New York Senate Votes 33-29 to Approve Gay Marriage!!

New York Senate Votes 33-29 to Approve Gay Marriage!!

The New York Senate voted on Friday to legalize gay marriage, a breakthrough victory for the gay-rights movement in the state where it got its start. New York became the sixth state where gay couples can wed, and by far the biggest. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who campaigned on the issue last year, has promised to sign it. Gay weddings could begin 30 days after that.

Although New York is a relative latecomer in allowing gay marriage, it is considered an important prize for advocates, given the state’s size and New York City’s international stature and its role as the birthplace of the gay-rights movement, which is said to have started with the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in 1969.

Gay-rights advocates are hoping the vote will galvanize the movement around the country and help it regain momentum after an almost identical bill was defeated in New York in 2009 and similar measures failed in 2010 in New Jersey and this year in Maryland and Rhode Island.

NY Sen. Tom Duane’s Moving Speech for Marriage Equality

Rachel Maddow: NY Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Stonewall: The Stone Wall Against Oppression

The Stonewall Riots: A Night That Changed the World

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Federal Judge Strikes Down California’s Proposition 8: Ruling Recognizes Gay Marriage

Federal Judge Strikes Down Proposition 8: Ruling Recognizes Gay Marriage

A federal judge in San Francisco struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, stating that it discriminates against gay men and women.  The ruling hands supporters of such unions at least a temporary victory in a legal battle that seems all but certain to be settled by the Supreme Court.

Wednesday’s decision is just the latest chapter in what has been a long battle over the ban, Proposition 8, which was passed in 2008.  But on Wednesday, the ruling provided fresh new winds behind those who feel that marriage is not, as the voters of California and many other states have claimed, solely the province of a man and a woman.

Proposition 8 cannot withstand any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause,” wrote Judge Vaughn R. Walker.  “Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.”  The very existence of a federal court ruling recognizing same-sex marriage in California, the nation’s most populous state, set off cheers of “We won!” from the large crowds gathered in front of the courthouse in San Francisco.  Evening rallies and celebrations were planned in dozens of cities across the state and several across the nation.

Read more in The New York Times here.

Rachel Maddow: California’s Proposition 8 Struck Down

PBSNewsHour: Ban On Same Sex Marriage Overturned

Proposition 8 Overturned: San Francisco Rally

Bright Eyes: First Day of My Life

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President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

After weathering a number of setbacks during the summer, on Wednesday night President Barack Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress and called upon them to enact sweeping health care legislation.  Obama declared that the moment has arrived to protect millions of people who have either unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.  Obama said the changes he proposes would cost about $900 billion over decade, “less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans” passed during the Bush administration.

He said there is widespread agreement on about 80 percent of what must be included in legislation.  And yet, criticizing Republicans without overtly saying so, he added, “Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics and ideological warfare that offers no hope for compromise.”  “Well, the time for bickering is over,” he said. “The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.  I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.”

President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

Rachel Maddow Reports On President Obama’s Health Care Speech To Congress

The full-text of President Obama’s speech to Congress can be read here.

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Bush’s Farewell Address: Delusional From Beginning To End

Bush’s Farewell Address: Delusional From Beginning To End

Arianna Huffington Talks With Rachel Maddow About Bush’s Farewell Address: “Bush Was Delusional From The Beginning To The Very End!!

Arianna Huffington appeared on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” show Thursday night to discuss President Bush’s farewell address to the nation, which took place earlier last evening. When asked by Maddow what the big headline from the speech was, Arianna suggested paraphrasing Paul Simon’s: “Still Delusional After All These Years!

President Bush: Delusional From Beginning To End

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