This Mothers Day A Mother You Should Know: ‘Tornado Mom’ Stephanie Decker And Her “Stephanie Decker Foundation.”


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Mom loses legs saving kids from Tornado

 

Published on Mar 6, 2012

Stephanie Decker knew she had no choice but to shield her children with her own body.

 

 

 

From ABC NIGHTLINE:

 

Hero Mom, Stephanie Decker, Loses Legs Saving Kids From Tornado

 

By  and GINA SUNSERI via NIGHTLINE

 

As the sky glowered black and Stephanie Decker felt the monster tornado begin to suck her house into its vortex, she knew it would not hold and she had no choice but to shield her two young kids with her own body. She lost her legs in the process.

 

“I knew my leg was barely attached or it was severed. I didn’t know which but I knew it was bad. If I didn’t get help soon, I was going to bleed out,” Decker told ABC News, which interviewed her Monday night from her hospital bed in Louisville, Ky.

 

Decker, 37, and her family were smack dab in the middle of a tornado outbreak Friday that included 140 reported twisters, 76 confirmed landings and 39 deaths.

 

“It was nothing I expected,” the Henryville, Ind., woman said. “I never, ever thought in a million years my house would be blown away.”

 

She was determined to keep her kids safe, and her actions saved them, but at a steep cost. Not only was her home lost, but both of her legs had to be amputated late Friday — one just below the knee, the other just above it.

 

“I assumed I was safe and I heard the roar like a train, and I heard it behind me, and I knew it was coming,” she recalled today. “And it was so loud that I knew that I needed to do something different. I knew staying put wasn’t going to work.”

 

So Decker acted. She dashed down into her home’s basement with son Dominic, 8, and daughter Reese, 5. As the house began to disintegrate she tried to shield them with a comforter.

 

“My daughter said, ‘Mommy, I don’t like this,’ and I said, ‘I know honey,'” Decker said. “I could see the wind. I could see the window blew out and the house burst.”

 

She was crushed under the cascade of debris.

 

“I remember the whole thing,” she said. “I stayed conscious the whole time. I couldn’t afford [to pass out]. They needed me. They had to have me, so I had to figure out what to do. And my son is a hero. He went to get help.”

 

Both her legs were smashed. She’d also suffered a punctured lung.

 

Her children, however, were unscathed.

 

Next, it was her son’s turn for heroism. He knew his mother was hurt and he crawled out from under his mother and dashed over to a neighbor’s house.

 

“After … Dominic left,” she said, “I realized I couldn’t get out because I actually used the comforter I tied with them as a tourniquet. I knew I was cut.”

 

Help soon came. Decker was evacuated to the hospital.

 

Overnight, her husband, Joe Decker, tearfully said that the flattened house on Henryville Road had been their dream house.

 

Stephanie Decker had told her husband she always wanted to have the children’s handprints imprinted in the foundation’s cement, because “we were never gonna leave here.”

 

And there they are today. Small prints, with the “Reese,” and “D” for Dominic scrawled in the concrete, an indelible testimony to a family still intact.

 

In the wake of her injuries, a benefit fund has been set up for Stephanie Decker at Fifth Third Bank, 392 S Indiana Ave, Sellersburg, IN, 47172.

 

ABC News’ Michael S. James and Ginger Zee contributed to this report.

 

Mother Shields Children From Tornado, Loses Limbs: “World News” Person of the Week

 

Published on Mar 8, 2013

Stephanie Decker loses limbs while saving kids from incoming tornado.

 

 

 

Stephanie Decker Foundation

 

About
Supports children with prosthetics to participate in sports, and helps ordinary people gain access to extraordinary prosthetic technology.
Description
The Stephanie Decker Foundation honor the courageous mother who used her own body to protect her young children from the destructive forces of a tornado in Henryville, Indiana. She lost part of both her legs, but not her generous spirit.

 

The Stephanie Decker Foundation supports two major areas:
1) Kids with prosthetics: Stephanie and Joe love kids and sports, and they especially love kids playing sports! They want to help children with prosthetics get involved in sports and enjoy the same athletic opportunities as others.

 

2) Access to leading-edge prosthetics: Stephanie has been fortunate to have access to some of the latest high-tech prosthetics available, but many more people don’t have that same technology available to them. Stephanie and Joe want to help ordinary people get access to extraordinary technology to help them with their mobility.

 

The Stephanie Decker Foundation is part of the Community Foundation of Louisville, a public charity in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

 

Tornado Survivor Stephanie Decker Walks on Stage

 

Published on Dec 13, 2012

The last time she was here, Stephanie Decker told Ellen how she saved her children from a tornado by shielding them with her body. She lost both her legs, and promised to come back to walk on the show. Today, she made good on her promise.

 

 

 

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From Rewordit.org:

 

Stephanie Decker Starts Foundation to Help Others After Losing Her Legs in a Tornado

 

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Life is not always as we pan it out to be. Sometimes it takes some really unexpected turns that changes our lifestyle, our way of living, changing our outlook on the world as it is, for better or worse. Stephanie Decker experienced a life changing event as she lost both her legs in storm of deadly twisters in Indiana on March, 2012 while saving her two kids. Now almost a year after the tragedy, Stephanie, who is now 38, describes the sacrifice as a small price to pay for her kids’ safety. Thankfully, she is already up on prosthetic legs because of the hours of grueling physical therapy. She hardly let the painful experience slow her down, instead, she created the Stephanie Decker Foundation that aims to help kids with disabilities.

 

Stephanie says, “I’m a better person now, life goes on.” The tornado that ripped through Henryville leveled the Decker’s house on top of Stephanie as she covered her son and daughter. A steel beam crashed down on top of three of them, but she managed to escape her children from the disaster without a scratch. Stephanie says, “As parents, we sacrifice for our kids.” Even now, her routine at home is quite similar to what it used to be, Stephanie says, “The only difference is I wake up in the morning and I put legs on, there are days that I go ‘This is hard, it hurts.’ But all I have to do is take one look at my kids and it’s enough. I wasn’t going to let this stop me.” She event went as high up in reaching out to President Obama to help her access a military grade water resistant prosthetic leg so she can swim with her children.

 

Stephanie’s husband Joe says, “Stephanie’s never been one to take no for an answer, I’m so thankful I didn’t get to the house and find my wife and kids dead. Stephanie’s so strong; she’s the core of our family.”

 

Stephanie’s son Dominic recalls, “My mom and dad made us take baby steps, we’d sleep in their bed, and then sleep right by their bed, and then sleep on the couch and then sleep in the front room and then sleep upstairs.” He says his mom is a hero as she saved him. Decker family is continues to get better every day as well the Stephanie Decker Foundation.

 

Thank you Rewordit.org

Rewordit.org is online newspaper that redefines the way we view current events. Our mission is to empower people with the ability to recreate their story by acknowledging the other side of the truth.

 

 

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From PEOPLE MAGAZINE:

 

Woman Who Lost Her Legs in Tornado Starts Foundation to Help Others

 

When a storm of deadly twisters ravaged Indiana in March 2012, Stephanie Decker saved her two kids – but lost both her legs. 



Now, less than a year after the tragedy, Decker, 38 – who describes the sacrifice as a “small price to pay” for her kids’ safety – is already up on prosthetic legs thanks to countless hours of grueling physical therapy. She has barely let the traumatic experience slow her down – and instead created the Stephanie Decker Foundation that aims to help kids with disabilities. 



“I’m a better person now,” says Decker. “Life goes on.” 



The tornado that ripped through Henryville leveled the Deckers’ house on top of Stephanie as she covered son Dominic, 9, and daughter Reese, 6. A steel beam crashed down on top of the three of them, but her children escaped the disaster without a scratch. 

 

“As parents, we sacrifice for our kids,” says Decker. 



These days, her routine at home is pretty similar to what it used to be. “The only difference is I wake up in the morning and I put legs on,” she says. “There are days that I go ‘This is hard, it hurts.’ But all I have to do is take one look at my kids and it’s enough. I wasn’t going to let this stop me.” 



That determination is clear in Decker, who went as high up as President Obama to help her access a military grade water resistant prosthetic leg so she can swim with her children. 



“Stephanie’s never been one to take no for an answer,” says her husband Joe, a high school math teacher. “I’m so thankful I didn’t get to the house and find my wife and kids dead. Stephanie’s so strong, she’s the core of our family.” 



Though the kids still have nightmares, the Decker family is getting better every day, and are grateful to be together. 



The Deckers’ son, Dominic, says getting past the tragedy took a bit of time. “My mom and dad made us take baby steps,” he says. “We’d sleep in their bed, and then sleep right by their bed, and then sleep on the couch and then sleep in the front room and then sleep upstairs.” 



Asked if his mom is a hero, he says, “Yeah, because she saved me.” 



And Decker aims to help others, too. 



In December, her fledging foundation received a $10,000 donation from Shutterfly during an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres‘s show. She’s also recently partnered with NubAbility Athletics – which helps kids with congenital and traumatic amputations compete in sports – to set up scholarships for kids to attend their sports camps. 



“I should have been dead in 15 minutes,” says Decker. “But I told my kids I was going to be here and that everything was going to be okay.” 

 

Stephanie Decker and her family with President Barack Obama PETE SOUZA / THE WHITE HOUSE

Stephanie Decker and her family with President Barack Obama
PETE SOUZA / THE WHITE HOUSE

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Stephanie Decker Foundation | Facebook

 

 

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Someone You Should Know: Ms. Trista Hendren. Creator Of Rapebook.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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I must give credit to a very dynamic woman from England named Ms. Ruth Jacobs, a fighter for any and all injustices against women. She “pulled my coattail” to Ms. Trista Hendren some months ago. View Ms. Jacobs work here at her website, Ruth Jacobs.

 

Visit Ms. Trista Hendren at her Facebook page Rapebook, to get an idea of her work.

 

 

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Trista Hendren

 

Trista Hendren is the author of The Girl God series. You can read more about her projects at http://www.thegirlgod.com.

 

Books by Trista Hendren:

The Girl God by Hendren, Trista and Slettnes, Elisabeth (Dec 10, 2013)

 

Mother Earth (The Girl God) by Hendren, Trista and Slettnes, Elisabeth (Dec 10, 2013)

 

2014 Girl God Wall Calendar by Elisabeth Slettnes and Trista Hendren (2013)

 

 

Trista Hendren

 

From ABC NEWS:

 

Oregon Mom Challenges Facebook on Rape Posts, Becomes Target for Threats

 

An Oregon woman who helped create a Facebook page to fight trolls posting violent and sexual content on the website found herself the target of vicious threats and vile material posted on her page.

 

Trista Hendren, 38, of Portland, Ore., founded a page on Facebook called “Rapebook,” which aims to flag and report inappropriate and misogynistic content on Facebook. The page focuses on violence against women and children, especially rape.

 

But her dedication to removing the offensive content caused the people posting it to turn on her, she says, as first reported by ABC News’ Portland affiliate KATU.

 

“It’s a protest to make people more aware of what was happening [on] Facebook,” Hendren told ABCNews.com. “I have two young kids and I wasn’t political at all and assumed it was a safe, happy place where you were there with your friends and then I realized that it’s really not.”

 

Dealing with such material is not always straightforward.

 

The page links that posters flag to Rapebook go to inappropriate content such as pornography, graphic images depicting sexual assault, sexualization of children and photos with rape jokes on them.

 

As with any potentially inappropriate content on Facebook, if user wants to flag a photo as inappropriate, a pop-up window asks two questions. The first asks if the photo is about the user or a friend of the user. Then the user can select what their issue is with the image — they don’t like it, it’s harassing the user or it’s harassing a friend of the user.

 

If the photo is not about the user or a friend, it can be flagged as hate speech or symbol, spam or scam, graphic violence, nudity or pornography or drug use.

 

Hendren said that child pornography usually gets taken down quickly since it’s illegal, but that it is harder to get other content removed, especially if it’s crude but not illegal.

 

Facebook said that content that clearly violates their terms is removed, but content that is “distasteful” but not illegal or in violation of the terms has the right to stay up.

 

“There are a lot of rape jokes on Facebook,” she said. “It’s sad to say that some are worse than others so it’s sad to say you kind of have to pick your battles.”

 

For Hendren, the battle against ugly content took an even uglier turn when people and groups posting the material targeted her.

 

They posted hundreds of threatening messages and vulgar photos on her personal Facebook page and the group page. They found her phone number and email address and posted it online, she said.

 

“They’re pretty scary. They did actually post photos of women and girls being raped in the pictures,” she said. “The message was pretty clear — either shut down this page or we are going to make you pay somehow.”

 

One message to Hendren on the group page that was viewed by ABC News began, “I’m gonna trace your IP address then come to your house in the night in a possum suit knock you out take you back to my cellar where you’ll wake up hung from the ceiling by meat hooks…”

 

The rest of the post was graphic and violent.

 

Another post ended, “LOCK YOUR DOORS, MOTHER******S. WE’RE COMING FOR YOU.”

 

A fearful Hendren took down her personal Facebook page as well as a blog where she wrote about her children and posted photos of them. The Rapebook page is still up, but Hendren is no longer listed as an administrator.

 

“I felt like I could spend 24 hours a day every day and it would still be an overwhelming problem,” she said. “This is a problem Facebook needs to deal with. They have plenty of money, they have the technology and they just don’t want to.”

 

Facebook explained in an email to ABCNews.com that the problem is more complicated than taking down inappropriate content.

 

“There is no place on Facebook for content that is hateful, threatening, or incites violence, and we will not tolerate material deemed to be genuinely or directly harmful. We react quickly to remove reported language or images that violate our terms and we encourage people to report questionable content using links located throughout the site,” the email said.

 

“However, as you may expect in any diverse community of more than a billion people, we occasionally see people post distasteful content or make crude attempts at humor,” the email said. “While it may be vulgar and offensive, distasteful content on its own does not violate our policies. We do require that any such page be clearly marked — so users are aware that the content may be in poor taste.”

 

Hendren still wants to help combat inappropriate content on Facebook, but is relieved to be off the social media site.

 

“I’m happy to be off of it,” she said. “I don’t hang out with people who think rape is funny. Why would I want to put myself in an environment where that happens?”

 

Thank you  ABC NEWS.

 

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Mother Earth

 

Published on Mar 24, 2014

By Trista Hendren / Illustrated by Elisabeth Slettnes / ORDER at http://www.thegirlgod.com
Voiceover by Arika Rapson / http://www.arikarapson.com

 

 

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Rapebook  On FaceBook

This Facebook page is still up but not active, but if you’re like me, you’ll visit the page and “like” it anyway. I did just that.

 

Thank you Ms. Ms. Trista Hendren, who you can follow on Twitter at  @thegirlgodbook.

 

Thank you too Ms. Ruth Jacobs.

 

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MILLIONHOODIES: Movement For Justice.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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About Us

The Million Hoodies Movement for Justice is a national non-profit with over 50,000 members working to protect and empower young people of color from racial profiling and senseless gun violence through creativity and innovation.

 

Led by Founder and Executive Director Daniel Maree, Million Hoodies successfully generated global support for the arrest of George Zimmerman by collecting over 2 million petition signatures on Change.org, which became the fastest growing petition in the history of the Internet (ABC News). In 2012, Million Hoodies created a new tool to help track and document incidents of police misconduct and institutional discrimination. Million Hoodies has since collected over 2,000 incidents of misconduct in New York City alone.

 

Million Hoodies has generated millions of dollars in earned media for victims and families of senseless gun violence and received several awards, including: 2 Cannes Lions, 2 Gold Andy Awards, 2 Bronze Art Director’s Club Awards, a 2013 D&AD Silver Pencil nomination, a 2013 Webby Award Nomination for Public Service and Activism (which places Million Hoodies as one of the 5 best campaigns in the world in its category), and the 2013 Do Something Award Grand Prize, which honors world changers aged 25 and younger.

 

Our work recognizes that the conditions that caused the death of Trayvon Martin and many others like him are deeply embedded in institutional injustice and structural violence. While accountability in individual cases is important, we realize that we must attack the core inequalities in our society if we are to put a stop to the senseless deaths and systemic violence inflicted on people of color every day. Our core programs and activities include:

 

  • Institutional Discrimination
  • Gun Reform
  • Direct Action & Advocacy for Victims & Families
  • Electoral & Legal Rights
  • Education & Empowerment

#HOODIESUP!

 

Join Million Hoodies Movement for Justice

 

Become a volunteer

 

Donate

 

 

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Michael Dunn Murder Of Jordan Davis: The Trial Begins.

 

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Guess What? A Post About Race!!!


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Renewed Conversation on Stigma Facing Black Men in America

 

Published on Jul 25, 2013

The killing of Trayvon Martin provoked candid reflection from President Barack Obama on the subject of discrimination and American race relations. Nathan McCall, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. and Michael Melton join Jeffrey Brown to continue the conversation on life and perception for black men in the U.S.

 

 

 

 

Juror B29 Speaks Up: Zimmerman Got Away With Murder

 

Published on Jul 26, 2013

“The only minority member of the six-woman jury that acquitted George Zimmerman said Thursday that Zimmerman “got away with murder” and that she aches for Trayvon Martin’s grieving parents, ABC News reports.

 

“You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” said the woman, who called herself only Maddy and was earlier identified as Juror B29 during the trial. “But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence.”*

 

Juror B29 in the George Zimmerman case spoke out to ABC News, showing a very different perspective from B37, who sought a book deal and clearly seemed to favor “George.” Apparently, B29 was the one who fought for a “guilty” murder conviction, so why didn’t she keep pushing that way? What swayed the case for her, and does she truly believe in Zimmerman’s innocence? Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

*Read more from LA Times:http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/na…

 

 

 

 

 

George Zimmerman’s heroic car crash rescue appears to be a fraud

 

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From Penigma:

 

 

This was a suspicious story from the beginning.

 

We have seen news reports of protesters doing thousands of dollars of damage to be wrong. The claims of separate attacks by protesters over the Zimmerman verdict turned out to be false. Now added to the list of  false news reports appears to be the story of George Zimmerman heroically rescuing a family of four from a burning SUV.

 

The initial report was that George Zimmerman was ‘just coincidentally’ driving by after a car accident occurred, that he leaped out of his vehicle to come to the rescue of the family of four trapped inside as the vehicle caught fire, pulling them to safety. That was followed by the claim that the family he rescued had planned a press event to thank George Zimmerman, but that they canceled due to threats from Trayvon Martin supporters.

 

It appears they may have canceled the event because they did not want to be part of the fraud of making Zimmerman out to be a hero, when that story was not precisely true.

 

What did occur was that an accident occurred where a car slid on it’s side into a median. People at the scene called 911, which went to the Sanford office of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. BEFORE responding to the 911 call, News Ball.com reports that Seminole Sheriff’s Dept. Officer Patrick Rehder, a self-styled friend and supporter of Zimmerman, contacted Zimmerman by cell phone directing him to go to the accident so as to appear to be a hero.      News Ball.com also provides a social media screen capture of a curious statement about Rehder taking pleasure when someone gets credit for something they did not do.

 

Rehder’s name appears on the accident report as the responding officer; social media shows his connection to Zimmerman.

 

There were plenty of people driving by who witnessed the accident, and stopped to help the family out of the vehicle, BEFORE Zimmerman showed up, according to the 911 calls, but no ‘thank you’ press conference mentioning anyone else by name specifically was scheduled by the family, and no mention of anyone other than Zimmerman was made by the sheriff.

 

Zimmerman showed up AFTER he was called by a SCSO member according to a report at News Ball.com,  Zimmerman then got out of his car with a fire extinguisher, and apparently left without doing anything especially heroic.  You can hear the course of events here in the 911 calls; many people who were there as the accident happened stopped to get people out, and the fire and smoke problem from the calls, appeared some time after they were out of the car.  As you can hear from the calls, people were out before there was a smoke or fire problem; Zimmerman did not appear to risk his life to pull anyone out of a burning car, as was claimed. :

 

http://youtu.be/qD35RgOoy34

 

 

So, we have the claim that George Zimmerman just happened to be at the accident several days after his verdict called into question. We have established a relationship between George Zimmerman and the responding officer.

 

We have the actual extraction of the people in the accident by multiple citizens coming to the rescue who witnessed the accident, according to the 911 calls, we have the report in 911 calls that everyone was OUT of the vehicle for some time before there was any question of smoke or fire, and we have the sheriff and the victim ONLY mentioning George Zimmerman – by name. But there is no mention by anyone, especially the Sheriff’s office, of the  other ‘good samaritans’ who appear to have done the actual hard part of helping people out of the car lying on its side.

 

We have no independent verification that Zimmerman was even there, much less that he did anything heroic.  No photos, no cell phone video, no police video, no other people who were present as indicated by the 911 calls that support that Zimmerman was there, or did what was claimed – that he pulled people from a flaming car wreck.

 

That seems distinctly odd, on top of the suspicious timing of this heroic Zimmerman rescue.  Enough strange and implausible quirks make this SUV accident rescue appear fake.

 

THIS new challenge to Zimmerman’s integrity  in addition to the misrepresentation of funds donated when bail was set, as well as the conflicting statements made to police and in court, is why protesters both distrust BOTH George Zimmerman and the local Florida LEOs, and are protesting the validity of the trial verdict.  It is also part of why there is opposition to the SYG laws that make it easier for someone to get away with homicide.

 

Thank you Penigma.

 

 

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Jay-Z vs. George Zimmerman

 

Published on Jul 26, 2013

“Rapper Jay Z, who attended last weekend’s “Justice For Trayvon” rally in New York City, has spoken out for the first time on the George Zimmerman verdict with a video interview posted to his YouTube channel. In the interview, conducted by Rap Radar’s Elliott Wilson, Jay Z discusses how “angry” he was after the acquittal and describes Zimmerman as a “novice” and a “fucking mall cop” who didn’t know what he was doing the night he followed Trayvon Martin.”*

 

Rap empresario Jay-Z has been very vocal in his support of Trayvon Martin’s case in George Zimmerman’s trial for killing him, and has finally spoken out on the matter after Zimmerman’s acquittal. ‘Didn’t Trayvon have the right to stand his ground?’ he asked, calling Zimmerman a ‘novice.’ Is Jay-Z correct in his reading of racism in the U.S.? Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

 

 

 

 

 

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Subconscious racial bias in children

 

Published on Apr 6, 2012

Anderson Cooper details a 7th grader whose answers to similar scenarios differ depending on the race of the characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Look at Race Relations through a Child’s Eyes

 

Published on Apr 2, 2012

Anderson Cooper details a study that seeks to gain insight into the way black and white children perceive each other.

 

 

 

 

Kids speak their minds about race

 

Published on Apr 4, 2012

In part two of Anderson Cooper’s special report, kids give honest feedback on racial and social issues.

 

 

 

 

Anderson Cooper 360° : Study shows how children view race bias

 

Uploaded on May 18, 2010

CNN’s Anderson Cooper highlights a project that reveals how children view racial beliefs, attitudes and preferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AG Holder Attacks Texas’ GOP’s Deliberate Discrimination of Minority Voters

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting, wouldn’t you say?

 

 

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The Latest “Hot Potato” Issue: Marriage Equality


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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I am borrowing this introduction from a fellow blogger who says it best, Ms. Kstreet607 of the blog The Fifth Column….

 

“[Today] and Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear two cases dealing with same-sex marriage: Hollingsworth v. Perry, a review of California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state, and United States v. Windsor, which challenges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law preventing the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed by the states.

 

The outcomes of these cases could change the status of same-sex marriage substantially, or the Court could rule narrowly, altering little in the current marriage landscape.”

 

 

Thank you Ms. Kstreet607 & The Fifth Column.

 

Marriage Equality is not about LGBTQ community rights. Marriage Equality is all about civil rights.

 

 

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President Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage

 

Josh Earnest
Josh Earnest

May 10, 2012

 

 

President Obama – Gay Marriage: Gay Couples ‘Should Be Able to Get Married’ – ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE

 

Published on May 9, 2012

Obama tells Robin Roberts in ABC News Exclusive Interview, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, during an interview with ABC News, President Obama said, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

 

It’s no secret the President has gone through some soul-searching on this issue. He’s talked to the First Lady about it, like so many couples do.  He’s heard from folks—gay and lesbian friends, staff members in long-term, loving relationships, as well as brave young servicemen and women he got to know through the fight to end Don’t, Ask Don’t Tell.

 

He’s sat around his kitchen table with Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. As the President said during the interview, “it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently.  It doesn’t make sense to them. And frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective — not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated differently when it comes to eyes of the law.”

 

In the end, the President said, he believes it’s important to “treat others the way you would want to be treated.”We need to recognize that people are going to have differing views on marriage and those views, even if we disagree strongly, should be respected.

 

 

Newspapers across the country commented on yesterday’s news.  Let’s take a look at a few of them:

 

New York Times: “It Has Always Taken Strong National Leadership To Expand Equal Rights In This Country, And It Has Long Been Obvious That Marriage Rights Are No Exception. President Obama Offered Some Of That Leadership On Wednesday.” “It has always taken strong national leadership to expand equal rights in this country, and it has long been obvious that marriage rights are no exception. President Obama offered some of that leadership on Wednesday. ‘I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,’ Mr. Obama said in an interview with ABC News that the White House arranged for the purpose of giving Mr. Obama a forum to say just that….Mr. Obama consciously presented his change of position (he used to favor so-called civil unions but not marriage) as a personal journey. He said he thought about ‘members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together,’ and about ‘those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage.’ That process will seem familiar to Americans of his and older generations who have reached the same place, or are still getting there. Polling shows that younger Americans have firmly supported same-sex marriage for some time. Mr. Obama said denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples ‘doesn’t make sense’ to his daughters. ‘Frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective,’ he said.” [The New York Times5/10/12]

 

 

USA Today: “Symbolically, Obama’s Comment To ABC News That ‘Same-Sex Couples Should Be Able To Get Married’ Is An Important, Even Historic, Marker Of How Far Public Opinion Has Shifted.” “Symbolically, Obama’s comment to ABC News that ‘same-sex couples should be able to get married’ is an important, even historic, marker of how far public opinion has shifted. No previous president has endorsed gay marriage….To a large degree, Obama’s shift on the subject exemplifies the nation’s evolving views. Same-sex marriage is an idea that appears to be coming. (Support is at 71% for people ages 18-29 and just 21% for those 80 and older, Gallup found.).” [USA Today, 5/10/12]

 

 

Boston Globe: “President Obama’s Support For Gay Marriage Marks The End Of An Evolution For The President And, To An Extent, For The Country. Obama Based His Change Of Heart On Simple Fairness…His Commitment To Gay Marriage Puts Him On The Right Side Of History, And Demonstrates His Willingness To Embrace The Future.”“President Obama’s support for gay marriage marks the end of an evolution for the president and, to an extent, for the country. Obama based his change of heart on simple fairness — ‘when I think of members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think of soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors. . .’ — and that is the crux of the matter: Respect for the principle of equal treatment, and an acknowledgment that the human yearning for love can lead to an equally human yearning for family….His commitment to gay marriage puts him on the right side of history, and demonstrates his willingness to embrace the future. It’s never too late to do the right thing, and Obama’s conversion should be a source of pride to himself and for the millions of backers of gay marriage who urged him on.” [The Boston Globe, 5/10/12]

 

 

New York Daily News: “In A National Conversation That Has Moved With Unprecedented Speed, Wednesday Was A Landmark: President Obama Pronounced Himself Personally Supportive Of Gay MarriageObama’s Statement, Personal Though It Is, May Move The Conversation Further.” “In a national conversation that has moved with unprecedented speed, Wednesday was a landmark: President Obama pronounced himself personally supportive of gay marriage….Now, speaking with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, he explained his shift by saying of himself and the First Lady: ‘We are both practicing Christians, and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others, but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it’s also the golden rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.’ But he stopped short of declaring marriage equality a civil right — rightly leaving the issue for citizens and legislatures of states to sort out… Obama’s statement, personal though it is, may move the conversation further.” [New York Daily News, 5/10/12]

 

 

Kansas City Star: “In A National Conversation That Has Moved With Unprecedented Speed, Wednesday Was A Landmark: President Obama Pronounced Himself Personally Supportive Of Gay Marriage….The Time Is Clearly Turning. And For The First Time, The Millions Of Gay And Lesbian Americans Who Want Nothing Less Than The Full Privileges Of Citizenship Can Claim The President Of The United States As An Ally.” “In a national conversation that has moved with unprecedented speed, Wednesday was a landmark: President Obama pronounced himself personally supportive of gay marriage. In an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, Obama offered a well-crafted and nuanced explanation of how he transitioned from supporting legal rights and short of marriage for same-sex couples to endorsing legal nuptials….Unfortunately, 30 states, including Kansas and Missouri, have laws banning gay marriage. North Carolina joined the list on Tuesday with a public vote. But the time is clearly turning. And for the first time, the millions of gay and lesbian Americans who want nothing less than the full privileges of citizenship can claim the president of the United States as an ally.” [Kansas City Star, 5/10/12]

 

 

Baltimore Sun: “President Barack Obama’s Announcement That He Supports Gay Marriage Is A Heartening Development In The Campaign For Equality, And It Is Commendable That He Made His View Public Before The November Election Rather Than Afterward.” “President Barack Obama’s announcement that he supports gay marriage is a heartening development in the campaign for equality, and it is commendable that he made his view public before the November election rather than afterward…. So far, every state that has held a vote on gay marriage has rejected it. But Maryland could be the place where that streak ends, and President Obama can help. Talking about the issue might not do much to advance his electoral prospects (though it probably wouldn’t hurt them much either). But it could do a great deal to advance the cause of justice.” [Baltimore Sun, 5/10/12]

 

 

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Reactions to President Obama’s Support for Marriage Equality

 

Posted by Gautam Raghavan on May 10, 2012

 

Yesterday, in an interview with ABC News, President Obama articulated his support for marriage equality, saying “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

 

In the last 24 hours, we have received countless statements of support from individuals and organizations across the country, including labor unions, environmental groups, social justice and civil rights advocates, and organizations advocating for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

 

 

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Here are some of those statements:

 

 

AFL-CIO

“Working people believe in equality and fairness and that’s why we are happy to stand with millions of Americans and with President Obama in supporting marriage equality.

“LGBT working people face numerous inequities in the workplace and in society as they struggle to care for their families. Civil unions do not guarantee the 1,138 rights, benefits and responsibilities that are triggered by the word “marriage” under federal law.

“Most important, we should respect and honor our friends, neighbors, and family members who want to take care of their families and their loved ones – whatever their sexual orientation. We are proud to come together for a more just America.”

 

 

AFSCME

“President Obama’s announcement today recognizes a fundamental American right – that every citizen is entitled to respect and dignity, and the equal protection of our laws.  For too long, lesbian and gay Americans have been denied the right to marry the person they love, raise a family and live as equal citizens in our country. They are denied access to pension benefits, Social Security survivor benefits, family health and bereavement leave and family immigration rights.  That discrimination harms all of us, not just LGBT Americans.  We have an obligation to work to overturn unjust laws and amendments to state constitutions that codify prejudice and promote discrimination against fellow citizens.  The President deserves praise for recognizing that this issue is about equality under the law and the right of all Americans to live their lives free from discrimination.”

 

 

American Civil Liberties Union

“President Obama is doing the right thing and showing leadership by recognizing that lesbians and gays should be treated as equal citizens.  The freedom to marry whomever we love and want to share our life with is fundamental to who we are and what we stand for as a country. The fight for fairness and equal treatment under the law for all Americans took a critical step forward today.”

 

 

American Federation of Teachers

“America’s greatness has been based in large part on our continual journey toward equality. President Obama’s action today on marriage equality continues that journey. I am proud to lead an organization that has, from our founding, stood firm against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, physical disability or sexual orientation. The fight for civil rights not only in the workforce but also in every aspect of American life, is ongoing. Every American is entitled to equal shares of equality, liberty and happiness.”

 

 

American Foundation for Equal Rights

“President Obama’s words today will be celebrated by generations to come. For the millions of young gay and lesbian Americans across this nation, President Obama’s words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream. Marriage—the promise of love, companionship, and family—is basic to the pursuit of that dream. Our Constitution’s promise, the promise of liberty, is one that every generation must realize. As President Obama recognized today, the fight to secure marriage equality is the defining element of our generation’s search for greater freedom.”

 

Anti-Defamation League

“We strongly welcome the President’s endorsement of same-sex marriage equality.  It is a significant and historic step forward in the pursuit of equal opportunity, individual liberty and freedom from discrimination, and underscores the fact that no American should be denied access to the benefits of civil marriage because of his or her sexual orientation.  All citizens should be entitled to the same rights, protections and benefits.”

 

 

Center for American Progress

“We applaud the president’s decision as it is another large step toward realizing this country’s promise of equality. Indeed, President Obama today helped bend the arc of history toward justice. And his stance will be remembered as such.”

“President Obama made history today when he came out in full support of marriage rights for gay couples. Many Americans have thought about this issue and, like the president, have reconsidered their feelings about it. His journey is our journey.”

 

 

CWA

“The Communications Workers of America stands with the President and those who support equality and human rights.  We oppose all discrimination and recognize the direct linkage between civil and workers’ rights, and the attempts to divide Americans based on these issues.

Nearly ten years ago, CWA convention delegates called for full and equal rights including civil marriage, pointing out that far too many benefits and protections of civil marriage are denied to people on the basis of sexual orientation.  These often include health care and survivor benefits as well as other legal rights for partners.  It’s time to move forward. “

 

 

Empire State Pride Agenda

“We are thrilled by President Obama’s declaration of support for marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.  The President now joins the majority of New Yorkers and Americans who believe that all committed and loving couples should have the opportunity to enjoy the protections that marriage offers to them and their families.”

 

 

Episcopal Diocese of New York

The Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, XV Bishop of New York:
“I welcome President Obama’s expression of support for marriage equality for gay and lesbian people. Given that equality before the law is a fundamental principle of our republic, it seems to me that our President has reached an eminently appropriate conclusion.”

The Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, Bishop Coadjutor of New York:
“I heartily join Bishop Sisk in commending President Obama for his public statement supporting the legality of marriage for gay and lesbian couples. There is a clear and growing majority in America which believes that marriage equality is fair and just, and that it is a moral imperative for a country founded on principles of the equality of all people. We in New York can justly take pride that our state has been a pioneer in providing this equality under the law, and in the Diocese of New York we rejoice with all those who have found, in these new freedoms, the public validation of loving relationships that in many cases represent decades of shared joys and sacrifices.”

The Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, Assistant Bishop, Diocese of New York:
“I, too, heartily endorse the initiative and action of President Obama in affirming the appropriateness of marriage between persons of the same sex, and I wish to “second” the reasoning so clearly enunciated by Bishop Sisk and Bishop Dietsche.”

 

 

Equality Federation

“This is a watershed moment for marriage equality – the discussion will never be the same.  The President has taken a courageous position that will go down in history as the moment when the tide changed. The American public is moving rapidly in the direction of supporting marriage equality and the President, along with the others in his Administration, is taking his rightful place as a leader on this issue.”

 

 

 

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Family Equality Council

“This is a historic day for families everywhere… His support for our fundamental equality cannot be overstated.”

“We have long understood, deep in our hearts, that love makes a family, but there is no disputing that marriage strengthens it.  For more than 30 years, a generation of parents has focused on raising their children to love their country, support their friends and neighbors and treat all people with respect.  They have given these values to their children, but have been unable to provide them with simple legal and economic protections that other married couples count on for their kids.”

 

 

The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

We hope everyone who felt that somehow being a person of faith conflicts with being an advocate for equality will take to heart the words of President Obama and find the courage to pray and reflect on the meaning of believing in a God who is defined as love. As a network of primarily African American churches that support same-gender-loving people and their families, we know the importance of equality before the law.

 

 

Freedom to Marry

“Today, President Obama added his voice to the growing chorus of Americans who believe that all loving and committed couples should share equally in the freedom to marry. Like so many others who have made this journey – from Bill Clinton to Laura Bush, most recently Vice President Biden, and a majority of the American people – President Obama has come to know loving and committed gay couples.  Through thought and conversation about these families and their dreams and challenges, President Obama has reflected on his own values of fairness and respect for others, and completed his journey to support for the freedom to marry. He now becomes the first sitting President to join the majority of Americans whose hearts have opened and minds have changed in favor of the freedom to marry.

 

 

Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders

“President Obama has traveled a road that many Americans have traveled in recent years. Gay and lesbian couples have the same love and make the same commitment as all couples, and deserve the same recognition as full citizens. Our country’s history is one of expanding the circle of constitutional rights and protections to include more citizens, and our nation is always the better for it.”

 

 

GLAAD

“The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American.  After hearing the stories of countless couples and families, President Obama has drawn the same conclusion shared across party lines and by a majority of Americans today: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love. As our nation draws closer to a more perfect union in which every person is created equal, we are left deeply encouraged by this truly watershed moment.”

 

 

Global Justice Institute

We will not give up until Marriage Equality is the law, not only in North Carolina, but all across the United States and even the globe.  President Obama’s evolution in thought and his courage in sharing his convictions give us all hope for the kind of changes globally that will guarantee freedom and equality for everyone.  It is this conviction that gives us hope for a future where the world will live in peace with its God-given diversity.

 

 

Hadassah

“Hadassah commends President Obama for taking an important step today in showing his commitment to and respect for the LGBT community.  Hadassah has long supported LGBT rights, and we firmly believe that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that all Americans are treated equally and have equal access to the same rights.  Hadassah is committed to the preservation of rights for all people and vigorously condemns discrimination of any kind.  As Zionists, Hadassah members understand the dangers of bigotry. …

“We look forward to continuing to work with the President as he expands civil rights for all Americans.”

 

 

Hispanic National Bar Association

“The HNBA expresses its gratitude to President Obama for taking a public stance on this civil rights issue that is so important to our community.  In this day and age, it is no longer acceptable for a nation as great as ours to deprive a group of its citizens of a fundamental right, and the HNBA stands firmly with the President and all supporters of marriage equality.”

 

 

Human Rights Campaign

“Today, President Obama made history by boldly stating that gay and lesbian Americans should be fully and equally part of the fabric of American society and that our families deserve nothing less than the equal respect and recognition that comes through marriage.

“His presidency has shown that our nation can move beyond its shameful history of discrimination and injustice. In him, millions of young Americans have seen that their futures will not be limited by what makes them different. In supporting marriage equality, President Obama extends that message of hope to a generation of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, helping them understand that they too can be who they are and flourish as part of the American community. And his words remind gay and lesbian families across the country, who, like their neighbors, struggle to afford healthcare and college for their kids, pay their taxes and plan for retirement –but with the added burden of discrimination— that they do not face those challenges alone and unheard.

“Americans fundamentally believe in fairness, but many, like the President, have struggled to reconcile that core belief and the question of marriage equality. The President’s words will no doubt inspire thousands more conversations around kitchen tables and in church pews.  We are confident that our nation will continue to move inexorably toward equality and we thank the President for so boldly leading us in that direction.”

 

 

Interfaith Alliance

“President Obama’s affirmation of the right to same gender marriage today is an important and historic moment in the life of the nation.  His statement shows that he understands his role is to protect Constitutional principles over sectarian ideology.”

 

 

Lambda Legal

“We welcome the news that President Obama understands the importance of equality for all people in this country and we are excited that he joins the majority of Americans in supporting the freedom to marry.”

 

 

Metropolitan Community Churches

We are so proud of President Obama.  He listened to committed couples; he listened to his daughters whose friends have same gender parents and he listened to the message of love in the Bible. He understands that two-tiered systems are never equal and affirmed his support for marriage for all loving couples.  Through the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, President Obama heard faith leaders support marriage equality. He knows that pastors in the Metropolitan Community Churches around the world have performed thousands of marriages for loving same-gender couples for over forty years.

 

 

Minnesotans United for All Families

“Across this country, people are reaching the conclusion that it is wrong to make it illegal to marry the person you love… This is a positive development in America’s conversation on what marriage means and how the freedom to marry is intrinsic in our nation’s dedication to the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“This fall, Minnesotans will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would limit the freedom to marry for some couples. For months, we’ve been having a conversation about what marriage means to us, and that conversation is happening in every part of our state. We know limiting that freedom is not in our state’s strong tradition of practicing the golden rule, of rejecting too much intrusion into our personal lives, and of not mixing religion and politics. There is not a bone in my conservative body that tells me that we should limit the freedom to marry for committed, same-sex couples.

“As support for defeating this amendment grows across this state, I am as confident as ever that Minnesotans will defeat this freedom-limiting Amendment in November. President Obama’s announcement today is a welcome development in this ongoing conversation.”

 

 

National Association of Hispanic Publications

“This is a giant step forward for civil rights, as the President openly acknowledged support for same-sex marriage.  With this support, President Obama has liberated Americans who previously felt relegated to the shadows.  It is our hope that this is a positive step toward helping all individuals in America feel included and that this level of compassion will set the tone for upcoming civil rights issues in the country, especially with regards to the immigration debate.”

 

 

National Black Justice Coalition

“It is an honor to witness our President take such a strong stand in support of gay and lesbian couples across the country. This affirmation reinforces the Administration’s ongoing commitment to LGBT Americans and our families.”

 

 

National Center for Lesbian Rights

“President Obama has once again proven himself to be the strongest and most principled supporter of full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people ever to occupy the Oval Office. As he has done on so many other issues facing our community, the President showed his great depth of compassion and respect for the struggles faced by same-sex couples and their families and his commitment to genuine equality and justice for all people. This is an unforgettable day in our nation’s history, and one that will bring enormous comfort and hope to millions of Americans.”

 

 

National Council of Jewish Women

“NCJW hails President Obama’s decision to express his personal support for same-sex marriage. NCJW has been a staunch supporter of marriage equality and we happily welcome the president to this fight for fundamental human rights at this important time. While setbacks such as the lamentable vote yesterday in North Carolina are unfortunate, we firmly believe that supporters of marriage equality are on the right side of history. NCJW is proud to work with the President of the United States to ensure that gays and lesbians are protected equally under the law and are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

 

 

National Council of La Raza

“NCLR applauds President Obama for his historic remarks expressing support for marriage equality.  This issue is about doing the right thing and being on the right side of history.  Ensuring fairness and equality while protecting people from discrimination is at the heart of NCLR’s mission.”

“Like other Americans, Latinos have shifted their views on LGBT issues in recent years.  Acceptance and support for loving couples to have the right to marry is now shared by a majority of Latinos.

“We celebrate this historic moment with our allies in the LGBT community and with the millions of LGBT Latinos across the nation, and we look forward to working together to advance equal rights for all in the days ahead.”

 

 

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Out & Equal

“It is historic and groundbreaking for the President of the United States to state that committed LGBT couples deserve the right to marry.  Along with equal access to employment, marriage equality is fundamental to the health and well being of all Americans.  This is another important step in the movement towards progress and equality for our community.”

 

 

Outserve

“Today, we thank our President for acknowledging that we deserve the full benefits of citizenship, including marriage. We are grateful for his leadership and courage on this issue.  Those of us in military service are always conscious of the tremendous sacrifices that our partners make to support us, and we look forward to the day when that will be reflected in the support that our country gives them.”

 

 

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG National)

“Today, history was made. President Barack Obama took an historic step as the first American president in office to recognize the importance of the freedom to marry for ALL couples. He joins a majority of Americans who believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to create a loving, lasting and legal partnership—marriage—with the person they love, regardless of sexual orientation.

“The President now understands what PFLAG has said for 40 years: that there is power in sharing personal stories and that, when we do, hearts and minds can truly change as we realize our shared values of love and commitment. He has sent an important message to LGBT people, their parents, families, friends, and allies: that they are accepted for all that they are, that their enduring, loving relationships are the same as all others.

“For all of us at PFLAG who believe in the power of love and acceptance, the message the president sends to our LGBT children is loud and clear: You are loved. You are accepted. You are equal.

“We thank President Obama and welcome him to the PFLAG family.”

 

 

People For the American Way

“Today’s announcement marks a proud day for our country and for the President. For those of us who have been working towards marriage equality for many years, the impact of having the support of the President of the United States is incredibly powerful. As President Obama made clear in his comments today, marriage equality for all people is an idea whose time has come. Despite setbacks like the results from North Carolina last night, it’s more obvious than ever that the momentum is on our side.

“In recent years, more and more Americans have come to understand that preventing loving same-sex couples from getting married causes real harm to the people they care about. In families and communities across the country, Americans are coming to the same conclusion as the President: when two people make a public commitment to love and care for each other, that’s a marriage no matter what the gender of the people involved.”

 

 

SEIU

“Earlier today, President Obama joined a host of faith, civil rights, business and political leaders that have publicly voiced their support of marriage equality. The president’s support comes at a critical moment as the rights of LGBT people are under legislative attack in Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina and elsewhere. The president understands what we do – marriage equality is about family, community, love and justice.

“Across this country, right-wing Republican politicians are seeking to divide us with attacks on immigrants, the middle class, women’s health, the environment and the LGBT community – but the growing numbers of Americans who believe in marriage equality reminds us that we cannot live up to our promise as a nation until we extend equal rights to all.

“To those who have chosen to stand on the wrong side of history, we say this: There is growing momentum for equality in this country. And with each American that believes in equality, we are reminded that the continued dream of equality is our birthright, our heritage and our promise.

“For anyone who counts equality among the basic tenets of a free and just America, Pres. Obama’s announcement today is a victory.”

 

 

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

“This is a great day for gay and lesbian service members, who are living with the daily reality that while they are now able to serve openly, they and their families are treated as second-class citizens under laws like the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Certainly, the President’s leadership in repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ laid the foundation for his reaching this positive outcome. We welcome the President’s support for marriage and will work with him to repeal DOMA and all laws that undermine equality and treat our service members unfairly.”

 

 

Sierra Club

“The Sierra Club applauds the courage and conviction President Barack Obama displayed today in supporting the basic human right of same sex couples to marry. Our 1.4 million members and supporters include people of every sexual orientation, and they are all as entitled to marry the person they chose as they are to the clean air, water, and beautiful landscapes they fight to protect.”

 

 

Third Way

“We salute the President for his announcement today in support of marriage for gay and lesbian couples.  This is an historic moment for the nation for which we express our deepest appreciation to the President.”

 

 

The Trevor Project

“Today, President Barack Obama set himself apart as a role model for all Americans to support the freedom to marry, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Validating that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are fully and equally deserving of love and the commitment of marriage sends a message to vulnerable youth that they have value and can dream for the future.

“At The Trevor Project, we know that family, community and religious acceptance all play a very strong role in the safety and well-being of LGBTQ young people. Thank you, Mr. President for speaking out as an accepting ally.”

 

 

Unitarian Universalist Association

“President Obama’s announcement today that he supports the right of same sex couples to marry is a courageous step forward in the direction of justice and equality for all Americans. I applaud the President’s decision to declare his support for the freedom to marry for all loving couples. Like many Americans, President Obama says his position on this issue has evolved over the years, and today it seems clear that the arc of the universe is bending toward justice.

“The Unitarian Universalist Association called for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in 1996. Unitarian Universalists will continue to stand on the side of love for marriage equality until the freedom to marry belongs to all.”

 

 

United Food and Commercial Workers Union

“Marriage equality is an economic justice issue, and a social justice issue – and that makes it a union issue. In the UFCW, we have a long, proud history of standing up for fair and equal treatment for all workers – regardless of what they look like, where they come from, what language they speak, or who they love. These values are heartfelt. We work every day to fight discrimination and unfair treatment against LGBT people on the job. That’s why our union is a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would ensure justice in the workplace for LGBT workers. UFCW members have been negotiating equal health care coverage for same-sex couples into their union contracts all over the country for years. It’s the right thing to do, and the fair thing to do. I’m proud that the UFCW’s advocacy on behalf of families includes all families.”

 

Gautam Raghavan is an Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement.

 

 

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Tuesday is ‘Marriage Equality’s Day'; 3 More Senators Back Same-Sex Marriage

 

 

 

 

 

Everything You Need To Know About The Marriage Equality Cases At The Supreme Court

 

By Ian Millhiser on Mar 26, 2013 Of Think Progress:

 

 

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Beginning this morning, the Supreme Court will hear two cases that could recognize the right of everyone, straight or gay, to marry the person they love. The first concerns California’s anti-gay Proposition 8, and could potentiallyextend the right to marry to same-sex couples in all fifty states. The second challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and could end the federal government’s practice of denying equal benefits to couples who are legally married under state law. Here is everything you need to know to understand these cases:

 

How The Court Could Rule

– A Broad Decision: The best, and most obvious, decision would be for the justices to follow the Constitution and the clear command of precedent and extend marriage equality to all fifty states. It is fairly likely, however, that at least one member of the majority will be too cautious to require Alabama to follow the Constitution, even if they are prepared to order California to do so. If the justices punt on the Alabama question, the important question is whether they hold that anti-gay laws are subject to “heightened scrutiny,” a skeptical kind of constitutional analysis that will make it very difficult for anti-gay discrimination to withstand court review in the future.

 

 

— A One-Off: The Ninth Circuit proposed a way to strike down Prop 8 while leaving most other states free to engage in marriage discrimination (the court said that voters were not permitted to withdraw the right to marry once it had been established by the state Supreme Court). The logic of the ruling was thus confined to California. Similarly, two of the Court’s most important gay rights opinions relied on very narrow reasoning that advanced equality only incrementally. It is possible the justices will repeat this performance.

 

 

– Jurisdictional Dodges: In both cases, the Court could potentially rule that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the case, a decision that would cast a cloud of uncertainty over the rights of gay couples.

 

 

– A Stealth Attack: Several prominent conservatives are pushing a dangerous legal theory that would strike down DOMA on states’ rights grounds, and potentially endanger Social Security, veterans benefits and progressive taxation in the process.

 

 

– A Loss: Ultimately, however, it is important to remember that this is a severely conservative Court, and even so-called swing vote Justice Kennedy is a severely conservative justice. Equality could lose.

 

 

 

What To Expect From The Justices

 

– The Democratic Appointees: It would be very surprising if any of the Court’s four Democrats vote to uphold discrimination. While some commentators have noted Justice Ginsburg’s critical statements about Roe v. Wade — “It’s not that the judgment was wrong, but it moved too far, too fast” — this statement suggests Ginsburg might take an incremental approach, not that she will vote to uphold discrimination. Chance of pro-equality vote: more than 90 percent.

 

 

– Justice Kennedy: Kennedy is the author of two narrowly reasoned, but very important cases upholding gay rights. His record on gay rights is not perfect, however. Kennedy cast the key vote holding that the Boy Scouts have a constitutional right to engage in anti-gay discrimination, and he’s behaved less and less like a moderate swing vote and more and more like a hardline conservative in recent years. His vote for equality is likely, but not certain, and is more likely than not to rest on very narrow reasoning. Chance of pro-equality vote: 60-70 percent.

 

 

– Justice Thomas: Thomas is the Court’s most conservative member, but he once called Texas’ “sodomy” ban an“uncommonly silly” law, and he cares a great deal shrinking federal power until it is small enough to be drowned in a bathtub. Indeed, Thomas believes federal child labor laws and the nationwide ban on whites-only lunch counters are unconstitutional on states’ rights grounds. For this reason, it is possible he will be attracted to the claim that DOMA violates states’ rights. There’s no chance he’ll vote to strike Prop 8, however. Chance of pro-equality vote: 20 percent on DOMA, 0 percent on Prop 8.

 

 

– Chief Justice Roberts: Roberts has a lesbian cousin who will attend the marriage arguments as his personal guest, and he oncedid pro bono work on behalf of gay rights activists when he was an attorney in private practice. Nevertheless, Roberts remains very conservative and has a long record of criticizing decisions that read the Constitution’s promise of equality broadly. If Roberts does vote with a pro-equality majority, it is just as likely that he will do so in order to wrest control of the opinion and narrow it as he would to extend the blessings of liberty to gay Americans. Chance of pro-equality vote: 10 percent.

 

 

– Justice Alito: Alito is probably the toughest conservative questioner on the Court, and he has emerged as a strong advocate for whatever outcome conservatives prefer. Chance of pro-equality vote: less than one percent.

 

 

– Justice Scalia: In past opinions, Scalia compared homosexuality to murder, drug addiction, bestiality, incest and child pornography. Chance of pro-equality vote: 0 percent. Chance his opinion will accuse pro-equality justices of kowtowing to the “homosexual agenda”: 99.99 percent.

 

 

 

Surging Support For Marriage Equality

 

– Marriage Equality Has Strong Bipartisan Support: Retired Judge Vaughn Walker, the first judge to strike down Prop 8, is a Republican appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush. Three of the court of appeals judges that voted to declare DOMA unconstitutional are Republicans. 131 top Republicans, including six former Republican governors, filed a brief supporting marriage equality.

 

 

– The American People Support Marriage Equality: Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Among adults under 30, support is at 81 percent.

 

 

The Constitution guarantees “the equal protection of the laws” — and that includes same-sex couples. As the Supreme Court has explained, this guarantee is most robust when applied to groups that experienced a “‘history of purposeful unequal treatment‘ or been subjected to unique disabilities on the basis of stereotyped characteristics not truly indicative of their abilities.” LGBT Americans undoubtedly fit this description, and thus neither DOMA nor Prop 8 can stand.

 

 

Thank you  Mr. Ian Millhiser & Think Progress

 

 

I have witnessed so many people of color acting like fools over this Marriage Equality issue. The same fools who marched & fought for equal civil rights in the tumultuous 60’s, are against equal rights for those members of The LGBTQ community.

 

I am wondering why Black Americans think equal rights is good and necessary for them but not good and necessary for others who differ from them?

 

Sounds like a caucasian racist idea from 1964 to me.

 

 

 

for-all

 

 

 

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