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GetEqual Florida Volunteer Shares His Thoughts On Being Arrested for Asking Senator Marco Rubio To Apologize To The LGBT Community



Today I risked arrest for the first time in my life.  Risking arrest isn’t something I ever imagined myself doing, but it is something I felt needed to be done.  Why did I do this?  Well, Senator Marco Rubio has recently said some very harmful things about the LGBT community.  When asked recently about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, he first said that he hasn’t read the bill, and then immediately went on to say that he is “not for any special protections based on orientation”.  He has also said that if anything was included in the immigration reform bill that gives legal protections to gay couples, he will walk away from the legislation.Let’s get this straight.  Senator Rubio, the man who supposedly wants to be president, has no problem with people being fired because of who they are or who they love, and is willing to turn his back on 11 million immigrants and the bill he has worked so hard on, just to spite gay couples?  Is this what you call a leader?

The Senator is out of touch with Floridians and with Americans. Recent polls show that 67% of Floridians believe that our immigration system should keep families together, regardless of their sexual orientation. Nationwide, 73% of Americans believe that it should be against the law to fire a person solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The reality is that, in states like Florida, people can be fired for these very reasons — and, when this happens, we have absolutely no legal recourse.

I am fortunate enough to work for a company with a great non-discrimination policy, one that includes LGBT people.  I also am fortunate in that I was born in this great country, as was my partner of nearly 20 years.  I have, in the past, been fired from a job because of anti-gay bias.  It is an ugly, hurtful thing to experience, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody (even Senator Rubio).  I have friends who have experienced this as well, some very recently.  Some of my dearest friends are in same-sex binational relationships, meaning one person is a United States citizen and the other is not.  These couples, even if legally married in a state that allows it, are not allowed to sponsor a spouse or partner for immigration in the way a heterosexual couple could.  The stories I have heard of families ripped apart when someone has to leave the country and re-enter are gut-wrenching.  Even worse are the stories I hear every day of families ripped apart due to deportations.

Today, some friends and I entered Senator Rubio’s Tampa office to request that he apologize to the LGBT community, and that he step up as a leader and support our community.  We are his constituents, and we deserve better treatment than this.  Our plea fell on deaf ears with his staff.  But instead of walking out of the building without resolution, we chose to sit down — refusing to leave the office until we heard the apology.  No apology came.  Instead of supporting our community, the Senator’s staff responded by having police remove us from the office in handcuffs.  I stood up today for those who live in fear in the workplace, hiding who they are and unable to talk about their lives for fear of losing their jobs.  I stood up today for those couples who live in fear of being ripped apart by an unjust immigration system, and for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who Marco Rubio has turned his back on.

GetEQUAL’s mission statement is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and our allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way.  Senator Rubio clearly falls into the latter group.  This doesn’t end with today’s action; we are building a movement and growing stronger every day.  I am confident that full equality in all matters governed by federal law is something we will see in the near future, but it is going to take a lot more hands on deck.  Are you with us?

Senator Rubio’s photo is from his Facebook page.

jarrod-scarborough-150x150Jarrod Scarbrough is an activist and State Lead for GetEQUAL FL.  A native of New Mexico, Jarrod and his partner of 2o years relocated to Florida a year ago, along with their socially conscious 10 year old daughter, and three small dogs.  Jarrod works full time in the healthcare industry, and volunteers as much time as possible with GetEQUAL Florida. When not working or organizing for equality, he can be found spending precious time with his family, reading, watching horror flicks, or relaxing at the beach.­­­­  He can be found on Twitter, @bigbookgeek and on Facebook as Jarrod GetEqual Scarbrough.

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‘Unlawful Incursion’: Manhattan DA Schools Jim Jordan for Demanding He Testify in Ongoing Trump Investigation



Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg served up an extensive lesson in American jurisprudence Thursday in his response to House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s letter demanding he provide communications and testify before Congress on his ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s hush money payoff to Stormy Daniels.

Jordan’s demand was seen by legal experts as a “purely political attack.” They note Jordan has no constitutional oversight authority over a duly-elected county district attorney.

Bragg is respectfully refusing Jordan’s demands.

Thorough his office’s General Counsel, Bragg sent Jordan a five-page letter (below) filled with numerous citations of federal and state law and legal decisions up to and including from the U.S. Supreme Court, that offer the Judiciary Chairman instruction in the law and that support the District Attorney’s refusal.

READ MORE: ‘Going Full Fascist’: Morning Joe Blasts Trump’s Latest ‘Dehumanizing’ Attack on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg

In Bragg’s response, he calls Jordan’s letter “an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution,” and notes it “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day, and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene.” He tells Jordan, “if charges are brought … it will be because the rule of law and faithful execution of the District Attorney’s duty require it.”

Jordan, who refused to comply with a lawful subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, had claimed his demand for documents and testimony was in furtherance of a legislative purpose, an effort to examine federal law. Bragg refuted that claim: “Congress cannot have any legitimate legislative task relating to the oversight of local prosecutors enforcing state law.”

“In New York, the District Attorney is a constitutional officer charged with ‘the responsibility to conduct all prosecutions for crimes and offenses cognizable by the courts of the county in which he serves,'” Bragg’s letter continues, offering an education into the concept of federalism and the U.S. Constitution. “These are quintessential police powers belonging to the State, and your letter treads into territory very clearly reserved to the states.”

In a section titled, “Compliance with the Letter Would Interfere with Law Enforcement,” the Manhattan DA’s response says Jordan’s letter “seeks non-public information about a pending criminal investigation, which is confidential under state law.” It adds that “prosecutor’s disclosure of grand jury evidence is a felony.”

Continuing to explain the law to the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Bragg’s letter adds:

“These confidentiality provisions exist to protect the interests of the various participants in the criminal process–the defendant, the witnesses, and members of the grand jury- as well as the integrity of the grand jury proceeding itself. Like the Department of Justice, as a prosecutor exercising sovereign executive powers, the District Attorney has a constitutional obligation to ‘protect the government’s ability to prosecute fully and fairly,’ to ‘independently and impartially uphold the rule of law,’ to ‘protect witnesses and law enforcement,’ to ‘avoid flight by those implicated in our investigations,’ and to ‘prevent additional crimes.'”

READ MORE: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor

It continues, warning Jordan’s “requests are an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty. Congress’s investigative jurisdiction is derived from and limited by its power to legislate concerning federal matters.”

Bragg twice offers to meet with staffers from Jordan’s Judiciary Committee to see if the Chairman’s requests “could be accommodated without impeding those sovereign interests.”

Read the letter posted by Axios’ Andrew Solender below or at this link.



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‘Going Full Fascist’: Morning Joe Blasts Trump’s Latest ‘Dehumanizing’ Attack on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg



Days after he wrongly claimed he would be arrested and urged his supporters to “protest,” Donald Trump unleashed a vicious and antisemitic attack against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and philanthropist and donor George Soros, leading “Morning Joe” Scarborough on MSNBC to declare the ex-president has gone “full fascist” and even “full Nazi.”

“I mean he’s just going full Nazi here, full fascist,” Scarborough said Thursday morning, just minutes after Trump’s remarks posted on social media.

“You’re doing the whole Jewish international banker thing and and dehumanizing him as an ‘animal,’ calling him an ‘animal,'” Scarborough said.

“That’s ugly,” Mika Brzezinski added.

“And that’s like like straight out of the playbook. Yeah, that’s really that’s really ugly. Yeah, it’s really interesting to see exactly what’s happened with Bragg. He hasn’t taken the bait.”

READ MORE: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor

Thursday morning, in an all-caps rant, Trump called District Attorney Bragg a “Soros backed animal who just doesn’t care about right or wrong no matter how many people are hurt.”

Scarborough was not being hyperbolic when he said Trump had gone “full Nazi.”

“This is no legal system, this is the Gestapo, this is Russia and China, but worse. Disgraceful!”

The Gestapo were Adolf Hitler’s Nazi secret police.

In a separate post Thursday morning, after his attack on Bragg, Trump again appeared to telegraph a call for violence, writing: “Everybody knows I’m 100% innocent, including Bragg, but he doesn’t care. He is just carrying out the plans of the radical left lunatics. Our country is being destroyed, as they tell us to be peaceful!”

It is possible the grand jury, which is meeting Thursday, could vote on an indictment of Trump. Some say any potential vote would not come before next week.

READ MORE: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs

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‘Burn It to the Ground’: Kari Lake Undeterred After State Supreme Court Smacks Her Down



Failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake suffered a devastating blow after the state Supreme Court refused to take up her case challenging the results of her election last November, reported Newsweek on Thursday.

“Speaking at a rally organized by Turning Point Action, Charlie Kirk’s right-wing organization, Lake said: ‘They have built a house of cards in Maricopa County. I’m not just going to knock it over. I’m going to burn it to the ground,'” reported Giulia Carbonaro. “Lake shared a video of her speech, with a caption quoting her comments and a fire emoji.”

Lake is one of the only major statewide Republican candidates last year in a hotly contested race who has refused to concede her loss. She has alleged that her voters were illegally suppressed because of technical glitches with ballot tabulators in certain precincts of Maricopa County, the state’s largest population center, on Election Day.

In reality, there is no evidence of foul play, and Maricopa County election officials provided a backup method for affected ballots to be counted. Furthermore, one reason the glitch may have disproportionately affected Lake’s voters is Trump counseled voters not to mail in their ballots early, based on conspiracy theories — though Lake herself had done the opposite and asked her supporters to vote by mail.

READ MORE: Former Trump official: ‘Folks on both sides of the aisle want to see him arrested’

“Her challenge was thrown out by both Maricopa County Judge Peter Thompson and the Arizona Court of Appeals, which said Lake’s case lacked evidence that the hiccups in the county were intentionally caused by election officials to disenfranchise Lake’s supporters,” said the report. “Lake brought her case to the Arizona Supreme Court, which has declined to hear her case, but did send one of her claims back to a county judge for review. A superior court judge in Maricopa County is now reviewing Lake’s claim that the county did not follow signature verification procedures.”

On top of her litigation failures, Lake was referred to the Secretary of State’s office for investigation after she tweeted out images of what appeared to be real voter ballot signatures, which would be a violation of Arizona state law.


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