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Equality news round-up: Updates from Texas, Missouri, and more

Marriage equality

Texas state seal– Yesterday, President Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the partners of Bayard Rustin and Sally Ride.

– Houston mayor Annise Parker has extended domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples.

– A state representative in Missouri is calling for the governor’s impeachment after his decision to allow same-sex couples to file taxes jointly.

– The National Organization for Marriage ended 2012 over a million dollars in debt.


  • 1. Seth From Maryland  |  November 21, 2013 at 10:42 am

    good news : Senate Votes For Nuclear Option: enate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the trigger Thursday, deploying a parliamentary procedure dubbed the "nuclear option" to change Senate rules to pass most executive and judicial nominees by a simple majority vote.

    The Senate voted 52 to 48 for the move, with just three Democrats declining to go along with the rarely used maneuver.

    From now until the Senate passes a new rule, executive branch nominees and judges nominated for all courts except the Supreme Court will be able to pass off the floor and take their seats on the bench with the approval of a simple majority of senators. They will no longer have to jump the traditional hurdle of 60 votes, which has increasingly proven a barrier to confirmation during the Obama administration

  • 2. Dr. Z  |  November 22, 2013 at 6:32 am

    The Democrats didn't have as much to lose from this as the Republicans are asserting. The Republicans certainly would have exercised this option themselves the next time they are in power. The Democrats are gaining the first strike advantage, so to speak.

  • 3. Paul  |  November 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    To be clear, NOM just had a net loss in 2012, they didn't end the year in debt. Without any collateral to speak of (they rent their offices, don't have products or services to sell), a bank isn't likely to give them a million bucks to hold them over.

  • 4. Mike in Baltimore  |  November 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    To be clear, NOM (from the article):
    "All told, the organization was more than $1 million in the red. . . ." (beginning of the 3rd paragraph).

    In accounting terms, 'in the red' means amounts OWED (aka 'in debt'). If NOM had closed its doors at the end of 2012, it still would have owed that money, or whoever was owed the money would have had to write off any monies owed.

    And you are correct in that no bank is likely to give NOM a million dollars to hold the organization over, NOR loan NOM the money. To 'give' means to donate without the prospect or obligation to pay back.

    What NOM will try to do is cover the deficit by getting the big money donors to cover it, or use 'regular donations' to cover it.

    In reality, since there are no high profile elections in the near future (except maybe Indiana), NOM has time to cut back on spending and increase the pressure on people to donate. In other words, unless you are a supporter of NOM, we can expect to hear a bit less from that idiotic organization.

    Hopefully, this is the beginning of the fading to black of NOM, never to be heard from again.

  • 5. Pammie  |  November 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    "In The Red" Fig. losing money. (*Typically: be ~; go [into] ~; as opposed to in the black. experiencing the situation of spending more money than you earned.

    NOM started the year with cash on hand. They spent more money than they took in this year and are therefore "in the red". They ended the year with less cash than they started with, but still with cash on hand.

  • 6. Mike in Baltimore  |  November 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Just like a political campaign that ends for 'lack of cash' and almost all who enter bankruptcy, there is at least some money on hand. That money on hand will NOT, in most cases, cover the total of what is owed to various people.

    Just like a homeowner who still owes $250,000 on their mortgage. They usually have a 'healthy' bank account (of $10k to $35k, maybe more), and their assets (including that portion of the mortgage they have paid off) might total $150,000 (or more). If they owe $250,000 for the mortgage (and the vehicle? 2nd mortgage? college loan(s)?), though, they are still in the red from a financial standpoint. That 'homeowner' should eventually be in the black, but at the time the (financial) picture is taken, the homeowner owes more than they have in assets. In accounting, that is called 'being in the red'. In common parlance, it is called owing more than they currently have. For a majority of people, the condition is normal, but only temporary. For most organizations, it's not a normal temporary condition, but becomes permanent quite easily.

    Increase income and/or reduce expenses are the usual manner a person or organization that owes more than it has assets gets out of that position quickly. NOM's income is from donations. They'll either have to increase the amount of donations, or reduce expenses, or both. That is why I stated "In other words, unless you are a supporter of NOM, we can expect to hear a bit less from that idiotic organization."

    So yes, what you stated about having cash on hand is almost certainly true. However, if the trend of 2012 stays the norm for NOM, it will have less cash on hand at the end of 2013, and even less at the end of 2014, and even less at the end of 2015 … . I'm not saying they'll ever have no cash on hand, but what they owe almost certainly may (and hopefully will, if it doesn't already do so) soon exceed (if it doesn't already exceed) any cash on hand, assets, etc. they may have.

  • 7. Ned_Flaherty  |  November 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

    NOM consists of two separate organizations: NOM, and NOM Educational Fund, each of which is owned and operated by the same board of officers, directors, and employees for the same purposes.

    Combining the 2012 IRS-990 data for both outfits shows that revenues of $16,170,399 less expenses of $14,671,979 left $1,498,420 unspent, and 2012 ended with zero net assets and $1,075,199 in debt.

  • 8. Seth From Maryland  |  November 25, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Earlier this month, Prop. 8 mastermind Frank Schubert, who is leading the charge against California's law protecting transgender students in the form of a ballot measure referendum, announced that he turned in 620,000 signatures to qualify the measure and predicted victory for the initiative.

    SchubertNow, it looks like he may fail, the Washington Blade reports:

    A total of 504,760 signatures were due last Thursday, which are required to place the law, known as the School Success & Opportunity Act, on the ballot for the 2014 election. Opponents of the measure, led by the Privacy for All Students Coalition, submitted 613,120 signatures from a majority of state counties in favor of overturning the law.

    But they’re averaging just 75 percent authenticity in the random sample as of Friday, which is significantly below the average ultimately needed to qualify. If the number of valid signatures is less than 95 percent of the 504,760 needed, the measure would fail to qualify for the ballot.

    John O’Connor, executive director of Equality California, said “it’s unlikely, [but] it’s not impossible” that the measure will come up for referendum given the signature validation percentage at this point.

    Read more:

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