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LGBT Community Wracked in Grief: Funeral for Mollie Olgin; Candlelight Vigils Coast to Coast

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  Mollie Olgin’s family and friends prepare to bury her today in Corpus Christi, Texas after the unexplained attack on Olgin and her surviving girlfriend  Mary Kristene  Chapa,  has ignited the LGBT community and its allies in anger and sorrow   

 

Barely a week after most June Pride celebrations were held across the country, this afternoon, the family and friends of Mollie Olgin, 19 years old will be buried in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.  One week ago, she was spending time with her girlfriend Mary Kristene Chapa at the Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas when she was shot in her head and killed instantaneously by an unknown assailant.

Mary”Krissy” Kristene Chapa, also shot, remains in a local hospital in stable condition, who, according to statements by her brother Hilario, is making an “amazing recovery” and is  able to communicate by using sign language. She is also able to move on her right side, although no response from her left side yet.  Doctors say Krissy could have a complete recovery, although she does not have health insurance.

The Portland Texas Police Department released a description of the assailant yesterday, who is described at in his late 2o’s to 40, white or light-skinned Hispanic, dark hair, 5′ 8″ and approximately 140 lbs.  The police indicated that the women did not know their assailant.

Earlier in the week the  police department issued a statement this week indicating that there is no evidence thus far indicating that this was a hate crime, but their investigation continues.  The Texas Rangers, the Texan state police have opened an investigation.

Equality Texas, in partnership with the the Human Rights Campaign contacted the U.S. Department of Justice who offered assistance by its Community Relations unit.  In a statement issued by the group, Texas Equality thanked the Department of Justice for their quick response.

Vigils for the women began on Wednesday evening in San Francisco, organized by gay activist Cleve Jones, who issued a call to LGBT people and their allies and friends to come together across the country, to hold a vigil to the couple, calling the community together in a moment of terrible violence.

Last night the first Texas vigil took place in Mollie Olgin’s hometown of Corpus Christi.  Following this afternoon’s burial of Olgin, vigils will continue and have been organized throughout the country, including in Canada, according to Michael Divesti, a Texas gay activist and one of the leaders of GetEQUAL Texas.  The group is organizing two solidarity vigils in Austin and Dallas.  Divesti has been channeling his frustration, anger and frustration by organizing a central listing of vigils by publishing them on a dedicated page of GetEQUAL Texas website.

 

http://www.kristv.com/videoplayer/swf/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.5.swf

“Whether the attacks on Mollie and Mary Kristene were anti-LGBT, or not, and when something happens against any member of our community,” said Divesti,” we all feel threatened and recognize our mortality and vulnerability.”

For those who want to contribute on-line to Mary Christene’s insurance fund go to:  http://www.gofundme.com/kristene. Money orders and checks made out to:  Mary Christine Chapa Fund should be mailed to:

Prosperity Bank
1127 E. Sinton St.
Sinton, Texas 78387

Fort updated information on vigils around the country, go to the GetEQUAL Texas website for further information.

 

Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement blog.  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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COMMENTARY

‘Folks Knew Crimes Were About to Be Committed’: Dem Lawmakers Furious Over Republicans’ Involvement in Jan. 6

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Americans are expressing outrage after a bombshell Rolling Stone report that claims several GOP Members of Congress and their staffs were involved in planning and organizing Donald Trump’s January 6 rally that led to the violent and deadly insurrection, along with “Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss.”

Some of those who are among the most outraged are Democratic Members of Congress, who were in the Capitol on January 6 and feared for their lives. Learning that some of their GOP colleagues were involved in the planning of the rally that precipitated the insurrection has been “triggering,” as one House Democrat revealed, adding that it makes her “blood boil.”

The Rolling Stone article cites two “planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C.,” who allege Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) were deeply involved, along with these members of Congress or their aides: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Legal experts have called for those members of Congress and staffers to be expelled if the allegations are true, while one has urged people to “chill,” and let the DOJ do what it needs to.

Related –
‘Just Three Words: Call Your Lawyer’: Legal Experts Weigh in on Bombshell Report Naming Republicans Involved in Jan. 6

But the outrage is palpable.

U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) calls the Rolling Stone article “highly disturbing.”

“No one should be above the law,” he says, “including Members of Congress and former White House Staff. And if pardons were indeed discussed in advance, why would that be? Because folks knew crimes were about to be committed.”

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) says she is “joining the calls for those who helped plan the deadly January 6th insurrection to be immediately expelled.”

“Every Member of Congress that helped to plan the attempted coup of our government shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress.”

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, the first Asian-American elected to Congress from New York, says she has “angry tears right now,” citing the Rolling Stone report.

“During 1/6, I, like many, texted loved ones goodbye. Countless people have asked if I’ve been ok since & I’ve always answered truthfully that i was fine. But this article was triggering. How could colleagues be traitors? This makes my blood boil.”

She adds:

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) says the Rolling Stone report is “Further reinforcement of why the work of the” House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack “is so important. If any current members of Congress worked with the insurrectionists who threatened the very government they are a part of, they should be removed from office.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) says reports like the Rolling Stone article “underscore why the work of the Jan. 6th Committee is so important. We must follow all the facts, no matter where they lead.”

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OPINION

Don Jr. Suggests Trump’s New Social Media Site Was Created to Help Republicans Win Elections

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Donald Trump, Jr. is appearing to suggest his father’s new social media platform, Truth Social, was created to help Republicans win elections.

Appearing on far right host Sebastian Gorka’s Newsmax show that aired Sunday, Trump Jr. was asked in a segment about the new social media site what his “specific message” is “to those who had just kind of given up on the idea of America and free and fair elections.”

Trump Jr. did not hesitate.

“Let’s stay in the game,” he replied, after discussing Truth Social for several minutes and urging viewers to join. “I mean, you know, these are all steps that we’re taking to make sure that we can level that playing field, the playing field has been so biased for so long, right?” he claimed.

“We’ve been playing T ball while the other side has been playing hardball and doing whatever it takes,” Trump Jr. said, despite some Republicans working to overturn the free and fair 2020 presidential election.

“You know, Donald Trump opened the door for conservatives to start pushing back, to play the game the way the other side has done it. We need to keep doing that, we need to stay in this game. They would love for us just to tuck tail to run to turn the other cheek to be dejected, to take our ball and go home. We can’t allow that to happen, we have to stay in the game we have to stay involved we have to be vocal and we have to be unafraid.”

And even though Facebook was formed in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Microsoft in 1980, and Apple in 1976,  he also seemed to suggest that “Big Tech” or social media platforms have been working against Republicans for 50 years.

“And if we do that and you look at what’s going on right now with the insanity of this administration and all of the leftist agenda, you realize, Americans are waking up. It’s about time, but they’re finally doing it and we’re actually able to put up a front against a huge, huge platform that has been working against us, for half a century.”

Watch:

 

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COMMENTARY

‘Just Three Words: Call Your Lawyer’: Legal Experts Weigh in on Bombshell Report Naming Republicans Involved in Jan. 6

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Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights law attorney are weighing in on Sunday night’s bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or “Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss,” according to two of the planners of the “Stop the Steal” rally.

Rolling Stone reports “planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., have begun communicating with congressional investigators and sharing new information about what happened when the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Two of these people have spoken to Rolling Stone extensively in recent weeks and detailed explosive allegations that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent.”

Those named in the Rolling Stone report as allegedly being involved include Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and these members of Congress or their staffers: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Harvard professor, CNN Analyst, Grip Mobility CEO, well-known national security expert and former Obama Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem says clearly: “Mark Meadows, just three words: call your lawyer.”

Marc Elias, a top election law attorney who oversaw the 50-state response to the Trump campaign’s attempts contesting the 2020 election for the DNC calls for every member of Congress involved to be “expelled.”

Elie Mystal, the Justice Correspondent for The Nation says this is a matter for the DOJ:

“The potential that Members of Congress were deeply involved in the failed Trump Coup is another reason AG Garland must appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Jan. 6th,” says former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, who also makes clear this is a matter for DOJ. “There are Congressional staff who can testify to the involvement of Members.”

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor for 30 years, is calling it the “mother of all cover-ups.”

Attorney Maya Wiley, an MSNBC and NBC News Legal Analyst and senior vice president for social justice at The New School says it “Certainly explains how hard GOP tried to derail” the January 6 Committee.

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