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Politics & Issues

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gay-marriage

At 10:00 AM Eastern Time today, the US Supreme Court convened in its marble adorned chamber in the heart of Washington, DC. First up on the docket this morning was the announcement that everyone had been waiting for Chief Justice John Roberts to make – that Justice Anthony Kennedy had the opinion of the Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage case now decided exactly two years since the Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, and exactly twelve years since it struck down laws prohibiting sodomy. The decision was 5-4, with Justice Kennedy joined by liberal justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Chief Justice Roberts, along with Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, were in the minority, each of them writing strident dissents.

Justice Kennedy, whose status as a gay rights hero was cemented today, was also the justice behind every single gay rights decision in the Court’s history, starting with Romer v. Evans which struck down discriminatory laws in Colorado, through to Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned statutes that criminalized gay sex, to U.S. v. Windsor, which forced the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage, and on to today, where he and his colleagues took the step many had hoped they would take two years ago when California’s Proposition 8 was before the justices.

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gay-is-ok

Earlier this week, Lush Cosmetics launched the #GayIsOk Campaign to raise awareness about the ongoing struggle for equality for LGBTI people around the world. In 76 countries, being gay is still illegal and in 10 countries it can cost you your life.

In conjunction with All Out, Lush has launched the campaign across their 825 stores it has worldwide. Profits from the sale of the Gold Bar, scented with their “love” fragrance, go to grassroots LGBTQ rights groups and their struggle for human rights. The bars will be on sale until July 4th.

Check out some photos from the campaign launch party from here in Vancouver below. Get your soap bar online or in store before the campaign is over!

Pictures after the jump…

jon-stewart-charleston-shooting

In a rare move, Jon Stewart skipped the jokes during his opening monologue on last night’s Daily Show. Typically, his team pokes fun at the recent headlines. In light of the Charleston, South Carolina church shootings which resulted in nine African-Americans deaths, Stewart broke character to deliver an emotional and impassioned speech.

“I have one job and it’s a pretty simple job — I come in in the morning and we look at the news and I write jokes about it. And then I make a couple of faces and like a noise, like a [noise] and it’s just cha-ching and I’m out the door. But I didn’t do my job today. So I apologize. I got nothin’ for you in terms of like jokes and sounds because of what happened in South Carolina.”

The 52-year-old comedian went on to point out how the media has already shied away from calling the murders a “terrorist attack.” He later took aim at South Carolina and the country as a whole. Check out the passionate clip below.

“The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves,” Stewart said. “Al Qaeda, all those guys – ISIS. They’re not sh-t compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis.”

watch clip after the jump

donald-trump-us-presidential-race

For years he’s been teasing exactly this and today The Donald made good on all his ‘threats’ LOL. Billionaire businessman, real estate developer and reality show host Donald Trump held a press conference in midtown Manhattan at Trump Tower to formally throw the proverbial hat in the 2016 US Presidential Race.

Trump becomes the 12th Republican candidate in the 2016 race, joining just one day after Jed Bush announced his candidacy. His daughter Ivanka introduced him to a packed house to hear his announcement.

“Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now,” said Trump, “We need somebody who can take the brand of the United States and make it great again.” He went on, “So, ladies and gentleman, I am officially running for President of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.”

In my opinion, the 69-year-old doesn’t stand a chance of getting elected into the White House, let alone winning the Republican ticket. The polarizing figure is not exactly the most politically correct person in the world. Check out his press conference below.

watch announcement after the jump

transgender-common-questions

Even though sometimes certain questions can come off ignorant, I’d like to think when people inquire about things, it’s coming from a place of love and wanting to educate themselves.

BBC rounded up six transgenders to talk about questions they often hear. From, “How do you have sex?” to “Which bathroom do you use?,” these individuals answer them with the straight-up facts and a bit of humor.

Admit it. There are probably things you’ve always wanted to ask a trans person, but probably thought you shouldn’t. Watch the clip below and inform yourself. In the wise words of G.I. Joe, ‘knowing is half the battle.’

watch clip after the jump

ireland-marriage-equality-referendum

On May 22, Ireland heads to the pools for its national referendum on marriage equality. According to a poll held earlier this year, there is strong support for equal marriage. 76% of the people asked are in favor while 19% and 5% are opposed and undecided respectively.

Even though it appears the referendum which states, “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex,” will pass, supporters of marriage equality are tirelessly working round the clock to get the word out.

The BeLonG To lead coalition is calling everyone eligible to vote to talk to their family and friends about why marriage equality is so important and to work for a Yes vote. Watch a touching ad below showing family and friends of the LGBT community demonstrating their support.

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robby-mook-hillary-campaign-manager

Patti Solis Doyle was the first campaign manager of the former first lady’s 2008 presidential run. This time around, Hillary Clinton has tapped 35-year-old political director, Robby Mook to navigate her through the 2016 Presidential race. He becomes the first openly gay person to serve as the manager of a major presidential campaign.

“Robby understands modern campaigns, the value of data and technology,” Obama adviser David Plouffe told Bloomberg in 2013. “He beat us three times; his footprint was on our back. He did the best job of anyone over there.”

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hillary-clinton-presidential-campaign

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Hillary Clinton threw her hat in the proverbial ring. Though she’s previously denied wanting to launch a second attempt for the Oval Office, the 67-year-old former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State announced she’s in the running for the 2016 US Presidential race.

“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” says Clinton in the clip. “Everyday Americans needs a champion, and I want to be that champion. So you can do more that just get by, you can get ahead and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong.”

The anticipation of her announcement reached a fever pitch in recent days with many expecting it would take place sometime this weekend. Not surprisingly, social media lit up with tons of support. Also expected was the number of detractors. #WhyImNotVotingForHillary immediately trended. Watch the video below.

watch the clip after the jump

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