Obergefell to be seated in the First Lady’s box seats at the State of the Union


Jim Obergefell

When President Barack Obama delivers his final State of the Union speech tomorrow night (Tuesday, June 12), the man whose name has become synonymous with marriage equality in the U.S. will be watching from the First Lady’s box seats.

Jim Obergefell was the lead plaintiff in the historic U.S. Supreme Court case that the court decided last June 26 in favor of equality. Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley — lead Senate sponsor of the Equality Act — invited Obergefell to attend the State of the Union address as his guest. And this morning (Monday, Jan. 15), the White House announced that Obergefel will sit in the First Lady’s box for the event.

The Equality Act is comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination legislation that would extend federal non-discriminaion protections to LGBT people in key areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, credit and education.

Merkley said his is “honored” to have Obergefell attend the State of Union address as his guest, adding that “Jim’s love and commitment to his husband and his pursuit of justice should serve as an inspiration to us all. Now, we must finish the work that we have started and ensure that LGBT Americans have full equality in all aspects of their lives.

“It’s incomprehensibly wrong that in many states, a couple could marry in the morning and legally be evicted from their apartment or kicked out of a restaurant in the afternoon,” Merkley continued. “No one knows better than Jim that we have come a long way, but as we have seen with the recent attack on marriage equality in Alabama, it’s more important than ever to keep pushing for full equality. I’m pleased to have Jim with me this week to highlight both the tremendous progress we’ve made and the important work that’s left to be done.”

The Equality Act is cosponsored by more than 200 members of Congress, and was recently endorsed by President Obama.

—  Tammye Nash

Lieberman, colleagues introduce DADT repeal in Senate

A coalition of U.S. senators led by Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman today introduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010 that would repeal the anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, signed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, that keeps lesbian and gay people from serving openly in the U.S. military.

The new bill would also prohibit discrimination against current and prospective servicemembers on the basis of sexual orientation, and it would “promote the ability of college students who wish to serve our country to join Reserve Officer Training Corps units at universities that currently prevent the establishment of ROTC units on campus.”

In a press statement released jointly by the 13 senators cosponsoring the measure, Lieberman said: “The bottom line is that we have a volunteer military. If Americans want to serve, they ought to have the right to be considered for that service regardless of characteristics such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.  Repealing the current policy will allow more patriotic Americans to defend our national security and live up to our nation’s founding values of freedom and opportunity.”

The other 12 cosponsors, all Democrats, are Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan, Mark Udall of Colorado, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Roland Burris of Illinois, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Barbara Boxer of Callifornia, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Dianne Feinstein of California, and Al Franken of Minnesota.

Levin is also chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Udall, in explaining his support for repealing DADT, quoted combat veteran and five-term U.S. senator from Arizona Barry Goldwater, who once said, “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.” And, Udall added, “you certainly don’t have to be straight to recognize who the enemy is.”сайтпоисковое продвижение сайта москва

—  admin