June, 2015

Gay Rights Leaders Move to Next Battle

“Exhilarated by the Supreme Court’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, gay rights leaders have turned their sights to what they see as the next big battle: obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in employment, housing, commerce and other arenas, just like those barring discrimination based on race, religion, sex and national origin,” the New York Times reports.

“The proposals pit advocates against many of the same religious conservatives who opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, and who now see the protection of what they call religious liberty as their most urgent task.”

Trump Escalates Feud with Univision

Donald Trump’s “fight with Univision is heating up. On Friday he published an anchor’s personal phone number, called for the resignation of a top executive and banned all of the channel’s executives from using Trump’s golf course in Miami,” CNN reports.

Wrote Trump in a letter: “Under no circumstances is any officer or representative of Univision allowed to use Trump National Doral, Miami.”

He added a P.S.: “Please congratulate your Mexican Government officials for having made such outstanding trade deals with the United States. However, inform them that should I become President, those days are over.”

Quote of the Day

“Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”

— Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissenting opinion on same-sex marriage.

GOP Hopefuls Denounce Gay Marriage Ruling

“Across the country, among people of all ages and religions, the acceptance of same-sex marriage has grown with stunning speed. But not in the leadership of the Republican Party,” the New York Times reports.

“There is a striking unanimity among the candidates who are running for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016: Not one supports allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. And after the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to marriage for all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, the degree of difference among the candidates was largely a matter of how aggressively they would continue to resist.”

Obama Won’t Be a Lame Duck

With the amazing events of the last 10 days, David Remnick says the idea that President Obama “would play out his Presidency, after the political defeat of the midterm elections, as a professorial lame duck turns out to be without basis. And that gives a certain weight to his remarks in early 2014.”

Said Obama: “We’re on this planet a pretty short time, so that we cannot remake the world entirely during this little stretch that we have. … But I think our decisions matter. And I think America was very lucky that Abraham Lincoln was President when he was President. If he hadn’t been, the course of history would be very different. But I also think that, despite being the greatest President, in my mind, in our history, it took another hundred and fifty years before African-Americans had anything approaching formal equality, much less real equality. I think that doesn’t diminish Lincoln’s achievements, but it acknowledges that, at the end of the day, we’re part of a long-running story. We just try to get our paragraph right.”

“It turns out that this was not, for Barack Obama, a rhetoric of resignation at all, but a kind of resolve.”

Two States Still Resisting Gay Marriage Ruling

“Within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday, gay couples were exercising what the justices said is their constitutional right to marry in states that have long denied them. Of the 14 states where such unions were illegal prior to the ruling, all but two have allowed marriages to proceed,” the Washington Post reports.

“In Louisiana, the attorney general’s office said in a statement that it found ‘nothing in today’s decision that makes the Court’s order effective immediately.’ There have not yet been reports that same-sex marriage licenses have been granted anywhere in the state. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood instructed residents that the Supreme Court decision doesn’t yet apply to the state because Mississippi is entangled in a legal order from an ongoing gay marriage lawsuit.”

Sanders Pulls In $8.3 Million Online

Sen. Bernie Sanders “has raised at least $8.3 million online through June 17,” the New York Times reports.

“His campaign won’t file its initial report until July 15, but filings by ActBlue, the online fund-raising committee that serves as a conduit for Democratic campaigns, show that Mr. Sanders has brought in more money in May and the first half of June than any other Democratic candidate using ActBlue.”

Bizarre Drama Continues for Colorado Republicans

“The bizarre story of how Colorado Republicans turned on the state party chairman they helped get elected took another strange twist,” the Denver Post reports.

“The state Republican Party says its attorney approached the state’s top prosecutors — some believe what happened to chairman Steve House amounts to blackmail or extortion — although it’s unclear what concerns were raised… House claimed that Coffman, former Congressman Tom Tancredo and Pueblo GOP chairwoman Becky Mizel met with him and ‘threatened that a potential lawsuit may be filed and that false rumors that I have been unfaithful to my wife would be made public’ if he didn’t resign.

Colorado Pols has the latest.

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Gay Marriage Upheld by Supreme Court

“In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage,” the New York Times reports.

“The 5-to-4 decision, the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of same-sex marriage. As in earlier civil rights cases, the Supreme Court had moved cautiously and methodically, laying careful judicial groundwork for a transformative decision.”

Wall Street Journal: “The opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy caps a rapid shift in legal and societal acceptance of same-sex marriage over the past decade. It also marks a revolution in American society, one that in the course of a generation saw gay rights move to the front line from the fringes of a national debate over the meaning of equality.”