Connect with us

Obama’s State Of The Union To Mention Same-Sex Marriage?

Published

on

Will President Obama’s third State of the Union address mention gay rights, including the right of same-sex couples to marry? Few think so, given the downright hostile environment fomented by the anti-gay GOP, Obama’s recent win on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, and his earlier-kept promise of signing into law the Hate Crimes bill. Others think he has a moral obligation to do so. Regardless, the focus by some on the marriage issue has reached a new high.

In “High hopes for State of the Union speech,” Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade last week wrote, “Whether the president will even address LGBT issues during his speech remains in question.”

“During a news conference [last] Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he didn’t know whether the president would address marriage or repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act during his speech.”

But things have gotten more heated. Johnson today writes, “White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs nearly shut down a news conference on Monday following inquiries about President Obama’s position on same-sex marriage.”

“Gibbs was responding to questions from the Washington Blade on whether Obama had “backtracked” from a statement of support for same-sex marriage in a 1996 questionnaire during his campaign for an Illinois state Senate seat.

“I think there’s a whole host of issues that I would direct you to the campaign on — on different questionnaires and I would again reiterate what the president has said recently on that issue,” Gibbs said.

“The marriage questions prompted Gibbs to attempt to end the news conference.”

What we do know is through judicious leaks, the “Organizing for America” video preview, and the media-machine plying the White House has done in recent days that the State of the Union address tomorrow night (9 PM ET) will include a focus on job-creation, education and infrastructure investment.

Politico’s Glenn Thrush writes, “Obama – recognizing that Democrats have surrendered their historic edge to the GOP on the economy – will be also be focusing much of the speech on his efforts to recover some of the six million jobs lost since the start of the recession.”

“My No. 1 focus,” he said, “is going to be making sure that we are competitive, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future,” he said, emphasizing his goal of improving the economy for the “entire American family.”

The question is, will the “entire American family” Obama mentions include families of same-sex couples, to whom Obama sent a gentle nod in his speech at the Tucson Memorial earlier this month when he mentioned “life partners?” Not many caught it, but it was good to hear.

The moment Obama signed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill into law he began talking about repealing DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which makes it illegal for the federal government to legally-recognize same-sex marriages or partnerships, like civil unions, and thus, excludes literally millions of same-sex couples and families from accessing the 1138+ benefits that are available to married heterosexual couples by virtue of their birth.

Even before that, President Obama said he was “wrestling” with the concept of gay marriage.

The President also mentioned he would like to find ways to broaden the scope of benefits for same-sex couples, acknowledging that control of the House was moving to the GOP.

Will Obama mention repealing DOMA at the State of the Union? Most think not, but many, like columnist and “It Gets Better” creator Dan Savage think he must.

In a New York Times op-ed titled, “A Gay Agenda for Everyone,” Savage writes, “I’m not an idiot: Now that the Republicans hold the House, only wishful thinkers and the deeply delusional expect to see any movement on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legislative agenda this year or next. Nevertheless, President Obama should address gay rights in his State of the Union speech this week, and he should tackle the biggest, most meaningful right of them all: the right to marry.”

“Gay Americans are eventually going to win on marriage just like we won on military service, the president should tell Congress, so why not save everyone on both sides of the debate a lot of time, trouble and money by approving the entire gay rights agenda? Send the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, the Uniting American Families Act and the repeal of the odious Defense of Marriage Act to his desk for his signature.”

Could the spotlight-seating — next to the First Lady — of Daniel Hernandez, the gay intern who helped save Gabby Giffords’ life when she was shot just three weeks ago, be tipping Obama’s hand? Or it it merely an appropriate gesture. Or neither?

Obama likes to think of himself as someone who works behind the scenes to create an environment that makes things possible. He and top-administration sources, like Secretary of Defense Gates, said as much when the Senate passed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill.

Perhaps Hernandez is just one more way Obama is trying to show America that gay and lesbian Americans are people, too.

UPDATE: Read Chris Geidner’s piece at MetroWeekly, “HRC’s Sainz Lowers Expectations for LGBT Americans at SOTU.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Nazis and Proud Boys Clash With Anti-Fascists Outside Texas Church Hosting Drag Queen Bingo

Published

on

Authorities from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department responded to an anti-LGBTQ protest outside a Texas church on Saturday.

“First Christian Church Katy is hosting a drag bingo fundraiser benefiting the ministry’s Transparent Closet, a free boutique aimed at helping young people in the LGBTQ community in the largely conservative west Houston suburb,” Jay R. Jordan reported for Axios on Friday. “Protect Texas Kids, led by North Texas’ self-described “Christian fascist” Kelly Neidert, plans to protest outside the church, according to a Facebook event from the group.”

The report noted anti-fascist activists were planning a counterprotest.

“Neidert’s protests have drawn support from neo-Nazis and other anti-LGBTQ groups,” Axios reported. “Men in Nazi regalia and alleged Proud Boys wearing Buc-ee’s masks joined Neidert’s protest outside a drag brunch at Hamburger Mary’s downtown in July.”

On Saturday, Jordan posted a video clip from the scene.

“Proud Boys and Kelly Neidert’s Protect Texas Kids are in Katy, Texas, protesting a drag bingo fundraiser at First Christian Church. PB and Houston antifascists just clashed. Heavy police presence dividing the two groups now,” he reported.

He noted “Houston’s Nazis” had arrived and police formed a line between the two sides.

“The group of Nazis appear to be leaving the protest, sporting for the first time today a flag with a swastika. Proud Boys and Patriot Front have also left,” he reported.

Watch below or at this link:

 

Image: Proud Boys in Washington, D.C. (Johnny Silvercloud / Shutterstock.com)

Continue Reading

News

‘Pretty Big ‘A-Ha’ Moment’: J6 Staffer Reveals White House Switchboard Called Rioter’s Cell Phone During Insurrection

Published

on

On Friday, 60 Minutes revealed that Denver Riggleman, a key staffer for the House Select Committee on January 6, discovered the White House switchboard patched through to the phone of a Capitol rioter — while the attack was in progress.

“Riggleman, an ex-military intelligence officer and former Republican congressman from Virginia, oversaw a data-driven operation for the January 6 committee, pursuing phone records and other digital clues tied to the attack on the Capitol. He stopped working for the committee in April,” reported Keith Zubrow.

“You get a real ‘a-ha’ moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter’s phone while it’s happening,” said Riggleman to 60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker. “That’s a big, pretty big ‘a-ha’ moment.”

He added that “I only know one end of that call. I don’t know the White House end, which I believe is more important. But the thing is the American people need to know that there are link connections that need to be explored more.”

This comes after a series of damning revelations about the involvement and support of former President Donald Trump in encouraging the people storming the Capitol.

One of the biggest allegations to come out of the public hearings by the select committee was the claim by former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson that Trump demanded the rioters be allowed onto the premises because “they’re not here to hurt me” — and that he lunged at his security detail in the car after they refused to take him to the Capitol to join the attackers.

Continue Reading

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Torba Warns GOP to Not ‘Disavow or Condemn Us’ Because ‘Christian Nationalists Are the Republican Party’

Published

on

Far right wing extremist, Christian nationalist, antisemite Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab, the social media platform that is popular with white supremacists, is telling the Republican Party that “80 percent” of its base is Christian nationalists, and warns them to not “condemn” or “disavow” them.

Torba has ties to far right Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano, the Republican party’s nominee for governor of Pennsylvania. Torba has also “endorsed” Arizona GOP secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem, an election-denier and member of the far-right antigovernment group Oath Keepers, and election-denying Arizona GOP state Senator Wendy Rogers.

“We have the numbers, we are the majority. And we are done being the footstool. We are going to wake up the body of Christ in this country. And we’re going to do something about you castrating our children, about you sexually indoctrinating them in the schools, about, you know, taking over our culture and taking over our government and sending all of our money to foreign countries and allowing our border to be invaded,” he says in video published by Right Wing Watch.

READ MORE: ‘Pledging to Sue’: Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Subpoenaed by J6 Committee ‘Didn’t Answer a Single Question’

Gab is home to QAnon and “great replacement” conspiracy theorists, Trump supporters, MAGA and ultra MAGA extremists, white Christian nationalists, white supremacists, antisemites, and anti-LGBTQ extremists.

“We’re done,” Torba continues in his rant.

“We’re done with it, and we’re going to step up and we’re going to rebuild this fallen and corrupt society from scratch, just as Christians have done many times before. And yes, we absolutely are going to get involved in public discourse and in politics, and you’re not going to shut us up,” Torba declared.

“And it’s a message to the Republican party too that they are not to disavow us,” he warned. “They are not to condemn us, because we are 80% of the Republican Party. Christian nationalists are the Republican Party, and they’re going to start doing the will of God,” he says, appearing to order the Republican Party to meet his demands.

READ MORE: ‘Seize the Power’: Christian Nationalist Doug Mastriano Prayed MAGA Would ‘Rise Up’ Against the Gov’t on 1/6 (Video)

“And they’re going to start, you know, supporting biblical policies, and they’re going to start, you know, fighting back against this and not being complacent or they’re going to get out of the way and we’re going to go in there and we’re going to do it ourselves. Those are their two choices.”

Torba has appeared on Tony Perkins’ Washington Watch show. Perkins is the longtime head of the Family Research Council, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

Last week Jewish Insider reported on an “obscure new book calling for the construction of ‘a parallel Christian society’ to replace ‘the failed secular state'” that seemed to be “performing surprisingly well on Amazon.”

That book, Christian Nationalism: A Biblical Guide for Taking Dominion and Discipling Nations, was written by Torba.

Last month the House Committee on Oversight sent Torba a letter “regarding your company’s response to the surge of online threats against law enforcement following the execution of a court-authorized search warrant by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.”

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Christian Nationalist’ Declaration Is ‘Alarming’ Says Religious Liberty Executive

“We are concerned that reckless statements by the former President and Republican Members of Congress have unleashed a flood of violent threats on social media that have already led to at least one death and pose a danger to law enforcement officers across the United States. We urge you to take immediate action to address any threats of violence against law enforcement that appear on your company’s platforms,” the letter reads.

But that letter also said, “On August 15, a Pennsylvania man was arrested and charged with making threats of violence against FBI personnel. He wrote on the social media platform Gab, ‘If You Work For The FBI Then You Deserve To Die.’ He also wrote, ‘Every single piece of shit who works for the FBI in any capacity, from the director down to the janitor who cleans their fucking toilets deserves to die. You’ve declared war on us and now it’s open season on YOU.'”

Watch below or at this link:

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.