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Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

I’ve been gone for the past couple of days and while I was away it seems as if the gay world and politics have collided and not in a good way.  While I might be a little late to the game but it seems as if DOJ is upholding DOMA and not giving good reasons why they may hold such an archaic law in place.

This folks is what I was talking about in my posts around election time.  Over and over the gay community is courted for their votes by politicians with promises of equality and fairness when all the politicians are suffering from are delusions of political grandeur.  Where does that leave the gay community?  It leaves us again smarting from a wasted vote.  Perhaps; but what is more troubling is the fact that the minute these politicians say something pro-gay our community goes racing to put said person on a pedestal.  Is it idol worship?  To some extent yes and frankly it burns us a lot.  We are so quick to canonize those that “seem” to be pro-LGBT we don’t take a moment to step back and say what happens if…?  For example, “What happens/or what does it mean if our President stands during a national debate and says  he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman?”  Or, “What happens if a hypocritical piece of legislation is passed and our President or Congress doesn’t say anything?”  Or, “What happens if those politicians we voted for deem it the States job to define marriage 50 times though-out the nation?”   Better yet, “What happens or what do we do, as a gay community, considering a week after DOJ/Obama Administration issues a statement upholding DOMA (which the Obama Admin said would be repealed), when the same Administration wants to invite us to a DNC LGBT Leadership Council Dinner/fundraiser?” 

Yes you heard right, a week after Obama’s Administration is to gutless to stand up for the gay community and hides behind a weak DOJ brief regarding the ruling on Prop 8 they want us to donate our hard earned cash for a LGBT dinner.  FUCK THAT!

We as a gay community need to boycott this dinner/fundraiser thing.  We need to hold our political figures whom woo us for our votes to a higher standard and make them deliver on their promises.  Or at least stop them from speaking out against us on rulings.  I mean if member s of Congress and Obama’s Administration can stand in front of camera’s and say things like gay marriage can be decided on a State to State basis perhaps I should save my money for my State governance system.  Or better yet perhaps I should save $30,400 (the max donation that a gay can give at this NDC dinner/fundraiser event) for the health care that my partner isn’t provided for because health care benefits aren’t provided to gay couples. 

This disgusts and infuriates me.  It is presumptuous and sickening.  I say we boycott until Congress and the Obama Administration stands up and asks the world to understand and accept us instead of asking us for more money.  We boycott until Obama and his people say DOMA and DADT are miscarriages of justice and do not provide the LGBT Community equal rights and benefits.  We boycott until we see Congress, Obama, and Obama’s Administration grow a set.  Because remember the DNC is asking for at least a $1000 for the LGBT Leadership Council dinner but the little brief the DOJ released said the following

“It is therefore permitted to maintain the unique privileges [the government] has afforded to [different-sex marriages] without immediately extending the same privileges, and scarce government resources, to new forms of marriage that States have only recently begun to recognize…DOMA maintains federal policies that have long sought to promote the traditional and uniformly-recognized form of marriage, recognizes the right of each State to expand the traditional definition if it so chooses, but declines to obligate federal taxpayers in other States to subsidize a form of marriage that their own states do not recognize.”

So the government “declines to obligate federal taxpayers in other States to subsidize a form of marriage that their own states do not recognize,” well I decline to obligate my hard earned money to people who have nothing to show for it.

Did I mention the brief compares gay marriage to incest?  Yeah, insult to injury much…..

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Hello world.  It’s so nice to be back.  It has been so hectic at work I’ve been unable to blog appropriately to you all.  Things have been going good!  It feels so good to sit down and get to typing and seeing what has been going on in the blogging universe.  Let’s catch you up with the happenings in Erie.

 

Frank and I have been seeing each other for just about three months.  It has been great; he is a very nice guys and I enjoy the time we spend together.  With that said dating hasn’t come without some rough patches.  I’ve learned a whole bunch about juggling time between work, friends, family, and dating.  It becomes even more difficult when Frank started meeting my friends.  Our age difference still makes it awkward, at least for me, but what can I do.  I can’t stop enjoying the company of my friends just because Frank is older than me/us.  It has been a definite balancing act though.  I try to spend specific days with Frank and specific days with friends…then toss in 8 hours of work and day to day errands and it gets a little exhausting.  But all in all the dating is going well.

 

I just finished my summer schedule and literally every weekend this summer is filled.  I have five weddings 3 of which I’m in and a variety of rehearsals dinners, ball games, and a cottage vacation with Lauren and her family.  I’m burned out just thinking about it considering it begins the last weekend of this month.

 

Next Tuesday my Sister and I have tickets to go see Bruce Springsteen!!!!! I’m uber excited for it and going with my Sister.  We are going to go early and try and get into the pit.  I’m all about waiting in line for seven hours!!!!!!!  Plus I have a half day of work on Monday then I head home to stay with my parents.  It is going to be a great weekend!

 

Now for the really good stuff!  Gay Marriage!!!!  For those who haven’t been keeping up recent political movements Maine has legalized gay marriage!  It is great step in our battle for equal rights.  Not far behind Maine is New Hampshire.  There are hammering out the fine details but I’ve heard that New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch would sign the bill if the churches had some security measures against legal recourse if they refuse to marry gay couples.  Also on the march for rights is New York.  Its own gay marriage bill has passed the house and will go to the Senate.  This isn’t the first time New York has tried to pass a gay marriage bill (check the bottom of the link for the details). 

 

But with all this great movement for our right to be married we do have to remember a couple things.  First, we still have many, many states to see gay marriage bills passed.  Including those states with mini-DOMA’s.  Now is not the time to be complacent we need to still fight for our rights.  Just because several states understand the idea behind progressing the rights others deserve there are many more that would like to keep marriage a purely hetersexual right.  We Must Keep Fighting.  Secondly, we cannot foreget other aspect of our fight for rights.  We have to remember our transgendered community as well.  Also we have to remember we can’t just fight for gay marriage we have to fight for all rights for our LGBT Community.  I stumbled upon this article a few weeks ago and it is importantthat it be read.  It notes the struggles that gay, binational couples/married couples have.  You see while we hae some states that allow us to marry, federally we are not recognized as being married.  Whcih means binational coules cannot recieive their green cards and live ina country that recognizes their marriage.  This is an example of the differences between state and federally recognized rights.  This leads me to my final thing to remember.  These fights have been done at the state level not the federal level.  At some point in time we will have to hold Obama, his Administration, and the current Congress to their promises of equalit and pass rights at the federal level.  Otherwise our rights will memain a mishmas  of gine and with-held rights.  We deserve the full benefits of living in a country; this includes all rights provided by citizens and not just a buffet of rights.

 

Finally, last Thursday was my 1 year blog birthday.  I want to thank all those of you out there that take the time to read my rants and raves.  I love blogging and being part of such a wonderful and creative community.  I especially want to give my blogroll a shout out!  They help inspire and keep going.  I love the discourse we have with one another.  Everyone should check out those who are on my blogroll because they are awesome!!!! Woot woot!!!!!!!

 

Thank you bloggers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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H.R. 1913 aka the Matthew Shepard Act has passed the House of Representatives!!!!!!!  This is an important step for the Bill.  For those of you who do not know about the Act check out some info here.  It is named after Matthew Shepard; a young man who fell victim to a violent hate crime. 

The importance of this act is that it protects gays, lesbians, transgenered, and bisexuals from hate crimes.  H.R. 1913 passed the House by a vote of 249 to 175.   A significant margin!  But our work isn’t done there.  It has to  pass the Senate and then Obama must sign it into law.  The Matthew Shepard act came close to being passed in 2007 but was ultimately killed on the floor because it was going to be vetoed by Bush.  One third and  only two more to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hello all after some light posting for the past two weeks I thought I would do a longer post…one with some meat to it 😉

 

Frank and I are doing well.  We are still going on out dates together and having our naked parties.  It is nice change compared to being single.  I went out with him last weekend and met several of his friends…it was nice and his friends were really kind.  I think they knew we were seeing each other.  It makes things a little awkward because his friends are his peers and he is a respectable person and I don’t want our age difference to deter from that and him being a professional.  But overall the dinner with his friends was good…then came the big night.  He had a big solo this past Friday and I went to the concert….Here I was under the impression I would meet a ton of his peers…well I met a few but it wasn’t as big of a deal as I had once made it out to be (go figure).  It was a good concert and I appreciated being there and that Frank wanted me to come.  Things have been good with Frank and we, I feel are just enjoying, each other’s company.  I plan on seeing him tonight and I hope on Wednesday after that I will be out of town for Easter L 

 

This weekend I attempted my first try at spaghetti sauce.  Not just any sauce but my Mother’s pasta sauce.  After a visit to the grocery story to get all the accoutrements I dutifully diced, pressed, and chopped all the ingredients for the sauce.  There I was in my tiny kitchen dumping cans of tomatoes, diced onions, a variety of broths etc into a big pot…I looked like an Italian Grandma…the pot simmering and boiling and I’m just standing there stirring.  I did badger my mother out of her mind.  She’s done the sauce for so long she knows it by hear a la no exact recipe for Sammy to follow.   Our poor phone bill!  Then there was this moment where I was standing in front of a warming pot with a concoction of lord knows what and all I could think is, “Please god let this pot of stuff magically become my Mother’s sauce.”  Well in the end I managed to put together my Mother’s sauce!!!  I was pleased with the results.  The one other thing that my Mother failed to mention and I forgot to ask about is the recipe that she gave me makes enough sauce to feed a family of four and then some.  Needless to say my freezer is full of pasta sauce.  I also made a roast this weekend and did a ton of laundry…what I was a domesticated god this weekend 😉

 

 

So let’s talk politics!  I last posted on Iowa which is AWESOME!  But the gays have been making waves elsewhere too.  Let’s start with the mess of a state known as North Dakota.  A few months ago I did a little post regarding North Dakota passing an abortion ban protecting the rights of unborn children.  It makes it illegal for women to get an abortion…crazy right?  If that wasn’t crazy enough North Dakota decided to notch it up just a little more in the “making unsound and unjustified decisions” department.  A bill meant to protect gay men and women died in the North Dakota House.  It’s funny because the Reps for North Dakota will protect unborn children but heaven forbid they protect the rights of people who live and pay taxes in North Dakota who just happen to be gay.  Rep. Robin Weisz said the reason he didn’t support the bill was because being homosexual isn’t something you are born with it a lifestyle or a behavior. 

 What an IDIOT!  I mean really, you will protect something that isn’t viable outside of a woman’s womb but you won’t protect an adult.  It is absurd and backwards reasoning.  I guess North Dakota Reps. answered the question about protecting the rights of a child if he or she grew up to be gay….they wouldn’t.

Also, any person in the North Dakota House (in fact make that any person that uses this argument) that argued the usage of transgendered or transsexual language in the bill would allow sexual predators access to children deserves to be sterilized to save the rest of humanity from their stupidity.  I hardly think the hundreds of thousands of educated people who argue for transgendered/transsexual language are arguing for laws that would allow for sexual predators to go after children.

I just can’t wrap my mind around the break in reasoning these people have.  They argue that a child in the womb is just as much as a person who pays taxes so they create laws to protect this child in the womb yet when men and women argue to be protected from hate crimes do not get the protection they need….they don’t get the protection they need because people believe that being gay is a behavior or a lifestyle.  While it isn’t a behavior or a lifestyle (we are born this way), don’t people deserve to be protected even if there was a semblance of a chance that it is a “lifestyle” (which, like I’ve said, it isn’t).  I suspect they nuts that are Reps. in the House have some religious tendencies that misconstrue the facts about gay people.

 

Now we move to Vermont.  Vermont was giving me a lot of hope when I read this article a few weeks ago.  I’m pleased to see Vermont, without the courts forcing them to do it, looks to pass same-sex marriage in the State.  AWESOME…then Vermont Gov. James Douglas (yes I’ll post a picture)sends us back to the stone age saying he’d veto the bill because he thinks the civil union bill is good enough.  Listen James one, that is the most absurd thing you could have ever said, secondly, America tried something like this a while back…it was called…hhhmmm let me think….Separate but Equal and guess what it didn’t work then and it sure as hell isn’t going to work now.  So after hearing this news I was glum.  The New England states have been so good about leading the fight in gay rights that I never thought we would have such a problem.  Unfortunately, there are not enough votes to override the governor’s veto….even though both the Vermont House and Senate both passed the same-sex marriage measure.  You know what it is Douglas is a pussy (excuse the language) that doesn’t have the balls to stand up for what is right.  One person, one man, is stopping a right for thousands of people because he feels that the civil-union system is good enough.  Just because something is good enough doesn’t mean it is right, or done, or fully equal.  Then one of the worst parts was the fact that he quoted Obama’s stance as a reason for not allowing same sex message. 

“”But, like President Obama and other leaders on both sides of the aisle, I believe that marriage should remain between a man and woman.”” (I got this quote from the CNN article linked above)

This is exactly what I feared and blogged about during the Presidential elections.  What our leaders say and there stances on things, like gay marriage, matter because other elected officials and citizens look to them for guidance in these types of issues.  Go figure Obama would stand there and say he feels marriage is between a man and a woman and the Gov. of Vermont is taking the same stance and quoting Obama and others as evidence in his flimsy argument.  It’s disheartening and upsetting.    

 

Well that’s about it for now…I’ve rambled on and I’m sure have had enough of your gay news for the day.  I hope to get another post up before I leave town this weekend.  Have a lovely day bitches!

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So I’ve been mulling over my feelings this past week regarding gay issues.  I’ve been reading up on gay marriages, civil unions, anti-hate laws, and most recently the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.  The policy was enacted by Bill Clinton in 1993.  I find it a tough pill to swallow.  I’ve always been proud of my country.  I admire the fact that men and women are willing to put their lives out on the line for a place that they believe to be good.  What makes this policy so unacceptable (other than Clinton saying he would work to allow gay to be out and open in the military) is that it is basically our top governmental officials saying they aren’t accepting of us.  And by us I mean gay men and women who also dedicate their lives to honoring our country in times of need and war.  The other despicable aspect of this policy is that it forced men and women to be closeted.  Being in the closet is, in my opinion, a personal choice.  It’s a personal choice that shouldn’t be forced into policy by the government. 

 

As I was looking over the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy I found some fun and exiting verbage that seem appropriate to visit.

 

“Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, which is defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage or attempted marriage to someone of the same gender.”

 

 

quoted in “The Pentagon’s New Policy Guidelines on Homosexuals in the Military”, The New York Times (July 20, 1993), p.A14.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Ask_Don%27t_Tell)

 

I don’t know if straight people realize the tight line gay men and women have to walk in regards to this statement.  We gays are not allowed to even breathe a word of our sexuality otherwise they are discharged.  Now far be it from me to judge, but I have to theorize there are plenty of men in the military that have no problem at all talking about their wives, their girlfriend/lovers etc. and what they do to them on a daily basis or what they are going to do to them when they get home from active duty.  A little one sided wouldn’t you say.  If straight military men and women can’t listen to gay men and women talk about our sexual conquests then why should we have to listen to theirs?  Of course our government could never think of limiting straights discussing their sexual rendezvous that would be a freedom of speech issue…right?  Basically our freedom to be who we are is limited because we “freak” out military personnel.  Speaking of which lets read the reasons given to why DADT needed to be enacted.

 

 

 

“…would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Ask_Don%27t_Tell)

 

Jesus christ, I never realized my homosexuality could bring down an entire military unit.  That’s a lot of power my sexuality yields!  You know what I have to say about that….your in the fucking military.  Grow a set and give the homophobia a rest.  I believe you probably have bigger fish to worry about, say the enemy shooting at you, instead of my homosexuality.  Really if you can make it though boot camp you would think these people would have some semblance to get over their fear of the gays.  Aaaahhh yes my being gay destroys the high morale of group of people who shoots other people…perfect logic.  In fact I would like to take a moment to discuss the military not being able to tolerate homosexuality.  If military people can’t tolerate something like my being gay how can they tolerate an entirely different culture and way of life.  I mean if the military needs a policy to keep me from talking about sleeping with men because it makes them uncomfortable how will they ever adjust to the lives and cultures in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other places in the world that will take soldiers out of their comfort zone.  I’m just asking!

Recently we’ve had another winner who has been talking about the gays demoralizing the troops.  In a recent Washington Times Article, by Stephen Dinan, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, has been quoted as saying “It’s a matter of judgment, and I think that would be very poor judgment on the part of the commander in chief,…It would be very demoralizing to the troops.” 

Elaine Donnelly

Donnelly is speaking about the recent rumors that William White, the chief operating officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, might be selected for the position of the Secretary of the Navy.  Oh one last thing he’s gay and out!!!! 

William White

 

Heaven forbid we ever put a good, gay role model into a position of leadership to exemplify what it can be like with gays in the military.  That would demoralize the troops…?  It’s unfortunate people like Elaine Donnelly like to use their voices to perpetuate a negative view of gay men and women.  But, there is silver lining to Donnelly’s cloud of hate, the Secretary of the Navy is a civilian position meaning William White is eligible for the position even though he is out in the public eye.  You see, DADT cannot be applied to people civilians (I guess it’s that whole taking away the freedom of speech from them and making forcing them to remain in the closet that keeps it from being applied to all of us).  Because of his civilian status William White is safe to be gay and be elected to this position if Obama taps him for it…which I hope he does.  We will see.

 

Below is the Stephen Dinan article from the Washington Times and a second article regarding DADT.

 

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/18/gay-man-backed-for-navy-secretary/

http://www.newsweek.com/id/177723?GT1=43002

 

 

 

 

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So today I fully intended a happy fun Christmassy like post then I made the mistake of surfing over to CNN.  I just read the article regarding Obama’s choice for the inaugural invocation.  He has chosen Rick Warren.  Please read the article, the link is below:

 

 http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/17/obama.warren/index.html

 

God damn it.  I am thoroughly offended by this!  It’s a slap in the face really.  So Linda Douglass is quoted in the article saying, “”“The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] issues,” Douglass said. “But it has always been his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some issues.”” Obviously, he doesn’t disagree with him enough to find his opposition to gay marriage offensive.  It very well may be true, regarding finding common ground with people who disagree on some issues but I’m not some issue nor are my rights.

What people fail to recognize is that my rights are not a bargaining chip.  It isn’t common ground that should be disagreed on, Obama should be championing for our rights.  I’ve come terms with the concept that gay rights are not number one on the agenda (and I hate to admit it because in my mind gay rights should be a high priority unfortunately it’s not shaping up to be that way).  Fine, let’s fix the economy, let’s get out of this war, but remember there were a ton of gay men and women who voted to put Obama into office then he goes off and makes this kind of choice for invocation.  It’s like a big F*** You!

I love the fact that Linda Douglass defends the choice to saying, ““This is going to be the most inclusive, open, accessible inauguration in American history.””  Please, really?  Do you really believe that, as a gay man, I want to go to the inauguration of our President who chose a man, who does not support gay marriage or gay rights, to do the invocation.  Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?  It shows a disconnect with the gay community.

What people don’t understand is the symbolism that his choice holds.  It is symbolic acquiescence to the religious right.  Remember when I posted several months ago and said that I wanted someone in office that would champion rights 100%, this choice shows me Obama’s not the person for it.  I can’t have someone with a luke warm attitude towards my rights in office, and this just shows me that my rights are part of a political agenda.  Instead of standing up for us gays (who many touted with rainbow colored pins with his logo) he chose to try and united political parties, which in my mind was a political move (plain and simple as that).  If Obama can’t see what it means to have this man swear him into office then my biggest fears are being recognized. 

 It just pisses me off to think that Obama chose a man who not only opens supports Prop. 8 but also champions pro-life (for all you ladies out there that are pro choice). 

 

I decided to take a little spin around Obama’s website and found the following quote from Obama,

While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”

 

“Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us…” well I feel exploited.   

 

What upsets me is that fact that all my friends were all over Obama.  He had a heavy college aged constituency and I happen to hang out with a lot of college aged people.  I hate the fact that they were upset over the fact that I liked Clinton.  They were stunned that I didn’t jump onto the Obama bandwagon.  But I don’t think they fully understand what its like to compromise your rights for a politician or a political agenda.  I hate the fact that I had a friend tell me Obama was the best that I had at the moment and that I had to look at the greater good for the U.S.  (She meant this in a good way meaning one more advocate in office is better than no advocate at all…ahem McCain/Palin).  Greater good my ass…you see where the greater good is getting me right now.  I’m upset that the gay community was so quick to support Obama.  He was championed so quickly by our community to deliver on gay rights and civil unions (which should be marriages) that now instead of delivering he is more apt. to unite political parties.  It isn’t the fact that the LGBT community supported him that upsets me, it’s the possibility that we could be disappointed by him.  I view my rights as not a political stepping stone.  So when he says he wants to deliver on “equality by treating all citizens with dignity and respect” perhaps he shouldn’t have picked Rick Warren to do the invocation.

 

 

 

 

I’d like to post script this by saying I can’t fault the gay community for supporting Obama.  It is exciting to think that we might have someone in office that is a champion of gay rights (even though gay rights include marriage and not civil unions).  What I think, though, is that we have to ask a lot of our political people we chose to support.  We can’t just support someone when they say they support gay rights, we need to expect them to follow though.  The reason for this is so that those newspapers, gay community supporters, etc. that endorse, endorse, endorse aren’t shocked when something like this happens.

 

I’d like to close with this quote from Andrew Sullivan in the article, “[It’s] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now.””  It’s a scary quote and I hope he’s wrong, but I have to question is this the start of something, beginning with Rick Warren, that will only serve to disappoint the gay community later down the line?

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So I’ve been surfing around the interweb and discovered a few things that you should read.  There is a blog post about Prop 8 that is just a great post.  I know when you read it you will want to click off of it but read it the entire way though.  You have to trust me on this one…just keep reading!  It is a great post that culturepress shared with me….check her out on my blogroll.

 http://reeva-dubois.blogspot.com/2008/11/prop-8-and-why-im-glad-it-passed.html

 

The second thing I have for you to read is an essay by David J. Jefferson who writes for Newsweek.  It describes his marriage to his parter in CA and his thoughts regarding the passage of Prop 8.  It is a great article and I urge you to read it.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/169195?gt1=43002

Next http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/?t=anon has a variety of events coming up.  Since the gay movement is revitalizing they are planning a big event every month to let people know we aren’t just going to go away.  The next events are the postcard writing campaign and Dec. 10th A Day Without Gay.  I hope you will all write postcards to Obama’s transition office whether you are gay or a straight supporter do it.  Again, we need to increase visiablilty.  Those people who want to take away our rights and those representatives that are to scared to stand up for us depend on us to be quiet and to stay closeted.  The louder we are, the more we are out the more people have take notice.  No longer can we just stand here and depend on others or wait for someone else to fight our battles, we have to do this on our own and we have to visible members of the larger community.

 

Liberty and Justice for some or for all?

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