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24,000 Transgender People May Be Ineligible To Vote In November Due to Voter ID- VIDEO

Voting laws transgender people

Strict voter ID laws in ten states could create barriers to voting and lead to possible disenfranchisement for more than 24,000 transgender voters this November, reports LGBTQ Nation.

MapAccording to the study “The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2014 General Election,” about 84,000 transgender people across the ten strict photo ID states are estimated to be eligible to vote. The 24,000 transgender voters who may face barriers to voting reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In order for these 24,000 voting-eligible transgender people to obtain the updated photo IDs required to vote in the November 2014 general election, they must comply with the requirements for updating their state-issued or federally-issued IDs.

The study’s author Jody L. Herman, Ph.D, said:

“Some voters may not have the means or the ability to present the required voter identification for a variety of reasons, such as poverty, disability, or religious objection.

Transgender people have unique barriers to obtaining accurate IDs needed to vote.

As these ten states begin planning for their fall elections, educating poll workers is crucial in order to ensure that transgender voters in their states have fair access to the ballot.”

Watch the 2012 National Center for Transgender Equality's "Voting While Trans" campaign video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "24,000 Transgender People May Be Ineligible To Vote In November Due to Voter ID- VIDEO" »


Gay Couples File Briefs With 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Argue Texas Has 'No Rational Basis' For Gay Marriage Ban

Couples

Lawyers representing same-sex couples in the case of De Leon v. Perry filed briefs yesterday with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals asking that court to uphold Federal Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling from earlier this year that found Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage, codified into the state’s constitution in 2005, to be unconstitutional because it violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the federal constitution. Judge Garcia’s ruling was stayed, a practice that has become commonplace with rulings on same-sex marriage, and the ban currently remains in effect. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appealed Garcia’s decision to the 5th Circuit and in July filed a brief “That claimed the ban promoted child-rearing by couples more likely to stay together”, as KBTX reports. The plaintiffs, meanwhile, dispute that claim. From Newsradio 1200 WOAI:

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fcc72d11970b-800wi"As recently expressed in the landmark Supreme court case of Windsor, denial of marriage equality humiliates the children of same sex couples," said Nicole Demetman, who has a son with her partner Cleopatra DeLeon, but both women cannot be recognized as legal parents due to the Texas law.

"The injunction gives our son the opportunity to escape that humiliation as he is not yet, but soon will be, old enough to understand and internalize what discrimination is or that it is being directed at him." [...]

"There is no rational basis, much less a compelling government purpose, for Texas to deny plaintiffs the same right to marry enjoyed by the majority of society, said attorney Barry Chasnoff, who is one of the lead council for the two gay couples.

"If morality is to be our guide, as Defendants may argue, let it be that fine quality of morality enshrined in the Constitution, which requires that we treat all citizens with equal dignity and respect under the law," he said.  "It is the ingenious character of the Constitution that this equal protection serves to permit members of minority groups to become full participants in society, so their talents and skills may be harnessed for the greater good."


First Look: Michael Sam In Dallas Cowboys Jersey

46

After signing Michael Sam to their practice squad earlier today, the Dallas Cowboys tweeted a photo of Michael Sam on the field in a Dallas jersey, stating simply: ".@MichaelSamNFL will wear #46". No doubt, there will be high demand for #46 once the jersey goes on sale.

Watch a video just released by the Cowboys detailing Sam's strengths as a defensive end HERE.


Dallas Cowboys Sign Michael Sam To Practice Squad

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73e0dfa08970d-800wi

The Dallas Cowboys have officially signed Michael Sam to their practice squad, ESPN reports:

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is expected to announce the signing Wednesday at his press conference at 11:30 a.m. ET.

With a definite need for pass-rush help, the Cowboys are bringing in Sam, who had three sacks in the preseason for the St. Louis Rams, for an extended look to see if last year's co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri can potentially help a defensive line that needs help.

Sam was among final group of players released last weekend by the Rams and went unclaimed off waivers. The Cowboys brought the defensive end in for a physical, and now will see what he can provide.

NFL.com adds that Sam is expected to practice today. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport also commented that, "joining the Cowboys is a much better opportunity in his quest to see meaningful NFL snaps. The Cowboys don't have near the depth on their defensive line when compared to the St. Louis Rams, who cut Sam last weekend."

It was only yesterday that the Cowboys announced they were interested in bringing Sam on-board pending his physical and outreach to team members "to gauge reaction to making Sam a Cowboy."


Mark Regnerus 'Study': Pro-LGBT Christians More Likely To Support Polygamy, Casual Sex - VIDEO

Mark regenerus

Discredited anti-gay "researcher" Mark Regnerus, who previously claimed that children of gay parents had higher rates of life problems compared to those raised by heterosexual parents, has published a new "study" which aims to demonstrate that pro-LGBT Christians will lead to an immoral, sexually unrestrained world, reports GLAAD.

An internal audit of Regnerus’ previous study of same-sex parenting concluded that it barely studied gay parents, contained no original research, had a “highly unusual” timeline with an “unseemly rush to publication” and that all three of the report's peer-reviewers had ties to the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute that funded the study to begin with.

Regnerus' latest blog post - also published by the Witherspoon Institute - is titled Tracking Christian Sexual Morality in a Same-Sex Marriage Future and relies on "the Relationships in America survey, a data collection project...that interviewed 15,738 Americans, ages 18-60, in early 2014."

According to Regnerus, the survey asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with seven statements:

1. Viewing pornographic material is OK.

2. It is a good idea for couples considering marriage to live together in order to decide whether or not they get along well enough to be married to one another.

3. It is OK for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further.

4. If a couple has children, they should stay married unless there is physical or emotional abuse.

5. It is sometimes permissible for a married person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse.

6. It is OK for three or more consenting adults to live together in a sexual/romantic relationship.

7. I support abortion rights.

The University of Texas at Austin sociology professor reports that "there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage. More than seven times as many of the latter think pornography is OK. Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights."

In a Box Turtle Bulletin analysis of Regnerus' new study, Jim Burroway says that Regnerus, interprets a chart provided without context and few caveats as follows: Regnerus-Graph

“If more and more people, including church-going Christians, continue to come around to supporting marriage equality, then more and more people, including church-going Christians, are going to begin supporting...polygamy. Or anything-goes sex. Or the breakdown of the family through divorce. Or unlimited abortion. And so on.”

Burroway goes on to provide his own explanation for Regnerus’ findings:

Those who oppose marriage equality are much more likely to be the kinds of busybodies with Deeply Held Beliefs about how other people should live their lives. They may say they they oppose pre-marital sex, extra-martial sex, no-strings sex, and getting divorced despite having children — for other people — but they will wind up doing those many of those Very Bad Things themselves at rates rather similar to, and in some cases (divorce, for example) higher than many other people, despite what they may say in a survey.

Conversely, those who support marriage equality are more likely to have a healthier, more laissez-faire attitude toward how other people order their lives, and they tend to be much less judgmental of other people. And gays and lesbians, who have experienced a lifetime of busybodies giving them unrealistic, unsolicited edicts in how to order their lives, are the most reluctant of all to turn around and do the same to others. And what about the Population Average? Well, nobody likes a busybody.

Watch an interview with Regnerus on his previously debunked study, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mark Regnerus 'Study': Pro-LGBT Christians More Likely To Support Polygamy, Casual Sex - VIDEO" »


Texas Governor Rick Perry Indicted On Felony Charges of Coercion and Abuse of Official Capacity

Perry

In a move that might complicate Rick Perry's 2016 presidential ambitions, a grand jury in Texas has just indicted the long-time governor on two charges related to his effort last year to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest. 

LehmbergLehmberg [pictured], the first woman and first openly gay District Attorney in Travis County, runs the state’s Public Integrity Unit (PIU) which is charged with investigating wrongdoing by state officials. After her arrest and guilty plea for a drunk driving incident in April 2013, Perry called on her to resign and threatened to withhold $7.2 million in state money from the PIU if she refused.

Lehmberg refused and Perry carried through with his veto threat. The two felony charges, abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official, stem from this.

The AP reports:

Several top aides to the Republican governor appeared before grand jurors in Austin, including his deputy chief of staff, legislative director and general counsel. Perry himself did not testify, though.

Grand jurors indicted Perry on abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony with potential punishments of five to 99 years in prison, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony that carries a punishment of two to 10 years. [...]

"I took into account the fact that we're talking about a governor of a state — and a governor of the state of Texas, which we all love," said Michael McCrum, the San Antonio-based special prosecutor. "Obviously that carries a lot of importance. But when it gets down to it, the law is the law."

The Austin-American Statesman continues:

Lehmberg supporters said Perry’s actions constituted political retribution; Many Republicans have said the Public Integrity Unit has unfairly targeted their party for prosecutions. The Travis County District Attorney’s office has for decades been led by Democrats, including Lehmberg.

As head of the PIU, Lehmberg was credited in 2010 with convicting U.S. House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay for money laundering. Had Lehmberg resigned after her arrest and conviction, Perry would have been able to name her replacement, likely a Republican.   

Austin's KXAN adds that an indictment indicates the grand jury believes the state has a strong enough case to send to trial and is not an admission of guilt. McCrum told reporters he plans to meet with Perry's attorneys on Monday.


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