Showing posts with label Anti gay Politicians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anti gay Politicians. Show all posts

December 5, 2016

Gov. McCrory is Finally Gone But is He Going to Work for Trump Next?

Republican Governor Pat McCrory has just conceded the North Carolina gubernatorial election to his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper.McCrory spent the past four weeks contesting the election, demanding recounts and using the court system to try to eek out a victory.

At times during various ballot counts the variance between the two candidates was just under 10,000 votes, which allowed the first-term governor to insist on recounts and other procedural moves.

Many believe McCrory lost in large part because of his dogged support for the anti-LGBT law he signed known as HB2. That law not only stripped LGBT people of various civil rights, it targeted transgender people. HB2, which was voted on and signed into law in less than one day, also stripped local cities and towns of the right to legislate minimum wage laws, discrimination laws, and public accommodation laws.

In this video, in which McCrory announces his concession, he claims that he and his team operated under high ethical standards. Two laws McCrory signed prove that statement false: HB2, and the voter ID law which a federal appeals court ruled intentionally disenfranchised Black voters with “surgical” precision.
Just a note on this Anti gay Governor McCrory whose personal homophobia cost his state’s treasury billions$ in day to day and future earnings. Hope he now becomes a footnote in history. But as we know sometimes foot notes in history become a White House adviser to the president; For instance the ex-mayor of NYC, the one with ugly teeth and tremendous ugly, oversized yelling mouth, he will end up working for the President of the now downgraded White House. Talking about small men who fall into the cracks of history’s aligning plates and are given another chance to become builder and helper if not for humanity in general at least for their own nation, like the President elect, Trump. 

A portion of the United States felt unhappy about having to pay for health insurance even though they were paying before and got kicked out at the time when they got sick. Short memories. It reminds me of an auto insurance and in auto insurance there is one company, Geico whose advertisements are you save$ on your policy. That is until you have an accident  then they don’t know you no matter how clean your record before (Ive been their customer, I know). 

 Growing jobs and a stable economy was not what people felt bad about it, no matter how they lied to the pollsters. Some people felt unhappy and abandoned by their own government headed by a black man name Hussein Barack Obama, who against a Republican Congress for eight years brought the nation out of depression, cut by more than half unemployment, some manufacturers moving out but parts for many of the components made here in the US and in total giving jobs out of the US so others in the US can also work and earn more and in other poor nations to have the money to pay us on their debt.

That is today’s economy and the outgoing President did well on that game. Many companies came back because of problems of instability and shady workmanship outside of this country, they were loosing customers.  He also did very well in minimizing homophobia around the world, more visible yes and with the human costs that it brings. Here in the US he made possible to convince the Justices of federal courts and the Supreme Court to get behind equality in marriage. Having the President 
( A respected president) fight for your civil and human rights does not hurt at all. He did more for the LGBT than any other president.

Still some were unhappy and because of many mistakes made by all, the underdog became the top dog. We are watching and seeing if we have to pick up the pieces after four years. This nation is had bad presidents before, cheating, gambling, heavy drinkers, liars, seemingly too old to govern or too sick or their brains too burnt out on coke or just too stupid. The ones that didn’t got impeached, then almost impeached or died in bed of pneumonia right after walking on Pennsylvania Avenue stupidly without a winter coat on a freezing January day for their inauguration. So is history. Because history is not just the record of the past but history is what we are going to do tomorrow which will bring us today which eventually will be the written history. 

November 28, 2016

McFarland a Down on the Gutter Politician and that’s the Good Part About Her

This evening Fabian Brathwaite wrote on about Trump’s pick for deputy national security adviser. The story comes from NY Magazine and is very eye opening but it should not surprise anyone. The new policy on regulations comes to mind in which Trump says he wants for every new regulation to scrap two. We would be so lucky if it was like this for his appointments. For every good one two bad ones. In this case the bad ones ratio is going to be much but much higher.


In between Twitter claims that he lost the popular vote due to voter fraud instead of due to alienating over half the nation by being the dictionary definition of "The Worst," President-elect Donald Trump somehow finds time to fill out his staff with people you wouldn't trust to pick up dog shit. 
As the Washington Blade reports, Trump's pick for deputy national security adviser is basically a monster. Kathleen Troia “KT" McFarland, FOX News contributor and former Pentagon official during the Reagan administration, outed her gay brother, who was dying of AIDS, to their family. 
The Blade is referring to a 2006 New York Magazine article, when McFarland was gearing up to challenge Hillary Clinton for her Senate seat, which unearthed a 1992 letter to her then-estranged parents:
“Have you ever wondered why I have never had anything to do with Mike and have never let my daughters see him although we live only fifteen minutes away from each other?” she wrote. “He has been a lifelong homosexual, most of his relationships brief, fleeting one-night stands.”
McFarland tried to downplay the letter at the time, claiming it was a form of therapy to deal with abuse she and her siblings had suffered at the hands of their parents—abuse both her parents and at least one of her siblings denied.
“It’s a complete fabrication,” Tom Troia told the New York Post back in 2006 regarding his sister’s allegations. “If I had one word to describe my sister, it would be ‘evil.’” 
Well that's comforting, especially for someone who will play a hand in national security.
McFarland's questionable morality aside, we should also note the fact that homegirl has spent the last few years screaming into the conservative void over at Fox News and making spurious comments about Benghazi while her greatest accomplishments took place under Reagan. Of course, with Trump and company determined to roll back the progress of time, McFarland's expertise could come in handy. 
But with this latest addition—joining the Steve Bannons, the Jeff Sessionses, Michael Flynns and Mike Pompeos—Trump continues to build not only the least qualified administration in memory, but the most deplorable
Former Geroge W. Bush National Security Council member Peter D. Feaver told The Times McFarland's job is supposed to be "the place where bad ideas die," but as Donald Trump's other appointees make glaringly clear, there is no longer such a place.
All bad ideas are now up for grabs and assuming positions of power. 

Trump-Pence Will No Longer Pursue International LGBT Rights

Gays hiding their faces in an Egypt jail for no other reason but for being accused of being gay

During the Obama administration, U.S. diplomatic pressure advanced LGBT human rights around the world quite a bit. The administration of President-elect Donald Trump is likely to reverse that. In many countries, this could seriously harm those whose gender identity and sexual orientation vary from the mainstream, as I will explain below.
Over the past seven years, the United States has thrown its weight globally behind LGBT rights
In 2009, Congress passed — and President Obama signed — a billinstructing the State Department to appoint “an independent officer to track violence [and] criminalization” in foreign countries on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The instruction went further, directing “diplomatic and consular missions to encourage foreign governments to reform or repeal laws” where consensual homosexual conduct was being prosecuted.
The United States was soon joined by the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2011. That’s when, after considerable debate and lobbying, the UNHRC passed its first resolution condemning violence and persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity, bringing LGBT people a step closer to protection under international law and the Universal Human Rights framework.
Then in December 2011, the Obama administration similarly linked LGBT rights to human rights with a presidential memorandum directing federal agencies operating overseas to promote and protect the “human rights of LGBT persons.” The next day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated this idea in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva.
All these were powerful signals that the United States and the United Nations would throw their considerable power behind the rights of gender-nonconforming individuals, those in consensual, same-sex adult relationships, and the resulting identities. That’s a very big deal. It aligned the United States with a number of South American countries, South Africa and the European Union (which protects “sexual orientation” in its Charter of Fundamental Rights).
Not surprisingly, many nations and leaders resist recognizing those rights, often fiercely. The reason varies by nation, culture and religion. Some deny that any such subgroups exist or are in danger. Others claim a cultural right to repress or revile, if not prosecute or persecute, identities and behaviors that don’t fit the reproductive “traditional family,” however variably defined. The Trump administration may switch sides in this international effort
A Trump presidency will almost certainly change the game. Trump said at the Republican National Convention, a little more than a month after the June 2016 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, that he would protect LGBTQ Americans “from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” (Although the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the massacre, no link has been found between the terrorist group and the shooter. Muslim-majority nations around the world condemned the shooting, even those who actively oppose LGBTQ rights.)
And yet Trump selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice-presidential nominee — and Pence’s stance on LGBT rights is similar to those of antigay countries such as Russia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s member states. 
Consider, for instance, that in 2009 as a member of the House, Pence proposed an amendment to Section 333 of congressional bill H.R. 2410. He wanted to remove all references to homosexuality — essentially gutting its meaning and force. Pence expressly said he did not oppose decriminalizing homosexuality internationally — but he did oppose identifying LGBT people as a legitimate group, and having the United States advocate for them internationally.
Pence, Putin and the OIC use the same reasoning against LGBT rights 
In Congress, Pence said that “in embracing the advocacy of changes in laws regarding homosexuality around the world, [this legislation] advocates a set of values that are at odds with the majority of the American people.” Several years later, in December 2013, here’s how Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized advocates for international LGBT rights:
The destruction of traditional values from above … is essentially anti-democratic, since it is carried out on the basis of abstract, speculative ideas, contrary to the will of the majority. … More and more people in the world … support our position on defending traditional values that have made up the spiritual and moral foundation of civilization in every nation for thousands of years.
Here’s how Pence’s ideas are like Putin’s
Putin’s comments came after Russia’s “gay and pedophilia propaganda”law was implemented earlier that year. Ostensibly, the law bans discussing or promoting “Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” in the presence of children. However, it also suppresses other possibilities for LGBT life, activism and advocacy, because public protest or visibility violates that law, and because gay parents can lose their children
In a number of interviews since the law was passed, Putin has emphasized that homosexuality is neither illegal nor prosecuted in Russia and that lesbians and gay men are not discriminated against in any way. All the law does, he insists, is protect children from being exposed to ideas contrary to his definition of the traditional family.
The law treats same-sex relations and pedophilia as equivalent. Although these laws are regionally rather than centrally enforced, LGBT activists nationwide report bolder anti-gay sentiment and threats.
Both Pence and Putin say that although individual gay people should be left alone, they should not be recognized as a politically organized subgroup that can advocate for protection. Putin considers such advocacy to be propaganda.
Either these leaders do not know, or do not mind, that violence is threatened against the many people who are gender nonconforming or attracted to others of the same sex (or both). If Putin or Pence acknowledged such persecution, they might have to support mandates to protect that minority.
Here’s how Pence’s positions are like those of the Islamic states
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation takes a similar position.
Consider the OIC’s response to the most recent U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning violence and persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, passed in June, mandating the appointment of an independent expert to monitor and advise on LGBT human rights violations. 
Egypt’s permanent delegate to the United Nations, Omar Ramadan, wrote that the OIC’s member states (except Albania) would boycott the mandate and would not “cooperate with it in any form or format.” Ramadan further wrote that, clearly, the new mandate wouldn’t be “restricted to combating violence and discrimination,” addressed by previous resolutions. 
Therefore, he said, “it is crystal clear that this resolution and the mandate emanating from it are designed for codifying new and distinct set of rights and protection for a specific group of individuals.” If Trump enables Pence’s attitudes toward sexuality and gender identity to prevail in U.S. foreign policy, it will shift the already precarious balance of power in the United Nations. The internationalization of LGBT rights will slow if not halt.
Samar Habib
Samar Habib is a writer, researcher and scholar who lives in California.

November 20, 2016

Texas Republicans are Really Uncomfortable with LGBT kids! ‘Let’s Force Them Out’

First, they blocked a federal order to allow trans students in public schools to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. Now, they want teachers to out LGBT students to their parents, with or without the student’s consent. 

Sen. Konni Burton introduced a bill on Thursday – which just so happened to be national Transgender Day of Remembrance – that would require public schools give parents "any general knowledge regarding the parent's child possessed by an employee of the district” and records "relating to the child’s general physical, psychological or emotional well-being." 

This may sound vague — and even harmless. But Burton has explicitly said this is a response to guidelines adopted by Fort Worth school district earlier this year, guidelines that banned staff from telling parents about their child's transgender status. The rule was quickly extinguished by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas' leader in anti-LGBT policies. 

According to LGBT rights groups, Burton's bill is a direct attack on a vulnerable population: LGBT kids who aren't ready to come out to their parents — but want to talk about it with someone they trust. In many cases, that's a school counselor. 

“What she’s proposed would destroy any productive communication between a student and a school counselor,” said Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas. "It would take away a counselor’s ability to do their job.”

In public schools, a counselor’s job is to do the opposite of what Burton’s bill suggests: Provide a safe and confidential space for students to express their emotions. If passed, this bill would effectively erase every child’s right to confide in a counselor, teacher or nurse. 

Burton has said her bill will protect a parent’s “right to know” or “right to matter” in their child’s life. But what she’s suggesting could instead force public schools to knowingly enable an abusive parent. 

"If your kid is gay, and can tell his teacher, but hasn’t told you, then you are the problem," said Steve Rudner, Equality Texas board chair. "If a kid can tell a teacher but not their parent, it is a pretty good indication that your child is scared of you and the consequences of telling you, and you are who the kid needs to be protected from."

Nearly half of the country’s homeless population who are under the age 18 identify as LGBT — often a result of being kicked out the house from an intolerant parent. Hundreds of other parents banish their LGBT children to a "reparative therapy” program until they are 18. In fact, this wildly discredited conversion “therapy” is still a piece of the state’s GOP platform. If they’re lucky enough to stay at home, other kids may just fall victim to child abuse — a statewide problem Texas officials openly admit to not handling well. 

“Until children stop being beaten up for being gay or being kicked out of their home for being gay, we have a responsibility to protect them,” Smith said. 

This bill comes on the heels of Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick announcing his interest in a bill that will block all trans Texans from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity under the guise of protecting women's privacy. Paired with Patrick’s bill, Burton’s “right to know” measure may just be the kick-off to an aggressively anti-LGBT legislative session. 

The Backlash for LGBT is Already on its Way

The LGBT rights backlash under Donald Trump’s presidency got off to an early start this week.

Texas state lawmakers filed proposed bills ahead of the 2017 legislative session, which begins on Jan. 10. The 400 laws set to be debated by legislators next year include regulations that would force anyone casting a ballot in Texas to provide valid identification at the voting booth, a proposal to ban sanctuary cities in the state, and a pair of bills that would bring the battle over trans bathroom use to the Lone Star State. There’s also legislation that, if enacted, would effectively out LGBT students to their families.

This is a harbinger of things to come. Over the next four years LGBT rights will face a sustained challenge from entities on the far right. Following the election, the National Organization for Marriage, the anti-LGBT group behind California’s Prop. 8, sent out an email to supporters calling it a “bright and exciting time” for dismantling the basic civil liberties that LGBT people hold dear. Those sentiments are likely to be echoed by other lobby groups, politicians, and leaders who regard the Trump administration as a mandate to hate.

More than 200 anti-LGBT  bills were introduced to local legislatures in 2016, as the Human Rights Campaign reports. Many of these bills, facing retaliation from the business community, were tabled or voted down. Those that passed faced sustained and organized resistance.

After House Bill 2 was passed in North Carolina, more than 200 major companies threatened to boycott the state over the legislation, which blocks trans people from using the public restroom that most closely corresponds with their gender identity. The NCAA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte in response to the bill, and businesses like PayPal and Deutsche Bank nixed planned expansions in the state. These and other reactions represented millions in lost investment in the local economy, and diverted hundreds of new jobs.

The Williams Institute, a pro-LGBT think tank at UCLA, estimated that the bill will cost North Carolina $5 billion every year it remains a law.

During the recent gubernatorial election, exit polls showed that two-thirds of voters felt HB 2 had harmed the state. Its widespread unpopularity has led to the ouster of Gov. Pat McCrory, the incumbent who stood by the law even as it cost the state millions. After he was defeated by his challenger, Democrat Roy Cooper, in the 2016 race, McCrory has attempted to contest the results of the election by alleging voter fraud.

As a result of the political quagmire in North Carolina, many states declined to enact similar legislation. Although Georgia’s “religious liberty” bill passed both houses of the state’s General Assembly, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed it last April. The legislation, which would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers based on “sincerely held religious beliefs,” was a virtual clone of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed in Indiana last year. That law, which was later amended, cost the state a reported $60 million in economic backlash.

Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas, believes that this time will be different. You might remember Patrick as the politician who suggested that the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, deserved it because they were LGBT. “A man reaps what he sows,” he tweeted, although that message has since been deleted. He has made it a top priority in 2017 to chip away at equal protections in the Lone Star State — with a particular focus on the already vulnerable trans community.

First up, State Senator Konni Burton introduced Senate Bill 242, which LGBT advocates argue could force educators to out queer and trans students to their parents. (Burton has claimed it won’t.) The legislation was introduced in response to a policy in Fort Worth public schools that prevents teachers and faculty from disclosing a trans student’s gender identity to their families. Those guidelines were amended after pressure from Patrick.

Given that an estimated 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT, this bill could be extremely harmful to students, leading many to be kicked out of their homes and communities.

Then there’s Senate Bill 92, which will void local ordinances that protect LGBT people from discrimination. Cities like Austin, El Paso, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth and Waco have laws in place that offer equal access in public accommodations on the basis of either gender identity or sexual orientation. That prevents bias in areas like housing, employment and public places, which include restrooms.

Striking down those laws will reportedly impact nearly 9 million people, as Equality Texas reports. That amounts to more than a third of the state’s population.

Lastly we have what supporters are calling the “Women’s Privacy Act,” one that would force transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth. Speaking to the Dallas Regional Chamber in October, Patrick said that the bill is necessary to prevent “men [from going] into a bathroom because of the way they feel.” He also claimed that it would prevent a rise in sexual assaults against women and children that results from allowing trans people to use the appropriate bathroom.
The problem is that there has been no reported uptick in violence as a result of non-discrimination legislation. More than 200 municipalities across the U.S. have such laws on the books, and equal access has yet to lead to an outbreak in violence.

Although the bill hasn’t been officially introduced, the “Women’s Privacy Act” will likely be up for a vote next year.

Like the National Organization for Marriage, Patrick believes that Trump’s presidency makes it the right time to push through such a bill. “Starting in 2017, we will have a friend in the White House who was clearly elected because the people of this country believe in the conservative principles that have guided the way we govern in Texas — life, liberty and lean government that promotes prosperity,” he said in a press release.

Trump, who was named president-elect following his surprise win in the 2016 election, has done little to signal that his administration will be opposed to bills like the ones set to be debated in Texas. Thus far many of his nominees and floated nominees for the cabinet share an anti-LGBT history.

During his tenure in Congress, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s reported pick for attorney general, voted against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He also was in favor of adding a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union solely between one man and one woman. Sessions, who once “joked” that his only problem with the Ku Klux Klan is that they smoke marijuana, could replace Loretta Lynch, one of the government’s most vocal advocates for trans equality. During an impassioned speech in May, she stood up against HB 2, calling the North Carolina law “impermissibly discriminatory.”

Steve Bannon, the CEO of Breitbart, who will serve as Trump’s top advisor, once referred to the alt-right as a more intelligent version of “old-school racist skinheads.” His own website, which frequently uses anti-gay slurs in its headlines, is the face of that movement.

Bannon famously referred to members of the Seven Sisters schools, the coalition of women’s liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, as a “bunch of dykes” during a 2011 radio interview. He also opposed Target’s decision, which went public in April, to allow trans people to use the bathroom of their choice in the company’s stores. The 62-year-old, who was once accused of choking his wife, claimed the popular big box retailer is “trying to exclude people who are decent, hard-working people who don’t want their four-year-old daughter to have to go into a bathroom with a guy with a beard in a dress.” 

As other states look at the team Trump is building in the White House, they are likely to view his administration as offering carte blanche when it comes to passing whatever anti-LGBT legislation they’ve had hanging out in the bottom drawer. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is fighting to uphold HB 1523, his state’s own “religious liberty” bill. It was ruled unconstitutional earlier this year, but Bryant is lobbying a federal appeals court to overturn that decision. In Trump’s America, he might stand a better chance.

The Texas Association of Business has warned that passing such laws could have a detrimental impact on states. The group estimated that the three proposed bills could cost Texas as much as .5 percent of its GDP every year they’re enacted. That doesn’t sound like much until you do the math. The Texas economy brought in $1.4 trillion in 2013 (the most recent reliable economic measure); at the estimated rate that’s a loss of $7 billion a year.

Although Houston voted down its non-discrimination ordinance in 2014 with little economic blowback, more than 947 businesses have already pledged to boycott any anti-LGBT legislation pushed by the General Assembly. These companies include American Airlines, Southwest, Dell and Texas Instruments. Businesses like Salesforce and PayPal, which were instrumental in the boycott of other states, hosted a meeting on Wednesday in San Francisco to organize future efforts, as BuzzFeed reports. It was attended by representatives from 100 companies.

Patrick has threatened retribution against businesses that boycott Texas, reportedly telling corporate leaders: “You’re either with us or against us.” Whether he has the leverage to impact their bottom lines remains to be seen.

It might be easy to chalk the Trump presidency up to “deja vu all over again.” After all, LGBT laws are frequently introduced to state legislatures, even in states with Democratic control. Few of these bills have even the faintest hope of passing. What the U.S. is witnessing, however, is a moment in politics without precedent, one that is opening the Pandora’s box of anti-LGBT forces. There have been more than 400 hate crimes reported since Trump was elected, which has normalized racism, homophobia and all forms of bigotry.

History may very well repeat itself, and these bills will fail. But in an America where white nationalists and bigots run the country, we should prepare for the worst and hope for better.

November 19, 2016

Mike Pence Not A Danger to LGBT? Think Again

People who try to say Mike Pence isn't dangerous to queer people are a special kind of ignorant. It's nonsensical and infuriating that anyone could look at a man who supports conversion therapyopposes marriage equality, and doesn't believe queer people can be the victim of hate crimes and decide that he doesn't hate all LGBTQ people. Can someone please explain this to me? I don't understand this white supremacist logic that says Mike Pence is an acceptable candidate for anything other than a drink thrown in his face.
During and after the election, articles have been popping up all over the web, reminding us of Pence's history of anti-LGBTQ work, because the mainstream seems to continually drop it from his narrative. It's like they don't believe he'll do anything awful while he's in the White House as if somehow this more powerful position will offer him less influence than when he was Governor of Indiana. His actions aside--and that's a big aside--his hateful and violent words and ideologies speak for themselves. He’d rather give money to organizations that convert sexuality than those that actually support them.  
 On his Governor campaign website he said, "Congress should support reauthorization of the   Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” 
Hidden behind the spectacle of Trump, people didn't pay attention to Pence. In fact, some people even found him to be the respectable and reasonable one next to Trump who could barely get through a debate without countless interruptions and tantrums. That was the media's mistake. Queer people knew who Mike Pence was from the start but people didn't want to listen to us. And now, as we fear for our futures, the same people that didn’t listen to us want to tell us that everything is going to be ok. 
It's beyond any sort of feeling of anger and indignation that non-queer people and privileged queer people can say that Pence isn't a threat. The words slither into my ears like tiny crawly bugs that I can't seem to get out. It doesn't make sense from any perspective. This isn't about emotions or bipartisan politics. This is about the fact that his track record proves without a shadow of a doubt that he will simultaneously attempt to stop us from getting any further in strides for equality and that he will try his damnedest to take away the rights and protections we do have. 
Don't let phony empathy and ignorance make you feel bad for feeling how you feel. Marginalized people are always expected to take the high road and appeal to the sensibilities of their oppressors, but forget that mess. You don't need to be ok about any of this. If someone in your life is bothered that you're afraid or if it makes them uncomfortable, that's their problem, not yours. The truth is the truth no matter how they feel. 
 The horrifying reality is that Pence has passed and supported anti-queer legislation,presented historically successful, bigoted arguments about religious freedom that queer antagonistic people eat upadvocated against womens rights, and enabled an HIV outbreak.  These aren't things we fear that he might do because of the media, these are just the things we have receipts for. Now he's one person away from being President of the United States of America and, given Trump's lack of any political history, you can be sure Pence will be doing much more than a typical Vice President. This is a legitimate reason to be afraid. 
There will be people who try to talk you down and tell you that you're overreacting and that he won't really be able to do any of the horrible things he's proposed, but at the end of the day, they're just trying to make themselves feel better. We have a serious lack of empathy in this country, and people would rather lie to themselves and others than accept dark realities and concern themselves with the lives and liberties of other people. This situation is inconvenient, painful, traumatizing, and scary. Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise because anyone who does clearly has never been harassed or attacked for their actual or perceived gender or sexuality. In short, they have no idea what they’re talking about.

July 29, 2016

On Pulse’s Anniversary Rubio Speaks to Anti Gay Group

*Group of ‘God blocking cure for AIDS'
*Same group of ‘Kim Davis, County clerk'

Marco Rubio, Florida's most brazen political opportunist, used the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando as an excuse to run for Senate reelection despite having said about a thousand times that his career as a U.S. Senator was over. After the shooting, he told the Advocate, the nation's largest LGBT magazine, that the shooting was a clear attack on queer Americans. He said elsewhere he was "deeply impacted" by it.

Because Rubio apparently has the memory span of a goldfish, he sees no issue in returning to Orlando August 12 to speak at a conference held by a virulently anti-gay Christian group.

Rubio will address the crowd at an event called the "Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project" at the Hyatt Regency Orlando next month. The meeting is hosted by the right-wing Liberty Counsel, a "pro-family" Christian group with a long history of straight-up hatred of LGBT people.
The group is run by Mat Staver, also known as the attorney who represented Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk famous for refusing to let gay people get married. During that whole ordeal, Staver attacked "the media" and "liberals" for not siding with Davis.

"They want her scalp to hang on the wall as a trophy," he said of the American Civil Liberties Union. 

The event is also hosted by the Florida Renewal Project, an affiliate of the similarly anti-gay American Renewal Project. That group's leader, David Lane, has spewed so much LGBT-hate in the past that it would take days to compile it all. Here's a short summary: Lane has argued that God would punish homosexuals praying at President Obama's 2013 inauguration with "car bombs"; encouraged Christians to "prepare for martyrdom" to fight same-sex marriage; quoted an author who said that "same sex marriage practiced universally is suicide"; said homosexuality is a "Marxist psychological conditioning plot"; and compared Republicans who support gay marriage to politicians who supported slavery. We're honestly just getting started here. (The website Right Wing Watch has compiled even more.)

And that's just the background of the event's two hosts. Rubio will also speak alongside this all-star cast of gay-haters, including:

David Barton, a discredited evangelical historian whose book about Thomas Jefferson, The Jefferson Lies, was pulled from shelves for containing too many factual inaccuracies. (NPR also attacked him for somehow misquoting the Bible. Repeatedly.) Back to the homophobia: He’s also said God is rightfully blocking a cure for HIV and AIDS to punish LGBT people.

Bill Federer, a conservative author who claims homosexuals are to blame for Islamic terrorism.
Fred L. Lowery, a conservative pastor and author who once wrote a book promoting religious "covenant marriage," a stricter form of marriage in which couples sign documents restricting the reasons they can divorce. In the ‘90s, other religious leaders said marriage in the absence of a "covenant" encourages "homosexual or polygamous marriage."

Ken Graves, a pastor who preaches against the rise of "militant homofascism," whatever that is.
Former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, who now works as a lobbyist for the Pro-Family Legislative Network, where he spends his time writing bills aimed at "strengthening family values" across America. (Coincidentally, McEwen also worked as a lobbyist for former Côte d’Ivoire dictator Laurent Gbagbo, who was arrested by the United Nations in 2012 for widespread human rights violations.)

Of course, everyone already knew Rubio's genuflection toward the LGBT community in June was pretty hollow. Rubio himself has a long history of covert LGBT hatred: The civil rights group Human Rights Campaign has repeatedly bit into the senator for his longstanding opposition to gay marriage, his battle to withhold federal civil-rights protections from LGBT people, his history of fundraising for gay-conversion therapy groups, and, of course, for being a “champion” of traditional marriage.

Anti Gay Governor Quietly Changes Mind After Pulse Massacre

Image result for gov rick scott

In the days after 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Gov. Rick Scott privately expressed some support for gay rights to the state's only openly gay state lawmaker, the Miami Beach House member told a gathering in Philadelphia this week.

"We didn't talk about specific laws, but what he said to me privately and in the presence of his staff is that he's a grandfather and if any of his grandchildren happened to be gay he would want them to be treated with dignity and respect and have their rights," state Rep. David Richardson told the News Service after a panel discussion on Wednesday. "And he also told me that for anyone that might be critical of him and having these meetings, that he got elected to represent all 20 million Floridians."

Richardson, a Democrat, said the Republican governor's office called him after the Pulse nightclub killings, seeking help reaching out to the gay community. Richardson said he responded, "I'm willing to help you but only if you can do this on my terms, and my terms are no press and no photo opportunities."

“I didn’t want to be used to facilitate him after he has not been responsive to our community," Richardson told audience members at the event held by the Equality Forum at the National Museum of Jewish American History in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton through the years
Richardson, who had recently returned from attending a vigil in Orlando, hopped in his car and made the trek northward, holding meetings with faith leaders and representatives of the LGBT community.
"He respected all my wishes," Richardson said.

Richardson said the meetings with Scott offered some leverage that he would use depending on what bills reach the governor's desk.

"I will happily call him up and remind him what he told me in Orlando," said Richardson, who told the audience he was sharing the story as an example of "relationship-building."

Richardson said he had no compunction about publicly sharing the meetings because the secrecy was on his terms.

"I'm not violating any trust by telling a story," said Richardson, who said he doesn't talk about the meetings a lot because he's not a "cheerleader" for Scott.

Scott's office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The meetings came after Richardson texted Scott's chief of staff, Kim McDougal, complaining about the lack of mention the gay community received in Scott's remarks right after the shooting, which occurred in the early hours of June 12.

"He didn't say anything about the gay community, the LGBT community. I texted her and I said, 'Would you tell him that he has to say the word gay?' " Richardson said. "He has to say the word 'gay' because the gay community is taking note that he's not acknowledging the community."

The panel was moderated by Aisha Moodie-Mills, CEO of the Victory Fund, which aims to help elect members of the LGBT community in "low-equality states," including Florida.

"Florida is absolutely one of those states," Moodie-Mills said.

Maloney said the Democrats' choice for president, Hillary Clinton, gets credit"for putting LGBT issues "front and center."

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who is the nation's first openly gay attorney general, also appeared on the panel, and noted how her sexuality was not an issue when she ran for office in 2014.

"During my race, my sexual orientation was never the subject of discussion in the media even though I would have been the nation's first openly LGBT attorney general," Healey told the panel.

She said, “The thing that was written about most was my former pro basketball career."

Andy MetzgerNews Service of Florida

July 28, 2016

PAC Halt Donations to Rep.Garret (R-NJ) Because His Anti Gay Statements

This old power houses of money have not read the memo. If you are a public servant it is not alright to discriminate against LGBT
Rep Scott Garrett, R-NJ

The political action committee for the state’s largest power provider has agreed to halt donations to Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., after Democratic lawmakers put pressure on the company because of the congressman’s positions on gay rights.
The company, Public Service Electric & Gas, hosted a Wednesday morning breakfast meeting with New Jersey delegates gathered in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. But the headline speaker, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, withdrew from the event because of the company’s support of Garrett through a political action committee. Garrett, a religious conservative, has refused to pay dues to House fundraising efforts because it supports gay candidates and has sponsored a bill that would allow businesses and people to deny services to gay couples based on their religious beliefs.
Tim Eustace, a Democratic Assemblyman from Maywood who is gay, has been pushing for the power company to deny support of Garrett and said Wednesday that the company “agreed to do that” as well as “do better corporate citizenship for LGBT issues.” The company’s political action committee, PSEG PAC, gave Garrett $6,500 for the 2012 election, $7,000 for the 2014 election, and $5,000 so far in this cycle, Federal Election Commission records show. The PAC can give up to $10,000 combined for the primary and general elections each cycle.
“This is one of our biggest companies. You’d think that they would understand the sensitivity and push Garrett to evolve or at least back away from the comments that are so full of hate,” Sweeney said Wednesday morning, following the breakfast he was supposed to host. “If I just walk in there and acted like it’s OK, then I’m part of it.” 

The power company did not immediately respond for comment. It said in a statement earlier this week that it would not comment on the Fifth District race, in which Garrett is being challenged by Democrat Josh Gottheimer.
“We are vocal and proud in our support of the LGBT community and our LGBT employees. We recognized equal benefits for same sex couples in our benefit programs long before same sex marriage became law. We support and sponsor Garden State Equality and the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and actively participate with those groups through our employee resource group composed of LGBT employees and their supporters,” spokesman Michael Jennings said in a statement. “Our PAC has a narrow purpose and primarily funds incumbent candidates who support issues on energy that are important to our ability to serve our customers.”

On Sunday, when Sweeney announced he was pulling out of the breakfast, Garrett’s campaign said that Sweeney was acting on behalf of Gottheimer and leveraging his power as Senate President for a future run for governor.
Garrett’s campaign manager, Sarah Neibart, went further on Wednesday, saying that the company provides jobs vital to the state’s economy.
“The fact that Steve Sweeney and Tim Eustace continue to extort local companies for their own personal political advancement tells New Jersey voters and businesses about their priorities – and they are successful because papers like The (Bergen) Record faithfully print any lies they tell. The truth is and always has been that Scott Garrett believes in the right of all Americans to run for public office. Period,” Neibart said.
Gottheimer’s communications director, Jeff Raines, said it is “well past” time for Garrett to “own his ignorant comment and take responsibility for his extremism.”
Eustace said the issue was not about politics but a “dereliction of duty” by the Congressman representing the public.
“This man is not good for the citizens of New Jersey. It’s OK to have personal opinions if you’re not sitting in a Congressional chair. If you’re affecting American citizens, you should get out of the chair,” he said. Of the power company, Eustace added, “They did what I asked them to do and hopefully in the future things will get better.”

“This is one of our biggest companies. You’d think that they would understand the sensitivity and push Garrett to evolve or at least back away from the comments that are so full of hatred and homophobia.

Washington correspondent Herb Jackson contributed to this article. Email:
(Just breaking Wed nite. Might need follow up)

July 13, 2016

“Stop Repelling Gays” GOP Turns Deaf Ear to Emotional Plea


Republican officials have rejected an emotional plea to back off the GOP's opposition to same-sex marriage, renewing the party's embrace of religious conservative values as delegates prepared to welcome Donald Trump to their national convention.

Republicans who gathered Monday to shape their party platform in Cleveland this week also refused to reverse their opposition to bathroom choice for transgender people, exposing a rift with their presumptive presidential nominee — despite internal warnings that social conservative policies on gay rights alienate voters.

"All I ask today is that you include me," said Rachel Huff, a Republican delegate from Washington, D.C., who is openly gay.

"If our party wants a future ... we must evolve," she said, her voice cracking with emotion.

Asked to respond to Huff, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin later explained that opposition to same-sex marriage has "been the longtime tradition of the Republican Party."

"She's still welcome in the party. Everyone is," Fallin said.

The debate comes as anxious conservatives try to influence the direction of a party facing deep uncertainty about Trump's positions on social issues.

Delegates will adopt an updated set of policy prescriptions — known as the party platform — when the Republican National Convention begins next week. Delegates began the tedious process of updating the 62-page document this week. Changes adopted so far signaled renewed support for religious conservative values.

The New York billionaire has been reluctant to embrace social conservative positions in some cases, particularly as Republicans across the country push for new restrictions on bathroom access for transgender people.

Trump, who claims strong support from the gay community, has invited transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner to use whichever bathroom in Trump Tower she'd like. He also said North Carolina's so-called "bathroom law," which directs transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates, has caused unnecessary strife.

Yet Republicans on Monday let stand language that attacks the Obama administration for directing schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identities. "Their edict to the states concerning restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities is at once illegal, dangerous and ignores privacy issues. We salute the several states which have filed suit against it," reads the platform.

Delegates also changed language that offers a warning to children of same-sex parents: "Children raised in a traditional two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, less likely to sue drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage."

Annie Dickerson, a Republican delegate from New York, said the change relied upon "outrageous, horrible evidence" and represented "another poke in the eye to the gay community."

"Stop repelling gays for God's sake," she declared.

Trump opposes same-sex marriage, but often avoids discussing conservative social issues on the campaign trail. Facing the possibility of a delegate rebellion at the convention next week, his campaign has been taking a hands-off approach to the platform debate.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who led the platform committee, said he was given Trump's blessing during a private meeting last week in Washington.

“I’ve asked him to embrace the platform and I believe he will," Barrasso said of Trump.


July 1, 2016

Turkey Most Stop Abusing the LGBT Community There

Image result for turkey male lovers


When he designated New York City’s Stonewall Inn—site of the 1969 police raid that sparked American’s modern LGBT rights movement—as a National Monument on June 24, President Obama declared that protecting LGBT rights is a core American value and should be regarded as such by the rest of the world.

“Stonewall,” said the President, “will be our first National Monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights.” This was an important symbolic act, but there have been numerous substantive ones by the Administration, designed to serve notice that LGBT rights constitute fundamental American ones.

In December 2011, for example, Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the heads of executive departments and agencies “to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.” He outlined a series of measures that included requiring the State Department to “lead the Federal Government’s swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBT persons abroad.”

Last week brought fresh evidence that Turkey, America’s off-again-on-again ally and a democracy-at-least-in-its-own-government’s-mind, has not received our message or, if received, does not much care. Turkish police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at gay rights activists who assembled to read a statement in support of a Trans Pride event, and then, not content to simply assault the activists for expressing their views, detained many of them.

Turkish authorities then blocked the LGBT community from holding a Gay Pride parade in Istanbul. This has become the norm for Turkey, a government that badly wants to be viewed as a modern European state: in 2015 Turkish riot police used water cannons and pellets to shut down the parade.

What Obama once described as his “special friendship” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has grown frigid, as the Administration’s willingness to overlook the Turkish government’s penchant for repression has morphed into a new disposition to see that government for what is it: a witches’ brew of human rights violations and catering to a rabid Islamist street. The government’s attacks on the LGBT community and its shutdowns of that community’s celebrations reflected both.

A Turkish Islamist group called the Anatolia Muslim Youth posted on Facebook earlier this month a denunciation of the LGBT pride parade as a “perversion.”  “We don’t want them to walk naked on the sacred soil of our country in the blessed month of Ramadan,” the group proclaimed.  One nationalist organization threatened: “Degenerates will not be allowed to carry out their fantasies on this land.”

“The [LGBT] community in Turkey is scared,” says Human Rights Campaign’s Jordan Long. “And it doesn’t help when the police are the ones perpetrating violence.”

Levent Piskin, an Istanbul-based lawyer and gay activist, is in accord. “The government should be there to protect us from threats, but instead they have made targets out of us,” he told The Washington Post. “Turkey is not a safe place for the LGBT community.”

Turkish writer Elif Shafak is even more blunt. “There is no doubt that Turkey is a homophobic country,” she wrote recently in The Guardian. The facts bear her out.  The Rainbow Index ranking of European countries on the basis of their respect for the rights of LGBT individuals ranked Turkey 46th out of 49. Only Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan ranked lower.

The U.S. State Department issued a human rights report on Turkey just weeks ago, detailing the ways the Turkish government—while not making homosexuality illegal—attacsks the LGBT community. According to the State Department, judges routinely apply a law providing for reductions of punishment for crimes “under the influence of rage or strong, sudden passion caused by a wrongful act” to reduce the sentences of those who have murdered LGBT individuals, and the reductions in sentences are upheld on the basis of the “immoral nature” of the victims.

The State Department cited harassment of the LGBT community by police and other government authorities. “LGBT individuals continue to experience discrimination, intimidation and violent crimes,” the State Department says, adding that Turkish politicians frequently engage in hate speech against LGBT communities.

Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, has spearheaded the effort to encourage American officials to confront the Turkish government.  “We would like pressure on the Turkish authorities to protect the LGBT community,” says HRC’s Long. “We urge U.S. officials to raise these issues with their counterparts whenever they meet with them.”  Last year, some 60 members of Congress signed a bipartisan letter calling on the Turkish government “to respect the rights of the LGBT groups—and all Turkish citizens—to assemble peacefully.”

But the U.S. government can do an awful lot better than that. It can publicly declare the harassment of the LGBT community—and the failure to vigorously protect LGBT individuals—as an abrogation of fundamental human rights that is unacceptable, calling out violators by name. It will have plenty of violators to choose from: apart from Israel, virtually every country in the Middle East ranges from very bad to appalling when it comes to safeguarding LGBT rights. Islamic bloc nations in particular will strenuously object, protesting that such declarations are offensive to their domestic sensibilities. Our response ought to be: That’s too damn bad.

After the massacre of dozens of people at an Orlando night club, the least we can do is stop pulling punches. Confronting the Turkish government over its assault on the rights of the LGBT community seems as good a place to start as any.

By Jeff Robbins who served as Chief Counsel to the Democratic Senators on the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Twice appointed as a United States Delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission under President Clinton, he is an attorney in Boston. Follow him on twitter: @jeffreysrobbins

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