Under a President Mitt Romney, there are at least 22 advances in LGBT civil rights delivered by President Barack Obama that most likely will disappear. While Nancy Pelosi and, to a far lesser extent, Harry Reid, have worked to support civil rights and protections for the gay community, Barack Obama has — sometimes with great fanfare, oftentimes in the shadows — delivered important advances.
Back in 2010, at Change.org, I wrote a somewhat controversial (at the time) article, “Obama’s Gay Rights Come With An Expiration Date,” which stated:
President Obama should know better than to incrementalize gay rights, and tie them to his presidency. And yet, that’s exactly what he’s doing.
President Obama has slowly and quietly doled out rights to the LGBTQ community. These are rights we should have by the very nature of our existence, rights that every other American has upon birth, but the president has doled them out cautiously, meekly, without pomp or circumstance, and, worse, he has tied them to his presidency.
This tactic is problematic for two reasons.
First, by expanding our civil rights by issuing executive orders and memoranda, President Obama’s gay civil rights come with an expiration date. Yes, that’s right. The rights he has decreed, without working through Congress, are tied to his presidency. Any of his successors can, simply with the stroke of a pen, wipe out all our hard-earned rights, just because he or she wants to. Do you honestly think the next Republican presidentÂ won’tÂ do that?
Today, the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson posts a long list of 21 LGBT advances a President Romney could — with the stroke of a pen or incrementally — make disappear into a more progressive history.
Asking, “Would President Romney undo pro-LGBT advances?,” Johnson notes:
Many of the pro-LGBT advances that have happened under the Obama administration occurred through changes made by the executive branch rather than through legislation. Changes that were made without the consent of Congress could be reversed under an administration that wanted to cozy up to the religious right.
The Washington Blade has identified five regulatory changes and 16 sub-regulatory changes enacted by the Obama administration that could be reversed if Romney were elected to the White House. These changes include giving greater recognition to same-sex couples, protecting federal LGBT workers against discrimination and ensuring the federal government recognizes the correct gender of transgender people.
The one Johnson doesn’t include in his list of “five regulatory changes and 16 sub-regulatory changes” is the most-obvious: Obama’s support of same-sex marriage equality.
Here’s the list from the Blade:
The Administrative Procedures Act provides safeguards against politically motivated policy switches.Â Thus repealing the policies below would involve a multi-year process.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted a regulation ending the ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants.
- President Obama issued Presidential Memorandum in April 2010 directing HHS to issue regulations requiring all hospitals receiving Medicaid and Medicare to prohibit discrimination in visitation against LGBT people.Â HHS issued a final regulation that went into effect in early 2011.
- HUD issued final regulations in January 2012 prohibiting discrimination in federal public housing programs and federally insured mortgage loans.Â HUD also requires its grantees to comply with LGBT-inclusive state and local housing discrimination protections.
- The Office of Personnel Management published final regulations in the Federal Register expanding the eligibility for long-term care coverage to same-sex partners and sick leave to care for a same-sex partner.
- Â The federal Prison Rape Elimination Commission proposed national standards to reduce sexual abuse in correctional facilities, including standards regarding LGBT and intersex inmates. They were later instituted as a rule finalized by the Justice Department last month.
Sub-Regulatory Guidance/Policy Announcements
These are policy advances instituted by â€” and subject to the will of â€” the administration.
- The Department of Health and Human Services revised its funding guidance around abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education programs, requiring that recipient programs are inclusive of and non-stigmatizing toward LGBT youth.
- HHS, in partnership with the Department of Education and Department of Justice, launchedÂ stopbullyingnow.com.
- The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency recently released new 2011 Performance Based National Detention Standards.Â These new standards provide guidance that aims to improve treatment of LGBT and HIV-positive people in detention facilities.
- In summer 2011, ICE published a memo and clarifying guidance providing that an individualâ€™s family relationships, including a same-sex relationship, would be considered as a factor in labeling certain deportations as low-priority deportations.
- The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol announced a proposed regulatory change expanding the meaning of â€œmembers of a family residing in one householdâ€ for the purposes of the customs declaration form, which must be completed prior to re-entry to the United States.
- The DOJ issued an opinion clarifying that the criminal provisions of the Violence Against Women Act related to stalking and abuse apply equally to same-sex partners.
- The State Department revised the standards for changing a gender marker on a passport, making the process less burdensome for transgender people.
- In September 2011, the Social Security Administration confirmed that it ended the practice of allowing gender to be matched in its Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). This resulted in the immediate cessation of SSA sending notifications that alert employers when the gender marker on an employeeâ€™s W-2 does not match Social Security records.
- The State Department extended numerous benefits to the partners of Foreign Service officers, including diplomatic passports and access to emergency evacuation.
- The State Department reversed a Bush administration policy that refused to use a same-sex marriage license as evidence of a name change for passports.
- The Department of Education issued guidance clarifying when student bullying may violate federal law, distributed a memo outlining key components of strong state anti-bullying laws and policies and made clear to public schools that gay-straight alliances have a right to form and meet.
- The Department of Education published guidance and, in coordination with the Department of Justice, has pursued Title IX complaints filed by LGBT students experiencing harassment based on sex or sex stereotyping.
- OPM added gender identity to the equal employment opportunity policy governing all federal jobs.
- The Department of Labor issued guidance clarifying that an employee can take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for a same-sex partnerâ€™s child.
- The IRS clarified that domestic partners (and their children) can be designated beneficiaries for VEBA funding/payment purposes.
- The Census Bureau overturned the Bush administrationâ€™s interpretation of the Defense of Marriage Act and agreed to release data on married same-sex couples along with other demographic information from the 2010 Census.
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‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’
U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) blasted House Republicans for ignoring the hundreds of classified documents photographed on stage and “in the s——” at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence, while going after President Joe Biden who she said not one witness at Thursday’s impeachment “inquiry” had identified what crime he allegedly committed.
“As I prepared,” Rep. Crockett told members of the House Oversight Committee Thursday, “I said, ‘What is the crime?’ Because when you’re talking about impeachment, you’re talking about high crimes and misdemeanors, and I can’t seem to find the crime and honestly, no one has testified of what crime they believe the President of the United States has committed.”
“But when we started talking about things that look like evidence, they want to act like they blind, they don’t know what this is,” Crockett said, waving photographs of boxes allegedly containing classified and top secret documents on stage and in a restroom at Mar-a-Lago.
“These are our national secrets, looks like in the s—— to me,” she said, as NBC News described her remarks. “This looks like more evidence of our national secrets, say on the stage at Mar-a-Lago. When we’re talking about somebody that’s committed high crimes it’s at least indictments, let’s say 32 counts related to unauthorized retention of national security secrets, seven counts related to obstructing the investigation. Three false statements, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, falsifying business records, conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts related to efforts to obstruct the vote certification proceedings, one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights, 23 counts related to forgery or false documents statements, eight counts related to soliciting, and I could go on because he’s got 91 counts pending right now.”
“But I will tell you what the President [Biden] has been guilty of. He has unfortunately been guilty of loving his child unconditionally, and that is the only evidence that they have brought forward and honestly, I hope and pray that my parents love me half as much as he loves his child. Until they find some evidence we need to get back to the people’s work, which means keeping this government open so that people don’t go hungry in the streets of the United States, and I will yield.”
Congresswoman Crockett’s remarks quickly went viral, with just this video getting 4.6 million views in just four hours.
Watch below or at this link.
Omg wow this pic.twitter.com/fnYcAXzcNf
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 28, 2023
‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing
During House Republicans’ impeachment “inquiry” into President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) detailed Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s transition from refusing to allow a vote for an impeachment inquiry to ordering his top Chairmen to initiate an impeachment “inquiry” in the span of just twelve days.
Congressman Frost, the youngest member of the House, called the Speaker “scared,” before turning his attention to the GOP’s witnesses who he said “are not giving us any basis or giving us any evidence or anything,” angering Republican Oversight Chairman Jim Comer, who interjected, “That’s not true.”
Rep. Frost refused to allow the Chairman to interrupt him, and shot back, “Reclaiming my time.”
“These these witnesses are not giving any answers. They’re just asking more questions,” Rep. Frost continued.
While challenging the credibility of the GOP’s witnesses, Frost said there was “one witness who has a lot of questions .. one witness who knows something about accounting but has no real involvement,” and then accused the third witness, the well-known attorney and commentator Jonathan Turley, of “stopping here on his way to his next Fox News hit.”
Gen Z Congressman Maxwell Frost brilliantly sums up the hypocrisy, the fraudulence, and the illegitimacy of every single GOP witness that spoke today. And check out the startled reaction of that old angry Republican woman at the end. More of this!
— Dash Dobrofsky (@DashDobrofsky) September 28, 2023
Frost noted that had McCarthy put an impeachment inquiry on the floor for a vote, it “would lose on the House floor and be another embarrassment in the long list of embarrassments in this Congress for the Speaker of the House.”
He added that far-right Republicans threatened “to shut down the government, something that will happen in just two days.” He also noted, “this is the one that really got to [McCarthy], they said you, you’re about to lose your job and they said we will remove you as Speaker of the house.”
“And that scared him so much that Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, the United States House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency, completely caved due to the threats of people within his own caucus.”
Pointing to Chairman Comer, Frost on social media said, “He had to interrupt me because he knows I’m right. They say that this isn’t an impeachment, it’s an impeachment ‘inquiry’ to get answers. Then they call up witnesses that are just asking more questions and not providing any answers or evidence. This hearing is very unserious.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
‘All Those Biden Towers’ Where ‘Influence Was Used’: Democrat Turns Tables and Mocks Republicans in Sarcastic Q&A
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) turned the tables on Republicans during the House Oversight Committee’s first impeachment “inquiry” into President Joe Biden by sarcastically referring to “all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the US,” forcing the witness to correct him and point out he actually meant ex-President Donald Trump.
The hearing, chaired by Rep. Jim Comer (R-KY) was widely seen as another failed effort by House Republicans against President Biden. It took a turn when Republicans’ own witness, law professor and Fox News media contributor Jonathan Turley told them he saw no evidence that warrants an impeachment of the President.
Meanwhile, Congressman Connelly’s scathing remarks quickly spread across social media, garnering hundreds of thousands of views views in just hours.
“Um, well let’s see,” Connolly began, slowly, “I’m looking at, um, I heard again, um, I think it was professor Hurley talk about – – because he’s not prejudging of course, but he’s just suggesting that maybe we want to look into criminal activity like obstruction, fraud, and abuse of power.”
“So let’s take fraud. So shouldn’t we be concerned that a New York judge just found President Biden’s organization committing fraud every year for the last 10 or 15 years,” Connolly continued, “and that, under the Martin law, that Biden organization is now subject to dismemberment and dismantlement because of the fraudulent activity?”
“That should be of concern to Mr. Trump,” the witness, Professor Michael Gerhardt, replied.
“Mr. Trump again!” Connolly sarcastically exclaimed, feigning surprise. “And in this case, we’re not speculating, a judge actually made that ruling?”
“Yes sir,” Gerhardt replied.
”Should we be concerned about the personal – I mean, while we’re at it, while we’re loading on – shouldn’t we be concerned about the personal behavior of the President, for example, President Trump or President Biden, being found guilty of sexual assault and defamation associated with that activity, again in a civil court?”
“We should be concerned as it related to Mr. Trump,” Gerhardt again replied.
“With Mr. Trump again?” Connolly again said mockingly.
“I just think that one of the reasons we’re here is because somebody has been indicted in four different locales, on four different sets of concerns, with I think 81, 91 actual counts, and has been found guilty in two civil proceedings, one involving sexual behavior and one on actual corporate fraudulent activity. And we don’t want to talk about any of that. We want to speculate about discredited testimony from discredited witnesses,” Connolly added.
Brilliant stuff here from Connolly pic.twitter.com/F3rZlBmUe8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 28, 2023
“Distract, deflect, dissemble,” Connolly added. “I think this hearing’s all about ‘look over here, not over there.’”
“I’ve heard concerns about ‘branding,'” Connolly continued. “So, shouldn’t we be concerned about all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the United States? I’ve seen these towers in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Turkey. I even saw one in Chicago. Shouldn’t that be a source of concern of this committee in terms of influence, both foreign and domestic, when Biden became president?”
“If there were such things as ‘Biden building,'” Gerhardt said.
“Well, was there anyone who did have them?” Connolly asked. “Well, could you tell us? Just give me the name.”
“I think we’re talking about Mr. Trump,” Gerhardt replied.
“So, when President Biden appointed his son to manage U.S. foreign policy, both in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East peace, by the way, a son who couldn’t qualify for getting a security clearance, but President Biden apparently granted it to Hunter anyhow – and then, after leaving the White House, getting a $2 billion deal … shouldn’t that be of concern to us that maybe a sweetheart deal occurred with the blessing of the president, with foreign money, and shouldn’t we look into Hunter Biden for that, given the fact that the handled Middle East peace in the White House?”
“It should have been a concern with President Trump and his son-in-law,” Gerhardt said.
“Oh Trump. I got that wrong again,” snarked Congressman Connolly.
Connolly: “Shouldn’t we concerned about all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the US? I’ve seen these towers in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Turkey. I’ve even seen one in Chicago.” pic.twitter.com/U10K2K5JSQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 28, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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