Data: Kids of gays more likely to eat biscuits than bagels

Conventional wisdom flips toward the south:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Being gay in this Southern city was once a lonely existence. Most people kept their sexuality to themselves, and they were reminded of the dangers of being openly gay when a gay church was bombed in the 1980s. These days, there are eight churches that openly welcome gay worshipers. One even caters to couples with children.

The changes may seem surprising for a city where churches that have long condemned homosexuality remain a powerful force. But as demographers sift through recent data releases from the Census Bureau, they have found that Jacksonville is home to one of the biggest populations of gay parents in the country.

In addition, the data show, child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.

KEEP READING:
Parenting by Gays More Common in the South, Census Shows [NY Times]




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Gays More Likely to Go Green

ECO FRIENDLY BIKE RIDER X390 (THINKSTOCK IMAGES) | ADVOCATE.COMA new poll has found that while Americans as a whole are showing less interest in “going green,” gay people are increasing their commitment
to the environment.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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MARYLAND: Marriage Equality Vote Likely To Come Before End Of Year

The Baltimore Sun reports that a vote on same-sex marriage will likely be put to the Maryland legislature before the end of the year.

In the march toward equal rights for gays and lesbians in Maryland, small things can make a big difference. A couple of Republican state senators were replaced by Democrats, giving the majority party an extra seat in a key committee. One socially conservative Democrat asked to be reassigned, and suddenly a 6-5 split against same-sex marriage in the Judicial Proceedings Committee looks like it could turn into a 6-5 vote in favor of it. [snip] That’s a lot of chickens to count before they hatch, but the path toward legalizing gay marriage here looks clearer than ever — not because of any extraordinary event, or landmark court case, or massive protest march, but because one by one, Marylanders have grown comfortable with the idea that homosexuality is no reason to deny someone’s fundamental rights.

The above-linked article cautions that should lawmakers approve marriage equality, opponents need only get 3% of Maryland’s electorate, about 56,000 people, to sign a repeal petition that would place the issue on the 2012 ballot.

Joe. My. God.

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Sec Def Gates laments that Congress likely won’t repeal DADT this year

STFU. I’ve seriously had enough of that idiot. It’s his fault that we’re still even talking about DADT, because he wanted a study, and he wanted the study to be finished AFTER the elections, blah blah blah. And the President gave in to every single demand. And now, Gates is lamenting that Congress – get that, CONGRESS – may stop DADT from being repealed.

Spare us the crocodile tears.

If this DADT compromise isn’t passed in the next few weeks, it’s all going to be on Barack Obama’s head for deciding to wait until 2010, and then deciding to cave to his Secretary of Defense over and over again.

As I mention below, Senator Reid has his own share of blame in this ongoing fiasco (as do HRC and all of the apologists). But in the end, repeal of DADT was one man’s promise, the President’s. And it’s increasingly looking like he blew it again.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Kamala Harris Likely to Replace Jerry Brown as California’s AG

Here in California, we have been waiting since election day to find out who will replace Jerry Brown as our next attorney general. The race has been a nail-biter, with the lead see-sawing between pro-marriage equality Democrat Kamala Harris and Republican Steve Cooley. Provisional and vote-by-mail ballots are still being counted, however it looks like Kamala Harris has definitively pulled ahead. I have been following the race via the facebook page of Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, who has been providing a fascinating and detailed analysis of the vote-counting. Garcetti finally called the election for Harris yesterday.

The race has some implications for the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case. Readers will recall that current AG Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to appeal Judge Walker’s ruling in favor of marriage equality on behalf of the state of California, which means there is now an issue as to whether anyone has standing to appeal. As Constitutional Law scholar David Cruz explained in a post for our blog, if no one has standing to appeal, the case will end with Judge Walker’s ruling intact and marriage equality restored to California. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal is set to hold its hearing on the standing issue on December 6, 2010. (C-SPAN will broadcast it.)

Whereas Harris promised during the campaign not to defend prop 8, Cooley said he would. Although the consensus among my lawyer friends and me is that it is too late for a new AG to appeal Judge Walker’s ruling, I nevertheless think a Cooley victory would have the potential to create some mischief. On the one hand, if the Ninth Circuit were to deny standing to the proponents of prop 8 while Cooley were AG, the pro-prop 8 crowd could make political hay out of his inability to intervene. On the other hand, if the Ninth Circuit were to grant standing and allow the case to continue, Cooley could write an amicus brief that could have some sway with the court.

The bottom line is that it is good news that Harris is poised for victory. If she wins, this entire issue will be moot. California will have elected by popular vote an AG who publicly took the position that she would not defend prop 8. The anti-marriage equality crowd will not be able to argue that California’s failure to appeal was due to an accident of timing. Go Kamala!




AMERICAblog Gay

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Study: Heavy coffee drinkers ‘more likely to hallucinate’

I’m an English Breakfast tea drinker myself, but I guess my Blenders are spacing out right now on the java here in the coffeehouse…

Heavy coffee drinkers are more likely to have hallucinations or feel “the presence of dead people,” according to new research.

A UK-based study quizzed 200 students on their caffeine intake and found those with the highest consumption were also more prone to report seeing, or hearing, things that were not there.

Those who consumed a daily equivalent of seven cups of instant coffee or more – high caffeine users – were three times more likely to have extra-sensory experiences than low users, who had less than one cup daily.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Brian Brown: Most likely turns off TV before ‘Order’ part of ‘L&O’

Brian-NOM-BrownAnd now, here’s National Organization For Marriage’s partisan president Brian Brown telling us what a world with a equality-backing SCOTUS would look like for them/us:

Brown: Ultimately if this Perry vs Schwarzenegger case out of California goes to the Supreme Court – and I’m confident that we will win at the Supreme Court – but if we were to lose and if the Supreme Court was to force same-sex marriage on, for example, Texas or Alabama or states that have voted by something like seventy-five percent to support marriage as a union of a man and woman and you have the US Supreme Court throwing out the vote of these states, I think you’re going to have a strong movement for a federal marriage amendment. And that would also be a very clear sign to the courts that they are bound by the law and they don’t have the right to simply put into law their own personal preferences.

You also have under Article III in the Constitution the idea that Congress could limit the appellate jurisdiction of some of these federal courts, so that’s another way in which, that’s already in our law, that Congress could limit the ability of the federal courts to force same-sex marriage on the rest of the country, or any other issue on which the court’s overstepping its bounds.

Targeting Iowa Judges To Send A Message To the Supreme Court [Right Wing Watch]

And if none of this works? Public flogging of all judges, natch.

In another part of this same interview (which he gave to David Barton), Brian also accuses the Iowa Supremes of “mak[ing] up the law out of thin air,” and says he wants them removed by state voters so that “there will be reverberations throughout the country all the way to the United States Supreme Court” (see above link for audio). Jurisprudence which Brian of course culled from that noted legal textbook, It’s Not True What They Say: If You Keep Saying Certain Things About Complex Constitutional Law, Some People Really *WILL* Think It’s True and Become Foot Soldiers For Your Vindictive Causes (4th Edition, Houghton Miffed-at-Progress)




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Top gay bills likely won’t advance under GOP House

That would be the same bills that haven’t advanced under a Democratic Congress.

I don’t mean to belittle how anti-gay the Republicans are, but let’s face it – the gay rights agenda hasn’t exactly been parading through a Democratic Congress and Democratic White House either.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Census Result: New York Likely To Lose Two U.S. House Seats, Florida Gains Two

One of most important aspects of the U.S. Census is the resulting reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. While many of the changes will go as expected, a just-released new estimate suggests a couple of changes that were not.

A new estimate of House reapportionment gains and losses resulting from this year’s Census reveals a larger-than-expected impact on Florida and New York. According to Washington-based Election Data Services, which reviewed new Census data from a private-sector demographic firm, Florida would gain two House seats and New York would lose two seats. They would join two other states that already were projected to have multiple-seat changes.

Based on the tentative Census data, Texas is expected to gain four House seats and Ohio likely will lose two seats. According to the EDS estimate, six other states each would gain one seat: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington. Eight states would each lose one seat: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In addition to the Florida and New York changes, the other major switch in the projected reapportionment is that Missouri will lose a House seat instead of Minnesota.

The formal Census report will be issued in December. Reapportioning becomes effective with the 2012 elections.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Update: Navy Chief accused of gay-baiting hazing likely to retire at full pay

Last September we brought you the stellar reporting by Youth Radio about heinous cases of sexual harassment suffered by members of the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain Military Working Dogs Division. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents were released detailing the horrendous behavior of one Chief Michael Toussaint.

It was inside that Bahrain kennel in July 2005 that Petty Officer Joseph Christopher Rocha, then 19 years old, says he was being terrorized by other members of his own division. “I was hog-tied to a chair, rolled around the base, left in a dog kennel that had feces spread in it.”

Rocha says that beginning six weeks into his deployment, he was singled out for abuse by his chief master-at-arms, Michael Toussaint, and others on the base, once Rocha made it clear he was not interested in prostitutes. “I was in a very small testosterone-driven unit of men,” Rocha says. “I think that’s what began the questioning-you know-’Why don’t you want to have sex with her? Are you a faggot?’”

“Petty Officer Rocha and another junior sailor…were instructed to go into a classroom by Chief Michael Toussaint, who orchestrated the entire training. And Chief Toussaint asked them to simulate homosexual sex on a couch,” Hogan says.

In an update by Youth Radio , it appears that Toussaint has been allowed to get away with this behavior with a full pension and a censure.

Since it was announced last October, the terms of Michael Toussaint’s retirement have come under scrutiny that is unprecedented for an enlisted sailor. The senior chief petty officer, who from 2005 to 2006 led a Bahrain-based canine unit that was plagued by widespread documented abuse, denied much of his alleged misconduct in February during a retirement board hearing, a proceeding normally reserved for commissioned officers.

The case will soon go to the desk of an assistant secretary of the Navy, who faces a choice: to approve the unanimous recommendation of the three board members who said Toussaint deserves to retire with a senior chief’s pension; or to take a harder line and reduce him to a lower pay grade, as government lawyers had sought to do during the hearing.

Deciding against the retirement board’s recommendation would be rare.

I’ve never yet seen one (a board recommendation) that was overturned by a higher authority,” said Eugene Fidell, a professor at Yale University and President of the National Institute of Military Justice.

And in what is another case of Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie Brown, those who sought harsher treatment are left flat on the ground with zero hope of seeing justice for those harassed, or even to see the assailant receive more than a wrist slap.

But advocates for the sailors who were abused under Toussaint’s leadership said Navy officials had led them to expect a harsher judgment from the board hearing, which according to Navy guidelines determines the highest rank at which a sailor or officer has served honorably.

“I was surprised,” said Aaron Tax, legal director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, “because we thought that the Navy believed this was someone who engaged in outrageous behavior.” Tax said despite the board’s recommendation, the Navy should lower Toussaint’s pension to that of a first class petty officer, the rank he held before becoming chief of the Bahrain unit.

I guess anything goes with the big boys upstairs. Read more by Youth Radio here.
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—  John Wright