Newark mayor and LGBT ally Cory Booker has won the special election to fill Senator Frank Lautenberg's seat in the U.S. Senate, defeating Republican Steve Lonegan, Reuters reports:
Booker, who had been heavily favored in polls, defeated conservative Republican Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor, according to tallies published online by The New York Times, Politico and the Star-Ledger newspaper.
The tallies showed Booker with an 11 point lead over Lonegan with more than 90 percent of the votes counted.
Booker, 44, spoke to cheering supporters in Newark where he thanked them for turning out to vote against the backdrop of the 16-day government shutdown and partisan battling in Washington.
"It would have been easy to listen to this frustrating negativity and stay home today. But here in New Jersey, more than a million people rejected cynicism and came out on a Wednesday, in the middle of October, three weeks before we have another election, to fight the cynicism," he said.
"You didn't just vote, you believed that your vote and choice mattered," he said.
Watch Rachel Maddow announce the news, AFTER THE JUMP...
Who wouldn't want to spend a day in Medieval Land Fun-Time World with Eddie and the gang?
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
Separate from Oregon United for Marriage's campaign to end Measure 36, a ban on gay marriage, two gay couples have filed a federal suit in an effort to get the ball rolling and see change come to the Beaver State more quickly. The couples involved include two women, Deanna Geiger and Jeanine Nelson (right), who would like to legally marry in the state, and two men, Robert Deuhmig and William Griesar, who would like their Canadian marriage recognized in their home state. The suit was filed in federal court because the attorneys involved, Lea Ann Easton and Lake Perriguey, believe that Measure 36 "violates the U.S. Constitution."
Willamette Week reports:
"We would like a federal district judge in Oregon to find that there is no rational, legitimate or compelling governmental interest that would allow Oregon's anti-gay constitutional amendment to stand," Perriguey says. "It will not withstand constitutional scrutiny."
Geiger, 54, and Nelson, 53, tell WW they have been together for more than 31 years, and were among the first in line to obtain marriage licenses when same-sex marriage was briefly legalized in Multnomah County. They've faced discrimination their whole relationship, which began when they met working at a camp together.
The suit does, for now, overshadow the popular vote expected on the state's ballot in 2014, an issue which has been addressed by the attorneys involved, as well as by Oregon United for Marriage.
"I believe that securing equal access to marriage in Oregon through a popularity contest or through a federal decision will advance marriage equality nationwide," Perriguey says. "There’s nothing guaranteeing a vote will come out in our favor, and there's no guarantee that a legal opinion will come out in our favor. But we're very optimistic."
Oregon United for Marriage says it's aware of the suit and staff has met with Perriguey and Easton about it.
"We share the same goal as the plaintiffs in this case, to make marriage legal for all loving and committed couples in Oregon," spokeswoman Amy Ruiz says. "No one should be denied the freedom to marry the person they love."
Two factions working to achieve an end goal of legally-recognized support for gay marriage: way to go Oregon! Several important public officials have been named as defendants on the suit as well, including Governor John Kitzhaber and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. With this caliber of support, we will cross our fingers for a successful suit, a successful campaign, and an end result of marriage equality.
Couple photo courtesy of aliciajrosephotography.com.
BEAR: Playing tetherball.
PROUD2BE: The UK LGBT rights group interviews activist Peter Tatchell.
HI FASHION: "Pupusa".
CATS: Stealing dog beds, the supercut.
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Martha Stewart vs. Gwyneth Paltrow.
NBC News profiles anti-gay activist Scott Lively: “Come what may, I will continue to advocate for the Biblical view of family until my final breath,” he pledged, because “we’re talking about civilization — good and evil being played out in the United States and all around the world.”
Mosquito fossil found. Contains blood. "But the mosquito in question lived about 46 million years ago, roughly 20 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct, so it likely fed on the blood of their descendants, namely birds.
Billy Porter to host Empire State Pride Agenda dinner.
London zoo's Sumatran tiger cub dies in pool: "In the early hours of Saturday morning, keepers noticed that they could not see the cub on the den cameras, and raised the alarm. The cub was discovered on the edge of the pool. A postmortem conducted on Sunday confirmed the cub had drowned. It is thought that the mother, Melati, carried the cub outside but keepers are unclear as to how the cub got into the pool as there are no cameras in the wider enclosure."
Zac Efron bares his butt in That Awkward Moment.
Rosie O'Donnell buys four-bedroom home in Nokomis, Florida.
Super-slender, super-tall skyscraper approved for NYC. "...each floor of the building will hold only one gigantic apartment, making this, in essence, a layer cake of super-luxury residences."
New star of UK's Made in Chelsea tweets homophobic slur: “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve #gaymarriagef*ckoff”
Gay hate crime victims don't report, feel they won't be taken seriously: "More than three-quarters of gay, bisexual and lesbian victims of hate crime did not report it to the police, according to research commissioned by equality campaigner group Stonewall. Half of those reporting a hate crime to police were not satisfied with the way it was handled and fewer than one in 10 victims who reported hate crimes and incidents said it led to a conviction."
Mike Huckabee on 2016: "Absolutely. Yeah, no hesitancy to say, for sure. Does that mean I will? I don't know. Does that mean I won't? I don't know. But am I thinking about it? Am I talking to people about it? Yeah, that would be fair to say."
Jeremy Jordan gets into his skivvies for 54 Below performance.
Adam Lambert rocks some leather at the premiere of Bridegroom.
Ronald McDonald gets shoes shined in latest Banksy NYC piece.
Lady Gaga and the Muppets doing holiday special?
Retired United Methodist pastor to perform service for gay wedding ceremony in Alabama: "Bishop Melvin G. Talbert said Monday it will be an "honor" to officiate at the ceremony later this month in metro Birmingham for Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince."
Apple gets approval for 'spaceship' campus. "Apple's proposed new spaceship-shaped headquarters got a super-charged blast-off Tuesday night when the Cupertino City Council voted unanimously to approve the 2.8-million-square-foot behemoth beside Interstate 280, fulfilling a dream of co-founder Steve Jobs, hatching an iconic landmark for Silicon Valley, and promising more congestion in an already traffic-challenged region for decades to come."
HBO announced its January show debuts today, and with them this still from the upcoming gay drama Looking starring Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, and Murray Bartlett about "three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men."
The show was created by Michael Lannan and executive produced by Andrew Haigh (Weekend) and Sarah Condon (Bored to Death).
Special guest stars on the show include Russell Tovey and Scott Bakula.
It premieres on January 19.