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BIG NEWS: Eric Holder Announces Transgender People Are Covered By Civil Rights Act

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Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder today stated the historic Civil Rights Act Of 1964 indeed covers transgender people.

Eric Holder, in a policy reversal, today issued a memo stating that “the best reading” of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does protect transgender people from sex discrimination, Buzzfeed reports today.

“I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” the outgoing head of the Justice Department said.

“This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Holder added. “This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.”

The Washington Blade wonders if the new policy could extend to sexual orientation.

“One question is whether the Justice Department will also interpret the prohibition on gender discrimination under Title VII to also cover claims based on sexual orientation,” Chris Johnson at the Blade writes.

In response to pending litigation filed by Peter TerVeer, who says he was fired by the Library of Congress because for being gay, the Justice Department has said he made inadequate claims to demonstrate he has standing to sue under Title VII.

The Washington Blade has placed a request in with the Justice Department to inquire if the Obama administration is considering interpretation of Title VII to cover claims based on sexual orientation.

Other groups are looking at the policy change as a good opportunity to advance equality. In a press release the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), said it is “calling on the Defense Department to end its currently unjustified sex discrimination against transgender troops by lifting the ban against open and honest service.”

And more, via Twitter:

 

Image by Ryan J. Reilly via Flickr

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IMPEACH

Some Among Democratic Base Grow Increasingly Frustrated as Pelosi Issues Statement Chastising Trump Over Whistleblower

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Statement  Does Not  Say ‘Impeachment’

Some among the Democratic base appear frustrated with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who has not been supportive of the majority of House Democrats who want to impeach President Donald Trump. Friday afternoon the Speaker quietly issued a lengthy statement responding to the bombshell news that a whistleblower has filed a “credible” and “urgent” complaint with the intelligence community.

Pelosi’s statement, which was not posted to her social media accounts as of this writing, made its way through Twitter via a handful of reporters.

“If the President has done what has been alleged, then he is stepping into a dangerous minefield with serious repercussions for his Administration and our democracy,” Pelosi said, as a Politico congressional reporter pointed out:

Nearly two-thirds of House Democrats support impeaching Trump, or beginning a formal impeachment inquiry at the very least, according to Politico. But the majority of the nation does not, nor do a majority of Democratic voters, according to recent polls.

“Only 37 percent support beginning impeachment proceedings, while half oppose it,” Politco reports, citing its own polls.

Speaker Pelosi’s statement concludes with this:

“We will continue to follow the facts and explore every possible option to ensure the American people get the truth. We would hope that Republicans would join us in supporting the Constitution.”

Some online are calling her statement “weak,” while others are disappointed with the lack of specific threats of action, and others are expressing exasperation with the Speaker not supporting impeachment:

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LIES LIES LIES

WATCH: Trump Says He Hasn’t Read Whistleblower Complaint – in Next Breath Claims ‘Everybody’s Read It, They Laugh at It’

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President Donald Trump has spent a good part of the day trying to minimize the news about a reportedly damning whistleblower complaint filed against him by an intelligence official. During an Oval Office press availability Trump threw many different claims at reporters, claiming both that he had no idea what was in the complaint or which country’s leader it involved, then claimed his conversation with the country’s leader was “great” and “beautiful.”

Minutes later he was asked again about the whistleblower report, and if he had read it.

“No I haven’t,” Trump replied.

“It’s – I, I just tell you it is – everybody’s read it, they laugh at it,” Trump said, making a face as if to denigrate the report.

It’s unclear who “everybody” is, but if it to have been even widely distributed Congress would need to investigate, given only the Director of National Intelligence and the IG should have access to it.

He went on to call it “another media disaster,” despite the intelligence community inspector general – who he appointed – calling the whistleblower complaint both “credible” and “urgent.”

Watch:

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2020 Road to the White House

Two LGBTQ Democratic Presidential Candidate Events – Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang Won’t Participate in Either

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Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Andrew Yang are the only two top Democratic presidential candidates who are declining to participate in both LGBTQ candidate forums. The first, hosted by GLAAD, The Advocate, The Gazetteand One Iowa, will be held Friday evening in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The second, hosted by HRC and CNN will take place in October in Los Angeles.

The ten Democratic presidential candidates who agreed to participate in Friday’s LGBTQ Presidential Forum are Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Julián Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson, according to The Advocate. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke appears to be the only other top Democratic candidate who will not be participating in Friday’s event, but he is slated to participate in the second event.

The LGBTQ Presidential Forum can be watched live via YouTube (video embedded below) starting at 7PM Central, 8 PM Eastern.

The evening will be hosted by “Pose” star Angelica Ross, who wasn’t shy about comments she was receiving about Senator Sanders’ decision to decline to participate.

She later tweeted this explanation:

The Advocate reported Senator Sanders is “the only frontrunner who will miss both events aimed at discussing LGBTQ equality and rights,” noting his “team has cited ‘scheduling conflicts’ for both events.”

Friday’s LGBTQ Presidential Forum is open to all Democratic presidential candidates. Next month’s HRC/CNN LGBTQ Town Hall is limited to only those who meet the DNC’s debate requirements. Nine candidates have agreed to participate in October. They are: Tom Steyer, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former HUD Secretary Julián Castro.

Watch Friday’s LGBTQ Presidential Forum here:

 

 

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