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Obama's Gay Marriage Stance Sets Off Money Rush

Source: Reuters

Obama's gay marriage stance sets off money rush

12:11am EDT

By Alina Selyukh and Eric Johnson
WASHINGTON | Fri May 11, 2012 1:55pm EDT

(Reuters) - Since U.S. President Barack Obama's declaration of support for same-sex marriage this week, messages, emails and calls have poured in to Dana Perlman, a major fundraiser for Obama's re-election campaign.

"Everybody wants to do something," said Perlman, a Los Angeles lawyer who is also a top Democratic Party liaison with the gay community. He is already looking at bigger venues for a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fundraiser for Obama in June that was originally planned for 700 people.

While it is too early to say how much extra cash is being raised, Obama's explicit support of the right for same-sex couples to marry is giving a boost to his campaign's coffers.

- snip -

"People are calling and asking what more they can do... What's happened is that President Obama made this one of the major issues of the campaign," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage and spent $1.2 million in North Carolina to help pass a legal ban on same-sex marriage earlier this week.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/11/us-usa-campaign-gaymarriage-money-idUSBRE84A0ZB20120511

Court Rules NSA Doesn't Have to Reveal Its Semi-Secret Relationship With Google

Source: Forbes

Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

SECURITY | 5/11/2012 @ 12:30PM |1,271 views

Court Rules NSA Doesn't Have To Reveal Its Semi-Secret Relationship With Google
If the world’s largest surveillance agency has a working relationship with the world’s largest Internet firm, that’s no one’s business but theirs, according to an appeals court in the DC Circuit.

In the ruling issued Friday, (PDF here ) the court decided that the National Security Agency doesn’t need to either confirm or deny its relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, ruling that a FOIA exemption covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA’s national security mission. Beyond merely rejecting the FOIA request, the court has agreed with the NSA that it has the right to simply not respond to the request, as even a rejection of the request might reveal details of a suspected relationship with Google that it has sought to keep secret.

“If NSA disclosed whether there are (or are not) records of a partnership or communications between Google and NSA regarding Google’s security, that disclosure might reveal whether NSA investigated the threat, deemed the threat a concern to the security of U.S. Government information systems, or took any measures in response to the threat,” the court’s ruling read. “As such, any information pertaining to the relationship between Google and NSA would reveal protected information about NSA’s implementation of its Information Assurance mission.”

Since just after Google revealed in early 2010 that it had been hacked by cyberspies seemingly based in China, the Washington Post reported that Google and the NSA had partnered to help bolster the company’s defenses against future attacks. NSA director Mike McConnell followed up with an op-ed in the Post, which included a statement that a partnership with Google was “inevitable.”

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/05/11/court-rules-nsa-doesnt-have-to-reveal-its-semi-secret-relationship-with-google

Media Matters' Eric Boehlert: Right-Wing 'Went Bonkers' Over Romney Bullying Story


Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert: Right-wing ‘went bonkers’ over Romney bullying story

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, May 10, 2012 23:16 EDT

Media Matters for America’s Eric Boehlert on Thursday said right-wing bloggers and activists “went bonkers” over a Washington Post story that accused Mitt Romney of harassing prep school classmates he judged to be too effeminate.

“No one questions the accuracy of this story,” he remarked to Current TV host Jennifer Granholm. “They went bonkers. They said it was a hit job because the Washington Post did a very detailed report on Mitt Romney’s youth.”

Boehlert noted that many conservatives had complained that the media did not do enough to dig up President Barack Obama’s past. Shortly before his death on March 1, prominent conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart had vowed to “vet Obama this time.”

“These are the same right-wing conservatives activists that scream and yell that the press never vetted Obama, they never wrote about his youth, but they did of course,” Boehlert said. “But now when the Washington Post does a completely accurate, above board, fully-quoted, on the record story about Mitt Romney’s youth, it’s a hit piece. So you can’t have it both ways.”


Mr. Romney...

[font size="3"]To hell with your "apology."

“Back in high school I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended by that I apologize.”

Here are REAL-WORLD consequences of actions and behaviors you apparently consider "pranks" and "high-jinks" that "offended..."[/font]

Tragedy as gay teen commits suicide over high school bullying


PUBLISHED: 05:43 EST, 30 April 2012 | UPDATED: 05:49 EST, 30 April 2012

A 17-year old from Utah has committed suicide after suffering homophobic bullying at school.
Jack Reese killed himself on April 22. His funeral was held on Friday.

Jack’s boyfriend, Alex Smith, spoke earlier in the week at a community event during which a film on bullying was being screened.

17-year old, Jack Reese, from Utah committed suicide after suffering homophobic bullying at school
Smith recalled, without even realising that Jack had already taken his own life, how his boyfriend was repeatedly bullied at school.


Suicide of Tyler Clementi

Tyler Clementi (December 19, 1991–September 22, 2010) was an eighteen-year-old student at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge on September 22, 2010. His roommate, Dharun Ravi, and a fellow hallmate, Molly Wei, used iChat between a webcam on Ravi's computer and a computer in Wei's dorm room to view, without Clementi's knowledge, Clementi kissing another man.


Jamie Hubley, Gay 15-Year-Old Ottawa, Canada Teen Commits Suicide, Cites Depression, School Troubles

First Posted: 10/17/11 12:37 PM ET Updated: 10/18/11 09:55 AM ET

Jamie Hubley, a gay 15-year-old from Ottawa, Canada, committed suicide on Friday.

The 10th grade student documented his life, including his depression and the hardships of being a gay teen, in a blog, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

The blog, called "You Can't Break... When You're Already Broken" featured posts with numerous references to and photos of self harm and cutting, pictures of guys kissing and mentions of wanting a boyfriend, and bleak, ominous messages like "Sometimes I wish the breeze would just take me with it," "The only thing worse than being hated is being ignored. At least when they hate you they treat you like you exist," and "Suicides is always an option."

Other posts revealed how difficult school was for Hubley:

"I hate being the only open gay guy in my school… It f***ing sucks, I really want to end it. Like all of it, I not getting better theres 3 more years of highschool left, Iv been on 4 different anti -depressants, none of them worked. I’v been depressed since january, How f***ing long is this going to last. People said “It gets better”. Its f***ing bull****. I go to see psychologist, What the f*** are they suppost to f***ing do? All I do is talk about problems, it doesnt make them dissapear?? I give up."


'What do I have to do for people to listen?' Boy, 14, kills himself after 'gay' taunts and thanks Lady Gaga in his final post

UPDATED: 08:35 EST, 21 September 2011

A 14-year-old boy who blogged about being suicidal due to being incessantly bullied at school has been found dead outside his home in an apparent suicide.

Jamey Rodemeyer, from Buffalo, New York, cried for help online for months before his death and his family and friends said suicide was a popular topic with him.

He regularly posted about being bullied at school and how people would launch gay insults at him.


Gay Tennessee Teen Who Committed Suicide Was Bullied Relentlessly


More than one hundred classmates of Phillip Parker, who was just 14 when he committed suicide Friday, were quick to contact Parker’s parents to tell them that he was the victim of relentless anti-gay bullying. Phillip Parker’s parents told the media they had contacted the school numerous times to complain about the bullying, but it’s unclear what, if anything, administrators at Gordonsville High School, in Gordonsville, Tennessee, did. Tonight, Phillip’s parents and grandparents are scheduled to meet with school officials.

The front page of the Gordonsville High School website claims:

The mission of GHS is to help all students become responsible, self-directed learners capable of functioning in today’s ever-changing society. GHS is committed to helping all students develop the skills necessary to thrive in the face of life’s challenges. This will take place in a secure environment free from violence, drugs, and fear.

- snip -

Here's what the Phillip's grandfather Paul Harris had to say about him:

"A sweet kind person like Phillip took it out on himself, he killed himself to get out of the pain." "Because he was gay, he got mistreated physically, mentally by several people out there at the school, and I am very resentful as a result of it." “After he did what he did, we found out a lot that we didn’t know and there is a lot of bullying that goes on at the school.”




Tragic news to report from Indiana. Like Jaheem Herrera, Carl Walker-Hoover, and Eric Mohat, 15-year-old Billy Lucas' suicide appears to have been inspired by anti-gay bullying at school.

Reports local station WXIN:

"The 15-year-old never told anyone he was gay but students at Greensburg High School thought he was and so they picked on him. 'People would call him 'fag' and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he's different basically,' said student Dillen Swango. Students told Fox59 News it was common knowledge that children bullied Billy and from what they said, it was getting worse. Last Thursday, Billy's mother found him dead inside their barn. He had hung himself. Students said on that same day, some students told Billy to kill himself. 'They said stuff like 'you're like a piece of crap' and 'you don't deserve to live.' Different things like that. Talked about how he was gay or whatever,' said Swango."

WTHR reports:

"Friends of Lucas say that he had been tormented for years. 'Some people at school called him names,' Hughes said, saying most of those names questioned Lucas' sexual orientation, and that Lucas, for the most part, did little to defend himself. 'He would try to but people would just try to break him down with words and stuff and just pick on him,' Hughes said."


Carl Walker, 11 years old, Commits Suicide because of Bullying


As the aunt of six nephews and one niece you can't imagine how much this story saddens and pisses me off all at the same time. This is a prime eample of what we do to people when we perceive them as different in our society. This story of little Carl is so heartbreaking, but it should be used as a reality check to us all. There is no reason why this young boy shouldn't be with his family.

Via Advocate.com:

The mother of an 11-year-old sixth-grader who committed suicide by wrapping an extension cord around his neck and hanging himself says her son’s death could have been prevented -- he was a victim of school bullying, she says.

Sirdeaner L. Walker said she found her son Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover dead on the second floor of their Springfield, Mass.


Gay Iowa Teen Commits Suicide Over Alleged Bullying

by Jason St. Amand
Web Producer / Staff Writer
Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

A 14-year-old high school student recently took his own life after being harassed by classmates because he is gay, the NBC South Dakota affiliate station KTIV reported.

Kenneth Weishuhn, a freshman at South O’Brien High School, committed suicide last weekend after allegedly being bullied.

O’Brien County is located in northwest Iowa about 210 miles away from Des Moines.

Last month the teen reportedly told his friends that he was gay.


Canadian Trans Teen’s Sudden Death May Have Been Bullying-Related Suicide


The small town of Chatham, Ontario has been rocked by the sudden death of Coltyn Mayrand, a 16-year-old trans teen who passed away Saturday night.

There is some question, though, as to the cause of Mayrand’s death: He’s believed to have committed suicide, though no official report has been made public. And though family members admit Coltyn was bullied for being trans, they say it wasn’t the root of his problems:

“As much as bullying is a terrible thing, and may have affected Coltyn, we do not believe that bullying played a large part in our loss of Coltyn,” posted Page Elizabeth Mayrand on Facebook. “We appreciate the kind thoughts and words, but we don’t need everyone out there putting blame and criticisms on anyone, for any reasons.”


Seth Walsh: 13-Yr Old Commits Suicide After Bullying (Video)

by jazpiri | September 29, 2010 at 06:41 am

Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old boy from Tehachapi, California, has committed suicide after being bullied by classmates over his sexual orientation.

How did Seth Walsh die?

KGET-TV reported that Seth Walsh died Tuesday, September 28 after spending nine days on life support after hanging himself from a tree in his yard.

Seth Walsh's classmates say the 13-year-old was repeatedly bullied for being gay.




I'm afraid I must deliver some more bad, horribly familiar news: a 19-year old college student named Raymond Chase has committed suicide. Chase, a student of culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, hung himself for reasons that remain unclear. Regardless of his motive, this is a horrible tragedy.

The gay group Campus Pride sent out a statement about Chase's death: "The loss of Raymond this week is the second college LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks. The suicide of this openly gay young man is for reasons currently unknown; however, the recent pattern of LGBT youth suicides is cause for grave concern,” remarked the group's executive director, Shane Windmeyer.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Family, friends hold vigil for bullied gay teen who committed suicide

Staff Reports

CASHMERE, Wash. — Family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil on Friday evening to remember 14-year-old Rafael Morelos, who hanged himself on Sunday, Jan. 29. Rafael was openly gay, and friends said he was bullied because of it.

Rafael’s mother, Malinda Morelos, said said she did not know that her son was bullied until students at another vigil earlier in the week told her.

“Almost all the kids here told me he was being bullied,” Morelos told the Wenatchee World.

Morelos said she had known for several years that her son was gay, but that he kept his feelings to himself — she said she she had no idea what he was going through.


Brandon Bitner Commits Suicide After Anti-Gay Bullying

by Amy Judd | November 9, 2010 at 02:45 pm

Brandon Bitner, 14, Committed Suicide Last Week By Running Into the Path of a Tractor-Trailer in Pennsylvania

Bitner left behind a note saying that he was tired of being called names such as 'faggot' and 'sissy' and said he wanted to call attention to the problem of bullying. He started attending Midd-West High School in Midddleburg this year but never told his family or the school that he was being bullied so badly.

He never disclosed his sexual orientation, but Bitner now becomes another youth who has taken his life after being subjected to name calling and bullying in his school.


Asher Brown: 13-Yr-Old Commits Suicide over Bullying

by Jordan Yerman | September 29, 2010 at 01:57 pm

Asher Brown, a 13-year-old student at Hamilton Middle School in Cypress, Texas, shot himself to death on September 23. Asher Brown's parents say that he was "bullied to death", picked on for two years by bullies at school.

Asher Brown was bullied for being gay; he came out to his stepfather, David Truong, on the morning of his death.

Amy and David Truong say that they complained to the school about the bullying of Asher several times, but nothing was ever done. Cypress-Fairbanks School District spokeswoman Kelli Durham denies that any complaints were made.




The recent 'bullycide' deaths of Eric Mohat and Carl Walker-Hoover certainly weren't the first, and won't likely be the last, but I didn't expect to read this story about Jaheem Herrera, which is similar in almost every aspect to Walker-Hoover's, just one week later.

And like Walker-Hoover's, it includes a school tone-deaf to a mother's concerns, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:

"On Thursday afternoon, after returning home from Dunaire Elementary School, Jaheem quietly went into his room and hanged himself. His 10-year-old sister, Yerralis, also a fifth-grader, discovered Jaheem’s dead body. 'His sister was screaming, ‘Get him down, get him down,’' said Norman Keene, who helped raise Jaheem since the boy was two years old. When Keene got to the room, he saw Yerralis holding her brother, trying to remove the pressure of the noose her brother had fashioned with a fabric belt. Jaheem was bullied relentlessly, his family said. Keene said the family knew the boy was a target, but until his death they didn’t understand the scope. 'We’d ask him, ‘Jaheem, what’s wrong with you?’' Keene recalled. 'He’d never tell us.' He didn’t want his sister to tell, either. She witnessed much of the bullying, and many times rose to her brother’s defense, Keene said. 'They called him gay and a snitch,' his stepfather said. 'All the time they’d call him this.' In an interview with WSB-TV, the boy’s mother, Masika Bermudez, also said her son was being bullied at school. She said she had complained to the school. She said she asked him about the bullying Thursday when he came home from school and he denied it. She sent him to his room to calm down. It was the last time she would see him alive."


CNN Covers Carl Walker-Hoover and 'Bullycide'

Anderson Cooper's AC360 takes on the Carl Walker-Hoover anti-gay bullying suicide story we've been following over the past week. Yesterday, the Advocate posted an interview with the boy's mother.


Teen Commits Suicide Due to Bullying: Parents Sue School for Son's Death

April 2, 2009

Eric Mohat, 17, was harassed so mercilessly in high school that when one bully said publicly in class, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you," he did.

Now his parents, William and Janis Mohat of Mentor, Ohio, have filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying that their son endured name-calling, teasing, constant pushing and shoving and hitting in front of school officials who should have protected him.

The lawsuit -- filed March 27, alleges that the quiet but likable boy, who was involved in theater and music, was called "gay," "fag," "queer" and "homo" and often in front of his teachers. Most of the harassment took place in math class and the teacher -- an athletic coach -- was accused of failing to protect the boy.

"When you lose a child like this it destroys you in ways you can't even describe," Eric Mohat's father told ABCNews.com.


Suicide of Ryan Halligan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ryan Patrick Halligan (December 18, 1989 – October 7, 2003) was an American schoolboy from Essex Junction, Vermont, who committed suicide at the age of 13 after being bullied from his classmates in real life and cyber-bullying online. According to the Associated Press, Halligan was repeatedly sent instant messages from middle school classmates accusing him of being gay, and was "threatened, taunted and insulted incessantly".


John Halligan's son, Ryan, committed suicide on Oct. 7, 2003, after being bullied by classmates at school and online. He was 13 years old. In this interview, Halligan discusses the tragedy, the events leading up to it, and what he discovered about his son's online life afterwards. He believes that holding teens accountable for their behavior online is key to preventing the kind of cyberbullying that his son suffered. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted Oct. 19, 2007.

- snip -

We had a great conversation. We ended the call like we always did. I said, "Ryan, I love you." "Dad, I love you." "I'll call you again tomorrow from Rochester." That was the last time I talked to Ryan.

The next phone call was from my wife, 6:00 in the morning, just as I was waking up in this hotel room in Rochester. When the phone rang, I immediately thought, now she's taking the kids to school; she's probably having a hard time finding his backpack or something. I was never prepared for what I heard.

My wife was screaming and crying hysterically: "John, you need to come home. You need to come home. Our son is dead. Ryan killed himself."


Jeffrey Fehr, Gay California Teen And Cheerleading Squad Captain, Commits Suicide On New Year's Day

First Posted: 01/17/12 05:51 PM ET Updated: 01/18/12 07:35 PM ET

The disturbing spate of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teen suicides continues with news that another California student has taken his own life.

As The Sacramento Bee is reporting, 18-year-old Jeffrey Fehr hanged himself on New Year's Day in the front entrance of his family's Granite Bay home. Although Fehr had been openly gay since his sophomore year of high school and had recently been treated for depression following the end of a relationship, his parents Pati and Steve believe that a lifetime of enduring anti-gay bullying led their son, who reportedly just completed his first semester at Sierra College, to commit suicide.

"We will second-guess ourselves forever," Steve told the Bee. "But we do know that for years and years, people knocked him down for being different. It damaged him. It wore on him. He could never fully believe how wonderful he was, and how many people loved him."

Fehr was known as a talented athlete, and became captain of his high school's cheerleading squad (which had previously been all-female) his senior year. Still, friends recall Fehr being taunted for his decision to join the squad.




Austin Rodriguez, a gay teen at Wellsville High School in Ohio who came out of the closet 6-8 months ago and immediately faced bullying from fellow students, attempted to take his own life last Friday by swallowing pills, and remains on a ventilator in the hospital, WFMJ reports:

She says at first her son appeared happy and relieved [after coming out], and then she thought he may have been going through a depression and asked him about it several times, but he never really explained the extent of what he was going through...

...From what his mother has learned, the bullying was not only cruel, but enough to make a teenager who was already introverted, feel like an outcast. "It was electronic, it was face to face bullying, they were hiding his gym clothes because they didn't want him changing in the locker room with them. They didn't want him to eat by them, or in the school lunchroom," Rodriguez said.


Posted at 05:11 PM ET, 01/13/2012

Eric James Borges, gay teen who made ‘It Gets Better’ video, commits suicide


By Elizabeth Flock

Following a rash of suicides among gay teens last year, a 19-year-old gay filmmaker who recorded an “It Gets Better” video committed suicide this week, the blog Queer Landia reported Thursday.

Eric James Borges, of Visalia, Calif., was a volunteer at the Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicides against LGBT youth. The Trevor Project confirmed Queer Landia’s report.

“He was a volunteer teaching suicide prevention, so he knew what counseling was available to him,” Laura McGuinnis, a spokeswoman for the Trevor Project, told the Post. “Unfortunately suicide is so complicated, so rooted in mental illness, that it is difficult to know why he made that decision. It is very, very sad.”

According to the Trevor Project, LGBT youths whose parents reject them for their sexuality are eight times more at risk for suicide than teens whose parents accept them.

In his video for “It Gets Better,” a project in which adults tell kids someday their lives will be brighter, Borges talked about the homophobia he experienced. He said his “extremist Christian” family called him “disgusting,” and kicked him out of the house in October. He recounted an instance in which he said his mother performed an exorcism to try to make him straight.



Justice Department Sues Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio for ‘targeting Latinos’

Source: Talking Points Memo / Raw Story

Justice Department sues Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio for ‘targeting Latinos’

By David Ferguson
Thursday, May 10, 2012 15:19 EDT

The U.S. Department of Justice held a press conference this afternoon to announce its lawsuit against controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for engaging “in a pattern or practice of unlawful discriminatory police conduct directed at Latinos in Maricopa County,” according to “Talking Points Memo.”

Arpaio and his office, says the complaint, which is embedded below, have targeted Latinos in an unconstitutional and unlawful way, in traffic stops and crime investigations. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department allegedly unlawfully detained Latino drivers and passengers, conducted illegal searches and illegally targeted Latino workers in workplace raids.

The suit, filed in the District Court of Arizona alleges that jail officials under Arpaio called Latinos “wetbacks,” “stupid Mexicans” and “Mexican bitches.” It maintains that the man Arizonans fondly call “Sheriff Joe” exhibited “a pattern or practice of unlawful discriminatory police conduct,” singling out “Mexicans and Latinos as different from all other immigrant groups in America” and then fighting the federal government’s attempts to investigate his department.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez traveled to Arizona to announce the lawsuit, which is the culmination of a three-year investigation. The Justice Department announced in December that it had found the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department in violation of civil rights law and was attempting to negotiate with Arpaio to settle the suit. Those negotiations collapsed in April of this year when Arpaio refused to comply with the Department’s requests, stalling the investigation and throwing a series of obstacles into its the path.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/10/justice-department-sues-arizonas-sheriff-joe-arpaio-for-targeting-latinos

LGBT Bullying in School's Long-Term Health Effects ("Tied to Human Right of Having an Education")


LGBT Bullying In School Linked To Long-Term Health Effects In New Report

Joy Resmovits

First Posted: 05/16/11 01:30 AM ET Updated: 07/15/11 06:12 AM ET

A new report by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University traced the effects of LGBT-victimizing bullying in school -- including unintentional epithets like “that’s so gay,” more direct verbal harassment, and physical violence -- beyond their initial sting in school hallways. Using data from the project's survey of 245 LGBT young adults, the paper links such bullying to long-term health and developmental problems.

It found that LGBT-targeted bullying related to gender expression or sexual orientation during school years led to increased young adult depression, suicidal thoughts, social adjustment issues and risky sexual behavior. LGBT young adults that reported high levels of anti-LGBT victimization as teens were 5.6 times more likely to report suicide attempts than those victimized less frequently. They were more than twice as likely to report being clinically depressed, and they were more than twice as likely to report having been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease by young adulthood.

- snip -

The report, titled “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescent School Victimization: Implications for Young Adult Health and Adjustment” and published in the Journal of School Health, comes as both popular culture and policy hone in on the topic. The plot of last week's episode of the ever-popular Fox hit show Glee, for example, revolved around quiet, biting homophobic bullying: an openly gay male was (spoiler alert!) crowned Prom Queen.

- snip -

"While the focus for so long has been on youth bullying, there’s a price to be paid in later life," said Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project and co-author of the report. "The negative or adverse effects that happen in earlier stages affect the later stages of their lives."

- snip -

The effects of LGBT-targeted bullying, she said, are more serious and lasting than people think. “It’s not about special rights,” she said. “It’s tied to the human right of having an education and going into an educational environment that supports them.”


Best Twitter Reactions to Obama's Support For Marriage Equality (Ellen DeGeneres: "I'm Overwhelmed")

From Think Progress:


Best Twitter Reactions To Obama’s Support For Marriage Equality

By Annie-Rose Strasser on May 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Following President Obama’s announcement in support of marriage equality today, politicians, celebrities, and just about everyone else on Twitter broke into a firestorm of emotional, political, and sometimes hateful reactions.

We’ve compiled some of the best tweets about the President’s announcement:


Breaking: North Carolina Passes Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

Source: AP / MSNBC

NC approves amendment on gay marriage

By MARTHA WAGGONER, Associated Press – 5 minutes ago

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina voters have approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state to adopt such a ban.

With 35 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial returns showed the amendment passing with about 58 percent of the vote to 42 percent against.

In the days before the vote, members of President Barack Obama's cabinet expressed support for gay marriage and former President Bill Clinton recorded phone messages urging voters to reject the amendment.

Meanwhile, supporters ran their own ad campaigns and church leaders urged Sunday congregations to vote for the amendment. The Rev. Billy Graham was featured in full-page newspaper ads supporting the amendment.

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jMc52sVsFTFWWyrhx6CZZlko3Omg?docId=3e14159cd8044b958b3d26ef8e32c0d4

Oh, I am so proud of my idiot state tonight.

Unconstitutional AND bigoted to boot.


North Carolina: Prop 8 backers Alliance Defense Fund responsible for anti-gay Amendment 1's broad language
May 7, 2012

By Scottie Thomaston

The language of North Carolina’s Amendment 1 – that the “only domestic legal union” that will be “valid or recognized” in North Carolina – is exceptionally broad and incredibly unclear. The ballot language is also unprecedented and undefined in North Carolina law. Since the proponents of the amendment went forward with the proposed amendment language, questions have been raised often about whether the amendment will eliminate protections against domestic violence for those in domestic partnerships. The statute relied upon in domestic violence cases uses a defined set of “recognize(d)” relationships. But the amendment clearly changes North Carolina law to only “recognize” one type of relationship: marriage between a man and a woman. And even research linked on the Vote For Marriage NC site – the website of the proponents – admits the amendment will ban civil unions and domestic partnerships. This will eliminate all the rights associated with currently existing domestic partnerships, including children’s health insurance.

It didn’t have to be this way:

This weekend, (NC House Majority Leader) Stam finally explained (why the amendment's language is so broad and unclear) to the Fayetteville Observer who reported it this way. Stam, the Raleigh lawmaker, said he wanted a more narrowly worded amendment but was “overruled” by “national experts” he identified as the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal advocacy group.

The Alliance Defense Fund is a leader in pushing anti-gay initiatives. They helped put Proposition 8 on the ballot. In fact, they fought to make Proposition 8′s language unclear:

[div class="excerpt"]Having lost its legal battle in May, the ADF has since redirected its efforts to guaranteeing Prop 8′s passage in November. Specifically, the group has attempted to finagle the initiative’s language, controlling how it will be read by voters at the ballot box. In early August, ADF lawyers filed an appeal with the court to reverse state Attorney General Jerry Brown’s decision that changed the words “limit on marriage” to “eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry” in Prop 8′s title. While the modification is much clearer as to the initiative’s true intent, ADF Senior Counsel Joseph Infranco seemed to realize that such clearly worded language would turn off moderate voters. By arguing that “election ballot titles should be neutral and not intentionally prejudice voters,” while at the same time advocating for vaguer language, Infranco perhaps revealed his own suspicion that Prop 8 must be misrepresented in order to pass. However, the court denied the appeal, affirming Brown’s new wording.

And there is a reason for their desire to make the language as vague as possible:

[div class="excerpt"]The authors just don’t believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, they believe that it leads to “polygamy, endogamy(the marriage of blood relatives), bestiality and child marriage,” comments by the way that Stam himself made during the legislative debate last year.



Romney to Fundraise With Plan B Maker Despite Denouncing Emergency Contraception as ‘Abortive Pills’


Romney To Fundraise With Plan B Maker Despite Denouncing Emergency Contraception As ‘Abortive Pills’

By Josh Dorner on May 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Earlier this year, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney came out strongly against the Obama administration policy that will require health insurance plans to offer birth control coverage at no additional cost — one of the many important preventive health benefits women will receive as a result of Obamacare.

In particular, Romney denounced the fact that insurance plans would now be required to cover Plan B, a form of emergency contraception that he falsely referred to on numerous occasions as “abortive pills.” This is what Romney said in Colorado on February 6, 2012:

ROMNEY: This same administration said that the churches and the institutions they run, such as schools and let’s say adoption agencies, hospitals, that they have to provide for their employees free of charge, contraceptives, morning after pills, in other words abortive pills, and the like at no cost. Think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views. This is a violation of conscience.

(Plan B works just like regular birth control pills and is not, in fact, an abortifacient.) The Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo reports that next week the Romney campaign will be doing a major fundraising blitz across Florida, including an event “at the Star Island manse of pharmaceutical magnate Phil and Pat Frost where dinner costs $50,000.”


Asian Authorities Warn of Risks in So-Called 'Human Flesh Pills'

Asian authorities warn of risks in so-called ‘human flesh pills’

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 13:04 EDT
Some people believe that they contain the dried flesh of dead babies or aborted fetuses, others say just placental tissue. Chinese authorities claim they don’t exist, but so-called “human flesh pills” were first seized by authorities in South Korea last August. According to CNN, some 35 cases (approximately 17,000 pills) have been found by customs officials in the months since then.

Reuters reports that Chinese workers and South Korean cancer patients have been using the supplements for stamina and to restore well-being. They are believed to come from hospitals in China’s northeast and first came to light in 2011. On August 6, a South Korean TV documentary revealed that customs agents had confiscated and tested pills from China with shocking results. Laboratory tests revealed that the substance inside was “99.7 percent identical with humans.”

Consumption of human placenta has long been a part of traditional Chinese medicine, usually by nursing mothers to increase their strength after childbirth. Some trendy western mothers have recently taken to finding ways to integrate their baby’s placenta into their diet.

Health officials warn, however that the supplements are full of bacteria, including so-called “super bacteria” like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a strain of staph infection that does not respond to many antibiotics. These and other potential impurities pose a serious health risk to consumers.

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