Tammy Baldwin And Tommy Thompson Debate Marriage Equality: She Supports Equality/He Believes in Discrimination

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in Iowa: Vote Early

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BOMBSHELL: Regnerus Anti-Gay Scandal: Clear Evidence Of Misconduct

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/bombshell-regnerus-anti-gay-scandal-clear-evidence-of-misconduct/politics/2012/09/28/49886

by Scott Rose
on September 28, 2012

Reposted with permission

We have been reporting on a politically-motivated hoax “study” of supposedly gay and lesbian parents, funded through the National Organization For Marriage (NOM) linked Witherspoon Institute and carried out by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin (UT).

Regnerus and Witherspoon repeatedly have alleged that Witherspoon had no involvement in the design, conduct or analyses of the study.

Regnerus makes that false claim in his published study.

Witherspoon makes it in the stand-alone site created to promote the study:

One element of evidence we already had, proving that the claim is false, is a Regnerus study consulting contract — for data analysis — issued by UT and signed by Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox; Wilcox’s contract is the second one viewable at this link.

As a follow-up to the discovery of Wilcox’s Regnerus study consulting contract for data analysis, this reporter sent an Open Records Act (OPA) request to UT for all Regnerus study-related communications between Regnerus and Wilcox.

In response to that request, UT sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, asking for  OPA exceptions to get out of having to comply with the document request.

In that letter, UT revealed that Regnerus’s funding agency representative — Witherspoon’s Wilcox — collaborated with Regnerus not only on study data analysis but also on data collection.

The first two pages at this link are UT’s letter to Attorney General Abbott, with the description of Wilcox’s involvement in Regnerus study data collection and analysis highlighted on the second page; the third page shows Regnerus’s shameless lies about his funders not being involved in data collection and analysis for his study.

Wilcox is Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and Regnerus in his published study says that a “leading family researcher” from the University of Virginia was on his study design team.

Regnerus’s deliberate lie — written into his published study — wherein his funders were said not to be involved with the conduct of his study, irrefutably constitutes misconduct.

Be sure to note that the UT letter to the Texas AG states that the Open Records Act request should not be fulfilled because the data of the Regnerus study “can be used to validate the original survey instrumentation,” in other words, it can be used to determine whether Regnerus and Wilcox committed fabrication and/or falsification.

To sign a petition telling Elsevier to retract the Regnerus study from publication in that company’s journal Social Science Researchgo here.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Atheist Giving More Compassion-Driven than Giving By the Religious

From The Center for Inquiry: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/atheist_giving_more_compassion-driven_than_giving_by_the_religious/

By Tom Flynn
September 27, 2012

Don’t know how I missed this before, but a study appearing in the July 2012 issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science finds that atheists are more motivated by compassion than givers with strong religious beliefs. This was not a study of whether atheists give more or less than churchgoers — that’s a whole other controversy — but rather a study of why religious and nonreligious givers give.

A May 1 MSNBC story reported the key point in these words:

Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not,” study co-author and University of California, Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer said in a statement. “The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns.

That would seem to support a suggestion I made in my op-ed “Are Secularists Less Generous?” in the August / September 2010 FREE INQUIRY:

Remember, Christianity strongly encourages charity-sometimes past the point of good sense. Prosperity preachers urge the poor to send in their rent money and hope God will provide. Granted, many Christians look down their noses at prosperity preachers. But I have yet to meet a Christian who doesn’t think highly of Jesus, and he praised the widow for giving the temple her last money in the world (Mark 12:42–44; Luke 21:1–4). Beyond doubt, Christianity demands and praises charity. Close-knit congregations can be hotbeds of social pressure to contribute, the pressure coming from clergy and fellow congregants alike.

In light of that, suppose for the sake of argument that churchgoers do give more generously than seculars. Far from demonstrating that they are more virtuous or caring, it may instead show that, driven by expectation and community pressure, they give too much. Some may be giving more than is compatible with their families’ financial well-being. And if churchgoers are giving too much, it might be us seculars, free from slick-talking ministers and prodding, prying pewmates, who are making more rational giving decisions and contributing at sustainable levels.

Continue reading at:  http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/atheist_giving_more_compassion-driven_than_giving_by_the_religious/

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Sarah Silverman on Yetta Kurland Live!

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Marriage at the Supreme Court

From Ms Magazine: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/09/24/marriage-at-the-supreme-court/

by
September 24, 2012

Are you or someone you love in a committed same-sex relationship, hoping to get married?

The national debate over marriage equality is about to enter a new phase, as multiple cases make their way to the United States Supreme Court. SCOTUS begins a new session next Monday, and today, in private conference, the Court will decide which new cases to review. The Proposition 8 case and several cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are among those the Court may decide to take up, and their choices today—which could be announced as early as tomorrow but certainly by the start of the session on October 1—will have wide-reaching effects.

Take the Proposition 8 appeal. So far, California’s ban on same-sex marriage has not fared well in court and has been ruled unconstitutional, first by Judge Vaughn Walker, and then by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which  upheld his ruling. Proponents of marriage equality successfully argued that rights shouldn’t be put up to a vote, and that the marriage ban treats lesbians and gays as second-class citizens. Supporters of Prop 8 want the Supreme Court to re-affirm it, and in doing so keep marriage bans around the country intact. If the Court does decide to take the case, the decision could be quite narrow—only concerning California and, perhaps, only concerning situations in which marriage rights were granted prior to a public vote, or it could be a sweeping decision in one direction or the other.

What if the Court decides NOT to hear the Prop 8 case? That would be a disappointment to those on both sides who want to see the case set precedent, but the immediate effect would be hugely positive for same-sex couples eager to marry. Proposition 8 would be removed from the books, and marriage equality would then be legal in the most populous state in the union. Here come the bride-brides and the groom-grooms!

Continue reading at:  http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/09/24/marriage-at-the-supreme-court/

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Illinois Court Permits Religious Pharmacists To Refuse To Dispense Emergency Contraception

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/09/26/909341/illinois-court-permits-religious-pharmacists-to-refuse-to-dispense-emergency-contraception/

By Nicole Flatow
Sep 26, 2012

An Illinois appeals court upheld a ruling Fridaythat exempted pharmacists with religious objections from prescribing emergency contraceptives, finding that the medical professionals were protected by state law. The plaintiffs, both individual pharmacists and corporations that own pharmacies, had challenged an order by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich requiring that pharmacists sell “Plan B,” a brand of the contraceptive also known as the “morning-after pill.”

The court rejected the ACLU’s argument that prescribing emergency contraceptives fell under an exception in the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience for “emergency medical care,” even though doctors testified that the contraceptive was most effective when taken immediately after unprotected intercourse.

The three-justice panel did narrow the scope of the lower court’s ruling, which had entirely blocked the governor’s requirement to provide contraceptives. The appeals court held instead that the state law merely prohibits enforcement of the order against plaintiffs who claim a religious exemption.

The court’s decision to allow individual pharmacists to claim the protection of the law is not particularly surprising, given the Illinois statute’s broad wording: “No physician or health care personnel shall be civilly or criminally liable to any person, estate, public or private entity or public official by reason of his or her refusal to perform, assist, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer or participate in any way in any particular form of health care service which is contrary to the conscience of such physician or health care personnel.”

Complete article at:  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/09/26/909341/illinois-court-permits-religious-pharmacists-to-refuse-to-dispense-emergency-contraception/

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