That's Matteo Lane offering another cooking video, this one on how to make risotto. And this is also a good time to again note Matteo's brand new comedy special.
That is hilarious. And we've got reason to smile of late. Trudy Ring (The Advocate) reports:
The U.S. Senate voted 61-36 Tuesday to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which will write marriage equality into federal law, maintaining it even if the Supreme Court overturns its 2015 ruling that established equal marriage rights nationwide.
The bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives, but the Senate added an amendment to it aimed at protecting religious freedom, so the new version needs to be voted on by the House before it can go to President Joe Biden for his expected signature.
This could be a very important moment if the House passes it. It will leave something that Joe Biden can cite, something he can be applauded for 100 years from now. This is real leadership.
Senator Tammy Baldwin worked very hard to get the Senate to this moment and she should be remembered historically for this as well.
On this monumental day, The Human Rights Campaign issued the following:
"We thank Majority Leader Schumer and Senators Baldwin, Collins, Feinstein, Portman, Sinema, and Tillis for their leadership on this vital bipartisan legislation that will officially strike the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act from our nation’s laws and help secure nationwide marriage equality"
Today, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the U.S. Senate will vote on the Respect for Marriage Act this week. In response, Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement:
“We thank Majority Leader Schumer and Senators Baldwin, Collins, Feinstein, Portman, Sinema, and Tillis for their leadership on this vital bipartisan legislation that will officially strike the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act from our nation’s laws and help secure nationwide marriage equality. Because of their leadership spearheading the Respect for Marriage Act, the U.S. Senate has the opportunity to right a historic wrong, creating an inclusive law that reflects the will of the vast majority of Americans – 71% of whom support marriage equality – and eases the minds of those who may worry what the impact of the Dobbs decision could mean for their marriages. It’s time to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and we strongly urge all Senators to do so.”
The Respect for Marriage Act is legislation that would codify federal marriage equality by guaranteeing the federal rights, benefits and obligations of marriages in the federal code; repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states. The bill passed the House 267-157, garnering 47 Republican votes — further demonstrating that support for marriage equality is widespread and bipartisan. In the aftermath of Dobbs, it is more important than ever that we enshrine our court-protected civil liberties into law.
HRC is uniquely positioned to engage our members and supporters in favor of this legislation. We are mobilizing 233 major businesses representing over 8.5 million employees, a grassroots army of more than 3 million members, supporters and volunteers, and the nation’s 62 million “Equality Voters” to call on the U.S. Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA). To read personal stories of why marriage equality remains important to LGBTQ+ couples across the country, click here, and to watch a video featuring a D.C.-based couple, click here.
More Than Two-Thirds of People Support Marriage Equality
According to Gallup, 71% of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. 55% of Republicans support same-sex marriage, along with 83% of Democrats and 73% of Independents. According to recent polling from HRC, 64% of likely voters living in battleground states – AZ, CA, GA, MI, NV, PA, WI, FL, NH, NC, OH, TX, CO, and ME– support marriage equality, demonstrating the issue’s popularity even in politically divided states. The latest survey from PRRI this year found that support for marriage equality has increased by 14 percentage points since 2014 (54%). Today, majorities of most religious groups favor marriage equality. White evangelical Protestants (35%) and Latter-day Saints (46%) remain the only major religious groups with less than majority support for marriage equality. According to the last Census, about 58% (568,000) of couples in the nation’s 980,000 same-sex households were married and about 42% were unmarried partners.
Washington Post Op-Ed: The Senate must stand together on marriage equality
U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, published a joint op-ed in The Washington Post calling on their colleagues to come together and emulate the bipartisan vote that the Respect For Marriage Act received in the House of Representatives.
Key Excerpts from the Baldwin and Collins Op-Ed:
“Individuals in same-sex and interracial marriages need, and should have, the confidence that their marriages are legal. These loving couples should be guaranteed the same rights and freedoms of every other marriage.”
“Over the past 30 years, Americans have grown more supportive of marriage equality. In 1996, less than one-third of Americans — a mere 27 percent — supported same-sex marriages. A quarter-century later, in 2022, more than 70 percent of Americans support marriage equality, including a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents.”
“This legislation has earned bipartisan support in Congress because it grants same-sex and interracial couples the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the same equal treatment under federal law as all other married couples.”
“We have worked across party lines to bring the Senate together and build support for the Respect for Marriage Act because we should be able to agree that same-sex and interracial couples, regardless of where they live, both need and deserve the assurance that their marriage will be recognized by the federal government and that they will continue to enjoy freedoms, rights and responsibilities that come with all other marriages.”
NBC Op-Ed from HRC President Joni Madison: Opponents of Marriage Equality Face an Uphill Battle
CNN Op-Ed from Match Group’s Jared Sine: Americans should be able to marry whoever they choose. But some senators don't support protecting that right
Washington Post Editorial: The Respect for Marriage Act must pass — and Republicans should support it
Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Congress Should Codify Same-Sex Marriage
Key Provisions of the Bill
The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that marriage equality is protected nationally through several provisions:
Repealing the 1990s era Defense of Marriage Act. Passed in 1996, it discriminated in two important ways. First, Section 2 of DOMA purports to allow states to refuse to recognize valid civil marriages of same-sex couples. Second, Section 3 of the law carved all same-sex couples, regardless of their marital status, out of all federal statutes, regulations and rulings applicable to all other married people — thereby denying them over 1,100 federal benefits and protections. DOMA was rendered unenforceable, in two stages, by the Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor v. United States ruling and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.
Establishing that “place of celebration” is the standard of recognition for federal benefits of a same-sex marriage. Under this provision, if marriage equality were ever to cease to be recognized in a given state, same-sex couples who travel to get married in another state – one where same-sex marriages are recognized — would still retain federal marriage benefits.
Affirming that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states. Adoption orders, divorce decrees and other public acts must be honored by all states consistent with the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution.
Codifying the federal protections conferred by the Obergefell and Windsor rulings. The landmark ruling stated that bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:
Wednesday, November 30, 2022. The Respect for Marriage Act passes the Senate, Tucker Carlson's hate speech is written by his gay underling, chemical weapons attacks are apparently okay when carried out by Turkey, and much more.
Starting in the United States, Senator Tammy Baldwin's office issued the following yesterday:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) released
the following statement following the Senate vote, 61-36, to pass the Respect for Marriage Act.
“Today, an overwhelming majority of Senators stepped up to protect the freedoms and rights of millions of Americans in same-sex and interracial marriages. I’m proud to have worked across the aisle to get the job done for millions of loving couples in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Senator Baldwin. “Millions of same-sex and interracial couples made this moment possible by living openly as their authentic selves, changing the hearts and minds of people around them. This legislation will protect the hard-fought progress we’ve made on marriage equality and I look forward to the Respect for Marriage Act becoming the law of the land.”
Video of Senator Baldwin’s floor speech prior to the vote on final passage can be found here.
, "The final vote was 61-36. The bill was supported by all members of the Democratic caucus and 12 Republicans, the same dozen GOP members who backed the bill for a and CNN) reportprocedural vote earlier this month. The House will now need to approve the legislation before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The House is expected to pass the bill before the end of the year – possibly as soon as next week." Ledyard King, Rachel Looker, Sean Rossman and Savannah Kuchar (USA TODAY) note, "Senators approved the bill in response to concerns the Supreme Court – with a 6-3 conservative majority – would reverse its 2015 decision recognizing the legitimacy of gay marriage just as it overturned in June the Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion access."
Senator Lindsey Graham elected to vote against the measure. But then, Lindsey's been showing 'respect for marriage' his entire adult life -- 49 years of confirmed bachelorhood. He Tweeted, following the vote, about things being ''woefully inadequate.'' Lindsey, Lindsey, a little package shouldn't prevent you from getting married. I'm sure there are many people who'd be okay with it -- not everyone's a size queen. But you do you, keep being the nun of the Senate -- Sister Lindsey Graham, devoting himself to politics. Praise be the upper house. You grab that Legislative Branch, Lindsey, grab it with both hands.
Some political evolutions develop over decades, then accelerate in an instant. That’s how it happened for Democrats, who were divided over same-sex marriage during former President Barack Obama’s first term until then-Vice President Joe Biden announced his support 10 years ago. Obama followed, and the rest of the party was not far behind.
It’s been a slower trickle for Republicans. Portman, Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were on a fairly lonely island in favor of same-sex marriage for years. And as he left Congress in 2016, former Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) — another early supporter — castigated his party for being too intolerant on the issue.
This summer, 47 House Republicans’ surprising support for the same-sex marriage bill spurred a sustained push from Tillis, Portman and Collins to take action — a veritable GOP tidal shift. As former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) put it on Tuesday: “Times change. And senators change.”
Rights groups and other supporters of marriage equality celebrated Tuesday after 12 Senate Republicans joined with all Democrats present to pass protections for same-sex and interracial partnerships.
The Respect for Marriage (RFM) Act does not confirm the right of same-sex couples to marry nationwide, as the U.S. Supreme Court did in Obergefell v. Hodges, but rather requires states to recognize their marriage licenses. It also does not block states from banning same-sex marriage if the high court's 2015 ruling is overturned—as Justice Clarence Thomas teased in his concurring opinion for the June decision that ended national abortion rights.
While some have criticized the legislation for falling short of what's needed and pandering to religious groups, the 61-36 Senate vote was still widely heralded as historic progress. The amended version is expected to again pass the Democrat-held House—which initially passed the bill in July—before reaching the desk of President Joe Biden, who reaffirmed that he "will promptly and proudly sign it into law."
"As the votes in Congress attest, LGBTQ+ people belong and are part of our families, our communities, and our country. This is a critical victory on the road to the day when all people are fully protected from discrimination and have the freedom to make decisions about their lives and families," said Mary Bonauto, senior director of civil rights and legal strategies at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), who argued the Obergefell case.
The Respect for Marriage Act does not require all states to legalise same-sex marriage.
It requires states to acknowledge same-sex marriage from different states and ensures federal benefits for same-sex married couples.
It also includes a ‘religious liberties’ amendment, which allows non-profit religious organisations to refuse to host same-sex weddings.
Jim Obergefell, who led the case for the national legalisation of same sex marriages, said he is ‘frustrated’ with this amendment and its failure to enforce same-sex marriages in all states.
A recent Gallup poll found 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage becoming a legal right.
At CNN, Zachary B. Wolf offers an overview of The Respect for Marriage Act. Following the Senate vote, US President Joe Biden released the following statement:
With today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act,
the United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth:
love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person
they love. For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard
the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and
their children are entitled. It will also ensure that, for generations
to follow, LGBTQI+ youth will grow up knowing that they, too, can lead
full, happy lives and build families of their own.
Importantly, the Senate’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a bipartisan achievement. I’m grateful to the determined Members of Congress — especially Senators Baldwin, Collins, Portman, Sinema, Tillis, and Feinstein — whose leadership has underscored that Republicans and Democrats together support the essential right of LGBTQI+ and interracial couples to marry. I look forward to welcoming them at the White House after the House passes this legislation and sends it to my desk, where I will promptly and proudly sign it into law.
Staying on the topic of elected officials, Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is now trying to speak directly to trans kids and talk them out of transitioning. It’s not going well.
“If you’re under 18 and people are telling you to cut off your breast or have a surgery that turns your penis inside out to make a ‘vagina’ you’re a victim of child abuse,” Greene tweeted. Gender-affirming genital surgery is not performed on minors and top surgery is only performed on minors in rare circumstances and is much rarer than breast augmentation surgery among minors.
“Get away from those people and find safe people who tell you that you’re already perfect,” she continued. “Grow up first.”
Conservatives like Greene have been trying to reframe their desire for transgender kids to change into cisgender kids as “they’re already perfect,” even though Greene and others like her are asking them to change their gender identities. Opponents of transgender rights often support conversion therapy for trans people, which inculcates the false notion that trans people are not “already perfect.”
People reacted negatively to Greene’s statement.
The break up of her 27 year marriage coincides with her 'reach out' -- wonder what that's about? Poor nutty Marjorie. Staying with insanity, let's turn to hate merchant Tucker Carlson as Michael Signorile lifts the curtain to expose the actual wiz behind Tucker:
On his first Fox News broadcast following the November 19th mass shooting at Club Q, the LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs in which five people were murdered and at least 17 were injured, Tucker Carlson was undaunted, continuing his relentless smearing of LGBTQ people as “groomers” who are dangerous to children.
After a perfunctory condemnation of the violence, Carlson pivoted back to railing against “drag time story hour for fifth graders” and “genital mutilation of minors” while a graphic image behind him blared, “STOP SEXUALIZING KIDS.”
The following night, Carlson promoted the grotesque view that the staff and patrons of Club Q — where a drag performance was scheduled on that Saturday night of the attack — had it all coming to them. He brought on a guest who said the shooting was “expected and predictable,” and that “it won’t stop until we end this evil agenda that is attacking children.”
Twisted enough. But even more shocking is the little-known fact that a gay man helped craft, mold and disseminate these bloodcurdling distortions and the horrendous demonization against his own community.
A gay man supercharges Carlson’s promotion of Florida’s odious “don’t say gay” law, which stigmatizes queer kids, teachers and parents — a brutal campaign in which Carlson at one point said teachers who don’t comply “should get beaten up.” And a gay man empowers Carlson’s crusade against trans teens and and their parents, a crusade in which Carlson stated that hospitals should expect violent threats for providing gender-affirming care.
That gay man, Justin Wells, helped promulgate the kind of hate that leads to violence. A mass shooting that happened in the same kind of nightclub at which Wells, in years past, danced the night away in Miami Beach and elsewhere, liberating himself from the world outside and surely never imagining he’d be shot dead.
Now he’s aided the extremists who deny that sense of safety and liberation to every future generation of queer people.
Wells runs the entire Tucker Carlson operation, and is responsible for imprinting the Tucker Carlson brand, which is all about emboldening white heterosexual male grievance, furthering the racist conspiracy of “replacement theory” and pushing an increasingly virulent anti-LGBTQ agenda. Wells is Senior Executive Producer of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and also holds the title of Vice President of Tucker Carlson Digital Products.
“He’s been promoted to a level that no other producer has been since, maybe, David Tabocoff at O’Reilly,” a former Fox employee told me, describing how Tabocoff, who was at Fox with Bill O’Reilly for 16 years, produced O’Reilly’s shows, all of his various specials and interviews, and oversaw his entire brand, including his merchandising.
“I think that Justin has more power than Tabby [Tabacoff] ever had,” another Fox employee, a former producer, countered. “And there’s not another show that out-rates it. Influence-wise, everyone who’s conservative wants to be on Tucker.” Indeed, Wells has his own website, independent of Fox News’s site, JustinWells.com, something that surprised the former Fox News producer.
On the site, Wells touts his accomplishments: “Television Creator & Journalist. Senior Executive Producer & Vice President at Fox News Media.” It brims with photos meant to convey his power and importance: Wells, out on remotes with Carlson, helping to craft the story; Wells, shoulder-to-shoulder with military Special Forces in front of their Airbus chopper; and Wells, meeting with former President Donald Trump. The site describes Wells as “leading the Tucker Carlson Team across multiple platforms at Fox News Media,” and lays out the Carlson Fox empire he oversees.
Angelo Carusone, President and CEO of Media Matters, the media watchdog group that is laser-focused on Fox News and Carlson, observed, “It’s unlikely that any narrative would get broadcast by Tucker without significant buy-in from Justin.” In a clip highlighted by Media Matters in which Wells was interviewed by Carlson on Carlson's show last year as Carlson’s Fox Nation documentaries began launching, Wells brags about the latitude Fox News executives give him: “They believe in what we're doing and have since we launched ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’”
It’s beyond horrific to think a gay man has helped to shape and widely disseminate a message of hate against LGBTQ people. This story is not, however, about a warped closet case, tormented by self-loathing, hiding his true self while bashing those like him. And thus, this story is not an outing, which involves exposing someone who covers up their sexual orientation while publicly presenting as heterosexual — though it certainly may be a startling revelation to a great many. It is, rather, about connecting the dots regarding a reality that seems to have been hiding in plain sight.
Also note that REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT continued their conversation on the attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.
Turning to Iraq, there's one story we have to note, from ANF:
Seher Aydar, deputy for the Red Party (R) presented a question to the minister of Foreign Affairs. The question reads as follows: “The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the development, production, storage and use of chemical weapons as well as the destruction of such weapons. 193 countries have signed the convention, including Turkey, which is accused of using chemical weapons. The International Association of Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons (IPPNW) Switzerland and Germany write in a report that an independent investigation into possible violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention is necessary. The World Medical Association is also calling for an independent investigation.
Will Norway contribute to an independent investigation?”
The Minister for Foreign Affaris, Anniken Huitfeldt, said in her answer: “I am concerned about increased military activity in northern Iraq. Norway is concerned that warring parties in all contexts comply with international humanitarian law, including the rules on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. We expect all parties to respect international law.
Turkey, like Norway, is a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC). The member states undertake to destroy any existing stockpiles of weapons. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) monitors that all member states comply with the Convention's provisions and carries out regular inspections. Chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction, and the convention's total prohibition is an important contribution to global peacekeeping work. Turkey is a party to all basic international disarmament and non-proliferation regimes.
Allegations of violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention are something Norway takes very seriously. Norway, like the OPCW, monitors all information about possible violations of the convention. I am familiar with the report the representative refers to. These are so far unconfirmed claims and which have not been on the agenda of the OPCW's decision-making bodies. Norway will continue to have a dialogue with related countries on the matter.”
This is not the first time that we've noted Turkey's likely use of chemical weapons in northern Iraq. Can someone at WSWS please explain what your organization's silence says? Or, for that matter, your non-stop support of the Turkish government in every attack they carry out on Iraq? Is it that you hate the Kurds or are you just so in love with the authoritarian regime in Turkey?
The possible use of chemical weapons has allowed even Noam Chomsky to find his voice on the issue. So why not WSWS?
The following sites updated: