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Marco Rubio Just Voted Against Protecting LGBT Homeless Youth In A Sex Trafficking Bill

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Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio just cast a vote against LGBT homeless youth that was anything but presidential, fatherly, compassionate, or even humane.

As much of the nation knows, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been holding hostage a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general of the United States. The Senate Majority Leader’s bargaining chip for the past six months has been an important anti-human trafficking bill that had bipartisan support, until Republicans snuck anti-abortion language into the legislation.

Minutes ago, the anti-trafficking bill passed, 99-0, but not before the Senate voted on several amendments to the bill.

One bipartisan amendment, introduced by Democratic Senator Pat Leahy and Republican Senator Susan Collins would have added language banning discrimination against LGBT homeless youth.

“A recent study found that 1 in 4 homeless youth have been victims of sex trafficking, or traded sex for survival needs, such as food or a place to sleep,” Sen. Leahy said in a statement before today’s vote. “The study also found that 50 percent of homeless youth had been solicited for sex by an adult within 48 hours of leaving home. Let me say that again: half of these homeless kids were solicited for sex by an adult within the first two days of leaving home.  These kids – some as young as 12, 13, 14 years old – have nowhere to go, but we can work to make sure they have a safe place to go. That is what our amendment does.”

Leahy added that the language in his amendment “would prevent discrimination against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability,” and “is nearly identical to a provision contained in the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 which passed the Senate with 78 votes and was signed into law.”

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted down the Leahy-Collins Amendment to protect runaway homeless youth, SA 290, by a narrow margin: 56-43. 60 votes were needed for it to pass. It needed just four more.

Among those voting for the amendment that would have protected homeless youth and LGBT homeless youth were 44 Democrats – no Democrat voted against the amendment – along with both Independent Senators, Bernie Sanders and Angus King, and ten Republicans including GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul, whose anti-LGBT views are well documented.

Voting against the amendment were 43 Republican Senators, including U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, whose anti-LGBT views are also well-documented:

LOOK: Marco Rubio’s Top 10 Anti-Gay Statements

(A full list of how each Senator voted on the Leahy Amendment is here.)

Apparently, Sen. Rubio would attend the wedding of a gay colleague or family member, but he wouldn’t vote to save and protect an LGBT homeless child.

It’s well-known that between 25 percent and 40 percent of homeless children are LGBT, despite the fact that LGBT children are less than five percent of the nation’s population.

“All life is worthy of protection, and all life enjoys God’s love,” Rubio claims on his presidential campaign website. “I have a record of supporting pro-life policies, and will continue to do so in public and private life.” He adds, “I believe that as a nation we must always come down on the side of life. We must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.” 

Really?

Who is speaking for LGBT homeless youth?

Today, Reuters ran a story with the grossly misleading headline, grossly misleading title, “Presidential hopeful Rubio reaches out to gay Republicans.” As NCRM reported earlier today, that “reaches out” includes only a comment from the Log Cabin Republicans that they have had meetings with Rubio’s staff – not with Sen. Rubio himself. And Rubio’s office would not even admit that the meetings did – or did not – take place.

If this is LGBT outreach, Marco Rubio style, it’s perfectly in keeping with the GOP’s minority outreach efforts.

Oh, and by the way, that Facebook photo at the top of the page of a young Marco Rubio?

When you’re a child with a family who supports you and takes care of your needs, you can dream about playing in the Super Bowl. When you’re a homeless LGBT child or teen, you tend to dream about having a family who supports and protects you and takes care of your needs. 

The absolute very least we can do is vote to help protect them. It truly is the very least we can do.

 

This post has been updated. 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

 

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COMMENTARY

Trump Dodges and Gives an Accidentally Revealing Answer When Confronted on His Anti-LGBT Policies

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When President Donald Trump was asked Tuesday about whether he supports his administration’s anti-LGBT policies — including a new rule that would make it easier for employers to discriminate — he gave what seemed to be an unintentionally revealing answer.

The issue was raised by reporter Chris Johnson from the Washington Blade:

Washington Blade: Mr. President, your administration has been taking steps to make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people in the workforce. Are you OK with those actions?
Trump: Well, you know, I just got an award and an endorsement yesterday from the exact group. You saw that? They gave me the endorsement yesterday. I was very honored. It was Log Cabin. The Log Cabin, and I was very honored to receive it.
I’ve done very well with that community and some of my biggest supporters are of that community, and I talk to them a lot about it. I think I’ve done really very well with that community, as you know, Peter Thiel and so many others, they’re — they’re with me all the way, and they like the job I’m doing, and I just got a big endorsement from the Log Cabin group.
Washington Blade: But what about those actions?

Having ignored the actual substance of the question, Trump didn’t answer the follow-up.

But his answer actually revealed a lot. Despite his claim to “fight for” the LGBT community, Trump has been particularly antagonistic its members as president.

Related: ‘They’re With Me All the Way’: Trump Uses Log Cabin Endorsement as Shield When Asked About Destroying LGBT Rights

And contrary to what he said, the vast majority of the LGBT community does not and has not supported him. In 2016, Pew Research found:

Gay, lesbian and bisexual voters may make up a relatively small share of the American electorate – just 5% of voters in the 2012 general election identified as LGB, according to national exit polls – but they have long been a deeply Democratic constituency and today are overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of Donald Trump.

Nearly nine-in-ten LGB voters (89%) give the Republican presidential nominee a rating of cold on a “feeling thermometer” that ranges from 0 (the coldest, most negative rating) to 100 (the warmest, most positive score). About eight-in-ten (82%) rate Trump very cold, including more than half (54%) who give him a score of 0. Just 9% of LGB voters rate Trump warm.

But this doesn’t matter much to Trump, because he only cares about his supporters. So when asked about the LGBT community, he begins talking about the Log Cabin Republicans, a fringe group that does not represent anywhere close to the majority of the community. (As it happens, Jennifer Horn, a member of the group’s board, resigned in protest over the endorsement. And contrary to Trump’s claim, it did not give him an “award.”) And by mentioning Peter Thiel, a wealthy gay investor, Trump is pulling the laughable “I have a gay friend” excuse for being a bigot. He’s refusing to respond to or even consider the actual LGBT community as a whole because he just doesn’t care.

The president has long made clear that he’s only interested in representing his supporters, not the American people as a whole. That’s why he criticizes California when it experiences natural disasters but promises Alabama “A+ treatment” after tornadoes strike. That’s why Sen. Lindsey Graham could point out that Trump wouldn’t be launching racist attacks at a Somali refugee congresswoman if she were “wearing a MAGA hat.” For him, people only deserve basic dignity and respect if they already support him. Unfortunately, the likes of Thiel and the Log Cabin Republicans have to debase themselves to get this recognition.

 

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MESSIAH COMPLEX

#25thAmendmentNow Is Now the Top Trending Topic After Trump Calls Himself ‘The Chosen One’

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President Tweets He’s ‘The Second Coming of God’

President Donald Trump appeared even more unhinged on Wednesday, kicking his day off by posting tweets calling him “the second coming of God,” and the “King of Israel.”  Just hours later Trump trashed the Prime Minister of Denmark, calling Mette Frederiksen’s negative response to him wanting to buy Greenland from them “nasty” – a word he generally reserves for women he does not like.

Shortly thereafter, Trump flip-flopped on his claim just 24 hours earlier that he was thinking about pushing through a payroll tax cut to help get the economy going, amid global fears of a recession. On Wednesday he told reporters he had no intention of implementing any tax cuts.

Trump also scalded veteran NBC News reporter Peter Alexander for simply asking this question: “You said Russia was kicked out of the G8 because they outsmarted Obama; in fact it was because they annexed Crimea… They’re still there, why let them back in?”

And he insisted that he would have to mollify the NRA over any changes in gun policy, while backtracking from his promise to advocate for a law ensuring complete background checks – something the NRA opposes.

But it was during that press gaggle Wednesday afternoon Trump let loose, exploding social media.

He called himself – as he looked up at the sky – “the chosen one” (photo.)

To be clear, it was in reference to his trade war with China, but the religious, messianic inference was palpable.

All this amid the President’s anti-Semitic remarks earlier in the week, when he called the vast majority of American Jews “disloyal” for not voting Republican.

“I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat—I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,”

About 80% of Jewish Americans vote Democrat.

Oh, then Trump declared he is looking “very seriously” at signing an executive order to end the constitutionally-mandated promise of bestowing citizenship at birth to anyone born on U.S. soil.

That’s just a sample of all the insanity Trump has created in under 24 hours.

So perhaps it’s not surprise that #25thAmendmentNow is the top trending topic on Twitter right now, and has been for hours.

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the pathway for the Vice President to declare the President of the United States unfit to continue serving.

 

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News

Trump Says He’s ‘Very Seriously’ Looking at Changing Constitutionally-Mandated Right to US Citizenship

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President Donald Trump says he is looking “very seriously” at altering a constitutional right to citizenship at birth. The president made his remarks during a press gaggle during which he also called himself “the chosen one” as he looked up at the sky. Those remarks came just hours after he tweeted praise calling him “the second coming of God” and “the King of Israel.”

“We’re looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” Trump told reporters. Birthright citizenship is mandated by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Also known as Jus soli, it dates back to English common law.

Basically the law says that any person on U.S. soil at the time of their birth is a U.S. citizen, regardless of their parent’s nationalities.

“We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land. You walk over the border, have a baby — congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen,” Trump said, calling it “absurd.”

He told reporters if he were to end it he would do so via executive order.

It’s likely that would be unconstitutional and would absolutely be fought in court.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” the Constitution reads.

Watch the president discuss birthright citizenship:

In addition to likely being unconstitutional, Trump’s attempt to end birthright citizenship would be opposed by many.

Here’s a University of Texas Law professor:

Here’s a conservative, National Review writer David French:

 

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