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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GOP MASS EXODUS: Far Right Wing Anti-LGBTQ Republican Who Called Obama a ‘Dictator’ Announces Retirement From Congress
The GOP mass exodus continues. U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, a six-term Republican representing the people of Georgia, has just announced he will retire at the end of his term. Graves, who is 49 years old, may be best known for calling then-President Barack Obama a “dictator” in 2016.
Rep. Graves announced his retirement just one day after the House completed its third impeachment hearing, and just after Speaker Pelosi announced she has requested the drafting of Articles of Impeachment against President Trump.
Graves becomes the 24th Republican who has resigned or announced their retirement from the House during the 116th Congress.
Graves is virulently anti-LGBTQ and anti-women, He has voted repeatedly against allowing any federal funds to go to Planned Parenthood or to fund abortions. He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. And in the face of growing support for same-sex marriage, Rep. Graves voted to enshrine the “right” to voice anti-gay opinions into law.
“As we all do, I’m entering a new season in life,” Graves said in a statement announcing his retirement, according to The Hill. “An exciting season. So, the time has come for me to pass the baton. Now it’s my turn to cheer, support and sacrifice for those who have done the same for me over the last two decades.”
‘Don’t Mess With Me’: Speaker Pelosi Destroys Reporter for Asking if She ‘Hates’ Trump (Video)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi addressed reporters late Thursday morning, and after concluding her remarks and answering their questions she walked off the stage, but stopped in her tracks when one reporter asked: “Do you hate the President, Madam Speaker?”
The Speaker whipped around, pointed her finger at him and responded, “I don’t hate anybody.”
“Don’t you accuse me,” Pelosi railed.
“I still pray for the president all the time,” she continued, a statement she has made repeatedly over the past few years.
“I was raised in a Catholic house. I don’t hate anybody,” the Speaker said, chastising the reporter. “Not anybody in the world.”
“As a Catholic I resent you using the word ‘hate,'” she added. “So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 5, 2019
A Vice News senior political reporter says, “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her this visibly angry.”
I've been covering Pelosi off and on for a decade. I'm not sure I've ever seen her this visibly angry. https://t.co/z1vVLXAniV
— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) December 5, 2019
One Washington Post and CNN reporter tweeted she has never seen the Speaker that upset.
Wow Pelosi, leaving her presser, pauses and scolds a reporter for asking if she "hates" Trump.
She says "we don't hate anyone! …. As a Catholic i resent you using the word 'hate' … don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."
i have never seen Pelosi so upset.
— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) December 5, 2019
Another Politico reporter called it a “very tense moment.”
Wow. Very tense moment just now as reporter in front row shouts question to Pelosi: Do you hate Trump?
"As a Catholic, I resent you using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me," Pelosi says, clearly agitated.
"Don't mess with me when it comes to a word like that."
— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) December 5, 2019
The reporter who asked the question reportedly works for the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group:
Sinclair reporter James Rosen who asked Pelosi if she "hates the president" left Fox News last year after allegations he made sexual advances toward three female Fox News journalists, including two reporters and a producer. https://t.co/2V25ZEuD0p pic.twitter.com/XqS7pVGl09
— Anthony DeRosa🗽 (@Anthony) December 5, 2019
Pelosi Formally Requests House Draft Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald Trump: ‘Facts Are Uncontested’
A somber Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the nation Wednesday morning, invoking words from the nation’s founding documents, warning of a monarch king, to announce she is requesting the House of Representatives draft Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump.
NEW: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks on the impeachment inquiry: “In the course of today’s events, it becomes necessary for us to address, among other grievances, the president’s failure to faithfully execute the law.” https://t.co/HCZjWF2oa2 pic.twitter.com/qP7IO9jYaQ
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 5, 2019
“The facts are uncontested: The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit,” the Speaker charged.
“Our democracy is what’s at stake,” Pelosi added. “The president has engaged in an abuse of power.”
“The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 5, 2019
“With allegiance to our Founders,” the Speaker added.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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