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Hillary Clinton Congratulates GLIFAA On Its Historic 20th Anniversary

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a thoughtful and heartfelt speech at the 20th anniversary celebration for the State Department’s Gay and Lesbian Affinity group

Secretary Clinton’s complete remarks:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all, very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (Laughter.) Thank you, all. Thank you.

Yeah, that’s good. (Laughter.) Wow. Well, welcome to the Ben Franklin Room. (Laughter.) And congratulations on your 20th anniversary. I am so pleased to be here and to have this chance to join this celebration. Ken, thank you for your kind words and your efforts here to make this day possible. I am extremely pleased that Cheryl Mills, my friend as well as Chief of Staff and Counselor is here, so that those of you who may not have met her or even seen her, given how shy and retiring she is – (laughter) – can express your appreciation to her for her tireless efforts.

I’m delighted that Deputy Secretary Tom Nides is here. Tom, who some of you know, who you’ve had a chance to work with him, has been just an extraordinary deputy. Also let me recognize USAID Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg. He’s been an unyielding advocate for the LGBT community at USAID. We also have a number of ambassadors and deputy chiefs of mission, both past and present, some of whom have literally traveled from the other side of the world to be here. David, I’m talking about you. And we have Michael Guest with us, our country’s first out ambassador to be confirmed by the Senate and someone who’s remained an outspoken champion for LGBT rights, despite having to endure countless attacks and threats. Michael, why don’t you stand up so that you can be recognized? (Applause.)

Also let me thank the GLIFAA board and members. I just had a chance to meet the board and former presidents. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room with so many former presidents. (Laughter.) The last count was maybe five. (Laughter.) But it’s really due to their leadership over 20 years that GLIFAA has reached this milestone, and it will be up to all of you and those who come after you to keep the work going for the next 20 and the 20 after that.

Now, it wasn’t really that long ago since this organization was created, but in many ways it was a completely different world. As we heard, in 1992 you could be fired for being gay. Just think about all of the exceptional public servants, the brilliant strategists, the linguists, the experts fired for no reason other than their sexual orientation. Think of what our country lost because we were unable to take advantage of their hard work, expertise, and experience. And the policy forced people to make terrible choices, to hide who they were from friends and colleagues, to lie or mislead, to give up their dreams of serving their country altogether.

That began to change, in part because of the brave employees here at State, who decided that it was time for the bigotry, the ignorance, the lying, and discrimination to end. The LGBT community deserve the same chance as anyone else to serve. And indeed, as we all know, many had for many years, just without acknowledgment of who they were. So enough was enough, and that’s how GLIFAA was formed. And thank goodness it was.

We’ve come a long way since then, and we have seen milestones along that journey over the last 20 years. I remember that I think on my husband’s first day in office back in ’93, he announced that gays and lesbians working in the Federal Government would receive equal treatment under the Civil Service Reform Act. Two years later, Secretary Warren Christopher made clear those rules would be enforced within the halls of the State Department when he issued a statement that explicitly prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Now over the past four years, we’ve built on those and other steps to really acknowledge and welcome LGBT people into the State Department family and other agencies. We’ve extended benefits to same-sex domestic partners of State and USAID employees, Foreign Service officers, personal service contractors, third country nationals at missions overseas. We’ve institutionalized these changes by creating a classification for same-sex domestic partners in the Foreign Affairs manual. We’ve also made it clear in our Equal Opportunity Employment statement that the Department doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression.

We’ve helped to make it easier for transgender Americans to change the gender listed on their passports, because our mission is not only to protect the rights and dignity of our colleagues, but also of the American people we serve.

And we’ve taken this message all over the world, including the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, where we worked to pass the first ever UN resolution affirming the human rights of LGBT people.

Now, together we have worked to make something very simple and right come true. Our people should not have to choose between serving the country they love and sharing a life with the people they love. And I want to say a few words about why this work is so important.

Now, leaders of all kinds will stand in front of audiences like this and tell you that our most important asset is our people. And of course, that’s especially true in diplomacy, where we try to be very diplomatic all the time. But what our success truly depends on is our ability to forge strong relationships and relate to people of all backgrounds. And what that means for me, as your Secretary, is that creating an LGBT-welcoming workplace is not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.

In part, that’s because the nature of diplomacy has changed, and we should and need to keep up. Today we expect our diplomats to build relationships not just with their counterparts in foreign governments, but with people from every continent and every walk of life. And in order to do that, we need a diplomatic corps that is as diverse as the world we work in.

It’s also smart because it makes us better advocates for the values that we hold dear. Because when anyone is persecuted anywhere, and that includes when LGBT people are persecuted or kept from fully participating in their societies, they suffer, but so do we. We’re not only robbed of their talents and ideas, we are diminished, because our commitment to the human rights of all people has to be a continuing obligation and mission of everyone who serves in the Government of the United States. So this is a mission that I gladly assume. We have to set the example and we have to live up to our own values.

And finally, we are simply more effective when we create an environment that encourages people to bring their whole selves to work, when they don’t have to hide a core part of who they are, when we recognize and reward people for the quality of their work instead of dismissing their contributions because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

So really, I’m here today to say thank you to all of you. Thank you for your courage and resolve, for your willingness to keep going despite the obstacles – and for many of you, there were and are many. Thank you for pushing your government to do what you know was right, not just for yourselves but for all who come after you.

I want to mention one person in particular who was a key part of this fight, Tom Gallagher. I met Tom earlier. Where is Tom? There you are, Tom. Tom joined the Foreign Service in 1965 and in the early 1970s he risked his career when he came out and became the first openly gay Foreign Service officer. He served in the face of criticism and threats, but that did not stop him from serving. I wanted to take this moment just to recognize him, but also to put into context what this journey has meant for people of Tom’s and my vintage, because I don’t want any of you who are a lot younger ever to take for granted what it took for people like Tom Gallagher to pave the way for all of you. It’s not a moment for us to be nostalgic. It is a moment for us to remember and to know that all of the employees who sacrificed their right to be who they were were really defending your rights and the rights and freedoms of others at home and abroad.

And I want to say a special word about why we are working so hard to protect the rights of LGBT people around the world. And Dan Baer, who works on this along with Mike Posner and Maria Otero, have been great champions of standing up for the rights of LGBT communities and individuals.

We have come such a long way in the United States. Tom Gallagher is living proof of that. And think about what it now means to be a member of a community in this country that is finally being recognized and accepted far beyond what anyone could have imagined just 20 years ago. And remind yourself, as I do every day, what it must be like for a young boy or a young girl in some other part of the world who could literally be killed, and often has been and still will be, who will be shunned, who will be put in danger every day of his or her life.

And so when I gave that speech in Geneva and said that we were going to make this a priority of American foreign policy, I didn’t see it as something special, something that was added on to everything else we do, but something that was integral to who we are and what we stand for. And so those who serve today in the State Department have a new challenge to do everything you can at State and AID and the other foreign affairs agencies to help keep widening that circle of opportunity and acceptance for all those millions of men and women who may never know your name or mine, but who because of our work together will live lives of not only greater safety but integrity.

So this is not the end of the story. There’s always more we can do to live our values and tap the talents of our people. It’s going to be an ongoing task for future Secretaries of State and Administrators at AID and for people at every level of our government. So even as we celebrate 20 years with Ben Franklin looking down at us, I want you to leave this celebration thinking about what more each and every one of you can do – those who are currently serving in our government, those who have served in the past, and those who I hope will decide to serve – to make not only the agencies of our government but our world more just and free for all people.

Thank you very much.

Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia.  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 has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues.  She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘This Is Nazism’: Americans Outraged After Kanye West Praises Hitler – ‘This Is Not a Clown Show. It’s Dangerous’

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Disgraced rapper and antisemite Kanye West on Thursday praised Adolf Hitler while in an interview with far right extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Many are expressing outrage online.

“I see good things about Hitler,” West told Jones, as Consequence reports. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.” 

In between those two remarks West launched into a plethora of lies about all the good things Hitler has done, including inventing the microphone (false) and highways (also false.)

West doubled down, exclaiming, “I like Hitler,” and said, “the Jewish media has made us feel like Nazis and Hitler have never offered us anything of value to the world.”

West, who brought a white supremacist with him to dine with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week, today also claimed he loves everyone but injected antisemitic tropes about contracts and pornography.

“I think most Jews are great people,” West said, while claiming, “I agree there’s a Jewish mafia.”

West, who goes by “Ye,” astonishingly “took credit for popularizing antisemitism,” Consequence reports, “saying, ‘No one in high school knew what antisemitic meant until Ye made it popular.'”

That, too, is a lie.

The outrage online is palpable.

U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) tweeted, “JUST NOW: ‘I see good things about Hitler, also. The Jews… Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.’
— Kanye West on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ InfoWars show.”

“This is Nazism,” he added. “When are we going to say ENOUGH?”

Many pointed to a wildly offensive tweet posted by GOP Congressman Jim Jordan, who heads the House Judiciary Republicans. After nearly two months it was removed within minutes of West praising Hitler.

U.S. Rep. Eric Falwell (D-CA) blasted Jordan, saying: “for 2 months you were cool with Jew-bashing.”

Sam Stern of Politico and MSNBC took a wider view.

“We’re all gawking at Kanye saying he sees ‘good things about Hitler’ but i can’t escape the absolute dread that people who know no better and look up to this man and stumble upon this interview will be moved, even on the margins, by him,” he tweeted. “This is not a clown show. It’s dangerous.”

As did actor Josh Gad:

“It’s not what Kanye West says that scares me. It’s that he has 30 million followers who listen to his insanity on top of a cheerleader in the form of the current owner of this platform. No one who says “I love Hitler” should be allowed any oxygen on any social platform (period).”

There is video online of Kanye West’s vile remarks. NCRM will not post or link to it.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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BREAKING NEWS

Matt Gaetz ‘Wingman’ Joel Greenberg Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison – Attorney ‘Disappointed’ Others Not Prosecuted

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Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and “wingman” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was sentenced Thursday to over a decade in prison after the judge said he “has provided substantial cooperation to the government — more than I’ve seen in 22 years.” But Greenberg’s own attorney chastised the Dept. of Justice, saying he is “disappointed” after all the evidence his client provided, that others were not prosecuted.

Greenberg, 38, faced about three decades in jail. He “pleaded guilty last May to six of the 33 federal charges he was facing, including charges of stalking, identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to bribe a public official, as well as one charge of sex trafficking,” ABC News reports.

DOJ has not brought any charges against far-right Republican Matt Gaetz.

READ MORE: Matt Gaetz Argues Against Abortion by Suggesting Same-Sex Couples Can Only Adopt From Raped Lesbian Women (Video)

“Mr. Greenberg has told federal authorities that he witnessed Mr. Gaetz have sex with the 17-year-old girl and that she was paid. In documents filed in connection with Mr. Greenberg’s sentencing, the Justice Department said he had ‘provided truthful and timely information’ that led to the charging of at least four other individuals and ‘provided substantial assistance on other matters’ that the government would address only in a sealed filing,” The New York Times reports.

Greenberg “had faced up to almost three decades in prison for a litany of crimes he had committed, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, stalking a political rival and stealing $400,000 in taxpayer money to buy cryptocurrencies and purchase sports memorabilia. But in the hopes of receiving a lesser sentence, he had cooperated with the government in a series of investigations, including into Mr. Gaetz,” The Times adds.

Greenberg’s own attorney this week blasted the U.S. Dept. of Justice for not moving forward with prosecutions he apparently believes his client has provided sufficient information for pursuing.

“If the Government is so concerned with general deterrence, then why hasn’t it prosecuted the other individuals, including public figures, who were also involved in Greenberg’s offenses?” Fritz Schiller wrote in a memo, according to ABC News.

READ MORE: Chasten Buttigieg Stunned as Nicolle Wallace Reports New DHS Warning Lists LGBTQ People as ‘Targets of Potential Violence’

“Perhaps the DOJ are master strategists far beyond the capabilities of the undersigned. Or perhaps the DOJ is like Nero fiddling away as Rome burns.”

Schiller also told reporters, “I’m shocked – I am disappointed by a number of prosecutions that haven’t been brought.”

After pausing for a moment and saying he wanted to think about how he would answer a reporter’s question, Schiller said, “I think there’s a number of prosecutions that can be brought in the areas of the SBA fraud, the bribery and kickbacks, election fraud, and the sex cases.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Chasten Buttigieg Stunned as Nicolle Wallace Reports New DHS Warning Lists LGBTQ People as ‘Targets of Potential Violence’

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At 2:00 PM ET on Wednesday the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security published its latest terrorism threat report, and for the first time LGBTQI+ people were listed as “targets of potential violence,” which DHS warned could be “lethal.”  Barely hours later, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace shared the news with Chasten Buttigieg, who was so stunned for several seconds he was speechless.

“I don’t know, I didn’t see that, and that – that hurts to that hurts to hear,” replied Buttigieg, who is married to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

Chasten Buttigieg had been invited to discuss his moving Medium essay, which he explained he wrote in response to Republican Senators on Capitol Hill debating his marriage, and the marriages of hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples, on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday ahead of their vote on legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages.

“My marriage has filled this house with so much love it makes me want to be a better husband, father, and citizen every day,” Buttigieg wrote. “It’s called me to something bigger than myself while recognizing that my kids are now the most important thing in life, and I’d do anything to protect them. Our family and our union push me to make sure we leave our kids a country and a world they can thrive in so that they, too, can enjoy all of the love and light and happiness that Pete and I have known simply by falling in love with one another.”

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Wallace, during their interview, sprung the news on Buttigieg that LGBTQIA+ people are now potential targets of domestic terrorism.

“Chasten, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning about threats to the LGBTQ community specifically, and obviously there is – in addition to rhetoric and hate speech, much of it showcased on conservative media outlets – you’ve also got the Senate Republican Leader who didn’t vote for this bill,” she noted, referring to the Respect for Marriage Act that passed the Senate in a 61-36 vote on Tuesday.

“I mean, what is what makes that threat so pervasive,” Wallace asked, “that DHS had to issue a warning to local law enforcement yesterday in your view?” (The warning was issued Wednesday, not Tuesday.)

“I don’t know, I didn’t see that, and that – that hurts to that hurts to hear,” he replied seconds later.

READ MORE: Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’

“Again, this is already a vulnerable community. Focusing and targeting on an already vulnerable community that – by the way, just wants to live,” Buttigieg explained. “They just want to survive and exist in a country that sees them for who they are and go about their lives just the way everybody else is, especially trans Americans.”

“Honing in on an already vulnerable community and picking on them and attacking them, many people who just want to go about their lives and exist freely and openly and safely just like every other American.”

The Dept. of Homeland Security on Wednesday published the new “Summary of Terrorism Threat to the United States,” which states: “Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.”

As Buttigieg’s response shows, learning you are now considered a “target of potential violence” can be stunning.

The Terrorism Threat Summary warns the United States “remains in a heightened threat environment.”

“Lone offenders and small groups,” DHS adds, “motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland.”

The tone of the law enforcement language is chilling.

READ MORE: In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info

“Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland. Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies.”

DHS warns that “threat actors could exploit several upcoming events to justify or commit acts of violence, including certifications related to the midterm elections, the holiday season and associated large gatherings, the marking of two years since the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and potential sociopolitical developments connected to ideological beliefs or personal hostility.”

“Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.”

“Some domestic violent extremists who have conducted attacks have cited previous attacks and attackers as inspiration,” the bulletin goes on to warn. “Following the late November shooting at an LGBTQI+ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado—which remains under investigation—we have observed actors on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged attacker.”

Watch Chasten Buttigieg’s interview with Nicolle Wallace below or at this link.

 

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