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Democratic Convention To Bring LGBT Big Wigs To Charlotte

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Will he or won’t he? Anderson Cooper covered the Republican National Convention from afar as Hurricane Isaac bore down on New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast, but could make appearances in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention.

CHARLOTTE — The Democratic National Convention is expected to bring 35,000 convention delegates, journalists and other guests to Charlotte next week. Among them will be big names in the LGBT community known for their work in national and regional politics and in the media.

Sunday’s LGBT welcome event, the “Unity Through Community” party, will mark the beginning of the week’s celebrity affairs. Club singer Kristine W, popular among the gay community, will headline the event.

Openly LGBT delegates, politicians and others have been invited to the LGBT welcome event, though no one is certain who will attend. A source familiar with the party’s organizing told qnotes that former Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese could be in attendance, along with North Carolina’s openly gay Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Charlotte’s openly lesbian City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, a favorite of local LGBT voters.

Other big names include several openly LGBT politicians and activists. Colorado’s openly gay Congressman Jared Polis will be here, as will openly gay Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio. Both are serving as delegates to the convention, along with Congressman Barney Frank‘s transgender legislative assistant Diego Sanchez. Other well-known LGBT delegates will include New Jersey trans activist and Democratic National Committee member Babs Siperstein. New York’s delegation will include openly gay State Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, openly lesbian labor leader and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and trans activist Melissa Sklarz.

In addition to Polis, other openly gay or lesbian members of Congress are expected. Massachusetts’ Barney Frank is a member of the convention’s Platform Committee. The Democratic Party became the first of the nation’s two major parties this year to include support for full marriage rights for same-sex couples in their platform. Rhode Island’s openly gay Congressman David Cicilline will also attend, as will Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat in that state.

North Carolina’s only openly gay member of the state legislature, Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford), is also slated to attend the convention as a delegate.

In the entertainment world, the oh-so-gay Scissor Sisters will perform at a private, invitation-only concert at The Fillmore at Uptown’s NC Music Factory after President Barack Obama gives his renomination speech.

But, there’s no word yet on whether CNN’s Anderson Cooper, freshly out of the closet as America’s most widely-respected openly gay television journalist, will appear in Charlotte. He spent his time covering the Republican National Convention in Tampa from afar, working from New Orleans to cover Hurricane Isaac.

Democratic National Convention coverage provided by The New Civil Rights Movement and QNotes.

Matt Comer is the Editor of QNotes. Established in 1986, QNotes is the leading LGBT community newspaper of North Carolina based in Charlotte.

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Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg say he hopes Americans can see the difference between an LGBTQ Pride flag representing love, like the one Martha-Ann Alito lamented she has to look at daily, and flags that symbolize the January 6, 2021 insurrection, two of which she flew at the homes she and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito live in.

“I’m often reminded that the most important thing in my life, which is my marriage, and my family and the two beautiful children that my husband Chasten and I are raising that that marriage only exists by the grace of the single vote on the United States Supreme Court,” said Secretary Buttigieg, responding to a question during a CNN interview Wednesday morning about secretly-recorded remarks Mrs. Alito made. “That expanded our rights and freedoms back in 2015 and made it possible for somebody like me to get married.”

“And, you know, Supreme Court justices have an unbelievable amount of power and, and by the nature in the structure, the Supreme Court, there’s no supervision over that power. They are entrusted with it literally for as long as they live. And part of that trust is we expect them to enter into those enormously consequential decisions that that shape our everyday lives with a sense of fairness,” Buttigieg continued, appearing to acknowledge the tremendous drop in perceived credibility the Supreme Court has suffered in recent years. Last summer Pew Research reported the court’s favorability rating had dropped to a “historic low.”

RELATED: Secret Audio of Justice Alito’s Wife Exposes His Plans and Her ‘Bitterness’: Critics

“I also hope that most Americans can understand the difference between a flag that symbolizes you know, love and acceptance and signals to people who have sometimes feared for their safety that they’re going to be okay. And insurrectionists symbology, I’ll just leave it at that.”

CNN’s Berman played audio of Martha-Ann Alito before asking the Secretary to offer his remarks.

“I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag, because I have to look across the lagoon at the pride flag for the next month,” Mrs. Alito can be heard saying in the secretly-recorded audio. “And he’s like, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag.’ I said, ‘I won’t do it. Because I’m deferring to you but when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up and I’m gonna send them a message every day.’ ”

Although CNN did not play the full clip of Mrs. Alito’s remarks, she continued, saying, “I’ll be changing the flags. They’ll be all kinds. I made a flag in my head. This is how I satisfy myself. I made a flag. It’s white and has yellow and orange flames around it. And in the middle is the word ‘vergogna.’ ‘Vergogna’ in Italian means shame — vergogna. V-E-R-G-O-G-N-A. Vergogna.”

She also said, “I’m German. I’m from Germany. My heritage is German. You come after me, I’m gonna give it back to you. And there will be a way — it doesn’t have to be now — but there will be a way they will know. Don’t worry about it. God — you read the Bible. Psalm 27 is my psalm. Mine. Psalm 27, the Lord is my God and my rock. Of whom shall I be afraid? Nobody.”

Watch Buttigieg’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Insists No Mandatory Military Draft Advisers Have Been Planning

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Speaker Johnson on Why He Thinks Hunter Biden’s Conviction Is Valid but Donald Trump’s Is Not

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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who could gain tremendous power if Donald Trump is elected president in November, explained to reporters his belief that Tuesday’s jury conviction of Hunter Biden on three federal felony gun charges was absolutely legitimate while Donald Trump’s conviction on 34 state felony charges was not.

“Every case is different,” Johnson told CNN’s Manu Raju (video below) when asked if “the president’s son being convicted on three counts” undercuts the Republican Speaker’s claims of a “two tier system of justice.”

Johnson added, “clearly the evidence was overwhelming” in the Hunter Biden prosecution, one which some legal experts said should not have been brought and at least one member of the jury who spoke to CNN said was a waste of the taxpayers’ dime.

“I don’t think that’s the case in the Trump trials, and all the charges that have been brought” against Trump “have been obviously brought for political purposes. Hunter Biden is a separate instance.”

READ MORE: Secret Audio of Justice Alito’s Wife Exposes His Plans and Her ‘Bitterness’: Critics

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) issued a strong response to the Johnson’s claims.

“We should be very very worried that Republicans are so brazen in their belief that convictions of Democrats are fine but convictions of Republicans are illegitimate. This is a political party TELLING US OUT LOUD that they plan to use the justice system to persecute opponents.”

Speaker Johnson and Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and members from both their GOP conferences will be meeting with Donald Trump on Thursday, reportedly to create a game plan to pass major right-wing legislation if the convicted ex-president wins back the White House on November, NBC News reports.

Watch below or at this link.

 

 

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Trump Insists No Mandatory Military Draft Advisers Have Been Planning

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Presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump slapped down a report revealing his top advisors, including former high-ranking administration officials working on Project 2025, want to reinstate the mandatory military draft.

“Influential figures in Donald Trump’s orbit, including his former acting defense secretary, have proposed making military service mandatory,” The Washington Post reported Tuesday in a morning brief. “Christopher Miller, the former acting secretary of the Defense Department, shared his pitch for a national service mandate in Project 2025, the outline for a second Trump term prepared by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.”

In an expanded report, The Washington Post revealed if Trump is elected and if Miller becomes his Secretary of Defense, high school students across the country could be required to take a military assessment, “the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a standardized test developed by the Defense Department decades ago to help the military funnel recruits into occupations that match their skills and intellect.”

In an interview with the Post, Miller “detailed his vision for the ASVAB and a range of other changes as part of Project 2025, the conservative Heritage Foundation’s aspirational government-wide game plan should the presumptive Republican nominee return to the White House. Though Trump has not publicly endorsed its policy proposals, Miller is among a cluster of influential former administration officials and GOP lawmakers who have mused aloud about a national service mandate and other measures to remedy what they see as a ‘crisis’ facing the all-volunteer military.”

READ MORE: ‘False’ and ‘Irresponsible’: DOJ Smacks Down Jim Jordan’s ‘Conspiracy’ in Sharp Letter

“Miller said a national service requirement should be ‘strongly considered.’ He described the concept as a common ‘rite of passage,’ one that would create a sense of ‘shared sacrifice’ among America’s youth.”

Despite the facts, Trump blasted The Washington Post and its report.

“The Fake News Washington Post came up with the ridiculous idea that Donald J. Trump will call for Mandatory Military Service,” the ex-president and now convicted felon wrote on his Truth Social platform. “This is only a continuation of their EIGHT YEAR failed attempt to damage me with the Voters. The Story is completely untrue. In fact, I never even thought of that idea. Only a degenerate former Newspaper, which has lost 50% of its Readers, would fabricate such a tale. Just another Fake Story, one of many, made up by the DEAD Washington Compost!”

It’s unclear if by “DEAD” Trump was referring to The Post’s official slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” instituted the same year he became president.

The concept of “national service” is far from new, but the United States has not ever had mandatory military service, where everyone of a certain age was required to serve. Up until 1973 America still had the draft, before transitioning to an all-volunteer military.

President Barack Obama expanded opportunities for Americans to serve in non-military agencies, including AmeriCorps, FEMA Corps, and School Turnaround AmeriCorps.

Trump has kept his distance publicly away from Agenda 2025, but some experts believe should he be elected in November, that massive project, including its 920 manual, could easily become the national policy of the Trump administration.

The Biden administration has been campaigning against Project 2025.

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: Secret Audio of Justice Alito’s Wife Exposes His Plans and Her ‘Bitterness’: Critics

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