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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Momentum For DOMA Repeal Continues To Build



This year, we have seen historic progress for LGBT rights, in particular on marriage equality, at both the state and federal levels.

Most recently, of course, I was thrilled when my home state of New York passed marriage equality. The law goes into effect on Sunday and I can’t wait to see the images of so many loving couples lining up for marriage licenses. I also look forward to attending some of my good friends’ weddings this year!

In addition to New York’s historic victory, we’re making significant progress at the federal level as well. Back in March, you’ll recall the Obama Administration took the unprecedented step of announcing it would cease to defend the constitutionality of The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) This discriminatory law prohibits the federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages all over the country and prevents loving same-sex couples from enjoying over 1,100 rights and privileges afforded to married straight couples by the federal government.

Then, this past April, I was proud to join Senator Feinstein, Senator Leahy and several other of my colleagues in introducing the Respect For Marriage Act. This bill will repeal DOMA and require the US government to treat all legally married couples equally under the law.

I also launched an online campaign with Democracy For America to increase awareness of the issue and build support for repeal nationwide.

In addition, just this week Quinnipiac University released a poll showing that 59% of Americans would support the repeal of a law that denies “spouses in same-sex marriages … eligibility for federal benefits,” which is precisely what DOMA does.

Then yesterday, I was thrilled to see the President endorse The Respect For Marriage Act, just a day before the bill has its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning.

The momentum in this fight is clearly on our side.

Even as we in Congress work to repeal DOMA legislatively, there are lawsuits challenging its constitutionality progressing through the courts around the country, one of which has been brought in federal court here in New York by an inspiring woman named Edie Windsor from New York City. Edie and her partner Thea first met in 1965, got engaged in 1967 and remained engaged for 40 years before traveling to Canada to get married in 2007. You see, it was in 2007 that Thea — who had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis years earlier — received a dire diagnosis and they felt they had little time if they wanted to marry. And indeed, Thea passed away in January 2009.

Upon Thea’s death, Edie discovered that while New York recognized their marriage, the United States of America treated Edie and Thea as complete strangers. Most notably, Edie had to pay exorbitant estate taxes on the inheritance she received from Thea — something straight married couples are exempted from.

See Edie tell her remarkable love story in her own words below:

It’s stories like Edie’s that inspire me every day to fight this unjust law and to work toward full LGBT equality in this country. And it’s why DFA and I have begun to collect the stories of Americans who’ve been affected by DOMA. Please spread the word to anyone you know whose life has been harmed by DOMA so they can tell us their story. For only through putting faces and names on this shameful policy will we be able to change hearts and minds and repeal it once and for all.

While this weekend we will — and should — celebrate the fact that in New York same-sex couples will finally be able to marry, the fact remains that the federal government will continue to treat these loving couples as though they’re strangers. This is a wrong we must right.

We did it with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and I know we can do it with DOMA. It won’t happen overnight, but now is the time to start raising awareness and fighting for the repeal of this shameful law.

Follow Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Twitter:

Editor’s note: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-​NY) has been one of our strongest supporters ever in the U.S. Senate. I met the Senator two years ago, and heard her speak. She is the real deal. She knows us, knows and understands our issues, and stands tall and proud with her LGBT constituents and our allies for full LGBT equality. This piece was written by Senator Gillibrand, and her office asked us to share it with you.

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Trump Organization Given ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ and Ordered Dissolved by Judge After ‘Persistent Fraud’: Legal Experts



A New York judge has ordered Donald Trump’s business entities in the state of New York, including The Trump Organization, dissolved, and his business certificates canceled, according to legal experts, after ruling that the ex-president for years committed fraud and deceived banks and insurers by inflating the value of his assets.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “has ordered cancellation of all [NYS] business [certificates] of ‘any entity controlled or beneficially owned by Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr, Eric Trump, Alan Weisselberg, & Jeffrey McConney. An independent receiver will manage the dissolutions,” writes former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega.

The Messenger reports Judge Engoron’s “blockbuster ruling found that the former president and his business leaders failed to correct course after warned of a ‘propensity to engage in persistent fraud,'” and ordered “a quick timeline to dissolve the Trump Organization and other corporate entities.”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin explains that the “New York trial court judge has found that Trump, his adult sons, and Allen Weisselberg engaged in a persistent, years-long fraud through ‘fantasy world’ valuations of core Trump assets, including his own residence and various golf courses and office buildings.”

“His decision not only eliminates the need for trial on that claim, but also orders fairly dramatic relief: the cancellation of New York business certificates for all of the entities named as defendants, ‘as well as any other entity controlled or beneficially owned by the individual defendants found liable,'” she adds.

“In addition to finding that Trump committed fraud, the judge canceled the certificates of various Trump businesses, appointed a former judge as an independent monitor of the Trump Organization, and will appoint receivers to manage the canceled LLCs,” writes former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.

“This is a pretty big deal,” he adds.

Professor of law Ryan Goodman, the former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel says Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered the “corporate death penalty” for the Trump organization. Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance also used the term “corporate death penalty.”

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

“The leading Republican candidate has been found liable for sexual assault and fraud, his companies found guilty of fraud, and he’s charged with 91 OTHER felony counts. That he is not dismissed politically out of hand says much more about us, than about him,” observes MSNBC’s Andrew Weissmann, the well-known former lead prosecutor in Robert S. Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office and former FBI General Counsel.

Attorney, retired U.S. Air Force colonel, and former administrative law judge Moe Davis responding to the news, writes: “Trump is the eponymous fraudster. The name Trump is to fraud what Campell’s is to soup, Kleenex is to tissue, and ping is to pong.”


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Trump Committed Fraud and Deceived Banks While Growing His Real Estate Empire, Judge Says: Report



Donald Trump committed fraud, deceived banks, and inflated the value of his real estate holdings a judge said Tuesday, granting New York Attorney General Letitia James partial summary judgment in her civil case against the ex-president.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “has ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House,” The Associated Press reports. Judge Engoron “found that the former president and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.”

“The decision, days before the start of a non-jury trial in Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, is the strongest repudiation yet of Trump’s carefully coiffed image as a wealthy and shrewd real estate mogul turned political powerhouse,” The AP adds.

Attorney General James “is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York, his home state. The trial could last into December, Engoron has said.”

READ MORE: McCarthy Now Blaming Likely Shutdown on Fentanyl, President Biden, and His Own House Republicans
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McCarthy Now Blaming Likely Shutdown on Fentanyl, President Biden, and His Own House Republicans



Speaker Kevin McCarthy during a raucous gaggle with reporters Tuesday afternoon blamed the increasingly likely shutdown of the federal government on fentanyl, President Joe Biden, and his own House Republicans.

Political experts have said the Republican Speaker could avoid a government shutdown, which will happen at midnight on Friday if legislation is not passed, by making a deal with Democrats and a small number of House Republicans. Doing so would likely cost him his job.

Asked on Tuesday by CNN’s Manu Raju, “Are you ruling out a clean CR without any border security?” McCarthy immediately launched in to a diatribe.

“You know what’s so concerning here? What do you tell to the families that tomorrow morning are gonna wake up and their child’s dead? Because fentanyl came across?” he asked the CNN reporter (video below). “What do you tell to that border agent that you saw the other day? Now his network doesn’t believe it but he’s all in blood. Or the cartels, the billions of dollars that they’re making. Or to the young girls that get raped?”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

Another reporter, seemingly frustrated, interjected and asked, “But what do you tell the workers who are concerned they’re gonna get furloughed next week because there is no agreement in your chamber, sir?”

“Well, I know. It’s easy,” McCarthy claimed. “All the President has to do is say, ‘You know what, as one of my fundamental jobs as the President of the United States is to secure our border.'”

Another reporter, ignoring the Speaker’s apparent obfuscation, loudly asked, “Speaker McCarthy if we see the rule votes fail later today, is it possible to even move on to a CR [continuing resolution] for you?”

“Oh, yeah, I never give up,” McCarthy said smiling.

“I know that,” she replied, “but do you think you have the votes?”

Again, not delivering a straight answer, McCarthy smiled and replied, “Oh, I’ve got a lot of things I can try.”

READ MORE: ‘Height of Irresponsibility’: Top LGBTQ Civil Rights Group Slams House Republicans Over Shutdown and ‘Politics of Hate’

CNN’s Raju reported that McCarthy, when asked about the “math,” meaning if he has the votes to keep the government open, said: “What’s concerning to me is that there are people in the Republican Party who will take the position of President Biden against what the rest of Americans want.”

That could suggest some Republicans have indicated they would vote with Democrats on a bill to keep the government from shutting down.

Raju also reported he asked “Speaker McCarthy if he believes he could survive a vote to oust him from the speakership, as [Rep. Matt] Gaetz has threatened, and he said: ‘I don’t count that vote.'”

NPR’s Joel Rose has reported, “Close to 90% of … fentanyl is seized at ports of entry. Immigration authorities say it is smuggled mostly by U.S. citizens, as well as other travelers who are legally authorized to cross. Virtually none is seized from migrants who are seeking asylum.”

On Monday The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote: “The U.S. government will almost certainly shut down on Oct. 1, the work of ultraconservative holdouts who want to ‘burn the whole place down,’ as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put it. Yet, for now, Mr. McCarthy does not appear willing to take away the matches. He could sideline the objectors by calling House Democrats and agreeing to pass bipartisan legislation to fund the government.”

Watch McCarthy below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

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