UPDATE: Police release description of missing vehicle belonging to NE Dallas murder victim

Earlier we told you about the two men found dead in a burned Northeast Dallas apartment. Police are still not releasing the victims’ names because their bodies were so badly damaged in the fire that they’re waiting on the medical examiner to positively identify them. However, police have now released a description of the vehicle belonging to one of the victims, which is apparently missing. The vehicle is a silver, four-door 2002 Saturn L200, with a license number of 5CVDN. If you see it, call 911.

Again, police have confirmed that they believe the two victims were a gay couple, but they aren’t treating the murders as a hate crime. Police also say they don’t know the motive for the crime, prompting some to question how a hate crime can be ruled out. We posed this question to DPD Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse:

“Detectives will not elaborate at this time,” Janse told Instant Tea. “It may hamper the investigation.”

—  John Wright

California Supreme Court Accepts Prop 8 Question

The California Supreme Court has decided to accept the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals request to decide whether the Defendant-Intervenor’s in Perry v Schwarzenegger (the Proposition 8 case) have standing under California law to act as defendants in the case.

As the notice says, oral arguments are estimated to be heard sometime in September of 2011. That would mean a decision would not be likely until some time in 2012 December, 2011 (California law gives appellate courts three months to decide a case after oral arguments). That would mean the case would not get back to the Ninth Circuit until some time after that, probably in 2012. When they would issue an opinion on standing and/or an opinion of the actual case (whether Proposition 8 violates the US Constitution) is anyone’s guess.

In any case any decision is likely to be appealed to the US Supreme Court, which would not likely hear the case until late 2012 or 2013.

One thing is clear: Marriage equality (or denial of marriage equality) in California via the courts is a long, long way off.

The request, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.548, that this court decide a question of California law presented in a matter pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is granted. For the purposes of briefing and oral argument, defendant-intervenors Dennis Hollingsworth, Gail J. Knight, Martin F. Gutierrez, Mark A. Jansson, and ProtectMarriage.com (collectively “Proponents”) are deemed the petitioners in this court. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.520(a)(6).) In order to facilitate expedited consideration and resolution of the issues presented, and to accommodate oral argument in this matter as early as September, 2011, the normal briefing schedule is shortened, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.68, as follows: The opening brief on the merits is to be served and filed on or before Monday, March 14, 2011. The answer brief on the merits is to be served and filed on or before Monday, April 4. A reply brief may be served and filed on or before Monday, April 18. Any person or entity wishing to file an amicus curiae brief must file an application for permission to file such brief, accompanied by the proposed brief, on or before Monday, May 2, 2011. Any party may serve and file an omnibus reply to any or all amicus curiae briefs on or before Monday, May 9, 2011. The court does not contemplate any extension of the above deadlines. Votes: Cantil-Sakauye, C.J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.

Perry v Schwarzenegger

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

The Advocate: Obama open to marriage talks; takes DADT question at news conference

Expect fundie head explosions in 3..2..1…

At a press conference Wednesday, Obama told reporters that his feelings on marriage equality are “constantly evolving,” but he mainly supports thorough civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

“But I recognize that from [the perspective of same-sex couples] it is not enough,” he said. “And I think this is something that we’re going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward.

Here is the exchange from the press conference transcript, which also includes ABC’s Jake Tapper asking about DADT.

Q I have a couple questions about “don’t ask, don’t tell.” First of all, congratulations. What was your conversation like with Marine Commandant Amos when he expressed to you his concerns and yet he said that he would abide by whatever — whatever the ruling was? Can you understand why he had the position he did? And then on the other hand, is it intellectually consistent to say that gay and lesbians should be able to fight and die for this country but they should not be able to marry the people they love?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I don’t want to go into detail about conversations in the Oval Office with my service chiefs. Jim Amos expressed the same concerns to me privately that he expressed publicly during his testimony. He said that there could be disruptions as a consequence of this. And what I said to him was that I was confident, looking at the history of the military with respect to racial integration, with respect to the inclusion of women in our armed forces, that that could be managed. And that was confirmed by the attitudinal studies that was done prior to this vote.

And what he assured me of — and what all the service chiefs have assured me of — is that regardless of their concerns about disruptions, they were confident that they could implement this policy without it affecting our military cohesion and good discipline and readiness. And I take them at their word. And I’ve spoken to them since the vote took place and they have all said that we are going to implement this smartly and swiftly, and they are confident that it will not have an effect on our military effectiveness.

So I’m very heartened by that. And I want to, again, give Bob Gates and Admiral Mullen enormous credit for having guided this process through in a way that preserves our primary responsibility to keep America safe and at the same time allows us to live up to our values.

With respect to the issue of whether gays and lesbians should be able to get married, I’ve spoken about this recently. As I’ve said, my feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people, and this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about.

At this point, what I’ve said is, is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have. And I think — and I think that’s the right thing to do. But I recognize that from their perspective it is not enough, and I think is something that we’re going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward.

Q But the military does not recognize civil unions, right?

THE PRESIDENT: I understand. And as I said, this is going to be an issue that is not unique to the military — this is an issue that extends to all of our society, and I think we’re all going to have to have a conversation about it.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Scott Brown supports DADT repeal, and it’s not a question of ‘time’

From ABC’s The Note:

Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown today voiced his support for a stand-alone repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, bringing the bill one vote over the 60-vote threshold that it will need to reach if and when the Senate votes on the measure in the coming weeks.

“Sen. Brown accepts the Pentagon’s recommendation to repeal the policy after proper preparations have been completed. If and when a clean repeal bill comes up for a vote, he will support it,” said Brown spokesperson Gail Gitcho.

Brown’s backing means that – on paper – supporters of the repeal have 61 senators in favor of the bill. On Wednesday Republicans Olympia Snowe of Maine and Lisa Murkowski both announced their support for the stand-alone repeal. The House passed the clean repeal on Wednesday and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to bring it to a vote in the Senate before the end of the year.

However, Reid has warned that bringing the bill to a vote in the Senate is not an issue of support, but rather of time.

Wrong. The Senate didn’t hold any votes at all from last Friday until Monday afternoon – how busy can you be to take a 3 day weekend off? The Senate can stay in until January 3. No more bull about time being the enemy. I don’t even want to think of what will happen if we end up having the votes to pass the bill and it gets scuttled because some Democrat claims we just didn’t have time. Make time.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

FRC questions pro-equality side’s humanity; we no longer question irony’s mortality

Screen Shot 2010-12-15 At 9.07.41 PmFamily Research Council continues to show why they caught the Southern Poverty Law Center’s attention, as well as why their ridiculous “Start Debating, Stop Hating” calls are nothing more than hollow political spin. This time in ways that quite literally blame Democrats for future dead soldiers:

How many brave men and women are liberals willing to sacrifice so that homosexuals can flaunt their lifestyle? The only reason for changing the present policy is if it would help the military accomplish its mission. So far, no one has produced a single reason how it would. Until then, the Senate has to ask itself: Do they want the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands just to appease the political base of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)? If they can live with that, then they’re unlike any human beings I’ve ever met. [SOURCE]

Peace on Earth. Good will toward men. Accusing partisan adversaries of terminating young lives for the sake of political gain.

Happy birthday, Jesus! How we doing down here?




Good As You

—  admin

The real question, Mike Huckabee is whether 60% of America wants to deport or criminalize gays. Because FRC’s top guy does!

Convenient dance:

[Mike] Huckabee was also astounded when the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Family Research Council as a hate group, because they oppose same sex marriage. “So does 60 percent of America,” Huckabee said. “Does that mean that that 60 percent of America is a hate group?” [SOURCE]

Actual issue (or at least a small part of it):



*SOURCE: Gays seek immigration reform [Medill Reports]



*SOURCE: MSNBC



*SOURCE: The Quest For Change — Tony Perkins [Grace Chapel]

Oppose our ring fingers all you want. But take responsibility for your movement’s lips!




Good As You

—  admin

GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions Takes Odd DADT Question About Gay High School Athletes

The interviewer was trying to make a comparison between presumably tough soldiers and high school athletes who may be showering with gay students, but it’s not clear that Sessions really got the point.

(Via – Matt Comer)

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Ask (*but with a tentative question mark). Tell (*but you’re best off in a whisper)

When this writer was young, there was a hotline students could call to see if school was closed on a particular day. On snowy nights, I’d dial that thing until my fingers were raw, hoping with the fire of a thousand incomplete homework gods that the message would’ve been altered since my last call two seconds prior. Everything could change in instant, and it mattered greatly to know for certain whether the following morning would be filled with boring ol’ long division or the joy that is Plinko.

Perhaps the military should set up one of those lines for LGB soldiers, so that they too will be able to gauge the ever-changing policy currently governing their careers:

In a sign of the wide-reaching impact of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips’s injunction halting enforcement of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith today wrote that “[r]ecruiters have been given guidance, and they will process applications for applicants who admit they are openly gay or lesbian.”

Pentagon to Recruiters: Accept Applicants “Who Admit They Are Openly Gay or Lesbian” [Poliglot]

***

*UPDATE: DAN CHOI, DISCHARGED UNDER DADT, SAYS HE’S HEADED TO THE TIMES SQUARE RECRUITING STATION [Towle]

***

***MAJOR UPDATE: BREAKING: U.S. District Court Rules on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Injunction [SLDN]




Good As You

—  John Wright

More grilling of Gibbs on DADT and he was clearly annoyed by the constitutional question

This is really interesting. The White House press corps has really honed in on the DADT issue. Gibbs got many questions on the subject today. And, Mediaite posted the video.

I’m most intrigued by the interaction between Gibbs and Kerry Eleveld on whether or not the President thinks DADT is unconstitutional. That exchange begins around the 4:30 mark and concludes with this. You have to see the video to see how curt and annoyed Gibbs get here:

Kerry Eleveld: Since the Justice Department is, you know, officially appealing the case, is it necessarily true that the President believes that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a constitutional law?

Gibbs: Again, I have enumerated for you the belief, the President’s belief that it’s unjust, it’s discriminatory and that it harms our national security.

Kerry Eleveld: You have never enumerated for us his belief on the constitutionality?

Gibbs: I haven’t.

That response is classic. The transcript doesn’t do it justice. Watch how Gibbs reacts.

And, no, he hasn’t answered whether the President, a Constitutional Law professor, thinks DADT is unconstitutional. And, no one at the White House or DOJ will answer it either.

Yep, Gibbs throwing attitude at Kerry Eleveld for asking a very basic question. Classy.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Robert Gibbs shows little improvement in the ability to give a straight answer to a DADT question

And to think this man’s name was floated as a contender to head up the DNC? Can you even imagine Mr. I Hate the Professional Left in that role? I’d tell him “don’t quit your day job,” but as we’ve seen, Robert Gibbs still can’t answer a straightforward DADT question that The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld tosses him at today’s presser.

From the WH transcript:

KERRY ELEVELD: It looks like the defense authorization bill and, with it, “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal is sort of barreling toward a dead end. Sixty-nine House members and now 16 senators have signed on to a letter urging the President to instruct his Justice Department not to appeal a recent decision that ruled “don’t ask, don’t tell” unconstitutional. Is that something that’s even being discussed within the walls of the White House right now, not appealing that decision?

MR. GIBBS: I would point you over to the — I think the Department of Justice, the last I heard, was reviewing the case. Obviously the President has a deeply held view that this is a law that can and should be changed. We worked to make sure that that happened in the House, and we, regrettably, were unsuccessful in the Senate. That is not going to stop the President from trying. And I know that — without being totally aware of all the discussions in here, I know the Justice Department is weighing a series of arguments as they make those decisions.

KERRY ELEVELD: Right, but ultimately that power resides with the President. I mean, he can instruct his Justice Department not to appeal.

MR. GIBBS: I don’t — I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have an update on whether that’s something that’s happened in here or not.

KERRY ELEVELD: Any contingency plans at all? I mean, I’ve listened to you talk about the priorities for lame duck. You’ve rattled through them on Thursday, Friday and today, and not once has defense authorization been mentioned.

MR. GIBBS: I will say, and I think I’ve said on a couple of occasions, that off the top of my head — I wouldn’t necessarily say which list is completely exhausted. But let me see if I can get better guidance on that — understanding, again, the President’s deeply held belief that we have to get this changed.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright