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

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
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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

May 1, 2019

Trump Paid Grifters Falsely Accused Pete Buttigieg of Rape

Husband and loving husband

By David Uberti 

The publishing platform Medium has tried to position itself as a destination for high-quality writing, selling memberships and hiring journalists.

But pro-Trump grifters poked a huge hole in that self-image on Monday, when they allegedly impersonated a Michigan man and published a fabricated sexual assault allegation against 2020 Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg.

Medium has become a go-to outlet for journalists, politicians, and other public figures to share their ideas. After various strategic pivots, it has recently pushed a $50-a-year membership program and a slate of premium publications staffed by journalists. Those professionally produced articles sit behind a paywall, but they bear a close resemblance to unvetted posts by users.

READ: Trump supporters allegedly recruited gay men to falsely accuse Pete Buttigieg of rape

The publication and takedown of the Buttigieg hoax renew questions around platforms that allow users to publish information without verification. They could be particularly fertile ground for hit pieces and opposition research dumps as 2020 looms.

“Medium is a behemoth that has lots of traffic and engagement, so you're going to see people leverage it as a way to rapidly spread stories and get attention,” said Eric Wilson, a Republican digital strategist. “It won't last—Medium suspended this account quickly. But in this case, it unfortunately worked, because they got the headlines about the false attack. It's out there.”

Posted under the user name Hunter Kelly on Monday, the short piece lobbed a vague claim of abuse against the South Bend mayor and welcomed further media coverage. Pro-Trump conspiracy outlets including Infowars and The Gateway Pundit were among the few to pick it up. 

In an email, Monday afternoon, Medium Head of Communications Sandee Roston said the article had been referred to the company’s trust and safety team.

“This post has been under review; we’ve been going through our protocol,” Roston said. She did not elaborate on what that protocol entails.

Hours later, The Daily Beast outed the Medium post as part of an anti-Buttigieg smear campaign by pro-Trump con artists Jacob Wohl and Jake Berkman. And the real Hunter Kelly said in a message to reporters that Wohl had recruited him for a supposed role in President Donald Trump’s 2020 effort and then published the Medium post without his consent.

“So, that means, without my permission a disgusting article pretending to be me was lambasted across the internet,” Kelly wrote. “Reading the story made me sick to my stomach and I expressed my thoughts with my family who was incredibly opposed to this and would alert media outlets that this was a lie.”

The medium took down the post soon after. The platform’s Terms of Service alert users that “we can remove any content you post for any reason,” and Medium specifically bars deceptive content in its rules. But Roston has not responded to VICE News’ subsequent questions about how and when Medium decided that the post about Buttigieg met the bar for removal—or what’s to stop something similar from happening again.

Medium has previously run into similar questions. In February, a political consultant named Luke Thompson published a piece alleging that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff used political action committee funds to pay Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend. No mainstream media outlet picked up the story, which racked up about 2,700 “claps”—Medium’s metric for audience approval.

Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff posted a series of rebuttals in the comments, repeatedly calling the article false. The congresswoman herself tweeted that the Medium post was part of a “conspiracy machine” working against her.

February 22, 2019

Elections are Coming and Trump Wants to Sell How He Protects The LGBTQ Community But He Lies(This is How)

Election season is coming and Trump is now preaching how he protects "LGBT_Q" like he promised, But we know he lies and lies and lies. With the help of the Independent (which I don't really think is), I will give you a bunch of specific actions he has taken to hurt the community. All of the letters which are people in the "LGBT_Q" community 
These are few actions with many implications Trump is taken against the LGBTQ community: 
1. In February of 2017, the administration withdrew guidance that helped public schools implement Title IX, under which discrimination on the basis of sex was illegal. The withdrawal left transgender students unprotected.
2. Donald Trump nominated judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. Gorsuch previously wrote a dissent arguing against a ruling that required states to list same-sex parents on birth certificates.
3. In April 2017, under President Trump, the Justice and Labor Departments cancelled conference calls with LGBTQ+ organisations, which for years gave the LGBTQ+ community a voice.
4. On 26 July 2017, President Trump announced on Twitter that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the US Military.
5. The Trump administration attempted to expand circumstances in which federal contractors and private employers could cite religious freedom as a reason for discrimination. 
6. The Department of Education said it would dismiss complaints from transgender students who were not allowed to use school bathrooms that matched with their gender identity, according to The Washington Post
7. Under President Trump, the Justice Department rolled back protections for transgender inmates that were put in place by President Obama.
The new guidelines introduced by the US Bureau of Prisons would see inmates housed by their biological sex rather than the gender they identify with.
8. Mr. Trump has repeatedly failed to recognise June as Pride Month.
Salt and pepper on the spoiled Trump's brekfast eggs:

Out writer Matthew Rodriguez, who wrote that the administration's announcement this week that it would seek to decriminalize homosexuality in countries around the world was a "racist tactic."
Rodriguez wrote that "rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda."
The author uses as an example of his argument the push to center the decriminalization efforts on Iran, a country president Trump has often verbally attacked.
“We know Trump is very focused on Iran and is looking for ways to demonize it in the public opinion and this is one area where you know the US and European countries see eye-to-eye on Iran,” NBC reporter Josh Lederman, who reported on the Trump administration's LGBT plan, says in an interview with Rodriguez. 
“So it makes [sense] for them to focus strategically on that rather than sanctions, where there’s been a big gulf between the U.S. and its allies," Lederman added.
Iran has a history of executing gay men accused of rape, and LGBT activists in the country contend that the charges are falsified in order to criminalize and obscure consensual same-sex partnerships. 

January 23, 2019

Trump Administration Rolled Backwards The Clock for LGBT and People Living with HIV


Last weekend marked the two-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency. In that time, we have witnessed the rollback of rights and protections for LGBT people and people living with HIV that took decades to win. It is difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the full extent of harm now taking place. But it is undeniable that our communities are much more vulnerable to discrimination in health care, social services, employment, education, and access to basic government services.

One of the most shocking moves occurred earlier this month when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended the inauguration of Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, a former Army captain and longtime congressman who operated at Brazil’s political margins because of his far-right political views, campaigned on a racist, misogynistic, and homophobic platform. In October 2018, a transgender woman and a drag queen were both murdered, with the attackers in both incidents invoking Bolsonaro’s name. On his first day in office, Bolsonaro signed an executive order prohibiting the country’s human rights ministry from hearing any concerns from the country’s LGBT community.

Image result for pompeo and bolsonaro picture
 Pompeo left, Bolsonaro, right
Despite this, Pompeo tweeted out a photo of himself meeting with Bolsonaro thanking him for a great meeting to “reinforce our shared commitment to democracy, education, prosperity, security, and #humanrights.” Trump, meanwhile, has praised Bolsonaro as a “great leader.” Pompeo’s diplomatic move coupled with Trump’s rhetoric marked an effective end to previous U.S. foreign policy that treated LGBT rights as a foreign policy goal. This shift endangers the safety of LGBT people around the globe.

                                  Image result for pompeo and bolsonaro tweets picture

Other moves that have undermined efforts to fight stigma against LGBT people and people with HIV, include the dismissal, in March 2018, of a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia after he tested positive for HIV. After receiving treatment in the United States and learning that he could keep his viral load near zero by taking daily medication, thus making it practically impossible to transmit the virus to anyone else, the 23-year-old told his Peace Corps health officer that he wanted to complete the remaining 18 months of his two-year term. But he was told that the Peace Corps did not accept volunteers who are HIV positive.

In fact, the Peace Corps agreed to stop automatically terminating HIV positive volunteers in 2008 after the ACLU advocated on behalf of a Peace Corps volunteer serving in the Ukraine who had become HIV positive. Under Trump, however, the Peace Corps has reversed this policy change. It also denied pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, for HIV prevention to Peace Corps volunteers who have requested it.

Domestically, the Trump administration has maintained steady attacks on transgender people. The Federal Bureau of Prisons announced in May 2018 that it will use “biological sex” to make initial determinations in the type of housing transgender inmates are assigned and will place transgender prisoners in facilities that conform to their gender identity only “in rare cases.” This reverses a 2016 policy that housed adult prisoners based on their gender identity, not their birth sex. The move is sure to undermine the safety and security of one of the most vulnerable prison populations and negates decades of progress on LGBT rights and protections that were reflected in 2012’s implementation standards for the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

Despite numerous attempts to implement a ban on transgender troops from serving in the military that has been blocked by the courts, the Trump Administration continues to look for innovative ways to discriminate. On the advice of the Family Research Council, an evangelical organization actively opposed to LGBT rights, the Trump Administration has tried to frame the transgender ban as a military readiness issue, despite evidence showing that transgender individuals are able to carry out their official duties with the same effectiveness as their cisgender counterparts and that there are no medical impediments to their service in the military.

Perhaps the most insidious move by the Trump Administration is its continued efforts to legalize discrimination under the guise of religious liberty. In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom under the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). This division was created following a 2017 executive order by President Trump directing agencies to expand religious freedom protections in ways that could increase discrimination against LGBT individuals and same-sex couples. Also in early 2018, OCR collected public comments regarding a new proposed rule stating that “freedom from discrimination on the basis of religious belief or moral conviction…does not just mean the right not to be treated differently or adversely; it also means being free not to act contrary to one’s beliefs.” 

This exceptionally broad language opens the door for health care providers to deny not just general health care services to LGBT people, but also specific services such as STI screening to gay men, fertility treatments to lesbian couples, or gender affirmation treatment to transgender people if the provider holds anti-LGBT religious beliefs.

Taken alone, any one of these initiatives is a horrible step backward. Taken as a whole, though, it will take decades to unravel the damage.

Sean Cahill Ph.D. is director of health policy research for The Fenway Institute and co-author of the policy brief “Trump Administration continued to advance discriminatory policies and practices against LGBT people and people living with HIV in 2018.”

January 4, 2019

Trump Admin Considers A Rollback to Cancel All Civil Anti Discrimination Laws

The Trump administration is considering a far-reaching rollback of civil rights law that would dilute federal rules against discrimination in education, housing and other aspects of American life, people familiar with the discussions said.

A recent internal Justice Department memo directed senior civil rights officials to examine how decades-old “disparate impact” regulations might be changed or removed in their areas of expertise, and what the impact might be, according to people familiar with the matter. Similar action is being considered at the Education Department and is underway at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Under the concept of disparate impact, actions can amount to discrimination if they have an uneven effect even if that was not the intent, and rolling back this approach has been a longtime goal of conservative legal thinkers. Past Republican administrations have done little to erode the concept’s application, partly out of concerns that the Supreme Court might disagree, or that such changes would be unpopular and viewed as racist.

Civil rights advocates said diminishing this tool could have sweeping consequences.

“Disparate impact is a bedrock principle,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Through the courts, we’ve been able to marshal data and use the disparate-impact doctrine as a robust tool for ferreting out discrimination.”

In New York, a lawsuit alleges that a large apartment complex in Queens will not rent to anyone with a criminal record, and that this has the effect of discriminating against African American and Latino renters. The suit is pending, relying on disparate impact to make the case.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker listens as President Trump speaks at a roundtable discussion of the Federal Commission on School Safety Report. A Justice Department memo asks senior civil rights officials to assess the impact of removing decades-old “disparate impact” regulations. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

In Maryland, civil rights groups complained to the federal government after the state shifted transportation money from a light-rail project that would have helped mostly African American residents of Baltimore. The money instead went to bridge and road projects that served mostly white residents elsewhere in the state. A Transportation Department investigation into the matter was closed this summer.

In education, the Obama administration reached settlements with school systems such as the one in Lodi, Calif., where an investigation found widespread disparities in student discipline. African American students, for instance, were five times as likely as white peers to receive out-of-school suspensions for willful defiance or disruption.

In 2014, the Obama administration formally advised school systems they may be guilty of racial discrimination if students of color are punished at higher rates.

When investigators and courts incorporate disparate impact in a review, they are looking at more than the intent of laws or practices. They are also evaluating whether a policy’s impact varies based on race, ethnicity or other factors. Regulations across the government implementing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and its amendments define discrimination as including this unintentional form of bias.

The Trump administration signaled its hostility to this approach in a report issued last week by the Federal Commission on School Safety, which recommended rescinding the school discipline guidance. In a sharply worded and controversial chapter, the report said the validity of disparate impact analysis “cannot be squared with the Supreme Court’s holdings.” The administration revoked the guidance a few days later.

Disparate impact was written into the original regulations that implemented Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on race, color or national origin by entities, including schools, that receive federal funding. The school safety report argued that earlier administrations had adopted the concept without regard for what the underlying statute said. It said that interpretation was of “questionable validity” and “dubious, at best.”

One person familiar with the administration’s planning said the strong language in the school safety panel’s report “really signals the direction that the administration is going in.” To that end, the Education Department is considering replacing the original Title VI regulation, this person said. He and others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to describe internal discussions. 

One option under consideration includes “clarifying” the Title VI regulation to make its use consistent with the Trump administration’s legal views. Another option would replace the regulation with a new one, which would require a formal and lengthy process of public notice and comment.

Those options are separate from the Justice Department memo, which was described by a person familiar with the document as a starting point for moving toward removing disparate-impact-based regulations across the federal government.

In June, the Department of Housing and Urban Development published a notice announcing that it plans to consider revising its 2013 regulation on disparate-impact claims in the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion and other factors in sale, rental or financing of housing. The agency signaled that it was reconsidering how the regulations affect the insurance industry, which has challenged them in court.

Data showing that a policy resulted in uneven consequences is not sufficient to prove a discrimination claim. A school or other institution accused of discrimination under the concept of disparate impact can defend itself by showing the policy is justified and that no other method exists to accomplish a goal.

The Supreme Court has recognized disparate-impact claims, but in a 2015 housing case, its use was upheld by a narrow 5-to-4 vote, in an opinion written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, now retired. Some conservatives have speculated that the new court, with Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in Kennedy’s place, might decide the same matter differently.

Much — but not all — of the disparate-impact law could be changed by the administration because the concept was incorporated through regulations, which administrations are free to change by following a formal process. A broad-based rewrite of regulations could affect areas such as transportation and environmental law, as well as education and housing. But it would be harder to make changes to voting and employment law, experts say, because the concept of disparate impact is overtly written into the underlying statute, not just the regulations.

Supporters of disparate-impact analysis say it is a critical tool because finding “smoking gun” evidence to prove someone intended to discriminate is difficult. And even if the intention wasn’t to discriminate, advocates say institutions should be held accountable for discriminatory effects.

“Most people don’t have access to what’s going on in somebody’s mind. Even if a decision was intentionally discriminatory, it’s going to be very difficult to prove,” said Ajmel Quereshi, senior counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

But conservatives have long argued that proving discrimination should require proof that someone intended to treat people differently. And they say that if people are being judged by numbers, they may feel pressure to make decisions based on racial quotas.

“The disparate-impact approach requires decision-makers to make decisions with an eye on race. That is exactly what the civil rights laws are supposed to prohibit,” said Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank focused on race and ethnicity. He said he has lobbied Trump administration officials to write the idea out of federal regulations.

Disparate-impact analysis, he argued, is not necessary to combat “true discrimination.” He said he also tried to persuade officials in the George W. Bush administration to do the same, without results. “The Bushes were very skittish on civil rights issues,” he said.

“I’m sure that my counterparts are saying this is a radical change,” Clegg added. “Yes, it’s been used for a long time, but it’s been controversial for a long time.”

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