Thursday, April 24, 2014

HomoQuotable - Robert Oscar Lopez

"Jeremy Hooper, Scott Rose, Straight Grandmother, and the rest of these ridiculous trolls in the gay blogosphere aren't merely incredibly dangerous because they use desperate tactics to distract people from real, serious issues and impose their totalitarian agenda on others through character assassinations and psychological operations. They are also incredibly stupid! [snip] The entire basis for calling me a rising star of the 'anti-gay' movement depends upon a belief that it is anti-gay to protect children's rights against slavery or deprivation of a mother/father. This is why Jeremy Hooper tries his psychological operations routine where he goes to every site remotely involved with me and says 'Robert Oscar Lopez equates same-sex marriage with slavery.' Slavery is defined as purchasing and ownership of human beings as chattel. If you pay a price to someone else for control of a child, you have engaged in human trafficking and are a slaver." - Homocon horcrux Robert Oscar Lopez, who is ever so pissed that gay bloggers kept quoting him verbatim.

RELATED:  Two weeks ago Lopez filed an anti-gay amicus brief in support of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. Last month Lopez declared that gay men are turning surrogate mothers into breeding slaves. Last year, in addition to appearing on stage at an anti-gay Manif Pour Tous rally in France that was supported by neo-Nazis, Lopez has testified against LGBT equality before several state legislatures and he co-signed an anti-gay homocon brief to the Supreme Court in support of DOMA. You really must read the Media Matters take on Lopez' trilogy of gay erotica. 

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The Blood Moon Prophecy Is Coming True!

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Teabaggers Demand That Lying NYT Provide Video Of Bundy's Racist Remarks

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Dana Loesch Defends Cliven Bundy

"First, to take the quote at face value it’s odd and sounds offensive. You’re talking about government overreach and you go into this story? Secondly, I hope no one is surprised that an old man rancher isn’t media trained to express himself perfectly. He seems to be decrying what big government has done to the black family — which big government has negatively affected not just the black family, but all families regardless of ethnicity — so perhaps he included that in his remarks against big government? I’m just trying to figure out how he even got to the point of discussing it and yes, it’s justified to have a healthy suspicion of the New York Times." - Wingnut radio shrieker Dana Loesch, defending Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy for saying that "the Negro" was better off as a cotton picking slave. As you can see, Loesch implies that the New York Times invented Bundy's quote.

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Quote Of The Day - Cliven Bundy

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. In front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do. And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom." - Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who is the current hero of the Tea Party for refusing to pay federal grazing fees.

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, and Todd Starnes have all hailed Bundy for refusing to recognize federal authority over the land where his cattle have grazed for decades. Media Matters writes about Starnes' defense of Bundy:
During an appearance today on the radio program of Republican strategist Alice Stewart, Fox's Todd Starnes championed Bundy as an example of Americans "saying enough is enough" with the federal government. "We do know that the feds returned some of the cattle that they had taken from the Bundy Ranch. What I find interesting, though, Alice, is don't they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada?" Starnes said. "Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle." Starnes later claimed that the Bundy incident shows that "Americans have really reached a boiling point here" and Americans have finally said, 'You know what? We're not going to stand by and let the Constitution be tramped.'" He also took the opportunity to link the situation to the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, stating: "Look at all the government firepower that was out there at that ranch. They had more guns there than they did at the consulate in Benghazi ... if only Ambassador [Christopher] Stevens had been a protected tortoise."
UPDATE: The backpedaling has begun. Sen. Rand Paul: "His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him." Spokesman for Sen. Dan Heller: "Senator Heller completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way."

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NYC Flood Risk: 20X Greater Than 1844

This won't come as a surprise to anybody who lived here during Hurricane Sandy. Via Mashable:
In a sign of the shift to a riskier coastal flood environment in New York, one which is mirrored in many low-lying coastal cities worldwide, the study found that three of the nine highest recorded water levels in the New York Harbor region since 1844 have all occurred since 2010, and eight of the largest 20 such events have occurred since 1990. This is no coincidence, says Stefan Talke, a civil engineer at Portland State University and lead author of the study. The annual probability that a storm, such as a winter nor’easter or a summer hurricane, will overtop the typical Manhattan seawall has increased about 20-fold since 1844, Talke told Mashable, going from less than 1% a year in the 19th century to about 20-25% today. That means that waters can be expected to top the lower Manhattan seawall, which is about 5.7 feet high — once every four to five years, according to a summary from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). That's up from once every 100-400 years back in the late 19th century.
Last year former Mayor Bloomberg proposed a $20B plan to bolster the city's seawalls. The plan calls for an extensive network of barriers, levees, and bulkheads along parts of the city's 520 miles of waterfront. Also proposed are inflatable plugs for tunnel entrances. Mayor De Blasio had not yet indicated if he will follow through.

RELATED: I took the below photo of the eight-lane FDR at the end of my block just after Sandy had passed.

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PolitiFact Rates Ralph Reed's Claims About Gay Parenting As Totally False

On Sunday, Ralph Reed appeared on ABC's This Week to declare that social science has found "irrefutable" proof that children are better off being raised by a mom and a dad. PolitiFact has rated his claims as totally false.
We did find one study funded by conservative organizations as showing gay parents are worse than straight ones, but it’s been denounced by the American Sociological Association, the researcher’s own university and many reputable sociologists. In conducting the study, Mark Regnerus loosely defined same-sex couples and, in doing so, only spoke with two children who were actually raised by gay parents. Research is still limited, but many reputable studies so far have concluded that children of gay parents, generally speaking, are just as well off as children of straight parents. What’s more important is the number of parents a child has, experts told us. "Kids are better off with two parents," said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University. "But we don't have much evidence that those parents must be of the opposite gender."
Their final ruling: "All reputable research so far indicates that children brought up by gay parents are just well off as those brought up by straight parents. We rate Reed’s statement False."

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Popular Christian Musician Backs Gay Marriage, Backlash Already Underway

Jars Of Clay vocalist Dan Haseltine has been tweeting numerous messages of support for same-sex marriage this week and anti-gay crackpots like Michael Brown are furious.
This really boggles the mind. When you’re sliding down a dangerous slippery slope, you don’t say, “Give me one good reason we’re in danger, other than the fact that we’re careening down this deadly slope.” No. You grab hold of something to stop your fall and then figure out how to climb back to solid ground. Does this gifted artist not realize that the only reason we’re talking about redefining marriage today is because we are well down that slope already? This is the day of full-blown incestuous relationships on popular TV shows like Game of Thrones; of other shows glorifying polyamory (married and dating!), polygamy (from Big Love to Sister Wives to My Five Wives), and teen pregnancy; of news reports about the “wedding” of three lesbians. It is the day of almost half of all first-time American mothers having their babies out of wedlock, with cohabitation rates up more than 700% since 1960, and it is against this backdrop that talk of same-sex “marriage” has become prominent. Do we really want to accelerate the destruction of marriage?
Jars Of Clay have won three Grammys for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. (Tipped by JMG reader Chris)

UPDATE: More about the story from MetroWeekly.

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Jason Collins Lands Inside Cover Of TIME

Chelsea Clinton has written a Jason Collins profile for TIME's most influential people issue. Via Today:
TIME magazine unveiled its 11th annual “Time 100 Most Influential People in the World” issue on Thursday, with major — and controversial — figures from music, movies and the political world filling up a large portion of the list. Superstar Beyonce Knowles-Carter is on the cover of the popular issue, and subsequent inside covers feature actor Robert Redford, Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly gay athlete, and General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Other honorees include actress Amy Adams, Amazon founder and The Washington Post’s newest owner Jeff Bezos, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Pope Francis, actress Christy Turlington Burns, potential presidential candidate and grandmother-to-be Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, Late Night host Seth Meyers, country singer Carrie Underwood, “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams, Russian President Vladimir Putin and singer Miley Cyrus, making it possibly the first time Putin and Cyrus have had something in common.
Inside covers are a thing? (Tipped by JMG reader RKK)

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Who's On Newsies?

Two of the kids from Newsies performed a Broadway take on the classic Abbott & Costello bit during the Broadway Cares Easter Bonnet shows this week. Every year Broadway casts raise money for Equity Fights AIDS during their their curtain calls for the six weeks leading up to the Easter Bonnet shows.
The generosity of theatre fans during six weeks of fundraising by 57 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies helped push the 28th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition to another record high, raising $4,532,129 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway veterans Idina Menzel and Denzel Washington joined newcomers Bryan Cranston and Fran Drescher on April 21, 2014, to announce the final total following the finale of two stunning Easter Bonnet Competition shows filled with song, dance, comedy and 17 elaborate, creative, custom-made bonnets. Since the Easter Bonnet Competition began in 1987, the event has raised more than $58 million for Broadway Cares. Last year's event raised $4,250,542.
More great performances in the bottom clip.

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Duck Sauce - NRG

These guys had a huge club hit in 2010 with Barbra Streisand. And if you haven't seen their freaky video for 2011's Big Bad Wolf, you might not want to watch it at work. Stereogum reviews the clip below:
A-Track and Armand Van Helden of Duck Sauce inject their sense of humor into their entire collaboration, and the duo’s new infomercial-inspired video for “NRG” is no exception. While the group’s dance track plays, an infomercial (starring Jon Daly from Kroll Show/Red Hot Chili Peppers) demonstrates the many uses for a fake “Everything Gel” product. Surely some insane entrepreneur is already preparing such a product/infomercial to go to market right now, no?
Armand Van Helden first gained notice with his 1994 stomper Witch Doktor and with his remix of Tori Amos' Professional Widow.

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TEXAS: State Judge Rules Ban On Gay Marriage And Divorce Is Unconstitutional

In late February, a federal judge ruled that Texas' ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and stayed his ruling pending appeal. A state judge has now ruled likewise, paving the way for a San Antonio couple to proceed with their divorce and child custody case.
The latest ruling comes in response to a same-sex divorce lawsuit that was filed in Bexar County in February by Allison Leona Flood Lesh and Kristi Lyn Lesh, who were married in Washington, D.C., in August 2010. Kristi Lesh became pregnant through artificial insemination during the marriage and gave birth Feb. 19, 2013. Her attorney argued that because Allison Flood Lesh isn't the biological or adoptive parent, Kristi Lesh should retain sole custody. Allison Flood Lesh is seeking to split custody of the child. Because Texas doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, there's also no legal avenue available to pursue a divorce. In a separate case involving couples from Austin and Dallas, attorney James J. "Jody" Scheske argued before the state Supreme Court in November that same-sex divorces should be allowed. The court has yet to issue a ruling.
Texas Attorney General and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is appealing the February ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court.

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MISSOURI: Republicans Want To Impeach Democratic Governor Over Gay Marriage

Via the Associated Press:
A Republican-led Missouri House committee plans to hold a hearing on measures seeking to impeach Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The Wednesday hearing on three separate impeachment resolutions includes one citing Nixon's decision to allow same-sex couples who married legally in other states to file joint tax returns in Missouri. Another measure criticizes the governor for the amount of time he took to call a special election to fill legislative vacancies. The final measure to be considered by the Judiciary Committee would impeach Nixon for his refusal to fire state officials involved with the Revenue Department's decision last year to scan driver's license applicants' personal documents into a computer system.
Nixon is mocking the hearing, calling it a "show."

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Billy On The Street With Amy Poehler

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OREGON: Marriage Gets Its Hearing

Here's how things went in Oregon yesterday:
Lawyers for four gay and lesbian couples and the state of Oregon urged a federal judge Wednesday to strike down Oregon's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. No comments were made in favor of the ban, so lawyers on both sides of the case were in the rare position of asking for the same ruling from the judge. Oregon's attorney general, Democrat Ellen Rosenblum, has said the ban is legally indefensible and has refused to offer arguments in favor of keeping it.

Judge Michael McShane did not say which way he was leaning. His questioning focused heavily on how he should apply precedents from higher courts and whether he should delay implementation of his ruling until appeals courts sort out gay marriage cases pending around the country. The judge is deciding two parallel cases. The couples who filed suit are asking him to declare the ban unconstitutional and allow same-sex couples to wed. They also want an order that same-sex marriages performed in other states must be recognized in Oregon.
NOM isn't happy about not being there.
McShane has said he won't rule on the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban until he decides on a request filed this week by the National Organization for Marriage to defend it. McShane said he'll consider the group's request next month and, if he grants it, he'll hold new oral arguments so the group can defend the ban. The group's chairman, John Eastman, said the judge would benefit from hearing several arguments that weren't raised in court Wednesday because nobody was defending the ban. "The notion that there are no plausible arguments to make in defense of marriage is ludicrous," said Eastman, who also is a law professor at Chapman University in California.

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AP Interviews NPH About Hedwig

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REPORT: Accused Seattle Gay Nightclub Arsonist Was "Provoked" By Gay-Baiting

The Seattle man awaiting trial for the New Year's Eve arson of a crowded gay nightclub may have been provoked by an email which taunted him to have gay sex. Police say the email strengthens the likelihood of hate crime charges. Via local television:
KIRO 7 has uncovered new evidence against Musab Masmari, who told a friend about his "distaste for homosexuals" shortly before he was charged in the New Year's Eve fire at Neighbours Nightclub. The email was sent by someone who signed it "your slave john." According to new police documents filed in King County Superior Court, "john" offered to polish Masmari's shoes using his tongue. The sender also propositioned Masmari, writing, “You can order me to do what you want me to do," and, "Can I have a chance?" Investigators with the Seattle Police Department believe the email was written by someone who knew about Masmari's self-admitted "distaste for homosexuals” and call the email "evidence pertinent to hate crime." Three days after the email was sent to Masmari, Neighbours Nightclub was torched on a busy New Year’s Eve with hundreds of people inside.
In February court documents revealed that Masmari had once declared to a friend that "homosexuals should be exterminated." So far Masmari has only been charged with a single count of arson. Local activists are outraged, saying that the charges should include 750+ counts of attempted murder. Masmari was apprehended as he attempted to flee the country on a one-way ticket to Turkey. He has pleaded not guilty to the arson charge and his trial is scheduled to begin on May 29th.

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Open Thread Thursday

Plop-plop fizz-fizz. My baloney has a first name. Tell us your favorite old school commercial jingles.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BROOKLYN: Five Ultra-Orthodox Jews Arrested In Gang Assault Of Gay Man

Five Hasidic men were arrested in Brooklyn today for the December gang beating a gay fashion student. At least two of the men charged belong to a controversial Ultra-Orthodox street patrol group.
Taj Patterson, 22, has said he was headed to his Fort Greene home after a night of partying last December when over a dozen ultra-Orthodox men assaulted him on Flushing Ave. in Williamsburg while shouting anti-gay epithets. Aharon Hollender, 28, Abraham Winkler, 39, Mayer Herskovic, 21, Pinchas Braver, 19, and Joseph Fried, 25, were charged with gang assault and other counts, but not with any hate crimes, authorities said Wednesday. “We simply cannot allow anyone walking on the streets of Brooklyn to be knocked to the ground, stomped and brutally beaten,” said Brooklyn district attorney Kenneth Thompson. The group, at least two of whom belonged to a volunteer patrol called Shomrim, were looking for someone who vandalized cars in the area and stopped Patterson, prosecutors said. Even though the vandalism report was unfounded, they allegedly started pummeling the victim, authorities said.
The victim suffered a broken eye socket, a torn retina, and numerous cuts and bruises. It's not clear why hate crimes charges have not yet been made. The alleged attackers have been released on bail and face up to 25 years in prison.

RELATED: The Shomrim and a splinter group, the Shmira, are "public safety" groups that aggressively patrol the Hasidic neighborhoods of Brooklyn with a fleet of official looking vehicles, some of which resemble NYPD patrol cars. Members of both groups, who reportedly hate each other, have been charged with assaulting black residents of Brooklyn. One of the Shomrim members arrested today was also arrested in 2012 for taking courtroom photographs of a child molestation victim in order to intimidate her as she testified against a Hasidic leader. Her attacker, who was later sentenced to 103 years in prison, sat on his sect's "modesty committee," which enforces strict rules of dress and behavior for female members.

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Liberty Counsel Has The Illinois Sadz

Liberty Counsel is ever so pissed that all those anti-gay GOP committee members lost their seats in Illinois. (Tipped by JMG reader Gustav)

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One Million Moms Vs TLC

From the economic terrorists at One Million Moms:
Joe, TLC obviously enjoys promoting immoral reality shows with unethical lifestyles! The new reality show, "My Five Wives," promotes another polygamist family airing on Sunday evenings at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) and 9:00 p.m. CT on TLC. The family in the show consists of one husband, five wives and their combined twenty-four children. Not only is their unconventional family structure absurd and confusing, but their living arrangements are as well. These five women are constantly discussing how difficult sharing a husband is and have to stick to a schedule on who gets the husband on which night to keep jealousy to a minimum, especially concerning time spent together. This is their solution on how to function without chaos.

TLC implies that the loving, tight-knit family has established a cohesive, loving unit. In other words, everything is fine and dandy, and nothing is morally wrong with their lifestyle choice. Instead of TLC airing programs that are enlightening and encouraging- after all they are The Learning Channel- they have decided to stoop so low as to show this controversial content, again. TLC doesn't seem to mind that this lifestyle is illegal, nor that it is ethically wrong. Please send an email letter to the sponsors of this week's "My Five Wives" asking that they pull their support immediately from a program that degrades family and marriage. This week's national sponsors were: Subway,, Arm & Hammer (Church & Dwight Co.), Evolution of Smooth (eos), Capri Sun (Kraft Foods) and Cracker Barrel Cheese.

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Jodie Foster Has Gotten Married

E Online has the news: "Congrats to Jodie Foster and her new wife Alexandra Hedison. I can exclusively reveal that the Oscar winner and her photographer girlfriend of almost a year got married this past weekend. A rep for Foster confirms the happy news. As E! News first reported, the two started dating sometime last summer. 'It's pretty serious,' a source told us in September. 'They're totally in love.'"

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Porno Pete Appears On Show Of Harlem's "Jesus Would Stone Homos" Pastor

Porno Pete apparently agrees that homosexuals should be stoned to death as today he appeared on the internet show of Harlem's Pastor James Manning. Nothing really interesting happens, just the usual fire and brimstone denouncements and lies about "ex-gays." LaBarbera whines that marriage equality is a done deal nationwide, he just hopes that at least one state (Oklahoma, he suggests) defies the courts and refuses to comply with a marriage ruling. For his part, Manning declares that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "is a homosexual himself."

(Tipped by JMG reader John)

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Macklemore's Ryan Lewis Reveals That His Mother Has Been HIV+ For 30 Years

Ryan Lewis writes:
A huge part of what's made me who I am, is something I haven't talked about in interviews. If I could just take a few moments of your time, I'd love to tell you about the strongest woman that I know, my mom, Julie Lewis. In 1984, my mom gave birth to my older sister, Teresa. Due to a complicated delivery, she needed a blood transfusion and at that moment, my mom had HIV+ blood put into her body. When she was finally diagnosed, she was given only a few years to live. By that time, she had already given birth to my sister Laura and me. We each had a 25% chance of being born HIV+, but we were extremely fortunate (today, the risk of a mother passing HIV to her baby is 2% or less if she is taking medication).

Thanks to advanced medicine and healthcare available here in the U.S., my mom has lived despite her odds. To honor the thirty years my mom has been a survivor, our family is raising funds to build health centers worldwide that will stand strong for at least thirty years. We're calling it the 30/30 Project. We are partnering with Construction for Change, a Seattle-based nonprofit, to carry out construction. And we have local partners on the ground, such as Partners in Health, to run and operate the health facilities long-term. We want to give hope to women and families in other parts of the world who lack access to quality, affordable healthcare.
An IndieGoGo donation page has been launched to support the 30/30 Project. Watch the clip below. CBS News has posted an interview with Ryan Lewis.

(Tipped by JMG reader Stephen)

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Homocons Co-Sign Statement Denouncing "Punishment" Of Mozilla's Former CEO

A coalition of well-known homocons and others today released a public statement on the resignation of former Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich. The statement is titled, "Freedom To Marry, Freedom To Dissent: Why We Must Have Both." An excerpt:
Is opposition to same-sex marriage by itself, expressed in a political campaign, beyond the pale of tolerable discourse in a free society? We cannot wish away the objections of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions, or browbeat them into submission. Even in our constitutional system, persuasion is a minority’s first and best strategy. It has served us well and we should not be done with it.

Much of the rhetoric that emerged in the wake of the Eich incident showed a worrisome turn toward intolerance and puritanism among some supporters of gay equality—not in terms of formal legal sanction, to be sure, but in terms of abandonment of the core liberal values of debate and diversity.

Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.

The freedom—not just legal but social—to express even very unpopular views is the engine that propelled the gay-rights movement from its birth against almost hopeless odds two generations ago. A culture of free speech created the social space for us to criticize and demolish the arguments against gay marriage and LGBT equality. For us and our advocates to turn against that culture now would be a betrayal of the movement’s deepest and most humane values.
The statement does not address the fact that all LGBT groups remained completely silent as the controversy unfolded and came to its conclusion. Nor does it note that the campaign against Eich was spawned by Mozilla staffers and developers themselves. Instead, the "blame" for Eich's resignation is laid squarely at the feet of phantom gay activists.

Homocon signers: Ken Mehlman, Peter Thiel, Rich Tafel, William Saletan, Jamie Kirchick, Jonathan Rauch, and former GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe. Among the others: Andrew Sullivan, John Corvino, David Blankenhorn, and Box Turtle Bulletin bloggers Jim Burroway, Timothy Kincaid, and Rob Tisinai.

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Chelsea Manning Granted Name Change

Chelsea Manning is now legally Chelsea Manning.
A Kansas judge granted a request Wednesday to formally change the name of the soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks from Bradley Edward Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. The former intelligence analyst is serving a 35-year prison sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning is serving the sentence at the Army prison on Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Leavenworth County District Judge David King said he'd allow the name change during a court hearing that lasted about a minute. Manning didn't attend the hearing but issued a statement saying it was "an exciting day." "Hopefully today's name change, while so meaningful to me personally, can also raise awareness of the fact that we (transgender) people exist everywhere in America today, and that we must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are," Manning said.
Manning remains in a men's prison and the name change "does not compel the military" to transfer her to a women's prison, according to the Associated Press.

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Christie Slams Letterman For Fat Jokes

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Headline Of The Day

Despite the tabloid headline, this trio isn't legally married. But try telling that to the screamers out in Teabagistan today. Details.

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Pomplamoose - Puttin' On The Ritz

A rather strange video for them.

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30 Years Ago Today

"First, the probable cause of AIDS has been found: a variant of a known human cancer virus. Second, not only has the agent been identified, but a new process has been developed to mass produce this virus. Thirdly, with the discovery of both the virus and this new process, we now have a blood test for AIDS. With a blood test, we can identify AIDS victims with essentially 100% certainty." - Margaret Heckler, Health & Human Services Secretary for the Reagan administration, announcing 30 years ago today that the virus which causes AIDS had been identified.

MSNBC reports on the mistakes that were made that morning:
Her hastily arranged press conference was full of blunders—she jumped the gun by two months because of a press leak, claimed U.S. credit for what was largely a French discovery, misidentified the newly discovered virus, and wrongly predicted that a vaccine would be ready within two years (we still don’t have one). Yet the announcement had epochal impact. It revealed the source of what would soon become one of the worst plagues in human history, and it sparked scientific and social revolutions that are still playing out today. Three years earlier, in the spring of 1981, a ghastly new disease had exploded in the gay communities of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It eviscerated people’s immune systems, allowing normally harmless pathogens to consume them. Though initially dismissed as a “gay plague,” it had begun killing hemophiliacs and injection drug users, as well as their partners and newborns, and it was spreading worldwide.
I was 24 years old on that day and I remember a flurry of excited phone calls with friends. I also vividly recall being at Orlando's Parliament House that night, where beloved drag performer Miss P led the audience in a celebratory group toast. As we held up our cocktails, Miss P gave us our line: "Here's to SCIENCE. And FUCK Ronald Reagan." Heckler's promise of an imminent vaccine, a promise that cruelly resurfaced so many time over the following decades, brought so much giddy happiness to the room that night. Miss P died of AIDS in 2004. There's a wonderful mural of her at the entrance to the Parliament House disco. 

But still, 30 years later, here's to science.

And fuck Ronald Reagan.

RELATED: See this great obit for Miss P by the Orlando Sentinel.

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Eugene Delgaudio: I Stopped ENDA

"Dear Joe, The Homosexual Lobby and their Democrat cronies in Congress are furious. They've been trying to ram the Gay Bill of Special Rights through the House of Representatives since it passed the Senate for the first time ever back in November. But your Public Advocate has stopped them cold. That's why 220 Democrat Senators and Congressmen have signed a letter to President Obama demanding he bypass Congress with a sweeping executive order. If enacted, this order would unjustly prohibit Christian businesses that uphold traditional values from being considered for contracting with the Federal government. And while this order only targets government contractors, the message to all Christian businesses, churches, and schools is clear: 'Comply with the Homosexual Agenda or we're coming after you!' Please consider chipping in a generous gift of $5 or $10 or even $35 to help keep Public Advocate's critical programs running to keep the pressure on!" - Eugene Delguadio, in his hundredth money beg of the year.

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OREGON: Marriage Case Begins Today

At 1:30PM today local time, openly gay federal Judge Michael McShane will hear opening arguments in Oregon's marriage equality case. But there won't be any actual arguing, because both the state and the plaintiffs agree that the gay marriage ban should be overturned. Here's what could happen:
McShane says he won't rule on the case itself until at least after he holds the May 14 hearing on the motion to intervene [By NOM]. Backers of a gay marriage initiative are urging the judge to rule by May 23. If he strikes the law down before then, sponsors of the initiative say they won't have to take their measure to the November ballot. However, McShane is under no deadline to rule. If the judge allows the National Organization for Marriage to intervene, it's doubtful there would be any quick ruling. Also, the group presumably would then have the legal standing to appeal any decision striking down Oregon's prohibition. In addition, McShane could decide on his own to stay his ruling while seeing how the appellate courts rule.
Oregon or Pennsylvania? Who will be next?

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Surfin' Schock

Back in January, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) made his Instagram account private, but his followers continue to share the posts. Yesterday Americablog posted a roundup of recent photos posted by Schock, including the above image which carries this message: "Waikiki Beach - Enjoying the Aloha spirit thanks to @tulsigabbard hospitality and Surfing Coach Nish for getting me up. Shout out to @oahusurfshots for the pics. #icouldlivehere" (Via Towleroad)

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Four States Left

Via Good As You.

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OHIO: State Approves Language For Ballot Measure To Repeal Marriage Ban

Yesterday organizers of a ballot measure campaign to repeal Ohio's same-sex marriage ban were granted permission to begin gathering petition signatures.
The Ohio Ballot Board agreed Tuesday that the proposed "Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment" contains a single constitutional amendment, clearing the way for the effort to move forward. The updated amendment includes language requiring that all legally valid marriages be treated equally under the law. It also keeps clergy from being forced to perform a same-sex marriage. The group FreedomOhio is seeking to repeal and replace Ohio's 2004 prohibition on gay marriage.
RELATED: Last week a federal judge ruled that Ohio must recognize out-of-state marriages. The ruling was stayed pending an appeal.

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Most Atrocious Political Ad Of 2014?

Think Progress wonders if this is the "most atrocious political ad of 2014."
If you want to run for office some day, you better not believe that everyone is entitled to legal counsel before the government locks them away. Or, at least, that’s the message sent by a new Republican Governors Association ad targeting Vincent Sheheen, a former prosecutor who now represents civil and criminal clients in private practice. Sheheen is a Democratic candidate for governor against incumbent Nikki Haley (R-SC). The RGA’s ad attacks Sheheen for “defend[ing] violent criminals” and ends with the tagline “Vincent Sheheen protects criminals not South Carolina.” The implication of this ad is that Sheheen is somehow unfit for public office because he once provided legal counsel to people accused of crimes.

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Donohue: Let's Make Atheists Impotent

"Militant atheists have a new goal: they object to students hearing the name of God in the Pledge of Allegiance. No atheist has to say the Pledge, or utter the dreaded words, 'under God'  - it is optional - but that is not enough: they want to stop others from saying it. The American Humanist Association, and its ilk, are not satisfied to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance. They want the government to silence everyone from saying it. We do not have to worry about the Taliban in the United States—religious fanatics are properly impotent. But we do have to worry about their secular counterpart—atheist fanatics. It is their impotence that we must secure." - Catholic League blowhard Bill Donohue.

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Ricky Martin - Vida

From the official FIFA World Cup 2014 album.

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Tweet Of The Day - Rachel Held Evans

Evans, a Christian writer, was tweeting from a panel discussion held at the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty forum. Here's the "ironic" history of how the Southern Baptist Convention came to be:
Largely comprised of slaveholders, the gathering at the First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia, in May 1845 publicly pled their case. Slavery was biblical. Therefore abolition was sinful, and Baptists of the North were wrong to oppose slavery. Abolitionists of the North were responsible for the Baptist division; southern Baptists had been patient with the agitators, but enough was enough. Pledging allegiance to slavery, they vowed “we will never interfere with what is Caesar’s” (a biblical allusion implying it was their moral and legal responsibility to uphold the legal institution of slavery). And for good measure, the delegates expressed outrage that a northern Baptist missionary had “actually remitted money to the United States to aid in the assisting of slaves to ‘run away from their masters.’” (See Proceedings of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1845.) From this point forward, white Baptist leaders in the South through the end of the Civil War openly and insistently championed and defended white supremacy and black slavery, along the way migrating into a form of Christian nationalism heretofore foreign to the very Christian denomination that had been the most vocal champions, since the seventeenth century, of the separation of church and state.
In 1995 the SBC finally issued a formal apology to African-Americans for having supported slavery and for having supported segregation right through the civil rights era.

RELATED: One of the panelists at the SBC's forum was Mark Regnerus. The event closed with the announcement that in October the SBC will "hold a conference exclusively focusing on homosexuality."

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RNC: Stop Obama, Fire Reid

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Launched: New Org For Gay Dads

From the announcement:
The Handsome Father, a new national nonprofit organization headquartered in Austin, Texas, officially launched today aiming to foster a community of support to connect, equip and inspire gay fathers and fathers-to-be. Focused on providing education, resources and raising awareness, The Handsome Father’s programs and services include a one-to-one mentorship program, an online platform to showcase family profiles, and a comprehensive resource listing of family-building and sustaining services. Watch our animated short video“We believe that every man—no matter who he is or who he loves—should know he can be a father if he choose,” says Andy Miller, co-founder of The Handsome Father and president of its Board of Directors. ”No man should have to sacrifice his dreams of fatherhood simply because he is gay.
About their name: "Did you know that the word 'handsome' by definition means pleasing, dignified, generous, appropriate, fitting, ample, graceful, bountiful, and yes, attractive? We believe fatherhood is handsome in every respect of the word. When someone commits his life to raise a child and takes the steps a gay man must to create his family, we call that 'handsome.'"

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Perkins: Our FRC Poll Shows 82% Of Republicans Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

Hate group leader Tony Perkins was all over the web yesterday with an FRC-conducted poll which claims that the vast majority of Republicans oppose same-sex marriage. Via press release:
FRC and American Values set out to gauge how the Republican base really feels about an issue that, until recently, was non-negotiable in the GOP. With help from Wilson Research Strategies, we asked a couple straightforward questions about the party's core values -- and what pollsters found might surprise you. Public opinion on marriage isn't the runaway train that liberals want you to believe it is. A whopping 82% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage "should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman." And respondents didn't just agree with that statement -- 74% strongly agreed. What's more, they're tired of their elected leaders ignoring the issue -- or worse, pushing the party in the opposite direction. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents rejected the idea that "politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples" (with 67% strongly agreeing). That should be a wakeup call to the GOP Establishment, which, for the last few years, has thrown its weight behind some highly controversial candidates under the guise of "building a bigger tent." As far as the base is concerned, that's an incredibly short-sighted strategy that does more to divide the party than unite it. Clearly, the vast majority of the GOP continues to see marriage a non-negotiable plank of the national platform and want to see their elected officials uphold it as the standard to stand for, encourage, and promote in law.
A Washington Post poll released last month tells a very different story.

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Lily Allen - Sheezus

TIME has a review:
Lily Allen’s upcoming album, Sheezus, might poke fun at Kanye West, but on the recently premiered title track, she turns her attention to another crop of royals: Lorde, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga don’t just get name-checked on “Sheezus” — Allen’s search-engine-optimized opinions of her pop-star peers make up the song’s entire hook. At first, the “Hard Out Here” singer doesn’t exactly sound like she’s full of praise (except for Lorde, who’s “about to slay you”), but listen closely — this is no diss track. If anything, Allen wants her ladies to unite in bringing their A-game: “Second best will never cut it for the divas / Give me that crown, bitch / I wanna be Sheezus.”

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OREGON: Judge Denies NOM's Attempt To Delay Marriage Equality Arguments

From Oregon United:
Moments ago, Judge Michael McShane denied the National Organization for Marriage’s attempt to delay tomorrow’s scheduled oral arguments in federal lawsuit challenging Oregon’s marriage ban. Previously, no party had stepped up to defend the ban. But this morning, the D.C.-based NOM filed a motion requesting to intervene in the case, simultaneously urging the judge to delay Wednesday’s oral arguments as he considers the last-minute motion. With Judge McShane’s ruling today, oral arguments will proceed as scheduled tomorrow afternoon at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene. However, the judge will consider NOM’s motion to intervene in the case and has scheduled oral arguments on that issue for May 14th. If the motion to intervene is accepted, Judge McShane would then schedule a second briefing schedule on summary judgement or move the case to trial.
(Tipped by JMG reader Ron)

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A Ridiculous Lie From Rafael Cruz

"All we have to do is turn on the news and every day we see more and more encroachment upon pastors from this administration. All they have to do is be aware of what’s happening around us and to be aware, for example, that in the city of San Antonio, if a pastor speaks on Romans 1, he could be even fined $500 a day until he retracts what he said. We’ve stayed at home and we allowed the wicked to elect wicked politicians to rule us. We get what we deserve, Rick. We need to get up the charge that God is giving us and move to the forefront and call this nation to repentance and call this nation to righteousness." - Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking on a Tea Party Unity conference call with crackpot Rick Scarborough, who warned that similar fines are going to imposed on Houston's pastors if Mayor Annise Parker gets her way.

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Too Gay To Function Mean Girls Cast Member Daniel Franzese Comes Out

Actor Daniel Franzese, who played the "too gay to function" Damian in Mean Girls, has come out with a letter to that character posted today on Bent. An excerpt:
I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014 - ten years later - looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the “art freaks.” Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that's rad. People have always asked if I was really gay? While my reps usually lied to protect me. My friends and family all knew the truth but now it's time everyone does. Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means "God is my judge" So, I’m not afraid anymore. Of Hollywood, the closet or mean girls. Thank you for that, Damian. (And Tina.) By the way, in June I am the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the Portland Gay Pride Parade. We go Glen Coco.
Read the full letter.

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TRAILER: Compared To What: The Improbable Journey Of Barney Frank

Open this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival. Executive producer: Alec Baldwin. Variety has the story:
When husband-and-wife directing team Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler approached Barney Frank about making a documentary, their pitch sounded lighthearted. In late 2011, Frank was preparing to retire from his Massachusetts seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, after a 40-year career in public office. “It was going to be a nostalgic look and what it’s like making the transition,” says Frank, 74, on a recent phone call from Maine where he spends a fair portion of his time now. But after collecting more than 100 hours of interviews, Frank recalls, “they decided they wanted to do more of my career.” The movie follows Frank’s journey as the first congressman to voluntarily come out of the closet in 1987 and it bookends that history with the summer 2012 wedding to Jim Ready (when the cameras trailed along at the tearful reception). “I regretted not coming out earlier,” Frank says. “My life was considerably improved when I wasn’t hiding things. Plus, I think it had a good political effect on prejudice.”

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Douche Of The Day - Todd Starnes

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Betty White Responds To Fan Questions

Betty White fielded questions from fans on social media last night at the close of an interview with Larry King. Near the end of the clip below, Betty reaffirms her defense of the gay community.

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Kylie Minogue To Perform At GLAAD Awards, George Takei To Be Honored

Kylie Minogue will perform at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on May 3rd.  The main honoree that night will be George Takei.
Takei will receive GLAAD's Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, k.d. lang, and Tom Ford. Over his career, the actor, advocate, social media star and author has remained one of the most outspoken LGBT voices in Hollywood. Since coming out in 2005, he has spoken out on issues including marriage equality, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), so-called "ex-gay therapy" and more. He has worked closely with GLAAD to bring equality to the Boy Scouts and supported GLAAD's Spirit Day campaign to show support for LGBT youth and end anti-LGBT bullying. To Be Takei, a documentary about Takei's life and career, premiered at Sundance in January and is scheduled for a theatrical release this summer.
GLAAD has launched a contest in which the winner will be flown to New York City and seated with Takei at the event.

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RUSSIA: Fingerprint The HIV+

A bill that mandates the fingerprinting of HIV+ people and those with other infectious diseases has been introduced in Russia's national legislature. Russian state news reports:
State Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov of the Liberal Democratic party told mass circulation daily Izvestia that he had prepared an amendment to the federal bill on fingerprinting to provide for a database of people carrying dangerous contagious diseases. This agency will collect medical records and make patients undergo fingerprinting. The information will then be collected in a special nationwide database. If the amendment is passed the new rules would apply to Russian citizens and foreigners who are visiting the country. Several federal ministries and agencies, including the Federal Migration Service, Interior Ministry, Emergencies Ministry and Prosecutor General’s Office have already approved the draft, the parliamentarian told the newspaper.
Under the proposed bill, those that refuse to be fingerprinted can fined 50,000 rubles. Foreigner who refuse to submit would be deported. (Via Towleroad)

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Which Case Will Get To SCOTUS First?

While various legal groups jockey to get to the Supreme Court, Freedom To Marry head Evan Wolfson speaks about the marriage equality cases currently before the various circuit courts of appeal:
Presumably, we will soon - meaning, in a matter of months - have rulings from one or more of the federal appellate courts. Then there's the possibility of further procedures as to whether the three-judge panels in those courts that will rule will then go to the broader, full panel of the entire circuit courts [a process called en banc review]. That could consume a few more months. When that gets resolved (either by bypassing that step or by having another set of arguments and further round of decisions), then whoever loses that ultimate appeals court ruling may ask the Supreme Court to hear the case. That's called "seeking cert." That stage then requires another few months of briefing and argument, with one side saying the Supreme Court should hear the case and the other side saying the Court should not hear the case. Then, it's up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it's going to take one of the cases or not. It takes only four of the nine justices to vote to hear a case.
There are presently 65 marriage equality lawsuits in progress in 31 states and US territories. Freedom To Marry has posted a handy chart.

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ILLNOIS: Hate Group Compares Dan Savage To The Holocaust And Abortion

The Illinois Family Institute, an SPLC-certified hate group and the former home of Peter LaBarbera, is responding to supporters who are angry that they posted an old "loathsome video" of Dan Savage. From IFI head Laurie Higgins:
Why view photos from Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen? Why view photos of lynchings? Why view photos of aborted babies? Why view the photo of the young napalmed Vietnamese girl? Why view photos of animals caught in steel leg traps or baby seals bludgeoned to death? Aren't these images shocking and obscene? I am not equating the enormity of the evil of the Holocaust and the American genocide of pre-born babies to that of the homosexuality-affirming movement. I am, rather, illuminating the necessity of occasionally viewing the evil in our midst about which humans have a remarkable capacity to delude themselves. As Christians, however, we should remain conscious of the fact that a life of unrepentant homoerotic activity will result in eternal separation from God. How do we measure the magnitude of temporal suffering relative to that of eternal suffering?
NOTE: We've never been able to find a usable photo of Laurie Higgins. Which is quite odd, considering how everybody else in the anti-gay industry tends to be quite proud of their hatred.

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Brian Williams - Gin And Juice

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Wingnuts Attack Gun Control Image

Right wing sites such as Twitchy are mocking the above "ignorant" image because the gun is expelling "the entire bullet - casing and all." And because the trigger doesn't appear to be pulled. That's what's important here, folks.

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INDIA: Supreme Court To Reconsider Ruling Upholding Anti-Sodomy Legislation

India's Supreme Court announced today that it will reconsider its recent ruling which upheld anti-sodomy legislation enacted under British rule. J. Lester Feder reports at Buzzfeed:
This is LGBTI rights’ advocates last chance to toss out the decision, which was a harsh blow after a 12-year litigation process. In January, a two judge panel (which included one of the judges who issued the original ruling) rejected their first attempt to have the case reconsidered, what is known as a review petition. The current motion, known as a curative petition, still faces long odds, because the five-judge panel that will consider it includes the two judges who rejected the review petition. The other judges on the panel will be the three most senior judges on the court. But the lawyers in this case got a major boost last week when a different two-judge Supreme Court panel issued a sweeping verdict recognizing broad rights for transgender people. Though the judges in the transgender rights case were careful to explicitly say they were not offering an opinion on the 377 case, their ruling reads almost like a point-by-point rebuttal to the ruling.
A date for the rehearing will be announced next week.

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Obamas Laud Frankie Knuckles

The above letter from the President and First Lady was included in the program at yesterday's memorial service for the late gay DJ Frankie Knuckles in Chicago. Speakers at the service included Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who praised Knuckles for "inventing a new musical form" in house music. Windy City Times has more about the event on their Twitter feed.

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AP Polls Americans On Science, Nobel Winners Depressed With Results

The Associated Press has polled Americans about their scientific beliefs:
Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there's a genetic code inside our cells. More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines. About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority — 51 percent — questions the Big Bang theory. Those results depress and upset some of America's top scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners, who vouched for the science in the statements tested, calling them settled scientific facts.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans were more likely to doubt science.

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Young Turks "Infiltrate" The 700 Club

The Young Turks are encouraging their viewers to "infiltrate" the 700 Club by getting Pat Robertson to respond to their questions in the daily "Online" portion of the show. Yesterday one of the questions got through.

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GEORGIA: First Marriage Suit To Be Filed

Today Lambda Legal will file Georgia's first marriage equality suit. Via the Georgia Voice:
April 10 was not your usual Thursday at Fulton County Probate Court. Because at one point during the day, Midtown couple Shane Thomas and Michael Bishop strolled in and applied for a marriage license. “Everyone there was friendly, but they still said no,” Bishop tells GA Voice.

In 2004, Georgia voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage as well as recognizing same-sex unions from other states. But since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year striking down a major portion of the Defense of Marriage Act in the renowned Windsor case, judge after judge after judge in states across the country are ruling that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

With that marriage license denial to Bishop and Thomas this month, in coordination with the actions of two other same-sex couples and one widowed lesbian, a chain reaction started which will lead to the April 22 filing of a massive class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia. The plaintiffs will enter this fight with the backing of Lambda Legal and the law firms of Bryan Cave and White & Case.
Read the full filing here.

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NYC Pride Reveals 2014 Grand Marshals: Laverne Cox, Rea Carey, Jonathan Groff

Via press release:
Heritage of Pride, organizers of NYC Pride and the annual New York City Pride March, today announced the Grand Marshals for 2014. This year’s marshals are Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Transgender Activist and “Orange is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox; and Broadway, film, and television actor Jonathan Groff, appearing this summer in “The Normal Heart.” “Our 2014 marshals are leaders in brilliant forms of activism through which LGBT people and their allies engage,” said March Director David Studinski. “Individually, they represent the diversity within the LGBT community and the various struggles our community members have and continue to face. Collectively, their stories reinforce that no voice is too small nor weak to make change in our world - and it starts with being yourself.”

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