Connect with us

Here Are 13 GOP Congressmen Who Oppose Gays More Than Than They Support Our Troops

Published

on

13 Republican Congressmen have voted against giving spouses of veterans in same-sex marriages benefits equal to those of spouses of veterans in different-sex marriages.

In yet another display that last year’s Supreme Court ruling striking down only Section 3 of DOMA did not go far enough, yesterday 13 Republican Congressmen on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs refused to pass an amendment that would merely have extended equal benefits to spouses of veterans in same-sex marriages.

Those benefits include medical and disability benefits, death and burial benefits, insurance, housing, education, and more.

The Committee is chaired by Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida, and the amendment, which failed in a 12-13 vote nearly across party lines, was sponsored by Dina Titus, Democrat of Nevada. 

“This inequality for those who wore the uniform of the United States armed forces and their families is unacceptable,” Titus said yesterday. 

All Republicans on the Committee, but one, voted against the amendment. The lone Republican supporter of equality was Jon Runyan (R-NJ). All Democrats on the Committee voted in favor of the amendment.

The anti-gay Republicans claimed theirs was merely an issue of states’ rights, not animus.

“Deference to the state is not motivated by hostility, it is motivated by adherence to the Constitution,” Chairman Miller told the Washington Blade. “As such, I believe that it is not appropriate to usurp the states’ power to democratically define marriage for their citizenry — not for personal belief, and not for bureaucratic convenience.”

One notable Republican who voted “no” on the amendment was Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), who’s considered one of four sitting House Republicans to support marriage equality.

Although he said “the current system is not fair” for gay veterans, Jolly said he couldn’t bring himself to support the amendment because he felt it was non-germane to the larger bill.

One of Congress’ most anti-gay members, GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp, claimed, “I don’t want the VA or this committee to impose its views on the State of Kansas.” Congressman Huelskamp is pushing a bill that would add a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Congresswoman Titus, after the amendment failed, said, “It makes no sense that legally married soldiers receive benefits while in the military but lose those benefits when they become veterans if they live in the wrong place. Sadly, my Republican colleagues chose no.” 

There may still be long-term hope. The U.S. Supreme Court will likely take up at least one same-sex marriage case this fall. And civil rights group Lambda Legal is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs, “arguing that the denial of benefits to same-sex spouses of veterans living in states that refuse to recognize their marriages is in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.”

 

Jeff Miller (FL), Chairman

jeff_miller_congress1.jpg

 

Doug Lamborn (CO), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL), David P. Roe (TN), Bill Flores (TX), Jeff Denham (CA), Dan Benishek (MI):

gopa1.jpg

Tim Huelskamp (KS), Mike Coffman (CO), Brad Wenstrup (OH), Paul Cook (CA), Jackie Walorski (IN), David Jolly (FL):

 gopb1.jpg

 

All images official government portraits, via Wikipedia

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

'GOVERNMENT OF CHAOS'

Whistleblower Outs Kushner for COVID Task Force Failures: ‘Organized Crime Melded With Lord of the Flies’

Published

on

A former member of the White House coronavirus task force explained why he blew the whistle on what he saw as deadly incompetence within the group.

Max Kennedy, Jr. — the 26-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy — told The New Yorker that he initially agreed to join the task force that was being put together by White House adviser Jared Kushner because of the serious nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But it was such an unprecedented time,” he explained to The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. “It didn’t seem political—it seemed larger than the Administration.”

Kennedy recalled being shocked because a skeleton crew of unpaid task force volunteers were forced to use their personal laptops and email accounts to track down medical supplies.

“It was the number of people who show up to an after-school event, not to run the greatest crisis in a hundred years,” he observed. “It was such a mismatch of personnel. It was one of the largest mobilization problems ever. It was so unbelievably colossal and gargantuan. The fact that they didn’t want to get any more people was so upsetting.”

Kennedy said that one political appointee on the task force, Brad Smith, urged him to create a model that predicted a maximum of 100,000 deaths because existing scientific models were “too severe.”

“I don’t know the first thing about disease modeling,” Kennedy told Smith before declining the task.

Volunteers were also urged to pay close attention to Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and to ship medical supplies to her favored hospitals, Kennedy said.

Kennedy remembered Kushner stopping by the office with “an air of self-importance” on several occasions and promising to fix problems.

“But I never saw a single thing that Kushner promised change,” he said.

After quitting the position in April, Kennedy decided to defy a non-disclosure agreement by blowing the whistle in a complaint to Congress.

“I just couldn’t sleep,” he remarked. “I was so distressed and disturbed by what I’d seen.”

Kennedy said that the task force “was like a family office meets organized crime, melded with ‘Lord of the Flies.’ It was a government of chaos.”

“If you see something that might be illegal, and cause thousands of civilian lives to be lost, a person has to speak out,” he insisted.

Continue Reading

THIS IS NOT OK

‘Huge Big WTF’: Experts Scorch CDC for Deleting New Guidance Revealing Coronavirus Is Airborne

Published

on

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday quietly updated its official coronavirus guidance to reveal the pathogen is airborne, and can stay in the air at distances greater than six feet.

Few noticed the change but CNN reported it over the weekend.

“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the update read.

That updated guidance has now been deleted, as Harvard professor and former DHS official Juliette Kayyam noted.

She later noted CDC added a note to the page, claiming the update (which is critical information for everyone around the world) was a draft version.

Related: ‘People Need to Go to Prison’: CNN Analyst Blasts Trump Admin Hiding Coronavirus Is Airborne at More Than 6 Feet

“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted.”

Here’s how some experts are responding:

Award-winning medical science writer covering the pandemic for the New York Times:

Epidemiologist, Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:

Ex-Obama health care head:

Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, former Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at NYU School of Medicine:

Physician, Health Policy Researcher, NBC and MSNBC contributor:

Molecular Biologist, and President of the Federation of American Scientists:

UPDATE–
Kayyem adds this:

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

Continue Reading

TRUMP LIED PEOPLE DIED

‘People Need to Go to Prison’: CNN Analyst Blasts Trump Admin Hiding Coronavirus Is Airborne at More Than 6 Feet

Published

on

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday quietly changed its coronavirus official guidance to note that coronavirus droplets, or “aerosols,” can stay in the air far longer than previously thought and across more than just six feet.

“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes).”

This would be a revelation to many, who have relied on CDC guidance urging people to social distance, which it has consistently defined as staying six feet apart.

Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital physician Abraar Karan, who is working on Massachusetts’ COVID-19 respoinse, calls the CDC update “a significant shift.”

But the CDC also effectively loosened its guidance, suggestion to stay “at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible.”

Under the “Protect yourself and others” section, the previous version, up until sometime on Friday, read: “Maintain good social distance (about 6 feet). This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

Now it states:

Stay at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible. This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Joe Lockhart, a CNN political analyst and former Clinton White House press secretary, took to Twitter to blast the administration.

“Actually seven months after @realDonaldTrump told Bob Woodward,” about just how deadly coronavirus is, and that it spread through the air, he wrote. “This is criminal and people need to go to prison for this.”

To be clear, President Trump knew.

“This is deadly stuff,” he told the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, on tape. “You just breathe the air, and that’s how it’s passed.”

 

This article has been updated to remove the word “far” from distance classifications as the CDC did not state specifically how much farther than six feet coronavirus aerosols can travel. 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.