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Elahe Izadi at National J. via Yahoo: Polling on gay marriage among blacks has been mixed. A March 2013 Pew Center study – which compiled results from four surveys conducted over more than a year — found 40 percent of African-Americans support gay marriage, with 48 percent opposing. The same study found 49 percent of whites and 61 percent of Democrats support gay marriage.
USA Today: Asked at a town-hall-style meeting Monday in Wisconsin about the issue, Ryan said he would “vote differently these days” and still opposes gay marriage. In 1999, the congressman voted in favor of banning same-sex couples in the District of Columbia from adopting.
NY Times: The vote reflected not only the rapidly shifting tides of public opinion on same-sex marriage, but also the influence of a new Republican advocacy group called the American Unity Fund, which spent weeks helping the state’s gay rights organization cultivate Republican senators.
Elise Italiano at Public Discourse: President Obama’s recent address to Planned Parenthood’s National Conference sweepingly mischaracterized abortion restrictions and pro-life views as culturally inaccurate and outdated.
AP: President Barack Obama vowed Friday to join Planned Parenthood in fighting against what he said are efforts by states to turn women’s health back to the 1950s, before the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide, and singled out the GOP-governed states of North Dakota and Mississippi for criticism.
Alan Sears at Townhall: The Play’s the Thing
Eastern Echo: EMU Student Government denied Students for Life the $4,954 the organization requested to support the traveling exhibit, which prompted the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal ministry, to file a lawsuit March 19 against the university on behalf of Students for Life. The ADF lawsuit, Students for Life at Eastern Michigan University v. Parker, said EMU officials denied the student organization funding for mandatory student activity fees.
God Discussion: Howard Philips, who co-founded the so-called “Moral Majority” and is considered an architect of the modern Christian Right has died at 72 on Saturday. He had been suffering from dementia before his death according to Salon. L. Brent …
AP: Frustrated at being left out of an immigration overhaul, gay rights groups are pushing to adjust a bipartisan Senate bill to include gay couples.
Washington Post: The story suggests immigration reform could “cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.” Assuming all 11 million illegal immigrants could vote and that 71 percent supported President Obama in 2012 (his share of the Hispanic vote last fall) the article says that he would have significantly narrowed the GOP’s margin in Arizona, Georgia and Texas.
Politico: The immigration proposal pending in Congress would transform the nation’s political landscape for a generation or more — pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that, if current trends hold, would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.
The Hill: The other retiring Democrats are Sens. Tom Harkin (Iowa), Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Carl Levin (Mich.) and Frank Lautenberg (N.J.).
Boston Globe: Hungary’s parliament has overwhelmingly approved a modified plan to restrict the display of Nazi and communist symbols such as the swastika and red star.
The Hill: Forty-one percent of Republicans polled said they think less favorably of Portman following his shift, and the percentage of respondents reporting an unfavorable view of the senator saw a sharp increase in the new poll, up to 21 percent from 8 percent in late February. His approval among Republicans has dropped six percentage points since the last poll.
Newsmax: Gay marriage will be highlighted in Virginia this year during the state’s gubernatorial campaign, which features candidates in decidedly opposite camps on the issue. In fact, the race will feature the first Democratic candidate for governor in southern political history who endorses same-sex marriage, according to Politico.
Washington Post: Forty-one percent of self-identified Republicans in the state say they view Portman less favorably because of his shift. Overall, 20 percent say it reflects poorly on Portman, 25 percent say it reflects positively, and 53 percent are indifferent.
Jeremy Dys at Engage Family Minute: According to Harper Polling, 57% of residents of states still holding to the pre-political definition of marriage still favor leaving the institution alone. Only 34% are inclined to redefine it. But, there’s more.
AP on Pioneer Press: Gay marriage activists and their allies are gathering at Minnesota’s Capitol for an annual rally that’s likely to be dominated this year by the effort to legalize gay marriage in the state.
LifeNews: Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) were joined by 70 of their House colleagues late Wednesday demanding national broadcast news channels ABC, NBC, and CBS stop blacking out coverage on high-profile abortion controversies.
Daniel Henninger at WSJ: Political correctness—the silent code that decides whose side of the story gets elevated and whose side gets buried—has been a blunt but effective weapon, which the dominant liberal culture has used to achieve a lot of victories over “them” the past 40 years. But the wins have come at a price. That price is the return of an unmistakable, growing and potentially destabilizing bitterness in American politics. A fairer-minded media would be the best way to level the playing field. Absent that, our politics will be leveled by other means. What the major media think then, if they’re still around, won’t matter.
Politico: Blindsided by news that Sanford’s ex-wife has accused him of trespassing and concluding he has no plausible path to victory, the National Republican Congressional Committee has decided not to spend more money on Sanford’s behalf ahead of the May 7 special election.
One News Now: “Do you take kindly to the very recent remarks from [Priebus] calling Christian Republicans ‘Old Testament heretics’ for not supporting same-sex marriage in America?” he writes. “[And for telling] the GOP to modernize the party if they expect win future national elections?”
Chicago Tribune: Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady survived a move Saturday to immediately oust him as party chairman over his support for same-sex marriage, but top state GOP leaders approved a succession strategy that could find him replaced within the next six weeks.
The Eastern Echo: The GAP is also the subject of an ongoing lawsuit brought against EMU in March. The Alliance Defending Freedom group filed the suit on behalf of the Students for Life organization citing that EMU’s Student Government denied Students for Life funding from mandatory student activity fees.
Washington Times: After South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson’s embrace of gay marriage last week, activists who have made the issue a litmus test for Democratic Party officeholders are cranking up the heat on the three remaining holdouts among Democrats in the Senate.
Jena McGregor at Washington Post: It’s also not leadership. The abrupt surge of officials trying to follow political winds is the opposite of the sort of courageous, principled way most of us hope our officials will lead. Rather than speak out about their true beliefs — it’s impossible to believe at least some of these 14 senators didn’t privately support gay marriage before — they waited until they had the political air cover of Hillary Clinton, one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party.
NBC Chicago: The African-American Clergy Coalition, a group founded to fight the same-sex marriage bill in the General Assembly, has spent only $11,250 on radio ads, but so far, it’s been enough to keep the bill bottled up in the state House.
The Hill: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) argued in a speech to activists Thursday night that robust opposition to abortion rights is crucial to the GOP’s political chances.
Illinois Review: As for evangelicals, a failure on Saturday won’t push them to leave the ILGOP. Instead, it will likely confirm to evangelicals that the Illinois Republican Party has left them.
Prague Daily Monitor: The European Human Rights Court has stopped dealing with a complaint by the dissolved Czech Workers’ Party (DS) and its former chairman Tomas Vandas, the Justice Ministry has said on its website, saying this means the party’s dissolution can be considered definitive.
Washington Post: Some social conservatives are threatening to decamp from the Republican Party if officials do not recommit to their issues.
Tufts Daily: Tufts Democrats and Tufts Republicans last Thursday joined the leaders of 49 other collegiate Democrat and Republican organizations in a statement supporting marriage equality for LGBTQ couples.
Politico: Since 1948, every president except for Obama has had at least one of his nominees confirmed to the court. Obama cannot tolerate a filibuster of Srinivasan. If Republicans filibuster, he should break it. After the hearings, Obama should nominate a judge for each of the court’s remaining three vacancies.
CBN: Senator Rand Paul: “I think it’s important that people know that for the country to get better it needs more than just politicians. Politicians aren’t enough and it needs resurgence through churches, through revivals through a spiritual cleansing of the people.”
News9.com: Two freshman Democratic senators from conservative states, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, have joined the growing chorus of lawmakers who say they support gay marriage.
Newson6.com: The House approved the resolution Monday on an 84-0 vote. House Democratic Leader Scott Inman and openly gay Rep. Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City were among more than half of the chamber’s 29 Democrats who walked out of the chamber instead of voting.
CNSNews: Sen. Rand Paul (R- Ky.) said keeping the same-sex marriage debate at the state level will allow supporters of traditional marriage to turn public opinion that he said is shifting to the other side.
Jonathan Capehart at Washington Post: “I’m a lot, like other people said, my views have evolved on this. But my state has a very strong constitutional amendment against gay marriage, and I think I have to honor that,” Landrieu said. Wait. So, she believes that same-sex couples should be able to marry, but because her state has etched discrimination into its Constitution, she cannot be on the right side of the issue and of history? She can’t show some leadership?
5 News Online: I am opposed to gay marriage,” he said in an e-mail. “In the interview with KFSM done on April 5, I also discussed whether gay couples should receive benefits if they work for the federal government. On the benefits issue, I said to ‘put me down in the undecided category.
“Orrin Hatch Endorses Civil Unions For Gay Couples To Preserve ‘Traditional Marriage’” | Huffington Post
Huffington Post: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is not joining the ranks of his fellow senators who have come out in recent days and endorsed marriage equality. But he is backing civil unions for same-sex couples, saying he believes it could be a way to preserve “traditional marriage” for heterosexual couples.
Chicago Tribune: State Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. of Mundelein said Sunday he will support a bill to allow gay marriage in Illinois, becoming the second House Republican to do so and first among leadership.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a lawsuit against a Michigan university for denying funds to a pro-life student group because of its “very controversial” views.
Military training materials: Catholics, evangelicals are religious ‘extremists’ | Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty together with the Archdiocese for the Military Services recently uncovered a U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief that expressly identified “Evangelical Christianity” and “Catholicism” as examples of “religious extremism” like al-Qaida, Hamas, and the Klu Klux Klan.
Yahoo News: “The Republican Party is going to be torn on this issue. The bulk of the party is going to be very resistant and is very supportive of traditional marriage, and parts of the party are going to flake off. Parties do that,” Gingrich told a group of reporters at a breakfast meeting at National Review magazine’s Washington, D.C., office. “The country is gradually evolving. The country is thinking this thing through. It creates complexities.”
Indian Congressman Marlin Stutzman has issued this press release that includes this: “Regardless of any ruling, referendum, or law, marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” said Stutzman. “Washington cannot redefine marriage any more than it can govern gravity. As the cornerstone of society throughout history, marriage is a unique institution and the safest environment for raising children. My commitment to marriage is matched by my abiding commitment to the civil rights of all individuals—every American must be treated with dignity and respect. However, marriage is neither a civil right nor a political platform . . . ”
Houston Chronicle: This leaves just seven Democratic senators and 11 House Democrats opposing gay marriage. The trend of flip-flopping on the issue hasn’t hit Texas. Of those 11 House Democrats, three are Texans.
LifeNews: The chairman of the Republican Party is challenging Democrats who support taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood to condemn the abortion business for its recent stance in favor of infanticide.
The Hill: Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has won his House primary runoff, setting up a high-profile special election against businesswoman Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D), the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.
Washington Post: Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk on Tuesday became the second Republican senator and the fourth GOP Member of Congress to support gay marriage. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) are the other three. Here’s a closer look at each of them — and their reasons for breaking with their party’s long-held position on marriage.
Huffington Post: That leaves just seven Senate Democrats against gay marriage: Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). Two among that list, Landrieu and Pryor, face tough reelection battles in 2014 in conservative states.
Oregon Live: The controversy centered on House Concurrent Resolution 6, which would reaffirm a woman’s right to make reproductive decisions. “It is vital to women’s health and well-being that abortion remain a safe and legal medical procedure for a woman to consider, if and when she needs it,” the resolution reads.
Gay Politics: The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund today announced its endorsement of openly gay Massachusetts State Rep. Carl Sciortino in a likely special election to replace Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
Politico: “There is a split,” said Santorum, on the views of younger Republicans on gay marriage and abortion. “But the marriage issue is still a very new issue in America, and people said in the 1970s it was just a matter of time before everybody became pro-choice. So, I think we’ll see the pendulum swing back once young conservatives see the real consequences to the destruction of marriage.”
Volokh Conspiracy: Three unsuccessful applicants to the Department of Justice’s Honors Program sued the federal government alleging they were rejected on political grounds. The district court in D.C. rejected their claims. Last Friday, however, in Gerlich v. U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed . . .
Politico: Conservatives watching this week’s gay marriage arguments at the Supreme Court are wondering if it will happen again: Unelected justices ignoring the will of legislatures and high-handedly imposing their own wishes on one of society’s most divisive moral issues. In political circles in Washington and elsewhere, a good number of these conservatives will also make a surprising confession: They are strongly rooting for that outcome exactly.
Washington Post: Agema on Wednesday posted the text of an article titled “Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals,” that is attributed to Frank Joseph, M.D. The article states that students need to be informed about the negative effects of homosexuality in order to “preserve their health and avoid cutting off about 15-20 years of their life span.”
The Hill (includes video): Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) said Sunday it was “inevitable” a GOP presidential candidate will one day support same-sex marriage, and that he would have no problem backing that candidate.
The HIll: Eleven House Democrats are on record as opposing gay marriage, even as support within their party for the issue builds. Another nine haven’t taken definitive positions in support of or against gay marriage.
Pat Buchanan at Human Events: What killed the New Majority? First, there was mass immigration . . . Second came party acquiescence in dropping half the nation off the income tax rolls, while making half dependent on government . . . Third, to accommodate its K Street bundlers, the GOP embraced globalism, empowering Corporate America to shed its U.S. labor force . . . Fourth, rather than bringing the troops home after our Cold War triumph and telling our allies the free rides were over, Bush I and II went crusading for a “New World Order” to “end tyranny in our world.” . . .
Reuters on Yahoo: On the Republican side, former Boston U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan was the one candidate to express opposition both to abortion and gay marriage – the latter issue the topic of Supreme Court arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Student Government denies group funds: Students for Life exhibit ‘too controversial’ to support; lawsuit filed | The Eastern Echo
The Eastern Echo: Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal ministry, filed a lawsuit against EMU on March 19 on behalf of Students for Life. ADF’s lawsuit said EMU officials have denied Students for Life funding for mandatory student activity fees. The fees would be used to fund a pro-life exhibit called the Genocide Awareness Project. The display is a traveling exhibition that shows photos comparing abortion to genocide.
AP: North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan said Wednesday she backs marriage rights for same-sex couples, joining a growing number of Democratic Party politicians ahead of her re-election race next year.
LifeSiteNews: “I’m a Republican,” he said in rising cadences. “Let me say to my party: If you bail out on this issue, I will leave the party, and I will take as many people with me as I possibly can!” His speech seemed to take aim at the assessment of Republican strategist Karl Rove, who said on Sunday that he could see the next Republican presidenital candidate supporting gay “marriage.