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22 LGBT Advances That (Probably) Will Disappear Under A President Romney

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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 president won’t 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:

Regulations

The Administrative Procedures Act provides safeguards against politically motivated policy switches. 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. 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.  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.
  •  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 — and subject to the will of — 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, launched stopbullyingnow.com.
  • The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency recently released new 2011 Performance Based National Detention Standards.  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 individual’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 “members of a family residing in one household” 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 employee’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 partner’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 administration’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.

SOURCE: HRC

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COMMENTARY

Stephen Miller: Arrest ‘Commie’ Teachers, Use Government Power to ‘Defeat Evil’

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Former Trump aide Stephen Miller told the MAGA activists gathered near Washington, D.C. last week for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that conservatives must be willing to use power more aggressively against their opponents. He railed against district attorneys and other officials for not arresting teachers who violate new state laws that restrict teaching on race, gender, and sexuality.

Miller, an architect of the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies, has been promising MAGA activists that if Trump returns to the White House, he “will unleash the vast arsenal of federal powers to implement the most spectacular migration crackdown.” Miller’s America First Legal group is part of the far-right Project 2025, which has prepared a battle plan for the movement to “take the reins of government” in a new Trump administration. The Heritage Foundation, ringleader of the Project 2025 scheme, was at CPAC recruiting foot soldiers willing to carry out the plan.

In a recent article for Political Research Associates’ “The Public Eye” magazine, I noted that Project 2025 reflected a “movement-level, ideological shift away from a libertarian mistrust of government power and toward an authoritarian view of government power being used ruthlessly—whether as a righteous force wielded to advance a ‘biblical worldview’ or turned against an ‘administrative state’ supposedly captured by a radical Marxist left.”

Miller provided ample confirmation about the MAGA movement’s intentions, down to his dismissal of libertarianism as “a terrible ideology” that might be fine for academic debates but not in the real world, where he said public officials have a responsibility to “defeat evil.”

Excerpts from Miller’s appearance on a Friday, Feb. 23 CPAC panel:

Call it a mental illness, call it a spiritual failing, call it a moral deficiency, call it weakness, softness, or just being pathetic. There is something really broken in the conservative brain. They’re afraid not only of conflict, we know that. But there’s an even deeper fear, a deeper fear than all that, which is having power, and using power. Conservatives are addicted to the language of libertarianism, which is fine–you know, it’s a terrible ideology, but in an academic setting, okay, have these debates. …

You elect a state supreme court justice, you elect an Attorney General, and so on and so forth, to have an office with specific powers, duties, and responsibilities, with the expectation that they will use that authority to defeat evil, to protect the good, and to accomplish positive change in society. And you have to use that power fearlessly. …

A number of states, for example, have passed laws, saying that you can’t have this in the curriculum, or you can’t have that in the curriculum, and you can’t teach DEI and so on and so forth. Without exception, I can promise you, all the commies in the classroom changed the name of their lecture, changed one word, changed one little paragraph in the syllabus and did the exact same damn thing every single day because they’re communists and that’s what they do. Were they sued? No! Were they arrested if they broke a law and it’s applicable? No! Did any D.A. anywhere, if you’re talking about trans issues, think of arresting somebody for abusing children with trans ideology? No, we write blog posts about it. That’s what we do. So until we get serious, all the way down to the local DA, all the way up to the state A/G. and every office in between, including judges, electing people who have power and will use that power and measure their success by change in the real world, then we aren’t going to be able to beat the left.

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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Democratic Senators Now ‘Daring’ Republicans to Block IVF Protections: Report

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Democratic Senators led by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) will ask unanimous consent on Wednesday to pass legislation to protect in-vitro fertilization (IVF), after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled frozen embryos are “children.” Immediately following that ruling, some medical facilities that offer IVF services paused those practices over fear they could be prosecuted.

“I warned that red states would come for IVF, and now they have. But they aren’t going to just going to stop in Alabama,” Senator Duckworth said Tuesday during a press conference announcing the legislation, The Hill reported. “Mark my words. If we don’t act now, it will only get worse.”

Many House and Senate Republicans quickly came out to claim they support IVF after the Alabama ruling, some at the direction or urging of Donald Trump and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), despite having voted for legislation that claims human life begins at conception. Because IVF can involve discarding frozen embryos, discarding them could put fertility clinics and physicians at risk, under the Alabama ruling.

Senator Duckworth has a PhD in human services and is the first U.S. Senator to give birth while serving in office. She “had her two daughters via IVF,” Axios reports, and “says that under Alabama’s ruling, her doctor’s decision to discard her non-viable embryos with her consent would’ve potentially been considered manslaughter or murder.”

READ MORE: ‘Conspiring With Putin’: Democratic Congressman Brings the Hammer Down on Jim Jordan

Over the past two years Sen. Duckworth has supported or sponsored legislation to protect IVF and “other assisted reproductive technology (ART) services.”

On Tuesday Duckworth announced “she’ll seek unanimous consent tomorrow in Senate on her bill to protect the right to IVF nationwide,” reports CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane. “She is quite noticeably daring Republican US Senators to attempt to block it.”

CNN reports, “The Life at Conception Act – which was introduced in January 2023 by GOP Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia and has 125 total Republican sponsors in the House, including House Speaker Mike Johnson – defines the term ‘human being’ to include ‘all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.'”

In one of numerous examples of incongruence between their stated claims and voting record, CNN adds that “GOP Rep. Michelle Steel of California, who represents a Biden-won swing district, was one of the Republicans who came out quickly on social media to express support for IVF and share her own struggles with infertility. She also said she opposes any federal restrictions on the procedure.”

“But Steel is also a co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act — which Democrats have been quick to point out. Steel’s office has not yet returned a request for comment on how she squares those two positions, nor have other House Republicans who expressed support for IVF while being co-sponsors of the House bill.”

READ MORE: ‘How Extremism Is Normalized’: Schlapp Furious as Critics Slam CPAC Over Report of Nazis

Republicans have been “scrambling to contain the fallout” after the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, Reuters reported.

“Recent polls conducted by Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway, who worked in the Trump White House, and shared with Reuters showed widespread support for IVF and fertility treatments, even among those who oppose abortion,” Reuters added. “According to Conway’s firm, 85% of all respondents and 86% of women support increasing access to fertility-related procedures and services for individuals facing challenges in conceiving, including 78% of people who consider themselves anti-abortion and 83% of evangelicals.”

In 2022, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) killed Sen. Duckworth’s legislation to protect IVF, after objecting to it being passed by unanimous consent.

Watch below or at this link.

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‘Conspiring With Putin’: Democratic Congressman Brings the Hammer Down on Jim Jordan

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U.S. Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY) is going after Jim Jordan, alleging the House Republican Judiciary Chair is “conspiring” with Russian President Vladimir Putin after posting a lengthy 2477 word diatribe that includes the thoroughly debunked “Burisma” claims even after the source of those claims, now-indicted former FBI source Alexander Smirnov, acknowledged it was propaganda fed to him from Kremlin officials.

“There are too many false statements in this fiction novel to address here, but it’s shocking that @Jim_Jordan continues to promote the Burisma hoax even after he learned that it was falsely peddled by Putin,” charged Congressman Goldman, an attorney and former federal prosecutor.

“Jordan is now conspiring with Putin to interfere in the Nov election,” Goldman alleged.

As NCRM reported last week, legal experts have been warning House Republicans if they continue to assert what Special Counsel David Weiss stated in a court document are false claims, including that Joe Biden and Hunter Biden each took $5 million bribes, they could be subject to conspiracy charges.

READ MORE: ‘How Extremism Is Normalized’: Schlapp Furious as Critics Slam CPAC Over Report of Nazis

The U.S. Dept. of Justice “must investigate whether and when Grassley, Comer or Jordan knew that Smirnov was spreading Russian disinformation,” Congressman Goldman, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted mobsters and Russian organized crime, declared Wednesday. “But now that it’s public, Comer and Jordan clearly will be conspiring with Putin to interfere in the election if they continue with this bogus impeachment.”

It’s not only Goldman.

Last week well-known former federal prosecutor of 30 years, Glenn Kirschner, also warned Republicans.

“I think the big question now is, what will the Republican members of Congress do now that they know that these are lies that they have been peddling as ably-assisted by Fox News? Will they continue to peddle those lies?” he told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, “I heard Congressman Daniel Goldman on this network earlier this evening, saying something that I am in agreement with. He said that if members of Congress now continue to peddle knowing lies that are a product of Russian propaganda and disinformation, they should be criminally investigated for being part and parcel of a conspiracy to defraud the United States and to interfere in our elections.”

Attorney Maurice Ross on Friday wrote: “Joe Biden and Hunter Biden should sue Comer, Jordan and Grassley for defamation. The Speech and Debate Clause should not immunize willful slander. Further, the FBI and Justice Department should prosecute them for conspiracy with Russia to engage in treason.”

Last week Congressman Goldman appeared on MSNBC to discuss how Republicans promoting Russian disinformation might be criminally exposed.

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: Republicans Want to Cancel Biden State of the Union: ‘No Reason We Need to Invite Him’

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