Thursday, October 04, 2018

Trump Administration briefed anti-LGBTQ hate group leader about Kavanaugh investigation, raising ethical questions

From Media Matters:

In a since-deleted Facebook post, Michael Farris, president of the influential and extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom, wrote today that the White House had called him “with information about the Kavanaugh-FBI investigation” not long after U.S. senators received the FBI’s report on the matter. Farris and his organization argued twice before the Supreme Court over the last session, and ADF has played a role in more than 50 other cases at the high court.

 . . .  It is not clear who at the White House contacted Farris or why they would be giving such information to him, particularly as he and his group are likely to argue in the future before the Supreme Court, which could include a Justice Kavanaugh.
One reason for alarm about Farris receiving private information from the White House about the Supreme Court confirmation process is that he and his group have argued before the high court several times before and are very likely to do so again, meaning they will be particularly affected by the nomination decision.  . . .  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of ADF’s client, NIFLA, a network of fake health clinics. The court also ruled in favor of another ADF client during the past session in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, determining that the commission had shown “hostility” to a Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The ruling was considered narrow and did not indicate how the court should rule on other cases regarding religious discrimination. The Department of Justice issued an unusual brief in favor of ADF’s client.

 . . .  While it is not surprising that Farris and ADF are in contact with the White House about sensitive matters, it raises ethical questions for the White House to contact them with private information that will directly affect ADF’s work as the group continues to push for discriminatory policies through the courts. Farris’ deletion of the post only adds to those questions.


'Poll says Americans more likely to shop at business which take a pro-LGBTQ equality stand' & other Thur midday news briefs

Putting $$ where your values are: 68% would shop at businesses that back LGBTQ equality - This kernel of good news got lost in the Kavanaugh mess. Something to put perspective in through the din of overpaid punditry and dismal concern trolling: 

More than two-thirds of Americans say they would be likely to dole out their dollars at businesses that take a public stand for LGBTQ equality, a survey released Wednesday shows. . . . Seven out of 10 Americans also say a federal law is needed to protect LGBTQ people from bias in employment, public accommodations, housing and credit, according to the Harris Poll done in conjunction with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a nonprofit dedicated to workplace equality. 

 Across U.S., several colleges open 'clothing closets' for trans students - Even in this climate, all is never lost. Seemingly small acts of kindness reap huge benefits for us all.  

Facebook admits to blocking gay adverts - Shame, shame, shame. 

Trump’s Latest Attack On Same-Sex Couples Is Exactly What His Base Wants - Of course it is. Let's not get discouraged over what we can do, however.