Showing posts with label Trump Anti LGBT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump Anti LGBT. Show all posts

December 23, 2019

We Will Have Trump For The Life Of 50 Anti LGBT Appeal Judges He Nominated

             President Trump Delivers State Of The Union Address To Joint Session Of Congress

Editorial and Introduction this piece of news:

For those who do not understand how laws are enacted and how they are changed 0n this country (USA)or taken down altogether, this is a fine example of those that really thought because of the Vote on Gay Marriage on the Supreme court and the flurry of LGBTQ laws enacted in almost 50 states giving our community at least the promise that the persecution was over. Many thought we had gotten there. I and many admonished whomever we could that elections can change everything. and you don't sit on your laurels after a win because then you have to protect what you won. With Trump using his time for nothing else but tweets and make trouble everywhere he also went for every judge the extreme evangelical right recommended. No matter if he had been a drunk and a women abuser much like Trump. These appointments are very serious because they are for life. The only way to get rid of any of these federal judges is the same way you get rid of the President. Impeachment, trial, and vote of removal. As you can see on Trump which he has admitted some of the details on the articles of impeachment and still the house of representatives in congress can't sent it to the senate because beforehand of taking a vote on the bible which they'are always talking about and the constitution (I thought it was so funny when these Republicans carry a pocket-size constitution when Obama was President to make stupid arguments about things they did not agree with). Well, it seems these guys don't believe in the constitution anymore if it doesn't serve their purpose, the same as the bible. Elections have consequences and some of the stuff will last until more judges retire and we have a new wave of democrats along with a Well behave Dem. President. Love us or hate us, it got made LGBT you should exercise your civil rights and when you vote you make sure you can keep yours and the ones that have been stripped of it need to get it back to make this nation stronger.
Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

 More than one-third of President Donald Trump's circuit court nominees have a documented history of bias against LGBT people, according to a sweeping new report that illustrates how the president's disregard of judges' ratings as well as conservatives' efforts to reshape the judiciary may have an enduring impact on the federal court system.

The report by Lambda Legal, a non-profit organization that advocates for LGBT rights, raised questions about whether nominees who have demonstrated or expressed opinions adverse to LGBT equality will be able to be impartial toward LGBT litigants, particularly as gay and trans civil rights cases become increasingly prominent, the authors said.

"This is just the canary in the coal mine," Sasha Buchert, a senior attorney with Lambda Legal, told Newsweek. "These are nominees that we're seeing who are not just inimical to LGBT protections but to civil rights generally. We don't oppose people based on their affiliation, but it's troubling that they're all reading from the same playbook."

Circuit courts are the courts of appeals for federal cases, sitting just below the Supreme Court in the hierarchy in the judiciary. And perhaps most consequentially, these courts are often the 'court of last resort' for any of the thousands of litigants whose cases the Supreme Court declines to hear, leaving the circuit court judges' opinions as to the final word.

 The circuit court nominees, as with nearly all federal judges appointed by the president, serve for a lifetime and can only be removed from the bench upon their retirement, death, resignation or impeachment. 

"We often hear folks on the other side of the aisle talking about how this is just a lawyer doing his job, representing his client," Buchert said. "But it's their record and personal statements we looked to in order to determine they're not going to be able to provide impartial justice."

The Senate so far has confirmed 50 Trump circuit court nominees or about one-third of the approximately 170 judges serving at the circuit court level. In the Eleventh Circuit alone, which serves 36 million residents in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, 42 percent of the bench was nominated by Trump, according to Lambda Legal.

Among the judges noted in Friday's report is Lawrence VanDyke, a forthcoming member of the Ninth Circuit and one of Trump's newest judges, who achieved confirmation in the Senate despite a record of anti-LGBT views or of opposing LGBT equality as determined by Lambda Legal.
A spokesperson for the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit did not respond to a request for comment.

While VanDyke was a second-year law student at Harvard Law School, he penned an op-ed suggesting there was cause to believe that same-sex marriages "hurt families, and consequentially children and society."

And in a 2010 amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, VanDyke argued that college campus groups who want to exclude LGBT members were shielded by the First Amendment's freedom-of-association protections.

The non-partisan American Bar Association (ABA) took the rare step of warning the Senate Judiciary Committee that there were concerns "about whether Mr. VanDyke would be fair to persons who are gay, lesbian, or otherwise part of the LGBTQ community" in its evaluation of his candidacy for the federal bench.

"Mr. VanDyke's accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees that Mr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice including procedural rules," the ABA said in its letter ahead of VanDyke's confirmation. "There was a theme that the nominee lacks humility, has an 'entitlement' temperament, does not have an open mind, and does not always have a commitment to being candid and truthful."

When asked about the ABA's assessment during his confirmation hearing, VanDyke broke down into tears. He denied that he would treat litigants unfairly based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God," he said. "They should all be treated with dignity and respect."

The ABA ultimately provided VanDyke with a rating of not qualified, the lowest rating a nominee for the federal bench can receive.

 Neomi Rao
Neomi Rao testifies during a Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on February 5, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Rao, now confirmed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, previously expressed views indicating anti-LGBT bias, according to a new analysis from Lambda Legal.
While the ABA has objected to only a few of Trump's nominees, the president's pursuit of such confirmations breaks with precedent. In the past 30 years, Trump is the only president to have nominated and confirmed circuit court judges with a not qualified rating, the report, called "Trump's Judicial Assault on LGBT Protections," showed. Besides VanDyke, two other of the president's circuit court nominees who were confirmed by the Senate have been rated not qualified, and nearly half of all federal judges to have received this rating in the last 30 years were nominated by Trump.

Another judge named in the report, Trump nominee Neomi Rao, was appointed to the court of appeals seat that had been held by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

As an undergraduate student at Yale University, Rao wrote a column for The Yale Herald observing that "trendy" movements had "added sexuality to the standard checklist of traits requiring tolerance."

"Because homosexuality, unlike gender and race, concerns a socially unacceptable activity, many gays have responded to the demands of normalcy in radical ways," she wrote. "They want not only equal rights, but they struggle more fundamentally to alter culture and society."

Rao also faced criticism for her early writings which appeared to suggest victims of sexual assault might bear some culpability.

"A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted," she said in another column. "At the same time, a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober."

A representative for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit did not return a request for comment, but Rao has publicly defended her ability to remain impartial in judicial settings.

When pressed by Senator Cory Booker during her confirmation hearing about her views towards LGBT people, Rao replied "no" when asked whether she thinks gay relationships are immoral.

"Senator, my personal views on any of these subjects are things I would put to one side," she said. "Whatever my personal views are on this subject, I would faithfully follow the precedents of the Supreme Court.

"I take people as they come," she added. "Irrespective of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, I treat people as individuals. Those are the values that I grew up with, and those are the values I would apply if confirmed."

The ABA ultimately rated her well qualified, the organization's strongest endorsement.

Lambda Legal also illustrated how extensively the Trump White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and organizations such as the Federalist Society have been able to remake the federal bench and how the Senate's traditionalist confirmation process has been altered to allow them to do so.

"When it comes to judges, we're looking at 20, 30 or 40 years of impact that will extend far beyond however long this administration lasts," Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal's legal director, told Newsweek. "There's a risk to the integrity of the courts, and the length of time that there is this potential for harm to be done is so long."

 Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from his office to the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol December 19, 2019 in Washington, D.C. McConnell has been credited with helping to expedite the pace of judicial confirmations during the Trump administration.
Because of expedient Senate action on Trump nominees, the White House has managed to flip one-quarter of the circuit court system from majority-Democrat-appointed judges to majority-Republican-appointed judges in 2019 alone. These three circuits cover nine states from New Hampshire to Texas.

In April, Senate Republicans led a slim majority vote in the Senate to invoke the so-called nuclear option and reduce debate time for district court judges to a mere two hours, from the original allotted time of 30 hours per judge.

The abandonment of the century-old blue slip process also has reduced the Democratic minority's ability to influence the advancement of Trump nominees within the Senate's confirmation process.

And while Trump's influence on the circuit courts is apparent through sheer numbers alone, the affiliations of these judges are also garnering additional scrutiny. Lambda Legal has found that more than 85 percent of these nominees are members of the Federalist Society, an influential conservative legal organization that reports show has helped determine Trump's roster of appointments.

Ultimately, the report aims to demonstrate why it matters whether nominees have certain affiliations or have expressed certain views, notwithstanding their assurances of impartiality during confirmation hearings.

"I'm not confident for some of the nominees that the act of putting on the robe will instill in them the higher purpose of doing justice to all," McGowan said.

However, she expressed an inkling of hope that the realities of life on the federal bench may inspire some moderation, especially when past writings have evinced more hardline beliefs.

"I think there are certainly some nominees who acknowledged the error of their prior writings and recognized that their views had become more informed over the years," she said. "The judiciary still is grappling with LGBT issues and we're going to need to continue to do the work to explain why it is compatible with all of the other constitutional guarantees to have LGBT people live full, equal lives."

 U.S. Supreme Court
DACA, LGBTQ Rights, Gun Control: the Supreme Court's New Year
Florida Judge Overturns Tampa's Conversion Therapy Ban
 gay-bashing Australia
21-Year-Old Recounts Alleged Gay-Bashing by Gang of Teens
 conversion therapy Jim domen

December 10, 2019

Trump Campaign is Selling Rainbow LGBT Shirts and Paraphernalia

By Gwen Aviles

President Donald Trump’s campaign has introduced new LGBTQ Pride merchandise through its website, sparking criticism that the offerings appear to be at odds with his administration’s policy track record.
The merchandise, which was first reported by NewNowNext, includes a white T-shirt that reads “Make America Great Again” in rainbow letters. The product description reads, “Show your support for the LGBT community and the 45th President with this exclusive Make America Great Again T-Shirt.” The site is also selling a rainbow "Make America Great Again" hat, which is currently sold out.
“Trump selling ‘Pride’ t-shirts when his very administration attacks LGBTQ people on the daily,” one person tweeted. “It’s like we are all in the damn Twilight Zone.”

Several policy measures criticized as anti-LGBTQ have either been proposed or enacted under the Trump administration, including the president’s contentious transgender military policy, which bars transgender personnel from serving openly and denies them access to gender-affirming medical care, and the administration's proposed rule to expand the exemption that allows religiously affiliated businesses to ignore anti-discrimination laws.
Many of Trump’s advisers and appointees have been criticized for their actions and statements against LGBTQ people. Just last month, NBC News reported that Clarence Mason Weaver, a right-wing pundit who called being gay “an abomination,” was appointed as an advisory board member to the “Black Voices for Trump” campaign coalition. This is not the first time the Trump campaign, which did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment, has been criticized as “hypocritical” for selling LGBTQ merchandise. Earlier this year, during LGBTQ Pride month, the campaign unveiled another white T-shirt with a rainbow flag that read “LGBTQ for Trump."
“Trump — who banned trans troops, is against LGBT employment protections, wants ppl to be able to turn away LGBT customers, & is denying citizenship to kids of US gay couples born out of wedlock — is selling LGBTQ for Trump shirts for Pride,” BuzzFeed journalist David Mack wrote on Twitter at the time. 

Trump — who banned trans troops, is against LGBT employment protections, wants ppl to be able to turn away LGBT customers, & is denying citizenship to kids of US gay couples born out of wedlock — is selling LGBTQ for Trump shirts for Pride  via @NewNowNext

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer voters have been a reliable part of the Democratic voting base. In 2016, 78 percent of LGBTQ voters reported voting for Hillary Clinton, and in 2018, 82 percent of LGBTQ voters reported backing a Democratic candidatefor the U.S. House of Representatives, according to exit polls.
Some LGBTQ voters do identify as part of Trump’s base, including some members of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay conservative group that faced internal turmoil earlier this year after some of its leadership endorsed Trump's re-election.
Charles Moran, the national spokesperson for the Log Cabin's Republican, said that LGBTQ merchandise in Trump's campaign store is nothing new and that he's had some form of it since Trump started running, but he says the fact that the "Make American Great Again" Pride hat in the store is currently sold out is what's telling.
"We're seeing at the Log Cabin Republicans that it's not just traditional Republicans who are gravitating towards Trump, but disaffected Democrats and Independents who are heartened by the president's approach," Moran told NBC News. "Gays are not necessarily voting in a bloc like they have in the past," Moran added that the president has a track record of advocating for the LGBTQ community through his words and policy, citing the administration's February announcement of a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality globally and last week's announcement that the U.S. government will start a national HIV-prevention program that will distribute free HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis medication as examples of such advocacy.
"Trump has thrown out the old playbook, and, unlike previous Republican administrations, doesn't use the LGBTQ community as a wedge issue," Moran said. 

November 21, 2019

New Trump Campaign Surrogate Says About Gays "Evil and An Abomination." (Cheating and Lying , Not!)

 Opinion from the  Publisher: Some say Trump became anti gay to get the Ultra right Religious backing. That is partly true but the whole truth is that the seed was always there. He always got close to anti gay men. In this case he is with McCarthy's ex lawyer Cohn who was Trump ex lawyer until he died of AIDS. Cohn is all Trump wishes to be in the same quantity. A lier, cheat with any face he though he should put on for you. This was a "gay anti gay" as I call them. These are gay individulas who are ashame of being gay and even though everybody knows they are. Anybody with a sence of fairness would conclude. He cheated on his employees, friends. our government and his two wives. But his sence of timing is been good, at least for a while. He bankrupted many companies and now his timing is off with his tweets and fouled mouth and with the impeachment looming now his luck is also off. 


Clarence Mason Weaver, who was recently named to an advisory board position in President Donald Trump’s campaign, is a right-wing commentator who believes that homosexuality is “evil” and an “abomination.” Weaver has said that people have “got to worry about homosexual training” in schools and questioned, “What is wrong with being homophobic.” He’s also said he has a problem with gay co-workers and would “not appear on a program with a homosexual host and pretend like that’s normal.”  
Media Matters reported on Monday that Weaver has frequently pushed misogynistic rhetoric, including saying that women aren’t equal to men and that they damaged society when they won the “‘right’ to leave the home and go to work”’; claiming that women who report sexual misconduct at work are the reason “why we don’t want to be around you in a business”; and stating that women should carry themselves as “handmaidens” and “be submissive.” 
The Trump campaign recently launched its “Black Voices for Trump” coalition, which aims to “encourage the black community to re-elect President Donald J. Trump by sharing experiences and successes of everyday people as a result of the Trump administration.” The campaign named Weaver to its advisory board; he attended the coalition launch in Georgia and wrote on Facebook that he got to “meet the President [and] shake his hand again.” He also met Lara Trump
Clarence Mason Weaver with Trump
CitationFrom Clarence Mason Weaver's Facebook page.
Weaver is also an open anti-LGBTQ bigot. 
In November 2018, he posted a video complaining about an advertisement featuring a woman in a same-sex marriage. He related that he told his granddaughter that “homosexuality is a abomination. Not just a sin. It’s abomination.” He later criticized people who try to find “common ground” on the issue, saying, “How can you find common ground with evil and sin?”   
Weaver added that he “can work with homosexuals. I've worked with a lot of homosexuals. Worked with a lot of them. Political and social things. But I’m not going to stand there and pretend like that’s not a sin. Like you would not -- I would not pretend like I don’t sin. I would not pretend, I’m not going to try to fool God to make you feel comfortable.” He added: “I appear on programs all the time with homosexuals. I will not appear on a program with a homosexual host and pretend like that’s normal.” He expanded on a hypothetical meeting with a same-sex couple: 
WEAVER: It can be very difficult for you to tell me as a woman, “Hey, this is Betty, my wife." You’re not going to get a “congratulations." No. I may say, “How you doing?" If you ask me what I think about you being married to that woman, you’re going to get your feelings hurt. You’re going to get your feelings hurt. Christians stand up for God, and when you stand up for God, you’re going to upset the ungodly.
Weaver also said that he’s homeschooled his kids in part because he wanted to “get them out” of an environment where “we got to worry about homosexual training.”  
In a May 2016 video, Weaver criticized President Barack Obama for purportedly having wanted “to destroy the boundaries between men and women. Every aspect of our lives we’re told that men should be soft. Homosexuality is all over TV. Soft men. In our dancing, in our music. Men are weak and women are strong.” 
In January, Weaver shared a Reuters story about India's army chief “drawing accusations of homophobia” after “saying gay sex would not be tolerated among soldiers, months after the country scrapped a colonial-era ban on same-sex relations.” On Twitter, Weaver wrote: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH BEING HOMOPHOBIC.” He also tweeted about a transgender contestant in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant: “This is not gender equality, it is gender delusion. You are a man. You don’t have a womb, you are a guy. It is not gender equality because you don’t equal a women. #StopPlaying.” 
The Trump administration has been hostile to the rights of LGBTQ individuals when it comes to policy positions and appointments, and Weaver's position on the coalition advisory board reinforces that trend in the Trump campaign.

November 19, 2019

This is The Worse Anti- LGBT Rights Trump Has Appointed To Date, GOP Confirmed (51 Votes)

What is he against?
"Anti Women, Gays, bi and Trans, HIV'ers, to name a few. Never been a judge, never had a trial. The White House Gardner would be more fair-minded than this uncooked turkey"

                              Steven Menashi
                             Image result for steven menashi                        

A White House lawyer won Senate confirmation as a federal appeals court judge Thursday despite complaints by lawmakers from both parties about his record on immigration, race, women’s equality, and LGBTQ rights.
Steven Menashi, an associate White House counsel, was confirmed by a 51-41 vote for a seat on the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins was the sole Republican to oppose Menashi, a 40-year-old New Yorker who has never tried a case or argued an appeal. 
Sasha J. Buchert, senior attorney at Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ legal advocacy group, called Menashi "one of President Trump’s most dangerous and alarming judicial nominees to date."
"Mr. Menashi’s disqualifying record is not only plagued with bias against LGBT rights, but he also has actively undermined the rights of immigrants, women, students, and other vulnerable groups throughout his career," Buchert wrote. "This record clearly demonstrates that he would to be unable to administer fair and impartial justice."
Lambda Legal pointed to a letter the group signed along with 20 other LGBTQ advocacy organizations opposing Menashi's confirmation. Among the groups' concerns was how Menashi “unambiguously asserted his opposition” to same-sex marriage ahead of the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, a landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage across the U.S.
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said Menashi is "yet another extremist" appointee and said he has "used whatever platform he’s handed — from his college newspaper to legal publications, to a seat at the table at the White House — to undermine our community’s fight for equality." 
Republicans and Democrats complained that Menashi failed to answer questions at his nomination hearing, and Collins joined Democrats in criticizing Menashi’s record on a range of issues, including immigration, race, women’s equality, and LGBTQ rights.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York called Menashi a “disgrace” and ''one of the most contemptible nominees to come before the Senate” in more than 20 years.
As a lawyer for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Menashi “helped cook up an illegal scheme to use the Social Security data of students swindled by for-profit colleges in order to deny them debt relief,’’ Schumer said, noting that a federal judge ruled the plan violated federal privacy laws.
Schumer, who has railed against many judicial appointments by President Donald Trump, said Menashi stands out as extreme, unqualified and “almost craven. If there was ever anyone who was too far, it’s Menashi.’’ 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Menashi an “impressive nominee,’’ citing his degrees from Dartmouth College and Stanford Law School, clerkships for federal judges including Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, and experience teaching and practicing law.
Other Republicans were more skeptical.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Menashi “has written some really weird stuff” and is “different than I would have chosen,” but is qualified for the federal bench.
Graham was one of several senators who expressed frustration at Menashi’s refusal to answer questions about his record at the White House and the Education Department during his confirmation hearing in September.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, said Menashi’s silence made it difficult for senators to fulfill their constitutional role to provide advice and consent on presidential nominees.
She and other Democrats were especially unhappy about Menashi’s role in denying debt relief to thousands of students swindled by for-profit colleges. “Mr. Menashi should not be rewarded for providing such bad legal advice with a lifetime appointment to the federal bench,’’ Feinstein said. 
Menashi’s “troubling record of undermining critical rights and questions surrounding his involvement in Secretary DeVos’s shameful efforts to ignore the law” disqualify him from a lifetime judgeship, added Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
Collins said Menashi’s past writings, particularly about women, LGBTQ advocates, and racial diversity, raise questions about whether he has the appropriate judicial temperament.
Collins, one of the most vulnerable GOP incumbents next year, said it was inappropriate for Menashi to refuse to answer questions about his work in the Trump administration during his confirmation hearing.
“His reluctance to answer questions about the family separation policy made it difficult for me to assess his record and impeded my constitutional duty to evaluate his fitness to serve as a judge,’’ she said in a statement. “After careful consideration ... I do not believe he is well-suited to serve on the federal bench.”
Menashi is among more than 150 federal judges nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate, including at least 46 appeals court judges. About one-quarter of federal appeals court judges were nominated by Trump.
By The Associated Press and Tim Fitzsimons

August 4, 2019

Trump Obamare Changes Goes After The Health of Gay, Transgender in The US

LGBTQ rights have come a long way in the U.S. But the community still faces threats in the form of legalization, discrimination and even violence. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

Trump's proposal would put LGBTQ lives at risk. The right to health cannot be obfuscated by the political or social beliefs of others. 

Katherine Archuleta , Opinion contributor

As a former director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under President Barack Obama, I oversaw the federal government’s 2-million-strong civilian workforce on everything from human resource policy to retirement benefits to health care. This included implementation of all regulations outlined in the Affordable Care Act, including Section 1557 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities.
This section covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity, but the Trump-Pence White House has needlessly proposed a new regulation that would cruelly strip the ACA of specific protections for LGBTQ patients, specifically transgender people. This proposed regulation callously puts lives at risk, and it’s imperative the American people make their voices heard on why this it is dangerous and unacceptable.
On June 14, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed regulation based on a court's outrageous claim that the ACA's protection against discrimination on the basis of gender identity is “likely unlawful.”  This initiated a 60-day public comment period that runs through Aug. 12. In a press release sent out by HHS, Roger Severino, the Director of the department's Office of Civil Rights, offered this ratonale: “When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform.”

Denying care over personal beliefs 

This is a bad faith and incorrect view of “sex discrimination,” but it’s unsurprising coming from Mr. Severino. His long history of attacking the civil rights of LGBTQ people and women includes calling same-sex marriage part of a “radical” agenda, defending the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy, and espousing anti-choice opinions, even at the expense of an individual’s health care. He has said that being LGBTQ is “against your biology” and stated that sexual orientation, when compared to race, is an issue of “character.” 
This is not a person who prioritizes the health and safety of all Americans but, rather, consistently seeks to push his personal beliefs on the citizens who look to him for quality and safety in our their health care system.
Over the past two decades, federal courts have made it clear that sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers LGBTQ people due to discrimination based on sex stereotyping. Numerous federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, have reaffirmed this interpretation and incorporated it into their policies.
Simply put, there is longstanding precedent for ensuring LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people, are free from discrimination in health care spaces, which makes this administration’s attacks on the medical access of LGBTQ people all the more heinous.

Don't inflict harm on LGBTQ people

All medical access for all LGBTQ people and their loved ones is affected by this proposed regulation and the blanket "religious freedom" exemptions it would offer: a gay man who goes into the emergency room with a broken arm, a lesbian with cancer, a bisexual person with diabetes, a trans child getting immunizations prior to the start of the school year. This regulation goes against everything medical science has fought to make clear: that the right to health cannot be obfuscated by the political or social beliefs of others.
In a 2009 survey echoed in later studies, Lambda Legal found that 56% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and 70% of transgender and gender non-conforming people reported experiencing discrimination by health care providers — including refusal of care, harsh language and physical roughness because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In a free society that places human rights and life above personal beliefs and petty differences, that is unacceptable.
It is imperative the public submit comments urging the Trump-Pence White House and HHS to abandon this reckless proposed regulation that would inflict cruel and unnecessary harm on marginalized communities.
Katherine Archuleta is a founding partner at Dimension Strategies and was the director of the Office of Personnel Management under President Barack Obama. Follow her on Twitter: @Archuleta2012
You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to

July 19, 2019

EU Fines Russia For Its Anti LGBT Actions

Russian blogger, Zhenya Svetski, stands with a sign reading “I am not ‘gay propaganda’” in Moscow, December 2018.
Russian blogger, Zhenya Svetski, stands with a sign reading “I am not ‘gay propaganda’” in Moscow, December 2018. 
© 2018 Dmitry Belyakov for Human Rights Watch

Kyle Knight 

Researcher, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights ProgramHRW

The European Court of Human Rights ruled this week that the Russian government must pay approximately $41,000 in damages to three lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights groups for having refused their registration in recent years.

From 2006 to 2011, Rainbow House, the Movement for Marriage Equality, and the Sochi Pride House attempted to register their respective organizations with Russian authorities. The government denied their applications, claiming the organizations “will destroy the moral values of society” or “undermine [Russia’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity…by decreasing its population.”

Most perniciously, in denying Movement for Marriage Equality’s registration, the government construed LGBT rights activities as “gay propaganda,” and said the organization’s work amounted to “extremist activities.”

Formally called the law “aimed at protecting children from information promoting the denial of traditional family values,” the “gay propaganda” law – a classic example of political homophobia – bans the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” a reference universally understood to mean a ban on providing children with access to information about LGBT people’s lives. The ban includes, but is not limited to, the information provided via the press, television, radio, and the Internet.

As it was debated and passed in 2013, the law contributed to an intensification of stigma, harassment, and violence against LGBT people in Russia. The law has been used to shut down online information and mental health referral services for children, and to discourage support groups and mental health professionals from addressing LGBT issues with children. It has further entrenched antipathy toward LGBT people.

The law has rightly been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Council of Europe.

The European court’s new judgment, which found Russia responsible for discrimination and violation of freedom of association, is a cautionary reminder to the Russian government that the baseless and vitriolic gay propaganda law should be repealed.

June 23, 2019

“I’ll Never Buy Trump as Gay Positive"


Image result for trump and gays
kIsS mE U fOoL


I’ll never buy Donald Trump as gay positive. But I’d bet on gay blasé.

“I think it’s absolutely fine,” he said when asked in a Fox News interview about displays of affection between Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten. “That’s something that perhaps some people will have a problem with. I have no problem with it whatsoever. I think it’s good.”

He not only picked an openly gay man, Richard Grenell, to be the American ambassador to Germany but also reportedly moons over Grenell’s good looks. “He can’t say two sentences about Grenell without saying how great of a looking guy he is,” an unnamed associate of Trump’s told Axios’s Jonathan Swan. When Trump catches the ambassador on TV, he gushes, “Oh, there’s my beautiful Grenell!”

During the 2016 campaign, he spoke out against a North Carolina law forbidding transgender people to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity and said that Caitlyn Jenner could use the commode of her choice in Trump Tower.

And then, of course, there was his speech at the Republican National Convention, when he carefully enunciated “L.G.B.T.Q.,” pledged to protect those of us represented by that consonant cluster and, upon hearing applause, added, “I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said.” 

I’m glad he enjoyed it. We L.G.B.T.Q. Americans aren’t enjoying him. Far from protecting us, he and his administration have stranded us, packing federal courts with judges hostile to gay rights, barring transgender Americans from military service and giving a green light to Americans who, citing religious beliefs, don’t want to give us medical care or bake us a cake. When several United States embassies — including the one in Berlin, over which Grenell presides — requested permission to fly the rainbow flag this month in honor of Gay Pride, the State Department said no. 

It’s an ugly story, and it pretty much sums up Trump’s approach to governing. His treatment of gay people perfectly reveals the flabbiness of his convictions and his willingness to stand at odds with a majority of Americans if it pleases the smaller number who adore him. He’ll suffer our anger for their ardor. Decency and principle don’t enter into it.

And he is at odds with most of the country, very much so. Take the Trump administration out of the equation and the march toward gay equality continues apace. As gay and transgender Americans prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising on June 28, we inhabit a state of cognitive dissonance, staring at a split screen: insults from the White House on one half of it, positive reinforcement from elsewhere on the other. 

The Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, left, and his husband, Chasten, at a campaign event in April in South Bend, Ind.CreditKamil Krzaczynski/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images
Democrats’ embrace of Buttigieg, the first openly gay politician to land in the top tier of presidential candidates, illustrates the trajectory beyond Trump. “As recently as five or 10 years ago, I think, a project like this would have been dismissed out of hand,” Buttigieg told me in a recent interview, referring to his campaign. “It was unsafe for Democrats to support same-sex marriage at the beginning of this same decade that we’re living in now.” President Barack Obama didn’t endorse it until 2012, Hillary Clinton until 2013. A Supreme Court ruling legalized it nationwide in 2015. 

Being gay, Buttigieg said, hasn’t been any impediment to his bid for the White House so far. “It led to there being more interest and attention early on,” he said. “Perhaps the most interesting thing is how often it doesn’t come up — all the interviews in which it’s not mentioned. At this point, it’s safe to say that that’s most of the time.”

I was given an exclusive advance copy of a new report by the Victory Institute, a group that promotes L.G.B.T.Q. candidates. It found that the number of known L.G.B.T.Q. elected officials at the municipal, state and national levels in America rose 24.9 percent, to 698 from 559, over the past year. And while some of that is attributable to more politicians coming out, much is attributable to more being voted into office.

With the congressional elections last November, the number of openly L.G.B.T.Q. members of Congress rose to an all-time high of 10 — eight in the House and two in the Senate — up from seven. That same month Jared Polis in Colorado became the first openly gay person to win a governorship. He told me that his sexual orientation was absolutely not a factor in his race: “There might be some people who care about it, but they wouldn’t be considered swing voters, so they’re not relevant in terms of who you have to win over. It never comes up in terms of scrapping for the votes you need in the middle.”

In Chicago in April, Lori Lightfoot became the first openly gay person to win the mayoralty of one of the country’s three most populous cities. “The fact that I could run as an out lesbian, married, in an interracial relationship, with a child, would have been unthinkable not that long ago,” she said when I spoke with her recently. “You can’t stop progress. You just can’t. It’s like trying to stop a ball from rolling down a hill.” 

According to the Victory Institute survey, there are three openly L.G.B.T.Q. members in Oklahoma’s State Legislature and four in Montana’s. They’re all Democrats, but Republicans are changing, too. In Colorado, five Republican lawmakers voted in favor of a bill that banned anti-gay conversion therapy for minors, and six Republicans, including some of the same ones, voted to make it easier for transgender people to have the gender on their birth certificates changed. Polis signed both measures into law on May 31. 

While media attention focuses on proposed state legislation to deny rights to L.G.B.T.Q. people, there are probably more examples of bipartisan pushes to protect or expand those rights.

According to Freedom for All Americans, an advocacy group, more than two dozen Republican lawmakers in 15 states recently sponsored legislation to protect gay or transgender people from discrimination. They include the chairman of the Republican Party in Florida and the State Senate majority leader in West Virginia. Republican lawmakers were crucially involved in blocking discriminatory measures proposed in Texas, Tennessee, and Georgia, the group said. In South Dakota, where Republicans control both chambers of the Legislature, four different measures to permit discrimination against transgender people were defeated this year.

That reflects Americans’ values more accurately than the Trump administration does. In a Quinnipiac University poll in April, 92 percent of Americans said that employers should not be allowed to fire someone based on his or her “sexual orientation or sexual identity.” When Americans are asked whether a full spectrum of civil rights protections should be extended to L.G.B.T.Q. people, the number falls — but a majority of 53 percent still say yes. And in poll after poll, most Americans say that transgender people should be able to serve in the military, with 70 percent of them indicating support in one survey.

Yet the Trump administration keeps tugging in the opposite direction. Trump has nominated and the Senate has confirmed many jurists with explicit, unabashed hostility to gay and transgender rights, including, just days ago, Matthew Kacsmaryk, who received a lifetime appointment as a United States district judge for the Northern District of Texas. This is a man who in 2015 wrote that gay rights were part of a sexual revolution that was “rooted in the soil of elitist postmodern philosophy” and “sought public affirmation of the lie that the human person is an autonomous blob of Silly Putty unconstrained by nature or biology, and that marriage, sexuality, gender identity and even the unborn child must yield to the erotic desires of liberated adults.”

The choice of Kacsmaryk is hardly an aberration, said Sharon McGowan, the chief strategy officer and legal director for Lambda Legal, an advocacy group that has been tracking these appointments to the federal bench. “The arc of history may bend toward justice,” she told me, “but history will not be kind to those who are complicit in what has been happening over these past two years.” She meant in the White House, in the cabinet and on Capitol Hill, where a stubbornly retrograde social conservatism holds sway.

“It’s a 180-degree turn from the Obama administration,” said Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and a transgender man. Therein lies part of the explanation: If Trump’s predecessor did things one way, he’s inclined to do the opposite. “It has been shocking to me,” Minter added. Trump’s relatively benign comments before being elected did nothing to prepare Minter for the ban on openly transgender people in the military and for his administration’s edicts, efforts or declared intentions to eliminate protections for transgender people in the Affordable Care Act, allow health care workers to cite religious beliefs in refusing to treat gay or transgender people, let federally funded housing shelters deny access to transgender people, make it easier for adoption agencies to turn away same-sex couples and more.

“I wonder if they’re doing it out of this weird muscle memory left over from the days when launching an attack like this would be useful if you were under fire on other issues,” Buttigieg told me. “If people were displeased with Republicans on the economy, throw out a marriage referendum to fire up your base!” 

He noted that the difference now is that the Trump administration doesn’t really crow about these steps. “Their assault on equality is not something they’ve been willing to fully own,” he noted. “I think that’s revealing, that they speak in one language while acting in another. It suggests that there’s a part of the White House that isn’t proud of this.”

Trump himself continues to murmur words kinder than his deeds, such as his tweet three weeks ago exhorting Americans to “celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made.”

But the contributions Trump is focused on are the votes and donations from the so-called religious right, given in gratitude for his opposition to abortion and his anti-gay actions. “Because he doesn’t have the ability to broaden his support, he’s playing to a narrow base, and at the center of that base is this right-wing faction that’s often garbed in religion,” observed Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, a group that led the successful push for same-sex marriage. “He’s throwing them any meat he can find.”

We’re the meat. He’s the Silly Putty, content to mold himself or be molded in different shapes for different reasons. His vitriol toward immigrants isn’t echoed by most Americans, but it pushes convenient buttons. Middle-class Americans weren’t gaga for his tax overhaul, but corporate America was, and he indulged that constituency.

On issue after issue it’s like that: He doesn’t act or speak for the majority, but he accomplishes some narrower purpose and gets away with it partly because gerrymandering, the structure of the Senate and the Electoral College have led to a government out of sync with the governed.

Trump is on the wrong side of history. But he doesn’t care — so long as it’s right for Trump. 

I invite you to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter. You can follow me on Twitter (@FrankBruni).
Frank Bruni has been with The Times since 1995 and held a variety of jobs — including White House reporter, Rome bureau chief and chief restaurant critic — before becoming a columnist in 2011. He is the author of three best-selling books.  @FrankBruni • Facebook

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