Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hillary Clinton Recognizes Gay and Lesbian Pride Month

Hillary Clinton Recognizes Gay and Lesbian Pride Month
Mon, Jun 1, 2009

Just a little bit ago, I had just finished writing about Bill Clinton’s “evolving” view of gay marriage and wondering if Hillary was going to be next, when I came across this amazing statement issued today by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, :In Recognition of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month 2009:”

Forty years ago this month, the gay rights movement began with the Stonewall riots in New York City, as gays and lesbians demanded an end to the persecution they had long endured. Now, after decades of hard work, the fight has grown into a global movement to achieve a world in which all people live free from violence and fear, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In honor of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and on behalf of the State Department, I extend our appreciation to the global LGBT community for its courage and determination during the past 40 years, and I offer our support for the significant work that still lies ahead.

At the State Department and throughout the Administration, we are grateful for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in Washington and around the world. They and their families make many sacrifices to serve our nation. Their contributions are vital to our efforts to establish stability, prosperity and peace worldwide.

Human rights are at the heart of those efforts. Gays and lesbians in many parts of the world live under constant threat of arrest, violence, even torture. The persecution of gays and lesbians is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and it must end. As Secretary of State, I will advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Though the road to full equality for LGBT Americans is long, the example set by those fighting for equal rights in the United States gives hope to men and women around the world who yearn for a better future for themselves and their loved ones.

This June, let us recommit ourselves to achieving a world in which all people can live in safety and freedom, no matter who they are or whom they love.
How much do you love this? I was particularly struck by this line: “I offer our support for the significant work that still lies ahead.”

Sounds like someone else is evolving . . . .



FULL VIDEO: Obama’s Speech at the LGBT White House Event

FULL VIDEO: Obama’s Speech at the LGBT White House Event

Mon, Jun 29, 2009

At today’s White House celebration of Stonewall, President Obama gave a 21-minute speech that touched on nearly every issue we have had with his administration — DOMA, DADT, LGBT rights as civil rights. And the big take-away for all of us, from him, is that we need to be patient. Patiently patient.

The speech was moving at times, unsatisfying at others.

During the course of the speech, Obama said:

And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive — (applause.) We’ve been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration.
Watch the full video, read the full transcript, and check out the guest list.



THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Hello, hello, hello. (Applause.) Hey! Good to see you. (Applause.) I’m waiting for FLOTUS here. FLOTUS always politics more than POTUS.

MRS. OBAMA: No, you move too slow. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: It is great to see everybody here today and they’re just — I’ve got a lot of friends in the room, but there are some people I want to especially acknowledge. First of all, somebody who helped ensure that we are in the White House, Steve Hildebrand. Please give Steve a big round of applause. (Applause.) Where’s Steve? He’s around here somewhere. (Applause.)

The new chair of the Export-Import Bank, Fred Hochberg. (Applause.) Where’s Fred? There’s Fred. Good to see you, Fred. Our Director of the Institute of Education Sciences at DOE, John Easton. Where’s John? (Applause.) A couple of special friends — Bishop Gene Robinson. Where’s Gene? (Applause.) Hey, Gene. Ambassador Michael Guest is here. (Applause.) Ambassador Jim Hormel is here. (Applause.) Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is here. (Applause.)

All of you are here. (Laughter and applause.) Welcome to your White House. (Applause.) So –

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Somebody asked from the Lincoln Bedroom here. (Laughter.) You knew I was from Chicago too. (Laughter.)

It’s good to see so many friends and familiar faces, and I deeply appreciate the support I’ve received from so many of you. Michelle appreciates it and I want you to know that you have our support, as well. (Applause.) And you have my thanks for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard and care about their communities — and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. (Applause.)

Now this struggle, I don’t need to tell you, is incredibly difficult, although I think it’s important to consider the extraordinary progress that we have made. There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop. And though we’ve made progress, there are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful and I know it can be heartbreaking.

And yet all of you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make but also by the power of the example that you set in your own lives — as parents and friends, as PTA members and leaders in the community. And that’s important, and I’m glad that so many LGBT families could join us today. (Applause.) For we know that progress depends not only on changing laws but also changing hearts. And that real, transformative change never begins in Washington.

(Cell phone “quacks.”)

Whose duck is back there? (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: It’s a duck.

THE PRESIDENT: There’s a duck quacking in there somewhere. (Laughter.) Where do you guys get these ring tones, by the way? (Laughter.) I’m just curious. (Laughter.)

Indeed, that’s the story of the movement for fairness and equality — not just for those who are gay, but for all those in our history who’ve been denied the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; who’ve been told that the full blessings and opportunities of this country were closed to them. It’s the story of progress sought by those who started off with little influence or power; by men and women who brought about change through quiet, personal acts of compassion and courage and sometimes defiance wherever and whenever they could.

That’s the story of a civil rights pioneer who’s here today, Frank Kameny, who was fired — (applause.) Frank was fired from his job as an astronomer for the federal government simply because he was gay. And in 1965, he led a protest outside the White House, which was at the time both an act of conscience but also an act of extraordinary courage. And so we are proud of you, Frank, and we are grateful to you for your leadership. (Applause.)

It’s the story of the Stonewall protests, which took place 40 years ago this week, when a group of citizens — with few options, and fewer supporters — decided they’d had enough and refused to accept a policy of wanton discrimination. And two men who were at those protests are here today. Imagine the journey that they’ve travelled.

It’s the story of an epidemic that decimated a community — and the gay men and women who came to support one another and save one another; and who continue to fight this scourge; and who demonstrated before the world that different kinds of families can show the same compassion and support in a time of need — that we all share the capacity to love.

So this story, this struggle, continues today — for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot — and will not — put aside issues of basic equality. (Applause.) We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love.

And I know that many in this room don’t believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It’s not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.

But I say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive — (applause.) We’ve been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration. (Applause.)

Now, while there is much more work to do, we can point to important changes we’ve already put in place since coming into office. I’ve signed a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows. And these are benefits that will make a real difference for federal employees and Foreign Service Officers, who are so often treated as if their families don’t exist. And I’d like to note that one of the key voices in helping us develop this policy is John Berry, our director of the Office of Personnel Management, who is here today. And I want to thank John Berry. (Applause.)

I’ve called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination — (applause) — to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I’ve made that clear.

I’m also urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full range of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children. (Applause.) My administration is also working hard to pass an employee non-discrimination bill and hate crimes bill, and we’re making progress on both fronts. (Applause.) Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as their son Logan, are here today. I met with Judy in the Oval Office in May — (applause) — and I assured her and I assured all of you that we are going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill into law, a bill named for their son Matthew. (Applause.)

In addition, my administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. (Applause.) The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy. And we all know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia. And that’s why this past Saturday, on National HIV Testing Day, I was proud once again to encourage all Americans to know their status and get tested the way Michelle and I know our status and got tested. (Applause.)

And finally, I want to say a word about “don’t ask, don’t tell.” As I said before — I’ll say it again — I believe “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t contribute to our national security. (Applause.) In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security. (Applause.)

Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we’ll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.

Someday, I’m confident, we’ll look back at this transition and ask why it generated such angst, but as Commander-in-Chief, in a time of war, I do have a responsibility to see that this change is administered in a practical way and a way that takes over the long term. That’s why I’ve asked the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a plan for how to thoroughly implement a repeal.

I know that every day that passes without a resolution is a deep disappointment to those men and women who continue to be discharged under this policy — patriots who often possess critical language skills and years of training and who’ve served this country well. But what I hope is that these cases underscore the urgency of reversing this policy not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is essential for our national security.

Now, even as we take these steps, we must recognize that real progress depends not only on the laws we change but, as I said before, on the hearts we open. For if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that there are good and decent people in this country who don’t yet fully embrace their gay brothers and sisters — not yet.

That’s why I’ve spoken about these issues not just in front of you, but in front of unlikely audiences — in front of African American church members, in front of other audiences that have traditionally resisted these changes. And that’s what I’ll continue to do so. That’s how we’ll shift attitudes. That’s how we’ll honor the legacy of leaders like Frank and many others who have refused to accept anything less than full and equal citizenship.

Now, 40 years ago, in the heart of New York City at a place called the Stonewall Inn, a group of citizens, including a few who are here today, as I said, defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement.

It was the middle of the night. The police stormed the bar, which was known for being one of the few spots where it was safe to be gay in New York. Now, raids like this were entirely ordinary. Because it was considered obscene and illegal to be gay, no establishments for gays and lesbians could get licenses to operate. The nature of these businesses, combined with the vulnerability of the gay community itself, meant places like Stonewall, and the patrons inside, were often the victims of corruption and blackmail.

Now, ordinarily, the raid would come and the customers would disperse. But on this night, something was different. There are many accounts of what happened, and much has been lost to history, but what we do know is this: People didn’t leave. They stood their ground. And over the course of several nights they declared that they had seen enough injustice in their time. This was an outpouring against not just what they experienced that night, but what they had experienced their whole lives. And as with so many movements, it was also something more: It was at this defining moment that these folks who had been marginalized rose up to challenge not just how the world saw them, but also how they saw themselves.

As we’ve seen so many times in history, once that spirit takes hold there is little that can stand in its way. (Applause.) And the riots at Stonewall gave way to protests, and protests gave way to a movement, and the movement gave way to a transformation that continues to this day. It continues when a partner fights for her right to sit at the hospital bedside of a woman she loves. It continues when a teenager is called a name for being different and says, “So what if I am?” It continues in your work and in your activism, in your fight to freely live your lives to the fullest.

In one year after the protests, a few hundred gays and lesbians and their supporters gathered at the Stonewall Inn to lead a historic march for equality. But when they reached Central Park, the few hundred that began the march had swelled to 5,000. Something had changed, and it would never change back.

The truth is when these folks protested at Stonewall 40 years ago no one could have imagined that you — or, for that matter, I — (laughter) — would be standing here today. (Applause.) So we are all witnesses to monumental changes in this country. That should give us hope, but we cannot rest. We must continue to do our part to make progress — step by step, law by law, mind by changing mind. And I want you to know that in this task I will not only be your friend, I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a President who fights with you and for you.

Thanks very much, everybody. God bless you. (Applause.) Thank you. It’s a little stuffed in here. We’re going to open — we opened up that door. We’re going to walk this way, and then we’re going to come around and we’ll see some of you over there, all right? (Laughter.) But out there. (Laughter.)

But thank you very much, all, for being here. Enjoy the White House. Thank you. (Applause.)

Administration Officials

John Berry, Director, Office of Personnel Management

Fred Hochberg, Chair, Export-Import Bank

John Easton, Director, Institute of Education Sciences at the Department of Education

City and State Officials

Jason Bartlett, Connecticut House of Representatives

Kate Brown, Oregon Secretary of State

David Dibble, Minnesota State Senator

Evan Low, Vice-Mayor, Campbell, CA City Council

Al McAffrey, Oklahoma House of Representatives

Andrew Mcdonald, Connecticut House of Representatives

Robert Meza, Arizona House of Representatives

Christine Quinn, New York City Council

Debra Shore, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Denise Simmons, Mayor of Cambridge, MA

Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona House of Representatives

Patricia Todd, Alabama House of Representatives

Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff

Other Invited Guests (Invite Only)

Michael Adams, Service and Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE)

Mark Agrast, Washington, DC

Madeline Alk, New York, NY

Ron Ansin, Harvard, MA

Judith Appelbaum, Department of Justice

Chip Arndt, Miami Beach, FL

Cornelius Baker, National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition

Tom Barbera, SEIU Lavender Caucus

Andrew Barnett, Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL)

Jarrett Barrios, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Vic Basile, Office of Personnel Management

Christopher Bates, Washington, DC

Michael Bauer, Chicago, IL

Terrance Bean, Portland, OR

Jeremy Bernard, National Endowement for the Humanities

Jennifer Besson, Washington, DC

Dana Beyer, Chevy Chase, MD

David Binder, San Francisco, CA

Elizabeth Birch, Washington, DC

Jeremy Bishop, Pride at Work (AFL-CIO)

David Bohnett, Beverly Hills, CA

Marsha Botzer, Quilcene, WA

Raymond Buckley, DNC Vice-Chair

Eliza Byard, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Christopher Caldwell, Los Angeles, CA

Leslie Calman, Mautner Project

Rea Carey, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Charles Carter, New York, NY

Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal

Curtis Chin, Los Angeles, CA

Jennifer Chrisler, Family Equality Council

Jamie Citron, Department of Health and Human Services

Wes Combs, Washington, DC

Roberta Conroy, Santa Monica, CA

Cheryl Cook, Department of Agriculture

Stampp Corbin, San Diego, CA

Michael Council, Columbus, OH

Wilson Cruz, West Hollywood, CA

Mark Davis, Philadelphia, PA

Q Todd Dickinson, Washington, DC

Daniel Dozier, Washington, DC

Ruby Dunning, Washington, DC

Ingrid Duran, Falls Church, VA

Christopher Dyer, Washington, DC Office of LGBT Affairs

Steven Elmendorf, Washington, DC

Fred Eychaner, Chicago, IL

Eric Fanning, Department of Justice

Bishop Yvette Flunder, City of Refuge United Church of Christ

Earl Fowlkes, International Federation of Black Prides

Rebecca Fox, National Coalition for LGBT Health

R. Brandon Fradd, New York, NY

Daniel Galindo, San Antonio, TX

Adolfo Garay, New York, N

Jesus Garcia, TX LULAC 4871

Joan Garry, Montclair, NJ

Rufus Gifford, Washington, DC

Emily Giske, New York, NY

Mitchell Gold, Hickory, NC

John Gonzalez, Washington, DC

Vernita Gray, Chicago, IL

Chad Griffin, Los Angeles, CA

Patrick Guerriero, Gill Action

Hon. Michael Guest, Former Ambassador

Rebecca Haag, AIDS Action

Steve Hildebrand, Sioux Falls, SD

Gavin Hilgemeier, Federal GLOBE

Leonard Hirsch, Federal GLOBE

Lorilyn Holmes, Federal GLOBE

Clifford Honicker, Knoxville, TN

Conrad Honicker, Knoxville, TN

Gerald Hoose, Stonewall Participant

Ernest Hopkins, Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief

Hon. James Hormel, Former Ambassador

Paul Horning, Atlanta, GA

Brad Hoylman, Village Independent Democrats

Jody Huckaby, Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Kevin Jennings, Department of Education

Jennifer Jones, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Frank Kamney, Washington, DC

Elaine Kaplan, Office of Personnel Management

Paul Kawata, National Minority AIDS Council

Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equity

Kate Kendell, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Jacqueline Kittrell, Knoxville, TN

Harry Knox, Human Rights Campaign

Steven Latasa-Nicks, New York, NY

Andre Leon Talley, White Plains, NY

Richard Llewellyn, Los Angeles, CA

Robert Llewellyn, Los Angeles, CA

Rosemary Llewellyn, Los Angeles, CA

Thomas Lopach, Export-Import Bank

Lin Lougheed, Miami Beach, FL

Claire Lucas, Corona del Mar, CA

Glenn Magpantay, Federation of LGBTQ AAPI Organizations

Mary Beth Maxwell, Department of Labor

Lisbeth MelendezRivera, Unid@s

Shannon Minter, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Chance Mitchell, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Mary Morten, Chicago, IL

Babak Movahedi, Miami Beach, FL

David Munar, National Association of People with AIDS

Kevin Naff, Washington Blade

Justin Nelson, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

J. Alexander Nicholson, Servicemembers United

David Noble, NASA

Matt Nosanchuk, Silver Spring, MD

Robyn Ochs, BiNet USA and Bisexual Resource Center

Derek Orr, DC Office of Disability Rights

C. Dixon Osborn, Washington, DC

Kathleen Padilla, Philadelphia, PA

Pari Parker, Washington, DC

Skip Paul, Beverly Hills, CA

Terry Penrod, Columbus, OH

Troy Perry, Founder Metropolitan Community Churches

Thomas Petrillo, Washington, DC

Frank Pond, Los Angeles, CA

Robert Raben, Raben Group

Gautam Raghavan, Department of Defense

Steven Ralls, Washington, DC

Ellen Ratner, Washington, DC

Miriam Redleaf, Chicago, IL

Catherine Renna, Chicago, IL

Dr. Sylvia Rhue, National Black Justice Coalition

Jeffrey Richardson, Washington, DC

Laura Ricketts, Chicago, IL

Anthony Riley, Prince Georges County, MD

Carmen Robello, New York, NY

Bishop Gene Robinson, Diocese of New Hampshire

Hilary Rosen, Washington, DC

David Rosenauer, New York, NY

Renee Rosenfield, New York, NY

Jane Saks, Chicago, IL

Aubrey Sarvis, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Thomas Schmidt, Stonewall Participant

Marsha Scott, Washington, DC

Evan Shapiro, New York, NY

Jonathan Sheffer, New York, NY

Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard Foundation

Babs Siperstein, Edison, NJ

Melissa Sklarz, National Stonewall Democrats

Mary Snider, Silver Spring, MD

Courtney Snowden, The Raben Group

Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign

Rick Stafford, DNC LGBT Caucus Chair

Eric Stern, UC Berkeley School of Law

Jon Stryker, Kalamazoo, MI

Sally Susman, New York, NY

John Tedstrom, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GBC)

Kevin Thompson, Seattle, WA

Andrew Tobias, DNC Treasurer

Jeffrey Trammell, Washington, DC

Ted Trimpa, Denver, CO

Gregory Varnum, National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC)

Alex Wagner, Department of Defense

Paquita Wiggins, Beltsville, MD

Phil Wilson, Black AIDS Institute

Peter Wilson, New York, NY

Robert Witeck, Arlington, VA

Chuck Wolfe, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund

Tobias Wolff, Philadelphia, PA
Source: http://www.akawilliam.com/video-obamas-speech-at-the-lgbt-white-house-event/

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Celebrating-LGBT-Pride-Month/

At White House, Obama Aims to Reassure Gays

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

President Obama opened the doors of the White House to hundreds of gay and lesbian leaders yesterday, continuing his cautious outreach to a constituency that has loudly criticized his efforts on its behalf.

In an event in the East Room marking the 40th anniversary of the riots surrounding New York's Stonewall Inn, where gay patrons rose up against a police raid in Greenwich Village, Obama sought to reassure guests that he had not abandoned the issues important to them. He also drew a parallel between the progress gays and lesbians have made in recent decades and the struggles of black Americans to win equality.

"The truth is, when these folks protested at Stonewall 40 years ago, no one could have imagined that you or, for that matter, I would be standing here today," Obama said, promising to continue to push to overturn several laws that are anathema to gay activists.

His comments were received enthusiastically by some attendees. "This is so incredibly historic and symbolic," Mitchell Gold, a gay rights activist from North Carolina, said after leaving the White House. "I don't think for a minute that we can forget that under the Bush administration we didn't see that."

Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist, said Obama gave "people confidence that he understood their movement, understood their struggle, and had a plan to do something about it."

But the excitement among many of the several hundred guests invited to the White House was tempered by frustration among some who say they think the president has moved too slowly to make good on his campaign promises.

That frustration has centered on Obama not taking quick, unilateral action to end discrimination against gays in the military and on his administration's support for a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

"Cocktail parties are fun, but if we are impatient, there's a reason," said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, who said he was not invited to the White House event. "There are a lot of us who believe in change but do not believe it is a passive word. It is an active word. There is a level of disappointment that exists."

He compared the Obama event to an unsatisfying meal, calling it "nouveau cuisine" and adding: "It costs a whole lot to get into the White House, but somehow, the meal feels unfulfilling."

Even Gold, who called the president "courageous" for holding the event, conceded that it did little to soothe the concerns of a community of people who expected Obama to change their world.

"It doesn't take away the pain that the Justice Department issued a brief equating gays to pedophiles and incest," he said. "It doesn't take the pain away that 'don't ask, don't tell' hasn't been sent to Congress to be repealed."

Obama confronted that criticism yesterday, renewing his campaign promises to overturn the military policy on gays, repeal the marriage act and pass a federal hate-crimes bill named for Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was slain in Wyoming in 1998.

"I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps," the president said to sustained applause. "We've been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration."

The administration has been attempting to tread cautiously with the gay community. While it says it intends to follow through on Obama's campaign pledges, it is also eager to avoid the appearance that the president is giving in to any one group's demands.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the event was not designed as a way to mollify the gay community or reward its support during the campaign. Several activists familiar with the planning said it had been in the works for months.

"We didn't play a lot of interest-group-based politics in the presidential race," Gibbs said.
But the necessity of such a direct restatement of the president's promises underscores the intensity with which one of Obama's key constituencies has expressed its disappointment in him during the past several weeks.

On the Internet, activists, bloggers and others have been criticizing him for not moving faster to unwind what they consider to be years of government inattention or active opposition.
In an open letter dated June 15, Joe Solmonese of Human Rights Campaign skewered the administration's legal brief filed in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, a step the White House said it is obligated to take when a law is challenged in court.

"As an American, a civil rights advocate, and a human being, I hold this administration to a higher standard than this brief," he wrote. "We call on you to put your principles into action and send legislation repealing DOMA to Congress."

Yesterday, Solmonese sounded far more optimistic that the Obama he initially thought would lead from the White House will emerge.

"He reminded us to continue to hold him accountable," he said after the event. "There certainly was the appropriate and inspiring acknowledgment that he made of what this community has been through."

Solmonese said the event helped reassure gays and lesbians "that the work continues, that the commitment is still there," adding: "It's important for people to be reassured by the president."
But other invitees left with a continuing belief that the change under Obama will not be as rapid as they might have hoped.

"We are a movement that's been waiting a very, very long time," said one gay rights activist who attended the White House event. "The last time we thought we saw some hope for our issues was [President Bill] Clinton, and we wound up with 'don't ask, don't tell.' "

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062904328.html?hpid=topnews


media: obama proclaims June 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month » wiqaable.com
Posted: 6/4 9:44am
President Obama Declares June LGBT Pride Month » Queers United
Posted: 6/2 5:03pm
One Small Step » Big Queer
Posted: 6/2 8:49pm
President Obama Issues LGBT Pride Month Proclamation » Towleroad, a premium blog for modern gay men
Posted: 6/2 2:03am
President Obama Proclaims June LGBT Pride Month » AKA William
Late this afternoon, President Obama issued a statement proclaiming June LGBT Pride Month. Earlier today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued her own recognition of LGBT Pride Month. Honestly, Obama’s proclamation is as much a relief as it is confusing. In it, he calls for full equal rights for LGBT people. Among other issues, he specifically mentions adoption rights, DADT, employment discrimination, the hate crimes bill, but makes no mention of gay marriage – the single biggest issue confronting us right now. If I had to guess, this seems to be clearing the way for his beliefs ...
Posted: 6/2 3:06am
Obama Issues LGBT Pride Proclamation » Box Turtle Bulletin
As far as I know, this is a first for a sitting president to acknowledge Pride month. (If I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments.) This month is particularly significant as it comes on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which is generally regarded as the start of the modern gay rights movement as a political movement. In this proclamation, President Barack Obama touts his support for the U.N.’s call to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. He also reiterates his campaign promises — repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, support for civil unions and recognition of same sex couples, ending ...
Posted: 6/2 3:15am

Chicago elementary school children recently led a "gay pride" parade.

Chicago elementary school children recently led a "gay pride" parade.

As OneNewsNow recently reported, students from Chicago's Nettlehorst Elementary School participated in Sunday's "gay pride" parade. School officials claim the school did not endorse the event, but said that some parents were allowing their children to march in the parade. Those parents were not barred from using the school's name in the event, which Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute contends amounts to a backdoor endorsement.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality observed the event. "The Nettlehorst administrators are equivocating on this issue," he says. "They're trying not to take responsibility for allowing their school to be in the parade, and Nettlehorst elementary, a big banner for their contingent, was at the parade. They were the first contingent to march."

LaBarbera notes that the parade featured things like a float for a pornography business, public nudity, and vulgarity, and he says it was clearly inappropriate for children.

"It is interesting to see not just in the parade, but watching the parade, how many parents in Chicago now -- I'm talking straight, married parents, I assume -- bring their kids to watch it," he points out. "Sort of a big spectacle that, obviously, a lot of Chicago parents take their kids to, and it's just a shame to see it."

He adds that it is tragic that a school would allow its name to be used to promote such an event.

Source: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=584936
P.S. There's also a video with this article that I couldn't upload..Visit link above to see Video.t


US secretary of state still limited by injury

International News
US secretary of state still limited by injury
Published Date: June 28, 2009

WASHINGTON: One week after surgery to repair a broken right elbow, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had not resumed a full work schedule Friday at the US State Department, officials said. Her spokesman, P J Crowley, told reporters that Clinton, who broke her arm in a fall at the State Department on June 17, was keeping an "aggressive schedule," including meetings at the White House on Thursday and Friday. He also said she was doing "a significant amount" of her work from home, including making o
fficial phone calls.

On Friday she spoke from home by phone with the foreign minister of Argentina, Crowley said, and she met at the State Department with Crown Prince Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain. Clinton had surgery on June 19. Afterward the State Department said doctors told her she was expected to recover without lasting damage to her arm. No timetable for a full recovery has been made public. Clinton has limited her public appearances since the injury. On advice of her doctors, she canceled a pla
nned trip to Trieste, Italy, and to Corfu, Greece, to attend international meetings this week.

Obviously, given the reality of ... her injury and the operation, she is, you know, fast working her way back to, you know, to reintegrate herself into the daily activity of the bureau," Crowley said. "I think we have travel coming up in the near future. So I think she will be visible as we continue on." Late Friday afternoon the State Department released two official photos of Clinton in her meeting with the Bahraini crown prince. They showed her right arm in a cast from about the middle of her upper arm
to near her wrist. She is right-handed.

Meanwhile, the tense post-election climate in Iran and the Middle East peace process topped talks Friday between US diplomacy chief Hillary Clinton and Bahrain's crown prince, the State Department said. But State Department spokesman PJ Crowley did not indicate whether Clinton had formally requested that Bahrain normalize its relations with Israel as part of a bid for comprehensive peace between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors to boost stalled Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. "You have to, you kno
w, have the right conditions that lead to a negotiation, and we are probing all sides in this," Crowley told reporters. Clinton's conversation with Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, he said, is "certainly" a part of such efforts by Obama's administration.

I think that we have a recognition that the Israelis, the Palestinians-all parties in this process-have a significant role to play," said Crowley. The Obama administration announced earlier this week it was sending an ambassador to Damascus after a four-year absence "because we recognize that there are a variety of countries here that will have roles to play," Crowley said. "And we want to make sure that we have the right conditions in the region so that this negotiation can be restarted." Sheikh Salman a
nd Clinton also discussed Iraq, among a "variety of regional issues," the spokesman said.- Agencies

Source: http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=MTA2MDI0MDYzNA==



To be one church is a spiritual church, and it is not necessary that there should be one visible church.” A Presbyterian leader.

[As a result of these and other meetings, the General Conference will never be able to participate in the LOUD CRY of Rev. 18:1-4.–unless it repents]

Representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) engaged in dialogue on November 1, 2006, at the Adventist world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The purpose of the dialogue was to gain a clearer understanding of each faith community’s beliefs and practices; to clarify areas of misunderstand-ing; and to explore possible areas of cooperation.

The Adventist Church engages in conversation with other churches, but is not a member of the ecumenical movement in the United States or internationally. The 2.4 million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a strong commitment to improve relations among churches in the United States.

The dialogue centered in two formal presentations, followed by discussion. William G. Johnsson, editor of the Adventist Review, presented a profile of Seventh-day Adventists; and Sheldon Sorge from the Presbyterian Church’s Office of Theology and Worship (U.S.A.) shared the history, teachings, and ethos of his church.

Other participants in the dialogue were Adventists

John Graz, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty at the General Conference;

Angel Rodriguez, director of the Biblical Research Institute;

Kwabena Donkor, associate director of the Biblical Research Institute;

Bert B. Beach, retired Adventist statesman; and

Halvard Thomsen, assistant to the president for the North American Division.

The Presbyterian representatives were Carlos L. Malave, associate for Ecumenical Relations and assistant stated clerk at the Office of the General Assembly; Eunice McGarrahan, a pastor at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.; Aurelio Garcia, associate professor of Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico; and David Jensen, associate professor of Constructive Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The dialogue was co-chaired by Graz and Malave, and was described by participants as being marked by a spirit of friendliness, openness, and desire to understand.

A second round of conversations, hosted by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will be held August 22-24, 2007, at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
Joint Release by the Seventh-day Adventist and Presbyterian Churches.

[NOTE: The Bible calls a “dialogue” by its real name, “spiritual fornication.” See Rev. 14:8. After 41 years of participating in ecumenical apostasy, B.B.Beach is called an Adventist statesman. Since when does the SDA church have a statesman? A mark of Babylonian fornication is that fallen churches, having lost the power of the gospel, press close to the state for civil power.]

Five representative from the SDA church and five from the [fallen Babylonian] Presbyterian Church met at the General Conference office for a dialogue about their respective faiths. From left: Bert Beach, William Johnsson, David Jensen, Eunice McGarrahan, Kwabena Donkor, Carlos Malave, John Graz, Aurelio Garcia, Sheldon Sorge, and Angel Rodriguez, [Johnathan Gallagher.].


Presbyterians Welcomed to Adventist World Church HQ to Continue Dialogue

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA… A group of visiting representatives from the Presbyterian Church USA were welcomed by Halvard Thomsen, assistant to the president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for North America. He also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to sharpen our friendship, as the Adventist-Presbyterian dialogue continued.

Responding, Dr Carlos Maleve, leader of the Presbyterian delegation, spoke of his delight that his work “was to make friends,” and spoke of the spiritual unity described by Jesus in John 17. “To be one church is a spiritual church, and it is not necessary that there should be one visible church. We are one together in Christian love, love that comes from Christian faith, love for one another for the sake of the gospel.

[NOTE: His words sound good and loving, but it puts the SDA church into a position where it is totally unable to give the Three Angel’s messages in a Loud Cry of Rev. 18:1-4, which calls for God’s people in these organizations to come out lest they be partakers of their church’s corporate sins.

Apparently there will be no need for all churches to get together into one organization–a visible church unity. SDA’s, Methodist, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. can all run their own ships, but really be one ship. That way the membership of each church will not notice any difference.]

Dr John Graz, director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department for the Adventist Church worldwide, made a presentation to the visitors and also welcomed the ongoing dialogue that “brought better understanding of one another.” [PARL News]

Dr John Graz (L) makes a presentation [OF WHAT?] to Dr. Carlos Maleve (R) of the Presbyterians


FACT 1: The SDA church was raised up for one purpose: to give the Three Angels Messages of Rev. 14:6-12. “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.” 9Testimonies, 19.

FACT 2: Seventh-day Adventist church leaders presently are having discussions with Presbyterian church leaders.

FACT 2a: Adventist church leaders are not representing themselves, but are representing the entire SDA church.

FACT 2b: The Presbyterian church leaders were selected to represent the Presbyterian church organization.

FACT 3: We must not forget that the Presbyterian church organization fell in 1844 by rejecting light from heaven, and is part of fallen Babylon, from which God’s people inside that church and others are called out by the Second Angel’s Message.

QUESTION 1: So what are these discussions all about?

ANSWER: It is pure ecumenicalism–the lowering of Protestant standards and a movement together of different church organizations to a position closer to Rome. Unfortunately, the SDA church is involved in this one. The result is that the General Conference will never be able to participate in the LOUD CRY of Rev. 18:1-4. Instead, it will be an enemy of those that do give this message.

QUESTION: What did the SDA representatives talk about specifically?

ANSWER: SDA church members were not told.

QUESTION: Did the Seventh-day Adventist church (through its representatives) tell the Presbyterian church (through its representatives) that their church is in a fallen condition and must repent corporately of violating God’s immutable law of love, and of teaching others to disobey it? See Matthew 5:17-19.


QUESTION: The first angel’s message has in it a call to worship the Creator on the seventh-day Sabbath. Also in the first angel’s message is the everlasting gospel. The gospel saves us from sin, not in sin. It brings God people into obedience to His holy law, including the fourth commandment to keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy. Was the Presbyterian church asked to accept the First Angel’s message?


QUESTION: Who is paying for these discussions?

ANSWER: You, the Adventist church member. Your tithe, given in sacred trust, is paying for the salaries of these men to do this work that is opposed to the Three Angel’s Messages. Your offerings help to finance the location for the discussions.

RECOMMENDATION: We are calling on B.B.Beach and all the SDA church representatives, as well as the General Conference to repent:

1) by a public apology through the official organ of communication with church members, the Review.

2) by ceasing these discussions, and

3) by giving the First and Second Angel’s message to the Presbyterian church leaders to come out of their church organization and accept the light of present truth in the Three Angel’s Messages.


The year 2006 was marked by another ecumenical dialogue. Yes, B.B.Beach was again involved. We call on all the ones participating as representatives of the SDA church, as well as the Gen. Conference, who sent them, to repent.

See Adventists and Evangelicals Meet in Dialogue, August 16, 2006 on the next page, or


Prague: Adventists and Evangelicals Meet in Dialogue

Adventists and Evangelicals Meet in Dialogue

Photo: Christian B. Schaffler APD

Representatives of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) met in dialogue August 8-11, 2006 on the campus of the International Baptist Theological Seminary, located in Prague, Czech Republic. Although informal contacts had occurred during the past 50 years, this was the first official meeting of the two groups.

The purposes of the dialogue were: To gain a clearer understanding of the theological positions of each body; To clarify matters of misunderstanding; To discuss frankly areas of agreement and disagreement on a Biblical basis; and to explore possible areas of cooperation.

Adventists and Evangelicals Meet in Dialogue

Photo: Christian B. Schaffler APD

Representing the Evangelical Alliance were: Dr. Rolf Hille (Tuebingen /Germany), chairman of the Theological Commission, WEA; Dr. Juerg Buchegger; Pastor James Kautt; Dr. Herbert Klement; Dr. Ian Randall, joined by theological expert Dr. Reinhard Hempelmann. The Seventh-day Adventist representatives were: Dr. John Graz (Silver Spring, MD/USA), Secretary of the Council on Interchurch / Interfaith Relations; Dr. Niels-Erik Andreasen; Dr. Bert B. Beach; Dr. Kwabena Donkor; Dr. Eugene Hsu; Dr. William Johnsson; Dr. Teresa Reeve; and Dr. Angel Rodriguez. Drs. Hille and Graz co-chaired the discussions.

The dialogue proceeded via several papers and presentations that described the respective profiles of Adventists and the Alliance. Representatives discussed the platform of beliefs held in common by Evangelicals: the Holy Scriptures, the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, justification by faith, the new birth, the unity of the Spirit, and the Resurrection. They also considered Adventist presentations on the interpretation of Scripture; Gospel, Law, and the Sabbath; and relations with other churches.

Representatives participated together in daily worship and fellowship. The dialogue revealed a large measure of common ground as agreement was found between the beliefs of the Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith and the Adventist Statement of Fundamental Beliefs; further, the two groups shared a spirit of devotion and piety, a strong belief in the inspiration and authority of Scripture, and a common concern for united Christian witness in an age of increasing secularism and religious pluralism.

The meeting concluded by planning for a second round of discussions to be held August 6-10, 2007, on the campus of Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. Topics to be covered include the role and authority of Ellen White; Adventists’ approach to Biblical apocalyptic, including the teaching of the pre-Advent judgment and the Remnant; and trends among Evangelicals worldwide.

The Evangelical World Alliance represents some 420 million evangelical Christians in 127 countries drawn from many denominations. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Christian World Communion, has more than 30 million members and adepts in 204 countries.

[Note: The Trinity and the Lord Jesus Christ are held in common. That sounds good. But most readers do not realize that it is a different God and Jesus Christ than what they know. Churches in spiritual Babylon hold to different concepts of God and Jesus Christ than are found in the Bible. Jude 3,4 gives us the warning of what is happening in our day: We are told to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, for there a certain men crept in unawares, who were of old ordained to this condemnation… denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.]

Events To Come

1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

2They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

3And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

4But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

5But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?

6But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

9Of sin, because they believe not on me;

10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

16A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

17Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?

18They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.

19Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto
them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

20Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

21A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

23And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

24Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

25These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.

26At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

27For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

28I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

30Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

31Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

32Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16

Monday, June 29, 2009

Vatican aide assigned titular Oregon City see

Fr. Augustine DiNoia

Print Edition: 06/25/2009
Vatican aide assigned titular Oregon City see

Fr. Augustine DiNoia

WASHINGTON — Colleagues of Archbishop-designate Augustine DiNoia said they are pleased with his new appointment at the Vatican, calling him an “incredible theologian.”

Pope Benedict named the U.S.-born Dominican an archbishop and the next secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. He has worked at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2002.

Archbishop-designate DiNoia left his position at the U.S. bishops’ conference to join a Catholic think tank at the Pope John Paul Cultural Center in Washington.

Like auxiliary bishops, Vatican nuncios and the other archbishops serving as secretaries of Vatican congregations, he has been assigned a “titular see” rather than a diocese.

Titular sees, or sees in title only, came about when Islam spread in the Middle East and Christians left certain areas that once were thriving dioceses. Reorganizations in any part of the world that resulted in renaming or merging of dioceses also created titular sees. The custom not only is a way to hold out hope that certain sees will rise again to prominence, but to keep alive the memory of disappeared or re-cast Christian communities.

Father DiNoia, a New York City native, will be the first titular archbishop of Oregon City, the oldest metropolitan see in the United States after Baltimore. Oregon City became an archdiocese in 1846, but the archdiocese was transferred to Portland in 1928. Oregon City became a titular archdiocese in 1996, but no archbishop had been assigned the title until now.

Archbishop-designate DiNoia, 65, has served as undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under Cardinal William Levada, formerly of Portland.

Born in 1943, he was ordained a priest in 1970 after studies at Cardinal Hayes High School in New York, Providence College, and the Dominican House of Studies. He has a master’s degree in philosophy and several theology degrees, including a doctorate from Yale University in 1980.


The Spy In Your Hand

By Benjamin Sutherland NEWSWEEK
Published Jun 6, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Jun 15, 2009

Don't talk: your cell phone may be eavesdropping. Thanks to recent developments in "spy phone" software, a do-it-yourself spook can now wirelessly transfer a wiretapping program to any mobile phone. The programs are inexpensive, and the transfer requires no special skill. The would-be spy needs to get his hands on your phone to press keys authorizing the download, but it takes just a few minutes—about the time needed to download a ringtone.

This new generation of -user-friendly spy-phone software has become widely available in the last year—and it confers stunning powers. The latest programs can silently turn on handset microphones even when no call is being made, allowing a spy to listen to voices in a room halfway around the world. Targets are none the wiser: neither call logs nor phone bills show records of the secretly transmitted data.

More than 200 companies sell spy-phone software online, at prices as low as $50 (a few programs cost more than $300). Vendors are loath to release sales figures. But some experts—private investigators and consultants in counter-wiretapping, computer-security software and telecommunications market research—claim that a surprising number of people carry a mobile that has been compromised, usually by a spouse, lover, parent or co-worker. Many employees, experts say, hope to discover a supervisor's dishonest dealings and tip off the top boss anonymously. Max Maiellaro, head of Agata Christie Investigation, a private-investigation firm in Milan, estimates that 3 percent of mobiles in France and Germany are tapped, and about 5 percent or so in Greece, Italy, Romania and Spain. James Atkinson, a spy-phone expert at Granite Island Group, a security consultancy in Gloucester, Massachusetts, puts the number of tapped phones in the U.S. at 3 percent. (These approximations do not take into account government wiretapping.) Even if these numbers are inflated, clearly many otherwise law-abiding citizens are willing to break wiretapping laws.

Spyware thrives on iPhones, BlackBerrys and other smart phones because they have ample processing power. In the United States, the spread of GSM networks, which are more vulnerable than older technologies, has also enlarged the pool of potential victims. Spyware being developed for law-enforcement agencies will accompany a text message and automatically install itself in the victim's phone when the message is opened, according to an Italian developer who declined to be identified. One worry is that the software will find its way into the hands of criminals.

The current predicament is partly the result of decisions by Apple, Microsoft and Research In Motion (producer of the BlackBerry) to open their phones to outside application-software developers, which created the opening for spyware. Antivirus and security programs developed for computers require too much processing power, even for smart phones. Although security programs are available for phones, by and large users haven't given the threat much thought. If the spying keeps spreading, that may change soon.

© 2009




NARLA believes religious freedom is about more than ethereal concepts battling in intellectual spheres – it is about real people. Men and women, boys and girls, targetted for persecution, discrimination and marginalization for no crime other than serving God to the best of their ability.

It is about the father in Arizona coming home to his wife and kids and having to tell them he was fired today for no crime other than keeping the Sabbath.
It is about the mother fleeing her country with nothing but her children because if she stayed, the Islamic courts would take her children from her in retaliation for giving her life to Christ.
It is about the pastor sitting in a gulag in Turkmenistan for preaching the love of Christ, waiting to hear if anyone out there cares.
It is about the little girl wondering if her Daddy will be deported to Iran where he will face almost certain death for converting from Islam to Christianity.
It is about giving a witness to our Senators, Representatives, and the President of the United States to the gospel principle of religious liberty so that, as Ellen White puts it, “they will not pursue a course through ignorance, that they would avoid if they knew the truth.”
These, and many like them, are actual cases that the North American Religious Liberty Association has worked on and we are working on many like them today. Religious liberty is about these men and women, whose faithfulness has been rewarded by discrimination, brutality and despotism.

Many are willing to stand by silently as the people the Bible tells us this world is not worthy of are shamefully mistreated (Hebrew 11:38). But, thankfully, there are some faithful men and women willing to take a stand. Women and men who heed the advice of Ellen White when she said "we are not doing the will of God if we sit by quietly, doing nothing to preserve liberty of conscience.” If you are one of these faithful few, make a gift to NARLA here and together we will change this world, one life at a time.

Who Supports NARLA?

NARLA is proud to be associated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Seventh-day Adventists have been on the forefront of the struggle to advance religious liberty for well over a century. NARLA began as the National Religious Liberty Association in 1893. Today Liberty magazine, which is published by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, provides a modest annual appropriation to NARLA, but the bulk of our funding comes from individual donations from people like you. If you want to support the ideals and the actions of the North American Religious Liberty Association, click here.

Meet the NARLA Team

Dr. Halvard Thomsen, President
Lincoln Steed, Vice President

Deborah Knott, Operations Manager

Kevin Gurubatham, Legislative Fellow

Barry W. Bussey, LL.M., Executive Director


The Ten King Covenant

The Ten King Covenant

(Excerpt from Chapter 11 of Hidden Manna for the End Times)

This seven year Dragon/Beast covenant with all nations will be both secular and religious. First let’s look at the secular aspect, which is being designed now. This seven year covenant will unite the secular world, including natural Israel, in a seven headed, ten horned body as the World Constitution and Parliament Association (W.C.P.A.) has envisioned. Their aim is to replace the current U.N. constitution with the Constitution for the Federation of Earth (C.F.E.). Their Global Ratification and Elections Network (G.R.E.N.) is well organized in most of the nations of the world and are currently ratifying this constitution through both governments and N.G.O.’s. Ratification would cause the whole earth to be divided up into ten continental divisions; the ten horns or kings, in order to do away with national, ethnic, and religious boundaries for the sake of peace. Article 6, Section D, calls them “ten World Electoral and Administrative Magna Regions of the World.” This was the Club of Rome’s idea whose 1972 report, the Limits of Growth, was a blueprint to form the European Union. This was just an experiment in the process for this world beast kingdom. They also called these ten political and economic world magna-regions “kingdoms.” There you have it, the ten kings of Revelation.

This would unite the seed of all seven previous heads of the earth; hence a seven headed, ten horned, body for the corporate spirit of the beast from the abyss. This is not fantasy since all seven heads and ten horns are in the U.N. now! Whether the C.F.E. is the final fulfillment of the beast covenant or not, it is certainly laying foundation for the secular aspect of the “covenant with many.”

In this constitution the Presidium and the Executive Cabinet would be totally responsible to the people through the World Parliament (Article VI, Section E, 5). The World Executive Branch would be bound to faithfully execute all legislation passed by the World Parliament (Article VI, Section F, 5). The constitution reads, “with ultimate sovereignty residing in all the people who live on earth” (Article II, 2). The World Executive Branch has no executive order or executive privilege or emergency declaration or decree (Article VI, Section F, 6). Having read this new constitution, I believe it to be the most honest representative form of Democracy the world has ever seen. If I didn’t know what I know I would think that this is what the world has been waiting for. This is important because this covenant does not permit any sovereign individual ruling over planet earth as those who see only the letter foresee. For example: Even though the President and the Executive Branch of the U.S. have more pull in the U.N. than any other nation, the U.N. is still a Representative form of government. The Presidium is made up of five members from five Continental Divisions (Article VI, Section C, 1 and 2). They envision one President for two Magna Regions but the Presidium will ultimately be made up of ten kings as Rev.17:12 says. Their decisions are collective and based on majority decisions. Their term is for one year not seven. Where in this world government is there room for the traditional man called the antichrist? This whole corporate man is the antichrist beast as the Word clearly shows. His very body is seven heads and ten horns with the nations beneath them.

It should be obvious by now that the prophecy of the ten kings will never be fulfilled by the E.U., which has exceeded twenty-five nations and is in total disarray at this writing. Also Germany was never a part of the empire but Egypt was and so nothing fits this erroneous theory. It is strange. I talk to knowledgeable Christians in the E.U. nations who laugh at the prophecy teachers in the U.S. who believe that the E.U. will rule the world. In 1997 the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, America, England, France, Russia, and China agreed to go to ten nations. In 2004 the G-4 nations, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and India supported each others bid for four more permanent members and then Egypt threw her hat into the ring. Now the G-4 is asking for six more permanent members. This idea of a small group of permanent member nations making decisions for the whole world is likely not to have the appeal that a truly democratic ten Magna Regions representing the whole planet does.

Many have told me that they do not see the seven year covenant in Revelation. It is very clearly there. “The Constitution for the Federation of Earth,” Article XVII, Section B, calls for implementing the “World Constitution” in “stages.” Section C, 1 says, “The first operative stage of World Government under this World Constitution shall be implemented when the World Constitution is ratified by a sufficient number of nations and/or people.” Revelation declares this staged seven year covenant of the many with the beast. The first stage of the beast is the Dragon. (Rev.12:3)… Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems. Notice that the diadems or crowns are on the seven heads. These seven heads are seven world ruling empires whose seed populate and rule the earth; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and Revived Rome, the head that was smitten and revived. This representative form of government is how the U.N. functions now. This first stage will last for 3½ years. (Rev.12:6) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that there they may nourish her a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (14) And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness unto her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Then in the middle of the tribulation the final stage is the fully implemented Beast government. (13:1) and he stood upon the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns, and seven heads, and on his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy. Here we see that the crowns are upon the ten continental divisions. This is their plan to destroy national, religious and ethnic divisions in the earth for the sake of peace. Obviously you cannot redraw governmental boundaries without a majority of the world’s ratification and support, which this document acknowledges. This last stage will be for 3½ more years making a total of a seven year “covenant with many.” (13:5) there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given to him authority to continue forty and two months… (7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints…. Since it is clear from Revelation and Daniel that ten kings rule the world in this second stage, how could one President and nation exercise so much dominion. All we have to do is look around us to see that the U.N. is a representative form of world government now but the U.S. exercises the Lions share of the influence.

Source: http://www.unleavenedbreadministries.org/_pf.php?page=tenkingcovenant

Pope signs new globalization encyclical

Pope signs new globalization encyclical

The Associated Press
Monday, June 29, 2009; 7:29 AM

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI signed his latest encyclical Monday, a text on ways to make globalization more attentive to meeting the needs of the poor amid the worldwide financial crisis.

The document, entitled "Charity in Truth," is expected to be published soon.

The pope has said his third encyclical will outline the goals and values that the faithful must defend to ensure solidarity among all peoples.

Benedict has frequently spoken out on the financial crisis, urging leaders to ensure the world's poor don't end up bearing the brunt of the downturn even though they are not responsible for it. He has said the downturn shows the need to rethink the whole global financial system.

The pontiff announced he had signed the document Monday, a major Catholic feast day, after celebrating a Mass during which he told new archbishops they must be models for the faithful, guiding them and protecting them as shepherds care for their flock.

Thirty-four new archbishops, including the new archbishop of New York, Monsignor Timothy Dolan, received the pallium, a band of white wool decorated with black crosses that is a sign of pastoral authority and a symbol of the archbishops' bond with the pope.

Benedict said the archbishops should be like Christ "who as a good shepherd carried on his back humanity - the lost sheep - to bring them home."

Benedict has been working on "Caritas in veritate," as the encyclical is known in Latin, since 2007 but held back on issuing it so that he could update it to reflect the global economic crisis.

An encyclical is the most authoritative document a pope can issue. Benedict has written two in his four years as pope: "God is Love" in 2006 and "Saved by Hope" in 2007.

Prophecy Against Babylon

5Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.

6For thus hath the LORD said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

7And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:

8And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:

9And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

10O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.

11The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

12The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.

Isaiah 21:5-12.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ian Paisley Teaches on the Jesuits


Israel: Ultra-Orthodox Jews protests parking lot opening on Sabbath

Friday evening's protest (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Excerpt (World Briefing)

June 28, 2009


Protests over opening parking lot on Sabbath

Police turned water cannons on a raucous demonstration by ultra-Orthodox Jews, as they protested a second consecutive day over the opening of a city parking lot on the Jewish Sabbath when observant Jews are forbidden to drive.

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox protesters were on the streets throughout the city, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. Police said 24 people had been arrested and a 6-year-old boy slightly hurt by a stone thrown by protesters. Four officers were lightly injured as well.

In a major standoff near City Hall, several hundred Orthodox protesters in traditional black suits hurled rocks, garbage and glass bottles at police for several hours. Police broke into the crowd frequently and arrested people they described as instigators, many of them minors. Several of the arrested youths held their traditional black hats in front of TV cameras and prayed aloud as they were dragged to police cars.


Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself

Linda Johnson / For The Times
The security cameras on the streets are monitored by civilians working for a nonprofit group. They pan, zoom and call police if they see a crime.

A vast and growing web of security cameras monitors the city of 55,000, operated by a private group of self-appointed gatekeepers. There's been surprisingly little outcry.

By Bob Drogin
June 21, 2009

Reporting from Lancaster, Pa. -- This historic town, where America's founding fathers plotted during the Revolution and Milton Hershey later crafted his first chocolates, now boasts another distinction.

It may become the nation's most closely watched small city.

Some 165 closed-circuit TV cameras soon will provide live, round-the-clock scrutiny of nearly every street, park and other public space used by the 55,000 residents and the town's many tourists. That's more outdoor cameras than are used by many major cities, including San Francisco and Boston.

Unlike anywhere else, cash-strapped Lancaster outsourced its surveillance to a private nonprofit group that hires civilians to tilt, pan and zoom the cameras -- and to call police if they spot suspicious activity. No government agency is directly involved.

Perhaps most surprising, the near-saturation surveillance of a community that saw four murders last year has sparked little public debate about whether the benefits for law enforcement outweigh the loss of privacy.

"Years ago, there's no way we could do this," said Keith Sadler, Lancaster's police chief. "It brings to mind Big Brother, George Orwell and '1984.' It's just funny how Americans have softened on these issues."

"No one talks about it," agreed Scott Martin, a Lancaster County commissioner who wants to expand the program. "Because people feel safer. Those who are law-abiding citizens, they don't have anything to worry about."

A few dozen people attended four community meetings held last spring to discuss what sponsors called "this exciting public safety initiative." But opposition has grown since big red bulbs, which shield the video cameras, began appearing on corner after corner.

Mary Pat Donnellon, head of Mission Research, a local software company, vowed to move if she finds one on her block. "I don't want to live like that," she said. "I'm not afraid. And I don't need to be under surveillance."

"No one has the right to know who goes in and out my front door," agreed David Mowrer, a laborer for a company that supplies quarry pits. "That's my business. That's not what America is about."

Hundreds of municipalities -- including Los Angeles and at least 36 other California cities -- have built or expanded camera networks since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In most cases, Department of Homeland Security grants helped cover the cost.

In the most ambitious project, New York City police announced plans several years ago to link 3,000 public and private security cameras across Lower Manhattan designed to help deter, track and detect terrorists. The network is not yet complete.

How they affect crime is open to debate. In the largest U.S. study, researchers at UC Berkeley evaluated 71 cameras that San Francisco put in high-crime areas starting in 2005. Their final report, released in December, found "no evidence" of a drop in violent crime but "substantial declines" in property crime near the cameras.

Only a few communities have said no. In February, the city council in Cambridge, Mass., voted not to use eight cameras already purchased with federal funds for fear police would improperly spy on residents. Officials in nearby Brookline are considering switching off a dozen cameras for the same reason.

Lancaster is different, and not just because it sits amid the rolling hills and rich farms of Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Laid out in 1730, the whole town is 4 square miles around a central square. Amish families still sell quilts in the nation's oldest public market, and the Wal-Mart provides a hitching post to park a horse and buggy. Tourists flock to art galleries and Colonial-era churches near a glitzy new convention center.

But poverty is double the state's average, and public school records list more than 900 children as homeless. Police blame most of last year's 3,638 felony crimes, chiefly thefts, on gangs that use Lancaster as a way station to move cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs along the Eastern Seaboard.

"It's not like we're making headlines as the worst crime-ridden city in the country," said Craig Stedman, the county's district attorney. "We have an average amount of crime for our size."

In 2001, a local crime commission concluded that cameras might make the city safer. Business owners, civic boosters and city officials formed the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition, and the nonprofit organization installed its first camera downtown in 2004.

Raising money from private donors and foundations, the coalition had set up 70 cameras by last year. And the crime rate rose.

Officials explained the increase by saying cameras caught lesser offenses, such as prostitution and drunkenness, that otherwise often escape prosecution. The cameras also helped police capture and convict a murderer, and solve several other violent crimes.

Another local crime meeting last year urged an expansion of the video network, and the city and county governments agreed to share the $3-million cost with the coalition. Work crews are trying to connect 95 additional high-resolution cameras by mid-July.

"Per capita, we're the most watched city in the state, if not the entire United States," said Joseph Morales, a city councilman who is executive director of the coalition. "There are very few public streets that are not visible to our cameras."

The digital video is transmitted to a bank of flat-screen TVs at coalition headquarters, several dingy offices beside a gas company depot. A small sign hangs outside.

On a recent afternoon, camera operator Doug Winglewich sat at a console and watched several dozen incoming video feeds plus a computer linked to the county 911 dispatcher. The cameras have no audio, so he works in silence.

Each time police logged a new 911 call, he punched up the camera closest to the address, and pushed a joystick to maneuver in for a closer look.

A license plate could be read a block away, and a face even farther could be identified. After four years in the job, Winglewich said, he "can pretty much tell right away if someone's up to no good."

He called up another feed and focused on a woman sitting on the curb. "You get to know people's faces," he said. "She's been arrested for prostitution."

Moments later, he called police when he spotted a man drinking beer in trouble-prone Farnum Park. Two police officers soon appeared on the screen, and as the camera watched, issued the man a ticket for violating a local ordinance.

"Lots of times, the police find outstanding warrants and the guy winds up in jail," said Winglewich, 49, who works from a wheelchair on account of a spinal injury.

If a camera records a crime in progress, the video is given to police and prosecutors, and may be subpoenaed by defense lawyers in a criminal case. More than 300 tapes were handed over last year, records show.

Morales says he refuses all other requests. "The divorce lawyer who wants video of a husband coming out of a bar with his mistress, we won't do it," he said.

No state or federal law governs use of public cameras, so Morales is drafting ethical guidelines for the coalition's 10 staffers and dozen volunteers. Training has been "informal" until now, he said, but will be stiffened.

Morales said he tries to weed out voyeurs and anyone who might use the tapes for blackmail or other illegal activity.

"We are not directly responsible to law enforcement or government at this point," he said. "So we have to be above suspicion ourselves."

Morales, 45, has a master's degree in public administration. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he grew up mostly on Army bases. He was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy, he said, but turned it down. "I made a lot of bad choices," he said. "Substance abuse was part of that."

Mary Catherine Roper, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, says the coalition's role as a self-appointed, self-policed gatekeeper for blanket surveillance of an entire city is unique.

"This is the first time, the only time, I've heard of it anywhere," she said. "It is such a phenomenally bad idea that it is stunning to me."

She said the coalition structure provides no public oversight or accountability, and may be exempt from state laws governing release of public records.

"When I hear people off the street can come in and apply to watch the camera on my street, now I'm terrified," she added. "That could be my nosy neighbor, or my stalker ex-boyfriend, or a burglar stalking my home."

J. Richard Gray, Lancaster's mayor since 2005, backs the program but worries about such abuses. He is a former defense attorney, a self-described civil libertarian, and a free-spirited figure who owns 12 motorcycles.

"I keep telling [the coalition] you're on a short leash with me," Gray said. "It's one strike and you're out as far as I'm concerned."

His campaign treasurer, Larry Hinnenkamp, a tax attorney and certified public accountant, took a stronger view. He "responded with righteous indignation" when a camera was installed without prior notice by his home.

"I used to give it the finger when I walked by," Hinnenkamp said.

But Jack Bauer, owner of the city's largest beer and soft drink distributor, calls the network "a great thing." His store hasn't been robbed, he said, since four cameras went up nearby.

"There's nothing wrong with instilling fear," he said.