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Gay rights advocates march on DC, divided on Obama– + Obama Gives Human Rights Campaign Keynote

Posted by Audiegrl

WASHINGTON – Thousands of gay and lesbian activists converge for a march from the White House to the Capitol, demanding that President Barack Obama keep his promises to push for civil rights protections from the federal government.

Rainbow flags and homemade signs dotted the crowds as people chanted “Hey, Obama, let mama marry mama” and “We’re out, we’re proud, we won’t back down.” Many children were also among the protesters.

A long journey-  1979

A long journey- 1979

Some participants in the National Equality March woke up energized by Obama’s blunt pledge to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military during a speech to the nation’s largest gay rights group Saturday night. The president also said he would work to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and to give same-sex couples the same civil rights as straight couples.

“I’m here with you in that fight,” Obama said. He acknowledged some had grown impatient that he wasn’t pushing for changes faster but urged advocates to continue pressing him and Congress to act.

Obama’s political energies have been focused on two wars, the economic crisis and health care reform, though he pledged “unwavering” commitment even as he wrestled with those problems.

March organizer Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and a protege of gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, said he had initially discouraged a rally earlier in the year. But he and others began to worry Obama was backing away from his campaign promises.
“Since we’ve seen that so many times before, I didn’t want it to happen again,” he said. “We’re not settling. There’s no such thing as a fraction of equality.”

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For details on today’s march click here:

“Obama Says He Will End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'” (source)


President Barack Obama pledged to end the ban on Gays serving openly in the military in a speech Saturday, but acknowledged to a cheering crowd that the policy changes he promised on the campaign trail are not coming as quickly as they expected.

Click here for a full transcript of his remarks.

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gayrights365Gay.com/—The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today that President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the 13th Annual National Dinner on Saturday, October 10th, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy will also present the first-ever Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award to Judy and Dennis Shepard. The award is named in honor of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), a champion in the fight for LGBT equality.

gayweddingsmallWe are honored to share this night with President Obama, who has called upon our nation to embrace LGBT people as brothers and sisters,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It is fitting that he will speak to our community on the night that we pay tribute to his friend and mentor Senator Edward Kennedy, who knew that as president, Barack Obama would take on the unfinished business of this nation – equal rights for the LGBT community, and for every person who believes in liberty and justice for all.”

More @ 365gaylogosmall

Nominee David Huebner

Nominee David Huebner

Obama Nominates Openly Gay Ambassador

Washington Blade—President Obama is preparing to nominate his first openly gay ambassador, according to a knowledgeable source.

David Huebner, who serves as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s general counsel, will be nominated to become the administration’s ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. A formal announcement was expected Wednesday evening.

Huebner, who currently works at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, specializes in handling international arbitration and mediation cases. Formerly a resident of California, Huebner is now based in Shanghai.

Long active in non-profit and community organizations, Huebner has chaired the California Law Revision Commission and served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission. He’s also guest lectured on international topics at several schools domestically and abroad.

More @ washingtonblade

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Gay Rights Speech: What Should Obama Say On Saturday?

Obama to Address Gay Rights Organization

David Huebner: Obama’s First Openly Gay Ambassador Nominated

Why I Support the National Equality March“: NFL’s Scott Fujita Speaks Out for Gay Rights

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Red Cross: Indonesia quake death toll reaches 450 Indonesia official: Quake death toll hits 777

Posted by Audiegrl

**44-Update** —Indonesia earthquake toll rises as survivors await relief

A second Indonesian earthquake struck near the city of Padang Thursday as the death toll rose to at least 529. Some residents, fearing aftershocks, sought safety outside despite monsoon rains. Read more here:

Wednesday's earthquake was centered in Indonesia's West Sumatra province.

Wednesday's earthquake was centered in Indonesia's West Sumatra province.

CNN—A major earthquake in Indonesia killed at least 75 people Wednesday, according to a Red Cross disaster report, citing an official report from the country’s vice president.

Earlier in the day an official said the quake toll was at least 21, with hundreds more injured.

Thousands may be trapped by collapsed buildings and houses, said Rustam Pakaya, the head of Ministry of Health’s crisis center.

He said 75 people were seriously injured.

The quake caused widespread power and phone outages, making it difficult to assess the scope of the damage.

It struck at around 5 p.m. local time, about 33 miles (53 kilometers) from Padang, the capital city of West Sumatra. Padang is home to more than 800,000 people.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.6, according to the U.S Geological Survey, caused widespread power and phone outages, making it difficult for authorities and aid organizations to evaluate damage.

“The situation is quite devastating,” said Amelia Merrick, the operations director for World Vision Indonesia.

“Bridges have gone down, phone lines are in total disrepair; it’s difficult for us to assess the situation,” she said. The organization had said it would send assessment teams to the area Thursday morning.

“We know there’s no electricity tonight… many of the families will be spending the night outdoors, in pitch black. I’m very afraid of what might happen next,” she said, referring to the possibility of aftershocks.

State-run Antara news agency cited Pakaya as saying he had received reports that part of a hospital had collapsed and that people were buried under the debris.
More @ CNN

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Samoa Earthquake Triggers Tsunami Warning

090929-samoa-quake-hmed-12p.h2MSNBC—A tsunami struck the capital of American Samoa on Tuesday after an offshore earthquake that U.S. government agencies said registered 7.9 magnitude.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or structural damage.

Fili Sagapolutele, who works at the Samoa News, says water flowed inland about 100 yards before receding, leaving cars stuck in mud.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, a branch of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, issued a tsunami warning for Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Islands after the quake hit about 120 miles southwest of the remote Pacific island of American Samoa. It struck at a depth of 20.5 miles.

The bulletin estimated a tsunami, if powerful enough to reach Hawaii, would reach the island state approximately 1 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET).

More @ MSNBC

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