Showing posts with label Pro Gay Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pro Gay Government. Show all posts

September 7, 2019

Pence and Wife Received a Complete Gay Rainbow Reception by Iceland's President

Guðni Jóhannessonthrew some Prideful hints towards Pence, wearing a rainbow bracelet while shaking Pence’s hand. His wife, Iceland’s first lady Eliza Reid, was also reportedly wearing a bracelet when she greeted Pence.

Vice President Mike Pence's political brand is one of a devout Christian who has a long history of supporting anti-LGBTQ policies. Because for some bizarre reason, people are concerned about what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom.
He opposed the bill that allows gays to serve in the military. He spoke at the openly anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council's annual conference in 2018, and as Governor of Indiana, signed a bill into law that allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ community under the guise of religious freedom.
He obviously missed the part of the Bible that says "love thy neighbor."

RELATED: Mayor Pete brilliantly points out the hypocrisy of Mike Pence's homophobia in viral speech.

On Wednesday, Pence became the first American Vice President to visit Iceland, a country of just 350,000 people, since George H.W. Bush went to Reykjavík in 1983.
Iceland is one of the most pro-LGBTQ countries in the world. It allows any two people to marry regardless of sex or gender and the Church of Iceland also allows same-sex marriage in its churches. Clearly, Mike Pence would not be a member of this church.
Over 20 years ago, Iceland made it illegal to refuse people, goods, or services on account of their sexual orientation, or to attack a person or group of people publicly with mockery, defamation, abuse, or threats because of their sexual orientation.
The U.S. still doesn't have any such law on the federal books. If it did, Mike Pence would probably try to have it repealed.
When Pence arrived in Iceland, he was greeted by a barrage of LGBTQ pride flags being flown at the Höfði House where he met with Iceland's president, Guðni Jóhannesson.
The Höfði House is best known as the location of the 1986 Reykjavík Summit meeting of presidents Ronald Reagan of the United States and Mikhail Gorbachev of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. That effectively was a step to the end of the Cold War.
Reagan and Gorbachev at the Höfði Housevia White House Official Photo / Wikimedia Commons

RELATED: His remarks got under Mike Pence's skin. So the VP asked to meet. It … didn't work out.

Within the building, the flags of the United States and the Soviet Union are cross-hung to commemorate the meeting.
An office park opposite the historic building also decided to fly rainbow flags for the occasion as well. "We just felt the need to celebrate diversity today and wanted to show that by flying the flags," Ægir Már Þórisson, the company's director, said according to The Guardian.

so at his stop at Höfði (house where Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavík occurred), @vp was met by this not-so-subtle display and then the mayor said he grieved the loss of the INF treaty that emerged from the summit but was recently withdrawn from by the trump administration

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When Pence met with Jóhannesson, the president was wearing a rainbow bracelet, just like he wore when he met with another massive homophobe, Vladimir Putin of Russia.

May 7, 2019

Anti LGBT Bills Considered at Texas House Will Be Reviewed By Legislators Looking To Sanction Anti Gay Behavior

In Austin, Texas, a new raft of anti-LGBT legislation is working its way through the state legislature. One of the bills would allow state-licensed professionals of all stripes — from doctors and pharmacists to plumbers and electricians — to deny services on religious grounds. Supporters say the legislation is needed to protect religious freedoms. But opponents call them "religious refusal bills" or "bigot bills."
Last week, on the steps of the capital in Austin, business leaders gathered to announce their opposition to the series of bills which they say would sanction discrimination against their LGBT employees.
Mike Hollinger, an executive at IBM, tried to warn the legislature against the legislative efforts. "I'm proud to speak on behalf of IBM, a company with an 80-plus year legacy in Texas and a workforce of around 10,000 here in the Lone Star State. This license to discriminate will damage the state's reputation and prevent people, including IBMers from wanting to live and work here." LAW 
A coalition of more than 1,000 Texas and national businesses called Texas Competes are also lobbying against the bills. It includes many of the nation's biggest tech companies including Facebook, Google and Amazon.
One of the bills, Senate Bill 17, specifically allows licensed professionals to discriminate based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Dale Carpenter, a constitutional law professor at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, says the bill would allow licensed service providers to discriminate without worrying that their state occupational license might be threatened by their actions.
Carpenter says the list of professionals included is prodigious: "There are literally hundreds of them in Texas ... They include athletic trainers, doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, orthodontists, physical therapists, counselors of all kinds, accountants, engineers, landscape architects, real estate agents, tax consultants, air conditioning repair personnel, electricians, on and on and on it goes."
While the legislation might be designed mainly for Texas Christians to withhold their services from LGBT people, Carpenter says it would allow discrimination against anyone as long as the motive is a sincerely held religious belief.
One person's discrimination...
The word "discrimination" gets used by both sides of this political fight.
Supporters of the legislation say this is about safeguarding religious freedoms and ensuring that those who wish to exercise these freedoms aren't discriminated against as a consequence. Jonathan Saenz is the president of Texas Values, a religious liberty organization which is lobbying in favor of passage. He says the legislation has broad support.
"Texans are very concerned about the attacks on religious freedom and people of faith, particularly people that believe in marriage and sexuality as it's defined in the bible," Saenz says. "Senate Bill 17 just makes it clear that you can't force someone to choose between their work and their faith. You can't use the government to punish people that have to get a certain license or authorization just because of some of the personal religious beliefs that they have."
Tough for business
For Republican legislators, this type of legislation puts them in a tough spot. Two years ago a bathroom bill, which singled out transgender public school students and other transgender Texans, tore the Texas GOP in two.
The business community and chambers of commerce hated it. San Antonio was about to host the NCAA Men's Final Four Basketball Tournament and the city was terrified the NCAA would pull out if the bathroom bill became law. It passed the Senate but then Speaker of the House, San Antonio Republican Joe Straus, killed it.
A hero to business but loathed by his party's powerful evangelical wing, Straus retired from politics not long after.
The tourist industry and rural residents
The convention and travel industries, in particular, tend to be the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to these types of bills. Phillip Jones, president and CEO of VisitDallas, says they'd be the first to keel over if the controversial 'religious refusal' legislation passes.
"One in ten trade shows held in America are held in Texas. I've got a hundred million dollar's worth of business that's currently at risk, if this legislation were to pass," says Jones. "Based on our experience with the bathroom bill they have a provision in their contracts that spells out that, should Texas pass any form of discriminatory legislation, then they can cancel their meeting in Texas or in Dallas without any penalties."
Rural communities are most vulnerable if doctors or pharmacists refuse service because alternatives are usually scarce or non-existent. Moreover, opponents of the legislation worry that municipal non-discrimination ordinances in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Billsand San Antonio could be rendered unenforceable if the bill were to pass.
SMU's Carpenter says that other than the city ordinances, state law provides no safeguards. "It is already perfectly legal to decline service and to do so on a discriminatory basis in the state of Texas," he says. "In fact, the law in the state of Texas is that rights of conscience are already protected against state regulation for private citizens and professionals and businesses."
Carpenter says that federal civil rights laws passed in the 1960s provide less protection from discrimination than many might imagine. Race, religion and national origin are protected from discrimination in public accommodations only, such as restaurants, hotels and theaters.
Carpenter believes that, given the already generous legal right to discriminate in Texas, the latest round of bills are merely a way for the Republican-dominated legislature to demonstrate to its evangelical base that they're on the ball.

January 10, 2017

A USAF Gay Serviceman Classified as Undesirable is Now Honorable

A 91-year-old veteran who was dismissed from the U.S. Air Force as "undesirable" in 1948 because he is gay has had that discharge status changed to "honorable." 
The move by the Air Force comes in response to a lawsuit filed in November by H. Edward Spires of Norwalk, Connecticut, who served from 1946 to 1948 as a chaplain's assistant, earning the rank of sergeant. 

Hubert Edward Spires, left, is seen in this handout photo taken when he was in the Air Force. Spires, 91, was discharged due to his sexual orientation in 1948 and has filed a lawsuit seeking to change his status so he can have a military burial.

Spires was forced out of the military in 1948 after an investigation into his sexual orientation. 
Spires' attorneys said he was originally denied the discharge upgrade after the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in 2010 because the Air Force said his records had likely been lost in a 1973 fire.  
The Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records informed Spires on Friday that the honorable discharge had been approved by the Air Force Review Boards Agency. 
Spires' attorneys have said he is in poor health and would like a military funeral, which the upgrade makes possible. 
"The idea that this man of faith who served dutifully as a chaplain's assistant in the armed forces, who built a life and a career that has brought joy to those around him, would leave this earth considered undesirable in the eyes of his country, it's unthinkable," Spires' husband, David Rosenberg, said during a briefing on the case at the Yale Law School in November. 
Spires' case also was championed by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who said Monday that the Air Force’s decision "corrects an incredible injustice."


March 3, 2016

US Ambassador to UN Takes Russian Counterpart to Gay Play

Image result for Tony Award-winning play “Fun Home”

Over 70 countries have anti-gay laws which is one reason why Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, decided to take 17 U.N. ambassadors to the theater Tuesday night to see the Tony Award-winning play “Fun Home” whose main character is a lesbian with a closeted gay dad.

Power, a strong advocate for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, got a standing ovation at the end of the play, led by Tony nominee Beth Malone who thanked her and President Barack Obama for doing “so much for LGBT rights.”

Based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, “Fun Home” centers on growing up in a family-owned funeral home in a small Pennsylvania town where the daughter realizes she’s attracted to women and the father has secretly had affairs with men.
Power said she invited a diverse group of ambassadors to see the stories of real lives to bring home “the challenges that LGBT people face every day around the world.”

According to a report last June by the U.N. human rights chief, at least 76 countries have laws used to criminalize and harass people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, including laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relationships among adults.

The 17 ambassadors spanned the globe from Australia, Vietnam and Namibia to Norway, Mexico, Uruguay and Russia, which was strongly criticized for its anti-gay laws ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Several ambassadors said after the play that they arrived not knowing what it was about.

Power said the play dramatizes the LGBT issue “in a way that (U.N.) resolutions and statements never can.”
“This is the way we are going to break through,” she said. “It’s about imagining oneself. It’s about imagining one’s child. It’s about imagining one’s father.”

But Power stressed that “it takes time to change the DNA of the U.N. just as it’s taken a lot of time to change the DNA of the United States.”

Actress Cynthia Nixon from the TV series “Sex and the City” moderated an after-theater panel with the writers and cast, followed by comments from several ambassadors.
“Too often our work is about abstracts,” Switzerland’s Ambassador Jurg Lauber said. “Once in a while it’s important to tell us it’s about people.”

Joao Vale de Almeida, the European Union’s ambassador to the U.N. who is from Portugal, said his younger brother told him that he was gay on a long car ride – similar to one in the play – and they organized the way that he would tell their parents.

“It could have gone wrong but they went pretty well,” he said. “It’s a good story in my case. I know (for) other people, the stories were not so good.”
Vale de Almeida said the performance was “great” and told the cast “it’s crucial that you shared (the story) with everybody.”

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