The Daily Agenda for Monday, January 27
January 27th, 2014
Will a Federal Judge Declare Virginia’s Marriage Equality Ban Unconstitutional? Last week, Virginia’s new Attorney General, Mark Herring, announced that he believed that Virginia’s state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution and that he would not defend it. With that, Federal Judge Arenda L. Wright of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, asked the parties in a lawsuit challenging the state’s marriage ban to submit briefs on whether they believed the court should continue to oral arguments, which had been scheduled for January 30. Judge Wrights order also asks whether, in light of the Attorney General’s position, whether other parties have standing to join the case as defendants. Lawyers for the plaintiffs submitted their brief on Friday, with briefs from lawyers representing the defendant, Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer, due today at noon. The sudden notice and tight deadline suggest that Judge Wright may be ready to rule on the amendment’s constitutionality fairly quickly.
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In the 1960s, there were a small handful of Mission Beach bars catering to the gay crowd, with the Doll Room being popular with lesbians. The Doll Room’s location was particularly prominent, being just across the street from Belmont Park with its iconic Giant Dipper roller coaster. The beach area was relatively bohemian then, with one stretch near the park known locally as “the pansy patch.” But as the tourist trade rose through the 1970s, the rents went up and many of these businesses were pushed out. The address is now home to Marcy’s Mexican restaurant.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Rep. Dick Armey Calls Barney Frank “Barney Fag”: 1995. It’s not easy being the biggest ‘mo in the House. In an interview with a group of radio broadcasters, House majority leader Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), he discussed the acrimonious atmosphere in the House of Representatives, which was then under the leadership of Newt Gingrich. “Newt’s a very patient fellow and able to handle a harangue going on around him better than I,” Armey said. “I like peace and quiet, and I don’t have to listen to Barney Fag — Barney Frank — haranguing in my ear because I made a few bucks off a book I worked on.”
Armey apologized to Frank when word of his remarks got out, first in person and then again on the House floor. But not without a harangue: “I take this exception especially in light of the fact that I went to the press that had the tape and explained to them in the best humor I could that I had simply mispronounced a name and did not need any psychoanalysis about my subliminal or about my Freudian predilections.” He also castigated House Democrats for focusing on what he called a “mispronunciation.” Frank wasn’t inclined to accept the apology. “I don’t think it was on the tip of his tongue, but I do believe it was in the back of his mind,” said Frank. “There are a lot of ways to mispronounce my name. That is the least common.”
Alan Cumming: 1965. Well let’s see. He was the M.C. in the 1993 London staging of Cabaret, the evil Boris Grishenko in Golden Eye, and he had roles in Eyes Wide Shut, the Spy Kids franchise, X2, and Gray Matters, among others. He earned two Emmy nominations for his guest role as Eli Gold in The Good Wife, and he won produced the Independent Spirit Award-winning Sweet Land. Where the Scottish actor once described himself as a “frolicky pansexual sex symbol for the new millennium,” he now simply says he’s bisexual. On January 7, 2012, he married his husband Grant Shaffer in New York, on the fifth anniversary of their 2007 civil partnership in London.
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And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?