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Entries in homosexuality (3)

Sunday
Dec022012

Freedom From Religious Foundation Sues IRS Over Election Evangelicalism | Gay Marriage & Supreme Court Cases

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Experts don’t agree on last week’s Supreme Court decision in which it ordered the 4th U.S Circuit of Appeals to rehear a case filed by Liberty University that argues the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violates its religious freedom by legislating that the Christian University must provide health insurance for its employees. Note that the Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional in June.

“On one level, it’s routine,” said Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. “This is not an unusual way for them to handle a case that’s in front of them that they want to take, because it hasn’t been fully developed yet.”

But Mathew Staver, the lawyer in the case and vice president of Liberty University is encouraged that the court is willing to look again at the employer mandate, certainly as it applies to religoius institutions.

Mark Graber, law and government professor at the University of Maryland disagrees, saying: “Based on the Supreme Court’s past decisions, Liberty University has no case because this is a neutral law that doesn’t single out religions.” via Southern Maryland Headline News.

Freedom of Religion

Lawsuit Challenges Tax-Exempt Status for Pulpit Electioneering

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the Internal Revenue Service is violating the US Constitution by allowing tax-exempt churches and religious organizations to publicly endorse political candidates.

At the conclusion of an election season in which numerous religious figures including Catholic bishops told congregations how they should vote, the lawsuit argues that organizations have become increasingly more involved in political campaigns, “blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions.”

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman is named in the lawsuit, which also asks that the IRS initiative legal action against churches and religious organizations that engage in electioneering.

The lawsuit cites full-page ads run this fall in the New York Times and other newspapers by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Renowned evangelist Billy Graham urged Americans to vote along biblical principles after pledging to do “all I can” to elect Mitt Romney. Also mentioned in the lawsuit are Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenkins of Peroria, Ill, requiring all the priests in his diocese to read an order that Catholics only vote for a pro-life candidate. The lawsuit refers to ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ in which more than 1.500 pastors challenged the IRS ruling directly, seeking a court challenge.

US Abortion Politics

The Family Values Congressman and His Mistresses

Abortion politics in America hit a new low when details of the private life of recently re-elected, pro-life Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) became public. The Congressman says that God has forgiven him for his scandalous past, including pressuring a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.

Court papers revealed that DesJarlais’ former wife had two abortion by a “mutual” decision. The first abortion was because his wife was taking an experimental drug that carried risks during pregnancy; the second abortion came as the couple suffered from problems in their marriage.

The same divorce papers relating to the 2001 divorce of the family values Congressman DesJarlais revealed affairs with four women who were patients.

US Supreme Court & Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court has released a list of cases it will hear this term, and same-sex marriage is currently not on the docket.

On Friday the Supreme Court met behind closed doors with 10 appeals related to same-sex marriage on the agenda. It’s possible that the Court will announce this week plans to hear at least one of the cases. If the Court allows the federal appeals rulings to stand, it’s not the end of the gay marriage debate. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has predicted that the court will hear a gay marriage case this term.

Wednesday
Jan042012

Santorum Says America Is Not About Individual Rights But About Creating Families | Kids' Fitness & School Performance

Natalia Zakharova | Stratis | ‘Prelude To Love in the Making’ | Nakedbutsafe #1 AOC Private Studio

Daily French Roast

New Conservative, Sanctimonious Republican Sheriff Will Take Control of Your Body for Certain

No where is the hypocrisy of conservatives more evident than in their assertions that America needs to return to small government and states rights, with one exception: controlling women’s bodies in every aspect and those of gay men, too.

As The Economist writes: Now is the time for consenting adults to lock their bedroom doors.

Rick Santorum is riding high out of Iowa, considering himself a very virtuous man with a major agenda: abortion is illegal even if the woman will die — unless you’re Rick Santorum’s wife, in which case your life was spared with an induced delivery and knowledge that the fetus would die. Apparently if you’re lucky enough to be married to Rick Santorum, God gives you a get out of hell pass.

No More Gay Rights

Rick Santorum has made it clear that he intends to roll back allowing gays to serve in the military. The rest of the country, generals, and soldiers of combat be damned. Santorum will also end any movement towards gay marriage. Forget the rights of the decadent, hell-bound states that have already passed the legislation. There’s a new sheriff in town. 

Without exaggeration, Rick Santorum wants gays to stop having sex. The 2003 Supreme Court ruling that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional was a big mistake, and those justices are surely going to hell.

Contraception: Probably Not

Rick Santorum’s views on contraception aren’t totally clear, although post Iowa caucuses, most commentators say that Santorum wants to ban it.

The special status of marriage, he told the New York Times, does not exist “because people like to hang out together and have fun”; it is there to provide “a stable environment for the raising of children”. As president, he said more recently, he would at last address “the dangers of contraception in this country”, because contraception is a “licence to do things in a sexual realm that are counter to how things are supposed to be”.

Abortion: You Die Unless You’re The Sheriff’s Wife

In treating his gravely ill and pregnant wife in 1997, Rick Santorum said:

“The doctors said they were talking about a matter of hours or a day or two before risking sepsis and both of them might die,” Santorum said. “Obviously, if it was a choice of whether both Karen and the child are going to die or just the child is going to die, I mean it’s a pretty easy call.”

This is not his belief today, where his beliefs are that the mother must die, too. There are no exceptions to the no abortion and no damage to the fetus, in an effort to save the mother. Antibiotics are apparently a problem, for example.

Discussion around the Santorum’s 1997 medical procedures is heating up on the Internet. We’re reading:

Santorum: Our Abortion Was Different Our Silver Blog

Rick Santorum’s Anti-Abortion Politics Would Have Killed His Own Wife Jezebel

Karen Santorum would have died if the fetus were not removed, and labor was induced knowing that the fetus would not survive. How is this not technically “abortion?” In Santorum’s world, it would probably qualify as infanticide.

More DFR

A Writing Exercise for Your Waistline

We already know that keep a food diary is an excellent writing exercise for losing weight. Today’s research focuses on more creative writing. In a small study of 45 female undergraduates who had a BMI of 23 or higher, each woman was weighed, with 58% of the women having a BMI of 25 or higher, making them overweight or obese according to current medical standards.

The women were given a list of important values like creativity, music, politics, friendships and family, then split into two groups with one writing about her most important value and the other group writing why a value ranked low to them might be important to someone else.

The women returned again after one month and then four months, with the women writing about their top value losing an average of 3.41 pounds, while women in the control group gained an average of 2.76 pounds. Read on at Science Daily

Love Our Kids | Let’s Move

Even though America’s First Lady has taken a lot of heat from Conservatives for her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, she’s on the right track. Dutch researchers reviewed 12 studies, 10 in the US with sample sizes between 53 and 12,000, aged 6 to 18 years. Follow-up varied from eight weeks to more than five years. 

“According to the best-evidence synthesis, we found strong evidence of a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance. The findings of one high-quality intervention study and one high-quality observational study suggest that being more physically active is positively related to improved academic performance in children,” the authors comment.

Brain science may well be involved because it’s believed that exercise may help cognition by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Increased levels of norepinephrine and endorphins decrease stress and improve mood. Exercise is also related to growth of new nerve cells and support for synaptic plasticity. Read on at Science Daily

Related: Children’s Brain Development Is Linked To Physical Fitness, Research Finds

Using brain scanning, researchers established in 2010 an association between physical fitness and brain size in 49 9-10 year-old children.

The study focused on the hippocampus, a structure tucked deep in the brain, because it is known to be important in learning and memory. Previous studies in older adults and in animals have shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus. A bigger hippocampus is associated with better performance on spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks.

Indeed, the brains of the physically-fit children, as determined by a clinically managed exercise evaluation, were much more efficient than the less-fit children at utilizing oxygen. Their hippocampus was 12 percent larger, and the fit kids performed better in relational memory tests than the less-fit peers. via Science Daily

Humble People | Helping Hand

Humble people are more likely to offer time to someone in need than arrogant people are, according to findings by Baylor University researchers published online in ‘The Journal of Positive Psychology.’ via

Anne of Carversville

Olga Serova | Fred Aufray | Cosmopolitan France February 2012 | ‘De blanc dévêtue’

AOC Private Studio

Ollie Henderson | Simon Upton | Fashion Quarterly NZ Spring 2012

AOC Style

Lindsey Wixson | Will Davidson | Muse Winter 2011 | ‘Golden Girl’

AOC Apple Valley

Vanusa Savaris | David Armstrong | Amica January 2012

Sensuality News

SN Living

Toni Garrn & Ymre Stiekema | Giampaolo Sgura | Max Mara Studio Spring 2012

Natascha Verkaik, Kaye Waterhourse & Claryssa Humennyj-Jameson | Peter Coulson | Planex 2012 Campaign

Rasa Zukauskaite | Enrique Badulescu | Velvet November 2011 | “Rock Come Janis Joplin”

Cara Delevingne & Eddie Redmayne | Mario Testino | Burberry S/S 2012

Mengyao “Ming” Xi | Li Qi | Vogue China January 2012

Aubade Lingerie 2012 Calendar

SN Provocateurs

Amy Zeilon | Jesse Laitnen | The Creatives | ‘A Girl Named Amy’

Woman | Alina Isachenka | Marco Falcetta | Fashion Trend Australia Spring 2011 

Mr Zeitgeist

Tyler Brûlé embodies the border-agnostic sophisticate whom his Monocle brand is built around.Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

Tyler Brûlé’s Monocle has just launched Monocle 24, a radio show, an international playlist from Seoul to Stockholm, with sounds from classic bossa to J-pop and the latest remixes from Berlin.

The New York Times Style section calls Tyler Brûlé “the walking cynosure of the good life.” In addition to his global media company Monocle, he writes a column, Fast Lane, in The Financial Times, in which he chronicles his adventures as a globe-trotting connoisseur. 

For his New Year’s Day column, ‘If I ruled the Commonwealth’, Brûlé’ writes a proper address for the Queen of England:

“When I look beyond the shores of the United Kingdom, I see similar problems in other corners of my realms. Wills and Kate told me they were dismayed by what they saw in Canada, and I was saddened by what has been allowed to happen to vast tracts of Australia. From Halifax to Vancouver, Portsmouth to Aberdeen, Brisbane to Fremantle, we’ve lost touch of what it means to be good citizens and effective governors.

Sunday
Dec042011

News: New York Most Unequal 1% | British Manor Born Host Castle Creepers | Nigeria Gay Rights Petition | Editorials 12/3

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Christopher Ketcham’s The Reign of the One Percenters explores income inequality and the alleged death of culture in New York City. New York is the most unequal city in America, where the top 1 percent of households enjoyed 44 percent of income in 2007.

“The One Percenters consist of just 34,000 households, about 90,000 people”, writes Ketcham. “Relative to the great mass of New Yorkers—9 million of us—they’re nobody. We could snow them under in a New York minute.”

UN Climate Talks in Durban South Africa

Environmental activists demonstrate outside the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which continues this week in Durban, South Africa. (Mike Hutchings, Reuters / December 3, 2011)Today’s LATimes writes that environmentalists and other countries now have serious questions about US intentions to cut global emissions and aid developing nations efforts to also do so. Also from NYT, Record Jump in Emissions in 2010, Study finds.

Homosexuals in Nigeria

A new bill that outlaws gay marriage in Nigeria has mobilized the global community.

Wapo writes that criminalizing gay groups and organizatioins could seriously jeopardize millions of dollars of AID-directed foreign aid. Presently Nigeria has the second highest number of people living with AIDS on the continent, according to the United Nations.

It was the British who first banned gay sex, as colonial rulers of Nigeria. While both Christian and Islamic groups support the anti-gay legislation, it’s shuddering to read that in Nigeria’s north. where Islamic Shariah law prevails, gays and lesbians face death by stoning.

After achieving a for-now moratorium on anti-gay legislation in Russia, thanks to a gobal reponse of 250,000 signatures organized by All Out, Anne has now signed a similar petition to legislators in Nigeria. About 12,000 signatures have been organized in the last 24 hours, for a current total of 52,119. Please sign this peition if you believe that even working on behalf of a nonprofit gay organizations should not subject one to 14 years in jail.

More DFR

From Brazil with Love blog, devoted to collaging artworks from the best magazines around the world. Tip by Trendland. 

Hear Goldie Hawn sing the Beatles ‘A Hard Days Night’ and many more YouTube soundtracks on Brazil’s FFW Fashion Forward. Also Amy Winehouse Tears Dry New Song 2011 from Lioness.

When in Rome …

The Crass, Beautiful Eternal City by Indrid D Rowland The New York Review of Books

Anne of Carversville 12/3

Gertrude Hegelund | Sebastian Kim | Numero #129 Dec/Jan 2012 | Ensorceleuse

AOC Private Studio

Vika Falileeva | Nyra Lang | Deutsch Magazine #46

Mackenzie Hamilton | Rony Shram | Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam December 2011

Kate King | Sean & Seng | 032c Fall/Winter 2011 | The Art of Cool

AOC Style

Daria Strokous | Ben Hassett | Numero #129 Dec/Jan 2012 | Dans le vent

Mariacarla Boscono | Javier Vallhonrat  | Flair Magazine March 2005 |  ‘Ritratti di Nuovo Stile  Archived

Sensuality News 12/3

SN Living

Theres Alexandersson | Peter Gehrke | Elle Sweden November 2011 | Miami Glam

Raquel Zimmermann | Angelo Pennetta | NYTimes Holiday 2011 | The Full Brazilian

Calling All Castle Creepers

THE DRAWING ROOM at Eastnor Castle near Wales, which brings in nearly $5 million each year from events and other activities. Photo by John Spinks.Living manor born sounds like ‘la dolce vita’. The new WSJ Magazine reminds us that privilege often costs a pretty penny. 

To keep the lights on and hedges trimmed some owners of British estates are now in the lucrative private tours business for history buffs and antiques connoisseurs. In many cases, an overnight stay is part of the consummate luxury experience. Read on Upstairs, Downstairs and In Between.