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Ban Ends – NYC Gay Group To March In 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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A quarter-century old ban on LGBT groups will be dropped next year by organizers of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Here’s how it happened.

After pressure and persuasion from groups like GLAAD and NBC, and a boycott from iconic Irish brewer Guinness, organizers of the historic New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade today will announce their 24-year old ban on LGBT groups will end next year. 

NBC reportedly threatened to refuse to air the parade next year if organizers did not allow gay groups to march under a banner of their choosing. NYC Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio also very publicly continued his personal and long-standing boycott of the parade. Since 1991, organizers have pointed to religion as their reason for refusing to allow gay organizations to be recognized during the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan will also be announced as the parade’s Grand Marshal today, giving the event a boost it needs, and reinforcing organizers’ strong religious affiliation. 

The Irish Voice, which broke the news overnight, reports that a “gay group of employees from NBC will march in next year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade behind their own banner.”

In an historic move aimed at defusing the storm that erupted this year over the exclusion of gay banners in the march, the addition of a banner identifying gay NBC staffers is a compromise forged at the insistence of several New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee members, including Dr. John Lahey, president of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and Francis X. Comerford, chief revenue officer for NBC-owned TV stations.

NBC, the long-time broadcast home of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, was prepared to drop its coverage unless a compromise that resulted in the inclusion of a gay group was brokered.

The withdrawal of parade sponsorship last year by Guinness was also a huge factor in bringing about the change, according to a former grand marshal.

“Once an iconic company like Guinness showed it was standing up pretty much everyone else had to follow,” said the source, who revealed that Guinness had met with parade figures on several occasions since to help seek a compromise.

This year, Guinness and Heineken pulled their sponsorships from the parade, decimating the organizers financially. In return, Catholic League president Bill Donohue started a miserably failed boycott of Guinness. Ford Motor Company was assailed for maintaining its sponsorship.

 

Image by The All-Nite Images via Flickr

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GRIFTERS

Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia

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Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.

“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.

WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.

“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”

 

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Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’

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One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.

“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.

“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.

“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”

“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”

“This is the start of a long road,” he added.

Watch:

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RIGHT WING HYPOCRISY

Boebert, Cawthorn, Greene on List of 101 ‘Pro-Life’ and ‘Pro-Family’ GOPers Who Just Voted Against Pregnant Workers

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill to protect the rights of pregnant workers, but 101 Republican members of Congress who claim to be both “pro-life” and “pro-family” voted against the legislation.

The bill, sponsored by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, was first introduced 9 years ago. It passed Friday in a 315-101 vote. All the no votes were from Republicans. No Democrat voted no.

The bill was supported by the right wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called it “a balanced approach that clarifies an employer’s obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy.”

The website Motherly put it even more simply: “No one should have to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy.”

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida:

Apparently, 101 Republican lawmakers disagree.

Among the more notable Republicans voting “no” were Lauren Boebert (CO), Kevin Brady (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).

Here’s the list of all the lawmakers who voted against pregnant workers:

Aderholt (Alabama)
Allen (Georgia)
Armstrong (North Dakota)
Arrington (Texas)
Babin (Texas)
Baird (Indiana)
Banks (Indiana)
Barr (Kentucky) NAY
Bishop (North Carolina)
Boebert (Colorado)
Brady (Texas)
Brooks (Alabama)
Buck (Colorado)
Budd (North Carolina)
Burchett (Tennessee)
Cammack (Florida)
Carl (Alabama)
Carter (Georgia)
Carter (Texas)
Cawthorn (North Carolina)
Cheney (Wyoming)
Cline (Virginia)
Cloud (Texas)
Clyde (Georgia)
Crawford (Arkansas)
Davidson (Ohio)
DesJarlais (Tennessee)
Donalds (Florida)
Duncan (South Carolina)
Dunn (Florida)
Fallon (Texas)
Fitzgerald (Wisconsin)
Foxx (North Carolina)
Franklin, C. Scott (Florida)
Fulcher (Idaho)
Gibbs (Ohio)
Gohmert (Texas)
Good (Virginia)
Gooden (Texas)
Gosar (Arizona)
Graves (Missouri)
Green (Tennessee)
Greene (Georgia)
Grothman (Wisconsin)
Guest (Mississippi)
Harris (Maryland)
Harshbarger (Tennessee)
Hern (Oklahoma)
Herrell (New Mexico)
Hice (Georgia)
Higgins (Louisiana)
Jackson (Texas)
Johnson (Louisiana)
Jordan (Ohio)
Joyce (Pennsylvania)
Keller (Pennsylvania)
Kelly (Pennsylvania)
LaHood (Illinois)
Lamborn (Colorado)
LaTurner (Kansas)
Letlow (Louisiana)
Long (Missouri)
Loudermilk (Georgia)
Luetkemeyer (Missouri)
Mace (South Carolina)
Mann (Kansas)
Massie (Kentucky)
Mast (Florida)
McClain (Michigan)
McClintock (California)
McHenry (North Carolina)
Miller (Illinois)
Miller (West Virginia)
Moore (Alabama)
Nehls (Texas)
Norman (South Carolina)
Palazzo (Mississippi)
Palmer (Alabama)
Pence (Indiana)
Perry (Pennsylvania)
Pfluger (Texa)
Posey (Florida)
Reschenthaler (Pennsylvania)
Rice (South Carolina)
Rodgers (Washington)
Rogers (Alabama)
Rose (Tennessee)
Rosendale (Montana)
Rouzer (North Carolina)
Roy (Texas)
Scott, Austin (Georgia)
Sessions (Texas)
Smith (Nebraska)
Smucker (Pennsylvania)
Steube (Florida)
Taylor (Texas)
Timmons (South Carolina)
Van Duyne (Texas)
Walberg (Michigan)
Weber (Texas)
Westerman (AR)

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