Archive for Homosexuality

That’s So Gay

An offensive expression, I’m told, but I don’t know why.

Gay means very, very small:

The National Health Interview Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is the federal government’s most relied upon estimate of the nation’s health and behaviors, found that fewer than 3% of respondents self-identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Only 1.6% of respondents self-identified as gay or lesbian, and even less, 0.7%, self-identified as bisexual.

The estimate of the percentage of bisexuals was lower than the 2008 General Social Survey, which estimated that number at 1.1 percent, while other surveys have intimated that the percentage of bisexuals is the same as gays.

Conversely, 96.6% self-identified as straight, while 1.1% answered, “I don’t know the answer” or stated they were “something else.”

And they didn’t ask a follow up question???

Gay people are upset:

Gay leaders are expressing alarm at the just-released numbers from the Center for Disease Control that place the percentage of Americans identifying as homosexual at only 1.6% of the adult population.

Anyhow, I would have thought the number was larger, but I didn’t ask 35,000 people.

The CDC defends its survey, explaining the current survey polled 35,000 adults. The CDC’s National Center on Health Statistics told the Washington Post they “conducted rigorous tests to come up with the questions and interview method. They conducted more than 100 in-depth interviews—far more than is typical—and did three field tests, including one in which they experimented with a more private interview method that allowed respondents to listen to questions using headphones and type their answers into a computer.” James Dahlhamer, a health statistician with the CDC, told the Post there was no difference in the results using the two methods.

Like I said, I might have supposed the percentage was larger, but what do I know?

But get a load of what really makes the gay lobby angry:

Scout, who goes by one name, a spokesman for CenterLink’s Network of LGBT Health Equity, told the Washington Post, “The truth is, numbers matter, and political influence matters.”

Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bi-Sexual Resource Center in Boston, said, “It’s just going to make it harder for us when we’re going out and talking to people about the bisexual population. We have a real hard time already with people not taking the bisexual identity seriously.”

“Political influence”? “Taking the bisexual identity seriously”? I don’t care what the number is, but I believe there is a number. And I believe it is derived by methods a lot closer to the CDC’s than to “Scout”‘s or the Bi-SexResoC’s. May I suggest that if you wish to be taken seriously, you act seriously.

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Contagion

Back from my travels, I lifted my jet-lagged head off the pillow at 5 am. Needing coffee (as I always do upon rising), I zipped down to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts shop for a medium hazelnut (hot, cream no sugar) and a couple of Old-Fashioned (plain) doughnuts—breakfast of champions. These are the fleeting moments I permit myself to listen to NPR.

A reporter from Sierra Leone described the hell that is the Ebola outbreak there. Sensing that this story might be free of slander toward Israel (though you can never be certain), I listened on. Damned if I didn’t learn something.

The audio/transcript won’t be online for a few hours yet, but the reporter called in with a similar take yesterday:

NPR’s Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. We’ll be speaking with him throughout the week about what he’s seeing on the ground. Today he’s in Kailahun, the largest town in the country’s eastern province, with a population of about 18,000, and the epicenter of Sierra Leone’s outbreak. In the past week, Doctors Without Borders staff in Kailahun have treated more than 70 patients with Ebola-like symptoms.

When we called, Beaubien was with a team driving to the treatment center to pick up the body of a 70-year-old woman who died of Ebola. Burial was scheduled for this afternoon.

What will happen at the burial?

The Ministry of Health is handing over body management to the Red Cross. This is one of the first bodies they’re going out to do, so there’s a whole bunch of people [who will be at the burial]. It may turn into a bit of a mob scene. And there’s a lot of anger in the community; there’s a potential that family members might not be happy that such a large group of people are showing up at the burial.

That’s where this morning’s story picked up the trail. The poor woman who died wanted only to be buried behind her simple house. Her son had dug her grave. Before her body arrived, however, the “mob” filled in the grave, in the presence of the regional chief, who forbid the burial of an infected body so near other people. Bury it deep in the bush, he counseled, where it won’t infect the drinking water.

Was he right? Can ebola (which is transmitted by bodily fluids) seep out of a body bag (two, out of an abundance of caution) and into the water table, infecting whole towns? I certainly don’t know.

But doesn’t this sound eerily similar to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s? An unknown disease that seemed to effect only intravenous drug users, homosexuals, and Haitians with terrifying afflictions, before the inevitable death. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with that. We shunned, we turned our backs, we kept our hands in our pockets.

As who would not?

Ebola spreads by contact with bodily fluids. What precautions are people taking?

People have been told not to shake hands. But this is West Africa. People usually grab your hand in both their hands and don’t let go, especially someone who really wants to engage with you. It’s very hard for people not to shake hands. You go into an office, and people have their hands in their pockets just to keep from pulling them out and shaking hands.

America needs no remind of its shortcomings. Slavery, Jim Crow, mistreatment of native peoples, homophobia—ours is not a spotless record. But that doesn’t make America racist, genocidal, or otherwise intolerant, it makes us human. If these Sierra Leone villagers succumb to panic—from one of their own, one whom must have been known by all—they are only human too.

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is playing in London at the moment (to excellent reviews). Miller’s merciless tale of the Salem witch trials is universally seen as an allegory for the anti-red witch hunts of his own time. But would the “brave”, “heroic” Mr. Miller have the nerve to set a modern Crucible on West Africa?

I don’t think so, either.

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So Gay

We won’t lift a finger (with good reason, albeit) to save Crimea from being re-absorbed into a renascent Soviet Union, and we’re happy to see Afghanistan and Iraq sink back into the lake of fire that is modern Islamism—but touch not a hair on that gay head!

The Ugandan president committed to meeting with American “experts” on homosexuality to try to change his mind about the Anti-Homosexuality Act signed into law last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday during a forum at the State Department moderated by BuzzFeed.

Museveni claimed to have signed the law, which imposes up to a lifetime prison sentence for homosexuality, after being convinced no one is “born gay.”

We’re going to airlift the “experts” (the 77th Fighting Minnellis) and drop them with rainbow colored parachutes. They’ll close on Kampala singing “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.

But those experts might want to take a little detour across Araby and the rest of Islam—where homosexuality is forbidden, denied, and punished by death—on the way to Uganda.

Oh yeah, they could start right here, in black churches across America:

A coalition of African-American civil rights leaders and pastors announced a campaign to gather 1 million signatures to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder for attempting to undermine states’ authority to “coerce states to fall in line with same-sex marriage.”

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) is calling for Holder’s impeachment for “attempting to impose ‘same-sex marriage’ throughout the nation despite federal law, rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, and state constitutional amendments to the contrary,” reads the online petition.

As of this writing, the effort shows 27,453 signatures—less than 3% of the hoped for total. So yes, maybe matters overseas demand our attention first.

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, who’s accused Tony Blair of a plan to impose homosexuality throughout the Commonwealth; or Kenya’s Daniel arap Moi, who attacked the “gay scourge” sweeping Africa; or Zambia’s Frederick Chiluba, who has said gays do not have “a right to be abnormal”; or Namibia’s Sam Nujoma, who accused African homosexuals of being closet “Europeans” trying to destroy his country through the spread of “gayism”; or Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, who proposed the arrest of all homosexuals, though he subsequently moderated his position and called for a return to the good old days when “these few individuals were either ignored or speared and killed by their parents”.

With all of this gay-bashing occurring all over Africa, why the sudden dispatch of “experts” (Queer Eye for the Bantu Guy) to Uganda?

[D]oes the fabulously “tailored approach” (as Rush pointed out yesterday) only extend to places that are 84 per cent Christian?

Ohhhhh. Why didn’t you say so? Muslims and African despots can lop off any offending protuberances they wish without a peep from us. But let a Christian nation pass a law that criminalizes “gayness” (even unto death), and we send in the pastel green berets.

Quite right, carry on. But we couldn’t appear more limp-wristed ourselves if we were auditioning for a Broadway-bound revival of The Boys in the Band.

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NFL: Uganda?

Maybe Richie Incognito can get a job with the Kampala Straight Men:

A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country’s “200 top” homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday’s signing of the bill by President Yoweri Museveni marked “a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights” and warned that Washington could cut aid to the government of the East African nation.

Few Ugandans identify themselves as gay, and the tabloid’s publication of alleged homosexuals recalled a similar list published in 2011 by a now-defunct tabloid that called for the execution of gays. A Ugandan judge later condemned the outing of homosexuals in a country where gays face severe discrimination, saying it amounted to an invasion of privacy. A prominent Ugandan gay activist was killed after that list came out, and activists said at the time that they believed David Kato was targeted because of his work promoting gay rights in Uganda.

The new law punishes gay sex with up to life in jail — a measure criticized as draconian in a country where homosexuality already had been criminalized. The bill originally proposed the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as repeated gay sex between consenting adults and acts involving a minor, a disabled person or where one partner is infected with HIV.

Sorry for asking, but doesn’t jail time just exacerbate the problem?

Anyhow, who can disagree with John Kerry (this time)?

“Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values,” Kerry said in a statement.

Just one point, Mr. Secretary: Arabs use just such hateful and inciting language toward Jews. All the time. When will that internal review commence?

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No Swishers in Sochi

But there will be!

The mayor of Sochi, host of the Winter Olympics, has said there are no gay people in the city.

Anatoly Pakhomov said homosexuals were welcome at the Games – as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others”.

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov said there were several gay bars in Sochi.

In June 2013, Russia passed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality to under-18s – widely seen as an attack on gay rights.

The controversial new law made providing information on homosexuality to under-18s a crime, punishable by a fine.

Critics say its loose interpretation effectively stops gay rights protests in Russia.

But don’t let that stop you from having a good time in that Russian Riviera, that Vegas on the Volga, the South Beach of Smolensk:

“Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn’t impose their habits on others”, he said.

BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney visited a gay bar in Sochi the night before he interviewed the mayor.

Most people did not want to be filmed and those that did were cautious about what they said.

Drag queen Madame Zhu-Zha said there was a gay community in the city and in other areas of Russia.

“There are very many clubs for gay people in Moscow – in Sochi we have two gay clubs as well. In some places there’s serious prejudice against gay people. In other places it’s not as bad.”

Last word to Vlad (the Impaler—naughty!) Putin:

Last week, President Vladimir Putin said homosexuals would be welcome in Sochi for the Olympics but said, “just leave the children alone”.

“We don’t have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations,” he said. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia.”

Hey, Vlad! The 1950s called—they want their ignorant prejudices back!

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Enough!

We’ve stayed mostly out of the Duck Dynasty kerfuffle.

But please:

A closeted gay student living in West Monroe, Louisiana has written a powerful essay, criticizing the town’s most famous residents – Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.

Robertson made headlines after issuing homophobic comments in a GQ article, at one point comparing gay sex to bestiality, which got him put on suspension by the A&E network. But the network announced yesterday that they would be reinstating Robertson to the show, who so far has remained unapologetic about the comments.

In an essay posted on Times-Picuyne columnist Robert Mann’s blog, the communications student writes that Robertson probably didn’t mean to hurt anyone with his statements, he nonetheless created a hostile environment.

‘He encouraged – hopefully unintentionally – a two-week-long “fag bashing” in Monroe and around the world. He made me feel unsafe in my own home. I can’t count how many times I heard “faggot” over the Christmas visit home.’

The author says he’s never met Robertson but was raised by a man just like him, revealing that his father called him an asshole for coming out to his mother and told him that his boyfriend would never be welcomed at his house.

‘My Phil Robertson threatened my life because I had the audacity to be who I am,’ he wrote.

You’ve never met him, but you know all about him? Who’s prejudiced now?

Among the lesser-quoted sayings of Phil Robinson:

“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

As far as Phil is concerned, he was literally born again. Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

The next time I watch Duck Dynasty will be the first time. I do not share much theologically with Phil Robertson (and not much more politically).

But I cannot stand people who play the victim. You kept your reputation to yourself, but had no problem smearing Robertson’s, ascribing beliefs, words, behaviors to him opposite to those he seems to hold. Weak. Very weak.

Did Robertson put the F-word in your family’s mouth? No, they did that. Sorry, sucks to be you, I guess, but it’s nothing to do with Robertson. You’ve got family problems, we get it, but you don’t know Robertson and he doesn’t know you.

Any sympathy I might have felt is reversed into contempt for the way you went about this.

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The Sound of Settled Science

“Would you like fries with that?”

A study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — performed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies — has found that there is no benefit of reducing salt intake to below one teaspoon per day. The report reviewed the health benefits of reducing salt intake, as salt consumption was previously considered a substantial health hazard, particularly to those with high blood pressure.

The study, entitled “Sodium Intake In Populations: Assessment of Evidence,” confirms that there is no evidence substantial enough to limit sodium consumption to less than 2,300 milligram daily for Americans. Researchers concluded that one-and-a-half to three tablespoons of salt per day is not detrimental to a person’s health, contrary to past belief.

Previous to this study, a low-salt diet was thought to be as sacrosanct as global warming. Just saying.

Speaking of blood (though not of blood pressure):

On Friday, gay men in 53 cities across the country lined up outside Red Cross centers to give blood, and to get turned away, intentionally. Since 1983, the Food and Drug Administration has banned gay and bisexual men from donating, a policy activists and, on June 18, the American Medical Association, say is discriminatory and reflects outdated medical assumptions.

In Boston, 21 men arrived at the Red Cross donor center on Tremont Street Friday afternoon, got tested for HIV, and brought their results, all negative, with them to try to donate. When they were turned away, they all left quietly, thanking Red Cross screeners politely.

“It isn’t really a sexy LGBT issue,” said Ryan Yezak, a 26-year-old Los Angeles filmmaker who organized the demonstration just weeks after the Supreme Court invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Yezak will count the number of gay men turned away Friday and send the men’s negative HIV tests to the FDA to ask for a change in the policy.

But for Yezak, the ban recalls rhetoric that called homosexuality a disease and society’s disgusted reaction to gay men during the early years of the AIDS crisis.

When potential donors fill out a medical history survey, male donors are asked if they have “had sexual contact with another man since 1977, even once.”

That means the FDA automatically excludes more than 4 million Americans from donor lists, the number of men identifying as gay or bisexual, according to a 2011 report by the Williams Institute, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal research group. And the number of men reporting any same-sex activity during their lives is higher, the report said.

The FDA regulates donors based on medical history, whether they have traveled somewhere with dangerous blood illnesses recently, and their behavior. A spokeswoman for the agency said in an e-mail that gay men fall under the last category, along with “intravenous drug abusers and commercial sex workers.”

She said the agency opposes donations from gay men who test negative because the virus is difficult to detect in its early stages. The policy is “currently under evaluation,” the spokeswoman said, and the FDA may “consider new approaches.”

Having lived in the UK (20 years ago), my blood is traif too: exposure to mad cow disease. It doesn’t make sense to me either, but I’m sure it would to a blood recipient. I’m being “discriminated against” for having eaten British beef, not for having lived in Britain—just as these men are being “discriminated against” for behavior that may have inadvertently infected them, not for for being gay. We both exposed ourselves to pathogens no one else wants. Pretty simple.

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Aren’t You “Proud”?

First they came for the street preachers…

Two street preachers were brutally beaten — punched and kicked — by a crowd at a gay pride festival in Seattle and the entire melee was captured on video.

The preachers were holding signs reading “Repent or Else” and “Jesus Saves From Sin.” The video shows a group of people initially screaming and threatening the men during Pridefest at the Seattle Space Needle.

Television station KOMO reported that some of the attackers belonged to a group called NOH8. [Ha!]

A group of women tried to steal their signs but were unsuccessful. The video then shows a group of men grabbing onto one of the preacher’s signs and dragging him to the ground. At some point he was punched in the back of the head a number of times while others can be seen kicking the man.

Another preacher was sucker punched in the back of the head.

Police arrested two suspects – one of whom has a long rap sheet.

It’s not the first time Christians have been attacked by pro-gay activists.

Last August a gunman opened fire inside the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Floyd Lee Corkins, Jr. pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism on the pro-family organization.

The man who opened fire inside the headquarters of the Family Research Center last August pleaded guilty today to committing an act of terrorism.

Corkins shot FRC security guard Leo Johnson – and intended to shoot others – but Johnson was able to disarm the man.

Last year a group called “Angry Queers” caused thousands of dollars in damage to the Portland, Ore. campus of Mars Hill Church. The vandals hurled stones through stain glass windows, LifeSiteNews reported.

The “Angry Queers” sent an e-mail to television station KOIN defending their criminal acts because “Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman.”

Aren’t you “proud”, Angry Queers (and others)? You used to take the beatings, now you give them. Is this a great country, or what?

May I suggest some other names befitting your recently emerged butch-ery? SS, for Sweet Stuff; Ton Ton Macuties; even LGBT can be repurposed to mean Lash, Gouge, Bite, Tug (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). But I want to thank those Northwest Nazis: the image of a gay pride march turning into an anti-Christian pogrom is not one I will ever forget. Yet more proof that liberalism is just the first step toward fascism.

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The Lion Sleeps Tonight—But With Whom?

In Africa, Gay Pride still refers to a group of noble big cats (not that it can’t mean that here too).

A day after the Supreme Court granted victories to same-sex couples in the U.S., President Obama’s visit to Africa got off to a rough start when his call for tolerance of gays on the continent was rebuffed publicly by the president of Senegal, where homosexuality is a crime.

“People should be treated equally,” Mr. Obama said Thursday at a news conference in Dakar, Senegal, on the first full day of his three-nation tour of the continent.

He said that although Africans have a variety of religions and customs and “we have to respect the diversity of views” of people who personally oppose gay rights, the laws of African nations must grant all people equal protection, regardless of sexual orientation.

“I want the African people just to hear what I believe … when it comes to how the state treats people, how the law treats people, I believe that everybody has to be treated equally,” Mr. Obama said.

That view was promptly rejected by Senegal’s President Macky Sall, who was sharing the stage with Mr. Obama.

“We are still not ready to decriminalize homosexuality,” Mr. Sall said. “I’ve already said it in the past. We’re still not ready to change the law. This does not mean that we are all homophobic.”

Maybe not. But…

Homophobic attacks have reached dangerous levels in sub-Saharan Africa and must stop, Amnesty International has said in a report.

Governments are increasingly criminalising “homosexual acts” by seeking to impose new laws and draconian penalties, it adds.

This sends the “toxic message” that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are criminals, the report says.

Some of the continent’s leaders say homosexuality is un-African.

In 2011, the US and UK hinted that they could withdraw from countries which did not respect homosexual rights on the socially conservative continent.

However, Amnesty said US religious groups “actively fund and promote homophobia in Africa”, while many of the laws were inherited from the colonial era.

Nice try blaming whitey. Suggesting that Africans are in thrall to white colonial prejudices is out-and-out racist. They can think for themselves, even if they think badly (according to you—and me too). Infantilizing Africans is better than enslaving them, but not by much.

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Maybe We Can All Get Along!

Over chicken!

A California Chick-fil-A surprised gay marriage supporters at a rally by passing out free meals coupons, despite the fast food chain’s COO’s outspoken stance against same-sex marriage.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports Corey Braun, the owner and operator of a franchise in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., says he felt the gathering was an opportunity to show hospitality to members of his community, regardless of their beliefs.

“I wanted to show that Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate against anybody,” Braun told the Los Angeles Daily News. “We serve everyone. We’re happy to serve the community and this was an opportunity to have this group come in and show them our hospitality regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, or whatever.”

Eden Anderson, who is a board member for a local LGBT rights group, called Braun’s actions “surreal.”

“What I experienced with the community, is when people are open and apologetic and accepting, it’s touching to us,” Anderson told the Los Angeles Daily News. “It feels like acceptance and we just want to be accepted and engaged in society, so when it’s confirmed, I think the overall reaction was, yes, certainly that Chick-fil-A in Rancho Cucamonga is welcoming to us.”

Imagine what could be accomplished over a platter of really tasty guacamole! The chunky kind, with lightly salted tortilla chips. Washed down with a couple of Dos Equis. Yum! I bet even North Korea would come to the table over a meal like that. Certainly their starving citizens would.

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And I Thought the French Were All About L’amour

Les poofs, eet seemz, are not so bienvenue á Paris: [Hokey French accent ends here]

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in central Paris for a final mass protest against a bill to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.

Demonstrators gathered along a major street up to the Arc de Triomphe.

There were scuffles and police fired tear gas as the protest spilled over onto the Champs Elysees, the avenue which runs past the president’s palace.

France’s Senate is due to debate the bill next month after it was passed by the lower house of parliament.

President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party and its allies dominate both houses.

Opinion polls suggest a majority of French people still support gay marriage but their numbers have fallen in recent weeks.

Banners unfurled along the march route included “Hands off my filiation” and “We want work, not gay marriage”.

Hands off your what? I didn’t get anywhere near it! Ewww…

So, mes amis a la gauche, what do you szink of your Gallic mentors telling les homosexuels to get stuffed? Eh? Are szey… oh, I said I wasn’t going to do that, didn’t I? Sorry.

Are the French bigoted? Are they gay-bashers? Help a straight American out here.

A straight American who supports gay marriage, btw. A conservative gay American who supports gay marriage… on conservative grounds.

I’ll be damned if I could ever figure the French out. (You should try and watch Celine and Julie Go Boating by Jacques Rivette. Enough to make you open a vein.)

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Good News, Good News

When two politicians change their minds to my way of thinking, I suppose I should celebrate.

Maybe some other blogger would, but not this one.

Still, I celebrate this news:

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman gave his only on-camera interview about the change in his position on same-sex marriage to CNN’s Dana Bash on Thursday. He also discussed it with a few print reporters from Ohio and wrote an editorial explaining the change that appeared Friday in The Columbus Dispatch.

“I’m announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples’ opportunity to marry,” Portman told CNN.

It has to do with another revelation, one deeply personal. His 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I’ve had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay,” said Portman.

Will Portman told his father and mother he is gay two years ago, when he was a freshman at Yale University.

“My son came to Jane, my wife, and I, told us that he was gay, and that it was not a choice, and that it’s just part of who he is, and that’s who he’d been that way for as long as he could remember,” said Portman.

What was the Republican senator’s reaction?

“Love. Support,” responded Portman.

I guess I can see how this is news, even if (especially if) it’s personal. Certainly Portman treated it as news.

I just don’t understand how it pushes this news story—also good news—off the front page:

“I have been crystal clear about my position on Iran possessing a nuclear weapon. That is a red line for us. It is not only something that would be dangerous for Israel. It would be dangerous for the world,” Obama told CNN affiliate Israeli Channel 2 TV before a scheduled visit next week to the country.

“…I’ve also said there is a window — not an infinite period time, but a window of time — where we can resolve this diplomatically.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly called on Obama to establish a clear line that Iran cannot cross with its nuclear program, if it wants to avoid war.

Obama has resisted such a move, and Netanyahu has shown growing impatience with what he has previously called a lack of clarity by the Obama administration on articulating red lines over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

U.S. intelligence officials have said they do not believe Iran has decided to develop a nuclear weapon, even as evidence continues to mount that the country is improving its ability to do so.

When pushed during the interview to define those options, the president responded: “When I say all options are on the table, all options are on the table. The United States obviously has significant capabilities.”

Translation: we’re going to bomb the shiite out of you. Again, glad to hear it. Welcome to Planet Reality, sir.

But what took so long? Wasn’t it mere moths ago that Vice President Bite Me ridiculed the very idea of employing such “significant capabilities”?

The media has played the Obama administration tune all along. Keeping the truth of Benghazi under cover, leaving Biden’s misstatements and evasions unchallenged. Now, President Obama confesses that the sanctions have left Iran perhaps a year away from possessing a nuclear weapon.

Yet again, I’m glad Obama and Biden have swung around to the Bush/Cheney position in the war on terror: drones a-swarming, Gitmo open for business, extrajudicial executions, red lines on Iran. But if they had been a little more honest, and the media a little more responsible, we might have actually elected Republicans in 2008 and 2012, and not just Republican policies.

PS: Maybe this poll helped convince the president. Most polls do:

Americans’ sympathies for Israel matched an all time high according to a Gallup poll released Friday, just five days before US President Barack Obama was scheduled to visit Israel for the first time as president.

According to the poll, Americans’ sympathies lean heavily toward the Israelis over the Palestinians, 64 percent vs. 12%.

Republicans (78%) were much more likely to sympathize with Israel than Democrats (55%), according to the poll. Democratic support for Israel has increased by four percent since 2001, while Republican support for the Jewish state has jumped 18 percentage points in the same period.

The percentage of respondents favoring the Palestinians increases with formal education, ranging from 8% of those with no college experience to 20% of postgraduates.

“Palestinians receive the highest sympathy from Democrats, liberals, and postgraduates, but even among these, support tops off at 24%,” according to Gallup.

Pretty much what we’ve been saying.

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