New Zealand is set to passed marriage equality this week, TVNZ reports:
The bill passed its committee stages with 77 votes to 43 last month and little change was anticipated for the final vote.
Big crowds, including a few celebrities, were expected to be in Parliament's public gallery to witness the vote.
Once the bill is passed it will be four months before the first same-sex couples can be married.
Reuters takes a new look at Obama and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, noting that the White House is showing no signs of any executive order from the President on the issue:
While Obama's advisers tout his record on the issue, they make clear that an executive order on federal contractors soon is unlikely, arguing that it would carry far less weight than broader congressional action. Legislation called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) lacks enough votes to become law.
"We want to continue to advocate for legislation. We think that that's the most robust way to accomplish what we want to accomplish," White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told Reuters in an interview.
They also see no effort to help the bill along in Congress:
...congressional aides say they see little evidence that the White House - already consumed by gun control, immigration reform and budget issues - is pushing to win support for ENDA.
Advocates won't be giving Obama a break:
"There is more that he can do," said Jon Davidson, legal director at Lambda Legal, a non-profit organization supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. "He has repeatedly said as president that it's people's job to push him to do more and more, so we intend to keep doing that."
Buffalo Sabre player Steve Ott grabbed some attention this week when he tried to win a faceoff this week by extending a provocative tongue toward Jeff Halpern of the Montreal Canadiens, Yahoo Sports reports.
Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...
Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady has been the target of his party's ire since January when he said:
"Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value - that the law should treat all citizens equally."
In March, Republican leaders had planned a meeting in which they were going to discuss firing Brady for his remarks but the meeting was canceled because of dissonance within the party.
The meeting finally happened on Saturday, and Brady came out alive, the AP reports:
About 50 Republican Party members attended Saturday’s meeting in Tinley Park of the party’s State Central Committee to ask that Brady step down or that the committee fire him.
After a tense, hourslong session, Brady remained as the party’s chairman. He said the committee did not take a vote on whether to fire him during a closed-door meeting Saturday.
“I think there are people in the party who don’t necessarily agree with me, but the point is .... we’re a party that welcomes all ideas,” Brady said. “You don’t have to be exactly a platform Republican to be welcome in the party, and that’s the direction we’re taking the party.”
This is the atmosphere Republicans have fostered with their anti-equality stance:
At one point, people gathered in a hallway outside the meeting began yelling and chanting, “Throw him out.”
So this happened:
The 19-year-old is due to perform tonight in Arnhem, around an hour from Amsterdam, where the Anne Frank House is situated, and visited the museum on Saturday night.
Staff from the museum wrote on their Facebook page: “Yesterday night Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House, together with his friends and guards.
“Fans were waiting outside to see a glimpse of him. He stayed more than an hour in the museum.
“In our guestbook he wrote: ‘Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.’”
A ‘belieber’ is the name given to the singer’s fans.
Anti-Gay RNC Leader and Gay Republican Leader War Over Party's Marriage Position on 'Hardball': VIDEO
Check out thiis must-watch Hardball segment on Friday's RNC vote to reaffirm its opposition to same-sex marriage.
Chris Matthews watches with incredulity as Texas RNC Committeeman Robin Armstrong, who calls the GOP "the tolerant party", tells Matthews that he'd still join the GOP even if it were against the African-American civil rights movement.
Then Matthews asks Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Gregory Angelo how he likes being in a political party that doesn't believe in his equality. Says Angelo:"We're not part of the party because of its stance against so-called 'traditional marriage'. We're a part of the party in spite of that."
Armstrong and Angelo then engage in some back and forth debate with Matthews that reveals why the Republican Party is going down over this issue.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Incidentally, the RNC resolution that was passed on Friday was sponsored by none other than Dave Agema, the Michigan committeeman who has been at the center of a GOP storm over the anti-gay comments he posted on Facebook.
"I am pleased with our success in the face of unrelenting criticism from the left and want to thank national social conservative leaders who made their voices heard loud and clear in this process," Agema said in a release following today's vote at the RNC's annual spring meeting in Los Angeles.
"I hope that we can all now move forward and talk about other issues … We have won the battle, and I will have nothing more to say on this matter."