Stonewall Riots of 1969

Police raids on gay bars and nightclubs were a regular event in cities across the United States. Commonly the police would record the identities of all those present, which would be subsequently published in the newspaper, then load up their police van with as many as it would hold. Kissing, holding hands, or even being in a gay bar at all was used as grounds for arrest on indecency charges at that time.

The Stonewall raid on June 29, 1969 started out just like any other raid. Seven plainclothes policemen entered the bar along with one uniformed policeman, allegedly to investigate improprieties in the liquor license. They cleared the bar, whose clientele remained on the sidewalk and street outside.

The situation took a dramatic turn for the worse, and the police began beating people who resisted with their nightsticks. The crowd started throwing rocks and bottles rather than coins. The police took refuge inside the Inn, which they trashed. This was the first time the homosexual community had resisted with such force. With this event, the gay rights movement was ignited.

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”

6/1/07  Senator Barack Obama  


The Obama administration has directed officials to recognize same-sex partners as family members 

“The UNHCR recommended that the U.S. consider family unity principles in exercising the public interest exception, including “de facto” family members, family members without pending legal status and same-sex partners.64”

“With regard to using the public interest exception to recognize common-law or same-sex partnerships without other relevant public interest considerations, U.S. federal law precludes the use of the term “spouse” to refer to same-sex partnerships 67. ”



High court strikes down federal marriage provision

6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press – 3 mins 4 secs ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.

The court has yet to release its decision on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Kennedy said.

“DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” he said.

He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

For more:


June 28, 2013

Statement by the President on the Extension of Federal Employee Benefits

Today my Administration announcedthat, for the first time in history, we will be making important federal employee benefits, including healthcare and retirement benefits, available to eligible married gay and lesbian couples and their families.

This is a critical first step toward implementing this week’s landmark Supreme Court decisiondeclaring that all married couples –gay and straight — should be treated equally under federal law. Thousands of gays and lesbians serve our country every day in the federal government. They, and their spouses and children, deserve the same respect and protection as every other family.

Under the leadership of Attorney General Holder, we will continue to move as quickly as possible to fully implement the Court’s decision.

.Rainbow spectrum

US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2016 ( Civil Rights Timelines ™)

6/9/16 FACT SHEET: Obama Administration’s Record and the LGBT Community


 White House – LGBT

 LGBT Democrats Facebook

LGBT Rainbow spectrum

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47 thoughts on “Stonewall Riots of 1969

  1. Sunday, June 26, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    First Lady Michelle Obama and her family return to the White House from Africa

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  2. Stonewall Riots

    The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

    American gays and lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s faced a legal system more anti-homosexual than those of some Warsaw Pact countries. Early homophile groups in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the 1960s, however, were very contentious, as many social movements were active, including the African American Civil Rights Movement, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and antiwar demonstrations. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.

    For the entire Wikipedia article:

    • Why Pride Still Matters To Our Community

      June 9, 2011 Robert Turner – washingtonblade

      Forty-two years ago we fought back. We said we had had enough, and we weren’t going to take it anymore. That was the message of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Bless those gay men and lesbians of yesteryear; those queers and benders; and especially those drag queens. What would we have done without those drag queens? One year later, Gay Pride marches occurred in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to commemorate the anniversary of Stonewall. That began the tradition of what we celebrate as Pride.

      Today, Pride is celebrated the world over. You can find it in every big city from New York to Paris to Rio, and in small to mid-sized towns like Annapolis, Richmond, Austin and Seattle. Chances are if you are reading this, you have more than likely attended at least one event produced for Capital Pride — Washington, D.C.’s own Pride celebration.

      Capital Pride is the annual celebration of the LGBT community in our nation’s capital. This year, Capital Pride celebrates its 36th anniversary. This year, Capital Pride has offered more than 30 events that have spanned 10 days that highlight, showcase, and represent D.C.’s LGBT community. We’ve honored heroes, hosted town halls and religious programs, as well as dances, parties and pageants. This weekend, we will conclude with an amazing parade that will be viewed by tens of thousands and a free festival the entire family can enjoy that ranks in the top five for attendance in North America.

      Each year, we reflect on how far we’ve come as a community, and how much further we need to travel down that path toward full equality. The last 12 months have been no exception. Since last Pride, we’ve seen the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” along with other steps toward equality. But conversely, in many jurisdictions across our country, we still have not reached our goals with regard to marriage, adoption and a host of other issues. And so we continue to have Pride.

      The celebration of Pride is a time when all aspects of our community can come together as one. But Pride has a different meaning to many people.

      For the entire article:

    • The Anniversary of Stonewall

      Posted by Brian Bond on June 29, 2009

      To me, today’s event is more than just a reception honoring LGBT Pride month. It is an opportunity for the Administration to provide the world with a snap shot of the real heroes across the country that do the day-to-day work fighting for equality. People like State Representative Patricia Todd in Alabama to Sheriff Lupe Valdez in Dallas, and many other local LGBT elected officials that will be here today. And it’s people – ordinary families – that by simply living their lives openly are changing hearts and minds. It is also an opportunity to welcome the people upon whom shoulders we stand, people like Frank Kameny, as well as Phil Wilson, Bishop Robinson and Ambassador Hormel, who I know personally, and those who stood up to bigotry at Stonewall. I really wish people like Bayard Rustin could be standing here with us today. He would be up for the fight ahead of us and proud of the place we now stand.

      People may not know this, but there hasn’t been a significant event since the President took office that hasn’t included the LGBT community — discussions on the economy and the recovery, or health care — but this event is special to me and to many of the people that haven’t been here for many years.

      We have a lot of work ahead of us. We will work together to pass Hate Crimes and ENDA and to end DADT and DOMA, but today is an opportunity to celebrate who we are and affirm who we are as Americans. But the truth is that in this White House we do this every day. With over 60 out appointees working in this Administration already, we are free to be ourselves. But not everyone is in this country is able to do the same, and we are here to help change that.

      For the entire article:

    • UN backs gay rights for first time ever

      6/17/11 By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press

      GENEVA – The United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever Friday, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the U.S. and other backers and decried by some African and Muslim countries.

      The declaration was cautiously worded, expressing “grave concern” about abuses because of sexual orientation and commissioning a global report on discrimination against gays.

      But activists called it an important shift on an issue that has divided the global body for decades, and they credited the Obama administration’s push for gay rights at home and abroad.

      “This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement.

      For the entire article:

    • June 17, 2011

      Statement by the President on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

      Today, for the first time in history, the United Nations adopted a resolution dedicated to advancing the basic human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. This marks a significant milestone in the long struggle for equality, and the beginning of a universal recognition that LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights — and entitled to the same protections — as all human beings. The United States stands proudly with those nations that are standing up to intolerance, discrimination, and homophobia. Advancing equality for LGBT persons should be the work of all peoples and all nations. LGBT persons are entitled to equal treatment, equal protection, and the dignity that comes with being full members of our diverse societies. As the United Nations begins to codify and enshrine the promise of equality for LGBT persons, the world becomes a safer, more respectful, and more humane place for all people.

    • Marking Progress for LGBT Americans in Foreign Affairs
      Posted by Curtis Ried on June 24, 2011

      Life at the State Department has changed immeasurably for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees since the founding of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) in 1992. As a member of GLIFAA and a Foreign Service Officer, I deeply appreciate the dedication of the Obama Administration to ensuring that LGBT members of the Foreign Service enjoy many more equal benefits for our partners and families than was the case until just a few years ago. On a broader level, the central role this Administration has given to the promotion of human rights for LGBT persons around the world is a tremendous source of pride for me and for my fellow LGBT colleagues.
      GLIFAA was thus particularly honored to host Ambassador Susan Rice at a commemoration of LGBT Pride Month on Friday in Washington, DC. Standing before nearly 80 employees of the Department of State and NGO representatives who work on LGBT issues, Ambassador Rice spoke passionately about the work of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations to strengthen the LGBT community’s basic human rights worldwide. Crucially, she marked the June 17 passage of a historic Human Rights Council resolution dedicated to advancing the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons – the first such resolution ever to pass a vote by a UN body.

      For the entire article: v

    • NY becomes 6th state to legalized gay marriage

      6/25/11 By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press – 27 mins ago

      ALBANY, N.Y. – After days of contentious negotiations and last-minute reversals by two Republican senators, New York became the sixth and largest state in the country to legalize gay marriage, breathing life into the national gay rights movement that had stalled over a nearly identical bill here two years ago.

      Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York by late July after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his bill into law just before midnight Friday.

      At New York City’s Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village pub that spawned the gay rights movement on a June night in 1969, Scott Redstone watched New York sign the historic same-sex marriage law with his partner of 29 years, and popped the question.

      For the entire article:

    • Obama’s stance on the LGBT issues

      “While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”
      — Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

      * Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

      * Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees’ domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

      * Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

      * Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

      * Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

      * Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

      * Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma — too often tied to homophobia — that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

      * Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.
      .American Family Association – Tupelo, MS 38803

      LGBT for Obama

      Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Aug 26, 2008

      Barack Obama and Michelle Obama talk about issues related to the LGBT communtity.

    • LGBT Housing Discrimination in 2011: A Time for Pride and Action

      Posted by John Trasvina on June 28, 2011

      Last year I visited Spokane, Washington, for a listening session on housing discrimination issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) individuals and families. After hearing a number of compelling stories, I met Mitch and Michelle, a couple with children, a family like any other. But Mitch had been denied the opportunity to add Michelle to his public housing voucher for the sole reason that he was transgender and therefore Mitch and Michelle did not fit into the public housing authority’s definition of family.

      Mitch and Michelle are not alone. A recent study demonstrates how severe the problem of housing discrimination is for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. 19 percent of the 6,450 respondents reported having been refused a home or apartment and 11 percent reported being evicted because of their gender identity/expression. Extraordinarily, 19 percent reported experiencing homelessness as a result of their gender identity/expression with the majority of them reporting either harassment, difficulty in access, or sexual assault when attempting to access homeless shelters. Other numbers show that up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

      Since I visited Spokane, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Obama Administration have taken – and continue to take – groundbreaking steps to protect LGBT families and individuals from housing discrimination. HUD was founded in 1965 to provide decent housing and suitable living environment for all. HUD now is undertaking an unprecedented, national study to determine the level of housing discrimination faced by various sectors of the LGBT population. To design this study, senior HUD officials met with members of the LGBT community in cities across the country.

      For the entire article:

    • Mercury News editorial: Obama can’t help gay marriage fight

      7/05/2011 mercurynews

      Barack Obama believes the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. He helped lead the effort to rescind the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” He issued an executive order requiring hospitals to give visitation rights to same-sex partners. He has done more for the cause of gay equality than the previous 43 presidents combined.

      So, supporters of gay marriage wonder, why won’t he just come out and say he’s on their side?

      Perhaps he knows that it would be more likely to set back the cause than advance it.

      Marriage equality is on the march. Polls now show a majority of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry. In New York last month, four Republicans provided the margin of victory in the legislature to legalize same-sex unions, suggesting that opposition to gay rights is no longer a winning wedge issue for the GOP.

      Were Obama to step into the fray, the political trend could reverse. So much of right-wing politics is simply opposing whatever Obama favors. Many policies Republicans once supported — cap and trade, health insurance exchanges, even some tax cuts — became anathema as the GOP stretches to paint Obama as un-American.

      The matter will be decided by states and the courts.
      It might be satisfying to hear Obama voice support, but the success of the movement is what’s important. The president knows that leading the nation toward goals he supports doesn’t always require pounding his chest. Often it means saying nothing at all.

      It’s frightening to think what kind of demagoguery the right would unleash if Obama announced his support for gay marriage. It could energize gay rights opponents — and what would be the point? Congress will not legalize gay marriage any time soon.

      • Obama endorses same-sex marriage

        5/9/12 2:57 PM EDT POLITICO44

        President Obama endorses same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News:

        “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,”

        • Obama declaration “icing on the cake” of gay rights legacy – The Rachel Maddow Show (May 9th,

          Published on May 10, 2012 by Panzerfaust04

          Rachel Maddow emphasizes that policy is more important than personal views by politicians on gay rights and lists President Obama’s achievements in helping to secure rights for gay Americans. Past presidents have asserted their personal friendship or sympathy for gay people while hurting them with bad policy and associating themselves with anti-gay hatemongers. From the May 9th, 2012 edition of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

        • A fundraising boost from same-sex marriage

          May 14, 2012 by Nancy Marshall-Genzer – Marketplace

          Kai Ryssdal: President Obama was in New York City today. He did the commencement address at Barnard College. He taped an appearance with the ladies of “The View”on ABC, and tonight he’s at a fundraiser hosted by singer Ricky Martin, co-sponsored by the LGBT Leadership Council, that’s a pro-gay rights group. The big donor gathering is another chance for the president to talk about his announcement last week that he personally suports gay marriage and in the process reap the campaign finance rewards.

          Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

          Nancy Marshall Genzer: Tonight’s event was President Obama’s first fundraiser with gay and lesbian donors since his announcement on same-sex marriage. Turns out some of the president’s biggest fundraisers, or bundlers, are gay. They’re now fired up. And will approach the president’s major donors with new energy, according to Paul Light, a campaign finance expert who teaches public service at NYU.

          Paul Light: That does open some wallets and makes the bundlers happier and it’s going to be easier to hit on the big givers.

          The Obama campaign isn’t releasing official figures on how much it’s raised since the president’s announcement on gay marriage. But there are anecdotal signs of an uptick.

          Robert Zimmerman is an Obama bundler in New York. He says newly enthusiastic gay donors jammed his phone lines after Obama’s announcement until one in the morning.

          Robert Zimmerman: They were out there, not just writing their own checks, they were stepping up to call their friends and were looking to go to a swing state to knock on doors.

          Obama fundraisers hosted by the gay community are becoming sellouts. One scheduled for next month in Beverly Hills might be moved necause now, there isn’t enough space.

          For more:

        • Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA

          ‘Gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country’

          February 22, 2013 lgbtqnation Staff Reports

          The Obama administration on Friday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing why it considers the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.

          Filed in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of DOMA, the administration said “gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country,” and argued that laws targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

          In the brief, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asked the court to uphold a federal appeals court ruling that found DOMA to be unconstitutional:

          Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.

          This case deals with Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes in 2009 upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer. The two had lived as a couple for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007. Because her decades-long partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage in legal terms, even though their home state of New York did.

          Section 3 of DOMA, which bars legally married same-sex couples from any federal benefits or programs based on marriage, has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration.

          The brief also mentions Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and similar measures in other states as evidence of continued discrimination against gays and lesbians.

          For more:

          • Supreme Court indicates it may strike down marriage law

            3/27/13 By Lawrence Hurley and David Ingram | Reuters – 1 hr 4 mins ago

            WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several Supreme Court justices on Wednesday indicated interest in striking down a law that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, presenting the possibility of a major change in a few months in gay marriage law.

            Justice Anthony Kennedy, a potential swing vote, warned of the “risks” that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) infringes upon the traditional role of the states in defining marriage.

            The 1996 U.S. law denies married same-sex couples access to federal benefits by defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Kennedy referred to DOMA as “inconsistent” because it purports to give authority to the states to define marriage while limiting recognition of those determinations.

            The court is expected to issue a ruling by the end of June.
            On the liberal side of the bench, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan echoed some of Kennedy’s concerns about the states’ rights issue.

            “What gives the federal government the right to be concerned at all about the definition of marriage?” Sotomayor said.

            Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also raised concerns about the law, stressing how important federal recognition is to any person who is legally married.

            “It affects every area of life,” she said.

            Comparing marriage status with types of milk, Ginsburg said that a gay marriage endorsed by a state, but not recognized by the federal government, could be viewed as the equivalent of “skim milk.”

            The law is the focus of a second day of oral arguments before the high court as it tackles the gay marriage issue.

            It is possible the court would not reach the wider issue in the DOMA case because of preliminary legal matters relating to whether the court can hear it.

            For more:

        • SCOTUS allows Obama administration to participate in Prop. 8 oral arguments

          3/15/13 By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

          The Supreme Court on Friday granted permission to the Obama administration to participate in oral arguments in the Proposition 8 case.

          After President Obama had said he was cautious about intervening in the case seeking to strike down California’s gay-marriage ban, the administration ultimately filed a friend-of-the-court brief last month urging the court to strike down the ban and asking for 10 minutes to argue its case.

          Oral arguments in the case are scheduled March 26.


        Santorum: GOP Will Never Embrace Gay Marriage

        APRIL 9, 2013 TOM KLUDT 6:28 AM EDT, TPM

        Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) said Monday that, despite calls for the party to moderate on social issues and polls that show more and more Americans embracing marriage equality, the GOP will never endorse gay nuptials and warned that such a change in positions would be “suicidal” for Republicans.

        • RNC members reaffirm party’s opposition to same-sex marriage

          4/12/13 04:12 PM ET By Alexandra Jaffe – TheHill

          The Republican National Committee has reaffirmed its opposition to gay marriage with a slate of resolutions passed unanimously at its spring meeting.

          Several resolutions re-establishing the party’s official position were adopted without discussion on Friday.

          One resolution states the party’s belief that “the institution of marriage is the solid foundation upon which our society is built and in which children thrive; it is based on the relationship that only a man and a woman can form.”

          The RNC also expresses its “support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America.”

          And one clause addresses the gay marriage cases currently under consideration by the Supreme Court, one concerning California’s ban on gay marriage and the other concerning the federal act that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

          “The Republican National Committee implores the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act,” the clause reads.

          Read more:

    • Obama Names Openly Gay Veteran to West Point Advisory Board

      JULY 5, 2011 By Laura Meckler – blogs.wsj

      President Barack Obama named Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton, an Army veteran who campaigned to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, to the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy on Tuesday, putting the first openly gay or lesbian person onto the board that advises him on West Point.

      Ms. Fulton, 52 years old, is the executive director and co-founder of Knights Out, an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered West Point graduates and allies. Her appointment to the West Point board, announced Tuesday, does not require Senate confirmation. She graduated from West Point in 1980, part of the first class to include women.

      Ms. Fulton says she became politically active for the first time in years after Mr. Obama took office, as she campaigned for an end to the military policy that has banned openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military. She said in an interview Tuesday that she hopes her appointment will send a message to young people who are considering military service.

      “I would hope it would symbolize to all people gay and straight that anti-gay bias in the military is a thing of the past. I would hope it would tell them that if you’re willing to serve your country and you’re qualified, other factors don’t matter,” she said. “I see my role as in some sense helping West point send that message–that we respect all people equally. That’s part of our values, that’s part of our code.”

      For the entire article:


      5.26.2012 : MICHAEL MATSON –

      For the very first time, openly gay and lesbian cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs participated in graduation commencement. It was the school’s first since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and President Obama was on hand to personally salute each of the cadets.

      Check out ABC News’ coverage of the historic event below.


      Air Force Academy Graduates First Openly Gay Cadets

      Published on May 23, 2012 by biggreend05

      ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    • 10-Year-Old Gives Gay Marriage Speech Before NYC City Council

      7/26/12 By Mia Trovato | Trending Now – 11 hrs ago

      Two months ago, fifth-grader Kameron Slade wrote a speech for a school competition that his principal forbid him from delivering. The topic was gay marriage. His mother, April Grantham-Slade, told the New York Times that her son wanted to address a subject that hadn’t been talked about much. Local media outlets heard about Kameron’s predicament, and the 10-year-old was invited to deliver his words for the cameras of TV station NY1. The video of Kameron’s speech received more than 600,000 views on YouTube, and he was ultimately allowed to speak at a special school assembly.

      Yesterday City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn — who married her partner, Kim M. Catullo, in May — gave Kameron an even bigger platform when she asked him to deliver the speech in the council chambers. Kameron, who arrived with his parents and grandfather, looked stylish and self-assured in a gray suit. He said he felt “honored.” I’m thinking his what-I-did-with-my-summer-vacation essays will be pretty interesting to read.

      What did you think of Kameron Slade’s speech and the invitation from the City Council? Let us know on Facebook or by following us @YahooTrending.


      USA: Young School Kid, who was banned from giving a speech coming @Out4Marriage “like

      Published on Jun 15, 2012 by Out4Marriage

      A fifth-grade student in New York who wanted to deliver a speech for marriage equality had his opportunity censored, but later reinstated at a different session due to immediate backlash, US media organisations report.

      Kameron Slade, a student at a local school in Queens won a school-wide competition to deliver a speech, but upon discovering that his topic was marriage between same-sex couples, his principal threatened to remove him from the contest if he did not change the topic.

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    • US Leadership to Advance Equality for LGBT People Abroad

      Samantha Power December 13, 2012 04:00 PM EST

      During Human Rights Week, we reaffirm our commitment to upholding human rights and human dignity at home and abroad, and we recognize the need to build a world in which everyone can pursue their dreams free from violence and discrimination.

      Last week at the Human Rights First summit, I described how advancing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the world is central to, not separate from, our comprehensive human rights agenda. With LGBT people facing death, violence, persecution, and discrimination around the world, the stakes could not be higher. Seventy-eight countries have laws that criminalize consensual same-sex acts between adults, resulting in unchecked human rights abuses and exploitation by police, security officials and private citizens. In at least 5 countries, the death penalty can be applied for being gay. Even where being LGBT is not a crime, violence by state and non-state actors alike often goes unpunished and LGBT communities live in fear and isolation.

      As President Obama has said, “no one should be harmed because of who they are or who they love”. To ensure a comprehensive U.S. response to these threats, one year ago, President Obama issued the first ever Presidential Memorandum to advance the human rights of LGBT persons, requiring all U.S. agencies engaged abroad to “ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons,” and to report annually on their progress.

      We are continuing to lead a government-wide effort to oversee implementation of the Presidential Memorandum and ensure effective coordination across different agencies and offices. Highlights from progress made across the U.S. Government include:

      Strengthening U.S. Government capacity:

      * Departments and agencies are establishing new coordination mechanisms, strengthening training of key personnel, and raising internal awareness among staff and partners about LGBT issues. Secretary of State Clinton and USAID Administrator Shah have instructed U.S. embassies and USAID missions to meet regularly with the LGBT community in their host countries.

      * The Peace Corps is implementing LGBT training sessions for Volunteers and staff to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by local LGBT populations as well as LGBT Peace Corps Volunteers in the field. In 2012, the Peace Corps also facilitated a regional workshop to help overseas posts foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for LGBT Volunteers and staff.

      Leveraging U.S. Foreign Assistance to Protect LGBT People from Violence and Discrimination and Respond to Urgent Crises:

      * Building on Secretary Clinton’s historic speech the same day the Presidential Memorandum was released, State launched the Global Equality Fund which — in more than 20 countries worldwide — supports emerging civil society organizations in advancing equality and protection for LGBT persons through increasing access to justice, supporting law reform, protecting individuals from violence and bolstering local advocacy efforts.

      * State and USAID are also working to improve program coordination and exchange best practices with other donors. USAID hosted the first high-level meeting with other development agencies during the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee meeting in December 2012.

      * As stated in the PEPFAR Blueprint for an AIDS-free Generation and guidance on HIV prevention for men who have sex with men (MSM), the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator continues to work with partner countries to prioritize and scale-up services for MSM.

      Protecting LGBT Refugees and Asylum Seekers:

      * State has continued to implement its comprehensive LGBT refugee protection strategy in coordination with the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS). State is funding research on threats facing LGBT refugees and asylum seekers, supporting NGOs that work with LGBT survivors of violence, and strengthening the capacity of UNHCR and other non-government partners.

      * DHS’ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created an expanded and stand-alone lesson module, Guidance for Adjudicating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Refugee and Asylum Claims.

      * DHS’ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has begun deploying a new automated risk assessment instrument which directs officers to consider special vulnerabilities, including sexual orientation and gender identity, when making custody and classification decisions in the immigrant detention context.

      Advancing International Norms through Multilateral Engagement:

      * Throughout the United Nations system and in other multilateral forums, the United States has raised the profile of LGBT issues broadly, building on the first-ever UN resolution on the human rights of LGBT people at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.

      Advancing International Norms through Multilateral Engagement:

      * At the 2012 annual World Health Assembly (WHA), Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius led a historic panel discussion, co-sponsored by Brazil, Norway, South Africa and Thailand, entitled Breaking Down Barriers: Addressing Stigma and Discrimination in Health Care for LGBT Persons.

      Promoting Nondiscrimination and Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status:

      * The Department of Justice (DOJ) has partnered with the Department of State to help countries such as Honduras— where President Obama called on the government to address impunity for violence against LGBT persons—investigate and prosecute LGBT hate crimes.

      * State has expanded public diplomacy and outreach efforts across the globe: nearly 90 embassies participated in Pride Week events this summer, with posts in Kenya, Laos, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, among others, holding first-time LGBT events. State’s International Visitors Leadership Program is also playing a key role in ensuring LGBT leaders from other countries are able to learn from the experience of the LGBT movement in the United States, including learning about the U.S. experience in combating hate crimes.

      * The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has made clear that protecting the human rights of all people, including LGBT persons, is part of the overall human rights and governance criteria on which countries will be assessed for compact eligibility.

      * The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has asked each of the U.S. Executive Directors of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) including the World Bank to raise LGBT concerns to a policy level and increase awareness of the issue.

      * The Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) are considering LGBT concerns, for instance, in the context of the human rights eligibility requirement in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and through workplace anti-discrimination programs under the labor cooperation provisions of trade agreements. Commerce is also pursuing new lines of effort to engage the private sector in expanding non-discrimination and tolerance in other countries, recognizing that hostility to LGBT employees creates an adverse business climate that can hinder economic growth and competitiveness.

      For the entire article:

    • DOGMA

      It isn’t gay marriage that should trouble the Supreme Court, says Kevin Fisher-Paulson. It’s straight marriage.

      3/25/13 By Kevin Fisher-Paulson – KQED

      As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the legality of my marriage, I came to the conclusion that they should be ruling on their own matrimony. The real threat to this sacred institution is opposite sex marriage.

      As religious leaders will tell you, the purpose of a marriage is to stay together forever and to raise children.

      So let’s look at the forever part. Opposite sex couples divorce almost one out of every two marriages: 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 67 percent of second marriages end in divorce and a whopping 74 percent of third marriage end in divorce. In other words, the more that a straight person marries, the more likely he or she is to divorce.

      Gays haven’t had much time to get married, let alone divorced, but currently straights are divorcing at twice the rate of gays. It’s that whole people from Venus business really do understand each other better than the people from Mars.

      And we all know that the purpose of marriage is to have children, right? Again, opposite sex couples are ruining this holy precept. In 1976, census data indicated that 10% of opposite sex marriages were childless, and by 2003, that number had almost doubled to 19%. On the other hand, now that gays and lesbians have the ability to parent in many but not all states, the percentage of same sex couples with children has tripled from a mere 8% in 2000 to one out of four gay couples now with children. And perhaps even more important, not one of us gay couples is having a child by accident. Like Chief Justice Roberts, many of us adopt. Our family is truly a family of choice.

      Ironically, while opposite sex couples are casually doing driveby weddings in Vegas, we gays are treating marriage with tradition, and I daresay, reverence. Maybe it’s because we have to fight so hard for it.

      For the entire article and audio in statement:

    • U.S. to begin aiding foreign LGBT groups

      4/8/13 Carolyn Lochhead – sfgate

      The U.S. Agency for International Development, the federal government’s main foreign aid arm, announced at a Monday event in Washington a major new initiative to promote LGBT rights in developing countries.

      Eighty-five countries and territories currently criminalize same-sex relationships, according to the agency. Seven impose a death penalty. In South Africa, lesbians are often subjected to “corrective rape,” while throughout the Middle East and Africa, LGBT people are murdered and tortured because of their sexual orientation, said Claire Lucas, a senior adviser at the agency who conceived of the project.

      Uganda is still considering a bill to impose the death penalty on gays and lesbians.

      The $11 million, four-year initiative is a public-private partnership between USAID and San Francisco-based Olivia Cruises, UCLA’s Williams Institute, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

      The initiative will work with local LGBT groups to provide leadership training, research and other help, lending the imprimatur of the U.S. government to people who in many countries are outcast and vulnerable. The first work will take place in Equador, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia. Officials said there has been a spike in violence against transgendered persons in Honduras since a 2009 coup in the country.

      For more:

    • Delaware To Become 11th State With Gay Marriage


      DOVER, Del. (AP) — A divided Delaware state Senate voted Tuesday to make their state the 11th in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, after hearing hours of passionate testimony from supporters and opponents.

      The Senate’s 12-9 vote sends the bill to Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, who supports the measure and planned to sign it later in the day. It would go into effect July 1.

      “I think this is the right thing for Delaware,” the governor said after the vote, while posing for pictures with supporters outside his legislative office. “It took an incredible team effort.”

      Gay rights activists and their supporters in the chamber erupted in cheers and applause following the Senate vote.

      Delaware’s same-sex marriage bill was introduced in the Democrat-controlled legislature last month, barely a year after the state began recognizing same-sex civil unions. The bill won passage two weeks ago in the state House on a 23-18 vote.

      For more:

    • Release No: NR-272-15

      July 13, 2015

      Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on DOD Transgender Policy

      Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.

      The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.

      Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. Led by (Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson, and composed of military and civilian personnel representing all the military services and the Joint Staff, this working group will report to Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. At my direction, the working group will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified. Second, I am directing that decision authority in all administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender be elevated to Under Secretary Carson, who will make determinations on all potential separations.

      As I’ve said before, we must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both. Our military’s future strength depends on it.

  3. I have something to say about California passing same-sex marriage on November 5, 2008 and then the right-wing “religious” side decided to start a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment called “Yes On 8“. The measure added a new provision, Section 7.5 of the Declaration of Rights, to the California Constitution, which provides that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

    I heard about the religious right coming into California and I saw them in my own neighborhood passing out misleading flyers door-to-door and there were misleading yard signs “Yes On 8” with a stick figure of a man, woman and child to fool people into thinking that Prop 8 was pro-family instead of anti-gay. There was even a yard sign that I saw that someone had place right outside of a school/poling place that had a photo of POTUS & VPOTUS with a “Yes On 8” under neath the photo! We know for a fact that Barack Obama and Joe Biden DID NOT endorse Prop 8.

    It burned me up to see how them lying bigots outsiders were misleading Californians! Why as a heterosexual woman am I so supportive of same-sex marriage? Because once upon a time in the U.S. my type of marriage was illegal as well; I am in a mixed race marriage! So why would I want discrimination on a group that I could have easily suffered from myself! I believe that all consenting adults should be able to marry each other!


    Sunday, June 26, 2011 – Gaborone, Botswana

    Mrs. Obama and her family are departing Gaborone, Botswana at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.

    • On Saturday before leaving Africa…..

      Family Safari And Lunch: First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Village Eatery In Botswana

      JUNE 25, 2011

      On her second day in Botswana, the last leg of a weeklong trip to Africa, First Lady Michelle Obama today took her family on safari and out for a traditional lunch in the village of Mochudi, which is northeast of the capital, Gaborone. The cafeteria-style eatery, Borakanelo, is a favorite with locals. Mrs. Obama ordered six to-go meals of chicken, chips (aka fries, Mrs. Obama’s favorite food) and a traditional bread. Counter staffers packed these into styrofoam take out boxes as Mrs. Obama and her daughters, Sasha, 10, and Malia, 12, watched.

      “No veggies in sight,” the pool reporter on duty commented about the lunch order. Mrs. Obama, who wore a fringed, leopard print Prova scarf around her neck and a gray cardigan and gray slacks, was also accompanied by her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and her nephew and niece, Avery and Leslie Robinson. Nearby, cows roamed outside unfenced pastures, spilling into the dusty country road. It is early winter in Botswana, and the air was cool.

      For the entire article and photos:

      • French Fries and fat cakes for U.S. First Lady in Botswana

        Uploaded by ReutersVideo on Jun 25, 2011

        June 25 – U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama buys French fries and fat cakes at a restaurant in a Botswana village. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

  5. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    6/24/11 By ZACK HALE – POLITICO

    (Democrat excerpts ONLY)

    On NBC, “Meet the Press” features a guest who’s adamantly maintained he’s not running for president: Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. And, later, Democratic Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Jim Webb of Virginia, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, analyze President Barack Obama’s new timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
    On ABC, “This Week” has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.).
    And on CNN, “State of the Union” hosts House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and tea party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
    On C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, is interviewed by Craig Whitlock of The Washington Post.

    Read more:

  6. Defending the Rights of the LGBTQ Community

    Posted by Lynn Rosenthal on May 26, 2011

    In continuing with the Administration’s goal of defending the rights and supporting the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community, The Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime has released a grant program designed to ensure that all crime victims, including LGBTQ individuals, receive comprehensive, quality services and are afforded fundamental rights.

    Despite recent advancements in the criminal justice field, LGBTQ individuals and communities continue to experience significant degrees of discrimination and a wide range of crime victimization, including assault, harassment, stalking, sexual violence, sex trafficking, and homicide. In 2009, The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) reported that the number of bias-related murders of LGBTQ people in 2008 rose 28% from 2007, with reports of sexual assaults rising 48%. In addition, according to a study done by Yale University, LGBTQ youth suffer a disproportionate number of juvenile arrests and convictions when compared to their heterosexual peers.

    For the entire article:

    Applications are due by July 5th, 2011. View the full grant proposal here.

  7. EXPOSE THE KOCHS: The Koch brothers fund multiple think tanks and academic centers to promote their ideology and grow their profits, a Brave New Foundation investigation reveals. Let’s create an echo chamber of truth by using YouTube’s SHARE tools above to protect Social Security and counter the Koch billions.

    • Thanks Jackie! People like the Koch brothers who intentionally spread lies through think tanks like “Cato Institute”, “Mercatus Center”, “Heritage Foundation” and “Reason Foundation” is upsetting and are pure evil.

      Add “Crossroads” to that list; email from DCCC‘s Robbie Mook:

      “News just broke that Crossroads, one of Karl Rove’s shadowy outside groups, is purchasing millions in advertising attacking President Obama this summer.

      There’s no doubt: the fight for 2012 is on.

      This all comes as we are within days of the critical midyear Federal Election Commission (FEC) fundraising reporting deadline. Republicans and Democrats are in a virtual dead heat for year-to-date totals, and if we are going to keep pace with this outside money we need to take a strong lead.”

  8. Michelle Obama flies home after African tour

    6/26/11 – AFP 45 mins ago

    GABORONE (AFP) – US First Lady Michelle Obama flew back to Washington on Sunday after a week-long tour of southern Africa where she met icons of the liberation movement and took in a short safari.

    Travelling with her daughters, Malia and Sasha, two of their cousins, and her mother, Marian Robinson, Obama met with legends like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu during her journey.

    But at every stop she also met with young women to encourage them to follow the lead of the liberation leaders to work for social change, whether fighting AIDS, corruption or poverty.

    She was seen off at the airport by US ambassador Michelle Gavin, who described the visit as extremely successful.

    “The visit has further strengthened relations between the two countries,” she said.

    Botswana’s assistant minister of finance Gloria Somolekae who was also at the airport to bid farewell to the first lady said the visit had put Botswana on the global map.

    “It was an honour for Botswana to host the American first lady and I am sure we will be reaping the rewards of this visit very soon.”
    Obama charmed both nations as she hugged everyone she met, danced and played soccer with children, and dined in neighbourhood delis and roadside village restaurants.

    “Michelle Obama brings out the best in southern Africa,” proclaimed The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg, bidding farewell to the first lady.

  9. Analysis: Mrs. Obama hits her stride as first lady

    6/26/11 By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press – 1 hr 6 mins ago

    GABORONE, Botswana – After more than two years as America’s first lady, Michelle Obama won’t say she’s hit her stride.

    Her performance on a good will mission to Africa, including an emotionally rousing speech about youth leadership and a packed itinerary that rivaled her husband’s traveling schedules, said otherwise.

    On her second overseas business trip without the president, and to the black motherland, America’s first black first lady was warmly received everywhere she went, often with song and to the point of almost being moved to tears.

    She spoke passionately about her causes, tickled and danced with some of the youngest Africans, and sat with presidents and first ladies, including Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president and a hero of the anti-apartheid movement.

    She held 20 public events in five days, landed on newspaper front pages and was fashionably dressed, as usual, including outfits with an African connection.
    In between all that, Mrs. Obama squeezed in dinner with gal-pal Oprah Winfrey, who was in South Africa for unrelated business.

    For the entire article:

  10. Oil release not a political move: Geithner

    6/26/11 By Jason McLure – Fri Jun 24, 6:52 pm ET

    HANOVER, New Hampshire (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended the decision by industrialized nations to release emergency oil reserves into global energy markets, saying on Friday that it was not a political move.

    “It’s really as simple as this: there’s a war in Libya, costs between one and two million barrels a day in lost output, I think 140 million barrels off the market so far,” he said in response to a question at Dartmouth College, where he spoke on a panel.

    “Reserves exist to help mitigate those kinds of disruptions and we helped to organize a coordinated global international response to help ease some of that pressure,” he added.

    The Paris-based International Energy Agency announced on Thursday that it was tapping member countries’ emergency reserves — some 60 million barrels over 30 days — for only the third time since it was founded in 1974, to fill the gap in supplies left by the disruption to Libya’s output.

    The 28-nation IEA, which was set up after the Arab oil embargo as a counterweight to OPEC, said the move was a bid to boost the global economic recovery by holding down oil prices.

    For the entire article:

  11. Oil Reserve Release Hoped To Quiet Global Anxiety

    6/26/11 Susan Stamberg -NPR

    The United States and its partners in the International Energy Agency will release 60 million barrels of oil onto the world market over the next 30 days. It’s part of a plan to compensate for losses of a high-quality grade of oil produced by Libya. Guest host Susan Stamberg talks with Daniel Yergin, a longtime observer of energy policy and chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

    For the entire article and audio inteview:

  12. In battered Libya town, kids get a taste of normal

    6/26/11 By HADEEL AL-SHALCHI, Associated Press

    MISRATA, Libya – A few weeks ago, Ras Mouftah Elementary School in central Misrata was just another public building abandoned in the fight for this Libyan city.

    Now two dozen boys aged 4 to 9 are watching as the rebel tricolor unfurls from the school flagpole. Hands on their hearts, they struggle to sing along to a tape recording of the rebel anthem. Their backpacks are emblazoned with the words “Feb. 17 Revolution.”

    Misrata, the port city jolted into the international headlines in Libya’s civil war, is struggling to regain its balance, even as rockets continue to hit its center daily and wounded rebels are brought in from the front lines a few miles away.

    The craving for normality became evident as rebel control of Misrata solidified and parents in the neighborhood around the Ras Mouftah school started thinking of ways to rebuild city life. The school principal, Souad Saffar, leaped into action.

    “I took my car and went around to all the women I knew, urging them to get out and help me start up the school,” she said.
    It took a week to mop up the seven classrooms, set up the desks, and paint over the words “Libyan Jamahiriyah,” the official term for the regime set up by Moammar Gadhafi that is now under rebel attack.

    “I was really worried the project would fail, that parents would still be scared to let their kids out and that only five or six children would show up,” Saffar told The Associated Press.

    Instead, when it reopened, 250 children arrived. Unable to cope with such a large number, Saffar divided attendance by gender: girls one day, boys the next.

    For the entire article:

  13. Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    6/27/11 By The Associated Press – 8 mins ago

    Syrian forces open fire at funerals for slain political protesters, a human rights activist says, leaving two more people dead as Syria tries to subdue weeks of demonstrations against President Bashar Assad.

    Rami Abdul-Rahman, the London-based director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says the two were killed Saturday in al-Kaswa, a suburb of the Syrian capital. Security forces opened fire when the funerals for protesters killed on Friday turned into protests themselves.

    Abdul-Rahman says one person was also killed Saturday in Damascus’ Barzeh neighborhood and two were killed in the village of al-Quseir, near the Lebanese border.

    Rebels in Libya’s western mountains say they have advanced and are battling Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in a strategic town southwest of the capital, ramping up pressure against government troops on a second front.

    The rebels’ claim of an advance into the outskirts of the town of Bair al-Ghanam, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Tripoli, follows weeks of intense fighting in the Nafusa mountains in which opposition forces have slowly pushed Gadhafi troops back toward the capital.

    A rebel military spokesman in the Nafusa mountains, Gomaa Ibrahim, says opposition fighters and government troops have been fighting since early Sunday on the periphery of Bair al-Ghanam.

    The town is significant because it is only 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of the city of Zawiya, a key western gateway to the capital and home to a crucial oil refinery.

    A senior member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says he is forming a new political party as the Islamic fundamentalist group rapidly splinters. Last week, several young members broke off and launched a rival to the Brotherhood’s main Freedom and Justice Party.

    Khaled Dawoud, a senior Brotherhood figure, says he and other members are forming a separate party to be called al-Riyada, Arabic for The Pioneers. He risks forfeiting Brotherhood membership as the group has banned members from forming separate parties.

    The powerful son of Yemen’s embattled leader voices support for efforts spearheaded by the opposition and the acting president to find a solution to the nation’s political turmoil.

    In a statement issued by his office, Ahmed Saleh, who controls the elite Republican Guards, expresses his backing for attempts led by Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and opposition leaders to “reach a solution to the current crisis.”

    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters rally across Yemen, demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s family and members of his inner circle leave the country.

    Tens of thousands of people demonstrate around Morocco both for and against a proposed new constitution, just a week before it is to be voted on in a referendum.

    In Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, government supporters first block then attack with rocks a march by thousands of activists, wounding many.

    King Mohammed VI announced a new constitution June 17 following unprecedented nationwide protests for greater freedoms in the preceding months.

    A gang of ultraconservative Islamists attack a movie theater in downtown Tunis because it was showing a film about secularism.
    Around 100 bearded men shouting “God is great” smash the windows of Cinema Afrique, where the movie “Neither God nor master” by France-based Tunisian director Nadia Feni is playing.
    An AP reporter saw eight of them forcing their way inside and attacking filmgoers, including prominent directors, before being apprehended by police.

    Tunisia’s former regime ruthlessly cracked down on political Islam. Since its downfall in popular protests, however, Islamists have become more active.

  14. BREAKING: Boehner appeals DOMA cases to Supreme Court

    June 29, 2012 washingtonblade

    House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) attorneys on Friday formally appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court an appeals court decision determining the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

    Drew Hammill, spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), told the Washington Blade on Friday afternoon Republicans had notified Democratic leadership that House counsel filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

    The court ruling that was appealed was the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the cases of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, which was filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health & Human Services. On May 31, the appellate court issued a decision that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional as a result of both cases.

    In a statement, Pelosi slammed Boehner for continuing to assert the constitutionality of DOMA, saying the appeal is a decision that will “waste more taxpayer funds to advance a position rejected by four different courts and to defend discrimination and inequality before the highest court in the land.”

    “Democrats have rejected the Republican assault on equal rights, in the courts and in Congress,” Pelosi said. “We believe there is no federal interest in denying LGBT couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to all couples married under state law. And we are confident that the Supreme Court, if it considers the case, will declare DOMA unconstitutional and relegate it to the dustbin of history once and for all.”

    Boehner’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment on the appeal.

    In the filing, Boehner’s attorneys present two questions to the Supreme Court: (1) Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment; and (2) Whether the court below erred by inventing and applying to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act a previously unknown standard of equal protection review.

    “As the First Circuit recognized, this case calls out for this Court’s review,” the filing states. “The court of appeals has invalidated a duly-enacted Act of Congress and done so even though it acknowledged both that DOMA satisfies ordinary rational basis review and does not implicate heightened scrutiny. In the established world of equal protection law that result should have been impossible.”

    The filing also cites a separation of powers issue as the result of the Obama administration no longer defending DOMA in court as it continues to enforce it and leaves the House to defend the law.

    “Only this Court can settle this matter definitively,” the filing states. “Unless and until this Court decides the question, the executive branch will continue to attack DOMA in the courts, while continuing to enforce it, thus creating more potential litigation for the House to defend. This Court and this Court alone has the power to settle this question and redirect controversy over this important national question to the democratic process.”

    For more:

  15. rainbow-flag

    Appeals court rules against Defense of Marriage Act

    10/18/12 By Terry Baynes | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court in New York on Thursday ruled that a U.S. law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is now the second federal appeals court to reject part of the Defense of Marriage Act. It upheld a lower court ruling that had found a central part of the law unconstitutional.

    Appeals in several cases are currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which could choose to take up the issue in its current term.

    Two members of a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old woman who argued that the law discriminates against gay couples in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    They found that gays and lesbians are entitled to heightened protection from the courts, based on the history of discrimination the group has suffered.

    “Homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public,” Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote for the majority.

    Six states have legalized same-sex marriage, including New York in 2011. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed in 1996, federal law and government programs do not recognize those marriages.

    The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Windsor by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in New York. Windsor is a former IBM computer programmer who married Thea Clara Spyer in Toronto, Canada, in 2007. The two were engaged in 1967.

    Spyer died in 2009 after a decades-long battle with multiple sclerosis, leaving all of her property to Windsor. Because the marriage was not recognized under federal law, Windsor had to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes, according to her lawsuit.

    Windsor’s attorneys argued that the act violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

    The Obama administration said last year it considered the law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it. Instead, a group appointed by the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is defending the law in courts across the country.

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