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Gay College Football Player Comes Out — Gets Kicked Off Team

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Jamie Kuntz, a college football player at North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS), was caught over Labor Day weekend giving his boyfriend a kiss while they were alone in the pressbox at an away game in in Pueblo, Colorado. On the way home, the coach pulled Kuntz off the bus and confronted him.Unsurprisingly, Kuntz lied but then, while on the 15-hour trip home, admitted the lie and acknowledged he is gay and had indeed shared a kiss with his boyfriend. The next day, his coach kicked him off the team, supposedly, for kissing his boyfriend during the game, for lying to his coach about the kiss, for being a “distraction,” and for being “detrimental” to the team.

Kuntz’s coach, Chuck Parsons, made sure to mention Kuntz wasn’t being kicked off the football team — his only reason for attending that school — for being gay. But telling his coach a lie, that was a major infraction that could only be resolved by ending Kuntz’s college football career.

How is this coach’s behavior acceptable in modern-day America? How did the university not intervene on Kuntz’s behalf?

“The letter, which Kuntz shared with me, is signed by NDSCS Head Football Chuck Parsons, Dan Savage, yesterday, reported:

It reads in part: “The head coach reserves the right to dismiss any team member for any conduct that is deemed detrimental to the team. This includes, but is not limited to, any criminal charges or convictions; violations of school policies, NDSCS athletic policies, or NDSCS Wildcat Football policies… Lying to Coaches, Teachers, or other school staff [constitute a violation].” The letter continues: “This decision was arrived at solely on the basis of your conduct during the football game… and because you choose not to be truthful with when I confronted you about whom else was in the box with you.”

Coach Parsons seems to be anticipating charges of homophobia when he emphasizes that Kuntz is being kicked off the team “solely on the basis” of his conduct at the game and lying about it.

“It’s ludicrous to say Jamie’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with his release from the team,” said Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com, the online gay sports community. “Kissing someone during a game isn’t a distraction unless it’s a ‘gay kiss.’ And even if it were a distraction, a slap on the wrist is more than enough to get the point across. Kicking him off the team for such a minor offense comes from one place and one place only: homophobia.”

Other members of the team, according to Kuntz, have been caught drinking, a violation of team rules; one member, a minor, was detained by the police after being found in a 21-and-over club. Some members of the team have “criminal charges and convictions,” according to Kuntz, both misdemeanors and felonies. Another player had a house party that was shut down by the police in Wapheton.

“Nothing happened to him,” says Kuntz. “He’s still on the team. He played on Saturday. I don’t feel that I should’ve been kicked off the team for this. It was a kiss. It was a mistake, but it was just a kiss. We weren’t making out.”

At least one member of the football team at NDSCS agrees with Kuntz. (This team member didn’t want to be quoted by name for fear of damaging his relationship with the coaching staff.) “I didn’t see anything during that game,” the team member told me in a phone interview, “but my teammates told me they saw Jamie up in the press box with another guy and that they were doing stuff. From what I hear they’re saying Jamie got kicked off the team for lying. But if he broke a team rule about lying then I think a suspension should’ve been the punishment and not getting kicked off the team.”

[Bolding ours]

Savage’s report is extensive. There’s one more detail that sadly makes this story not very media-friendly. Dan notes:

One detail about Jamie Kuntz’ story makes it highly unlikely that he will become a poster child for young gay athletes: Kuntz’s boyfriend is 65 years old.

So, Jamie Kuntz is now facing homophobia and ageism. Which is a double-whammy of disgusting. Kuntz’s boyfriend’s age should have little to nothing to do with this story.

The obvious question here is, if all the details were the same, except Kuntz was kissing a 65-year old woman, he’d probably be hailed as a hero among his team, and probably by his coach.

There’s a lot more detail over at I don’t want to be one to judge others’ >relationships ’cause it’s none of my > business, You’re failing… >but the fact that one is 18 or 19 >and the other is 65 makes me wonder >if they don’t have other individual issues >they need to sort out. Which sound’s like “their relationship isn’t like MINE so THEY must be troubled.” I think you have issues to sort out, 14. Posted by DNash on September 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM 35 There needs to be some hilarious Savage reader posting on this facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NDSCSFootball?re… Posted by AdamP on September 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM 36 There needs to be some hilarious Savage reader posting on this facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NDSCSFootball?re… Posted by AdamP on September 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM 37 In my lifetime I’ve seen maybe a half dozen footballs player PROPOSE to their girlfriend on the football field and kiss them right there in front of MILLIONS of viewers. The night Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, that exactly what millions of people saw. But I want to ask a question of Dan: If your a young guy whose thing is older men, how old do you have to be before it’s appropriate to pursue them? Isn’t this kid 18? Could he be in Afghanistan killing people right now? My lawfully wedded husband is 30 years older than me so I know exactly what rows Jaime’s boat in terms of being into older men. I met my husband when I was 30 and he was 60. I’m now 59 and he’s 89. Not one fucking thing has changed about how I feel about him since the day I met him. I had a daughter from a previous marriage who was 6 when I met my husband and she regards him like a father. She even named her first child after him. Yes, there are some dues to pay when you love an older man; them getting older and needing you to take care of them for a long time. You know what? Doing that has magnified my loyalty and affection for him 10 fold. I got the greatest love of my life in the deal, someone who stood by me when my family basically abandoned me, and it’s my great privilege to take care of him in the winter of his life. Posted by milemarker on September 10, 2012 at 8:02 PM 38 @37 and others. Thank you for bringing a positive perspective and some SANITY to this discussion. I have never seen a more ludicrous display of inane gibberish in my whole life. Kuntz is 18, nothing more to be said. End of story. Forced to lie by a homophobic coach is his only error in judgment, but he proved his strength of character by setting the record straight. I would like to point out that I am 64 and belong to several dating sites for gay men. I quite regularly receive messages from very young men, 18-25, who want to meet me and be with me. As it turns out, that is not a relationship that appeals to me. But who am I to judge others, in my age group, who desire one? And finally, when was the last time anyone went ballistic when Hugh Hefner, who is, what, 86, is seen with a 24 year old bombshell draping herself all over his velvet robe? Give me a break. Posted by SDBudde on September 10, 2012 at 8:37 PM 39 They’re both legally adults, Dan. It’s not your place to judge their relationship. Posted by dansan on September 10, 2012 at 8:40 PM 40 Did I say that Jamie wasn’t an adult? Or that there was anything illegal about this relationship? I didn’t say that Jamie was being abused, or that there was anything inherently wrong with his relationship. I quoted him defending his boyfriend, describing himself as the aggressor. My only beef with the boyfriend was that he was reckless. And I’m sorry, gang, but making out with your closeted teenage football player boyfriend at a FOOTBALL GAME in full view of his teammates and coaches—does that sound like a wise move? Remember my campsite rule for sexual relationships involving large age gaps: leave ’em in better shape than you found ’em. I don’t think Jamie’s boyfriend left him in better shape than he found him—not that Jamie’s boyfriend left him. They’re still together. And Jamie is happy with my piece and thinks it’s fair to him and his boyfriend. So… you know. There’s that. Posted by Dan Savage on September 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM 41 @38 people are regularly Ew over Hef… But, they can’t stop it, so what’s the use of complaining… Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM 42 Sorry—not making out. A kiss. Still reckless. And still a violation of the campsite rule. Posted by Dan Savage on September 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM 43 Hey Dan– When you spoke to Jamie, did you ask him when he started dating his current boyfriend? Or did that question not occur to our intrepid reporter? Posted by robotslave on September 10, 2012 at 9:30 PM 44 Dan, you make a good point about the campsite rule (though you and I may disagree on how much blame the boyfriend deserves). What bothered me was not so much what you said, but what other people were saying in making comparisons between Jamie’s boyfriend and Sandusky. I felt those comments were very inappropriate and unacceptable. Posted by lqtm on September 10, 2012 at 10:26 PM 45 Well, one person quoted in story raised the Sandusky comparison, another quoted immediately after shot it down. Seems like a wash to me. Posted by Dan Savage on September 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM 46 A lot of great hilarious commentary here, and Wow I can’t believe how ready y’all are to beat up on Dan for “judging” someone. But where the hell are Beavis and Butthead when you need them? That last photo, chosen on purpose by Mr Savage, says dickinson. Posted by pinch-flat on September 10, 2012 at 11:10 PM 47 Shame, Dan. That you “feel nothing but anger” toward his boyfriend shows that you need to step back and reconsider just why you are having such a visceral reaction to something that is of no concern. It is the same bogus reasoning that says gay people “recruit.” The *worst* that can be said was that he was supposed to be filming. That simply results in a severe talking-to: “We brought you to do a job and you dropped the ball. What you do on your own time is your business but on our time, you are to do the task assigned to you.” What two consenting adults do is not for other people to titter about, clutch their pearls, and start railing against. “Impulsive”? “Reckless”? “Disregard”? Exactly how infantilized do you think Kuntz is? Unless you’re trying to say that Kuntz’ boyfriend was a hop, skip, and jump from rape, then it is naught but bigotry that leads you to be “angry.” Pull your head out of your ass, Dan. Posted by Rrhain on September 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM 48 The Sandusky comparison is a red herring, of course. But. Did you ask Jamie when he initiated his relationship with his 65-year-old boyfriend? And did it not occur to you to ask that question, Dan? Posted by robotslave on September 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM 49 @37,38, and 47. Good for you for sticking up for someone’s right to love whomever they choose. Wasn’t that exactly what the original Gay Liberation Movement was about?! Now it seems we’re all supposed to marry our monogamous (or “monogamish”) boyfriend, get a house with a white-picket fence, and start raising babies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I like Dan Savage, but he has always had a problem with relationships where there’s an age gap. (Check out the old columns.) His automatic default position is that there must be something wrong. This a problem of Dan’s, that Dan needs to work out, and he should stop projecting his issue onto other couples. What Jamie needs to do for himself now is to stay in competitive shape and, assuming he’s as good a player as the article implies, put together a great promo/press tape to send to colleges that are less homophobic than NDSCS. Given that he’s already received so much publicity, perhaps there are other gay athletes, coaches, alumni, etc., who will get involved and can steer him to a school where he can both play football and have a boyfriend. Of whatever age. I wish them the best of luck., Posted by Don Diego on September 11, 2012 at 1:00 AM 50 A lot of people are judging the boyfriend against an ideal-world situation and Dan’s judging him against the real-world situation. Both are right, only the kid’s coming out process has now become that much tougher… Is it too much to ask that people think about consequences – even though they shouldn’t be in an ideal world – precisely because the stakes are high? Posted by fahima on September 11, 2012 at 2:42 AM 51 There are a lot of technical questions: Were they alone in a very visible or distantly elevated press box? Did Jamie miss filming a great scoring intercept by his team? Did the other team see the kiss and start taunting Jamie’s visiting teammates? A head injury-especially frontal lobe damage can specially impair judgement about acting out in public. Age difference-no problem-it will work itself out either way in due time, it always does. BUT the older mate should have kept a distance and some restraint if he respected Jamie’s wishes and dreams for a future in football (until they were in a better place and time). If Jamie is attracted to the older man because of his experience and maturity, then the older man failed Jamie in not staying away during a highly visible working school function. Posted by Star Boy on September 11, 2012 at 4:24 AM 52 There are a lot of technical questions: Were they alone in a very visible or distantly elevated press box? Did Jamie miss filming a great scoring intercept by his team? Did the other team see the kiss and start taunting Jamie’s visiting teammates? A head injury-especially frontal lobe damage can specifically impair judgment about acting out in public. Age difference-no problem-it will work itself out either way in due time, it always does. BUT the older mate should have kept a distance and some restraint if he respected Jamie’s wishes and dreams for a future in football (until they were in a better place and time). If Jamie is attracted to the older man BECAUSE of his experience and maturity, then the older man failed Jamie in not staying away during a highly visible working school function. Posted by Star Boy on September 11, 2012 at 4:31 AM 53 Does anyone remember Harold and Maude, and how that was seen as nothing more than a quirky, sentimental tearjerker about two kindred spirits who were both so “different” that they had almost no chance in hell of ever finding someone right for them, at least getting to be together for a little while? Can we stop assuming the worst when there is absolutely no indication that anything is wrong here? How can we expect anyone to be tolerant and respectful if we only tolerate and respect things that don’t “squick” us out? The young guy said the older guy was just as afraid to kiss in public as he was, and I believe him. Think about what that older guy’s life has been like, for a minute, will ya? Unfortunately for them (and yes, I’m totally guessing here), they were like, “Oh, fuck it” and just did it, knowing that their fear was justified, because at that one moment, the fact that a fear like that IS justified was just too sad to accept, so they slipped up and momentarily pretended they had been born in a world that wasn’t quite as brutal, cruel and unfair. For ONE FREAKING second. And now, here are two guys who won’t get the benefit of (almost any of) the recent turning tide in public opinion. If they were the same age, we’d all be praising their courage and they’d get an outpouring of love and righteous outrage on their behalf from millions of strangers. Instead, this guy’s life is totally messed up, maybe for a long time or forever, and all he gets is, “… Ew.” That’s what real courage looks like. Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 6:22 AM 55 I have a couple thoughts here, and my opinion has changed from the initial visceral reaction to this article upon reading down all the comments. I’m a straight Mom with 4 sons, the two oldest are 17 and 21, and even the difference between 17 and 21, in maturity, is vast. My 17 year old often forgets to bring a pencil to school, is very impetuous, and well, 17. I wonder really, what a 65 year old sees in an 18 year old, yes, it’s legal, but is it really that interesting for this older gentleman? I expect a certain level of maturity from a man who is 65 that I don’t expect from an 18 year old. He had a responsibility to act responsible, especially knowing the kid was still closeted, even to his own family. When the young man started acting reckless, he should have left that press box to protect him from the consequences. At 65, the older man knew full well the consequences and the history of homophobia and has likely suffered many similar consequences over his 65 years. Recklessness from a teenager is far more acceptable than recklessness from a 65 year old man. I have no issue with May/December relationships, except the Decembers need to realize that their Mays are so very young and often lack the experience and judgement they’ve gained from living so much longer, and take extra care. I am not saying they need to patronize or treat them like children, but they do need to be more protective and responsible. I am as uncomfortable though, seeing gay men judging this relationship of vast age differentials and comparing it to pedophilia as I am when I hear straight people comparing gay relationships to pedophilia or seeing them as somehow lesser or more perverse. The fact is, there simply is not enough information in this article about the relationship, when it started, how it came to be, what they get or need from each other, for any of us to adequately judge it’s merits. What we do know though, is an 18 year old kissed his boyfriend publicly, and the coach, because of probable homophobia, punished him far too harshly. THAT should be the focus, not age, recklessness of either party, or anything else. Would this coach kick someone else off the team for lying about anything else? Doubtful, as evidenced by what the other player stated about other violations of conduct of other players. Drinking parties, things like this, are actually violations of state laws, but kissing a gay partner, when both parties are legal, consenting adults, even if a play was missed in filming, was certainly not grounds to dismiss this player off the team entirely. Why did the kid feel compelled to lie? Well, probably because he’s aware of the homophobia of the coach and fellow players. Why not save the judgement for the perpetrators or the injustice and not the victims of injustice? As a mother, would I be creeped out if one of my sons brought home a gay partner? Absolutely not, because I am fine with LGBT people and see your relationships as no different or lesser than my own marriage with my husband. Would I be concerned though, if one of my sons brought home a male or female who was 65 when they were only 18? Yes, absolutely I would, and I would hold that older man/woman’s feet to the fire and make sure he knew the immaturity level and responsibility he/she has being with someone so much younger and more emotionally and mentally vulnerable. If my child was happy though, and I could see good, positive things coming from ANY relationship, I would welcome it with open arms. Is Kuntz really happy with this man? If he is; then I’m very happy for them. Is this coach homophobic and did he kick a kid off the team because he is gay? That’s the question that needs to be explored, and if yes, that is who needs to be judged, and perhaps legal action needs to be taken. No kiss should ever ruin anyone’s life. More… Posted by JenniTidd on September 11, 2012 at 7:34 AM 56 @53 I suspect that a lot of the “ew” and indignation comes from plain, old fashioned jealousy. I think Jamie is gorgeous and I certainly envy his boyfriend, but not to the point of attacking him. Posted by Mudkips on September 11, 2012 at 7:51 AM 57 There are scholarships available for LGBT youth. He should look into them. Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 11, 2012 at 7:52 AM 58 I would argue the campsite rule is null and void due to outside homophobic influence. And who would think that a kiss would destroy someone’s life? I sure wouldn’t. Homophobia trumps the campsite rule. Posted by brandon on September 11, 2012 at 9:43 AM 59 I’m gay but a 18 year old getting it on with a 65 year old geezer? That’s just fucking gross! And they are right, when people see that piece of information they won’t care about this at all. This young man needs a therapy if he is attracted to geriatrics. The whole notion grosses me out. Posted by Mattyx on September 11, 2012 at 9:48 AM 60 @59 I’m pretty sure that your preferences don’t dictate whether or not someone “needs a therapy” just because they aren’t the same. I’m also pretty sure people in relationships that you don’t approve of don’t really care if it “grosses you out” because they don’t need your approval to do what they want. Just a thought =) Posted by Mudkips on September 11, 2012 at 10:02 AM 61 Well here is something to think on homophobia is a form of discrimination. i thought this country had discrimination taken care of. the person or people that need to be under scrutiny are the ones at the college. Im a car mechanic, it does not matter what profession or what you do to earn your education. this is a country of EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL not just some . Posted by paul g on September 11, 2012 at 10:20 AM 62 FWIW Dan, I liked the article and wasn’t reacting to anything you said. I support the idea of responsibility, campsite rule, etc. and holding someone to that isn’t in any way like saying “Ew” or whatever. Or drawing any parallels to Sandusky, for example. But now that what went down went down, I do think it’s an interesting test for people to think *honestly* about why they react to stories like this the way they do, and whether that says anything about what freedom and rights really mean to them. (like @55 did – fantastic). And that it isn’t always as easy or clear-cut as we might like it to be. @59, nice try – but pretty realistic, so I’m glad for the troll Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM 63 Wow, for a bunch of gay guys, you are really intolerant. I have a number of gay friends who are attracted to significantly older men. They weren’t seduced or tricked into having relationships…they actively pursued these men (once they reached 18 years old) because they find older men attractive and younger men (like Mattvx) “fucking gross” and stupid to boot (again, like Mattvx). So what you are saying to these guys are, “We don’t care what YOU want. We think it’s icky and gross. Stay celebate until you are 30 and THEN you can pursue who you are attracted to.” Posted by guitarcub on September 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM 64 @59: thanks for confirming the stereotype. Intelligent, brave warriors for equality are fighting for the rights of the likes of … ignorant prejudiced airhead clones like you. If I sound belligerent, look first to those who cast the first stone: @59 et. al. who barge in and piss all over gay relationships with big age gaps – like MY OWN stable, legalized, loving and hot relationship. You know what, @59, YOU are gross. Posted by ravished on September 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM 65 What a bunch of intolerant fucks…I have a number of gay friends who are attracted to significantly older men. They were not stalked, coerced, or tricked into relationships. They actively seeked them out. They are not attacted to “bois” (like ’59’ Mattvx) who don’t have a brain in their heads (again, like ’59’ Mattvx). So the question comes down to this: Does “age of consent” actually MEAN anything in this country? Posted by guitarcub on September 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM 66 One last thought – we know nothing about the older guy, what his history is, how well-equipped he was to make a wise decision in this situation regardless of age, how well he was able to assess this social world compared to the younger guy whose world it actually was, or if he’s even ever had a boyfriend at all. I hope for his sake that we continue to know nothing. Nobody so far has even wondered what could the consequences for him could be because of all this. (I know this is a bit of a reach in this conversation, but still). Probably nobody would even care. How much would people be willing to say he deserved or had coming to him because of this? Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM 67 STOP blaming the victim. Stop trying to figure out if the young one or the old one is responsible, or should have been more sensible, or should have known better. It is as lurid and pointless and stupid as figuring out if a rape victim somehow induced the crime. The wrong here is the HOMOPHOBIA. That is all! Posted by ravished on September 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM 68 Ok so… I believe that we shouldn’t be judging this relationship, no matter the age difference. True: it’s hard to spin a story about an 18-year-old cutie pie kissing his possibly not-so-cute boyfriend who is, of course, 47 years older than he is. We shouldn’t be saying things like “he should’ve thought about the young boy’s future” because, to him, his boyfriend isn’t a “young boy”, he’s his equal (or at least I hope that’s how he views his romantic partner). Additionally, it seems like to me many people have this idea that the younger party is the one most likely to be manipulated by their older partner when it’s possible that a younger man is completely capable of being just as vindictive and manipulative as an older man. For instance, while an older man can play on the naivete and inexperience of his younger partner, the younger partner can also play on the desire to be desirable from their older partner. Of course, I don’t want to make assumptions about another person’s relationship simply because it’s not the kind of relationship I engage in. I have friends who are involved in what can be described as “unhealthy” relationships by the popular consensus, i.e. slave-master, BDSM, polyamory, polygamy, pan-romantic, trans-romantic, inter-romantic, etc. etc., and I’ve found that even though I’m not into it that doesn’t stop me from being happy for my friends who have found what they have been searching for. Intergenerational relationships exist and just because they make us uncomfortable and just because they’re not as “useful” as the romantic relationships we construct as “normal” in terms of winning over audiences and voters in this upcoming and extremely important election (Washington, which is where Dan Savage and I live, is going to vote whether or not to pass marriage equality in the state), we cannot judge them. We cannot pretend that they aren’t the same as other relationships because they are. People must be encouraged to pursue romantic entanglements that make them feel satisfied and happy, despite what is viewed as normal – especially in a day and age where the long-traditional perception of “normal” relationships is being shifted to the public eye. Love is love and we need to recognize that. Yes, I will admit that a 65 year old man and a 18 year old man (yes, they are both LEGAL adults) kissing may not be as “cute” a story as well as have that positive spin that makes it a story worth fighting for in the eyes of the press, but I will not pass judgment, make assumptions, or state that their relationship is less valid than mine. Additionally, I will NOT relate this relationship to the “Sandusky Trial” considering that the people involved are both legal, consenting adults and it is not a crime nor even a misdemeanor to want to kiss your boyfriend. More… Posted by Connor_Mykel on September 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM 69 @67, much better said. Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM 70 Its exactly the humanness of this episode that makes it important. The “Ewww” factor for some should trigger the question “what is the principle here?” Its that he can love who he wants at his age and he got booted off a team for a kiss. Lying in such a circumstance – never ideal or fully rationalizable – is actually a natural response given he accurately predicted the consequences. Whether he has other issues you want to suspect him of matters not to the principle. Keep it simple. Its homophobia that got him kicked off the team. Ideal case or not, its perfectly human and pure discrimination. Posted by RobSFNYC on September 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM 71 @69: sorry, i liked the way you picked apart the issues. Just having a pissed off day hence the caps and exclamation marks. Posted by ravished on September 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM 72 The North Dakota State College of Science is an equal opportunity employer and equal opportunity educator. NDSCS is fully committed to equal opportunity in employment decisions and educational programs and activities, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, for all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or status with regard to marriage or public assistance. ummmmmmmm….me thinks the coach is violating the school’s anti-discrimination policy. Posted by jamie_m on September 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM 73 I can’t believe that some of you (including the reporter!?) put some blame of this in the older boyfriend. This is not at all a question of age or that it was “unsmart” of them to kiss. It’s only a question of homophobia. If we want to break down these barriers between being gay and playing sports you have to let people do these things. You can’t really say that you want it to be accepted everywhere and then say that they should have given it more thought. Come on people. Posted by Swede on September 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM 74 I’m sure Kuntz knew what would happen if he admitted that he was kissing his boyfriend. After all, homophobia this blatant usually has other telltale signs. Under the circumstances, I can’t blame him for lying. Also, if this had been a woman (especially an older woman), he would have been given a “boys will be boys” chuckle, a slap on the wrist, and been allowed to continue playing. Posted by taephoenix on September 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM 76 North Dakota is a surprisingly tolerant state. Sure, there are the standard bigots found in every bunch, but I think with the size of the overall population compared to the anti-gay and vocal-about-it few, it’s not a bad situation. What IS bad, however, is that state law has not yet caught up to public sentiment. This is perfectly outlined in this post: http://thegayagenda.areavoices.com/?p=38… Like the article says, the incidents where the “excuse” of state law is used for outright discrimination are pretty few and far between, but it’s still there in the records. For the time being. Posted by 0wl on September 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM 77 Its exactly the humanness of this episode that makes it important. The “Ewww” factor for some should trigger the question “what is the principle here?” Its that he can love who he wants at his age and he got booted off a team for a kiss. Lying in such a circumstance – never ideal or fully rationalizable – is actually a natural response given he accurately predicted the consequences. Whether he has other issues you want to suspect him of matters not to the principle. Keep it simple. Its homophobia that got him kicked off the team. Ideal case or not, its perfectly human and pure discrimination. Posted by RobSFNYC on September 11, 2012 at 5:20 PM 78 The sporting world does not seem ready for us…I tried and thought my career was secure…not so much. Maybe in the future there will be some kind of real support system. Posted by zracre on September 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM 79 @ 59: The satire is pitch perfect. I fell for it at first. Oh, look how far we have come, folks, when young gay men can say the same things we still hear about … young gay men. @73: A 65 year old should understand that PDAs will out an 18 year old. If the 18 year old is not ready to be out, don’t out him by ignoring that fact. And DON’T make a political statement using the 18 year old without his permission. (Heck, don’t do it then, because the world already is too eager to use the lives of gullible young men to adress the political preferences of old people.) Posted by Snowguy on September 11, 2012 at 6:19 PM 80 This American culture (as well as many others, but I’m an American) worships the fantasy of being forever young, of youthful beauty expressed in A&F ad programs, of age being ugly and useless as if humans were planned obsolescence machines to be discarded. The fact that ageism should enter the conversation about an 18-year-old man who proclaims that he was in pursuit of this older boyfriend shows just what unexamined lives so many people live. As to the gay community in particular, the “dirty old” men so many of you feel to see only as “too old” shows how little you know about how much many of your elders have done for you and your civil rights, your medical health and the heightened prestige worldwide that homosexuality now holds. So, continue to believe that you have no regressive traits in pursuit of outdate idolatry, buy you are severely mistaken and as prejudiced as the homophobes who want to end this young gay guy’s football career prematurely because he merely kissed someone he loves. Posted by RomanFingers on September 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM 81 http://xkcd.com/314/ Age/2 + 7 rule (or close enough to it). Sorry, but you can’t convince me there isn’t a power dynamic issue with the age difference. Homophobia could have easily played a part, but the age gap is much more likely to be the issue. Posted by ravewulf on September 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM 82 Sorry, Dan. I still think your full of shit. Your initial reaction was totally unfair. It sounds from the description like it wasn’t full on making out but just a kiss. That hardly seems “reckless,” especially if they were convinced that no one else could see them, which it seems like they very obviously (and mistakenly) were. Automatically blaming the older man for ruining the younger man’s college career seems to me like you’ve already stacked the deck against the older guy. Admit it. You view any 65 year old that would date someone that young with suspicion. And this suspicion, whether you want it to or not, causes you to judge them more negatively than you would someone else. I’m a gay gerontophile. I’m now 36, but have always been attracted to men over 55. It was very hard when I was 18. Being gay was hard enough, but then even my gay friends didn’t understand my attraction. They assumed I’d been abused, or had daddy issues or was looking for financial support. And on top of all the other shit I had to put up with, I had to deal with constantly being told that any older guy who would date me or have sex with me was a freak, a loser or a predator. It was rough. I met, dated and had sex with a few men in their 60s when I was 18. Some of them were jerks, but most of them were very sweet and caring. Kind of like the same experience that every actively dating 18 year old has. I’m sure Jamie appreciates your support, and he does not sound like one to make a big issue out of something he didn’t like in your column. But I also applaud him for sticking up for his boyfriend. You weren’t there, Dan. You don’t know what went down or how. Perhaps his boyfriend was being a selfish, reckless jerk and didn’t care about the consequences that Jamie might suffer. Or perhaps he was just stealing a kiss with someone he loved. I know for a fact, Dan, that if Jamie’s boyfriend was 19 instead of 65, you would not dream of blaming the boyfriend for the incident. You would blame the coach, the school, society, but not the boyfriend. Perhaps Jamie’s boyfriend showing up to the football game at all was not the best idea. But vilifying someone because they did not remain sufficiently closeted so as not to be the victim of someone else’s homphobia seems like something the religious right would do. If two gay teens were at a high school dance and beaten up after being seen kissing, would you blame the gays for kissing? Would you say they should have known better? What if they were two 65 year old gay teachers at the dance who stole a kiss and were then beaten up? Would you blame them? More… Posted by mshawn on September 11, 2012 at 10:01 PM 84 @82 There it is. That’s what I’m like. I went through life without the ability to even *see* guys my age. If they didn’t have wrinkles, a bald head, white hair – my heart was blind to them. My husband and I used to laugh about how we would go to a gay night club and on the way home talk about who was “cute”. He’d mention some young guy and be in dismay that the guy hadn’t even registered on my brain. I’d do the some thing with him, mention how some silver-haired guy gave me a look. My husband wouldn’t have the foggiest idea who I was talking about. See? We were made for each other. We both like each other because of our ages. We both got what we wanted, and he turned out to be a hell of a good friend and partner to me and parent to my daughter. He’s never treated me any other way than as an equal and I’m so grateful for that after seeing all of the self-absorbed older guys online advertising themselves as a “mentor” who wants a playmate to boss around rather than an adult to build a life with. Posted by milemarker on September 11, 2012 at 11:39 PM 85 I’m disappointed that Dan Savage placed any blame on the older boyfriend. “It’s hard to feel anything but anger for Kuntz’s boyfriend. The elder man’s reckless disregard for his Kuntz’s future, to say nothing of Kuntz’s physical safety, is much harder to excuse.” –DS Actually, I don’t feel any anger toward him at all. I wasn’t there. I didn’t see what happened. And according to the information given, all they did was kiss. That’s “reckless disregard for his Kuntz’s future”? They were in a press box, and it’s possible that they both had some expectation of privacy, and even though they were seen, if they had that expectation it might have been reasonable. And the idea that Kuntz is this poor, dithering teenager who is a slave to his impulses and the older man should be held to some kind of rediculously high standard of maturity… Come on. Kuntz is 18, and in our country you are considered an adult at that age. Yeah, some 18-year-olds aren’t very mature, relatively speaking, but if they’re old enough to decide if they want to go to war, then they’re old enough to decide who they want to kiss and where. As for older adults always acting responsibly, I seem to recall a certain someone who founded this really great anti-bullying campaign and then went out in front of a group of UNDERAGE teenagers and called some of them names and used language that many would find offensive. Mr. Savage, you didn’t exactly look like the adult in that situation even though you were the much older one, but I didn’t get angry. I know we all have our breaking points. I’m an older man, and I’ve never been with anyone significantly younger or older than myself, but I still notice the young guys. This past summer I found out who Tom Daley is, the English diver from the Olympics. Wow! If he wanted to kiss me, I’m not sure I could manage to pull off being the “responsible adult”, even if we were in a redneck bar in Mississippi. We older guys, we have our impulses, too. (I’m pretty sure Tom would never be interested, so I think I’m safe.) When you’re an adult, you get to decide how you’re going to live your life. You get to decide who you’re going to date, who you’re going to kiss, have sex with, etc. That’s what being an adult means. It doesn’t matter if what you do makes others unconfortable or if others don’t understand or approve. If it’s legal, it’s legal. Getting kicked off of a football team seems really harsh under the circumstances presented to us here, and I don’t think it should matter one bit how old the boyfriend is. I doubt Kuntz would have gotten the boot if he had been seen kissing a woman of any age and then lying about it. That’s the story. And that’s what we should be talking about. I don’t think Dan Savage shold have wrote about this story in a way that lent any credence whatsoever to the idea that the wrong done to this man is somehow less significant because of the age of the person he was kissing. I also found some of the comments here disappointing, too. What does disapproving of the age difference have to do with anything? Even if the younger man was being taken advantage of by the older man, even if the older man was some reckless ass who didn’t give a damn about anybody but himself, how does kicking the younger man off the team help him? How does gossiping, and moralizing about May-December romances and psychoanalyzing the older boyfriend help this young man who was kicked off of his football team for kissing someone in a press box? More… Posted by snogger on September 12, 2012 at 1:12 AM 86 Here’s what is now the headline of all the articles out there about this: “Gay North Dakota college football player says kiss got him booted.” Not, “College football player booted because of gay kiss.” He *was* booted because of a gay kiss. He isn’t “saying” that – that’s what actually did happen. But, I guess it doesn’t matter – that’s gonna be the headline now Posted by houseoftrash on September 12, 2012 at 2:04 AM 87 This is a tiny consolation for this dude who just got booted from college: it’s a college that decided to try to use “whom”, but couldn’t get it right. GRAMMER IZ HORD. (Details: “…I confronted you about whom [!] else was in the box with you”. Yes, the whole relative clause “who/whom was in the box with you” is the object of the preposition “about”. But inside the relative clause, the “who/whom” is the subject of “___ was in the box with you”. And “who”-vs-“whom” is determined only by its role in the relative clause… for anyone dumb enough to try using “whom”. A simplified version of their error: “I know whom was there.” The technical term is “a free relative clause”– and that and a buh fiddy will get ya on the bus!) Ugh. A school of bigoted weasels who can’t write. Also: be nice to the kid, HE HAD A CONCUSSION. Posted by Ogonek on September 12, 2012 at 5:35 AM Add a comment Your comments In an effort to keep the discourse respectful and on topic, commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters. ADVERTISEMENT MOST COMMENTED ON SLOG College Football Player Kicked Off Team After He Outs Himself During a Game by Dan Savage The Risk of Riding in a Bike Lane by Dominic Holden Pat Robertson Wishes You Could Beat Your Wife by Dan Savage Aren’t You Glad You Live in Seattle? by Bethany Jean Clement George W. Bush Was Warned Multiple Times About an Attack from Al Qaeda Before 9/11 by Paul Constant Retired DEA Heads Tell Obama to Stop Pot-Legalization Initiatives by Dominic Holden Dear USA… by Charles Mudede Photos From SlutWalk Seattle 2012 by Kelly O Slog Mormon Study: Abraham 3:9 by Goldy SL Letter of the Day: Shock and Ew by Dan Savage Stranger Personals Lovelab liveinsunshine: Women seeking Men Lustlab whiskeyandablade Lovelab acharmingkiddo: Men seeking Women The Stranger Presents MORE STRANGER GIVEAWAYS, CONTESTS, AND PROMOS » THE STRANGER Archives StrangerMart Contact Masthead Cover Art Gallery Ad Info & Rates Distribution & Subscriptions Jobs at The Stranger RSS THE STRANGER CLASSIFIEDS » Housing Roommates Jobs Musicians For Sale Wheels Services Health The Arts Friends ‘n’ Neighbors Bulletin Board Escorts Personals Bands GOING TO PORTLAND? News What to Do in Portland Film Music Visual Art Books Theater Blogtown, PDX Pod-n-Vod Home | Savage Love | Features | Stranger Suggests | News | Music | Film | Books | Visual Art | Theater | Restaurants | Columns | Classifieds | Personals | Stranger Presents | Slog | Line Out | Podcasts | StrangerMart | Video | Archives | Contact | Check Out Food, Music and Arts in Other Cities | Tickets RSS Facebook Twitter All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC 1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122 Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy ” target=”_blank”>Savage’s Slog. Go read it.

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News

Rick Scott’s IVF Pledge Using His Own Grandkids Slammed as ‘Lie’ by Democrats

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U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), running for re-election and running to replace Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican Leader, has put out a new seven-figure ad that uses his children and grandchildren as he pledges to protect in-vitro fertilization (IVF), but Democrats in the Sunshine State are accusing him of lying.

“My wife Ann and I have two daughters and seven perfect grandkids. Each is a precious gift from God. But sometimes families need help. Millions of babies have come into this world from IVF, in-vitro fertilization. In fact, our youngest daughter’s receiving an IVF treatment right now, hoping to expand her family. She and I both agree IVF must be protected. For our family, for every family,” Senator Scott says in his latest ad he’s also posted to social media (below).

Democrats are calling Sen. Scott out for what they say is a lie.

On Thursday, Scott voted against the Right to IVF Act, Democratic legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who blasted him on Friday: “You literally voted against my bill to protect IVF yesterday.”

READ MORE: Right Wing Justices Rule Ban on Gun Accessory Used in Major Mass Shooting Unlawful

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked Duckworth’s bill in a 48-47 vote. Only two Republicans, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins voted with Democrats for the legislation.

“Rick Scott voted against protecting access to IVF — a miracle treatment that has allowed millions of Americans to start families,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said in a statement that also includes his voting record and statements on IVF and other issues including abortion. “Scott has made it crystal clear that he will stop at nothing to rip away personal decisions from women and their families — and it will cost him his Senate seat.”

“Scott previously blocked legislation to protect IVF treatment that was introduced in response to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that stored embryos have the same legal protections as children,” the Florida Democratic Party statement also reads. “Scott is now trying to cover up his anti-IVF record by touting an ’empty, symbolic’ resolution that would do nothing to actually protect IVF and spending millions to lie to Floridians about his phony support for IVF.”

The Florida Phoenix last week reported, “Scott, a Republican, will likely face former South Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in November. Both candidates must get through their respective party primary elections in August.”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

“Mucarsel-Powell has been relentless in criticizing Scott’s record on abortion rights. Last week, her campaign issued a statement noting that the Scott had received an “A+” rating from Students for Life Action, an anti-abortion organization that opposes IVF.”

Political consultant Dana Houle observed, “If you’re running ads trying to convince people you’re not opposed to IVF (which in effect he is, since he voted against protecting it) you’re in pretty big trouble. It’s crazy to think that it’s likely that one of the decisive events of the 2024 campaign occurred in Alabama.”

That also appears to be the position of Florida Democratic Party executive director Phillip Jerez, who responded to Scott’s ad by asking, “Didn’t you vote AGAINST the IVF bill in the Senate yesterday?”

“Rick Scott is now putting up this 7-figure ad because he needs to work OVERTIME to lie to Floridians,” Jerez added. “He’s never won an election by more than 1% and never in a presidential year. Rick Scott is in trouble.”

David Simon, the well-known author, journalist, and screenwriter known for his colorful language, also responded to Sen. Scott: “Shitheel, you voted against the bill to protect IVF and then ran out to tweet this horseshit the next day. Even by our American standards of grifting, empty political hacks, this is wondrous.”

See Sen. Scott’s ad above or at this link.

RELATED: GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

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Right Wing Justices Rule Ban on Gun Accessory Used in Major Mass Shooting Unlawful

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In a 6-3 decision along partisan lines, right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a bump stock, an accessory used in America’s most-deadly mass shooting, that effectively turns an AR-15 into a machine gun, cannot be regulated under current law. Justice Clarence Thomas authored the majority opinion. The device is so dramatically lethal pro-gun President Donald Trump banned it in 2018.

“The Supreme Court just effectively legalized machine guns,” is the headline of Ian Millhiser’s report at Vox. He says Friday’s ruling “effectively legalizes civilian ownership of automatic weapons.”

“Bump stocks increase an AR-15’s rate of fire from 180 rounds per minute to 400-800 rounds per minute,” explained Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, in response to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling. “They inflict mass carnage by allowing the gunman to shoot automatically, without pulling the trigger. Yet the Supreme Court declares that they do not create a ‘machinegun.’ ”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

Legal and gun experts might delve in to the mechanics of what makes a gun a gun, what makes a machine gun a machine gun, add in the conservative justices’ “textualism” and “originalism” theories where words are supposed to only mean what they meant when the Constitution, or, in this case, a law was written, but as Stern and Aaron Fritschner, the deputy chief of staff for a Democratic U.S. Congressman discussed (social media post below), the Supreme Court appears, they say, to have interpreted the plain language of words differently than their plain meaning to reach the conclusion they did:

Indeed, as senior advisor to the nonprofit organization Court Accountability and self-described “lapsed lawyer” Mike Sacks noted, in her dissent, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined by liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, wrote: “When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”

Sacks adds, “Sotomayor calls out *every* *single* *one* *of* *her* *Republican* *colleagues* for abandoning their textualist ‘principle,’ in a paragraph that concludes, “Today, the majority forgets that principle and substitutes its own view of what constitutes a “machinegun” for Congress’s.”

Berkeley professor of public policy and former Cabinet Secretary Robert Reich wrote, “Koch-backed groups called on SCOTUS to overturn the federal bump stock ban. Clarence Thomas secretly attended Koch fundraising events, but of course didn’t recuse from this case — he wrote the majority opinion. Our nation’s highest court is beyond compromised.”

NBC News reported in December of 2018 that Donald Trump “had urged the federal government to ban bump stocks this past spring following a deadly Valentine’s Day shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. However, the device gained notoriety when a lone gunman killed 59 people and injured at least 527 others attending a country music festival in Las Vegas in October 2017. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, had 22 semi-automatic rifles and 14 of them were equipped with bump stocks. They allowed him to fire the rifles continuously with a single pull of the trigger, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.”

That shooting to this day remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern day history.

See the social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t Breathe Easy Yet’: Abortion Pill Safe Only ‘For Now’ Experts Say After SCOTUS Ruling

 

 

 

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OPINION

‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

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Donald Trump’s first return to Capitol Hill since the violent and deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection he fomented elicited responses of celebratory embrace, near-coronation, and a whitewashing of history from House and Senate Republicans and some of the mainstream media. That has critics sounding the alarm, likening their remarks to those of the subjects of authoritarian dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive 2024 presidential nominee, a convicted felon awaiting sentencing who remains criminally indicted and out on bail in three other jurisdictions, an adjudicated rapist and fraudster who has been credibly accused by at least 18 to 23 or more women of varying degrees of sexual misconduct including harassment, assault, and rape, who allegedly had sex with a Playboy Bunny, and a porn star, the latter just four months after his third and current wife had given birth to their four-month old son.

He is a one-term, twice impeached ex-president who made over 30,000 “false or misleading claims” during his four years in the Oval Office, whose “inept and insufficient” response was in part responsible for about 40% of the COVID-19 pandemic deaths in the U.S., according to a February 2021 study that deemed them preventable.

And as of today, Donald Trump is 78 years old, and the subject of a New Yorker column published Friday alleging “age-related diminishment of a candidate.”

READ MORE: ‘Don’t Breathe Easy Yet’: Abortion Pill Safe Only ‘For Now’ Experts Say After SCOTUS Ruling

The ex-president met with House Republicans Thursday morning at the same restaurant where a pipe bomb was found outside on January 6, 2021. It’s just a seven-minute walk from the halls of Congress, where many of those same lawmakers who were jovially dining with and cheering on Trump, had huddled, hunkered-down, and fled through that centuries-old symbol of American democracy, afraid for their lives as supporters of the then-Commander-in-Chief – some of whom have said in court documents they believed were acting under his instructions – attacked the U.S. Capitol building and police, used the American flag as a spear, defecated on the walls, broke windows, damaged, destroyed, and stole U.S. Government property, hunted for the Democratic Speaker of the House, calling her by name, and hunted for the Republican Vice President, chanting their threats to “hang Mike Pence,” in a coordinated effort to help Trump overturn the results of the 2020 election he had lost by over seven million votes, and 74 Electoral College votes.

None of that matters now to the people’s elected representatives of the Republican Party in the House and Senate.

U.S. Senator, venture capitalist, and former “Never Trumper,” J.D. Vance (R-OH) on Thursday, walking in Washington, D.C. after he and nearly all of the Republican Senators met with Donald Trump and gave him a 30-second standing ovation, told reporters the GOP has absolved Trump of guilt and responsibility for the deadly insurrection three years ago.

“Well look, I think no real Republican with any credibility in the party is still blaming him for January the 6th. Frankly, some of his critics were in the room (Thursday) and were supportive and are supportive. So I think it’s a good thing and the Republican Party’s in a good place.”

After House Republicans had breakfast with Trump, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, criticized for apparently not remembering Congress is a co-equal brach of the U.S. government and Donald Trump is no longer a leader of any branch of government, glowingly bragged the ex-president “said I’m doing a very good job.”

Aaron Fritschner, deputy chief of staff for a Democratic U.S. Congressman, blasted Senate Republicans after they met with Trump, saying they “just rolled the red carpet out and welcomed him back with smiles and handshakes.”

READ MORE: GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

He posted a photo of Trump warmly shaking hands with Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who reportedly had not spoken to Trump since before the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S Capitol, and on that day declared him “practically and morally responsible” for the insurrection.

Journalist and Public Notice founder Aaron Rupar posted a “supercut” of Republicans responding to Trump’s visit, also likening their embrace to how subjects speak of dictators.

Award-winning Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall praised Rupar and blasted Republicans: “For all the ‘triumphant returns’ and ‘Trumps flexes’ and all the rest I don’t think anyone beside @atrupar really captured it. This was Pyongyang in the Rotunda. The maniacal clapping in unison, MTG almost breaking down in tears cuz Trump smiled at her. Total North Korea vibe.”

Critics are slamming not only House and Senate Republicans, but the mainstream media’s coverage, especially a social media post by the Associated Press, which declared Trump’s return to D.C. “triumphant,” a term often reserved for a conquering or undefeated hero.

Veteran journalist and D.C. Bureau Chief of Mother Jones, David Corn, co-author of the 2018 book, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” criticized the AP’s post, saying: “Sounds like a North Korean report.”

Award-winning journalist Steve Silberman called the AP’s post, “an instant candidate for the Museum of American Fascism.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

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