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Bill Gates Says Boys Scouts Should 'Absolutely' Lift Gay Ban: VIDEO

Gates

Why? "Because it's 2013."

Gates was asked about the Boy Scouts and its ban on gays during the first installment of Politico’s new interview series, Playbook Cocktails, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever

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A remarkably short four decades ago, the Stonewall Revolt of 1969 opened the flood gates for LGBT rights. The closet, so sturdy for so long, started being swept away in a rush of pride. Still, LGBT Americans lived in a culture of "tolerance," a popular euphemism for enduring.

There have been momentous years since then — both Barney Frank's 1987 coming out and the 2003 Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-sodomy laws come to mind — but when we look back in twenty years time or ten or even five, 2012 will be remembered as quantum leap for LGBT rights in the United States of America. It's the year that equality went from being a far-off dream to becoming an inevitable, immutable and irreversible reality. Even Newt Gingrich agrees!

This was the year of equality, the year the American dream came into sharper focus and the nation crossed from begrudgingly tolerating gays, and sometimes even acknowledging their relationships, to demanding our inclusion in the greater American family. Coming out is for the large part no longer a big deal, which is a big deal in and of itself.

There have never been as many out and proud elected officials; never before has Wall Street embraced us with such force; never before have so many conservatives admitted they need to shift gears on marriage equality and embrace change. This was a year of "never before" and "never again."

AFTER THE JUMP, 150 reasons why 2012 was a year of permanence for LGBT Americans, a year that the next wave of rights began its swoop across the purple mountain majesty and above the fruited plain.

And for more of our 2012 Year in Review, be sure to read "I'm Gay: 50 Most Powerful Comings Outs of 2012" HERE.

Continue reading "150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever" »


Bill Gates Gives $500K to Washington State Marriage Equality Fight

Bill and Melinda Gates have given half a million dollars to the battle to approve Referendum 74, the ballot measure that would put the state's legislatively-passed marriage equality law into effect, the AP reports:

GatesThe donation was announced Tuesday by Washington United for Marriage, which is working to approve Referendum 74. The donation was made on Oct. 15, but didn't publicly post online with the Public Disclosure Commission until Tuesday. Referendum 74 asks voters to either approve or reject the law allowing same-sex marriage that was passed by the Legislature earlier this year.

Bill Gates had made a $100,000 contribution to the campaign earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the bigoted Vermont innkeepers Jim and Mary O'Reilly, who appeared in an anti-gay marriage ad for Maine which came out this week, are now also appearing in a reject R-74 ad.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Second Anti-Gay Measure Fails Signature Test In Washington State

WashingtonStateA Washington State campaign defining marriage as being between one man and one woman failed to gather the necessary signatures to get on the November ballot.

The Olympian reports:

The citizen initiative that would spell out that marriage is only between a man and a woman won’t qualify for the November ballot. Its sponsor, Stephen Pidgeon of Everett, says Initiative 1192 is more than 140,000 signatures short ahead of Friday’s deadline for turning in petitions to the Office of the Secretary of State in Olympia, and he concedes it won’t happen.

“I hate to say it … but we’re just not going to cross the threshold. We’re not going to make it. This measure is not going to be on the ballot,” Pidgeon said of I-1192.

But Washington voters still have to decide on Referendum 74, which will decide whether or not to allow a legislature-approved marriage equality law to go into effect. The push to pass the referendum ("Yes" vote means equality law remains in place) has massive funding from people like Bill Gates and marriage equality has majority of public support.


Microsoft's Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer Both Donate $100K To Washington Marriage Fight

GatesBallmerMicrosoft executives Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are using their respective fortunes to help defeat an anti-gay marriage referendum in Washington State.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer are each donating $100,000 to support the campaign to uphold Washington state's new gay marriage law, according to The Associated Press.

That law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in February, faces a referendum vote in November.

The AP cites Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, who says the checks were cut on Friday and are being reported to the state Public Disclosure Commission Monday afternoon.

There's good reason to expect a win for equality in November: 51% of voters told Public Policy Polling they support same-sex marriage. Only 42% said they oppose it.

(h/t JMG)


NEWS: Legacies, Stars, Canada, God

PettitPhotography

Towleroad-roadicon Don Pettit's photography -- pictures "taken 240 miles up in space by combining multiple 30-second exposure photos, and then stacking them together with imaging software." Star trails, city trails, gorgeous.

Towleroad-roadicon CNN has a feature on the Maryland divorce case Andy briefly discussed here.

Towleroad-roadicon Rick Santorum has a new PAC, presumably so he can run semi-anonymous attack ads.

Towleroad-roadicon Yea gods! This woman castrated a guy with her hand!

Towleroad-roadicon 50 years hence there will be statues of Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs will be forgotten.

Towleroad-roadicon Egyptian women are sexually assaulted during a protest against sexual assault.

Towleroad-roadicon "Catholics, Gays, and a Parallel Universe":

I sometimes think of Canada as one of those science-fiction parallel universes -- a world strikingly similar to but slightly different from our own.  The differences can be illuminating.

In Ontario a controversy has been raging, as they say, involving legislation that would require schools to sponsor Gay-Straight Alliances, the anti-bullying clubs that some social conservatives see as Trojan horses for the “gay agenda.” (They’re right, if by gay agenda they mean recognition that gay and lesbian students exist and should feel good about themselves and their sexuality.)

The twist is that Roman Catholic schools in Ontario receive government funding. 

The archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, had complained that GSAs include an agenda that does not comport with Catholic teaching ...

Nevertheless, after the bill was approved, Collins issued a statement recognizing that it “is now the law” and that Catholic schools “will seek, as we have always done, in a way that is in accord with our faith, to foster safe and welcoming school communities.” The  Ontario Catholic School Trustees Assn. said it had no intention of challenging the provision in court.

At a time when U.S. Catholic bishops are crying foul -- or crying wolf? -- about intolerable intrusion on their religious liberty in the form of "Obamacare" regulations, it’s interesting to speculate how they would react to a law like Ontario's GSA requirement ...

Towleroad-roadicon Gay Pride in Tel Aviv.

Towleroad-roadicon God's getting nicer.

Towleroad-roadicon On the prescience and darkness of Ray Bradbury:

BradburyThere’s already been a lot of rhapsodizing about Ray Bradbury’s “sense of wonder,” the dark magic and October chill he infused into his work. But let’s not turn him into something harmless, a kindly, childlike uncle spinning marvelous tales of rocket ships and dinosaurs. Don’t forget that he was also the crazy uncle, the dangerous one, a malcontent and a crank, alarming everyone at the dinner table with impassioned rants and dire warnings. (For a bracing antidote to his sentimentality, reread the demented revenge fantasy “Usher II,” in which an entire board of censors is meticulously killed off after the manner of Edgar Allan Poe stories.)

The obverse of his reverence for the natural world was a keen-edged contempt for the greedy men and crass, destructive culture that would gladly bulldoze it for a buck. “We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things,” says the archæologist Jeff Spender in “—And the Moon Be Still as Bright” from “The Martian Chronicles.” “The only reason we didn’t set up hot-dog stands in the midst of the Egyptian temple of Karnak is because it was out of the way and served no large commercial purpose.” There isn’t a hot-dog stand at Karnak yet, but I’m advised there are tourist shops selling pricey bottled water and Pharaonic souvenirs made in China.


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