>Rollin’ On: Progress

>Could it be spring? Oh, I know that spring doesn’t really begin for a couple of weeks. But the weather sure was spring like this past weekend.

We set out three peach trees, three apple trees and helped with 50 pounds of seed potatoes. I told you the garden space was huge.

But remember, it was just a week ago we were playing in the snow. Watch this video of the snow in Auburn, sent by Jim and by the folks at the University.

On to the news:

While understanding that the economy is and should be the main focus of the president and congress, the world does continue to turn and other issues are being addressed.

For instance, today the president is expected to reverse the ban on federal funding for stem cell research, using “science – not political ideology” to guide his administration. Scientists now will be able to apply for federal money for research, and have “eight years of science to make up for,” according to Curt Civin, founding director of the University of Maryland Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

On the LGBT front, many are anxious for an indication that President Obama’s promises to move forward on the issues will be fulfilled. Some of us are being very patient without worry, and an article in the recent Advocate backs up this feeling.

Joe Solmonese, executive director of The Human Rights Campaign, was quoted in the article.

“You could just wander around the first floor, anywhere you wanted to go,” he adds later, and so he idled through the hushed,high-ceilinged rooms until it was time for President Barack Obama to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first major piece of legislation to pass Congress after Obama took office. Solmonese recalls that during the ceremony, “I turned around where I was sitting and I looked into the eyes of so many of the staff people, like David Axelrod and Rahm [Emanuel], and all of those people had tears in their eyes, and it filled me with a renewed sense of hope about changing things for GLBT Americans.” Solmonese, who speaks in sleek, rapid-fire sentences, is wary of sentimentality — “It sounds hokey,” he says — but still he goes on.

After the bill signing, Solmonese says, the Democratic strategist Donna Brazile asked him, “ ‘What are you thinking about?’ And I said,‘I’m envisioning this moment for the GLBT community and watching the president sign a bill that will bring this measure of equality to our community.’ As if on cue, a number of White House staff people came over and said to me, ‘We look forward to working to make sure that this happens in pretty short order for the GLBT community.’


We’ve got plenty of time, and we are patient (although at times it may not seem so). Remember, I gave the president a year , saying:

Barack Obama may not immediately grant all of our wishes, but I would be willing to bet that the first legislation that mentions sexual orientation to be passed
and signed by a president will occur within the first year of his administration.

And then we will be on the way to a nation that values each of its citizens.


in this column from The Western Tribune.

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