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Leah McElrath Renna
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Blog Entries by Leah McElrath Renna

Abduction of Syrian-American Blogger Follows Earlier Arrest Attempt By Syrian Govt

Posted June 7, 2011 | 09:50:26 (EST)

According to eyewitnesses, Syrian-American blogger Amina Arraf was abducted and physically assaulted by three armed men in Damascus, Syria, Monday.

The blogger holds dual American and Syrian citizenship and is an out lesbian currently living in Syria. Amina and her political perspectives gained additional visibility about a...

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Hunger Strike Declared by Bahrain Human Rights Activist

Posted April 12, 2011 | 13:09:19 (EST)

Zainab al-Khawaja is grateful she and her family had some warning about her father's coming arrest by government security forces in Bahrain. She's grateful because it gave her time to get her 1-year-old daughter out of the house so the child wouldn't see what came next.

Although she was expecting...

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Obama's Egypt #FAIL?

Posted February 3, 2011 | 18:58:02 (EST)

President Obama and his Administration appear to have made a familiar deal with the devil in response to the popular pro-democracy uprising in Egypt.

Early on in the pro-democracy, anti-Mubarak protests, President Obama was walking a fine line between supporting the concerns and rights of the protesters while avoiding appearing...

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Obama's Press Conference: Passion Misplaced

Posted December 8, 2010 | 15:36:16 (EST)

Anyone watching President Obama's press conference yesterday had to be struck by the fact that he reserved his greatest energy for his attack on Democratic critics, which might be a misstep with more far-reaching repercussions than the compromise on tax-cuts.

One guideline in communications is that you lead with your...

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DemandQuestionTime? No Thanks

Posted February 3, 2010 | 12:43:19 (EST)

With many reality shows, the first season is riveting, but, by the second season, the show has devolved into a formulaic sales vehicle. The last thing we need right now is for the president and our elected officials to waste time participating in more planned question times that will no...

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President Obama Brought It

Posted January 27, 2010 | 22:40:07 (EST)

The biggest question preceding this State of the Union address was not the content of the remarks, but rather whether or not President Obama would succeed in bringing his capacity to lead and to inspire to his appearance.

He brought it. The man who, as candidate Obama, gained our trust...

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The National Equality March: Confessions and Snapshots

Posted October 11, 2009 | 17:23:55 (EST)

I was wrong. I doubted. I didn't think it would, but the National Equality March rocked.

I underestimated the ability of social-networking to motivate people to travel all the way to our nation's capital from across the country. I worried about the messaging that would result from such an amorphous...

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Why Nobel Laureate President Obama's Speech to the Gays Matters

Posted October 11, 2009 | 10:18:18 (EST)

At first, I thought there was nothing new in President Obama's speech about lesbian and gay civil rights, but then I thought again.

Like many activists in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, I noticed that the speech President Obama gave at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner...

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Shocking Decision: American Electorate Wins Nobel Peace Prize!

Posted October 9, 2009 | 16:46:05 (EST)

The Nobel Peace Price has been awarded to an American -- but it's not really President Barack Obama. No, the award more accurately has been bestowed upon the American electorate who, by electing Obama, have calmed hearts and minds throughout the world.

The Nobel Committee's message to the American...

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McCain and Iran -- Hypocrisy Defined

Posted June 22, 2009 | 19:38:14 (EST)

Watching Senator McCain, the man who once infamously joked about bombing Iran, speak about the martyrdom of the Iranian protester Neda provides more evidence of the absence of a soul in the Republican Party.

Here is Senator McCain, talking with great apparent piety about the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan...

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Obama and the Gays: The Ruthless 6 Part Strategy? UPDATED 7pm

Posted June 17, 2009 | 12:43:51 (EST)

The President just signed the memorandum discussed below, and the event was televised.

President Obama said that the memorandum "paves the way for long overdue progress in our nation's pursuit of equality" and affirmed his commitment to the repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act:


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Obama and the Gays: Where's the Leadership?

Posted June 13, 2009 | 05:56:10 (EST)

In the wake of the tragic murders of reproductive rights activist, Dr. George Tiller, and the Holocaust Museum security guard, Steven Johns, I know I was not alone among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans in thinking to myself, "Next it will be one of us." The time for...

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CA Supreme Court Cuts the Marriage Equality Baby in Half - and It Hurts

Posted May 26, 2009 | 16:15:00 (EST)

I am in my kitchen crying while my 3 year old is parked in front of the television in the other room so she won't see my tears.

Earlier today, I wrote a brief post noting that it is a "significant and beautiful day for our nation" because we...

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Obama Picks Sotomayor -- Color America Proud

Posted May 26, 2009 | 11:55:09 (EST)

A highly qualified President -- who happens to be a person of color -- introduces a highly qualified jurist -- who happens to be a woman of color -- as his nominee for a position on the United Supreme Court.

This is a significant and beautiful day for our nation.

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UPDATED: Bishop Robinson's Prayer to be Included in Clips Shown on the Mall prior to Swearing In Ceremony

Posted January 19, 2009 | 11:58:15 (EST)

Coming on the heels of the controversy caused by selection of Rick Warren to deliver the Invocation at the Inauguration, the omission of the prayer delivered by openly-gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson from the broadcast of the pre-Inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial is creating a controversy of its own.

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Religious Hate-Mongers Protest Bishop Gene Robinson's Participation at pre-Inaugural Concert at Lincoln Memorial

Posted January 18, 2009 | 15:49:36 (EST)

Appearing at the primary public entrance to the pre-Inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial, representatives from a group calling itself "Brother Ruben and the Official Street Preachers" protested openly-gay Episcopal Gene Robinson's participation in the event.

With a diverse and otherwise joyous crowd of adults and children of all ages...

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Is Rick Warren a Vampire?

Posted December 22, 2008 | 20:16:11 (EST)

That's one hypothesis to explain the spell of glamour that Rick Warren has cast recently. Despite what you might have heard, Warren has never publicly voiced support for civil unions, and his church refuses to accept lesbian and gay members.

That's the truth. Now let's take a closer look at...

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Dear Obama: Here's Why You are Wrong on Warren

Posted December 18, 2008 | 14:29:04 (EST)

With all due respect, President-Elect Obama, your response to lesbian and gay Americans that "it is important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues" completely misses the point of our objection to your selection of Rick Warren to deliver the Invocation at...

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Rick Warren, Obama? Really?!?!

Posted December 17, 2008 | 19:53:33 (EST)

Progressive groups are decrying the choice of Rick Warren to deliver the Invocation at the Presidential Inauguration as "disappointing" -- but it is far more than that. It is an act of spiritual violence against lesbian and gay American citizens and a profound betrayal of the philosophy of inclusion and...

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Five Reasons Why the Obama Infomercial was Worth the Cost

Posted October 29, 2008 | 22:37:20 (EST)

Let's be honest: the Obama infomercial was about comforting white Americans -- especially middle and working class white Americans. That said, it was arguably necessary and -- for what it was -- very effective.

Although only time will tell, it appears that the Obama infomercial accomplished exactly what...

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