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The Great Nationwide Kiss-In!



San Antonio. El Paso. Salt Lake City. Three cities. Three same-sex couples. All harassed and detained or arrested – for kissing.

You heard the stories. You read the news. You had to have asked yourself, when will it stop? When will I be able to walk down the street of my hometown, holding my better-half’s hand? When will I be able to give my loved-one a kiss – on the cheek, on the lips, without fear of intimidation – or incarceration?

Three weeks ago, after these incidents, I called for a nationwide kiss-in, in the hope that we could reach all those people we keep talking about – people who know of us but don’t know us. And then I reached out to a few friends – Willow Witte, co-founder of the grassroots LGBT group Join The Impact, and David Mailloux, who writes DYM-SUM. We took the idea of a nationwide kiss-in, and crafted it into The Great Nationwide Kiss-In.

As of today, just three weeks after I wrote, “It’s Time For A Nationwide Kiss-In!,” The Great Nationwide Kiss-In has events planned in 50 cities. Thousands of people have joined our movement. Gay people. Straight people. Bisexual people. Transgender people. Young and old alike. In big cities, in small towns. The stories are heartwarming.

We have a few cities where high school students, without fear of their conservative, southern neighbors whose beliefs might discourage those less-courageous, wrote to us and asked us if they could organize a kiss-in in their town. Just a few days ago, we received an email from a man in Saipan. Yes, I asked the same question: Saipan? Saipan, he tells us, is a U.S. Territory, north of Guam. He writes,

“The local LGBT community is not as visible as I believe it should be. This would give us an opportunity to let our voices be heard, to highlight our presence in this community, and to give us a political edge which we did not have before. While there is increasing acceptance of lesbians and gays here, we remain a marginal part of the wider community, and a there remains a level of shame associated with being LGBT. Most important, I want my local LGBT sisters and brothers to engage with the national and international discourse about civil and human rights. I believe this event would show our determination to stand in solidarity with our LGBT sisters and brothers in the U.S., and indeed, around the world.”

Literally all over America, and in a few cities in Canada, on Saturday, August 15, at 2 PM EDT, people of every orientation, gender, and race, will gather with their partners, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, better-halves and loved ones, and at the top of the hour, kiss.

What could be more powerful, what could send a stronger message, than these brave and beautiful souls, standing up for their inalienable right to perform the most basic and beautiful of human acts, sharing a kiss? A kiss that straight couples don’t even give a second thought to as they exchange that simple expression of affection, at a train station, doctor’s office, department store, restaurant, movie theater, or football game.

I think of the people in Boston, in Phildelphia, in Chicago, and L.A., and I’m grateful they are working so hard to make The Great Nationwide Kiss-In a success. But then I think about those kids about to enter their senior year of high school in the South, organizing a kiss-in, and that man in Saipan, those straight couples who support us so fervently they’re donating their time to organize a kiss-in in their home towns, I think about them all and I realize, this isn’t about kissing. It’s not just about protecting the rights we already have, it’s not about fighting for what’s ours already. It’s about fighting against homophobia, and being our best selves, showing the world, and the next generation, what’s important. Showing the world, and the next generation, that everything truly important, begins around the ones we love, and that, in order for us to be our best selves, in order for every person to reach their full potential, being who we are, and being able to include those we love in our lives, is essential.

To those who have said “gays want to make out in public and force their lifestyles on us!” I say, hogwash. Most gays I know, even in big cities, still feel a bit slef-conscious about giving their loved one a kiss in public. Why? Because we know that many, many people will look at it and may actually be uncomfortable. So, some of us glance around, hoping that no one will notice, and hoping, worse, that our loved one won’t notice we’re looking around, worried someone might notice. Because that homophobia we’ll be fighting on August 15 is the same homophobia we fight every day, each one of us, in our own way. It’s the homophobia we grew up with.

That simple act of giving our loved one a kiss in public is an act that, for a great many members of the LGBT community, represents years of aggression against our own internalized homophobia, years of fighting against decades of “don’t rock the boat, don’t embarrass anyone” training. On Saturday, August 15, thousands will give their partners a kiss that has more meaning in it than any passerby, any onlooker – who supports us or not – could possibly realize. And we’ll all be one step closer to the goal: Full equality, in name, in act, and in perception, than we were just one minute, and one kiss before.

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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‘Wannabe Dictator’: Milley Appears to Slam Trump After Ex-President Suggested He Should Be Executed



General Mark Milley, the outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisor to the President, during his retirement speech Friday appeared to deliver strong criticism of former President Donald Trump, who appointed him to that post but since has waged war against him.

One week ago the ex-president had said that “in times gone by” General Milley would have been executed for treason. Trump in 2021 had called for General Milley to be “tried for treason.”

“Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous, not just because it is the exact sort that incites violence against public officials,” professor of global politics and political scientist Brian Klass wrote at The Atlantic after Trump’s most recent attack on the Chairman, “but also because it shows just how numb the country has grown toward threats more typical of broken, authoritarian regimes.”

READ MORE: Trump Goes on Wild Rant Targeting Judge and Attorney General After Being Found Liable for Fraud

Trump had written, “if the Fake News reporting is correct,” General Milley “was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”

Milley was acting within his duties in a White House approved conversation, according to Klass.

On Friday, Milley appeared to blast Trump.

“We don’t take an oath to a tribe. We don’t take an oath to a religion. We don’t take an oath to a king, or queen, or a tyrant, or dictator. We don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator,” Milley declared. “We don’t take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we’re willing to die to protect it.”

“Every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Guardian and Coast Guardsmen, each of us, emits our very life to protect and defend that document, regardless of personal price to a country.”

READ MORE: ‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing

Vanity Fair on Thursday reported General Milley “said he has taken security precautions to protect himself and his family after Donald Trump all but called for his execution last week.”

Watch Milley’s remarks below or at this link.


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