News Round-Up: January 30, 2019

• InstaHunk Matthew Camp (above) is giving you 'polar vortex/winter tones' on this Hump Day.
Matthew Camp (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Matthew Camp (above) is giving you ‘polar vortex/winter tones’ on this Hump Day.

• Inspired by the unofficial Gay Days events at Disneyland and Disney World in the US, Disneyland Paris will host its first official Pride event, titled Magical Pride, on June 1.

• Lawyers for Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin say that former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis must pay the $225,000 in legal fees owed to the gay couples who sued her for refusing to issue marriage licenses.

Kim Davis

• White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network today that she believes God wanted Donald Trump to become president.

• Four middle school kids in North Carolina face felony charges after plans were discovered to attempt a ‘Columbine-style’ attack on fellow students and a teacher.

• I got the most delightful surprise when the fabulous Leslie Ellis called me up just to say ‘hi’ last night.

She and her uber-talented hubby, Casey Kelly, had watched the RENT Live event on Sunday night and it reminded her of her own Broadway days (we did the national company of CATS together in the 80s when she stopped the show every night with her performance of “Memory”).

Long story short: old-friends, chatting, laughs, sharing, long call – it was great 🙂

In any case, it made me long to her her gorgeous voice, so I’m sharing this with you, one of my favorite recordings of hers, “We Came Close.”

Click here for more info about the talented duo.

Anti-Gay Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis Loses Reelection

Kim Davis, who became famous for refusing to issue marriage licenses to a gay couple after the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriage equality the law of the land, has lost her bid for reelection.

Kim Davis, who became famous for refusing to issue marriage licenses to a gay couple after the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriage equality the law of the land, has lost her bid for reelection.

The four-time married adulteress couldn’t pull out another election. Awwww… oh well.

Ding dong the witch is dead!

Kentucky: Former Judge & Trump Campaign Chair Sentenced To 20 Years On Sex Charges

Former Judge Tim Nolan, who was Donald Trump’s campaign chair in Campbell County, has plead guilty to 21 counts of human trafficking, giving drugs and alcohol to minors and more.

According to court records, Nolan used drugs, threats of arrest and eviction to coerce women and girls under the age of 18 into sex acts.

In addition to 20 years in prison, Nolan is ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

At his sentencing, he thanked his attorneys, the judge and a doctor who was involved in his case “who made me realize things.”

Nolan isn’t the first Trump campaign figure to go to prison over sex trafficking charges.

Last year, Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey, who served as Trump’s campaign chair in his state, was convicted on child prostituion charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Kentucky: Judge Orders State To Pay Over $222K To Marriage Equality Attorneys

County Clerk Kim Davis

For a second time, a federal judge has ordered the state of Kentucky to pay over $222K to the attorneys who went to bat defending same-sex couples who were declined a marriage license by county clerk Kim Davis.

From CourtHouseNews.com:

In July, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Kentucky to pay $222,695 to the attorneys of April Miller and others, after they won a favorable judgment against Davis. Bunning also awarded an additional $2,008 in other costs.

Gov. Matt Bevin and Terry Manuel, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for the Libraries and Archives, appealed the ruling, claiming the fees should be assessed against Davis and the Rowan County Clerk’s Office.

The governor and commissioner, who were third-party defendants in the case, argued that Davis did not represent Kentucky when she acted against the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges because her behavior was not directed or approved by any state official.

Bunning once again found the argument unpersuasive and rejected the appeal on Monday.

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky is liable for plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs because defendant Kim Davis acted on behalf of the Commonwealth when she refused to issue marriage licenses,” the judge wrote in his 14-page decision.

Congratulations, Kentucky! Kim Davis cost you over $222K in her misguided and illegal activism.

Federal Judge Rejects ‘Free Speech’ Defense In Lawsuit Alleging Trump Incited Violence Against Protesters

A federal judge in Kentucky has ruled a lawsuit against President Trump, brought by three protesters who were violently attacked at a Trump campaign rally, will go forward.

The judge said Trump’s claim of free speech was rejected in the lawsuit that accuses Trump of inciting violence.

From U.S. News & World Report:

Trump’s lawyers sought to dismiss the lawsuit by three protesters who say they were roughed up by his supporters at a March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. They argued that Trump didn’t intend for his supporters to use force.

Two women and a man say they were shoved and punched by audience members at Trump’s command. Much of it was captured on video and widely broadcast during the campaign, showing Trump pointing at the protesters and repeating “get them out.”

Judge David J. Hale in Louisville ruled Friday that the suit against Trump, his campaign and three of his supporters can proceed. Hale found ample facts supporting allegations that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s actions, and noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.

It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” the judge wrote. “It was an order, an instruction, a command.”

Plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau allege that they were physically attacked by several members of the audience, including Matthew Heimbach, Alvin Bamberger and an unnamed defendant they have yet to be able to identify.

Bamberger later apologized to the Korean War Veterans Association, whose uniform he wore at the rally. He wrote that he “physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit” after “Trump kept saying ‘get them out, get them out,” according to the lawsuit.

Heimbach, for his part, sought to dismiss the lawsuit’s discussion of his association with a white nationalist group and of statements he made about how Trump could advance the group’s interests. The judge declined, saying such information could be important context when determining punitive damages.

Kentucky Democratic Primary Results Confirm Hillary Clinton As Winner

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton

A “recanvass” of the Kentucky Democratic primary results shows that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did, indeed, win the state’s contest according to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

From Politico:

“The unofficial winner of Kentucky’s Democratic presidential primary remains Hillary Clinton,” Grimes said at a press conference on Thursday. “The recanvass vote totals which were submitted to my office today will become the official vote totals. The Kentucky Board of Elections will certify on May 31st.”

The recanvass was a review of voting machines and absentee ballots in all 120 of the state’s counties.

In a statement, the Vermont senator said he accepted the results.

“We accept the results in Kentucky. We are very pleased that we split the delegates in a state with a closed primary in which independents cannot vote and where Secretary Clinton defeated Barack Obama by 35 points in 2008,” Sanders said in a statement

Kentucky Governor Signs Law Removing County Clerk’s Signature From Marriage Licenses

This past Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law a bill that removes county clerks’ names from the state marriage license.

You’ll recall the long drawn-out story from last year of County Clerk Kim Davis who refused to sign any marriage licenses for same-sex couples after the historic ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on marriage equality.

From Reuters:

Senate Bill 216, signed by Republican Governor Matt Bevin, also creates a single form that either heterosexual or same-sex couples can use. Applicants can choose between being called bride, groom or spouse.

“We now have a single form that accommodates all concerns. Everyone benefits from this common sense legislation,” Bevin said in an emailed statement. “There is no additional cost or work required by our county clerks. They are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty.”

Michael Aldridge, executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, issued a statement saying he welcomes the move which creates a uniform license for everyone in the state.

Kentucky State Senate Committee Advances “License To Discriminate” Bill

Fairness Kentucky reports on another anti-LGBT “License To Discriminate” bill that would seek to nullify all pro-LGBT local ordinances.

A “License to Discriminate” bill that would sanction discrimination against LGBT Kentuckians passed out of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee this morning. Senate Bill 180, introduced by Senator Albert Robinson of London, seeks to gut local LGBT Fairness Ordinances passed by eight Kentucky cities. Those cities include Covington, Danville, the State Capital Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Midway, Morehead, and the small Appalachian town of Vicco.

“Senate Bill 180 is nothing but a license to discriminate,” shared Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman. “This legislation seeks to undo the hard work of eight Kentucky cities that chose to protect all their residents from discrimination. These cities, like nearly 200 local employers in the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Coalition, know that discrimination is bad for business. Should the Kentucky General Assembly pass this license to discriminate, it will have untold negative effects on our commonwealth’s tourism, economics, and business development.”

Kentucky To Pay Over $1.1 Million In Legal Fees To Same-Sex Marriage Attorneys

The state of Kentucky has been ordered by the federal Western District Court of Kentucky to pay $1,115,632.96 in attorney fees and costs to the lawyers who fought for marriage equality in the state.

The losing side of a court battle often has to pay the winning side’s legal fees. And as we know, the good guys won this one.

Lots of states avoided this by seeing the writing on the wall and dropping opposition to same-sex marriage.

Kentucky did not have the good sense to do that.