How’s abstinence-only working out for TX?

March 2012 protest against Gov. Rick Perry refusing federal money for Planned Parenthood.

A new study was released by the Centers for Disease Control ranking states for teen pregnancy rates. The states with the lowest rates — New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut — are also states with marriage equality. Next in line is New Jersey, one of the first civil union states. States with the newest marriage equality laws — New York, Washington and Maryland — ranked ninth, 11th and 13th for the lowest teen pregnancy rates. Iowa was four places behind Maryland.

Texas didn’t win the prize for highest teen pregnancy rate — or having the most heterosexually active teens who were taught abstinence only in public schools. That distinction goes to the state’s perennial competitor for top ranking in areas like fewest insured, highest divorce rate and worst schools — Mississippi.

In fact, Texas ranked only as the fourth-highest teen pregnancy state. In addition to Mississippi, New Mexico and Arkansas also had higher rates. But Texas did beat out No. 5 Oklahoma. Really? We can’t do better than Oklahoma in preventing teen pregnancy? Well, no. Not the state taking the lead in depriving Planned Parenthood of funding and the city with the organization that thinks breast cancer is a political rather than a health issue.

The difference isn’t insignificant between top and bottom states. The rate of teen pregnancies in New Hampshire is 15.7 per 1,000 teenage girls. The Texas rate  is 52.2 pregnancies — more than three times the number of teen pregnancies than New Hampshire per thousand.

So is there a correlation between same-sex marriage and low teen pregnancy rates? Probably. States where heterosexuals are secure enough about their own sexuality pass marriage equality laws. In states where people are comfortable with sexuality, they teach it in school and teach teens to not get pregnant. In states like Texas, we teach abstinence only. Three times as many teens ignore that lesson compared to states that teach sexuality without encouraging teens to partake.

After the jump is the complete list with the rankings:

—  David Taffet

Karger beat Bachmann by 138 votes in NH

Fred Karger

The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office corrected vote totals in the New Hampshire primary and openly gay candidate Fred Karger received 485 votes to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s 347. The original vote tally had Karger trailing Bachmann, who dropped out of the race after her last-place finish in Iowa, by three votes. Karger received votes in every New Hampshire county.

“Congresswoman Bachmann was in 12 national debates, raised $10 to $12 million, received massive news coverage, has huge name ID and we beat her in New Hampshire,” Karger wrote in an email blast to supporters today. “She and I had been tied in several recent New Hampshire polls. Early last month I said that I wanted to beat Santorum or Bachmann in New Hampshire. It’s a big win for me.”

Karger is skipping the South Carolina and Florida primaries. From New Hampshire he headed to Michigan, which holds its primary on Feb. 28.

“There are only seven Republicans still in the running on that ballot and [I] am sure there will be a few less after South Carolina and Florida,” he said. “I will be competing in [the] Michigan Primary no matter what.”

—  David Taffet

Rick Perry’s ‘interesting’ speech

Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed a bit, well, giddy during a speech Friday night in New Hampshire

Over the weekend I started seeing notes on Facebook from folks talking about the “interesting” speech Texas Gov. and U.S. presidential candidate Rick Perry delivered Friday night, Oct. 28, in Manchester, N.H. And I got an email from Jack Jett encouraging me to watch video of the speech. So this morning, I did.

Let me just say this: I think Gov. Perry might have had a few sips of an adult beverage before delivering this speech. And I will note that those who believe Perry is a closeted gay man might find some mannerisms in this video that will make them point and yell, “See! I told you so!”

As The Huffington Post points out, the video below is a compilation of only 8 minutes and 23 seconds of a speech that, in its entirety, was about 25 minutes long. And most likely, whoever pieced this video together seems to have been trying to make the governor look less than brilliant. So perhaps it isn’t really fair to judge the speech, or Perry, completely on this video.

But the fact remains, this video is being passed around a lot, and if this is all people have to go on, it’s likely they won’t come away from this with a very high opinion of Rick Perry. He comes off looking silly and childish and, yes, at least a tad bit inebriated.

Watch for yourself below:

—  admin

Will this debate sink Perry’s presidential hopes?

Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry came out of the gate strong when he jumped into the race to become the Republican nominee for president in 2012. How could he not? He had that great hair, and that supposed good ol’ Texas boy charm on his side, not to mention the prayers of all those people who attended The Response in August. He was riding high, jumping to the tops of the polls and apparently leaving folks like Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann in the dust.

And then he opened his mouth and talked. And things started going downhill fast.

Perry’s troubles started with the Republican debates. At the first one, on Sept. 7, he was taken to task for calling Social Security “a ponzi scheme” and for his controversial executive order requiring schoolgirls to be vaccinated against HPV. And while the audience applauded when Perry said he doesn’t lose sleep over executions in Texas, there were plenty of people who found that statement appalling.

And things got worse at the Sept. 22 debate, from which Perry came away looking “shell shocked,” according to the Huffington Post, after other candidates, like nutball Rick Santorum, attacked him for being too lenient on immigration policies.

And now, as Perry prepares for his third debate tonight in New Hampshire, sponsored by Bloomberg News and The Washington Post, some folks — like MSNBC — are calling this “do or die time” for him. This MSNBC report shows that Romney has regained the lead in the polls, holding a precarious three-point lead over Herman Cain in Iowa and a robust 30-point advantage over the other candidates in New Hampshire, the sites of the earliest primaries, according to the most recent NBC News-Marist polls

And where is Perry? In Iowa, he is tied for fourth place with Bachmann, with 10 percent each, behind his fellow Texan, Ron Paul who has 11 percent. And in New Hampshire, where Romney leads with 44 percent and Cain and Paul are tied for second with 13 percent each, Perry scraped in 6 percent for fourth place, barely beating out Jon Huntsman, who had 5 percent.

Poor Rick — he went from the top of the heap to scraping the bottom of the barrel in just a little more than two months. Talk about your monumental flame-out! I guess that means that it takes more than a pretty face and good hair to win the presidency — and the support of rabid right-wingers like the Rev. Robert Jeffress. And I guess that means we’ll probably have to keep putting up with Perry here in Texas until at least 2014.

—  admin

Gov. Perry to visit New Hampshire to headline dinner of group that promotes ‘ex-gay’ therapy

Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has scheduled his first visit to New Hampshire, the first presidential primary state. And guess what? Perry is headed there to headline the annual dinner of an anti-gay group, Cornerstone Action, which has actively sought to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law. USA Today reports:

It’s the first New Hampshire event on Perry’s schedule since the governor said he would think about making a White House bid next year. Dave Carney, a longtime aide to Perry, said the governor could make a decision within weeks.

Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Action, told WMUR-TV that Perry “has been a model of both fiscal and social conservative leadership for the rest of the nation.”

Perry was a hit last weekend at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, where he touched on issues such as abortion.

“It saddens me when sometimes my fellow Republicans duck and cover in the face of pressure from the left,” he said. “Our party cannot be all things to all people.”

Unlike the American Family Association, which is funding Perry’s Day of Prayer in August, Cornerstone Action isn’t listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — at least not yet. However, Cornerstone is affiliated with at least one national organization that is considered a hate group by the SPLC — the Family Research Council. From Right Wing Watch:

Cornerstone is an ultraconservative organization that flaunts its close relationship with national groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, CitizenLink, and the National Organization for Marriage. In fact, Cornerstone worked with NOM to run ads attacking the governor for signing the state’s marriage equality law and is collaborating with NOM and the FRC to repeal the law. Good As You notes that Cornerstone also endorses the discredited “ex-gay” therapy groups such as Exodus International, Love Won Out, PFOX, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). In addition, Cornerstone is a top sponsor of the Creationist movie “The Genesis Code.”

Read more about Cornerstone’s promotion of “ex-gay” therapy programs here.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Fred Karger’s New Hampshire TV ad

Fred Karger

Openly gay Republican candidate Fred Karger, profiled in last week’s Dallas Voice, began campaigning in New Hampshire this week. His TV ads began running in Manchester on broadcast TV and on cable throughout the state.

The ad, dubbed “Demon Frisbee,” will run in 30-second and one-minute versions. A longer Internet version is below. They highlight the campaign theme “Bringing Back the American Spirit – Optimism and Getting Along,” but also incorporate the campaign’s self-deprecating slogan “Fred Who?”

The spot by filmmaker John Keitel is designed to let New Hampshire voters know that Karger and his volunteers will walk door-to-door all over New Hampshire and give away Fred Frisbees to voters, Karger wrote in an email to Dallas Voice.

New Hampshire holds the first presidential primary. Although officially scheduled for the second Tuesday in March, it could be moved up if another state decides to hold a primary before then. The state’s laws require that the primary be held seven days before any other state.

—  David Taffet

Gay marriage repeal not on agenda in N.H.

Despite the e-mail we mentioned earlier from HRC, a proposed repeal of same-sex marriage is officially not on the agenda for Republican state lawmakers in New Hampshire, The Associated Press reports:

House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that jobs and the economy will be the top priorities on an agenda to be announced Thursday. Bettencourt says there’s widespread agreement that social issues will have to take a back seat.

It’s good to see that in at least one state — thus far anyway — Republicans who rode November’s tsunami appear to be living up to their commitment to focus on fiscal issues.

—  John Wright

Gallagher steps down from NOM

Maggie Gallagher
Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher, president and chief bigot of the National Organization for Marriage, announced her resignation. She has headed the hate group for three years.

The group is directly responsible for the misleading advertising and scare tactics that defeated same-sex marriage passed by the legislatures in Maine and California.

Her latest target is New Hampshire. Marriage equality became law this year after a battle with their Republican governor, John Lynch, last summer. The law passed after the governor insisted on “protections” for religions and the threat of passing despite a veto.

Now NOM has set their sites on the governor for not stopping equality altogether. The campaign against Lynch, who is up for reelection this year, is  based on the idea that Lynch lied on same -sex marriage.

—  David Taffet

New Hampshire House defeats marriage repeal effort

Again, according to Pam’s House Blend, the New Hampshire House of Representatives has just killed legislation attempting to repeal the law allowing same-sex marriage in that state.

The vote was 210-109.

—  admin

New Hampshire House defeats amendment proposal

Just got word from Pam at Pam’s House Blend that the New Hampshire House of Representatives has defeated a proposal to put on the ballot in that state a constitutional amendment limiting legal marriage to unions between one man and one woman. The proposal was defeated by a vote of 201-135.

The New Hampshire House is also expected to vote today on a bill to repeal legal same-sex marriage in that state. Legislation allowing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire was approved last year and went into effect on Jan. 1 this year.

The House Judiciary Committee has recommended not passing either measure.

—  admin