Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed
×

Open thread

Community/Meta

This is an open thread.

43 Comments

  • 1. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    A Plea to LGBT Americans by Chuck Schumer, D-NY

    After a hard-fought campaign that has left so many of us tired, bitter, and disappointed, I deeply admire the fortitude, character, and patriotism of both my friend Hillary Clinton for her gracious concession speech and President Barack Obama, who has, as ever, set a mature and professional tone regarding the transition of power our nation must soon execute. Their grace, class, and composure inspires us. As President Obama said, “That's the way politics works sometimes. We try really hard to persuade people that we're right and then people vote. And then if we lose, we learn from our mistakes, we do some reflection, we lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena, we go at it. We try even harder the next time.”

    There are many fellow citizens — the LGBT community, immigrants, communities of color, women, our young people, Democrats and progressives of all stripes — who are profoundly worried about what the future holds. And following everything that was said during this campaign by our now president-elect, it is entirely reasonable to be nervous and even angry. I am not sure what will come next after so many fought so hard for so long to gain the right to say "love is love" no matter what. I am worried about what tomorrow holds and what this new administration may attempt to roll back.

    But I write to you today to say I will do all in my power to prevent any backsliding on hard-won rights and to push back against a national discourse that allows for anything less than a full measure of respect for all Americans and would-be Americans.

    I will not forget what happened at Stonewall or what happened at Pulse — or any of the countless physical assaults, emotional taunts, and bullying endured by homosexual fellow citizens over the generations. I will not forget North Carolina’s passage of House Bill 2 or the trickle-down of hateful rhetoric inspired by these laws that causes children to take their own lives rather than continue to face the torment of bullies at school. I will not forget the 24 transgender Americans murdered this year alone.

    But I also won’t forget when West Point opened the doors of its historic chapel for its first same-sex wedding after President Obama repealed "don't ask, don't tell." I won't forget Edie Windsor’s boundless joy when the Supreme Court handed down its decision to make marriage equality the law of the land. And I won’t forget my family, my friends, my colleagues, or the New Yorkers who depend on me to protect their constitutional rights.

    The truth is, I am also depending on you. It’s a terrible fact that there have always been bullies, and there have always been people with hate in their hearts. We will always be stronger.
    (continued below)

  • 2. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    (continued)
    Keep fighting; keep working; keep pushing for all LGBT Americans, all Muslim Americans, all Americans with disabilities, all Latino Americans, all African-Americans, all white-black-brown working-class Americans struggling to have a fair shot at the American dream. And keep in the back of your head the words preached by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

    In the past decade, our country's progress toward full equality for LGBT citizens leaped forward in ways that many of us never would have predicted just a short time ago. In the last 10 years alone, I went from being one of the first politicians to even walk in the New York City Pride Parade to watching marriage equality become the law of the land. Our country does change for the better, but not on its own. We worked hard for that progress, and we will expend every ounce of our ingenuity and effort to defend it.

    Chuck Schumer is the senior US senator representing New York State. http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2016/11/15/sen

    As the new Senate Minority Leader, we are really going to have to count on Chuck Schumer to continue to defend and to fight for ALL minority rights during this next interval in time.

  • 3. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    There's Something in Pence's Email He Really Doesn't Want Public to See

    Part I

    Vice President-elect and avowed homophobe Mike Pence is fighting really hard to not let the contents of his email be revealed to the public. Mike Pence was the subject of an open records request from which his administration produced a heavily redacted “position paper” sent to him by Daniel Hodge, the chief-of-staff for Texas Governor Abbott.

    The letter came as Abbott urged states to join a lawsuit suing the Obama Administration over an executive order he made on immigration. Indiana eventually joined, alongside 16 other states.

    Indianapolis lawyer William Groth then submitted the open records request for documentation to do with the (Texas Immigration) lawsuit, which he says would have cost (Indiana) taxpayers a substantial amount of money, as it used outside counsel.

    “I think joining the lawsuit without the attorney-general, and hiring that firm, was a waste of taxpayer dollars,” Groth told "The Indianapolis Star." “The people have the right to know how much of their money was spent.”

    As the documents were produced, but were subject to “substantial redaction," and since the Marion (County) Superior Court in April ruled that the redactions can’t be “second-guessed” by a court, Groth is now appealing. He argues that the lower court has mis-ruled in its decision.

    “I think governmental transparency is an important concern of anyone who lives in a democracy – the governor cannot put himself above the law,” Groth added.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/11/15/there-is-som

  • 4. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Vice President-Elect Mike Pence Sues To Hide His Emails

    Part II
    Politico reports:

    Vice President-elect Mike Pence is seeking to keep secret the contents of an email relating to Indiana’s participation, at his behest, in a lawsuit to block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

    Pence’s administration brought in an outside law firm to join the litigation, which was spearheaded by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The move prompted one Indianapolis lawyer to request documents related to the decision to bring in outside counsel.

    The effort to shield an email from public scrutiny follows an election in which Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hounded by her use of a private email server while serving at the State Department — a move that was criticized as both a security risk and a blow against transparency.

    The decision (not to release the unredacted contents of the email) has been appealed, and the Indiana Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in Indianapolis on 21 November.
    http://www.joemygod.com/2016/11/14/vice-president….

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    North Dakota: New Lawsuit Challenging Anti-Discrimination Provisions of ACA

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 7 November 2016, another federal lawsuit challenging the anti-discrimination provisions in the ACA was filed. The case, "North Dakota v. Burwell," in which North Dakota and certain religiously-affiliated health care providers are challenging anti-discrimination provisions in the Affordable Care Act, has been assigned to District Court Judge Ralph R. Erickson.

    The Complaint is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/316-cv-00386-1/

    Plaintiffs intend to file a motion for preliminary injunction this week, as noted in this request to file an oversized brief: http://bit.ly/2gdx48u

    This lawsuit essentially mirrors "Franciscan Alliance v. Burwell," the suit filed in Texas federal court. The religious organization plaintiffs in both suits are represented by The Becket Fund.

    Plaintiffs are:
    – State of North Dakota (represented by the ND Attorney-General’s office)
    – Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center in Alma MI
    – Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center in Jackson MN
    – Religious Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic organization that operates the two Plaintiff Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Centers
    – Sisters of Mary of the Presentation Health System, a non-profit Catholic health system with headquarters in Fargo ND
    – University of Mary, a Roman Catholic Benedictine University with main campus in Bismarck ND

  • 6. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    "Religious Objections" Case Before Washington State Supreme Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The "religious objections" case, "Ingersoll v. Irene's Flowers," a case in which a florist with religious objections to same-sex marriage refused to provide flowers for a wedding, the oral argument before the Washington State Supreme Court is scheduled for today, 15 November 2016, at 9AM Pacific Time.

    Briefs in the case are available here: http://bit.ly/2gdd19U

  • 7. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Minnesota: On-Going "Bathroom" Case Put on Hold, Pending Supreme Court Decision

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In the federal case, "Privacy Matters v. US Dept. of Education," a case in which parents/students, represented by the ADF, are suing the federal government and a Minnesota school district to block a policy, consistent with federal Title IX guidelines, that protects transgender students from discrimination, the Plaintiffs have asked the Court to indefinitely postpone the hearing on their motions, currently set for Wednesday, 16 November.

    As of today, 15 November 2016, the Hearing has now been cancelled, per docket text order.

    "The parties are working on a joint motion to suspend the proceedings in this case, pending the resolution of 'Gloucester County v. G.G' by the Supreme Court of the United States."

    Plaintiffs’ Letter of 14 November 2016 Requesting to Indefinitely Postpone Hearing is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/016-cv-03015-67/

    This is a phony-baloney case which was not going well for the ADF, so it is rather understandable as to why they requested it be placed on hold, pending the outcome in "G.G." before the Supreme Court.

  • 8. allan120102  |  November 15, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    El Salvador trying to elevate and pass a constitutional amendment specifying marriage as a man and a women before the constitutional court rules. If they succeed then not even the court or international courts might struck down the ban. Really sad as it appears the votes are there. http://elmundo.sv/arena-pide-ratificar-reformas-s

  • 9. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    In El Salvador, this type of constitutional amendment has been defeated several times in the past. Let's hope, this time around, they still do not have the required votes (and there's no indication that they do), and that the Constitutional Court acts speedily on the two cases already before it, ruling in our favor.

    Also, the female deputy from ARENA who is attempting to launch this proposal, Maytee Iraheta, has the same extremely rare and unusual surname as that of the lawyer, Herman Duarte Iraheta, who just filed the second suit before the Constitutional Court to legalize same-sex marriage. From this, I would assume that they are related in some way (on his mother's side), but are polar opposites, and that she is merely reacting to his filing the lawsuit, "concerned" about the family name.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  November 15, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    In the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Christian soldiers are onward marching as to culture war again. The convention has put the First Baptist Church of Austin and Dallas' Wilshire Baptist Church on notice that their congregations' LGBT-inclusive membership, ministry, and leadership priorities are unacceptable to the larger convention.

    Marc Ramirez, The Dallas Morning News: Texas Baptist association threatens to expel Dallas, Austin churches over LGBT policies

    Since then, 61% of voting Wilshire congregants chose to extend full membership to LGBT persons including recognizing them in leadership, ordination, baby dedications and marriage effectively giving the finger to the convention.

    Claire Z. Cardona, The Dallas Morning News: By giving LGBT full membership, Dallas' Wilshire Baptist cuts ties with Texas Baptist association

    This is hardly the first time the BGCT has expelled member churches, even very large and prominent ones, for being LGBT-inclusive. As the first article mentions, the convention threw out Dallas' Royal Lane Baptist Church in 2010. Previous to that, Fort Worth's Broadway Baptist Church, despite being among that city's older and larger Baptist churches–and holding a membership that included some of the city's richest business elites–was also kicked out for the relatively minimally inclusive interpretation of the Gospel's Grand Commission they held at that time.

    Needless to say, the First Baptist Church of Dallas remains in very good standing within the BGCT. The pastor of that megachurch, it was one before TV made megachurches a thing, is Robert Jeffress who is rabidly homophobic and transphobic but is totally fine with pussy-grabbing as long as it is done in the Holy Name of Jesus and to keep Godless liberals, like that Methodist woman, out of the White House.

    Baylor University also continues its affiliation with the BGCT even though we now know that 17 young women have accused 19 football players of sexual assault since 2012. Since, after all, the players didn't rape male students. Because that would be so gay and awful.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  November 15, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Surprisingly, NOM has released their 2015 990 (just for the main arm though, not the Education Fund). Everything further indicates an organization about to collapse. A few findings i noticed:

    -their total revenue declined by more than 1/3 from 2014 to 2015.

    -they are now giving nearly nothing in contributions to other organizations (just $2000 reported).

    -Brian Brown has actually taken a pay cut (from $230,000 to $165,000) and has cut his hours back to 30/week!

    -only four donors over $5000 were listed, the largest two contributing roughly 40% of the revenue for 2015.

    NOM has scheduled their next March for Marriage for June 24, 2017. I'm honestly questioning if they will even be around at that time.

  • 12. davepCA  |  November 15, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I think it's time for this again : )
    https://sadtrombone.com/?autoplay=true

  • 13. VIRick  |  November 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    I know for their 2016 march on the Mall, they were counting babies in strollers, stray tourists, a press reporter or two, odd on-lookers, several on-duty police officers directing traffic, and even my friend's dog, after he and the dog went over there to harass them. And they still could only conjure up about 100 bodies, dogs included.

    They had more banners and placards than people.

    In fact, they were in direct competition with the Ethiopian Orono protest march up Pennsylvania Avenue which attracted a far greater crowd.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  November 16, 2016 at 12:44 am

    237 was the exact count according to Think Progress. I believe NOM later claimed that they had 400 attendees, which regardless was still a fraction of their past gatherings which attracted 2,000-3,000.

  • 15. theperchybird  |  November 16, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Monaco's gender-neutral cohabitation bill unanimously passed the committee stage in October.

    The Government has 6 months to decide to pick up the draft or not and then 12 months if they do to make any adjustments and approve it. The Constitution gives me them an 18 month deadline to do it all and in the past the Government claimed it wanted a law by 2017, we'll see.
    http://www.monacohebdo.mc/18641-pacs-monegasque-p

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  November 16, 2016 at 9:03 am

    This is all nice and fancy and we can mock them but now they have their people in the white house and the congress..I would be ok with 10000 people in their marches as long as they did not influence legislation..And now they do.

  • 17. guitaristbl  |  November 16, 2016 at 9:05 am

    At this point I am just wondering how fast will FADA be introduced. It is almost certain to pass the House and the fight will be put up in the senate. I am sure the white house will exercise all its influence to make sure it passes so I hope organizations such as the ACLU and the HRC are ready for some lobbying. HRC endorsed Collins for re election after all.

  • 18. scream4ever  |  November 16, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Eh, I really think that Trump doesn't give two shits about NOM.

  • 19. scream4ever  |  November 16, 2016 at 9:47 am

    FADA is all but dead since it was forced to be changed to accommodate those who support SSM. Even if it passes the House, it's unlikely to receive a majority in the Senate, and if it does, Democrats will fillibuster it.

  • 20. allan120102  |  November 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Doubt it will pass we have supposedly the support of susan collins and rob portaman in this issue, so we have a slight majority. The others not so sure. The Alaskan senator suppports ssm but not sure in this topic of religious objections.

  • 21. allan120102  |  November 16, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Greece to legally equate civil partnerships to marriage. Includes heterosexual as same sex couples. http://www.tornosnews.gr/en/greek-news/society/20

  • 22. guitaristbl  |  November 16, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Now that republicans control everything such provisions (supposedly "protecting" supporters of marriage equality) may as well be thrown out quickly, they don't need to compromise now.

    Yes I am hoping that it wont receive a majority in the senate. It would be truly amazing if democrats could win that senate seat in Louisiana but even if they don't I hope the three senators I mentioned before (Portman, Collins, Murkowski) will oppose it. I don't keep high hopes for anyone else like Toomey and McCain..

  • 23. allan120102  |  November 16, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Tamaulipas receive another amparo against its code, the judge says that the state cant prohibit ssm much longer. And that soon it will need to modify its civil code. http://www.gaceta.mx/matrimonios-gay-obligatorios

  • 24. guitaristbl  |  November 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    This is not totally accurate tbh as it just equates civil unions of same sex couples with the civil unions of opposite sex couples, not civil marriage essentially. It incorporates some european guidelines on workplace rights of civil partners that were already included officially in the bill that passed a year ago.

    Also the minister of justice during the committee implied that this goverment has no intention to introduce civil marriage equality or adoption rights.

  • 25. VIRick  |  November 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Taiwan: Up-Date on Legislative Marriage Equality Proposal

    Per Matrimonio Igualitario, in a tweet (in Spanish) from Xiani P.Ch. 鄭夏霓 ‏ :

    Taiwan: Mañana (madrugada en España), 17 de noviembre 2016, se debate el Matrimonio Igualitario en la Comisión de Justicia del Legislativo.

    Taiwan: Tomorrow, 17 November 2016, the Justice Committee of the Legislature is to debate (the proposal on) marriage equality.

    The remainder of the tweet, with what appears to be an actual copy of the legislative bill, is in Chinese, so I am unable to provide any further detail.
    https://twitter.com/Xiani_PCh

  • 26. VIRick  |  November 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Romania: Senate Postpones Referendum to Prohibit Marriage Equality

    Senado de Rumania Pospone Referéndum para Prohibir el Matrimonio Igualitario
    http://www.boy4me.com/news/senado-de-rumania-posp

    (freehand summary translation from a very lengthly, detailed article)
    According to this Spanish-language news article, dated 14 November 2016, the Senate of Romania voted on 11 November 2016 to postpone the referendum on a constitutional amendment seeking to prohibit marriage equality. The proponents of this discriminatory proposal had wanted it to be held simultaneously with the next general elections, but that plan has now been foiled. The curent session of the Senate will be ending on 25 November.

    In Romania, in order for a referendum to be placed before the voters, it requires a two-thirds vote in favor by both houses of the legislature.

    In the meantime, the next date upon which we might learn of the decision in the same-sex marriage recognition case presently before the Constitutional Court is 29 November.

    The following is a list of all European nations which presently have constitutional provisions prohibiting same-sex marriage: Armenia, Bielorrusia, Bulgaria, Croacia, Eslovaquia, Hungría, Letonia, Lituania, Moldavia, Montenegro, Polonia, Serbia, y Ucrania.

    And in between, we will find a handful of Eastern European nations which do not have such constitutional prohibitions: Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Romania, and Georgia.

  • 27. VIRick  |  November 16, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Tamaulipas: Amparo #6 Granted

    In a news article from Ciudad Victoria, dated 14 November 2016, it was noted that a federal judge had granted amparo 409/2016-II-2, thus allowing another same-sex couple to marry. In doing so, the judge also declared Article 43 of the Regulatory Law the Offices of the Civil Registry, as well as Article 124 of the Civil Code of the State of Tamaulipas, to be unconstitutional, stating that it is obligatory that the terms of those two provisions be altered. At the barest minimum, this ruling was amparo #6 granted in favor of petitioners and against the state of Tamaulipas.

    In addition, as "damages," the judge ordered the government of Tamaulipas to provide for the widest diffusion of the terms of the resolution of this amparo as possible, including its being published in the Official Journal of the State.
    http://www.gaceta.mx/matrimonios-gay-obligatorios

  • 28. DevilWearsZrada  |  November 16, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Well, it's time for me to speak up about this issue. My point is that we can't be sure in claiming that SSM is really banned by constitutions of all the listed countries, here's why:
    First, the exact wordings of that constitutional provisions are ambiguous at the least. For example, in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Armenia (I mean that new edition of Armenian constitution that was claimed to now ban SSM) the marriage provision says "marriage is based upon the free consent of man and woman". It's not even the definition of marriage as opposed to constitutions of Latvia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland (all of them except Poland passed that provisions recently) that essentially say "marriage is a union of a man and a woman" but I'm not sure that even such a wording might completely ban SSM. Just compare it to almost any SSM ban in the US or the wording in Montserrat and Turcs and Caicos: "every man and woman of marriageable age has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex and to found a family". Much more specificity which leaves no ambiguity, isn't it?
    Speaking of the first mentioned wording (let's call it Type 1), we should keep in mind when that provisions emerged. First, in most mentioned countries they are parts of the entirely new national constitutions adopted in the 1990s, at that time the issue of same-sex marriage just didn't exist for that countries and it's doubtful that legislators created such provisions in order to ban SSM (well, I know that legislative intent in constitutional law is supported only by fringe jurists like Scalia but this point should be mentioned). It's much more likely that such a provision was meant to ensure the equality of spouses so both spouses had that (equal) right to marry and equal rights in family matters. It also should be noted that Type 1 wording not necessarily says that in every married couple there must be only man-woman pairing and that it is even could be equally correct to translate it as "MEN and WOMEN have a right to enter into marriage on a voluntary basis". I am very sure about it in regard to the constitutions of Slavic language speaking nations. For example, in equally authentic Russian text of Belarusian constitution the use of singular nouns for 'man' and 'woman' doesn't say that any given couple desiring to marry should consist of a man and a woman, even one of the unofficial translations to English found on Wikisource reads "men and women". (continued below)

  • 29. DevilWearsZrada  |  November 16, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    (continued)
    It's also curious to look at such landmark human rights agreements as Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. They all have marriage articles which say "men and women of marriagable age have the right to marry". Note that these documents' authentic texts are in English and that plural form is used. Also no interpretive body for the conventions has ever ruled that according to that provision SSM is not just not required but also illegal. That just can't happen, especially in the case of ECHR. It seems that Type 1 provisions were drafted similar to these provisions.
    And the most interesting argument for acquittal of Type 1 provision: constitutions of Spain, Colombia and Venezuela have just the same wording and for the first two countries there are rulings from their constitutional courts in favor of SSM constitutionality, and the "purposely ambiguous" ruling in Venezuela that seems to say the same.
    In conclusion, I want to say that this issue is really tricky and requires some serious analysis by jurists. I think for most of the mentioned countries it can't be claimed for sure that SSM is banned. Some ruling from the respective country's constitutional court would make it clearer (but not very helpful for marriage equality movement of course). It's also sad that no LGBT association has ever studied this issue, ILGA-Europe is the only one that mentions constitutional SSM ban in its charts, but the data seems to be just taken from Wikipedia articles where the relevant chapters were edited without citing sources for that claims.

  • 30. VIRick  |  November 16, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Good. I love this dialogue, and really appreciate your expert in-put, particularly given your intimate knowledge of the Slavic languages.

    I see your point entirely, i.e., at the time of the writing of most of these constitutions in the 1990s, the issue of same-sex marriage was simply not on the agenda, and that the writers were far more likely to be concerned with guaranteeing equality between men and women, and this, in a broader sense, not just limited to marriage, thus leaving, as you've mentioned, a very ambiguous middle ground in what you call the Type I wording (in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Armenia), subject to multiple possible interpretations.

    Thus the more difficult ones regarding same-sex marriage, which I assume we can call Type II, are those with more-recent revisions deliberately attempting to make the language more specific, as found in Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Croatia.

    And then, we have the Type III, like in Romania, where they state that marriage is between spouses (or something similar), rendering the language quite gender-neutral (and thus, relatively more likely for a judicial ruling recognizing/approving same-sex marriage).

    I assume that that lengthly article I cited was originally written in Romanian (by someone with intimate understanding of the Romanian legal and legislative process), and was then subsequently translated into Spanish. I've only seen the Spanish version, and simply did a freehand summary translation of it into English.

  • 31. VIRick  |  November 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    "Eh, I really think that Trump doesn't give two shits about NOM."

    The list of people, places, ideas, concepts, programs, and what-have-you, about which Trump couldn't even give a single shit, let alone two shits, would fill a book the size of the New York telephone directory.

    It was all about The Donald, and all about The Donald winning. It's always been about The Donald, and about The Donald winning. And now he has. And so, he's ready to be crowned Queen of England.

  • 32. scream4ever  |  November 17, 2016 at 12:41 am

    I couldn't have said it better myself. I fully expect he'll be ranked among the "failure" Presidents.

  • 33. Randolph_Finder  |  November 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Report on the day's results at http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2

    DPP is the President's party and controls more than half the seats in the legislature and part of Pan-Green
    KMT (Which is the Party that controlled Taiwan for most of the time since the nationalists retreated from the Mainland) and the PFP are part of Pan-Blue.

    The Pan-green and Pan-blue groupings contain most of the seats and don't quite line up with the Western Left and Right respectively, with Taiwan independence being the most significant issue. (DPP being pro-independence)

    The fact that there was a scuffle in the committee meeting is just business as usual. (If you want fun, google taiwan legislature fight).

    The DPP can ram this through, we'll see whether they end up doing so.

  • 34. VIRick  |  November 17, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    TexASS: The Republican Legislative Nightmare Begins

    Wasting no time, Texas legislators filed three abortion-restrictive bills and the first anti-LGBTQ piece of legislation on the first day of the new filing period, 14 November 2016, assuring another heated fight for pro-choice advocates and LGBTQ allies beginning on 10 January, the first day of the 2017 legislative session.

    On the anti-LGBTQ front, Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, proposed Senate Bill 92, a bill that would prevent a city, county, or political subdivision from adopting or enforcing anti-discriminatory protections “on a basis not contained in the laws of this state,” just like North Carolina's HB2 (and matching North Carolina, Texas law also offers no protection on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity). Further, Hall’s bill would repeal local anti-discrimination ordinances already in effect, also just like North Carolina's HB2. Plus, Hall’s bill is sure to be but one of many anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation put forward.

    Then, stay tuned for the anticipated and misleading “Women’s Privacy Act.” Touted by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the bill would prevent transgender residents from using the facilities that align with their gender identity. This anti-LGBTQ act stands as Item 6 in Patrick’s Top 10 priorities of the legislative session list, released today, 14 November 2016.
    http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2016-11

    NOTE: Texas still has a part-time legislature which only meets every alternating year, and at that, only for a very short, intensely insane session. So, the reason they were so quiet in 2016 is very simple: They were not in session. At all. The entire year. But fully expect them to make up for "lost time" come January 2017.

  • 35. VIRick  |  November 17, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    US Presidential Election Results

    Just so everyone is perfectly clear on the precise numbers, per the "Washington Post" and their tentative tally through 16 November 2016, Clinton had accumulated 62,568,373 votes nationwide to Trump's 61,336,159, besting him in the popular vote by 1,232,214 votes. Yet, in the Electoral College vote, slated for 19 December 2016, he apparently will be receiving 290 votes to her 248. (unless, of course, 22 Electors were to change their minds)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/w

  • 36. scream4ever  |  November 17, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    The Hall bill was introduced in 2015 and went nowhere, so that gives me hope.

  • 37. VIRick  |  November 17, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Potential Supreme Court Nominee Who Wants Gays Jailed Denies Posing Nude for Gay Adult Site

    One of Trump’s possible picks for the Supreme Court, William H. Pryor, Jr., who has said in the past that he wants gays who have consensual sex in private to be jailed, also previously denied posing nude for a gay adult website.

    Pryor, back in 2013, was forced to deny that photos which appeared on badpuppy.com in 1997 were of him. One photo, which is very NSFW, features someone who looks like the prospective Supreme Court justice, and is sitting down, nude, with an erection, looking straight into the camera. Sources in 2013 had claimed that the photo was taken of Pryor when he was at college years before, but he has adamantly denied that the photos are of him.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/11/17/potential-su

    The former Alabama Attorney-General currently sits on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    In an article titled "Derobed," bearing today's date, 17 November 2016, here's what Snopes.com had to say, while additionally noting that the model, who went by the name of Bill Pryor, and the judge, William H. Pryor Jr., both suffer from the same eye condition, strabismus (crossed-eyes):
    http://www.snopes.com/william-pryor-nude/

    And here's that totally uncensored NSFW pic of the model, Bill Pryor, at full mast, clearly showing that he's fairly meaty and circumcised, and that the erection is bent slightly upward and to the left. Totally enjoy:
    http://p-gay.com/gay-porn/multi-gay-sites/black-a

  • 38. Sagesse  |  November 17, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I read somewhere that Clinton received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history… including Obama.

  • 39. allan120102  |  November 17, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Things are getting heat in El Salvador and Panama in terms of ssm.
    Deputies in El Salvador start bickeing for and against ssm in the nation, meanwhile Panama supreme court accept the case against the article that mentions that marriage is just between a man and a women. In El salvador they vote in the previous session to ban ssm, now they need just to ratified that vote in this current session as a law in ELS to pass it need to be vote in favor in the first session and ratified in the next one. http://www.elfaro.net/es/201611/el_salvador/19570
    Here is the one of Panama. I really doubt they will vote for us but is cool that things are moving forward. http://impresa.prensa.com/panorama/Corte-conocera

  • 40. VIRick  |  November 17, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Panama: "Action of Unconstitutionality" Accepted to be Heard by Supreme Court

    "La Prensa" of Panama, is a dual-language publication. This is their English-language version, with editing, as the two versions do not say quite the same thing:

    On 12 October 2016, the law firm of Morgan and Morgan presented an "Action of Unconstitutionality" (una advertencia de inconstitucionalidad) against the article of the Family Code that limits marriage to an act "between a man and a woman." The lawsuit, filed by attorney Carlos Ernesto González, a partner in the law firm, was filed on behalf of Enrique Jelenszky and his partner, John Winstanley, who have been in a relationship for 17 years.

    Jelenszky, a Panamanian lawyer, and Winstanley, a British executive, held a civil union ceremony in May 2008 at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Panama. Eight years later, in early 2016, and in accordance with the marriage law of the United Kingdom, the civil union was converted into a marriage.

    Shortly thereafter, Jelenszky requested the marriage be recorded in Panama, using the same process used by hundreds of other couples every year when having their marriages from other countries (in Spanish, it says, "by amparo of another jurisdiction") recorded in Panama. However, on 29 September 2016, the Civil Records Office refused to register their marriage. Jelenszky then decided to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Justice. In early November, the case was admitted to be heard by the Full Court (el Pleno de la Corte), and is expected to generate a large amount of controversy.
    http://www.prensa.com/in_english/Corte-conocera-m

    In due course, Panama's Supreme Court of Justice, a hybrid of Colombia's Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of the USA, will now hear this case as a Full Court, and then issue one definitive decision, with immediate applicability nationwide. Only one article in Panama's Family Code needs to be struck down to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • 41. bayareajohn  |  November 17, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Such things are relatively easy to resolve in the Google era. If these are real, and who knows, Hillary is now #10, behind Eisenhower and with Trump below her and barely in front of Romney, then McCain.

    Here are the updated popular vote totals as of November 15:
    Clinton: 62,318,079
    Trump: 61,166,063

    Rank Candidate Popular Vote (millions)
    1. Barack Obama 135.4
    2. Richard Nixon 113.1
    3. George W. Bush 112.5
    4. Franklin D. Roosevelt 103.4
    5. Ronald Reagan 98.4
    6. Bill Clinton 92.3
    7. George Bush 88.0
    8. Jimmy Carter 76.3
    9. Dwight D. Eisenhower 69.4
    10. Mitt Romney 60.9
    11. John McCain 59.9

  • 42. bayareajohn  |  November 17, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    I'd love to believe this is true, and the photos appear to be him. But check the EARS. They are one of the most overlooked and very distinctive features on humans… they are quite a bit different in the nude model and the current pictures. Ears don't change a lot with age, so I think NOPE. But I have been known to be wrong. From time-to-time.

  • 43. VIRick  |  November 18, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Allan, this case in Panama, which has now been accepted to be heard before Panama's Supreme Court, is identical to Ada Conde Vidal's suit in Puerto Rico, one in which she sued to force the government of Puerto Rico to recognize her validly-performed marriage from the state of Massachusetts, a marriage which had occurred there in Massachusetts some years prior to her (and her wife's) return to Puerto Rico, and to her attempts to then have the marriage recognized in Puerto Rico.

    It also matches with the case before the Constitutional Court of Romania, wherein which a same-sex couple, one a Romanian citizen and the other a US citizen, and who were duly married in Belgium, are now requesting that the government of Romania recognize said marriage.

    It further matches with a pending case quickly working its way up through the court system in Peru, wherein which a same-sex couple, one a Peruvian citizen and the other a British citizen, and who were duly married in Britain, are now requesting that the government of Peru recognize said marriage.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!