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Are LGBT Civil Rights The Same As African-American Civil Rights?

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In the fight for full LGBT equality, let’s remember that inherently, our rights are the same as everyone else’s. The battle will be won only when we join together.

Are gay rights, or LGBT civil rights, the same as African-American civil rights? Are our movements the same?

This is a pretty touchy question — and a flawed one at that — but one I’ve answered several times, often because of the name of this site, The New Civil Rights Movement — which those who were active in the LGBT movement immediately following the passage of Prop 8 fully remember being our motto. But it’s more than that. Because there’s no difference — rights are rights, not because of the color of our skin nor because of whom we love. Rights are rights because we are all human. And human rights are what we’re fighting for.

To those who accuse the LGBT civil rights movement of co-opting the African American Civil Rights Movement, I say you are wrong. And you know who else uses that flawed argument? Traditional marriage advocates, like NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, and their latest ludicrous endeavor, the Marriage Anti-​Defamation Alliance (MarriageADA), a support network for people who feel they are living in fear because of gay marriage.

And do you know who else makes that flawed and false claim? Ultra-homophobe Sally Kern, the Oklahoma lawmaker who recently said, called gays “dangerous,” “sinful,” and “an enemy who wants to destroy us,” and accused the LGBT community of hijacking freedom and equality “to destroy the future of America.”

Buying into flawed arguments put forth by professional anti-gay haters is not the smart route to take.

I fully expect some readers to refute this claim, but before you do, read on.

I just finished being interviewed by Michelle Sinhbandith, better known to her listeners at Swirl Radio as Michelle Meow, about this very topic. (By the way, I’ll post a link to the interview when it’s up. I’m a big fan of Michelle — I hope you’ll listen to it.)

Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.” That’s not my statement, that’s direct from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who time and time again has come out in support of civil rights for the LGBT community around the world. (Sadly, Secretary Clinton has yet to come out in support of marriage equality. We’re waiting…)

Still, let’s look further.

Julian Bond, the iconic former head of the NAACP, America’s largest and oldest African-American civil rights organization, during the 2009 New Jersey battle for marriage equality, delivered an eloquent and impassioned speech in support of gay rights being human rights. “Gay rights are civil rights,” Bond said, and then quoted Coretta Scott King, the late wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mrs. King supported full civil rights for all, including the LGBT community.

READ: Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Gay Strategist, Deserves Better

Mrs. King, back in 1996 — 15 years ago! — spoke in full support of LGBT equality. She also said, “I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.”

Perhaps one of the most confident and accurate comments in support of LGBT equality comes from New Jersey state Senator Nia Gill. In 2009, during the same marriage battle that Julian Bond fought, Senator Gill, who is also African-American, stood in support of marriage equality in her home state of New Jersey.

“It is a civil rights issue — not because African-​Americans own the copyright to civil rights, it is a civil rights issue in the analysis of the equal protection of the fourteenth amendment in the constitution. And maybe some in my community want to hold on to it, because it’s ours. Because our blood has been shed for the right to vote, and we jealously guard that as a re-​affirmation of being American. And so we hold it, because no one can do civil rights and have civil rights better than we do. That’s emotional, but it is certainly not an analysis of the constitutional imperatives that face us. It’s a civil rights issue.

“Each side has an emotional story to tell. So I am not involved in that. But I am involved in how does this strip people of the equality under the law. And as an African-​American and as a woman who would jealously guard all the civil rights struggles, this is a civil rights struggle on the magnitude and importance for the people who have died for the right to vote, for the people who have died to allow women the right to vote. And if I took a different stand, which would be a more traditional stand, that the community that identifies with me wants me to take, then I will have breached the tradition and the trust of the elders and the ancestors. And so I vote for the equality of marriage because I believe in the constitution.”

(Note: You can hear both Julian Bond’s speech and Nia Gill’s speech on this page, just below the “You might also like” boxes.)

The LGBT community is lucky to have the support of so many icons of the African-American Civil Rights Movement supporting our movement and our struggle.

Where are LGBT supporters of the African-American Civil Rights Movement — which is far from complete?

In out interview today, Michelle talked about Troy Davis, and his execution.

We have a problem in this country. America ranks number one in the world for putting people in jail. That’s right — we have more people in jail per capita than any other country around the world. And guess what — blacks in America are incarcerated six time more than whites. Why is that?

(Take a look at state by state statistics.)

How about this: Blacks make up just 12.6% of the U.S. population, yet  35% of all people executed in this country are black. Why is that?

The only LGBT organization I could find that made any reference to Troy Davis (and I am very happy to be called out if I’ve missed any!) was the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). That’s not only unfortunate, it’s a scathing indictment of the avenues we as a community have barricaded from our fight.

READ: Death Penalty: We Are All Troy Davis. And We Are All His Executioners.

Because it is a fight, and it is a shared fight, and we have so much in common, and so much more work to do.

I don’t pretend I’ve done enough. I’m not an expert on the African-American Civil Rights Movement, nor do I think of myself as an expert on our LGBT civil rights movement.

But I could do a better job reaching out to other communities. Most of us, I think, can.

A wise man told me a few years ago that people only fight for their own self-interests. That may be true (and, I think, more true of conservatives than liberals,) but isn’t it in our own self-interest to fight for the interests of other minorities? We cannot possibly achieve full equality on our own. Let’s get better at working together.

 

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News

‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is being mocked for his handling of the run-up to critical negotiations over the debt ceiling with President Joe Biden – negotiations that, if they fail, could shut down the federal government and even throw the economy into a tailspin.

McCarthy first decided to take his fight – which includes drastic cuts to life-saving Social Security and Medicare, a non-starter for Democrats – not to the Oval Office but to Twitter.

“Mr. President: I received your staff’s memo,” tweeted the Speaker, still damaged from having to make still-secret promises to his own caucus members while taking 15 tries to get elected. “I’m not interested in political games. I’m coming to negotiate for the American people.”

That memo, according to CNBC, “sought to portray the 3:15 p.m. ET meeting as a showdown, one between a Democratic president who will protect Social Security, Medicare, health insurance and food stamps, and a House Republican majority that will demand cuts to these programs in exchange for helping Democrats avoid a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt.”

Meanwhile, many on Twitter responded by accusing him of trying to act like a “tough guy” with the President.

READ MORE: Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’

Comedian Dana Goldberg mocked McCarthy, tweeting, “Nothing says ‘I don’t want to play games’ like tweeting a response to the President of the United States.”

Former Lincoln Project Executive Director Fred Wellman had even harsher words for the Speaker.

“You were elected by a bunch of idiots in Bakersfield and made Speaker by a handful of insurrectionists and nutjobs. You don’t speak for the American people. You barely even speak for the House of Representatives, Kev,” he said.

Wednesday morning, again not taking his battle to the Oval Office, McCarthy aimed higher.

At the National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance, a far-right wing event sponsored by several Christian organizations, at least five of which appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups, McCarthy prayed for God to open his and President Biden’s hearts.

READ MORE: Principal Ordered Librarian to Take Down Holocaust Survivor’s Famous Quote Just Days Before Holocaust Remembrance Day

“Father, I want to lift up those who are not here today. I want you to open their hearts,” McCarthy prayed, asking for “the patience of Job,” and “the intellect the leadership that you gave David.”

“Father, I want to lift up the president. Father, you know I will meet with him today. Father, I ask. I asked that you open both of our hearts that you put our meaning, our meaning that seeks your truth.”

Later, McCarthy, heading to the White House, told reporters, “I’ve got a big plan. The first question is does the President wants to continue reckless spending or find a way that we can be responsible, sit down and find common ground where we put ourselves on a path to budget. Make a balanced budget,” he said, according to NBC News’ Kyle Stewart and CNN’s Manu Raju.

Many were unimpressed.

Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) asked, “His big plan is to ask the president a question?”

Georgetown Law professor Josh Chafetz offered this in response:
“Step 1: Ask loaded question
Step 2: ???
Step 3: … also ???”

Journalist Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch, noted: “McCarthy’s opening position: A balanced budget. So basically cut a quarter of federal spending or he’ll burn down the world.
I’m sure the political media will be outraged.”

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas asked, “If he’s got a plan, where is it?”

The Biden-McCarthy meeting began at roughly 3:17 PM and ended at approximately 4:41 PM, according to observations from Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman.

McCarthy talked to reporters after his meeting with the President, saying he felt they could find some “common ground.”

After first tweeting about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, then literally praying to God on-camera in public about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, then talking to reporters about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, McCarthy stood outside the White House after his first round of talks with the President and told reporters: “I’m not going to negotiate this in the press.”

Watch below or at this link.

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Watch: Kevin McCarthy Leads Over a Dozen Republicans in Prayer at Event Co-Sponsored by Five Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups

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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy joined hands with more than a dozen House Republicans, leading them in prayer at Wednesday’s National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance, an event co-sponsored by several far-right Christian organizations, at least five of which appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

The California Republican specifically mentioned his upcoming meeting later Wednesday with President Joe Biden, when the two will discuss the debt ceiling, which Republicans want to leverage to massively cut federal spending on programs critical to keeping many Americans alive, including Social Security and Medicare – or shut down the federal government if Democrats do not agree to their terms.

“Father, I want to lift up those who are not here today. I want you to open their hearts,” McCarthy prayed. “Father, I want to lift up the president. Father, you know I will meet with him today. Father, I ask. I asked that you open both of our hearts that you put our meaning, our meaning that seeks your truth. And the help for this nation. Father, we know as we struggle, is we come up short and again but continue to seek your guidance. We ask that you give us the patience of Job. We ask that you give us the intellect the leadership that you gave David we ask that you give us the boldness.”

The event was held at the Museum of the Bible, a non-profit founded by right-wing evangelical activist David Green and the Green family. Green is the founder of Hobby Lobby, the privately-held chain store that won a Supreme Court case enshrining into U.S. jurisprudence the concept that for-profit corporations can and do have religious beliefs.

READ MORE: Principal Ordered Librarian to Take Down Holocaust Survivor’s Famous Quote Just Days Before Holocaust Remembrance Day

The five groups sponsoring the event which also appear on the SPLC’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups include the American Family Association (AFA), the Family Research Council (FRC), the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Liberty Counsel, and the Pacific Justice Institute.

Other attendees included anti-LGBTQ activists, like “right-wing pastor Andrew Brunson, who blasted the United States as ‘the primary corrupter of the world’ because ‘our government and corporations increasingly march under the rainbow flag,'” he said, as Right Wing Watch reported.

Also, two “ex-gay” activists.

Later, the Republicans, including McCarthy, were prayed over by Tony Perkins, the longtime head of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council. Perkins has also served as chair and vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal government commission.

Far-right House Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Weber of Texas descended into an anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ tirade during which he invoked “the blood of the lamb” to telegraph to McCarthy his concerns about U.S. debt.

Weber is an original co-sponsor of the federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill. He once compared then-President Barack Obama to Hitler.

Right Wing Watch reports some of the Members of Congress who attended include Reps. Mary Miller, Diana Harshbarger, Steve Scalise, Rick Allen, Brian Babin, Michael Cloud, Robert Aderholt, Tracey Mann, Burgess Owens, Gary Palmer, Michelle Steel, Warren Davidson, Brandon Williams, Dan Bishop, Nathaniel Moran, and Mike Johnson.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’

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COMMENTARY

Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’

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As part of his 2024 campaign, Donald Trump is now declaring war against transgender people – especially transgender children – even vowing to use DOJ and Congress to make being transgender illegal under federal law, if elected President. He also promised to promote the “nuclear family,” an attack on same-sex couples and families. And he pledged to use the Dept. of Education to file federal civil rights charges against local school teachers who support transgender children – or even the very concept of being transgender.

In 2015, as his first presidential campaign took shape, Trump was falsely hailed by some LGBTQ Republicans as being “pro-gay.” In 2016, for a short while, Trump said transgender people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” although less than 24 hours later he reversed course. But that same year he merged two powerful culture war issues, LGBTQ rights and illegal immigration, into a combined wedge issue to attack his Democratic opponent.

“Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he tweeted.

It was a lie.

Fast forward to 2023.

Trump’s promise on Tuesday afternoon to attack transgender Americans, despite medical evidence and expert opinions to the contrary. go much further than any other national Republican’s, and it’s clear he had help creating these new anti-LGBTQ policies. Right-wing extremist media promoted the ex-president’s assault on this highly-vulnerable population almost immediately.

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

In his video he calls gender-affirming care “child sexual mutilation” and “left wing gender insanity,” suggesting transgender people did not exist throughout history, which is false.

“The left wing gender insanity being pushed in our children is an act of child abuse very simple,” Trump, in his unique oratorical style, begins in a nearly four-minute video posted on Rumble and on his Truth Social platform. “Here’s my plan to stop the chemical, physical and emotional mutilation of our youth.”

Nearly every major medical organization recognizes and supports gender-affirming care for children.

Just last August Dr. Moira Szilagyi, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the largest professional organization of its kind, said: “There is strong consensus among the most prominent medical organizations worldwide that evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender children and adolescents is medically necessary and appropriate. It can even be lifesaving. The decision of whether and when to start gender-affirming treatment, which does not necessarily lead to hormone therapy or surgery, is personal and involves careful consideration by each patient and their family.”

Trump is promising to make that care illegal, and to sign a federal law “establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth,” and one “prohibiting child sexual mutilation.”

“On day one,” Trump declared, “I will revoke Joe Biden’s cruel policies on so called gender affirming care. Ridiculous, a process that includes giving puberty blockers, mutating their physical appearance and ultimately performing surgery on minor children. Can you believe this?”

Dr. Szilagyi spoke to that falsehood last year, writing: “Critics of our gender-affirming care policy mischaracterize it as pushing medical or surgical treatments on youth; in fact, the policy calls for the opposite: a holistic, collaborative, compassionate approach to care with no end goal or agenda.”

Trump also promised to “sign a new executive order instructing every federal agency to cease all programs that promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age. I will then ask Congress to permanently stop federal taxpayer dollars from being used to promote or pay for these procedures and pass a law prohibiting child sexual mutilation.”

“In all 50 states it’ll go very quickly. I will declare that any hospital or health care provider that participates in the chemical or physical mutilation of minor youth will no longer meet federal health and safety standards for Medicaid and Medicare and will be terminated from the program immediately.”

READ MORE: ‘Ran a Bribery Center Blocks From the White House’: Comer Mocked for Claiming No Evidence of Trump Influence Peddling

Trump also promised to turn the executive branch into an anti-transgender machine for his personal political ends.

“The Department of Justice will investigate Big Pharma and the big hospital networks to determine whether they have deliberately covered up horrific long term side effects of sex transitions in order to get rich at the expense of vulnerable patients, in this case, very vulnerable. We will also investigate whether Big Pharma or others have illegally marketed hormones and puberty blockers which are in no way licensed or approved for this use.”

He also promised his “Department of Education will inform states and school districts that if any teacher or school official suggests to a child that they could be trapped in the wrong body, they will be faced with severe consequences including potential civil rights violations for sex discrimination, and the elimination of federal funding.”

Trump did not waver in using the full power of the federal government to target and attack transgender children and LGBTQ families, while using local school teachers to carry out his pogrom.

READ MORE: $1 Billion Campaign From Group ‘Linked to Staunchly Conservative Causes’ Will Try to ‘Redeem Jesus’ Brand’ in Super Bowl Ads

“As part of our new credentialing body for teachers, we will promote positive education about the nuclear family, the roles of mothers and fathers and celebrating rather than erasing the things that make men and women different and unique.”

“I will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth. The bill will also make clear that Title IX prohibits men from participating in women’s sports and we will protect the rights of parents from being forced to allow their minor child to assume a gender which is new and an identity without the parents’ consent,” he said, appearing to correct himself by adding: “The identity will not be new, and it will not be without parental consent.”

“No serious countries should be telling its children that they were born with the wrong gender, a concept that was never heard of in all of human history, he declared, which is false. “Nobody’s ever heard of this, what’s happening today. It was all when the radical left invented just a few years ago, under my leadership this madness will end.”

Nearly every anti-LGBTQ claim Trump made in under four minutes is false or contrary to accepted medical and scientific studies and practice.

 

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