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Exclusive: GetEQUAL’s New Chair Discusses 2012 Focus – ‘We Can’t Wait!’



Editor’s note: We are proud and excited that GetEQUAL’s new Chair is Tanya Domi, a tireless LGBT and civil rights activist, Columbia University professor, and the Deputy Editor of The New Civil Rights Movement. She honors us and our community daily.

Today I have the honor to assume the position of chair of the Board of Directors of GetEQUAL, taking over from my colleague Dr. Jillian Weiss, who has served faithfully, with wisdom and skill in this position during the past two years of GetEQUAL’s ascendency to the national stage.

This is a challenging moment for the LGBT civil rights movement, with President Barack Obama — considered to be the most gay-friendly and to have done more for the LGBT community than any other president in U.S. history — seeking re-election. But that bar is quite low. Despite his support, we are far from equal. And for GetEQUAL supporters we simply can’t wait–our lives matter and the consequences of injustice affect us and our families everyday of our lives in America.

Our marriages remain banned and unrecognized under federal law. In the states where we can marry, those marriages do not qualify our foreign national partners for legal immigration. Not withstanding a Glee sequel each week or the daily Ellen DeGeneres talk show on television, we can be fired for being LGBT from our jobs in a majority of states. We have no federal protection from job discrimination. We have tenuous claims to housing discrimination protections based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite the revocation of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, lesbian, gay and bi-sexual service members can be discriminated against legally, while transgender service members were wholly excluded. Health care benefits for partners can be out of reach or become a financial burden when we are forced to pay taxes for compensation for benefits because we are not married or unable to marry.

GetEQUAL Activists in Los Angeles

Recently, Valerie Jarrett, friend and adviser to President Obama, held a two-hour meeting to tell the LGBT community that the president would not be signing an Executive Order banning discrimination among federal contractors, and instead he would be supporting passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) by Congress. (GetQUAL strongly supports a fully-inclusive ENDA.)

Some LGBT commentators called the meeting a two-hour train wreck, but no doubt, I would call it a disasterous beginning to the re-elect Obama for America campaign with the LGBT community.  The New York Times and The Washington Post in staff editorials strongly condemned the White House decision and urged Mr. Obama to sign the Executive Order expeditiously.

National Democratic Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias, who is gay, recently wrote in The Advocate that this is not the time to demand Obama’s signature on the Executive Order for federal contractors.  We can wait, Tobias said, because our demands put the election at risk, including the Supreme Court.  He forgot to include some important facts according to Jonathan Lewis (disclaimer, Lewis is a major donor to GetEQUAL) that the American public already believes that LGBT workers are protected from discrimination in the workplace and this is an issue of fairness. Indeed, according to Lewis, President Obama said in 2008 he would sign the executive order acknowledging it would be difficult to pass ENDA in Congress. President Obama has signed more than 100 other executive orders to date.

GetEQUAL Activist in Columbus, Ohio

GetEQUAL views its role during the campaign period in the run-up to the election as that of accountability of both parties (and any third parties if they are competing). Thus, we take President Obama at his word that he will fulfill his promise to sign an executive order during his first administration that would require contractors to honor LGBT nondiscrimination practices in hiring and firing.  Our activists have been making the rounds of Obama for America campaign offices all across the country, dropping off writing pens and engaging in conversations with campaign staff members, many of whom are not aware of the Obama 2008 promise or knowledgeable about the insurmountable problems LGBT persons face in unprotected workplaces.

GetEQUAL will remain engaged throughout the campaign period through election day as only GetEQUAL can–by illuminating bigorty, discrimination and basic unfairness that are antithetical to American values and principles. All of us in the LGBT community are deserving of what is best about America too.

I hope you’ll sign the GetEQUAL petition urging President Obama to reconsider his decision and to sign the Executive Order to ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. You can learn more about the federal contractor executive order by reading Jillian Weiss’s informative blog.

I want to thank Dr. Jillian Weiss for her outstanding leadership during the past two years. She has worked tirelessly with the Robin McGehee, Heather Cronk, and the members of the Board of Directors, moving the organization from a small but dedicated group, to a much larger group of trained activists around the country who have played a major role in both national and local efforts to secure full equality now. While we have many organizations dedicated to LGBT civil rights,  GetEQUAL plays a vital role as the only LGBT organization dedicated to an “outside” strategy that works to put pressure on reluctant politicians and to hold accountable those who stand in the way, through our direct nonviolent action.

GetEQUAL, I’m proud to point out to our readers and audience, is one of the few national organizations — if not the only one — which has had a transgender person, Dr. Jillian Weiss, as a Board chair. GetEQUAL has put the capital “T” in the LGBT acronym, by including trans activists and trans issues in actions around the country. Autumn Sandeen, also a member of GetEQUAL’s Board of Directors, and a Navy veteran, was arrested during the White House DADT protest action by GetEQUAL in November 2010.

We are grateful Jill Weiss will remain active with our Board of Directors where I know she will continue to make a vital contribution. She is one of the country’s leading  authorities on transgender issues in the workplace and a regular contributor at the Bilerico Project, where she reports and opines on LGBT issues. Go there and read her work, you will learn a lot!

Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University who teaches about human rights in East Central Europe and the former Yugoslavia. She is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi also worked internationally in a dozen countries for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom. She is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?



Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.

Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.

NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.

Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.

“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.

“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.

“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”

READ MORE: ‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses

Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.

Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.

“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”

“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”

Image via Shutterstock

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‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses



Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.

NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.

“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”

“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.

READ MORE: ‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes

Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.

VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.

“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”

“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”

“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.

Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”

RELATED: Ninth Wrestler Comes Forward to Say Jordan ‘Snickered’ When He Complained of Sexual Abuse: Report

Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.

“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.

“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.

But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”

READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’




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‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes



Judge Nixes Trump’s ‘Executive Privilege’ Claim, Orders Mark Meadows, Stephen Miller, Other Top Aides to Testify as Corcoran Completes Grand Jury Appearance

It’s a bad day behind the scenes for Donald Trump.

First, his own attorney, Evan Corcoran, just past noon on Friday walked out of a federal court building after completing more than three hours of testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of sensitive, classified, and top secret documents.

His testimony, compelled by a subpoena, is seen by a former top DOJ official as “the most critical evidence in the case,” and should “allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”

READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’

Prosecutors, citing the crime-fraud exception, were able to convince a federal judge that Trump likely committed a crime via his attorneys, enabling them to bypass attorney-client privilege.

Trump had strived to block Corcoran from testifying, but a federal judge and an appeals court, in an extraordinarily quick turnaround – some legal experts saying for reasons likely related to national security – ordered him to testify.

Also Friday, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege and ordered testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating Trump’s actions related to the January 6 insurrection from eight former top Trump White House aides.

Among them, Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Also, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and former deputy chief of staff and social media director Dan Scavino, ABC News reports.

READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter

Meadows is a former GOP congressman seen by many as integral to the events of January 6.

“Former Trump aides Nick Luna and John McEntee, along with former top DHS official Ken Cuccinelli, were also included in the order, the sources said,” according to ABC News.

Former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman weighed in, saying: “Another really big shoe drops: [Judge] Howell rejects Trump’s executive privilege claim and orders Mark Meadows and others to testify before Jan 6 [grand jury]. Meadows has really been able to stay on the sidelines. No more–even if he takes the 5th, which [would] then force [question] of immunity.”


Image of Donald Trump via Shutterstock


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