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June 13, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
Oops: Minneapolis news anchor accidentally begins story, 'I pledge allegiance to the fag' (with video)
Greg Hernandez of Gay Star News reports that news anchor Bill Lunn of KSTP-TV in Minneapolis made an unfortunate slip of the tongue on Tuesday when he said "I pledge allegiance to the fag" just before introducing a gay pride story.
Lunn quickly apologized on Twitter:
President Obama delivers remarks at the LGBT Pride Month celebration at the White House. June 13, 2013:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 13, 2013
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT A RECEPTION FOR LGBT PRIDE MONTH
5:21 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: All right, I will not beat that act. (Laughter.) We could not be prouder of Zea and Luna for the introduction. And welcome, all of you, to the White House for Pride Month. (Applause.)
Zea and Luna are here with their moms, and also I think with Grandma and Grandpa -- correct? And so feel free to congratulate them afterwards for their outstanding introduction.
There are a few other folks who don't have the same star wattage that I want to acknowledge -- first of all, my Vice President, Joe Biden. (Applause.) We’ve got some outstanding members of Congress here, including a record number from the Congressional Equality Caucus. (Applause.) Eric Fanning, the Under Secretary of the Air Force, is here. (Applause.) Major General Patricia Rose and her wife, Retired Lieutenant Julie Roth, are here. (Applause.) We’ve got Fred Hochberg and Elaine Kaplan, two outstanding members of my team, who are here. (Applause.) And John Berry is here -- John is a former member of my team. You may not recognize him because he looks so well rested now that he’s left the administration. (Laughter.)
And even though she couldn’t be here today, because she’s getting ready to finally take her seat on the bench and get to work, I want to congratulate Nitza Quinones Alejandro, who, just a few hours ago, was confirmed by the Senate, making her the first openly gay Hispanic federal judge in our country’s history. (Applause.)
And what I'm especially excited about, in addition to Zea and Luna, we've got citizens from all across the country who wrote me letters over the last several years. And in a letter from Kathleen, a young woman from Massachusetts, I saw someone who had experienced too much discrimination and hatred at such a young age, at the age of 24. But I also read about someone who dreams of becoming a doctor so that she can help others, and who is determined to make a difference because, as she put it, she is “hopeful of a world filled with love.”
Love is what I saw in Valerie and Diane’s letter from North Dakota, who’ve been together for 37 years. Their son, Madison, is here, 14. They told me that when Madison was little -- he’s not little now, by the way. (Laughter.) He used to say that someday, he was going to become president and make it legal for his moms to get married. And now, they added, “I don’t think we’re going to have to wait that long.” (Applause.)
Madison, I agree with you that it’s time. I agree that you should run for president. (Laughter.) And I agree that we’re not going to have to wait that long -- because from Minnesota to Maryland, from the United States Senate to the NBA, it’s clear we’re reaching a turning point. (Applause.) We’ve become not just more accepting; we've become more loving, as a country, and as a people. Hearts and minds change with time. Laws do, too. Change like that isn’t something that starts here in Washington, but it’s something that has the power that Washington has a great deal of difficulty resisting over time.
It’s something that comes from the courage of those who stood up, and sat in, and came out. It’s something that comes from the compassion of family and friends and coworkers and teammates who show their love and support. (Baby cries.) Yes, it’s true. (Laughter.)
And it’s something that can be traced back to our Declaration of Independence -- the fundamental principle that all of us are created equal. And as I said in my Inaugural Address, if we truly are created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. (Applause.)
That’s the principle that’s guided my administration over the past four and a half years. We passed a hate crimes bill in Matthew Shepard’s name. (Applause.) We lifted the HIV entry ban, released the first national HIV/AIDS strategy. We strengthened the Violence Against Women Act to protect LGBT victims. (Applause.) We told hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid that they have to treat LGBT patients just like everybody else. (Applause.) Starting next year, the Affordable Care Act will ban insurance companies from denying someone from coverage just for being LGBT. We put in place new policies that treat transgender Americans with dignity and respect. (Applause.) And because no one should have to hide who they love to serve the country that they love, we ended "don't ask, don't tell" once and for all. (Applause.)
But part of the reason we're here is because we know we’re not done yet. When Zea and Luna wrote me last December, they told me they would have voted for me if they could have -- thanks, guys. (Laughter.) They also laid out quite an agenda. I hope Congress is listening to them.
But I want them and all of you to know that I’m not giving up the fight to keep our kids safe from gun violence. (Applause.) I’m not giving up the fight for smarter and better schools. I’ll continue to support marriage equality and states’ attempts to legalize it, including in my home state of Illinois. We're not giving up on that. (Applause.)
And as we saw earlier this year with the gun safety debate, sometimes this stuff takes time, and it’s frustrating. You take two steps forward and sometimes there’s a step back. But I deeply believe in something that Martin Luther King, Jr. said often, and that is that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. Eventually, America gets it right.
That doesn’t mean we can be patient. We know from our own history that change happens because people push to make it happen. We've got to do the hard work of educating others, showing empathy to others, changing hearts and minds. And when we do that, then change occurs. It doesn’t come always as quickly as we like, but progress comes.
We’ve got to keep pushing. We’ve got to make access to health care more available and affordable for folks living with HIV. We’ve got to implement the protections in the Affordable Care Act. We’ve got to keep making our classrooms and our neighborhoods safe for all of our young people.
And I agree with Susan, a PFLAG mom from Ohio -- we’ve got to end LGBT discrimination in the places where we work. Susan wrote me and said, “If I have a concern it is that there are so many LGBT men and women who contribute to the wealth and growth of our nation … but they still are not protected from harassment in the workplace.”
And I share that concern. In 34 states, you can be fired just because of who you are or who you love. That’s wrong. We’ve got to change it. There’s a bipartisan bill moving forward in the Senate that would ban discrimination against all LGBT Americans in the workplace, now and forever. We need to get that passed. (Applause.) I want to sign that bill. We need to get it done now. (Applause.)
And I think we can make that happen -- because after the last four and a half years, you can't tell me things can’t happen. Look around. We’ve got gay and lesbian soldiers, and sailors, and airmen, and Marines who are here today. We’ve got married couples from places like New York and Washington State. (Applause.) You’ve got a couple of guys here on stage who I don't think anybody in their high schools thought would be the President and the Vice President of the United States. (Laughter.) So don't tell me that things can't happen when we put our minds to them. (Laughter.)
The genius of America is that America can change. And people who love this country can change it. That’s what we’re called to do. And I hope that when we gather here next year, and the year after that, we’ll be able to say, with pride and confidence, that together we’ve made our fellow citizens a little more free. We’ve made this country a little more equal. We’ve made our world a little more full of love.
Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.) Enjoy the party. (Applause.)
Video | Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on ENDA: 'I'm not for any special protections based on orientation'
ThinkProgress on Thursday published a video exchange with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, asking him if he would support ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect LGBT people from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,
"I haven’t read the legislation," Rubio told Scott Keyes of ThinkProgress. "By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation."
Freedom to Work, a national LGBT group supporting ENDA and workplace nondiscrimination, has condemned Rubio for his position:
"Freedom to Work condemns Senator Rubio's retrograde stance against basic workplace protections for gay and transgender Americans," said Tico Almeida, a first-generation Cuban-American who is President of the LGBT organization Freedom to Work. "Like Rubio's family, my parents also abandoned Communist Cuba because America is a place where every individual should be empowered to build a successful career based on talent and hard work rather than getting held back because of irrelevant characteristics like sexual orientation or gender identity. It's just plain sad that Rubio is mimicking the kind of anti-gay discriminatory positions that the Castro regime took during decades past. It seems the Senator has learned too little about American values."
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on Thursday posed for the NOH8 marriage-equality campaign, along with several other congresswomen.
Also posing for the campaign: U.S. Reps. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii; and Dina Titus, D-Nevada.
Ros-Lehtinen's congressional office has shared these outtakes from the NOH8 photo session.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL., says "I'm done" with the proposed immigration reform bill he co-authored if gay couples are added to the package.
"If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm done," Rubio said Thursday during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show. "I'm off it, and I've said that repeatedly. I don't think that's going to happen and it shouldn't happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is."
Video | Disowned because he's gay, Jonathan Allen performs 'Time To Say Goodbye' on 'America's Got Talent'
From America's Got Talent:
Not only will his vocals win you over, but Jonathan Allen's story of growing up will make you love him!
Jonathan says his parents kicked him out of the house -- on his 18th birthday -- because he is gay. Still, he hopes he can "make them proud."
BY STEVE PEOPLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -- A fresh debate has erupted this week within the GOP over explosive social issues, as House Republicans press for a restrictive abortion measure and a prominent religious conservative urges the party's 2016 prospective presidential candidates to embrace conservative positions on abortion and gay marriage.
The fight for the direction of the Republican Party will be on display Thursday at a Washington conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group created by former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed. Designed to strengthen the evangelical influence in national politics, the conference gives many religious conservative activists their first look at potential 2016 presidential candidates.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are among those set to address the coalition on Thursday. Republican stars on the schedule Friday and Saturday include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus.
Reed told The Associated Press that religious conservatives have a simple message for GOP leaders: "Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the pro-life, pro-family and pro-marriage positions that candidates have taken and will take in the future are not a liability at the ballot box, they're an asset."
The Republican National Committee does not necessarily agree.
Just three months ago, Priebus endorsed an RNC report that linked the future success of the Republican Party to more tolerant attitudes on social issues such as gay marriage.
"When it comes to social issues, the party must in fact and deed be inclusive and welcoming. If we are not, we will limit our ability to attract young people and others, including many women, who agree with us on some but not all issues," reads the report by GOP leaders following painful election losses last fall.