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Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2011, 05:15 pm
Judge: Gay rights group can canvass outside Target

A judge ruled Thursday that a San Diego pro-gay marriage group can continue canvassing outside of Target stores in California, but the group’s volunteers must stay 30 feet away from store entrances and canvass at just one entrance at a time.
The Minnesota-based retail giant had sought an injunction barring the activists from every outlet in the state, alleging they harass customers by cornering them near store entrances to discuss gay marriage, solicit donations and collect signatures on petitions.
Rights advocates have warned that the legal battle between Target and Canvass For A Cause could further damage the retailer’s already strained relations with the gay and lesbian community.
Canvass For A Cause director Tres Watson called Thursday’s ruling a win for not only his organization, but also for free speech.
“I think this is a victory for every American that cherishes our fundamental values,” he said.
Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton said some Target stores may fall under California’s law that considers shopping centers to be public forums. Also, canvassing over the last year occurred mainly without incident and Target failed to demonstrate that customers were being harassed, he said.
“Target has not met its burden to show that its blanket policy to ban all solicitors at all stores in California is proper,” he wrote.
The corporation has said at least eight Target stores in the San Diego area have received more than a dozen complaints daily since canvassers started working the locations in October 2010. The activists have refused to leave when asked politely and shown the company’s policy prohibiting “expressive activity” on its property, Target said.
During a court hearing last month in San Diego, Barton asked Target’s Los Angeles-based attorney David McDowell why the company didn’t present testimony from customers who the company said had complained.
McDowell said the testimony could have been obtained, but he didn’t think it was necessary since the complaints weren’t the central issue. The case was about Target’s right to enforce its rules on its land, he said.
“The question is Target’s property right and its right to exclude,” McDowell said.
Target Corp. said in a statement Thursday that the legal action was “to provide a distraction-free shopping environment for our guests.”
“Target’s long-standing policy is that we do not permit solicitation or petitioning at our stores regardless of the cause or issue being represented,” the company said.
Barton warned the San Diego group to be respectful and to not block the flow of traffic. The restriction to canvass at just one entrance at a time was to ensure that customer access wasn’t impeded, he said in the ruling.
Watson said the constraints wouldn’t affect the group’s work because volunteers don’t follow people into stores or block store entrances.
Target was seen as an ally of the gay and lesbian community before it made a $150,000 donation to a business group backing Minnesota Republican candidate Tom Emmer, an opponent of gay marriage who lost last year’s governor’s race to Democrat Mark Dayton.
The company later apologized for the hurt feelings and tried to repair its image by creating a committee to help scrutinize its decisions on donations.
Target also negotiated a deal with Lady Gaga to sell a special edition of her upcoming album in a partnership Gaga said was tied to their “reform” – supporting the gay community and making up for past mistakes. The singer canceled the deal a few weeks ago.

Sun, Jul. 24th, 2011, 03:10 am
Premature aging seen as issue for AIDS survivors

Having survived the first and worst years of the AIDS epidemic, when he was losing three friends to the disease in a day and undergoing every primitive, toxic treatment that then existed, Peter Greene is grateful to be alive.
But a quarter-century after his own diagnosis, the former Mr. Gay Colorado, now 56, wrestles with vision impairment, bone density loss and other debilitating health problems he once assumed he wouldn’t grow old enough to see.
“I survived all the big things, but now there is a new host of things. Liver problems. Kidney disease. It’s like you are a 50-year-old in an 80-year-old body,” Greene, a San Francisco travel agent, said. “I’m just afraid that this is not, regardless of what my non-HIV positive friends say, the typical aging process.”
Even when AIDS still was almost always fatal, researchers predicted that people infected with HIV would be more prone to the cancers, neurological disorders and heart conditions that typically afflict the elderly. Thirty years after the first diagnoses, doctors are seeing these and other unanticipated signs of premature or “accelerated” aging in some long-term survivors.
Government-funded scientists are working to tease apart whether the memory loss, arthritis, renal failure and high blood pressure showing up in patients in their 40s and 50s are consequences of HIV, the drugs used to treat it or a cruel combination of both. With people over 50 expected to make up a majority of U.S. residents infected with the virus by 2015, there’s some urgency to unraveling the “complex treatment challenges” HIV poses to older Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“In those with long-term HIV infection, the persistent activation of immune cells by the virus likely increases the susceptibility of these individuals to inflammation-induced diseases and diminishes their capacity to fight certain diseases,” the federal health agency’s chiefs of infectious diseases, aging and AIDS research wrote, summing up the current state of knowledge on last September’s National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. “Coupled with the aging process, the extended exposure of these adults to both HIV and antiretroviral drugs appears to increase their risk of illness and death from cardiovascular, bone, kidney, liver and lung disease, as well as many cancers not associated directly with HIV infection.”
In San Francisco, where already more than half of the 9,734 AIDS cases are in people 50 and over, University of California, San Francisco AIDS specialists are collaborating with geriatricians, pharmacists and nutritionists to develop treatment guidelines designed to help veterans of the disease cope with getting frail a decade or two ahead of schedule and to remain independent for as long as possible.
“Wouldn’t it be helpful to be able to say, are you at high risk, low risk or moderate risk for progressing to dependency in the next five, the next 10 years, being less mobile, less able to be functional in the workplace. Are you going to be safe in your home, are you going to remember to take all those medications? How are they going to interact?” explained Dr. Malcolm John, who directs UCSF’s HIV clinic. “All those questions need to be brought into the HIV field at a younger age.”
Research so far suggests that HIV is not directly causing conditions that mimic old age, but hastens patients toward ailments to which they may have been genetically or environmentally predisposed. Plus, their immune systems are being weakened over time even when they are being successfully treated for AIDS, John said.
“That’s probably true for a lot of these things. We aren’t saying HIV’s starting the problem, but it’s added fuel on top,” he said.
Stokes, a patient of John’s who goes by only his last name, is a prime example. At 53, HIV-positive since 1985 and in substance abuse recovery for the last 11 years, he says he is happier than he ever has been. Yet the number of ailments for which he is being treated would be more commonly found in someone 30 years his senior: a condition called Ramsay Hunt syndrome that causes facial paralysis, a rare cartilage disorder for which he has undergone four ear surgeries, bone death in the hip and shoulder, deterioration of his heart muscle, osteoporosis and memory loss.
A specialist recently diagnosed a Kaposi’s sarcoma spot on Stokes’ ankle. Although the cancer is not life-threatening, the sight of young men disfigured by KS lesions was a harbinger of the early AIDS crisis, and its presence on his own body is unsettling.
At his therapy group for men with HIV, aging “comes up frequently,” he said. “I say, `Just think what we have come through to have a life today.’” At the same time, he acknowledges sometimes feeling self-conscious about his physical appearance and worries if “people are not attracted to me and unwilling to go the length of what it means to be with me, no matter how brilliant my mind or my zest for life.”
Loneliness, financial worries and concerns about who will care for them and where can weigh on long-term AIDS survivors in the same way as all adults living in a society that values youth, Charles Emlet, a social work professor at the University of Washington, Tacoma, said.
As they get older and sicker, many feel “doubly stigmatized,” he said. Some people who have lived with the virus for a long time have been getting by on private disability benefits that will run out when they turn 65, forcing them to move to less expensive locations or to consider turning to estranged family members. Like soldiers from a distant war, many lost partners and their closest friends to AIDS.
Such emotional side effects, combined with the physical toll of managing chronic health problems, put older AIDS patients at risk for depression. At the same time, Emlet has uncovered evidence that a majority of long-term survivors also share another trait that typically comes with advanced age: that is, the ability to draw strength from their difficult experiences.
“The older adults I’ve interviewed, many of them talk about how much it means to them to give back, to do something positive with the years they never expected to have,” he said.
Peter Greene can relate to that. At times, like the days he is so exhausted he can’t get out of bed or the pain from his multiple maladies is too intense, he asks himself “the Carrie Bradshaw question–are we really lucky to still be alive?”
As frightening and uncertain as this phase of AIDS is, he thinks he knows the answer.
“I’ve tried to make the time I have count, and really, now that I have the body of an 80-year-old, I probably have the wisdom of an 80-year-old as well, which counts for a lot,” Greene said. “Everything becomes clear at the end of your life and in some ways, thinking you’ve been dying all these years, you get moments of clarity that I don’t think everyone gets.”

Wed, Jul. 6th, 2011, 10:30 am
UN says new AIDS infections dropped since 2001

The last decade has seen a nearly 25 percent decline in new HIV infections, a reduction in AIDS-related deaths, and “unprecedented advances” in access to treatment, prevention services and care, the United Nations AIDS agency said in a report released Thursday night.
But UNAIDS said these achievements are unevenly distributed, exceedingly fragile, and fall short of global targets.
The report said more than 34 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2010 – including 2.6 million who became newly infected with the virus that causes AIDS in 2009.
An estimated 6.6 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral drug treatment at the end of last year, but about 9 million eligible people in those countries were not, the report said.
“We have made tremendous progress in stabilizing or reducing rates of new infections in nearly 60 countries,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said in the introduction. “But this success only highlights the rampant stigma and discrimination that contributes to rising infection rates among key populations at higher risk, and to the vulnerability of women and girls.”
According to the report, between 2008 and 2010, HIV among sex workers increased from 44 percent to 50 percent, and among gay men it rose from 30 percent to 36 percent. An estimated 20 percent of the 15.9 million people who inject drugs worldwide are living with HIV, the report said.
UNAIDS released the 139 page document ahead of Sunday’s 30th anniversary of the first official report of what would become the HIV epidemic by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report says the epidemic was spinning out of control from neglect in the early years, with the number of people infected with HIV rising from less than one million in 1981 to an estimated 27.5 million in 2000. But since 2001, the report said the global response to HIV has made “important achievements.”
“Between 2001 and 2009, global HIV incidence steadily declined, with the annual rate of new infections falling by nearly 25 percent,” the report said.
It said “above-average declines” have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and south and southeast Asia while “more modest reductions” of less than 25 percent have taken place in Latin America, the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean nations. The report said rates of new infections have remained relatively stable in east Asia, Western and Central Europe and North America. But the HIV incidence has steadily increased in the Middle East and north Africa while in Eastern Europe and central Asia a decline was reversed in mid-decade with new infections rising slightly from 2005 to 2009.
The report said the overall gains, “while unprecedented, are partial at best” and did not achieve global and national targets.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton wrote in the report that “more than 7,000 people, including 1,000 children, are newly infected with the virus every day and someone dies an AIDS-related death every 20 seconds.”
“People in rich countries don’t die from AIDS any more, but those in poor countries still do – and that’s just not acceptable,” he said.
According to the report, investment in the response to HIV in low-and middle-income countries rose from US$1.6 billion in 2001 to US$15.9 billion in 2009.
But UNAIDS warned that “as the epidemic enters its fourth decade, flattening support potentially jeopardizes the sustainability of financing at recent levels.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in the preface that “the world has reached a crossroads.”
“The number of people becoming infected and dying is decreasing, but the international resources needed to sustain this progress have declined for the first time in 10 years, despite tremendous unmet needs,” he said.
UNAIDS and the secretary-general urged international donors to increase support to sustain and step up the fight against AIDS.
Sidibe, the UNAIDS executive director, stressed that billions of dollars will be needed to meet the agency’s vision for the future – “zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.”
The report said “universal access” to drug treatment for those with HIV is achievable.
As of December 2009, seven countries had already reached at least 80 percent of treatment-eligible individuals with antiretroviral drugs – Botswana, Cambodia, Cuba, Guyana, Oman, Romania and Rwanda, the report said.
Fifteen countries reported treatment coverage of at least 60 percent of those with HIV, but the report said 28 countries have 20 percent or less of those infected with HIV in treatment, including Russia, Egypt, Iran and Colombia.

Tue, Jul. 5th, 2011, 10:33 am
OctoMom Does Not Hate Her Babies

InTouch Weekly must've mistakenly interviewed a full-time Pete Burns impersonator who sometimes hires himself out as an OctoMom look-alike to parents of brat children who need to be scared with the threat of being wished into her dilapidated bunny uterus if they don't act right, because the real OctoMom says that interview where she supposedly said that she hates all 14 of her asshole children is as fake as the baboon ass lips on her face.

In this week's edition of InTouch, the ears of Child Protective Services started to burn when Octo allegedly called her kids "animals" and said that she regularly locks herself in the bathroom for hours to keep from offing herself. But Octo tells TMZ the interview never happened.

"I hardly have 30 seconds to go to the restroom, I could never lock my self in the bathroom for hours. I Love ALL my children, I do not regret them and it's ridiculous that I have to continue to defend myself against these disgusting fabricated lies."

It could be that Octo is the Sybil of famewhores and one of her 14 personalities said that mess, but I actually believe InTouch made it all up. Octo puts the CRAZY in crazy, but I doubt she hates her kids. That's like White Oprah hating Lindsay Lohan, or Jennifer Aniston hating hair, or Amber Rose hating her own hairless cat, or RPattz hating on the likes of Nutty Madam. How can you hate on something that puts coins in your pocketbook and another minute on your relevancy clock?!

Tue, Jul. 5th, 2011, 10:28 am
Gay couples to sue NJ, seeking same-sex marriage

Seven gay and lesbian New Jersey couples, along with many of their children, are going to court to try to force the state to recognize gay marriage.
The families say in their legal complaint that the state’s civil union law designed to give gay couples the same legal protections as married couples has not fulfilled that promise.
One man says he was denied being able to make urgent medical decisions for his partner. Another saw his partner and children’s health insurance canceled by a skeptical auditor. One woman had to jump through legal hoops to adopt the baby of her civil union.
Along with the gay advocacy groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal, the couples planned to announce details of the lawsuit on Wednesday. The advocacy groups provided a copy to The Associated Press on the condition that no details be published before Wednesday morning.
The lawsuit, to be filed in state court, comes less than a week after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law allowing gay marriage in that neighboring state. But it’s the latest step in a nine-year legal battle in New Jersey.
States afford gay couples a hodgepodge of rights. New Jersey is one of seven states that offer the same legal protections of marriage, but call it either civil unions or domestic partnerships. Once New York’s new law takes effect next month, six states and Washington D.C. will make full marriage available to gays. Another state recognizes gay marriages entered into elsewhere and three offer some legal protections for gay couples. But 41 have laws or constitutional amendments barring gay marriage.
New Jersey’s civil union law is cast as the villain in the suit.
“The separate and inherently unequal statutory scheme singles out lesbians and gay men for inferior treatment on the basis of their sexual orientation and sex and also has a profoundly stigmatizing effect on them, their children and other lesbian and gay New Jerseyans,” the claim says.
The legal filing tells the stories of seven couples – two of whom previously sued for the right to marry – and the problems they say they’ve faced since the state began offering civil unions in 2007.
Their lawyer, Lambda Legal’s Hayley Gorenberg, said most people in places like medical offices don’t want to discriminate against them, but don’t understand the rights conferred through civil unions.
“People are not badly inclined toward them,” she said in an interview Tuesday. “They are just flummoxed” by the civil union requirements.
Tom Davidson and Keith Heimann, of Shrewsbury, have been a couple for 24 years and have two adopted daughters. Heimann has health insurance for the family through his teaching job at Brookdale Communuity College, but says it was canceled for Davidson and the girls for months when a state-hired auditor questioned whether their civil union was legal.
Elena Quinones says she and her partner, Liz, spent about $10,000 for Liz to adopt their son Ian when Elena gave birth to him two years ago. And the Phillipsburg couple always travels with a binder that includes his birth certificate, their civil union certificate and other documents so that they can prove their relationship in places like doctors’ offices. “We’re still forced to justify ourselves,” she said in an interview.
If they were married, she said, those problems would be gone. “When you say you’re married, it’s universal,” she said. “You say `civil union,’ it’s like you’re speaking another language.”
Last year, John Grant of Asbury Park was nearly killed when he was hit by a car. His partner, Danny Weiss, said hospital staff did not understand what a civil union meant and summoned Grant’s sister from Delaware to make care decisions that Weiss should have been able to make.
Speaking on the radio station New Jersey 101.5 Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie said the state would defend the civil union law. He also said he is willing to improve it if it needs more protections.
“I don’t want same-sex couples to be deprived of legal rights,” he said, adding, “Marriage is an institution that has centuries-old implications in both religious and cultural institutions. I believe it should remain between one man and one woman.”
Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said he does not believe that judges will agree that gay couples face discrimination. He says only 12 of formal civil rights complaints have been filed by the more than 5,400 couples who have been joined in civil unions.
“Every person in the state of New Jersey has a right to marry a person of the opposite sex,” he said. “The Legislature has decided that if you reject that and want to have a relationship with a person of the same sex – we are going to call two men or two women civil unions.”
The civil unions law was enacted a few months after New Jersey’s top court in late 2006 ordered the state to extend to gay couples the legal rights and protections that married couples receive. Lawmakers stopped short of recognizing same-sex marriages, which at that point were legal only in Massachusetts.
Gay rights groups pledged to push for full marriage rights and constantly pointed out the shortcomings of the law and the way it was carried out.
They mounted a major push to get a same-sex marriage law passed by the beginning of 2010, before Christie, a Republican who opposes gay marriage, replaced Democrat Jon Corzine as governor. But the advocates, opposed by social conservative groups and the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, could not quite muster the votes to pass it.
Gay rights groups tried to get the state Supreme Court to take up the original case again last year, but the court said no, setting up the latest new lawsuit.
This month, Democratic state Senate President Stephen Sweeney apologized for abstaining on the gay-marriage vote. He said he was doing what was politically expedient rather than what was right.

Mon, Jul. 4th, 2011, 02:33 pm
Judge: Gay rights group can canvass outside Target

A judge ruled Thursday that a San Diego pro-gay marriage group can continue canvassing outside of Target stores in California, but the group’s volunteers must stay 30 feet away from store entrances and canvass at just one entrance at a time.
The Minnesota-based retail giant had sought an injunction barring the activists from every outlet in the state, alleging they harass customers by cornering them near store entrances to discuss gay marriage, solicit donations and collect signatures on petitions.
Rights advocates have warned that the legal battle between Target and Canvass For A Cause could further damage the retailer’s already strained relations with the gay and lesbian community.
Canvass For A Cause director Tres Watson called Thursday’s ruling a win for not only his organization, but also for free speech.
“I think this is a victory for every American that cherishes our fundamental values,” he said.
Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton said some Target stores may fall under California’s law that considers shopping centers to be public forums. Also, canvassing over the last year occurred mainly without incident and Target failed to demonstrate that customers were being harassed, he said.
“Target has not met its burden to show that its blanket policy to ban all solicitors at all stores in California is proper,” he wrote.
The corporation has said at least eight Target stores in the San Diego area have received more than a dozen complaints daily since canvassers started working the locations in October 2010. The activists have refused to leave when asked politely and shown the company’s policy prohibiting “expressive activity” on its property, Target said.
During a court hearing last month in San Diego, Barton asked Target’s Los Angeles-based attorney David McDowell why the company didn’t present testimony from customers who the company said had complained.
McDowell said the testimony could have been obtained, but he didn’t think it was necessary since the complaints weren’t the central issue. The case was about Target’s right to enforce its rules on its land, he said.
“The question is Target’s property right and its right to exclude,” McDowell said.
Target Corp. said in a statement Thursday that the legal action was “to provide a distraction-free shopping environment for our guests.”
“Target’s long-standing policy is that we do not permit solicitation or petitioning at our stores regardless of the cause or issue being represented,” the company said.
Barton warned the San Diego group to be respectful and to not block the flow of traffic. The restriction to canvass at just one entrance at a time was to ensure that customer access wasn’t impeded, he said in the ruling.
Watson said the constraints wouldn’t affect the group’s work because volunteers don’t follow people into stores or block store entrances.
Target was seen as an ally of the gay and lesbian community before it made a $150,000 donation to a business group backing Minnesota Republican candidate Tom Emmer, an opponent of gay marriage who lost last year’s governor’s race to Democrat Mark Dayton.
The company later apologized for the hurt feelings and tried to repair its image by creating a committee to help scrutinize its decisions on donations.
Target also negotiated a deal with Lady Gaga to sell a special edition of her upcoming album in a partnership Gaga said was tied to their “reform” – supporting the gay community and making up for past mistakes. The singer canceled the deal a few weeks ago.

Fri, Jul. 1st, 2011, 07:23 am
Chicago gay sports group OK with results of Noah slur

The Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association is one LGBT group willing to accept Bulls center Joakim Noah’s apology for responding to a fan with a gay slur.
Following the game, Noah expressed his regret to reporters for the incident but the NBA ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, Noah again acknowledged he made a mistake and said the penalty was “fair.”
GLAAD and other gay advocacy groups blasted Noah for the incident.
Mark Sakalares, CMSA Men’s Basketball commissioner, supports the decision to charge Noah a fine but urges LGBT organizations to cut him slack.  CMSA is the largest not-for-profit gay and lesbian sports organization in the Midwest.
“We’re not going to tear him up about it,” Sakalares said.  “He knows what he did was wrong.  He admitted what he did was wrong.  There will be groups that will bash him and tear him apart.  We won’t be one of those groups.”
CMSA is offering to help the Chicago Bulls with LGBT sensitivity training.
Last month, Los Angeles Lakers captain Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for using an anti-gay slur directed at a referee.
“I wish we could talk about the issue as a whole and not just as single instances,” Sakalares said.  “It’s an issue that’s been around for years and will continue to be around.”
The NBA is taking steps to promote inclusion and acceptance of the LGBT community.  Grant Hill and Jared Dudley are featured in a PSA against using anti-gay language and with the league’s blessing, two-time MVP Steve Nash appeared in a video for HRC promoting marriage equality in New York.

Wed, May. 18th, 2011, 01:41 pm
New social network takes the Gay-Straight Alliance online.

We’ve all seen and probably “liked” one or two advocacy campaigns on Facebook, like perhaps the recent page dedicated to making October 20th Spirit Day in memory of the LGBT youths who have taken their lives in the past few months.
Indeed, digital social networks like Facebook and Twitter have often been used to provide information, promote causes or call people to action.
According to a CNN report, there’s a new social network in town. Named Friendfactor, the site aims to promote gay rights – but instead of campaigning for causes like gay marriage or Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, it aims to make people the focus of its online campaign.
Gay people create profiles on the site, and then solicit support from their straight friends for their fight for equality.
These profiles are like “advocate” pages, where creators can post stories on their coming-out process or their struggles in obtaining a marriage license, and also answer “burning questions” that their straight friends have.
When straight allies affirm their support to a profile on the site, they trigger an automatic digital alert to the profile page’s owner, in a social feedback system not unlike that of “liking” a Facebook status update.
The soon-to-be-launched site was founded by Brian Elliot, who believes that the site not only provides affirmation to gay people and letd them know they are not alone; it also humanizes what some straight people might see as a fight for abstract gay rights.

Photo by friendfactor.org
Speaking in an interview at PopTech, a conference for social change and technology, Elliot said, “Gay friends are so much more important than gay rights.”
The 29-year-old Elliot got the idea for his site when he started a Facebook page called Give Brian Equality. Half of the 600 friends he invited to join the page did so. In less than a month, 19,000 people had “liked” the page. Elliot reasoned that people were drawn to his story. His friends might not have been passionate about gay rights, but they were keen to help him as a person.
The site will be up in the next few weeks, and Elliot told CNN that he hopes that it will simplify gay rights and make it fun.
He quotes advice from a mentor of his, saying that “you can’t ask people to sign up for a struggle because ‘America’s Next Top Model’ is on – and that’s just more fun.”

Tue, May. 17th, 2011, 03:47 pm
Norman Aniston Has Passed Away

Now is not the time for jokes ! People brings us the sad news that another layer of sad has been put on sad Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer's beloved dog friend Norman has gone off to heaven at the age of 15. Norman is now with the angels who won't ever make him dress up like a groom and sit still during play weddings. The sad news from People:

"He died a few weeks ago," Aniston's rep confirms to PEOPLE. "He was an old dog and it was just his time."

Norman is survived by Aniston's other pup, a white German shepherd named Dolly.

And Norman just bought a $5 million NYC penthouse too! I really hope he left it to Jennifer and not to one of his side pieces. Rest in peace, Norman.

Tue, May. 17th, 2011, 03:44 pm
NY Independent Party chair: I support gay marriage

  The chairman of New York’s Independence Party says he’s personally supporting the legalization of gay marriage.
Frank MacKay leads the state’s third largest party. He says he sees the issue as one of fighting discrimination and prejudice.
The party representing 425,000 members is taking no official position on the issue. But MacKay tells The Associated Press Monday he’s reminding lawmakers that the influential party’s guiding principle is protecting civil rights.
MacKay’s statement could be key in the critical state Senate vote because the Conservative Party strongly opposes the measure.
Some Republicans essential to the bill’s passage could have to choose between the parties’ endorsements.
The Conservative Party’s membership is about a third as large as the Independence Party’s.

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