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2 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 2/3 open thread · 0 replies · +3 points

Here's a fascinating article about the large coterie of gay reporters from national media outlets who are embedded in the Pete Buttigieg campaign:

Adam Wren, Politico: Being Gay on the Campaign Trail With Pete Buttigieg

2 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action in LGB... · 0 replies · +4 points

This is why we should rejoice that the Texas Legislature meets for only 140 days every two years.

6 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/16 open thread UPDATED · 0 replies · +4 points

This is not a done deal. This is merely a proposal that must be approved, along with enabling legislation, at the denomination's General Conference scheduled for May in Minneapolis. Church liberals and progressives including LGBT advocates are incensed that the protocol provides $25 million to anti-LGBT conservatives and the ability to keep church property as seed money for their new hate church despite many of these congregations refusing to pay the apportionments congregations are expected to pay to support the larger UMC because they didn't want the money used to finance the inclusion of LGBTs and other icky persons. In contrast, the protocol only offers up to $2 million for progressives wishing to leave the church.

It appears that the General Conference will be a bizarre process that will likely involve a convention hall full of Methodists screaming, jumping up and down, and flinging feces at each other like they did at last year's General Conference. Before the conference, the bishops' protocol must be approved by the UMC's Judicial Council which is not a sure bet. The Conference will also likely restructure the church to give the American churches power to remove anti-LGBT dictates from a U.S. version of the Book of Discipline. In the interim, anti-LGBT complaints against clergy and congregations will be held in abeyance. The fallout begins after the General Conference when the shitshow moves to the various regional conferences and individual congregations which must decide over the next two years whether to remain in the UMC or move to whatever denomination is formed by the conservative, anti-LGBT Wesleyan Covenant Association or any other new denominations that may be formed. The following General Conference in 2024 would then have to tidy up whatever business and challenges remain in the smaller UMC.

Again, this is what will happen if Methodists separate amicably in May. If they don't, then it really gets ugly. There is just too much bad blood in the UMC for it to stay together as is. Frankly, I'm surprised it's the anti-LGBT conservatives that are in a rush to leave the UMC since they won the vote to keep the blanket, church-wide ban on anything LGBT-inclusive last year. At the time, it was the liberals grumbling about having to leave.

7 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Happy Holidays open th... · 0 replies · +1 points


Why is Intense Debate even concerned about Hungarian? I have no knowledge of that language whatsoever,...

Hungarian is an exceedingly difficult language to learn. Since you didn't study it at a young age when language neurons are more malleable, your time would probably be better spent learning five other easier languages instead.

It belongs to the Uralic language family, like Finnish and Estonian, with a common characteristic among most languages in that family being an ungodly number of noun cases made worse in that nouns fall into distinct declensions that inflect differently. It's like German or Latin on steroids.

While many Indo-European languages, but not contemporary standard English, have familiar and formal forms for addressing people in the second person, Hungarian has an unwieldy four-tier hierarchy of politeness. About the only redeeming feature of Hungarian for a student would be that adjectives don't have gender even when describing people.

8 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/16 open thread UPDATED · 0 replies · +1 points

Also joining Van Drew of New Jersey in voting against impeachment were Collin Peterson of Minnesota on both articles and Jared Golden of Maine on the second article. Golden supported the first article. José Serrano of New York, who has Parkinson's disease and is not seeking reelection, did not vote.

8 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/16 open thread UPDATED · 0 replies · +5 points

Yes, Happy Impeachment Day, everyone! The holiday season is special this year. Trump was right about one thing. He has everyone saying Merry Christmas again.

Now here's some cheerful holiday music courtesy of Stephen Colbert and Pete Caldera:

9 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/16 open thread UPDATED · 0 replies · +3 points

This is an example why many of the state's LGBT groups supported Valdez's more conservative opponent, Andrew White, in last year's Democratic primary for governor despite Valdez being an out lesbian and White being a straight guy.

9 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/16 open thread UPDATED · 0 replies · +3 points

A couple of weeks ago, Rick posted about a JP in McLennan County, Texas who was rebuked by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct for refusing to marry same-sex couples while willingly marrying straight couples. There have been developments in the matter since then.

First, the commission ended up only giving a warning to the JP, Dianne Hensley, after Gov. Greg Abbott axed a couple of the commission members from the list of appointees submitted for Senate confirmation effectively kicking them off the commission. Apparently, Abbott felt compelled to do this lest anyone on the Religious Right call into question his straightness or something.

Emma Platoff, The Texas Tribune: Appointees claim Gov. Greg Abbott ousted them from board for voting to sanction judge who refused to perform same-sex marriages

Hensley is now suing the commission presumably because doing her job in a secular government post where she is required to treat all citizens equally would endanger her salvation and keep her from going to Straight Heaven where the faithful spend the rest of eternity being blissfully straight all the time. She is being represented by the First Liberty Institute, a Plano law firm that specializes in representing the interests of bigot churches. The firm is closely tied to state AG Ken Paxton who is no more concerned about his own eternal salvation nor his own history of ethical lapses than he is any whiff that the far right might think he is anything less than militantly straight. Don't expect Paxton to do his job and represent the state commission in the lawsuit.

Emma Platoff, The Texas Tribune: Waco judge sues state agency after receiving public warning for refusing to officiate same-sex marriages

As a geography note, McLennan County is about halfway between Austin and Dallas. The county seat is Jerusalem-on-the-Brazos, occasionally referred to as Waco, which is best known for Baylor University, a Baptist school with a reputation based more on winning athletic programs tainted by rape scandals than any hint of academic excellence. It is also where David Koresh and his Branch Davidian faithful ascended into heaven in a fireball. McLennan County is also home to other communities such as Crawford where W. bought a pig farm and calls it his ranch, and West where a 2013 fertilizer warehouse explosion killed 15 and injured about 200 while wiping out much of the town. On a positive note, West is a great place to stop along I-35. The town was originally settled by Czech immigrants, and the local bakeries serve up kolaches and other tasty goodies of Central European tradition.

9 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/10 News update and ... · 0 replies · +1 points

The uninhabited Jarvis Island is also south of the equator by about 25 miles, but not as far south as American Samoa.

9 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - 12/10 News update and ... · 0 replies · +3 points

Although I agree with the decision, this will be appealed.