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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Busted: Steve Bannon Admits He Helped Plot Jan. 6 Trump Rally to ‘Kill Biden Presidency in the Crib’
Conservative broadcaster Steve Bannon admitted on Wednesday that he had plotted with President Donald Trump to “kill the Biden presidency in the crib” ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
During his Warroom broadcast, Bannon played clips of journalist Robert Costa and Bob Woodward explaining how events unfolded prior to the Jan. 6 riot.
“You look at January 5th, we discovered that Steve Bannon, the former White House strategist, was there at the Willard Hotel blocks from the White House with Rudy Giuliani, having an almost war-room-type meeting with other Trump allies the eve before the January 6th insurrection,” Costa recently explained to MSNBC. “And Bannon had actually been in close touch with President Trump for days before January 6th. Based on our reporting, he privately told President Trump to have a reckoning on January 6th. And he said to the president, it’s time to kill the Biden presidency in the crib.”
Bannon seemed proud to confirm that the conversation had taken place.
“Yeah, because his legitimacy,” Bannon said of Biden. “42% of the American people think that Biden did not win the presidency legitimately.”
“It killed itself,” he continued. “Just look at what this illegitimate regime is doing. It killed itself. OK? But we told you from the very beginning, just expose it, just expose it, never back down, never give up and this thing will implode.”
Watch the video below from Real America’s Voice.
Far Right Pastor Says There Are More Gays Than Ever Before Thanks to a ‘Demonic Spirit That’s Come After Our Seed’
A right wing mega-church pastor who falsely claims Donald Trump won re-election “by about 80 million votes” says more Christian children than ever before identify as LGBTQ, making clear he believes that is bad.
Pastor Kent Christmas, who shares his ministry with his wife Candy, appeared on stage before thousands of his followers and declared, “never have Christians’ children been more taken over by homosexuality, than they are right now,” as Right Wing Watch reports (video below).
The vast majority of Americans support same-sex marriage and equal rights and responsibilities for LGBTQ people.
Christmas blamed a “demonic spirit that comes after our seed” for the increase in people who identify as LGBTQ.
“If I asked each and every one of you to stand that has a son, daughter, or a niece or a nephew, or a brother or sister, that is gay, half of you would stand up in this building, because it is a demonic spirit that’s come after our seed and the church that God has raised it up in this hour is going to have authority over that.”
In 2018 Christmas acknowledged his son is gay, and said, “I know that he wasn’t born that way.”
He claims his son is no longer gay, and is now married with a wife and children.
“I watched the Holy Ghost deliver him and set him free,” Christmas said.
Last year a study published by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that “non-transgender LGB people who experienced conversion therapy were almost twice as likely to think about suicide and to attempt suicide compared to their peers who hadn’t experienced conversion therapy.”
It goes on to reveal that more than eight out of ten Americans who were subjected to dangerous conversion therapy “received it from a religious leader.”
Right-wing pastor Kent Christmas says that Christian children are being “taken over by homosexuality”: “It is a demonic spirit that has come after our seed.” pic.twitter.com/dKWlSZNTne
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 22, 2021
New Florida Surgeon General’s First Act: Allowing Students Exposed to COVID to Attend School With No Restrictions
He hasn’t even been confirmed yet by the Florida state Senate but Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Governor Ron DeSantis‘s new Surgeon General, on Wednesday signed an executive order that changes state policy on school attendance for students who have been exposed to COVID-19.
The order, which replaces an August 6 order by Dr. Ladapo’s predecessor, declares that students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can continue attending school in-person, as long as they are asymptomatic. It also repeatedly states that parents have sole discretion on how children are educated – in person or virtually – and on masks, effectively eliminating any locally-ordered mask mandates.
“The school boards in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Alachua and Leon counties [had] challenged the Aug. 6 rule, which did not include the new provision about parents or legal guardians having ‘sole discretion’ about opting out of school mask requirements,” the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reports.
Those lawsuits are now effectively null and void because of the new order.
Dr. Ladapo, who opposes mask and vaccine mandates, has likened the focus on getting Americans vaccinated to a religious obsession, and supports treatment of COVID-19 with drugs that are neither approved for use against the coronavirus nor have been proven to be effective – namely the livestock-dewormer Ivermectin and the malaria-drug hydroxychloroquine. He also appeared in the infamous viral video with a discredited doctor mocked as the “Demon Sperm” physician.
Here’s the new emergency rule by Fla. Surgeon General Joe Ladapo…signed this morning. pic.twitter.com/8axcD3ywHb
— Jim Rosica (@JimRosicaFL) September 22, 2021
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