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.

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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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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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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States legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana now face battle with Feds

Chicago, IL — Tuesday, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington approved same-sex marriage; in Colorado and Washington they legalized recreational marijuana. The problem? In both instances it violates federal law and rules.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996 by Congress and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton, came about after fear that Hawaii would legalize same-sex marriage, long before the nation would embrace such an adjustment. DOMA defines marriage as between and man and a woman. Attitudes about same-sex marriage have changed dramatically in the last sixteen years and current polling suggests the more than 50% of Americans approve of the unions. Recent Federal Court rulings have declared DOMA to be unconstitutional, but there are further appeals available which will ultimately put the controversy in the Supreme Court before a final resolution is determined. It could be a long path before it is all ironed out.

Although DOMA seems to be on the way out the door via the courts, currently married same-sex couples, while endorsed by the state they live in, will be denied marriage benefits from social security, estate taxes and federal pensions.

via States legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana now face battle with Feds.

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Same-sex marriage wins big on Tuesday, as the march toward equality continues (Joey Kennedy) | al.com

Three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — became the first to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote, and the national trend toward full implementation of same-sex marriage continues and, in fact, is likely to pick up momentum.

That is good for the country. We do not progress by relegating any segment of society to second-class status. We should celebrate with our gay and lesbian friends when they enter into committed relationships, just as we celebrate with our heterosexual friends when they get married.

More people are understanding that marriage is a civil contract with the government giving a couple a series of specific rights under the law. There is no legal reason two consenting adults should be prohibited from entering into such a contract, regardless of gender.

And the marriage of my gay friends certainly does not threaten my 33-year marriage to my wife Veronica.

This can be a religious issue, and that’s understandable.

But churches forever have decided which marriages they would bless or deny. My wife and I were married in a Baptist church, but we would not have been able to have, say, a Catholic wedding or a Mormon wedding. Just as those denominations have a right to refuse to bless marriages of same-sex partners, they also have a right to refuse to bless marriages of those who aren’t members of their congregations (many other denominations follow the same practice; these are only examples).

via Same-sex marriage wins big on Tuesday, as the march toward equality continues (Joey Kennedy) | al.com.

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Gay rights advocates welcome election-day results for a change – The Washington Post

On Tuesday, American politics became much more gay-friendly. Wisconsin voters elected a lesbian senator. Three gay men, and potentially one bisexual woman, will join the House of Representatives. And the approval of ballot initiatives means homosexuals can marry in three more states.

The gay rights movement had come to dread election days, when voters often reversed measures that legislatures and governors had backed. And opponents of same-sex marriage consistently won decisive statewide votes with far less money and manpower than its advocates.

As recently as May, North Carolina voters delivered another drubbing in a string of 30-plus statewide losses for gay-marriage activists, adding the state’s ban on same-sex marriage to its constitution. In Tuesday’s vote, those advocates welcomed a different result. “Winning for the first time at the ballot box in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington is truly historic,” said Chad Griffin, who recently took over the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest gay rights organization. “You’re seeing how fair-minded Americans are, coming down on the side of full equality and inclusion in this country.”

via Gay rights advocates welcome election-day results for a change – The Washington Post.

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Mark Ferrandino Is Elected Colorado’s First Gay Speaker – NYTimes.com

DENVER — Democratic lawmakers in Colorado sustained a wrenching defeat in the final days of the legislative session last spring. A bill that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples was blocked from getting a full vote in the State House of Representatives by Republican leaders, who knew Democrats had the votes to pass it.

But this week, Democrats here regained control of the House, buttressed by a favorably redrawn legislative map and simmering anger over the civil unions debate.

And on Thursday, punctuating the moment, Democratic lawmakers elected the state’s first openly gay speaker of the House.

The new speaker, State Representative Mark Ferrandino, a Democrat from Denver, was a co-sponsor of the civil unions bill and has vowed to bring it back when the session resumes in January.

via Mark Ferrandino Is Elected Colorado’s First Gay Speaker – NYTimes.com.

5 takeaways from Election Day on LGBT issues | Washington Blade – Americas Leading Gay News Source

Hailed as a watershed moment for the LGBT movement, Election Day yielded several milestones that political observers say will have a profound impact on the advancement of LGBT rights and marriage equality going forward.

Here are five takeaways from an evening that saw wins for marriage equality at the ballot and the election for the first time of an openly gay U.S. Senate candidate — not to mention the re-election of a U.S. president who endorsed marriage equality.

1. The sky’s the limit for gay candidates seeking political office

Lesbian U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin made history when she became the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in a highly contested race against former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson. She’ll be part of a record number of as many as seven openly gay, lesbian and bisexual candidates elected to Congress and 121 candidates endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund elected to various offices throughout the country.

via 5 takeaways from Election Day on LGBT issues | Washington Blade – Americas Leading Gay News Source.