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Same-Sex Marriage: Obama Will Support Marriage Equality – When, Not If



As President Obama descends upon Manhattan Thursday afternoon to attend three Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraisers — including “Gala with the Gay Community,” an LGBT Democratic fundraiser — Democratic lawmakers in Albany are doing everything they can to vote on Governor Cuomo’s same-sex marriage bill, while Republican lawmakers are doing everything they can to stop the bill from coming to the floor for a vote. Meanwhile, as the President walks into the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan at 5:30, dozens, and possibly hundreds of LGBT activists, organized by three major LGBT grassroots activist organizations, will participate in “A Demonstration for Full LGBT Equality,” to “give the LGBT community and their allies an opportunity to gather together in unity as they raise the urgency for full LGBT equality now.” And while Obama isn’t officially the target, his mere presence makes him so.

“I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful long-lasting gay or lesbians unions,” Obama has said, acknowledging that it is “something that means a lot to them.”

“My baseline is a strong civil union that affords them legal protections,” Obama said just after signing the DADT repeal bill into law.”I recognize from their perspective, it’s not enough.”

In July, 2010, President Obama took a moment to say goodbye to departing Associate Counsel to the President Alison J. “Ali” Nathan, (photo above, left,) and Meg Satterthwaite, and their twin sons Oliver and Nathan, in the Outer Oval Office. In March of this year, President Obama nominated the former Associate Counsel for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“Alison Nathan is a distinguished individual who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice throughout her career,” said President Obama. “I am grateful for her decision to serve the American people from the District Court bench.”

President Obama will get asked, either by a reporter, a heckler, or a demonstrator — or all three — if he has “evolved” in his stance on same-sex marriage equality, a position that he has said he “wrestles” with. In fact, media reports now say he is prepared to answer.

And he better have an answer. Activists from GetEQUAL — the people who literally chained themselves to the White House fence over and over and over until DADT repeal legislation was passed — Queer Rising, and Join The Impact, all very effective grass-roots activist organizations, will be out in force awaiting the president this evening.

But short of Obama announcing full support for full, equal, civil marriage, the LGBT community, our supporters and allies, and, indeed, 53% of the American people will not be happy about his answer.

In a world where everyone has a position on everything, and in a world where the most anti-gay bigot can easily — and, fairly accurately — state that their position on marriage equality is the same as the President of the United States, a president arguably among the most liberal in a generation or two, or three, Obama must stand for something more.

When anti-gay marriage equality activists like Carrie Prejean, Maggie Gallagher, and David Tyree, all claim their position is the “same as the president’s,” and when an increasing number of conservative Republicans have already “evolved” further than he on the issue of marriage equality, the “hope and change” champion (not to mention the self-monikered “fierce advocate,”) is left with little choice.

Obama must stand for hope and change. And whether or not it is hard for him to embrace equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans, he really has little choice at this point.

While this president has done far more than any president in our history for the LGBT community, there is so much more that must be done. What is the hold up? Why is he waiting so long?

Consider this.

Obama, a constitutional scholar who, like it or not, in 1996 said he supported same-sex marriage, has been consistent in his belief that DOMA, Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional, and has refused to defend it in federal court. He has signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He has extended many benefits, albeit only via executive order, and therefore, easily undone by his successor, to LGBT Americans and families.

After Obama signed into law the bill that provides the pathway to repeal of DADT, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Obama immediately began talking about DOMA and other work that needed to be done. He could have taken a victory lap and told the LGBT community he was done until after the 2012 elections, but he didn’t.

When DADT repeal was signed, Obama made it clear that he believed he had created the climate and environment that allowed all necessary parties to come together.

I believe he is doing the same with marriage equality.

As I told Politico, Obama is letting the country “see” his “struggle,” see him “wrestling” with the concept of marriage equality, see him “evolving.”

The question, I believe, is not if Obama will embrace full civil same-sex marriage equality, but when. And, if the question is when, will it be while he is still President Obama , and not private citizen Obama?

If he wants it to be as President Obama, he needs to come out in support of same-sex marriage equality now, or surely he will lose his base, and all hopes of a second term.


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Trump Indictment Is a Massive 34 Counts: CNN



When he appears in New York next week, Donald Trump will face a 34-count indictment.

CNN’s John Miller on-air Thursday evening announced, “I am told by my sources that this is 34 counts of falsification of business records, which is probably a lot of charges involving each document, each thing that was submitted, as a separate count.”

Attorney Tristan Snell, who assisted in the successful prosecution of the Trump University case for the New York Attorney General’s Office, responded via Twitter:

“This is WAY more than expected. If this is correct, it could mean that the indictment covers FAR more than the Stormy Daniels hush money — like Karen McDougal hush money or other hush money/catch-and-kill cases.”

READ MORE: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’

“My hunch for a while,” Snell adds, “given [David] Pecker’s involvement and the drawn-out timetable of the indictment, plus the TWENTY interviews of Michael Cohen with the DA, showed that something far larger than Stormy might be in the works.”

“May still be wrong, of course. But 34 counts is a LOT!”

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Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’



Donald Trump’s attorneys were notified Thursday afternoon a Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict him on felony charges related to his alleged hush money payoff of a porn star he reported slept with.

The ex-president’ attorney recently said if indicted Trump would travel to New York to turn himself in.

The Office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has just issued a strongly-worded statement saying it is “coordinating” with Trump’s attorneys for his “surrender.”

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected,” the statement reads.

READ MORE: ‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond

The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery posted the statement to Twitter.

NBC News explains the process, noting he is expected to be arraigned next week.

“After the indictment, Trump will be arrested and taken into custody. He will likely have a mug shot and fingerprints taken,” NBC reports. “Trump will then appear in court to be arraigned, where he will hear charges and enter a plea. Two sources familiar with the situation told NBC News that the former president is likely to be arraigned next week. Trump will either be jailed or released while pre-trial hearings take place.”

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‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond



Just past 5:00 PM ET The New York Times broke the news that Donald Trump, the ex-president, had been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on felony charges.

It is a historic moment.

Legal experts are weighing in to help guide Americans through an event that has never before happened in this country.

Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman says the fact that this is the first time in U.S. history a president is facing criminal charges is itself a problem.

“I think it would have not been a novel event,” Ackerman said on MSNBC, “if we had done this 49 years ago with Richard Nixon, and he had not been pardoned, this will not be a big event [that] it is today.”

READ MORE: New Poll Sends Trump Damning Message About 2024 if He’s Criminally Indicted

“Everybody should be held accountable,” Ackerman added, citing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s earlier remarks. Cohen testified repeatedly before the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump late Thursday afternoon after a three-hour session.

Ackerman lamented that despite over 30 people being indicted during Watergate, “Richard Nixon was pardoned, he wasn’t held accountable.”

“I think this is very important,” Ackerman continued, “establishing a principle, a line in the sand, that even if you’re the President of the United States, and you commit a crime, you can’t stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and just shoot somebody.”

Ackerman was referring to Trump’s infamous comments during the 2016 election, when he bragged he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Attorney and civil rights activist Maya Wiley, also on MSNBC, said, “It’s important and sobering that we had somebody who had the highest office of this country who has now ben indicted for his behavior, his acts, in order to win that office, but also faces what are more shoes that will drop, I believe.”

“It is a sobering moment for this country, that we are witnessing this happened to somebody who was entrusted with such power who has now had a jury of his peers, because that is what a grand jury also is, say we believe he had to face the music.”

READ MORE: Here’s How Five Republicans in Congress Are Responding to the Mass Shooting of 3 Children and 3 Adults in Nashville (Video)

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a professor of law, called this a “moment where we would do well to seriously assess who we are as Americans and who we are not as Americans, because we re all so familiar with Donald Trump’s tactics.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

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