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969. When 40 activists picketed in front of Independence Hall in 1965, it was the largest demonstration for gay equality in world history.
Philadelphia's Annual Reminder Day was launched by pioneering activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings. The celebration runs from July 2nd - July 5th and most events are free. Learn more here.

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AFA Money Begs For DC Radio Station


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FEDS: Start HIV Treatment Immediately

The federal government has halted a large clinical trial on early HIV treatment because results already in conclusively show that newly diagnosed patients do best if they start on anti-retroviral therapy immediately. Via the New York Times:
The study was stopped more than a year early because preliminary data already showed that those who got treatment immediately were 53 percent less likely to die during the trial or develop AIDS or a serious illness than those who waited. The study is strong evidence that early treatment saves more lives, the officials said. Fewer than 14 million of the estimated 35 million people infected with H.I.V. around the world are on treatment now, according to U.N.AIDS, the United Nations AIDS-fighting agency. In the United States, only about 450,000 of the estimated 1.2 million with H.I.V. are on treatment, according to the Centers for “This is another incentive to seek out testing and start therapy early, because you will benefit,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, which sponsored the trial. “The sooner, the better.”
Many HIV/AIDS advocacy groups have long said that treatment should start immediately. New York City's Department of Health began advising immediate treatment in 2011.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Marriage Refusal Bill For Magistrates Nears Final Approval

Via the Associated Press:
North Carolina legislators neared final approval Wednesday on legislation allowing some North Carolina court officials to opt out of same-sex marriage duties based on "sincerely held religious" objections. The House, in a largely party-line vote of 65-45, gave its tentative support to let magistrates and some registers of deeds employees have the option, but they would have to stop performing all marriage duties — for gay and heterosexual couples. The Senate has already approved the bill, which came from Republicans after gay marriage was legalized in North Carolina last October. The measure now needs just one more House vote scheduled for Thursday before it goes to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. He's expressed opposition to the religious exemption idea but hasn't said whether he would veto it.
Supporters of the bill claim that no gay couples would be turned away because other state employees will step in to issue licenses and officiate weddings. Democrats oppose any inconvenience to applicants. The final vote is today.

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HAWAII: State Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To 2013 Marriage Equality Law

Via the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge led by State Rep. Bob McDermott to the state’s Marriage Equality Act. Ruling that McDermott and other plaintiffs were not harmed or injured by the 2013 law, Supreme Court justices said they had no standing to challenge the law, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office. “The most important part of the Supreme Court’s ruling was its conclusion that the Legislature’s decision to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples did not, in any way, diminish the right to marry’ for the plaintiffs or anyone else,” said Attorney General Doug Chin, quoting the opinion.
You may recall that it was McDermott who led the so-called "people's filibuster" against the marriage bill during its debate in the state legislature.

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TEXAS: GOP Effort To Defy SCOTUS On Gay Marriage Dies For Current Session

Via the Associated Press:
Divisive efforts by Texas Republicans to defy the U.S. Supreme Court if same-sex marriage is legalized ended Wednesday night with conservative finger-pointing and opponents feeling relieved. The first session under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will end next week without a measure that gay rights activists considered one of the harshest in any U.S. statehouse: restrictions that would prohibit government officials from giving marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Senate deadline for passing bills was midnight Wednesday. But with less than four hours to go — likely enough time for Democrats to run out the clock if the bill came up — the proposal was dropped. Republicans instead only passed a resolution that reaffirmed their belief of marriage being between a man and a woman. "Good legislation was sacrificed, but appropriately so to see this language fail," said Democratic state Rep. Garnet Coleman, whose unrelated bill was used by the Senate to carry the marriage-license amendment. "It is offensive to my constituents, it's offensive to me, and it's offensive to our constitution."
Texas Values has the sadz.

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Larry Wilmore On The Duggar Scandal


(Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ALABAMA: House Kills LGBT Rights Bill

Via the Montgomery Advertiser:
A House committee Wednesday killed a bill that would have banned discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Christopher England, D-Tuscaloosa [PHOTO], would have added the classes to state protections against discrimination in employment, housing, accommodations, financial transactions and voting. “I believe in order to protect those classifications, they need to be enumerated,” England told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon. “There is some case history that if it’s not enumerated, it’s not protected.” The committee voted to carry it over, killing it for the remainder of the session. Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, who moved to have it carried over, said he “did not want anyone discriminated against,” but said that he had concerns about how the legislation would interact with existing statutes in Alabama. “It’s creating a new protected class that our nation does not recognize, much less Alabama,” he said. “When you are talking about those types of issues, this is much larger than marriage. This is far broader than that.”
Rep. Patricia Todd, the state's only openly gay legislator, reacted: "We haven’t passed any bad legislation, and that’s great. Alabama is further ahead than Arkansas, Texas and other states. But now it’s time to move forward with some positive legislation that protects people in the workplace, and that’s what this bill would do."

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NEW YORK CITY: Panti Bliss To Perform Five Shows At Irish Arts Center

Via press release:
On the heels of the recent Marriage Equality referendum in Ireland, Irish Arts Center is proud to present Ireland's High Queen, National Treasure, Performance Giant and Accidental Activist Panti in her smash-hit comedy show, High Heels in Low Places. Brought to New York City by Irish production company THISISPOPBABY, High Heels in Low Places runs at Irish Arts Center (553 West 51st St, New York) for five nights from Monday June 8th until Saturday, June 13th with an official opening on Tuesday, June 9th at 7:30 pm. Performances are Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 pm and Friday-Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets are from $15 and can be booked online or by calling 866-811-4111. [Photo credit: Conor Horgan]

High Heels in Low Places is Panti’s riotous stand-up show about life after “Pantigate,” which played to rave reviews and chock-a-block houses across Ireland. Critics called it “Hilarious” (Hotpress) and “a wickedly funny evening” (Irish Independent) with “impeccable one-liners” (The Evening Herald). Charting brushes with infamy, near misses with fame, and adventures in the seedy underbelly, the High Queen of Ireland invites you in to her ultra-padded, hyper-real, stiletto-shaped world, as she swaps stories from the gutter and trades secrets of the stars.
Get your tickets here. I'll be there on opening night.

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NEBRASKA: Legislature Overrides Pete Ricketts' Veto Of Death Penalty Repeal

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Quote Of The Day - Daniel O'Donnell

"As for many, there is a deeply personal element to this historic victory for me. I am very recognizably Irish-American, from my face to my name, but until these last few weeks, I have often felt that I don’t belong. Last month I was invited to Ireland by the Lawyers for Yes Campaign to help kick off the final weeks of advocacy. As the legislative sponsor of Marriage Equality in New York State, I shared my experience on the fight to achieve equal rights. Irish people from all over the world returned home to vote in this election. I returned to the birthplace of my family to help in any way I could. I feel proud to be Irish in a new way today after the people of Ireland declared that one can be Irish and gay and recognized in loving same-sex relationships. Thank you, Ireland, for voting for another step toward universal human rights for all." - New York Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, in a letter published today by the New York Times.

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Fox News Ignores Duggar Scandal

Read more at Media Matters.

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Feds to Induct Gay Rights Pioneer Frank Kameny Into Labor Hall Of Honor

Via press release from the US Department of Labor:
Frank Kameny, who for decades fought to end discrimination in the federal workplace, will be honored by the U.S. Department of Labor in June with an induction to its Hall of Honor. Kameny's legacy as a civil rights leader has made a monumental difference in improving the lives of all workers all across America. A World War II veteran and Harvard-educated doctor of astronomy with the U.S. Army Map Service, Kameny was discharged and barred from federal government employment in 1958 after U.S. Civil Service Commission investigators asked if he was a homosexual.

Kameny fought the injustice, eventually taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied his petition in 1961. The setback led him to become a co-founder of the first gay rights organization in Washington, D.C., and began his tireless fight to force the nation's largest employer — the federal government — to end discrimination in its employment practices based on sexual orientation. "Frank Kameny was a groundbreaking leader in the LGBT civil rights movement. He fought tirelessly to live out his truth and to end workplace discrimination," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "At the Department of Labor we work every day to carry on his legacy and ensure that all workers, no matter who they are or who they love, have equal access to opportunity."
Kameny died at age 86 in 2011. Earlier Hall Of Honor inductees include Ted Kennedy, Bayard Rustin, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, and the 9/11 Rescue Workers. Kameny's ceremony will take place on June 23rd and the Labor Department suggests the Twitter hashtag #ThankFrank. (Tipped by JMG reader Jeremy)

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Pat Robertson: Exorcism Totally Works

But just don't SING to those demons.

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Where Gay Men Are The Happiest

Via the Washington Post:
Planet Romeo, an Amsterdam-based dating and community site, collaborated with the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany to carry out an online survey of 115,000 gay men around the world. They combined rankings on public opinion, public behavior and life satisfaction – how gay men feel about society’s view on homosexuality, how gay men feel they are treated by other people, and how satisfied gay men are with their own lives, respectively – into one worldwide ranking on gay happiness. Iceland tops their list as the country where gay men are the happiest, followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The United States ranks 26th in the list. The 10 worst countries by this ranking are Kazakhstan, Ghana, Cameroon, Iran, Nigeria, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.
Hit the link and scroll down for the full ranking.

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NORTH CAROLINA: House To Vote Today On Same-Sex Marriage Refusal Bill

Follow along at this hashtag.

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Julianne Moore For Lambda Legal

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From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Tipped by JMG reader Mykel)

UPDATE: Urban Dictionary has it too.

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Another Duggar Bombshell: Josh Sued The State Of Arkansas Over DHS Investigation

From In Touch Weekly:
The Josh Duggar molestation case did not end when Springdale, Ark. police closed their investigation in 2006 because the statute of limitations had run out, In Touch Weekly is reporting exclusively. Police referred the matter to the Families in Need of Services agency, which has jurisdiction over minors. The Department of Human Services (DHS) was then brought into the case, In Touch has learned. Nine months after those agencies entered the Duggar molestation case, Josh Duggar sued the Arkansas Department of Human Services. A trial was held on August 6, 2007. The results of the investigation into the Duggars and Josh’s trial are sealed. But a source familiar with the Duggar investigation told In Touch it was likely that Josh “appealed the DHS decision or finding from their investigation.” The source notes that DHS had the authority to apply “restrictions or stipulations about him being at home with the victims."
So it appears that Josh Duggar sued so that he could stay in the family home with his victims. In 2007 he was 19 years old. The Duggars are refusing to comment about the trial. (Tipped by JMG reader Lynda)

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GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel Spokesman Says Same-Sex Marriage Is "Not A Goal Of This Government"

Via Reuters:
Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition agreed on Wednesday to make small changes to same-sex civil partnership rules but staunch opposition from conservatives in her party means Germany will not follow Ireland in allowing gay marriages any time soon. Although there are growing divisions within the party, Merkel's Christian Democrats are still overwhelmingly opposed to same-sex marriages partly due to fears it could upset voters on the right. However, polls show 75 percent of Germans are in favour of legalising gay marriages, as are the Social Democrats (SPD) and all opposition parties. The overwhelming "yes" vote in Ireland for same-sex marriage had triggered a discussion in Germany about the lingering gap in rights between registered partnerships and marriages. "Today was an important milestone in dismantling discrimination and the chancellor is pleased about that," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. "But same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government." "Every country makes its own laws - some countries go one route while others go another," said Seibert, when asked about Ireland. "In Germany we'll take a path that suits Germany."
Merkel was elected to a third term in 2013.

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AUSTRALIA: Opposition Leader Says "Grab The Opportunity" Given By Ireland's Vote

"Bill Shorten believes it's time for marriage equality and that's why he'll introduce a bill into Parliament next Monday."

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From The Duggars' 2011 Book

(Via Christian Nightmares)

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Joe Biden Celebrates Ireland, Calls On More Nations To Improve LGBT Rights

Vice President Joe Biden today published an op-ed in the Advocate, the Washington Blade, and the Irish Times in which he celebrates Ireland's historic vote for same-sex marriage and calls on more nations to improve their own laws on LGBT rights. The White House provides us with the text:
Last weekend, more than 1.2 million Irish voters took a courageous stand for love and family when they overwhelmingly chose marriage equality. They recognized the fundamental truth that every person is entitled to dignity and respect, and that there can be no justification for the denigration or persecution of anyone because of who they love or who they are. I want to thank my good friends Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and Tanaiste Joan Burton, for their forceful leadership and eloquent advocacy on this critical issue.

I cannot improve upon the perfectly Irish statements they made following this historic vote, but I can echo the Taoiseach’s words when he described the Irish as “a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people,” and that their choice will be “heard loudly across the living world as a sound of pioneering leadership.” In 22 years, Ireland has gone from a nation where simply being LGBT was against the law. Now, it is a nation where the people resoundingly stand for equal rights.

And here in the United States, in just the past three years we’ve gone from six states recognizing marriage equality, to 37 states, comprising 224 million Americans. It’s about love. It’s about equality. It’s about dignity. It’s about our most cherished values. That’s what this is about – it’s all it’s ever been about.

There is still work to be done. There are still too many nations that deny people even the right to be safe from violence and severe discrimination, and too many states here in America that allow a person to be fired simply for being lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual. But the progress is undeniable. As advocates in Ireland, the United States and around the world have proven time and again, where there’s passion and commitment, there is opportunity.

I continue to believe that in every corner of the world, people want to do the right thing. You should never underestimate the epiphanies that follow when a culture makes a breakthrough of conscience. But it takes leadership. It takes courageous individuals who are willing to step forward, to turn adversity into positive change, and to truly live the words of the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats: “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.”

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Wikipedia Updates World Marriage Map

As I reported yesterday, Greenland's Parliament has voted to adopt Denmark's laws on same-sex marriage. That vote goes into effect on October 1st, prompting Wikipedia's map monitors to change Greenland's color to mustard, which means "pending." That tiny dot of dark green in the Middle East is Israel and if you squint you'll see that same-sex marriage is also pending in Nepal (although that bill has not yet been presented). Chile is apparently mustard-shaded because in February 2015 the government announced that it was formally dropping its opposition to same-sex marriage. Civil unions were signed into law by Chile's president last month and the marriage bill is expected soon.

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BRITAIN: Queen Announces Referendum On UK Leaving The European Union

Via the Guardian:
Tax freezes, the devolution of power and an EU referendum were all on the agenda as the Queen’s Speech marked the first day of the new parliamentary year. The speech was the Queen’s 64th and the first all Conservative Speech she has given in parliament since 1996, following the party’s majority election victory at the beginning of the month. In the speech written and given to her by Conservative ministers, the Queen outlined the government’s plans in an 9-minute speech. The Queen’s big announcements included the news that there would be a referendum on Britain’s membership to the European Union in 2017, and the government’s “tax lock commitment” that would see a freezing of income tax, value added tax and national insurance for the next five years.

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LAUNCHED: OldNYC.org

From the New York Times:
Before there were Walgreens and frozen yogurt shops, SoulCycle and Thai fusion places, what extinct New York institutions sat on your block? A new website called OldNYC peels away a century’s worth of development and puts you outside coffee shoppes and quarantine hospitals. You might find a trolley running outside your apartment, or a hand-pushed vegetable cart at your corner. The website maps sepia-colored photographs of nearly every block in Manhattan, and has many of the outer boroughs as well. OldNYC is the work of a more modern preservationist: Dan Vanderkam, a software engineer at Mount Sinai’s Hammer Lab. He built OldSF while living in San Francisco, but by the time it went online, he had transplanted to New York. After about 18 months of work, and with help from the public library, OldNYC went public last week.
Check it out here. (And there goes your morning, New Yorkers.) Below is my stretch of Second Avenue back in 1941. Add in a few hundred skyscrapers in the background and it doesn't look all that different.

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IRELAND: Another Celebration Video

We're not tired of these yet, are we? This one is from Dublin's International LGBT Film Festival.  JMG reader Vivian gets the final line in the clip.

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BROOKLYN: Local Tea Party Founder Busted For Possession Of Child Porn

Via the New York Post:
An ultra-conservative one-time Brooklyn city council candidate — whose campaign slogan was “Our children are our future” — has been nabbed for possessing and sharing kiddie porn, prosecutors said Friday. Joseph Hayon, 37, was arrested Thursday and admitted to police that he traded the sick pics of kids between the ages of 2 and 12 in December 2014 using his email account ArtModel@juno.com, according to a criminal complaint. At his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court, prosecutors said a tip led police to search Hayon’s Midwood home, where the stash of child porn was found. Cops confiscated Hayon’s two laptops, five desktops, video camera, Samsung cellphone and one DVD, prosecutors said. He was also slapped with an order of protection Friday barring him from coming in contact with his four children, ages 9, 7, 4 and 15 months. He was released on $50,000 bail.
Hayon is the founder of the Brooklyn Tea Party. He ran for the NYC Council in 2009 and 2013, losing both times. A recap of his 2009 campaign platform reveals that he intended to sponsor legislation ordering NYC to disobey then-Gov. David Patterson's directive for state agencies to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. (How would that have worked, exactly?) Hayon also vowed to "make all public library staff criminally responsible for making any form of electronic obscenity available to minors." Ahem. And then there's the usual Tea Party anti-trans, anti-gay bloviating about indoctrinating children, plus something about requiring that kosher grape juice be made available to people on food stamps. (Tipped by JMG reader Mark)

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Sen. Bernie Sanders Enters 2016 Race

Via USA Today:
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pulled out all the stops Tuesday at his presidential campaign launch in Burlington, as he outlined his role in "a political revolution to transform the country — economically, politically, economically and environmentally." "Brothers and sisters, now is not the time for thinking small," he told a large crowd at Waterfront Park. "Now is not the time for the same old same old. Now is the time for millions of working families to revitalize American democracy." With the backdrop of Lake Champlain and its procession of boats large and small, Sanders vowed to steer the the country away from an economy defined increasingly by income inequality. Not only is the model "profoundly wrong," he said, "it is immoral, bad economics and unsustainable." To the nation's billionaires, Sanders added, "You can't have it all."
Sanders' full speech is below.

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KAZAKHSTAN: Anti-Gay Propaganda Bill Struck Down To Save 2022 Olympics Bid

Via Eurasianet:
Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council has struck down a controversial law that would have outlawed “propaganda” of homosexuality to minors, amid signs the legislation was damaging the country’s bid to host the Winter Olympics. The law was “not in line with the constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan” the Vlast.kz website quoted the Constitutional Council (which rules on the legality of legislation) as saying. The law governed “the protection of children from information causing damage to their health and development." It was passed by parliament in February. The council struck down the law because of unclear wording rather than human rights concerns, the Vlast.kz report said. The announcement came after a group of household-name sports stars urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reject Kazakhstan’s bid to host the Winter Games in Almaty in 2022, arguing that the law outlawing the “propaganda” of homosexuality to minors was incompatible with Olympic principles of equality.
After the October 2014 withdrawal of Oslo, Almaty's only remaining 2022 Olympics rival is Beijing, which hosted the summer games in 2008. The IOC makes its final decision on July 31st. Almaty is Kazakhstan's largest city with a population of 1.5 million.

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Rick Santorum To Make It Official Today

Via Bloomberg:
Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who was the runner-up for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, is expected to announce his plans about a second try for the White House on Wednesday as he works to broaden his appeal beyond his hardline stance on social issues. Santorum, 57, positioned himself in 2012 as the champion of voters opposed to abortion rights and gay marriage. This year, he's emphasized his eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee and foreign policy with the rise of the Islamic State. He's also touting a message of inclusion. “We are not going be successful unless we have a message that talks to the people who are struggling to rise,” Santorum said May 21 at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma. Six candidates already have declared, while former New York Governor George Pataki, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry could announce bids in the coming days. Others, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, are also preparing for the race.
In 2012 Santorum won eleven state primaries.

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Roy Moore: Impeach Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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An American Follows The Yes Campaign

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TEXAS: Lawmaker Vows To Kill His Own Bill Rather Than Allow Anti-Gay "Defy SCOTUS" Marriage Amendment

From the Houston Chronicle:
A Democratic state senator has dredged up anti-gay marriage legislation that advocates thought was dead this session, attaching the language to an uncontroversial county affairs bill under the noses of his fellow Democrats. While gay rights advocates decried the move, the bill's original sponsor in the House said he would never let his legislation pass with the anti-same-sex marriage language in-tact. "I'm the author of the bill. I will resolve the bill," said Rep. Garnet Coleman, D- Houston, a staunch gay marriage advocate.

House Bill 2977, as Coleman originally filed it, was an uncontroversial county affairs placeholder bill, meant to act as a vehicle for lawmakers to ensure important local issues can be passed late in the session. As the bill was headed to the Senate committee for approval this week, however, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. attached a number of other bills to Coleman's legislation, including one that would seek to block a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage.

If the bill passes in the GOP-dominated Senate, which Coleman expects it to, it would need to return to the House, where the lower chamber's members would have to concur with the changes. Coleman said if he can't strip the anti-gay marriage off his legislation, then he would withdraw it completely. "If I can't get it off, then the bill goes to bill heaven," Coleman said. "I don't support that legislation or that language."
BOOM. (Tipped by JMG reader American Putz)

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TEXAS: Hate Group Celebrates Democrat Who Revived "Defy SCOTUS" Bill

Earlier today Texas state Rep. Cecil Bell's bill to super-triple-extra ban same-sex marriage was revived when it was attached as an amendment by Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio. Texas Values is so pleased that they've photoshopped Lucio into the photo of Bell cutting the "celebration" cake marking the tenth anniversary of the Texas ban on same-sex marriage. That anniversary doesn't actually occur until late this year, but Texas Values figured they'd celebrate before SCOTUS hands down its ruling. Not incidentally, Lucio's Wikipedia entry reads very much like he wrote it himself.

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