Susan Davis writes for USA Today.
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It’s Official: Pope Francis to Address Congress in September
Pope Francis will make an unprecedented address to Congress on Sept. 24 during his first visit to the United States.
House Speaker John Boehner announced Feb. 5 that the pontiff accepted the invitation Boehner extended last year.
“In a time of global upheaval, the Holy Father’s message of compassion and human dignity has moved people of all faiths and backgrounds,” Boehner said in a statement. “His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.”
No pope or religious leader who serves as a head of state has ever addressed Congress, according to the U.S. House Historian’s Office.
In a brief statement, the Archdiocese of Washington said: “It is a great honor and tremendous joy to welcome our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to the Archdiocese of Washington during his proposed pastoral visit to the United States in September.
The Real Fights Over Gay Marriage are Just Starting
The Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage, while historic, didn’t settle the issue. In fact, they fuel it.
For President Obama, the repercussions of Wednesday’s ruling striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act will mean review and revisions in hundreds of federal laws. In everything from Social Security checks to Pentagon benefits, gay married couples now must be treated the same way as heterosexual couples.
For gay rights advocates, the twin decision that opens the door to resume same-sex marriages in California bolstered determination to expand the right to wed for gay men and lesbians. The Human Rights Campaign set a goal to achieve that in all 50 states within the next five years.