Tuesday, July 29, 2014

COLORADO: State Supreme Court Orders Boulder Clerk To Stop Issuing Licenses

Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
After Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall had been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples for more than a month, the Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered her to stop doing so for the time being. Hall’s office reported Tuesday that it granted 202 licenses to same-sex couples since starting doing so last month. “I am disappointed by the Colorado Supreme Court’s stay, but I will comply with the order,” Hall said in a statement. “Given the avalanche of recent cases determining that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, I am hopeful the stay will be short-lived and that we will be able to resume issuing licenses soon.”
Three cheers for Hillary Hall.

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Hate Group Leader Janet Porter Launches Anti-Gay Facebook Alternative Called ReaganBook, Much Hilarity Ensues

Kyle Mantyla writes at Right Wing Watch:
Last weekend, the Ohio Liberty Coalition hosted a "Reload 4 Liberty" event at which Janet Porter spoke about her never-ending push to get her anti-choice "Heartbeat Bill" legislation passed in Ohio. But apparently that is not all that Porter is up to these days, as she also revealed to the audience that she'll soon be unveiling something called ReaganBook, which aims to become "the Facebook for patriots." Because Facebook is run by the sorts of people who march in gay pride parades and supposedly censors messages from anti-gay activists like Peter LaBarbera, Porter explained that she decided to launch ReaganBook as a conservative alternative. "We're tearing down walls, get it?" she said. "We're tearing down walls of tyranny, or censorship." 
At this writing ReaganBook has 303 members, including Bathtime For Bonzo, Chazwomp Hogswallow, Cirrhosis Trash, Corn Holey O, Duke Nukem, Dig Bick, and...well, you can see what's going on. Snork! (And fly, monkeys, fly!)

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Straight UFC Fighter Drops Trou At Weigh-In To Reveal.... Support For Gays


(See more gifs at Towleroad)

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Happy Birthday, Edith Windsor!

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Postmodern Jukebox - Livin' On A Prayer

"Miche Braden (from our "Sweet Child O' Mine" cover) was in town, so she stopped by to lend her legendary powerful voice to this Bon Jovi '80s classic. Also, check out the horns playing the Richie Sambora guitar solo. This one takes me back to my New Jersey roots." You remember that cover, right?

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Film Project: Reel In The Closet

Documentary filmmakers for a project titled Reel In The Closet are seeking your home movies that might help catalog LGBT history.
If you want to feel the past not just read about it, watch the home movies and videos. Look at the community shows LGBTQ people put together. Watch the clips they saved. They go at least as far back as 1939. And those are just the ones we show in this documentary (some for the first time). Most are still unknown in people’s closets. Soon, many may be thrown away by unknowing friends and family. So historians are struggling to save this most telling look at a hidden history before it’s lost. That’s what this film shows. The story of queer cinema is well known, but this is the first time LGBTQ personal films and video have been the subject. “Reel In The Closet” goes beyond the gay community in its ability to prove how each person’s day-to-day life is history.
Hit the link to learn more. (Tipped by JMG reader Homer)

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Headline Of The Day

Details.

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Pat Robertson On CBN: Perverse Gays Want To Drive Christians Out Of Business

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Impeachment Talk: Cash Cow For Dems

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Red-Caped Catholic Loons Visit Louisiana

From their website:
Unfortunately, however, police officers soon arrived. "You cannot be on the neutral zone," they said, referring to the large public sidewalk where we were standing. "There's a city ordinance against this, and you will need to step away and ask the private businesses for permission to stand on their property. You can't do it here." How strange: The public sidewalk in Kenner is off limits to free speech. Two more police officers arrived to make sure that we stepped away from the public sidewalk. Something wasn't right at all. In the meantime, the only thing we could do was straddle the line between the public sidewalk and private property, hoping that would work. And it did, until the police returned to complain about the honk signs. Apparently, there's an ordinance about honking as well. "Do you have any signs that don't ask drivers to honk?" the police sergeant asked. We did. And the campaign continued. Even without displaying out honk sings, passing vehicles still continued to honk. It would be rather difficult for the police force to flag down hundreds of vehicles, I imagine.

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TEXAS: AG Greg Abbott Files Marriage Ban Overturn Appeal With Fifth Circuit Court, Uses Tired Procreation Argument

Via the American-Statesmen:
Back in court to defend Texas’ ban on gay marriage, Attorney General Greg Abbott is arguing that the restriction is designed to promote responsible procreation, not to demean same-sex couples — a tactic that has already been rejected by two federal appeals courts. Nonetheless, Abbott relies heavily on the argument as Texas prepares to defend the ban at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is populated by judges that are considered to be far more conservative than most other federal appeals courts. “By recognizing and encouraging the lifelong commitment between a man and woman — even when they do not produce offspring — the state encourages others who will procreate to enter into the marriage relationship,” Abbott said in the state’s first brief, filed late Monday at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Promoting opposite-sex marriages “increases the likelihood that children will be born into stable environments where they are raised by their mother and their father,” Abbott argued. Such family structures are good for the children’s well being and good for the state because they increase the likelihood that parents, not society, “will bear the cost of raising these children,” the brief said.
Read the full brief. (Tipped by JMG reader TJ)

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Former "Ex-Gay" Activist: I Wouldn't Date An "Ex-Gay" Myself, They Can't Be Trusted

"Many people I knew suspected all along that change—true change where all same-sex attractions disappear or become rare and incidental, and heterosexual attractions take their place—never happened. I can say I’ve never met an 'ex-gay' man I thought was not still attracted to men and would not go back to gay relationships under the right circumstances. One of my colleagues tried to fix me up with an 'ex-gay' man when I was still single. I said, 'No way. I have no interest in dating an ex-gay man. I don’t trust that they’re actually ex-gay.' My colleague said, 'The Bible says people can change—‘and such were some of you’—so you have to believe it’s true. It’s incredibly defamatory of you to believe otherwise.' The particular 'ex-gay' man who was to be my date was caught having sex with a man about a year later." - Former Family Research Council "ex-gay" activist Yvette Schneider, in a lengthy interview with GLAAD's Jeremy Hooper.

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Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - Anything Goes

The first single from their duet album, due in September, was released today.
Cheek To Cheek features classic jazz standards sung by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in a combination of vocal duets and solo performances. Each song was handpicked by the artists, and the album features classic selections from the Great American Songbook including “Anything Goes,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)," “Sophisticated Lady,” “Lush Life,” and the record’s title track, “Cheek To Cheek.” Recorded in New York City, the record took over a year to complete and features jazz musicians associated with both artists including members of Bennett’s quartet, Mike Renzi, Gray Sargent, Harold Jones and Marshall Wood as well pianist Tom Lanier. Jazz trumpeter Brian Newman, a long-time friend and colleague of Lady Gaga appears on the album as well with his NYC based jazz quintet. Jazz soloists on selected tracks include tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and flutist Paul Horn, who passed away earlier this month.

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KENTUCKY: Creationist Noah's Ark Theme Park Asks State For $18M In Tax Rebates

Via the Louisville Courier-Journal:
Ark Encounter is applying to participate in a program that allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of 25 percent of the sales tax they collect on admission tickets, souvenirs, food and other things over 10 years. For this application the rebates would be as much as $18.25 million. The incentive program's rules say that if preliminary approval is granted, the authority would then select a consultant — at Ark Encounter's expense — to study the project to see if it meets the program's criteria, including that the project get at least 25 percent of its visitors from out of state after four years and having an overall positive impact on the state budget. After the consultant's analysis is complete — a process that takes six to eight weeks — the authority would meet to consider final approval. Ark Encounter, a venture of Answers in Genesis, which developed and runs the controversial Creation Museum in Boone County, cleared all of those hurdles and won final approval from the authority in May 2011 for its entire proposal. Under the incentive program's rules, it had three years to start work.
The Friendly Atheist notes that Americans United is objecting.
“It’s a religiously themed project with potentially evangelical overtones, and therefore it would erode the separation of church and state for it to receive any money from the taxpayers,” said Sarah Jones, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Asked if the group plans to take the matter to court, Jones said, “I can’t comment about the possibility of any potential legal action.”

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COLORADO: AG Says Boulder Clerk Is Making People Lose Faith In Government

"Permitting one clerk to ignore some state laws while using the power granted by other state laws causes significant irreparable harm to the state and the public interest. Each day that one clerk continues to issue same-sex marriage licenses — and publicly declare those licenses' validity, despite the state marriage laws and the attorney general's statements to the contrary — greater social and legal chaos ensues because the public is left confused and uncertain about the legal validity of such marriages and the role of clerks versus the role of the courts or other government officials in determining whether to enforce state law." - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, in a filing to the state Supreme Court in which he demands that Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall be forced to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Hall has issued 199 such licenses as of yesterday.

More from USA Today:
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is asking the state Supreme Court to force the Boulder County clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, arguing she's causing Coloradans to lose faith in their government. In an unusual motion filed late Sunday evening, Suthers acknowledged that a federal judge last week declared unconstitutional the state's ban on same-sex marriage, but said the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately needs to decide. The federal judge who struck down that ban last week also said his order wouldn't go into effect for a month, giving higher courts time to review it. The Colorado Supreme Court has already ordered the Denver County clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but that ruling didn't apply to Boulder. Hall said she would abide by the state supreme court's ruling.
Yesterday Suthers also filed a stay request with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Hit the link for the full filing.

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Houston Pastor: Pray That Spirits Of Darkness Confuse LGBT Rights Supporters

As Houston officials review the validity of the petition signatures to place a repeal of the HERO ordinance on the public ballot, a local pastor is asking his followers to make "imprecatory prayers" against the bill's supporters. Via the pro-gay Texas Freedom Network:
Imprecatory prayers are those that ask God to burden, curse or even destroy wicked individuals and institutions. They typically are tied to the Bible’s imprecatory Psalms, such as Psalm 109:9 (“May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.”) and Psalm 137:9 (“How blessed will be the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”). In an article emailed to supporters over the weekend, Welch writes that city officials are nearly done determining whether there are enough valid petition signatures to put repeal of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance on the November ballot. He calls on repeal supporters to pray while city officials finish that work:“PRAY - imprecatory prayers for the Lord to oversee every detail and every person involved, to expose any impropriety, to bind spiritual forces of darkness in the city and to send confusion into the enemy camp.”
TFN adds: "We’re not sure what in the world Welch means with his calls for imprecatory prayers regarding the HERO repeal effort. But whether or not he really wants the destruction of anyone (or any institution) in Houston, his call is chilling and dark. History is full of disturbed people who have done horrible things in the twisted belief that they were carrying out God’s will."

Read Welch's full message.

JMG reader Mike reports that the signature verification process has been going on for three weeks and that a preliminary report might be issued tomorrow. Over the weekend, Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis dropped in to cheer on the many volunteers who are scouring the petitions.

RELATED: As TFN notes (and as was reported here on JMG at the time), imprecatory prayers have been launched by pastors against President Obama and by Scott Lively, who claims that God heard his prayers to destroy a Massachusetts strip club which burned in a 2012 fire that injured 20, some of whom were firefighters. That fire was suspected to have been caused by the accidental puncturing of a gas line by a utility worker.

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FLORIDA: GOP Pol To Intro Bill Requiring Students To Watch Dinesh D'Souza Film

Variety reports that GOP Florida state Sen. Alan Hays plans to introduce a bill that would require that all public high school and middle school students watch the latest movie by Christianist filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza.
The plan is sure to draw fire from liberals not only because D’Souza is a prominent conservative but because he is also behind the movie, 2016: Obama’s America, which is a profoundly negative take on Democratic U.S. president Barack Obama. America, the movie, espouses a conservative point of view toward telling history. D'Souza takes on leftist arguments that portray the U.S. in a negative light, and he specifically attacks Howard Zinn, author of the book A People’s History of the United States, often considered the most widely used history book in U.S. academia. The movie shows actors Matt Damon and Woody Harrelson praising the book. Hays said the purpose of his proposal is to introduce more balance into Florida schools. “I saw the movie and walked out of the theater and said, ‘Wow, our students need to see this.’ And it’s my plan to show it to my colleagues in the legislature, too, before they’re asked to vote on the bill,” Hays said. Those who oppose the plan are also likely to point out that D’Souza could be headed to prison after he pleaded guilty to illegally promising to reimburse some people who donated to a friend’s Senate campaign. D’Souza faces up to two years for that transgression and he will be sentenced in September.
Here's a trailer for the film.

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Christian TV On Colorado's Anti-Gay Baker

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Tweet Of The Day

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Bob Marshall Has The Virginia Sadz

Virginia Del. Bob Marshall, the co-author is his state's now-stricken constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, is very upset about yesterday's ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
"In the long run, advocates and defenders of so-called same-sex marriage are their own best undertakers for their hubris in attempting to deny and defy the laws of Nature and Nature's God, by which nations and cultures around the world have recognized for millennia that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman," Marshall said. He said the two judges who concurred in the majority opinion rejecting Virginia's same sex marriage ban were ignorant about the purpose of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "and arrogant to think they have the moral and legal authority to negate the votes of 1.3 million Virginia voters." The 14th Amendment says states can't infringe on the rights of individuals. "If judicial elites impose a radical and immoral marriage regime on American citizens in defiance of the laws of Nature and Nature's God, the result would be to tear the social fabric in ways that can scarcely be imagined, nor contained by judicial arrogance," Marshall said.
(Tipped by JMG reader Smith)

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG:  In February, Marshall filed an amendment that would grant Virginia state legislators the right to claiming standing in marriage lawsuits. In September 2013, Marshall petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn Virginia's legalization of sodomy. In May 2012, Marshall attempted to block the appointment of an openly gay state judge because the nominee has "an illegal husband." In 2011 Del. Bob Marshall claimed it is a felony for a state office to fly the rainbow flag. Marshall has also called on Virginia to issue its own currency, and has claimed that God punishes women who have abortions by giving them deformed children. After the DADT repeal bill passed, Marshall tried to have gays banned from the Virginia National Guard.

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ASAP Science On Sleep

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Matt Barber Is Helping To Sell These

This morning Christian leader Matt Barber emailed a pitch to buy the above t-shirt and novelty hand grenade. Because liberals.

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Tony Perkins: Christians Aren't Welcome In My Hometown Of Baton Rouge

"The degrading comments of a city councilman aligned with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and other prominent businesses in my hometown are sending a message to Christians and conservative businesses that they are not welcomed in Louisiana's Capital City. In attempting to pass a special rights measure based upon sexual behavior last Wednesday, Councilman John Delgado ironically lashed out at opponents in his closing remarks alleging that their opposition to the controversial ordinance was using the council to impose a 'Christian version of Sharia law on the citizens of Baton Rouge.'  The comments came after three and half hours of public comment on the so-called 'Fairness Ordinance', a measure similar to the one recently adopted by the Houston, Texas council and now the focus of a citizen-led referendum to overturn it. The 'Fairness Ordinance' would create a new cause of action in District Court for allegations of discrimination on the basis of various categories, including sexual orientation and gender identity, something the Louisiana Constitution explicitly prohibits. While not surprised at how the advocates of these measures slander the opposition, it is alarming that the Baton Rouge Area Chamber would want to be a part of sending a such a religiously-discriminatory message that only certain citizens are welcome to participate in the democratic process." - KKK-affiliated hate group leader Tony Perkins, again screaming about an ordinance that already exists in hundreds of cities.

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GOP: Harry Reid Will Be Fired

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Brian Brown Has The Virginia Sadz

"We are extremely disappointed, though not surprised, with today's ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidating the definition of marriage in Virginia. It is a terrible abuse of power for a court to abandon the definition of marriage which has existed throughout the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia, was adopted by the people and reflects in law the reality of what marriage is, the union of one man and one woman.

"While we condemn the ruling of the majority, we are pleased with the strong dissent authored by Justice Paul Niemeyer who noted that the 'linguistic manipulation' of case law employed by the majority to create a 'fundamental right' to same-sex marriage will also result in 'the right of a father to marry his daughter and the right of any person to marry multiple partners.' Justice Niemeyer's dissent lays bare what the majority has done — they have invented a right to redefine marriage because two justices have substituted their views for the considered opinion of the General Assembly and the voters of the Commonwealth.

"We call on the state to appeal this decision to the US Supreme Court and to vigorously fight for the truth of marriage and the right of the people and the elected representatives of the state to define marriage in law consistent with what it is in reality — the union of one man and one woman." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, via press release.

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Catholic Bishops Have The Virginia Sadz

"Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a District Court’s decision that struck down Virginia’s constitutional marriage amendment. This action reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the intrinsic nature of marriage and is an injustice to Virginia voters. As Catholic bishops, we once again affirm what our 2,000-year-old faith teaches: that all men and women are endowed by our Creator with equal dignity and worth. We maintain that those with same-sex attractions must be treated with respect and sensitivity. However, by rejecting the state amendment which affirms marriage as the unique institution between one man and one woman, the Court seeks to redefine an age-old institution, rooted in natural law, and extend a right that does not – and cannot - exist between people of the same sex.

"Marriage has survived for countless generations because it uniquely benefits the common good by recognizing the union of two different but complementary individuals – that is a man and a woman – who, by their union, may create a family. Indeed, by its very nature this institution is ordered toward the regeneration and survival of the human race. For that reason Virginia’s constitution rightly recognizes the unique contributions marriage – the union of one man and one woman - makes to children and to the common good. We will continue to affirm the truth about marriage, the lifelong union of one man and one woman, as well as the importance of marriage to the common good. As pastors, teachers, and faith leaders, we can do nothing less. We will continue to fight this unjust ruling." - Bishop Paul Loverde of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, in a joint statement with Bishop Francis DiLorenzo.

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WEST VIRGINIA: GOP State AG Takes Wait And See Stance On Marriage Ruling

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SOUTH CAROLINA: GOP State AG Vows To Continue Defending Marriage Ban

Via the Associated Press:
South Carolina will continue to defend itself against a lawsuit over its ban on gay marriage despite a decision by a federal appeals court with jurisdiction over the state that a similar gay marriage ban in Virginia is unconstitutional. Spokesman Mark Powell says South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sees no need to change course because the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make the final decision about gay marriage. He says South Carolina's gay marriage ban remains intact. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Virginia's gay marriage ban Monday. South Carolina is in the circuit. A legally married gay couple living in South Carolina sued in September over the state's ban. That federal case has been on hold while Virginia's ban was being heard.

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NORTH CAROLINA: State AG Roy Cooper Says Amendment One Is Now Surely Doomed, Will Drop His Defense

Via Equality North Carolina:
Following a ruling today from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of marriage equality, North Carolina's Attorney General Roy Cooper held a press conference in response, saying that as a result of the ruling, North Carolina's own ban on the freedom to marry, "will almost surely be overturned." He added that the North Carolina's ban, known as Amendment One is now indefensible, saying "It's time to stop making arguments we know will lose." The 4th Circuit has jurisdiction over federal courts in North Carolina. Cooper added, "The ruling does predict our law will be struck down." The 4th Circuit ruling will become law in 21 days. During that period of time, motions for stay can be made. "Our attorneys have vigorously argued this case every step of the way, but the 4th Circuit ruling is clear...There are really no arguments left to be made," said Cooper.
Cooper, who is a Democrat, endorsed marriage equality in October 2013 but simultaneously vowed to defend the state against the suit brought by the ACLU.  Not incidentally, Cooper is pegged as a frontrunner in the 2016 North Carolina gubernatorial race. (Tipped by JMG reader Sean)

UPDATE: Here's Cooper's full statement.
After reviewing the 4th Circuit decision and consulting with attorneys here, I have concluded that the State of North Carolina will not oppose the cases moving forward. In addition, the State of North Carolina will acknowledge the 4th Circuit opinion that marriage is a fundamental right and that our office believes that the judges are bound by this 4th Circuit decision. In all these cases challenging state marriage laws, our office along with other attorneys general and state attorneys across the country have made about every legal argument imaginable. Since the US Supreme Court ruled in the Windsor case, all the federal courts have rejected these arguments each and every time. So it’s time for the State of North Carolina to stop making them.

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Quote Of The Day - Jon Davidson

"Today's 4th Circuit decision is not yet final. It won't be final until at least August 18th (it could be longer if a petition for rehearing is sought) and, of course, a stay of today's decision by the 4th Circuit or the Supreme Court might be sought by the clerks who defended the Virginia marriage ban. In addition, while nothing in the decision is unique to Virginia law and, once it becomes final, it will be binding precedent on the district courts in North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, the decision itself does not order the clerks in North Carolina, South Carolina or West Virginia to do anything. Nonetheless, just as the Boulder County clerk decided to allow same-sex couples to marry once the 10th Circuit issued its decision invalidating Utah's marriage ban, clerks in North Carolina, South Carolina or West Virginia might conclude that their obligation to follow the mandates of the U.S. Constitution (as now explicated by the 4th Circuit) overrides their duty to follow state law.

"The problem is that there would be some cloud over the validity of any marriages entered in derogation of state law before a final ruling governing that state has issued, as is true regarding the marriages entered by same-sex couples in Boulder and other counties in Colorado. While strong arguments exist that such marriages are valid, people need to remember that same-sex couples who married in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon before there was a ruling that those states' marriage laws were ruled to be unconstitutional saw their marriages held void. Because there is no decision yet on that precise issue in Colorado, the clerk in Boulder is warning same-sex couples who marry there that their marriages might subsequently be held to be void. So, the best advice for same-sex couples is to wait until there are final rulings unless it is worth taking the risk that the marriage might be voided (for example, if a child of the couple may be born in the interim, or if one of the members of the couple is gravely ill)." - Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, via email.

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Updated Wikipedia Marriage Map

Obviously, this map jumps the gun in several states - but it sure is nice to look at.

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Tweet Of The Day - VA AG Mark Herring

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Local Haters Have The Virginia Sadz

“Marriage expresses the reality that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad. Virginia’s laws have always rightly reflected the true and complementary nature of marriage. A substantial majority of Virginia’s voters approved an amendment to Virginia’s Constitution that affirms that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. It’s unfortunate that the court rejected the right of Virginians to define marriage consistent with their concern with what’s best for children and society as a whole. It’s sad that the judges have chosen to disenfranchise the 1.3 million Virginians who legally voted to amend our constitution." - Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, via press release.

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BREAKING: Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeals STRIKES DOWN Virginia's Marriage Ban,
HRC: Ruling Applies To NC, SC, & WV

Via USA Today:
A federal appeals court panel in Virginia became the second one this summer to strike down a state ban against same-sex marriage Monday, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will settle the issue as early as next year. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond ruled 2-1 that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry that is paramount to state marriage laws. The circuit court has jurisdiction over Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The panel's decision can be appealed to the full court or to the Supreme Court. Like the first appeals court panel to rule on the issue this year in Utah and Oklahoma, the three-judge panel was deeply divided, but the swing judge -- in this case Henry Floyd, who was named to the bench by George W. Bush and elevated to the circuit court by President Obama in 2011 -- came down on the side of same-sex marriage. Judge Roger Gregory, originally appointed by Bill Clinton in 2000, joined Floyd in the majority. Presiding Judge Paul Niemeyer, a George H.W. Bush nominee, dissented.
UPDATE: AFER reacts.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed that Virginia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Today’s decision sends the message that loving couples like our plaintiffs – Tim Bostic & Tony London and Carol Schall & Mary Townley – are entitled to the same basic rights and protections as every other American. Hollingsworth v. Perry, the AFER-led challenge to California’s Proposition 8, was the first lawsuit in which a federal court of appeals ruled in favor of marriage equality. Today’s decision is monumental as it also paves the way for West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to strike down their marriage bans as those states fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by the Defendants is expected, and it will be costly.
Read the full ruling.

UPDATE II: Freedom To Marry reacts.
"It was in a case out of Virginia that the Supreme Court ended race discrimination in marriage. And today, in another Virginia marriage case, a federal circuit court ruled against discrimination in marriage, affirming the freedom to marry for loving and committed gay couples. The Fourth Circuit’s ruling echoes what over 25 other federal and state courts have held: same-sex couples deserve the dignity of marriage, and anti-marriage laws are indefensible. Every day of denial is a day of injustice and tangible harms. It’s time for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution and secure the freedom to marry for all.”
UPDATE III: Via the Roanoke Times:
Today’s decision is significant because it also renders unconstitutional similar marriage bans in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia – states that are part of the 4th Circuit. Same-sex marriage is already legal in Maryland, which is also in the circuit. This marks the second time that an appellate-level court has ruled on state marriage bans following the dismantling of a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last summer, and sets the stage for the Supreme Court to consider state-level laws. On Wednesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban. The precedent from that ruling also applies to Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma. “Today’s decision stands as a testament that all Americans are created equal and denying loving gay and lesbian couples the opportunity to marry is indefensible,” said Theodore B. Olson, lead co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Bostic v. Rainey, a court case aimed at overturning Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.
UPDATE IV: Chris Geidner reports on the stay process.
The court’s opinion is not effective immediately. According to the court’s judgment in the case, the judgment will take effect after the mandate is issued in the case. The mandate, under the court’s rules, will be issued “7 days after expiration of the time to file a petition for rehearing expires, or 7 days after entry of an order denying a timely petition for panel rehearing, rehearing en banc, or motion for stay of mandate, whichever is later.”
UPDATE V: Here's how the ruling concludes.
UPDATE VI: From the Campaign For Southern Equality.
“Today’s ruling is further proof that there is not a single valid legal argument to uphold [North Carolina's] Amendment One. It's not a question of if Amendment One will be struck down, but when. Each day that North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage remains on the books, families are harmed. The Campaign for Southern Equality will continue to call for swift action from the courts to overturn Amendment One, and for citizens and elected officials to take a stand against this discriminatory and immoral law,” said Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. “Federal courts in recent months have made clear – emphatically and unequivocally – that it is unconstitutional for state governments to discriminate against loving and committed couples who want the benefits and security that marriage provides,” said Jacob Sussman, lead counsel for plaintiffs in General Synod of the United Church of Christ vs. Cooper and partner at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen.

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STUDY: Gays Are Leaving Gayborhoods

Newly published research confirms what most casual observers have known for years - fewer gay people are choosing to live in traditional urban gayborhoods.
Fewer same-sex couples reside in historically gay neighbourhoods compared to 10 years ago, according to one of the largest studies of sexuality in the U.S. Led by University of British Columbia sociologist Amin Ghaziani, the study found the number of gay men who live in gay enclaves has declined eight per cent while the number of lesbians has dropped 13 per cent. Ghaziani’s research, which is collected in his new book There Goes the Gayborhood, suggests that San Francisco’s Castro district, New York’s Chelsea, Chicago’s Boystown and other “gayborhoods” are changing as growing numbers of heterosexual households join or replace gays and lesbians. He offers several reasons for the shift, including gentrification, changing attitudes among gays and lesbians, and growing acceptance of same-sex couples. The study also identifies new demographic trends, including unexpected clusters of same-sex parents around desirable schools in traditionally straight neighbourhoods and the emergence of districts for LGBT people of colour. The findings also show that same-sex households exist in a record-high 93 per cent of U.S. counties.
Here's the trailer for Ghaziani's book.

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FLORIDA: Key West Marriage Plaintiffs Ask To Move Case To State Supreme Court

The two Key West bartenders who two weeks ago won their marriage lawsuit in a Monroe County court are petitioning to have their case heard by the Florida Supreme Court. Via the Miami Herald:
On July 17, Monroe Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida's 2008 gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, ruling against Bondi, whose office defended the ban. Huntsman and Jones have not been allowed to marry: Florida law mandates that an automatic stay pending appeal is triggered when a public official loses a court case. “We’re filing in the court of appeal, a motion, in layman’s terms, to pass through the jurisdiction of the third District Court of Appeal and to send the case directly to the Florida Supreme Court,” Restivo told the Miami Herald. “It’s going to certainly bring this case quicker to finality. It’s going to apply this case, one way or another, to the entire state of Florida, once the Supreme Court rules on it.” The Monroe County case mirrors one in Miami-Dade, in which Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel on Friday ordered that six same-sex couples also be allowed to marry. Preventing same-sex couples from marrying, Zabel said, “serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society.”
Equality Case Files has the request.

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Hotel Chains Step Up Digital Services

Hilton Hotels is spending $550M on a program that will allow guests to choose their rooms, check in, and open their rooms with their smartphones.
The company plans to announce this week new technology intended for its 4,200 properties world-wide. Targeting younger travelers, Hilton is aiming to leapfrog competitors that already have rolled out new services like turning mobile phones into room keys. Guests already can check in and check out with a few punches on a smartphone or tablet-computer screen at all of Hilton's hotels in the U.S., the company said. By the end of summer, travelers will be able to see the location of and select their own rooms by mobile phone at six brands, from the midscale Hilton Garden Inn to the luxury Waldorf Astoria. Next year, Hilton says, arriving guests can begin using their smartphones to unlock the doors to their rooms, rather than waiting on any lines clogging the front desk to pick up a key. That feature will be available at most of the company's hotels world-wide by the end of 2016.
Starwood is also testing phone-based room keys and expects to launch their program at all W Hotels by next year. Other major chains have similar plans.

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CNN Poll: No Clear GOP 2016 Frontrunner

According to a poll released yesterday by CNN, the nine leading prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidates all barely hit double-digits among Republican and independent voters.
Thirteen percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they'd likely back Christie, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate, each at 12%. Perry – who ran for the White House last time around – and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee – are both at 11%. Christie and Perry have each jumped five percentage points from CNN's last Republican nomination poll, which was conducted in June. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas are both at 8%, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 6%, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin at 5% and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who battled Romney deep into the 2012 GOP primary calendar, at 3%.
The same poll shows that if the 2012 election were held over again, Mitt Romney would beat President Obama by eleven points. The poll also shows that Hillary Clinton would beat Romney by 13 points.

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New Victoria Jackson Campaign Ad


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Headline Of The Day

Details.

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Judge Strikes Down DC's Handgun Ban

A federal judge has ruled that Washington DC's ban on openly carrying firearms in unconstitutional.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin is the latest in a protracted fight over gun laws here. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision striking down the city's 32-year-old ban on handguns. Since then, the city has rewritten its laws, lawsuits have been filed and even Congress has waded into the fight. In a decision made public Saturday, Judge Scullin concluded that the Second Amendment gives people the right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense. He cited two U.S. Supreme Court cases as important to his ruling—the 2008 opinion striking down the District of Columbia's ban and a 2010 ruling involving Chicago's handgun ban. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right "to keep and bear Arms." "There is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny," wrote Judge Scullin, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush and is a retired Army colonel.
DC officials have requested a stay and plan to appeal. Open carry nuts are celebrating across Teabagistan.

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One Million Moms Vs Guinness Beer

Just in via email:
Joe, Guinness & Co. is currently airing a commercial for its beer with a popular gospel hymn as background music. The song "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" is played during the entire ad and even though there are no lyrics it is unmistakably the beloved hymn Christians know and love. The cherished "Everlasting Arms" hymn has no place in a beer commercial. Christian music should not be associated with an advertisement promoting drinking. The choice of including this hymn in the ad disrespects the Christian faith. Take Action: Please send an email letter strongly encouraging Guinness & Co. to change the background music in their "Empty Chair" commercial. Ask that they no longer use a hymn out of respect for Christians.
The ad debuted over the Fourth Of July and has been widely praised by critics and members of the military.

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Fox Teases Simpsons/Family Guy Episode

Via Mediaite:
At Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif., Fox debuted a five-minute sneak peek of the combo episode of Family Guy and The Simpsons, set to air September 28. The preview shows leading males Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin bonding over donuts and fighting over their favorite beers, while Stewie Griffin and Bart Simpson engage in hijinks. Subtle jabs at each other’s shows abound, along with references to other Fox programs like Bob’s Burgers and the recently canceled Cleveland Show.
A Simpsons/Futurama crossover episode will air in November. The Simpsons is in its 25th season, making it the "longest running animated American series, longest running American sitcom, and longest running scripted primetime series."

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Attacker Of NYC Eagle Bartender Charged With Assault, Next Court Date Is Thursday

Three weeks ago NYC Eagle bartender Paul Martone was left in critical condition after being punched during a Hell's Kitchen street altercation involving his dog. Last week his attacker, Corey Pohan (left), 32, pleaded guilty in a New Jersey court to criminal trespassing after climbing atop the Lincoln Tunnel toll plaza in an attempt to flee NYPD detectives who were escorting him to Manhattan for questioning. As part of his plea agreement, Pohan was sentenced to the 13 days he'd served in a New Jersey jail and a $256 fine. He was then extradited to Manhattan for arraignment where he was charged with assault for the attack on Martone. Pohan is being held on a $25,000 bond. His next court date is this Thursday. Martone's current condition has not been disclosed in recent reports.

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Sarah Palin Launches Pay Channel

Variety reports that Sarah Palin has launched a paid subscription video channel that is apparently modeled on the one launched three years ago by Glenn Beck.
The Sarah Palin Channel, which costs $9.95 per month or $99.95 for a one-year subscription, will feature her commentary on “important issues facing the nation,” as well as behind-the-scenes looks into her personal life as “mother, grandmother, wife and neighbor.” Palin serves as executive editor, overseeing all content posted to the channel. “I want to talk directly to you on our channel, on my terms — and no need to please the powers that be,” Palin, who is also a Fox News contributor, said in a video announcing the channel. “Together, we’ll go beyond the sound bites and cut through the media’s politically correct filter.” Palin is producing the channel in partnership with Tapp, the online-video venture formed by Jeff Gaspin, former chairman of NBCUniversal Television, and Jon Klein, former president of CNN U.S.
Here's the announcement clip.

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TRAILER: Mad Max: Fury Road

IO9 raves:
Now you can see first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer, unveiled yesterday at Comic-Con, with your own eyes. It's full of gorgeous deserts, blooming smoke bombs the color of bruises, and a giant dust storm that looms over the landscape like a terrestrial tsunami. Dystopia has never looked so desolate and fascinating. This is the kind of trailer that emphasizes mood and setting over plot, but that's important — Max Max has become its own subversive style in the years since the first movie came out in the late twentieth century. We hear Max's voiceover briefly, we know he's mad, and we see that some desert punk gangs have taken him prisoner and made Tom Hardy wear his Bane mask again.

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New York Times: Legalize Marijuana

From the editorial board of the New York Times:
It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol. The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws. There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.

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The Rubberbandits - Fellas

Via the Independent:
Comedians Rubberbandits have released a new song on YouTube which has proven an instant hit with fellow comedians. The song 'Fellas' champions everybody's right to explore their sexuality with the words, "If you want to f*** a fella, f*** a fella" mouthed by a puppet version of Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne. The song continues with its anti-homophobia message with the line, "Cause the world is full of fellas, who will try to put you down, All you have to do is hold your head up high and stand your ground." Comedian Russell brand retweeted the song to his eight million followers with the message, "Always listen to @rubberbandits one day their prophecies may free us all" whilst Frankie Boyle called the song "immense". Panti Bliss tweeted, "Ha! Amazing. @Rubberbandits new song/video about fellas "f***ing fellas" as sung by puppet Gabriel Byrne. Seriously."
The video is kinda creepy. Totally not office-friendly.

(Tipped by JMG reader Brian)

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Matt Baume: Marrage News Watch

Clip recap:
The rules have changed yet again this week in Colorado, with new rulings on marriage from multiple courts. New polls show growing support for equality in western states, but multiple Attorneys General have filed new briefs to stop gay and lesbian couples from marrying. And another Republican member of Congress has come out in favor of the freedom to marry.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

FLORIDA: Majority Of GOP Orange County Commissioners Back Marriage Equality

Via the Orlando Sentinel:
A majority of Orange County commissioners have voiced support for gay marriage after activists questioned the Republican-dominated board about its stance last week before Florida's courts settle the issue. Three of the pro-gay-marriage commissioners are Republicans: Jennifer Thompson, Scott Boyd and Pete Clarke. Democrat Tiffany Moore Russell also strongly endorsed same-sex marriage rights. "I truly believe everybody has a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Clarke said. "We're there to do right by our citizens." When asked for her stance on the issue, County Mayor Teresa Jacobs issued a statement. Jacobs said she had read the Miami lawsuit challenging Florida's gay-marriage ban and "believe[s] that a very strong case was made." However, Jacobs also reaffirmed she has "no jurisdiction on this issue," and regardless of the court rulings, "I hope that religious institutions will continue to have the freedom to define marriage according to their own doctrines."
GOP Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie also supports equal marriage, saying, "It's the civil rights cause of our generation." 

RELATED: Two Florida county judges struck down the ban this month, but stayed their rulings pending appeal. A ruling in a federal suit that would be applicable statewide is expected at any time.

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Exorcism Of The Day

Clip recap: "During Bob's latest mission to Ukraine, thousands were delivered and experienced spiritual freedom! One of those was Tamara who was suicidal because of rejection from her father. This exorcism starts slowly but you must see the end."

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Ted Nugent: My Critics Are Smelly, Dirty Communists Who Hate America

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GOP Mum On LGBT Executive Order

Anti-gay and Christian groups have been screaming their heads off about President Obama's signing of the executive order protecting the LGBT employees of federal contractors from workplace discrimination. But the GOP hasn't uttered an official peep.
Perhaps nobody better illustrated this point than House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). HuffPost asked him Thursday if he had any reaction to Obama's LGBT executive order. "Nope," Boehner said at his weekly briefing. "The president signs a lot of executive orders." Asked if he supports the principle of workplace protections being extended to LGBT employees, he punted again. "Listen, the president is going to make his decisions. He can," Boehner said. On the other side, Human Rights Campaign spokesman Fred Sainz said he considers Republicans' silence golden. "While I would far prefer they speak on behalf of the equality their constituents support, it's definitely evidence of our progress when some say nothing," Sainz said. One factor may be that Republicans simply aren't keeping up with the flurry of LGBT rights advancements. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), one of the eight House GOP co-sponsors of ENDA, said Thursday that he didn't know about Obama's executive order. But he emphasized that if it has the same goal as ENDA -- which it does, except that ENDA has far broader implications -- he supports it.

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New Message From Harlem's Hate Church

Source.

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