By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
(CNN) - Parents of children with special needs are demanding an apology from conservative political pundit Ann Coulter for tweeting after Tuesday's foreign policy debate that she approved of "Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard," in an apparent response to critiques of Mitt Romney's performance.
It wasn't the first time Coulter used the "the r-word" during this election season, and it's not the first time blogger Ellen Seidman has called her out on it.
"At this point, I'm thinking the woman must surely be aware that the word is offensive, and she chooses not to care. That's pretty vile and heartless," said Seidman, the mother of a special needs child who shares her world on the blog "Love that Max."
"You want to slam the president, go ahead. But you can't think of any other word to use? Come on."
Ending the r-word: Ban it or understand it?
The word "retard" demeans Max and millions more with intellectual disabilities, Seidman tweeted at Coulter. Still, the comment was favorited 1,215 times and earned 2,993 retweets as of this writing, presumably by a number of people who didn't find it offensive.
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By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN
(CNN) – During last night's foreign policy debate, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney argued over the war in Afghanistan, nuclear crisis with Iran, tension with Israel, the rise of China and America’s role in the world.
But Latin America hardly came up and Twitter users, especially the Latino community, were not pleased.
Dear commission of presidential debates: this is why diversity matters. In debate about foreign policy, nothing about Latin America?!— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) October 23, 2012
Dear commission of presidential debates: this is why diversity matters. In debate about foreign policy, nothing about Latin America?!
Romney mentioned Latin America during talk about a plan to increase trade.
“We can do better than that, particularly in Latin America," he said. "The opportunities for us in Latin America we have just not taken advantage of fully. Latin America's economy is almost as big as the economy of China. We're all focused on China. Latin America is a huge opportunity for us — time zone, language opportunities."
Obama did not respond to Romney's comment on Latin America.
By Rose Arce and Carol Costello, CNN
Baltimore, Maryland (CNN) - From her Baltimore kitchen, Rebecca Murphy is lobbying legislators, crafting signs and making phone calls as she wages a battle to allow gays and lesbians to marry in her state.
The married mother of two doesn't have a personal stake in the fight. Rather, Murphy represents the growing number of people nationwide who support gay rights regardless of their own sexual orientation.
"I have gay and lesbian friends and family who are raising children and creating lives, and they deserve to be treated fairly," she says.
As national polls show a shift in attitudes about same-sex marriage, Murphy's state of Maryland is one of three poised to put the issue to an up-or-down popular vote for the first time next month.
While support has grown, there are still many who oppose allowing gays to marry and are doing their part to strike the measure down. The Rev. Frank Reid and his wife, Marlaa, of Bethel AME Church in Baltimore run workshops for single African-Americans in an effort to encourage strong marriages and discourage sexual behaviors that can lead to HIV/AIDS.
"I do understand and accept that there are other patterns for families," Marlaa Reid says. "However, the basic prescription for marriage, I embrace it as a biblical prescription. A man and a woman."
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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