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Focus on the Mission: Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

March 5th, 2010

by and

This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

They serve in Iraq. They fight in Afghanistan. Their names are etched in marble at Arlington National Cemetery. And three out of four Americans believe they shouldn’t be forced to lie to serve the country for which they are prepared to die.

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Grandma Knows Best

February 5th, 2010

by and

This piece was originally posted on the Huffington Post.

An elderly woman sits with her grandson.  She begins to tell the story of her family and her Catholic faith. She talks about her core values and says, “Marriage to me is a great institution. It works, and it’s what I want for my children, too.”

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Creating a 40-Hour Work Week for Prisoners

January 19th, 2010

by and

This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

Violent crime decreased by 4.4% in the first half of 2009, despite the lousy shape of the economy and the high rates of unemployment, according to a surprising report released last week by the FBI. Experts looking to explain this counterintuitive trend have credited everything from smart and targeted policing in big cities (last year New York was safer than it had been during any year on record), to innovative use of new technologies to prevent and deter crime (more cities are using crime-mapping systems and other novel strategies to leverage scarce resources), to the $4 billion included in the stimulus bill to help state and local law enforcement and criminal justice systems weather the tough economic times.

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Ensuring Opportunity for All

November 5th, 2009

by and

Originally published on The Huffington Post.

This week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans against workplace discrimination. Although it may seem obvious that no person should be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity — according to Gallup, 89% of the country believes that gay and lesbian Americans “should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities” — in nearly 30 states across the country, a person can still be legally fired for being gay. And despite the fact that 71% of Americans agree that “how an employee performs at their job should be the standard for judging an employee, not whether they are transgender,” only 12 states and DC protect employees from being fired because of their gender identity.

So if Americans overwhelming support employment discrimination laws protecting the LGBT community, why have we not yet passed those protections on a federal level?

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Health Care Reform & Abortion: Separating Fact From Fiction

September 2nd, 2009

by

Originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Over the weekend, the anger and rancor over health care reform was put on hold — momentarily. The nation watched with a heavy heart as Senator Edward Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. While uncertainty remains around the future of health care reform, we can be sure that despite this temporary pause, the health care debate will heat up again. In a heated debate, tempers and passions fly, leaving much room for misinformation and confusion. Nowhere is this more true than on the issue of abortion.

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Common Ground Rules

June 16th, 2009

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President Obama recently delivered his much anticipated Notre Dame commencement speech. With the divide over abortion at the top of everyone’s mind, the President chose to tell the success story of the incredibly diverse six member Civil Rights Commission appointed by President Eisenhower that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As Obama retells it:

“Years later, President Eisenhower asked [Commission participant and then-Notre Dame President] Father Ted how on Earth he was able to broker an agreement between men of such different backgrounds and beliefs. And Father Ted simply said that during their first dinner in Wisconsin, they discovered that they were all fishermen. And so he quickly readied a boat for a twilight trip out on the lake. They fished, and they talked, and they changed the course of history. “

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