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Tuesday
May082012

President Obama Endorses Gay Marriage | Meet France's New First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, A Fresh Face

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Anne is reading …

One key line in the sand between President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney has been drawn today, and the topic is gay marriage. In a dramatic nod to his own constituency of Democrats who heavily favor gay marriage — and that includes large numbers of Catholic voters — President Obama became the first sitting president to declare this afternoon his support for same-sex marriage. Huff Po writes:

The statement constitutes an act of political bravery on the president’s behalf, as well as a major victory for the gay rights community, which has been pushing him to declare his support for marriage equality for several years. With the issue back in the news this week, the pressure intensified.

Mitt Romney does not agree, when asked for his views on gay marriage, telling POLITICO’s Reid Epstein:

“Well when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name. My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”

Related: Liberal Donors’ Plan Worries Top Democrats NYTimes

Hatch calls on IRS to probe whether staffer leader anti-gay marriage group’s files FOX News

A Real Conversion for the Rest of Us Catholics Huff Po

More DFR

France’s New First Lady

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of defeated French President Sarkozy, will exit the Elysee Palace stage left, as the new first lady Valerie Trierweiler prepares for her new role alongside President-elect Francois Hollande. Adding spice to the French election result is the fact that twice-divorced journalist Trierweiler “stole” her man, according to the Washington Post, from “Segolene Royal, the mother of Hollande’s four children and a former presidential candidate now seeking her own seat of political power.”

After losing to Sarkozy in 2007, Royal asked Hollande to leave the family home, given his full-blown relationship with Trierweiler. Now she seeks the position as speaker of France’s lower house of parliament, if the Socialists win June’s legislative elections.

Unlike her supermodel predecessor, Valerie wears high-street shops or mid-range labels. Her trademark look consists of a trench-coat or a blazer, a simple shirt, ample trousers and small heels — often accessorized by a Gérard Darel handbag and a colorful silk scarf, writes Fashionista.

Florence Willaert, editor-at-large at French Grazia, describes France’s new first lady. “She is discreet, real, and a lot easier to identity with. She embodies the same message as her husband: a new proximity to the people.”  The couple intends to live in their apartment in a Parisian neighborhood, not the Elysee Palace.

Tuesday
May082012

Republican NC Leader on Gay Marriage Amendment: "If it passes, I think it will be repealed within 20 years"

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Andrej Pejic | Mathew Guido | Schön! Magazine #17 Summer 2012 | ‘Forever Andrej

Gallup released a new poll today reiterating that half of Americans believe in same-sex marriage. The findings are down slightly from a year ago when 53% of those polled favored, compared to today’s 50%. 48% are opposed to gap marriage in the Gallup pole.

A Pew Research poll released two weeks had a 47% in favor/43% opposed result.

Support for Legal Same-Sex Marriage, by Political Subgroup (Gallup)

Voters in North Carolina are expected to vote today in favor of defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman.The Washington Post weighs in:

State House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican from a Charlotte suburb, said even if the amendment is passed, it will be reversed as today’s young adults age.

“It’s a generational issue,” Tillis told a student group at North Carolina State University in March about the amendment he supports. “If it passes, I think it will be repealed within 20 years.”

Monday
May072012

Melinda Gates Makes Global Contraception & Family Planning Top Priority of Gates Foundation | Sibelius at Georgetown

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Anne is reading …

Besides trying to save Planned Parenthood for American women, there is probably no issue that upsets me more in life than the Catholic Church’s refusal to allow contraception in poor countries. American women had better fasten our own seat belts, because the bishops are on the march here in America to end contraception, too.

Reading now that Melinda Gates has made a decision that family planning will be her signature issue and a primary public health priority nearly has me weeping. Michelle Goldberg shares the news that the Gates Foundation will convene a summit of world leaders in London in July, to begin raising the $4 billion the foundation will need to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by 2020.

Melinda Gates says that she will also invest in sponsoring research in the “long-neglected field of contraceptive research, seeking entirely new methods of birth control.” Melinda seeks to galvanize a global movement.

Gates believes that by focusing on the lives of women and children, and by making it clear that the agenda is neither coercive population control nor abortion, the controversy over international family-planning programs can be defused. Right now, she points out, 100,000 women annually die in childbirth after unintended pregnancies. Six hundred thousand babies born to women who didn’t want to be pregnant die in the first month of life. “She is somebody who really sees this as a public-health necessity,” says Melanne Verveer, the United States ambassador at large for global women’s issues. “I think she believes, and I hope she is right, that people of different political persuasions can come together on this issue.”

Melinda Gates on Contraception

“You get her out in the field with a group of women, she is totally in her element,” a foundation official says. (Courtesy of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)Melinda Gates won’t have an easy time launching this new initiative. Susan Yoshihara, director of research at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute — a huge factor in resisting foreign aid or philanthropy dollars for family planning programs — says about the initiative: ““If she wants to put money into it, that’s fine, but she doesn’t get to say no one gets to argue with me.”

After making her announcement in April at a TEDxChange conference in Berlin, the headlines were devastating.

“Melinda Gates Promotes Abortion at Mtg, Attacks Catholics,” read a headline on LifeNews.com. The U.K. Catholic Herald’s Francis Phillips was more measured, saying, “It is always a disappointment when a public figure of great wealth, standing or power explains that although they are loyal Catholics they think Church teaching is wrong—predictably on moral matters.”

See TEDxChange.org — How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life.

Georgetown Rebels, Invites Sibelius

Days after the Vatican demanded that Catholic bishops be put in charge of teachers at America’s Catholic Universities, and all speakers and talks be subject to bishops’ approval, Georgetown University has fired back by inviting US Secy of Health and Human Services Kathleen Silbelius, a Catholic who lives in the bullseye of bishops’ scorn, to give the policy institute’s commencement address.

Sebelius announced the Obama Administration contraception mandate compromise, an action that has caused the Catholic Church to launch a “fortnight of freedom” crying that the church is being persecuted in America. via USA Today