Making an explicit appeal to Catholic opponents of abortion rights, Ryan cited the controversial executive order from the White House earlier this year that required religiously-affiliated organizations to provide employees with insurance plans that include birth control.
"In the president's telling, government is a big, benevolent presence - gently guiding our steps at every turn," Ryan said. "In reality, when government enters the picture, private institutions are so often brushed aside with suspicion or even contempt. This is what happened to the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities this past January, when the new mandates of Obamacare started coming. Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told, from now on you're going to do things the government's way."Continue »
Last night in North Carolina's largest city, the Democratic Party spotlighted their support for gay rights - including same-sex marriage - in speech after speech.
The keynote speaker, Julian Castro, criticized Mitt Romney for opposing "letting people marry whomever they love." First lady Michelle Obama, also speaking in the primetime slot, lauded her husband for backing equal opportunity for people no matter their sexual orientation. She spoke admirably of "proud Americans" who "boldly stand at the altar with who they love."
Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts governor, pointed to passage of same-sex marriage in his state, adding that "freedom means keeping government out of our most private affairs...including out of a woman's decision whether to keep an unwanted pregnancy and everybody's decision about whom to marry." He celebrated the president for ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, "so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for military service."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cast voters' choice as one between a supporter of "don't ask, don't tell" and "a president who believes that who you love should not keep you from serving the country you love." Newark Mayor Cory Booker said Americans should have the chance to find a good job no matter "who you choose to love." Rep. Gwen Moore said Democrats stand strong against violence "whether you love a man or a woman." Mr. Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-ng, said the president "fought to make sure gay Americans can openly serve the country they love." Comedian Kal Penn joked that the president has been "cool with all of us getting gay-married."
For the past few decades, it has largely been Republicans, not Democrats, who have used social issues to rally their base. The only social issue that Democrats have truly embraced in the past has been abortion rights - and that has certainly continued this year, with Democrats discussing abortion rights repeatedly on Tuesday. But at this convention, for the first time, they are widely embracing gay rights - both President Obama and the Democratic platform support same-sex marriage, more than eight percent of the delegates are openly gay, and the party is featuring gay rights activists like Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, who is gay, and Zach Wahls, who was born to a lesbian couple in 1991.Continue »
(CBS News) Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who led Wednesday's show of support for Chick-fil-A and its conservative ties, said Thursday morning he has no problem with gay rights supporters organizing a counter-protest for Friday.
"That's America," Huckabee said on Fox News Thursday morning. "As long as they're orderly. As long as they don't disrupt the flow of customers and traffic."
Huckabee on Wednesday led "Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day," during which conservatives ate at the fast food chain to show support for its President and COO Dan Cathy, who has unapologetically voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage. Chick-fil-A's charitable arm has a history of donating to conservative groups that oppose same-sex marriage.
On Friday, gay rights groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) are promoting National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A's across the country.Continue »
(CBS News) Conservatives backing Chick-fil-A for its president's unapologetic opposition to same-sex marriage flocked to the fast food joint Wednesday, including a few politicians who proudly gave proof of their chicken meals on social media.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee last month dubbed August 1 "Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day" after a renewed controversy over Chick-fil-A's conservative ties arose. Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has long made his political leanings known, but the issue became reached a boiling point this summer after Cathy spoke openly in a set of interviews about his opposition to same-sex marriage. Supporters of same-sex marriage spoke out against the company, and Huckabee and other conservatives subsequently hit back.
On his Facebook page today, Huckabee posted pictures of people lining up to eat at Chick-fil-A's around the country.Continue »
(CBS News) SILVER SPRING, Md. - Jorge Acuna's lifelong dream of becoming a neurosurgeon was always clear, but somehow he knew spending six days in a federal detention center wasn't the way to the operating table.
The 19-year-old Montgomery College student and his parents were detained in March, after living illegally in America for more than a decade. As a result of the family's undocumented status, deportation was imminent.
"Those first five nights we ended up being in a maximum security cell for some reason," Acuna told CBS. "I guess that was the worst part of it, because not only did we feel like we were criminals, we felt like the highest end criminals. We never committed any crime."
Uncertain about his future, Acuna feared his education may be lost.
"I was taking 18 credits and all of a sudden, one day I'm in jail," Acuna said. "I'm sitting here in jail, I'm worried about my tests and at one point, I realized, why am I even thinking about this?"
With fervent support from the surrounding community and the help of several prominent politicians, immigration officials granted the Acuna family a one year reprieve, with the understanding that deportation remained a possibility in 2013.Continue »
(CBS News) Mary Cheney and longtime partner Heather Poe were married Friday in Washington, D.C., CBS News has confirmed.
"Mary and Heather have been in a committed relationship for many years, and we are delighted that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have that relationship recognized," Mary's parents, former vice president Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, said in a statement.
The newlyweds have two children - a 5 year old son Samuel and a 2 year old daughter Sarah- and live together in Virginia.
"Mary and Heather and their children are very important and much loved members of our family and we wish them every happiness," the Cheneys' statement reads.Continue »
(CBS News) President Obama's announcement last month that he supports same-sex marriage may not hurt him politically, a new poll suggests.
An Associated Press-GfK survey released Friday shows that Mr. Obama's announcement hasn't really changed voters' views about the way the president handles social issues: 52 percent said they trust Mr. Obama to do a better job than Mitt Romney when it comes to handling issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, while 36 percent sided to Romney. The poll results were similar to the results from a poll conducted a week before Mr. Obama's announcement.
Since Mr. Obama changed his views on same-sex marriage, more Democrats now say they strongly approve of the president's handling of the issue -- 41 percent say that, compared to 26 percent who said so last August. At the same time, more Republicans now say they strongly disapprove of his handling of the issue (53 percent compared to 45 percent in August).Continue »
CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.
(CBS News) One in four registered voters say they are less likely to vote for President Obama in November because he expressed support same-sex marriage, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.
While 25 percent say the president's support for same-sex marriage makes them less likely to support his reelection, 16 percent say his position makes them more likely to support him. Fifty-eight percent say the announcement will not affect how they vote.
Republicans were most likely to say the announcement made them less likely to support the president, with 43 percent making that assertion. Even before he came out in support of same-sex marriage, Mr. Obama had little support from Republican voters. In the new survey, conducted from May 11-13, only five percent of Republicans said they would vote for the president in November.
More worrisome for the president is the percentage of Democrats and independents who say the decision will sway their views. And that figure, while smaller, is not insignificant.
Among Democrats, twelve percent say Mr. Obama's position makes them less likely to back him, while 29 percent say they are now more likely to do so. And 22 percent of independents say they are now less likely to vote for the president, while 14 percent say they are more likely to vote for him.
Twenty-three percent of registered voters, including 11 percent of Democrats and 20 percent of independents, say presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's opposition to same-sex marriage makes them more likely to vote for him. Seventeen percent say it makes them less likely to support him, a figure that includes 20 percent of independents but just two percent of Republicans.
The survey found that 38 percent of Americans overall believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Twenty-four percent said such couples should have the right to civil unions, while 33 percent said same-sex couples should have no legal recognition.
CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.
A new CBS News/New York Times Poll shows a solid majority of Americans support legal recognition for same-sex couples - though not necessarily through the official act of marriage - and the number of people who do support full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples is significantly higher among younger generations.
Overall, 38 percent of those who responded to the survey said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, just like any other couple. Another 24 percent said civil unions should be used to grant same-sex couples legal rights similar to male-female partnerships. Combined, that means 62 percent - close to two thirds - of Americans believe that same-sex unions should be recognized by law.
Of all those who participated, 33 percent said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.Continue »
Senior administration officials say Vice President Biden's comments on NBC's "Meet the Press" sped up the timeline and forced the president's hand.
"I had already made a decision that we were going to probably take this position before the election and before the convention," he told ABC News.Continue »
UPDATED 5:05 p.m. ET
(CBS News) -- President Obama says his position on same-sex marriage has evolved.
Three days after Vice President Joe Biden said he is "absolutely comfortable" with two men or two women getting married, Mr. Obama told ABC News in a hastily arranged interview that "same sex couples should be able to get married."
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," Mr. Obama said in an interview with Robin Roberts broadcast in a special report this afternoon. More from the interview will be broadcast tonight and tomorrow morning.
The president, who had previously said his position on the matter is "evolving,"is now the first sitting U.S. president to back the rights of same-sex couples to marry.Continue »
In the newly-declared battle to frame the general election, the president seemed to be winning. His "Buffett Rule" proposal - designed in part to define presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as seeking to protect low tax rates for the one percent - was dominating the political news cycle. Meanwhile, the Romney camp was scrambling to find some way to win over women amid polls that showed Romney trailing the president by double-digits among female voters.
Then, on Wednesday, a gift from Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen: A criticism of Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mom, as someone who "has actually never worked a day in her life" and thus isn't qualified to advise her husband on women's issues.Continue »
Asked why she thought Limbaugh made the comments, Fluke told CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes that Limbaugh wants women like her to stop asking for the health care they deserve.
"It's an attempt to silence women. That's really what it's about, if we're called these names, then we'll go away and we won't demand the health care we deserve and we need and I think women have proven those folks wrong," said Fluke. (watch above at left)
Asked if she had ever been subject to similar comments, Fluke responded with a laugh that it had never happened on nationwide airwaves. But, she added, "I think that a lot of women unfortunately have heard those types of words and historically they've always been used to try to silence women, especially women who are speaking out about their reproductive health and reproductive needs."Continue »
Updated 6:14 p.m. Eastern Time
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has been harshly critical of a federal requirement that church-linked organizations provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, said Friday that it was reserving judgment on the administration's decision to tweak the policy.
Under the policy announced Friday, employees of religiously-linked schools, hospitals and charities would still have access to free contraceptive coverage - but those organizations would not have to pay for it. Instead, health insurance companies would be required to provide it free of charge, though it remains unclear exactly how that would work.
The Conference said in a statement that it sees "initial opportunities" in the policy change, but that it still had concerns.
Updated 3:33 p.m. Eastern Time
In what senior administration officials described as an "accommodation" in the wake of an uproar from religious leaders, President Obama announced Friday that the government will not force religiously-affiliated institutions such as schools, charities and hospitals to directly provide birth control coverage as part of their employees' health care coverage.
Female employees of these religiously-affiliated institutions will, however, still have access to no-cost contraceptive coverage. It will come directly from the employee's health insurer, who will be required to offer the coverage for free. Religious organizations will not be required to provide the contraception coverage, subsidize it or refer women to it.
Speaking in the White House briefing room, the president said the decision protects religious liberty while ensuring that "women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where they work."
The president said that religious liberty is an "unalienable right as enshrined in our Constitution," adding: "As a citizen, and as a Christian, I cherish this right."
A White House official told CBS News that Mr. Obama called Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who has been critical of the White House position, to tell him about the change.Continue »
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