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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gay Marriage Opponents More Likely to Consume Porn

New Scientist:

Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year’s presidential election—Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama.

Church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays—a 1% increase in a postal code’s religious attendance was associated with a 0.1% drop in subscriptions that day. However, expenditures on other days of the week brought them in line with the rest of the country, Edelman finds. Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don’t explicitly restrict gay marriage.

To get a better handle on other associations between social attitudes and pornography consumption, Edelman melded his data with a previous study on public attitudes toward religion. States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage,” bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed. A similar difference emerged for the statement “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behaviour.”


Go read the whole thing. The study and methods are cited.

Mom's 75th Birthday

As regular readers of Lloydletta's Nooz know, my mother, Becky Young, died last November. It is her 75th birthday today. I still miss her.

Julianne Ortmann Makes a Spectacle of Herself

Read all about it here.

In Honor of CPAC

This is a few weeks old... it's Stephen Colbert at his very best

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Economic Stimulous Bill Discriminates Against Gays

Chris Crain:

We are a gay family. I'm the breadwinner and my partner is a full time student. His tuition is one of the biggest items in our family budget, and it certainly is a drag in these tough economic times. So you can imagine my elation when I heard President Obama describe the $2500 tax credit in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the purpose of helping families offset the cost of tuition for education.

Then I started looking into this. I contacted my accountant, my Congressman and various gay organizations to see exactly how my family could participate in this provision of the stimulus bill. The answer is, we can't.

It appears that the definition of family in this bill is not defined broadly enough to include LGBT families. Without a broader definition of family, the tax credit would have to claimed via the normal mechanism of filing for it on the1040 federal income tax return form. But by law, our relationship is not recognized by the federal government, we cannot file jointly and I cannot claim him as a dependent, even though he really is. This #%@##!

It isn't as though it's impossible to include gay families in legislation. After 9-11, the fund that was set up to re-imburse families for their loss in the Twin Towers collapse was written broad enough so that partners of gays could also be eligible for the money. Congress knows how to do this. Why didn't any of our Democratic friends in Congress or our LGBT organizations think of gay families in the stimulus bill? What are all those lobbyists for if not to protect our interests as laws are being made?


Where the heck was the Human Rights Campaign? Legislation passed during the Bush administration that was inclusive for gay couples. Are we going backwards under the Obama administration?

Candidate David DeGrio on Marriage Equality

Correction: David Degrio points out: Note that this is from my 2008 run for state house. Currently I am not a candidate for State House, nor am I currently with the IP. I have decided to work with the DFL and Stonewall DFL to bring accountability to DFL legislators and local leaders.

This is an embarrassing mistake. David DeGrio is now active in Stonewall DFL.

David Joseph DeGrio, Independence Party candidate for state legislature in Northeast Minneapolis, called both DFL and Republican legislators to task for failing to take serious action on issues surrounding civil marriage. “For too many years those of us in the GLBT community have stood by hoping and waiting for a bold leader to emerge who would take a firm stand on our behalf, and reach out to change the minds of legislators and our fellow Minnesotans,” DeGrio said. In response to a question regarding the marriage equality bill that was introduced at the end of the 2008 session, De Grio stated, “Token legislation and symbolism do not help the people who are afected by this legalized discrimination on a day-to-day basis. It is time for real leadership.”

Acknowledging that there is some opposition to legislating civil equality, DeGrio recognized that it will take a coalition of Independents, Democrats, and Republicans to pass legislation that will be supported by a majority of Minnesotans. DeGrio has spent considerable time examining and contemplating this issue from both a progressive and conservative viewpoint. “There are concerns that need to be addressed before politicians on the right will jump on board, but some can be brought over. As we affirm our equality and expand our liberty, we must also reaffirm that the separation of church and state will protect religious liberty as well.” DeGrio said he is best able to bring both the left and the right together to move forward on this legislation. “Today, I make the commitment to do whatever it takes to pass this legislation. If necessary, I will go town-to-town across Minnesota to change one mind at a time.”

When asked why his commitment is more trustworthy than the other candidates, DeGrio said “Two reasons. First, I have as much to gain or lose as any other GLBT citizen and am willing to shed blood, sweat and tears on our behalf. Second, I will stand up to those legislators who have backed down for fear of losing the next election.”

Full Disclosure: David is a friend of mine, and contributes to Lloydletta's Nooz.

Outfront Minnesota on Marriage Equality and Municipal Domestic Partnership Benefits

-----Original Message-----
From: Eva Young [mailto:lloydletta@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:47 AM
To: Marsicano, Jo; Meyer, Monica
Subject: Fwd: Please VOTE yes on the Marriage and Family Protection Act

Hi:

I'd like to get comment from Outfront Minnesota on this. Is Outfront
Minnesota one of these "GLBT group" as Champion put it [Champion had indicated that some "GLBT group" opposed the Marriage Equality bill]. I thought this was on OFM's legislative agenda.

Also, can you comment on why the municipal domestic partner bill is absent from the legislative agenda this year - it had some success last year - why not build on the success?

Eva


Hi Eva -

Because Governor Pawlenty vetoed the local government benefits bill twice, OutFront Minnesota didn't think it would be wise or a good use of time to again propose that legislation this year, only to see it go down to defeat again. We're very proud of the momentum that the legislation gained, including last year when it became the first stand-alone positive GLBT-related legislation to pass in either chamber in 15 years (the last one was the Human Rights Act amendment in 1993). We're hopeful that eventually the bill could become law under a supportive governor.

We've decided to focus our legislative agenda on other proposals this year including marriage equality; the safe schools bill which would add protections for GLBT and other youth; and getting recognition for out-of-state marriages.

OutFront Minnesota is not telling any lawmaker to oppose the marriage equality bill. We see the marriage equality campaign as having a 3-5 year timeframe. We hope the bill gets a hearing in the senate judiciary committee this year.


Jo Marsicano
Communications Director
OutFront Minnesota
310 38th St., Suite 204
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55409

Leading Minnesota Toward GLBT Equality


In other words, let's give the do-nothing DFLers a pass. Geoff Michel stated he was willing to vote in favor of this bill. He had opposed it the last time.

Perhaps people should make efforts to get the Minnesota League of Cities to make this a more aggressive effort. It would be extremely embarrassing if this bill was on the League of Cities legislative agenda and not on OFM's.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jindal's Unhinged Wingnuttery

Pharyngula:

Bobby Jindal gave a rebuttal to one of Obama's recent speeches, and what does he do? Criticizes the investment of "$140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.' Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C." Heck, this isn't even any of that abstract, difficult-to-understand stuff — it's work that directly helps people.

"I was kind of taken aback by the way volcanic monitoring was portrayed in the speech," Brad Singer, a professor of geology at the University of Wisconsin, said. "Every once in awhile there's some odd science research going on that sounds so out there that it's not useful and even I can laugh at some of those. But volcano monitoring is a serious business. I would say there are hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. who live in the sphere of hazard associated with many individual volcanoes."

It's work to help predict and prevent disasters. You would think the governor of Louisiana would understand why this is important, even if his state doesn't have volcanoes

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Mardi Gras Crickets

I have been waiting for the national Republican party to come up with a compelling narrative that will bring some voters back to the party, and I'm still waiting.

The GOP response from Gov. Bobby Jindal (R LA) didn't help the cause. I could hear the crickets chirping as he talked. I'm glad somebody was enjoying Mardi Gras.

I have no idea whether the huge pile of stimulus spending will be effective in its mission, but I do know that for my own employer, if there isn't demand in the marketplace for our service, it matters little whether the tax rate on the business is .5% or 80%. If nobody wants to buy our service, nobody will have a job. The clients I serve are all non-profits, and their revenue comes from a combination of fees for service, private donations, and (gasp) government grants, some of which are also fees for service.

With Republicans running the House of Representatives from 1993 until January 2007, and 8 recent years of a Republican in the White House, what other tax can or should be cut that will be 'the answer'? If more tax cuts were a great idea, wouldn't the previous president and the Tom DeLay-driven House of Representatives made that happen?

Sen. McCain was at one time against the Bush tax cuts, and for what I thought was a very good reason - he didn't see corresponding reductions in spending. (hello - Iraq??)

Gov. Jindal is well loved by the party faithful for his rigid pro-life/creationist views. If he and Sarah Palin are the direction the party goes, they'll be speaking to a smaller and smaller audience.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Orac is Back

He's an excellent medical blogger, and well worth a daily read.

Bobby Champion on the Marriage Equality Bill

I wrote Bobby Champion requesting clarification of his position. He wrote back stating that his impression was that gay groups were divided on this bill. This is odd because Outfront Minnesota includes the bill on their legislative agenda, and after Del Jenkins from Stonewall DFL posted on their facebook page, Project 515 stated they were taking no position on the marriage equality bill:

Del Jenkins (Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN) wrote
at 9:58am
Is Project 515 asking legislators to oppose the Freedom to Marry bill? If so, why could this possibly be?

Del Jenkins
Chair, Stonewall DFL

Laura Smidzik (Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN) wrote
at 1:06pm
No. While Project 515 is not actively promoting marriage as the solution to equality for same-sex couples, we also are not working against the important work other GLBT organizations and advocates are doing.

Project 515 believes now is the time to talk about the discrimination families face from Minnesota’s current laws and begin to erase that discrimination. We are asking legislators to support three pieces of legislation we have put forth this session (go to www.Project515.org to learn more). We believe we will be most successful through an incremental approach to legal change.

Unfortunately, Minnesota law jeopardizes even the most basic decisions that same-sex couples and families face every day.

While Minnesotans are divided on the question of how to achieve relationship equality, most Minnesotans agree that state laws should treat all people fairly. As a result, we have an opportunity today to correct specific instances of discrimination.


So who from the GLBT community, claiming to be representing the community is telling legislators to oppose this bill, and why won't they have the courage to be public about their position?