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Topher Payne: Bad day prepper

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

Well, it turns out the Mayans were just as reliable about predicting the end of our civilization as they were at predicting their own.

I was charitable enough to give them until the end of the year, but 2012 officially came to a close without any of the pyrotechnics promised by doomsday preppers or John Cusack collecting a paycheck. Oh well. Guess I’ll get to that laundry I was putting off.

When folks watch a movie like “2012” (which no one should) or a TV show like “Walking Dead” (which everyone should), they tend to put themselves in the shoes of the survivors, saying, “I’d get myself to an army base, because they’re totally secure and I could pig out on MREs.”

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Obama cites ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in first debate

The first Presidential Debate

No questions concerning LGBT issues were posed during the first presidential debate Wednesday night, but President Obama made a direct reference to one.

Near the end of the 90-minute debate, responding to a charge from Republican challenger Mitt Romney that he has not worked well with Republicans, President Obama pointed to a number of examples where his administration worked with Republicans with success. One example he cited was repeal of the ban on gays in the military.

Immediate reaction from many commentators — mainstream and LGBT —held that Romney dominated the debate and that Obama failed to take some political shots he had at his disposal.

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Huntsman, more moderate on gay rights, drops out of GOP presidential race

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman dropped out of the GOP primary process for the 2012 general election today and endorsed rival Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts.

Huntsman failed to gain a solid footing after the first two contests of the year: the Iowa Caucuses, where he finished seventh, and the New Hampshire Primary, where he finished third, behind Romney and Congressman Ron Paul.

With his victory in New Hampshire, Romney solidified his status as the GOP front-runner.

“Today our campaign for the presidency ends, but our campaign to build a better and brighter America continues,” Huntsman said in a statement posted to his campaign website.

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Romney cements status as front-runner in New Hampshire

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney claimed nearly 40 percent of yesterday's vote in the country's first primary of the 2012 general election season, according to the Associated Press.

Last night's victory in New Hampshire only solidified Romney's status as the GOP front-runner, but after two contests, Romney still faces an uphill battle to win over more than half of the GOP voters who still prefer another of the party's candidates. Romney finished last week's Iowa caucuses with a narrow margin of victory over former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn).

Romney, one of the more “moderate” candidates in the race, doesn't support allowing gay couples to marry, but he does support some kind of partnership agreement between consenting adults.

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[Video] National Organization for Marriage goes after Ron Paul

Congressman Ron Paul

The National Organization for Marriage is targeting Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) ahead of today's New Hampsire Primary. The anti-gay group announced this week that it had set up a phone bank and had begun running television ads in the state.

Paul is not a gay rights hero, but he's far from NOM's preferred choice, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn). Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman are the only two major GOP candidates that refused to sign NOM's “Marriage Pledge.”

Here's one of their commercials:

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From marriage to the ballot box, LGBT issues likely to be big news in the new year

Tammy Baldwin

Significant events are crowding the national calendar for 2012, and each promises considerable drama and suspense for the LGBT community. Here are the 10 most important to watch:

1. The fight for the White House

The difference for LGBT people between having President Barack Obama in the White House and President George W. Bush has been stark. So the consequences of November’s presidential election will also be profound.

Either Obama stays, and things continue to improve, in law and in society’s attitudes, or a new president is elected from a field of Republicans who seem, at times, to be vying for the mantle of most gay hostile candidate.

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Herman Cain: ‘Homosexuality is a choice’

herman cain

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight last night talking up his presidential run. In an already up-and-down primary season, Cain has made his way into the top tier of GOP candidates in recent weeks, according to recent national polls.

Host Morgan asked Cain his stance on LGBT issues among a wide array of topics:

“I happen to think that it is a choice,” Cain stated. “You show me evidence, other than opinion, and you might cause me to reconsider that.”

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Out congresswoman enters Wisconsin senate race

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the first openly lesbian woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, joined the race to become a Wisconsin senator in 2012, her campaign announced today.

If Baldwin were to win the election next year, she would be the first openly out member of the United States Senate. Baldwin, along with Colorado Congressman Jared Polis and Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, both democrats, are the currently the only out members of the U.S. House.

Baldwin was first elected to Congress in 1998 and began serving her term in 1999.