Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed the state's Civil Union bill designed to give all couples access to the economic and legal benefits of marriage. I suppose this is not too surprising, considering the fact that she is a Republican. Still, her explanation as to why she vetoed the bill makes me pretty upset.
Following the arrest today of Anat Hoffman — chair of Women of the Wall, and former Jerusalem municipal council member — for being a woman holding a Torah at the Western Wall plaza, Hoffman offered me her first-hand account of this morning’s events.
Yesterday marked the final day of Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearings are regarded by some as a useful tool for gauging a nominee’s judicial philosophy and by others as a farcical display of senatorial bluster and skilled evasiveness.
Last week, victories by several women in primaries led the media machine to suggest that 2010 is the "Year of the Women." NPR's Ken Rudin describes the phrase as "a hackneyed phrase that gets regurgitated at convenient times, and by now it often results in a rolling of the eyes" and reminds us that 1984 and 1992 were also dubbed "Year of the Women." In 1984, all 9 of the women candidates lost to male candidates.
Former president Bill Clinton designated the month of June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 2000. Last year President Obama expanded the month to celebrate the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) community. From the beginnings of the Gay Rights movement in at Stonewall, Jewish women have played an important part in the fight for equality.
Jewish women were definitely front and center at the first ever White House reception marking Jewish American Heritage month. Appropriately so, since it was a woman – Representative Deborah Wasserman Schultz – who spearheaded the Congressional campaign to establish Jewish American Heritage month. It was another woman – Marcia Zerivitz, who put the bug in Wasserman Schultz’ ear; and yet another woman, Abby Schwartz, who, as National Coordinator of the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition, has worked tirelessly to turn a proclamation into a broad based local, regional and national celebration.
According to Haaretz, everyone is trying to figure out who is on the guest list for the first ever White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month. We have heard that big-name Jews in the arts, sports, and other fields will be there. There have been whispers about Sandy Koufax, Judy Blume, and Dara Torres, as well as activists and scientists.
We don't know about Judy Blume or Dara Torres, but we can give you a BIG HINT about one woman attending!