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9/9 open thread


This is an open thread. We’ll post any breaking news.


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  September 9, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    The special election in North Carolina’s 9th District could serve as an early warning sign for the 2020 elections, as Democrats try to flip a seat held by Republicans since 1963.

    [Republican Dan] Bishop gained notoriety in North Carolina following his sponsorship of H.B. 2, the controversial “bathroom bill” that critics say discriminated against transgender people.

    Like other special elections since Trump took office, the race has drawn sizable national interest. Trump will try to boost Bishop with a rally in Fayetteville on Monday night. Vice President Mike Pence will aim to boost Bishop on the other side of the district with a speech at Wingate University.

    [Democrat Dan] McCready, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran who has campaigned for the past 27 months, has stuck to a playbook that worked for Democrats running in swing districts in the 2018 midterms. He has campaigned on protecting the Affordable Care Act and cutting health costs while steering clear of more liberal positions that some Democrats worry will make it harder to win battleground areas.

    A recent bipartisan poll from Inside Elections found McCready leading Bishop by a margin of 46% to 42%. “I think turnout will be very crucial. If you look at the breakdown of how this district is polling, it’s largely within the margin of error,” said Chelsea Kaufman, assistant professor at Wingate University. “Whoever is turning people out will have more of an edge, especially since special elections have less turnout.”

    The 9th District, which includes the suburbs of both Charlotte and Fayetteville, is itself a microcosm of the American electorate. The median age of the district is just above the median of the rest of the country, and the district’s education levels are on par with the rest of the country.

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  September 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Republican Dan Bishop defeats Democrat Dan McCready in redo of North Carolina House race, NBC News projects

    The Republican led by about 2 percentage points with nearly all votes counted. Bishop, a North Carolina state senator, will keep red a seat Republicans have held since 1963. President Donald Trump won the district by 11 points in 2016.

    Republicans threw every weapon they had into the fight. Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held rallies in North Carolina Monday night as they hoped to push Bishop over the finish line. Pence spoke at Wingate University, while Trump appeared in Fayetteville, N.C., where he told the crowd, ”[Tuesday] is your chance to send a clear message to the America-hating left.”

    McCready ran as a moderate Democrat, not afraid to buck the party when he disagreed on policy, a familiar playbook for Democratic candidates in 2018 running in historically Republican strongholds. He emphasized his commitment to protecting health care, the most important issue for voters in 2018.

    Bishop, known for his sponsorship of the H.B. 2 “bathroom bill” that set off a firestorm for what critics saw as an attempt to discriminate against transgender people, nationalized the race. He showed his support for Trump and linked McCready with the more controversial members of the Democratic Party, namely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the liberal firebrand “Squad.”

    McCready’s campaign dramatically outspent Bishop’s in the race, $4.7 million to $1.9 million. But Republicans’ outside spending dwarfed Democrats’, $5.8 million to $1.4 million.

    Overall outside spending from both parties and PACs exceeded $10.7 million, making this the second-most expensive House special election in U.S. history in terms of independent and expenditures. Only last year’s special election race between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District ranks higher.

    Bishop’s win is a calming sign for House Republicans, possibly signalling that they could win suburban districts Trump locked up in 2016, even if by a smaller margin.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  September 10, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Republican state senator in Tennessee claims banning college in the US will 'save America' because schools are a 'liberal breeding ground'

    'If there's one thing that we can do to save America today, it's to get rid of our institutions of higher education right now,' Tennessee Senator Kerry Roberts said on his talk show last week.

  • 4. bayareajohn  |  September 10, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    And ignorance is a redneck breeding ground.

  • 5. VIRick  |  September 9, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Chile: Evópoli Is in Favor of Marriage Equality

    Today, 9 September 2019, failed presidential candidate and leader of the libertarian Evópoli party, Senator Felipe Kast, has announced that he is in favor of marriage equality for Chile:

    Per Felipe Kast, as quoted by Daniela Paz Rojas:

    "Yo estoy a favor, y por lo mismo (como lo expresó ayer el senador Harboe), creo que la pelota está en nosotros los parlamentarios."

    "I am in favor, and for the same reason (as expressed yesterday by Senator Harboe), I think the ball is with us parliamentarians."

    In Chile's splintered system wherein which all political factions are given a proportional voice, until now, the libertarian Evópoli party had been non-committal on the subject of marriage equality. They are generally viewed as a third-party force. They do not support the current government of President Piñera, nor are they generally counted as being among the majority opposition in congress. Thus, this statement from the leader of Evópoli should assure eventual passage of the measure. Or, at minimum, lend some strong weight toward its passage.

    But this is how it works in Chile, and why it takes so long, as they all have to get into alignment in advance, and agree to agree before the final vote is taken.

  • 6. VIRick  |  September 9, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Baja California: Strategy for Passing Constitutional Reform in Favor of Marriage Equality

    Por pertinencia política, la reforma constitucional para la permisividad de los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo en Baja California será presentada hasta que asuman el cargo los Ayuntamientos con mayoría del Morena el 1 de octubre próximo, indicó la diputada Miriam Cano Núñez.

    Lo anterior, porque al tratarse de una reforma constitucional, para obtener validez, es necesaria la aprobación de las dos terceras partes de los Ayuntamientos del estado, explicó la legisladora, que mencionó que su partido, Morena, es una institución política progresista a favor de los derechos de todas las personas.

    La diputada anticipó que la permisividad del matrimonio civil entre personas del mismo sexo, sí cuenta con la aprobación de 17 diputados estatales (de 25) para lograr la mayoría calificada (de dos terceras) y establecer las reformas a la Constitución.

    It is politically relevant that the constitutional reform to allow for same-sex marriages in Baja California be presented after the municipalities with a Morena majority take office on 1 October 2019, said Deputy Miriam Cano Núñez.

    This being a constitutional reform, in order to obtain validity, the approval of two-thirds of the city councils is necessary, explained the legislator, who mentioned that her party, Morena, is a progressive political institution in favor of the rights of everyone.

    The deputy anticipated that the measure to allow civil marriage between same-sex couples does have the approval of 17 state deputies (of 25) and thus will obtain a qualified (two-thirds) majority to establish the constitutional reforms.

    Note: Cano Núñez is pushing Baja California to match the Morelos or CDMX state constitutions, whereby marriage equality is guaranteed, not just by the civil code, but also by the state constitution. And she knows she has the votes, as the recent elections gave Morena a statewide super-majority. The process she outlined here, approval from two-thirds of the municipalities (in reality 4 of the 5) plus two-thirds of the state deputies (17 of 25, or 68%), precisely matches with the process already successfully undertaken in Morelos.

  • 7. VIRick  |  September 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Georgetown KY Passes Kentucky Fairness Ordinance

    Per Fairness Campaign‏:

    The Georgetown Fairness Ordinance passes 5-3! The Scott County, KY city of nearly 35,000 becomes the 13th city in Kentucky with an LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance. Monday night, 9 September 2019, Georgetown’s city council passed an update to its fairness ordinance to protect LGBTQs from discrimination in housing and employment.

    The other 12 cities are:
    1. Louisville
    2. Lexington
    3. Covington
    4. Vicco
    5. Frankfort
    6. Morehead (of Kim Davis infamy)
    7. Danville
    8. Midway
    9. Paducah
    10. Maysville
    11. Henderson
    12. Dayton

  • 8. VIRick  |  September 10, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Northern Ireland: First Same-Sex Marriages to Begin from 10 February 2020

    In 2014, marriage equality was legalized in England, Wales, and Scotland, but not in Northern Ireland. In July 2019, the House of Commons passed an amendment extending marriage equality to Northern Ireland by 21 October, if the Northern Ireland Assembly, which collapsed in 2017, has not yet resumed.

    Government ministers announced earlier this week that because they need time for modifications in order to implement the new law, marriage equality will start in Northern Ireland from 13 January 2020. Since couples who want to marry must wait 28 days after they submit a notice of intention to marry before they actually do so, the first marriages will happen on 10 February 2020.

    This article is inaccurate, and has been edited to reflect reality. It claims that the first same-sex marriages will occur on Valentine's Day, Friday, 14 February, when in actual fact the 28th day from 13 January is Monday, 10 February.

  • 9. VIRick  |  September 10, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Uruguay to Authorize Marriage Equality for Foreign Visitors This Year

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Uruguay Autorizará Este Año el Matrimonio Igualitario para Visitantes Extranjeros

    El gobierno afina detalles para permitir que visitantes extranjeros del mismo sexo, puedan casarse en Uruguay. Además de promover el derecho al casamiento entre personas de igual sexo, se busca atraer más turistas.

    Lo anunció la Ministra de Educación y Cultura, en la apertura del cuarto Congreso de la Cámara de Comercio y Negocios LGBT, que se realiza hasta este miércoles, el 11 de septiembre 2019, en la Intendencia de Montevideo.

    The government is refining details to allow same-sex foreign visitors to marry in Uruguay. In addition to promoting the right to marriage for same-sex couples, the measure seeks to attract more tourists.

    The announcement was made by the Minister of Education and Culture, at the opening of the fourth Congress of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Business, taking place through Wednesday, 11 September 2019, at the Intendencia of Montevideo.

    And, in addition:

    Explicó Sergio Miranda que los extranjeros no residentes deberán inscribirse previamente en los consulados uruguayos de los países en los que residen para solicitar una fecha de casamiento.

    Sergio Miranda explained that non-resident foreigners must register beforehand at an Uruguayan consulate in the country where they reside in order to request a marriage date.

    Note: Punta del Este, Uruguay, has a long-standing reputation (akin to Las Vegas NV, but without the extreme tackiness) as being the marriage/honeymoon/divorce capital of Latin America. Extending marriage rights to include same-sex foreign visitors simply expands and continues that tradition. At the same time, it brings Uruguay up to the same standard already in place in Argentina, and like Argentina, they will respectfully expect that foreign couples intending to marry in Uruguay obtain a prospective marriage date in advance, prior to their travelling to Uruguay. In particular, same-sex couples from Brasil will definitely be attracted.

  • 10. VIRick  |  September 10, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Monaco: LGBT Civil Union Bill to Be Debated

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Monaco National Council will debate an LGBT civil union law in October. The Council had previously unanimously supported it, but the government returned a watered-down proposal with few rights. At the moment, it is unclear how the legislature will respond.

    In the meantime, continue to remember that the city-hall of Beausoleil, France, is within easy walking distance, located as it is, just two blocks from the Monaco border, directly inland from Monaco-Ville. Same-sex couples have been able to marry in France since 2013.

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 10, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Andorra: A Call for Marriage Equality

    Per Henrique de Jesus:

    al Consell General y al Diari d'Andorra:

    Es tiempo en Andorra para el matrimonio igualitario, como en España en 2005 y en Francia en 2013. Igualdad y libertad para todos en Andorra; el amor no tiene fronteras.

    It is time in Andorra for marriage equality, as in Spain from 2005 and in France from 2013. Equality and freedom for all in Andorra; Love has no borders.

  • 12. JayJonson  |  September 11, 2019 at 7:28 am

    I always remember Mark Bingham on September 11. His courage and sacrifice saved many lives.

  • 13. scream4ever  |  September 11, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Not to mention he helped to break down the stereotype of gay men being weak/sissies.

  • 14. Elihu_Bystander  |  September 11, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Let us also remember Fr. Mychal Judge chaplin for NYFD.

  • 15. allan120102  |  September 12, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Zacatecas will get marriage equality for sure once the case reach the supreme court. In this article its very well explain how deputies may interpose actions of unconstitutionality.

  • 16. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Washington State: Cottonelle Back before Supreme Court with "Flowers" Case

    After obtaining a perfunctory decision last year in her favor, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Washington State is back before the US Supreme Court with a renewed call for a First Amendment ruling allowing her to refuse service to same-sex couples seeking floral arrangements for their weddings. In her 41-page petition for certiorari, Baronelle Stutzman alleges the Washington State Supreme Court twice ignored case law in favor of religious freedom when it ruled that she violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination by refusing to provide floral arrangements in 2013 for a same-sex wedding.

    Representing Stutzman is the anti-LGBT legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. ADF filed the petition Wednesday, 11 September 2019, shortly before the Supreme Court will determine what cases it will hear for its upcoming term at its annual “long conference.”

    The Arlene’s Flowers petition isn’t the only one pending before the Supreme Court seeking a First Amendment right to discriminate against LGBT people. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed a petition on behalf of Catholic Foster Services in Philadelphia, which seeks to refuse to place children in LGBT homes despite an agreement it made to abide by non-discrimination principles in its contract with the City of Philadelphia.

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