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UN Secretary-General Makes Extraordinary Statement In Support Of LGBT People

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Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, today made an extraordinary statement in support of LGBT around the world.

“More than 76 countries still criminalize homosexuality. I am pained by this injustice. I am here to again denounce violence and demand action for true equality. Let me say this loud and clear: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. They, too, are born free and equal. I stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights.”

Ban Ki-moon delivered the remarks at the “Leadership in the Fight Against Homophobia” panel discussion at the United Nations this afternoon, which included Ricky Martin and other LGBT activists.

Editor’s note: The New Civil Rights Movement will publish a full report from today’s conference tomorrow.

Below are the Secretary-General’s remarks, via the UN:

GOVERNMENTS HAVE DUTY TO FIGHT PREJUDICE, NOT FUEL IT, SECRETARY-GENERAL

TELLS SPECIAL EVENT ON ‘LEADERSHIP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA’

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the special event on “Leadership in the Fight against Homophobia”, in New York, 11 December:

Thank you all for coming to this remarkable meeting. What a meaningful way to commemorate Human Rights Day. I welcome all of the activists, supporters and others here today.

The very first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” All human beings; not some, not most, but all. No one gets to decide who is entitled to human rights and who is not.

The United Nations has a proud record of combating racism, promoting gender equality, protecting children and breaking down barriers facing persons with disabilities. We have a long way to go in all of these areas. But, we are turning the tide on discrimination in both law and practice. Slowly, some old prejudices have started to dissolve.

Yet, others remain in place, with horrendous consequences. Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people are targeted, assaulted and sometimes killed. Children and teens are taunted by their peers, beaten and bullied, pushed out of school, disowned by their own families, forced into marriage and, in the worst cases, driven to suicide. LGBT people suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity at work, at clinics and hospitals, and in schools — the very places that should protect them.

More than 76 countries still criminalize homosexuality. I am pained by this injustice. I am here to again denounce violence and demand action for true equality. Let me say this loud and clear: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. They, too, are born free and equal. I stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights.

I am proud that as Secretary-General I have a global platform to highlight the need to end violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The United Nations should lead by example. I recently reiterated to all senior managers that discrimination against staff on the basis of sexual orientation will not be tolerated. I have also asked that the UN’s rules and policies be examined to ensure that the rights of our LGBT staff are protected.

More and more Governments are working to tackle homophobia. Last year, the Human Rights Council adopted the first United Nations resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, which expressed “grave concern” at violence and discrimination against LGBT people. The High Commissioner for Human Rights published the first United Nations report dedicated to the problem, which was then debated at the Human Rights Council, marking another United Nations first.

The past decade has seen far-reaching reforms in Europe, the Americas and a number of Asian and African countries, and extraordinary shifts in social attitudes in many parts of the world. I applaud Argentina for introducing some of the most progressive legislation in the world on same-sex partnerships and gender recognition. I am pleased that we are joined today by Blas Radi, from Argentina, who helped drive the gender identity law adopted there earlier this year.

I also welcome Olena Shevchenko, who leads an important human rights effort in Ukraine. In a number of countries, including Ukraine, draft laws have been proposed that would criminalize public discussion of homosexuality — potentially making meetings such as this one illegal. I deplore these kinds of measures wherever they are introduced. They threaten basic rights, feed stigma and lead to more abuse.

We are also pleased to have Gift Trapence, a prominent human rights defender from Malawi. When I visited Malawi in 2010, two young men had just been sentenced to 14 years of hard labour for the so-called crime of celebrating their wedding. At my request, the then President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned them, on the very day when I asked him, but he defended criminal sanctions. Now, under the new leadership of Her Excellency President Joyce Banda, Malawi is weighing possible changes in the law. I hope Malawians take the opportunity to turn a page.

We must all speak out against homophobia, especially those who are considered leaders in society, as well as others in the public eye. Let me say a big “bienvenido” to pop sensation Ricky Martin. Muchas Gracias. You are a wonderful role model for LGBT youth and for all people. Thank you.

I am again honoured to share the stage with Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a global superstar and a champion of development, including as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF [United Nations Children’s Fund] and Roll Back Malaria. Thank you very much. Yvonne, you are known as the “Princess of Africa”. Today, you are our Queen of Equality.

Our guests — and you here today — have helped to open a door. We cannot let it close. It is an outrage that in our modern world, so many countries continue to criminalize people simply for loving another human being of the same sex. In many cases, these laws are not home-grown. They were inherited from former colonial Powers. Laws rooted in nineteenth century prejudices are fuelling twenty-first century hate. In other cases, new discriminatory laws are being introduced.

These laws must go. We must replace them with laws that provide adequate protection against discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is not optional. It is a State obligation, based on

the principle of non-discrimination — a fundamental tenet of international human rights law.

We also need a broad public education effort to spread understanding and counter fear. When I meet with leaders from around the world, I raise my voice for equality for LGBT people. Many leaders say they wish they could do more. But, they point to public opinion as a barrier to progress. I understand it can be difficult to stand up to public opinion. But, just because a majority might disapprove of certain individuals does not entitle the State to withhold their basic rights. Democracy is more than majority rule. It requires defending vulnerable minorities from hostile majorities. It thrives on diversity. Governments have a duty to fight prejudice, not fuel it.

I am deeply grateful to the cross-regional LGBT core group of Member States for bringing us together. I hope many other countries will join you. You and I and people of conscience everywhere must keep pushing until we realize the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all people. The freedom, dignity and equal rights that all people are born with must be a living reality each and every day of their lives.

 

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News

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

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House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in an angry letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned the Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that his role will end on January 3 and it is “imperative that all information collected be preserved.” The California Republican congressman had a dramatically different position on Donald Trump‘s unlawful retention of well over ten thousand items from the White House, including at least 300 documents with classified markings, including some classified at the highest levels.

McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker of the House but is facing strong opposition from some of the GOP caucus, nevertheless is acting as if he will wield the gavel.

His letter, angry and accusatory in tone, also strongly suggests Republicans will hold their own hearings on the January 6 attack on the Capitol and on democracy, but with a vastly different focus.

“The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress,” McCarthy’s letter begins. “On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end,” McCarthy told Thompson in his letter, which was reported on by CBS News.

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

“For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.”

Some have suggested that Thompson could transfer some or all of the Committee’s work product – all transcripts and other evidence – to the Senate.

McCarthy continued with his angry attack.

“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation.”

House Republicans, including McCarthy, spent million dollars on six Benghazi investigations, the last one of which McCarthy admitted was designed to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy bragged in 2015.

Unlike his defense of ex-president Donald Trump unlawfully removing and retaining at Mar-a-Lago approximately 13,000 items belonging to the National Archives from the White House, McCarthy warned Thompson the Committee’s work does not belong to the Chairman.

“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”

That’s actually false.

READ MORE: Charlie Kirk, Purveyor of ‘Rigged’ Election Lie, Complains GOP Lost ‘Because a Lot of People Do Not Trust the System’

The Committee has undoubtedly uncovered government secrets, including national security information, classified information, and information, for example, the Secret Service needs to keep secret to allow it to continue to secure its protectees. It also has entered into agreements with witnesses that prevent it from releasing those documents, transcripts, and other evidence to the public.

Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney says, “Kevin McCarthy’s letter demanding that the Jan. 6 committee preserve its records is mostly nonsense because the committee is planning to release all but a few of its transcripts.”

McCarthy continued, warning: “Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so.”

He then served up what some might say is a threat.

“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.”

18 U.S. Code § 1001 is the federal statute that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements.

McCarthy had a very different take when the U.S. Dept. of Justice executed a legal search warrant of Donald Trump’s Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago, to retrieve government-owned materials, including classified documents.

“Joe Biden and the politicized Dept. of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Sept. 1. “That is an assault on democracy.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Treasury Dept. Finally Hands Over Six Years of Trump’s Tax Returns to Powerful House Committee

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The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has finally handed over six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, after the U.S, Supreme Court denied the ex-president’s request to block the document transfer. The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is now in receipt of all six years, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from CNN.

The returns are primarily from Trump’s time as president.

The Committee will need to work quickly, as Republicans will take over the House majority early next year, and the current Chairman, Richard Neal, will no longer serve in that role.

Republicans are expected to end any investigations into Donald Trump, including his tax returns, as they begin investigations into top GOP priorities: Hunter Biden’s laptop, the origin of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

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

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

Image via Shutterstock

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News

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

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Top allies of Donald Trump were so disturbed by his decision to have dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week that the ex-president and 2024 GOP candidate will now have a handler with him around the clock.

The Associated Press also reports the campaign has also changed the protocols for visitors and will start to vet guests who come to see Trump, after the few procedures in place allowed antisemite Kanye West to bring along three guests.

“In an acknowledgment of the severity of the backlash and an effort to prevent a repeat, Trump’s campaign is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are approved and fully vetted, according to people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to share internal strategy,” the AP adds, revealing the campaign apparently does not trust the 76-year old ex-president to make decisions about who he should or should not spend time with.

The AP does not define “fully vetted,” but importantly the Trump White House had such a horrific track record of vetting nominees even GOP Senators were frustrated.

“The changes will include expediting a system, borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official will be present with him at all times, according to one of the people,” the AP adds, revealing what appears to be a previously unknown fact.

READ MORE: RNC Taps Right Wing Extremists to Head Group Designed to Expand GOP Appeal in Wake of Midterm Losses

The lax security at Mar-a-Lago was in place when Trump was storing 300 documents with various classified markings, including documents with top secret information and a set with the highest level of classification.

In yet another stunning revelation the AP reports that the antisemitic Holocaust “denier” and white supremacist Fuentes “arrived by car with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and was waved into the club by security, even though only Ye had been on the security list, according to one of the people present and others briefed on the events.”

The AP also reports that “Fuentes apparently did not show his ID and the car’s driver, a frequent guest at the club, got in using a credit card after misplacing her license.”

READ MORE: Charlie Kirk, Purveyor of ‘Rigged’ Election Lie, Complains GOP Lost ‘Because a Lot of People Do Not Trust the System’xn

The report does not mention the other two guests Trump dined with, reportedly far right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has supported adult men having sex with young teens, and Karen Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.

 

 

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