Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Marriage News Watch: October 28, 2013

Gov. Kasich (R): There Seems to Be a War on the Poor

From the New York Times:

“I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor,” he said, sitting at the head of a burnished table as members of his cabinet lingered after a meeting. “That if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy.”

“You know what?” he said. “The very people who complain ought to ask their grandparents if they worked at the W.P.A.”

Ever since Republicans in Congress shut down the federal government in an attempt to remove funding for President Obama’s health care law, Republican governors have been trying to distance themselves from Washington.

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin schooled lawmakers in a Washington Post opinion column midway through the 16-day shutdown on “What Wisconsin Can Teach Washington.” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, with a record of bipartisan support at home, remarked after a visit to the nation’s capital, “If I was in the Senate right now, I’d kill myself.”

But few have gone further than Mr. Kasich in critiquing his party’s views on poverty programs, and last week he circumvented his own Republican legislature and its Tea Partywing by using a little-known state board to expand Medicaid to 275,000 poor Ohioans under President Obama’s health care law...

The Cost of Fast Food to Taxpayers

Tony Perkins: Gays Shouldn't Be on Television

"When Gallup asked people to guess how many Americans were homosexual, most said 25%. Turns out, they were about 22% off. And while gays and lesbians make up about 3.4% of the population, they seem to get 100% of the consideration when producers write and cast new television shows. The debate over same-sex 'marriage' has been perfectly scripted by Hollywood. Television shows are full of lovable gay characters, whose dangerous lifestyle is just another funny footnote. Unfortunately for America, those make-believe people are having a real-life impact. It's no accident that almost 20% of Americans credit television with changing their minds on same-sex 'marriage.' It's time for families to let networks know that what they gain by being pro-homosexual doesn't compare with what they'll lose. And that's viewers."

-Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council

H/T Joe My God

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cindy, John, & the ENDA Divide

Cindy McCain has often publicly challenged the anti-gay positions of her husband, the U.S. Senator and former GOP presidential nominee. For example, in January of 2010, she and her daughter Meghan McCain posed for Adam Bouska’s NoH8 campaign to support LGBT equality.
Post image for Cindy McCain Signs HRC Petition Asking Senator John McCain To Support ENDAJohn Gomez, an organizer for the Human Rights Campaign, recently approached Mrs. McCain while she was out shopping and asked her to sign HRC’s petition requesting the Senator, her husband, support ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Not only did she sign the petition, she posed for a photo (above) with Gomez while holding an HRC postcard that reads, “No one should be fired because of who they are.”

Gotta admire her spunk — and Gomez’s.

The Religious Wrong: Patrons of Hatred

From WTVM:

A 20-year-old waiter provided exemplary service at an Overland Park Italian restaurant, but his anti-gay customers refused to tip him because of his sexual orientation...

"Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. (Homosexual slur) do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours," the customer wrote. "We hope you will see the tip your (homosexual slur) choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD's love, but none shall be spared for (homosexual slur). May GOD have mercy on you."
The anti-gay message has galvanized support for the server on social media with a campaign underway to flood the restaurant on Friday. Dr. Marvin Baker and his partner had lunch at the restaurant on Thursday and asked to be seated in the server's section.

How can someone claim to be a Christian with the message of god's love and forgiveness and yet be so blatantly filled with hatred for their fellow man?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When An Anti-Gay Activist Has a Gay Child

From Queerty

For many years she believed this lie as an unquestionable truth, until the day she found out her 13-year-old son, Jordan, was gay. Montgomery said she learned about Jordan’s sexuality after reading his journal.

“He was in eighth grade and he started becoming really depressed,” she explained. “He didn’t want to talk to us about it. And he had recently started keeping a journal. So I really felt strongly to go read his journal.”

“He only had a couple entries in it,” Montgomery continued. “And in one of the entries he had made a comment that said that he had noticed a boy in his class and he noticed what beautiful eyes this boy had.”

After realizing her son was gay, Montgomery felt a rush of conflicting emotions, which she said she had to work through.

“One of the first thoughts I had when I learned that Jordan was gay was everything that I thought a gay person was, he was none of those things,” she explained. “So I had to immediately let go of all of these — what I thought a gay person was — and unlearn all of these old stereotypes and relearn what it meant to be gay.”
Despite everything, Montgomery says she still has “hope” that things will get better between her family and their church. A new website, mormonsandgays.org, aims to start an open and accepting dialog about the LGBT community within the Mormon church.

Jailing Atheists For Being Atheists

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Science Textbook Publishers Defeat Texas Conservatives

From Texas Freedom Network:

...Some reviewers had criticized the proposed biology textbooks for failing to include a variety of discredited arguments attacking evolution. For example, reviewers lowered the rating of one textbook because it didn’t include the inaccurate claim that scientists have found no transitional fossils and that “the fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification.” Another reviewer insisted that all of the textbooks teach “creation science based on Biblical principles” alongside evolution.

Editorial changes from all 14 publishers that submitted high school biology textbooks for adoption this year do not reflect those arguments and beliefs, TFN’s examination shows.

The anti-evolution arguments promoted by the textbook reviewers are based on claims that scientists have shown to be false or simply have no place in a science textbook, said Arturo De Lozanne, associate professor in molecular cell and developmental biology at the University of Texas at Austin.

“From what I can see so far, publishers are resisting pressure to do things that would leave high school graduates in Texas ill-prepared to succeed in a college science classroom,” De Lozanne said. “If we want Texas kids to be competitive nationally, we have to ensure that what they learn in their high school classrooms is based on facts, not ideology. Having said that, it’s remarkable and distressing that some folks are still arguing over what really is established, mainstream science...”

A Class Action Suit Against Homosexuality

From Raw Story:  

A tea party leader and former Baptist pastor — who believes that AIDS is God’s judgement against LGBT people — this week proposed filing a “class action lawsuit” against “homosexuality.”
The former Baptist pastor [Rick Scarborough] opined that “homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer. And yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that.”

“Yeah I think that’s great,” [Peter] LaBarbera agreed. “I would love to see it. We always wanted to see one of the kid in high school who was counseled by the official school counselor to just be gay, then he comes down with HIV. But we never really got the client for that.”

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Jersey Gets Marriage Equality...For Now

From USA Today:  

The state Supreme Court Friday turned down Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration request to delay same-sex marriages, clearing the way for the weddings to begin Oct. 21.

A lower-court judge had earlier ruled that same-sex weddings must be allowed starting Monday, and the administration requested a stay.

The Christie administration has also appealed a lower court decision that the state should allow same-sex marriages, and the high court is expected to hear arguments and render a decision on the broader issue over the next three months.

The ruling by the justices against the motion was unanimous, a sign that the administration's prospects for the full appeal are bleak.

Ted Cruz Was Looking For a Fall-Guy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sen. Warner (D-VA) Asks What This Was All For

A Texas Newspaper Has Buyer's Remorse

From the Houston Chronicle:

...One reason we particularly believe that [former Texas senator Kay Bailey] Hutchison would make a difference in these hectic days is that if she had kept her seat, Cruz would not be in the Senate.

When we endorsed Ted Cruz in last November's general election, we did so with many reservations and at least one specific recommendation - that he follow Hutchison's example in his conduct as a senator.

Obviously, he has not done so. Cruz has been part of the problem in specific situations where Hutchison would have been part of the solution.

We feel certain she would have worked shoulder to shoulder with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in crafting a workable solution that likely would have avoided the government shutdown altogether.

But we'll never know...

While we may never know for sure, I think we have a pretty good hunch.

Marijuana & the Fight Against Cancer

GOP Numbers Are Getting Even Worse

From ABC News:
A new high of 74 percent of Americans disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling Washington’s budget crisis, up significantly in the past two weeks and far exceeding disapproval of both President Obama and congressional Democrats on the issue.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that criticism of the GOP’s handling of the budget dispute has grown by 11 percentage points since just before the partial government shutdown began, from 63 to 70 and now 74 percent – clearly leaving the party with the lion’s share of blame. Indeed 54 percent now “strongly” disapprove.
By contrast, 53 percent disapprove of Obama’s work on the issue, essentially flat since the crisis came to a head and a broad 21 points lower than disapproval of the Republicans. Fewer, as well, strongly disapprove of Obama’s performance, 39 percent.
The Democrats in Congress, for their part, remain positioned between the two: Sixty-one percent disapprove of their handling of budget talks in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, unchanged from last week and up 5 points from the week before...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Poll: Most American Catholics Support Marriage Equality

A majority of Catholics in the United States who attend Mass weekly support same-sex marriage and the ordination of women to the priesthood, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released October 4.
The survey found that 56% of Americans, 53% of Catholics who attend Mass weekly, and 65% of Catholics who attend Mass less frequently would support “a law in your state that would allow same-sex couples to get married.” Support was stronger among Catholics of ages 18-49 (64%) than ages 50-64 (62%) or 65+ (46%).
According to the survey, 72% of Catholic women back same-sex marriage, while 49% of Catholic men do.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

John McCain: Republicans Shut the Government Down

How Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA) Helped Pedophiles

Why the Tea Party Welcomed the Shutdown

FRC President Tony Perkins
From Salon.com
...The press often talks about the Tea Party like they’re secularist movement that is interested mainly in promoting “fiscal conservatism”, a vague notion that never actually seems to make good on the promise to save taxpayer money. The reality is much different: The Tea Party is actually driven primarily by fundamentalist Christians whose penchant for magical thinking and belief that they’re being guided by divine forces makes it tough for them to see the real world as it is.
It’s not just that the rogue’s gallery of congress people who are pushing the hardest for hostage-taking as a negotiation tactic also happens to be a bench full of Bible thumpers. Pew Research shows that people who align with the Tea Party are more likely to not only agree with the views of religious conservatives, but are likely to cite religious belief as their prime motivation for their political views.  White evangelicals are the religious group most likely to approve of the Tea Party. Looking over the data, it becomes evident that the “Tea Party” is just a new name for the same old white fundamentalists who would rather burn this country to the ground than share it with everyone else, and this latest power play from the Republicans is, in essence, a move from that demographic to assert their “right” to control the country, even if their politicians aren’t in power.
It’s no surprise, under the circumstances, that a movement controlled by fundamentalist Christians would be oblivious to the very real dangers that their actions present. Fundamentalist religion is extremely good at convincing its followers to be more afraid of imaginary threats than real ones, and to engage in downright magical thinking about the possibility that their own choices could work out very badly. When you believe that forcing the government into default in an attempt to derail Obamacare is the Lord’s work, it’s very difficult for you to see that it could have very real, negative effects.
Michele Bachmann
Rep. Bachmann (R-MN)
It’s hard for the Christian fundamentalists who run the Republican Party now to worry about the serious economic danger they’re putting the world in, because they are swept up in worrying that President Obama is an agent of the devil and that the world is on the verge of mayhem and apocalypse if they don’t “stop” him somehow, presumably be derailing the Affordable Care Act. Christian conservatives such as Ellis Washington are running around telling each other that the ACA  will lead to “the systematic genocide of the weak, minorities, enfeebled, the elderly and political enemies of the God-state.” Twenty percent of Republicans believe Obama is the Antichrist.Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner argued that Obama is using his signature health care legislation to promote “the destruction of the family, Christian culture”, and demanded that Christians “need to engage in peaceful civil disobedience against President Obama’s signature health care law...”
It just gets worse from there.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Other Side of Coming Out

It pretty much goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: being in the closet sucks, and it sucks for a number of reasons. The closet forces you to lie and deceive. The closet forces you to mind every word you say, every move you make, and every habit and hobby you have. The closet forces you to keep your friends and family at arms’ length for fear of them finding you out. The closet forces you to do many things you would not otherwise do, while simultaneously keeping you from doing many of the things you wish to do. The closet is a prison, and living there is no way to live.

Being out is wholly different. Being out means you can be honest about yourself. Being out means not having a secret to weigh you down every day of your life. Being out means you can express yourself without scrutinizing every word and very action. Being out means being closer to your loved ones because you have nothing to hide. Being out means living your life as YOU see fit. Being out means being yourself because being out means being free, which is the best way to live.

Of course this is not to say coming out will be all sunshine and rainbows (well…maybe a few rainbows…and a unicorn or two). While most of the coming out stories I have come across are generally positive, there may be someone in your life that is less than accepting. Many people see this potential rejection as a roadblock to coming out and this is perfectly understandable. It is easier said than done but instead of looking at it as a roadblock, look at it as the opportunity that it - more often than not - is (the exception being that you have legitimate reason to think your parents, on whom you depend financially, might kick you out). Not just an opportunity to live your live just like your heterosexual counterparts but also an opportunity to change hearts and minds around you, and possibly dispel some of the misconceptions about the LGBT community. 

Case-in-point: Senator Robert Portman of Ohio - a staunch social conservative - became the first sitting Republican senator to publicly support marriage equality, followed shortly by a handful of his fellow Republican senators. What was the catalyst for this change of heart? Two years prior, his son Will came out to the senator and his family. You probably don’t have high profile politicians or other such leaders in your circle, but you have that same power. Many people have said that their thoughts on homosexuality, the LGBT community, and equal rights were anywhere from influenced to diametrically changed as a result of knowing someone who is out of the closet. Once the relatively amorphous concept of homosexuality (at least to some) has a name and a face, preconceived notions can be dispelled and a person’s perception can and often does change. You can be that face.

Even in the coming out stories that involve negative reactions, the person who came out virtually never regrets having done so. Once the dust has settled, coming out is often described as the best decision the person has made in their life, even when a family member or a friend was lost in the process (in the case of the lost friend, your real friends are the ones that stick with you). Though it may have initially been awkward or even been worse in the beginning, it got better overall. Though everyone should come out in their own time - be that in grade school, university, or whenever else - moving towards coming out is moving in the right direction. Once you have put the darkness of the closet behind you, the light of day will be that much better and that much brighter.

Besides, you don’t want to end up like Larry Craig…do you?

When Sexual Harassment is "Legal"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

McCain: Defunding Obamacare is a Fool's Errand

The Anti-Obamacare Plot a Year in the Making

Citizens United 2.0: It Gets Worse

From the New Yorker:  

That’s where the new case comes in. Current federal law allows individual donors to give up to two thousand six hundred dollars to any one candidate during a single election. In addition, they can give only an aggregate hundred and twenty-three thousand dollars to candidates, political action committees, and parties over a two-year period. Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama Republican, wants to give more money to the candidates he supports, so he has sued to invalidate the rules limiting the over-all amounts he can give. (Indeed, the patriotically minded McCutcheon wanted to give “$1,776” to enough candidates to exceed the current limits on direct contributions.) The Supreme Court will hear his case in the fall, and he has a good chance of winning.

To see why McCutcheon may win, one must examine the strange reasoning that governs the Supreme Court’s decisions on campaign finance. In his brief to the Justices, McCutcheon makes an argument that is breathtaking for its candor. He says that when Congress first upheld limits on contributions, in the 1976 case of Buckley v. Valeo, the limits on aggregate giving served a useful purpose. Without the ceiling, the Court explained, a person could legally “contribute massive amounts of money to a particular candidate through the use of unearmarked contributions to political committees likely to contribute to that candidate, or [make] huge contributions to the candidate’s political party.”

But that, McCutcheon points out, was before the days of Citizens United. Now, he implies, Citizens United has undermined so many of the old rules that they are kind of irrelevant at this point. Indeed, the lower-court judge who considered the McCutcheon case upheld the existing rules but raised the “possibility that Citizens United undermined the entire contribution limits scheme.” 

Elizabeth Warren's Message to the Tea Party

Monday, October 7, 2013

Banning "Conversion Therapy" in Ohio

From the Columbus Dispatch:  

“If they are already questioning their sexuality, we don’t want them to think there is something wrong with them that needs to be fixed,” Sen. Charleta Tavares said.

California banned sexual-orientation therapy last year for anyone younger than 18. In August, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, signed a similar law. Tavares said her bill more closely mirrors the New Jersey law, leaving penalties up to professional licensing boards.

She said it is an issue that she and her Democratic colleagues thought they needed to be more proactive in addressing, noting the higher rates of suicide among gays. She said she does not know whether so-called conversion therapy is used much in Ohio, but she said that even if it’s rare, the bill still sends a message.

“We don’t want to do any harm to a child,” she said.

Marriage News Watch: October 7, 2013

Supreme Court Thwarts Ken Cuccinelli

This morning, the Supreme Court has sent Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli packing. The justices have refused to hear his appeal of a Fourth Circuit Court ruling which held Virginia’s arcane sodomy law is unconstitutional. While most court watchers are not surprised by the decision, it must come as a bitter disappointment to Cuccinelli who has been scheming for more than a decade to get the issue of sodomy back in front of the Supreme Court.

Cuccinelli wanted this! He is running for governor at the moment, and political wisdom dictates that an attorney general should step down from his office so he can campaign full-time without the baggage of the state’s controversial litigation, but Cuccinelli stayed on. He was so close to reopening Lawrence V Texas, the case that said laws prohibiting sodomy were unconstitutional, that he could taste it. Campaign or not, he didn’t trust anyone else to take over as the battlefield commander in the Holy War for Missionary Position Only in America!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's Not JUST Americans Blaming Republicans...

From Think Progress:  

Republicans may be working hard to turn domestic public opinion to their side, but foreign media places the blame squarely on GOP extremists. Below is a sample of how the world is struggling to make sense of the ongoing shutdown:

“Paralysis” A Le Monde article on Friday wondered if American democracy even works, calling out the Tea Party for blackmail and urging the government to hold firm. “In a democracy, people abolish laws by winning the election, not with the threat of a government shutdown or even a default. It is impossible to govern seriously undergoing this type of blackmail,” writes Martin Wolf.

“Suicidal madness” Spain’s El Pais seems astounded that Republicans are still not responding to pressure, calling the shutdown “suicidal madness.” “Deaf to the warnings about the looming economic catastrophe and indifferent to the polls that blame for this crisis, the GOP insists it will not let Congress give the government a dollar more if Barack Obama does not back down on health care reform,” Antonio Cana writes. Even with the Treasury Department’s warning that the dollar could collapse and interest rates could skyrocket if the shutdown fight rolls into the debt ceiling fight, Cana reports, “None of this has created a huge impact among Republicans, whose calculation are political, not economic.”

There are more articles where these came from...

Friday, October 4, 2013

The "Effects" of Marijuana Use

What GOP Senators Think of Ted Cruz

How a Father Dealt With His Son, the Bully

From the Advocate:  

When traditional disciplinary methods such as grounding and even hard labor had no impact on his son's behavior, Jose Lagares took his son to a busy street corner in Killeen, Texas, Tuesday, and made him hold up a sign that read, "I am a bully. HONK! If you hate bullies."

KCEN reports that Lagares received his fair share of criticism for his decision, which is why he returned to the same intersection Wednesday, carrying his own sign, reading, "I am not sorry!!! Honk 2 Stop Bullying."

Lagares said bullying is a serious issue and that as the parent of a bully, he's committed to putting a stop to his son's behavior. 

"I'm not going to allow my child to be someone else's pain," said Lagares. "We don't need another Columbine … and I refuse for my child to be the cause of that."

Lagares told KCEN that when his son returned to school Wednesday, he apologized, of his own accord, to the student he'd bullied. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

President Obama's GOP Takedown

Right on Mr President!!!

(Some) Republicans Are Happy About the Shutdown

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Wednesday said she wasn't worried about Republicans caving to pressure to end the government shutdown because "this is about the happiest" she's seen her conservative colleagues in a long time.

Appearing with colleague Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Bachmann told Fox News host Sean Hannity that she believes there has been "strong unity" between conservatives on almost every budget vote.

"This is about the happiest I've seen members in a long time, because we see we are starting to win this dialogue on a national level," she said. 

As the House debated a short-term government funding bill over the weekend, Bachmann told the Washington Examiner that she and other conservatives didn't fear a government shutdown because they viewed it as a chance to block Obamacare.

The Danger of "Modern Family"

From Addicting Info:  

Evan Martel for the Media Research Center—a conspiracy theorist publication whose “sole mission is to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media” openly confessed to having watched the episode of Modern Family in which the two men get engaged, and furthermore, he confessed that it gave him feelings. He actually found himself sympathizing for gay people. For a moment, Evan Martel actually thought that gay people were human beings entitled to basic civil rights, and that, he says, is that makes the show so dangerous.

He writes:
“I laughed. I cried. I felt. It moved me like good art is supposed to do. But that’s the problem. It moved me. It made me feel joy for Cam and Mitchell after the Supreme Court over-ruled California’s Prop 8. And that is what makes this show great. And dangerous.”
Why “dangerous?” Well, because this show, he says, is an unrealistic portrayal of homosexuality. It relies on “misleading” feelings about gay people—like that two men can truly love one another, that gay couples are part of the evolving landscape of American family, and that, for many, the overturn of DOMA and Prop 8 was a life-altering event. It’s “dangerous” because the show can leave you feeling sympathetic to the LGBT community– the horror!

Disney World's Reaction to Obamacare

From Think Progress:  

Walt Disney Co. announced on Wednesday that it is offering full-time employment to the 427 part-time employees at its Disney World theme park in Orlando, Florida who work at least 30 hours per week — the threshold at which the Affordable Care Act requires large employers with 50 or more workers to offer basic health benefits to employees or risk paying a $2,000 per employee fine after the first 30 workers.

Disney already offers a level of health coverage that is acceptable under Obamacare to its full-time employees. But part-time workers, including those who work at the 30-hour cutoff set by the health law, receive more limited benefits. Instead of rolling back these workers’ hours to avoid expanding their health coverage, Disney is choosing to promote them to full-time status.

“Disney wants to be proactive,” said Ed Chambers, president of the Service Trades Council union that represents tens of thousands of Orlando Disney employees, in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Disney is way out in front on this.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Quinnipiac Poll Shows Red Flags For the GOP

From the Business Insider:

According to the poll, American voters oppose shutting down the federal government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act by a significant, 72-22 margin. 

And on another upcoming fight — raising the debt ceiling — Americans oppose using it to stop the health-care law's implementation by a 64-27 margin. 

All of these should be significant red flags for the Republican Party, which polls have shown will take the bulk of the public's blame for the shutdown.And in general, 58% of Americans oppose cutting off funding for Obamacare to tinker with its implementation. 

According to the Quinnipiac poll, Democrats now hold a 9-point advantage in the general Congressional ballot — that is, Americans said they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district over the Republican candidate by a 43-34 margin. That's the highest it's been all year.

Sen. Warren Calls the GOP Hostage Takers