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LGBT news and information, and community for The Coffee Party
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NOM Launches Boycott Of Starbucks Over Marriage Equality

NOM Launches Boycott Of Starbucks Over Marriage Equality | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

A convenient excuse to cover up its crushing loss in New Hampshire yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage has launched a “Dump Starbucks” campaign in protest of the company’s support for marriage equality. The boycott’s website launched shortly after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rebuffed NOM’s complaintsat a shareholders’ meeting yesterday:


SCHULTZ: I think Starbucks has many constituents, and from time to time we are going to make a decision that we think is consistent with the heritage and the tradition of the company that is perhaps maybe inconsistent with one group’s view of the world… We made that decision through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity. [MORE]

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Obama Opposes NC Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

Obama Opposes NC Amendment Banning Gay Marriage | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by PAUL STANLEY, Christian Post


President Obama appears to be moving away from his 2009 stance of opposing gay marriage. He is opposing a proposed constitutional amendment in North Carolina that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.


"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," said Obama's North Carolina spokesperson, Cameron French, last Friday. [MORE]

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Santorum, Romney Supporters Divided on Religion's Role in Decisions

by PAUL STANLEY, Christian Post


It may not surprise many political pundits that the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll finds a majority of Rick Santorum supporters think elected officials should rely on their personal religious beliefs in making policy decisions. Supporters of Mitt Romney differ not only on the use of religious beliefs, but also on the legalization of abortion and gay marriage.


The poll, taken last week as part of a comprehensive survey of a variety of political views, found that 53 percent of Santorum supporters think political leaders should rely on religious beliefs when making policy decisions. Only 28 percent of Romney supporters feel the same way.


Santorum supporters, who are known to be more evangelical in their religious beliefs, feel strongly that candidates they support should share the same values, with 65 percent agreeing. Only 41 percent of Romney supporters prefer their candidates to share their religious beliefs. [MORE]

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GLAAD Unveils Commentator Accountability Project To Track Activists' Anti-Gay Rhetoric

GLAAD Unveils Commentator Accountability Project To Track Activists' Anti-Gay Rhetoric | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it
Yesterday GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, unveiled its brand new Commentator Accountability Project.
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We're Not in Cairo Anymore

We're Not in Cairo Anymore | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

By OMAR SHARIF JR., The Advocate


I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family, and fear for myself. My parents will be shocked to read it, surely preferring I stay in the shadows and keep silent, at least for the time being.


But I can't.


Last January, I left Egypt with a heavy heart. I traveled to America, leaving behind my family, friends, and compatriots who were in the midst of embarking on a heroic journey toward self-determination. Despite the sound of gunshots in the streets and the images of Anderson Cooper being struck repeatedly over the head on CNN, I left hopeful that I would return to find a more tolerant and equal society. While I benefited from a life of privilege being Omar Sharif's grandson, it was always coupled with the onerous guilt that such a position might have been founded upon others' sweat and tears. [MORE]

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America in Ferment -the 60s Gay and Lesbian Liberation

America in Ferment -the 60s Gay and Lesbian Liberation | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

"Early in the morning of June 27, 1969, New York City police staged a raid on the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar whose patrons included transvestites, gay men, and lesbians. Raids on gay or cross-dresser bars were common at the time. State law threatened bars with the loss of their liquor licenses if they tolerated same-sex dancing or employed or served men who wore women's clothing. Instead of acquiescing in the raid, the bar's patrons fought back, battling the police with bricks, bottles, and shards of broken glass. Three days of civil disobedience followed."


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Obama against NC ballot measure targeting same sex couples

Obama against NC ballot measure targeting same sex couples | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by JED LEWISON, Daily Kos

President Obama's reelection campaign announces his opposition to North Carolina's anti-gay Amendment 1, scheduled for a May 8 vote (via Joe Sudbay):


“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,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.“That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”


This is good news, not just to the extent it helps defeat the amendment, but also because it signals a continuing evolution of President Obama's views on marriage equality. Yesterday, Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel reported on the push to add a plank to the Democratic Party platform supporting marriage equality. According to their report, Obama campaign officials and senior Democrats are concerned about such a plank and the implications that it would have given President Obama's stated opposition to marriage equality. According to the report, they've been pushing a cautious hurry up and wait approach rather than the throw it in reverse one, apparently hoping that the issue will just disappear rather than wanting to overtly oppose it. [MORE]

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Senate Approves Gay Judicial Nominee

Senate Approves Gay Judicial Nominee | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

By ANDREW HARMON, The Advocate


WASHINGTON — In a vote described by California senator Barbara Boxer as “long overdue,” the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved the judicial nomination of Michael W. Fitzgerald, a gay Obama administration nominee for the federal bench.


A former assistant U.S. attorney and current partner in a Los Angeles law firm specializing in white collar criminal defense, Fitzgerald had been targeted in recent months by antigay groups.


But his nomination, Senator Boxer noted in brief floor remarks prior to the vote, had passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee in a unanimous vote more than four months ago. Confirmed today in a 91-6 floor vote, Fitzgerald will fill a vacancy in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. [MORE]

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Become a Coffee Party member

Become a Coffee Party member | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it
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Shelly Bernal's comment, June 3, 2012 8:24 AM
Guys I'm lovin' the class of 2012! What a great concept!
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Lawsuit could make DOMA apply to private companies | The Raw Story

Lawsuit could make DOMA apply to private companies | The Raw Story | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by STEPHEN WEBSTER, rawstory.com


A lawsuit being heard this week in Pennsylvania could rewrite how the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is applied across civil society, and potentially spark a dramatic expansion of the law’s terms that would force private companies to not recognize same sex spouses.


The lawsuit boils down to benefits due to the spouse of Sarah Ellyn Farley, who died shortly after a legal same sex marriage to her wife, Jennifer Tobits, in Canada. Because the woman’s parents refused to acknowledge their daughter’s relationship with her wife, they claimed that DOMA requires death benefits accrued by their daughter at the Cozen O’Connor law firm be paid to them, instead of her spouse.


Responding to the suit, Cozen claimed something unique: that DOMA actually applies to private companies along with the federal government. In a counterclaim, Cozen asked the court to determine who should receive the payouts. [MORE]

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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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L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Backs Gay Marriage Plank for DNC

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Backs Gay Marriage Plank for DNC | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by MACKENZIE WEINGER, Politico


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — the chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention — said on Wednesday that he favors a gay marriage legalization plank in his party’s platform.


Villaraigosa publicly announced he backs the national party taking a stance on marriage equality, an issue he has long supported, at Wednesday’s POLITICO Playbook Breakfast. President Barack Obama doesn’t support legalization but has said his position is evolving. [MORE]

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White House conference in Detroit focuses on homelessness in the LGBT community

By MEGHA SATYANARAYANA, Detroit Free Press


When she was 15, Krystina Edwards said she was kicked out of her grandfather’s Detroit apartment building because she was transgender. She was attending an all-boys school and was beginning the transition from male to female.


“The building management said they didn’t like the way I was living my life,” she said.


Edwards -- now 18 and studying for her GED while working at the Ruth Ellis Center for homeless and runaway LGBT teens -- was subject to the kind of discrimination a new federal rule is trying to fight.


Enacted earlier this week, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development rule on Equal Access intends to stop discrimination in federally-funded housing based on gender identity or sexual orientation. It was a hot topic of conversation at the morning sessions of the White House LGBT Conference on Housing & Homelessness, held Friday at Wayne State University.


“It is absolutely historic,” Laura Hughes, executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, said of the new rule.


Hughes said the safety of LGBT youth is of utmost concern in the light of the recent killing of Shelley Hilliard, a transgender teen who was found dismembered near I-94 on Detroit's east side in late October. The rest of her remains were found last week.


During his keynote address, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. Of those, about half said they were forced to leave home after coming out.


Rather than wait for Congress to amend the Fair Housing Act to include anti-discrimination measures against gays and lesbians, Donovan said, the agency pushed through the rule as part of the White House’s commitment to lesbian and gay equality. The rule follows changes to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act.


“No housing challenge is as profound as homelessness,” Donovan said. “All of us deserve a place to call home.”


At the conference, HUD officials revealed preliminary findings of their first housing survey on LGBT housing discrimination. It found same-sex male couples were less likely to receive a response to an inquiry than heterosexual and same-sex female couples who answered Craigslist ads for available housing. The findings helped fuel the development of the equal access rule, HUD officials said.


As part of enforcement, Donovan said local HUD officials will be trained to spot LGBT discrimination and to react appropriately.


Locally, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said her agency’s civil rights hotline, which has been in operation for a year, fields numerous calls regarding LGBT discrimination. Assistant U.S. Attorney Judy Levy, who runs the hotline, said many of the calls are related to school bullying and HIV-status discrimination.


Donovan lauded Hughes’ efforts as one of four homeless shelters in the country that specialize in LGBT youth. Such youth tend to be traumatized in regular shelters and need community to replace the families who have often forced them out because of gender identity or sexual orientation.


Edwards said she had been homeless and hadn’t eaten for two days when someone she knew took her to the Ruth Ellis Center. It was a cloudy day in October 2010, and when she arrived, the clouds parted and the sun came out.


“It was a sigh of relief,” she said, “that someone cared about me and that someone was worried about me.”

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N.H. votes to keep same-sex marriage

N.H. votes to keep same-sex marriage | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it
The decision was reached after two hours of debate and 10 votes in the statehouse.
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Michelle Obama Talks the Presidency, Marriage Equality and the Supreme Court

Michelle Obama Talks the Presidency, Marriage Equality and the Supreme Court | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by NEAL BROVERMAN, The Advocate


Michelle Obama is reminding voters that their choice for president will affect the fate of marriage equality, since the president makes appointments to the Supreme Court.


The first lady campaigned for her husband Monday in New York City. At a TriBeCa fund-raiser hosted by Robert DeNiro and his wife, Mrs. Obama stressed the importance of the next four years for the Supreme Court. "Let us not forget what [the Supreme Court's] decisions — the impact those decisions will have on our lives for decades to come — on our privacy and security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly, and, yes, love whomever we choose." [MORE]

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Gay-marriage Showdowns Likely in 5 States

Gay-marriage Showdowns Likely in 5 States | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

via Newsmax/AP


Foes and supporters of same-sex marriage are gearing up for five costly and bruising statewide showdowns in the coming months on an issue that evenly divides Americans.


It's an election year subplot sure to stir up heated emotions — even beyond the confines of North Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington state. National advocacy groups will be deeply engaged, and advertising is likely to surface from each side that outrages the other.


"It's crunch time," said Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, the paramount fundraiser for opponents of gay marriage. "We view it as a massive opportunity for a national referendum."


Brown predicts same-sex marriage will be rebuffed in all five states, while gay-marriage supporters hope they can score at least a few victories and break a long losing streak. Since 1998, 31 states have had ballot measures related to same-sex marriage, and in every state the opponents ended up prevailing.

However, the most recent vote was in 2009. Gay-rights activists believe public opinion is moving inexorably in their direction, citing both national polls and policy developments such as repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military.


"The events of past few years are bringing new energy and vigor to our side that allows our messaging to constantly evolve," said Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group. "The other side has remained very stale and stagnant." [MORE]

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Ben & Jerry's issues pro-gay marriage flavor

Ben & Jerry's issues pro-gay marriage flavor | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by DAVE GRAM, AP


MONTPELIER, Vt. — Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is supporting gay marriage in Britain by relabeling an apple pie flavor as Apple-y Ever After.


The South Burlington-based subsidiary of the global food and cosmetics conglomerate Unilever is issuing the newly labeled ice cream in the United Kingdom, where the government has said it plans to legalize gay marriage and has begun public consultation before introducing legislation.


When Vermont passed such a law two years ago, the ice cream company celebrated by briefly repackaging its Chubby Hubby flavor Hubby Hubby. [MORE]

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Obama against NC ballot measure targeting same sex couples

Obama against NC ballot measure targeting same sex couples | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by JED LEWISON, Daily Kos


President Obama's reelection campaign announces his opposition to North Carolina's anti-gay Amendment 1, scheduled for a May 8 vote (via Joe Sudbay):


“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,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.“That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”


This is good news, not just to the extent it helps defeat the amendment, but also because it signals a continuing evolution of President Obama's views on marriage equality. Yesterday, Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel reported on the push to add a plank to the Democratic Party platform supporting marriage equality. According to their report, Obama campaign officials and senior Democrats are concerned about such a plank and the implications that it would have given President Obama's stated opposition to marriage equality. According to the report, they've been pushing a cautious hurry up and wait approach rather than the throw it in reverse one, apparently hoping that the issue will just disappear rather than wanting to overtly oppose it. [MORE]


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Rachel Maddow: How I Was Outed By My College Newspaper

Rachel Maddow: How I Was Outed By My College Newspaper | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Meenal Vamburkar, Mediaite.com


Anyone familiar with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddowlikely won’t be surprised to hear that she chose to “come out of the closet in a very confrontational way.” Her method of choice? Her college newspaper. Oh, and that’s how her parents found out, too.


In a recent Newsweek piece, Maddow starts by saying she figured out she was gay as a college freshman. “I was heady with the self-importance of a 17-year-old who knows everything and is smarter than everybody,” she said. “A trait that is great at the moment and really hard to live with in retrospect.” And that self-importance led to her decision. [MORE]

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First Gay Binational Married Couple Saved from Deportation in Texas

First Gay Binational Married Couple Saved from Deportation in Texas | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

From Immigration Direct:


On March 8, Texas gave LGBTQ and immigrationrights advocates one of the biggest case victories in the state. According to the Houston Chronicle, Costa Rican undocumented immigrant David Gonzales was spared by a judge from deportation due to his marriage to a male U.S. citizen. The court decision was an especially large victory due to the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Texas.


According to the Chronicle, Gonzales left Costa Rica in 2000 on a U.S. tourist visa to escape an abusive relationship. While here, Gonzales met his now-husband Mario Ramirez in 2006, and the couple was married in Los Angeles in 2008. The couple has recently begun discussions about adopting children. [MORE]

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UCLA Considers Asking Incoming Students Their Sexual Orientation

UCLA Considers Asking Incoming Students Their Sexual Orientation | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

via HuffingtonPost.com


Should UCLA ask incoming students about their sexual orientation?An op-ed from UCLA's student-run Daily Bruin newspaper says that despite the potential intrusion into a student's personal life, gathering figures about how many students identify with the LGBT community could allow the university to better serve and support members of the community.


The proposal, which was recommended by the Academic Senate, would be an optional question and would only be asked of students once they've already been accepted, CBS reports. [MORE]

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Police unable to prevent rising violence against gays in Iraq

Police unable to prevent rising violence against gays in Iraq | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Associated Press


BAGHDAD — Young people who identify themselves as so-called Emos are being brutally killed at an alarming rate in Iraq, where militias have distributed hit lists of victims and security forces say they are unable to stop crimes against the subculture that is widely perceived in Iraq as being gay.


Officials and human rights groups estimated as many as 58 Iraqis who are either gay or believed to be gay have been killed in the last six weeks alone — forecasting what experts fear is a return to the rampant hate crimes against homosexuals in 2009. This year, eyewitnesses and human rights groups say some of the victims have been bludgeoned to death by militiamen smashing in their skulls with heavy cement blocks.


A recent list distributed by militants in Baghdad’s Shiite Sadr City neighborhood gives the names or nicknames of 33 people and their home addresses. At the top of the paper are a drawing of two handguns flanking a Quranic greeting that extolls God as merciful and compassionate.


Then follows a chilling warning. [MORE]

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Ella Dullard's curator insight, November 11, 2013 9:25 PM

Victims of discrimination

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Blair defies Pope by backing gay marriage

Blair defies Pope by backing gay marriage | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

The ex-PM, a Catholic convert who introduced same-sex civil unions, intervenes over issue that has split the church.


by JANE MERRICK, The Independent


Tony Blair has defied the Pope by making clear he "strongly supports" plans for gay marriage, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. The former prime minister, a Catholic since 2007, backs proposals by David Cameron for a new law allowing homosexuals to marry.


A consultation on gay marriage to be launched later this month has met fierce opposition from senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.


On Friday, Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics to block the "powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage."  It followed an attack last week by Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, who said allowing same-sex marriage was "madness" and a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right."  [MORE]

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Student Delivers 200,000 Signatures to Protest "Bully" Rating

Student Delivers 200,000 Signatures to Protest "Bully" Rating | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by NICK VISSER, The Advocate


Katy Butler, a Michigan high school student who identifies as lesbian and who launched a Change.org petition to overturn the antibullying documentary Bully’s R rating, personally delivered 200,000 signatures to the Motion Picture Association of America. [MORE]

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