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LGBT news and information, and community for The Coffee Party
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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.

[MORE]

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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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UCLA Develops Stem Cells That Kill HIV in Mice

UCLA Develops Stem Cells That Kill HIV in Mice | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Neil Broverman, The Advocate


Advancing on 2009 findings, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, announced this week that stem cells can be genetically engineered to attack HIV-infected cells in a living organism.


Three years ago, UCLA researchers said they believed stem cells could be engineered to kill HIV. Now, their findings are working on living creatures — mice.


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Obama Intrudes Into Minnesota Marriage Battle

Obama Intrudes Into Minnesota Marriage Battle | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by David Bohon, The New American


President Obama, who has declared that his views on marriage are “evolving,” has come out in opposition to Minnesota’s proposed state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The voter initiative, passed by the state legislature in May 2011 and set for the November ballot, reads: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.”


As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, on April 9 Kristin Sosanie, the communications director for Obama’s Minnesota presidential campaign, released a statement saying that “while the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples. That’s what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do — it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples.”

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Donors Split With Mitt Romney On Gay Marriage

Donors Split With Mitt Romney On Gay Marriage | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by MAGGIE HABERMAN and EMILY SCHULTHEIS, Politico


Mitt Romney’s opposition to gay marriage, which helped endear him to conservative activists during the dog days of the presidential primary, puts him at odds with three of his most prominent donors, all of whom helped fund a successful effort to legalize same-sex nuptials in New York last year.


Paul Singer, Dan Loeb and Cliff Asness — three hedge fund managers and major players in donor circles — each cut six-figure checks toward the landmark effort to legalize gay marriage in New York.


Singer, the intensely-private head of Elliott Associates, has been especially active in donating to groups aimed at legalizing gay marriage in different states over the last five years, concurrent with his rise as one of the Republican party’s mot prominent bundlers and donors to party committees. According to a recent New York Times story, Singerhas donated $8 million to pro-gay marriage efforts since 2007.  [MORE]


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U.S. Issues First Anti-Gay Hate Crime Indictment

U.S. Issues First Anti-Gay Hate Crime Indictment | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

HUFF POST GAY VOICES


A U.S. federal grand jury has issued the first-ever indictment to charge a violation of the sexual orientation section of the federal hate crimes law.
An email statement from the U.S. [MORE]

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No Special Rights PAC, Maine Anti-Gay Marriage Group, Seeks End To 'Sodomy-Based Marriage'

No Special Rights PAC, Maine Anti-Gay Marriage Group, Seeks End To 'Sodomy-Based Marriage' | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

Huff Post Politics


No Special Rights PAC, a new anti-gay group, has laid down roots in Maine, where its two founders are hoping to combat a pro-equality push that has led to a same-sex marriage ballot initiative being put to a vote in November.


Paul Madore and Mike Heath, longtime opponents of gay rights and pro-gay initiatives who founded the group, made a public push this month at the University of Maine during Pride Week, where they distributed a "truth pledge" that, among other goals, seeks to rebrand gay marriage as "Sodomy-Based Marriage."


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Same-Sex Couples Seek Naturalization Rights

by ROSE BOUBOUSHIAN, Court House News Service


Five gay and lesbian bi-national married couples claim in Federal Court that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies foreign spouses the right to become U.S. citizens, because of their sexual orientation.

"Plaintiffs are five committed, loving couples, lawfully married by the government of South Africa and the States of Vermont, Connecticut, and New York," the complaint states. "In each couple, one spouse is an American citizen and the other spouse a foreign national. If they were different-sex couples, the federal government would recognize the foreign spouse as an 'immediate relative' of a United States citizen, thereby allowing the American spouse to petition for an immigrant visa for the foreign spouse and place the foreign spouse on the path to lawful permanent resident and citizenship. Solely because of DOMA and its unlawful discrimination against same-sex couple, however, these plaintiffs are being denied the immigration rights afforded to other similarly situated bi-national couple. This is an action to remedy that hateful, harmful, and unlawful discrimination." [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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Governor Bev Perdue of North Carolina comes out swinging against anti-gay Amendment 1

Governor Bev Perdue of North Carolina comes out swinging against anti-gay Amendment 1 | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

By Scottie Thomaston, Prop8 Trial Tracker


Governor Bev Perdue in North Carolina has made her opposition to the proposed anti-gay Amendment 1 in the state known through statements and tweets over the past months. Now she has begun stepping up her opposition to the amendment in the weeks leading up to the May 8 vote. In a new web ad she urges North Carolina voters to oppose the amendment, which will hurt gay and lesbian families as well as unmarried heterosexual couples, and potentially affect laws against domestic violence in the state.

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Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Mormon Church trying to overturn marriage equality in Maryland

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Mormon Church trying to overturn marriage equality in Maryland | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

via Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters


From the Huffington Post comes this unfortunate bit of news:


Mormons are gathering signatures to bring a referendum on Maryland's marriage equality law to the ballot in November, as the state's pro-gay marriage coalition hires a new leader and a recent poll shows more support in Maryland for the law.


The Washington Blade reports that Mormon Church members are actively working to overturn the law legalizing same-sex marriage that was signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley in March, making Maryland the eighth state to legalize gay marriage. Maryland's law will go into effect in January 2013, if the state's voters don't repeal the law in November. [MORE]

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Louden Clear with Jeanene Louden Thursdays at 2:30 ET, 11:30 PT

Louden Clear with Jeanene Louden  Thursdays at 2:30 ET, 11:30 PT | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

This two part hour will begin with a discussion of several  of the COLLABORATION efforts now underway between Coffee Party USA and other groups involved in the American Democracy Movement, and end with a discussion on GRATITUDE.


Next week's focus: April 28th National March Against the War on Women in all 50 States! 


Link to the live broadcast or the pod cast HERE.

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Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson: NOM Insults Dr. King's Dream

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson: NOM Insults Dr. King's Dream | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by REV DR NANCY WILSON, Global Leader,

Metropolitan Community Churches,

huffintonpost.com


Our nation marked April 3 as a tragic day in our country's history, when one of our most historic leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on a Memphis hotel balcony. We mark the day; we do not celebrate it. But we dare not forget that this country's pattern of racism is not over.


Last week the need for freedom and for challenging racism arose again. Leaders of a group that calls itself the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) were exposed for their plan to manipulate the religious sensibilities and identities of African Americans and Latino Americans so that marriage for loving, same-sex couples would become a wedge issue that would divide the vote of people of color in the upcoming election.


Through crass manipulation of people's deepest desire to serve God and be loyal to their communities, NOM hopes to compel people of color to make condemnation of loving gay and lesbian couples a marker for religious and racial/ethnic identity. This strategy aims to divide the votes of African Americans and Hispanic Americans -- and ignores the fact that all families and communities include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. [MORE]

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