Massachusetts Sues Federal Government Over Definition of Marriage

The Associated Press
July 8, 2009
Massachusetts, the first state to legalize marriage equality, sued the U.S. government Wednesday over a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The federal Defense of Marriage Act interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. [Link]

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Obama needs to move on gay rights

The Daily Nebraskan
July 7, 2009
A New York Times/CBS News poll recently showed that 57 percent of people younger than 40 support marriage equality, compared to only 31 percent of the 40-plus crowd. A whopping 75 percent of all age groups support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the ban on homosexuals in the armed forces. Six states have already legalized the freedom to marry. It’s time for the federal government to do the same. [Link]

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Obama, Lincoln, and Gay Rights

The Atlantic
July 2, 2009
Sean Wilentz's criticism of several books on Lincoln--and his general objection to the "two Lincolns" narrative that rejects the fact that Lincoln was anti-slavery to begin with, may offer some insight into President Obama's perplexing stances on gay rights. Lincoln made a number of statements, that, viewed out of context, would cause us to question his commitment to ending slavery. It's possible, indeed probable, that Obama's slow progress on gay rights may be the kind of political maneuvering Lincoln displayed prior to the Emancipation Proclaimation or the recruitment of black soldiers. [Link]

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Obama said the right thing in calling for repeal of DOMA

The Philadelphia Inquirer
July 2, 2009
President Obama extended an olive branch to gay-rights activists last week who are upset that he hadn't moved fast enough on issues important to them. Obama campaigned on a promise to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, and to overturn the military's "don't ask, don't tell" rule, which bars gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Obama told the gay and lesbian audience he invited to the White House to mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion to judge him not by the "promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps." [Link]

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OPINION: The New Republic: Obama—Ask For Gay Rights

NPR.org
July 6, 2009
During the campaign, Obama said all the right things (well, almost all—like most national politicians, he wouldn't endorse marriage equality). He invoked the importance of winning "equality" and "dignity" and "respect" for gays and lesbians. Now he is president, and one of the perks of being president is that you get to lead. But, when it comes to gay issues, leading does not seem to interest this White House. [Link]

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Same-sex unions a challenge for Census

USA Today
July 5, 2009
The Census Bureau faces logistical challenges next year in classifying legally married same-sex couples as married. The agency has said that the 2010 Census will report the number of married same-sex couples for the first time, a decision that thrills gay-rights advocates. It may seem like a simple change, but adjusting how the Census tallies people is not a simple matter, requiring everything from redesigning computer programs to testing accuracy. Today, six states allow same-sex marriage. Last month, the Obama administration extended some job benefits to gay partners of federal workers and said it wants to ensure that same-sex couples "are accurately reflected in Census reports." [Link]

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One Birthday, One Reception and Some Very Hard Work

Out For Justice (NCLR Blog)
June 30, 2009
Kate Kendell, Esq. of The National Center For Lesbian Rights talks about her whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. with her 13-year-0ld son, Julian, to attend President Obama's LGBT reception in the East Room of the White House. "It was clear to me that the President believes in full equality as a core value, a human value. That fact is reassuring. It is also clear that we as a community must continue a relentless drumbeat, insisting that the President act NOW to do all he can to make that commitment to equality a reality." [Link]

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The President and First Lady Michelle Obama host a reception for LGBT Pride Month

The White House
June 29, 2009

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OPINION: 40 Years After Stonewall, Still Second-Class Americans

The New York Times
June 27, 2009
It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama - we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places. [Link]

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Representative Jared Polis on DOMA and that DOMA brief

AMERICAblog
June 29, 2009
Congress is in recess, so Rep. Polis was in his district Monday, not at the White House party. For those who don't know him yet, Polis is an openly gay, first-term Democrat from Colorado. Chuck Todd interviewed Polis on Hardball about Obama and gay issues. I found the DOMA segment particularly interesting. Polis made it quite clear that the problem was the DOMA brief. Polis explained, as we and many others have explained, that the Obama administration didn't have to defend the law and certainly didn't have to respond in the way they did:



[Link]

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