Attorney General Commemorates Stonewall Wednesday, Defends DOMA Thursday
On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder, once heralded by the gay community as someone who would work to achieve President Obama’s promise to repeal DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, on Wednesday stood in front of his Department of Justice’s LGBT employees and, as reported in an article just released by The Washington Blade, spoke to the Obama Administration’s promise of equality for all:
DOJ Pride, the gay affinity group for Justice Department employees, coordinated the celebration, which was dubbed, â€œWhatâ€™s Past is Prologue: Honoring Our Past, Forging Our Future.â€
The employees greeted Holder with a standing ovation before he gave his speech.
Holder said the title of the event â€œreminds us that yesterdayâ€™s sacrifices pave the way for todayâ€™s opportunities.â€
â€œForty years ago this June, members of the gay community said â€˜enough,â€™ he said. â€œWhat happened in Greenwich Village, New York, gave rise to a national movement dedicated to achieving equal justice for members of the [LGBT] community. Our presence here today is a testament to that movement and to the change it achieved.â€
He noted that DOJ Pride was founded 15 years ago, yet challenges remain in achieving equality.
â€œLetâ€™s be honest, too many of the same obstacles that existed then remain for us to overcome,â€ he said. â€œBut neither the frustrations of the past, nor the challenges of the future should deter us from our goal â€” our responsibility â€” to continue our efforts to ensure the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans.â€
That was Wednesday.
Thursday, Holder’s Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss a gay marriage case the U.S. Court of Appeals is hearing. In “Obama defends DOMA in federal court. Says banning gay marriage is good for the federal budget. Invokes incest and marrying children,” John Aravosis of AmericaBlog writes,
Obama didn’t just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn’t motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn’t be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn’t discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can’t).
He actually argued that the courts shouldn’t consider Loving v. Virginia, the miscegenation case in which the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages, when looking at gay civil rights cases. He told the court, in essence, that blacks deserve more civil rights than gays, that our civil rights are not on the same level.
And before Obama claims he didn’t have a choice, he had a choice. Bush, Reagan and Clinton all filed briefs in court opposing current federal law as being unconstitutional (we’ll be posting more about that later). Obama could have done the same. But instead he chose to defend DOMA, denigrate our civil rights, go back on his promises, and contradict his own statements that DOMA was “abhorrent.” Folks, Obama’s lawyers are even trying to diminish the impact of Roemer and Lawrence, our only two big Supreme Court victories. Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights gains with this brief. He’s taking us down for his own benefit.
So, Attorney General Holder, in a celebration called, â€œWhatâ€™s Past is Prologue: Honoring Our Past, Forging Our Future,” on one day claims to fight for us, the next day takes away all our arguments. I don’t think we can afford to have him or Obama leading the charge.
Mr. President you flip-flopped.Â We should have known.Â You started your Presidency with one of the most anti-gay Pastors in the country giving your inaugural prayer, Rick Warren.Â You further hurt us by remaining silent on proposition 8.Â The one moment you mentioned our advances in Iowa and other states was in jest at the correspondence dinner. You asked the Supreme Court to ignore an appeal on Donâ€™t Ask Donâ€™t tell for â€œunit cohesionâ€.Â You did all these things and yet your promises remained on Whitehouse.gov (FYI his promise to repeal DOMA is no longer there.)Â Some of us still hoped, myself included, that you would do the right thing and not defend DOMA.
I no longer have hope for you President Obama.Â I no longer believe you are on my side. Your adminstration is using the arguments of our worst enemies to uphold laws that destroy our families.Â I should have known. I should not have been so enchanted by your beautiful speeches and colorful campaign posters. Mr. President you are no different than the rest.Â You used our community to get to the White House and now you have pushed us aside. This time is different though, because we wonâ€™t take it anymore!
It’s time to recognize that Obama has used us. Obama – while we never expected him to complete his promises within his first one hundred days, or even wthin his first year – has not ignored them, but actually broken, stomped on, and thrown his broken promises at our feet. Attorney General Holder has taken one of our most sacred pieces of history and all but used it against us. What’s past IS prologue, Mr. Holder, Mr. Obama. You too should know that better than most Americans. We certainly do.
It’s time to march. It’s time to fight for our rights. It’s time to win.
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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”
“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”
“I was misled … the information that I was given turned out in part to be inaccurate. And I’m absolutely livid about that” — Greg Abbott on his initial false statement portraying Uvalde first responders as heroes pic.twitter.com/dUIdxnicjm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 27, 2022
Critics aren’t buying his claims.
Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.
“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.
“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.
“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.
Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”
Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”
Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.
“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.
Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:
.@GregAbbott_TX responding to a question on long rifles “it seems like only in the past decade or two we have had school shootings.” Governor, the assault weapons ban ended in 2004. See the connection? You have actively helped to sell millions of weapons since then.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 27, 2022
And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”
“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then. He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”
“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”
‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns
The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.
Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”
That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”
“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”
Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.
“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.
“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt your press conference… you have to do something” pic.twitter.com/OiRI1OQZWQ
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 27, 2022
Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender
A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.
“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.
“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”
Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.
That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.
Right-wing broadcaster inside NRA convention says if young people are allowed to choose their gender, then 18 year-olds should be allowed by buy assault weapons. pic.twitter.com/Fog4lZBgHW
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2022
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