What Does Being LGBT (Or Wanting to Get Gay Married) Have to Do with Gambling?

Like GLAAD promoting a telecom merger, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has wound up in the dubious position of weighing in on gambling, a not terribly LGBT-specific issue.

Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed has been beating down the path of a fascinating story over this past week, exploring how and why the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has gotten involved with the issue of gambling in Maryland. His latest post reports that an anonymous source funded a gaming mailer sent to Maryland Democrats on behalf of the task force's lobbying arm.

We feel like we've been to this rodeo before. In our Voice Pride Issue feature, we asked, "What does a telecom merger have to do with fighting gay defamation?" as we reflected upon how and why the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) supported a proposed AT&T merge with T-Mobile. And now, we must ask, what does being LGBT have to do with gambling in Maryland?

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on Why Yesterday's Ruling Against DOMA Is The Most Important Gay Marriage Case Right Now

Yesterday saw a major legal blow (perhaps the most significant one yet) to the Defense of Marriage Act, as the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the federal government's definition of "marriage" and "spouse" are unconstitutional as limited to just applying to opposite sex married couples.

As we usually do, we turned to Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner to explain what this means legally. It's startling moment in the war for marriage equality for several reasons. First, the unanimous ruling came from two Republican appointed judges (tapped by presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush) and one Democratic appointee (tapped by Bill Clinton).

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on the Big, Gay Week at the White House [VIDEO]

There are many culprits who helped push Obama out of the same-sex marriage support closet this week, with Malia and Sasha (who didn't see the difference between their friends' parents who are opposite or same sex), Joe Biden's loose, grandiose, hyperbolic lips, and the (later confirmed) prospect of raking in big donations at the top of the list.

Another culprit deserves due credit: the press. After Biden came out on Sunday in support of same-sex couples, followed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan the following day, the White House Press Corps merciless pounded Jay Carney to clarify just what the hell President Obama's position actually was. Carney knew he wouldn't be able to talk about anything else until he had an answer for the hungry pack animals that had smelled blood.

One reporter deserves special recognition here, our friend Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly. It was Geidner, after all, who got the first interview with a member of Obama's cabinet who supported same-sex marriage when he interviewed H.U.D. Secretary Shuan Donovan last November. It was his challenge to Carney this week that led to the press secretary's visible stumble (a moment The Daily Show and others took interest in). We chatted with Geidner about the scene in the White House Briefing Room this week, why he thinks Obama's stance is not a "half-loaf" measure , and about his cover story on where the LGBT movement is going, "How It Ends."

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Is Obama Doing Enough For the Gays? We Ask Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner About LGBT Workplace Discrimination and the White House [VIDEO]

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Part 1 in a series.

Apart from GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans, there is no doubt that all the major organizations which make up Gay Inc will be solidly behind President Obama in his reelection campaign over the next six months. (Mitt Romney may have once pandered to gay voters in Massachusetts, but those efforts are now as dead as the Buffet Rule since Romney swung so hard to the right in his primary and pandered even harder to the National Organization for Marriage.)

For supporting him with gusto in 2008, the gays have gotten a couple big wins with President Obama, most noticeably passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Obama's gotten a bit of a pass on not coming out for marriage, as he (and Michelle) continue to play wink-wink, nudge-nudge around an issue that is largely out of the president's direct control.

But Gay Inc is starting to get very loud about an issue that is very much within the president's control, at least when it comes to federal contractors: protecting LGBT workers from being fired.

We asked Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly about it, who has the scoop.

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on Obama's Gay Marriage Stance: "All Pretense of Clarity Is Gone" [VIDEO]

It's been an intriguing week for same-sex marriage. While an anti-equality rollback was defeated in the Republican controlled New Hampshire legislature, the White House tried to split their SSM hairs closer than ever on the topic.

We chatted today with our friend Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly about this, who wrote this week that "all pretense of clarity is gone" in the administration's stance on same-sex marriage in his article, "Obama's Adventures in Wonderland."

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on LGBT Deportation and Death Taxes (VIDEO)

Over last weekend, Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly did a lot of good reporting about two significant LGBT legal cases. Both show how the Obama administration, which declines to vocally support same-sex marriage, is also quietly and technocratically using the law to bolster it. We chatted on Monday with Geidner about the case of New Yorker Edith Windsor, who is suing the government over a $350,000 estate tax bill following the death of her wife, Thea Spyer. (But for the Defense of Marriage Act, or if her spouse had been a man, Windsor wouldn't have this bill.) When the Department of Justice signaled its support for Windsor's position last week, Geidner wrote, "This is the first time the government stated affirmatively in court that a lawsuit requiring that Section 3 of DOMA be struck down as unconstitutional should succeed."

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on DOMA and the Respect for Marriage Act (VIDEO)

Recently, we asked Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner to help us understand the Obama administration's legal strategy for pursuing gay rights in the courts. Yesterday, we chatted with Geidner again, about the Defense of Marriage Act and the proposed Respect for Marriage Act. It was Geidner who asked Press Secretary Jay Carney the question that got the White House to voice its support for the Respect for Marriage Act, the first time Obama has endorsed specific legislation to repeal DOMA.

Our video chat continues after the jump, where Geidner talks about being in the actual Senate hearings and what the mood was like.

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