U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

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❤️ US Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Same-Sex Marriage !!! ❤️

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor it is unconstitutional [under the Fourteenth Amendment] for the federal government of the United States to deny federal recognition of same-sex marriage licenses, if it is recognized or performed in a state that allows same-sex marriage. Two years later on the same day, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state level bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional as well, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the entire U.S. proper and all incorporated territories.

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_legislation_in_the_United_States

 

Supporters of same-sex marriage celebrate outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Supporters of same-sex marriage celebrate outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Photographer: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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29 thoughts on “U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

  1. Friday, June 26, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    President Obama on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
    President Obama spoke about the Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case on same-sex marriage

    11:20 AM
    President Obama and First Ladt Michelle depart the White House
    South Lawn

    11:35 AM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews

    12:00 PM
    12:55 PM
    President Obama arrives Charleston, South Carolina
    Joint Base Charleston

    1:00 PM
    1:45 PM
    President Obama delivers a eulogy for state Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was one of nine victims of the June 17, 2015, shooting; Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden also attend
    College of Charleston, TD Arena Charleston, South Carolina

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:25 PM
    President Obama and First Ladt Michelle departs Charleston, South Carolina
    Joint Base Charleston

    6:00 PM
    6:45 PM
    President Obama and First Ladt Michelle arrives Joint Base Andrews

    7:00 PM
    President Obama and First Ladt Michelle arrives White House
    South Lawn

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. 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

      • June 26, 2015

        Statement by the Vice President on the Supreme Court Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges

        All marriages, at their root, are about love.

        Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that simple proposition—supported by a majority of Americans and a majority of our states—by recognizing that men marrying men and women marrying women are guaranteed the same civil rights and equal protection under our Constitution afforded to Jill and me, and to anyone else.

        We couldn’t be prouder. Over the years—in their homes, on our staff, on the frontlines of war, and in houses of worship—Jill and I have befriended countless gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans who share a love for their partners constrained only by social stigma and discriminatory laws. But today, their love is set free with the right to marry and the recognition of that marriage throughout the country.

        This day is for them, their children, and their families. And it is for generations of advocates—gay, lesbian, transgender, straight—who for decades fought a lonely and dangerous battle. People of absolute courage who risked their lives, jobs, and reputations to come forward in pursuit of the basic right recognized today, but at a time when neither the country nor the courts would protect or defend them.

        And this day is for history to remember as one where, as a nation, our laws finally recognize that all people should be treated with respect and dignity—and that all marriages, at their root, are defined by unconditional love.

      • Obama phones Jim Obergefell, plaintiff in gay marriage case

        Friday, June 26, 2015 By David Sherfinski – The Washington Times

        Before President Obama hailed Friday’s Supreme Court decision on gay marriage as a “victory for America” in a Rose Garden speech, he personally phoned one of the plaintiffs, Jim Obergefell, to congratulate him.

        “I just want to say congratulations,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Obergefell in a conversation broadcast on CNN shortly after 11 a.m. “Your leadership on this changed the country.”

        “I really appreciate that, Mr. President,” Mr. Obergefell responded. “It’s really been an honor for me to be involved in this fight and to have been able to…fight for my marriage and live up to my commitments to my husband, so I appreciate everything you’ve done for the LGBT community and it’s really an honor to have become part of that fight.”

        Mr. Obergefell’s husband John died 20 months ago of ALS, and they had wanted the state of Ohio to recognize their Maryland marriage.

        “Well, I’m really proud of you, and just know that not only have you been a great example for people, but you’re also going to … bring about a lasting change in this country. It’s pretty rare [when] that happens,” Mr. Obama said. “So I couldn’t be prouder of you and your husband. God bless you.”

    • Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges
      Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:

      Friday, June 26, 2015 justice.gov

      “Today, the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized the equality, dignity and essential humanity of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and reaffirmed this country’s bedrock principle – engraved over the entrance to the Court itself – that all Americans are entitled to equal justice under law. By putting an end to an era of state-sanctioned discrimination, the decision lights the way to a future of acceptance, inclusion and opportunity for gay and lesbian Americans and their families. It encapsulates a nation’s enormous leap of understanding – rooted in compassion, tolerance and empathy – and reflects the countless hearts touched and minds opened along the way. It vindicates an idea whose time has come at last.

      Today’s result would not have been possible without the passionate advocacy and innumerable acts of personal bravery of generations of leaders, who have fought for the simple freedom to pursue their own happiness with those whom they love. Their fight, galvanized by the Stonewall riots nearly a half-century ago, was waged in the face of pervasive bigotry and widespread resistance and its progress was never guaranteed. But after too many lifetimes of isolation, humiliation and harassment – and steeled by unimaginable courage and indomitable conviction – gay and lesbian citizens across the country bravely came out into the open and awakened the conscience of a nation. Their courage has led us to this day; to a decision from the nation’s highest court declaring them to have full and equal rights to marry in the country they fought to change; and to a victory that they have justly and finally won.

      I have no illusions that Obergefell v. Hodges spells the end of anti-gay prejudice. Difficult legal issues lie ahead and the protections written into law are not all they should be. That’s why this march must go on and why this cause will endure, until all Americans – regardless of sexual orientation – are afforded the equal rights, equal treatment and equal opportunity they deserve. But on a day like today – a day that marks a watershed moment in the progress of this movement, in the story of this community and in the history of this nation – it is proper that we pause and take stock of just how far we have come. The Justice Department is proud to have been a part of this journey, from Attorney General Eric Holder’s unwavering leadership in advancing the cause of equality to the groundbreaking progress we have witnessed today. Going forward, we are committed to standing on the side of equality – and standing with the LGBT community – to keep up the fight for safety, opportunity, dignity and justice for all.”

    • 2016 Presidential Candidates react on the Supreme Court Ruling that Marriage Equality Must Begin in All 50 States


      REPUBLICAN PARTY

      Jeb Bush (GOP Presidential Candidate):” Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the
      Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision.”

      Dr Ben Carson (GOP Presidential Candidate): “While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, their ruling is now the law of the land.”

      Chris Christie (GOP Presidential Candidate): believes that the issue “should have been decided by the people of each state rather than the court”

      Ted Cruz (GOP Presidential Candidate): “This radical decision purporting to strike down the marriage laws of every state, it has no connection to the United States Constitution,” “They are simply making it up. It is lawless and in doing so they have undermined the fundamental legitimacy of the United States Supreme Court.” “the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.”

      Carly Fiorina (GOP Presidential Candidate): “I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage”

      Lindsay Graham (GOP Presidential Candidate): “I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws.”

      Mike Huckabee (GOP Presidential Candidate): “Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision.” “tried to unwrite the laws of nature.”

      Bobby Jindal (GOP Presidential Candidate): “Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.”

      George Pataki (GOP Presidential Candidate): gay marriage a “distraction.”

      Rand Paul (GOP Presidential Candidate): …. (sound of crickets) …..two days later….….”While I disagree with Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, I believe that all Americans have the right to contract”

      Rick Perry (GOP Presidential Candidate): “I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.”

      Marco Rubio (GOP Presidential Candidate): “I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the
      most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman.”

      Rick Santorum (GOP Presidential Candidate): “is calling for an amendment that would prohibit gay marriage nationwide”

      Scott Walker (GOP Presidential Candidate): “I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake.”

      Donald Trump (GOP Presidential Candidate): backs “traditional marriage”

      ———-


      DEMOCRATIC PARTY

      Lincoln Chafee (Democratic Presidential Candidate): “Congratulations to Supreme Court on today’s good ruling for marriage equality!”

      Hillary Clinton (Democratic Presidential Candidate): “This is our country at its best: inclusive, open and striving towards true equality”

      Martin O’Malley (Democratic Presidential Candidate): “Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that marriage is a human right – not a state right.”

      Bernie Sanders (Democratic Presidential Candidate): “For too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community. I’m very glad the Court has finally caught up”

      Jim Webb (Democratic Presidential Candidate): ) Jim Webb voted against overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. “Applauded the Supreme Court’s June decision on same-sex marriage”

    • Supreme Court Changes Face Of Marriage In Historic Ruling

      JUNE 26, 2015 7:00 PM ET Nina Totenberg – NPR

      In a historic ruling Friday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriage a fundamental constitutional right not just for opposite-sex couples, but for same-sex couples too.

      But the court was closely and bitterly divided: Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for himself and the four more liberal members of the court, while the four other conservative justices each wrote their own angry dissents.

      Inside the Courtroom, as Kennedy began to read from his opinion for the court, many of the lawyers in the chamber — men and women who have litigated gay rights cases for decades — began to weep. In the seats reserved for the public there were tears too — especially from Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case, whose name forever will be synonymous with the right to marry for same-sex couples.

      Because same-sex marriage is outlawed in Ohio, he and his dying partner, John Arthur, flew by medical charter to Maryland to marry in 2013, only to find upon their return that the state would not recognize Obergefell as the surviving spouse. They sued the state to win that recognition, and though Obergefell’s husband died three months later, the lawsuit lived on — all the way to the Supreme Court on Friday.

      Justice Kennedy “got a couple of sentences into it and I just started to cry,” Obergefell said. “Because what I was hearing from him was that John and I mattered — we exist.”

      Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion that the right to marry for all couples, whether gay or straight, is fundamental and grounded in the clauses of the Constitution that protect liberty and guarantee equal protection of the law.

      “No union is more profound that marriage,” he wrote, “for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. ”

      Kennedy acknowledged that, for millennia, marriage was between a man and a woman, and that the notion of same-sex marriage has flowered only in recent decades. Indeed, he observed, for much of our history homosexual relationships were condemned as immoral — and even criminalized — and same sex couples had to keep “what was in their hearts unspoken.”

      But the past does not portend the future, he said.

      “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own time,” Kennedy wrote — something that the writers of the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment knew. So “they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”

      In that vein, he observed repeatedly, it wasn’t until 1967 that the Supreme Court struck down state bans on interracial marriage. Similarly, he said from the bench, “we hold that same sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all states.”

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2015/06/26/417840345/supreme-court-changes-face-of-marriage-in-historic-ruling

    • The World Reacts to U.S. Supreme Court Legalization of Gay Marriage

      6/26/15 huffingtonpost

      “Our work is far from over — not in the United States and not around the world. Marriage equality is one slice of the pie, but homophobia and transphobia morph into different shapes in law and practice. Nearly 80 countries still criminalize same-sex intimacy and countless prohibit so-called ‘cross-dressing,’ said Jessica Stern, the executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). “Today is not an end but a new beginning.”

      The U.S. joins just 20 other countries worldwide to recognize gay marriage, while 78 countries still discriminate against and criminalize homosexuality itself with punishments of jail or even death. Broadly speaking, countries in North and South America, as well as Western Europe have led the charge toward equality, with much of Africa and the Middle East vehemently opposed to homosexuality. In East Africa, for example, religious organizations have pushed forward more restrictive laws on LGBTs. Russia flaunted new laws limiting freedom of expression for gay people ahead of and during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, while gay Egyptians have abandoned their Arab Spring dreams of free association following arrests and intimidation.

      Many citizens of the countries that legalized gay marriage long before the U.S. expressed congratulations but also pointed out that this was a long time coming, particularly from a nation that the world views as a leader in human rights.

      And precisely because the U.S. is believed to hold such global influence, international LGBT rights advocates are asking the American government to go beyond just setting an example and actually send a clear, direct message through its foreign policy.

      For more; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-groundtruth-project/the-world-reacts-to-us-su_b_7675354.html

    • Episcopalians vote to allow gay marriage in churches

      7/1/15 By BRADY McCOMBS and RACHEL ZOLL – Associated Press

      SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the first openly gay bishop.

      The vote came in Salt Lake City at the Episcopal General Convention, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. It passed in the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay participants at the meeting. The House of Bishops had approved the resolution Tuesday by 129-26 with five abstaining.

      The Very Rev. Brian Baker of Sacramento said the church rule change was the result of a nearly four-decade long conversation that has been difficult and painful for many. Baker, chair of the committee that crafted the changes, said church members have not always been kind to one another but that the dynamic has changed in recent decades.

      “We have learned to not only care for, but care about one other,” Baker said. “That mutual care was present in the conversations we had. Some people disagreed, some people disagreed deeply, but we prayed and we listened and we came up with compromises that we believe make room and leave no one behind.”

      Baker said the House of Bishops prayed and debated the issue for five hours earlier this week before passing it on to the House of Deputies.

      The Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago, a lesbian married to a fellow Episcopal priest, hugged fellow supporters on Wednesday and said, “We’re all included now.”

      “For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our congregations now know under the eyes of God and in every single state in this blessed country, they are welcome to receive all the sacraments,” she said.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/episcopalians-vote-allowing-gay-marriage-churches-064849720.html

  3. Statement by the President on the Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

    12:20 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.

    Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.

    Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.

    Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret. When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.

    The FBI is now on the scene with local police, and more of the Bureau’s best are on the way to join them. The Attorney General has announced plans for the FBI to open a hate crime investigation. We understand that the suspect is in custody. And I’ll let the best of law enforcement do its work to make sure that justice is served.

    Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case. But I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions that tragedies like this raise. I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing.

    But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.

    The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.

    The good news is I am confident that the outpouring of unity and strength and fellowship and love across Charleston today, from all races, from all faiths, from all places of worship indicates the degree to which those old vestiges of hatred can be overcome. That, certainly, was Dr. King’s hope just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama.

    He said they lived meaningful lives, and they died nobly. “They say to each of us,” Dr. King said, “black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely with [about] who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American Dream.

    “And if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him, and that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope, and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace.”

    Reverend Pinckney and his congregation understood that spirit. Their Christian faith compelled them to reach out not just to members of their congregation, or to members of their own communities, but to all in need. They opened their doors to strangers who might enter a church in search of healing or redemption.

    Mother Emanuel church and its congregation have risen before –- from flames, from an earthquake, from other dark times -– to give hope to generations of Charlestonians. And with our prayers and our love, and the buoyancy of hope, it will rise again now as a place of peace.

    Thank you.

    END
    12:28 P.M. EDT

    • Michelle Obama lights candles in Italy for shooting victims

      6/18/15 By COLLEEN BARRY – The Associated Press

      MILAN — Michelle Obama and her daughters visited Milan’s Duomo cathedral on Thursday, where an official traveling with her said they lit candles in memory of the victims of the shooting in South Carolina.

      The first lady, dressed in black, and her elder daughter Malia were seen by photographers entering the Gothic-inspired cathedral on the unannounced stop. They were joined by the Obamas’ younger daughter Sasha and the first lady’s mother Marian Robinson, the official said.

      For more; http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/michelle-obama-lights-candles-in-italy-for-shooting-victims/

    • June 18, 2015

      Statement by the Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden on the Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

      Hate has once again been let loose in an American community. And the senseless actions of a coward have once again cut short so many lives with so much promise. Our hearts ache with sorrow with the entire Emanuel AME Church family as they seek solace and comfort in the shadow of a gunman’s act of pure evil and hatred. Our love and prayers are with them.

      We last saw Reverend Clementa Pinckney less than a year ago at a prayer breakfast in Columbia. He was a good man, a man of faith, a man of service who carried forward Mother Emaunel’s legacy as a sacred place promoting freedom, equality, and justice for all. We pray for him and his sister as we do for the seven other innocent souls who entered that storied church for their weekly Bible study seeking nothing more than humble guidance for the full lives ahead of them.

      We have no doubt the coward who committed this heinous act will be brought to justice. But as a nation we must confront the ravages of gun violence and the stain of hatred that continues to be visited on our streets, in our schools, in our houses of worship, and in our communities.

      As Mayor Riley made clear, all of Charleston’s heart bleeds today—but the overwhelming display of unity will bring forth the city’s healing. We will never forget those innocent souls who lost their lives. We will be there with all the strength and support and prayers we can offer to the families who now grieve. And as a nation we will come together.

    • June 26, 2015

      Remarks by the President in Eulogy for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney

      College of Charleston
      Charleston, South Carolina

      2:49 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Giving all praise and honor to God. (Applause.)

      The Bible calls us to hope. To persevere, and have faith in things not seen.

      “They were still living by faith when they died,” Scripture tells us. “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on Earth.”

      We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith. A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered, knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed.

      To Jennifer, his beloved wife; to Eliana and Malana, his beautiful, wonderful daughters; to the Mother Emanuel family and the people of Charleston, the people of South Carolina.

      I cannot claim to have the good fortune to know Reverend Pinckney well. But I did have the pleasure of knowing him and meeting him here in South Carolina, back when we were both a little bit younger. (Laughter.) Back when I didn’t have visible grey hair. (Laughter.) The first thing I noticed was his graciousness, his smile, his reassuring baritone, his deceptive sense of humor — all qualities that helped him wear so effortlessly a heavy burden of expectation.

      Friends of his remarked this week that when Clementa Pinckney entered a room, it was like the future arrived; that even from a young age, folks knew he was special. Anointed. He was the progeny of a long line of the faithful — a family of preachers who spread God’s word, a family of protesters who sowed change to expand voting rights and desegregate the South. Clem heard their instruction, and he did not forsake their teaching.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/26/remarks-president-eulogy-honorable-reverend-clementa-pinckney

  4. Vatican signs treaty with ‘State of Palestine’

    June 26, 2015, 10:49 am By Mark Hensch – TheHill

    The Vatican signed its first treaty with “the State of Palestine” on Friday.

    Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallagher and his Palestinian counterpart, Riad al-Maliki, placed their signatures on the agreement in the Vatican, according to The Associated Press.

    The pact affirms that the Vatican legally recognizes Palestine’s existence as an independent state and in exchange will receive authority over the Catholic Church in Palestine.

    “[It] may in some way be a stimulus to bringing a definitive end to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to cause suffering for both parties,” Gallagher said, according to the AP.
    “[It is] a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, freedom and dignity in an independent state of their own, free from the shackles of occupation,” al-Maliki added, calling it a “historic agreement.”

    For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/246247-vatican-signs-treaty-with-state-of-palestine

  5. June 26, 2015

    Statement by the Press Secretary on Attacks in France, Kuwait, and Tunisia

    The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in France, Kuwait, and Tunisia today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous attacks, their loved ones, and the people of all three countries. As the President has discussed with his French, Kuwaiti, and Tunisian counterparts in recent weeks, we are resolute and united in our shared effort to fight the scourge of terrorism.

    We stand with these nations as they respond to attacks on their soil today, and we have been in contact with appropriate counterparts in all three countries to offer any necessary support. Terrorism has no place in any society, and the United States will continue to work closely with our international partners to combat terrorist actors and counter violent extremism around the globe.

  6. West Wing Week: 06/26/15 or, “This Is Healthcare In America”

    Published on Jun 26, 2015

    This week, the President talked with podcast star Marc Maron in Los Angeles, spoke with Mayors at a conference in San Francisco, and hosted an LGBT reception back in the People’s House. The First Lady wrapped up her trip to Europe. And the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, ensuring millions of Americans will continue to receive tax credits to make their health insurance more affordable. That’s June 19th to June 25th or, “This Is Healthcare In America.”

  7. Saturday, June 27, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
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    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
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    5:00 PM
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    10:00 PM

  8. June 27, 2015

    WEEKLY ADDRESS: The Affordable Care Act is Here to Stay

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address

    The White House
    June 27, 2015

    Five years ago, we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for all. And this week, after more than fifty votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law; after a Presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law; after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, we can now say this for certain: the Affordable Care Act still stands, it is working, and it is here to stay.

    On Thursday, when the Court upheld a critical part of the Affordable Care Act, it was a victory for hardworking Americans all across this country whose lives are more secure because of this law. This law means that if you’re a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26. If you’re a senior, or an American with a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions. You can’t be charged more just because you’re a woman. And you can’t be discriminated against just for having a pre-existing condition.

    This law is working exactly as it’s supposed to – and in some ways, better than we expected it to. So far more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage. Nearly one in three Americans who was uninsured a few years ago is insured today. The uninsured rate in America is the lowest since we began to keep such records.

    The law has helped hold the price of health care to its slowest growth in 50 years. If your family gets insurance through the workplace, not through the Affordable Care Act, you’re paying about $1,800 less per year on average than you would be if trends before this law had continued – which is good for workers and it’s good for the economy.

    The point is, this is not some abstract political debate. For all the misinformation campaigns, and doomsday predictions; for all the talk of death panels and job destruction; for all the repeal attempts – this law is helping tens of millions of Americans. This isn’t just about Obamacare. This is health care in America.

    With this case behind us, we’re going to keep working to make health care in America even better and more affordable, and to get more people covered. But it is time to stop refighting battles that have been settled again and again. It’s time to move on.

    Because as Americans, we don’t go backwards, we move forwards. We take care of each other. We root for one another’s success. We strive to do better, to be better, than the generation before us, and we try to build something better for the generation coming behind us. With this behind us, let’s come together and keep building something better right now.

    Thanks, and have a great weekend.

  9. Great post, CR. Back to back court and legislative triumphs for this country and for our great President whose visionary leadership has set us back on the path of living up to our ideals. Equality and justice are still challenged by those who cling to the past and try to spread hate, but they won’t win. America is moving forward.

    >^..^<

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