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Old 08-11-2009, 05:11 PM   #736
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Common sense will someday prevail:

Pro-Gay-Marriage Muslim Delegate Stirs Conservatives : NPR
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:59 AM   #737
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By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming a federal marriage law discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continued to defend it.

Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a gay California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration's response to the case has angered gay activists who see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama last year.

In court papers, the administration said it supports repeal of the law.

Yet the same filing says the Justice Department will defend the statute in this case because a reasonable argument can be made that the law is constitutional.

The government's previous filing in the case angered gay rights activists who supported Obama's candidacy in part because of his pledge to move forward on repealing the law and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

"The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits.

The department is obligated "to defend federal statutes when they are challenged in court. The Justice Department cannot pick and choose which federal laws it will defend based on any one administration's policy preferences," Schmaler added.

The law, often called DOMA, denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

"DOMA reflects a cautiously limited response to society's still-evolving understanding of the institution of marriage," according to the filing by Assistant Attorney General Tony West.

The administration also disavowed past arguments made by conservatives that DOMA protects children by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

"The United States does not believe that DOMA is rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing and is therefore not relying upon any such interests to defend DOMA's constitutionality," lawyers argued in the filing.

Obama has pledged to work to repeal the law.

Monday's court filing was in response to a lawsuit by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the federal law, which prevents couples in states that recognize same-sex unions from securing Social Security spousal benefits, filing joint taxes and benefiting from other federal rights connected to marriage.

Justice lawyers have argued that the act is constitutional and contend that awarding federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages.

Earlier this year, Massachusetts became the first state to challenge the law in court.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #738
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LA Times

Group that backed Prop. 8 focuses on reinstating Iowa's gay-marriage ban
August 24, 2009

Opponents of same-sex marriage launched a campaign today to re-ban gay marriage in Iowa.

The National Organization for Marriage, which was active in getting Proposition 8 approved by voters in California, sent out an appeal for donations to run advertisements on behalf of political candidates who oppose same-sex marriage.

It said the first ad would support Republican Stephen Burgmeier, who supports putting the issue of same-sex marriage to a vote in the Hawkeye State. He is up for election in less than two weeks.

In April, Iowa became the third state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage after the state Supreme Court ruled that a law defining marriage as only between men and women was unconstitutional.

Brian Brown -- who spearheaded the National Organization for Marriage's efforts in California, and is now the group's executive director -- also wrote supporters that donations could be used nationwide, to “allow us to rapidly intervene … in key races across the country where a handful of House or Senate seats could make the difference between whether a same-sex marriage bill or state marriage amendment passes or fails.”
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:01 AM   #739
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if it's possible, i'm now an even bigger fan of Top Chef and especially Tom Colicchio:

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“This week, our chefs cooked for joint bachelor/bachelorette parties, and Ashley spoke articulately about her dismay and discomfort cooking to celebrate an upcoming wedding when gay people are still denied the right to wed throughout most of the world. I’m going to go out on a limb and say a few words about same-sex marriage: First of all, part of the problem with the issue is that it is framed by opponents as a discussion of whether gay people should get special rights. This is specious – yes, special legislation or court decisions grant them the right to wed in a particular state, however this is done to ensure that they share equal protection under the law by finally being able to avail themselves of the same rights as everyone else. They are not seeking special treatment, just equitable treatment. Second, religion has no business being part of the discussion. When a couple is wed in a house of worship, the officiant may be performing a religious rite, but as far as the law is concerned, that officiant has been authorized to perform a civil function, plain and simple. And even were same-sex marriage to be legalized by the state, no one would be holding a gun to the heads of the clergy to require them to perform a ceremony that their faith or personal creed does not condone. Just as some rabbis would not perform my marriage to my wife because I wasn’t Jewish, clergy can decline performing same-sex marriages; gay couples can either find clergy willing to officiate or can be wed in a civil setting. The idea that religious leaders are continuing to shape state law is just wrong. The institution of marriage should be available to all. The idea that you can have a life-long partner and not make decisions for them in a hospital, not share in insurance benefits, not automatically have parental rights unless you are the birth parent, is just flat-out wrong.”

Top Chef - Blogs - Tom Colicchio - On Rites, Rights, and Cooking Right - Bravo TV Official Site
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:21 AM   #740
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Ashley spoke articulately about her dismay and discomfort cooking to celebrate an upcoming wedding
I didn't see the episode, and I never will, but this bothers me. If she doesn't want to cook for weddings, just pass on the gig. People who are getting married still can be happy. Her "discomfort and dismay" with a happy occasion is a little dramatic, isn't it?
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:28 AM   #741
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That is how I have been approaching this subject for some time now.

He stated it clearly and rationally.

A long that line of thinking I don't see how any credible sitting supreme court judge would rule differently.

If they do, they surely will go down in history as reaching a flawed decision based on religious bias. And just like Dread Scott it will be reversed by better people.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:40 AM   #742
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Originally Posted by martha View Post
I didn't see the episode, and I never will, but this bothers me. If she doesn't want to cook for weddings, just pass on the gig. People who are getting married still can be happy. Her "discomfort and dismay" with a happy occasion is a little dramatic, isn't it?

I think it is good that he or she took this opportunity to use this platform to make a statement. I am sure there are many good decent folks that are fans of this show that "love jesus and hate the sin". Perhaps they heard these rational statements and will rethink their bias beliefs being imposed on others.

It would have been nice if a 'good portion' of the public had boycotted "all white" baseball in the 1950s. Instead Jackie Robinson had to be spit at for a couple of seasons and use the back doors at hotels.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:00 AM   #743
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
I think it is good that he or she took this opportunity to use this platform to make a statement. I am sure there are many good decent folks that are fans of this show that "love jesus and hate the sin". Perhaps they heard these rational statements and will rethink their bias beliefs being imposed on others.

It would have been nice if a 'good portion' of the public had boycotted "all white" baseball in the 1950s. Instead Jackie Robinson had to be spit at for a couple of seasons and use the back doors at hotels.
I see your point.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:25 PM   #744
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Originally Posted by martha View Post
I didn't see the episode, and I never will, but this bothers me. If she doesn't want to cook for weddings, just pass on the gig. People who are getting married still can be happy. Her "discomfort and dismay" with a happy occasion is a little dramatic, isn't it?


it's a competition show, so she had no choice to take the gig or not.

but i do agree -- she was a little dramatic. there is no reason not to be happy for anyone who wishes to commit themselves to someone else.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:31 AM   #745
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I caught it on Bravo
they have it on their repeat schedule

there are 3 gay contestants, well 3 that are out
two addressed the issue, one did not

The one woman bringing it up, was not over kill for me
but that is just me.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:47 AM   #746
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i know, another day, another Republican affair-scandal-embarrassment.

but i never get sick of it.



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OC Assemblyman In Bed With Lobbyist . . . No, Literally In Bed
By R. Scott Moxley in Breaking News, Crime & Sex, Moxley, Politics
Tuesday, Sep. 8 2009 @ 9:23PM
ViceChairUtil.jpg
Duvall ran from reporters today in the capitol

​SACRAMENTO--Freshmen legislators arriving in Sacramento receive advice from veteran
 politicians about the intricacies of working in California's capital. One of those tips is to remember that microphones broadcasting legislative debates can also capture embarrassing, career-ending personal admissions if a politician isn't careful. Michael D. Duvall, Orange County's 72nd Assembly
District representative, must have forgotten the warning.

In July--two days after Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Republican leader Sam Blakeslee put Duvall on the Rules Committee that oversees member ethics--the second-term, conservative, Republican assemblyman sat in a public hearing and vividly described lewd details about his trysts with a female lobbyist whose clients had business before another committee on which
 Duvall sits.


Duvall, speaking to a relatively mum Republican colleague seated to his left, apparently had no idea his dais microphone became live beginning about a minute before the start of a cable-televised committee hearing. He was captured in the middle of recounting portions of an affair.


"She wears little eye-patch underwear," said Duvall, who is married with two children. "So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And
 so, we had made love Wednesday--a lot! And so she'll, she's all, 'I am going 
up and down the stairs, and you're dripping out of me!' So messy!"

That line may quickly become part of colorful Sacramento political lore. In the meantime, it leads me to a question: Can someone please buy the assemblyman a box of condoms?


Duvall--who was twice a president of the Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce, served two terms as mayor of Yorba Linda before entering the assembly in
 2006, and is the owner of an insurance agency--continues his tale: "So, I am getting into spanking her. Yeah, I like it. I like spanking her. She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah! Because you're such a bad girl!'"

He then laughed.


The assemblyman representing Anaheim, Fullerton, Placentia, Orange, Brea, La
 Habra and Yorba Linda then offered clues to the identity of his sex partner.


"And so her birthday was Monday," he said at the Wednesday, July 8 committee hearing. "I was 54 on June 14, so for a month, she was 19 years younger than 
me. I said, 'Now, you're getting old. I am going to have to trade you in.' And she goes, '[I'm] 36.' She is 18 years younger than me. And so I keep
 teasing her, and she goes, 'I know you French men. You divide your age by 
two and add seven, and if you're older than that, you dump us.'"

According to voter-registration records reviewed by the Weekly, veteran Sacramento-based lobbyist Heidi DeJong Barsuglia turned 36 years old on Monday, July 6.

Legislative sources say they have witnessed Duvall, who is vice chairman of 
the Assembly's powerful Committee on Utilities & Commerce, socializing after-hours with Barsuglia. Sources--who asked for anonymity because of 
Duvall's power in the capital--say Susan Duvall usually stays in Orange
 County during the week, when her husband flies to Sacramento. They also say 
they have seen Duvall with Barsuglia in restaurants, "arm-in-arm" at political fund-raising events and even shopping together for groceries just blocks from the capitol building.


"Their relationship is the worst-kept secret in Sacramento," a capitol staffer recently told me. "He's old and fat. She's hot, blonde and about 20
 years younger. He could have never gotten a woman like that before he got
 this job.'"

In April--two months after Duvall became vice chairman of the Utilities & 
Commerce committee--privately owned California utility giant Sempra Energy hired Barsuglia as one of its top lobbyists, according to Secretary of State
 records.
 Barsuglia, who has a law degree and once worked as a speechwriter for
 Governor Pete Wilson, had previously worked at the California Retailers 
Association (CRA). During 25 months of work at CRA, she reported that she incurred no reportable lobbying expenses. She joined Sempra after the 
departure of another lobbyist: David Hayes, who was named deputy director of the Interior Department by President Barack Obama.
 The San Diego-based utility conglomerate (created in 1998 by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric) isn't shy about lobbying
 lawmakers for favorable treatment. This session, they gave Duvall $1,500 in campaign contributions. In May, the assemblyman officially adopted the company's negative view on Assembly Bill 64, which proposes increasing the percentage of electricity the utilities must procure from environmentally
 sensitive sources.


Repeatedly asked to explain his recorded sexual boasting, a red-faced Duvall fled me and another reporter, Dave Lopez of KCBS in Los Angeles, three times this afternoon in capitol hallways. He also ignored three handwritten interview requests that were delivered to him on the floor of the assembly. Said one assembly employee who witnessed the scene, "It definitely looks like he is afraid of you guys."

Barsuglia did not responded to a request for an interview made at Sempra's offices located across the street from the capitol building.

Sempra's 2008-2009 "Code of Business Conduct" states, "We've built [the company's] rich tradition because of the emphasis we place on ethical business conduct and compliance with the laws and regulations that govern
our business. We don't compromise on either for the sake of success"

But Duvall wasn't content to just share one adulterous tale at the July 8 committee hearing. He referenced a second, simultaneous affair with another woman. He seemed amused that he was cheating on both his wife and a mistress.

"Oh, yeah, Sher, Shar, Shar," Duvall said. "Oh, she is hot! I talked to her yesterday. She goes, 'So are we finished?' I go, 'No, we're not finished.' I go, 'You know about the other one [Barsuglia], but she doesn't know about you!'"

The assemblyman punctuated his observation with laughter.


During his political career, Duvall has unabashedly espoused conservative
 principles and is known as a partisan Republican with a knack for theatrics:
 He has noisily driven his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to functions. In 2008, 
Duvall blasted efforts to condone gay marriage. Legislatively, he has 
proposed bills to aid the insurance industry and government contractors 
feeding off the state's massive transportation kitty.
 He has offered a law to alter the First Amendment rights of Americans by
 banning anti-war activists from putting the names of fallen soldiers on 
T-shirts with messages such as "Bush lied" on the front and "They died" on the back; he observed that the dead soldiers fought to protect freedom, and "opportunists" should not be allowed to "exploit" the sacrifices with political messages opposing war.


Such thinking impressed certain constituencies. Earlier this year, the man who never graduated from high school received "100 percent" approval scores 
by the California Republican Assembly, the state's leading conservative outfit, and the Capitol Resource Institute (CRI), a fierce guardian of traditional family values.


"Assemblyman Duvall has been a consistent trooper for the conservative causes," CRI president Karen England announced in March. "For the last two years, he has voted time and time again to protect and preserve family values in California. We are grateful for his support of California
 families.'"

Acknowledging the CRI award, Duvall observed in a press release that as long as he is in office, he would work to protect "California families" from "constant assault in Sacramento."

OC Assemblyman In Bed With Lobbyist . . . No, Literally In Bed - Orange County News - Navel Gazing
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:40 PM   #747
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So it turns out not all opponents of gay marriage are closet gays? Is that the message here?
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:42 PM   #748
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No, they all just secretly hate the sanctity of marriage, just not as much as they hate the gays.
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #749
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So it turns out not all opponents of gay marriage are closet gays? Is that the message here?


most opponents of gay marriage are not closeted. they're just hypocritical assholes.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:45 PM   #750
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Hey, those of us in the OC know how to party!
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