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Chris Christie: It's Not Time For Republicans To Drop Opposition to Gay Marriage

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Gay marriage is legal in New Jersey, and Governor Chris Christie believes that the matter is for now "settled" in his home state. But Governor Christie does not think it's time for the Republican party to drop gay marriage as an issue.

TIME reports that Christie, speaking to reporters over the weekend at the National Governors Association, believes that the U.S. "will resolve this [issue] over a period of time,” and that legal resolutions "should be done state by state."

While the Republican party could feesibly pick up many young voters if it decreased its focus on social issues, including gay marriage, Christie says:

I don’t think that there’s going to be some major referee who’s going to say now it’s time to stop [with the gay marriage debate]...Certainly I’m not going to, because these are opinions that I feel strongly about.

When he was asked whether the U.S. might end up gravitating back toward "traditional" marriage despite the current trend in legal proceedings, Christie said: “I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball.”


Check Out the Massive Great White Shark Stealing Chum Bags Off the New Jersey Coast: VIDEO

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New Jersey fisherman Steve Clark was fishing near 28-mile wreck, a World War II shipwreck off of Cape May, NJ on June 21 when a 16-foot Great White Shark swam up to his boat and ripped off the chum bag.

"He's taking our chum bag! He's taking our chum bag!", one of the boaters screams.

"You bastard!", another yells. "He ripped our chum bag right off."

"Was it worth it though," asks the most sensible passenger, who sounds a bit like Kristen Wiig and was obviously thinking of the YouTube cash that could be hauled in.

Watch the incredible video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Check Out the Massive Great White Shark Stealing Chum Bags Off the New Jersey Coast: VIDEO" »


Thursday Speed Read: Pennsylvania Gets Equality, New Jersey an Equality Justice

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

PENNSYLVANIA IS FINAL; NO APPEAL: Corbett

Republican Governor Tom Corbett announced Wednesday that his administration will not appeal a federal district court decision Tuesday that declared the state ban on same-sex couples marrying to be unconstitutional. Corbett had vowed in recent to defend the law, but he issued a statement May 21 saying an appeal would be “extremely unlikely to succeed.” “I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman,” said Corbett. “My duties as Governor require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the Courts and make a judgment as to the likelihood of a successful appeal….The court has spoken, and I will ensure that my administration follows the provisions of Judge Jones’ order with respect for all parties.” And with that, Pennsylvania, the sixth most populous state, becomes the 19th state plus the District of Columbia with marriage equality. The marriage equality states include 44 percent of the nation’s population.

PasqualePENNSYLVANIA AUDITOR SPOKE UP:

Even before the release of the court decision declaring Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex couples marrying unconstitutional, the state’s chief fiscal officer urged the governor against an appeal. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issued a press release May 8, saying it is “unquestionably unfair” to make same-sex couples pay an estimated $1,600 more per year in state taxes because of the ban. And he said it was unwise for the state to pay as much as $400 an hour in legal fees to defend the ban against several lawsuits while the Pennsylvania budget is facing a $1 billion shortfall.

WolfCORBETT COMPETITOR URGED NO APPEAL, TOO:

Democratic businessman Tom Wolf urged Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett not to appeal the federal district court decision that the state ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional. Wolf, who won Tuesday’s Democratic primary with 58 percent of the vote, said he agrees with the court’s decision.

Cbs_christieNJ’S CHRISTIE REAPPOINTS CHIEF JUSTICE:

Lambda Legal and other legal groups had expressed concerns in recent months that New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie might decline to reappoint the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Rabner wrote a critical opinion supporting the declaration that the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying to be unconstitutional. But on Wednesday, Christie announced that he will reappoint Rabner to the position and that, despite his disagreement with Rabner on some decisions, “my respect for him has never been diminished.”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Lambda Legal Concerned Chris Christie May Retaliate Against Pro-Equality Supreme Court Justice: VIDEO

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Lambda Legal has launched a campaign with citizens groups and unions over concern Chris Christie will play politics with the New Jersey Supreme Court and refuse to reappoint Chief Justice Rabner.

Writes Lambda in a press release: Rabner

In 2010, Gov. Christie became the first New Jersey governor since the ratification of the New Jersey constitution in 1947 to not reappoint a sitting Supreme Court justice. Many reacted with shock when he chose to end the service of Justice John Wallace, a respected jurist and the New Jersey Supreme Court's only African-American justice. In 2012, the governor declined to reappoint another sitting Supreme Court member, Justice Helen Hoens. There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Court; if Justice Rabner is not reappointed, the state's highest court will have three vacancies and only four justices.

Lambda Legal and other advocates for fair courts are concerned that Gov. Christie will once again play politics with the Court, this time regarding the reappointment of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, author of an October 2013 decision in Garden State Equality v. Dow that was instrumental in providing the freedom for same-sex couples to marry in the state. Gov. Christie roundly criticized the ruling.

The campaign to protect the courts includes a video, online petition and other activities to engage residents of New Jersey to speak out about protecting the courts from improper political influence. Organizations joining Lambda Legal in the petition effort include: CWA New Jersey, New Jersey Citizen Action, Latino Action Network, and Blue Jersey.

Watch the group's video on the campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ex-Gay Group JONAH Sells Coffee To Fund NJ Court Defense

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In November of 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against the New Jersey group Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) for offering “dangerous and discredited” ex-gay or conversion therapy.

JONAH will be represented by the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), a Catholic legal group that is also helping the National Organization for Marriage flout Iowa’s campaign finance disclosure laws. But to help finance their case, the FCDF has begun selling “Defense Fund coffee” provided by His Coffee, a Christian company that offers such reli-cious flavors as “Raise the Dead,” “Holy Grounds” and “Be Still.”

In a 2010 resolution, the American Psychological found that ex-gay therapy has not been proven to work, that people are “unlikely to change” as a result and that such therapies can exacerbate distress, depression and negative self-image.


Judge Issues Split Ruling In Anti-Gay Group's Unauthorized Use Of Gay Couple's Photo

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In September 2012, husbands Brian Edwards and Thomas Privitere (pictured above) sued the Public Advocate of the United States — a Virginia-based conservative political group — for using their personal engagement photo in an anti-gay mailer targeting two 2012 Colorado “Republican state legislative candidates who lost their primary races.”

WeddingU.S. District Court Judge Wiley Daniel ruled against Edwards’ claim that the postcard was an “unlawful appropriation of [‘his] name and likeness,” and said that the political group had the legal right to non-commercially use the couple’s photo in addressing a matter of legitimate public concern (same-sex marriage) under the First Amendment.

However, the Judge Daniel also ruled that “the gay New Jersey couple and their photographer — have a plausible copyright infringement claim’… [since] Neither they nor their photographer, Kristina Hill, gave permission for their engagement photograph to be used.”

The mailer's creators deleted the photo's original background of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge and added the Colorado landscape to give the mailer local appeal. The Southern Poverty Law Center (who filed the suit on the gay couple’s behalf) lists the Public Advocate of the United States as an active anti-LGBT hate group.


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