I wish politicians in America felt they could speak and let go like this. An absolutely phenomenal speech by Maurice Williamson, MP for Pakuranga, New Zealand, during the third marriage equality bill reading.
Birth control was illegal 97 years ago, when Margaret Sanger and her sister, Ethel, opened a clinic in a tiny storefront in Brooklyn — the first Planned Parenthood health center. For 10 cents apiece, women could get information about family planning. From the very first day, women lined up down the block with baby buggies and babies in their arms.
Back then, it wasn’t unusual for women to have eight or 10 children, and women routinely died in childbirth. Margaret’s own mother had died at the age of 48, her body literally worn out from having 11 children and seven miscarriages.
Ten days after Margaret opened her clinic, she was arrested and thrown in jail — where she taught her fellow inmates about birth control. And the Planned Parenthood movement was started.
In 1960, the pill was approved as a contraceptive by the FDA and began to change women’s lives dramatically. But we still had to fight. It wasn’t until 1965 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that married couples had a right to use birth control, in a case heard on behalf of one of Planned Parenthood’s great leaders. Since then, we’ve spent decades trying to make birth control more affordable by getting health insurance coverage that includes birth control, like it does any other preventive care.
Today we are closer than ever to realizing that promise. This morning, the Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidance for implementing the birth control benefit of the Affordable Care Act. The proposed regulations released today make clear that women will have access to birth control at no cost, no matter where they work.
Regulations like this can get confusing. Here’s the bottom line: places of worship are exempt from the birth control benefit, and they always have been. Today’s regulations don’t expand the group of employers that are exempt. Instead, the regulations simplify the definition of who is exempt, and they map out how women at other religiously affiliated employers (like schools and hospitals) will get birth control at no cost.
Ohio GOP rep flatout says he wants to keep blacks from voting, claims he thought he was ‘off the record’
Tonight the Plain Dealer reports that the Ohio Republican Party is trying desperately to do damage control on Doug Preisse, Franklin County GOP chairman and one of John Kasich’s closest advisers, who admitted Republicans want to restrict voting hours to decrease the likelihood that African American voters can make it to the polls.
According to Preisse: ‘We shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.’
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern called the comments ‘patently racist’.
The Ohio Republican Party’s response?
‘Preisse thought his comments to the Dispatch were off the record’
There wasn’t a lot of ambiguity in Preisse’s comments, he said what he meant and he said it clearly: The old process made it too easy for African Americans to vote and the new policy will effectively, and with my full support, disenfranchise thousands of black voters. He even told the Dispatch in response to a similar question: ‘bullshit. Quote me!’
(H/T: Expand your Ground)
Now, in all fairness, it is not that uncommon for political and other public figures regularly in the news to go “off the record” when speaking to reporters they know well.
When I studied journalism, we learned that “off the record” is always a gamble because the speaking party must trust that the reporter is actually going to keep the conversation private. Most good reporters will honor these requests as they have no desire to burn sources and thus eliminate their access to them.
But you always, always make it EXPLICITLY CLEAR that what will be said is to be “off the record” BEFORE you say it.
My professor even specifically said that if a source makes a comment and then says at the end “Oh and by the way, that was off the record”, you do NOT have to treat it as such because no “off the record” condition was in place when he or she actually made the comments.
Of course the best course of action if you want something to truly stay “off the record” is don’t even say it near a reporter in the first place.
And that’s something the GOP apparently has yet to learn.
Join the team: http://my.barackobama.com/backwardsvid
President Barack Obama affirms his personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, but Romney supports the first constitutional amendment to discriminate and deny rights.
Hat tip: Politicususa.com
Obama Campaign Pushes Back Against Mitt Romney’s Bigotry
By: Sarah Jones
May 10, 2012
Wow. This is just so easy.
The day after President Obama made history by becoming the first sitting president to openly support marriage equality, Mitt Romney has been outed as a vicious, bullying homophobe and the Obama campaign came out swinging against Mitt’s bigotry.
The new Obama campaign video pointing out that Mitt Romney is to the right of George W Bush on the issue of gay marriage is the cherry on top of a very bad day for Mitt.
Continue reading at Politicususa.com.
Driving through a country highway for the better part of four hours, west of the holy city of Allahabad, brings you to Bundelkhand.
It’s an arid region, with forests, hills and ravines - one of India’s poorest and least-developed areas where only the toughest survive.
As we arrive in Barghar, a small town in the Manikpur constituency, we notice a large crowd of women gathered by the side of the road. All of them are dressed in pink.
This formidable woman has built her reputation as the head of a group of women who over the past few years have targeted corrupt policemen, wife-beaters and men who abuse or assault women.
They often, quite literally, take the law into their own hands as they beat the wrongdoers with wooden clubs.
“We realise we are not strong enough to carry out our plans of emancipating women and getting rid of poverty”, says her close aide, Suman Singh Chauhan.
“We don’t have money or power. So we need to get one of our own into politics. If we get one person elected, we’ll become powerful.”
Sampat Pal agrees.
“We have tremendous support on the ground because of our reputation. Women make up half of the population and yet have so little political power.”
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.”
The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage in a new year address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican in which he touched on some economic and social issues facing the world today.
He told diplomats from nearly 180 countries that the education of children needed proper “settings” and that “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman.”
“This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself,” he said.
The Vatican and Catholic officials around the world have protested against moves to legalize gay marriage in Europe and other developed parts of the world.
One leading opponent of gay marriage in the United States is New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whom the pope will elevate to cardinal next month.
Dolan fought against gay marriage before it became legal in New York state last June, and in September he sent a letter to President Barack Obama criticizing his administration’s decision not to support a federal ban on gay marriage.
In that letter Dolan, who holds the powerful post of president of the U.S. Bishops Conference, said such a policy could “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions.”
You can read the whole thing at: dailymail.co.uk
So basically the mesage is mankind is doomed to destruction because people of the same gender choose to love each other. Who cares about wars, famine and climate change, we gotta stop the gays from marrying!
These kind of statements get very tiresome to me. I may be a Christian but I can honestly say I don’t have a hatred of gay marriage, nor do I consider gays second class. In fact I respect the hell out of them for the kind of crap they have to put up with, mostly from other “believers”.
A touching story of one woman’s successful request for equality.
The tribe has about 1,000 members and these meetings are one of their biggest gatherings.
PURSER: And then everyone voted and everyone said, aye. And I just…
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
PURSER: I could have fallen down, I was so shocked. It was one of the best moments of my entire life.
LEONARD FORSMAN: It really was no huge obstacle for the tribe in a political or cultural sense.
JONES: Leonard Forsman is the chairman of the tribe’s governing council. The tribe’s attorney revised its marriage ordinance to include same-sex marriage. And this month, the seven-member council unanimously approved it.
Forsman sconcedes some tribal members may disagree with gay marriage, but he says they disagree more with discrimination.
FORSMAN: We don’t go out and try to brand people if we can help it, because we were branded as being lazy or being uneducated. We don’t want to have those same things applied by our tribal government onto others.