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Gay Rights And Obama’s State Of The Union: Was It Enough?

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President Obama’s State of the Union address last night — all sixty-two minutes, all 6820 words — was met with expected mixed success. Most on the Left were pleased, most on the Right were not. Depending on which flash poll you read, anywhere from 50% t0 77% to 92% of the American people thought it was a success. But his merely passing mention of gay rights has left some members of the LGBTQ community, however, are feeling rather… ambivalent.

No one is, and no one should ever suggest that gay rights take priority over all other aspects of American life. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders are all Americans, and are affected by all the challenges our heterosexual brothers and sisters face. Gay or straight, we all need jobs, financial security, protection from enemies — both foreign and domestic — and a safety net should we fall and can’t pick ourselves back up; in short, everything the founding fathers and our United States constitution promises us.

So is it incumbent upon our president to mention us specifically in every major speech? Was it important for Obama to have mentioned the LGBTQ community — more than he did — in this State of the Union? Did he acknowledge us enough?

Some in the gay community think yes, some think no. The Advocate’s Andrew Harmon, in “Obama: Mum on Marriage“ writes that “marriage equality, clearly the holy grail of civil rights advancements for national LGBT groups and an issue at the heart of multiple state battles, was not mentioned. That left some advocates, though perhaps not surprised, wanting more.”

“I thought it was a good speech, aspirational in many ways, as it should be, even though I thought the president missed an opportunity to build on the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and lead the nation forward toward full LGBT equality,” said Richard Socarides, president of Equality Matters and a former White House adviser to President Bill Clinton.”

Was it a missed opportunity to send a strong message to America that gay or straight, we all need jobs, financial security, protection from enemies, both foreign and domestic, a safety net should we fall and can’t pick ourselves back up; in short, everything the constitution promises us?

Gay men and lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders are all treated as second-class citizens by our government. We operate at a disadvantage: an economic and emotional disadvantage.

Gays and lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders can be fired in a majority of states just for being who we are.

We don’t have the economic or emotional protections of marriage. There are at least 1138 federal benefits our heterosexual brothers and sisters are afforded by the federal government that we are legally prohibited from enjoining.

That’s not fair, not right, and not American.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey on the issue of equality and Obama’s State of the Union address said, “The president should pave the way.”

“If the president is truly serious about job creation and boosting America’s economic well-being, he must provide leadership and action in helping to pass employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and ending the costly and unjust federal marriage ban.”

“Fact is, the state of the union for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people remains largely one of inequality, as we can still be fired from or denied employment in many parts of the country for nothing other than bias, and marriage inequality relegates our families to second-class status.”

Last night, President Obama said, “Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love.”

By the way, here are a few words President Obama didn’t say: marriage,  civil rights, DREAM Act, bullying, suicides,  equality,  lesbian,  climate change,  global warming, sexual orientation,  ENDA,  DOMA,  guns,  gun control.

Should our president have done more during the State of the Union address than mention he signed into law the bill that repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?”

Should he have mentioned ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would protect LGBTQ people from being fired for who they are?

Should he have mentioned his stated desire to repeal DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that makes it illegal for the federal government to recognize married same-sex couples?

These issues are at the heart of financial, economic, emotional, and societal discrimination of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.

Some say that there is no way Obama will be able to give life to these critical pieces of the gay agenda with a Republican-controlled House, so why offer empty words? Others say that having a president keep these words and ideas alive is important. Both are correct.

On the issue of marriage equality not being mentioned in the State of the Union, Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart writes, “Stand in line, folks. He didn’t mention gun control, either. Would anyone suggest he didn’t really care about that issue or the folks who care about the issue?”

Saying, “Evolutions require as much patience as persistence,” Capehart adds, “When it comes to Obama and marriage equality, gays need to take a page from Obama and his handling of DADT repeal. Richard Socarides, former adviser to President Clinton and the new head of Equality Matters, told the Advocate, “Press him at every turn,” he said, “and do so creatively and strategically.”

Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen writes, “If the election were held today, Barack Obama would capture an overwhelming majority of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender vote. Indeed, I believe that the LGBT community will be his most loyal block of supporters other than African Americans — and maybe Latinos if Republicans insist on passing more Arizona-type immigration laws.”

Besen goes on to say “the state of the union with most LGBT voters — following a two-year rocky relationship — remains quite stable, although not entirely satisfying.”

Make no mistake. No other president has ever done more for the LGBTQ community than Barack Obama. He is fulfilling his promises to us. Some think just not fast enough. Others think we risk alienating those in the White House who are trying to make things better for us.

What do you think?

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Dominion Lawsuit: Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell and Rudy Giuliani Pushed Trump Lies for Fame, Glory — and Pillows

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Attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems accused Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell of spreading lies about Donald Trump’s election loss for fame and glory.

The voting technology company’s lawyers argued Thursday in a court hearing that Trump’s former campaign lawyers and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell believed they could attain power and influence by helping the former president remain in office by overturning his election loss with baseless claims of fraud and tampering, reported CNN.

“That’s the place they could get in-person audiences,” said Dominion attorney Megan Meier. “[Washington was] the place where Powell could become a household name.”

Attorneys for Giuliani, Powell and Lindell — who have been sued for $1.3 billion in the defamation suit — at times attempted to re-litigate the election during the four-hour hearing, which began a few hours after a New York court suspended Giuliani’s law license over his election fraud lies.

The former New York City mayor did not attend the hearing, but Powell and Lindell did.

Another attorney for Dominion argued that the case can remain alive in court, even if jurors find the defendants’ claims “improbable,” because the case isn’t about “the marketplace of ideas,” as Lindell’s attorney has argued.

“There is a quantum of information available to [Lindell] by the time he made these statements,” Clare said. “He made the preconceived notion that the election was stolen.”

The lawsuit accuses Lindell of using election lies and Qanon conspiracy theories to promote his pillow company.

“[He] sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” the suit alleges.

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FASCISM

‘Just Shoot Them’: Trump Told Top US General to ‘Crack Skulls’ and ‘Beat the F’ Out of Civil Rights Protestors: New Book

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President Donald Trump told America’s highest-ranking general and top law enforcement officials to “shoot” civil rights protestors in Seattle and Portland, “crack their skulls,” and “beat the f–k” out of them, according to a new book by a Wall Street Journal reporter.

“The President would highlight videos that showed law enforcement getting physical with protesters and tell his administration he wanted to see more of that behavior,” CNN reports, citing excerpts from Michael Bender’s book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.”

“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”

Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f–k out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.

“Just shoot them,” Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts.

But Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley (photo, right) refused, Bender reveals, with Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr often finding themselves the only ones willing to push back against the president.

General Milley, who made headlines Wednesday after delivering a stunning lecture on critical race theory and “wokeness” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who was not pleased by it, also pushed back against Trump senior advisor, white supremacist Stephen Miller.

During one Oval Office debate, senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller chimed in, equating the scenes unfolding on his television to those in a third-world country and claiming major American cities had been turned into war zones.

“These cities are burning,” Miller warned, according to the excerpts.

The comment infuriated Milley, who viewed Miller as not only wrong but out of his lane, Bender writes, noting the Army general who had commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan spun around in his seat and pointed a finger directly at Miller.

“Shut the f–k up, Stephen,” Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.

Read the entire report at CNN.

 

Image of President Trump and General Milley: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO COMPETENCY?

‘No Time to Waste’: DeSantis Blasted for Going on Fox News as Biden and Miami Mayor Urge Him to Request State of Emergency

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Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is taking time to pose for the cameras and talk to Fox News in the wake of the stunning partial building collapse that more than 12 hours later has left 99 people missing, and feared dead.

DeSantis reportedly added an interview with far right Fox News host Mark Levin to his calendar for Thursday.

President Joe Biden during a news conference announcing a bipartisan agreement on, appropriately, an infrastructure bill on-camera Thursday afternoon urged the Florida Republican governor to ask for a declaration of a state of emergency, but DeSantis has yet to do so – nor has he declared a state of emergency himself for the Surfside disaster. President Biden appears to have ordered FEMA to Florida to assess the situation, which is the most they are allowed to do until the governor acts.

Also urging DeSantis to request a state of emergency declaration is Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who says “there is no time to waste.”

Apparently DeSantis believes there is, and many are blasting the likely 2024 GOP presidential hopeful.

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