Daniel Hernandez, Jr., the gay intern credited with saving the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords when she was shot in Tucson, will sit next to First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday at the State of the Union address. Advocate.com: Daily News
Openly gay student intern Daniel Hernandez delivered a terrific and humble speech tonight at the memorial for the victims of the Tucson shooting. He may disavow all the accolades, but the president later said it for all of us: “Daniel, we’ve decided. You ARE a hero.”
The Arizona legislature has passed emergency legislation ensuring a 300-ft distance between the Westboro Baptist Church and funerals of Tucson shooting victims this weekend, ABC15 reports:
Arizona State Representative Kyrsten Sinema said when she heard of the plans, she got downright angry and decided to take action.
Sinema sponsored Senate Bill 1101 and got some help from fellow legislators.
"We patterned legislation after Ohio's law which is constitutional, it’s been upheld in court, and I got permission from the speaker and the senate president to wave the rules," Sinema said.
That bill was passed just before 3 p.m. Tuesday, and is expected to be signed by Governor Brewer, tonight.
"The bill requires them to be at least 300 feet away from the funeral from an hour before the funeral starts to an hour after it ends and that way people can grieve and love in peace," Sinema said.
The legislation is said to be similar to what 40 other states have currently adopted.
Shortly after the shooting, the hateful church announced plans to picket the funerals, accompanied by a video from WBC Fred Phelps. The plans inspired a counter protest to raise funds for the Anti-Violence Project of Southern Arizona.
4:05 PM ET: From live presser re: AZ shooting – surgeon says he’s “as optimistic as he can be” about Giffords’ recovery (full recovery unclear). Surgery over. One child shot has died. Federal authorities identify the gunman as Jared Laughner of Arizona, born September 1988.
This is the first female member of Congress targeted for assassination; Giffords is a member of the LGBT Caucus. From LGBTPOV:
This blogger notes that Gifford was on Sarah Palin’s political hit list for her support of healthcare reform. The blogger agrees and says: “I intend to do my part to help make her pay.”
“As those of us who follow Sarah Palin’s political activity are aware, the former Governor of Alaska has strongly recommended that We the People Take Back the 20 in the November elections. The 20 under discussion are legitimately vulnerable Democrats up for reelection to Congress this fall and who also live in voting districts that went for McCain/Palin in 2008. One of those Democrats is Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona’s District 8.
Gaby Giffords is also on my personal political hit list, primarily because Pam and I live in Cochise County, Arizona, which is part of District 8. We don’t appreciate our Representative going against our wishes and voting for Obama’s Health Care Deformed…and I intend to do my part to help make her pay.”
UPDATE: The right-wing blogger took his post down but here’s a screencap:
UPDATE #2: Sarah Palin has taken down a page from the SarahPAC website that showed Rep. Giffords and others targeted in Tea Party cross hairs.
Sarah Palin’s statement on her Facebook page: (be sure to check out the comments)
My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.
On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.
This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.
We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.
UPDATE 3: Giffords interviewed recently about being “targeted”:
“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but, the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted, has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that action.”
The city councils of two Arizona cities voted to sue the state over its new immigration law on Tuesday. Tucson and Flagstaff are both concerned over the impact on tourism and the cost of enforcement.
Participation in Saturday’s Mega March in Dallas and in other marches across the country was fueled by opposition to the new law, which would require law enforcement officials to question people about their immigration status if they’re suspected of being in the country illegally.
Gay groups that participated in the Dallas march support comprehensive federal immigration reform that includes equality for LGBT immigrants.
Four lawsuits had already been filed against the law. A police officer from Tucson and one from Phoenix each have sued on their own behalf and not on behalf of their departments. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, and a Washington-based researcher who plans to visit Arizona have also sued the state.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup “said the law is based on a misguided notion illegal immigrants are bad for the area’s quality of life and economy. ‘Frankly, I don’t believe that’s true,’ Walkup said.”
In Texas, El Paso is the first city to officially react to the law.
The El Paso Times reports that city workers were instructed to avoid travel to Arizona until the law is repealed. Only one city council member voted against the boycott.