Thank you, Bill Clinton and Congress

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Via Stone Court, I visited Happening-Here? for a review of how the Defense of Marriage Act affects the relationship between the government and American citizens who are victims of Hurricane Katrina.

It’s a relationship that saves the government a lot of money. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, all benefits are denied–FEMA, Social Security, and state benefits. Parental rights and burial decisions are also removed from surving partners. The situation is made worse by the fact that Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have laws that deny legal status to same-gender partners.

During the aftermath of this horrific tragedy, we will hear a lot about compassionate conservatism. But we will also hear about the “real” compassion of the Democratic Party, and about how Americans take care of their own. Americans take care of their own, all right–if they are white, heterosexual, and not poor. It also helps to be able-bodied, male, and adult. The political and idealogical garbage washed up by the storm surges of Katrina is nothing new. But no matter how high it piles up, Americans will keep stepping over it, eyes closed, noses held, and hearts frozen.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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