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Friday, February 14, 2014

Stories to Watch: 2/14/14

The Kansas state legislature (i.e., Republicans) was considering a law that would very nearly institute Jim Crow for gay people in the state, in a hopeless attempt to block marriage equality. Seriously, this was a terrible bill that would never have stood up in court. We're talking human rights abuses bad here. Luckily, the state senate isn't as dismissive of individual rights and a Republican senator announced that a majority of her caucus would not vote for the bill. Still, the Kansas house passed the bill in a landslide 72-49 vote, which demonstrates just how far the Kansas Republican Party has gone down the road to institutionalized hatred.

On the flip side of that story is the State of Virginia, where marriage equality takes a huge step forward after a judge strikes down a ban on same-sex marriage. No marriages will be allowed there yet, since the judge stayed her own ruling pending appeals, but the national trend suggests it's here to stay. You can read Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen's opinion here -- and you should, just to be reminded what freedom and liberty really look like.

Ted Cruz's grandstanding and self-service is starting to worry Republicans who actually give a damn about the party. A lot.

A Delaware pedatrician is convicted for waterboarding his stepdaughter. Dr. Melvin Morse, a frequent TV talking head and an "expert" on near-death experiences, was found guilty on six counts, including "third-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony." Those of us you who lived through the Bush administration will no doubt find this all confusing, since waterbaording is supposedly safe as a walk in the park and absolutely, positively in no way abuse. How could Dr. Morse have possibly been convicted of not torturing or abusing his stepdaughter? Any chance Dick Cheney's going to chime in here and clear this up? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Finally, a new study confirms that genetics play a role in sexual preference among men. This leads National Review's Wes Smith to warn against some sort of abortion Holocaust against gay fetuses, which he assures us he's against. Who would carry this out: the liberals who are OK with gay people or conservatives who hate abortion? Seriously, who is it we're supposed to be worried about here? This is the sort of thing that goes on in supposedly serious conservatives' heads. They apparently don't give these things a whole lot of thought.

[cartoon via Truthdig]

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