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04/19/2007


Nevada Republican Party Drops Opposition to Gay Marriage, Abortion from Party Platform

The Nevada Republican Party, "amid raucous debate" according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, voted to drop opposition to gay marriage and abortion from the party platform:

McdonaldState party Chairman Michael McDonald (pictured) said it was a successful convention at the end of the day.

“I think it was about inclusion, not exclusion,” McDonald said, referring to the platform. “This is where the party is going.”

Republicans who sat on the platform committee said they decided not to deal with social issues this year because the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts have weighed in and it doesn’t make sense for the party of “personal freedom” to have the government or the political party get involved in people’s personal lives.

“The issue was how can we back out of people’s personal lives,” said Dave Hockaday of Lyon County, who sat on the platform committee. “We need to focus on issues where we can have an impact.”

Previously, the state party platform defined marriage as “between a man and a woman,” as does the Nevada Constitution. The past document also described the party as “pro-life,” or against abortion, a stance most Republicans still agree with.

Log Cabin Republicans praised the decision.

Said Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo:

"Once again, our local Log Cabin Republicans members have made a critical difference pushing the GOP toward the right side of history by going where others fear to tread -- or cannot tread because of their party affiliation. The Republican Party is at a crossroads: in a year where the Massachusetts GOP rolled back the clock and added divisive social issues to its platform, the state Republican Party responsible for nominating Sharron Angle in 2010 seems to have finally learned to focus on the issues that truly matter to voters, which will lead to massive Republican wins at the ballot box this fall."


Thousands March in Raleigh, NC for Equality, Push Back Against Republican Legislature: VIDEO

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Citing the “immoral” legislation enacted by Republican lawmakers in the state, thousands of dissatisfied North Carolina voters and activists rallied at the capitol in Raleigh over the weekend pushing for social justice. WUNC reports:

BarberOn Saturday morning, tens of thousands chanting and holding banners filled downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street from side to side for five blocks. They were there to hear The Rev. William Barber of the state NAACP. At the end of the street in front of an American flag that snapped over the old State Capitol building, Barber preached, his voice thundering through speakers.

“We are people, we are natives and immigrants, we are business leaders and workers and unemployed, we are doctors and the uninsured, we are gay, we are straight, we are student, we are parents, we are retirees,” Barber said. “We are North Carolina. We are America. And we are here, and we ain’t going nowhere.”

The “Mass Moral March” was organized to push against much of last year’s Republican-led legislation in the state, including new abortion restrictions, voter identification requirements, and cuts to unemployment benefits.

Check out footage of the rally, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Newsobserver reports than there were few counter-protesters at the march itself, but conservative organizations and leaders in the state later criticized the rally for its “divisive rhetoric” and “far-left agenda.”

“The so-called Moral March on Raleigh is anything but moral,” Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Values Coalition, said in a news release. “It is spearheaded by groups that support abortion and homosexual marriage."

Continue reading "Thousands March in Raleigh, NC for Equality, Push Back Against Republican Legislature: VIDEO " »


Pastor Blames Colorado Floods on Gays, Marijuana, and Abortion Rights: AUDIO

Colorado Pastor Kevin Swanson, in a talk with Generations Radio co-host Dave Buehner, blamed the deadly Colorado floods on "decadent homosexual activity" (offering the example of a kiss between Denver House Speaker Mark Ferrandino and his partner which appeared on the front of the Denver Post), abortion and marijuana rights, Right Wing Watch reports.

SwansonSays Swanson:

Let me ask you this: is it a coincidence that this was the worst year politically in the history of Colorado, at least if you use God’s law as a means of determining human ethics, our legislators did the worst possible things this year than I have ever witnessed in the twenty years I’ve been in Colorado. Our legislators committed homosexual acts on the front page of the Denver Post, do you remember that? So here we have the very worst year in Colorado’s year in terms of let’s kill as many babies as possible, let’s make sure we encourage as much decadent homosexual activity as possible, let’s break God’s law with impudence at every single level, at every single level let’s make sure that we offend whoever wrote the Bible, so we have the worst year possible politically in the state of Colorado and it happens to be the worst year ever in terms of flood and fire damage in Colorado’s history. That is a weird coincidence; interesting to say the least.

Swanson then goes on to also name marijuana as another cause.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Pastor Blames Colorado Floods on Gays, Marijuana, and Abortion Rights: AUDIO" »


Texas Senate Approves Controversial Abortion Bill

Senate

Just before midnight on Friday the Texas Senate, by a vote of 19 to 11, passed HB 2, the controversial abortion bill that has garnered the nation's attention over the past month, and sent it to the desk of Governor Rick Perry for his signature. The New York Times reports:

"The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and hold abortion clinics to the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers, among other requirements. Its supporters say that the strengthened regulations for the structures and doctors will protect women’s health; opponents argue that the restrictions are actually intended to put financial pressure on the clinics that perform abortions and will force most of them to shut their doors."

Despite the bill's recent failure in a special legislative session held for the purpose to review and ultimately pass the bill, thanks to the filibuster by State Senator Wendy Davis, Governor Perry made clear his intention to schedule another special session and the bill was widely expected to pass in the Republican controlled Senate. With that in mind, many Democrats attempted to amend the bill's more egregious elements but to no avail, as The Texas Tribune points out:

"Democrats offered 20 amendments, ranging from proposals to add exceptions to the bill's 20-week abortion ban for victims of rape and incest to requiring annual inspections of abortion facilities and allowing teen mothers to be excluded from a state law requiring parental consent for family planning services. All were rejected on party-line votes in a debate that lasted until nearly midnight on Friday."

State Senator Davis, who many speculate will seek her state's highest office in 2014's gubernatorial election, has vowed not to give up the fight:  

“We all believe in the beauty and the wonder of human life. The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning.”


Police Forcibly Remove Woman for Ripping Texas GOP Senators on Abortion Bill: VIDEO

Slamen

Going viral this morning is this video of Sarah Slamen speaking out at a Texas Senate panel about the abortion bil that was provisionally approved by the Texas House last night.

Slamen, a soon-to-be-New-Yorker, gave the senators a piece of her mind about the bill.

"Thank you for being you, Texas Legislature...You have radicalized hundreds of thousands of us, and no matter what you do for the next 22 days, women and their allies are coming for you.”

When she began criticizing individual panelists, she was forcibly removed by police.

Said Slamen to DailyKos:

Senator Jane Nelson tried to say I was being disrespectful but how would she know? I barely got to give the complete performance review of every member on the committee. Pointing out that Sen. Donna Campbell is an ophthalmologist is not disrespectful when she asserts in a state hearing that she should be THE expert on reproductive health. What was disrespectful was the parade of anti-choice zealots and misogynists who got up for 13 hours and called women murderers, killers, promiscuous, thoughtless, and selfish. Not a peep from committee chair Nelson on those.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Police Forcibly Remove Woman for Ripping Texas GOP Senators on Abortion Bill: VIDEO" »


Gay Marriage Hate Hinders GOP's Tech Growth

CavemancomputerWe already know that the Republican Party's dogged commitment to fighting abortion rights and marriage equality are hurting them with the American voters they need to remain relevant. But, as the New York Times reports this weekend, the GOP's politics are also hindering their already slow technological growth. Turns out a bunch of techies are repulsed by their politics, too.

Here's a money clip from that piece, "Can The Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence?":

Several G.O.P. digital specialists told me that, in addition, they found it difficult to recruit talent because of the values espoused by the party. "I know a lot of people who do technology for a living," [Republican digital guru Michael] Turk said. "And almost universally, there's a libertarian streak that runs through them — information should be free, do your own thing and leave me alone, that sort of mind-set. That's very much what the Internet is. And almost to a person that I've talked to, they say, 'Yeah, I would probably vote for Republicans, but I can't get past the gay-marriage ban, the abortion stance, all of these social causes.'

"Almost universally, they see a future where you have more options, not less. So questions about whether you can be married to the person you want to be married to just flies in the face of the future. They don't want to be part of an organization that puts them squarely on the wrong side of history."

Reporter Robert Draper also spoke with a young GOP activist named Robert Ruffini, and Ruffini told him about attending the liberal candidate and activist training conference RootsCamp.

While there, he saw how the Obama-era Democrats have used technology and a loose organizational structure to spread their word among the masses. The GOP way of organizing, Ruffini realized, was far too centralized and concentrated around stalwarts like the RNC and Karl Rove. Their structure makes them more like that boogeyman they're always conjuring: the socialist.

"The thing I was struck by at RootsCamp was that in many ways, the Democratic technology ecosystem has embraced the free market — whereas the Republican one sort of runs on socialism, with the R.N.C. being the overlord," he said. It was that centralized organizing structure and the ideological factioning is allowed that led so many socialist governments and movements straight into history's dust bin.


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