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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‘Thought They Were the Royal Family’: New Book Reveals How Jared and Ivanka Tried to Force Themselves on Queen Elizabeth II
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump tried to push their way into meeting Queen Elizabeth II during a presidential visit, according to a new book.
An excerpt of the forthcoming book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” by Melania Trump’s former chief of staff and former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham reveals that Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law wanted to join the royal meeting, in a serious breach of protocol, but were shut out when they wouldn’t fit into the helicopter, reported the Washington Post.
“I finally figured out what was going on,” Grisham writes. “Jared and Ivanka thought they were the royal family of the United States.”
Grisham’s book is especially harsh to Kushner and his wife, who each held senior White House positions despite a lack of government experience, and reveals Ivanka Trump frequently invoked “my father” during staff meetings and calls Kushner “the Slim Reaper” because he often inserted himself in other people’s projects and left them to take the blame after making a mess.
“I had shared with Mrs. Trump many times my opinion that if we lost reelection in 2020 it would be because of Jared,” Grisham writes. “She didn’t disagree with me.”
Kushner was the twice-impeached one-term president’s “real chief of staff” by the end of the administration and took a leading role in the coronavirus pandemic response, such as dictating much of Trump’s widely criticized first televised address on the pandemic that sent markets reeling and plunged air travel into chaos.
‘No Doubt’ Trump and His Allies Were Staging a ‘Seditious Conspiracy’: Former Harvard Law Professor
On Monday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” former Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe broke down how the plan concocted by far-right lawyer John Eastman on behalf of former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election constituted a “seditious conspiracy.”
“I know you call this an attempted coup, not just in the general use of the word that so many have adopted, but in a very specific way. You say Eastman delivered the blueprint,” said anchor Erin Burnett. “Tell me why you now feel so confident that that is exactly the word which describes exactly what it was he was trying to do, and that that was Trump’s intention.”
“Well, there’s no doubt from the information we now have about the meeting that Trump was holding with people like Giuliani and Eastman shortly before the insurrection that we all saw on live television, that they were planning, step by step, to twist arms and pressure people, including building a gallows if necessary with Pence’s name on it, in order to get the vice president to perform a role that the Constitution doesn’t assign the vice president,” said Tribe.
Tribe then went on to cite the specific law that he believes Trump and his allies broke with their actions before and during the Capitol riots.
“It was seditious conspiracy,” he said. “That’s the term that the U.S. Criminal Code uses, 18 U.S. Code section 2384, and then it led to inciting an insurrection. It was all part of a long plan, much more public than most coups that we see.”
Tribe went on to detail how the former president might try to replicate his illegitimate attempt to take power in 2024.
“The back-up plan is to get states to disregard the votes of the people even after the suppression of votes and the counting by people who are partisans if it doesn’t go their way,” he said.
Tribe concluded by warning Americans against complacency, as “we can’t just let that go on while we go over the cliff and destroy our democracy.”
‘Privileged’ Millionaire Joe Manchin Blasted for Claim $3.5 Trillion Jobs Bill Could Create ‘Entitlement Mentality’
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for months has effectively been working to derail President Joe Biden’s agenda, by refusing to eliminate the filibuster and by refusing to support Democrats’ $3.5 trillion jobs bill.
Like many of the wealthiest Americans, the coronavirus pandemic did not hurt Senator Manchin’s net worth. It grew by $1 million from 2018 to 2020, to $8.6 million, leading some on Monday to blast him over remarks he made to reporters Monday about “entitlement mentality” over Biden’s $3.5 trillion jobs, infrastructure, and social spending legislation.
“We’re just concerned about entitlement mentality versus rewarding mentality and then taking care of those who really can’t take care of themselves… there’s so much good stuff in there that we’re still working diligently,” Manchin told reporters, as NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reports.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted at Monday’s daily press briefing, 80 percent of Americans support much of the legislation’s critical points.
Many, saying they are tired of Manchin trying to control if not derail the Democratic agenda, are expressing outrage.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) September 27, 2021
The real “entitlement mentality” here is men like Manchin who live in a country held together by the free & underpaid labor of women, from their own mothers, to whoever raised their children, to the underpaid care workers will take care of them as they die comfortably in old age. https://t.co/ZCwbZpb1qb
— Erin And A Half Ryan (@morninggloria) September 27, 2021
Joe Manchin isn’t concerned about “entitlement mentality,” he just hasn’t been offered a big enough cut of Biden’s spending package yet. https://t.co/cfaemmMGrC
— Max Burns (@themaxburns) September 27, 2021
Anyone using the term”entitlement mentality” shouldn’t be a public servant period, let alone a Democratic senator. https://t.co/VfUyiD0KFN
— William K. Wolfrum (@Wolfrum) September 27, 2021
Jacking up the price of epipens and forcing people to breathe coal dust so you can make millions is the ultimate in entitlement mentality. https://t.co/MNLhWZRzMh
— David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) September 27, 2021
Daughter was raiding into insurance money from that $100 to $600 Epipen cost raised. And he canned Ms Tandon for raising this issue. We know how deeply he is concerned about America- NONE unless it lines his POCKETS.
— rv (@670rv) September 27, 2021
The father of a price gouger for life saving medicine has thoughts on entitlement mentality. https://t.co/b38I6qnO22
— Dorian Wilde (@portraitwilde) September 27, 2021
If he is so concerned about “entitlement mentality” then the blue states can stop giving funds to West Virginia.
Growing up in the south I’ve known many a Manchin. It’s okay for him but not for others. He wants you to believe he’s one of the good guys but he’s really not.
— #JusticeIsOnTheBallot (@caryn_wallace) September 27, 2021
Entitlement mentality has been debunked by the unemployment benefit cut and lack of change in job numbers
— Rose Benson (@NotoriousRBF) September 27, 2021
doesn’t senator houseboat represent an entitlement state?
— Brent Myers (@BrentM1966) September 27, 2021
Okay, let’s talk about the “entitlement mentality” of West Virginians
Every year American taxpayers GIVE West Virginia **ONE-THIRD** of the state’s entire budget … just to keep the state’s residents out of extreme poverty
Why are they entitled to being subsidized by us? https://t.co/KPbioDgoqb
— Immigrants Make America Great (@CenterBeautiful) September 27, 2021
But he’s not concerned about corporate, fossil fuel, and coal entitlement mentality!
— Drogon (@drogon_dracarys) September 27, 2021
Great idea in hindsight considering his life as a privileged WASPy heterosexual cisgender man. Can’t have everyone expecting to have it as good as he did! #entitlementmentality #JoeManchin #EntitlementPersonified
— Kenny Landes (@kennylandes) September 27, 2021
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