Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP ~ Sen. Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009


Ted Kennedy, friend and hero to LGBT folks, people with HIV/AIDS, minorities, the disabled, liberals, and progressives over his decades in the U.S. Senate, succumbed to brain cancer late Tuesday night at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. This is a tremendous loss for the nation, losing what many Americans, myself, consider to have been the greatest elected official of our lifetimes. We salute you, Mr. Kennedy. Every gay person in America owes you our everlasting gratitude.

HT to FromTheLeft for this LEGACY tribute:

Writing a number of laws ranging from making it easier for workers who change or lose jobs to keep their health insurance, to giving 18-year-olds the right to vote, to deregulating the airlines, and helping lower airfares. He spearheaded legislation to raise the minimum wage and in the early 1970s, wrote the law creating Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to seniors. He was influential in reforming immigration laws and in expanding Head Start programs. In 1982, he helped gain an extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and he was a principal sponsor of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which negated Supreme Court decisions that made it more difficult for minorities to win lawsuits charging job discrimination by employers. In 1990, he worked to gain passage of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act giving disabled Americans greater access to employment, among other things. That same year, he was author of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act providing funds for community healthcare and support services. In 1993, Kennedy worked with newly elected President Bill Clinton to gain passage of a bill to allow employees to take time off from their jobs to care for a newborn child or deal with a family illness.


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