Wednesday, November 13, 2019

VP Mike Pence proud of effort to steal LGBTQ tax dollars

While Trump's credibility was deservedly and relentless battered during the first day of impeachment hearings, his vice president, Mike Pence, was reminding folks of how less he thinks of the LGBTQ community:
Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech intended to honor National Adoption Month, extolled on Tuesday a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse child placement in LGBTQ homes. 
Pence made the comments at the Department of Health & Human Services in D.C., which was holding a celebration in promotion of adoption with top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar. 
Telling the audience the Trump administration “understand[s] the role that communities of faith play in adoption,” Pence invoked the proposal, which was unveiled late last month to the consternation of advocates for LGBTQ families. 
“We’ve reversed the rule implemented in the closing days of the last administration that jeopardized the ability of faith-based providers to serve those in need by penalizing them for their deeply held religious beliefs,” Pence said. “We will stand for the freedom of religion and we will stand with faith-based organizations to support adoption.”

The Washington Blade also pointed out that Pence said he was "proud" of Trump's rule.

You will notice that Pence said nothing about how this is unfair to the LGBTQ community. It was deliberate on his part. According to Alex Bollinger of LGBTQNation:

Pence’s comments highlight how conservatives frame discrimination in adoption. There are currently 444,000 children in the foster care system in the U.S. and over 123,000 of them are up for adoption. It’s hard for conservatives to just say that they’re against LGBTQ people adopting because that’s not just discriminatory against potential parents, but comes across as cruel to the kids. 
This is why Pence and other conservatives focus on the agencies that want to discriminate. In their narrative, the reason these children don’t have homes isn’t a lack of families willing to take them in, but a lack of agencies willing to place them with the abundance of families available for them. 
Of course, HHS grants could just be sent to agencies that don’t discriminate. The money could help non-discriminatory agencies expand, open new offices, and hire staff, and federal money would be used more effectively to help kids find homes. If the problem is the number of agencies that can work with families, then that’s a problem that money can solve. But if the issue is the availability of families, then HHS’s rule change is unspeakably cruel.

Pence also didn't address another crucial problem with Trump's rule - the fact that it would allow tax dollars to go to entities which discriminate against LGBTQ taxpayers. As long as this fact isn't brought up, Pence and company can go on with the false narrative of how the theft of LGBTQ tax dollars is actually "religious freedom."

It's not surprising. Pence is a homophobic bigot who thinks that his religious beliefs is justification to  debase and stigmatize the LGBTQ community. Remember that when he was governor of Indiana, he refused to answer when asked eight times whether or not he opposed anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Since Pence has a problem saying whether or not the LGBTQ community should be protected from discrimination, we shouldn't be surprised that he also thinks that our tax dollars actually belong to those who would discriminate against us.

'Five ways you can support bullied LGBTQ youth' & other Wed midday news briefs

While people are cheering the gay youth, Jordan Steffy, who fought back against his bully, we shouldn't forget that not all situations involving LGBTQ youth end this way. 

5 Ways You Can Support Bullied LGBTQ+ Youth Like Jordan Steffy - The story of this LGBTQ youth who practically "cropdusted" his bully has gone viral. But the situation does need to be moved past violence. Not all stories involving our kids ends this way.

Bullied gay teen punches his tormentor who called him a “fa***t” - For those who are curious about the situation which led to the post above. 

Puerto Rico will vote on some horrifically anti-LGBTQ laws. Ricky Martin is trying to stop it. - Fingers crossed. 

Cuomo signs law giving LGBTQ veterans access to N.Y. benefits - Good for NY!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Franklin Graham throws tantrum on the eve of Trump's televised impeachment hearings

On the eve of the televised impeachment hearings of Donald Trump and on the day that we found out that Trump may have lied to Robert Mueller during the Russia investigation, Franklin Graham has decided to throw yet another tantrum.

Graham, who has bent over backwards to defend and justify Trump's behavior and cajoled the nation to pray for Trump, is rather steamed over the entire situation. On his Facebook page, he gave a comically ridiculous rant on how there is a plot against Trump by the so-called "liberal media."  It's no different than what we've heard before, but it's always hilarious when Graham thinks that the rest of us are as clueless as his supporters and followers:

Long-time journalist Bill Moyers said Sunday that for the first time in his life, he fears for the nation’s survival. Why? “Society, a democracy, can die of too many lies…” I agree with him 100% on that—we just don’t agree on the source of the problem. For two years day after day, night after night, we heard Russian collusion—lie after lie, pushed by the liberal media. Then it was Ukraine and the whistleblower. Bill Moyers shares in the interview that his “hope” is that as citizens watch the impeachment hearings (which are totally partisan), they will “begin to doubt” in President Donald J. Trump so there can be a shift that would sway the 2020 election. It’s all about politics and winning the election, they don’t care about anything else. They are scared to death of conservative values and threatened because President Trump can’t be pushed around and intimidated politically or personally. The lies of the progressive left and the hyper-liberal media are what is a serious threat to the future of our nation. The Bible tells us, “The Lord detests lying lips…” (Proverbs 12:22).

It would be exhausting to point out all of Graham's distortions and lies in this piece but so I won't. Except for one. Isn't it ironic that Graham quotes the Bible saying "The Lord detests lying lips . . ." while defending a man who has lied over 10,000 times while in office (including Tuesday's lie that his daughter, Ivanka, created 14 million jobs.)

To me, it's not sad that Graham continues to debase himself.  I never trusted or liked him. But it is sad that so many people are falling for his lies. Don't ask why, but I took the time to post the following on his Facebook page. Forgive the bad grammar:

You are making a colossal fool of yourself. The only reason why you support Trump is because you think he will appoint judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade. You are so willing to overlook and explain away his incompetence and dishonest. You once unbelievably said Trump doesn't lie while ignoring the many documented times he lied. Now you make excuses for the impeachment mess he has gotten himself into via his own unscrupulous tactics. Mr. Graham, you may fool the majority of these sad paper Christians and simpering sycophants who affirmatively answer to your tirades and dip themselves elbow deep in the manure of hypocrisy you feed them and partake in, but you aren't fooling God. And just like all of us, you are going to have to answer to him. And you will answer for this vile blanket of lies you are ruining your witness by covering yourself in.

'What the battle over a seven-year-old trans girl could mean for families nationwide' & other Tue midday news briefs

What the battle over a 7-year-old trans girl could mean for families nationwide - EASILY one of, if not the best article I have read in 2019. How the anti-LGBTQ industry and their allies exploited a family and could possibly damage a seven-year-old trans girl in pursuit of their war against our community.

More than half of top US newspapers failed to cover Trump’s anti-LGBTQ foster care and adoption rule - THIS is unacceptable.

Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen says criticism of anti-LGBTQ positions is “anti-Catholic bigotry” - Typical of the lying "LGBTQ equality vs. religion" narrative.

VICTORY! Rhode Island Governor Signs Bill Restoring Benefits to LGBTQ Veterans Discharged Due to Sexual Orientation - Good for Rhode Island!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Trump's betrayal of the LGBTQ community is central to the dishonesty of his joke of a presidency

If one want to make a case for the laziness of the American media, one can easily point to how Donald Trump's betrayal of the LGBTQ community hasn't been spotlit as an issue as much as it should be.

Granted, the vast majority of us knew that he wasn't being truthful when he sent out tweets and statements claiming that he is an ally and would fight for us:

or when he showed his supposed support of our community by unfurling an LGBTQ flag during a 2016 rally; something which got him a good bit of positive press. 

Before and after the 2016 Republican convention,  some of the media gushed about him being an ally. The LGBTQ community chose not to believe Trump and did not support him in large numbers in the 2016 election. But that is irrelevant.  It doesn't give him an "out."  He was elected as "President of the United States," not "President of the United States except for the LGBTQ community." Whether we voted for him in a mass number or not, it is his duty and responsibility to own up to what he promised to do for us.

But from actions such as:

banning transgender men and women from serving in the military based upon false rationale,

pushing a bogus "conscience protection" rule via HHS which would have had detrimental effects on LGBTQ health, or

supporting a policy which would allow religious-based foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against the LGBTQ community and still be allowed access to tax dollars,  Trump did a 90 degree turn and has become the most anti-LGBTQ president in history. He's embraced the anti-LGBTQ industry and opened up the doors of his Administration to them and their lies  and "coded language" about "freedom" and "religious liberty."

Because no one has pressed the issue, he has silently but successfully disavowed the LGBTQ community, as if he never promised to be an ally.  He doesn't even attempt to fake progress with us as he does with the African-American community.  Donald Trump's unashamedly open betrayal of the LGBTQ community is an issue central to the dishonesty of his joke of a presidency. And it's not the media's job to be nonchalant or blase about it.

He should be asked about it at least more than once.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Who faked the justification for Trump's anti-LGBTQ healthcare 'conscience' rule?

Roger Severino was behind the creation of the Trump Administration's anti-LGBTQ 'conscience' rule. Now that two courts have struck it down, he needs to be asked who faked the justification for the rule?

For the second consecutive day, a court has ruled against the Trump Administration's anti-LGBTQ healthcare 'conscience ' rule.

From The Hill:

A federal judge in Washington State on Thursday struck down a Trump administration rule intended to allow health providers to refuse to provide care based on moral or religious reasons. The latest ruling marks the second time in as many days that a judge has ruled against the administration's policy, and “provides an extra layer of protection against appeal” by the Trump administration, said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Washington was one of a number of states, cities and advocacy groups — including New York, California, San Francisco, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood — that had sued over the rule, which was scheduled to go into effect Nov. 22.

Yesterday in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer struck down the rule. In his comments, Engelmayer made a point which needs emphasis - The Trump Administration was not being truthful in justifying the need for the rule.

'99 LGBTQ candidates won elections on Tues' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Court strikes down Trump's anti-LGBTQ healthcare 'conscience' rule

An attack on the LGBTQ health by Trump just got struck down on Wednesday.

From LGBTQNation:

A federal court has struck down a Trump administration rule that allowed health care providers to refuse to treat patients if they cite a sincerely held religious belief. The ACLU and the NYCLU argued on behalf of two public health organizations that a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule violated federal law.

This past May, HHS issued a rule allowing health care workers to refuse to provide service if they cite their religious beliefs and punishing health care organizations that don’t allow their workers adequate “religious freedom.” LGBTQ organizations balked at the rule change since queer and transgender people are likely to be on the receiving end of religion-based discrimination. 
Reproductive freedom and public health organizations also sounded the alarm about the rule. Now Judge Paul Engelmayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled against HHS, saying that the department overstepped its authority in issuing the rule, which would’ve gone into effect on November 22. 
 The rule, he wrote, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act because it would allow workplace discrimination and also violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, an anti-patient dumping law. Engelmayer also noted that HHS couldn’t show why the rule was needed to protect religious freedom, calling the rule “a classic solution in search of a problem.”

'Danica Roem cruises to easy re-election in VA' & other Wed midday news briefs

Roem defeats Republican challenger - And the best thing? It wasn't even close. Folks need to pay attention to how Roem ran. And never count anyone in our community out. We can run for office and we can win.

Danica Roem, First Trans State Representative, Dedicates Historic Victory to All the “Misfits” - Wonderful!

And apparently, Roem wasn't the only LGBTQ victor:

In other news:

A drug-resistant bacteria is spreading among gay & bisexual men - This a serious problem on two fronts - it endangers our community and gives the anti-LGBTQ an opening to label us again as "health hazards." Don't think they won't try.

Artist Honors Murdered Transgender Woman With Stunning Butterfly Wings - Wow! this is beautiful. 

The boos of October - Trump gets just a little of what he deserves.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Hate group will appeal after court refuses to support its preemptive strike against LGBTQ rights

Anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom is continuing to wage war against our community via the courts:

From Westword:

Conservative Christians were among those thrilled last year when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, owner of Lakewood's Masterpiece Cakeshop, who had refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. 
Now, Alliance Defending Freedom, the national organization that backed Phillips, is hoping to expand on this victory by way of another Colorado-based case. This time around, the ADF is supporting Lorie Smith, a web designer and owner of 303 Creative, in her fight against what the organization describes as "a state law provision that gags creative professionals from talking about their beliefs when explaining their business decisions." 
The United States District Court in Colorado found against Smith in September 2019. But (in late October), the ADF appealed that decision, potentially setting the controversy on the same path taken by Phillips.

''Straight Pride' is coming to Texas' & other Tue midday news briefs