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Texas Gets 1st Openly Gay Federal Judge Thanks to Anti-Gay GOP Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz

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Thanks to the support of two rabidly anti-LGBT senators, Texas is getting its first openly gay federal judge. 

The Senate on Tuesday night confirmed Robert Pitman to fill a San Antonio seat that's been vacant for more than six years. 

President Barack Obama in June nominated Pitman, who was backed by Cornyn and Cruz, both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cruz also inadvertently aided Pitman's confirmation when he forced the Senate into session last weekend. 

Pitman will become one of about 10 openly LGBT federal judges in the US. When Obama took office, there was only one.

Eric Lesh, fair courts project manager at Lambda Legal, said in a statement responding to Pitman's confirmation: 

“For the judicial system in the United States to be truly fair, it must reflect the tremendous diversity of the country. President Obama has made great strides in promoting and ensuring that diversity with his nominations of people of color and of openly gay and lesbian individuals to the federal bench. We celebrate the confirmation of Judge Pitman, which brings welcome diversity to the federal bench in Texas while simultaneously filling a seat that had been vacant for more than six years.

"While great progress has been made to bring diversity to the courts, we still have a long way to go. There are nearly 900 federal judges in the U.S., and most are straight white men. Federal courts are charged with providing everyone with equal access to justice, and yet justice has not always been a reality for some. A judiciary diverse in race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and lived and professional experience serves not only to improve the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the courts."

Pitman is a Fort Worth native who attended Abilene Christian University and earned his law degree from the University of Texas. He currently serves as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas. 

When Pitman was first recommended for U.S. attorney by Cornyn and former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2009, the pick riled some fellow Republicans, but Cornyn stood behind it.

“A person’s sexuality has no bearing on his qualifications for a job. … It’s just not even remotely considered,” Cornyn spokesman Keven McLaughlin said at the time. 

Based on that statement, one might think Cornyn would be a supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but he voted against it last year and received a zero on the Human Rights Campaign's most recent Congressional Scorecard


Russian Senator: Lawmaker Behind Anti-Gay Propaganda Ban Should Face Criminal Charges, Psychiatric Test

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St. Petersburg, Russia, lawmaker Vitaly Milonov (above) wants to put people in jail if they promote so-called gay propaganda. 

But a member of Russia's upper house of parliament says Milonov himself should be jailed for his extremist behavior. 

DobryninRussian Senator Konstantin Dobrynin (right) has requested both a criminal investigation and psychiatric testing of Milonov — a raging homophobe who was one of the architects of the country's anti-gay law, the St. Petersburg Times reports: 

Milonov, who is also a church sexton, has been photographed wearing a T-shirt that read "Orthodoxy or Death" — a slogan banned in Russia as extremist. He was also pictured with knives and firearms during "humanitarian missions" to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, Dobrynin wrote.

Additionally, the flamboyant lawmaker has denounced various nationalities, including Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, whom he described as "crazy goats," "pigs" and "fascist Turkish mugs," Dobrynin said.

All of this qualifies Milonov for a total of 11 criminal charges, including promoting terrorism and illegal firearms possession, the senator said. The charges carry a combined sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

It's not the first time Dobrynin has sought criminal sanctions against Milonov, but on two previous occasions the prosecutor general declined to pursue charges. according to Russia Today. Milonov responded to Dobrynin's latest request by comparing the senator to Judas: 

“For him, everything in Orthodox Christianity is extremism. I don’t want to notice this man,” the politician told RSN radio. “I cannot take this seriously. I have issued a personal spiritual ban for this man. He has probably written more reports on me than Judas had on Christ,” the news site Gazeta.ru quoted Milonov as saying.

Milonov authored the St. Petersburg measure that was used as a model for Russia's national anti-gay law — and he later called on President Vladimir Putin to enforce the law during the Sochi Olympics.  

More recently, Milonov said he was drafting a bill to close a loophole that allowed same-sex couples to marry in Russia. And after Tim Cook came out, Milonov called for the Apple CEO to be banned from Russia for life, even though he uses Apple products

In other words, he's kind of like Russia's version of Ted Cruz.


Sen. Ted Cruz Headlining Hate Conference Hosted By Extremist Anti-Gay Group This Weekend: VIDEO

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Does Sen. Ted Cruz believe AIDS is God's punishment for being gay?

Does Cruz believe that government should regulate homosexuality and that public schools are using anti-bullying laws to indoctriinate children into homosexuality?

Does Cruz believe that we need more hate and less tolerance in the world?

If not, perhaps Cruz should explain why he's headlining a legislative conference in Dallas this weekend hosted by a group whose founder has said each and every one of those things.

Cruz, along with another potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, Gov. Bobby Jindal, is scheduled to keynote the Wallbuilders ProFamily Legislators Conference, which "provides an opportunity for conservative pro-family State legislators from across the United States to come together for an insightful briefing session with leading experts in a variety of fields that touch many of the most crucial areas of public service."

Wallbuilders is led by founder David Barton, who in addition to anti-LGBT extremism is best known for a total lack for credibility. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

BartonDavid Barton’s ascendant star as a self-taught “historian” and influential leader of the evangelical far right crashed in a storm of ridicule when the world’s largest Christian publisher recalled Barton’s 2012 book, The Jefferson Lies, for too many serious whoppers — the kind of gross factual mistakes that are a death knell for any real historian. ...

Barton still retains some influence, but only in the most extreme and uneducated segments of the Christian Right. Virtually all serious conservatives have repudiated him, and his chances of making a comeback seem remote, to be kind, although he sounds just as glib and sure as himself as ever.

Apparently, "the most extreme and uneducated segments of the Christian Right" include two potential GOP presidential candidates.

Cruz made headlines this week when he called net neutrality "Obamacare for the Internet" and railed against government regulations to enforce it.

Maybe someone in the mainstream media should ask Cruz whether he believes, like Barton, that government should regulate homosexuality. 

After all, Grindr is probably nothing but Obamacare for Cruz's iPhone.

Watch a promo for the upcoming hate summit, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sen. Ted Cruz Headlining Hate Conference Hosted By Extremist Anti-Gay Group This Weekend: VIDEO" »


Ted Cruz Calls Net Neutrality 'Obamacare For The Internet' After Obama Announces Internet Freedom Plan

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Republican Senator Ted Cruz tweeted a criticism of President Barack Obama's statement asking the FCC to classify broadband Internet as a telecommunications service and prevent content providers from paying for faster access to the internet, reports Gizmodo.

Internet service provider lobby group Broadband for America appears to share Cruz's sentiments in a statement today addressing Obama's comments. Honorary Co-Chairs former Senator John Sununu and former Representative Harold Ford Jr. released the following statement following the announcement from the White House.

Sununu and Ford Jr. stated:

"President Barack Obama's endorsement of 1930's era Title II classification would lead to unprecedented government interference in the Internet and would hurt consumers and innovation.  Further, for the President to issue this directive is a threat to the independence of the FCC itself.  By vastly expanding the regulatory bureaucracy over the Internet, the administration is turning its back on 20 years of bipartisan consensus that has allowed the Internet to flourish. The President's approach would threaten millions of jobs and a diverse array of stakeholders including, labor, civil-rights organization, and tech companies, who have long advocated for a far more restrained approach.

 "Further, the President's directive discredits US efforts to prevent countries like Russia and China from destroying the current international multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and replacing it with government regulatory control.  It is ironic that the President made his announcement while in China, which has long sought greater government control over the Internet and surely will be encouraged by the President's statement.  

"We urge FCC Chairman Wheeler to exercise his independent authority and reject this extreme proposal."

What Texas Senator Cruz and Broadband for America fail to realize is that President Obama's statements support the ability of the general public to access the Internet without paying a premium for faster service dubbed "Internet fast lanes" and load times that would otherwise bottleneck the Internet, creating a haves and haves-not system. Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, already voiced his distaste for "Internet Fastlanes," in a Washington Post article from September and Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor credited with coining the term "Net Neutrality," tweeted his support today of President Obama's statement on the matter.

It turns out that Texas Senator Ted Cruz has in the past accepted campaign funds from Comcast, which is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the U.S. Comcast also stands accused of committing Internet data discrimination against its users in the past that directly violates Net Neutrality guidelines. In this case Senator Cruz stands much to gain from lining Comcast's pockets with its users money.

A final vote on the fate of Net Neutrality is set to occur before the end of the year.


Ted Cruz Has a Message for Houston's Anti-gay Pastors: VIDEO

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Although Ted Cruz was unable to attend the Family Research Council's anti-gay extravaganza in Houston last night (he was busy campaigning for Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Dan Sullivan in Alaska), the tea party firebrand still managed to record a message for the right-wing pastors in attendance.

Said Cruz:

Just this past week the mayor announced that they would withdraw the subpoenas of the pastors. Praise be to God! What an answer to prayer. By God's great and mighty hand, our faith once again remains free. But these threats are ever-present. They are coming from every direction and we must remain vigilant. If we speak with resounding voice and if we stand for religious liberty, the truth will prevail. Out of the rubble, we will restore the faith that is the rock of this nation.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ted Cruz Will Still Love His iPhone Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook Coming Out as Gay: VIDEO

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In a discussion on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning about the GOP and social conservatives, firebrand Texas Senator Ted Cruz was asked to weigh in on Tim Cook's newly minted status as Apple's openly gay CEO, The Hill reports

"Those are his personal choices. I’ll tell you, I love my iPhone," Cruz said.

"Listen, Tim Cook makes his personal decisions, and that is his life. My focus is on the constitutional question of who has the authority to make decisions," he later added. 

Cruz, who has led the charge against the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision earlier this month and Houston's subpoena of anti-gay pastors, was also asked by CNBC's Rebecca Quick to explain his anti-gay positions.

Watch a segment of the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ted Cruz Will Still Love His iPhone Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook Coming Out as Gay: VIDEO" »


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