Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Editorial Of The Day
From the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times:
It's unusual when the winners of a case ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of their victory. But that is exactly the plea being made by lawyers for same-sex couples who successfully challenged bans on such unions in Virginia, Oklahoma and Utah. And for good reasons. Although some same-sex couples have been able to enjoy the protections of marriage because of lower-court decisions, others are unable to marry because rulings in their favor have been stayed pending the outcome of appeals. The country wouldn't be in this position if the Supreme Court had issued a straightforward ruling last year holding that bans on same-sex marriage violate the Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws. But the court sidestepped that issue when it ruled that proponents of California's Proposition 8 lacked standing to appeal a lower-court ruling striking it down. The Supreme Court often will allow a constitutional issue to percolate for some time and step in only when federal appeals courts disagree. So far that hasn't happened with the issue of same-sex marriage, but the justices should move quickly anyway. The legal issues have been amply developed and debated. It's now time for the nation's highest court to rule unambiguously that gay couples are equal under the law.
Russia Drops Plan For Anti-Eurovision
The 2014 contest – which was due to take place in Sochi in October – has since been cancelled, according to Russian news service Rusnovosti. Intervision, which ran between 1977 and 1980, had been set to be revived featuring countries with values closer to Russia’s, including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Despite the cancellation, the show’s producers are reportedly still planning to hold a contest in 2015, blaming the “political situation” in Russia for the delay. Russia has meanwhile already confirmed its participation in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, despite Russian politician Vitaly Milonov calling for the country to boycott the “Eurovision sodom show”.Meanwhile a pair of anti-gay local Russian politicians are mocking Conchita Wurst in a brief campaign clip. Via the Hollywood Reporter:
The video depicts several cartoon figures resembling this year's Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst under a sign reading "There will be a parade!" in an apparent reference to repeated bans on gay pride parades in several Russian cities. Then, the two election candidates, Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeyev — who, incidentally, represent the ruling party United Russia — are shown shaking hands to an offscreen announcement of their election slogan: "Against empty talkers and gays." Originally released online by the candidates themselves, the video earned notoriety when the gay rights website GayRussia.eu reposted the video, and several Russian gay rights activists filed complaints, claiming that the video "incites enmity and hatred."
RELATED: Gay travel sites are already selling tour packages to Vienna for Eurovision 2015. Aside from pride events, Eurovision is one of the most popular travel destinations for European gay men.
New York Times: SCOTUS Sometimes Relies On "Facts" From Amicus Briefs
The New York Times reports that Supreme Court justices are "increasingly citing" unverified and questionable data gleaned from the avalanche of amicus briefs that typically accompany hotly contested issues.
Some of the factual assertions in recent amicus briefs would not pass muster in a high school research paper. But that has not stopped the Supreme Court from relying on them. Recent opinions have cited “facts” from amicus briefs that were backed up by blog posts, emails or nothing at all. Some amicus briefs are careful and valuable, of course, citing peer-reviewed studies and noting contrary evidence. Others cite more questionable materials. Some “studies” presented in amicus briefs were paid for or conducted by the group that submitted the brief and published only on the Internet. Some studies seem to have been created for the purpose of influencing the Supreme Court. Yet the justices are quite receptive to this dodgy data. Over the five terms from 2008 to 2013, the court’s opinions cited factual assertions from amicus briefs 124 times, Professor Larsen found."Created for the purpose of influencing the Supreme Court." Regnerus, anyone? (Tipped by JMG reader Ray)
Equality Florida Launches "Don't Appeal" Campaign To Governor Rick Scott
On August 21, Judge Hinkle ruled Florida's ban on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional and added Florida must also recognize legal marriages performed in other states. The judge immediately stayed the ruling pending appeal. But if the decision is not appealed by September 21, the marriage ban will fall on September 22!
Judge Hinkle has stated that Attorney General Pam Bondi cannot appeal the decision. Then who can appeal? Craig J. Nichols, Florida’s Secretary of Management Services; John H. Armstrong, Florida’s Surgeon General; and Harold Bazzel, Washington County Clerk of Court. Two of the three take orders from Governor Scott and will likely appeal the decision if he tells them to do so.
We need to send the message loud and clear: "Governor Scott, DO NOT appeal the marriage decision." This is where you help! Make a video telling Governor Scott not to appeal the marriage decision and post it to Facebook/Twitter/Youtube - and use the hashtag #MarriageNow.
Dating Website: Chicago Is Top Travel Destination For Closeted Gay Men
According to a dating website that specializes in romantic travel, Chicago is the most popular destination for closeted gay men. Via press release:
Thousands of men are secretly flocking to destinations across the globe. With many counterparts left outside of the picture, many times the real purpose of trips remains undisclosed. MissTravel.com conducted a two-part survey regarding closeted travel. The dating destination website first polled 5,184 male members seeking male travel companions, to find out if they were “out” as homosexuals. The 41% members who were in-fact closeted were then surveyed to discover their top destinations for discreet travel.The press release adds: "Chicago is known as a major U.S. business hub, making it a plausible destination for prudent travel."
Top Closeted Destinations:
4.Puerta Vallarta, Mexico
5.Vancouver, British Columbia
6.Las Vegas, Nevada
7.Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
9.Buenos Aires, Argentina
BAHAMAS: Death Threats End Gay Pride
A gay pride event that started on Friday on Grand Bahama that was supposed to continue through tomorrow was cut short as members of the lesbian gay bisexual and transgender community abandoned it out of fear of repercussions from irate members of the public even as police remained on high alert for any signs of trouble, Victor Rollins, one of the organizers of the event, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday. Rollins said he received death threats on his Facebook page after posting pictures of event attendees holding gay pride flags along with Bahamian flags on a beach yesterday. Rollins said the backlash came quickly starting Thursday after organizers issued a press release in support of the event, which was held at Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Resort. He said local talk shows were a particular source of vitriol, with many claiming God would judge The Bahamas for allowing a gay pride event to take place and some people wishing harm on those involved and members of the LGBT more generally. He said that no one from the Bahamian LGBT who said they would come to the event and even those who were to be honored at the event showed up.The Bahamas decriminalized homosexuality in 1991, but anti-gay violence and discrimination remains common - as it does throughout much of the Caribbean.
MEXICO: Another State Legalizes Marriage
For the first time, a Mexican state legislature has voted to legalize same-sex marriage. The Sept. 1 vote by the Congress of the state of Coahuila was 19-1. The new law, which alters more than 40 parts of the state's Civil Code, takes effect in one week. According to reports, the law says, "Marriage is the free union with full consent of two people, which has as its objective to realize community life where both [people] seek respect, equality and mutual aid, and make in a free, responsible, voluntary and informed way reproductive decisions that fit their life project, including the possibility of procreation or adoption."Coahuila is the 15th most populous of Mexico's 31 states with about three million residents. Same-sex marriage is also legal in the state of Quintana Roo and in Mexico City.
Obama Delivers Message On Ebola
Michael Sam Goes Unclaimed
The St. Louis Rams named the 10 players they signed to their practice squad. Michael Sam was not one of them. The team made Sam one of its final cuts on Saturday and met with him the following day, but it apparently doesn't have interest at this time in signing Sam. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said Sam's release Saturday was for "football reasons" and had cited the team's injuries on the offensive line and secondary as reasons why the team was concerned about its depth at other spots and couldn't keep more than 10 defensive linemen on the roster. But not on the practice squad either? Sam was unclaimed by the other 31 NFL teams and remains a free agent, with no teams offering a practice squad spot — despite those rosters increasing this season from eight to 10 players per team — with nearly every slot around the league believed to be filled.
Monday, September 01, 2014
Ninth Circuit Court Reveals Judge Panel For Nevada, Idaho, & Hawaii Cases
adds: "Reinhardt wrote majority in Prop 8 case and SmithKline (latter held sexual orientation must withstand heightened scrutiny). Berzon joined Reinhardt in SmithKline. Gould wrote majority in Witt v. Air Force." Arguments in the three cases begin at 4PM in San Francisco on next Monday.
Tweeted By Rick Perry
slammed Perry instantly:
Lehmberg did not indict Perry. She and other officials in solidly Democratic Travis County recused themselves from the case against Perry. Bert Richardson, a Republican judge from Bexar County, appointed San Antonio lawyer Michael McCrum to serve as a special prosecutor. McCrum brought forth charges against Perry, and on Aug. 15, a Travis County grand jury handed up an indictment alleging Perry abused his official capacity and coerced a public servant. The tweet drew an almost instant backlash from Perry’s political opponents, many of whom have accused him of purposely blurring the details of the case from the get-go to rally public opinion in his favor. The graphic featured the logo of the Patriot Post, a website that offers news and commentary for a conservative audience. The website’s coverage of the indictment has been sympathetic to Perry and included similar illustrations poking fun at Lehmberg. Although the tweet came from Perry’s personal account — as opposed to the ones run by his staff — it was unclear Sunday evening whether he actually sent it out.Perry is expected by some to run for president again.
Sydney Convicts Win Bingham Cup 2014
Sydney Morning Herald:
The Sydney Convicts have retained the Bingham Cup - the gay and inclusive rugby World Cup - in a 31-0 grand final thrashing of the Brisbane Hustlers in Sydney. Australian teams dominated the three-day international tournament that ended with the one-sided decider in Rose Bay on Sunday. The Sydney Convicts, Australia's first gay rugby union club, fielded three teams in the tournament and their A team took out the top prize for the fourth time in the tournament's history. Held for the first time in the southern hemisphere since it began in 2002, the biennial competition was contested by 24 teams from 15 countries. NSW Governor Marie Bashir, US Ambassador to Australia John Berry, NSW rugby league State of Origin legend Steve Mortimer and local Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull were all on hand for the seventh Bingham Cup decider. The clash follows a momentous week in Australian rugby, with the Australian Rugby Union announcing an inclusion policy to tackle homophobia.Here's some "behind the scenes" beefcake.
Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch
Anti-gay attorneys took a beating before the Seventh Circuit last week, trying and failing to defend marriage bans before a panel of hostile judges. Now all eyes are on the Supreme Court to see which cases they'll take up in their fall session. There's another major marriage argument coming up in a few days. And the National Organization for Marriage still isn't giving up in Oregon, despite having lost months ago.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Exorcism Of The Day
Anastasia’s demons were defiant. They first gave Bob an obscene gesture, then told him F*** YOU! Anastasia doesn’t speak or understand ANY English. Watch what happens then as God’s judgment falls on Jezebel! This exorcism is translated into Russian.Acting! In Russian!
New Yorker Profiles Drag Wrestler
fascinating profile on star Mexican wrestler Cassandro. An excerpt:
At the top of the fun list, for Saúl [Armendáriz], was lucha libre—the flashy, popular Mexican brand of professional wrestling. Every barrio had a small arena where masked heroes (técnicos) and villains (rudos) grappled and whirled and tossed one another around on Sundays. Saúl loved the gaudy costumes. He loved the rowdy, passionate crowds. He idolized the larger-than-life luchadores. He was not a big kid, but he was athletic and quick and in desperate need of an alter ego. “Being gay is a gift from God,” Armendáriz told me recently. That was not his experience as a child. He remembers being brutally punished, at a very young age, for playing patty-cake, a girl’s game, with a like-minded boy at school. His parents, particularly his father, were mortified by his effeminacy. “My dad was a machista,” he said. “He did not want a gay son.” His father, a truck driver, drank; he beat Saúl’s mother. They divorced when Saúl was thirteen. Other kids were also rough. “Boys in the neighborhood, including my own relatives, used me as a sex toy,” he told me. Armendáriz, who is forty-four, stood at a dressing-room mirror in Los Angeles, putting on green-glitter eyeshadow, while recalling these horrors. He did not seem notably detached from, or perturbed by, what he was saying, but somewhere in between. “I am not a victim,” he said firmly. Then he gave a small sigh and started putting on lipstick—fire-engine red. “But I am still so damaged.” He glued on a pair of false eyelashes. He was transforming Saúl into his lucha character, the fabulous world welterweight champion Cassandro.
Leather Controversy At Oakland Pride
is not invited.
One thing you probably won't find at Oakland's first LGBT Pride Parade on Sunday: partially clad men in leather chaps. What you will find is the Jolly Trolly from Children's Fairyland, pony rides, antique fire engines and singer/drummer Sheila E. Instead of kicking off with Dykes on Bikes, as is the tradition in San Francisco, Oakland's parade starts with Tykes on Trikes. "We had some leather groups from San Francisco who wanted to come, and we politely declined. We want to keep this G-rated," said Carlos Uribe, one of the organizers. "We don't want to compete with San Francisco Pride, we just want to offer a more family-friendly, diverse celebration. Sort of an end-of-summer bookend to SF Pride." The city has hosted a Pride fest on and off since the 1990s, but the current incarnation started five years ago with the goal of eventually opening an LGBT community center. Last year, organizers polled the festival's 30,000 attendees about what they'd like to see at future fests, and 80 percent said they wanted a parade. "We're going to be the most family-friendly Pride parade anywhere, ever," said Amber Todd, chair of Oakland Pride. "We'll have something for everyone - gay, straight, pansexual, kids. My 75-year-old mother's coming, and she's as straight as the day is long."Oakland Pride issued an apology on Facebook yesterday, claiming that Uribe was misquoted. From the statement: "Although it is correct that Oakland Pride will not allow nudity or sexually explicit materials at the Parade or Festival, this in no way denies the leather community from participating."
Saturday, August 30, 2014
St. Louis Rams Cut Michael Sam
released Michael Sam today in the final cut before the official season begins. ESPN reports:
Sam's efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks. Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot. Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. From there, the other 31 teams will have until noon ET on Sunday to put in a claim for Sam. If he goes unclaimed, he will be free to sign with a practice squad. According to one league source, the Rams would like to bring Sam back to their 10-man practice squad. "There will be no challenge, no challenges whatsoever," for whatever team picks up Sam, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said at a news conference. "There's no challenge with respect to Mike Sam," Fisher said. "He's not about drawing attention to himself. He kept his head down and worked and you can't ask anything more out of any player for that matter."More from the Washington Post:
Now that Michael Sam has been released by the St. Louis Rams, failing to make their season-opening 53-man roster, the question becomes: What’s next for him? It appears that, following a productive preseason, he will have a home in the NFL, although it’s not immediately clear where that will be or what roster status he will have. The most likely outcome, according to people throughout the league, is that Sam ends up right back where he started and is re-signed by the Rams to their 10-member practice squad, making him eligible to practice with the team — and continue to try to develop into an NFL-ready player — but not play in games. That’s if he’s not signed by another team to its roster, which those in and around the league also consider possible.The celebrating is already underway at Breitbart and Free Republic.
I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to (1/2)
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
show I can play at this level. I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career (2/2)
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I've always known. The journey continues.
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
Christian Site: John The Baptist Was Killed For Opposing Unnatural Marriage
contemporary spin on the story of John The Baptist:
A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage. The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced. John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.In other words, we are all Herodias.
While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before. According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.
John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man. If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman." He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally.
Headline Of The Day
AUSTRALIA: Protesters Block Entrance As Hate Conference "Opens In Chaos"
About 100 protesters blocked the entrance to the Catch the Fire evangelical ministries in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam on Saturday morning, where the controversial World Congress of Families conference was scheduled to begin. Many speakers, including the American campaigner Angela Lanfranchi, who planned to speak on the thoroughly debunked link between breast cancer and abortion, were unable to get through the gates in their cars. Their path was blocked by protesters holding signs with slogans such as “Our bodies are our property” and “Women are not incubators”. More than 30 police officers formed their own barrier on the opposite side of the gate in the quiet street of Star Crescent, located in an industrial area. It forced attendees to trickle through the gates one by one as church security struggled to establish whether they had registered. The Monty Python satirical song Every Sperm is Sacred boomed from a sound system organised by protesters. The protests were vocal, but largely peaceful. Two protesters were arrested as others chanted “What’s the charge?”More from The Age:
One protester managed to sneak in as a registered guest, storming the stage and pouring fake blood over herself in front of NSW MP, the Reverend Fred Nile and his wife. "We don't want your backyard abortions," she yelled, before being marched out. Guests at the event were visibly rattled by the breach and turned to prayer as the woman was ushered outside. But despite ongoing protests at the gate throughout the day, the rest of the conference was incident free. Controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lafranchi was one of the headline acts, pushing her research suggesting a link between abortion and breast cancer. Reverend Nile, leader of the NSW Christian Democrats, called for more Christians to get involved in politics. And Paul Hanrahan, the executive director of Family Life International Australia, used his speech to suggest abortion was worse than terrorism in Syria. "Many people lately have been upset at the terrible atrocities being committed in the name of religion in Iraq and Syria and other places. Terrorists and terrorists' kids holding severed heads is certainly gruesome. Answer me this: how is it worse?" he asked.A slideshow of today's protest is here.
RELATED: Rev. Nile made international headlines in 2010 when it was revealed that his state parliament computer had been used to view a huge amount of porn. One of Australia's most vile anti-gay activists, Nile has called for abolishing Sydney Mardi Gras because it's a "public parade of immorality and blasphemy."
eBay Map: Most Popular Items By State
E-commerce giant eBay has revealed the most popular item in every state. Californians favored high-end women's accessories, while men's cologne ruled in New Jersey. Some states were more practical. People in Ohio purchased outdoor equipment. North Carolina residents spent their money on baby products, while Connecticut customers bought batteries. Texans ordered "tactical and hunting goods," while New Yorkers favored firearms.There's a huge infographic at the link. (Tipped by JMG reader Ray)
HAWAII: Gov. Neil Abercrombie Blames Primary Loss On Same-Sex Marriage
yesterday declared that he lost this month's reelection primary because he had called a special legislative session on same-sex marriage.
Republicans are allowed to vote for Democrats in Hawaii's open primary, and Abercrombie said they chose to vote against him because of his support for gay marriage and because they think his party rival, state Sen. David Ige, is an easier target to beat in the general election. "Republicans crossed over en masse to vote in the Democratic primary, and then the religious factor came in," Abercrombie said. "Doctrinally I was outside the circle and paid for it." He argued that voters were urged to choose his opponent by their religious leaders. Abercrombie, who spoke to reporters in his office, lost to Ige by a stunning 2-1 margin, the first time a Democratic governor has been unseated in a Hawaii primary. But Abercrombie said losing was worth it to pass a law legalizing gay marriage. "There's no way I could live with myself if I thought I was diminishing another human being's ability to reach their full capacity," Abercrombie said.Those who watched night after night of those public comments during the Hawaii House committee hearings will remember them as the ugliest we've ever seen. And that is really saying something.
SAN DIEGO: Cops Suspect Inside Job In Trashing Of Homocon Carl DeMaio's Office
was trashed just days before the primary? Remember how reporters suspected an attention-seeking inside job? Via U-T San Diego:
Two former staffers may be the ones responsible for a burglary at GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio’s Mira Mesa campaign headquarters on the eve of the June 3 primary election, a San Diego Police Department spokesman said Friday. Lt. Kevin Mayer said police have concluded that a burglary did occur at the office late in the evening of May 27 or in the early morning hours of May 28. Several thousand dollars of hardware was damaged or destroyed, including computers, telephones, a copy machine and an Internet router and cable modem. Mayer said the DeMaio campaign identified two former staff members as potential suspects early on in the investigation. “Both staff members are cooperating with our investigation,” Mayer said. “We anticipate the our investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office in the next couple of weeks.” He was unable to say if the two were staffers at the time of the burglary or left the campaign subsequent to the incident.DeMaio declined to comment for the above-linked story.
RELATED: Two weeks before the break-in DeMaio confessed to having plagiarized a National Journal report on members of Congress who take government pensions in addition to their salaries.