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The Gay Hate Crimes Crisis Isn’t Over Yet

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Thursday’s historic passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is cause for celebration. The first federal legislation to provide inclusive protections for the GLBTQ community, this hate crimes bill will extend significant protections to many Americans.

Yes, we absolutely must celebrate this victory. It tells all our citizens, and the world, who we are, what we stand for – and what we won’t stand for.

But we cannot think we’re done. This is, in fact, just the beginning.

Gays in this country are increasingly becoming victims of violent, and deadly hate crimes. New York City, certainly more “gay-friendly” than many towns and cities across America, has been host to several brutal beatings this year. Among other incidents, New Yorkers have suffered beatings on a tony Upper East Side street, outside a Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood restaurant, and the latest, the vicious beating of forty-nine year-old Jack Price – caught on tape – in blue-collar Queens.

Kicked and beaten by two young men less than half his age, Price had to be put into a medically-induced coma. One of the men arrested in the attack claimed not to be homophobic, yet proudly displayed for the media’s cameras his (misquoted) Leviticus 18:22 tattoo: “You shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee this summer that there has been “nearly one hate crime for every hour of every day over the span of a decade,” since 1998 – the year Matthew Shepard was murdered. It’s been exactly four thousand thirty-one days since Shepard’s death. Over ninety-six thousand hours. Do the math. Yes, it’s taken that long – and that many hate crime incidents – for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation offering protection  to the GLBTQ community against crimes of hate.

But America is not alone in its treatment of GLBTQs. Scotland Yard reports an eighteen percent rise in homophobic hate crimes in London – almost 1200 incidents, more than three a day -  over the past twelve months. Italy has seen an eleven percent increase in gay-related hate crimes as well. But the worst news comes out of Iraq, where organized militias are roaming the streets and gunning down suspected homosexuals, and Iran, where the government has hanged adults and juveniles – just for being gay.

Homophobic hate crimes are on the rise, and for every hate crime that makes the statistics, how many go unreported? Obviously, there are few numbers available, but one study out of Ireland this year found that sixty-four percent of homophobic hate crimes are not reported to police. A 2007 study by Human Rights First determined that “[London] police themselves estimate that some 90 percent of homophobic hate crimes go unreported.”

Every hate crime – reported or not, affects the larger community. Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker says that a hate crime,

“…is really two crimes — one against the individual and another against the group to which he belongs. By that definition, [Matthew] Shepard’s murder may be viewed as a terrorist act against all gays, who would have felt more fearful as a result.”

And to those, like Rep. Steve King (D-IA) who tried to have the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill name changed to the “Local Law Enforcement Thought Crimes Prevention Act of 2009,” we can now, proudly, say, America thinks you’re wrong, and the full weight of U.S. law says so.

Yes, Thursday’s passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is cause for celebration. But it will also be a rallying cry – to those like Rep. King, and to those like the American Family Association, that bastion of bigotry, whose latest call to action offered this attack:

“In its never-ending quest to shred America’s Judeo-Christian value system, the left is planning to hurriedly push through a “thought crimes” bill.

So-called “hate crimes” laws are really laws that criminalize thought, because they punish an individual not for what he did but for what he thought. Politically incorrect thoughts about homosexual behavior will result in enhanced criminal sanctions under this law.

Everywhere hate crimes laws have gone into effect, they have been quickly used to intimidate, silence and punish people of faith who express deeply held religious objections to the normalization of homosexuality.”

We can’t assume the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act will put an end to hate crimes. They’re already on the rise. What we need to do is work to ensure more victims of hate crimes report them.

Let’s use this hard-fought success to rally our troops and ensure the momentum we’ve built this year doesn’t end with the hate crimes bill. Let’s redouble our efforts to see repeal of DADT and DOMA, and enactment of ENDA.

There are only two months left in the year. There is a crisis confronting the GLBTQ community. Let’s address it, before it’s too late.

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New Bombshell Book on Trump Reveals He Wanted to Be Treated Like Hitler: ‘Totally Loyal’

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Two of the country’s best journalists have published reporting from their new book about Donald Trump that includes huge bombshells, including that as president he compared himself to Hitler, in a positive way for both men. Trump, essentially, imagined himself as Hitler, and wanted his generals to display unflinching, unquestioning loyalty.

“Trump’s love affair with ‘my generals’ was brief, and in a statement for this article the former President confirmed how much he had soured on them over time,” The New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker write at The New Yorker, in an piece titled, “Inside the War Between Trump and His Generals.”

“These were very untalented people and once I realized it, I did not rely on them, I relied on the real generals and admirals within the system,” Trump wrote to them.

READ MORE: ‘Clear and Present Danger’: Conservative Former Judge Testifies Donald Trump and Allies Are Threat to Democracy (Video)

“It turned out that the generals had rules, standards, and expertise, not blind loyalty. The President’s loud complaint to John Kelly one day was typical: ‘You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?'” Glasser and Baker reveal.

“Which generals?” Kelly asked.

“The German generals in World War II,” Trump responded.

“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?” Kelly said.

“But, of course, Trump did not know that. ‘No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him,’ the President replied.”

That’s just one bombshell.

The article is drawn on reporting from their upcoming book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021.”

Glasser and Baker obtained a resignation letter Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley wrote to Trump after the Lafayette Square Bible photo-op incident.

“The events of the last couple weeks have caused me to do deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and execute your orders,” Milley wrote. “It is my belief that you were doing great and irreparable harm to my country.”

Milley, in the letter he ultimately did not give Trump, accused him of “using the military to create fear in the minds of the people,” saying “we are trying to protect the American people. I cannot stand idly by and participate in that attack, verbally or otherwise, on the American people.”

“I swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States and embodied within that Constitution is the idea that says that all men and women are created equal,” the letter also says. “All men and women are created equal, no matter who you are, whether you are white or Black, Asian, Indian, no matter the color of your skin, no matter if you’re gay, straight or something in between.”

“We’re all Americans. That under these colors of red, white, and blue—the colors that my parents fought for in World War II—means something around the world. It’s obvious to me that you don’t think of those colors the same way I do. It’s obvious to me that you don’t hold those values dear and the cause that I serve.”

He also wrote: “it is my deeply held belief that you’re ruining the international order, and causing significant damage to our country overseas, that was fought for so hard by the Greatest Generation that they instituted in 1945.”

Read the entire article here.

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Less Than Half of Florida Voters Would Choose ‘Polarizing’ DeSantis New Poll Finds

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Ron DeSantis is facing much more challenging odds of winning re-election than some would assume as a just-released poll finds less than half of Floridians would vote for their Republican governor.

The poll, released by Florida progressive groups but more heavily weighted toward a GOP electorate finds just 48 percent of all registered voters would vote for DeSantis, and 43 percent would choose the Democratic nominee, Florida Politics reports. The Democratic gubernatorial primary is August 23, between U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, their former governor, and Nikki Fried, the current commissioner of agriculture.

“About 2,244 registered Florida voters [were] weighted to reflect a midterm electorate favorable to Republicans. Respondents were surveyed between July 26 and 31.” The poll was released by by Progress Florida and Florida Watch.

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Goes Into Effect as Schools Scramble to Avoid Parental Lawsuits

DeSantis is viewed favorably by 50% of voters, but unfavorably by 48%.

“Given his financial advantage DeSantis remains a favorite to win re-election, but his polarizing nature could put a ceiling on his support,” a memo from pollsters Geoff Puryear and Annika Ramnath reads.

Given DeSantis’ nearly-daily press conferences, often surrounded by children or law enforcement, many forget he won his gubernatorial election in an extremely tight race, by 32,463 votes, a margin of just 0.4%.

READ MORE: ‘Combative’ Press Secretary for Ron DeSantis Registers as Foreign Agent After DOJ Inquiry: Report

To beat DeSantis the Democratic candidate would need to overcome the poll’s five-point spread, meaning securing more than half of the nine percent of undecideds or pulling several points away from DeSantis, or greatly increasing Democratic voter turnout. Back in April DeSantis decried Democrats moving to Florida, calling it “a problem” because “they would continue to vote the same way.”

The polling memo notes that 65% of Florida voters “prefer the Democratic message” on abortion.

“Democrats in Florida need to make sure that as surely as abortion rights were on the ballot in Kansas…abortion rights are on the ballot this fall, and that voters know that Marci Rubio, Ron DeSantis, and legislative Republicans support extreme abortion bans, even for victims of rape and incest,” the pollsters’ memo adds.

DeSantis has doubled down on many of his highly controversial moves, including signing into law the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which made nationwide news for months. He reversed a 50-year law that effectively granted Disney World the ability to assume most governmental operations for its district, as a punishment for the company, a huge employer in the Sunshine State, speaking out in opposition to the anti-LGBTQ law.

Authoritarianism exert Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University, in June told Insider DeSantis is “a very dangerous individual” because “he is equally repressive, but doesn’t have the baggage of Trump.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump Rambles for 108 Minutes in CPAC Speech Filled With ‘Unapologetic Fascism’: Report

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Former President Donald Trump spoke for nearly two hours in his closing address at the CPAC summit in Dallas.

In Trump’s view, America has been destroyed in the 18 months since he left office, with out-of-control crime, inflation, and oddly enough unemployment, which Trump estimates to be three times the official number.

Trump took the stage to the song “God Bless the USA” and began by thanking the “proud patriots” in attendance.

Trump said he was proud to be joined by Rep. Ronnie Jackson (R-TX), who was his White House surgeon.

“He was an admiral, a doctor, and now he’s a congressman,” Trump noted, saying he asked him which was the best.

“And he sort of indicated doctor, because he loved to look at my body. It was so strong and powerful,” Trump said.

Trump then introduced Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

“This is no time for complacency,” Trump warned. “We have to seize this opportunity to deal with the radical left socialist lunatic fascists. We have to hit them very, very hard. It has to be a crippling defeat.”

He went on to complain about Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed a procedural vote after Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote while Trump was speaking, resulting in harsh words for GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

“But McConnell is the most unpopular politician in the country, even more so than crazy Nancy Pelosi, and something has to be done,” Trump urged.

Trump said Biden “surrendered our strength and our everything [in Afghanistan], they surrendered our dignity.”

Michael Hardy, senior editor at the Texas Monthly, was one of the local journalists covering the speech. He said that line had “echoes of the Nazi ‘stab in the back theory’ of losing WW1.”

Trump then described crime in “Democrat-run (sic) cities” in very dark terms.

“The streets of our Democrat-run cities are drenched in the blood of innocent victims,” Trump claimed. “Bullets are killing little beautiful little children who never had a chance. Car jackers lay in wait like predators.”

Hardy described that as “some literal blood-and-soil rhetoric.”

And Trump went on saying “we need to courage to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done,” which Hardy said “is a rallying cry for street violence and worse.”

Trump went on to call for a military takeover of San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Portland.

“Trump’s rhetoric is significantly more extreme than even a few years ago,” Hardy said. “This might be most frightening speech I’ve ever heard. Full-on, unapologetic fascism. Trump has either been reading Mein Kampf or having someone read it to him.”

Trump repeated his lies about election fraud and teased a 2024 presidential comeback.

Former RNC official Tim Miller said, “I know everyone in the DC GOP is just hoping Trump will die but it’s impossible to watch this CPAC speech and not come to the conclusion that he’s going to run and be very hard to beat in a primary. Sorry to be the bearer of bad weekend news.”

After his speech, Trump danced on stage to the song “Hold On I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave.

“Don’t you ever feel sad; lean on me when times are bad,” Sam and Dave sang. “Then the day comes and you’re down; in a river of trouble and about to drown. Just hold on, I’m coming. Hold on, I’m coming.”

Watch below or at this link.

 

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