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COMMENTARY: When freedom of speech goes too far

This is America and we are guaranteed freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights.

Two significant court cases this week addressed this cherished freedom, and in both instances, the legal rulings inflicted widespread disgust by reasonable Americans.

In a much-publicized case, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with a lower court ruling that the despicable Westboro Baptist Church, a homophobic cult from Topeka, Kansas, has the right to picket military funerals, shout vulgarities at mourners attending services and wave placards reading “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God For Dead Soldiers.”

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COMMENTARY: Subsidized childcare breaks poverty cycle, so why cut it?

Subsidized childcare for low income families is supported in full or in part on a sliding scale basis by federal and state taxpayer dollars.

In San Diego County, subsidized childcare and child development programs include state funded preschools, CalWORKS, Head Start programs and a network of other alternative payment programs.

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COMMENTARY: The Rev. Peter Gomes became the accidental gay advocate

If during your tenure as a student at Harvard you did not encounter the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, you have not had the quintessential Harvard experience.

For undergraduates, if they were paying attention, Gomes bookended their four-year experience at Harvard with his welcoming remarks during orientation and his baccalaureate address at graduation.

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COMMENTARY: Syphilis screening missing the forest for the trees

Editor's note: The author does not work for a testing manufacturer, and has no conflict of interest. Kenneth Katz’s blog is published on RH Reality Check. Dr. Katz stresses that syphilis among gay men and other men who have sex with men has increased tremendously in the past decade in San Diego.

Advice for a new class of syphilis tests: Get new spin doctors.

MSNBC VIDEO: What a big week for gay rights!

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts talks with Dan Stone of Newsweek about this week’s progress in gay rights.

They note that this week:

- President Obama appointed the first male and openly gay White House Social Secretary, Jeremy Bernard;

- Decided to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA);

- Maryland state Senate approves gay marriage;

- Hawaii governor signs bill that legalizes civil unions.

Roberts, incidentally, is openly gay.

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COMMENTARY: Budget-slashing is detrimental to HIV/AIDS fight

WASHINGTON -- HR 1, the Continuing Resolution that the House passed to fund the federal government for the balance of Fiscal Year 2011, is detrimental to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the United States, AIDS United said.

The organization strongly opposes HR 1, which calls for cutting spending by $61 billion below current spending levels, which are based on FY 2010 spending.

HR 1 imposes devastating spending cuts on life-saving federal health and poverty programs for our nation's most vulnerable populations, the group said.

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COMMENTARY: Making the case against budget cuts for California's higher education

For years, California has had the best publicly funded colleges and universities in the nation, which fueled the state's innovation and thriving economy. However, budget deficits have caused our state-funded colleges to shoulder painful funding cuts in recent years, and now, the UC and CSU systems as well as the state community colleges are facing $1.4 billion in funding cuts.

COMMENTARY with VIDEO: The irritation of the idiots widens from CSUSM to Capitol Hill

Editor's note: Kit-Bacon Gressitt's commentary appears on her blog Excuse Me, I'm Writing and is republished by SDGLN, The Ocean Beach Rag and The Progressive Post. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while working for the North County Times.

COMMENTARY: My movie night with President Obama, reflecting on Thurgood Marshall’s legacy and LGBT equality

Sitting in the White House last night for a truly “once in a lifetime moment” — a movie screening of “Thurgood” with President Barack Obama — I was moved by how far justice and equality has really come in our nation, and how much further we have to go to finish the promise of “equality and justice for all.”

COMMENTARY: NCLR thinks California Supreme Court will rule favorably in Proposition 8 case

[Wednesday] in the federal court challenge to California’s Proposition 8, the California Supreme Court agreed to accept a question sent to it last month by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and provided a timeline for the briefing and argument on that question. The question posed to the California Supreme Court by the Ninth Circuit panel is whether California law gives ballot initiative sponsors the extraordinary power to override the decisions of elected state officials about how to litigate court challenges to state laws. In the context of this case, Perry vs.

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