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Tag Archives: white
Liz Oppenheimer, left, smiles as she and partner Jeanne Burns apply for their marriage license on June 6, 2013, in Minneapolis.
An overwhelming majority 72 percent of Americans now believe same-sex marriage is “inevitable,” according to a new Pew Research Center survey, with Republicans seeing gay marriage legalization as likely to happen as their Democratic and independent counterparts do.
[READ: Poverty Rate Elevated for LGBT Community]
Republicans see legal recognition of gay marriage as unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean they like it. Only 31 percent of Republicans polled support same-sex marriage, compared to 59 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents, the survey found. And far more Republicans (78 percent) said they would be “upset” to find out their child was gay or lesbian than Democrats (53 percent). Those who identified as Republican were also far less likely to have “a lot” of gay friends than Democrats or independents.
White evangelicals supported gay marriage the least of any demographic, though they, too, overwhelmingly saw the legalization of gay marriage as inevitable, at 70 percent. Respondents in the “unaffiliated” religious group favored gay marriage most.
[BROWSE: Cartoons on Same-Sex Marriage]
The poll was released as the Supreme Court prepares to hand down two rulings on gay-marriage one on same-sex marriage in California, another on federal benefits tied to a person’s marital status.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 12 states and in the District of Columbia.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Tel Aviv on Wednesday for what the White House is calling a very important visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.
The trip is Mr. Obama’s first official visit to Israel since taking office in 2009.
His schedule Wednesday includes seeing a piece of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, as well as meetings with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is joining Mr. Obama for the tour, which comes as a new Israeli government featuring pro-settlement ministers takes office.
Mr. Obama is set to travel to the West Bank on Thursday to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
On Friday, his schedule includes talks with King Abdullah in Jordan, where the United States has been helping officials cope with the flood of Syrian refugees.
In addition to the meetings, Mr. Obama is scheduled to visit a set of cultural and religious sites in the region, including seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum and a stop at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes says there is no substitute for Mr. Obama delivering his message of support for Israel’s security directly to the Israeli people.
Rhodes also says the United States has made a significant investment in the Palestinian Authority, which he calls the legitimate leadership of the Palestinian people.
But Palestinians say they have been disappointed with Mr. Obama so far, and see little reason for optimism in his second term.
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Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday publicly endorsed gay marriage in a new video released by the gay rights advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign.
Clinton, who resigned Feb. 1 after four years of service, says in the video that she was eager to share her views on gay rights and gay marriage after the end of her time in public office.
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenshipthat includes marriage. That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law,” Clinton says in the video.
Clinton’s announcement fuels speculation about her potential 2016 candidacy for president.
When Clinton ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008, both she and Obama publicly backed civil unions for gay couples but stopped short of endorsing gay marriage.
But Obama publicly endorsed gay marriage during his 2012 election campaign, and the stance became a part of the Democratic Party’s platform.
“The president believes that anytime a public official of stature steps forward to embrace a commitment that he shares to equality, he thinks it’s a good thing,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday of Clinton’s announcement.
Today, an endorsement of gay marriage appears to be a prerequisite for Democratic candidates running for future national office.
Clinton’s public support for gay marriage puts her in line with fellow potential 2016 Democratic candidates Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who all publicly back gay marriage.
The Republican Party continues to officially oppose gay marriage in its platform, though there are notable dissensions.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her support for gay marriage Monday, putting her in line with other potential Democratic presidential candidates on a social issue that is rapidly gaining public approval.
Clinton made the announcement in an online video released Monday morning by the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. She says in the six-minute video that gays and lesbians are “full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship.”
“That includes marriage,” she says, adding that she backs gay marriage both “personally and as a matter of policy and law.”
Clinton’s announcement is certain to further fuel the already rampant speculation that she is considering another run for president in 2016. Other possible Democratic contenders including Vice President Joe Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley all back the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Polls show that public opinion on gay marriage has shifted perhaps more rapidly than on any other major issue in recent times. In Gallup polling last November, 53 percent of adult Americans said same-sex marriages should be granted the same status as traditional marriages, while 46 percent felt they should not be valid.
In 1996, when Gallup first asked about gay marriages, 27 percent felt they should be valid.
The shift among the major political parties has been equally swift. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Clinton and rival Barack Obama both backed civil unions for gay couples, but not same-sex marriage. In the lead-up to the 2012 election, Obama announced his support for gay marriage and Democrats backed the right of same-sex couples to wed in their party’s official platform.
The White House welcomed Clinton’s announcement, saying it meant Clinton’s views on the issue were now in line with Obama’s.
“The president believes that anytime a public official of stature steps forward to embrace a commitment that he shares to equality, he thinks it’s a good thing,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
The GOP officially opposes gay marriage, though several high profile Republicans have publicly backed the right of same-sex couples to wed. On Friday, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman became the first Republican senator to announce his support for gay marriage, saying he had a change of heart after learning that his son is gay.
Read the rest here:
WASHINGTON President Obama heads to Israel this week with quiet hopes, but little real expectation, that by smoothing rough relations he can help restart the Middle East peace effort that went nowhere in his first term.
Obama will not carry with him a detailed proposal for how Israelis and Palestinians might resume talks, such as the one he offered in 2010. He instead plans a listening tour in Jerusalem and in Ramallah, West Bank, to solicit views on what the two sides want and to explore what may be possible.
The White House has sought to lower expectations for Obama’s visit, which begins Wednesday, particularly avoiding any anticipation of a breakthrough on peace talks any time soon. Even a renewed diplomatic effort, should one begin, stands a good chance of collapsing again, they say.
Nonetheless, senior advisors say, Obama thinks time spent in public diplomacy is a worthwhile investment. He is focused on “the broader role of public opinion in peacemaking,” according to one administration official.
He is not alone in thinking that the kind of outreach embodied by a presidential visit can make a difference.
“Israelis would love to see that he cares, and that it’s not just a cerebral effort, but something that comes from the heart,” said former deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. “Israelis as tough as we may be considered abroad are a very, very emotional people. If you smile at them and show some kind of positive attitude, you see they melt.”
That amounts to far more than just a popularity contest, Ayalon said. To achieve his foreign policy goals, he said, Obama will need to win over a deeply insecure Israeli public so that they, in turn, will pressure the government to take risks that could improve relations with the Palestinians. Under this theory, Israelis go out on a limb for peace only when they are feeling secure.
Indeed, former President Clinton, who made four trips to Israel during his tenure, said at the time that he believed reassuring the Israeli public was one of the most important roles an American president could play in Mideast peacemaking.
On that score, Obama has considerable work to do, both with the Israeli public and leaders.
Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had a notoriously poor relationship; at times last year, the Israeli leader seemed to be rooting for Republican Mitt Romney to win the White House. With Obama and Netanyahu having both been reelected, White House officials hope that, at minimum, the trip will ease that relationship and the domestic political pressure Obama has faced because of it.
Dedicated buses for Palestinian workers have triggered a renewed debate over segregation and inequality in Israel.
“This is just not the segregation of buses; we are talking about the segregation of roads which did not exist evenin the worst time of apartheid South Africa or during the segregation times of the United States.”
– Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian National Initiative
Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank commute daily to work in Israel but following complaints by West Bank settlers about sharing buses, the country’s transport ministry has introduced two new Palestinians-only bus services.
It says the new buses offer Palestinian commuters a cheaper alternative but critics have drawn parallels with the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine that was declared discriminatory by the US supreme court in the 1950s.
Although a number of Palestinian commuters have welcomed the move, however, the Palestinian Authority has not.
Human rights groups insist that Israel discriminates between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Creating separate bus lines for Israeli Jews andPalestinians is a revolting plan,” Jessica Montell, director ofthe B’Tselem rights group, said on Army Radio. “This is simplyracism. Such a plan cannot be justified with claims of securityneeds or overcrowding.”
“It’s pretty rich for a defender of Israeli apartheid, like Mr Roman, to exploit the economic desperation of a colonised, occupied people …. Mr Roman probably doesn’t realise that he sounded very similar to the South African apartheid spokespersons in days gone by when he sort of praises the economic opportunitiesafforded by the benevolent colonial power to the occupied people. Palestinians … don’t want to be grateful for handouts … and shared industrial zones, they want their rights and they want their freedom.”
– Ben White, journalist and author
Homosexual White Liberal Males Celebrate Gay Marriage Approval in USA
By: Crash Man
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Barack Obama administration took another step toward institutionalizing gay marriage, formally asking the US Supreme Court to strike down a 1996 law defining marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman.
The request was contained in a legal brief filed Friday with the US court, whose nine justices will next month review whether or not to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans marriage between homosexuals.
The document marks the first time a president has endorsed same-sex marriage rights before the Supreme Court.
According to the filing, the Defense of Marriage Act “violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection” before the law stipulated by the US Constitution.
DOMA “denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples,” read the brief signed by US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
The case before the Supreme Court involves Edith Windsor, a lesbian who married in Canada in 2007 but whose spouse and partner of 40 years died. She was required to pay more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes because she was not considered married under DOMA.
The White House position, however, came under fire from Republicans in the House of Representatives.
In a brief filed Friday, they insisted they have a legal right to defend the law in the Supreme Court in the absence of a defense from the executive branch.
Last month, 10 US senators urged the court to uphold the act and not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
All of these senators had voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and in a friend-of-the-court brief, they said it was inconsistent for the Justice Department to have assured Congress the law was constitutional while it was being crafted in the mid-1990s only to raise questions now.