Tales from the Trail

Santorum sees “harm” to children with same-sex parents

A Rick Santorum town hall meeting in New Hampshire turned heated on Thursday when the conservative candidate was asked to explain why he, personally, would be affected if same-sex marriages were legalized, and how his opposition squared with his long riff about the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The meeting ended with Santorum getting booed by much of the crowd in Concord, which included many college and high-school students, after suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents are being “harmed.”

“How does it affect you personally if two men or two women get married?” Santorum was asked at the College Convention 2012, to broad applause and cheers.

Santorum said that basic rights taken for granted by married people, such as the ability to visit their loved one in the hospital and make medical decisions on their behalf – can also be arranged for same-sex couples. “That can be done legally, through contract.”

The former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, who is coming off a surprise near-victory in this week’s Iowa caucuses, then pivoted, and went on to equate same-sex marriages to multiple marriages.

Robert Kennedy hailed on 50th anniversary of becoming Attorney General

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(Updates with remarks by Kennedy’s daughter on gun control.)

Robert F. Kennedy, who made history as attorney general in the 1960s, was remembered as one of the Justice Department’s most effective leaders who fought for civil rights and created an enduring and inspiring legacy.

Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the swearing-in of Kennedy, who was chosen to be the nation’s 64th attorney general by his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy’s widow Ethel and other Kennedy family members were joined by civil rights leaders and current and former department officials in the building’s Great Hall to pay tribute to the late attorney general.

ACLU gives Obama mixed first year rights grade

obamaU.S. President Barack Obama has taken some bold steps on civil rights during his first year in office, such as ordering an end to torture and the closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison, but his overall record is mixed, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Tuesday. 

The civil rights group said Obama had acted on more than a third of 145 recommendations it made to him when he was elected. The recommendations focused on steps  the president could take on his own without a vote by Congress.

“The Obama administration has made some significant strides toward restoring civil liberties and the rule of law,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero in a statement.

Don’t let calm exterior fool you, Obama feels barb stings

He may appear calm, cool and collected in public. But a year after taking office, President Barack Obama confesses that words sometimes do hurt him.

USA/OBAMAOn the eve of Martin Luther King Day, Obama paid homage to the civil rights leader and reflected on his own faith in an address at a Baptist church in Washington.

“You know, folks ask me sometimes why I look so calm,” Obama said before a largely African-American congregation.