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Office Hours: Into the vault on marriage equality

05/11/12 07:18PM

This was a historic week in the battle for marriage equality in this country. The struggle is not over, but it has a powerful new ally. It got me to thinking about how many times I have written in defense of marriage equality and how many battles we have lost; like the Amendment 1 vote in North Carolina this week.On our show, we often enjoy going back "into the vault" to find historic moments that speak to our current news cycle. read more

Punk rock star comes out as transgender

Punk rock star comes out as transgender

05/11/12 06:40PM

Tom Gabel, lead singer of the punk band Against Me!, has publicly announced plans to live as a woman and to take on the name Laura Jane Grace.Gabel's cbig news hit newsstands today in Rolling Stone magazine, where she publicly shares her very private battle with gender dysphoria, an issue that she says she has dealt with for years. read more

Mesa Prep second baseman Paige Sultzbach.

Catholic school quits rather than playing a girl

05/11/12 01:30PM

Survey time, #nerdland: your high school sports team is just one game away from a state championship. As you prepare for the big game, you find out your opponent's team has one member of the opposite gender. What do you do?If you said, "forfeit the game, and a chance at the championship title," then you are on the same page as Our Lady of Sorrows, an Arizona fundamentalist Catholic high school. read more

Marissa Alexander gets 20-year sentence

Marissa Alexander gets 20-year sentence

05/11/12 11:18AM

Last weekend, Melissa examined the case against Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville mother of three who fired a single bullet into her kitchen ceiling two years ago to warn her husband, Rico Gray, against continuing his physical attack on her. Gray, who reacted in violent anger after discovering that Alexander texted pictures of their newborn child to her ex-husband, spoke out earlier this week in an interview with TheLoop21:“Personally, I wish she would have taken the three years,” Gray said. read more

Sgt. Brandon Morgan, right, is embraced by his partner Dalan Wells in a helicopter hangar at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, upon returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan on February 22 of this year.

House GOP striking back at marriage equality

05/10/12 03:26PM

President Obama's historic affirmation of support for marriage equality yesterday was followed up by some Republican machinations on the Hill today, passing a measure in the House along party lines that would, per Politico, stop the Justice Department from using taxpayer funds to actively oppose the Defense of Marriage Act.The regression actually began last night, when, overshadowed by the President's news, the House Armed Services Committee voted to ban "marriage or marriage-like ceremonies" between same-sex couples from occurring on United States military bases.The $554 billion defense bill read more

Ben Jealous, national president and chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

NAACP launches voter registration drive

05/10/12 12:38PM

With state legislatures across the country pushing through restrictive voting laws effectively suppressing the pool of eligible voters -- in many cases in minority communities -- the NAACP is fighting back.The civil rights group kicked off their “This is My Vote” campaign in Georgia yesterday, an effort to combat suppressive voter-identification laws by registering hundreds of thousands of young minorities to vote.The surge in voter registration efforts pushes back on an influx of Republican-led state legislatures that have put controversial voter ID laws on the books requiring voters to suppl read more

Melissa opines on Obama, marriage equality

05/10/12 08:35AM

Melissa co-hosted "Politics Nation with Al Sharpton" yesterday, concluding the show with her take on President Obama's historic new stance on marriage equality. She led off by noting the importance of today, May 10, for an important reason. May 10 was the day that, in 1886, saw the House of Representatives pass the 14th Amendment, which reversed the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision, thereby granting citizenship to slaves and others born inside the country's borders.(Interestingly, May 10 is also the birthday of corporate personhood. read more

Media reaction to Obama's 'evolution'

Media reaction to Obama's 'evolution'

05/09/12 08:08PM

We'll have more about today's historical announcement by the President, but since 3:00pm ET, we've seen some very interesting the commentary from around the Internets. Taking a cue from our first excerpted writer, it seems prudent to sample some of that commentary here.Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast:The interview changes no laws; it has no tangible effect. But it reaffirms for me the integrity of this man we are immensely lucky to have in the White House. read more

Attorney Peter Drake, executive director of the Coming Out Into Light Foundation, speaks about his negative experiences with conversion therapy, while testifying in favor of a bill to ban the therapy during a hearing in Sacramento, Calif. The bill,...

California may soon ban 'gay cure'

05/09/12 02:42PM

It's comforting to know that at times when states are amending their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and and when homophobia is inspiring unnecessary boycotts, there are some measures being taken to end the pain and discrimination against the LGBT community.Yesterday, the California Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would ban gay-to-straight conversion therapy. S.B. read more

Naomi Schaefer Riley.

'You told us we can do better, and we agree.'

05/08/12 06:15PM

Working for a show hosted by a college professor, we might be unusually attuned to the times when academia makes the news. Just as with stories in all corners of the news, those academic stories doesn't always make for good television. But when we read an April 30 post written and published by Naomi Schaefer Riley in the Chronicle of Higher Education, I was relieved as the editor of this space to learn that Melissa would be expanding a planned "Office Hours" column intended for this blog into a perfectly-named "Footnote" segment concluding Sunday's show. read more

Making same-sex marriage really illegal

05/08/12 01:09PM

Thinking about the North Carolina vote on same-sex marriage being decided today made me recall the scene in "Animal House" in which Dean Vernon feels compelled to invent, on the spot, a new way to punish a misbehaving fraternity already under probation. He called it "double-secret probation." More or less, that's a comic version of the very serious thing North Carolina could do today if they say yes to Amendment 1.Folks have been very focused upon the Vice President's stated views on gay marriage, and the implications for the President. read more

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