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President Obama Comes Out For Marriage Equality, Reactions Flood In

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Moments ago, President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage equality. Reactions from LGBT-related organizations have been flooding in. We’ll keep updating this post throughout the day — stay tuned! All updates will be posted at the  bottom of the page. 

GLAAD:

“The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “After hearing the stories of countless couples and families, President Obama has drawn the same conclusion shared across party lines and by a majority of Americans today: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love. As our nation draws closer to a more perfect union in which every person is created equal, we are left deeply encouraged by this truly watershed moment.”

“The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “After hearing the stories of countless couples and families, President Obama has drawn the same conclusion shared across party lines and by a majority of Americans today: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love. As our nation draws closer to a more perfect union in which every person is created equal, we are left deeply encouraged by this truly watershed moment.”

 

Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry:

“Today, President Obama added his voice to the growing chorus of Americans who believe that all loving and committed couples should share equally in the freedom to marry. Like so many others who have made this journey – from Bill Clinton to Laura Bush, most recently Vice President Biden, and a majority of the American people – President Obama has come to know loving and committed gay couples. Through thought and conversation about these families and their dreams and challenges, President Obama has reflected on his own values of fairness and respect for others, and completed his journey to support for the freedom to marry. He now becomes the first sitting President to join the majority of Americans whose hearts have opened and minds have changed in favor of the freedom to marry.

“The President’s support marks a historic turning point for the freedom to marry movement. Yet there is much left to be done. Forty-four states continue to exclude same-sex couples from marriage and because of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the civil marriages of thousands of same-sex couples are not respected by the federal government, thus depriving families of a crucial safety-net of federal protections and responsibilities. It is time to repeal discriminatory laws that hurt families and help no one and speed passage of freedom to marry laws throughout the country.

“Government has no business putting obstacles in the path of loving and committed couples and their families who simply seek to care for one another and for whom marriage matters. We call on the President, members of Congress, and state legislators from both sides of the aisle, to act together to bring an end to marriage discrimination and put government at every level on the side of families, fairness, and freedom.”

 

Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein:

“I am overwhelmed with tears of joy, as our millions of other LGBT people and our millions of allies across America. We will remember for the rest of our lives where we were when we heard the sitting President of the United States say he supports marriage equality.

“Today’s announcement by the President is of particular importance to those of us fighting in New Jersey and everywhere else marriage equality is up for grabs. No longer will opponents such as Governor Chris Christie be able to take cover by saying, “Why are you going after me? My opposition to marriage equality is simply the same view as that of our President.” That political cover is now thrown into dustbin of history parked outside the archives of prejudice, collecting its rhetorical trash.

“Short of when America becomes a land of marriage equality, this is the happiest day of our political lives. I’m on Cloud 18.”

 

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director,
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“President Obama’s ‘evolution’ is now complete. Congratulations, Mr. President, for making history today by becoming the first sitting president to explicitly support marriage for same-sex couples. Who benefits? Millions of families who now know that their country’s leader believes in fairness for all. This is a great day for America.

“We celebrate this moment and also remember that the right of loving, committed couples to get married is just one of many issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is heartening to know the president stands with our families in the pursuit of full equality, economic security and justice.”

 

SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:

“This is a great day for gay and lesbian service members, who are living with the daily reality that while they are now be able to serve openly, they and their families are treated as second-class citizens under laws like the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Certainly, the President’s leadership in repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ laid the foundation for his reaching this positive outcome. We welcome the President’s support for marriage and will work with him to repeal DOMA and all laws that undermine equality and treat our service members unfairly.”

 

Mary Bonauto, the director of the Civil Rights Project at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD):

“President Obama has travelled a road that many Americans have travelled in recent years. Gay and lesbian couples have the same love and make the same commitment as all couples, and deserve the same recognition as full citizens. Our country’s history is one of expanding the circle of constitutional rights and protections to include more citizens, and our nation is always the better for it.”

 

People For the American Way President Michael Keegan:

“Today’s announcement marks a proud day for our country and for the President. For those of us who have been working towards marriage equality for many years, the impact of having the support of the President of the United States is incredibly powerful. As President Obama made clear in his comments today, marriage equality for all people is an idea whose time has come. Despite setbacks like the results from North Carolina last night, it’s more obvious than ever that the momentum is on our side.

“In recent years, more and more Americans have come to understand that preventing loving same-sex couples from getting married causes real harm to the people they care about. In families and communities across the country, Americans are coming to the same conclusion as the President: when two people make a public commitment to love and care for each other, that’s a marriage no matter what the gender of the people involved.

“Today the President did the right thing. For thousands of supporters who donated, canvassed and phone banked to help elect Barack Obama in 2008, this is a powerful reminder of why we felt so passionately about this President in the first place.”

 

MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini, Esq.:

“As the first state to secure marriage equality for generations to come, we in Massachusetts are thrilled by the President’s announcement. It’s hard to imagine anything more significant to the marriage equality movement than the most powerful leader in the world declaring his support for the right to marry for all Americans. It’s a powerful affirmation before the country and world of the basic human dignity of same-sex couples and their families.

“The President’s evolution on marriage equality is not unlike the experience of the majority of Americans who have come to understand why marriage is so important to loving same-sex couples and their children. Listening, learning, growing, and changing is the American way, but it takes courage and leadership. We applaud President Obama for showing both today.

“We can’t help but note the irony of the President’s statement coming just one day after voters in North Carolina approved an amendment to the North Carolina state constitution that denies any form of relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Despite this setback, today marks another step forward in the unmistakable trend toward public acceptance and embrace of marriage equality. At least seven national polls have found majority support among Americans for marriage equality. These polls, and major advances on marriage equality this year in Washington and Maryland, show that the day is fast approaching when we will finally put the politics of discrimination around marriage equality behind us.

“Here in Massachusetts we have been privileged to celebrate the right to marry for just a week shy of eight years. What we’ve learned is that our communities are safer, happier, and healthier when all families are respected, supported and celebrated. As time goes on and even larger majorities of Americans come to support marriage equality, we look forward to the day when all Americans can enjoy the freedom to marry.”

 

National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director, Jerame Davis:  

“We applaud the President for completing his ‘evolution’ in support of the freedom to marry and becoming the first sitting president ever to endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples. The President joins a long and growing list of Democrats who support the freedom to marry. On days like today, I am proud to be a Democrat.
“The President’s endorsement of the freedom to marry stands in stark contrast to the position of Mitt Romney. Romney, who signed the National Organization for Marriage’s hateful anti-LGBT pledge, opposes marriage equality and supports a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples. No longer can GOP homophobes like Romney hide behind the pretense that they share President Obama’s position on the freedom to marry.
“Though many have been waiting for this day to arrive, our fight is not complete. Election day is 180 days from today and we have to redouble our efforts and prove that the President’s support of marriage will not cost him at the ballot box. National Stonewall Democrats stands will be fighting every day from now until November to ensure it doesn’t.”
AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee and Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders:

“President Obama’s announcement today recognizes a fundamental American right – that every citizen is entitled to respect and dignity, and the equal protection of our laws.  For too long, lesbian and gay Americans have been denied the right to marry the person they love, raise a family and live as equal citizens in our country. They are denied access to pension benefits, Social Security survivor benefits, family health and bereavement leave and family immigration rights.  That discrimination harms all of us, not just LGBT Americans.  We have an obligation to work to overturn unjust laws and amendments to state constitutions that codify prejudice and promote discrimination against fellow citizens.  The President deserves praise for recognizing that this issue is about equality under the law and the right of all Americans to live their lives free from discrimination.”

 

Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union:

“I commend President Obama for his support of marriage equality, and I’m proud to support him as he takes this historic stand.

“Marriage equality is an economic justice issue, and a social justice issue – and that makes it a union issue. In the UFCW, we have a long, proud history of standing up for fair and equal treatment for all workers – regardless of what they look like, where they come from, what language they speak, or who they love. These values are heartfelt. We work every day to fight discrimination and unfair treatment against LGBT people on the job. That’s why our union is a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would ensure justice in the workplace for LGBT workers. UFCW members have been negotiating equal health care coverage for same-sex couples into their union contracts all over the country for years. It’s the right thing to do, and the fair thing to do. I’m proud that the UFCW’s advocacy on behalf of families includes all families.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Florida Surgeon General’s First Act: Allowing Students Exposed to COVID to Attend School With No Restrictions

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He hasn’t even been confirmed yet by the Florida state Senate but Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Governor Ron DeSantis‘s new Surgeon General, on Wednesday signed an executive order that changes state policy on school attendance for students who have been exposed to COVID-19.

The order, which replaces an August 6 order by Dr. Ladapo’s predecessor, declares that students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can continue attending school in-person, as long as they are asymptomatic. It also repeatedly states that parents have sole discretion on how children are educated – in person or virtually – and on masks, effectively eliminating any locally-ordered mask mandates.

“The school boards in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Alachua and Leon counties [had] challenged the Aug. 6 rule, which did not include the new provision about parents or legal guardians having ‘sole discretion’ about opting out of school mask requirements,” the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reports.

Those lawsuits are now effectively null and void because of the new order.

Dr. Ladapo, who opposes mask and vaccine mandates, has likened the focus on getting Americans vaccinated to a religious obsession, and supports treatment of COVID-19 with drugs that are neither approved for use against the coronavirus nor have been proven to be effective – namely the livestock-dewormer Ivermectin and the malaria-drug hydroxychloroquine. He also appeared in the infamous viral video with a discredited doctor mocked as the “Demon Sperm” physician.

 

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GOING SCORCHED-EARTH

‘Will Harm Every American’: Trump Blasted for Telling GOP It’s ‘Unpatriotic’ to Not Block Dems on Debt He Created

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The former President of the United States, still the leader of the GOP and supposed “kingmaker” to any Republican desperate for his endorsement, is doing his best to undermine the Democrats and President Joe Biden, and he’s being criticized for it.

In one of his many press releases that still do not admit he is a former president, Trump on Wednesday said it would be “foolish and unpatriotic” of Republicans to not use the debt ceiling as a tool against the Democrats’ agenda, as he urged what could be economic catastrophe for the United States, should it default on its credit obligations and the government shut down.

As many have noted, raising the debt ceiling is to pay for the trillions of dollars in spending Trump signed into law.

“Republicans have no choice but to do what they have to do,” he claimed, implying he wants to see them carry out a scorched-earth policy.

Trump also falsely claimed Democrats are “trying to inflict…horror” upon America’s future.

He then called Democrats’ voting rights legislation that will protect and expand the franchise, “the end of our democracy.”

If the debt ceiling is not raised, ultimately, the federal government would default on its bills. What does that mean?

“If the U.S. government cannot pay its bills, millions of Americans would be affected,” CBS News reports today. “Social Security payments would not go out; U.S. troops and federal civilian employees would not be paid. Veterans could see compensation or pension payments lapse. And millions of Americans on food assistance would see benefits stop.”

Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands is warning if the GOP follows Trump’s demands it “will harm every American.”

Trump’s press release:

 

 

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News

President Biden Had Two Vulgar Words to Say When He First Encountered One of Trump’s ‘Toys’ in the White House

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According to the book “Peril,” as newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden first toured the White House after Donald Trump vacated it January 20, he encountered one room of the former president’s “toys,” and responded with a two-word vulgarity.

“Trump’s existence permeated the White House, even the residence,” Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write in the new book, per an excerpt cited by ABC News, HuffPost reports. “One night, Biden wandered into a room where a huge video screen covered the wall. To relax, Trump used to upload programs to virtually play the world’s most famous golf courses.”

The new President had just two words to say about the golf “toy.”

“What a fucking asshole,” President Biden responded.

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz via Flickr

 

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