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Equality, Despite Our Differences.



Editor’s Note: David Mailloux is an LGBT activist and an organizer with Join the Impact Massachusetts. He was an organizer for the National Equality March in Washington D.C., and was also part of the coordinating committee for the Maine LGBT Civil Rights March. I’m proud to have co-founded The Great Nationwide Kiss-In with David, and could not have done it without him. David’s first guest post here was, “Dear Crate and Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest Coordinators: I Have A Dream…

I’ve been choking on the same couple of grains of rice since dinner, which was roughly an hour ago.

Mom and I decided on tempura vegetables and rice for dinner tonight, and we were watching CNN at the same time. Janice Langbehn – the Seattle woman who was forced to sit in the waiting room of a Miami hospital with her adopted children as her partner, and the children’s mother, lay dying in a nearby hospital room – was speaking about President Obama’s recent decision to allow all unmarried partners visitation rights in hospitals. Langbehn was recalling the pain of not being able to say goodbye to Lisa, the love of her life, and my mother was shaking her head with disgust. “That’s just not right,” she said. “There’s no reason that should have happened.”

Then, she turned the conversation around to something I had recently said in my Facebook, that I believed in some freedom in relationships, that I would allow for my partner (if I had one) to kiss another man if I knew he was still coming home to me, that the idea physically excited me sometimes. (And, yes, I sometimes forget that my often socially conservative mother is one of 936 Facebook friends and that she often pays close attention to everything I say on there.) That worried her. She supports full LGBT equality because it means her son and his friends will have a better life, but she worries that supporting marriage equality means supporting ideals in some relationships in which she may not believe.

I wanted to tell her that all marriages have quirks, and that a number of them involve different standards than what the right-wing or Christian-religious folks who support only “traditional” marriages between people of the opposite sex will accept. I wanted to remind her that love arrives in all different forms, that sexuality is a beautiful thing that we need to embrace. I wanted to tell her that supporting full LGBT equality didn’t mean she had to support those differences of opinion she might carry. She could support LGBT equality and love between non-related adults of any gender without supporting the differences. The bottom line was believing that my friends who were same-sex couples and who were partnered and wanted to marry had the right to marry.

Instead, I just choked on a couple of grains of rice that had decided to follow the wrong path to my stomach. I’m not terribly fond of aspirating rice, just so you’re aware, and my body is still telling me that as I write this.

The LGBT community is a microcosm of the rest of the world. We are – based on various studies you might read, from conservative “scientists” to Alfred Kinsey and beyond – anywhere from 10 to 30% of the population. We live a life not so different from everyone else. We are just people who were wired differently from birth. If you take a liberal Christian approach, we were all created by God and he made us this way. The conservative Christian approach suggests we are afflicted with a deviant hedonism that will lead to the downfall of humanity.

In my mind, we’re all just people. I wouldn’t dare jump into your dinnertime debates and challenge your ideals. Please don’t do the same to me. My philosophy, at the end of the day, can be summed up in just a few words: live and let live.

The lead editor of this extraordinary blog that I’ve been following for a year now is David Badash. In a phone conversation earlier this month, somewhere in between discussing boyfriends and love interests and whether or not I should buy an iPhone or a Blackberry (and David B loves his iPhone, so you know), he invited me to be part of this awesome world of his. And I accepted immediately, and he was truly excited. We’d known each other for nearly a year, when I had started my own blog, and we shared a mutual admiration for one another almost from the get-go.

But we’re very different people. He kept going with the blog, and I discussed the volume and occasional audacity of the grassroots. Neither of us has looked back, We press forward with the same passion we had since day one.

While I love him like a brother and we respect each other immensely, we both follow a different path when it comes to activism, the fight for full LGBT equality. His blog and his quiet socializing and strategizing with other brothers in the fight are how he works toward our common goal. Personally, I love to stand in the middle of the street with homemade signs and scream and chant and dance. I have plans to get arrested in the very near future, because I am loud and crass and angry.

We are very different. He has my utmost respect, and I’m pretty certain I have his. I don’t attack him or concern myself with his approach. He doesn’t question me. We know that what we do, every day, still brings us that much closer to our dream.

Live. And let live.

My friends Jonathan and Gregory – two of the dearest people I know – have dinner with politically-minded professional activists from the land of Gay, Inc. (that’s what some of us grassroots folks call the professional organizations who choose dinner parties over getting their hands dirty). Yet, they also adore Robin McGehee, the gorgeous, soft-spoken Mississippi native and mother of two who recently got herself arrested in front of the White House while chaining Lt. Dan Choi to the Obama’s wrought iron fence. They – that’s Jon and Greg, by the way – support whatever it takes to make our equality happen. They believe in the battle, regardless of how we choose to fight. They like Joe Solomonese, the Director of the HRC, as much as they like Robin McGehee.

They believe that we must live and let live.

My mother may disagree with how I express my sexuality sometimes, and Jon & Greg might not ever join me in the middle of the street as I scream at the top of my lungs, and David B may never get arrested alongside me in our struggle, but we all have that love in our hearts and souls and we desperately want a beautiful conclusion to this war in which we’re – passively or actively or somewhere in between – fighting for our lives or the lives of those we love. We all carry a common mindset.

And I look at the conservative Christians who claim the bible tells them something it truly doesn’t, but I can’t tell them differently. And I try to look into the eyes of the politicians who know, deep in their hearts, that supporting us is the right thing to do, but fear the wrath of their constituents when the ballot boxes are looking to be stuffed with their realities in November. And I pray to the journalists and the talking heads on CNN and the political pundits who occupy low-backed chairs and whose makeup melts among the bright lights of a studio elsewhere in the mediasphere. I want to believe that those among the intelligentsia are all thinking the same thing, and that they somehow make those beliefs known to the millions of hungry consumers throughout our great country.

We can all respect one another, despite our differences. I don’t have to agree with you and you don’t have to agree with me. But all I’m asking, as the great Aretha once wailed in soulful and musical desperation, is for a little respect. I will respect you. I will always give you that which you believe. I just want you to let me live my life.

Let me live the way God created me, just as everyone has let you live the way God created you. There is enough room in this world for both conservative Christian beliefs, and fluid sexuality, not to mention everything in between. There is room for chicken piccata and Armani, as well as torn jeans and hoarse screams on street corners – and everything else in between.

I am not saying we all have to get along. I am asking that you just let me live. That’s all I want.

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Jim Jordan Waging ‘Purely Political Attack’: Demands Bragg Testify Before Congress Over Expected Trump Indictment



In an unprecedented move House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan is demanding Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg testify before Congress over his expected indictment of Donald Trump. Bragg, officially the New York County District Attorney, is an elected official whose office was created under the New York State Constitution and does not answer to Congress.

Professor of law and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance quickly blasted Jordan’s move, saying: “what jurisdiction does Congress have over a DA elected by Manhattanites? Sure, Jordan will talk about fed’l funding, but this is a purely political attack on local gov’t.”

Earlier Monday, reacting to Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s remarks, Vance said: “It’s not up to House Republicans to review Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s conduct. It’s up to Manhattan voters. If Trump is indicted, a jury will decide whether there’s sufficient evidence to convict. The GOP continues to undercut our democratic institutions to serve Trump.”

Jordan’s letter, he writes to Bragg: “In light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision,” according to a Fox Corp. article. The website also says it was signed by two other Republicans: House Oversight Committee Chair Jim Comer and House Committee on Administration Chair Brian Steil. None have any oversight authority on the Office of the Manhattan District Attorney.

READ MORE: Trump Files Sweeping Legal Motion to Try to Block Georgia Grand Jury Findings and District Attorney Fani Willis

“Jordan warned Bragg that if news reports of a possible Trump indictment are accurate, Bragg’s actions ‘will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the court of the 2024 presidential election,'” Fox adds.

“The legal theory underlying your reported prosecution appears to be tenuous and untested,” Jordan wrote. He also attacked former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who has testified extensively in the case before the grand jury.

Just before leaving office Trump awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

According to former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson who testified publicly and privately before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, Jordan discussed pardons with the White House for Republican Members of Congress, although she says he did not ask for one himself. Jordan also defied a subpoena from the January 6 Select Committee.

In a Monday morning interview with Fox Corp.’s Harris Faulkner, Jordan falsely describes Trump’s hush money payment to adult film actress and director Stormy Daniels as “some alleged bookkeeping error.” The expected charges have neither been voted on by the grand jury nor announced.

“Charges in NY are expected to involve false business records created to conceal Trump’s payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels but there are possible charges involving manipulating property values for tax, loan & insurance advantages,” Vance also  said Monday.

READ MORE: ‘RICO’: Trump Could Be Facing Racketeering and Conspiracy Charges Used to Prosecute Organized Crime

Watch video of Jordan discussing the letter and see the letter itself below or at this link:



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Trump Files Sweeping Legal Motion to Try to Block Georgia Grand Jury Findings and District Attorney Fani Willis



Attorneys for Donald Trump Monday morning filed a sweeping 483-page legal motion asking a Georgia court to block any report from the Fulton County special grand jury and any evidence the grand jury may find, and to force District Attorney Fani Willis to recuse in the investigation into his unlawful attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in that state.

The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery first reported the filing. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also reports Trump’s attorneys have filed the motion.

Lawfare Blog’s Anna Bower, who has been covering the Fulton County case, calls the filing “mammoth.”

The news comes just hours after reports District Attorney Willis could be considering RICO, or conspiracy and racketeering charges against Trump.

READ MORE: ‘This Man Is a Criminal’: George Conway Busts GOP’s ‘Completely Ridiculous’ Trump Defense

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

Image via Shutterstock

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‘RICO’: Trump Could Be Facing Racketeering and Conspiracy Charges Used to Prosecute Organized Crime



Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is reportedly considering RICO charges against Donald Trump in her probe of his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, CNN reports. RICO charges are generally used when prosecuting organized crime cases.

“The reason that I am a fan of RICO is, I think jurors are very, very intelligent,” Willis had said last year about a different case. “They want to know what happened. They want to make an accurate decision about someone’s life. And so RICO is a tool that allows a prosecutor’s office and law enforcement to tell the whole story.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a law professor and an NBC News/MSNBC contributor, Monday morning on Twitter, pointing to CNN’s report, said Willis “is seriously considering a RICO charge.” She repeated that claim on MSNBC shortly after.

READ MORE: Experts Warn Trump Is Encouraging Violence One Day After He Announces Rally at Waco on 30th Anniversary of Siege

CNN reports, “Investigators have a large volume of substantial evidence related to a possible conspiracy from inside and outside the state, including recordings of phone calls, emails, text messages, documents, and testimony before a special grand jury. Their work, the source said, underscores the belief that the push to help Trump was not just a grassroots effort that originated inside the state.”

On-air Monday morning, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig, a former federal and state prosecutor, explained conspiracy, racketeering, and RICO, saying, “conspiracy” is “a loaded word. But all it really means is an agreement, a meeting of the minds between two or more people to commit a crime.”

But he added, “if we go up to racketeering, now, this is a really powerful tool the prosecutors use. What you have to do is show two things. First of all, the existence of what we call a racketeering enterprise, that can be a Mafia family, that can be a drug trafficking organization, but it could also be a corporation or a political entity, and then you have to show that they engage in what we call a pattern of racketeering activity, meaning that they committed two or more crimes in an organized fashion, which brings us to this other new piece of information. There’s a third phone call we already know about, of course, the infamous phone call to Brad Raffensperger. ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes.’ There’s also a public recording of Donald Trump talking to this investigator, Francis Watson, when he tells her, ‘when the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised.'”

READ MORE: ‘Reacting to a Cult Leader’: Trump Supporters Organizing to ‘Stock Up on Weaponry’ Says GOP Adviser

“Now we know, Trump also called the former Georgia Speaker of the House asking him to convene a special session,” Honig continued. “As we know we’ve heard from some of the grand jurors special grand jurors who’ve come out, they’ve told us that they recommended indictments for more than a dozen people.”

Watch CNN’s report below or at this link.

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