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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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BREAKING NEWS

Watch Live: President Biden Holds Press Conference on His First Year in Office

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President Joe Biden will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 4:00 PM ET, discussing his first year in office.

Many across the media are framing this as an opportunity for him to address his “failing” legislative and economic goals while never reporting that Republicans have done all they can to block it – including pushing a pro-COVID agenda.

You can watch live, below, via several different feeds. Most cable news channels are expected to carry the press conference live, and you can also watch online and on cable via C-SPAN.

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LIARS FRAUDS AND GRIFTERS

Trump’s Latest Racist Lie: ‘If You’re White You Don’t Get Therapeutics’

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Former President Donald Trump spoke at rally with Arizona Republicans on Saturday, where he made false and racially inflammatory comments claiming that white people are being denied access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. At the event, which was sponsored by Trump’s Save America PAC, he falsely charged “the left” with “discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating, white people to determine who lives and who dies,” adding, “If you’re white, you don’t get the vaccine, or if you’re white, you don’t get therapeutics.”

Trump’s wildly irresponsible charge was tailor-made to promote racial resentment and stoke the kind of anger and grievance that is fomented by white nationalists and has led to violence and mass murder. But it didn’t seem to bother his fans, including Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who tweeted his praise for Trump’s “epic speech,” adding, “This is how you win big in November.”

Indeed, Trump was in Florence, Arizona, “drumming up support for Arizona Republicans running for office,” reported the local Fox affiliate. His hour-and-a-half speech also included his standard lies about the 2020 presidential election nationally and in Arizona specifically and about the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection.

Among the Arizona politicians who spoke at the rally were Rep. Paul Gosar, who represents the area where the event was held, and state Sen. Wendy Rogers. Both of them are associated with white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Right Wing Watch has documented multiple recent examples of Fuentes using his streaming show to spout blatant racism,  most recently to defend his use of the N-word.

In December, Rogers bragged about having been called “based” by Fuentes, describing it as “like knighthood.” At Saturday’s rally, she insisted that Trump won and is the “true president.” Rogers, who describes herself as a member of the Oath Keepers, was one of several rally speakers who sounded Christian nationalist themes. She ended her remarks with “Jesus is King!”—a declaration reminiscent of the chants of “Christ is King!” that could be heard repeatedly at Fuentes’s America First conference last year.

Gosar gave the QAnon adherents in attendance reason to cheer when he asked, “Do you feel the storm building?” and encouraged rally attendees to keep “building on this storm.” Central to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory is belief in “the Storm,” a day of reckoning when high-ranking Democratic officials and others would be rounded up and arrested for their alleged crimes.

Other officials and candidates who addressed the crowd included Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko, former Trump administration official Richard Grenell, state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, state Senate candidate Anthony Kern, Trump-endorsed secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, and Trump-endorsed candidate for governor Kari Lake.

Their speeches collectively document the extent to which Trump has corrupted the Republican Party, with speakers repeating Trump’s lies about the election, calling on the state legislature to decertify the 2020 presidential election results, and denouncing Dr. Anthony Fauci (eliciting chants of “Lock him up!”). Biggs denounced the “fascistic Biden regime” and promoted the right-wing lie that the Biden administration is investigating parents simply for showing up at school board meetings.

Also speaking at the Florence event was Arizona’s Trumpist GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward, who claimed that there was cheating back in 2016 but that “we deplorables, we people who love this country, overwhelmed their cheating algorithm, and we’ve got to do it again in 2022, 2024, and beyond.” She said Arizona’s “audit” is still ongoing and that she hopes that “we’re gonna decertify 2020.”

in recognition that Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans are, according to CDC data cited by the New York Times, “about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white Americans,” the guidelines suggest that in prioritizing care for people with COVID-19, race should be considered one risk factor along with other factors like age, diabetes, and heart disease.

It is not clear that anyone in Trump’s Republican Party—which has made a bogeyman out of critical race theory and stokes white grievance as a power-building strategy—takes issue with the former president lying about white people being “denigrated” and denied access to COVID-19 care. That false claim was apparently in response to media reports about a December memo from the New York Department of Health. In recognition of the fact that Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans are, according to CDC data cited by the New York Times, about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans, the department’s guidelines suggest that in prioritizing care for people with COVID-19, race should be considered one risk factor along with other factors like age, diabetes, and heart disease. The guidelines do not disqualify white patients from receiving any treatments.

Some right-wing media responded to the guidelines with characteristic truthfulness and nuance; for example, writer Karol Markowicz tweeted, “white people need not apply.”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished by permission.

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'GIVING REPUBLICANS FODDER'

‘Sinema Is Hurting All Democrats’: Former Top Democratic Aide Reveals Dems Could Lose Senate Over Her Filibuster Failure

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A well-known former top Democratic aide is warning that U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s refusal to support changes to the filibuster could help hand control of the Senate to Republicans in the November election.

Adam Jentleson, who served as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Deputy Chief of Staff and is an expert on the Senate, says the Arizona Democrat is “hurting all Democrats.”

He points to this tweet from CNN’s Manu Raju: “GOP planning to use Sinema against Mark Kelly.” Kelly is the freshman Democratic Senator, also from Arizona who serves with Sinema. His seat is a prime target for Republicans.

Raju quotes a top Republican, Sen. John Cornyn, who says: “I think there’s going to be a big contrast in Arizona where one senator said not withstanding her support for the legislation she believes it’s important … to have bipartisanship and one senator that doesn’t.”

Sinema and Cornyn in June (photo above) toured U.S. Customs and Border Protection migrant facilities in her home state of Arizona, as she held a press conference praising the filibuster.

Jentleson, who literally wrote the book on the filibuster, explains:

Up to nine Democratic groups and PACs, NARAL being the latest, have indicated they will pull support and funding from Sen. Sinema if she refuses to support necessary changes to the Jim Crow era filibuster.

 

 

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