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COFFEE 616 - BIG WEEK FOR DOMA/HATE CRIMES and CALI!

FIRST|| This week's MUST READ is Joe Solmonese's open letter to the President blasting him on on the hateful Department of Justice DOMA brief. Though some say the administration officials who wrote it had no choice than to defend the policy, others say the people at the top--especially Attorney General Eric Holder who just one day earlier was commemorating the Stonewall Uprising at the DOJ--should have known better, across the board the reactions have been strong to this filing--and the sense of betrayal is at an all time high, because the language proves we have so far to go with educating this administration yet. Voices have disagreed with one another on portions of the arguments, but everyone in the LGBT community seems united in being against the discriminatory language of this bill that will certainly be used against us by the right--the big LGBT orgs were especially unified in their anger. So, after getting heated last week with John Aravosis over the letter, this week LawDork asks "What now?" Well, the spectacular voices over at Pam's House Blend have some great ideas--tangible action items for us to take with us and add to that list that we keep in our pockets called "The Dallas Principles." Bottom line: as former Clinton advisor Socarides says, the DOJ had a choice, and the blew it. The administration now needs us to show very clearly that we want to support them, but not blindly down the primrose path! We demand leadership, and if we can't expect more solid advocacy on our behalf, we'll take our business elsewhere!

IN.D.C.|| The $1000 a plate LGBT Democratic fundraising dinner to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising? Tons of high profile gay Democrats are dropping out to protest the Administration's betrayal--not to mention the party's betrayal--on LGBT issues. Now notable Clinton strategist, David Mixner is no longer attending, and he wrote an essay about why. HATE CRIMES BILL|| The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes/Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act is likely to be passed in the Senate today--attached to a tourism bill. Even if we aren't getting the senators on record on this, I feel its a good thing. Harry Reid held a press conference on the bill yesterday with HRC President Joe Solmonese. DADT|| Harry Reid, who is pushing Hate Crimes through today, said he's waiting on either the House or the PRESIDENT to act to begin working in the Senate to overturn DADT. Wait, didn't the President say he was waiting for Harry? The Pentagon also wants to pass the buck. The buck just keep getting passed. You know, there used to be a guy in Washington whose desk said "The buck stops here." Where was his office again? MARRIAGE EQUALITY|| The DC Board of Elections and Ethics ruled against a proposed ballot referendum against recognizing Marriage Equality in the capitol, so for the time being, the rule stands. WHITE/HOUSE/WATCH|| While the administration's highest LGBT appointment, John Berry, discusses the President's LGBT plans, it seems that, as my friend Tim used to say, "The plan is there is no plan." He says that the four point plan (down from 8) for LGBT equality is on a slow time-table. He also repeated a lot of familiar talking points about "changing" DOMA and ENDA and basically said, 'don't even think about DADT overturning!' He does confirm there was no secret back room deal with HRC. Duh.

STATE2STATE|| In ALASKA, Anchorage heard testimony on that gay rights bill. In CALIFORNIA as the latest Proposition 8 challenge unfolds in the court, the Governator and AG Jerry Brown request that the discriminatory law continue to be enforced as the challenge continues. Meanwhile, however, AG Brown SUPPORTS the Federal suit against Prop 8, saying in his own briefing that it violates the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. He went on CNN to say he thinks that its inevitable we recognize the rights of gays and lesbians. Also from Cali, and also on CNN is the openly gay Iraq war veteran running for Congress, Anthony Woods. In WISCONSIN, the assembly has passed Domestic Partnerships! The Wisconsin State Democratic party just picked their chair, the nation's youngest, who just happens to be a fierce fighter for LGBT equality! In NEW YORK Monserrate defected BACK to the Smith Democrats--which makes the senate tied 31-31. Former NY Gubernatorial candidate, Tom Suozzi, has come out in favor of Marriage Equality.

OFF/THE/MAP|| An opposite gender NEW YORK City couple marries; the Advocate appropriates the story and angers Transgender Community leaders. Respect Barney Frank while interviewing. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf unblocks LGBT sites. A guy on the "Price is Right" gave a shoutout to his husband!

FINALLY|| The U.S. Conference of mayors yesterday passed a resolution supporting the elimination of excluding people from Marriage Equality. Mayors want us married.

TOAST TO MY FAMILY. LOVELY VISIT. TOO BAD MY SISTER DOESN'T READ THIS! HERE'S YOUR SHOUT OUT.

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Chris Geidner: In Iowa, judges are ousted.

Via Chris Geidner's Poliglot blog at Metro Weekly:

"

In Iowa, which declared Iowa's marriage ban unconstitutional under the state's constitution in 2009, the National Organization for Marriage got one of its first electoral victories this year. The judicial retention elections appear to have resulted in the replacement of all three justices up for a vote this year.

Here, as of 3:35 a.m. and with 1767 out of 1774 precincts reporting, are the Iowa Secretary of State's election results:

Supreme Court Justice David L. Baker
Yes 443437 45.75%
No 525865 54.25%

Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Streit
Yes 442459 45.6%
No 527921 54.4%

Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Yes 437118 44.99%
No 534486 55.01%

The court was unanimous in its 2009 ruling that Iowa's constitution required marriage equality."

Can we trust Rasmussen anymore?

HAPPY HOUR... POSTPONED.

Happy Hour Roundup will be coming late today. Fortunately, there is lots of news to report on! Unfortunately, there will be no time for me to collect it and send it. Expect it between 5pm and 6pm!