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Reposted from Kossacks for Marriage Equality by Chitown Kev
Last Sunday, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was on Face The Nation to discuss marriage equality. Prior to beginning the discussion/interview, Bob Scheiffer mentioned that CBS had gotten flooded with letters from viewers complaining about the network having Tony Perkins on because he is a member of a SPLC designated hate group. It seems that religious right leaders and Todd Starnes of FOX News are quite upset about CBS calling out the FRC in that way.

From JMG:

Teabagistan has been in an uproar all week after CBS' Face The Nation host Bob Shieffer correctly called the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group in the opening to his interview with Tony Perkins last Sunday. Yesterday Todd Starnes posted the below rant, bringing in foaming hater Brent Bozell to denounce CBS. Bozell, you may recall, is most known here for calling President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."

If you missed that interview, here it is.

The following video is called "the march of marriage equality." I'm posting it just because it's really cool.


Tue Apr 28, 2015 at 05:48 PM PDT

Riots: From Stonewall to Baltimore

by FogCityJohn

Reposted from Positively Charged Opinion by FogCityJohn

The unrest in Baltimore, brought on by the death of Freddie Gray, has been the source of a lot of commentary in the world of social media. My Facebook feed is full of people offering their opinions about what many call the "rioting" or "violence" in Charm City.  Mind you, most of those commenting use those words only to refer to destruction of property and throwing of rocks. Strangely, they're not talking about the actions of the police, this despite the violence that characterizes so much of the police's treatment of poor black communities.

Lots of those appearing in my news feed are gay white men like me. Some of them have been very critical of the protestors in Baltimore, and they've decried the resort to "violence" and condemned the people for rioting. I'm not a violent guy, and I don't support the indiscriminate destruction of property, but as a gay man, I find it a bit hypocritical when white members of my community wag their fingers at the so-called rioters.  

I'll explain below the nuage de kos.

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Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy

I grew up in a David Letterman household and while I'm excited for Stephen Colbert to be taking over, I am sad to see Letterman hang it up. Being a native of the Hoosier state, Letterman had some harsh words for Governor Mike Pence (R. IN) over his signing of the blatantly discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

Going to miss that. So what will Letterman do now that he's retired? Well Senator Al Franken (D. MN) stopped by and gave him a suggestion:

“What I want to know is, what can I do now to make the governor feel uncomfortable?” Letterman, a critic of state's divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act, asked during "Late Show with David Letterman.”

"As a matter of fact, there's an open seat there," Franken responded quickly, noting that incumbent Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) won't run for re-election in 2016.

Franken continued: "Look, when young people come to me and say, 'How do you become a United States senator?' I say, 'Well, do about 35, 40 years of comedy and then run for the Senate.' You know, it's worked every time."

"I think you should run," Franken told Letterman to applause. - TPM, 4/2/15

I'm all for a Letterman run. Any way we can get a Draft Letterman For Senate movement going here?
Reposted from LGBT Rights are Human Rights by librarisingnsf
NCAA President Mark Emmert has stated that the NCAA is "especially concerned" about Indiana's recently passed "religious freedom" law.

From USA Today:

The NCAA is "especially concerned" by a recently enacted law in Indiana, which hosts this year's Final Four, that grants businesses the right to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples, NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement released on Thursday.

"The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events," the statement read. "We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.

"We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week's Men's Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."

The Final Four is scheduled to be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 4.

And, a statement from Charles Barkley:

NCAA tournament analyst Charles Barkley released a statement Friday calling for big events such as the Final Four and the Super Bowl not to be held in Indiana in light of recent legislation in the state that many view as discriminatory against gay, lesbian and transgendered people.

“Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me," Barkley said in the statement.

"As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities.”

via Sports Illustrated

The NFL is also concerned about it.

In the meantime, lawmakers in other states might want to think twice about these so-called "religious freedom" bills. A number of states will be considering similar legislation in the coming weeks.

AFA's Bryan Fischer is not happy about the (commercial) backlash in Indiana.

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Wed Mar 25, 2015 at 09:01 PM PDT

My Thoughts on Coming Out

by cloudbustingkid

Reposted from cloudbustingkid by librarisingnsf

      I don't usually write diaries and I rarely even comment on DKos these days, but after reading some of the comments to this diary and then this response diary I decided I would write down my thoughts on coming out in hopes that somebody might get something out of it.

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Reposted from Angry Gays by Horace Boothroyd III

I am a mess at the moment, but this is vitally important to me. I have been getting very little sleep, and too much exercise and rain while without shelter. I'm in Salem today after biking down yesterday.

Hopefully I will be able to share at least part of what I wrote to the hearing.

A state House panel heard testimony on the measure, which is being promoted by Basic Rights Oregon, a nonprofit gay and transgender advocacy group from Portland.

The measure is part of a national push to prevent mental health care providers from practicing so-called conversion therapy. Laws banning the practice have passed in New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C., and a dozen other states, including New York and Florida, are pushing for similar legislation.

Under the bill, social workers and licensed medical health care professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists, would be barred from practicing conversion therapy on children under age 18.

My two cents below:
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Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy

Hello fellow Kossacks! I've had the privilege to interview politicians like Rep. Ted Deutch (D. FL-21) and former U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D. AK) in the past but this upcoming interview I am the most excited about. I consider former Congressman and Decorated Admiral Joe Sestak (D. PA) as a friend and I am very thankful and excited that while he's walking across the state of Pennsylvania that he wants to grant me an interview. Of course I could use my fellow Kossacks help so if you have questions for the Admiral, please post them in the comments. I will submit them after the weekend. In the mean time, feel free to get involved and learn more about Sestak's campaign here:

Congressman Joe Sestak stands with his daughter Alex (left) and wife susan (right, behind) as he gives his concession speach after losing to Pat Toomey on Tuesday, October 2, 2010 at the Radnor Hotel.  //ed note: ROB KANDEL / THE MORNING CALL  ***** Headline:  2010 THE YEAR IN REVIEW ** From a quadruple homicide in Northampton to the defeat of Pennsylvania's longest-serving senator, 2010 will go down as a year of heartache, anxiety and political change (12/26/10) *****
Reposted from Daily Kos by midknightryder13 Editor's Note: This is probably already here, but just in case. -- midknightryder13
Brandon Coats suffered a devastating injury at age 16 that left him in a wheelchair with barely 20 percent of his motor functions intact. But after years of grueling therapy, he was able to develop enough upper body function to use a computer and was eager to put that hard-won skill to work. Credit where credit is due: Dish Network stepped up, took the risk on a disabled employee, and the investment paid off handsomely. Within a few months, Coats was a top customer service rep, and even as the Great Recession spelled layoffs for millions, he was earning praise and promotions.

But after three years of admirable performance, Dish randomly checked Coats' precious bodily fluids and decided they didn't like his muscle relaxer:

At first, Coats used prescription drugs to combat the spasms, but over time their efficacy waned. Then his doctors recommended he start using medical marijuana. Coats joined Colorado’s medical marijuana registry in 2009, hoping that the cannabis would alleviate the persistent spasms. Medical marijuana changed his life. Smoking a small amount of cannabis each evening proved effective treatment, enabling him to go to work without discomfort the next day.
So he was summarily fired. The company got away with this scot-free, because court after court ruled it's perfectly legal to discriminate against an employee for using a prescription drug. How did we ever get to this absurd state of affairs and what should be done about it? That and more below the big orange event horizon.
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Reposted from Christian Bentzen by Christian Bentzen
    It would appear that the growing tide of public support for gay rights has yet to reach the National Harbor in Maryland where the unfortunately named Gaylord National Resort will host the annual CPAC event that draws conservatives from all over the nation - that is, presumably with the caveat that they first be heterosexual before entry.

      While the annual mega-gathering of conservatives ranging from Laura Ingraham to Sean Hannity, The NRA, the Media Research Center, and all the other usual characters is poised to be one of the largest, most televised of its kind yet, it will (once again) ban the only group representing LGBT Conservatives.  

     The latest disagreement between the organizers of the event and the gay republican outfit is yet another chapter in CPAC’s colorful past with gay conservatives. The now defunct GOProud organization participated in CPAC in 2010 and 2011 to the protests of social conservatives, but was kicked out of the conference in 2012 after its co-founder/President called conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell a “nasty bigot” and blamed her for the decision by the Heritage Foundation to remove itself from the conference over GOProud’s mere presence.

        In the years prior to this last disagreement, the organizers of CPAC (The ACU) have rationalized the exclusion of LGBT conservative organizations on the basis of their apparent lack of conservatism, that they weren’t sufficiently socially-conservative and that the annual event was for conservatives not libertarians.

       However, the President of Log Cabin has repeatedly argued against that sentiment saying that his organization sent a list of its conservative principles to the American Conservative Union, which included support for gun-ownership rights, preserving budget sequestration, and calls for tax reform. He went on to say that his group is the only LGBT organization that has called for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, signing a letter in 2013 with 21 conservative organizations to denounce the law as “tyrannical.”

      “Time and again, when we showed the ACU that we met their criteria for sponsorship, the reasons for our exclusion changed,” the President of Log Cabin said. “The only conclusion that can be made is that the organizers of CPAC do not feel gay people can be conservative — a position opposed by the thousands of Millennial CPAC attendees who have been asking Log Cabin Republicans for months if we would be participating at this year’s event. We owed it to them to explain why we are not.”

      Of course, the major takeaway here is the larger message that the conservative movement is choosing to send to the nation with regard to American Conservatism’s view of gay and lesbian people in general. It is that they not just oppose the specific rights of marriage, adoption, hospital visitation, etc, but rather oppose their mere presence as a group and that is what is truly disturbing in this whole situation.

     Disturbing not just in the eyes of the thousands of gay and lesbian Americans across the country who are essentially being told that they are not welcome in any ‘big tent’ here, but frankly should be more disturbing in the eyes of Republican strategists, pollsters, and activists because the nation is not only moving on, but it already has moved on and left this issue to the history books. Walk into any bar, any restaurant, any college or gym, just ask anyone on the street if they know a gay person and they will immediately smile at you and rattle off their list of friends, family members, co-workers, and others in their lives and tell you who the are and that they are here to stay.

     Perhaps the President of the Lob Cabin Republicans said it best himself: “CPAC has a problem allowing any formal recognition for organizations affiliated with gay people,” Angelo said. “That is the only logical conclusion to come to.”

Reposted from Kossacks for Marriage Equality by librarisingnsf

For a while, it looked as if marriage equality was a (complete) go in Alabama beginning on Monday morning. However, with state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore continuing to indicate to Alabama officials that the marriage equality ruling is not binding on the probate judges, it appears that about five probate judges will defy the ruling and refuse to issue the marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Liberty Counsel has agreed to represent those probate judges. As has been reported, the SPLC has filed ethics complaints against the Chief Justice (Roy Moore).


Of the 26 probate judges msnbc was able to contact Friday, 18 said they were planning on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples next week. But Liberty Counsel, an anti-marriage equality litigation and policy organization, said it was already representing five Alabama judges who would not be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday, and that more judges could soon be seeking the group’s representation.

“The federal decision is not binding on these magistrates,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told msnbc. “Their directive has to come from the Alabama state court.”

Probate Judge Nick Williams of Washington County is one of the magistrates who won’t be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning next week, but Staver would not name the other four judges his organization was currently representing. Two other probate judges – Wes Allen of Pike County, and Valerie Davis of Clarke County – said they would no longer grant marriage licenses to any couple, gay or straight, based off their religious objections to same-sex marriage.

“I do not think I am required to compromise my religious beliefs to be Probate Judge,” Davis said in a statement. “Alabama law does not mandate me to issue marriage licenses to anyone of any gender.”

On January 28, Judge Granade issued a clarification order, which pretty much repeated Judge Hinkle's (in Florida) clarification order. In that order, we find this language:
History records no shortage of instances when state officials defied federal court orders on issues of federal constitutional law. Happily, there are many more instances when responsible officials followed the law, like it or not. Reasonable people can debate whether the ruling in this case was correct and who it binds. here should be no debate, however, on the question whether a clerk of court may follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this case. And a clerk who chooses not to follow the ruling should take note: the governing statutes and rules of procedure allow individuals to intervene as plaintiffs in pending actions, allow certification of plaintiff and defendant classes, allow issuance of successive preliminary injunctions, and allow successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorney's fees.
Things could get very interesting (not in a good way) next week with regard to those rogue probate judges.

In the meantime, a group called Sanctity Of Marriage is hosting a rally on Saturday to protest the favorable marriage equality ruling.

From JMG:

Join Alabamians from across the state with your family, friends and signs at the State Capitol this Saturday morning, February 7, from 10:00 to 11:00 am CST. We will stand with our leaders and the laws of the State of Alabama for the sanctity of marriage as defined by God – union between a man and a woman. "In the beginning, God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mark 10:7-9) We can plead for God’s mercy on Alabama. We can speak up for what is right. We can uphold God’s Word. We can love homosexual Alabamians enough to tell them the truth. And, this Saturday we can rally together on the steps of the Capitol with families from across Alabama to publically stand for God’s definition of marriage, confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord”, encourage our leaders and proclaim a message of truth and hope in Alabama. Colonel John Eidsmoe, Senior Counsel for the Foundation of Moral Law will be speaking. We hope for media coverage.
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Reposted from Chrislove by Chrislove

Here's some (very) breaking news coming out of Alabama, reported by Equality Case Files. U.S. District Judge Callie V. Granade just ruled that the "Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment" and "Alabama Marriage Protection Act," both of which bar marriage between same-sex couples, are in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses and are therefore unconstitutional.

The case was brought by Cari D. Searcy and Kimberly McKeond, who married in California six years ago. Searcy is unable to gain full parental rights over McKeond's child because of Alabama's anti-gay laws.

The opinion and order can be found here. From the opinion:

Defendant contends that Alabama has a legitimate interest in protecting the ties between children and their biological parents and other biological kin. However, the Court finds that the laws in question are not narrowly tailored to fulfill the reported interest. The Attorney General does not explain how allowing or recognizing same-sex marriage between two consenting adults will prevent heterosexual parents or other biological kin from caring for their biological children. He proffers no justification for why it is that the provisions in question single out same-sex couples and prohibit them, and them alone, from marrying in order to meet that goal. Alabama does not exclude from marriage any other couples who are either unwilling or unable to biologically procreate. There is no law prohibiting infertile couples, elderly couples, or couples who do not wish to procreate from marrying. Nor does the state prohibit recognition of marriages between such couples from other states. The Attorney General fails to demonstrate any rational, much less compelling, link between its prohibition and non-recognition of same-sex marriage and its goal of having more children raised in the biological family structure the state wishes to promote. There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples. [...]

If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children. Those children currently being raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection and recognition by the State as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents. Yet Alabama’s Sanctity laws harms the children of same-sex couples for the same reasons that the Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act harmed the children of same-sex couples. Such a law “humiliates [ ] thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.”

There does not appear to be a stay on the order. I'll update the diary as more information on the scope of the ruling becomes available.

UPDATE: Freedom to Marry weighs in:

UPDATE #2: Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is vowing to seek a stay (H/T Joe My God):
The Alabama Attorney General's Office indicated it would continue to fight the case. "We are disappointed and are reviewing the Federal District Court's decision," read a statement from the office "We expect to ask for a stay of the court's judgment pending the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling which will ultimately decide this case." It is the first of several pending same-sex marriage cases in Alabama to be ruled on. The decision adds to a growing list of decisions across the country in favor of same-sex marriage.
UPDATE #3: The Alabama House Speaker and Governor are both very, very sad. Poor things. H/T Joe My God again. Speaker Mike Hubbard:
It is outrageous when a single unelected and unaccountable federal judge can overturn the will of millions of Alabamians who stand in firm support of the Sanctity of Marriage Act. The Legislature will encourage a vigorous appeals process, and we will continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live.
Can somebody please call the waaaaambulance?

UPDATE #4: The AG has officially requested a stay. The motion can be found here. H/T librarisingnsf.

UPDATE #5: GOD HELP US! ALCAP, a local group of haters, responds (H/T Joe My God):

UPDATE #6: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (the SPLC-certified hate group) also has teh sadz. Oh noes (H/T Joe My God):
This federal judge is throwing out the votes of the people of Alabama and attempting to shut down the debate over marriage. In exercising their right to vote, Alabama voters overwhelmingly sent a message that that they want to see society rebuild and strengthen marriage - not have it redefined by unelected judges. As one judge after another has robbed the people of their voice, the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention last week was long overdue. It is time that the courts respect the freedom of the people to uphold the timeless and natural definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that empowers this federal judge to overturn Alabama's marriage amendment nor any basis for the U.S. Supreme Court to impose a 50 state same-sex "marriage" mandate.
Reposted from Kossacks for Marriage Equality by librarisingnsf
The SCOTUS has granted certiorari in all four of the marriage equality cases from the Sixth Circuit -- Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Last October, The SCOTUS denied the requests to hear marriage equality cases from three other circuits which had ruled in favor of marriage equality. The Sixth Circuit is the only circuit to have ruled against marriage equality thus far. So, my guess is that we will have marriage equality nationwide by the end of June this year.

From Freedom To Marry:

Today, January 16, the United States Supreme Court announced that this year, they will hear arguments in a case on the question of whether same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry and if anti-marriage laws nationwide should be struck down as unconstitutional. The Court granted review of an out-of-step ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which ruled in November against the freedom to marry in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In each of these cases, federal judges had ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for all, and the 6th Circuit reversed each decision.

An oral argument is likely to be scheduled soon for this spring, with a decision expected by late June 2015.

Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson applauded the Supreme Court's decision to hear the cases today. He said:

The Supreme Court's decision today begins what we hope will be the last chapter in our campaign to win marriage nationwide - and it's time. Freedom to Marry's national strategy has been to build a critical mass of marriage states and critical mass of support for ending marriage discrimination, and after a long journey and much debate, America is ready for the freedom to marry. But couples are still discriminated against in 14 states, and the patchwork of discrimination harms families and businesses throughout the country. We will keep working hard to underscore the urgency of the Supreme Court's bringing the country to national resolution, so that by June, all Americans share in the freedom to marry and our country stands on the right side of history.

UPDATE: Reaction from various LGBT organizations (and others) are below the fold.

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