Â 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 Â Mary Kristene Â Chapa, Â has ignited the LGBT community and its allies in anger and sorrow Â Â
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. Â One week ago, she was spending time with her girlfriendÂ 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 Â 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. Â 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. Â The police indicated that the women did not know their assailant.
Earlier in the week the Â 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. Â The Texas Rangers, the Texan state police have opened an investigation.
Equality Texas, in partnership with theÂ the Human Rights Campaign contacted the U.S. Department of Justice who offered assistance by its Community Relations unit. Â 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. Â 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. Â The group is organizing two solidarity vigils in Austin and Dallas. Â 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.
“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: Â http://www.gofundme.com/kristene.Â Money orders and checks made out to: Â Mary Christine Chapa Fund should be mailed to:
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. DomiÂ is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights MovementÂ blog. Â She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs atÂ Columbia UniversityÂ and teaches human rights in East Central Europe andÂ former Yugoslavia.Â Â 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. Â She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. Â Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.
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Sean Spicer Bitterly Complains the Press Is Treating Jen Psaki Better Than They Did Him
As part of a deep dive into the growing popularity of White House press secretary Jen Psaki who has a legion of admirers on social media due to her handling of press, former Donald Trump press secretary Sean Spicer complained to the New York Times that she has gotten a free pass from the media that he never got.
According to the report, even Peter Doocy of Fox News had high praise for Psaki despite his almost daily battles with Psaki that have become widely shared on Twitter and evening newscasts.
“It never feels like I’m getting smacked down or vice versa,” Doocy admitted. “I understand why it looks like that, some of the ways that stuff gets clipped, but it doesn’t feel like that in the room.”
He added, “When I got back from my wedding she made a point to tell everybody in the briefing room that I just got married. That’s a transcript I can print out and show to my kids one day.”
As for Spicer, who eventually resigned following combative press conferences that were famously mocked on Saturday Night Live — with actor Melissa McCarthy portraying a bullying and manic Spicer — he thinks he was held to a higher standard than the current press secretary.
“‘I walked into the lion’s den every day — she walks into a bunch of kittens,'” Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s first press secretary and now the 6 p.m. anchor on Newsmax, said in an interview,” the Times’ Michael Grynbaum wrote.
Spicer also took exception to Psaki taking a dig at him during a press conference after President Joe Biden asked him to resign from the board of the United States Military Academy when she was asked about his performance in her job as well as appearances by Kellyanne Conway defending Donald Trump.
Psaki replied, “I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified.”
That led Spicer to complain, “Jen chose to stand and question my qualifications and services to this country. Once she did that, the gloves were off.”
You can read more here.
GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Won’t Make Kids Wear Masks in Schools But She Is Trying to Make Them Pray
South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem refuses to mandate masks for schoolchildren and teachers but she’s trying to make students pray in public. Gov. Noem, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, has let the coronavirus run rampant in her state of just 886,667 people – a population so small New York City’s is ten times larger. And yet coronavirus is running rampant in South Dakota, which ranks number eight in the nation for coronavirus cases per capita.
Governor Noem just made clear she does not see herself as a government or political leader, but as a religious one. Speaking to Real America’s Voice personality David Brody, Noem declared she will bring back prayer in schools (even though voluntary prayer has always been legal) and thinks political leaders are supposed to “minister” to their constituents.
Complaining that the actions other government leaders are taking “are not biblical,” Noem says they are supposed to “line up with God,” which is false.
“I think that it’s really time for all of us to look at the actions of our leaders and see if they line up with the word of God,” Noem said, “see if they’re biblical and if they really are following through on those actions that God’s called us to do to protect people, to serve people, and to really minister to them.”
Protecting, serving, and ministering – but not in the fight against the deadly pandemic.
“We’ve seen our society, our culture, degrade, as we’ve removed God out of our lives, and people become what they spend their time doing,” Noem declared. “When I was growing up, we spent every Sunday morning, every night, every Wednesday night in church, we were our church, family was a part of our life, we read the Bible every day as a family together, and spent time with each other, recognizing that we were created to serve others.”
Again, Noem makes clear she does not believe serving and protecting others has anything to do with COVID-19.
“I don’t know families do that as much anymore and those biblical values are learned, in the family, And they’re learned in church when the doors are open so people can be there and be taught.”
“We in South Dakota, have decided to take action to really stand for biblical principles. We had a bill that was passed during legislative session two years ago that put the the motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every single school building it is displayed. Now in every K-12 school building in the state of South Dakota.
“I have legislation that we’ll be proposing this year that will allow us to pray in schools, again, I really believe that focusing on those foundational biblical principles that teach us that every life has value every person has a purpose will recenter our kids and help us really heal this division that we see taking over our country.”
MSNBC’s Steve Benen notes, “given that the United States is a democracy, and not a theocracy, officials’ actions are supposed to line up with the Constitution and the rule of law, not how some people interpret scripture.”
“What the governor seemed to be suggesting, however, isn’t a system in which students pray on their own,” he adds, “but one in which school officials intervene in children’s religious lives. In the United States, that’s not legal: As my friends at Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently explained, ‘The South Dakota Supreme Court struck down mandatory recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the state’s public schools in 1929. The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated school-sponsored prayer and Bible reading in public schools in 1962 and ’63.'”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says the positions taken by political leaders must "line up with the word of God" and brags about pushing for prayer in public schools. pic.twitter.com/DRd2MJaKZw
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 17, 2021
Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Also Criticized ‘Court-Invented Rights to Homosexual Behavior and Same-Sex Marriage’
The architect of what is now Texas law, Governor Greg Abbott‘s “heartbeat” legislation that bans all abortion after six weeks, attacked the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marriage, and sex between persons of the same sex, in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this past summer. In that brief he also called same-sex marriage a “judicial concoction,” and argued that women should merely abstain from sexual intercourse as a method to “control their reproductive lives.”
Former Texas solicitor general and Federalist Society member Jonathan Mitchell, The Guardian reports, “who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to ‘wealthy pro-abortion’ states like California and New York with the help of ‘taxpayer subsidies.'”
“Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse,” Mitchell wrote in the brief. “One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”
“In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned,” The Guardian adds, “Mitchell and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other ‘lawless’ rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage.”
In their July, 2021 Supreme Court amicus brief, Mitchell and Mortara also call “interracial marriage” one of several “supposed constitutional ‘rights’ that have no basis in constitutional text or historical practice.” Among them, “court-imposed ‘substantive due process’ rights whose textual and historical provenance are equally dubious.”
On same-sex marriage and sex their opinion was devastatingly ruthless.
“The news is not as good for those who hope to preserve the court-invented rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage,” the amicus brief reads. “These ‘rights,’ like the right to abortion from Roe, are judicial concoctions, and there is no other source of law that can be invoked to salvage their existence.”
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