August 1, 2014

Justice Ginsburg says the Court wont treat gays as they did interracial Marriages


                                                                           
  

The Supreme Court won't duck the issue of same-sex marriage the next time a case comes to the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says.
The 81-year-old Ginsburg said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that she expects a same-sex marriage case to be heard and decided by June 2016, and possibly a year earlier.
Attitudes have changed swiftly in favor of same-sex marriage, which is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia, Ginsburg said in her wood-paneled office on the court's main floor.
She predicted that the justices would not delay ruling as they did on interracial marriage bans, which were not formally struck down until 1967.
"I think the court will not do what they did in the old days when they continually ducked the issue of miscegenation," Ginsburg said. "If a case is properly before the court, they will take it."
The comment marked something of a change for Ginsburg, who previously had been seen as wary about the court getting too far ahead of the country in ruling on major social issues.
The justices decided two same-sex marriage cases in June 2013. Ginsburg was in the majority to strike down part of the anti-gay marriage Defense of Marriage Act. She also was part of a court majority that declined to rule on the merits of California's Proposition 8 that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The effect of the decision was to allow same-sex unions to resume in California, but the high court said nothing about the right to marry.
Appeals courts in Denver and Richmond, Virginia, have upheld lower court rulings striking down state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Any of those cases could make their way to the Supreme Court in the coming months.
Ginsburg also addressed two cases decided by the court in June that affect the rights of women. In one, she defended the court's ruling that struck down the 35-foot, protest-free zone on sidewalks outside Massachusetts abortions clinics.
"It was not a compromise decision but a good decision to say yes, you can regulate, but it is speech so you have to be careful not to go too far," Ginsburg said. While all the justices said the 35-foot buffer zone violated the Constitution, Ginsburg joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's other liberal justices to strike down the buffer zone on narrower grounds than the other, more conservative justices wanted.
In the other case, Ginsburg and her liberal colleagues dissented from a decision that allows for-profit corporations, such as the Hobby Lobby chain of crafts stores, to assert religious objections to paying for contraceptives for women, as required under President Barack Obama's health care law.
Joining Ginsburg in dissent were the other two women on the court, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and Justice Stephen Breyer.
"I have no doubt that if the court had been composed of nine women the result would have been different in Hobby Lobby," Ginsburg said.
She said, though, that she hasn't lost hope for the five men on the court who formed the majority in favor of Hobby Lobby. "As long as one lives, one can learn," she said.
Ginsburg has served on the court since 1993. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She said feels she can still do the job well and rebuffed suggestions that she should retire now so President Barack Obama can appoint a like-minded successor.
"Right now, I don't see any sign that I'm less able to do the job," she said.
She directed a feisty response to law professors Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California at Irvine, who have called on her to step down now.
"So who do you think could be nominated now that would get through the Senate that you would rather see on the court than me?" she said.
AP

Multiple Boy Molester Shot and Killed W village NYC


                                                                          
 Gunman pic on right(small) and left on stretcher
 The fugitive pedophile shot dead in the West Village yesterday was tracked down thanks to the CNN show "The Hunt," which was seen by the suspect's girlfriend on Sunday night. Police sources tell the Post she "was so disgusted that she contacted authorities and gave them his cellphone number," and investigators tracked Charles Mozdir's phone's "pings" to Greenwich Village.
Yesterday afternoon a New York-New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force member spotted Mozdir in the neighborhood. He had been on the run from authorities since he failed to appear for his arraignment on child molestation charges in San Diego back in June 2012. The former wedding photographer was accused of molesting a friend's 7-year-old boy, and was also accused of molesting another boy whom he had been baby-sitting. A search of his home unearthed child porn and bestiality videos.
U.S. Marshals found Mozdir's abandoned car in rural Georgia in June 2012, covered with shrubbery with the license plates removed. Dogs followed his scent for some distance, but then the trail went cold. According to CNN, Mozdir, 32, was able to evade capture because he had EMT training and could "live off the land for extended periods of time." He also grew a beard and long hair, and was barely recognizable by his mugshot.
In addition to Mozdir's girlfriend's tip, investigators also received a tip that included the address of the smoke shop where yesterday's deadly shootout occurred. Mozdir had been working at the West 4th Street shop Smoking Culture, and was armed with a .32-caliber revolver when two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective entered the store yesterday shortly after 1 p.m.
Mozdir fired four or five rounds at the officers, striking Detective Mario Muniz twice in his bulletproof vest and once below it, in his lower abdomen, the Post reports. Muniz is in stable condition, and expected to recover. The two US marshals, Pat Lin and Ryan Westfield, were shot in the arm and leg, respectively, and are in stable condition. The marshals fired ten rounds at Mozdir, who succumbed to his wounds at Bellevue Hospital.
"I was in my apartment, and I heard, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’ " an 85-year-old neighbor tells the Post. "I said, ‘Gee, it’s late for the Fourth of July.’ ” Another witness tells the Daily News, "The cop came out holding his belly. He sat down in the open passenger side of their car, and other guys rushed to help him. They were pressing on his side. Another officer came out and sat on the sidewalk with his elbow bleeding.”
Photo: Antonio Antenucci; Gardiner Anderson

Two dying Missionaries come home with Ebola, no rejoice Unlike when AIDS broke out


                                                                                   
Two members of the Billy Graham’s son missionary outreach have been brought home to the US to be treated for the Ebola virus. Unlike when the AIDS virus broke out until today in which many evangelicals rejoice for the punishment of homosexuals, there is no such joy for these two people who belong, like most religious missionaries to an organization that do not accept gays as christians or as people that should have all the human and civil rights as everyone else.  Its believed Missionaries in Africa have unclean hands for the antigay mood and the changing of laws to have gays jailed and executed. The heads of these countries have quoted the bible and their anglican religious teachings to excuse the persecution of whoever they believe to be gay. 

      
The Ebola virus which requires contact with bodily fluids have been around longer than AIDS. The disease is only contagious while the person has symptoms even thought that is like saying only contagious while the person is alive since the end symptoms include the blood vessels exploding in the body and the person dying a painful horrid death. There are very few whose immune system is able to fight such an attack.
Its been said the LGBT community who is been horribly affected by AIDS showed the world how to die then and now it shows how to be compassionate to its detractors. Compassion is something this community has never been short of having.
Dr. Kent Brantly (right) with colleagues Stephen Snell (left) and an unidentified doctor at center having a discussion at Chimala Mission Bible School in Chimala, Mbeya, Tanzania, May 25, 2013 (Credit: Kellum Tate via Facebook)Dr. Kent Brantly is a missionary with Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham.  The 33-year-old married father of two calls himself "a young Christian doctor putting his faith to work in the world."  He began serving the West African nation of Liberia as a physician in October 2013.  Not long after, he found himself on the front lines of the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded.  Now he has been infected by the deadly disease.

The Ebola virus disease is named for the Ebola River valley in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it was first observed in 1976.  The virus is transmitted to humans from contact with infected wild animals.  It then spreads through human-to-human contact via body fluids.  Mortality rates are as high as 90 percent, though fatalities from the current outbreak are around 60 percent.  There are no vaccines or cures. 

According to the World Health Organization, the recent Ebola outbreak has caused more than 660 deaths in three African countries.  Now the disease has come to Lagos, Nigeria, the largest city in Africa with a population of 21 million.  On July 20, a Liberian businessman flew on a plane to Lagos, collapsed on arrival and died on July 25.  The hospital where he was treated has now been quarantined.  If people in Lagos were infected, the disease could become an epidemic.  Since flights from Lagos depart daily for New York City, Baltimore, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., Americans are concerned as well. All americans are safe from these two individuals and there is no reason for concern from them.

Dr. Brantly was the first American to contract the disease.  Soon afterwards, missionary Nancy Writebol in Liberia became the second.   
 
Adam Gonzalez 

source:  denisonforum.org

These messages were left at the denisonforum.org site:

# Julianne Rolandsen 2014-07-29 09:07
How dare satan attempt to kill so many for whom Jesus hung on the Cross to save (Greek word sozo also means 'to heal physically')! These precious individuals and families in Africa have already sufferred unimaginably from other horrific scourges. Enough is enough!

In Jesus' Name I curse the ebola outbreak and disease itself at the roots, and forbid any more of this satanic poison springing forth throughout Africa and beyond.

Thank You Lord Jesus that You came on this earth to 'destroy' the works of the devil, and that You have given us the privelege and anointing to walk in Your holy footsteps....tearing the kingdom of darkness to shreds, obliterating 'all' the consequences of the Fall, and rescuing and restoring to health (spiritually, physically etc) the multitudes held captive in the sway.

Father please raise up many powerful Kingdom warriors, always fully protected and equipped, who will keep launching out into the 'deep' (darkness), and catching netfuls of 'fish' in every continent to Your Heart's content.
 
   # Steven Robinson 2014-07-29 09:39
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1.27
 

#
 Ken Orton 2014-07-29 10:25
Missionaries should go into the third world "expecting' to die for their cause. Thousands of missionaries have spent thousands of cumulative years without participating in but meager conversions of souls. Francis Schaeffer spent 40 years in Switzerland and could only claim to have seen the conversion of two people. Is the return worth it? Only the missionary and those who contribute to his cause can answer the question. Today, more missionaries come into the US than go out from here, because they see us as a nation in great need, extolling Jesus on Sunday morning while not following any of His teachings all week. Why do ours not go to Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, etc.? It's kind of a weird and outdated exercise that wastes millions of dollars and risks abound, such as bringing Ebola in the US. Just my opinion - feel free to criticize and correct?

Ex Gay Cure Therapy Four - Say Sorry

                                                           

Former members of organizations that advocated therapy to “cure" homosexuality have joined LGBT groups in rejecting the concept. 

But in 2010 she began to see things differently. At the time, Schneider did not share her feelings with her colleagues, but that same year, she was let go from her position as the director of the women’s ministry at Exodus International— a leading sexual orientation conversion organization that closed in 2013.
“I realized that no one was actually saying, ‘I’m straight,” she explains, referring to the post-treatment disposition of the Exodus clients she saw. “You can go through years of therapy and what are you left with—shame?”
Schneider, now 48, realized that simply leaving the movement wasn’t enough. On Monday, she officially apologized for her involvement in the anti-gay movement in an open letter published by GLAAD. And on Thursday she joined with eight other former leaders in the ex-gay movement to formally come out against the controversial practice in an open letter and support a widespread ban of the practice on minors.
“We know first-hand the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth,” reads the letter, published by the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically ‘broken’ about being LGBT. We know better now.”
The former gay conversion leaders, including Schneider, Brad Allen, Darlene Bogle, Michael Bussee, Catherine Chapman, Jeremy Marks, Bill Prickett, Tim Rymel, and John Smid, are joining the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ #BornPerfect movement aimed at expanding state bans on conversion therapy.
“Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen,” the letter reads. “We now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not “therapy,” but is instead both ineffective and harmful.
Currently, California and New Jersey are the only two states that have laws in place to ban the practice of using therapy to try to “cure” minors of homosexuality, though a Michigan lawmaker introduced a bill last week that would ban the practice on minors. In fact, the Texas Republican Partyformally endorsed gay conversion treatments in their official platform in June. Yet, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and most leading professional medical and social science organizations oppose the therapy given its basis in the idea that homosexuality is “curable.”
“The idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in anyway abnormal or unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations,” reads an American Psychological Association brochure titled “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth.”
Michael Bussee, co-founder of Exodus International who has been speaking out against conversion therapy since 1989, says Thursday’s letter was the next step for leaders in the movement after Exodus closed. Now, he says their efforts should be focused on educating the public and ending the practice.
“There will be people who will be understandably upset, leaders can’t undo the harm they caused while they’re a part of these programs,” says Bussee who in 2007 publicly apologized for his work in the movement from 1976 until 1979. “All we can do know is say this harm needs to stop.”  

Lobbyist group secretly teaches GOP their errors on gay marriage


                                                                            

Republicans on K Street are helping members of their party shift their stance on gay rights issues.
Kathryn Lehman, a top GOP lobbyist and partner at Holland & Knight, carries a list of 40 to 50 Republican offices in the House and Senate she visits on behalf of Freedom to Marry, a group that backs same-sex marriage.
 “The issue is losing its toxicity, from a Republican perspective,” she said, mentioning that the list was a fraction of that size when she first took on Freedom to Marry as a client in 2011. 
Lehman, who helped to write the Defense of Marriage Act while working on Capitol Hill, is among a small group of lobbyists and organizations that are leveraging their conservative credentials to try to sway Republican lawmakers on gay marriage, transgender rights and the creation of a federal nondiscrimination policy.
The majority of Republicans in Congress remain opposed to same-sex marriage, and the party’s official platform stresses the preservation of “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman.
But some Republicans have begun to break from the party line. There are now eight Republicans in Congress who support same-sex marriage, split evenly between the House and Senate.
Advocates such as Carl Thorsen and Rob Epplin, who both represent the Human Rights Campaign, and Torrey Shearer, a director at Allegiance Strategies who represents American Unity Fund, are working to grow that number.
“My sense is there are plenty of members who would like to do the right thing, but it’s not because lobbyists are pushing them to do so,” said Thorsen, a founder of Thorsen French Advocacy.
When Thorsen hears that a member might be considering a show of support for LGBT people, he gets in contact with the lawmaker’s office to offer encouragement and walk him or her through how others have gone about it.
“These are human beings who view these issues on a deeply personal level, but at the same time, they’re elected officials, and articulating those views may be — understandably — complicated by their political situation,” he said.
Organizations like Log Cabin Republicans and Project Right Side are also pushing Republicans by providing data about changes in public opinion and, like lobbyists, offering lawmakers and their offices a “safe space” to talk about the challenges facing LGBT individuals. 
In addition, Project Right Side, founded by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, makes the case for how gay rights align with conservative principles.
“We’re also trying to protect a party that we care a lot about. There has been societal change. Any political party that ignores societal change does so at its own peril,” said Mehlman, now the global head of public affairs at investment banking firm KKR, told The Hill.
“As conservatives, we don’t have to ignore it. There is a strong conservative argument for safe schools, for civil marriage, merit-based decisions at work.”
Some Republicans who have softened their position on gay marriage have faced a backlash from religious organizations typically aligned with the GOP.
After Florida Republican Rep. David Jolly said last week that he believed states should honor same-sex marriages, despite it being “contrary to his Christian beliefs,” a conservative organization asked him to apologize.
“We call upon you to publicly apologize for this mistake and hold fast to your original position that states should define marriage as it has always been, the union of one man and one woman only,” read a letter distributed by the Florida Family Policy Council. “We also challenge you to not cower to the pressure, demands and intimidation of homosexual activists.”
Despite the opposition of religious conservatives, advocates are convinced the tide is turning in their favor.
“I have had meetings with some of the most rock-ribbed social conservatives in Washington,” said Gregory Angelo, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. “A lot of them see the writing on the wall, they see the direction the country is headed.”
A Pew Research Center poll released earlier this year showed that more than 60 percent of Republicans under the age of 30 support gay marriage; 43 percent of those aged 30–49 were in favor. 
Epplin, a longtime Capitol Hill aide, said the political climate has changed quickly both nationally and in Congress. He left the Capitol in 2012 for Gephardt Government Affairs, and the Human Rights Campaign was one of his first clients.
In the last 15 years, he said, more Republican staffers and lobbyists have come together in the effort, largely matching the shift in public opinion.
“There was a realization that the Republicans have a role in this,” he said. “You need both sides to get something done.”
Epplin worked most recently for Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who voted for the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” supported employer anti-discrimination legislation and endorsed same-sex marriage in June.
“I was always her LD [legislative director] first,” Epplin said. “I wasn’t her gay LD.”
“Had we had conversations about this? Sure, but the real conversations [that made a difference] with her came from … the people that she knew in Maine that were close personal friends,” he added.
There are now 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized same-sex marriage or seen a ban overturned in court. The most recent decision came Monday in Virginia, where the 4th Circuit tossed out a gay marriage ban.
“We are winning faster than I can keep track of,” one advocate told The Hill in an email.
While lobbyists are encouraged, they said there is a steep climb ahead.
Despite more than two decades of lobbying, Congress hasn’t passed legislation that would protect gay or transgender individuals from being fired because of their sexual identity.
“People understand that right now gay individuals largely do not have the right to marry, whereas most Americans believe employment protections for LGBT people already exist,” said Angelo of the Log Cabin Republicans. “A lot of work we do is reminding people that it does not.”
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would provide those protections, is largely seen as the next step in LGBT advocacy. Other issues, such as the treatment of gays and lesbians in countries such as Russia and Uganda, are also on the agenda. 
“I believe that this is the civil rights movement of our generation,” said Thorsen, whose sister recently married her longtime partner, “and I’m proud that I’m on the right side of this, and I’m proud that I can tell my grandchildren that I was there when it mattered.” 
Megan R. Wilson    
http://thehill.com 

July 31, 2014

Like Gentrification in NYC Venezuela is displacing the people that least can afford it

Venezuela, is, evicting, poor, families, to, make, way, for, the, people, who, need, it, least, Venezuela Is Evicting Poor Families to Make Way for the People Who Need It Least Image Credit: Getty
The news: The roughly 5,000 residents of a massive, unfinished skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, called the "world's tallest slum" or the "Tower of David" are being rapidly evicted.

The reason? Big business. Specifically, Chinese bankers have reportedly expressed an interest in redeveloping the Centro Financiero Confinanzas for its original intended use as an office space.



Image credit: Getty

Now, advocates report that 100 families have already been forcibly evicted from the 45-story building as of July 23, and the remainder of its population of 1,200 families is soon to follow. This comes just two months after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government promised to improve living conditions there.


The backstory: In the mid-'90s, the tower's construction was abandoned amid the death of primary investor David Brillembourg and a subsequent financial crisis. As a result, squatters took over the entire building, installing electrical and water systems, developing their own managerial system, and occupying the bottom 28 floors with shops, apartments and even daycare centers.



Image Credit: Saúl Briceño

However, the community is not without its critics. While some call it a model commune with clean common spaces and nice apartments, others point to the fact that the building's de facto leader is Alexander "El Niño" Daza, a brutal former gang boss rumored to have thrown his enemies off the upper floors.



The tower is also regarded as a well-guarded and relatively well-off base of left-wing "Chavismo," the political ideology of late President Hugo Chávez. It has stood as both a symbol of failed capitalism and the shortcomings of its alternatives for close to two decades.

What Venezuelans are saying: The international Urban Think Tank worries that Maduro's government is neglecting a valuable opportunity to use the community as the basis for "innovative and inclusive development" by scattering the tower's residents. Critics say the government abandoned its initial promise to help refurnish the site to improve the lives of poor people once visions of foreign cash began dancing in their heads.


Image Credit: AP

For their part, the Venezuelan government insists the evacuations are about safety rather than money. Caracas redevelopment overseer Ernesto Villegas says the rumor that Chinese investors want to finish the building "doesn't make any sense," since the structure is unsafe, in terrible condition and possibly irreparable. He told reporters, “The tower does not meet the minimum conditions for safe, dignifi
    living."

Still, the ultimate plans for the building clearly will not involve the current residents, Chinese investment or not. Maduro said recently that three options were on the table: destruction, the establishment of a new residential community or commercial redevelopment.

It seems like big business will likely win that competition.

By Tom McKay 

Exxon Mobil Says it started Complying with New Federal Protections for Gay, Lesbians,Transgender

                                                                           
         
                                                                               

In a story July 22 about new federal anti-discrimination rules, The Associated Press reported erroneously the value of Exxon Mobil Corp. shares held by investors who supported amending the company's equal employment opportunity statement. The New York state comptroller said the investors' shares are worth about $51.4 billion, not $41.5 billion.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Exxon Mobil says it'll follow new anti-bias rules
Exxon Mobil says it will comply with new federal protections for gay, transgender workers
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. has said it will comply with the new protections for gay and transgender employees required of federal contractors, while still sidestepping the question of whether it will formalize that by changing the language of its corporate policy.
Following President Barack Obama's signing of an executive order Monday expanding protections for federal workers and contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Labor Department has 90 days to issue regulations for how employers must comply.
Exxon, which according to government records won more than $480 million in federal contracts in 2013 and more than $8 billion since 2006, has long resisted pressure from civil rights groups and shareholders to enumerate such protections in its formal policy.
The world's biggest oil and gas company by market value will continue to "abide by the law," spokesman Alan Jeffers said Tuesday.
He wouldn't say if that meant changing the language in the company's formal equal employment opportunity policy, but stressed that Exxon prohibits "discrimination on any basis."
According to the Human Rights Campaign, which supports gay rights and gay marriage, 91 percent of Fortune 500 companies include anti-gay bias as an explicit part of their non-discrimination policies, and 61 percent explicitly protect against discrimination based on gender identity. Irving-based Fluor Corp. and the company formerly known as the Washington Post Co., now Graham Holdings Co., are the only other companies listed without explicit policies protecting workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation in Human Rights Campaign's 2014 corporate equality index.
In May, Exxon shareholders voted down a proposal for the 15th consecutive year to add such language to its equal employment opportunity statement, maintaining that the business standards stated on a company web site ensure protections without having to specifically name them.
The proposal, backed since 2010 by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on behalf of the New York State Employees Retirement System, has never gained majority shareholder support. This year it won 20 percent of voters who DiNapoli said hold roughly $51.4 billion in Exxon stock.
"They say they don't need to because it's not an issue, but we don't agree. Without clear written policies that are very specifically stated, employees aren't clearly entitled to equal benefits," DiNapoli said.
Natasha Lamb of the private equity group Arjuna Capital, another Exxon Mobil shareholder, said she's confident the company will comply with the executive order to the letter.
"I can't imagine Exxon would compromise a federal contract over a couple of words," she said. "That would be juvenile. Once regulation is in place, they will follow suit and act in the best interest of shareholders."
The company began offering benefits to legally married same-sex couples in May 2013, a month before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which had allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states.
But Exxon is facing a same-sex discrimination complaint in Illinois. Last year, the group Freedom to Work sent the company two fictitious resumes for a job opening in Illinois. One resume had stronger qualifications, but identified the applicant as gay. Exxon Mobil responded to the lesser-qualified applicant's resume while the gay applicant received no reply.
Earlier this month, the Illinois Human Rights Commission overturned a lower body's decision to dismiss the case. Exxon has said the allegations are without merit.

abcnews.go.com

46 Yr Old Pedophile Scout Travels 230 Miles to Meet Teen, Gets 7 Yrs.

Worrall

                                                   
A GAY scout worker from Yorkshire who groomed a teenage boy in Tunbridge Wells and travelled 230 miles to have sex with him has been jailed for seven years.

Christopher Worrall, 46, who was also chairman of Holme on Spalding Moor Parish Council, travelled to the town for a sex encounter with a boy he had groomed after finding him on Facebook.

He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court this morning (Wednesday) for his offences with the boy in Kent as well as with another boy in north Yorkshire.

The court heard how Worrall contacted the victim online and by text and travelled to a Tunbridge Wells hotel where he got the boy to perform a sex act on him and asked him to take photographs of his private parts.

The incidents with both boys happened between June 17 and October 2, 2012.

The court also heard how Worrall, of Chapel Fields, Holme on Spalding Moor, had agonised over “coming out” as a gay, grooming his victims on the internet and of how one of them tried to commit suicide after meeting him.

Judge Martin Joy said: “There has been a devastating psychological impact in relation to both your victims. Both have had a very severe traumatic effect.”

Judge Joy added there had been “deliberate and calculated grooming” involved but decided Worrall did not present a strictly defined danger for the future.

Worrall received consecutive sentences of three and a half years for each offence of having sexual activity with the teenagers with a concurrent sentence of 27 months for two offences of grooming them.

A sexual offences prevention order was also made and Worrall’s name will appear on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Lobbyists are advising GOP that Gay Marriage and being elected R running together this time



                                                                          

Republicans on K Street are helping members of their party shift their stance on gay rights issues.
Kathryn Lehman, a top GOP lobbyist and partner at Holland & Knight, carries a list of 40 to 50 Republican offices in the House and Senate she visits on behalf of Freedom to Marry, a group that backs same-sex marriage. 
 “The issue is losing its toxicity, from a Republican perspective,” she said, mentioning that the list was a fraction of that size when she first took on Freedom to Marry as a client in 2011. 
Lehman, who helped to write the Defense of Marriage Act while working on Capitol Hill, is among a small group of lobbyists and organizations that are leveraging their conservative credentials to try to sway Republican lawmakers on gay marriage, transgender rights and the creation of a federal nondiscrimination policy.
The majority of Republicans in Congress remain opposed to same-sex marriage, and the party’s official platform stresses the preservation of “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman.
But some Republicans have begun to break from the party line. There are now eight Republicans in Congress who support same-sex marriage, split evenly between the House and Senate.
Advocates such as Carl Thorsen and Rob Epplin, who both represent the Human Rights Campaign, and Torrey Shearer, a director at Allegiance Strategies who represents American Unity Fund, are working to grow that number.
“My sense is there are plenty of members who would like to do the right thing, but it’s not because lobbyists are pushing them to do so,” said Thorsen, a founder of Thorsen French Advocacy.
When Thorsen hears that a member might be considering a show of support for LGBT people, he gets in contact with the lawmaker’s office to offer encouragement and walk him or her through how others have gone about it.
“These are human beings who view these issues on a deeply personal level, but at the same time, they’re elected officials, and articulating those views may be — understandably — complicated by their political situation,” he said.
Organizations like Log Cabin Republicans and Project Right Side are also pushing Republicans by providing data about changes in public opinion and, like lobbyists, offering lawmakers and their offices a “safe space” to talk about the challenges facing LGBT individuals. 
In addition, Project Right Side, founded by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, makes the case for how gay rights align with conservative principles.
“We’re also trying to protect a party that we care a lot about. There has been societal change. Any political party that ignores societal change does so at its own peril,” said Mehlman, now the global head of public affairs at investment banking firm KKR, told The Hill.
“As conservatives, we don’t have to ignore it. There is a strong conservative argument for safe schools, for civil marriage, merit-based decisions at work.”
Some Republicans who have softened their position on gay marriage have faced a backlash from religious organizations typically aligned with the GOP.
After Florida Republican Rep. David Jolly said last week that he believed states should honor same-sex marriages, despite it being “contrary to his Christian beliefs,” a conservative organization asked him to apologize.
“We call upon you to publicly apologize for this mistake and hold fast to your original position that states should define marriage as it has always been, the union of one man and one woman only,” read a letter distributed by the Florida Family Policy Council. “We also challenge you to not cower to the pressure, demands and intimidation of homosexual activists.”
Despite the opposition of religious conservatives, advocates are convinced the tide is turning in their favor.
“I have had meetings with some of the most rock-ribbed social conservatives in Washington,” said Gregory Angelo, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. “A lot of them see the writing on the wall, they see the direction the country is headed.”
A Pew Research Center poll released earlier this year showed that more than 60 percent of Republicans under the age of 30 support gay marriage; 43 percent of those aged 30–49 were in favor. 
Epplin, a longtime Capitol Hill aide, said the political climate has changed quickly both nationally and in Congress. He left the Capitol in 2012 for Gephardt Government Affairs, and the Human Rights Campaign was one of his first clients.
In the last 15 years, he said, more Republican staffers and lobbyists have come together in the effort, largely matching the shift in public opinion.
“There was a realization that the Republicans have a role in this,” he said. “You need both sides to get something done.”
Epplin worked most recently for Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who voted for the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” supported employer anti-discrimination legislation and endorsed same-sex marriage in June.
“I was always her LD [legislative director] first,” Epplin said. “I wasn’t her gay LD.”
“Had we had conversations about this? Sure, but the real conversations [that made a difference] with her came from … the people that she knew in Maine that were close personal friends,” he added.
There are now 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized same-sex marriage or seen a ban overturned in court. The most recent decision came Monday in Virginia, where the 4th Circuit tossed out a gay marriage ban.
“We are winning faster than I can keep track of,” one advocate told The Hill in an email.
While lobbyists are encouraged, they said there is a steep climb ahead.
Despite more than two decades of lobbying, Congress hasn’t passed legislation that would protect gay or transgender individuals from being fired because of their sexual identity.
“People understand that right now gay individuals largely do not have the right to marry, whereas most Americans believe employment protections for LGBT people already exist,” said Angelo of the Log Cabin Republicans. “A lot of work we do is reminding people that it does not.”
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would provide those protections, is largely seen as the next step in LGBT advocacy. Other issues, such as the treatment of gays and lesbians in countries such as Russia and Uganda, are also on the agenda. 
“I believe that this is the civil rights movement of our generation,” said Thorsen, whose sister recently married her longtime partner, “and I’m proud that I’m on the right side of this, and I’m proud that I can tell my grandchildren that I was there when it mattered.”

 Megan R. Wilson
 http://thehill.com/ 

Gay Marriage Have Surpassed Marijuana laws in being Approved. Why?


                                                                               

Nearly two decades ago, Americans’ support for both marijuana legalization andsame-sex marriage was virtually equal. About one-quarter of US citizens was in favor of each, according to Pew Research Center polling at the time.

But that year, 1996, the two movements seemed to be at very different crossroads. In September, US president Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Two months later, California passed Proposition 215 and became the first state in the US to legalize medical marijuana.

It turned out the two movements were at crossroads, but not the ones it seemed at the time. Today a majority of Americans support marijuana legalization for recreational use and same-sex marriage. But only Colorado and Washington State have legalized marijuana, while same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 US states and in the District of Columbia.

How did gay-marriage advocates accomplish the broad success that marijuana supporters can only dream of?

One popular view is that, over the last decade, attitudes toward both gay marriage and marijuana legalization have dramatically shifted as a more-tolerant millennial generation has come into its own and begun to shape American public opinion. However, the story behind the success of the gay-marriage movement offers different lessons about the levers of change in the American political system.

Follow the money 

The US gay-marriage movement began decades ago to little fanfare, but today counts a majority of America’s richest and most politically influential people and corporations among its backers. It is now well understood in Washington that Democratic Party candidates cannot win funding from prominent party fundraisers without stating their support for marriage equality, say top party strategists. The movement has moved from the fringes of American society to comfortably within the American political and cultural mainstream.

 
In addition to president Barack Obama’s now-explicit support for gay marriage, there are seven openly gay members of Congress, a tiny fraction of the 535 members but the highest in history. Out gay men and lesbians are more visible and increasingly in positions of power. There’s Annise Parker, the mayor of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city and home to the Bush family dynasty; Ellen DeGeneres is host of one of the most-watched daytime TV programs in America.

Five years ago, support for gay marriage was at just 37%, while today 54% of Americans are in favor of marriage equality. Though the gay community still faces discrimination and homophobia, this is a massive shift in US public consciousness. It is probably due to a myriad of factors, but chief among them, critics say, is that the gay-marriage movement learned to play the game for influence in American politics: raising money for political candidates.

Gay-rights groups, political-action committees and individuals sympathetic to LGBT issues gave over $6 million in contributions to political campaigns in 2012, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That’s not to say that this funding drowned out opposition voices or that there wasn’t a genuine increase in support among Americans for same-sex marriage in recent years. But it helped build political support more quickly than decades of grassroots activism could have, says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates marijuana legalization.

“As a movement, what we’re trying to learn about more from the gay-rights movement is how they were able to mobilize wealthy gay individuals or those sympathetic to their causes to further engage in the political process,” said Nadelmann, who Rolling Stone calls America’s “real drug czar.” “Money is king in American politics,” he told Quartz. “In order to reach the mainstream, you need people within your movement who have influence, who are politically connected, who have the chance to put the message in the ears of those in elected office.”

In 2012, in two of three states that considered ballots to legally recognize gay marriage, supporters raised millions more than their opponents. In Washington state, voters passed referendum 74, a measure that was backed by $13.7 million in donations. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie gave $2.5 million. In Maine, supporters of a measure to repeal Maine’s ban on same-sex marriage raised nearly $9 million, with a large majority of that money coming from out-of-state gay rights groups, versus roughly $2.6 million for opponents.

The financial support has persuaded politicians to back similar measures in other states, said Nadelmann, who acknowledges that the disparity between funding for marijuana-legalization and gay-marriage initiatives is vast. The gay-marriage movement, he explains, sought out financial resources and won in states where its grassroots activism was historically minimal. He cites Washington state specifically as an example: despite the fact that only a slight majority of Washingtonians supported same-sex marriage, the well-funded referendum overwhelmingly passed.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for those in the gay-rights movement,” Nadelmann said. “What they did in 2012 and really what they’ve done over the last decade has been nothing short of remarkable.”

The pursuit of funding and friends in politics

Last October, a Gallup poll showed that 58% of Americans supported marijuana legalization for recreational use. That was the first time in the poll’s history that a majority of Americans supported legalization.


+The question now for Nadelmann and other leaders in the US marijuana-legalization movement is how to convert that into wins in more states.
With the gay-marriage movement, success in the courtroom has clearly been a factor: last June, the US Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied same-sex couples married in states that allowed it to federal benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. The decision emboldened the gay-marriage movement to unprecedented successes in the courts in conservative states from Utah to Indiana.

The marijuana legalization movement could follow the same route, challenging state marijuana prohibitions across the country. But, without the Supreme Court weighing in on the issue nationally, that could potentially take many years.

Then there’s the funding issue, which may mean an existential crisis for backers of marijuana legalization. Can it maintain its image as an established grassroots movement while also cozying up to the nation’s wealthy and political elites like supporters of gay marriage have? Welcoming support from people in power will grant them a greater role in dictating the movement’s agenda, an issue that Nadelmann admits could be troubling.

Major political actors who could help the legalization cause with organization and funding are civil-rights groups. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has said that the criminalization of marijuana disproportionately affects African-Americans and other communities of color, which makes it a civil-rights issue. An estimated 750,000 people, disproportionally individuals of color, are jailed each year for marijuana-related offenses, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In this respect, like their counterparts in the gay-marriage movement who used marriage equality as a structural answer to homophobia, the civil-rights leaders see marijuana legalization as a response to entrenched, institutional racism.

It’s still unclear whether an alliance of civil-rights groups and marijuana-legalization advocates could align enough to become a machine for getting new marijuana laws passed across the US. But if the supporters of legalization want to achieve the success enjoyed by gay-marriage advocates, they’ll need to tap into political networks and funding of that sort.

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