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Hear What This 97-Year-Old Lesbian Has To Say About Gay Marriage

“I had to struggle to make it. This is mind-boggling. This is wonderful.”

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Jerre Kalbas is one of the oldest living lesbians in New York. While so many young gay people consider women like Ellen and Wanda Sykes as household names, Jerre grew up in a time when being gay wasn’t something you ever celebrated with a parade—it was something you hid inside the confines of an underground bar. So when I called Jerre shortly after the Supreme Court made its historic decision, and asked if she ever thought gay marriage would pass in the United States, she had exactly this to tell me:

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Get Excited: America is the Gayest It’s Ever Been

It’s not just gay marriage we’re celebrating today. It’s 8.8 million gay people.

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A couple of days ago, conservative Texas pastor Rick Scarborough made an earnest pledge to all Americans: if the Supreme Court passed gay marriage, he would stand up for all that’s good in this world, and set himself on fire. As an alternative, Scarborough also generously offered to be shot (aw, whatta guy!). 100, 30, or even ten years ago his answer might have been met with applause. But 2015 is a different year and a different era, and Scarborough was greeted with beautiful heaps of Internet derision. Today, the pastor’s Twitter account is thankfully silent, as gay people and their allies come to celebrate not a man in flames, but a movement on fire. It’s not just gay marriage we’re celebrating—it’s 8.8 million gay people.

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Modern Family Star Floods Supreme Court Mailboxes Ahead of Gay Marriage Ruling

Jesse Tyler Ferguson leads the charge to personalize same-sex weddings for the court's nine justices.

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While Ireland just celebrated gay marriage last week, the United States Supreme Court is a little further behind. To humanize the case, and prevent SCOTUS from making a truly embarrassing decision, Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family came up with a brilliant idea. Together with his advocacy organization, Tie The Knot, Ferguson is encouraging gay Americans everywhere to send the Supreme Court invitations to their gay weddings. His dream is grounded in his long-held belief that people still open their mail.

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How Much Do Colleges Care About Diversity? We're About to Find Out

If the Supreme Court bans affirmative action, we may discover how much colleges care about genuine diversity. We may not like the answer.


During a heated election year, the Supreme Court has decided to take on another hot-button issue: affirmative action. Abigail Fisher challenged the 2003 case Gratz v. Bollinger, claiming that she was unconstitutionally denied admission to the University of Texas because she is white. Because there are a higher proportion of conservative justices than in 2003, and liberal Elena Kagan is recusing herself, it's likely the court will rule against the use of race-based affirmative action. What hangs in the balance? Both the amount and type of diversity at our colleges and universities.

Here's the background: Barred from using race in admissions by the Hopwood v. Texas ruling in 1996, the University of Texas responded by creating two paths to entrance: one that used class-based affirmative action for all races, and one that automatically admitted Texas graduates who were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. When the 2003 case was decided, the university added race to the considerations. The "top 10 percent" program accounts for 81 percent of those admitted; Abigail Fisher is suing because the university used race as a criteria for the remaining 19 percent of admission seats. So even if the court overturned that part of the admissions system, it would still leave the “top 10” program in place, which may become a model for the rest of the country. Depending on the scope of the Supreme Court decision, it could transform the terms of the discussion over affirmative action from race to class.

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The Prop 8 Decision Doesn't Guarantee a Supreme Court Case

Proposition 8 may have been ruled unconstitutional, but that doesn't mean the Supreme Court is going to weigh in.

Gay-rights advocates (and decent human beings) cheered yesterday when a federal appeals panel ruled by a 2 to 1 vote that California’s Prop 8 banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The majority argued that there's no “legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently," and that Prop 8 "serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California."

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Whip It Good: Should We Flog Convicts?

Some of America's prisons have been declared "cruel and unusual." Maybe corporal punishment is the more humane approach.

Let’s say you broke the law and got arrested. Which would you prefer: A year in jail or two quick but horribly painful lashes to your rear? Peter Moskos, criminologist and author of In Defense of Flogging, bets you'd chose the latter. (Who has time for jail these days?) With his provocatively titled new release, he hopes to reinsert flogging and corporal punishment into the debate about the future of the prison system, one of America’s most spectacularly failing institutions. Moskos, a former Baltimore cop, argues that a good whuppin' could be a more efficient and more humane alternative to mass incarceration.

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