Friday, May 28, 2010

They want you

Last night, the House voted to repeal the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, as part of a Defense authorization bill.  Earlier in the day, the Senate Armed Services Committee also voted to repeal the policy. A few steps closer to getting this repealed!  The Senate will debate the measure next month.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.27.10

Yesterday Sen. Scott Brown, who in 2001 described a lesbian couple’s decision to have children as “not normal”, has decided to vote against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Not at all a surprise.

On the very same day, Attorney General Martha Coakley continues her arguments to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Just sayin’.

From the Cornhusker state - Sen. Ben Nelson is now a yes vote on DADT repeal. From his statement:
“I don’t believe that most Nebraskans want to continue a policy that not only encourages but requires people to be deceptive and to lie. The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy does just that...It also encourages suspicion and senior officers to look the other way. In a military which values honesty and integrity, this policy encourages deceit.”
Pelosi is key to the DADT repeal.

Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey writes about his support of medical marijuana for veterans.

On a lighter note, while in China, Hillary dishes on Chelsea’s wedding plans.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.25.10

CBS 60 Minutes tours of Secretary Clinton’s State Department office.  I love how she includes personal heroines throughout her office - from Eleanor Roosevelt, to a statue of a pregnant African farmer, to a bowl with American women figures - she brings such a great perspective to the Administration. 

(Left) A photo from the recent Chinese/American talks.  To quote a favorite Sesame Street song: "Which one of these things is not like the others?"

News from Minnesota today!

Sen. Al Franken’s new dog, Blaine
Blaine "is already the office favorite," says McIntosh. He carries a stuffed duck in mouth, sits in on staff meetings and lounges in the legislative bullpen.

Happy birthday to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) who turns 50.  Love her!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.24.10

(Left) No comment.

Yesterday was the 200th birthday of a fabulous Cantabrigian: Margaret Fuller.  "Fuller is now seen as America’s first female public intellectual. Fuller said women were constrained and diminished by a society that failed to see their true powers."

Lisa Belkin on “Judging Women”: “But it is still harder for mothers to reach the top. For men, having a family is an asset when pursuing a demanding career. For women, it is still a complication.”

Peter Beinart in the Daily Beast, “Put a Mom on the Court”:  "Our government is actually doing a pretty good job of providing role models for the 20 percent of American women who don’t want kids. Where it’s failing is in providing role models for the 80 percent that do."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.20.10

Michelle Obama is asked by a second grader about her husband's immigration policy.  Heartbreaking video clip, where the student explains: "But my mom doesn't have papers."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a message for Republicans this fall: Bring it on.

SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan makes the Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers’ menu.

A Boston networking group for women CEOs led by Pixability's Bettina Hein: the She-E-Os.

Nebraska, you’re not making me proud these days:
A tweet for Newark Mayor @Cory Booker, a guest at last night’s state dinner with Mexican President Felipe Calderón:
I really enjoyed The State Dinner. White House was amazing, 1st couple were inspiring and having Beyonce perform at the end was phenomenal

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Remembering Arlen

Raising a cocktail tonight to remember Sen. Arlen Specter, who lost the Democratic primary yesterday in Pennsylvania. The Old Boys Club has one less old boy today.

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.19.10

Maureen Dowd finally gets it right in today’s column on the Kagan nomination, by asking the question: when do you go from being “single” to “unmarried”? 

“White House officials were so eager to squash any speculation that Elena Kagan was gay that they have ended up in a pre-feminist fugue, going with sad unmarried rather than fun single, spinning that she’s a spinster.”

Some great commencement speeches out there.  Two of my favorites:
Meryl Streep and Rachel Maddow (h/t TAG).

Fantastic video of Rep. Mark Souder, the eight term Republican congressman who recently resigned, discussing the importance of abstinence only education….with his mistress.

New York Times offers A Toolkit for Women Seeking a Raise. From a friend who emailed the link:  “I like anything that coaches women to ask to be paid more but don't like that there is a fundamentally different way for women to do it so that they aren't disliked by males in the workplace for being too aggressive.”  (h/t ESL)

Rebecca Traister says “Screw Happiness.”

A piece in the New Yorker earlier this month with lots of Boston history – from the tea party of the American Revolution to the tumultuous 1970s to the modern day Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin's recent visit.  A great read. (h/t Banker Babe)

For anyone in Boston tonight, head out to this great event:  DO Ask, DO Tell! Hear retired Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva speak out against “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” at Faneuil Hall on Wednesday, May 19, at 7 pm. Local gay and straight veterans will join him in a panel discussion that will be open to questions from the audience.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One step back

Tomorrow, the Massachusetts House is scheduled to vote on  H 889, An Act Relative to Savings Bank Life Insurance, a proposal that would permit Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. (SBLI) to charge different rates for life insurance for men and women.  As a Massachusetts-chartered company, SBLI is prohibited from charging different rates based on gender. SBLI, which hands tens of billions of dollars of Massachusetts life insurance policies, has argued that it faces a competitive disadvantage with other Massachusetts companies and out-of-state firms that aren't held to the same standard.

While it is true that women often live longer than men, there are other biological differences that are considered discriminatory and barred from consideration in insurance underwriting. For example, Asians have the longest life expectancy out of any racial group; however, federal law doesn't allow for race to be considered factor. This bill would create a slippery slope in addressing inequalities because we can not choose where to draw those distinctions.

Rep. Ruth Balser wrote to her House colleagues on Monday arguing to reject this measure: “The company is the most successful life insurance company in the state,” she wrote in an email to all House members and staff. “But if there is a competitive disadvantage, the solution is to require that all life insurance be gender neutral, not to retreat from a historic commitment to equality.”  (via State House News registration required)

Well said, Rep. Balser.  Let's hope the House heeds your wise words and this measure is rejected tomorrow and discriminatory language is kept out of life insurance.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Marriage!

Six years ago today, equal marriage came to Massachusetts.  As the Boston Globe reported then:
Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to permit gays and lesbians to wed just after midnight today, when Cambridge City Hall welcomed more than 250 same-sex couples who hugged, cried, cheered, and applied for the marriage licenses many thought they would never see in their lifetimes.

Outside City Hall, 10,000 supporters and onlookers gathered to witness the historic event, spilling off the grounds of City Hall, and clogging Massachusetts Avenue. Police in riot gear lined the street, but the anticipated clash between protesters and supporters of gay marriage never came: All but a handful of opponents stayed away.
There remains 36 states that ban the recognition of same-sex marriages or partnerships.  But, I'm hoping this is a sign of the turning times:

Sunday, May 9, 2010