The Disintegration of DOMA – 3rd Anniversary

LGBT flag_lrg PBO Strive for Complete Equality for LGBT
Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA
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February 22, 2013 lgbtqnation Staff Reports
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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.
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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.
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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: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/obama-administration-urges-u-s-surpeme-court-to-strike-down-doma/ .

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High court strikes down federal marriage provision

6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press

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: http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-strikes-down-federal-marriage-provision-140557846.html

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. “My general view is that transgender persons, just like gays and lesbians, are deserving of equal treatment under the law. And that’s a basic principle,” the president said. “My sense is that the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system and that it’s time to recognize that, under the equal protection clause of the United States, same-sex couples should have the same rights as anybody else.”

2/17/15 President Obama interview with BuzzFeed

US Marriage Equality#marriageequality.

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

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

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21 thoughts on “The Disintegration of DOMA – 3rd Anniversary

  1. WH

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama delivers meets with the family members of overseas hostage vicitims

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:20 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks on the completion of the review of how the United States Government responds to overseas hostage cases
    Roosevelt Room

    1:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest briefs the press

    2:00 PM
    2:55 PM
    President Obama meets with the U.S. and Chinese co-chairs at the conclusion of the dialogues
    Cabinet Room

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:05 PM
    President Obama hosts a reception at the White House in recognition of LGBT Pride Month
    East Room

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. The Disintegration of DOMA – 3rd Anniversary

    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: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/obama-administration-urges-u-s-surpeme-court-to-strike-down-doma/

    • High court strikes down federal marriage provision

      6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press

      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: http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-strikes-down-federal-marriage-provision-140557846.html

    • Justice Anthony Kennedy made 2 very telling comments about gay marriage

      June 22, 2015 By Erin Fuchs – Business Insider

      The Supreme Court could issue a ruling any day now on the legality of same-sex marriage, and everybody is focusing on one justice — “swing voter” Anthony Kennedy.

      Kennedy made two comments during arguments in April that could reveal his thinking on whether states should be able to ban gay marriage.

      When gay-marriage advocates made their case, Kennedy commented that the definition of marriage had “been with us for millennia,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Kennedy questioned whether the high court should create a new definition and say “we know better.”

      Later in the arguments, though, Kennedy said his sense was that a “principle purpose of marriage was to afford dignity to the couples, which is denied to same-sex couples,” SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein wrote.

      Goldstein then observed: “He is clearly weighing two things: the definition of marriage has been the same for ‘millennia’ versus the fact that denying marriage to same-sex couples is an affront to their dignity (and that of the children they raise).”

      The Supreme Court could issue a ruling any day now on the legality of same-sex marriage, and everybody is focusing on one justice — “swing voter” Anthony Kennedy.

      Kennedy made two comments during arguments in April that could reveal his thinking on whether states should be able to ban gay marriage.

      When gay-marriage advocates made their case, Kennedy commented that the definition of marriage had “been with us for millennia,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Kennedy questioned whether the high court should create a new definition and say “we know better.”

      Later in the arguments, though, Kennedy said his sense was that a “principle purpose of marriage was to afford dignity to the couples, which is denied to same-sex couples,” SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein wrote.

      Goldstein then observed: “He is clearly weighing two things: the definition of marriage has been the same for ‘millennia’ versus the fact that denying marriage to same-sex couples is an affront to their dignity (and that of the children they raise).”

      The Supreme Court most recently heard the issue of gay marriage in 2013, when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that said the federal government didn’t recognize gay marriages. In effect, DOMA deprived married same-sex couples of many of the benefits available to married opposite-sex couples.

      Kennedy, who has a history of writing pro-gay-rights opinions, wrote the opinion striking down DOMA. That opinion touched on the dignity that marriage rights bestowed on same-sex couples.

      Recently, Kennedy has been recognized as an “unlikely gay rights icon,” as The New York Times noted this week, adding that he has had two gay clerks. Still, one of those former clerks, Paul T. Cappuccio, pointed out that one can’t take for granted that the justice’s friendships with gays will influence his opinion.

      “He takes liberty very seriously. Sure, I think it could be natural that one’s life experiences can have an impact,” Cappuccio told the Times. “But I think it would be belittling of Justice Kennedy to say he might vote to recognize a constitutional right to same-sex marriage just because he knows people who are gay.”

      The current case centers on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, and it will consider these two questions:

      1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

      2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?

      A decision is expected as soon as Thursday.

    • No difference in kids with same-sex, opposite-sex parents: study

      6/23/15 Shelby Sebens – Reuters

      PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – Scientists agree that children raised by same-sex couples are no worse off than children raised by parents of the opposite sex, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Oregon professor.

      The new research, which looked at 19,000 studies and articles related to same-sex parenting from 1977 to 2013, was released last week, and comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule by the end of this month on whether same-sex marriage is legal.

      “Consensus is overwhelming in terms of there being no difference in children who are raised by same-sex or different- sex parents,” University of Oregon sociology professor Ryan Light said on Tuesday.

      Light, who co-authored the study with Jimi Adams of the University of Colorado at Denver, said the study may be too late to affect the court’s ruling this month but he hopes it will have an impact on future cases.

      “I hope we’ll see acceptance of gay marriage of the courts and by the public at large,” he said.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/no-difference-kids-same-sex-opposite-sex-parents-192722819.html

    • With Sweeping New Ruling, Marriage Equality Must Begin in All 50 States

      June 26, 2015 by HRC staff

      In a historic 5-4 ruling, today the Supreme Court of the United States found bans on marriage equality to be unconstitutional—and that the fundamental right to marriage is a fundamental right for all. The majority’s opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, represents a clear mandate for governors, state attorneys general and officials everywhere to cease their attempts to uphold these discriminatory statutes.

      “Today’s ruling makes perfectly clear that there is no legal or moral justification for standing in the path of marriage equality. Couples from Mississippi to North Dakota to Texas shouldn’t have to wait even a moment longer to be treated equally under the law,” said HRC president Chad Griffin. “State officials across the country must act swiftly to ensure that every obstacle to obtaining a marriage license is removed. To do anything less is a shameful attempt to cement their state on the wrong side of history. But what’s clear today is that our work isn’t done until every discriminatory law in this nation is wiped away. The time has come in this country for comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination protections. We now have to work harder than ever before to make sure LGBT Americans cannot be fired, evicted or denied services simply on the basis of the marriage license that they fought so hard to achieve.”

      Named plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, also issued the following statement in reaction to the ruling:

      “Today I could not be prouder of my country, more grateful for the memory of my late husband John, and more indebted to the incredible lawyers, advocates and fellow plaintiffs who made this landmark day possible. The fact that the state I have long called home will finally recognize my marriage to the man I honored and cherished for more than 20 years is a profound vindication—a victory I’m proud to share with countless more couples across the country. Thanks to the Supreme Court, a period of deep injustice in this nation is coming to a close, but it’s also clear today that there is still so much work to do. As long as discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is tolerated—whether in the seeking of a marriage license, the pursuit of fairness on the job, or the fight for equal treatment at a restaurant or business—we haven’t truly guaranteed equal justice under the law. But today’s victory proves that anything is possible, and I could not be more hopeful about the capacity of this country to change for the better.”

      For more: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/with-sweeping-new-ruling-marriage-equality-must-begin-in-all-50-states

    • June 26, 2015

      Remarks by the President on the Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality

      Rose Garden

      11:14 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal. The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times — a never-ending quest to ensure those words ring true for every single American.

      Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.

      This morning, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love.

      This decision will end the patchwork system we currently have. It will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face from not knowing whether their marriage, legitimate in the eyes of one state, will remain if they decide to move [to] or even visit another. This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land.

      In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. It is gratifying to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision.

      This ruling is a victory for Jim Obergefell and the other plaintiffs in the case. It’s a victory for gay and lesbian couples who have fought so long for their basic civil rights. It’s a victory for their children, whose families will now be recognized as equal to any other. It’s a victory for the allies and friends and supporters who spent years, even decades, working and praying for change to come.

      And this ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/26/remarks-president-supreme-court-decision-marriage-equality

    • Release No: NR-272-15

      July 13, 2015 dod.gov

      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.

      • I celebrated like Matt the day that decision came down. I called everyone I knew, practically screaming with joy. Now I’m waiting for this Supreme Court decision regarding marriage equality. I was happy to share this blog.

  3. U.S. GDP Shrinks Less Than Last Estimated

    June 24, 2015 by Sho Chandra – bloomberg

    The world’s largest economy shrank less in the first quarter than previously estimated, aided by a bigger gain in consumer spending.

    Gross domestic product in the U.S. fell at a 0.2 percent annualized rate, revised from a previously reported 0.7 percent drop, data from Commerce Department showed Wednesday in Washington. That matched the median forecast of 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

    The harsh winter weather and port delays that damped growth at the start of the year have given way to increases in consumer spending and housing, bolstering Federal Reserve projections that the setback was temporary. Still, pockets of weakness remain as lower oil prices continue to hinder investment in the energy industry and a firm dollar restrains global sales.

    “What we are seeing here does validate the story that the first-quarter weakness was transitory,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, who correctly forecast GDP. “The consumer is coming back to overall decent growth.”

    Stock-index futures held earlier losses after the report, signaling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will halt a two-day advance, as investors focused on developments in Greece. The contract on the S&P 500 maturing in September fell 0.2 percent to 2,112.9 at 9:21 a.m. in New York.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-24/consumers-help-u-s-gdp-contract-less-than-previously-estimated

  4. June 24, 2015

    Statement by the President on the U.S. Government’s Hostage Policy Review

    Roosevelt Room

    12:30 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Since 9/11, more than 80 Americans have been taken hostage by murderous groups engaged in terrorism or piracy. For these innocent men and women — tourists, journalists, humanitarians — it’s a horror, and cruelty, beyond description. For their families and for their friends, it’s an unrelenting nightmare that the rest of us cannot even begin to imagine.

    As a government, we should always do everything in our power to bring these Americans home safe and to support their families. Dedicated public servants across our government work tirelessly to do so. Our military personnel risk their lives in dangerous missions, such as the operation I authorized last year that attempted to rescue Americans held in Syria and Yemen. And there have been successes, such as the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, held by Somali pirates, and Jessica Buchanan, rescued from Somalia.

    Of these more than 80 Americans taken hostage since 9/11, more than half have ultimately come home, some after many years. Tragically, too many others have not. And at this very moment, Americans continue to be held by terrorist groups or detained unjustly by foreign governments. For them, the nightmare goes on — and so does our work, day and night, to reunite them with their loved ones.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/24/statement-president-us-governments-hostage-policy-review

    ————

    Executive Order on June 24, 2015
    Executive Order — Hostage Recovery Activities

    Presidential Memorandum on June 24, 2015
    Presidential Policy Directive — Hostage Recovery Activities

  5. We The Geeks: Made With Pride

    Streamed live on Jun 24, 2015

    To recognize the accomplishments of makers and LGBT people in tech, we’ll be hosting our latest episode of We The Geeks, a series of Google+ Hangouts highlighting the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States. Hear from some amazing innovators and join us for “We The Geeks: Made With Pride” on Wednesday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m. ET. http://go.wh.gov/pEujaF

  6. June 24, 2015

    Readout of the President’s Meeting with China’s Special Representatives to the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

    The President met today with China’s Special Representatives to the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Vice Premier Wang Yang, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and the Chinese delegation. The President acknowledged the importance of these annual ministerial-level mechanisms for expanding practical cooperation on regional and global challenges, while at the same time narrowing differences. The President and the Chinese Special Representatives agreed to further expand U.S.-China cooperation on climate and clean energy, and affirmed their unity of purpose in our approach to the Paris climate negotiations in December. Recognizing the importance of economic ties to the overall bilateral relationship, the President expressed support for China’s efforts to reform and rebalance its economy, and for our ongoing bilateral investment treaty negotiations, while urging China to address major economic challenges in the areas of its currency, technology and investment policies. The President raised ongoing U.S. concerns about China’s cyber and maritime behavior, and he urged China to take concrete steps to lower tensions.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/24/readout-president’s-meeting-china’s-special-representatives-us-china

    ——–

    June 24, 2015
    Readout of the President’s Meeting with China’s Special Representatives to the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

  7. June 24, 2015

    Remarks by the President at LGBT Pride Month Reception

    East Room

    5:17 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Hey! Hey! Hey! (Applause.) So this is rowdy crowd. (Applause.) I don’t want you guys to break anything while you’re here now. (Laughter.) Thank you, Megan, for the wonderful introduction and, more importantly, the great work that you are doing. We’ve got some outstanding members of Congress here today, including Leader Nancy Pelosi. Give Nancy a big round of applause. (Applause.) I want to thank all of you — advocates, organizers, friends, families — for being here today.

    Over the years, we’ve gathered to celebrate Pride Month, and I’ve told you that I’m so hopeful about what we can accomplish. I’ve told you that the civil rights of LGBT Americans is —

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: President Obama!

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, hold on a second.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible), President Obama!

    THE PRESIDENT: Okay, you know what — no, no, no, no, no,
    no, no. No, no, no, no, no.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: President Obama —

    THE PRESIDENT: Hey —

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Listen, you’re in my house. (Laughter and
    applause.) You don’t — come on. It’s not — you know what, it’s not respectful when you get invited to somebody —

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: President Obama (inaudible).

    THE PRESIDENT: You’re not going to — you’re not going to
    get a good response from me by interrupting me like this.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: President Obama —

    THE PRESIDENT: I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

    AUDIENCE: Booo —

    THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, no. No, no. No. Shame on
    you. You shouldn’t be doing this.

    AUDIENCE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

    THE PRESIDENT: Can we escort this person out? Come on.
    You can either stay and be quiet, or we’ll have to take you out. All right, can we have this person removed, please?

    THE PRESIDENT: Come on.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: President Obama —

    THE PRESIDENT: Come on. Come on. Nope. No. Come on. Come on, guys. I’m just going to wait until we get this done.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible) deportations! No more deportations!

    THE PRESIDENT: Okay, where was I? (Laughter and applause.) So as a general rule, I am just fine with a few hecklers — (laughter) — but not when I’m up in the house. (Applause.) You know what I mean? You know, my attitude is if you’re eating the hors d’oeuvres — (laughter) — you know what I’m saying?

    THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do.

    THE PRESIDENT: Okay. And drinking the booze. I know that’s right.

    Anyway, where was I?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

    THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)

    So the civil rights of LGBT Americans, this is an issue whose time has come. And we’ve got a lot to celebrate because of your hard work. And there are people here who have been working these issues for decades. And so this is something where it’s bearing fruit today, but it has to do with courage that was happening in obscurity and incredible difficulty. And I am so honored to be a part of seeing all that hard work pay off.

    A lot of what we’ve accomplished over these last six and a half years has been because of you. Because of the groundwork that you and so many of you laid before, from sophisticated national campaigns to small, quiet acts of defiance — together, we’ve been able to do more to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans than at any time in our history. (Applause.)

    Together, we ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (Applause.) We passed a historic hate crimes bill named in part after Matthew Shepard. (Applause.) We lifted the HIV entry ban, and this summer, we’re going to be updating our national HIV/AIDS strategy which will focus on eliminating disparities that gay and bisexual men and transgender women face. (Applause.) We strengthened the Violence Against Women Act to protect LGBT victims. (Applause.) Hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid are now required to treat LGBT patients the same as everybody else. (Applause.) The pillar of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. (Applause.) Just yesterday, we announced that insurance companies that cover federal workers will no longer be able to prohibit gender transition services. (Applause.)

    And, of course, we’re now awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on whether same-sex couples nationwide have the equal right to marry. (Applause.) There are a few decisions coming down these next few days — (laughter) — that I’m paying close attention to. But however the decision comes down on the marriage issue, one thing is undeniable — there has been this incredible shift in attitudes across the country.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/25/remarks-president-lgbt-pride-month-reception

  8. Republican-led US Congress hands Obama major win on trade

    6/24/15 Associated Press By CHARLES BABINGTON and DAVID ESPO

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress passed major trade legislation Wednesday that was long-sought by President Barack Obama but vehemently opposed by most lawmakers in his Democratic party.

    The measure would allow Obama to negotiate global trade deals that Congress could approve or reject, but not change. The administration was seeking the “fast track” as it works to complete a round of trade negotiations involving 12 nations along both sides of the Pacific Ocean, including Japan.

    The 12 participating nations in the current Pacific-based talks account for 40 percent of the world’s economy, and include Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Canada and Mexico. China is not a member, and Obama says a ratified Pacific-rim pact will reassert the United States’ muscular role in international standards for commerce, treatment of workers and the environment.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/republican-led-us-congress-hands-obama-major-win-210034090.html

  9. June 24, 2015

    Support, Defend, and Sustain: The Relevance of U.S. Response to Closing Civic Space

    Remarks by Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications
    “Support, Defend, and Sustain’: The Relevance of U.S. Response to Closing Civic Space”
    InterAction Annual Forum
    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    Washington Marriott Hotel, Wardman Park

    AS PREPARED

    Good Afternoon. Thank you to Sam Worthington and InterAction for inviting me to be here today. InterAction is a formidable coalition of NGOs, operating in all corners of the world. I got to know Inter-Action years ago when I worked for Lee Hamilton and he was a board member.

    We appreciate all that you do around the world. And the world can be daunting place. In my job, it often seems like we are dealing with crisis after crisis – and your day can easily be dominated by responding to whatever the worst situation is around the world. But one thing President Obama always reminds us is that we need to keep our eye on the long-game – on the difference that we can make in the lives of the American people, and people around the globe.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/24/support-defend-and-sustain’-relevance-us-response-closing-civic-space

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    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Six Major Rulings from the Supreme Court″

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