Breaking: Elizabeth Edwards Has Passed Away

Local press in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is reporting that Elizabeth Edwards has passed away. From WRAL‘s Elizabeth Edwards dies:

Chapel Hill, N.C. – Elizabeth Edwards, the political wife whose public battle with breast cancer, coping with marital infidelity and continued advocacy for the downtrodden raised her profile above that of her husband, died Tuesday. She was 61.

Edwards died at her Chapel Hill home, where family and friends had gathered in recent days after doctors informed her that her cancer had spread and recommended that she not undergo further treatment.

CNN confirms the story.

UPDATE FROM PAM: The statements from the White House:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 7, 2010

Statement by the President on the Passing of Elizabeth Edwards

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards.  This afternoon I spoke to Cate Edwards and John Edwards, and offered our family’s condolences.  I came to know and admire Elizabeth over the course of the presidential campaign.  She was a tenacious advocate for fixing our health care system and fighting poverty, and our country has benefited from the voice she gave to the cause of building a society that lifts up all those left behind.

In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain.  Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up.  But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

***

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release

December 7, 2010

Vice President Biden Issues Statement on the Passing of Elizabeth Edwards

“Elizabeth Edwards fought a brave battle against a terrible, ravaging disease that takes too many lives every day.  She was an inspiration to all who knew her, and to those who felt they knew her.   Jill and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Edwards family as they grieve during this difficult and painful time.”

The DNC:

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine’s Statement On The Passing of Elizabeth Edwards

Washington, DC – Today, Elizabeth Edwards passed away.  Following her death, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement:

“Elizabeth Edwards’s death at much too young an age will be mourned and she will be fondly remembered in the hearts of women and men from all across our nation.  Elizabeth was a woman of firm convictions and strong principles, and she was an inspiration not only to members of the Democratic Party but to countless Americans of all backgrounds.  

I offer my sincere condolences to her family and friends, and my thoughts go out to all those who will miss her.  Elizabeth will not soon be forgotten, and her spirit will live on in all those who loved and admired her.”

Unlike our President (and her husband John Edwards), Elizabeth Edwards endorsed marriage equality. Speaking at the HRC San Francisco Dinner in 2007:

~~~~~

Related:

* Elizabeth Edwards is gravely ill; further treatment for cancer ‘unproductive’
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Illinois House just passed civil unions legislation

The Illinois House of Representatives, by a vote of 61 – 52, just passed an amendment to SB 1716, titled the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. The bill will legalize same-sex civil unions in the state.

After the legislation passes in the Senate (and it should), the newly reelected Governor, Pat Quinn, will sign the bill (Opposition to civil unions is one reason the Republican, Bill Brady, lost in November.) Governor Quinn actually showed up at the debate and was recognized.

Background via ChicagoPride.com:

SB 1716, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act needs 60 votes to pashttp://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=281630668487321358#s in the House. Supporters believe they have the necessary votes to pass the bill out of the House and on to the Senate, where quick passage is expected.

Tuesday afternoon, an Illinois Senate committee advanced its version of the civil unions bill by a 6-2 margin. The upper chamber on the Senate would have to approve the legislation if it clears the House.

The Senate should pass the legislation, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

Congrats, Illinois. You’re creating rights for people.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

BREAKING: Illinois House just passed civil unions bill

Update: Just as I posted this diary, the news came out that the IL House of Representatives has passed the civil unions law!  On the the Senate!  Gov. Patrick Quinn has promised to sign the bill into law.

From Equality Illinois:

We did it! The Illinois House of Representatives passed the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act with a vote of 61 to 52!

However, the Illinois Senate has yet to vote on the civil union bill and has until Thursday, December 2nd to do so. We are almost there but need your help to make this bill a reality. Please:

1. Call your Senator NOW and tell him/her to pass SB 1716 (If you do not know who your legislator is, you can look him/her up here).

2. Support our aggressive advocacy efforts with a contribution. Not only do we still need to pass the bill through the State Senate, but we will then need to protect the law from attempts to repeal it. We can only succeed with your support. Please donate now.

We are extremely thankful to State Representative Greg Harris, chief sponsor of the bill, for his extraordinary leadership on this issue. Thank you for supporting us and we will keep you posted on the status of this historic bill.

Sincerely,

Bernard Cherkasov

Chief Executive Officer


As we speak, a civil unions bill is up for debate and vote in the Illinois House of Representatives.  
Openly gay Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), who co-sponsored SB 1716, started his opening statement at 5:17 p.m on Tuesday. “Once in every generation,” he said, “legislatures across the country have a chance to advance the cause of liberty and justice for all.”

SB 1716, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act needs 60 votes to pass in the House. Supporters believe they have the necessary votes to pass the bill out of the House and on to the Senate, where quick passage is expected.

Tuesday afternoon, an Illinois Senate committee advanced its version of the civil unions bill by a 6-2 margin. The upper chamber on the Senate would have to approve the legislation if it clears the House.

According to the article above, a poll last month showed that 67.5% of likely Illinois voters approve of civil unions or marriage for same sex couples while only 26.5% oppose any recognition.

If the legislation passes, Illinois will join California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington as the latest state to offer full-scale Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships.  Marriage equality is the law of the land in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C..

Fingers crossed for the Land of Lincoln!

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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On this day in LGBT history: In 1996, DOMA passed as ENDA failed in the US Senate

On September 10, 1996, the United States Senate passed the Defense of Marriage Act by a margin of 85 – 14. A short time after that vote, the Senate defeated the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) by a vote of 49 – 50. That vote was on the early, non-inclusive version of ENDA.

Here’s how the Washington Blade reported these events back on September 13, 1996 (no link. I was provided a photocopy of the article.) As you’ll see, our side got outmaneuvered, big time:

Nobody had predicted the vote would be so close. Nobody had been certain just how hard President Clinton and Vice President Gore would work to make it happen. All anybody had really agreed up — was that a vote in the Senate this year on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would have on tangible value unless it could thwart the anti-Gay marriage bill known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

But on Tuesday, after an intense and complicated series of behind-the-scenes political tussles, the Senate voted on ENDA — not as an amendment to DOMA, as planned by the Human Rights Campaign — but as a freestanding bill. In a high-powered lobbying blitz at the 11th hour, the president and vice president took to the telephone to push for key votes. And while everyone agrees that there was never any hope that the House would pass ENDA this year, the 49 – 50 Senate that defeated the bill Tuesday afternoon signaled greatly improved prospects for how long it might take Congress to pass a law prohibiting discrimination against Gay people.

“Few Americans people thought we would come this far, this fast,” Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who championed the employment bill, said at a press conference after the votes. “…I’m absolutely convinced that will be a first order of business in the next Congress.”

Well, that’s not exactly what happened. There hasn’t been a vote in the Senate on ENDA since September 19, 1996 — fourteen years ago. But, DOMA sure won big.

Apparently, back in 1996, it mattered if the President and V.P. engaged in lobbying on behalf of legislation they purport to support. How many times have we been told over the past twenty months that it’s all up to Congress?




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

ENDA Summer: ‘GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.’

It’s the end of summer and there’s no ENDA in sight. So, GetEQUAL is ramping up the pressure. Today, the group launced “ENDA Summer.” Keep in mind that GetEQUAL is asking leaders on Capitol Hill to keep their promise to pass ENDA in this session of Congress.

Via press release:

Earlier today, GetEQUAL launched its “ENDA Summer” campaign with a national email sent out to supporters across the country. In the email, GetEQUAL co-founder and director Robin McGehee wrote, “We’re heading into the end of summer, and there has been both an eerie silence from Congress and whispers of surrender from the White House about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Despite these challenges from our elected leaders, GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.”

McGehee went on to write in the email, “This isn’t a legislative issue — this is a moral issue. And we’re targeting legislators in specific states who have not yet shown the moral courage to support this legislation. We’re tired of legislators telling us that basic job protections for LGBTQ Americans are politically inconvenient — that some are more concerned with securing their own jobs than those of their constituents. We’re tired of being asked to wait — we’ve been waiting for 40 years.” To view today’s “ENDA Summer” campaign launch email, please go to: http://getequal.org/2010/08/enda-summer/.

To join in and be a part of “ENDA Summer” by making a commitment to take bold action for LGBT equality, please visit: www.getequal.org/endasummer.

In addition to today’s email, GetEQUAL has identified local organizers in each state who will spearhead this campaign. Those who sign up to join the “ENDA Summer” campaign will submit their contact information and will be paired with a local organizer in their particular state in order to obtain more information about actions planned in that state and how they can get involved.

And they’re naming names in the 15 targeted states. Members of Congress and their staffs hate being on target lists. That’s why so many DC-based organizations won’t release target lists. They get yelled at by Capitol Hill offices for doing it. GetEQUAL isn’t playing that game:

Arkansas: Sens. Blanche Lincoln & Mark Pryor; Reps. Marion Barry & Mike Ross

California: Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Reps. Ken Calvert & George Miller

Georgia: Reps. Jim Marshall & Sanford Bishop

Illinois: Reps. Daniel Lipinski & Jerry Costello

Indiana: Sens. Richard Lugar & Evan Bayh; Rep. Joe Donnelly

Louisiana: Rep. Charlie Melancon

Minnesota: Rep. Collin Peterson

Missouri: Rep. Ike Skelton

Mississippi: Reps. Travis Childers & Gene Taylor

New Jersey: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

North Carolina: Reps. Heath Shuler & Mike McIntyre

Ohio: Senator George Voinovich

Oregon: Rep. Greg Walden

Pennsylvania: Reps. Jim Gerlach & Christopher Carney

Tennessee: Reps. Lincoln Davis, John Tanner & Bart Gordon

To review the long list of promises made to pass ENDA, from President Obama to Majority Leader Reid to Speaker Pelosi, among other, check out the ENDA timeline of Broken Promises.

And, if you live in one of the states listed above, sign up. Even if you don’t, call your members of Congress and ask them to pass ENDA this year.

If the elections go the way some pundits are predicting, meaning Democratic losses, we won’t see ENDA for a long time. The window is closing.

Senator Merkley’s ENDA bill, S. 1584, currently has 43 co-sponsors. The House bill, H.R. 3017, has co-sponsors.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Readers Voice Awards – Travel


RIGHT AT HOME: Owner Wayne Falcone polished a gem of Oak Lawn history by rescuing and reinventing the Daisy Polk House. – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST BED AND BREAKFAST


Daisy Polk Inn
2917 Reagan St., Dallas.
214-522-4692
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Daisy Suite and Reagan Suite: $150 a night.
Dickason Suite: $129 a night.
DaisyPolkInn.com

The Daisy Polk Inn is every bit the grand dame that its namesake was. Built in 1904 and fully restored by 2002, the home was first owned by, who else, Daisy Polk — an “up and coming” star (according to the Dallas Press) of the Dallas opera scene who also taught at Hockaday School for Girls and passed away in 1980.

She lived at the Reagan Street address for 60 years. The gorgeous arts and crafts home now belongs to local pharmacist Wayne Falcone, who purchased the property in 1996. He lovingly restored it to its natural and historically correct beauty with the help of Dallas antiques expert and interior designer Gerald Tomlin.

Once the home was granted historical status and licensure to become a bed and breakfast, Falcone decided to open its doors to the public.

Guests can rent any one of the three rooms or the whole place if they prefer. Unlike typical B&Bs. Falcone turns over the keys to his guests, and they have the place to themselves until morning, when breakfast is served. And breakfast at the Daisy Polk Inn is no simple affair. From the china to the home-baked goodies, it is a lavish meal that guests won’t soon forget.

— Jenny Block

 



BEST ROMANTIC GETAWAY
New Orleans, La.
Convention and Visitor’s Bureau:
NewOrleansCVB.com
Visitor’s bureau LGBT focus:
NewOrleansOnline GLBT

 

A little more than two years ago, most of America seemed to have written off New Orleans — it was destined to become a modern-day Atlantis, swallowed up by the sea and passed away into legend.

But the residents of the Crescent City would have none of that. They persevered, rehabilitating the city as quickly as possible and welcoming back tourists — especially gay tourists — with enthusiasm. (It helps that the French Quarter, the center of gay life, is above sea-level and was largely spared when the levees broke.)

Certainly bachelor revelers into great partying and easy hookups don’t have to find a reason to frequent the Big Easy other than Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence, but the city’s old antebellum charm makes it a romantic getaway for couples, too.

For exploring together, there’s the fabulous architecture, much of it spared from the hurricane: elaborate wrought iron, ethereal churches, sprawling plantations on the outskirts (including one, Houmas House, where “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte” was filmed).

Then there’s the food, an essential component whenever lovers get together. Creole and Cajun cuisine, from rich cream sauces to spices that can shoot steam from your ears, dominate, but the French influences extend all the way to the café au lait and beignets. And is there anything more romantic than a boat ride along the Mighty Mississip?

So yes, New Orleans is a great party town for solos, but we love to go there as pairs. After all, even couples know how to party.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

 


BEST AIRLINE
American Airlines
Corporate headquarters: 4333 Amon Carter Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas.
817-963-1234, 800-321-2121
Mon.-Sat. 24 hrs.
aa.com or American Airlines Rainbow

 


BEST NATIONAL ONLINE TRAVEL SITE
Travelocity
Corporate headquarters: 3150 Sabre Drive, Southlake, Texas.
888-872-8356
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Travelocity.com

BEST LOCAL ONLINE TRAVEL SITE
Best Gay Cruises
P.O. Box 59994, Dallas.
972-241-2000
Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
BestGayCruises.com


BEST BUDGET HOTEL CHAIN
La Quinta
Corporate headquarters: 909 Hidden Ridge, Suite 600, Irving, Texas.
800-642-4271
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
LQ.com


BEST LUXURY HOTEL CHAIN
Hilton Hotels
Eight hotels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
800-774-1500
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Hilton.com


BEST DALLAS HOTEL
W Dallas-Victory
2440 Victory Park Lane, Dallas.
888-625-5144
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
WHotels.com/Dallas


BEST AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE
SuperShuttle
SuperShuttle local office: 3010 N. Airfield Drive, Suite 100, DFW Airport, Texas.
With service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Love Field and Fort Worth Meacham International Airport.
800-258-3826
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
SuperShuttle.com

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY
Rainbow Ranch
1662 Limestone County Road 800, Groesbeck, Texas.
888-875-7596
Sun.-Thu. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
RainbowRanch.net

BEST LOCAL TOURIST DESTINATION
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
411 Elm St., Suite 120.
214-747-6660
Tue.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon. noon-6 p.m.
JFK.org

BEST LOCAL TOURIST TRAP
West End Historical District
214-741-7180
DallasWestEnd.org

BEST VACATION SPOT TO GET LAID
Palm Springs, Calif.
Palm Springs tourism bureau:
Palm-Springs.org


BEST EXOTIC DESTINATION
Hawaii
Official tourism site: GoHawaii.com

‘GET ME OUT OF HERE!’ DESTINATION
Jamaica
Visitor Web site: ComeToJamaica.com

These articles appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 21, 2008

—  admin