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Activist group wants to turn the Internet red by April 28 for marriage equality — here’s why

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With a week until the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a crucial case involving same-sex marriage, the activist group the Human Rights Campaign is pushing to paint Internet social circles red.

The group announced on Tuesday that it wants to get 500,000 Facebook users to turn their profile pictures red in the days leading up to April 28, when the high court hears arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The HRC released a tool that can be used to feature a red equal sign on profile pictures for both Facebook and Twitter users.

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According to the HRC, a similar campaign in 2013 attracted enough attention to get 10 million social media users to use the symbol on their profiles in the days leading up to the court’s rulings that struck down both the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s state ban on same-sex marriages.

“For a long time, when people stood up for a cause and weren’t all physically standing shoulder to shoulder, the size of their impact wasn’t immediately apparent,” Facebook data researcher Eytan Bakshy said at the time. “But today we can see the spread of an idea online in greater detail than ever before. That’s data well worth finding.”

The case is a consolidation of similar lawsuits in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee and involves 12 couples and two widowers. It was named after James Obergefell, the plaintiff in the Ohio suit, who is arguing that the state’s refusal to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages violates the 14th Amendment. Obergefell married longtime partner John Arthur in Maryland shortly after the high court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional.

Arthur died three months after a district judge ruled that Obergefell had the right to be listed as his surviving spouse on his death certificate.

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“We did not set out to be activists,” Obergefell told NPR. “We did not set out to become a named plaintiff at the Supreme Court, nothing at all like that. We just simply wanted respect.”


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Ukrainian journalist throws down gauntlet after Giuliani smear: ‘I express my readiness to testify’

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A Ukrainian journalist said on Sunday that he would be willing to testify to Congress against President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

After Giuliani unleashed a bizarre rant on CNN accusing Democrats of trying to get help from Ukraine in the 2016 election, Ukrainian journalist Serhiy Leshchenko wrote an op-ed exposing the accusation as a lie.

In his op-ed, Leshchenko explains:

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Manafort revelations would become fodder for the U.S. elections in 2020. President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, the mouthpiece of this campaign, is not only attempting to rehabilitate Manafort but is also working to undermine U.S. relations with Ukraine, which has been confronting Russian aggression on its own for more than five years. Giuliani and his associates are trying to drag our newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, into a conflict between two foreign political parties, drastically limiting Ukraine’s room for maneuver in respect to the United States, perhaps its most important international partner.

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Trump is openly colluding with Ukraine to smear Biden

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President Donald Trump is defending his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, one that recent media reports suggest may have been made in order to dig up dirt about one of Trump's likeliest and strongest opponents in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared on Salon.

"The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!"

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Democrats’ refusal to impeach Trump is a ‘bigger national scandal’ than him breaking the law: Ocasio-Cortez

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized House Democrats on Saturday for their unwillingness to impeach President Donald Trump despite new revelations that he may have pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his potential Democratic rivals in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior - it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday night.

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