Read my reaction to the speech.
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I’ve seen some reactions to my weekly message, that I gave the President a free pass not to fulfill his campaign promises until 2017.Many other blogs objected to Solmonese's statement because they misinterpreted him as saying that we had to wait until 2017.
Here’s something from what I wrote that the authors didn’t include in their pieces: “I predict great things coming out of our work with this President, but that does not mean that I am satisfied today. Our community cannot be satisfied so long as DOMA is on the books and an inclusive ENDA is not.“
I am not satisfied.
HRC is not satisfied.
Do I believe we’ll have a good track record by 2017? Yes. But the President can’t deliver on his promises alone. It will take all of us working together.
It shouldn't be difficult to see why the president of the United States speaking to the nation's largest LGBT rights group is a good development for LGBT people. But at this point in time, it is hard for many among us to see. The substance of the feeling is this: he promised us the world, and we gave everything we had to elect him. But what has he done?Read the full email at Pam's House Blend.
I've written that we have actually covered a good deal of ground so far. But I'm not going to trot out those advances right now because I have something more relevant to say: It's not January 19, 2017.
That matters for two reasons: first, the accomplishments that we've seen thus far are not the Obama Administration's record. They are the Administration's record so far. If you ask "is that all" my question to you is "is that all you think we're going to push for?" It isn't.
I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will look back on the President's address to my community as an affirmation of his pledge to be our ally. I will remember it as the day when we all stood together and committed to finish what Senator Kennedy called our unfinished business. And I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will also look back on many other victories that President Barack Obama made possible.
Sponsors of California's ban on same-sex marriage asked a federal judge Thursday to suspend his order requiring them to disclose campaign strategy documents while they try to persuade an appeals court to overturn it.Cooper goes on to complain that being forced to hand over such sensitive documents will not only violate their First Amendment rights, an argument which Walker originally shot down, but also would force future campaigns to curtail their speech with donors and volunteers.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued the order Oct. 1 at the request of lawyers for same-sex couples challenging Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. They say notes and e-mails between planners of last year's Prop. 8 campaign might help them prove that the ballot measure was motivated by anti-gay discrimination.
Lawyers for the Yes on 8 campaign say voters were entitled to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage and that the organizers' alleged motives are irrelevant. In Thursday's filing, they asked Walker for a stay while they sought immediate review of his order in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Even the fact that Gendron requested an opinion on the controversial law proved controversial.Sorry Emrich, just because the attorney general has spoken before, with good reason, against your attempt to strip LGBT citizens of their rights, doesn't make her professional view of the law wrong. Have you considered that the reason she spoke out against your attempt to veto LD1020 is because it is contrary to Maine's law? And that YOU'RE LYING!
The Rev. Bob Emrich, a member of Stand for Marriage Maine's executive committee, noted that Mills testified in support of the bill to legalize same-sex marriage at a public hearing in April.
And, he said in a written statement, Gendron is a member of the administration of Gov. John Baldacci, who has supported same-sex marriage.
"Commissioner Gendron asking Attorney General Mills for an unbiased opinion on Question 1 smacks of a political stunt," Emrich said. "Hopefully, Attorney General Mills will not allow her department to be misused in such a manner."
Leave it to Northern District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker to tangle with an issue that is ripping the federal judiciary apart.I wouldn't be surprised if a broadcast of the trial does occur, that it would be a ratings success given the high impact of this case. However, the national Judicial Conference advises against cameras for district courts, and Judge Walker's Ninth district usually goes by this rule-of-thumb. He'll need permission from the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, but Legal Pad says they may go for it.
After a hearing last month in the challenge to Prop. 8, Walker summoned the parties into his chambers for a little chat — out of the press’s earshot. Turns out Walker wanted to float the idea of broadcasting the January trial, but not just to an overflow room in the federal building. He wanted to know how the lawyers felt about making the trial available for broadcast on a television station, according to a letter filed in the case.
Among men, the measure is rejected by a 4-point margin; among women, it is approved by 12 points -- a 16-point gender gap. 72% of Republicans say they will vote to reject; 72% of Democrats say they will vote to approve; independents reject by a 13-point margin. In Metro Seattle, the measure is approved by 18 points; in Eastern Washington, it is rejected by 18 points. Western Washington voters outside of Metro Seattle are more divided, with an 8-point margin voting against the referendum.With Seattle making up 53% of the state's electorate, a strong GOTV campaign is needed to be sure LGBT allies come out and vote on the measure.
More than 350 lawyers from across Maine - from Kittery to Fort Kent - who teach, practice and write law in the state, have signed a statement rebutting the misinformation and distortion created by the Question 1 campaign ads, and urged voters to reject the ballot measure and support marriage equality.Below is the letter from the lawyers.
"These ads are a blatant distortion of the law," said Michael Asen, a Portland attorney who has been active in the NO on 1 campaign. "As legal professionals, many of us felt a responsibility to stand up and make sure Mainers know the truth about the law."
The statement entitled Lawyers for Marriage Equality is divided into two categories - what the marriage equality law does and what it doesn't do. It makes clear that the law, enacted in May, does not threaten the tax exemption status of churches, has nothing to do with schools or curriculum, and will not lead to law suits. The full text is attached.
According to Jane S. E. Clayton who practices law in Bangor, Maine's law ends discrimination while protecting the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty of both houses of worship and individuals.
Identifying themselves as coming from all political affiliations, the lawyers add that we know Maine and still have our common sense. Our opponents are not only wrong on the facts, they are purposely sounding false alarms.
The lawyers' statement was prompted by one political advertisement that focused on a Boston College law professor who warned of dire changes under the new law.
The ad is trying to divert attention away from the central issue which is to make sure that all Maine couples and families are treated equally - that's what this law does, said Jon Doyle, an Augusta attorney who has practiced law in Maine for 48 years and is active in the NO on 1 campaign. The law was carefully written to protect religious liberties and in no way impacts what's taught in our schools.
Maine's new marriage law protects religious freedom and guarantees equal protection under the law for all Mainers, added Lewiston attorney, Jodi Nofsinger.
Included with the letter was a September 18th legal memorandum, which methodically rebutted the Question 1 campaign distortions. It was signed by Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell, Speaker of the House Hannah Pingree, Representative Emily Cain, former Attorneys General Steve Rowe and James Tierney, Dean Peter Pitegoff*, University of Maine School of Law and Professor David Cluchey*, University of Maine School of Law.
*University listed for identification purposes only, not endorsement.
A Democrat in the White House. Demands for sweeping civil rights protections. Religious opponents working to undo a string of state-based victories.Read the rest of "30 years after gay march, activists head to DC."
That was the backdrop in 1979 when gay rights activists staged their first national march in Washington. Thirty years later, with the landscape looking much the same, thousands of advocates are preparing to rally again in the nation's capital this weekend.
And they are demanding many of the same things: a bill to outlaw job discrimination based on gender, a law that would treat attacks on gays as federal hate crimes, and a presidential order allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
Pro-LGBT Picket of Obama This Saturday Moved from White House to HRC GalaOthers are just as equally non-plussed. GOProud, a group broken off from the Log Cabin Republicans, quickly issued this video:
In reaction to the announcement yesterday that President Obama will address a black tie fundraising gala of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Saturday, October 10th, organizers of a pro-LGBT picket originally scheduled for that night at the White House have instead moved the picket to the site of the HRC gala. The picket will begin at 6 PM in front of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, on the northeast corner of Mt Vernon Place NW and 9th Street NW, Washington, DC.
While the picket organizers will be participating in the Sunday, Oct. 11th Equality March, they charge that the march organizers have been going easy on the Obama administration and the Democratic Party in general. Barack Obama was long on pro-gay promises during the campaign, they say, yet short on delivering on them once he took power in late January.
“The time for talking is over,” said Andy Thayer of the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (www.GayLiberation.net), one of the two organizations sponsoring the picket. “This President promised to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he promised to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he promised to pass the pro-LGBT Employment Non-Discrimination Act and a whole host of other things. Instead, he’s delivered on nothing while embracing anti-gay bigots Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin. The last thing we need is more flowery rhetoric in front of rich, self-effacing gays and lesbians dressed up like penguins.”
The picket is cosponsored by the Dallas-based direct action group, Queer Liberaction (queerliberaction.moonfruit.com), a group which played a leading role in organizing an effective community response to the violent police raid on a Fort Worth bar. ”The Obama administration has likened LGBT relationships to incest and bestiality,” said Queer Liberaction co-founder Blake Wilkenson. “He cited his ‘Christian beliefs’ for the reason why he now opposes equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. He refuses issue a stop-loss order to prevent purges of lesbian and gay soldiers. If we are going to get real change out of this White House, we need to make demands of this President. As the great anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass put it, ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’”
For more information about the Saturday, October 10th pro-LGBT picket of President Obama, contact the Gay Liberation Network at LGBTliberation@aol.com or 773.209.1187, or Queer Liberaction at LGBTliberaction@gmail.com or 214.679.6321
More information can also be found at the Facebook event for the picket.
Asserting itself as a powerful advocate for gay rights, the Microsoft Corporation donated $100,000 to the campaign trying to approve Referendum 71, a report filed today with the state Public Disclosure Commission shows (.pdf).Microsoft's contribution surpasses all the donations combined for the opposition's campaign which continues to deceive voters into thinking this a marriage issue when it's not.
This took guts. Microsoft's brazen role in R-71 will outrage the Ken Hutchersons of the world, who pressured Microsoft for years to back off from supporting gay-rights legislation.
Watch the current Yes on 1 ads in Maine and you’ll see some familiar faces. Yes, right there on your TV screen you’ll see Robb and Robin Wirthlin bemoaning the fact that their child’s teacher read the book King & King to the class. Why do they look familiar? It’s exactly the same footage used in the Yes on 8 campaign spots from California last year.Read more of Jane's post to find out why the supposed law professor and public school teacher in the ads are anything but.
“In each, according to our opposition, a young child is hurt or damaged when exposed to a book that depicts a gay couple as happy and healthy. This message – ‘your kids are in danger’ — is a lie designed to frighten and polarize voters, including but not limited to young parents of young children. This misinformation is what our opposition relied on as far back as Anita Bryant’s 1977 ‘Save the Children’ campaign, and they’re using it again in Maine this year,” according to David Fleischer, media analyst and Lead Organizer of the LGBT Mentoring Project in New York.
In Maine, you’ll also see a school teacher promising that homosexuality will be taught in public school and a law professor promising “a flood of lawsuits.” Meanwhile there is a casting call for a ‘Yes on 1’ commercial looking for a “working waitress type” and a “teacher type,” according to a recent article in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. Sound familiar?
What may not sound familiar is the reaction these tactics are garnering in Maine. In his October 2nd Real Mainers step up for ‘No on 1’ ads, Bill Nemitz calls out the opposition for its subterfuge. He begins with pointing out that the handsome traditional family featured on the Stand for Marriage Maine website is actually clip art and calmly and systematically picks apart the spokespeople for the Yes on 1 campaign as not what they purport to be.
Mr. Obama’s appearance on Saturday at the annual dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, represents a significant show of support for gay rights at a time when many prominent gay and lesbian activists have been questioning the president’s commitment to their issues.Former top adviser to Bill Clinton, Richard Socarides, who in May wrote of his impatience with Obama and his lack of movement on LGBT rights, spoke to the AP on this new development.
His appearance will mark only the second time a sitting president has spoken to the Human Rights Campaign. The first time was in 1997 when Bill Clinton spoke to the group. That was the first time a sitting president had ever addressed a gay rights organization.
Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are gripped with a renewed sense of urgency in their effort to pass healthcare reform. As the Finance Committee continued into the second week of marking up its bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) surprised colleagues on Wednesday by canceling a weeklong Columbus Day recess. Reid’s move came after White House officials publicly called on lawmakers to pass a final bill by Thanksgiving. This ambitious timetable is more than a month before the goal set by congressional leaders, which is to pass a bill by the end of the year.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Endorses the March
[Saturday] night, at Josh Wood's 'Get on the Bus for Equality' benefit for the National Equality March (following her SNL appearance) at Santos Party House in NYC, Lady Gaga urged the crowd to attend the March, and said that she'll be marching:
"I really believe in this cause, and as a woman in pop music I think that this is really an important weekend, and it's not a fucking joke. So get your asses to D.C. and wear something fabulous, and I'll see you guys there."
Someone could have told her it's the National Equality March, and not the Gay Pride March, but it's the action that counts...