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LGBT news and information, and community for The Coffee Party
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Republicans Are Blocking the Violence Against Women Act

Republicans Are Blocking the Violence Against Women Act | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by ADAM SERWER, Mother Jones


There are three reasons some Republicans are trying to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: Gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.


In a speech before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February, Grassley laid out his objections to the bill. Republicans' biggest qualms are about provisions that make federal grants to domestic violence organizations contingent on nondiscrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgender victims; rules extending the authority of tribal courts over domestic violence matters; and a section that would provide more visas for abused undocumented women who agree to cooperate with law enforcement.


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Mitt Romney picks national security spokesman who is gay

Mitt Romney picks national security spokesman who is gay | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by SCOTTIE THOMASTON, Prop 8 Trial Tracker


Attempting to appear moderate and to appeal to independent voters despite his close ties with the National Organization for Marriage and his renunciation of nearly every single pro-LGBT advancement from the past decade, Mitt Romney has hired Richard Grenell as a foreign policy spokesperson....


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INTERVIEW: Jacqui Alexander - Perspectives, Black Feminist Lesbian

INTERVIEW: Jacqui Alexander - Perspectives, Black Feminist Lesbian | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

JACQUI ALEXANDER via AfroLez®femcentric via NEO•GRIOT


Black Feminist Lesbian writer/scholar/activist/conjurer M. Jacqui Alexander on  Signified  … As Always, Jacqui breaks it down in a deeply spiritual and metaphysical way. The story includes several short videos and link to her paper “Colonialism and its Contemporaries: Feminist Reflections on the State of War and the Meaning of Solidarity".


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Gay Iowa Teen Takes Own Life After Bullying

Gay Iowa Teen Takes Own Life After Bullying | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by JULIE BOLCER, The Advocate

Kenneth Weishuhn, a high school freshman in Paullina, Iowa, took his own life Saturday after being bullied by classmates at school and online, and with death threats by phone.

KTIV reports on the death of Weishuhn, who was 14 and attended South O’Brien High School in O’Brien County. His sister Kayla said that friends at the school “turned on him” after he told them he was gay last month, and boys in her sophomore class started the bullying.

“She says they took their teases online, to websites like Facebook, creating a hate group against gays and adding Kenneth's friends as members,” according to KTIV. “However, it was only the beginning, family say he started receiving death threats from South O'Brien students on his phone.” [MORE]


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Tony Perkins Links Secret Service Scandal To Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal

Tony Perkins Links Secret Service Scandal To Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Meenal Vamburkar, Mediaite.com

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a controversial figure, so it hardly comes as a surprise when he makes provocative remarks. The most recent installment is about the Secret Service scandal — which he compared to President Obama‘s repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Speaking to radio host Janet Mefferd, Perkins said we “cannot maintain moral order” if we pick and choose what aspects of morality to enforce. [MORE]

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National, statewide gay groups use Tax Day as opportunity to protest Defense ...

National, statewide gay groups use Tax Day as opportunity to protest Defense ... | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

via queerplanet.net


Several gay activist groups, including Refuse to Lie, HRC and Marriage Equality USA, have launched campaigns calling for repeal of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government — and the IRS — from recognizing married gay couples. [MORE]

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Advocates say US Bank, Wells Fargo loans prey on low-income borrowers

Advocates say US Bank, Wells Fargo loans prey on low-income borrowers | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by MADELEINE BARAN,

Minnesota Public Radio

 

The report by the group Minnesotans for a Fair Economy claims the fees are the same or worse than charges imposed by traditional payday lenders. Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, which includes community, faith and labor groups, has asked Wells Fargo and US Bank to stop offering the loans.

 

"This product is a debt trap. That's it. It's designed for profit and we see the pain that it offers," said Darryl Dahlheimer, program director at Lutheran Social Service Financial Counseling, who supports the group's efforts to persuade the banks to stop offering the loans.

 

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Anti-gay group sued over unreported $10,000 Romney donation

Anti-gay group sued over unreported $10,000 Romney donation | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Eric Dolan, The Raw Story


A legal complaint has been filed against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for allegedly trying to hide a $10,000 donation from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.


NOM was formed in 2007 to pass Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional amendment to prohibit same sex marriage. According to the group’s 2008 Federal Tax Return, they received a $10,000 contribution from Romney’s Alabama PAC, Free and Strong America, in October 2008. However, that donation was allegedly not reported on NOM’s filing with the California Secretary of State.


“That was only 3 weeks before the Prop 8 election in which NOM was heavily involved,” explained Fred Karger, who filed the lawsuit with the California Fair Political Practices Commission. “Funny that NOM appears to have reported all the contributions that it received before and after Romney’s, but failed to report Governor Romney’s $10,000 to ban gay marriage in California.” [MORE]

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Some people are gay in space. Get over it

Some people are gay in space. Get over it | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Charlie Brooker, The Advocate


It must be awful, being a homophobe. Having to spend all that time obsessing about what gay people might be doing with their genitals. Seeing it in your mind, over and over again, in high-definition close-up. Bravely you masturbate, to make the pictures go away, but to no avail. They're seared onto your mental membranes.


Every time you close your eyes, an imaginary gay man's imaginary penis rises from the murk, bowing ominously in your direction, sensing your discomfort. Laughing. Mocking. Possibly even winking. How dare they, this man and his penis? How dare they do this to you?


Obviously you can't fight the big gay penis in your head. It has no physical form, so you can't get a grip on it, much as you'd like to. You'd love to grab it and throttle it until it splutters its last. That might bring you closure. But no. So you do the next best thing. You condemn homosexuals in the real world. Maybe if they could just stop all this "being gay" business for 10 minutes, you'd get some respite from that scary headcock. It might shrivel away completely, leaving nothing behind. Except maybe a nice bit of bum.


No, dammit! Forget I said that! No bum either!


Of course sometimes the act of condemning homosexuals in the real world overlaps with the imaginary realm. Over the past few weeks, games company Electronic Arts has been subjected to a letter-writing campaign from idiots outraged by its decision to allow players to define their characters as gay in a Star Wars game. The Florida Family Association says, "children and teens, who never thought any way but heterosexual, are now given a choice to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender" – adding that even if they chose to be straight, they would still "be forced to deal with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters chosen by other players". Personal choice and co-operation: two appalling threats to our youth. [MORE]

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John Edwards, Gay Marriage & Fracking: What NC Thinks

John Edwards, Gay Marriage & Fracking: What NC Thinks | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Devetta Blount, News2


NorthCaroina-- Public Polling Policy (PPP) recently released results on several issues making headlines in North Carolina. Pollsters asked headliners: John Edwards, fracking and gay marriage.


So how do you really feel?


According to results on John Edwards: 56% of voters in the state believe the efforts against Edwards have been a waste compared to just 27% who think they've been a good use of public resources. And believe it not, there's actually a bipartisan consensus on that front: The majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans all concur that this has not been money well spent.


Another 57% of voters think Edwards is guilty of the crimes with only 11% who believe he's innocent. Despite the fact that he's already been convicted in the court of public opinion, 59% of North Carolinians still think he can get a fair trial in the state to only 24% who think he can not.


Gay Marriage: North Carolinians agree with State House Speaker Thom Tillis: gay marriage will be legal in the state 20 years from now. 45% think the state will have gay marriage a generation from now compared to 41% who think it will continue to be illegal. Independent voters are the most optimistic for gay marriage (54/29) while Democrats think it will become a reality as well (52/35). Republicans (29% legal, 56% illegal) think the status quo will still rule in a couple of decades.


Fracking: According to pollsters, when asked most North Carolinians' response was 'huh?' That said, 49% of voters in the state have no opinion on the issue while those who do have one are pretty evenly divided with 24% in favor of fracking and 27% opposed. The party lines on the issue are pretty predictable- Republicans support it, Democrats and independents are opposed. [MORE]

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Same-sex couple cries foul over health care treatment

Same-sex couple cries foul over health care treatment | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Lee Rodd, Des Moine Register


Love and commitment, the two men had. Practicality drove them to the altar.

For one thing, Bryan Marker and Chris Erickson needed affordable health insurance. Marker’s was free — so long as the new Des Moines School District employee was married.


Together a dozen years, the couple had tied the knot once 11 years ago in a commitment ceremony. Still, they decided to make it legal Aug. 29 to save money on the insurance.


“Had I known all the hassle it would cause, I never would have done it,” Marker told me as we sat in his dining room to discuss the conundrum he brought to the Des Moines Register Reader’s Watchdog.


The problem Marker stumbled upon has been bubbling across the country in the wake of the legalization of gay marriage in Iowa, five other states and the District of Columbia. But it’s just one aspect of his life among several that stands to be affected as long as state law is at odds with federal. [MORE]

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New PPP poll in Colorado shows majority support for marriage equality

New PPP poll in Colorado shows majority support for marriage equality | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Scottie Thomaston, via Prop8TrialTracker.com


While a bill to allow gays and lesbians in Colorado to enter into civil unions was introduced and subsequently failed last year, there is still a push to adopt a civil union bill. Now, new polling shows that a strong majority of voters in Colorado support the advancement. The poll, from Public Policy Polling, shows that 62% of voters favor it while only 32% are in opposition. Democrats and independents are more strongly in support than are Republicans, though a third of Colorado Republicans support civil unions for gays and lesbians.


But it’s the question of marriage that shows the most interesting results: 53% of Colorado voters fully support marriage equality for gays and lesbians, with only 40% in opposition. That’s a huge divide and a fairly small percentage of voters who oppose marriage equality. [MORE]

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More Facts On the Unfair Tax Burden for LGBT Taxpayers

More Facts On the Unfair Tax Burden for LGBT Taxpayers | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Paul Guequierre, Human Rights Campaign


We’re another day closer to tax day. If you haven’t filed your tax returns yet, it’s time to get on it. As you get the forms ready, we’ll shed a little more light on the unfair tax burden LGBT taxpayers face. All week we’ve said the lack of marriage equality is the reason for the tax disparity. It is clear that repealing DOMA and making marriage equality a reality in all 50 states is the solution. The anti-equality leadership in Congress needs to hear from us.


To personalize our tax struggles, every day leading up to tax day we will also release a fact of the day on unfair taxation. We encourage you to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the message. Wednesday we told you an average retired same-sex couple will be denied more than $8,000 a year in Social Security survivor benefits upon the death of the higher-earning spouse after retirement. Yesterday we told you same-sex partners and spouses of Armed Forces members are denied military benefits that straight couples receive.


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From the Square

From the Square | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

Marriage Equality: Where Do Marriage Promotion Policies Fit?


by MELANIE HEATH, NYU Press blog


The debate over marriage equality for lesbians and gay men is once again taking shape to be a hot item in this election year. A number of events have put the issue in the spotlight. The Washington state legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage, the legislature in Maryland followed suit, and Chris Christie vetoed a same-sex marriage bill in New Jersey. While voters in Maine will consider whether to legalize same-sex marriage, those in North Carolina and Minnesota will consider referendums this year on constitutional amendments to ban it. Soon, there will be a decision in the federal appeals court hearing on whether to uphold a lower court’s decision that a section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.


While marriage equality remains a topic of public debate, and marriage is illegal for lesbians and gay men in most states, more issues are at stake than generally acknowledged in the discussion. In fact, a number of recent laws and policies pose an additional challenge to end the types of discrimination based on legal marriage. These laws specify terms for a new direction in public policy to promote heterosexual marriage as a route out of poverty and off welfare.


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Another 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Gains Momentum

Another 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Gains Momentum | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by NICK WING, The Huffington Post


A bill in Missouri meant to eliminate any mention of sexual orientation in the state's public schools advanced to committee on Thursday after a first reading.


The Vital Voice notes that apart from being a direct move to squelch discussion of gay issues and sexuality, the bill would "keep Gay-Straight Alliances from meeting on school grounds as approved extracurricular entities."


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[Remember, you can say TAKAI... insider joke? JKL]

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Lunch With Louden Thursday Noon PT / 3 ET

Lunch With Louden Thursday Noon PT / 3 ET | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

Note the new time: Noon Pacific and 3pm Eastern. We are on the air a half an hour later to fit your lunch hour west coaster, and coffe break with you on the east coast

Why is the Coffee Party participating in the Rally Against the War Against Women? All the hosts on Coffee Talk Radio are giving people the opportunity to talk about their events and this show is no exception.

Lets Talk. [MORE]


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Gay Iowa Teen Takes Own Life After Bullying

Gay Iowa Teen Takes Own Life After Bullying | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by JULIE BOLCER, The Advocate

Kenneth Weishuhn, a high school freshman in Paullina, Iowa, took his own life Saturday after being bullied by classmates at school and online, and with death threats by phone.

KTIV reports on the death of Weishuhn, who was 14 and attended South O’Brien High School in O’Brien County. His sister Kayla said that friends at the school “turned on him” after he told them he was gay last month, and boys in her sophomore class started the bullying.

“She says they took their teases online, to websites like Facebook, creating a hate group against gays and adding Kenneth's friends as members,” according to KTIV. “However, it was only the beginning, family say he started receiving death threats from South O'Brien students on his phone.” [MORE]

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More Congressional Democrats Back Marriage Equality in Party Platform

More Congressional Democrats Back Marriage Equality in Party Platform | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Michael K. Lavers, EdgeOnTheNet.com


More than half a dozen congressional Democrats on Tuesday announced their support of a proposal that would add marriage for same-sex couples to their party’s 2012 platform.


Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen; the former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, joined U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.); Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) who signed onto Freedom to Marry’s campaign that urges the party to add nuptials for gays and lesbians to its platform at this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, who is running for the U.S. Senate, and New Mexico Congressman Martin Heinrich, who hopes to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), also backed the proposed platform plank.


Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, who announced her U.S. Senate campaign last September, announced her support for the inclusion of nuptials for gays and lesbians before she spoke at the Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. [MORE]

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River Flanary, Arizona Teen, Wants To Win Prom Queen In Effort To Stand Up For LGBT Students

River Flanary, Arizona Teen, Wants To Win Prom Queen In Effort To Stand Up For LGBT Students | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

via Huffington Post

An Arizona teen is crying foul after his high school barred him from running for prom queen.

As CBS 5 is reporting, McClintock High School student River Flanary, who says he is straight, claims he wants to run for queen in an effort to stand up "for those who maybe weren't bold enough to stand up before and maybe putting that courage in their hearts a little." By that, he says he means the school's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.

"It's just about a perfect fitting dress and everyone says it looks flattering on me," Flanary, 17, said. "I jerry-rigged some rope to it so that it's not strapless and so it's compliant with the school dress code."

Not surprisingly, Flanary's idea seems to have divided the student body. And while the school district says he is disqualified, Flanary noted that he still plans to wear the dress to the event this coming Saturday.

It's not the first time that a student's challenge to the annual prom tradition has been met with resistance. Last month, Reuben Lack, a Georgia-based high school senior, claimed he was forcibly removed from his position as Alpharetta High School's Student Council president after he asked to eliminate the senior prom king and prom queen in favor of more gender-neutral titles as part of an effort to make the contest more accommodating to the school's LGBT students. [MORE]

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Will Repeal of Michigan's Motorcycle Helmet Law Pave The Way For Gay Marriage?

Will Repeal of Michigan's Motorcycle Helmet Law Pave The Way For Gay Marriage? | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by David Kiley via Huffington Post


Congratulations Michigan. Seriously. Congrats all around for being the 31st state in the union to not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet.


Freedom reigns! We are taking our country back! Government just got a little smaller! Hooray! Get government out of our lives! Gov. Snyder rocks it!


My favorite response to the repeal of the helmet law is from Len Noe, 37, of Superior Township, who told the Detroit News: "This is a great day -- I've had a sticker on my helmet for years saying 'Let those who ride decide...People who don't ride don't get it...For me it's the closest thing to freedom that I've ever felt."


Really? The closest thing to freedom you have EVER felt? That's impressive for one piece of legislation. But okay, if that's how you feel.


The repeal of the helmet law really was a perfect example of a special interest political battle: the political party in office caved in to a tiny vocal minority out of some sense of scoring political points with its base. Why do I say that? National and Michigan-specific surveys of the public consistently place support of all-rider helmet laws near or above 70 percent. And a recent Michigan survey found 81-percent of likely voters supported the law as it stood. [MORE]

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Gay bullying victim now a defender of human rights

Gay bullying victim now a defender of human rights | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Peg McEntee, Salt Lake Tribune


After years of brutal bullying at school, Jamie Nabozny fled his hometown in northern Wisconsin and along the way made legal and human-rights history.


Nabozny grew up poor in Ashland, where he, his parents, siblings and grandfather lived in a old farmhouse. His dad was a seasonal construction worker, his mother a stay-at-home mom.


And Nabozny is gay, which made him the target of physical and verbal attacks at school. He was beaten and urinated upon, and some boys pretended to rape him. One boy kicked him in the stomach so ferociously that he had to have surgery.

There was no help from school officials, and Nabozny was hospitalized several times after suicide attempts.


Ultimately, he ran off to Minneapolis and found himself homeless, Nabozny said in a speech Monday at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. [MORE]

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Tea Party Speaker Reportedly Tells LGBT Protesters: 'We Will Not Be Silenced By Faggots'

Tea Party Speaker Reportedly Tells LGBT Protesters: 'We Will Not Be Silenced By Faggots' | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

via Huffington Post


A Tea Party tax day protest and counter-demonstration in Boston got testy over the weekend, with the confrontation reportedly leading to a speaker telling a group of LGBT activists that they wouldn't be "silenced by faggots."


Scott Wooledge relays the supposed slur in a lengthy post at Daily Kos breaking down the encounter between Tea Partyers, counter-protesters from numerous progressive groups and police officers. [MORE]

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Illinois Bill HB 5170 To Overturn States DOMA Law Stalled And All But Dead For 2012

Illinois Bill HB 5170 To Overturn States DOMA Law Stalled And All But Dead For 2012 | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Will Kohler, via back2stonewall.com


HB 5170 a bill which was introduced on February 8th and would repeal the current state law defining marriage as a union between a man and woman and pave the way for same sex marriage in Illinois sits stalled and ignored in various Illinois House Committe’s will probably not make it to the floor for a vote this year.


I never say never,” said State Rep. Greg Harris “[But] I don’t think there will be a push before the end of this session.


The Illinois state budget, rimming pension and Medicaid outlays are taking precedence and many politicos in the House do not want to touch what they call a ”hot button social issue”, especially in an election year.


Early last year Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Monday legalizing civil unions for gay and lesbian couples which gay and lesbian couples official recognition from the state and many, but not all of the rights that accompany traditional marriage.

Seven states currently allow same sex marriage: Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont.


The Federal Government does not officially recognize any of those marriages.

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Speaking of America with Don Manning

Speaking of America with Don Manning | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

In our first hour we will speak with Sarah van Gelder, co-founder and Editor of Yes! Magazine.


In the second hour we will hear from women across the US that are members of the "Unite Against the War on Women" movement. We will discuss among other things, the upcoming (April 28) national march.


The host and guests take your questions and comments live. Civil Discourse Lives on "Speaking of America" Monday evenings @ 8pm PST / 11pm EST.


Let's Talk About It! [HERE]



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Obama declines action on anti-gay discrimination from contractors

Obama declines action on anti-gay discrimination from contractors | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau


WASHINGTON - Rejecting pressure from gay rights activists, President Barack Obama will not issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis on sexual orientation, his spokesman said Thursday.


Obama "is committed to securing equal rights" for gays and lesbians, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, but for now the president will pursue a slower path on the issue.


Instead, Carney said, Obama would continue to push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would provide broader protection. [MORE]

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