Op-Ed

The average wedding in the USA costs — wait for it — $33,291.

That’s a down payment on a big house or half of a world tour or money that is necessary for basic needs.

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It’s been another week of mass shootings in America. The killings in El Paso and Dayton have left 32 dead and 57 wounded, many still in the hospital, at least 10 critical. A week before, on July 29, there was a mass shooting in Gilroy, California and another at a graduation party in Southwest Philadelphia. There have been more mass shootings in the country this year than there have been days, with no end, apparently, in sight.

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For numerous parents having a child is a wonderful event in their lives. Questions begin immediately: When is the baby due? Will it be a boy or girl? What name should I choose? The last one is usually up for debate among the prospective parents, family members and sometimes even friends. Whether the name is passed down through generations, chosen to honor a living or deceased loved one, found in a book or heard in a song or TV show, for most, a lot of thought goes into choosing a child’s name. However, not everyone is happy with their given name.

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When Vice President Mike Pence went to visit the CBP detention centers on July 12, I was relieved. Pence calls himself a Christian first and foremost. He talks about his Christian identity often and employs it in myriad ways that he considers in keeping with his version of faith — like his demonizing of LGBTQ people and his virulent anti-abortion stance, none of which appears in the New Testament.

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When Megan Rapinoe kissed girlfriend Sue Bird after winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France on July 7, it was a kiss seen — and felt — round the world.

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June 28th marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The riots, which ensued after New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, were not the first, nor were they the last. However, the Stonewall riots were a catalyst that marked the beginning of many important milestones in our Nation’s fight for LGBTQ-plus rights.

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Like millions of American women, I’ve been reading E. Jean Carroll for decades. Witty, incisive, uncompromising and very, very smart, her work has appeared in myriad venues, from Rolling Stone to Esquire, Elle to Playboy. She had a talk show on NBC and was nominated for an Emmy for her writing for Saturday Night Live.

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For 17 years, Traci Marie Curtis lived in an apartment at Fifth and Carpenter streets.

She rescued countless homeless cats, taking in a few and accommodating the rest in outdoor shelters after having them neutered or spayed. Curtis was a friend to the elderly — they often experience abandonment and loneliness, she noted. She put out her own money to help the needy, human or animal.

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On April 29, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were having a sit-down interview onABC’s “Good Morning America.”

It’s two months until the first debate among the 20-plus Democratic candidates. The first primary vote isn’t until Feb. 3, 2020. So why is Biden being treated like a nominee instead of one of many candidates?

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Charles Rhines has already spent nearly half his life on death row. On April 15 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal. Now, barring clemency from the governor, Rhines will be executed — because he is gay.

No one disputes the facts of Rhines’ crime, including Rhines. In 1993, while burglarizing the doughnut shop from which he’d been recently fired, a worker came in. Rhines stabbed the man to death.

He was convicted of first-degree murder. 

The circumstances of Rhines’ sentencing has been what’s raised questions for years, causing the editorial boards of major newspapers to call for clemency and The Marshall Project to take up his case.

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