6 Years Ago Today: Marriage Equality Becomes The Law Of The Land

Six years ago today the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal across the nation

Six years ago today, the United States took a huge leap forward in equal rights for all when the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was a constitutional right.

And just like that, my marriage was valid and equal to all.

Easily one of the most impactful, emotional days of my life. I will never be able to articulate the emotions that came over me in the minutes, hours, days after the news was announced.

And then, just to put the cherry on top of the sundae, the White House celebrated the occasion awash in the colors of the LGBT rainbow.

Still so far to go, but it’s important to slow down for a second and remember the good days.

Biden Hosts LGBTQ Leaders: ‘Pride Is Back At The White House’

President Biden hosted leaders from the LGBTQ community at the White House in honor of Pride Month
President Biden hosted leaders from the LGBTQ community at the White House in honor of Pride Month
President Joe Biden (screen capture)

It was an LGBTQ kind of day at the White House today as President Biden hosted a reception for LGBTQ leaders in honor of Pride Month.

From the Washington Blade:

President Biden commemorated Pride Month for first his year in office on Friday with a reception at the White House, detailing the initiatives his administration has made on behalf of the LGBTQ community and declaring “Pride is Back at the White House.”

“We’re also making progress, but I know we still have a long way to go, a lot of work to do,” Biden said. “We must protect the gains we’ve made and fend off the cruel and unconscionable attacks that we’re seeing now to ensure the full promise of dignity and equal protection.”

Joining Biden on stage for the reception in the East Room was first lady Jill Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who could claim historic status of participating in the event as the first openly gay official to obtain Senate confirmation for a Cabinet-level role.

Biden was introduced by Ashton Mota, a 16-year-old transgender advocate from Lowell, Mass., and a leader with the GenderCool Project.

During his remarks, Biden’s made note of the recent spate of state laws targeting transgender youth, including restricting their access to transition-related health care and schools sports. Biden called the bills “nothing but bullying disguised as legislation.”

Biden also named Jessica Stern, currently executive director of OutRight Action International, as a special diplomatic envoy at the State Department for LGBTQ rights. Her responsibilities will include ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect LGBTQ rights around the world.

Additionally, Biden signed into law a congressional resolution designating the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as a national memorial. On June 12, 2016, the club was the site of the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S. history when Omar Mateen opened fire on club goers killing 49 people and wounding 53 more.

Newsmax Criticizes First Dog Champ As “Rough” & “Unpresidential”

Newsmax anchor Greg Kelly calls First Dog Champ "rough" and "junkyard"

Newsmax anchor Greg Kelly calls First Dog Champ "rough" and "junkyard"

Newsmax host Greg Kelly and a guest on his show on Friday criticized the appearance of First Dog, Champ, prompting a wave of criticism and ridicule on Twitter. Kelly said that Champ, a German Shepherd, looks like he’s “from the junkyard.”

“This dog looks like, I’m sorry, like it’s from the junkyard,” Kelly said.

He even had presidential historian Craig Shirley on during the segment who remarked Champ looks “dirty and disheveled” and “unlike a presidential dog.”

This is what they spend time on at Newsmax?

For the record, Champ is a 12-year-old German Shepard the Biden’s adopted when Joe was Vice President. I’m a dog guy, and Champ looks pretty fantastic for a 12-year-old.

Melania Dragged For Maskless White House Christmas Tour

First Lady Melania Trump with children wearing face masks at the White House

First Lady Melania Trump is probably very happy to be done with her last Christmas in the White House.

Yesterday, her official Twitter account shared a short video showing her showing the White House decorations to young children (all wearing face masks) while she didn’t bother to wear a mask even though that’s the official position of the CDC.

That, plus the leaked audio of a conversation with a former aide where she complained about having to oversee the holiday decor of the White House (“Who gives a f*ck about Christmas stuff and decoration…?”), is probably the most transparent perspective we’ll have of the soon-to-be-former First Lady.

Twitter wasn’t amused.

Trump Threatens To Not Leave White House On Inauguration Day

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr – CC License)

With the Electoral College affirming the results of the 2020 presidential election this week, followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recognizing President-elect Joe Biden as the winner, one might think Donald Trump would begin to accept the reality that his time in the White House is coming to an end.

But…no.

From CNN:

Yet even amid the intractable movement of the transition and the hurried lame-duck activity — some of which he is participating in himself — Trump is steadfastly refusing to acknowledge that he lost.

In his moments of deepest denial, Trump has told some advisers that he will refuse to leave the White House on Inauguration Day, only to be walked down from that ledge. The possibility has alarmed some aides, but few believe Trump will actually follow through.

“He’s throwing a f***ing temper tantrum,” an adviser said. “He’s going to leave. He’s just lashing out.”

The White House declined to comment for this report.

White House To Be ‘Sanitized’ After Trump’s Departure

(photo via Flickr/WhiteHouse)

Acting in response to the dozens of coronavirus infections that have occurred in the Trump administration, Team Biden plans on a heavy-duty scrub-down of the White House before taking up residency.

From Politico:

The team only plans to have a skeleton staff working on campus at first, with most continuing to work remotely from home. They also plan to have the building — which has seen numerous virus outbreaks among staffers and top officials this year — meticulously sanitized.

That includes plans to “thoroughly clean and disinfect” all furniture, doorknobs, handrails and light switches, before Biden and his team move in. Additionally, a private contractor will provide “disinfectant misting services” to clear the air of lingering droplets.

Melania Trolled For Lackluster Renovation Of WH Rose Garden

(images via the official Twitter account of the First Lady)

First Lady Melania Trump proudly tweeted photos of the White House Rose Garden today.

From NBC News:

The White House Rose Garden has been spruced up in time for its moment in the campaign spotlight. First lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office.

The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. White House officials said the renovations were paid for by private donations. They declined to reveal the cost of the work.

The location of the first lady’s speech will be just one of the ways that the Republican National Convention will break with political norms.

Many folks on Twitter were aghast that the First Lady ripped out all of the color and 12 mature crabapple trees that were planted by First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

I’m not one to attack presidential spouses, but the results are less than “better.”

In addition to the first lady’s convention speech, Donald Trump will deliver his address Thursday night from the White House’s South Lawn, where a stage was being constructed over the weekend.

Federal rules prohibit the White House from being the setting for expressly political events, but when did Trump ever care about “rules?”

NBC News reports that the trees that were removed will, thankfully, be replanted elsewhere.

Mike Pence’s Press Secretary Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Katie Miller, press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence (image via Twitter)

Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

From CNN:

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Miller is now the second White House staff member known to have tested positive for the coronavirus this week, after one of Trump’s personal valets tested positive on Thursday.

“She’s a wonderful young woman, Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive,” Trump said during a meeting with Republican members of Congress at the White House.

The President said that Miller has not come into contact with him but noted that she has been in contact with Pence.

Miller was frequently in contact with members of the press, and the White House is now making more coronavirus testing available to journalists, a White House official told CNN’s Jim Acosta.

Katie Miller is married to Stephen Miller, a top domestic adviser to Trump who writes many of his speeches and is credited as one of the architects of the administration’s anti-immigrant policies.

In the report by CNN’s Jim Acosta below, he notes that the White House press corps has not seen many staffers at the White House wearing face masks.

As Acosta says, “It appears they haven’t gotten ‘the memo.'”

Having Held Zero Press Briefings, White House Press Secretary Exits After 8 Months

L-R Kayleigh McEnany, Trish Regan

After eight months as White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham is exiting the post during which she held no regular press briefings traditionally associated with the job.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany will replace Grisham as press secretary, and Grisham will toddle back to First Lady Melania Trump’s staff as chief of staff and spokesperson.

McEnany, a longtime true Trumper, comes with her own baggage to the position.

For instance, she recently insisted Trump would stop the coronavirus before it impacted Americans.

During an appearance in late February with (now-departed) Fox Business host Trish Regan, McEnany said, “This president will always put America first, he will always protect American citizens. We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here.”

She added, “And isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?”

Since making that statement over 383,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19.

WH Spokesperson Defends Trump Attack On Deceased Congressman

During an appearance on CBS This Morning, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham attempted to defend Donald Trump’s grotesque insinuation that deceased Rep. John Dingell might be “looking up” from hell.

The comment occurred during a rally in Michigan, where Dingell represented his district for more than 50 years – making him the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history.

Trump was ranting about the congressman’s widow, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), who voted in favor of his impeachment last night.

When asked about the remark by host Gayle King, Grisham said she “didn’t hear him say that” but characterized the comment as “riffing” and “counterpunching.”