Post(s) tagged with "politics"

Gay-marriage law assault perplexing ⇢

(via the Nashua Telegraph)

One of the more contentious battles confronting the New Hampshire Legislature when it returns to work in January will be the misguided effort to repeal the 2009 law legalizing same-sex marriages. Put on hold earlier this year so lawmakers could concentrate on more serious issues, such as the state budget, taxes and creating jobs, this pointless distraction is back on the legislative agenda for reasons that escape rational explanation.

New Hampshire is one of six states, along with the District of Columbia, that allow same-sex marriages. Another 13 states permit civil unions. Elsewhere in the country, same-sex marriages and/or civil unions are prohibited by either statute or constitutional amendment. The same-sex marriage repeal legislation up for review next month seeks to bring back civil unions, which were legalized in New Hampshire in 2007, and grandfather existing same-sex marriages. The state estimates 1,800 gay couples have been married here in the past two years.

Make no mistake, the only reason the anti-same-sex marriage legislation exists at all is because conservative Republicans were emboldened by their landslide victory in 2010. Huge majorities in the House and Senate created an irresistible opportunity to push mischievous, oppressive, veto-proof forays into statutory social engineering.

It would be one thing if there were evidence the current law has had negative repercussions for the state or its citizens. There isn’t. No jobs have been lost. No revenues have been compromised. No little children have been traumatized. If anything, the law has bolstered the state’s respected libertarian reputation.

More importantly, the law has broad public support. In April, the University of New Hampshire Survey Center reported 55 percent of state residents support same-sex marriages, while 39 percent opposed them. This followed an earlier poll that found Granite State residents oppose the GOP’s effort to repeal same-sex marriages by 62 to 29 percent.

These results are consistent with other polls. A Public Policy Polling survey in July found 51 percent of New Hampshire voters favor legal same-sex marriages while 38 percent oppose them. It also found 80 percent support some sort of legal recognition of same-sex couples, with marriage favored by 45 percent and civil unions by 35 percent. Only 19 percent of the respondents opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples.

In total disregard for this overwhelming evidence of public support, Republicans are marching forward with their crusade. The House Judiciary Committee voted 11-6 in October to recommended the bill’s passage. The full House is expected to concur. Passage is expected in the Senate as well, The big question is whether the margins of victory will be large enough to sustain Gov. John Lynch’s promised veto.

Not much has changed from earlier this year when the same-sex marriage repeal effort was pushed aside in favor of more pressing issues. There are still big holes in the state budget, businesses are still struggling to survive and too many people are out of work. What Republicans considered a priority in January is unfinished business today.

The words of House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem, ring as true now as they did 11 months ago when he described the same-sex repeal effort as a controversial “assault” on the GOP’s agenda that had the potential to deflect attention from “New Hampshire’s outstanding financial issues.”

Michele Bachmann Heckled By ‘Gay Robot’

BY ON TOP MAGAZINE STAFF 
PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 23, 2011

Michele Bachmann on Thursday was heckled by a gay robot during a campaign stop in heavily Democratic Iowa City, the Iowa City Patch reported.

The man dressed in a robot suit shouted Bachmann down during her rapid 20-minute campaign stop at Hamburg Inn No. 2.

“I am a gay robot. I oppose Bachmann’s position on gays, whether they are human or robot,” said the man, who declined to give his name but conceded he was the same robot who heckled Bill Clinton at the University of Iowa in 2007.

The gay robot was booed and quickly asked to leave the popular diner where about 100 people had come to see the GOP candidate. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

A group of about 15 Occupy Iowa City protesters also heckled Bachmann over gay rights.

“Michele Bachmann will fix the economy by laying off workers and cutting their pay,” they shouted. “Michele Bachmann fights proudly for marriage unless the couple happens to be gay. You’re not wanted here. You’re not wanted here so go, just go.”

Bachmann did not speak to the crowd nor comment to the media.

Michele Bachmann doesn’t believe in the Kinsey Report. Of course she doesn’t. The Kinsey Report is of science, and science is of the devil, no doy. If god had wanted Michele Bachmann to believe that hokum, he would have transcribed it to the lesser-known thirteenth disciple, St. Chad of Fabulous. But he didn’t! And that’s why [she thinks] gays are a myth and science is stupid. The end.

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Shakesville: Primarily Horrendo

Perfection!  Also, the world would likely be a better place if we had a St. Chad the Fabulous.

Source: shakespearessister.blogspot.com

North Carolina Voters Don't Know How Radical The Marriage Inequality Amendment Is ⇢

(via ThinkProgress)

A new Public Policy Polling poll shows that not only are North Carolina voters split on the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but they also don’t understand the extent of its impact. According to the poll, 58 percent of North Carolina voters say they will vote for the amendment in May, with respondents from all political parties supporting the measure. However, 56 percent of voters simultaneously report that they favor same-sex marriage (27 percent) or civil unions (29 percent).

This clear contradiction reveals a severe lack of education about the actual effect of the amendment. The text of it reads:

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

This means that the state constitution would ban recognition of all of the following:

  • Same-sex marriages.
  • Same-sex civil unions.
  • Same-sex domestic partnerships.
  • Opposite-sex domestic partnerships.

In fact, because of how the amendment was rushed through the legislature without proper checks on the text, it may even prohibit private businesses from offering benefits to domestic partners, including opposite-sex couples.

There seems to be a significant movable middle that would oppose the discriminatory amendment if they actually understood how harmful it could be to North Carolina society. Unfortunately, there are only 152 days until the vote to correct people’s misconceptions.

Congress Drops Antigay Provisions in Defense Bill | News

(via The Advocate)

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers have dropped antigay provisions in the $662 billion annual Defense spending bill, including an amendment that would have barred military chaplains from performing same-sex weddings in their official capacities.Several antigay amendments had been included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 passed in May. The bill’s conference committee, tasked with reconciling differences between the House bill and the Senate bill that passed earlier this month in a 93-7 vote, dropped the chaplain antigay amendment introduced by Rep. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican, in favor of a Senate amendment offered by Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker that specifies that chaplains who object to gay unions and do “not wish to perform a marriage may not be required to do so.” Completion of the bill conference report was announced late Monday.Introduced in November, the Wicker amendment to the Senate bill was deemed by many advocates to be an acceptable political compromise that would not jeopardize the rights of chaplains or gay service members seeking to wed. After months of legal review, the Department of Defense announced in September that military chaplains may officiate in same-sex wedding ceremonies of service members in states where such unions are legal — a decision that drew anticipated backlash from social conservatives fiercely opposed to repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” “The Wicker amendment — while in my mind redundant and thus unnecessary — recognized what is already true under the First Amendment, that no military chaplain is required by any law or government official to perform any marriage ceremony that does not comply with the teachings and tenets of the military chaplain’s denomination or faith,” wrote Reverend Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, in an op-ed last week. Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said earlier this month that the Wicker amendment is “a restatement of the protections and guarantees that have always been there.” Two other antigay amendments also died in conference: One that would have superfluously affirmed the Defense of Marriage Act in Defense Department policies, and the other, now moot, that would have delayed implementation of DADT, which went into effect on September 20.
SLDN expressed disappointment that an outdated provision called Article 125 was not repealed in the conference report despite the Senate including repeal in its version of the bill. Article 125 bans certain sex acts between adults, including sodomy, but had become a lightning rod for attention from religious right-wing groups.According to the Associated Press, lawmakers hope to complete the bill on Wednesday, then send it on to President Obama. Controversial provisions on detention of suspected terrorists, which threatened a presidential veto, were revised to provide “a number of additional assurances that there will be no interference with civilian interrogations or other law enforcement activities,” Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin of Michigan said in a Monday statement.

)

Congress Drops Antigay Provisions in Defense Bill | News

(via The Advocate)

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers have dropped antigay provisions in the $662 billion annual Defense spending bill, including an amendment that would have barred military chaplains from performing same-sex weddings in their official capacities.

Several antigay amendments had been included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 passed in May. The bill’s conference committee, tasked with reconciling differences between the House bill and the Senate bill that passed earlier this month in a 93-7 vote, dropped the chaplain antigay amendment introduced by Rep. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican, in favor of a Senate amendment offered by Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker that specifies that chaplains who object to gay unions and do “not wish to perform a marriage may not be required to do so.” Completion of the bill conference report was announced late Monday.

Introduced in November, the Wicker amendment to the Senate bill was deemed by many advocates to be an acceptable political compromise that would not jeopardize the rights of chaplains or gay service members seeking to wed. After months of legal review, the Department of Defense announced in September that military chaplains may officiate in same-sex wedding ceremonies of service members in states where such unions are legal — a decision that drew anticipated backlash from social conservatives fiercely opposed to repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” 

“The Wicker amendment — while in my mind redundant and thus unnecessary — recognized what is already true under the First Amendment, that no military chaplain is required by any law or government official to perform any marriage ceremony that does not comply with the teachings and tenets of the military chaplain’s denomination or faith,” wrote Reverend Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, in an op-ed last week. 

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said earlier this month that the Wicker amendment is “a restatement of the protections and guarantees that have always been there.” 

Two other antigay amendments also died in conference: One that would have superfluously affirmed the Defense of Marriage Act in Defense Department policies, and the other, now moot, that would have delayed implementation of DADT, which went into effect on September 20.

SLDN expressed disappointment that an outdated provision called Article 125 was not repealed in the conference report despite the Senate including repeal in its version of the bill. Article 125 bans certain sex acts between adults, including sodomy, but had become a lightning rod for attention from religious right-wing groups.

According to the Associated Press, lawmakers hope to complete the bill on Wednesday, then send it on to President Obama. 

Controversial provisions on detention of suspected terrorists, which threatened a presidential veto, were revised to provide “a number of additional assurances that there will be no interference with civilian interrogations or other law enforcement activities,” Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin of Michigan said in a Monday statement.

)

Source: advocate.com

Rick Perry never says anything bad about gays. He points out that the country is now open with peoples sexualities. They are able to be ‘out’ and serve in the military. He uses this giant step forward in thinking as a comparison to how people view Christians. Kids are judged when they openly pray in school. But all religions have been taken out of the equation(for fear of offending someone).I feel like there was a lot of focus on this mans usage of the word ‘gay’. and not on his campaign.

Nothing in Perry’s statements during this campaign or in the past would indicate that he is anything but anti-gay.

I’m very disturbed by the huge number of apologists that are saying this ad is being misinterpreted or that he was somehow lauding the end of DADT as progress. Perry’s rhetorical trick of linking the end of DADT to false statements about kids not being about to celebrate Christmas or pray in school is disingenuous at best and inviting a surge of anti-gay sentiment in this election (like those in the past) to distract voters from real issues.

A few of his anti-gay highlights below.

2003: Perry advocates for and signs into law a Texas DOMA claiming it to be part of his “ongoing efforts to prevent aggressive attempts to redefine marriage”

From Office of Governor websiteGov. Perry believes in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, regarding it as the linchpin of the family unit and, thus, society as a whole. In 2003, as part of his ongoing effort to prevent aggressive attempts to redefine marriage, Gov. Perry signed Senate Bill 6, the Defense of Marriage Act, specifying that Texas does not legally recognize a same-sex marriage or civil union. Two years later, Gov. Perry supported strengthening the law with a constitutional amendment, the Texas Marriage Amendment, defining marriage as the “union of one man and one woman.” (source)

July 2011: States outright that marriage equality is not ok.  He does seem to say that if a state passes a law that is their call, but then reverses that a few months later when advocating for other states to repeal equality laws.

"It’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed." (source)

August 2011: Signs the National Organization for Marriage pledge that states that, if elected, Perry will send a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification, and appoint U.S. Supreme Court and federal judges who will “reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.” (source)

October 2011: Perry advocated for the repeal of New Hampshire’s marriage equality, praising those in the state that were working towards repeal.

"As conservatives we believe in the sanctity of life. We believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage," Perry said at the annual banquet for Cornerstone Action, a conservative advocacy group. “And I applaud those legislators in New Hampshire who are working to defend marriage as an institution between one man and one woman, realizing that children need to be raised in a loving home by a mother and a father.”  (source)

Additional items at Top 5 Examples of Perry’s Anti-Gay Agenda

And if that is not enough from his own 2012 campaign website

"Perry strongly supports traditional marriage. He signed the state Defense of Marriage Act and supported a marriage amendment to the state constitution, and he would do the same as president."

so how is it that he has said nothing against gays again?




Small side note: I received 30+ messages from people expressing the same sentiments as tommygun13.  I’m actually shocked by that number and the 100s of similar messages that I have seen on reblogs. Instead of responding to all of them I have chosen to respond to this one message.  Why? Because tommygun13 did not write anonymously, something I really respect.  Any other apologists that want to write me feel free, but please read this in advance because I will likely just send you the permalink to this post with the understanding that if you do not agree with me we can be happy in the knowledge that we just regard this issue differently.
Tough Love: Britain Will Cut Aid to ‘Anti-gay’ Nations
The British Prime Minister has vowed to get tough on African  countries with poor records on gay rights by slashing millions of pounds  from their aid payments. 
In a sign that Britain is no longer prepared to turn a blind eye to  nations that victimize sections of society, David Cameron will tell  African leaders they will receive funding “fines” if persecution of gays  continues, the Daily Mail reports.
The UK government has already taken steps against Malawi, cutting aid  by $30 million after two homosexuals who held an engagement ceremony  were sentenced to 14 months hard labor. And payments could be cut  further to the southern African nation, which has received $312 since  2008, if it proceeds with plans to bring in tough anti-lesbian laws.
Uganda (due to receive $109 million this year) and Ghana (due $56  million) could also face sanctions if they refuse to drop antiquated  anti-gay laws. The possibility that these countries will see their aid  slashed seems increasingly likely as Uganda has plans to punish same-sex  couples with the death penalty, while Ghana’s president has promised to  “check the menace of homosexuality.”
A UK government spokesman said it is committed “to combating violence  and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad.”
Reiterating Britain’s threat of aid withdrawal, the spokesman added,  “We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that  they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.”
Last month, the leaders of Britain’s three main political parties  pledged their support for a new London-based gay rights organization,  called Kaleidoscope, hoping to modernize gay rights in former British  colonies.
The organization, which plans to leverage the UK’s political clout by  encouraging countries to revoke discriminatory legislation, was  strongly backed by Prime Minister Cameron who said “I want Britain to be  a global beacon for reform.”
Well played Britain!

Tough Love: Britain Will Cut Aid to ‘Anti-gay’ Nations

The British Prime Minister has vowed to get tough on African countries with poor records on gay rights by slashing millions of pounds from their aid payments. 

In a sign that Britain is no longer prepared to turn a blind eye to nations that victimize sections of society, David Cameron will tell African leaders they will receive funding “fines” if persecution of gays continues, the Daily Mail reports.

The UK government has already taken steps against Malawi, cutting aid by $30 million after two homosexuals who held an engagement ceremony were sentenced to 14 months hard labor. And payments could be cut further to the southern African nation, which has received $312 since 2008, if it proceeds with plans to bring in tough anti-lesbian laws.

Uganda (due to receive $109 million this year) and Ghana (due $56 million) could also face sanctions if they refuse to drop antiquated anti-gay laws. The possibility that these countries will see their aid slashed seems increasingly likely as Uganda has plans to punish same-sex couples with the death penalty, while Ghana’s president has promised to “check the menace of homosexuality.”

A UK government spokesman said it is committed “to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad.”

Reiterating Britain’s threat of aid withdrawal, the spokesman added, “We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.”

Last month, the leaders of Britain’s three main political parties pledged their support for a new London-based gay rights organization, called Kaleidoscope, hoping to modernize gay rights in former British colonies.

The organization, which plans to leverage the UK’s political clout by encouraging countries to revoke discriminatory legislation, was strongly backed by Prime Minister Cameron who said “I want Britain to be a global beacon for reform.”


Well played Britain!

TIME

Poland Poised to Elect Its First Transsexual Parliamentarian
In a country that isn’t known for its progressive politics,  male-to-female transsexual Anna Grodzka is proving to be a political  trailblazer.
The 57-year old, who completed her sex  change last year, could become the country’s first transsexual  parliamentarian after her party, the Palikot Movement, earned a  surprising 10% of all votes during Poland’s Oct. 9 election. Poland  operates under a party-list proportional representation system in which  parties are allocated parliamentary seats based on the proportion of the  votes the party receives. Because the Palikot Movement has earned an  estimated 40 seats,  and because Grodzka is at the top of the party’s candidate list in  Krakow, she will likely earn a spot in the Sejm, the lower house of the  Polish parliament.
"I’m not yet sure if I’ve been elected, but I’m very happy with the  result scored by the Palikot Movement," she said Sunday evening at a celebratory election party held in Warsaw. “If I’ll be elected in Krakow, I’ll be Poland’s first  transsexual, and the only transsexual MP not only in Poland, but the  entire world.” Transsexual Georgina Beyer became the world’s first only  transsexual member of parliament in 1999 when she won election in New  Zealand, but her term expired in 2007.
Grodzka and her supports are waiting for all the votes to be counted  before declaring victory, which could be done as early as Tuesday  morning. “We’re 85% sure of her win, but we don’t want to jinx  ourselves,” a colleague at Trans-Fuzja, the transgender rights group Grodzka founded, told TIME on Monday morning.
It’s difficult to quantify attitudes towards Poland’s transgender  community, but activists say they face a hostile environment in a  country where 96% of residents identify as Catholic. Attitudes toward  the gay community, which is more easily accepted than the transgender  community, underscore the difficulty a transsexual candidate like  Grodzka would have faced during the election. The 2007 PEW Global  Attitudes Survey found that just 45% of Poles believe that homosexuality  should be accepted by society. That lags far behind other Catholic  countries like the Philippines, where 64% of people responded  affirmatively, and Spain, where 82% of respondents did. Other European  countries including France, Germany and Sweden all posted figures higher  than 80%.
Grodzka, a trained clinical psychologist, believes her potential  election signals a new day for marginalized groups across the country.  “Today, Poland is changing. I am the proof along with Robert Biedron, a  homosexual and the head of an anti-homophobia campaign who ran for  office in Gdynia,” a city on Poland’s northern coast. But Grodzka’s  campaign was about far more than gay rights. During the election she  campaigned on a platform of raising the minimum wage, improving the  availability of nurseries and kingergartens, and encouraging a greater  division of church and state by stopping the flow of public funds to  religious organizations.

Poland Poised to Elect Its First Transsexual Parliamentarian

In a country that isn’t known for its progressive politics, male-to-female transsexual Anna Grodzka is proving to be a political trailblazer.

The 57-year old, who completed her sex change last year, could become the country’s first transsexual parliamentarian after her party, the Palikot Movement, earned a surprising 10% of all votes during Poland’s Oct. 9 election. Poland operates under a party-list proportional representation system in which parties are allocated parliamentary seats based on the proportion of the votes the party receives. Because the Palikot Movement has earned an estimated 40 seats, and because Grodzka is at the top of the party’s candidate list in Krakow, she will likely earn a spot in the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament.

"I’m not yet sure if I’ve been elected, but I’m very happy with the result scored by the Palikot Movement," she said Sunday evening at a celebratory election party held in Warsaw. “If I’ll be elected in Krakow, I’ll be Poland’s first transsexual, and the only transsexual MP not only in Poland, but the entire world.” Transsexual Georgina Beyer became the world’s first only transsexual member of parliament in 1999 when she won election in New Zealand, but her term expired in 2007.

Grodzka and her supports are waiting for all the votes to be counted before declaring victory, which could be done as early as Tuesday morning. “We’re 85% sure of her win, but we don’t want to jinx ourselves,” a colleague at Trans-Fuzja, the transgender rights group Grodzka founded, told TIME on Monday morning.

It’s difficult to quantify attitudes towards Poland’s transgender community, but activists say they face a hostile environment in a country where 96% of residents identify as Catholic. Attitudes toward the gay community, which is more easily accepted than the transgender community, underscore the difficulty a transsexual candidate like Grodzka would have faced during the election. The 2007 PEW Global Attitudes Survey found that just 45% of Poles believe that homosexuality should be accepted by society. That lags far behind other Catholic countries like the Philippines, where 64% of people responded affirmatively, and Spain, where 82% of respondents did. Other European countries including France, Germany and Sweden all posted figures higher than 80%.

Grodzka, a trained clinical psychologist, believes her potential election signals a new day for marginalized groups across the country. “Today, Poland is changing. I am the proof along with Robert Biedron, a homosexual and the head of an anti-homophobia campaign who ran for office in Gdynia,” a city on Poland’s northern coast. But Grodzka’s campaign was about far more than gay rights. During the election she campaigned on a platform of raising the minimum wage, improving the availability of nurseries and kingergartens, and encouraging a greater division of church and state by stopping the flow of public funds to religious organizations.

TIME

This story breaks my heart!!  I hope the adminstration does the right thing and helps this couple.S.F. gay married couple loses immigration battle
Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from  San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary  caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse.
Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of  Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have  lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk’s application  to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American  citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to  same-sex couples.
The decision was issued July 26. Immigration Equality, a gay-rights  group that is working with the couple, received the notice Friday and  made it public Monday. Makk was ordered to depart the United States by  Aug. 25. Makk is the sole caregiver for Wells, who has severe health  problems.
"I’m married just like any other married person in this country,"  Wells said. "At this point, the government can come in and take my  husband and deport him. It’s infuriating. It’s upsetting. I have no  power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country,  I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the  person I married."
Read Entire Story 

This story breaks my heart!!  I hope the adminstration does the right thing and helps this couple.

S.F. gay married couple loses immigration battle

Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse.

Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk’s application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.

The decision was issued July 26. Immigration Equality, a gay-rights group that is working with the couple, received the notice Friday and made it public Monday. Makk was ordered to depart the United States by Aug. 25. Makk is the sole caregiver for Wells, who has severe health problems.

"I’m married just like any other married person in this country," Wells said. "At this point, the government can come in and take my husband and deport him. It’s infuriating. It’s upsetting. I have no power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married."


Read Entire Story 

WASHINGTON — Defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta will  certify that gays may serve openly in the armed services. News of his  decision comes two weeks after top military leaders agreed that  repealing the 17-year-old ban will not hurt military readiness.
The decision is not unexpected. The Pentagon has conducted months of  internal studies and training to gauge how troops would react to the  change triggered by a law passed by Congress and signed by President  Barack Obama in December.
The Pentagon announcement is expected Friday, and Obama is expected to endorse it.
Repeal of the ban would become effective 60 days after certification,  which could open the military to gays by the end of September.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been made public.

WASHINGTON — Defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta will certify that gays may serve openly in the armed services. News of his decision comes two weeks after top military leaders agreed that repealing the 17-year-old ban will not hurt military readiness.

The decision is not unexpected. The Pentagon has conducted months of internal studies and training to gauge how troops would react to the change triggered by a law passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in December.

The Pentagon announcement is expected Friday, and Obama is expected to endorse it.

Repeal of the ban would become effective 60 days after certification, which could open the military to gays by the end of September.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been made public.

Gay candidates gain acceptance ⇢

The Gallup Poll shows big changes in Americans’ attitudes toward electing a gay man or lesbian to the highest office of all, the White House.

By more than 2-1 (67%-32%), those surveyed last month said they would vote for a well-qualified gay candidate for president if he or she were nominated by their party. In comparison, 94% would vote for a black person, 93% for a woman, 89% for a Hispanic person, 76% for a Mormon and 49% for an atheist.

In 1978, the first time Gallup asked the question, one in four said they would be willing to vote for a homosexual for president. Four years ago, in 2007, 55% said they would.

Since then, there has been significant movement within every major demographic group.

In 2007, 39% of Republicans said they would support a gay presidential candidate; now 54% would. Then, 40% of those who attend religious services every week said they would; that percentage has risen to 52%. Among conservatives, 38% had said they would support a gay candidate; that group now is split 49%-49%.

There is a gender gap: 72% of women say they would vote for a gay presidential candidate, compared with 61% of men.

The biggest divide is by age, a generational shift that is likely to accelerate the pace of change over time. Among adults under 30, eight of 10 say they would vote for a qualified gay candidate, by far the highest percentage of any age group.

Even among their grandparents, though, changes in attitudes are apparent. In 2007, 38% of those 65 and older said they would vote for a gay presidential candidate. Now a 52% majority of seniors say they would.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

Mayor Bloomberg Thanks GOP State Senators For Marriage Equality Vote -- With Campaign Cash s ⇢

Mayor Bloomberg sent hefty thank-you donations to the four state Senate Republicans who voted in favor of gay marriage last month.

bloomberg alesi_0.jpgOur Ken Lovett reports:

Bloomberg had made no secret he’d be willing to back Republicans who stuck their necks out and sided with the majority of Democrats to support same-sex nuptials.

He sent $10,300 apiece - the maximum contribution allowed - to Sens. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga), Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) and James Alesi (R-Rochester, pictured here).

"The mayor said he would support Senate Republicans who stood up - and he did," said Micah Lasher, a top Bloomberg aide.

News of the donations surfaced yesterday when Grisanti became the first of the four to file his July financial disclosure statement with the Board of Elections.

Bloomberg, who traveled twice to the Capitol to lobby for gay weddings, was listed as having made his donation on July 8 - two weeks after the historic vote.

He met personally with Grisanti and McDonald during one of his Albany trips, and spoke by phone with Alesi and Saland, a Bloomberg aide said.

"It was a very nice gesture," Alesi said of the donation.

Shame on you Republican Rep. Foxx (NC) & shame on the House for unnecessarily taking a vote to reaffirm DOMA!

Moments ago, the U.S. House voted 248-175 for an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) that reaffirms the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA already states that “in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies,” marriage is limited to the union of a man and a woman.

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese released the following statement: “This amendment is completely unnecessary and only serves to cloud the debate over ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal by pointlessly injecting the issue of marriage equality into the conversation. Since Pentagon officials have made it clear that they are bound by DOMA like every other federal agency, it’s puzzling why Rep. Foxx would question whether our military leaders understand this point.

“House Republican leaders seem to have no end to their desire to play politics with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people instead of tackling real problems. It will be up to the Senate to reject the House’s return to using LGBT Americans as a wedge issue.”

Source: hrcbackstory.org

Mehlman said legalizing same-sex marriage is in line with GOP values.

“The point I’ve tried to make to them is I think it is very much consistent with both Republican interests and also Republican principles,” he told reporters today.

- Mehlman: Same-Sex Marriage Is Consistent With Republican Principles | Politics on the Hudson

Source: polhudson.lohudblogs.com

Wisconsin Gov. moves to ban hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples ⇢

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution and has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.

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