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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First Capitol Riot Hearing ‘Is Going to Be a Disastrous Day for Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter
The first Capitol riot select committee hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, and Politico reporter Rachel Bade predicted it would create major headaches for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy.
Specifically, Bade pointed to the fact McCarthy pulled all of his nominees out of the committee, which means that he will have no one to challenge the narrative that gets established.
“Tomorrow is going to be a disastrous day for McCarthy on both ends of the spectrum,” she said. “You are going to have men and women in uniform testifying about the violence they witnessed on January 6th. McCarthy is still sticking with Trump. That… is going to be tough for the party and tough for him. He decided to withdraw all his members from this committee, so he is not going to have anybody to push back on anything that is being said.”
Additionally, Bade said that the four far-right lawmakers who are planning to hold a press conference highlighting the alleged mistreatment of jailed Capitol rioters are also likely to create a public relations nightmare for McCarthy.
“These people were rioters. [They’re] calling them [political] prisoners now?” she said. “It’s going to be impossible for McCarthy.”
Watch the video below.
4 Top Trump-Supporting House Republicans ‘Demanding Answers’ on ‘Treatment’ of January 6 ‘Prisoners’
The U.S. Dept. of Justice arrested and charged over 500 people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, many in a coordinated effort to overturn a free and fair election. DOJ expects to charge about 100 others as well.
“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. wrote in March, when the list of people to be charged was estimated at about 400, The Washington Post reported at the time.
On Tuesday, as the newly-minted U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack launches, holding its first day of events, four far right wing House Republicans – some of whom has been linked to white nationalists – will be holding a different type of event.
Instead of working to uncover and piece together all the information about what happened on Jan. 6, including what led up to the attempted coup, four GOP representatives – Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene – will hold a press conference on the “treatment” of the January 6 “prisoners,” suggesting they are “political prisoners,” which is false.
The four extremists will hold that press conference Tuesday at 1 PM, “demanding answers on the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners” from Attorney General Merrick Garland, per a press release.
“This is taking place on the same day as the Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing,” Forbes’ Andrew Solender reports. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “is also holding a presser ahead of that to counterprogram.”
“The lawmakers have all pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that federal agents were behind the attack, with Gosar also casting slain rioter Ashli Babbitt – who was shot by law enforcement while trying to breach the House chamber – as a martyr,” Solender says in a Forbes article.
INBOX: GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene are holding a presser outside the DOJ tomorrow “demanding answers on the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners.”
These are four of the House’s most prolific downplayers of the attack. pic.twitter.com/KL75a1ERgJ
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) July 26, 2021
‘Groveling Before White Supremacists’: GOP Senate Candidate Slammed for ‘Going Fully Anti-Semitic’
A Republican candidate for the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was both criticized for antisemitism and mocked for accidentally yet accurately linking extremism with conservatism on Monday.
Venture capitalist J.D. Vance, whose former boss, billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has invested $10 million in a PAC supporting him, posted the strange tweet attacking the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a civil rights organization dedicated to “monitoring, tracking and responding to antisemitism in the United States.” Vance is the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”
He retweeted this post from disclose.tv and called the ADL “a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.”
Remember that the ADL is now a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.
Repeat after me: the next stage of deplatforming will be denying access to the financial system. https://t.co/rRIuQl0Iot
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) July 26, 2021
Some slammed Vance’s tweet as antisemitic:
It always goes well when demagogues tell angry white men that the Jews control their economic future and are against them. https://t.co/zjALG5YwNu
— Bill Bold (@WilliamBold2) July 26, 2021
…and J.D. Vance has apparently decided that going fully anti-Semitic is the key to winning a Senate seat. https://t.co/wLXIHguJiw
— Swiss Army Nerd (@wesmorgan1) July 26, 2021
I see we’ve hit the JEEEEEWS CONTROL THE BANKS!! stage of Vance’s campaign.
— Audley: hiding her sins with paint (@AudleyZDarke) July 26, 2021
Look, instead of coming up with a clever, sarcastic dunk on J.D. Vance, let’s just all calm down and admit he’s complaining about secret Jewish control over the banks https://t.co/T2EmDquefX
— jesse taylor (@jesseltaylor) July 26, 2021
JD Vance is an antisemite. Pass it on. https://t.co/SDsC6bXv1g
— Alexandra Zapruder (@AZapruder) July 26, 2021
Remember when this mook actually wrote a book of nuance and memory? now he’s an asshat groveling before white supremacists and oppressive shitsloops he sails right toward the horizon of his oblivion. https://t.co/LOGFHppRFo
— Dileep Rao?? (@leepers500) July 26, 2021
He’s going full Nazi now https://t.co/7vQTmoYpFB
— rabidwvufan? (@AmyAyers16) July 26, 2021
Coincidentally, Vance’s main primary opponent is Jewish.
Vance can’t possibly out-crazy Mandel; all he’s got left is anti-Semitism. https://t.co/32yfJzv230
— Tom Hilton (@TVHilton) July 26, 2021
Who was that other guy who ran for office after he wrote a shitty book and got obsessed with Jews.
— Lauren Hough (@laurenthehough) July 26, 2021
this is blatantly antisemitic https://t.co/XBKOe6hGff
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 26, 2021
Nice way to say “Jews control the financial systems” there. https://t.co/YAHipTPZaf
— ((( Glenn Hauman ))) (@GlennHauman) July 26, 2021
Ah, yes. Self-identified “Christian” dog-whistles a warning that liberal Jews (the ADL is an organization that fights anti-Semitism) will deny all access “to the financial system” to anyone else.
Dude: Space laser your account.
— Dean Gloster (@deangloster) July 26, 2021
Others just mocked him for accidentally speaking the truth about “extremist and hate movements.”
So you admit that “uncovering and disrupting the financial pipelines that support extremist and hate movements” is “going after conservatives?” Interesting. https://t.co/lGNFUfUD7K
— Jay LIT AF Adams (@Jayman_IWS) July 26, 2021
The Venn diagram of extremist hate groups and “conservatives” is a circle.
Maybe that’s your problem, not the ADL. https://t.co/gav0GO5z3L
— Fully Vaxxed Karen won’t “Move on” (@geokaren) July 26, 2021
You just took the side of extremist hate movements. Out loud.
— minnesorta (@minnesorta) July 26, 2021
Big fan of extremist hate groups are we?
— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) July 26, 2021
Repeat after me: if you see “extremist and hate movements” and immediately think “conservatives”, conservatives may have an extremism problem.
— Tom Wills (@foot_on_foot) July 26, 2021
So, you admit that the extremists and hate groups are all conservatives? https://t.co/YDBtYby2Vf
— Attitude with a side of freckles (@HazeyDaisey17) July 26, 2021
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