Nancy Pelosi Hub




Nancy Pelosi Zaps Vladimir Putin on Gay Rights: VIDEO

Pelosi

In a press conference yesterday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi discussed Russian Vladimir Putin's controversial op-ed in the New York Times, referencing the bit at the end, when Putin writes:

"We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."

Echoing a tweet she sent out as well, Pelosi quipped,

“What I found interesting was the closing. He says when we pray to God he judges us all as...I don’t know exactly was his words are...but he says that we are all God’s children. I think that’s great. I hope it applies to gays and lesbians in Russia as well.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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House Republicans Give Up On Gay Marriage Fight: READ

HOUSE

After spending more than $2 million defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a number of cases, House Republicans announced Thursday they would no longer defend the law in a case before the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts citing The Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Windsor, BuzzFeed reports. The announcement came via a legal filing from the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), a group controlled by House Republicans. In the case in question, McLaughlin v. Panetta, servicemembers challenged not only section 3 of DOMA, but also, "Title 38 of the U.S. Code regarding veterans’ benefits that define 'spouse' as 'a person of the opposite sex.'" In their filing, the BLAG lawyers state:

"The Supreme Court recently resolved the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. See United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. __ (2013), 2013 WL 3196928 (U.S. June 26, 2013). The Windsor decision necessarily resolves the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case. While the question of whether 38 U.S.C. § 101(3), (31) is constitutional remains open, the House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute. Accordingly, the House now seeks leave to withdraw as a party defendant."

Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker of the House, John Boehner, weighed in with a curt, "The document from the legal team speaks for itself." HRC President Chad Griffin noted the stunning nature of the Republican reversal, stating, "After millions of taxpayer dollars wasted defending discrimination, it’s a historic sign of the times that the House leadership is dropping its pointless quest to maintain second-class status for lesbian and gay couples." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for House Republicans to drop their involvement in the remaining cases to which they are a party defending DOMA and similar statutes. Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told BuzzFeed:

"The Supreme Court’s ruling is clear. Rather than trying to delay justice for particular married gay and lesbian couples and their families, Speaker Boehner should immediately file motions to end House Republicans’ involvement in the remaining cases and stop spending taxpayer dollars to defend unconstitutional discrimination."

Check out the filing in full AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch Nancy Pelosi's Blasé Response To Michele Bachmann's Latest Marriage Rant: VIDEO

Bachmann and Pelosi, both political dynamos from very different camps, will be tangling far less now that Bachmann has decided not to run for reelection. However, their congressional relationship had to go out with a bang, and some sense of humor. 

Michele bachmannTrue to form, Michele Bachmann lacked all regard for separation of church and state today as she blasted the Supreme Court for their DOMA and Prop 8 rulings and invoked a Christian belief in heterosexually limited marriage.  

City Pages reports:

"Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted," Bachmann, who isn't seeking another term in Congress and narrowly won reelection last year, wrote.

"For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations," she continued. "Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to join the trend, despite the clear will of the people's representatives through DOMA."

Nancy pelosi"What the Court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States," she concluded.

When questioned about Bachmann's comments later, Nancy Pelosi responded with a shrug of her shoulders and a barely audible whisper: "Who cares?" Then, a smile crept across her face. It seems the House Minority Leader may have as little regard for Bachmann's comments as the former Presidential candidate does for the Constitution. 

Watch the short and amusing video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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A Huge Round-Up of Celeb Reactions to SCOTUS Rulings On DOMA, Prop. 8: VIDEO

Marc

Today's rulings issued by the Supreme Court have certainly elicited strong reactions from friends and foes of marriage equality. 

Judy_shepardJudy Shepard, LGBT advocate and mother of Matthew Shepard, reflected upon a conversation she had with Matthew about marriage equality:

"After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married. I told him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It’s so sad and ironic that it turned out the other way. But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true. Dennis and I look forward to the day when loving, committed couples are able to marry in every state.”

AppleApple, which filed an Amicus brief in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, along with many other major corporations, issued a statement today, expressing its support for the rulings that were handed down:

"Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today."

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a joint statement issued with San Francisco's Archbishop Salvitore Cordileone, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, expressed his disapproval: 

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so."

The fashion industry has been practically unanimous in its support for the in-roads made today in the battle for marriage equality, with Isaac Mizrazhi declaring "HOORAY!," and Marc Jacobs unfurling new celebratory window dressings (pictured above), replete with the popular phrase, "love is love."

WynneCanada's only openly gay premier, Kathleen Wynne of Ontario, remarked, "I am so happy for our neighbours to the south," calling today's rulings, "an important step."

Glenn Beck and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul discussed their fear that we might now be heading down a road to state-sanctioned polygamy. Outgoing Rep. Michelle Bachman bemoaned the victories for marriage equality, noting, “no man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted." To which Nancy Pelosi pithily responded, "Who cares?"

RuPaul, meanwhile, delcared today a double elimination: "I'm sending you both home. #DOMA and #Prop8, sashay away!"

GagaLady Gaga noted the work that still needs to be done to achieve full equality, given the somewhat limited nature of the court's ruling, tweeting: "Who will be our Abe Lincoln today? Who will make the choice of FREEDOM FOR ALL."

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand echoed the sentiment: "Congress must finish the job #SCOTUS started by repealing #DOMA in full. Join me & @DailyKos in urging Congress to act http://t.co/EQlFEreIOy"

Marriage equality advocate Chris Kluwe referenced the DOMA ruling in particular, noting, "Giving states the right to decide on issues means nothing if they disenfranchise certain populations."

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who has long fought for marriage equality in his own state, commented, "I applaud #SCOTUS for striking down #DOMA & affirming that the way forward is always found through equal rights & respect for human dignity."

Senator Jim DeMint called attention to what he believes will be the likely aftermath of the day's events: "The debate about marriage will continue after today and states will lead the way."

2_ricky_martinProud papa Ricky Martin celebrated on twitter, proclaiming, "🎉🎉🎉🎉#SCOTUS Justice for all! #DOMA IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉"

And of course, our most beloved comedians and comediennes weighed in on the news.

Seth Meyers aptly advised, "DOMA and Prop 8 should get married."

Neil Patrick Harris, ever the musically-inclined commentator, quipped, "DOMA-it-just-lost-O Mr. Roboto! So, so happy for Edie, et al."

Meanwhile, Lena Dunham and Joan Rivers had their minds on the actual business of getting married, with Dunham remarking, "Don't wanna traffic in stereotypes but let's be real: I'm gonna love a gay wedding" and Rivers suggesting, "Any straight person complaining about the Supreme Court striking down DOMA should be forced to hire a heterosexual wedding planner."

Check out  a video of ABC weatherman Sam Champion discussing his "heart-pounding" response to today's news (warning: autoplay) AFTER THE JUMP...

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House GOP Secretly Raises DOMA Defense Budget to $3 Million

John Boehner and House Republicans secretly increased their budget for the legal defense of DOMA to $3 million from its original limit of $500,000, inspiring a blistering letter from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who did not find out about the budget increase until after it was finalized, Think Progress reports.

John_boehnerWrite Pelosi and Hoyer in the letter:

This is not the first time that House Republicans have made a unilateral decision to raise the ceiling on expenditures for this wasteful litigation that supports a discriminatory statute, without any public discussion or advance notice to Democratic members of the BLAG, Members of the House, or the public. This clandestine commitment of taxpayer funds is highly irregular and objectionable, and it must end now.

Let us be clear: these steps do not reflect the will of the House or the consensus of the BLAG.  Democrats do not support any decisions to invest taxpayer funds in defense of an indefensible law.  We remain united in our opposition to any effort to preserve, protect, and defend discrimination in our country.

From the start, the Republican-led campaign to defend DOMA has been a practice in futility and a waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.  The Republican-appointed, taxpayer-funded legal team has lost in every case.  Courts across the nation have stood on the side of justice and equality for all Americans.  DOMA is on its way into the dustbin of history.

It would be bad enough if Republicans were losing in court and accepting the result.  Yet it is the height of hypocrisy for House Republicans to waste public funds in one breath then claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility in the next.  With Republicans willing to take our economy and our country to the brink of default in the name of deficit reduction, there is simply no excuse for any Member of Congress to commit taxpayer dollars to an unnecessary – and futile – legal battle.

Via Buzzfeed, Pelosi and Hoyer's letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

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House GOP Approves Funding to Defend DOMA, While Blocking Sandy Relief, Violence Against Women Act

Here are the priorities of House Republicans:

John_boehnerDespite a late-stage intervention by Vice President Joe Biden, House Republican leaders failed to advance the Senate's 2012 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, an embattled bill that would have extended domestic violence protections to 30 million LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants and Native American women.

"The House leadership would not bring it up, just like they wouldn't bring up funding for Sandy [hurricane damage] last night," said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a key backer of the Senate version of the bill, in an interview with HuffPost. "I think they are still so kowtowing to the extreme on the right that they're not even listening to the moderates, and particularly the women, in their caucus who are saying they support this."

They did have time to support further anti-gay discrimination though by authorizing further funding to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

A GOP source told The Huffington Post that, during a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference, lawmakers gave a green light to including language in the 113th Congress rules package that authorizes the House legal team, known as the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), to keep paying outside counsel to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The proposed House rules package also states that BLAG continues to "speak for" the House in its defense of DOMA...

...A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday slammed Republicans for taking "the extraordinary measure" of using the opening day rules package of the new Congress to authorize themselves to keep defending DOMA.

"Today, House Republicans will send a clear message to LGBT families: their fiscal responsibility mantra does not extend to their efforts to stand firmly on the wrong side of the future," said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

Hammill also noted that the rules package "for the first time" explicitly states that BLAG speaks for the full House on DOMA matters -- something he said is definitely not the case.


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