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    Compiled by Dennis McMillan

    Denver, CO – Supreme Court Puts Utah Equality on Hold – 1.6

    The Supreme Court has put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah, at least while a federal appeals court more fully considers the issue. The court has issued a brief order blocking any new same-sex unions in the state.

    The order grants an emergency appeal by the state following the Dec. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates gay and lesbian couples’ constitutional rights. More than 900 gay and lesbian couples have married since then, but they were later deemed invalid. The high court order will remain in effect until the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether to uphold Shelby’s ruling.

    The state’s request to the Supreme Court was filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from Utah and the five other states in the 10th Circuit. Sotomayor turned the matter over to the entire court.

    The action now shifts to Denver, where the appeals court will consider arguments from the state against same-sex marriage as well as from the three gay and lesbian couples who challenged the ban in support of Shelby’s ruling. Shelby and the appeals court had previously rebuffed the state’s plea to stop gay weddings pending appeal.

    The 10th Circuit has set short deadlines for both sides to file their written arguments, with the state’s first brief due on January 27. No date for argument has been set yet.

    James Magleby, a lawyer for couples who sued to overturn the ban, said that while the halt to same-sex marriages is temporary – assuming the appeals court does not reverse Shelby’s ruling – it is disappointing because it leaves Utah families waiting to marry until the appeal is over.

    “Every day that goes by, same-sex couples and their children are being harmed by not being able to marry and be treated equally,” Magleby said.

    We kind of knew it was too good to be true.

    Minneapolis, MN – Punter Chris Kluwe Says Dismissal Resulted from Gay Rights Activism – 1.3

    The Minnesota Vikings have retained two lawyers to conduct an independent review into allegations made by former punter Chris Kluwe, who claimed in an Internet blog post the team released him because of his public stance in support of same-sex marriage.

    And Kluwe intends to cooperate: “I’m glad they’re taking it seriously,” he told USA TODAY. “This is something I wrote down, because it’s what happened to me, and I’m 100 percent confident in what I wrote, and there are witnesses that will back me up. Let the investigation begin.”

    Eric Magnuson, the former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Chris Madel, a former U.S. Department of Justice Trial attorney, will lead the investigation.

    In an article posted to the website Deadspin titled “I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot,” Kluwe said Vikings owner Zygi Wilf supported his decision to speak out against the proposed Minnesota Gay Marriage Amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage and was voted down.

    But Kluwe criticized coach Leslie Frazier – who was fired Monday – and general manager Rick Spielman for discouraging his activism and saved his harshest critique for special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, whom he claimed “would use homophobic language in my presence” during the 2012 season.

    “Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible,” Kluwe wrote in the Deadspin piece.

    Kluwe, 32, says he has no forensic evidence to back up his claims, and declined to name or reveal the number of witnesses he claims to have, saying he doesn’t want to drag former teammates into the situation unless it’s necessary.

    It should be noted that NCLR recently honored Kluwe for his activism and presented him with a trophy inscribed: “Bad Ass of the Year.”



    Pasadena, CA – National Organization for Marriage Gay-Bashes Rose Parade Float – 1.627

    National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown was one of the rabid religious right activists to attack last week’s Rose Parade in Pasadena and threaten a boycott for including a float featuring a same-sex wedding, lamenting that “once marriage is redefined to make it genderless, this perverse construct of ‘marriage’ is forced on everyone.”

    In a recent interview with “Voice of Russia” radio, Brown doubled down, saying that Aubrey Loots and Danny LeClair’s wedding had been “shoved in the face of families,” including those who had voted against marriage equality in their states.

    Loots and LeClair planned to formalize their partnership of 12 years atop a float sponsored by the AIDS Health Foundation in this year’s parade.

    This was all part of a plan to “target children” and use “a family event to sort of indoctrinate kids,” Brown asserted. “All along, we’ve been hearing from activists who support same-sex marriage, ‘Hey, if we redefine marriage, it won’t have any effect on you, this is about loving individuals, what they decide to do, it will have no effect on you.’ Well, lo and behold, it has to be shoved in the face of families – many of whom voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman – on a float at a family event.”

    Brown concluded, “We know that teachers tell kids that folks who believe in this notion of marriage as a union between a man and a woman are discriminating, they’re the functional equivalent of bigots.” Yes. Bigots are as bigots do.

    In a speech before the Russian parliament promoting anti-gay laws last year, Brown similarly warned that advances in gay rights would lead to “talking to children about homosexuality.”

    When at the Russian Olympics, be sure to thank Brown for the terrible treatment of queers there.

    Source: rightwingwatch.or 
    North Royalton, OH – Is Duck Dynasty’s Robertson a Hero or Just a Quack? – 1.6

    Janet Porter believes that God is behind the uproar surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who was temporarily suspended after making homophobic and racist comments in an interview with GQ. Porter told the conservative outlet CNSNews that the controversy was part of God’s plan to fight gay rights. She called Robertson’s reinstatement by A&E network cowards a “turning point,” adding that “the tide has turned against the homosexual agenda.” Whatever that is.

    “God uses the unlikely to confound the wise,” she continued. “I love how God can use somebody – it doesn’t matter what area they are in.”

    Indeed, it is pretty sad that Porter has to resort to talking about the plight of a reality TV show star to avoid actual polling data on gay rights.

    Thanks to the Duck Dynasty star, Bible-believing Christians “ended 2013 on a victory,” says Porter, president of Ohio-based homophobic Faith2Action. “This is the turning point, thanks to the courage of Phil Robertson,” she said. “The tide has turned against the homosexual agenda, and the message is that the only way to keep our freedom is to use it.”

    “This was the biggest breath of fresh air since Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” she added. Not so fresh for queers. Recall that Chick-fil-A is run by homophobic president and COO, Dan Cathy.

    “The biggest danger to Christianity is the spiral of silence,” Porter continued. The homosexual lobby “seeks to silence us with name-calling and threats…Phil used his God-given talent to come up with a duck call that leads to the # 1 cable show, and he suddenly has more prominence and influence and a bigger platform than any football star. And all America rises up to stand with him.”

    Well, not ALL America. For instance, not those with hearts and brains.



    Raleigh, NC – Will Gay Clay Aiken Run for Congress? – 1.3

    The last time Clay Aiken was in an election, he received around 12 million votes and lost. If the former American Idol contender runs for Congress from his native North Carolina, as he is considering, he’ll only need about 100,000 votes. The problem for Aiken, a Democrat, is that he’ll have a hard time getting them.

    Aiken is considering running in North Carolina’s 2nd District, a deeply gerrymandered seat that manages to avoid both urban areas and significant concentrations of black voters. The seat is held by second-term Rep. Renee Ellmers, who won her first election by fewer than 1,500 votes. After Ellmers’ election, the district became significantly more Republican via redistricting.

    The question is whether Aiken would be a competitive candidate. While a Democrat does hold a similarly Republican district in the Tar Heel State, it’s Rep. Mike McIntyre, who has co-sponsored a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In contrast, Aiken would have a difficult time transitioning from Broadway star to rural Blue Dog Democrat.

    Even so, Aiken would still likely be the best candidate that Democrats could attract. He’d be able to raise a significant amount of money and draw a ton of national attention.

    David Bergstein, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement to The Daily Beast: “Congresswoman Ellmers is responsible for the most unpopular and reckless Congress in history that’s put the middle class at greater risk; but it’s up to potential candidates to talk about whether they’re interested in running for Congress, not us.”

    Aiken has plenty of time to decide. North Carolina’s two-week-long filing period begins Feb. 10. So far, national Democrats are staying out of the picture and letting gay Aiken make up his mind.

    Run, Gay Clay, run!


     Local News Briefs 

    Equality California Endorses SF Supervisor David Campos for Assembly

    Equality California has announced its endorsement of San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, an openly gay Latino, for the 17th Assembly District. Campos is running for the seat currently occupied by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, who will be termed out of the Assembly in 2014.

    “Equality California is proud to support Campos – an extraordinarily talented elected official and dedicated champion of LGBT equality, whose leadership will strengthen the California LGBT Caucus,” said John O’Connor, executive director of EQCA.

    David Campos took office in November 2008 after his predecessor, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, resigned from the Board of Supervisors in early December. Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Campos to the vacant supervisorial seat on December 4, 2008. Campos was re-elected to the post in 2012.

    During his tenure, Campos has been a champion for the LGBTQ community. He has led efforts to protect HIV/AIDS funding, including restoring millions in federal cuts in Ryan White and other funding, helped to secure funding to keep the LGBT Community Center open, and led the effort to provide funding to prevent violence against the transgender community. If elected, Campos would become a member of the California LGBT Legislative Caucus, which is losing key members in 2014 due to term limits.

    “I am honored to earn the endorsement of one of California’s foremost civil rights organizations,” said David Campos. “I look forward to working together with Equality California to carry on the unbroken tradition of LGBT leadership in Assembly District 17 that began in 1996 with Carole Migden and has continued with Mark Leno and Tom Ammiano.”

    The 17th Assembly District encompasses the eastern 58.1% of the San Francisco City/County, including its central financial and governmental core. This district is a major focus of the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Story by Dennis McMillan
    Rainbow Honor Walk Board Reveals First Plaque in Series Memorializing Queer Heroes

    The first completed bronze plaque of the Rainbow Honor Walk was unveiled to the public at the Human Rights Campaign Action Center & Store. It is in honor of Sylvester, naming him “visionary of queerness, music, and race.” The Rainbow Honor Walk salutes the groundbreaking achievements of noted LGBTQ and allied persons throughout history. The first 20 names were announced in 2011, and will have plaques along Castro Street dedicated in their honor by mid-2014, hopefully by Gay Pride Month, as part of the ongoing streetscape improvements taking place in that neighborhood. Supervisor Scott Wiener said the project would soon begin in the 400 block of Castro Street.

    Eventually, the walk will extend from the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Diamond, down to Castro Street – the LGBTQ community’s “Main Street” – and will continue up Market Street with additional extensions on 18th Street. On Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the Walk will continue to the LGBT Community Center at Octavia Boulevard. There will be a total of 500 plaques.

    David Perry, Chair of the Rainbow Honor Walk board (an all volunteer nonprofit organization), introduced Carlos Casuso of Madrid, Spain – winner of the international competition to design the plaque – and updated the community on fundraising efforts, including the “Beth Van Hoesen: Portraits from the Castro” benefit exhibit on view now at George Krevsky Gallery through February 1. The idea has been 20 years in the making, Perry said, and noted the project had received the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. A slide show informed attendees of the first 20 honorees and their bios.

    Each plaque costs approximately $5,000 and is financed by public donations. Donors can choose which honoree their donation goes to. The Board is selling handsome souvenir lapel pins (available at HRC), where $5 from each purchase goes to support the Honor Walk.

    Story by Dennis McMillan