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Activists Moving For Marriage Equality In Ten States — How Long Will It Take?

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Activists are moving to make marriage available to same-sex couples in at least ten states, and many of those attempts have been emboldened and re-energized by the recent Supreme Court decision on DOMA. Attempts in Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and Oregon are all at various stages and all face different challenges, including in some states having to first remove bans on same-sex marriage via popular vote or legislative efforts. Other attempts are moving through the courts in cases filed by same-sex couples.

Currently, thirteen states, Washington, D.C., and several Native American tribes offer same-sex marriage. After the Supreme Court last month let the Prop 8 decision stand — effectively killing the ban on same-sex marriage — about 30 percent of America’s citizen live in areas that allow marriage equality.

If all these current efforts succeed, 23 — almost half of all states in the nation — would allow same-sex marriage, an amazing achievement in the ten years since Massachusetts was the first.

Experts believe Illinois, New Jersey, and Hawaii could be added to the list of marriage equality states by the end of the year.

Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Oregon could put repeals of marriage bans on the ballot in 2014 or 2016.

In New Mexico, “It’s complicated,” says NBC News:

A court case could be decided as early as next year. The Legislature could act, too, but bills both to enact and prohibit gay marriage have gone nowhere so far, and Gov. Susana Martinez opposes it.

Chris Geidener at Buzzfeed has a more in-depth breakdown that’s worth the read — take a look.

Hypothetically, if all these attempts are successful, and with nearly half the nation’s states supporting marriage equality, can a final push at the Supreme Court to make it the law of the land be far away?

Image by Stephen Luke via Flickr

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Florida Surgeon General’s First Act: Allowing Students Exposed to COVID to Attend School With No Restrictions

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He hasn’t even been confirmed yet by the Florida state Senate but Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Governor Ron DeSantis‘s new Surgeon General, on Wednesday signed an executive order that changes state policy on school attendance for students who have been exposed to COVID-19.

The order, which replaces an August 6 order by Dr. Ladapo’s predecessor, declares that students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can continue attending school in-person, as long as they are asymptomatic. It also repeatedly states that parents have sole discretion on how children are educated – in person or virtually – and on masks, effectively eliminating any locally-ordered mask mandates.

“The school boards in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Alachua and Leon counties [had] challenged the Aug. 6 rule, which did not include the new provision about parents or legal guardians having ‘sole discretion’ about opting out of school mask requirements,” the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reports.

Those lawsuits are now effectively null and void because of the new order.

Dr. Ladapo, who opposes mask and vaccine mandates, has likened the focus on getting Americans vaccinated to a religious obsession, and supports treatment of COVID-19 with drugs that are neither approved for use against the coronavirus nor have been proven to be effective – namely the livestock-dewormer Ivermectin and the malaria-drug hydroxychloroquine. He also appeared in the infamous viral video with a discredited doctor mocked as the “Demon Sperm” physician.

 

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GOING SCORCHED-EARTH

‘Will Harm Every American’: Trump Blasted for Telling GOP It’s ‘Unpatriotic’ to Not Block Dems on Debt He Created

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The former President of the United States, still the leader of the GOP and supposed “kingmaker” to any Republican desperate for his endorsement, is doing his best to undermine the Democrats and President Joe Biden, and he’s being criticized for it.

In one of his many press releases that still do not admit he is a former president, Trump on Wednesday said it would be “foolish and unpatriotic” of Republicans to not use the debt ceiling as a tool against the Democrats’ agenda, as he urged what could be economic catastrophe for the United States, should it default on its credit obligations and the government shut down.

As many have noted, raising the debt ceiling is to pay for the trillions of dollars in spending Trump signed into law.

“Republicans have no choice but to do what they have to do,” he claimed, implying he wants to see them carry out a scorched-earth policy.

Trump also falsely claimed Democrats are “trying to inflict…horror” upon America’s future.

He then called Democrats’ voting rights legislation that will protect and expand the franchise, “the end of our democracy.”

If the debt ceiling is not raised, ultimately, the federal government would default on its bills. What does that mean?

“If the U.S. government cannot pay its bills, millions of Americans would be affected,” CBS News reports today. “Social Security payments would not go out; U.S. troops and federal civilian employees would not be paid. Veterans could see compensation or pension payments lapse. And millions of Americans on food assistance would see benefits stop.”

Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands is warning if the GOP follows Trump’s demands it “will harm every American.”

Trump’s press release:

 

 

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News

President Biden Had Two Vulgar Words to Say When He First Encountered One of Trump’s ‘Toys’ in the White House

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According to the book “Peril,” as newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden first toured the White House after Donald Trump vacated it January 20, he encountered one room of the former president’s “toys,” and responded with a two-word vulgarity.

“Trump’s existence permeated the White House, even the residence,” Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write in the new book, per an excerpt cited by ABC News, HuffPost reports. “One night, Biden wandered into a room where a huge video screen covered the wall. To relax, Trump used to upload programs to virtually play the world’s most famous golf courses.”

The new President had just two words to say about the golf “toy.”

“What a fucking asshole,” President Biden responded.

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz via Flickr

 

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