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04/19/2007


FOX News Concerned 'God' Removed from Democratic Platform: VIDEO

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A FOX News chyron, noted by TPM.

ABC News explains what the panty-bunching at Faux News is about:

The Democratic Party’s 2008 platform mentioned “God” once, in this passage (emphasis added):

We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.

Explaining the removal, a Democratic official explained: “The 2008 platform reference is ‘God-given’ and is about growing the middle class and making America fair, not actually about faith. The platform includes an entire plank on the importance of faith based organizations and the tremendous work that they do. Further, the language we use to talk about faith and religion is exactly the same vocabulary as 2008. I would also note that the platform mentions: ‘faith’ 11 times; ‘religion’ or ‘religious’ 9 times; ‘church’ 2 times (one is a quote); and, ‘clergy’ 1 time.”

Watch Senator Dick Durbin get into it with Bret Baier over the issue, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "FOX News Concerned 'God' Removed from Democratic Platform: VIDEO" »


Watch: Activists Sit-in at Senator Dick Durbin's Chicago Office, Demand He Sign ENDA Pledge

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Here's video of the activist sit-in I posted about earlier today at Senator Dick Durbin's office in Chicago. Thirteen people were eventually arrested, cited, and released.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Activists Sit-in at Senator Dick Durbin's Chicago Office, Demand He Sign ENDA Pledge" »


Photos: 13 Chicago Gay Rights Activists Arrested in ENDA Sit-In

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Thirteen gay activists in Chicago have been arrested, cited, and released following a flashmob and sit-in protest at Senator Dick Durbin's office over his lack of response to a pledge to support a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

The group reports: Endarally 

"The activists arrived in Senator Durbin’s office at noon during a protest in support of ENDA that was taking place in front of the Federal Building. With Pledge in hand they arrived and stated they would not leave until the Senator signed the pledge. The Senator was not in the Chicago office and when the group asked to speak to the Senator via phone, they were told 'that is not possible.' They refused to leave until the pledge was signed. The staffer then called the Federal authorities to have them removed from the office. 

'I am here because we can no longer sit around and wait for our rights to be handed to us by politicians, we must demand our rights from them,' said Lindsey Dietzler of LGBT Change and one of those arrested. 'We have to be here to fight for those who are forced to remain invisible and deny who they are just to make a living. I want Senator Durbin to know that until there is full federal equality for every queer citizen, no one in this country is free.' 

The activists arrested are: Andrea Crain, Kevin Connaghan, Lindsey Dietzler, Roger Fraser, Judy Heithmar, Brent Holman-Gomez, Nik Maciejewski, Rachael McIntosh, Corrine Mina, Michael Oboza, Samantha Pajor, Sherry Wolf, Danelle Wylder."

Below, a photo via Twitter, of the activists in Durbin's office. Above, after the arrest. The group also launched a petition urging Durbin to become an advocate for a trans-inclusive ENDA.

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Dick Durbin Sends Signal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Off Table for 2010

The Hill reports on next year's agenda in Congress:

Durbin "Reid, meanwhile, has pushed for the repeal of the military’s 'Don’t ask, don’t tell' policy, which prohibits gays from serving openly in the military. Gay-rights activists have put strong pressure on Obama and Democratic leaders to repeal the ban sooner rather than later. Reid sent a letter to Obama last month asking him to provide recommendations on gays serving in the military, noting that Congress is considering 'future legislative action.' Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he was not certain whether repealing 'Don’t ask, don’t tell' would be on next year’s agenda. It looks increasingly likely that healthcare reform will spill into next year, and Democrats have made it a high priority to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory laws before next November. One Democratic senator facing reelection in a Republican-leaning state said he does not want to see the issue of gays in the military, immigration reform or even climate change on next year’s agenda."

If you recall, last month Durbin told Politico they were too busy right now to deal with it: "We have a very heavy, busy agenda and a few months left to do it. So it may not be now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be soon."

Apparently that doesn't mean it will be, either.

So, according to Durbin, not now, not next year. Once again, they'll get to the gay stuff when it's convenient (or, of course, when we start withholding campaign contributions again).


Durbin: Senate Too Busy for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', and Kennedy's Dead

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said the Senate's too busy right now to bother with gays in the military, according to Politico:

Durbin “We have a very heavy, busy agenda and a few months left to do it. So it may not be now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be soon.”

And Ted Kennedy's gone:

"As he was battling brain cancer, Kennedy was absent from the Senate for nearly the entire year until his death. 'Sen. Kennedy is the lead sponsor of the bill; obviously with his illness, those issues , any number of issues that he was the leader of are complicated by his absence,' David Scott, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbies for gay rights. Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, whose main goal is to end the policy, said that Kennedy’s illnesses 'accounted for some of the delay in the introduction' of the bill, but said they were continuing to talk with other Democratic senators and hoped to have a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate in the fall. About 18 months ago, Kennedy told Sarvis’ group and gay-rights activists that he wanted to be the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal the current law — but first he wanted to get some Republican support. 'He felt very strongly about it being bipartisan,' Sarvis said. Kennedy never ended up introducing a bill this Congress, and now it’ll be up to another Senate Democrat to step up to push the controversial issue."


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