2012 Election Hub

MN Lawmakers Plan Marriage Equality Push For January

6a00d8341c730253ef017c32e1e489970b-800wiNow that Minnesota voters have rejected an amendment constitutionally defining marriage as one man, one woman, activists and allies in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party there say they plan to push for full marriage equality early next year.

“This kind of closes the loop of the election,” said Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, who looks to carry same-sex marriage legislation in the House.

Hausman, like Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, who plans to carry a same-sex marriage bill in the Senate, points to the failure of the Republican-sponsored marriage amendment last election as evidence of the state reaching a consensus on same-sex marriage.

A conversation has taken place, they argue.

“To me, I think the time has come,” said Marty, who has sponsored same-sex marriage bills in the past.

Hausman and Marty believe that since about 20 GOP-dominated districts voted against the anti-gay measure in November, and considering that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton supports marriage equality, this should be a no muss, no fuss process.

But not all their party peers agree: Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk told Star News he thinks lawmakers need to focus on the budget, not marrying people off: "I still think we need to have a pretty significant conversation around the state on that (same-sex marriage) subject."

And Republicans there seem ready for a fight, too: House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt is already accusing the DFL of flip-flopping on their political intentions. "What the DFL’s message (in the election) was, is that we shouldn’t be focused on divisive social issues,” he said.

I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012



"The fact is, I'm gay." Anderson Cooper's long-awaited announcement sums what it meant to come out in 2012. Again and again we heard the same sentiment — from pop singer Mika's equally anticipated confirmation, "If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah," to actor Andrew Rannells casually remarking about relating to a gay character, "I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it." —  proving that coming out today is in many cases a non-event, and certainly secondary to other achievements.

Yes, a lot has changed in the 15 years since Time magazine ran that cover of Ellen DeGeneres declaring, "Yep, I'm Gay," and even in the six since Lance Bass told People, "I'm Gay." Entertainment Weekly published a cover story this summer called "The New Art Of Coming Out," concluding, "The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow."

Yet most of this positive change has happened in familiar territory.

Former NFL star Wade Davis' coming out was a first, as was current professional boxer Orlando Cruz's. And Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo helped broaden the overall discussion about LGBT people. But there are a few people on this list who were less valiant, like Republican Sheriff Paul Babeu, and still others who remained quiet about their sexuality to the day they died. The debate over balance between privacy and responsibility is still one worth having, and clearly there are more arenas where LGBT people need space to shine.

All in all, though, 2012 shows that gay people who break down that closet can have it all.

Who had the 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012?

Find out (in alphabetical order), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012" »

Obama To Nominate Sen. John Kerry As Hillary Clinton's Replacement


With Susan Rice out of the running to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State when Clinton stepped down, all eyes turned to John Kerry, the Democratic Senator whom many assumed was high on President Obama's shortlist.

Well, turns out those people were right: it was reported late last night that the commander-in-chief plans on nominating Kerry, currently chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and an advocate of equality.

Republicans have already indicated that Kerry would breeze through the nomination, one of the reasons UN Ambassador Rice stepped aside. They prefer Kerry not only for his foreign policy acumen, which Rice also has, but for the fact that his ascension to Secretary of State would get him out of the Senate, potentially freeing up some space for the GOP, though not for a little while.

CNN lays out how a power transfer would unfold:

If nominated by the president and confirmed by his colleagues in the Senate, Kerry would leave Congress, and Deval Patrick, Massachusetts' Democratic governor, would appoint a replacement.

By state law, a special general election is required to take place 145 to 160 days after a vacancy occurs. So if Kerry were nominated, confirmed, and then stepped down on January 21 (Inauguration Day), the election would take place between June 14 and June 29, with primary elections being held six weeks earlier.

Whoever wins the special election would serve the final year and a half of Kerry's term and would then be able to run again for a full six-year term in office in the 2014 midterm elections.

The formal announcement should be coming early this week.

NY GOP Senator's Loss Has Party Infighting About Gay Nup Support

PinkElephantWith news today that Stephen Saland, one of the four GOP New York State Senators to support marriage equality, had conceded his reelection campaign to Democrat Terry Gipson, only one of the aforementioned four GOP Senators is returning to Albany next month.

Saland and another both lost their fights, while the fourth retired. So, what does this mean for Republicans across the country who are on the fence about supporting marriage equality?

The New York Times tries to answer that very question in an article called "Costly Toll for Republicans Who Voted for Gay Marriage." Here's an excerpt:

Activists on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue nationwide had kept a close eye on the fate of the four New York Republicans, whose re-election battles were depicted as a de facto referendum on whether it was electorally safe for Republicans to support same-sex marriage.

The outcry against the Republicans had an awkward side effect — although conservatives contributed significantly to their fates, two of the three are being replaced by Democrats who support same-sex marriage.

But Michael R. Long, the chairman of the state’s Conservative Party said the races should amount to a wake-up call for Republicans.

“Principles matter,” Mr. Long said. “These guys were institutions. And I think their voters were upset and were tired of being taken advantage of.”

Gay-rights advocates on Thursday played down the significance of the election results, suggesting that, as with any local races, the outcomes were the result of a blend of factors.

For example... the senator who lost his primary, Roy J. McDonald of Saratoga County, emboldened his critics by saying that anyone upset with his position on the issue could “take the job and shove it."

But don't expect conservatives to accept that argument, no questions asked. One right wing activist, Rev. Jason J. McGuire from the group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, told the paper, "...Policies of appeasement always fail. And essentially that’s what they did: they caved to the governor and really more liberal-minded interests rather than their core constituency."

News: Ft. Bragg, Indiana Gay Nup Ban, CIA, Iowa Question

1NewsIcon The European Court of Human Rights unanimously ruled that the CIA tortured, shackled, beat and sodomized detainee Khaled el-Masri, a German national they claimed had ties to terror groups.

Metcalfe1NewsIcon Pennsylvania GOP state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is going to introduce a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage there. "It is important that we support traditional marriage and have constitutional amendments to protect it at the state level. Marriage is a common good, not a special interest. Special interests should not have the right to redefine marriage for all of us," he said.

1NewsIcon Conservatives in Texas are looking for new ways to prohibit abortion, while liberals and concerned doctors in Wisconsin and North Carolina are fighting back against other right-wing attacks on a woman's right to choose.

1NewsIcon The new The Knife album is coming soon. Get excited here.

1NewsIcon The new poster for The Wolverine movie moves!

1NewsIcon Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo look beefy on the set of Foxcatcher.

1NewsIcon Drew Barrymore debuts new baby Olive on People cover.

1NewsIcon Matt Bomer does some pre-holiday shopping.

1NewsIcon On marriage equality and affirmative action at the Supreme Court: "Justice Anthony Kennedy is likely to be the swing vote in these cases, and many are predicting he will side with conservatives to limit racial preferences and with liberals to support gay marriage. Paradoxically, the very reasoning that could guide Kennedy to support marriage equality may bolster his decision to curtail race-based affirmative action, spurring colleges to adopt new approaches."

CCTV1NewsIcon The UK Network Rail Service turned CCTV footage of three ladies' embarrassing escalator moments into a PSA.

1NewsIcon Expect to see a lot of nude Matt Damon for his turn as Liberace's long-term lover Scott Thorson in the biopic Behind the Candelabra: "I had to come out of the pool, go over to Michael Douglas, straddle him on a chaise lounge and start kissing him... It's not like I kiss him just once. We drew it up like a football plan."

1NewsIcon Congratulations to new married couple Larry Duncan And Randell Shepherd, the Washington couple who became famous after a picture of them getting a marriage license went viral. Even though neither is particularly religious, they still married Sunday in a church. Said Duncan, "Enough people have told me, 'God hates fags. I want someone in a church to say, 'God loves fags,' to have that stamp on it."

1NewsIcon The University of Iowa is now asking applicants if they identify as LGBT, making it the first public university and only the second school in the nation to do so. "This is a question whose time had come. We think this will cause them to look more closely at the university because we value that part of who they are. We want students to feel we are receptive to and sensitive to their lifestyle and their description of themselves," said admissions director Michael Barron.

1NewsIcon Stephen Saland, one of the four GOP New York Senators to support marriage equality, has conceded defeat in his November election against Democrat Terry Gipson.

Deepwaterfootage1NewsIcon Fresh Deepwater leak? "CBS News has learned that BP is set to embark Thursday on the fifth day of a little-known subsea mission under Coast Guard supervision to look for any new oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon disaster."

1NewsIcon Equality and cents: "Gov. Mitch Daniels said Wednesday he has been hearing from companies that fear that a measure that would put Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution might also prevent firms from offering benefits to gay couples"

1NewsIcon Ashley Broadway believes she is being excluded from the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses in North Carolina, because she is a lesbian. "The facts here are simple: there is no legal need or justification for any spouse to be excluded from a group like this, which exists to provide support to the spouses and families of our military men and women and the communities they serve," said Outserve-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.

1NewsIcon Are One Direction band members truly fascinating?

Survey Says Love Trumps Rights In Marriage Equality Messaging

Marriage-loveA new survey of voters in Washington, where marriage equality just passed the ballot box and is already in full swing, again shows that age, party affiliation and religious attendance all impact LGBT support in predictable ways.

Younger voters prefer equality, conservatives and those who attend more religious services do not. But the survey, put out by centrist Democratic group Third Way, also shows that the framing of the issue - rights versus loving commitment - impacts support and opposition.

From Frank Bruni's summation of the report that will released later today.

...Among voters who saw the desire by gays and lesbians to be legally wedded as a bid primarily for the rights and protections that heterosexual couples have, same-sex marriage was a loser. Only 26 percent of them voted for its legalization, while 74 percent voted against.

But among voters who believed that gays and lesbians were chiefly interested in being able to pledge the fullest and most public commitment possible to their partners, same-sex marriage was a huge, huge winner. Eighty-five percent of those voters supported it, while only 15 percent opposed it.


When an initiative in this country is framed or understood largely as an attempt by a given constituency to get more, the opposition to it is frequently bolstered, the resistance strengthened. Even if the constituency is trying to right a wrong or rectify a disadvantage.

"Give me" can be a risky approach. "Let me" is often a better one...

Another recent Third Way survey, released in October, showed that among national polls, support for marriage equality jumped 16 points between 2004 and 2011, and that support was spread across all demographics, so clearly LGBT activists and their allies are saying something right.

Meanwhile, AFTER THE JUMP. Third Way's charts of what could happen to marriage equality in the Supreme Court.

Continue reading "Survey Says Love Trumps Rights In Marriage Equality Messaging" »


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