Friday, September 6, 2013

Via JMG: RUSSIA: President Obama Meets With LGBT Activists In St. Petersburg

The Washington Times reports:
President Obama told Russian gay rights leaders and other activists Friday that fighting for social justice helped him to get elected president. “I got my start as a community organizer,” Mr. Obama said during a meeting with activists in St. Petersburg, Russia. “I got elected president by engaging people at a grassroots level.” Mr. Obama, who has criticized Russia’s new anti-gay laws that outlaw “homosexual propaganda,” met with the director of a Russian LGBT network and others at the conclusion of the G-20 summit. He said the work of such activists is “critically important” to an open society.“I’m very proud of their work,” Mr. Obama said. “Part of good government is making sure we’re creating a space for civil society."
A spokesman for Russia's Human Rights First called today's meeting a "terrific first step."

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: NEW MEXICO: Dona Ana County Clerk Requests Donations To Defend Marriage Suit Brought By GOP Lawmakers

New Mexico's Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins is asking for donations to help defend the lawsuit brought against him by state GOP lawmakers.  Ellins was the state's first county clerk to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses and since he tipped that first domino, seven other county clerks have joined in, bringing marriage equality to a slight majority of New Mexico's citizens. The "Sharer" mentioned in the above graphic is GOP state Sen. William Sharer, who last week said that gay men should "stop whoring around and marry a woman."  From the above-linked donation site:
For months leading up to his decision, Mr. Ellins and a close circle of confidants conferred with a legal team to make sure that if the decision to issue licenses were challenged, a quick and effective defense could be mounted. Before the first license was issued on Aug. 21, more than $10,000 in legal fees already had been incurred.
Mr. Ellins is mindful that not all of his constituents agree with the principal or the ideology behind his decision, and he has stated his intention not to spend taxpayer funds defending his decision to issue licenses. Legal action has now been filed and legal costs will begin to climb rapidly.
We're asking you to support Mr. Ellins and his daring leadership by making a donation to help cover legal costs already incurred, as well as legal costs that may be lurking in the near future. In the event that we receive more contributions than we need to cover the actual costs, we'll donate the excess to an organization that will continue the fight for equal rights for all New Mexicans in every sense of the word.
I'm kicking in $20 with an added quote from Ellins himself: "Let me put it this way, some people have balls, some people don’t, alright?"

Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma September 6, 2013

Everything is Dukkha

A lot of what meditation is teaching, a lot of what Buddhism is teaching, is basically how to acknowledge all of the traumas that are around us. That's what the Buddha was talking about with the word dukkha, that everything is dukkha.
- Mark Epstein, "Tricycle Talks: Buddhism & Psychotherapy"
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