Thursday, February 28, 2013

NFL Recruiters Rebuked For Questioning Sexual Orientation

From Outsports:

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported last week that teams wanted to ask Manti Te’o if he is gay. University of Colorado tight end Nick Kasa reported after the combine that he was asked about his sexual orientation by at least one NFL team.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Outsports the league is looking into it and will take action:

“Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws. It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process. In addition, there are specific protections in our collective bargaining agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation. We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.”

Tweet of the Day: February 28, 2013

Obama Admin. to File Anti-Prop. 8 Amicus Brief

From NBC News:

Administration officials say the Justice Department will urge the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage to resume in California, wading into the protracted legal battle over Proposition 8 and giving gay-rights advocates a new court ally.

After first suggesting it would not get involved, the Obama administration will file a friend-of-the-court brief late today in support of the two gay couples who launched the fight over the issue four years ago, the officials said. Today is the last day for filing briefs in support of the couples' position.

The administration last year signaled it might stay on the sidelines. In May, when President Obama first said that "same-sex couples should be able to get married," he added that it was not a matter for the federal government.

Westboro Member Has Gay Friend...Apparently


Bachmann: “I Didn’t Get Anything Wrong”

From Salon:

Tea Party Rep. Michele Bachmann has been laying low since last November’s election when she came dangerously close to losing her House seat, possibly in preparation for a bid against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken in 2014.

But Bachmann, being Bachmann, couldn’t stay quiet forever — or even very long. And yesterday, she participated in a “newsmaker interview” at Patrick Henry College, a conservative evangelical school in Virginia (the man who introduced her said he wished the Tea Party movement had been “a little more conservative”). She addressed everything from her favorite contemporary singer (Beyoncé) to gay marriage (bad) to her mistakes (none).
But perhaps her most revealing answers came when she spoke about her failed presidential bid. “I was very proud of the fact that I didn’t get anything wrong that I said during the course of the debates. I didn’t get anything wrong and that’s a huge arena,” she said.

“You have to be a virtual Wikipedia,” she said of preparing for the debates, because, “You can be asked anything. You could be asked, who’s your favorite contemporary singer?” Later a student asked that very question and Bachmann replied that it was Beyoncé, whose Super Bowl show she enjoyed, though she also thought Michael Bublé is “pretty cool.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Marriage News Watch: February 25, 2013

Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage

From the New York Times
Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election. 

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act. 

The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom...”

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gay Go-Go Dancer Saves The Day

Tweet of the Day: February 25, 2013

Virginia GOP Candidate Ripped By Business Leaders

From Politico:
...In a weekend interview with POLITICO, however, [Gary] Shapiro [CEO of the Arlington-based Consumer Electronics Association] expressed deep reservations about Cuccinelli and said he feared hard-core social conservative policies would make Virginia less attractive for business.

“I’ve told Cuccinelli I would not support him,” said Shapiro,an independent who supported Mitt Romney last year and has criticized Cuccinelli in a Washington Post op-ed. “Virginia’s incredible tilt rightward, thanks to a lot of Cuccinelli initiatives, has not been helpful at promoting Virginia as a diverse, pro-business state.”
With Cuccinelli as the national party’s most prominent off-year candidate, Shapiro said he was concerned about “how the United States views Republicans in 2013.”

That’s partly why Friday’s back-and-forth is so embarrassing for Cuccinelli: A coming-out party for the attorney general in front of a national big money crowd turned into another reminder of the internal difficulties he’s faced since pushing Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling from the race in November...

Conservative Group Attacks Tim Tebow Over "Big Gay"

From the Huffington Post:
Commenters criticized Fischer for damaging Tebow's evangelical message and asked why such a hateful church like First Baptist [the church where Tebow was to speak] deserves respect. 

Still, Jeffress [the pastor of First Baptist Church] claims Tebow never cancelled his appearance at First Baptist Church of Dallas. In an interview with the AFA's Tim Wildmon, Jeffress said that Tebow has merely rescheduled the speech to a later date once the controversy blows overs, Right Wing Watch reports. 

Jeffress' inflammatory preachings have made headlines for the past 15 years.

In 1998, he checked out all books from the Wichita Library that included gay parents and refused to return them, The Advocate notes. He called homosexuality "filthy" and "degrading" in a 2008 speech, titled "Gay Is Not OK." In 2010, he claimed Islam is a religion that "promotes pedophilia." During the 2012 presidential election he advised his congregation to vote against Mitt Romney and claimed Mormonism is a "cult."

The Right Freaks Out Over the Oscars

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

The First Lady announced that the nominees for Best Picture, “taught us that love can beat all odds. They reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage within ourselves.”

“It’s through cinema,” Mrs. Obama added, that “our children learn to open their imagination and dream just a little bigger and to strive every day to reach those dreams.”

But the First Lady also delivered a shout-out to the LGBT community, concluding, “These lessons apply to all of us no matter who we are or what we look like or where we come from or who we love.”

Cue. Right. Wing. Freak. Out. Now…

Montana Bill Would Let Corporations Vote

From Think Progress:

Provision for vote by corporate property owner. (1) Subject to subsection (2), if a firm, partnership, company, or corporation owns real property within the municipality, the president, vice president, secretary, or other designee of the entity is eligible to vote in a municipal election as provided in [section 1].
(2) The individual who is designated to vote by the entity is subject to the provisions of [section 1] and shall also provide to the election administrator documentation of the entity’s registration with the secretary of state under 35-1-217 and proof of the individual’s designation to vote on behalf of the entity.
The bill does contain some limits on these new corporate voting rights. Most significantly, corporations would not be entitled to vote in “school elections,” and the bill only applies to municipal elections. So state and federal elections would remain beyond the reach of the new corporate voters.

In fairness to Lavin’s fellow lawmakers, this bill was tabled shortly after it came before a legislative committee, so it is unlikely to become law. A phone call to Lavin was not returned as of this writing.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Catholic Pedophilia Investigator Jailed For Pedophilia

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

The Catholic Church’s pedophilia investigator, in charge of child protection and interviewing adults who as children had been victims of pedophile priests today was jailed on pedophilia charges in England. 49-year old Christopher Jarvis, a married man with four children of his own, began serving his 12-month sentence after serving the Catholic Church for nine years in a dioscese that included 120 Catholic Churches. Jarvis admitted to the charges, which included possession of 4000 images of pre-pubescent boys, including several depicting sadism, child rape, and torture.
“The revelations that the church hired a peadophile in a key child protection role will add to the controversy surrounding the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales over its handling of sexual abuse,” The Daily Mail reported today.

Virginia Gov. Candidate Supports Marriage Equality

From the Washington Blade:
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Friday publicly backed marriage rights for same-sex couples for the first time.

“I believe everyone should be treated fairly,” the former Democratic National Committee chair said in response to a question on the subject during a Google chat. “I personally favor civil marriage for committed couples of the same-sex.”

McAuliffe’s comments come a week after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, against whom he will likely face in the commonwealth’s gubernatorial election later this year, reaffirmed his opposition to nuptials for gays and lesbians during an appearance on News Talk with Bruce DePuyt.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Obama Admin. Files Anti-DoMA Brief to SCOTUS

From Buzzfeed:

The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act's prohibition on recognition of same-sex couples' marriages in a Friday filing, arguing that laws that target gay people should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

Under such heightened scrutiny, as it is called, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli says that Section 3 of DOMA, which defines "spouse" and "marriage" under federal law as only those marriages between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.
In summary, the administration argues:
Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.
You can find the full text of the brief HERE.

Journalist Ousted For Doing Her Job...Allegedly

It would be an absolute abomination for O'Brien to be replaced by Burnett. This is a bad day for journalism, and a terrible move by CNN.

Tweet of the Day: February 22, 2013

Here is the statement to which the link goes:

Stay classy, Johnny!

NJ Seeks to Override Governor On Marriage Equality

Governor Chris Chrisrie (R-NJ)

In early 2012, lawmakers in New Jersey successfully passed marriage equality bill, but Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed it, claiming same-sex marriage was not an issue of “gay rights.” The legislature has until January 2014 to attempt to override that veto, and Democratic leaders in both chambers announced this week that they will attempt to do just that.

The bill originally passed the Senate with a 24-16 vote, so only three more votes are needed to reach a two-thirds majority for the override. In the Assembly, however, the bill only passed 42-33, so 12 more votes are needed. Lawmakers will likely wait until after the June elections to hold the vote so that Republicans are more willing to consider a controversial vote. LGBT activists have been lobbying for more support for an override since the bill’s passage last year, primarily because they are opposed to a referendum.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Republican Jon Huntsman Evolves on Marriage

From the Advocate:

Headlined "Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause," the former Utah governor and failed Republican presidential candidate wrote in The American Conservative that "we need to take a hard look at what today’s conservatism stands for."

He called marriage equality "the right thing to do" and warned that Republicans will continue to lose national elections if the party doesn't evolve. "The American people will not hear us out if we stand against their friends, family, and individual liberty," he wrote.

"Marriage is not an issue that people rationalize through the abstract lens of the law; rather it is something understood emotionally through one’s own experience with family, neighbors, and friends," Huntsman wrote. "The party of Lincoln should stand with our best tradition of equality and support full civil marriage for all Americans."

The Time for a Gay Professional Athlete Is Now

From the Huffington Post:
As over 100 million fans watched Super Bowl XLVII, there were two gay stories in the media. Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a vocal activist for gay rights since 2009, continued his advocacy by leveraging the media surrounding the Super Bowl to raise awareness for LGBT equality. On the other side of the field, in a publicity fumble, 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was taped in an interview saying, "We don't got no gay people on the team. You know, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff. ... Nah, can't be ... in the locker room." The team immediately condemned the player's words, but the fumble continued as 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga denied having participated in the NFL's first video for the It Gets Better project, which supports LGBT youth, many of whom are bullied. Who would have thought that the 49ers' return to the Super Bowl, after an 18-year drought, would find them doing damage control around homophobia? And how ironic, given San Francisco's gay-friendly reputation!
What will the locker room be like? Are more professional athletes like Culliver than Ayanbadejo? A hostile locker-room atmosphere was depicted in last week's Necessary Roughness, with players mocking gay stereotypes; Chris Kluwe called the portrayal accurate. Nevertheless, as I pointed out earlier, marriage equality polls favorably among athletes. More likely, most players, like most Americans, aren't aware of, don't care about or don't think about the sexual orientation of their co-workers. These players are young, and locker rooms have long been home to mockery and explicit sexual jokes. While we tend to think of professional athletes as adults -- contemporaries of the audience -- these players are young adults. The NFL's average age is 26. Perhaps they lack emotional maturity, but they are also part of a generation raised to believe in tolerance and equality. Most importantly, they are trained to be teammates. And just as troops follow their generals and officers into battle, when coaches and team captains vocally support the openly gay players, the locker-room mentally will begin to shift toward acceptance. 

Allies are already in place to support this hypothetical player. NFL players Chris Kluwe, Connor Barwin and Brendon Ayanbadejo and legends Scott Fujita, Michael Strahan and Michael Irvin are all allies. Last week in the NBA, the Lakers' Kobe Bryant proved a supporter, chiding fans for anti-gay tweets. League executives are also supporters. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue both have gay family and are supporters. The NFL Players Association, like all player unions, is unwavering in its loyalty to its members. This hypothetical athlete will be fortified at all levels.

Anti-Gay Teacher Placed on Administrative Leave

An Indiana high school teacher whose comment that she believes gays have no purpose in life has been suspended amid tighter security at her school.

Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana’s Sullivan County issued a statement Wednesday saying the teacher has been placed on administrative leave and that state and local police are stationing officers at North Central Junior-Senior High School as a precaution because of “aggressive” email messages sent to the school and the teacher.

Baker did not identify the teacher, but special education teacher Diana Medley’s comments were met with widespread criticism amid news coverage of an alternative prom dance at a nearby school that would ban gay students.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tweet of the Day: February 20, 2013

How Many Americans Are Gay?

Americans Are Done With DoMA

From the Washington Post (written by Jonathan Capehart):
Two new polls out today show that support for marriage equality and rejection of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are on the rise. President Obama hasn’t said whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Yet an overwhelming majority of Americans believes that they do.

According to a poll conducted for the Respect for Marriage Coalition, “Three-quarters of voters (75%) believe that [same-sex marriage] is a Constitutional right.” This is up four points since 2011. Also, such support “spans across party lines.”
Democrats: 91 percent Independents: 75 percent Republican: 56 percent
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of Americans (83 percent), “regardless of their personal opinion on the issue,” believes that same-sex marriage will be legal nationally “in the next five to 10 years.” The number drops to 77 percent for those who believe marriage equality will go national “in the next couple of years.” The only way marriage equality can go national is if DOMA is repealed either by a ruling of the Supreme Court or by Congress...

One claim with which I will take issue is the last sentence in the excerpt. Even if DoMA fell today, there would still be 31 states that have laws/constitutional amendments that preclude the legal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples. Unless there was a Loving v. Virginia kind of ruling, i.e. the Supreme Court saying that states can not deny the right of same-sex couples to be married (this is essentially what Loving v. Virginia did for interracial couples), those states' equality bans would still be in effect. I am no legal scholar, but I am pretty sure this is such a ruling would work.

Other than that, it is very good to see these numbers, especially the ones showing even a majority of Republicans support marriage equality. I have also seen social conservatives mentioning how racial minorities tend to be against marriage equality. This seems to be a misconception, though it may have been true in the past. Every socio-economic strata of this country is seeing, at the very least, an uptick in support for marriage equality. Hopefully with this trend, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act at the federal level, and its state level kindred, will soon be in the dustbin of the past.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tweet of the Day: February 19, 2013

How Blue America Subsidizes Red America

From Slate:
...high-income people living in low-income states are generally very conservative in their political ideology but probably benefit more from federal income support programs more than they realize. If you own fast food franchises in the Nashville area, for example, you're going to form a self-perception as a self-reliant businessman but the existence of Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit are helping to ensure that your customers have adequate income to sometimes eat at your Taco Bell. These chains of dependency snake even longer. If you sell luxury cars in Florida, many of your customers are probably medical professionals who are earning high incomes because other people have Medicare benefits. The aggregate geographic transfer patterns, in other words, do make a real difference to the economic life of the nation. The existence of transfer payments props up the entire local economies of low-income, low-productivity parts of the country. 

The other point is that the fact that we don't think of the issues in this way is important to making the overall country work. Voters, whether they're liberal or conservative, don't think about Boston subsidizing Louisiana. They think about high-income people (a disproportionately large number of whom happen to live in the Boston area) subsidizing low-income people (a disproportionately large number of whom happen to live in Louisiana) and debate the issues on broad ideological grounds. Absent that commitment to broad ideological thinking we'd be in roughly the situation that the European Union is currently in, with Boston-area people happy to participate in a joint economic undertaking with Louisiana to some extent but horrified by the notion that their hard work should subsidize Bayou indolence...

Marriage News Watch: February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tweet of the Day: February 18, 2013

Minnesota To See Marriage Equality Bill Introduced

[Minnesota State Senator Scott] Dibble says he has plans to introduce a bill to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota this week, according to the CBS affiliate in St. Paul.

'It’s just simply an amendment that removes the restriction that disallows some couples from getting married,' Dibble says. 'My strong sense, even from folks in greater Minnesota, is that they’re comfortable with this, they know that Minnesota has changed a lot and is continuing to change at a very rapid pace.'

Governor Mark Dayton has said he will sign a bill legalizing same-sex marriage if it passes both houses of the state legislature.
From almost banning marriage equality constitutionally to having a marriage equality bill introduced, a turn around of about three months. Good luck to the Minnesota legislature getting this passed.

NYC Subway Passengers Rally Around Gay Man

Yet Another "Don't Say Gay" Bill in Tennessee

...As The New Civil Rights Movement reported in January of last year, “Rep. John Ragan, a Southern Baptist, pro-life, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-education Republican, responded to a constituent’s letter asking him to oppose a now-infamous Tennessee bill that essentially delivers a license to bully to anyone who claims religious or moral prerogative. Ragan used the phrase ‘mentally healthy adult human being,’ as in, gays and lesbians are not mentally healthy adult human beings, three times in his letter.”

Ragan’s bill, ironically introduced on Valentine’s Day, is identical to Sen. Campfield’s, and legally requires that any school official approached by any student with questions or comments about “inconsistent with natural human reproduction,” i.e., homosexuality, contact that child’s parents.

In other words. if Johnny is gay, bi, or trans, or questioning, and approaches his favorites trusted teacher, that teacher would now be required to contact Johnny’s parents and out him. In the state of Tennessee, where it’s safe to say the overwhelming majority of parents likely would not be welcoming.

If the Campfield-Ragan bill passes and if Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs it into law, expect Tennessee’s LGBTQ homeless population to increase, expect more LGBTQ youth and teen suicides, and expect tolerance to drop.

In short, if Tennessee’s “new and improved” “Don’t Say Gay” bill becomes law, Stacey Campfield and John Ragan will have blood on their hands...

Can the Pope Be Prosecuted?

Alaska Republicans Laugh At Equal Rights

Saturday, February 16, 2013

So God Made A Gay Man

Out MLS Player Finds Outpouring of Support

From Outsports:
In the the aftermath of a big news story, Twitter is a great first-read on how people are seeing an event. With pro soccer player Robbie Rogers announcing he is gay and stepping away from the game, Twitter was abuzz with reaction and it was universally supportive.  “Thank you everyone for all of the support and love. Wasn’t expecting this,” Rogers wrote in his first tweet since coming out.

“Welcome to the family.”
–Lori Lindsey, openly lesbian member of the U.S. Women’s National Team

“100 percent love and support for one of my best friends Robbie Rogers. You will be missed on the pitch. Amazing talent, amazing person.”
–Sacha Kljestan, member of U.S. Men’s National Team

“Fully support @robbierogers as he steps away from the game and comes out about being gay. #respect”
–Taylor Twellman, ESPN soccer analyst and former pro soccer player

“Extremely proud of the courage from @robbierogers. Truth is not always easy to display, but truly strong people always find a way #RESPECT”
–Oguchi Onyewu, U.S. national team member

“The courage @robbierogers has shown coming out is of the class most men can only dream of. I was lucky to call him a teammate. I hope his bravery helps pave a path for others to know they don’t need to hide.”
–Colin Clark, Los Angeles Galaxy player

It is very heartening to see the soccer world rally around Rogers and show their support. My personal hope is that he finds his way back to the pitch where he can be an inspiration to up-and-coming LGBT athletes who may be conflicted about playing their respective sports and being out.

Olympic Wrestling Gay Conspiracy

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tweet of the Day: February 15, 2013

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Action

Anti-Gay Activist Hired By DC Comics

On Homosexuality Many Christians Get The Bible Wrong

From the Washington Post (written by Adam Hamilton, senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection):

There are a handful of Scriptures (five or eight depending upon how one counts) that specifically speak of same-sex intimacy as unacceptable to God. Conservatives or traditionalists see these as reflecting God’s timeless will for human relationships. Progressives look at these same scriptures in much the same way that progressives in the nineteenth century looked at the Bible’s teaching on slavery. They believe that these verses capture the cultural understandings and practices of sexuality in biblical times, but do not reflect God’s will for gay and lesbian people. 

In my own life, it was both reading the Bible’s passages on same-sex intimacy in the same light as passages on slavery (and violence and the place of women) and coming to know gay and lesbian people that led me to see this issue differently, particularly children who grew up in my church who loved God and sought to serve Christ. As I listened to their stories I saw that they did not fit the stereotypes I had been taught about gay and lesbian people. The love they shared with others looked very much like the love I share with my wife --a deep friendship and companionship. And their faith was as authentic as that of anyone else in my congregation.

For many Christians today, particularly young adults, the handful of Bible verses related to same sex intimacy seem more like the 100 plus verses on slavery than they do the teachings of Jesus and his great commandments to love God and neighbor. Their gay and lesbian friends are people, just like them, in need of love and community. I believe that in the years ahead an increasing number of Christians, not only progressives, but also conservatives, will read the Bible’s passages regarding homosexuality as all Christians today read the Bible’s passages on slavery. And the sermons preached from America’s pulpits decrying the rights of homosexuals today will sound to future generations much like the pro-slavery sermons sound to us today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Obama Promises Equal Treatment In The Military

Tweet of the Day: February 13, 2013

Twitter Watch: Blocked By Conservatives

Matt Barber
I try to be a respectful person on Twitter, or at least as respectful as the person or organization to whom I am tweeting. I try to refrain from name-calling. I try to refrain from cursing. I do not harass. I do not threaten. I try to be as kind as possible in my disagreements with others. That said, when someone makes a statement with which I disagree or says something which is hateful, ignorant, or factually incorrect, I have little no problem pointing this out, making my opinion known, , or giving the actual facts pointing out how and why the other person is wrong or misguided. It has become apparent, however, that some people can not even take civil disagreement.

Rick Santorum
Several conservative, especially socially conservative, people on Twitter have blocked least I only know of a few. The irony is that I have been more civil to these folks than they probably deserve. Most of these folks who have blocked me have said some incredibly hateful, hurtful, and false things about entire swaths of society. They call gay people seeking equal protections under the law "homofascists." They say that liberals are Godless heathens who are trying to destroy America specifically and society as a whole. The say the Boy Scouts should have Jerry Sandusky (a convicted pedophile) as their poster boy merely because the Scouts are considering relaxation of a long-standing anti-gay policy, thus implying that most/all gay people are pedophiles. The list, unfortunately goes on and on and on. Not to be immodest, but given the stones that these people are implicitly throwing my way, my responses have been relatively saintly.

Bryan Fischer
Some people simply do not like dissent, no matter how respectful it is, no matter how measured it is, and no matter how true it is. They would rather throw out their insults free from critical voices and only hearing from those who agree with them. Hearing dissent, especially truthful dissent, is how we learn and grow. These conservatives blocking such voices, however, goes to show how small some are willing to remain.

-Rick Santorum: Former Pennsylvania Senator, former GOP Presidential candidate
-Matt Barber: Liberty Counsel (a designated hate group)
-Bryan Fischer: President of the so-called American Family Association (a designated hate group)
-Chris Barron: Co-founder of the conservative gay group GOProud
Chris Barron

Students/Staff Denounce Anti-Gay Prom Ban

In an interview with local NBC affiliate WTWO, Sullivan High School Principal David Springer clarified that officials had no involvement with the group calling for the gay-free prom and that all students are will be welcome at the school-officiated event in May.

"Anybody can go to the prom," he said. "Of course, a girl could go out with another girl if they didn't have a date or that was their choice."

Echoing Springer's sentiments was Dale Wise, senior minister at Sullivan First Christian Church where the anti-gay prom group met. "Our church has no involvement in this whatsoever," he is quoted as saying. "It's a community thing where people have met here."

As it turns out, the teacher who caused the most controversy after she equated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens to those with special needs in an earlier news report isn't even affiliated with Sullivan High School. The report notes that special education Diana Medley, who was among the students and parents present at a Feb. 10 meeting demanding that gay students be barred from attending the alternate dance, actually teaches as North Central Junior/Senior High School in nearby Farmersburg, Ind.
So this anti-gay teacher is trying to get a school to discriminate and she teaches at a completely different school? And she has not been fired because...?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tweet of the Day: February 12, 2013

"Family Values" Congressman Stiffs His Kids...Again

From the National Memo:

The “family values” ex-congressman, who has remarried and presumably supports the children he had with his second wife, enjoyed an annual salary of $174,000 for the two years he was in Congress, and somehow managed to loan his own campaign $35,000 and take expensive vacations with his girlfriend while claiming to be too poor to support his children. His wife eventually had to sue to wring a dime out of him, and after nearly 10 years of legal wrangling, court-ordered payments were deducted from his congressional paycheck from the time he took office.
However, those payments actually stopped at the end of 2012, according to paystubs obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, and now Walsh is once again trying his hand at the court system, this time filing a “Motion to Terminate Child Support Obligation” in an attempt to legally stiff his ex-wife and children this time.
Joe’s employment has been terminated through no voluntary act of his own and he is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation. Due to a substantial change in circumstances, Joe requests that his child support obligation be terminated based on his present income and circumstances.
Just so we are clear, this is the same congressman who received a "family values" award form the so-called Family Research Council while at the time owing over 170,000 in child support. Clearly, the people always talking about "family values" are merely talking out of their collective rear ends.

State of the Union Drinking Game 2013

The Rules

Start off right. Take a drink if the state of the union is 'strong' - take two drinks if it is anything other than strong.
Take a drink* when you hear any of the following words or phrases
Let me be clear
Invest (ing/ment)
The time for (anything) is now
Robot Uprising
Middle Class

Watch the Audience
Take a drink any time the camera cuts to a special guest who gets a shout out from the president. A mention alone does not count - they must also receive camera time.

Optional Bonus Drinking
In the tradition of DebateDrinking, select either Democrats or Republicans and take a drink every time only your side applauds.

French Assembly Passes Marriage & Adoption Equality

From Think Progress:

The French National Assembly just voted to approve both marriage equality and same-sex adoption with a vote of 329-229. This is perhaps not surprising given the support for the bill’s most essential article earlier this month. It now proceeds to the Senate, which is similarly controlled by the Socialists that took power last year. A poll conducted last month shows that 63 percent of French voters support the freedom to marry. France and the United Kingdom are racing to be the 12th and 13th countries to legally recognize same-sex marriage. The British House of Commons advanced similar legislation last week with a 400-175 vote.

First NBA Player Joins Pro-LGBT Athlete Ally

From Outsports:

Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country. I have two moms and I love them both very much. I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the LGBT community – whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans – to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities.
Faried is the first National Basketball Association player to join Athlete Ally, an organization that seeks to dispel homophobia in sports and amongst athletes, fostering an atmosphere of acceptance, understanding, and inclusion.

MSNBC Previews the State of the Union

Monday, February 11, 2013

Catholic School Official Fired For Supporting Equality

On many occasions, we hear religious conservatives say they are afraid that if LGBT equality becomes the law, people who voice their support for "traditional values" will be ostracized, lose their jobs, and so on. Whether or not that is a legitimate fear I will not discuss here. What I will say is that it is utterly hypocritical given what has recently happened. Just today, Mike Moroski - an assistant principal at a Catholic high school in Ohio - was fired for voicing his support for marriage equality. On his blog he wrote the following:

Furthermore – I unabashedly believe that gay people SHOULD be allowed to marry. Ethically, morally and legally I believe this. I spend a lot of my life trying to live as a Christian example of love for others, and my formation at Catholic grade school, high school, 3 Catholic Universities and employment at 2 Catholic high schools has informed my conscience to believe that gay marriage is NOT something of which to be afraid.
Had this happened the other way around (i.e. getting fired from a public school for voicing support only for "traditional marriage"), you can bet that religious conservatives would be up in arms talking about freedom of religion and freedom of speech at the top of their lungs. But it is not the other way around, and so you can bet just as much that they will say nothing in defense of this man's freedom of religion and freedom of speech (I would love to be wrong about this). It is more likely that they will applaud the school for standing up for what they believe, which unfortunately translates to believing in discrimination and getting rid of anyone who dissents.

I applaud Moroski for standing up for what he believes: an end to discrimination and treating people as less than, even at the cost of his job in an economic environment such as this (he does have a second job as president of Choices Cafe). He as an example of how important it is for pro-equality Christians to stand up and be heard. He ended his blog post by saying:

Someone on my Facebook wall asked if my definition of “love” knew no bounds. I said that it did. Love of hurting others is where I draw the line – whether sexually, emotionally, physically, mentally – I do not accept the love of hurt. Outside that, if the love you share with someone else makes you the best version of yourself possible and you go out there in the world and share that love with others – have at it and be well.

Marriage New Watch: February 11, 2013

Indiana Teacher Wants Gays Banned From Prom

A teacher [Diane Medley] of special needs children in Indiana is speaking out with other Christian parents and students by demanding LGBT kids be banned from a Sullivan High School prom. When asked, teacher Diana Medley responded to a reporter that she believes gay people have no purpose in life, and agrees that anti-gay parents and students should create a separate, “traditional” prom that would ban gay students from attending. Sullivan High School itself is allowing all students to the official prom, but these militant anti-gay Christians are trying to get students to attend their prom instead of the school’s official prom.
Medley, sadly, is in good company. As reports, students, parents, and Christian pastors met at a local church to discuss gay students at prom, and they’re ganging up to raise money for a separate prom.

This video below (unfortunately poor quality, but you can see the original at,) shows not one LGBT person speaking for LGBTQ kids, but it does show a small Christian war against them. This is organized bullying of LGBTQ students and there could be federal civil rights issues here. Hopefully the ACLU and other civil rights groups will investigate.

Medley went on to say that LGBT people do not serve a purpose in life. Time and time again we have heard social conservatives say that they do not hate gay people, they just hate the "sin." What about this story says anything about love? Nothing. Yet again, we see a clear and present homophobic animus by people using Christianity as an excuse. True Christians should be highly offended by this because the actions of these people are anything but Christ-like.

Pope Benedict to Resign [Updated]

From CNN:

The spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI, surprised the world Monday by saying will resign at the end of the month "because of advanced age."

It's the first time a pope has resigned in nearly 600 years.

"Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," the pope said, according to the Vatican.

After Benedict's resignation becomes effective on February 28, cardinals will meet to choose a new leader for the church.
"Before Easter, we will have the new pope," the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said at a news conference.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Olympic Homophobia In Russia

The [anti-gay] legislation has sparked concern among out athletes like New Zealand speedskater Blake Skjellerup, who told USA Today that he was concerned about the legislation. “I don’t want to have to tone myself down about who I am,” Skjellerup said. “That wasn’t very fun and there’s no way I’m going back in the closet. I just want to be myself and I hate to think that being myself would get me in trouble.”

Even if the legislation doesn’t pass (it is expected to), Russia has already taken steps to fight homosexuality in its society and at its Olympics. Last year, a Russian judge banned the national Olympic committee from setting up a Pride House, a feature of the past several Olympics that hosts LGBT athletes. A Pride House, the judge wrote, would “undermine the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation” because it “contradict[s] the basics of public morality and the policy of the state in the area of family motherhood and childhood protection.” Meanwhile, an IOC spokesperson took a bold stand by telling USA Today that it was “too early for the IOC to comment on Russia’s proposed anti-gay legislation because it has not been voted on.”

There were 23 open athletes at the 2012 London Olympics, a sharp rise from the 10 that participated in Beijing in 2008. While they faced an atmosphere of tolerance in Britain, which approved marriage equality this week, their Winter counterparts won’t be greeted similarly.

Mayor Tries to Get Gay Officer Fired [Update]

WSAZ NewsChannel 3 

Update from The Advocate:

Mary McAngus, the mayor of the Village of Pomeroy, Ohio, resigned on Saturday amid allegations that she created a hostile work environment for a gay police officer by repeatedly calling him "queer" in front of his colleagues, reports West Virginia's WSAZ NewsChannel 3

North Dakota Considers LGBT Anti-Discrimination

North Dakota legislators are considering a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, government, public services and the workplace. 

SB2252 would amend the North Dakota Fair Housing Act and the North Dakota Human Rights Act. It is sponsored by a group of lawmakers that includes Fargo Rep. Josh Boschee, the state's first openly gay legislator.

Similar legislation was introduced in 2009. It passed the Senate but failed in a House committee. Boschee says the state has changed since then.

The bill exempts religious organizations, but some religious groups are still opposing it.

Making Progress On Getting Money Out of Politics

Meat Industry May Shut Down For Weeks

From Huffington Post:

By law, meat-packers and processors are not allowed to ship beef, pork, lamb and poultry meat without the Agriculture Department's inspection seal.
The prospect of mass furloughs of meat and food inspectors was part of a broader White House warning about the effects of the potential spending cuts on everyday life. Meatpackers said a shut-down would devastate consumers as well as their industry. 
President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans still must resolve differences over spending cuts and tax increases, dubbed the "fiscal cliff," which essentially was delayed by both sides from happening on Jan. 1 and was pushed back until March. 
"USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service may have to furlough all employees for approximately two weeks," a White House statement said. 
An estimated $10 billion in production would be lost during a two-week furlough, said a USDA official, and consumers could see meat shortages and higher prices as a result. 
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack lamented across-the-board spending cuts during a speech to state agriculture directors earlier this week. 
"There is not much we can do when Congress says to cut every line item by a certain percent," Vilsack said. He said employee pay accounted for the bulk of spending at the meat safety agency.
Meanwhile, vegetarians and vegans would be somewhere celebrating over this.

Mitt Romney: "I'm Not Going Away"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Matt Moore In His Own Words

For the record, I don't agree with what Moore has done in regards to "reparative therapy" or proliferating the false idea that one can change their sexual orientation. I'm posting this because 1) there is a lot that many would not expect and 2) it's important to understand where people are coming from before jumping to conclusions (which is what I did in this particular case).

That said, with everything that has happened recently with Moore and his Grindr scandal (if this qualifies as a scandal), it is clear that his orientation has not changed and that his same-sex attractions are still what they were beforehand. It has in the last day or two come to light that since this story broke, Moore has sold his computer and had someone put a filter on his phone's browser to stem the temptation. He is going to some rather extreme lengths all in service of suppressing desires that are natural. My personal hope is that Moore finds happiness in who he truly is and finds a balance between his sexual orientation and his faith in God. It is certainly better than beating himself up for the rest of his life and spreading a false message that will cause others to do the same.

Tweet of the Day: February 8, 2013

Conservative Media Bias

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Ex-Gay" Christian Caught on Grindr

On a totally shallow note, why are the tortured ones always so cute?

On a more relevant note, how many times does this sort of thing have to happen before people realize that this "conversion therapy" is utter bovine excrement?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Virginia Gerrymandering Scheme Quashed

From Think Progress:

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William Howell (R) killed the Inauguration Day sneak attack by Senate Republicans who hoped to pass a massive mid-decade gerrymander. Howell ruled that the Senate’s amendment to a House bill making minor technical corrections to the House legislative maps were not germane, as it was a “vast rewrite” and would “stray dramatically” from the legislation’s original purpose.

When a Republican colleague requested a ruling on the amendment’s germaneness, Howell told his colleagues:
[Germaneness] prevents the presentation to the House of propositions that may not be reasonably anticipated, and for which they may not be properly prepared. A proposition of a narrow or limited scope may not be amended by a proposition of a more general nature… even though they might be related… I am going to rule that Senate amendments are not germane and out of order.

Terminology: Indoctrinate

Indoctrinate (verb):

1) The act of teaching something (especially to children) that conservatives do not like.

Example: The California law that requires schools to teach kids the contributions of homosexuals to American history means kids will be indoctrinated into thinking it's okay to be gay.

Conservatives' Anti-Obama Conspiracy Theories

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