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Connecticut Hub



04/19/2007


News: Hillary Clinton, Francois Hollande, Connecticut, Australia

1NewsIcon Hoorah! The Michigan legislature put the kibosh on a plan that would have allowed adoption agencies and health officials to forbid same-sex couples from adopting.

Affleckdamon1NewsIcon Matt Damon explains why he never denied rumors about him and Ben Affleck being an item. "I never denied those rumors because I was offended and didn’t want to offend my friends who were gay, as if being gay were some kind of f--king disease. It put me in a weird position in that sense," he told the New York Daily News.

1NewsIcon James Badge Dale covers Glow.

1NewsIcon Dido and Kendrick Lamar make beautiful music, "Let Us Move On."

1NewsIcon Neil Patrick Harris steps out to step into Barney's.

1NewsIcon Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is recovering at home after fainting and suffering a concussion early last week. "At their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with Department and other officials. She is looking forward to being back in the office soon," said Deputy Secretary of State Philippe Reines The Secretary of State, who also said she will miss a Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony next week.

Donaldduck1NewsIcon Another fun reason to visit New York City: the just-opened National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

1NewsIcon Actress Amanda Seyfried is moving to New York with a gay pal Alex Nesbitt and they plan on opening an antiques shop. "We're planning on opening an antiques and curiosities home store, which we want to call Mr. and Mrs. Nesbitt," said the Les Misérables star. "I'm worried that I'll lose my career one day, and I'll need something I can contribute to creatively."

1NewsIcon Reed Gusciora, a freshly elected gay New Jersey Assemblyman, talks to Michelangelo Signorile about bringing marriage equality to the Garden State, where he says activists and allies need a fresh approach. "The Human Rights [Campaign], the national groups, they need to talk to other gays in the state instead of one person, who everyone seems to talk about [Steven Goldstein, at Garden State Equality]. They're not even talking to legislators. It's short-sighted not to talk to openly gay legislators in the state," he said.

1NewsIcon Heroes large and small of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

1NewsIcon Local sources say that the Connecticut shooter, Adam Lanza, tried to buy a rifle mere days before the shooting but said he didn't want to wait two-weeks for a background check.

1NewsIcon His motive is still unknown.

BritneyAOL1NewsIcon Remember those once-ubiquitous AOL CD-ROMs?

1NewsIcon Anglican leaders in England are threatening to derail marriage equality legislation there.

1NewsIcon And religious and conservatives leaders are still protesting French President Francois Hollande's plans to legalize same-sex nuptials.

1NewsIcon Inspired by the American Tea Party, which is never a good thing, a group of Australian lawmakers recently formed an organization called CANdo, which among other things is warning that gay marriage down under will lead to Muslim polygamy. "All he was saying was that if you open up marriage to a wider group, then there will be calls for more... Muslim people are allowed polygamous marriage, but there will no doubt be calls for recognition, such as through the welfare system," said one of CANdo's founders, David Flint, the former Australian Broadcasting Authority chair.


Mike Huckabee Blames CT Shooting On Lack Of Religion In Schools: VIDEO

Huckabeect

Mike Huckabee, the former Republican Arkansas governor who lost his 2008 presidential bid so he became a Fox News pundit instead, played a little game of right-wing "blame the victim" yesterday when he flat out said that a lack of religion in schools led to the horrific shooting deaths of 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" he said on, yes, Fox News.

He went on, "[W]e've made it a place where we don't want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability -- that we're not just going to have be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before, you know, a holy God in judgment… If we don't believe that, then we don't fear that."

Huckabee's argument is a not-so-distant cousin from that of anti-gay, evangelical radio host Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. He suggested said yesterday that the kids killed didn't have sufficient belief in God: "God is not going to go where he is not wanted."

This is a particularly insidious brand of "blame of the victim" messaging, one that's also particularly confusing: conservatives are known to blame disasters like Hurricane Sandy on the gays, as if our hedonistic, heathen ways unleash doom and destruction, known in right-wing Christian circles as God's Wrath, onto the population at large, even God-fearing citizens. Our mere presence threatens civilization because it's an affront, and those who accept us are asking for it by turning their back on God.

And here we have roughly the same argument being used to explain the deaths of nearly two dozen innocent children who could have no deep understanding of religion, faith or a creator.

You're damned if you do believe, you're damned if you don't, and you're even damned if you're too young to know what "religion" even means - according to Huckabee and his ilk, at least.

Watch video of Huckabee's comment AFTER THE JUMP.

(Video via TPM)

Continue reading "Mike Huckabee Blames CT Shooting On Lack Of Religion In Schools: VIDEO" »


AFA Spokesman Bryan Fischer Says Children Died in Shooting Because School Did Not Embrace God: VIDEO

School_fischer

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer had something heinous to say about the tragic school shooting in Connecticut today. He said that God allowed the shooting to happen because prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments are not taught in public schools and "God is a gentleman" who does not go where he is not wanted, Right Wing Watch reports:

Fischer said that God could have protected the victims of this massacre, but didn't because "God is not going to go where he is not wanted" and so if school administrators really want to protect students, they will start every school day with prayer.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "AFA Spokesman Bryan Fischer Says Children Died in Shooting Because School Did Not Embrace God: VIDEO" »


Chris Murphy Rips Linda McMahon Over Gay Marriage Gaffe in Rancorous Connecticut Senate Debate: VIDEO

Murphy

Polls show the Connecticut race for U.S. Senate between Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon to be a dead heat, and in a feisty debate held last night the candidates sparred on a number of issues.

When asked how she feels about same-sex marriage, McMahon made what local news is calling the biggest gaffe of the debate.

Said McMahon, the 64-year-old former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, now the WWE: "I absolutely support America's law for same-sex marriage. And I wouldn't pretend to try to impose my will or rights on others. I think everyone should have the freedom to make that choice."

Murphy, taken aback, responded:

"America doesn't have a law protecting same-sex marriage, in fact it has the exact opposite. The United States has a law that discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation...The fact that Linda McMahon  spent only about 20 seconds answering that question tells you that she's not going to stand up to her party in Washington when it comes to these issues that right now are being dominated by the social right in Washington. There is a war being waged against gays and lesbians, and I was proud to stand on one side of that war."

McMahon fired back that she's a pro-choice candidate for gay and lesbian civil rights and would have voted to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' if she had the chance.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Chris Murphy Rips Linda McMahon Over Gay Marriage Gaffe in Rancorous Connecticut Senate Debate: VIDEO" »


'Call Me Maybe' Goes Symphonic: VIDEO

CallMeSymphonic

Perhaps you don't need to hear another version of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" again, but do. Just one more. AFTER THE JUMP, find a gorgeous, and -- maybe this is just me -- somehow melancholic, fully orchestral, end-of-summer take on the season's infectingest, saccharinest hit.

From the NY Daily News:

Colin Britt and Arianne Abela arranged a full-on orchestral rendition of the song replete with glockenspiels, violas and violins.

"Like everyone, I have heard this song a lot for the entire summer," Britt told the Daily News. "And I, like everyone—whether they want to admit it or not—have the guilty pleasure of enjoying it."

Britt got an idea to record a version from the string riff that appears during each chorus ... The arrangers sent invitations to classically trained musicians near New Haven, Conn. to perform a pop song, but didn't tell them the specific song until they arrived.

Sixty-some-odd musicians showed up. They dubbed themselves the 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra, and they rocked.

Continue reading "'Call Me Maybe' Goes Symphonic: VIDEO" »


Another Federal Court Finds DOMA Unconstitutional

Glad_doma

A U.S. District Court in Connecticut has declared DOMA unconstitutional, in the case of Pedersen v. OPM.

Chris Geidner on U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant's decision:

Bryant — appointed to the bench by President George W, Bush on April 2, 2007 — found that laws that classify people based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny by courts — as the Department of Justice and plaintiffs argued in the case — but found the provision of the 1996 law unconstitutional "even under the most deferential level of judicial scrutiny."

The House Republican leadership had defended the law's constitutionality in court, through its 3-2 majority on the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group. The group has been defending the law since the Obama administration stopped defending the law in February 2011.

Here's the ruling (PDF)...

Here's what our legal expert Ari Ezra Waldman wrote about the case back in November 2010:

Plaintiffs...the plaintiffs in Pedersen are being denied federal benefits because of the federal definition of marriage even though they are legally married in states like Connecticut or New Hampshire, for example. The lead plaintiff, Joanne Pedersen, is retired from the Department of Naval Intelligence but is unable to put her same-sex spouse on her health plan. The other plaintiffs cannot get leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or benefits through Social Security. GLAD is seeking a declaration that DOMA's one-man-one-woman definition of marriage discriminates against these plaintiffs because it denies them benefits all straight couples can get.

In one sense, then, this case is about tangible benefits, the monetary accouterments of being married. Those benefits are significant -- death benefits help pay end-of-life costs, health care costs can skyrocket. The case is also an "as-applied" challenge, meaning it is about the denial of benefits to these specific plaintiffs. This fact distinguishes this face from Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, which was a facial challenge to Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In the case of an as-applied challenge, the plaintiffs argue that a given law is discriminating against them in the provision of benefits -- someone had to try to get those federal benefits before bringing the case; in the case of the facial challenge to DADT, the LCR is bringing the case on behalf of its members who have been dismissed, couldn't join the military or would join the military if they were applied to serve openly.

But, just because this case hinges on the denial of benefits and only refers to these plaintiffs does not make it a pure issue of money. GLAD notes that this is discrimination, pure and simple, and as-applied challenges can result in the declaration of the entire statutes as unconstitutional just like facial challenges.

This case has a strong likelihood of success.


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