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At The Tonys, No Gay Husbands

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At last night’s Tony Awards, there were no gay husbands. Not even in “La Cage aux Folles,” which features a same-sex couple and won three Tonys. It’s the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, and the best of the best, our Tony-award winning actors, actresses, directors, producers, etc., in same-sex relationships are unable to say “thank you” to their husbands or wives — because they, too, can’t get married.

Every straight, married award-winner thanked their husband or wife. Some, like Catherine Zeta-Jones, rather profusely. “See that man there?” — pointing to Michael Douglas — “He’s a movie star and I get to sleep with him every night!” But John Logan (who won “Best Play” for “Red”) for instance, shared only his lovely, yet reserved, “…to my partner for nurturing every dream I’ve ever had.” Meanwhile, Logan’s co-winner, Arielle Tepper Madover, proudly blurted out, “I love you, my beautiful husband and children.” I’m glad she was able to.

Broadway is stereotypically one of the most gay-friendly communities around. But this isn’t about stars not being able to say “husband” or “wife” instead of “partner” or “companion,” because of the industry. It’s because, in these United States, there are still so few places same-sex couples can actually get married. And even then, our federal government doesn’t recognize gay marriages.

Exactly one year ago America was in what we now know was the temporary tail-end of our thrall with same-sex marriage. Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont had joined Massachusetts and Connecticut in embracing legal recognition of same-sex unions.

Here it is, one year later. Maine voters overturned their legislature’s marriage equality law. And marriage equality activists around the country, perhaps too tired of fighting what seems to be a losing battle, have turned their attention from the fight for marriage to the fight for equality for those who fight for us.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, though endangered, is still a possibility in some form, at some future date.

ENDA is quietly in the wings as well.

But there’s little to no talk of marriage equality in America anymore. And that’s unacceptable.

Recently, across the globe we’ve seen entire countries, like Portugal and Iceland grant same-sex marriage. Nepal is on its way. Last year, it was Sweden, and the year before that, Norway, which joined the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa, all of which have legalized gay marriage this century.

But America is living in the decades that have already passed, and the Tea Party-NOM-Right Wing-Rush Limbaugh-Glenn Beck-Sean Hannity-loving movement that has been growing has taken hold of some of America’s movable middle.

Rush Limbaugh is the perfect example of this. Yesterday, in his New York Times column titled, “Two Weddings, a Divorce and ‘Glee’,” Frank Rich wrote,

Why would America’s right-wing radio king hire an openly gay entertainer to star at his wedding? And why would one of the world’s foremost AIDS activists sing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” for a gay-baiting provocateur who has trivialized AIDS and speculated that same-sex marriage could lead people to marry dogs? Sir Elton’s fee was reported to be a cool $1 million. Which goes to show that pop music and cash have the power to make even stranger bedfellows than politics.

So, America still feels it’s OK to have gays sing at your wedding, but not let them have a wedding of their own.

Recently-engaged Katie Finneran, winner of “Best Featured Actress in a Musical,” for “Promises, Promises,” last night said, “With the world being so fast, I want to remind you to focus on what you love. It is the greatest passport, it is the greatest roadmap to an extraordinarily blissful life. Just focus on that one thing, don’t listen to anybody else, and you will run into the right people, the right teachers, the right moments and circumstances, and one day you will meet … a person …  that will share that love with you.”

Last night, I told my own partner, who has future Tony visions of his own, that he had better thank — and kiss — his husband when he wins his first Tony. I know one day he’ll be onstage, making his acceptance speech. I can only hope by that day, he’ll have a Tony in his right hand, and a wedding band on his left.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7ppvpQDZ-6Q%26hl%3Den_US%26fs%3D1%26

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Democrat Delivers Fiery Rebuke to House Republicans Trying to Deprive Veterans of Abortion Rights

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U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan, blasted congressional Republicans on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday, accusing them of turning a basic, bipartisan bill to help the nation’s veterans into “a cold heartless, violent” referendum on the right to abortion.

“In terms of making decisions on behalf of women, if you want to take a veterans’ bill and make it about abortion, then let’s do it,” Slotkin dared her Republican colleagues. “What you are saying – and you’re saying in front of the American people – is that you believe a veteran who has been raped, who was the victim of incest, or who is having a dangerous miscarriage, does not deserve access to abortion.”

Slotkin was referring to the Solid Start Act, her legislation designed to help veterans transition into civilian society. Republicans tried to block the bill after learning it includes a “requirement that the Department of Veterans Affairs provide female veterans with information ‘tailored to their specific health care’ needs, which would adhere to a new VA policy providing abortion access for women vets who are victims of rape, incest or whose life is jeopardized,” HuffPost reports.

READ MORE: ‘Yes’: GOP Nominee Mastriano Supports Charging Women With Murder if They Have an Abortion After a 6 Week Ban (Audio)

“If you can’t state it, then be clear you believe in no exceptions for women — a cold heartless, violent approach to women’s health,” said Slotkin, whose stepdaughter is a female Army officer. “You want to ban all abortions. That is your goal. Many of you have been open about that, and if you flip the House, we know that you will put forward a full ban on all abortion for all states.”

Slotkin, a military spouse and military step mother, is correct. House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s plan for Republicans to take back control of the House, his Newt Gingrich-endorsed “Commitment to America” says it very clearly. In the section called “Preserve Our Constitutional Freedoms,” he says Republicans will “protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers.”

But GOP opposition to the abortion provisions in the veterans’ bill is even more extreme than McCarthy’s message – and does not protect the life of the mother.

READ MORE: ‘Doesn’t Get to Tell the County What They Can Read’: Lawmaker Blasts Christian in Viral Video Attacking LGBTQ Library Books

“We are all, on this floor, elected officials and not medical professionals,” Slotkin added in her more-then two-minute rebuke. “If it was your wife, your daughter who was suffering through a miscarriage, are you going to tell her she can’t until her fever gets high enough and until she’s bleeding harder?”

“If that’s what you want for veterans, shame on you! Shame on you!”

Watch below or at this link.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Ginni Thomas Testifies Today Before J6 Committee

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Far-right-wing activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas, who held a months-long pressure campaign with Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to try to force him to somehow overturn the 2020 election, and sent numerous emails to GOP lawmakers in multiple states also trying convince them to overturn the election, will testify today before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

Were Thomas merely a far-right wing extremist, or even a wealthy and powerful lobbyist, her actions would have received less scrutiny, but given she is married to a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, who was the sole vote opposing the release of January 6 documents to the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection, many see her actions as concerning and deserving of investigation.

Politico’s Kyle Cheney broke the news Thomas will testify before the Committee today. Her testimony will be virtual. The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell adds, it is “voluntary.”

READ MORE: Former GOP Congressman Has ‘Legitimate Concerns’ Clarence Thomas Was Involved in ‘Push to Overturn the Election’

Calling Thomas “one of the panel’s most high-profile outstanding witnesses,” Politico reports, “Lawmakers took interest in her connections to John Eastman, a legal architect of former President Donald Trump’s last-ditch plan to subvert the 2020 election. She’d invited Eastman to speak to an activist group in the aftermath of the election, though Eastman has denied ever discussing Supreme Court-related matters with Thomas.”

In a March opinion piece on MSNBC, Wayne Batchis, associate professor of political science at the University of Delaware, examined the Supreme Court’s “Clarence Thomas (and Ginni Thomas) problem.”

“It turns out that Thomas not only sat on the board of an organization that promoted the dangerous fiction that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from former President Donald Trump through fraud, she also attended the rally attempting to vindicate this paranoid propagandistic fantasy (and said she left before Trump took the stage),” Batchis wrote.

READ MORE: Trump Sarcastically Prayed for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Health – Before Asking ‘How Much Longer’ She Had: New Book

” All the while, in what might resemble the coordinated efforts of synchronized swimmers, husband and wife seemingly sought to thwart the investigation into the democratically perilous events of Jan. 6. Ginni Thomas signed on to a letter seeking the expulsion of Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican conference for joining the House Jan. 6 investigation committee; Clarence Thomas was the sole dissenter — standing in opposition to the rest of the court, including its three Trump appointees — in a decision allowing for the release of Jan. 6-related documents to said committee.”

“Without trust in the courts,” he warns, “American democracy does not stand a chance.”

 

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News

Former GOP Congressman Has ‘Legitimate Concerns’ Clarence Thomas Was Involved in ‘Push to Overturn the Election’

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Questions surfaced after Justice Clarence Thomas was the only member of the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the release of Mark Meadows’ texts and information to the Jan. 6 committee. It turned out that in those text messages that the justice didn’t want revealed were communications with his wife.

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), wrote in his new book that he thinks Justice Thomas is far more involved in his wife Ginni Thomas’ 2020 election overthrow attempts.

Riggleman, who left the committee in April, included many of the text messages that had previously been released from Ginni Thomas, along with the note that he had a difficult time trying to get the House Select Committee to sound the alarm on her actions.

“Supreme Court spouses are typically low profile. Ginni’s involvement with political groups had already led to questions about whether Clarence would need to recuse himself in cases with a political component,” wrote Riggleman. If Clarence had been in the logs, it would be a much bigger deal than all that. When I began to suspect Ginni and Clarence had texted with Meadows, I put together a technical brief outlining how we might be able to cement the identifications.”

IN OTHER NEWS: GOP lawmaker leaves people baffled with his opinion of drug seizures

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) called him to express concern that telling Americans that such an influential figure had gone full-Q. Cheney was worried it would turn the whole committee into a political sideshow and overshadow all of the other work the committee was doing. The release of Riggleman’s book has left the committee members furiousover possible leaks after spending a year with so few.

Riggleman persisted in pressing Cheney to tell Americans about the Thomases.

“The committee needed to show the American people that there was an organized, violent effort to reverse the election—and that there were indications it could have been directed by the White House,” he wrote. “Thanks to their prominence, Ginni and Clarence would make a lot of headlines, but those headlines might overwhelm the other important work we were doing.”

The conversation with Cheney didn’t go well, with the two “type A personalities” duking-out their arguments. Riggleman argued that data wasn’t political. It wasn’t right or wrong.

“I also thought that, given Clarence’s position and Ginni’s prominence in conservative circles, the American public had to know what she had been up to,” argued Riggleman. “Some of the messages went beyond simply cheering Meadows on. It was legitimate for me to have concerns as to whether a Supreme Court justice had been involved in the legally questionable push to overturn the election. Was it possible that one of the country’s nine top judges was on board with an authoritarian interpretation of the Constitution? The implications were overwhelming. Cheney found it all improbable. I think she still had more faith in the institutional GOP than I did at that point.”

Riggleman’s book, The Breach, is on sale now and Raw Story has complete coverage here.

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