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Senator Edward Kennedy Dies.....

By Charlotte Robinson, August 30, 2009
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We've loss an advocate & friend of our LGBT community. Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics died @ his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. He was 77. "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family & joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism & perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care & support over this last year, & everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice." Updates to Come.......
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Governor Schwarzenegger said...

Maria and I are immensely saddened by the passing of Uncle Teddy. He was known to the world as the Lion of the Senate, a champion of social justice, and a political icon.

Most importantly, he was the rock of our family: a loving husband, father, brother and uncle. He was a man of great faith and character.

Teddy inspired our country through his dedication to health care reform, his commitment to social justice, and his devotion to a life of public service.

I have personally benefitted and grown from his experience and advice, and I know countless others have as well.

Teddy taught us all that public service isn't a hobby or even an occupation, but a way of life and his legacy will live on.

Joe Solmonese said...

The nation has lost its greatest champion and strongest voice for justice, fairness, and compassion. The loss to our community is immeasurable. There was no greater hero for advocates of LGBT equality than Senator Ted Kennedy. From the early days of the AIDS epidemic, to our current struggle for marriage equality he has been our protector, our leader,
our friend. He has been the core of the unfinished quest for civil rights in this country and there is now a very painful void. Our hearts go out to the Kennedy family.

Joe Solmonese,President,Human Rights Campaign

Jarrett Barrios said...

It is impossible to fully describe the transformative impact of Ted Kennedy in the Senate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. From the outset, he valued our contributions and supported our equality. In those early years, his support may have turned heads but didn't dampen his support--and eventually helped change hearts and minds about LGBT equality in the Senate and around the country.

Personally, he was a friend whom I worked with on many issues in the Massachusetts senate, and my husband Doug and I have the print he gave us for our wedding framed at home. His passing is a loss for many of us who knew him, and all of us who benefited from his uncompromising support of our full equality.

Senator Kennedy helped pass the Matthew Shepard Hates Crime Prevention Act and also introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which, if passed, would help LGBT people in the 29 states where it is still legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation and the 38 states where it is legal to do so based on gender identity or expression. GLAAD urges media to include Senator Kennedy's strong history of advocating for LGBT issues in media coverage of his unfortunate passing.

Jarrett Barrios,Incoming President Of GLAAD

President Barack Obama said...

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education's promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me.

In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

I personally valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.

His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives.

For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. Our hearts and prayers go out to them today -- to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still.

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