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This and that – open thread

This AM Kate and I are off to Delaware for T-Day. I’ll post while I’m away, just not as frequently.

Did you all catch some of these news items:

* Out gay student from Fargo named Rhodes Scholar. Ryan Thoreson, who attends Harvard and serves as co-chairman of the Harvard Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporter Alliance, is one of 32 people in the nation selected as a Rhodes scholar for 2007. He will use the scholarship to study social anthropology for two years at Oxford University in England. He plans attend law school and will specialize in gay and lesbian civil rights. Bravo.

* More gay and lesbian couples are tying the knot in Canada. According to 365gay, prior to June 10 just over 10,000 marriage licenses were issued to gay and lesbian couples, but the number jumped over the summer as 2,300 couples obtained licenses. Ontario’s summer spike was 17%, Quebec’s 35% and Alberta, one of the most conservative areas, 40%. The article notes that Conservative PM Stephen Harper is still planning to re-open debate on marriage, but most members of Parliament have no desire to revisit the issue.

* Lambda Legal announces that gay Miami University employees will keep their domestic partner benefits. Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-OH) and the winger Alliance Defense Fund felt compelled to try and punish the homos at Miami University because they receive partner benefits — and that Ohio provides ten percent of the university’s income. Ridiculous. From the release:

[T]he Butler County Court of Common Pleas today dismissed a lawsuit brought by a legislator seeking to take away the domestic partner benefits of employees of Miami University. “The court has affirmed that Mr. Brinkman’s daily life is unaffected when the domestic partners of lesbian and gay university employees have health insurance and he therefore has no standing to bring a lawsuit,” said James P. Madigan, Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office in Chicago. “Lesbian and gay employees and their families’ health were at stake and today the court has granted them freedom from being a pawn in politically motivated lawsuits.”

* Alaska’s homobigot legislators stall on partner benefits bill. After Gov. Frank Murkowski called the body into session to grant the commissioner of administration the authority allow gay and lesbians access to a new benefits plan, the Senate passed a House bill to prohibit the commissioner from taking action on the plan by the court-imposed deadline of Jan. 1. The vote was 11-6, with the excuse given by the homobigots it should be up to the Legislature to mold a benefits plan or to put a constitutional amendment before voters.

* And finally, a Tweaker Ted update — Report: Haggard Will Be Watched Closely.

The rehabilitation of former superstar pastor the Rev. Ted Haggard may not include urine tests or ankle bracelets, but he will have to undergo lie detector tests and confess his failings.

It may sound like parole, but the big difference between Haggard’s case and a court-ordered recovery plan will be that he can quit anytime. “He can stop at any time. A guy on parole can’t stop,” the Rev. H.B. London of Focus on the Family told The Gazette. London will serve on Haggard’s counseling team.

London, who said he has taken part in many rehabilitations of pastors, said Haggard’s case is similar in that he only admitted his failings when he was caught….”The end goal is to have that person healthy again,” said Tom Pedigo, a Colorado Springs man who wrote a manual on restoration after losing his own ministry for marital infidelity.

Poor Ted still hasn’t surfaced from spiritual lockdown to comment on his “restoration.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding