NOM sees one-third decline in contributions for 2011 – LGBTQ Nation

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) saw a steep decline in the amount of money it raised in 2011 – dropping to $6.2 million from the $9.1 million it raised the previous year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Just two donors were responsible for funding 75 percent of the anti-gay group – the organization reported two donations of approximately $2.4 million each. The information is available in NOM’s 2011 990, which NOM made available this evening after HRC requested the documents in-person at their Washington, D.C. office earlier this morning.

“The National Organization for Marriage continues to push the notion that there is some sort of grassroots support for their discriminatory anti-gay agenda,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz.

via NOM sees one-third decline in contributions for 2011 – LGBTQ Nation.

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Nate Silver Our Favorite Gay Geek | Out Magazine

As The Advocate pointed out, in a Friday tweet, Nate Silver called out the founder of a conspiratorial Unskewed Polls website, Dean Chambers, who wrote an op-ed that attacked Silver as “a man of very small stature” and “a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice.” Chambers’s website recasts all mainstream polls with Republican-leaning survey samples so they are truly “unskewed” — or shall we say “fair and balanced?”

Silver is our favorite self-described gay geek (who we honored in the 2010 Out100 you may recall). He is also the founder of FiveThirtyEight, which is now part of the New York Times. He’s often touted for having correctly predicted the popular vote in 2008

via Nate Silver Our Favorite Gay Geek | Out Magazine.

Oregon May Be Next State For Gay Marriage Ballot Battle

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Three states made history Tuesday (Nov. 6) voting to approve same-sex marriage, and a fourth repudiated an attempt to ban it.

Oregon, once known as a trailblazer for progressive causes, wasn’t among them. But that could change in 2014.

Local gay rights activists stand by a decision they made a year ago not to pursue a marriage ballot measure this year because the timing wasn’t right.

“This has unfolded exactly as it should,” Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, said Wednesday. Rather than seeing Tuesday’s cross-country support for gays and lesbians as a missed opportunity, Frazzini said the votes in Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota help set the stage for 2014.

“I am more confident than ever that we will be the first state to overturn a constitutional ban on marriage” for same-sex couples, she said. Although no firm decision has been made, she said it is “likely” that her organization would spearhead a same-sex marriage ballot campaign in two years.

Oregon, like many states, has a mixed record on how it treats same-gender couples. In 2004, voters approved Measure 36, a constitutional amendment that prohibits marriage except between a man and a woman. In 2007, the state Legislature approved domestic partnerships that allow same-sex couples to register and get many of the same rights and benefits as married couples.

“It’s not full equality,” said state House Democratic Leader Tina Kotek, who is openly gay. “Full equality is the ability to marry.”

Now that Democrats have regained control of the Legislature, Kotek is in line to be the next Oregon House speaker, which would make her the first openly lesbian speaker in the country. She said any effort to overturn the ban on marriage should come from the citizenry.
via Oregon May Be Next State For Gay Marriage Ballot Battle.

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10 Florida Republicans Who Helped Make Voting More Difficult (PHOTOS)

Who is responsible for Florida’s second infamous elections debacle since 2000?

There will be plenty of blame to go around, especially when Miami-Dade County finally finishes counting provisional ballots and gets to the bottom of who declined to shore up voting operations, and when. But blame will also likely fall on conservative state legislators, who fought for two years to reduce the number of early voting days and limit registration after heavy 2008 turnout in the state for Democrats.

Obama won the most where the lines were the longest,” former state Sen. Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach) told the Tampa Bay Times, speaking of the 2012 turnout.

Gelber called the law reducing early voting “hubris and overreaching by the Republicans, who may learn a lesson that ‘Maybe we shouldn’t abuse our prisoners that much because sometimes they’ll get back at you.'”

Citing admittedly non-existent fraud, the GOP gang reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to 8, eliminating the Sunday before Election Day disproportionately preferred, in large numbers, by blacks, Hispanics, young people and first-time voters.

As a result, many voters were squished onto a final Saturday of early voting, with lines so long the last voters in Miami cast their ballots at 1 a.m. Some voters were forced to leave lines to care for children or keep appointments, sending even more South Floridians back to the lines on Tuesday.

via 10 Florida Republicans Who Helped Make Voting More Difficult (PHOTOS).

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Boy Scouts of America No Longer Eligible for Grant Funding from The UPS Foundation | GLAAD

The UPS Foundation today joined a growing number of corporate leaders in providing financial support to those organizations that align with the company’s non-discrimination policy. Under this policy, the Boy Scouts of America is no longer eligible for grants from the UPS Foundation because of the BSA’s ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.

The UPS Foundation posted the following on its site:

The UPS Foundation seeks to support organizations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and non-discrimination policy. UPS and The UPS Foundation do not discriminate against any person or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable law, as well as other categories protected by UPS and The UPS Foundation in our own policies. These include, but are not limited to race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, pregnancy, age and religion.

UPS confirmed to GLAAD that under these guidelines, which UPS said have been in development for several months, organizations that are unable to attest to having a policy or practices that align with the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy will no longer be considered eligible for funding. Prior to The UPS Foundation’s non-discrimination language, UPS gave $167,000 to various Boy Scouts of America entities in 2010 and said there would not be a change to grant-making at that time according to an American Independent report in September 2012. UPS has consistently received high marks on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index, an annual survey that rates U.S. corporations on their non-discrimination policies and practices toward LGBT employees and consumers.

via Boy Scouts of America No Longer Eligible for Grant Funding from The UPS Foundation | GLAAD.

What did Supreme Court hear about same-sex marriage on Election Day? – The Washington Post

Just before Tuesday’s elections, a national gay-rights group sent its supporters in Maryland an e-mail listing an additional reason to go to the polls to approve same-sex marriage.

“Justice Anthony Kennedy is watching you,” the subject line said.

Marylanders used their 2012 ballots to legalize gay marriage, narrowly passing a referendum with only 52% of the vote. But the results meant more to some than others, and one person whose intimate life hinged on the consequences of the vote was a state senator named Rich Madaleno.

What Kennedy and the rest of the Supreme Court saw was by all accounts a momentous day for gay rights and same-sex marriage.

The country reelected a president who has “evolved” enough on the issue to support gay marriage. Wisconsin elected Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who will be the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate.

Iowa, which two years ago voted out three state supreme court justices who ruled that homosexuals must be allowed to marry in the state, reversed course. It retained a fourth justice who had joined in the decision after a spirited campaign to oust him.

Maryland, Maine and Washington became the first states to approve same-sex marriage through popular vote, rather than a decision of the legislature or the courts. Minnesota defeated an attempt to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, the first time such an attempt has failed at the ballot box.

“The justices obviously pay attention,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights organization.

But, with the court on the cusp of its most serious examination of the constitutional issues surrounding same-sex marriage, it is unclear what the justices heard.

They will soon sort through a half-dozen cases that raise the issue of same-sex relationships; the date for their private conference on whether to accept any has been rescheduled for Nov. 30.

via What did Supreme Court hear about same-sex marriage on Election Day? – The Washington Post.

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The Badger Herald: Wis. gay marriage needs legalization

Last week Tuesday, the state of Wisconsin once again stepped into the spotlight by electing Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, to be the first openly gay Senator in United States history. With this historic election, it is time for Wisconsin to legalize gay marriage. Baldwin will soon hold one of the few state wide elected offices in Wisconsin.

By electing Baldwin, Wisconsin has proven, as a whole, that they are ready to legalize same-sex marriage. Throughout the campaign to be Wisconsin’s next Senator, neither Governor Tommy Thompson nor Baldwin made the issues of gay marriage or Rep. Baldwin’s homosexuality the center of their campaign. Thompson never attacked either of these issues since he knew that it would result in a vehement push back from voters at the ballot box.

Baldwin did not make either issue the center of her campaign as well. Baldwin knew that if she made homosexuality the center of her campaign, she would merely be viewed as a token, simply to add diversity to the American political stage. However, it is key to point out that Baldwin did not shy away from her homosexuality as she made that information readily available to anyone who wanted to know it. This is another clear sign that Wisconsin is ready for gay marriage.

Wisconsin did not elect Baldwin because they desired to be the first state to have a gay senator. We elected Baldwin because she was a strong Senate candidate, who represented the progressive Wisconsin values that have made us the state we are. Being gay was merely an attribute that played no role in decisions made by voters, just like it wasn’t an issue that Former Senator Russ Feingold is Jewish or that Gov. Scott Walker never finished college.

Marriage is an institution that is regulated by each individual state government, and, as such, it is up to government to provide its citizens with equal rights and protections under the law. If particular individuals feel that same-sex marriage is wrong because of particular religious beliefs or simply because it makes them uncomfortable, then that is fine. Religious institutions have every right to deny marriage to individuals of the same sex since they are separate bodies that have protections under the First Amendment due to the separation of church and state.

via The Badger Herald: Wis. gay marriage needs legalization.

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Time for marriage equality in Illinois – Chicago Sun-Times

Last week’s election continued America’s great history of expanding opportunity and equality. Today, we must take the next step on that journey by affording the opportunity to marry to all Americans — and we can continue that march by quickly enacting marriage equality here in Illinois.

Throughout my career in public service, I have seen our city and society make progressive strides towards providing greater respect and rights to the GLBT community.

As mayor, I lobbied for civil unions in Illinois. In Congress and within the Obama administration I pushed for the end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and helped expand health care benefits for same-sex couples.

While we have come to a greater appreciation for the contributions of the GLBT community, gays and lesbians are still denied one essential freedom: the right to make a lifelong commitment to the person they love.

Gays and lesbians are our teachers, our doctors, our police officers, family members, friends and neighbors. Honoring their contributions as full members of our society means providing members of the GLBT community with the same rights and freedoms as every other citizen.

Chicago is a city of different neighborhoods and nationalities, or different religions, races and sexual orientations

We are strongest when we are one people, united under the same set of laws, with the same freedoms and responsibilities.

The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have a special place in our nation’s history as leader in our nation’s struggle to equality to all. Marriage equality is the next step in our nation’s march forward. Illinois must lead the way.

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago

via Time for marriage equality in Illinois – Chicago Sun-Times.

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Voters boost marriage equality movement – Courant.com

Four years ago this week, Connecticut became the second state to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. Since then, four states — plus the District of Columbia — have joined Connecticut and Massachusetts in ending marriage discrimination.

 

In the last four years, the momentum was palpable. But nothing provided quite the same jolt to the national consciousness and sense of momentum as last week’s Election Day. Marriage equality was on the ballot in four additional states and won.

 

With that four-state sweep in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, the opponents of marriage equality lost their final talking point, putting to rest the last desperate argument that victories in courts and legislatures somehow are not legitimate and that only a vote of the people counts.

via Voters boost marriage equality movement – Courant.com.

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Md In MD? Becoming We In ME? Let The Gay Wedding Destination Duke-Out Begin | GayCities Blog

Now that voters have approved marriage equality in three new states, the savvy tourism folks in Maine, Maryland and Washington are wasting little time in rolling out their red carpets to gay and lesbian nuptial-planning couples.

And no wonder: A study released Monday by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law suggests that same-sex weddings in the states could generate more than $166 million in revenue over the next three years, with $88.5 million coming from WA, $62.5 million from MD, and $15.5 million coming from ME

via Md In MD? Becoming We In ME? Let The Gay Wedding Destination Duke-Out Begin | GayCities Blog.

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