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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Giuliani Returns to White House, Denounces ‘Deep State,’ Calls BLM ‘Marxist’ Just Days After Trump Fired SDNY Chief
It’s been less than two weeks since President Donald Trump fired the U.S. Attorney heading the once-independent Southern District of New York (SDNY) Office. Geoffrey Berman was conducting a criminal investigation of the President’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his actions regarding Ukraine. Berman had already indicted two of the former New York City mayor’s associates.
And it’s been months since Giuliani has been seen at the White House – though just 12 days since Attorney General Bill Barr first announced Berman was “stepping down,” and just ten days since Trump fired him, forcing his resignation.
Giuliani, himself once the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was very talkative when he spoke with reporters from the White House lawn, in front of a building in which he does not work and has no authority for. In fact, Giuliani has not been elected to any public office in over two decades, since 1997.
It is unknown why he was there.
He did, however, manage to put on a show.
The 76-year old former mayor called the Black Lives Matter movement a “Marxist organization,” and claimed it “has been planning to destroy the police for three years.”
There is no evidence of that.
“They’ve finally gotten stupid Democrat mayors to agree with them,” he added.
Rudy Giuliani: “Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization — Black Lives Matter has been planning to destroy the police for 3 years & they finally got stupid Democrat Mayors to agree with them.” pic.twitter.com/TAW7qO5eLc
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 1, 2020
“Right now murder is up 58 percent under the regressive Democrat mayor who is typical of Democrat mayors all over the country,” Giuliani claimed. (NCRM has not verified that claim.)
“They are a disaster. They are a danger to their people,” the former NYC mayor told reporters. What he neglected to say is NYC murders have dropped dramatically since he was mayor, but are not as bad as they were when he was mayor.
He also slammed the person, currently unknown, who leaked information to The New York Times on which the paper based its story that Russia is paying the Taliban to murder U.S. soldiers. Counting on his fingers he called the leaker “some kind of a felon in the federal government,” and a “deep state criminal.”
Giuliani claimed the information that was leaked was “actionable intelligence,” despite the Trump administration claiming the president was not briefed on it because it was not. Also, it’s unclear how or why Giuliani, who is not a federal government employee, would know anything about the intelligence – which the Trump White House says is a “hoax” and does not exist.
“I can’t think of a worse crime,” Giuliani, the personal attorney for President Trump actually claimed. “It’s not treason, but it comes close.”
In the driveway of the White House, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani calls the person who leaked the Russian bounty story to the NY Times a “felon” and a “deep state criminal.” pic.twitter.com/ncWgimiok8
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) July 1, 2020
‘Doing It Wrong’: Internet Explodes as Trump Says He’s OK With Wearing a Mask and Would Look ‘Like the Lone Ranger’
After top Republicans this week declared they support mask-wearing to help control COVID-19 infections President Donald Trump, six months into the coronavirus pandemic has finally decided to say he’s “all for masks.”
“I’m all for masks. I think masks are very good,” Trump said in a Fox News interview Wednesday afternoon.
The President refused to issue an executive order requiring mask usage, something experts say would significantly reduce the spread of the deadly virus and help the declining economy.
The vain President quickly added, “People have seen me wearing one.”
“I sort of liked the way I looked,” he added, “like the Lone Ranger.”
Trump now says he’s “all for masks” pic.twitter.com/HdJ0aUZbsX
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 1, 2020
Not surprisingly, many were quick to mock the President, not only for being late to even just slightly support mask wearing but also for how he’s contributed to the deaths of 130,000 people in the U.S.
Trump: Never wears a mask, moved the Republican convention because they were going to make them wear masks, has repeatedly flouted mask wearing rules, just had a huge indoor rally where almost no one wore masks
Fox News: “Trump: I’m all for masks” pic.twitter.com/UJ7H2OSuHl
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) July 1, 2020
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 1, 2020
Why didn’t we think to tell Trump he’d look like The Lone Ranger or a superhero or something. Could have been that simple! Probably could have saved 60k lives? 70k? #loneranger
— Winky Lewis (@winkylewis) July 1, 2020
Trump says he looks like the “Lone Ranger” in a mask. That probably means he’s not wearing it correctly… https://t.co/Kg39DOgfQS
— Jack Brewster (@jbruce218) July 1, 2020
— Charles Louis Richter (@richterscale) July 1, 2020
Trump does know that the Lone Ranger’s mask didn’t cover the nose and mouth, right?
— Dear Leader (@Kim_JongTrump) July 1, 2020
Saddle up boys…”Trump says he’s not sure a mandate is needed, but “I’m all for masks,” and would wear one “in a tight situation with people.” He says “I sort of liked the way I looked” one time he wore one, it was okay — “like the Lone Ranger.”” Daniel Dale pic.twitter.com/XpaT9zDo1G
— Angelofjustice9 🕊😇⚡🏵📜 (@AngelofJustice9) July 1, 2020
I reckon something serious is happenning with Trump, one day he's the LONE RANGER and the other he's the LONE WARRIOR
— Bellerophontis✍️🎧☕️♌️☮️ (@bellerophontis) July 1, 2020
— GETTING D’USSE JADAKISS 🥴 🤴🏾 (@TheJamesonShow) July 1, 2020
Trump thinks he looks like the Lone Ranger with a mask
…he truly is delusional. pic.twitter.com/Yy2az6ulcr
— 𝑻𝒓𝒖𝒎𝒑’𝒔 𝒁𝒐𝒎𝒃𝒊𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒅 😷 (@StevenReyCristo) July 1, 2020
Does he know what the Lone Ranger's mask looks like, it was Trump wearing it wrong?
— SchultzcommaBeth (@mynameisBethS) July 1, 2020
The Lone Ranger is the antithesis of Trump. Heroic, brave, tolerant and moral.
— Troy Appel (@tdappel) July 1, 2020
Busted: Taliban Commanders Admit Russia Is Paying to Murder US Soldiers as Trump Calls Cash-for-Killings a ‘Hoax’
President Donald Trump, the Director of National Intelligence, the former acting Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the White House press secretary, and other Trump-appointed administration officials all have offered varying denials that Russia is paying terrorists in the Taliban to kill American soldiers, and that President Trump was briefed on the bounty program as far back as March of 2019.
Those who are not denying that Russia is paying the Taliban to kill American troops?
Two current Taliban commanders and one former Taliban commander have confirmed to Business Insider “that Russia pays extremists in Afghanistan to attack US soldiers.”
“The Taliban sources were clear that this took place, and said Iran and Pakistan do it too,” Business Insider, a right-leaning news site, adds in its report.
Russia is not only paying cash – via wire transfers as The New York Times reports – to the Taliban to kill Americans, but “Taliban commanders have confirmed” Russia has also offered “material support to its members in exchange for attacking US forces in Afghanistan.”
The former Taliban commander, now a refugee in Greece, explains that the Russians “did not spend the money because we are friends. They spent it to kill their American enemies.”
Trump, as recently as Wednesday morning, has denied that the Russian cash-for-killings bounty program exists, and that he was ever briefed on it. As with many things that are true, Trump labeled it a “hoax.”
The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party. The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself. If the discredited @nytimes has a source, reveal it. Just another HOAX!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
Image by US Army via Flickr
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael L. Casteel
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