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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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GRIFTER IN CHIEF

‘More Grifting’: Internet Says ‘Scam Artist’ Trump Will Try to Move GOP Convention to One of His Own Resorts

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“Trump Doral is going to be the new corona hotspot”

Many across the country think President Donald Trump may try to move the Republican National Convention to one of his own resorts after he kicked off Memorial Day by threatening the governor of North Carolina he may pull it.

The RNC chose the city of Charlotte as host for its 2020 convention, despite the state having a Democratic governor. On Monday Trump tried to force Gov. Roy Cooper to commit to allowing the August event to be held at full capacity, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Social media users immediately assumed it was a ploy for Trump to move the convention to the Trump Doral or Mar-a-Lago. Trump would make millions if he could secure the contract.

And some even noted The New York Times on Monday reported Trump has even “mused aloud to several aides about why the convention can’t simply be held in a hotel ballroom in Florida.”

 

 

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Right-Wing Militia Spokeswoman Defends Lynching of KY Governor in Effigy: Protesting ‘Is Not the Answer Any Longer’

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A group of right-wing protesters held a demonstration in front of the house of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s mansion this Sunday, at one point hanging an effigy of the governor on a tree in what looked to be a mock lynching. According to CNN, the protest was advertised on Facebook as a Patriot Day Rally to exercise Second Amendment rights.

The backlash against the group’s actions was swift, with even Mitch McConnell slamming the move as “unacceptable.”

“There is no place for hate in Kentucky,” he tweeted.

Responding to the backlash, one of the protest’s organizers took to Facebook and said that this is what happens when people have “stood by and watched this Governor drag people thru the mud and do nothing.”

“People have had enough, the rallies that you attend and speak at, do absolutely nothing to help the people of this State,” Kentucky 3Percenters Inc. State Secretary Patsy Kays Bush on Facebook. “It was not racist it was radical…You can condemn it till the cows come home but screaming and shouting in a microphone is not the answer any longer,….maybe it was in bad taste, maybe it was severe, maybe it was unexpected but at least it was something and I personally will stand by it to the absolute end.”

The protesters, who are part of a militia group that advocates for gun rights, were protesting against Beshear’s coronavirus restrictions at a Second Amendment rally in Kentucky over Memorial Day weekend.

 

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COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF COULDN'T CARE LESS

Trump Threatens to Pull GOP Convention Out of NC as First Tweet on Solemn Holiday – Then Says ‘Happy Memorial Day!’

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Memorial Day is a solemn American holiday. It was created for one reason and one reason only: to honor, and to mourn, the members of the U.S. Military who lost their lives while serving their country. It is not a happy day.

Given the coronavirus death toll will likely hit the 100,000 mark today, it is an especially solemn day.

Memorial Day is a day traditionally reserved by the nation’s elected leaders for reflection, visiting gravesites, laying wreaths, and perhaps a non-partisan, non-political speech. It is not a day for politics.

President Donald Trump woke up on this Memorial Day and decided to do things a president and a Commander-in-Chief should never do.

Trump continued his bizarre and heinous holiday tweetstorm by threatening to pull the GOP convention out of North Carolina. He claims he blames the state’s Democratic governor for not giving the RNC the promise they will be allowed to have a full house for their nominating convention, due to coronavirus concerns.

He then tweeted three words no Commander-in-Chief should ever say: “HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!”

That was followed by more political tweets.

 

 

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