Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Reparative Therapy" Officially Banned in CA (for minors)

From Queerty:

On Saturday, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed Senate Bill 1172, which officially bans so-called “ex-gay” therapy for minors.
Reparative therapy—an umbrella term for various methods that often incorporate prayer or designate a childhood incident as a “root” for homosexuality—have been soundly condemned by the World Health Organization, the American Psychological Association and almost every other professional therapeutic group in America. (Adults can still seek such treatment, but do so with informed consent, not as the helpless victims of their parents or guardians)

“Governor Brown has reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” said Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Romney Vows to Fight...Lyme Disease

The Weekly Standard gives us this mailer from right here in the Commonwealth:

Well, I think Romney just won Virginia's electoral votes. /sarcasm

Sen. Webb (D-VA) Hammers Romney on the Veterans

Austin, Texas Endorses Marriage Equality

Austin becomes first Texas city to endorse marriage equality (via Raw Story )
The Austin City Council made history Thursday, becoming the first group of city leaders in the deeply conservative state of Texas to endorse marriage equality. The council’s strongly worded resolution (PDF) condemning the Defense of Marriage Act, the nation’s ban on same sex marriage, was supported…

Jon Huntsman Evolves on Marriage

From Pride in Utah:
I think we can take that journey. We need to be having a conversation of how to take this journey…..where do we go, and each day we need to be able to do it differently. I came out at a time when it was most unpopular in the state of Utah many years ago…because I thought it was the right landing spot for people in my state, now the conversation may have been different in other states, but I find how can you move the equality forward in Utah and I thought at the time civil unions was the right place for this discussion to take place. maybe it goes beyond now….but at the time i at least wanted to put something on the table I thought spoke fairness and equality most immediately.

I think the Republican Party’s focus needs to be on equality. I go back and I think what would Abraham Lincoln be doing if he were here today. I think he would make the fundamentally American argument that Equality under the law is an American value. And it’s one that I stand for as well.

I remember thinking during the GOP presidential primary season (of which Jon Huntsman was a part) that he was one of the more sensible candidates. He did not subscribe to the demagoguery of candidates like Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich,  Perry, et al. He had a level head and was able to see beyond ideology (him and Gary Johnson). While I have almost zero faith in anyone on the political right, Jon Huntsman was a light in the dark. I hope that in the fullness of time, he will be seen as a leader: someone who saw beyond the short scope of political expedience and had some foresight, leading the GOP towards being more inclusive and less regressive.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Tea Party vs. Ohio Voters

Members of an Ohio tea party group are taking it upon themselves to individually police alleged voter fraud, launching challenges to a targeted list of voters that includes hundreds of college students, trailer park residents, homeless people and African Americans in counties President Obama won in 2008. In all, the group has sought to remove from the voter rolls at least 2,100 registrations in 13 Ohio counties, nine of which Obama won in 2008, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The alleged perpetrators of this voter fraud include Lori Monroe, a 40-year-old recovering from cancer, whose apartment for the past seven years was allegedly listed as a commercial property; and eight members of an African American family, whose four-bedroom home where the family has lived since the 1980s was allegedly listed as a vacant lot. The group has also focused on challenging college students for failure to specify a dorm room number, a claim that every election board has thus far found invalid.
Incidents of voter fraud generally are few and far between. Ironically, many of the genuine incidents are perpetrated by the political right, like the woman who was recently exposed as only registering Republicans to vote for example. Many of the victims of these purges are alive and well, college students, elderly, racial minorities, and so forth. These voter purges and voter ID laws are the right's attempt at disenfranchising those swaths of society that are more likely to vote against them. It is purely political and not at all based on principle.

Throughout this country's history, we have tried to be a more perfect union. This includes expanding voting rights so that we have a more representative democracy. Voting rights were originally for a narrow few, but we expanded those rights to racial minorities, women, non-landowners, those between 18-21 years of age, and so on. Many on political right are trying to turn back the clock on voting rights, which is just another policy area where the right shows itself to be regressive. It is patently un-American.

Romney's Problems With the Truth

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Election 2012: Paul Ryan's Defense Double-Speak News, Weather

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

President Obama Channels Mitt Romney

I seriously must wonder though, was that really a mistake? If it wasn't, then it was brilliant. If it WAS a mistake, it was still brilliant for the recovery.

Another Priceless Romney Clip

It seems to me that some on the right have already given up on Romney and are flying their Paul Ryan signs for 2016.

Election 2012: More Swing State Poll Numbers

From Politico:

Mr. Obama holds a 10-point lead in Ohio among those who say they will definitely vote, a lead propelled by a 25-point advantage among women. Romney holds an 8-point lead among men. The president holds a 35-point edge among voters under 35 years old, and a 5-point lead among those ages 35-64; the two candidates are effectively tied among Ohio seniors. Sixty-two percent of Ohio likely voters say the auto bailout, which had a significant impact on the state's economy, was a success, while just 30 percent say it was a failure. Both candidates will campaign in Ohio Wednesday; the president led Romney by six points in the state last month.
In Florida, Mr. Obama's edge over Romney has risen from three points before the political conventions to nine points today. His gains are due to improved performance among women, white voters and seniors. Nearly half of Florida Democrats now say they are more enthusiastic about voting than in the past - up from 24 percent at the start of August, and only slightly less than the percentage of Florida Republicans who are more enthusiastic. Two in three Florida likely voters support the DREAM Act policies put in place by the president to allow young illegal immigrants who came to the country as children to obtain work permits and not face deportation.

Romney: Corporations Are People, Teachers Are Not

From the Washington Post:

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he thinks teachers unions should be banned from making political contributions because union leaders often negotiate contracts with Democratic politicians they’ve helped elect, a situation he called “an extraordinary conflict of interest.”

He said it is “a mistake” to allow unions to make such donations, which he argued represent “an extraordinary conflict of interest.”

“I think we’ve got to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns,” he said. “It’s the wrong way for us to go. We have got to separate that.”

Romney contended that “the largest contributors to the Democratic Party are the teachers unions.” But a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions, shows that the education industry is the third-largest contributor to President Obama’s reelection campaign, behind retirees and those in the legal field.

This is a completely unprincipled position but this is Mitt Romney we are talking about so that is no surprise. He has hundreds of millions of dollars coming at him from Super PACs funded by super rich corporate interests. Not just Romney, but the majority of politicians (especially Republicans) as well? How is THAT not a conflict of interest? How is THAT not a steaming pile of hypocrisy on his part to say this? If corporations can give unfettered amounts of money to campaigns, why can't unions?

I personally am against all of this money in politics: whether we are talking about unions supporting Democrats or corporations supporting Republicans. This is the danger of corporate personhood: that rich monied interests will drown out the voices of the people to whom government should be beholden. With too much money in politics, the representatives of the people and the stewards of power will inevitably have skewed priorities.

Obama, Bush, & the Debt

Some lawmakers, pundits, and others continue to say that President George W. Bush’s policies did not drive the projected federal deficits of the coming decade — that, instead, it was the policies of President Obama and Congress in 2009 and 2010. But, the fact remains: the economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).

The deficit for fiscal year 2009 — which began more than three months before President Obama’s inauguration — was $1.4 trillion and, at 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the largest deficit relative to the economy since the end of World War II. At $1.3 trillion and nearly 9 percent of GDP, the deficit in 2010 was only slightly lower. If current policies remain in place, deficits will likely resemble those figures in 2011 and hover near $1 trillion a year for the next decade.

The events and policies that pushed deficits to these high levels in the near term were, for the most part, not of President Obama’s making. If not for the Bush tax cuts, the deficit-financed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression (including the cost of policymakers’ actions to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term. By themselves, in fact, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for almost half of the $20 trillion in debt that, under current policies, the nation will owe by 2019. The stimulus law and financial rescues will account for less than 10 percent of the debt at that time...
Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs. [7] By 2019, we estimate that these two policies will account for almost half — nearly $10 trillion — of the $20 trillion in debt that will be owed under current policies.[8] (The Medicare prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 also will substantially increase deficits and debt, but we are unable to quantify these impacts due to data limitations.) These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues, which will account for less than $2 trillion (less than 10 percent) of the debt at that time. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies (especially the tax cuts and the drug benefit) do not fade away as the economy recovers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Election 2012: Homer Simpson Votes

I'm a little late on this, but just in case you haven't seen it...

Today's Romney Gaffe: Obama Hasn't Raised Taxes

If this was Vaudeville, the guy on the side of the stage with the giant cane would have pulled Romney off ages ago.

House Dem. Leadership Behind DoMA Repeal Effort

From Freedom to Marry:

This week, Congressman James Clyburn signed on as a co-sponsor for the Respect for Marriage Act. In doing so, Rep. Clyburn, who serves as the Assistant Democratic Leader and is from South Carolina, became the last member of the House of Representatives' Democratic Leadership to co-sponsor the bill. His support follows previous support from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson. The total number of co-sponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act now stands at 157 in the House and 33 in the Senate.  

See all 157 of the House co-sponsors and all 33 of the Senate co-sponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act. 

The Respect for Marriage Act is the bill that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which federally prohibits respect of lawful marriages between same-sex couples and denies married same-sex couples over 1,100 protections afforded to different-sex married couples.
Freedom to Marry is a chair of the Respect for Marriage Coalition, a partnership of over 80 civil rights, faith, health, labor, legal, LGBT, student, and women's organizations working to build support for the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. You can learn more about the Coalition by visiting the Respect for Marriage Coalition microsite HERE.

Marriage News Watch: September 24, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Election 2012: Allen vs. Kaine Debate in Virginia

Mitt Romney Gaffe Compilation

Election 2012: Six Swing State Polls

From Political Wire:

 Here are the today's swing state polls, updated as needed throughout the day:

Colorado: Obama 51%, Romney 45% (Public Policy Polling)

Florida: Obama 50%, Romney 45% (American Research Group)

Iowa: Obama 51%, Romney 44% (American Research Group)

Michigan: Obama 54%, Romney 42% (Rasmussen)

Nevada: Obama 51%, Romney 44% (American Research Group)

Wisconsin: Obama 53%, Romney 41% (We Ask America)

GOP Wants Wealth Redistribution

Election 2012: Scott Brown & Elizabeth Warren (Debate #1)

Conservative (Joe Scarborough) VS. Conservative (Bay Buchanan)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Election 2012: Dems Pull Ahead in Key Senate Races

From Politico:

After no shortage of hand-wringing over Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, the Massachusetts Democrat has overtaken Brown in four consecutive polls.

After running behind in August, the former Harvard professor has pulled ahead of the freshman incumbent by 2 to 6 percentage points in surveys taken over the past two weeks. Her uptick came before any recalibration of her messaging — Schumer and other top Democrats urged her to hit Brown harder. But it did follow her prime-time convention speech, which helped lock down wavering Democrats as well as undecided voters who lean toward Obama.

“There are plenty of Democrats who like Scott Brown, but fewer are now willing to vote for him,” Public Policy Polling President Dean Debnam wrote in a memo on the race.
In Wisconsin, liberal Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who trailed Tommy Thompson in five straight August polls, has now vaulted ahead of him in several surveys. Three separate polls have Baldwin either deadlocked with or ahead of the former four-time governor. A survey by Marquette University — which gained notoriety for correctly forecasting Gov. Scott Walker’s margin in the Wisconsin recall — put Baldwin up by a jarring 9 points.

 While Republicans dismiss that margin, Thompson has been carpet-bombed on the airwaves this month. Thompson’s campaign has been largely dark as it replenished a diminished war chest from a grueling August primary. Baldwin and her allies have saturated the airwaves with $4.6 million in TV and radio ads, versus $2.5 million from Thompson and his allies since the Aug. 14 primary.
Even in Virginia — the race that has cemented itself as the most consistently competitive in the country — daylight has started to emerge for Democrats.
Tim Kaine, the former governor and onetime head of the Democratic National Committee, has carved out a lead against former Sen. George Allen.

A pair of polls from The Washington Post and Quinnipiac University had Kaine ahead of Allen by 7 and 8 points, making it five straight polls showing a lead for the Democrat.

Intel Cuts Ties With Boy Scouts Over Homophobia

The Boy Scouts of America has lost its largest corporate donor, Intel, which announced today that it will stop giving to the group unless it vows to stop discriminating against gay people.

The Intel Foundation was identified in an investigation by The American Independent, which was also posted by The Advocate, as having given about $700,000 in 2010 to the Boy Scouts. It was by far the largest share of corporate giving, with the Verizon Foundation donating more than $300,000 several big banks reaching the $100,000 range.

A petition calling on Intel to end its support gathered more than 30,000 signatures in little more than 24 hours. It's now been updated, proclaiming, "Victory!" Leading that push was activist Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout raised by two lesbian moms. He first got involved in the cause against the Scouts, which bans gays and lesbians from being troops or leaders, after mother Jennifer Tyrrell was removed as a den leader earlier this year.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tony Perkins Unconvinced by DADT Study

The study to which Perkins (president of the so-called Family Research Council) is responding has stated that there have been no major negative consequences (recruitment, retention, sexual harassment, etc.) as a result of the the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Perkins, however, had this to say (from Think Progress):

In the last few days, I’ve fielded plenty of calls from reporters asking, “Where’s all the fallout that FRC predicted?” And I’ll tell you what I told them. It’s impossible to gauge the full effect of sexualizing the military in one year. But make no mistake–the repercussions have begun. We’ve witnessed it in the decline of religious freedom, the censoring of chaplains, the embrace of same-sex “marriage,” and the special treatment for homosexual soldiers. [...]
Has America’s military completely collapsed in the first year after repeal? Of course not–our service members are too professional to let that to happen. But these challenges are only a non-story because the media won’t tell the story. We need only look at no-fault divorce in the 1970s to recognize that radical shifts in public policy take decades to fully manifest. No one can honestly deny the impact that no-fault divorce has had on children and the institution of the family. Within 20 years of the introduction of no-fault divorce, we saw the acceleration of cohabitation, single-parent homes, and unintended pregnancies. By the time Americans recognized their mistake, it was too late. Let’s hope the same isn’t true for our brave men and women in uniform.

Many other militaries throughout the world, including many of our closest allies beside whom our own soldiers have fought, also allow their gay/lesbian soldiers to serve openly and have done so far longer than the United States. These militaries have not fallen into sexual anarchy, and there is no reason to believe ours will either, that is, unless you ignore the facts (which is precisely what Tony Perkins does regularly).

Latina Responds to Mitt Romney

GOP Candidates Fleeing From Romney

Senate Candidate George Allen (R-VA)
From Huffington Post:

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on Wednesday became the latest Republican Senate candidate locked in a competitive race to distance himself from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks, which came to light after the wide release of a hidden camera video that documented Romney's appearance at a Boca Raton fundraiser. Heller joined Connecticut Senate aspirant Linda McMahon and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown in disowning Romney's take on the portion of the electorate he deemed to be "victims" who could not be convinced to forgo government assistance.
'I am not a rubber stamp for the national party and I am not responsible for the statements of Mitt Romney,' [Linda] Lingle [GOP Senate candidate from Hawaii] said in an email. 'With that said, I do not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance, as I know many of them are driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their ‘ohana. It is not fair to place these individuals into any one category. The people of Hawaii know I don’t believe in labels and I know they don’t either.'
In addition to Lingle, former Virginia Sen. George Allen, running against former Gov. Tim Kaine in a bid to return to the Senate, also distanced himself from Romney's remarks in a debate Thursday, saying that he has "his own point of view" on the matter, and that Americans "don't look at themselves as victims."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Choice I Never Made

Home Sweet Home
I grew up in a place called Lynchburg, Virginia. Maybe you have heard of it a time or two. Unfortunately, it was probably in the context of Liberty University (a conservative religious school founded by Jerry Falwell). Aside from that, I don't remember Lynchburg being particularly conservative, not that I really knew what that meant at the time, but this is central Virginia we are talking about.

When I was little, just like anyone else, there was a lot that I didn't know. Pertinent to this conversation, I didn't know what homosexual or gay meant. I didn't know anyone that openly identified as such. There were not really many LGBT characters on television in those days. It was not talked about in school (whether from the teachers or fellow students), at least until not until high school (when it was mainly inter-student gossip). There was no connection between myself and anything gay or even the concept of homosexuality whatsoever.

I was in grade four (ten years old) when I first had feelings for another guy that were, shall we say, more than platonic.

We keep hearing people (particularly from the political/religious right) saying that homosexuality is a choice, or it is learned, or something of that sort. As I said above, I did not know what gay was. I did not even know the word in any non-Christmas song context. As such, me choosing to be gay makes zero sense. How could I choose to be something that I did not at the time even know existed, let alone doing so at the age of ten? How could I have woken up one day at that tender young age and decided that homosexuality was the way to go?

The fact of the matter is this: when someone says being LGBT is a choice, they are speaking out of categorical ignorance. When we in the LGBT community say it is NOT a choice, we are speaking out of experience. One is far more reliable than the other.

Sports: The Last Closet

The Last Closet campaign is:

  • Committed to establishing the connection between positive gay role models and the reduction of gay teen suicide and bullying incidents.
  • A grassroots movement and campaign to end the prevailing silence around homophobia in pro sports and to encourage professional athletes, commissioners, team owners and other members of the sports world to consent to in-depth interviews about this subject. These interviews reveal what the current climate would be for a publicly out pro athlete (and what kind of support systems could/should be put in place).
  • A campaign that seeks to interact with online communities about the issue of homophobia in sports, and more specifically, discuss the possibility of an openly gay athlete in each of the five major sports coming out publicly while actively playing: football, baseball, basketball, soccer, or hockey.
  • A tool to educate viewers about homophobia in professional sports, past and present.
  • A resource providing in-depth video interviews with pivotal sports figures speaking about homophobia in sports.
You can find the website for "The Last Closet" HERE.

The Plight of Gays in Iran

You can find the film's Kick Starter Page HERE.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Election 2012: Obama & Baldwin Up in Wisconsin

Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin
From CNN:

A new poll of Wisconsin likely voters released Wednesday afternoon shows President Barack Obama with a double digit lead over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney there. It stands in contrast to other national and state polls released Tuesday and Wednesday which have shown a close race, some giving Obama a slight advantage over Romney. 

The Marquette Law School Poll put Obama 14 percentage points ahead of Romney among likely voters in the Badger State. It also shows a significant change in the Wisconsin race for a U.S. Senate seat.
A separate poll of likely Wisconsin voters released earlier on Wednesday also showed Obama with an edge, but significantly less of one. His six point advantage over Romney (51% to 45%) in the New York Times/CBS News/Quinnipiac survey was outside of the poll's sampling error but far less than was indicated in the Marquette poll. 

The Marquette poll showed Obama gaining five points and Romney losing six, as the two candidates were separated by three points in an August iteration of this survey. 

Romney's running mate is Rep. Paul Ryan, a seven-term congressman from the state. In mid-August, the state was moved from leaning in Obama's favor to a toss-up between Obama and Romney on the CNN Electoral Map. 

The poll also showed a significant shift in the U.S. Senate race between Rep. Tammy Baldwin and former Gov. Tommy Thompson. It shows Baldwin with a nine point lead over Thompson, 50% to 41% - a reversal of the two candidates' standings in the August survey. In that poll, Thompson was at 50% and Baldwin at 41%.

Tweet of the Day: September 19, 2012

Did Chick-fil-A Blink in Homophobia Battle?

Chick-Fil-A has reportedly stated it will no longer donate to anti-gay organizations or groups that actively oppose same-sex marriage. The $4 billion fast food chicken restaurant also reportedly has sent a company-wide memo stating the organization respects all people, including gay people, and supports equal treatment for all, according to a Chicago lawmaker, and local Chicago LGBT organization, who claim Chick-Fil-A will no longer funnel millions of dollars, via its Winshape Foundation, to anti-gay hate groups, like the Family Research Council, or anti-gay organizations like Focus On The Family.

The changes come as the result of a ten-month long negotiation headed by Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno, who came under intense fire for stating he would not allow Chick-Fil-A to open a restaurant in Chicago until they instituted policies disallowing discrimination.
But there is valid cause for skepticism. First, Chick-Fil-A has not announced publicly — aside from their vaguely-worded letter signed by their real estate director — they will stop all donations to groups who oppose same-sex marriage or equality for LGBT people, so, technically, the Winshape Foundation could donate to the Boy Scouts. And Chick-Fil-A could set up another foundation, or funnel donations elsewhere. Of course, the Cathy family can donate whatever and to whomever they please,

But it’s a start. Stay tuned.

Santorum: We'll Never Have Smart People On Our Side

FYI, this was at the so-called Value Voters Summit which is a gathering of socially conservative and conservative groups.

Election 2012: The Economy & the Horse Race

From the Washington Post:

It’s a minute-long spot, which suggests this represents a major effort by the campaign to frame the choice on Obama’s terms as we enter the final portion of the race, at a time when Obama seems to have taken a small but significant lead in national polls and key swing states. With many expecting Obama’s post-convention bounce to subside, this seems like an effort to consolidate whatever gains he’s made into something longer term.

The ad suggests the Obama campaign knows the “are you better off” question has to be tackled — it even shows Mitt Romney himself asking it — and tries to do so by contrasting the free-falling economy that Obama inherited with the most recent 20 months of private sector job growth. But the ad also is a bid to reframe the race in a forward-looking way. It contrasts Romney’s plans for tax cuts that would enormously benefit the rich and deregulation of the banks that cratered the economy with Obama’s promise of more investments in the middle class, more emphasis on clean energy (a bid to make the election about the future), and tax hikes for the rich to help pay for it and for bringing down the deficit (a bid for independents and college educated swing voters)...
According to four recent national polls, Romney has lost his advantage on who is better trusted on the economy. Meanwhile, polls from CNN and Fox News this week suggested that far more voters still blame Bush and Republicans for the current economy and that many voters are taking a more mixed view than simply grading Obama a failure when it comes to the pace of the recovery. So the crux of the issue, again, is whether Romney is proving wrong in his calculation that undecided voters can be persuaded that Obama resoundingly failed in the numbers he needs. If so, they can perhaps be persuaded to see the race on the terms spelled out in the new ad.

Obama Responds to "47 Percent" Comment on Letterman

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mitt Romney Cracks Hispanic "Joke"

Election 2012: Obama Up 8 Points in Virginia

From CNN:

According to a Washington Post survey released Tuesday, 52% of likely voters in Virginia say they support the president, with 44% backing Romney. Among the wider pool of registered voters, the poll indicates Obama with a 50-43% advantage over the former Massachusetts governor.
Thirteen electoral votes are up for grabs in Virginia.

The president's eight point lead among likely voters in the new poll compares to a five point advantage he held over Romney in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey in Virginia that was released last week.

The poll also asked about some of the other presidential choices on the ballot in Virginia. Former GOP Rep. Virgil Goode Jr. of Virginia has qualified on the ballot as a member of the Constitution party, as have Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. With those candidates factored in, Obama is at 48% among registered voters, with Romney at 40%, Johnson at 4%, Goode at 2% and Stein at 1%.

Gay-Friendly Church Cuts Ties With Anti-Gay Scouts

From USA Today:

A Brandywine Hundred church and the Boy Scout troop it has sponsored for the past 40 years are parting ways over the Scouts' national policy barring gay members and leaders.

Troop 70, nicknamed the "Peacemakers," is still meeting at Silverside Church while it seeks another organization to host it. Leaders at the nondenominational church, which touts its inclusiveness on its website, say the troop should have no trouble.

"I'm sure there are many organizations that would be a good match for them. They've been a wonderful troop," said Bruce Smith, leader of Silverside's lay Church Council.

"But at the same time, we have what our church stands for," he said. "When you're a sponsor, somebody is saying, รข??We agree with the other's belief system and values,' and that isn't the case anymore."
The Scouts' long-standing policy has been a source of friction with some of its sponsoring and funding organizations across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 upheld the group's right to set its membership and leadership rules. The policy returned to the spotlight in July when the Scouts reaffirmed their ban on "avowed homosexual" members and leaders.

The Obama Camp Responds to Romney's 47% Statement

Seriously, this only took a day to do. Brilliant!

MLB Player Marks Himself With a Homophobic Slur

From The Advocate:

Toronto Blue Jays player Yunel Escobar was caught with homophobia written all across his face.

The shortstop may face disciplinary action after wearing eyeblack during a Boston Red Sox game on Saturday, with the words, "Tu Ere Maricon" written in white across the black smudges. The Spanish-to-English translation of the phrase is essentially, "You are a faggot."

The team released a statement Monday, denouncing "discrimination of any kind...The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter."
UPDATE: Escobar will have a 3-game suspension, his lost salary will go to GLAAD and "You Can Play," and he will undergo sensitivity training. All and all, I think the punishment fits the crime.

GOP Rep. Want DADT Reinstated if Romney Wins

You can read more on this and on Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) at Think Progress.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) Called Out on CNN

Another Republican voices his disdain for facts and fact checkers. Why should we vote for people who publicly say they have no problems with lies?

Fox/Right-Wing Media Banned in Canada

From Current:

Fox News banned in Canada because, unlike in America, it’s illegal to lie on broadcast news.
Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast … any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right-wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987.
[Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper’s attempts to make lying legal on Canadian television are a stark admission that right-wing political ideology can only dominate national debate through dishonest propaganda. Since corporate profit-taking is not an attractive vessel for populism, a political party or broadcast network that makes itself the tool of corporate and financial elites must lie to make its agenda popular with the public. In the Unites States, Fox News and talk radio, the sock puppets of billionaires and corporate robber barons, have become the masters of propaganda and distortion on the public airwaves. Fox News’ notoriously biased and dishonest coverage of the Wisconsin’s protests is a prime example of the brand of news coverage Canada has smartly avoided.
 Score another one for Canada.

A Letter to Mitt Romney from a 47%'er

A message from founder of Right Off A Cliff Allen Clifton:

Romney...I was raised by a single mother working 2 jobs. Guess what? She hardly paid any into income taxes..if at all. Me and my sister were brought up on an income of less than $25K per year and struggled most of our childhood life. I walked home from school at the age of 8 because my mom was always at work. She worked more than 60 hours
per week for most of my childhood years.

But you know and my sister both ended up earning college degrees after coming from poverty raised by a mother who sacrificed so much to raise us the best she could with the hope to give us more and always telling us we should believe in ourselves.


Screw you if you say you don't care about those who don't pay into income tax... believing they expect the government to do everything for them. Screw you for vilifying the poor. Screw you for judging people you don't know a damn thing about.

But most of all.... thank you. Because your ignorance just assured those people like me that you'll never see the inside of the White House without first paying for a tour.


Allen Clifton and everyone you judged without understanding a f*cking thing about what their lives have been like.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Secret Video of Mitt Romney

 This speech was in front of some of Romney's millionaire donors, and I'm sure many of them pay little, no, or negative taxes.

Marriage News Watch: September 17, 2012

Election 2012: GOP Buyers' Remorse

We're Better Off Than 4 Years Ago

Election 2012: The Base Factor

From Buzzfeed:

Three Romney advisers told BuzzFeed the campaign's top priority now is to rally conservative Republicans, in hopes that they'll show up on Election Day, and drag their less politically-engaged friends with them. The earliest, ambiguous signal of this turn toward the party's right was the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate, a top Romney aide said.

"This is going to be a base election, and we need them to come out to vote," the aide said, explaining the pick.
The campaigns' — and particularly Romney's — new focus on the base is driven by data. Recent public polls in major battleground states suggest the portion of the electorate that is truly undecided in this race is tiny, and shrinking. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed that, with seven weeks to go until election day, just 6 percent of Ohio voters are undecided; in Florida and Virginia, the figure is 5 percent. And, of course, there's no guarantee those people will turn out to vote at all.
Nationally, the Romney is running the campaign his Boston team has claimed to be running all along: a conservative businessman, wielding a laser-like focus on unemployment, and a promise to bring the American economy roaring back with a five-step plan. It's a message the punditocracy approves of, and the Republican establishment is comfortable with. It's also the message that helped Romney win the fundraising war over the summer, with wealthy business leaders eager to write checks for one of their own.

But last week, Romney's stump speech — once an unchanging recitation of the campaign's economic talking points that clocked in reliably at 18 to 20 minutes every time — was in a constant state of flux, with the candidate tailoring his remarks to elicit as many applause lines as possible from the partisans in the room.

In heavily-Evangelical Sioux County, Iowa, Romney's introductory speakers — including conservative Rep. Steve King — sermonized at length about keeping Christian values, and vouched for his love of Jesus Christ. In Virginia Beach, he spoke to a flag-waving crowd of veterans and military families — appearing alongside televangelist Pat Robertson — and built his remarks around patriotism, defense spending, and keeping God on the national currency.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Election 2012: Obama vs. Romney on Values

Election 2012: Romney Prosecuting Pornography

Mitt Romney’s campaign told a leading anti-pornography group that the Republican nominee will pursue and prosecute pornography if elected president.
The isn’t the first time that pornography became an issue in the campaign. Romney signed Morality in Media’s pledge during the Republican primaries, promising “strict enforcement for our nation’s obscenity laws,” calling the matter “imperative.” In addition, the national GOP platform calls for “vigorously” enforcing anti-pornography laws. The effort is a throwback to the Bush administration, when Attorney General John Ashcroft spent “millions to file charges across the country” in an attempt to target “just about everything on the Internet and almost everything in the video stores and everything in the adult bookstores.”
Though the Republican nominee may not discuss the issue on the stump, anti-pornography activists are excited about the prospect of a Romney presidency.

This sounds to me like Romney endorsing big intrusive government. Not very conservative, let alone severely conservative.

Romney Calls Obama a Liar (And More)

Limbaugh's Osama/Obama Conspiracy

Thursday, September 13, 2012

28+ Pro-Gay NFL Players

From Outsports:

It took Chris Kluwe invoking the specter of “cockmonsters” for the public to realize that their are NFL players who are pro-gay marriage. Kluwe, of the Minnesota Vikings, was defending fellow player Brendon Ayanbadejo for supporting marriage equality in Maryland. Ayanbadejo was criticized for speaking out by politician Emmett Burns, who wrote that “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.”

How wrong Burns is and he was off by more than two dozen. Outsports has identified 28 current NFL players (as well as some free agents and some in management) who have issued support for gays — be it marriage or as teammates or gay rights in general. (Thanks to a reader, we have added Shaun Cody of the Texans to the original list). Some are huge stars, such as Robert Griffin III and Rob Gronkowski, but all have been articulate and thoughtful on the issue. 

The number is almost certainly larger — Ayanbadejo estimates that 70% of NFL players support gay marriage (which would be 1,187 players). That’s an impossible figure to verify short of polling all 1,696 players, so we’ll stick with what is in the public realm. Our list represents only people Outsports has interviewed or whose views have been publicized.

You can see Outsports' list of pro-gay NFL players HERE.

Judge Strikes Down Indefinite Detention (NDAA)

Election 2012: Virginia's Importance

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Election 2012: Michele Bachmann in Danger

From Salon:

Despite her national fan base and a massive war chest, Rep. Michele Bachmann may be in more danger than most suspect, with a new poll showing her lead diminished to just 2 points. Independent voters have swung against her by nearly 20 points in just two months, from a 4 percent advantage to a 15 point disadvantage. The internal poll, conducted by Democratic pollsters Greenberg Quinlan Rosner at the behest of Democrat Jim Graves’ campaign and shared with Salon, shows that Bachmann’s favorability rating has tumbled since their last survey in mid-June, and finds Graves gaining ground with independents as his name recognition grows.

Overall, the poll shows Bachmann leading Graves 48-46 percent, within the margin of error. The race has moved significantly among independents, with a 20-point net shift toward Graves, from a 41-45 percent disadvantage in June to a 52-37 percent lead now. Among independents, Bachmann’s favorability rating has slipped 4 points while her unfavorability rating has jumped 7 points. Overall, she’s viewed mostly negatively. Among all voters, 40 percent give her a positive job rating, while a sizable 57 percent give her a negative one, with a plurality of 35 percent giving the most negative answer possible — “poor.”
There’s been no other public polling of the district, though it’s reasonable to assume that the Bachmann campaign has commissioned its own surveys. The fact that none have been released suggests that Bachmann’s numbers also do not bode well for her. Meanwhile, she underperformed in her Republican primary last month.

One less wing-nut in Congress is definitely a good thing. It would also allow her to spend more time with her wife, Marcus.

Election 2012: Gary Johnson (Libertarian)

Romney Clueless About Gay families

“I didn’t know you had families,” remarked Romney to the group, according to Wilson.

The offhanded remark underscored that Romney, the governor of the first state prepared to grant same-sex marriage, hadn’t taken the time to look at what the landmark case was really about. By this point the plaintiff’s stories had been widely covered by national media — in particular, Julie Goodridge’s heartrending tale of how her then-partner, Hillary, was denied hospital visitation following the precarious birth of daughter Annie. It was the ignorance of these facts — and Romney’s inaccurate, insensitive answer to her parting question, that pushed Julie Goodridge to her breaking point.

“I looked him in the eye as we were leaving,” recalls Goodridge. “And I said, ‘Governor Romney, tell me — what would you suggest I say to my 8 year-old daughter about why her mommy and her ma can’t get married because you, the governor of her state, are going to block our marriage?’”

His response, according to Goodridge: “I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.”

Romney’s retort enraged a speechless Goodridge; he didn’t care, and by referring to her biological daughter as “adopted,” it was clear he hadn’t even been listening. By the time she was back in the hallway, she was reduced to tears.

Again, why should anyone vote for this unsympathetic, heartless robot?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Today in WTF, Romney Killed Bin Laden

Marriage News Watch: September 10, 2012

Anderson Cooper on Coming Out

The Gay Recruitment Myth

Guncle Sam wants YOU...?
One of the many false claims that social conservatives lay on those fighting for LGBT equality is the allegation that gay people seek to recruit others into the “gay lifestyle.” Forgetting the fact that these people have no genuine concept of what this so-called “gay lifestyle” actually is, there are two main problems with this recruitment assertion that I want to address.

First, and foremost, it is categorically false.

In order to recruit someone into being gay, being gay would have to be a choice…which it certainly is not. Even if it were, who in their right mind would choose to be subject to the amount of discrimination to which the LGBT community is subject? It makes zero sense, and it is something that has never been adequately answered by the very people who repeatedly claim sexual orientation is a choice.

All of the empirical evidence that exists points to an as yet undetermined biological influence on sexuality. What other explanation would there be? What other commonality do all gay people share? It isn’t geography. People from all over the world - liberal places, conservative places, places that are more gay-friendly, places that are extremely homophobic - end up gay. It isn’t family. Again, people from single parent homes end up gay, people with a mom and a dad in their lives end up gay. It isn’t the Devil either. There are many devoutly religious people of various faiths that end up being gay. Every explanation for homosexuality that conservatives have attempted to pose has been soundly thrown down by simple logic, a concept that seems foreign to them.


Second, it is categorically hypocritical on at least two fronts.

First, there are lots of private conservative educational institutions that seek to indoctrinate people into believing that all gay people have earned a one-way ticket to Hell just by being gay. One of them, Liberty University, is in my hometown (imagine my pride in that). It is not just their institutions of higher learning, there are also their private (mainly religious) grade schools. It was reported late last year that a Christian Academy in Tennessee will kick you out of school just for being gay. Part of this particular school’s policy reads:
"A staff member or student who promotes, engages in, or identifies himself/herself with such activity through any word or action shall be in violation of this policy. Should the administration determine a violation of this policy, the person involved will be subject to disciplinary action with the possibility of permanent dismissal. Any applicant who is not in compliance with this policy will not be admitted."

By that reading, even being openly gay-friendly may get you kicked out as a student or fired as a teacher, let alone being a gay student or teacher will get you booted. Freedom of speech, which social conservatives claim they are being robbed of, ceases to exist in these institutions because you would not be able to voice your support for a gay family member or friend. Since the institutions that have such policies are predominantly private, there is no recourse and the homophobic indoctrination which occurs there goes on unchecked.

Marcus & Michelle Bachmann
Second, while these people accuse the LGBT community of recruiting people into homosexuality, it is they who are trying to recruit gay people into heterosexuality. They prey on people who are conflicted about themselves at an exceedingly difficult time in their lives and make the promise that they can pray the gay away…which is simply untrue. Again, we come to the notion of choice which, in the case of sexual orientation, does not exist as has been said already. Former Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus have a "Christian counseling center" that has been exposed as an organization which practices so-called "reparative" therapy, which is actually not reparative or therapeutic. Such organizations are at best incredibly ignorant about sexual orientation. At worst, they are complete scams that have been shown to be utterly ineffective. Their efforts to recruit people from one sexual orientation to another are unbelievably hypocritical...not to mention complete failures.

Our sexual orientation is what it is, and one can not be “recruited” into another sexual orientation. Whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, or wherever in between, that is who you are. Embrace it and do NOT let others make you ashamed of who you are.

Paul Ryan on ABC

Pat Robertson's Advice: Beat Your Wife


On a tangential note, I'm sure there are same-sex couples that are far kinder to each other than this "traditionally" married couple.

DADT's Repeal NOT Apocalyptic

From Think Progress:

  • Repealing DADT has had no overall negative impact on military readiness, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment, or morale.
  • Greater openness and honesty post-repeal may have actually increased understanding, respect, and acceptance.
  • Recruitment has remained robust.
  • Retention was unaffected by repeal. Only two individuals’ departure can be tied to repeal, both military chaplains.
  • There has been no increase in violence within units; in fact, many harassment disputes can now be resolved in ways that were not possible when servicemembers could not disclose their sexual orientation.
  • Unit morale was not impacted, except on the individual level depending on a servicemember’s personal position on the issue of DADT.
  • LGB servicemembers did not come out en masse.
You can find the study from the Palm Center HERE.