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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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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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‘Wannabe Dictator’: Milley Appears to Slam Trump After Ex-President Suggested He Should Be Executed



General Mark Milley, the outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisor to the President, during his retirement speech Friday appeared to deliver strong criticism of former President Donald Trump, who appointed him to that post but since has waged war against him.

One week ago the ex-president had said that “in times gone by” General Milley would have been executed for treason. Trump in 2021 had called for General Milley to be “tried for treason.”

“Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous, not just because it is the exact sort that incites violence against public officials,” professor of global politics and political scientist Brian Klass wrote at The Atlantic after Trump’s most recent attack on the Chairman, “but also because it shows just how numb the country has grown toward threats more typical of broken, authoritarian regimes.”

READ MORE: Trump Goes on Wild Rant Targeting Judge and Attorney General After Being Found Liable for Fraud

Trump had written, “if the Fake News reporting is correct,” General Milley “was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”

Milley was acting within his duties in a White House approved conversation, according to Klass.

On Friday, Milley appeared to blast Trump.

“We don’t take an oath to a tribe. We don’t take an oath to a religion. We don’t take an oath to a king, or queen, or a tyrant, or dictator. We don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator,” Milley declared. “We don’t take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we’re willing to die to protect it.”

“Every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Guardian and Coast Guardsmen, each of us, emits our very life to protect and defend that document, regardless of personal price to a country.”

READ MORE: ‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing

Vanity Fair on Thursday reported General Milley “said he has taken security precautions to protect himself and his family after Donald Trump all but called for his execution last week.”

Watch Milley’s remarks below or at this link.


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