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Entries in Gay Agenda (206)

Saturday
Jun272015

NHDP Statement on Supreme Court Decision Affirming That Marriage Equality Is The Law Of The Land 

Concord, N.H. – New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision affirming that marriage equality is the law of the land:
 
“Today’s decision marks a truly historic day in our fight for equal rights, a victory that was only possible because of the tremendous leadership of courageous individuals in New Hampshire and across our nation.”
 
“I have been extremely proud to stand with Governors Shaheen, Lynch and Hassan as they have fought to affirm true equality for all under the law, and our state’s leadership on marriage equality and LGBT rights also wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of Senate President Larsen and Speaker Norelli. We must also recognize thte extraordinary leadership of President Obama, Congresswoman Kuster, Congresswoman Shea-Porter and Congressman Hodes who have all fought tirelessly in Washington for the Granite State values of freedom and inclusion.”
 
“Although Granite Staters have been leaders in the fight for equal rights for many years, there are still far too many that want to reverse our progress. The New Hampshire Republican Party (whose anti-equality platform is now unconstitutional), Kelly Ayotte, Frank Guinta, and every one of the Republican presidential hopefuls have all fought against the rights of our neighbors, friends, and relatives. We cannot and we will not let them pull our nation backward.”
 

Saturday
Jun132015

FredKarger - New Super PAC to Take on Mike Huckabee 

 
Super PAC Launched to Oppose Mike Huckabee
First to Target a GOP Presidential Candidate

SEATTLE, WA -- Jonathan Martin, columnist for the Seattle Times broke the news today that "Truth Squad 2016" was formed to let voters know about Mike Huckabee's horrific record as governor of Arkansas.  Read the story below for all the details. Here's the Link, too: CLICK HERE
Jonathan Martin

Lakewood widow is keeping Mike Huckabee accountable ahead of 2016 primaries

One of those prisoners released early was Maurice Clemmons who had been sentenced to 108 years in state prison, but Huckabee let him out after he had only served 11 years.  After Clemmons was released he moved to Seattle, Washington.

Originally published June 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm Updated June 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm
 
“The person who got this ball rolling was (Mike) Huckabee,” said Kim Renninger,
widow of slain Lakewood officer Sgt. Mark Renninger. (John Lok/The Seattle Times)

A widow of the Lakewood police shootings is turning her sights to Mike Huckabee, who granted mercy to her husband’s killer, writes Jonathan Martin.

On the fourth anniversary of her husband’s murder, Kim Renninger got a tattoo on the instep of her left foot reading, “Keep moving one step forward.”

It is a discreet, poignant reminder of her mission to make something out of the death of Sgt. Mark Renninger and three officers in the 2009 Lakewood police shootings — the worst act of violence ever committed against police in Washington. Her to-do list has included a change to the state Constitution, reform of interstate parole rules and keeping watch over the seven felony prosecutions stemming from the shooting.

Now comes the last big one: holding Mike Huckabee accountable for his role in the tragedy. The former Arkansas governor and contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination made a disastrous decision to grant clemency to Mark Renninger’s killer, Maurice Clemmons, which set him on the path to that Parkland coffee shop.

And despite hearing from the president, vice president and governors of at least three states, Kim Renninger has never received a call or a note from Huckabee.

“The person who got this ball rolling was Huckabee,” said Renninger. “I don’t have any other way to hold him accountable or make change. I can’t sue him. This is the way to do it.”

Spotlighting Huckabee’s Maurice Clemmons problem may take her to the Iowa presidential caucuses, which Huckabee won in 2008, or appearances on TV ads. She is getting advice from a GOP political consultant and former presidential candidate, Fred Karger. Renninger found Karger after reading his sharp critique of Huckabee. That led them to create a political action committee (PAC) called Truth Squad 2016. Karger is fundraising now, targeting an initial budget of $1 million.

Renninger could be a big problem for Huckabee because she has a legitimate grievance. I co-wrote a book, with Ken Armstrong, about Clemmons and the Lakewood police shootings called “The Other Side of Mercy.” I was struck by the apparent casualness of some of Huckabee’s choices.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. (AP Photo/Charlie... More

As governor, he used his power to pardon or commute sentences 1,033 times over 11 years — twice as often as his three predecessors (including Bill Clinton) did in 17 years. Clemency decisions gone wrong have been well-chronicled, particularly in Arkansas, including the release of a rapist named Wayne DuMond, who raped and murdered again when given a second chance by Huckabee.

The power of clemency — the unfettered right of an executive to free inmates or wipe a record clean — can be an important relief valve in the criminal-justice system. Governors tend to cringe at its inherent political risks and have underused it. But Huckabee is a bad vehicle for a broader reconsideration of redemption because he was a clemency radical.

Clemmons was a poor candidate for mercy. Yes, he had been sentenced to 108 years as a teenager for a series of crimes, including for assault and for stealing a state trooper’s gun from his home. But Clemmons was an abysmal prison inmate, accumulating 29 disciplinary infractions versus zero accomplishments. He spewed venom in letters from prison. His only record of rehabilitation were self-serving statements. Prosecutors repeatedly opposed parole.

Renninger acknowledges that Huckabee was just a link in a chain of poor decisions that led to the shootings on Nov. 29, 2009, in that coffee shop. But it galls her that this part of Huckabee’s record has been mostly skipped by the media so far in favor of his defense of reality-TV star Josh Duggar.

“The clemency issue should be the discussion. It’s a big decision with lasting effects,” said Renninger. “I think there’s a time and a place for clemency. But it has to be used wisely, not like Huckabee used it.”

Huckabee has accurately said that a prominent judge supported clemency and that, as governor, he followed the unanimous recommendation of his parole board to cut Clemmons’ sentence effectively in half. In a statement, Huckabee portrayed Kim Renninger as a tool of “Washington and Wall Street elites” who typically fund political attacks.

“It’s heartbreaking that these widows are being exploited for the political benefit of these secret-agenda-driven ‘super PAC’ donors. This is Washington, D.C.,-style gutter politics at its worst.”

When I met with Renninger Wednesday, it was clear she was no political puppet, but a woman with a mission. She has not remarried and her 8-year-old son, Nick, is among the nine children of the slain officers. He has no memory of his father, but constantly asks about him.

“I didn’t lose my husband. He was murdered. I know where he’s buried in Pennsylvania,” said Renninger. “What I did lose is I lost my family. I lost trust. I lost security. I lost comfort. Literally every aspect of my life has changed.”

For now, she’s the only grieving family member involved with the Truth Squad group. “I’m the first, but I won’t be the last.”
 

 

Wednesday
Apr292015

NHDP Stands With ALL NH Families While GOP Wants to Pull Us Backwards 

CONCORD, N.H.- The Supreme Court hears arguments on Obergefell v. Hodges today, the case that will determine whether marriage equality can be extended to all states. Although same-sex marriage has been legal in New Hampshire since 2009 and seventy-five percent of Granite Staters support it, the GOP just can’t catch up and continue to support discrimination against LGBT families. Just take a look at the GOP’s opinions on the subject:
 

  • Calling same-sex unions marriages “offends myself and a lot of people” – Rand Paul
  • “I believe in traditional marriage” – Jeb Bush
  • “I’m holding firm against gay marriage” – Bobby Jindal
  • “I believe marriage is between one man and one woman” – Marco Rubio
  • “I am not a fan of same-sex marriage” – Chris Christie
  • “Our state passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. I voted for it.” – Scott Walker

 
“As the Supreme Court hears arguments for marriage equality today, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is proud to stand with ALL New Hampshire families because love is love,” said Ray Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Granite Staters overwhelmingly support marriage equality, but the Republican candidates for President continue to stand on the side of discrimination. Their disgraceful attempts to pull us backwards won’t be successful in New Hampshire – it’s time they dropped their campaign against progress.”
 

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Tuesday
Apr282015

NHDP - On Eve of Landmark Supreme Court Case, Granite Staters Reminded of Kelly Ayotte’s Staunch Opposition to Marriage Equality 

Concord, N.H. – As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in a landmark marriage equality case tomorrow, Granite Staters are reminded of Kelly Ayotte’s staunch opposition to New Hampshire’s own marriage equality law.
 
Ayotte has made her opposition to marriage equality clear: “I absolutely support and believe in marriage as between a man and a woman. I do think it’s unfortunate that our state has made a different decision on that. I know that many of you who are out there working at the state level, running for state office. I commend your efforts to repeal that law here in the state of New Hampshire. I think that’s very important.”
 
Ayotte’s opposition is completely out-of-step with the views of New Hampshire, with polling showing that 75% of Granite Staters support marriage equality (making New Hampshire the most supportive state in the nation).
 
“Kelly Ayotte’s backward position on marriage equality is just another reminder that she is focused on following her party’s leadership and advancing her national interests, not representing the people of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “I’m proud that Granite Staters have made clear that we strongly support the right to marry for all of our citizens, and it’s time for Ayotte to get the message.”
 
Saturday
Apr182015

NHDP Memo to GOP Presidential Hopefuls 

MEMO

To: GOP Presidential Hopefuls

From: New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley

Welcome to New Hampshire! We hope you enjoy your time here, but we want to warn you that you may find yourselves less than pleased with our inclusive, bipartisan policies that have made the Granite State a wonderful place to live.

Paycheck fairness

Just this past year, our governor, Governor Hassan, signed a bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act, which will level the playing field for countless women across New Hampshire. Last Tuesday was equal pay day, and it was an especially proud day for New Hampshire this year.

Because you’re all pandering to the extreme right in your party, we imagine our new law makes you feel pretty uncomfortable. This is what we know about you and your take on equal pay:

  • Jeb Bush stated that he did not know what the Paycheck Fairness Act was when he was asked about it.

  • Chris Christie vetoed equal pay legislation calling it “senseless bureaucracy.”

  • Rick Perry vetoed an equal pay law and said focusing on the issue was “nonsense.”

  • Scott Walker repealed an equal pay law saying it was a “bogus issue.”

  • Marco Rubio said the Paycheck Fairness Act was about “scoring political points,” “wasting time,” and a “show vote.”  

  • Rand Paul compared the Paycheck Fairness Act to the Soviet Politburo.

Same-sex marriage

New Hampshire has been proud to allow same-sex couples to marry here since our marriage equality law passed in 2009. We know that the marriage equality in our state has made us stronger. But we also know that your stances on marriage equality are out of the mainstream and­ would move our country backwards. We find your views on same-sex marriage wrong, and in some cases, totally bizarre.

  • Jeb Bush not only opposes marriage equality, he even said a federal constitutional amendment preventing same-sex marriage was “the right thing”

  • Rand Paul doesn’t believe in the concept of gay rights, because, as he puts it, “I don’t really believe in rights based on your behavior.”

  • Scott Walker has doubled down on his opposition to same-sex marriage and pledges to fight against the legalization of gay marriage.

  • Marco Rubio is opposed to same-sex marriage, helped raise money for an abusive “ex-gay therapy” organization, and has said that he thinks gay adoption is a social experiment.

  • Ted Cruz proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would keep gay marriage out of states that didn’t allow it

  • Chris Christie has said he is “not a fan” of same-sex marriage, and even vetoed same-sex marriage legislation in New Jersey hours after it was passed.

  • Bobby Jindal supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and held a prayer rally sponsored by a group that tied Hurricane Katrina to the rising approval of same-sex marriage.

  • Rick Perry supported a federal marriage amendment and compared homosexuality to alcoholism.

Anti-discrimination legislation

In New Hampshire we’re also proud to have legislation on the books – for about 20 years actually – that prevents discrimination against individuals based on who they love.

We imagine that might alarm you, based on the discriminatory stances you’ve taken:

  • Mike Pence of Indiana’s new law gives business owners the right to deny service to LGBT Americans.

  • Jeb Bush made his anti-LGBT stance clear when he voiced support for right to discriminate legislation that would give businesses the right to refuse services to LGBT people. His comments are a clear attack on the LGBT community and just go to show that he wants to turn back the clock on progress we have made.

  • Rand Paul thought that businesses should have the right to discriminate against gay Americans, arguing it should be left up to the “marketplace.”

  • Ted Cruz believes that the government should not force anyone to serve same-sex couples if it goes against their religion and even sponsored legislation that would give organizations a license to discriminate against same-sex couples.

  • Marco Rubio not only voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because it would provide “special protections” for gay people, but he also believes businesses should be able to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Guaranteed access to contraception

Sixteen years ago, our state passed bipartisan legislation that requires contraception to be covered by a woman’s health insurance. This law means that we don’t discriminate against women, won’t take away their right to comprehensive health care, and even save them hundreds or thousands of dollars that they can now spend on education, groceries, child care – you name it. Sounds like many of you want to take away that right, though:

  • Just one month before the Supreme Court gave a woman’s boss the ability to take her birth control away from her in the Hobby Lobby decision, Jeb Bush praised companies, organizations, and individuals who would fight for the ability to take away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions

  • Chris Christie supported the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision shortly after refusing to comment on the case and said he wasn’t concerned about the impact the case would have on women. He also opposed requiring insurers to cover contraceptives for women.

  • Scott Walker refused to enforce a Wisconsin law that requires insurers to cover birth control.

  • Ted Cruz was a leading Hobby Lobby supporter in the U.S. Senate, and even stumped for the company on the U.S. Senate floor in support of their anti-women policies.

  • Rand Paul agreed with Hobby Lobby’s anti-woman policies and accused President Obama of using the government to attack the company.

  • Marco Rubio compared Hobby Lobby’s policy of taking away a woman’s access to health care to an “American Tradition”.

  • Bobby Jindal called contraception an “abortifacient”, expressing zero understanding of what contraception even is.

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