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    ‘Gay Rights’

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Uganda’s Anti-Gay christian mafia has American ties; a Virginia Senator called pregnant women “hosts” to unborn children; and Governor Bobby Jindal was rather rude at a recent White House Press Conference. Meanwhile, Paula Patton and Robin Thicke are separating; Lena Dunham will host SNL for the first time; and Ellen Pompeo killed her Charlie Sheen impression.

    -Gianna & Maura


    Hillary, ‘The Family,’ and Uganda’s Anti-Gay Christian Mafia: http://rtvote.com/1et5x5
    The President of Uganda recently signed into law anti-gay legislation that establishes a crime of “aggravated homosexuality” which includes acts where one person is infected with HIV, “serial offenders,” and sex with minors. The maximum sentence for “Aggravated Homosexuality” is life in prison. The legislation was crafted by David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan Parliament and core member of the American Evangelical Christians called “The Family”. “The Family” proudly calls itself the “Christian Mafia” and for over 75 years “The Family”s main goal has been to consecrate America to God.

    Virginia senator under fire after calling pregnant women ‘hosts’ to unborn babies: http://rtvote.com/1mvWXty
    Virginia Senator Steve Martin is under fire after his Facebook response to a letter from a pro-choice coalition. The letter from the coalition reportedly stated, “All women deserve access to their full range of reproductive health options — including preventing unintentional pregnancies, raising healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion.” Senator Martin responded to the letter by saying, “Once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.” Needless to say, Senator Martin received various hate mail, nasty grams, vile comments and death threats after his very controversial Facebook post.

    Bobby Jindal rips Obama at bipartisan White House event: http://rtvote.com/1cLJ8nU
    After the National Governors Association’s annual meeting, the governors held a press conference and many spoke on the need to emphasize areas of common agreement, the concern about the recent defense spending cuts, increasing transportation and their shared contempt of Washington. Governor Pete Shumlin of Vermont said it best, “We governors actually have to get things done. It’s not like Congress down here.” But, despite positive remarks, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana stirred controversy with comments about President Obama’s leadership in the White House. He remarked that “The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy” and also accused President Obama of “ waving the white flag of surrender job growth.”

    Amid the coverage of Ukraine, is a crisis in Venezuela being ignored?: http://rtvote.com/1fQMwLJ
    Unless you’ve been completely absent from TV, Social Media or The Internet, then there’s a 99 percent chance that you’ve heard about the crisis in Ukraine. However, as the crisis in Venezuela continues to grow, many are wondering why it hasn’t received equal media attention in comparison to the extensive coverage on Ukraine. A Venezuelan-born journalist, Mariana Atencio, made a remark that shed light on the situation for the media: “The domestic media blackout imposed by President Nicolas Maduro makes coverage by international outlets all the more crucial.” We’ll have to keep an eye out as this story develops, but the Venezuelan crisis is crucial and definitely should be a big news story.


    Ellen Pompeo Does a Killer Charlie Sheen Impression: http://rtvote.com/OyP8YK

    Lena Dunham Set to Host Saturday Night Live For the First Time: http://rtvote.com/1fnifU0

    Reese Witherspon and Usher Play Catch Phrase on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon—Watch Now!: http://rtvote.com/1fnirm1

    Late Night With Seth Meyers Premiere: 10 Things to Know About Amy Poehler, Joe Biden and the Big Night: http://rtvote.com/1jxlGMZ

    Robin Thicke and Paula Patton Split: Inside Their Roller Coaster Past Year Together: http://rtvote.com/1etlvgv

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: October 23, 2013

    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

    Dead Boston Marathon suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was allegedly involved in a triple slaying in 2001; a 14-year-old boy is arrested for a teacher’s murder; and this year’s increases in public university tuitions are the lowest they’ve been in three decades. Meanwhile, a man spends major bucks to look like J-Biebs, and Katharine McPhee is caught kissing a married man (uh oh!).

    -Sandy + Maura


    Dead Boston Marathon suspect tied to 2011 killingshttp://rtvote.com/19v0suo
    Federal prosecutors have filed a report against 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect shot and killed by police. Authorities allege that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in a triple slaying on September 11, 2011. The filing is prosecutors’ attempt to block Tamerlan’s younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, from obtaining certain information from authorities, like investigative documents on the triple slaying, also known as the Waltham slayings.

    Obama appeals to backers on health care lawhttp://rtvote.com/1fVgPpj
    President Obama reminds American citizens that the new health care program is “much more than a website.” There are many benefits, including young people being able to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26, the elimination of restrictions on coverage, and the provision of preventive care. The president admitted there are technical issues to overcome with healthcare.gov, but he assures the American people that these problems are being addressed as we speak.

    Colleges see a slowdown in tuition price increaseshttp://rtvote.com/19vd9Wg
    This year, four-year public universities in the U.S. have seen the smallest annual increase in three decades. Tuition and fees rose only 2.9%, but this was offset by recent declines in federal grant aid. Low tuition increases are a reason to rejoice, but don’t expect to see much of this from now on. Economist Sandy Baum says that these small increases serve as reminders of the cyclical nature of price increases.

    Boy held in teacher’s death that closed schools in Danvers, Massachusettshttp://rtvote.com/1eJm2gU
    The body of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old teacher, was found in the woods near Danvers High School in Massachussetts today. A 14-year-old boy was arrested and is being held for Ritzer’s murder. Authorities found the teacher’s body after she failed to return home yesterday; the boy was reported missing yesterday afternoon. Police cannot release the suspect’s name or his connection to Ritzer because of his juvenile status.

    Dolphins killed for shark bait in Peruhttp://rtvote.com/1fVmonK
    The cost of fish bait increases annually in Peru, so shark fishermen have resorted to using dolphins as shark bait. This practice is outlawed in Peru, but that isn’t stopping them. The Peruvian government has promised to investigate whether this is a widespread practice and will take measures if so. More than 10,000 dolphins are being slaughtered every year in Peruvian waters. Shark meat is predominantly consumed in Peru, but the fins are oftentimes shipped to the Far East as well.


    James Alan Fox stresses the importance of safer gun policies and technologies in “Nevada school shooting shows limits of security,”http://rtvote.com/1gFegsQ

    Julian Zelizer applauds the gay rights movement for focusing on the marriage issue to garner political support in “Chris Christie ahead of the GOP curve on same-sex marriage,” http://rtvote.com/1eJsh4p


    Man Spends $100,000 to Look Like Justin Bieber, http://rtvote.com/1gFfTH1

    Katharine McPhee Caught Kissing Married Smash Director Michael Morris, http://rtvote.com/1eJsS5U

    Rider Strong Marries Alexandra Barreto, http://rtvote.com/1gFgAzX

    Danielle Fishel Slams Critics Calling Her Fat On Wedding Day, http://rtvote.com/1gFgFDU


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Why RTV Intern Chelsea Supports Marriage Equality

    Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

    Everyone deserves equality. It’s as simple as that statement. But that simple statement also carries the weight of thousands of real people who are affected by inequality everyday. Currently there are people across the country that are not given equal protection under the law simply because of their sexual orientation. The right to marry whomever, man or woman, is a major step in the right direction for those currently being discriminated against. But it is also important to know this is not the last step. We must keep fighting discrimination not only legally but personally as well.

    I grew up in an area where “that’s so gay” was one of the most commonly used phrases. If someone couldn’t go to the movies with you, or your parents said you weren’t allowed to do something, one’s immediate response would be: “That’s so gay.” I myself was a person who commonly used the phrase. That was, until Jason pulled me aside one day. My friend Jason is compassionate, intelligent, hard working,, and as I soon found out, gay. I was one of the first people Jason decided to come out to. He was also the first gay person I was close to. After he came out, I became hyper aware of the off-handed comments that are derogatory to homosexuals. and all of the off-handed comments I made.

    From that moment on I became determined to never let someone make a comment like that in my presence without asking them what they really meant. We are all human beings and we all deserve to feel like equal citizens. Comments like “that’s so gay” put a negative stereotype on the gay community. We should not be promoting negative stereotypes that make people feel like outsiders, and Prop 8 and DOMA are laws that make people in the gay community feel like outsiders.

    I went to the marriage equality rally at the Supreme Court today to support striking down Prop 8 and DOMA because I believe that no law should be passed that makes an entire group of people feel like there is something wrong with them. I support marriage equality because a marriage between two men or two women is no different than a marriage between a man and a woman. It is a bond formed out of love. It should not be marked as “other” and contribute to the frequent stereotyping of the gay community. Marriage equality would be a major win in the battle for gay rights. But we also need to remember that discrimination is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed.

    – Chelsea Matzen

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Why RTV Intern Angela Supports Marriage Equality

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

    70%: that’s how many millennials support gay marriage. Almost three quarters of young people, and more than half of all Americans, have said that all Americans should be treated equally under the law, no matter who they love. The support for marriage equality has been growing stronger and stronger in recent years, and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on Prop. 8 and DOMA, the public has come out and asked them to strike down these measures and stand on the side of love.

    Politicians have changed their views and have publicly supported gay marriage. Senators Rob Portman and Claire MacCaskill, Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Barack Obama and many more have announced their support. Even conservatives have been changing their views. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC earlier this month GOProud spoke to a standing-room only audience of young Republican supporters; the same day only a few dozen people listened to the National Organization for Marriage attack gay marriage.

    This is an issue that is very personal for most of us, which explains the shift in opinion. We all know someone like Ryan: Ryan is a great person, he is in a committed relationship with a wonderful guy, and it seems perfectly reasonable that they want to get married. But they can’t. I want to go to my friend’s wedding, and it should not be a problem that there will be two grooms.  Marriage is a celebration of love that cannot be limited to only some couples.

    Right now there are people lined up and camping outside the Supreme Court in the snow and slush in anticipation of the arguments tomorrow. They are making a statement that loving someone can never be wrong. Visit our website to learn more about the issue and take action http://www.rockthevote.com/wewill/issues/marriage-equality/. Share your support on facebook and twitter, and join us tomorrow and Wednesday in front of the Supreme Court as we unite for marriage equality.

    – Angela Smith

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Why Kimmy from Rock the Vote Supports Marriage Equality

    Monday, March 25th, 2013

    This Wednesday, in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 — which the Supreme Court will be hearing in an historic case — thousands of citizens of all ages and demographics will rally for same-sex marriage. Many others will undoubtedly protest it. The issue of same-sex marriage has sparked heated debates amongst members of Congress and was a major issue during the 2012 elections.

    Personally, I’m from a small town in upstate New York where people land on both sides of the issue and are very passionate about it. In my hometown, it’s even common for people to vote solely based on a candidate’s views on same-sex marriage. When I was first introduced to the issue and the controversies surrounding it, I was actually confused by how polarizing it was.

    My first question was: why are we so nosy? I didn’t – and still don’t — understand what someone’s sexual orientation has to do with me. What someone does behind closed doors doesn’t bother me. Does my music taste bother you? Does my shaving cream brand bother you? Hell, does the type of underwear I decide to put on today discourage your ability to live happily in our society? What one does in private does not concern me. As long as there are no violent implications in one’s choices, then I don’t think anyone’s personal decisions should be restricted.

    The fact that there is legislation that decides whether same-sex couples can marry or not makes me feel as though we live in a draconian society, where it is frowned upon to show one’s socks and rock music is the siren song of the devil. For a country that prides itself on being a progressive, open society, where any view can be expressed, we should do a better job to live up to the freedoms we boast. There shouldn’t have to be legislation that restricts what a certain demographic of American citizens is able to do, and that’s something we should remember when the Supreme Court hears the historic case on DOMA and Proposition 8 this week.

    – Kimberly Yam

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com