January 31, 2017

New Justice Nominee Gorsush Life and Career

Trump Talks a Big Game on LGBT but Is it Just That?

Advocates said on Tuesday they were bracing for a Trump administration rollback of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, despite a White House statement vowing to uphold protection for LGBT people in the workplace.U.S. President Donald Trump will continue to enforce a 2014 executive order by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, barring discrimination against LGBT people working for federal contractors, the White House said.

The statement marked a break with the Republican Party's traditional stance, but advocates said they feared Trump could still take executive actions allowing discrimination under the guise of religious exemptions.

"LGBTQ people must remain on guard for attacks," said Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the civil rights group GLAAD.

Some LGBT activists were abuzz over a draft of an anti-LGBT executive order that had leaked and was circulating in Washington, expecting Trump's impending order to be unveiled in conjunction with the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

The draft of the executive order would have eliminated non-discrimination protections for federal employees and contractors, according to a source who has seen the draft and asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals from the Trump administration.

The draft executive order also would have allowed adoption agencies that receive federal funding to deny services to LGBT parents on religious grounds, among other measures, the source said.

Reuters could not verify whether the draft was being seriously considered. When asked at Monday’s press briefing about the possibility of Trump issuing an anti-LGBT executive order, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: "There is a lot of executive orders, a lot of things that the president has talked about and will continue to fulfill, but we have nothing on that front now."

Just as LGBT advocates geared up for a similar clash to the recent immigration controversy but on their issues, the White House issued the pro-LGBT statement, and the advocates were not easily swayed.

"The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP (Republican) nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression," the White House statement said.

Trump on Friday signed an executive order to temporarily bar entry to people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, leading to large protests across the United States.

Enforcing Obama's 2014 LGBT order puts Trump at odds with many fellow Republicans, who for the most part have fought civil rights protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Some conservatives have softened their positions in recent years, however, particularly toward same-sex marriage.

During his presidential campaign, Trump acknowledged gay rights and called on LGBT voters to cast their ballots for him.

But by picking Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a staunch conservative Christian, as his vice president, as well as other senior officials who oppose gay rights, Trump has sent a clear message to the community, said Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocacy organization.
"Trump talks a big game on his support for LGBTQ people, yet he has filled his cabinet with people who have literally spent their careers working to demonize us and limit our rights," Griffin said in a statement.

LGBT leaders were anticipating a Trump announcement on filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, set for 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday (0100 GMT on Wednesday).

Trump's nominee pick will be especially revealing about his stance on equality, said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"Whoever is in that seat is going to have a huge impact," Minter said. “It is so critical that the Senate not confirm any nominee who is going to roll back the clock on LGBT equality."

 Laila Kearney and Daniel Trotta | NEW YORK

(Reporting by Laila Kearney and Daniel Trotta in New York and Susan Heavey and Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Andrew Hay)

Poll: Favorability of Trump’s Cabinet Picks

The range goes from 0+ up also from minus -0 down. No one reached very high numbers but they all  had different numbers on the scale. Three of them had minus on the scale.

The Dark History of a Man Brought To The WH and Catapulted to the Top

This is the man, Bannon.  Someone who could not pass a congrssional vetting to work for Trump’s cabinet has been appointed by Trump to be above all and even replace the head of the joint chief of staff on the WH.

The Trump administration has insisted since Sunday that the president's executive order banning travel to the United States from seven predominately Islamic countries "is not a Muslim ban." But as Mother Jones first reported in a series of investigations starting last summer, the two top Trump advisers who reportedly crafted the immigration crackdown—Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller—have a long history of promoting Islamaphobia, courting anti-Muslim extremists, and boosting white nationalists.
For nearly a year before stepping down as the CEO of Breitbart News to lead the Trump campaign, Bannon hosted a SiriusXM radio show, Breitbart News Daily, where he conducted dozens of interviews with leading anti-Muslim extremists. Steeped in unfounded claims and conspiracy theories, the interviews paint a dark and paranoid picture of America's 3.3 million Muslims and the world's second-largest faith. Bannon often bookended the exchanges with full-throated praise for his guests, describing them as "top experts" and urging his listeners to click on their websites and support them.
One of Bannon's guests on the show, Trump surrogate Roger Stone, warned of a future America "where hordes of Islamic madmen are raping, killing, pillaging, defecating in public fountains, harassing private citizens, elderly people—that's what's coming."
Another frequent guest was Pamela Geller, the president of Stop Islamization of America, whom Bannon described as "one of the top world experts on radical Islam and Sharia law and Islamic supremacism." Geller told Bannon that George W. Bush's description of Islam as a "religion of peace" was something "we all deplore," that there had been an "infiltration" of the Obama administration by radical Muslims, and that former Central Intelligence Director John Brennan may have secretly converted to Islam. Bannon never pushed back against any of those unfounded claims.
In other exchanges on the show, Bannon described the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that defends the rights of Muslims, as "a bunch of spin" and "a bunch of lies." He accused the mainstream media of "basically going along the lines of being Sharia-compliant on blasphemy laws." He warned of "Sharia courts taking over Texas" and said that he opened a Breitbart News bureau in London in order to combat "all these Sharia courts [that] were starting under British law."
Bannon has lauded Miller, who previously worked for Sen. Jeff Sessions. "Whether the issue was trade or immigration or radical Islam, for many years before Donald Trump came on the scene, Sen. Sessions was the leader of the movement and Stephen was his right-hand man,” Bannon told Politico in June.
Miller has long been an advocate of framing the fight against terrorism in religious terms. In 2007, while an undergraduate at Duke University, he started the Terrorism Awareness Project, an effort to make "students aware of the Islamic jihad and the terrorist threat, and to mobilize support for the defense of America and the civilization of the West." The group promoted "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" on college campuses and took out ads in college newspapers titled, "What Americans Need to Know About Jihad." After many papers declined to run the ads, Miller appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the controversy, saying, "How are we going to win a war on terror if we can't even talk about the enemy?"
As a member of the Duke Conservative Union, Miller worked closely with Richard Spencer, a Ph.D. student who would later coin the term "alt-right" and become a leading white nationalist. Spencer told me that at Duke, Miller helped him with fundraising and promotion for an on-campus debate on immigration policy that Spencer organized in 2007, featuring influential white nationalist Peter Brimelow. Miller vehemently denied to me that he had any connection to Spencer or his ideas, but another former member of the Duke Conservative Union confirmed to me that Miller and Spencer worked together on the Brimelow event. And at DCU meetings, according to another past member of the group, Miller denounced multiculturalism and expressed concerns that immigrants from non-European countries were not assimilating.
Last July, Bannon boasted to Mother Jones during the Republican National Convention that Breitbart News was "the platform for the alt-right." The site regularly publishes anti-Muslim content; since Sunday, Breitbart has defended the new Trump policy crafted by its old boss, including with a piece headlined “Terror-Tied Group CAIR Causing Chaos, Promoting Protests & Lawsuits as Trump Protects Nation."

January 30, 2017

(NYT) When in Australia Gangs Killed Gays (88) For The Hell of It

 Scott Johnson’s body was discovered at the bottom of this cliff. The original ruling of suicide has been overturned, but many questions remain. Credit Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

SYDNEY, Australia — On a December day in 1988, a teenager on a spearfishing expedition found a body at the bottom of one of the wild, honey-colored sandstone cliffs that line Sydney Harbor.

Naked, torn and battered by the rocks, the dead man was a promising American mathematician, Scott Johnson. His clothes were found at the top of the cliff in a neat pile with his digital watch, student ID and a $10 bill, folded in a small plastic sheath. There was no wallet, and no note.

The police concluded that Mr. Johnson, 27, had committed suicide, and a coroner agreed. Fatal leaps from the cliffs around Sydney into the fierce sea below were not uncommon, then or now.

But 28 years later, a new inquest into Mr. Johnson’s death has begun. His brother, a wealthy Boston tech entrepreneur, has pressed the Australian authorities for years to revisit the case, arguing that Mr. Johnson was murdered because he was gay and that the police failed to see it. 

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Australian authorities now say, gangs of teenagers in Sydney hunted gay men for sport, sometimes forcing them off the cliffs to their deaths. But the police, many of whom had a reputation for hostility toward gay men, often carried out perfunctory investigations that overlooked the possibility of homicide, former officials and police officers say.

Now the police in New South Wales, the state that includes Sydney, are reviewing the deaths of 88 men between 1976 and 2000 to determine whether they should be classified as anti-gay hate crimes.

About 30 of the cases remain unsolved, and the police have not said how many of the killings were tied to gangs. About a dozen victims were found dead at the bottom of cliffs or in the sea, the police say.

Scott Johnson in 1987. He was a “virtuoso” mathematician and a “brilliant but remarkably gentle and unassuming presence,” a colleague said.CreditSteve Johnson

The review and the inquest into Mr. Johnson’s death are casting light on a shocking chapter of Sydney’s history, one that some say has yet to be fully revealed.

“We can now see that predators were attacking gay men,” said Ted Pickering, who was the police minister for New South Wales in the late 1980s. “And they were doing it with the almost-certain knowledge that the police would not have gone after them. That was the police culture of the day.”

No new arrests have been made in connection with the killings since the review began in 2013, and the police declined to discuss the open investigations. In many of the cases under review, the police said, relevant evidence had not been collected at the time or has since been lost.

“While the review is a difficult task because we can’t rewrite history, we know it is important we do everything we can to ensure the best outcomes in the future,” said Tony Crandell, an acting assistant commissioner for the New South Wales Police Force.

But others have suggested that the review, which aims to determine which cases may involve bias but not to solve them, is not a sufficient response.

“It may be tempting for the police to concentrate on merely relabeling crimes rather than doing fresh detective work to solve them,” said Stephen Tomsen, a criminologist at Western Sydney University.

Sydney is a more tolerant city than it was decades ago, and critics say that police attitudes have changed considerably. Uniformed officers now march in Sydney’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, which drew a quarter-million spectators last year and was attended for the first time by a prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

Scott Johnson’s body was discovered at the bottom of this cliff. The original ruling of suicide has been overturned, but many questions remain. Credit Matthew Abbott for The New York Times
But if the laws were changing slowly in the 1980s — New South Wales decriminalized sex between men only in 1984 — society, including the police, was even slower to do so.

“The police culture in Australia up to the early 1990s was hostile to gay men,” Michael Kirby, a retired High Court justice who served during that period, wrote in an email. “They were basically considered antisocial, low-level criminals and lowlife types who did disgusting things and should not be surprised that they got injured and even killed.”

Justice Kirby, who is gay, added, “I do not believe that this extended to a general conspiracy to back off professional investigations of murder.” Rather, he said, there was “an attitude of complacency and indifference. Certainly not the usual motivation of energy to track down the murderers.”

Researchers who have studied the matter say the gangs were loose alliances of young men, teenage boys and sometimes girls who looked for victims to harass and assault at Sydney’s so-called gay beats — places where gay men were known to meet, including secluded spots on the cliffs. The gang members called it “poofter bashing.”

“There was a series of gangs,” said Stephen Page, a former New South Wales detective who reopened some of the cases years later. “They wouldn’t just hit one beat, they’d be aware of all of them.”

Few victims would have gone to the police, Professor Tomsen said. Most gay men were closeted, and many would have feared being assaulted by the police themselves. After the city’s first gay Mardi Gras parade was broken up by the police in 1978, some marchers were beaten in their jail cells.

“Any gay who was attacked would be seen as a foolish risk-taker if they reported that attack to police,” Professor Tomsen said.

Still, there were some arrests and prosecutions. In 1990, a Thai man was attacked with a hammer at the top of a cliff and fell off the edge. Three teenagers were arrested and convicted of murder.
According to a report by Sue Thompson, a former state-appointed liaison between the New South Wales police and gays, one of the assailants told the police, “The easiest thing with a cliff is just herding them over the edge.”

The idea that the killing was part of a pattern was not seriously pursued until years later. In 2000, Mr. Page, spurred by letters from a grieving mother, reopened the case of Ross Warren, a 25-year-old television news anchor who disappeared in 1989.

Mr. Warren’s body was never found, though his car keys were discovered in a rock ledge. The police concluded that he had accidentally fallen into the harbor. But Mr. Page found the original investigation had been cursory at best.

“There was no crime scene, no evidence, and no witnesses to Ross Warren’s disappearance,” he said.

Mr. Page began looking into similar cases. In 2005, an inquest concluded that Mr. Warren had been murdered, another man had been pushed or thrown from a cliff, and there was a strong possibility that a third man had been, too.

“This was a grossly inadequate and shameful investigation,” Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge, a deputy state coroner, said of the police handling of Mr. Warren’s death. 

Scott Johnson in 1987. He was a “virtuoso” mathematician and a “brilliant but remarkably gentle and unassuming presence,” a colleague said. Credit Steve Johnson
In all three cases, she said, the police had failed to account for the possibility of homicide, even though men attacked in the same area who did go to the police had “told of hearing their assailants threatening to throw them off the cliff face.” The three killings remain unsolved.

When Steve Johnson learned that such cases were being revisited in Sydney, he felt he finally had a possible explanation for his younger brother’s death. Mr. Johnson had looked out for Scott since childhood, when their parents divorced, and he considered suicide impossible.

“This was my brother, the person I was closest to, my soul mate,” Mr. Johnson, 57, said in December, outside the Sydney courtroom where the inquest began.

Scott Johnson had moved to Australia to be with his partner and was pursuing his doctorate at Australian National University in Canberra. He was a “virtuoso” mathematician, a “brilliant but remarkably gentle and unassuming presence,” according to Richard Zeckhauser, a Harvard economist who once wrote a paper with him.

Scott Johnson had applied for permanent residency, and his professional prospects were good.

“He would have been a first-round draft pick for any university in any part of the world,” his brother said. “He had no reason to be stressed or unhappy.”

The day he disappeared, Scott Johnson told his Ph.D. supervisor, Ross Street of Macquarie University in Sydney, that he’d had a breakthrough on a vexing problem that was crucial to his dissertation.

“It sounded like he had the whole thing in his head,” Professor Street said at the December inquest. “He was happy about it. I was happy about it.”

Today, evidence of what happened to Mr. Johnson, as in many of these cases, is scant. He was found below a gay hangout, but the local police officer who responded to the call testified that he had not known that at the time.

The police found no signs of a struggle at the cliff top, but there had been a storm that could have washed such evidence away. The site was never secured as a crime scene.

In the years after Mr. Johnson’s death, his brother became wealthy in the 1990s tech boom, selling a company that developed compression technology for delivering sound and video over the internet to America Online.

After reading about the 2005 inquest on the Sydney cliff deaths, Steve Johnson began devoting some of his resources to finding out what had happened to his brother. He hired an investigative journalist, Daniel Glick, to go to Australia to dig up court records and other documents. And he assembled an array of high-powered lawyers — his legal team includes a former Massachusetts attorney general, Martha Coakley, who said her firm took the case pro bono — to argue for reopening the case.

In 2012, a new inquest overturned the original finding of suicide. But the coroner reached no conclusion about how Mr. Johnson had died, saying that while anti-gay violence was a possibility, so was an accidental fall.

When the current inquest resumes in June, it will hear new evidence, the coroner’s office has said.

Whatever the result, Steve Johnson and others hope it will spur further investigations of these cases.

“There was clearly a pattern to these deaths,” said Margaret Sheil, whose brother Peter was found dead at the base of a cliff in 1983. “Today, it is extraordinary to think that we would not have had an open discussion about what happened. And if we had, it might have prevented it happening to someone else.”


Boy Scouts Will Allow Transgender Children that Identify as Boys to Join

The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs.

The organization said it had made the decision to begin basing enrollment in its boys-only programs on the gender a child or parent lists on the application to become a scout. The Boy Scouts had previously held a policy that relied on the gender listed on a child’s birth certificate for those programs.

The organization's leadership had considered a recent case in Secaucus, New Jersey, where an 8-year-old transgender child had been asked to leave his Scout troop after parents and leaders found out he is transgender. But the statement issued Monday said the change was made because of the larger conversation about gender identity going on around the country.

"For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual's birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs," the statement said. “However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.” 

Kristie Maldonado said she had mixed emotions Monday night when a representative of Boy Scouts of America called to tell her the organization would allow her son, Joe, to re-enroll in his troop after he was asked to leave last fall. Maldonado said she would like her son to rejoin the Secaucus troop, but only if the scout leader who made the previous decision leaves.

She said Joe, who will turn 9 on Wednesday, has spoken publicly about the incident. She called him a "ham" and noted he had a big birthday party on Saturday with the mayor of Secaucus in attendance.

"I'm so grateful. I really am that they're accepting and that there won't be any issues. They (other transgender youth) won't have to go through what my son went through," Maldonado said when reached by phone Monday. "It's a big change for everybody that all are accepted now ... I'm so delighted that they finally called and they did say this, but I'm still angry."

Maldonado said the earlier decision to remove her son from the troop made him feel different, and she wanted to make sure he knew the troop made a mistake.

The Boys Scouts said the enrollment decision goes into effect immediately.

"Our organization's local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child," the statement said.

Zach Wahls, co-founder of the groups Scouts for Equality, called the decision historic.

"The decision to allow transgender boys to participate in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts is an important step forward for this American institution," he wrote in a statement posted to social media. "We are incredibly proud of Joe Maldonado — the transgender boy from New Jersey whose expulsion last year ignited this controversy — and his mother Kristie for their courage in doing what they knew was right. We are also proud of the Boy Scouts for deciding to do the right thing."

Boy Scouts of America leaders lifted a blanket ban on gay troop leaders and employees in July 2015 amid intense pressure. The group had, after heated internal debate, decided in 2013 to allow openly gay youth as scouts.

The national Girl Scouts organization, which is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts, has accepted transgender members for years.

Associated Press

AG Hold Over from Obama Bars Justice from Defending Trump’s Order

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from President Barack Obama's administration, ordered Justice Department lawyers Monday not to defend President Donald Trump's executive order restricting immigration. 

IMAGE: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Sally Yates in June 2016. J. David Ake / AP

The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel signed off on Trump's order last week, but Yates — who stayed on as acting attorney general pending the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama — said the office's reviews don't "address whether any policy choice embodied in an Executive Order is wise or just." 
"My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts," Yates wrote in a memo to the department's lawyers. 
"At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful," she wrote.  The memo came to light only a few hours after Obama broke his post-presidential silence in a statement backing protesters demonstrating against the executive order. 
Obama "fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion," the statement said.  Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the Immigrants' Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the directive "a remarkable but welcome development." 
The directive "sends a powerful message that there's something very wrong with a Muslim ban," Gelernt said. 
But Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser to Trump and a major architect of the travel ban, said, "It's sad that our politics have been politicized, that you have people refusing to enforce our laws." 
In an interview Monday night on MSNBC's "For the Record," Miller said it was "sadder still that you have a situation where the previous administration — and I don't want to bring up the past — lifted, removed, eliminated whole sections of immigration law, and it wasn't even considered by many in the media and many in the administration to be matter of controversy." 
Yates’ memo would appear to represent the most serious rebellion by the Justice Department since the "Saturday Night Massacre" of October 1973, when Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than carry out President Richard Nixon's order to fire Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor.


Trump Broken All Records of Disapproval in the First 8 days in WH

 In normal times, it takes American presidents hundreds of days before they reach a majority disapproval rating. 
This has been the case for the last five presidents - with Bill Clinton being the previous record holder after taking 573 days to have more than 50 per cent of Americans disapprove of his presidency.
But Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman, TV star and now US president, has smashed this record after his victory on a wave of anti-establishment anger. 
It has taken just eight days for him to gain a majority disapproval rating, according to Gallup polling, with 51 per cent of Americans saying they disapproved of the President on 28 January 2016.

Trump has broken the record for the amount of time It’s taken for the majority of Americans to disapprove of the President
Days taken to see at least 50% of Americans disapproving of the President

Days in office

 Trump              Clinton    Reagan                     Obama Bush/     HWBush
   8                        573              727                      936     1205       1336……….DAYS

Source Gallop                                     by Adamfoxie*blog

Trump's first week in office has caused controversy and international outcry after a raft of executive orders has seen immigration halted from seven Muslim-majority countries, the unravelling of Obamacare, the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and the blocking of funding for groups that perform abortions.
He attacked the media for saying (truthfully) that Obama's inauguration crowd size was larger than his own, after millions of people around the world took to the street on the Women's Marchone day into his presidency.
The unprecedented week in American politics has helped Trump break the record for the shortest amount of time for a president to reach a majority disapproval rating.
Compared to his eight days, it took Barack Obama 936 days and George W. Bush 1,205 days to see over half the country disapprove of them.
The Republican managed to win November's US election by claiming certain key swing states in order to clinch the presidency, despite losing the popular vote by 2.9 million ballots.
This may go some of the way to explain why his approval rating is 24 points lower than Barack Obama’s when he was just eight days into his presidency.

 Ashley Kirk 

Obama’s average approval rating was 48 per cent - lower than the last five presidentsAverage approval rating Presidents of the USAObamaBush  How does Trump compare to other presidents before they took office? Even before his inauguration his approval ratings were the lowest of any president in two decades. According to Gallup, the last three presidents had approval ratings of at least 65 per cent during their presidential transitions - significantly higher than Trump's. Some 75 percent of America's approved of the way Obama handled his transition, while 65 per cent approved of Bush and 67 per cent approved of Clinton. 
This compares to Trump, whose transition was approved of by 48 per cent of Americans - while another 48 per cent disapprove. 
According to Gallup, one key reason Trump's transition approval lags behind his predecessors' is because the opposition is far more critical of him.
Before his inauguration, Gallup said: "Trump still has time to turn the tide and avoid starting his presidency with the lowest public support in Gallup's polling history, but that would largely entail gaining the support of independents and, in particular, Democrats - most of whom appear reluctant to back him."

Even In The Arctic Putin Will Get Your Pride Event Banned in Russia

If you are gay and you live in Russia, how do you work on getting your civil rights? Can’t do it on the streets because you can’t even go to the corner and say you are “Gay” because you will be breaking the law and will be jailed before you are allowed to run and hide. So how about going all the way up to the arctic and have a Pride walk there to bring attention to your plight. Good idea but even that the Putin government wont allow and with Putin’s internet hacking he finds out about protests even before they happen. 

Moscow Pride
Russian police officers detain a gay rights activist with his flag during an attempt to hold a gay pride parade Sunday in Moscow, Russia. Russian police have detained around a dozen protesters demanding the right to hold a gay pride parade in Moscow. Associated Press
An LGBTQ pride event in the Arctic circle, in the town of Salekhard, Russia, has been banned due to the “gay propaganda” law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013.
Police have banned around 300 people who were looking to march on Jan. 29 in what was named Polar Pride. The city administration cited the so-called gay propaganda law, which bans providing information about homosexuality to minors. They claimed the march would be harmful to children’s “health and development.”
The same law was used in defense of a 100 year ban on gay pride marches in Moscow, the nation’s capital, handed down in 2012. Moscow Pride began having marches in 2006 and continued through 2011, in spite of repeated homophobic attacks against demonstrators.
Nikolai Alexeyev, who leads Moscow Pride, has helped activists apply for permits to hold Pride parades across Russia. They have been denied in Arkhangelsk,, Yekaterinburg, Cheylabinsk, Sarank, St Petersburg, Tula, Tver and Vladimir, reports Gay Star News.
Nikolai Alekseev at en.wikipedia
Nikolai Alexeyev is interviewed by a TV station at a Moscow Pride event.
“It will, if necessary, brought to the European Court of Human Rights,” said Alexeyev, who is also a lawyer and journalist. He added that the law is in violation of Russian’s constitution, which protects the right of the people to freely assemble.
“Putin’s politics on gay and lesbian issues is a breach of human rights,” said Stein Sebastian Fredriksen, director of Norway’s Tromsø Arctic Pride.
“It happens in broad daylight and nobody does anything about it. It makes me shocked, it makes me sad,” he continued.
Police in Russia continue to break up attempts at LGBTQ rights demonstrations. Holding Prides in smaller communities is even more important than in bigger cities. In smaller communities, there’s not a lot going on and a lot more prejudice. It’s important to build an identity as a LGBT person and to give the greater society opportunities to celebrate diversity.
“This is one of the best ways to celebrate as well as for societies to get to know each other.”
Fredriksen concluded with a word of hope.
“I give them my strong support. I want them to know democracies around the world are monitoring what is going on in Russia and we stand with them and support them,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is set to speak with Putin by phone on Saturday. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said she expects they will speak about issues on which they have “common ground.”
Conway specifically cited the attempt to “defeat radical Islamic terrorism.”
Yet with Trump’s administration filled with those with anti-LGBTQ views and voting records, his worrying Supreme Court nominees list, and with his own support of the discriminatory piece of legislation known as the First Amendment Defense Act, there is reason to worry that Putin could be one more bigoted voice whispering in our new president’s ear.

Over 1 Mil to Keep Trump FromThe Queen+Thousands Protest

Because the petition is reached 1million signatures the Parliament most debate it now

More than a million Britons want Donald Trump nowhere near the Queen of England — as long as his travel ban exists.
A petition on a Parliament website stops short of demanding a President Trump ban but a growing number of signatures want to prevent him from meeting the Royal Family during a proposed state visit slated for this year.

“He should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen,” petitioner Graham Guest writes.
He says Trump’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity” makes him unfit to “bask in the Queen’s reflective glory,” he told the Independent. The petition had already garnered enough votes for a floor debate and a response from Downing Street when it exploded in popularity, snagging more than a million votes as the world sneered at Trump’s executive order.

It is limited to UK residents but petition data shows at least 5,000 signatures pouring in from the United States and 26 from Iran, one of the seven predominantly Muslim countries slapped with travel restrictions on Friday.

UK officials said on Monday that the government would not turn away the President even as the Labor Party called on Prime Minister Theresa May to condemn Trump’s decree banning refugees and visa holders from the banned nations.

 May said Trump’s planned visit is “substantially in the national interest,” according to the Guardian.
 Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn urged May to reconsider her invite and join Germany and France in condemning Trump’s controversial travel restrictions.

“We will not back down, cancel state visit and condemn the #Muslimban,” Corbyn tweeted.
 Another member of Parliament, Ed Miliband, said he would seek to debate the White House order and “send out united message against this abhorrent policy.”
No date has been set for Trump’s UK trip.
Buckingham Palace did not immediately comment on the petition and Trump’s pending visit, according to local reports.

London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, railed against a possible Trump visit for the U.S. government’s role in detaining more than a hundred foreigners and deporting a handful on Saturday.
“I am quite clear, this ban is cruel, this ban is shameful, while this ban is [in] place we should not be rolling out the red carpet for President Trump,” Khan told Sky News.

Nicole Hensley
NY Daily News

It comes after Downing Street rejected calls to postpone Mr Trump's official visit to Britain after hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition calling for the trip to be cancelled.

A source has said that cancelling the trip would be "populist gesture" and "undo everything" achieved by Theresa May during her trip to the US last week. 

Mr Johnson accused Labour of "pointlessly demonising'" the Trump administration, adding: "It is totally right that the incoming President of our closest ally should be accorded the honour of a state visit". 
It comes as protests are planned across the UK against the controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries.

Marches are scheduled in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Manchester, with former labour leader Ed Miliband and singer Lily Allen expected to address protesters in the capital.

Thousands are expected to descend on Downing Street at around 6pm on Monday in outrage at the US president's controversial ban. 


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