Several violent attacks on the LGBT community have occurred in the days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.
As expected, there are lots of people who are not happy with the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling last Friday, giving equal marriage rights to same-sex couples across the country. Conservative politicians and organizations immediately lashed out through multiple media channels. Unfortunately, physical attacks have also occurred.
On Sunday, June 28, Lucas Dylan Wilhelmson was charged with assault in North Carolina after entering an LGBT bar, criticizing the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling, and attacking the barâ€™s owner. According to Qnotes, the barâ€™s general manager explained that the attacker came in looking to start a fight. â€œFrom the second he started talking to people, it was downhill from there. He was looking for trouble. He said he was straight, but you could tell he obviously had deep issues from what he was saying and how he was acting. When he came in, he did not seem friendly at all.â€ He was released after posting a $3,000 bail.
Southern states arenâ€™t the only places where attacks on the LGBT community occur. Incidents still happen in friendly places like San Francisco. Over the weekend, a bystander was shot at a Pride event in San Francisco. Even though reports claim the attack wasnâ€™t related to the Pride festivities, itâ€™s hard to ignore the event’s location, or that shootings are becoming an annual Pride occurrence in San Francisco.
In Seattle, a couple was also attacked at a Pride event over the weekend. Patrick Dettling (image, top) and Stevens Briggs say a group of three men and two women attacked them while yelling out homophobic slurs. According to KOMO news, Dettling has a broken nose, cuts, and bruises. Briggs lost a tooth in the struggle and has a broken finger.Â
On Sunday, also in Seattle, a man wearing rainbow-colored beadsÂ says he was calledÂ a homophobic slur, and his attacker, placing a gun to his stomach,Â asked, â€œis your life worth that much?â€ Police booked the suspect on a hate crimes charge.
The Seattle Police report that later Sunday evening “a man and woman attacked a transgender victim.” The “suspects approached and asked ‘did you enjoy your parade?’ followed by an anti-gay slur. The maleÂ suspect then punched the victim in the face several times as the woman jumped on the victimâ€™s back. The attack left the victim sprawled on the sidewalk. The male suspectÂ put his foot on the victimâ€™s head before fleeing the scene with his accomplice.”
Police arrested one of the two suspects, also on a hate crimes charge.
In Cincinnati, a pro LGBT business was vandalized on Sunday. The Bromwell antique store was proudly displaying pride colors during the offense, which many people believe is the reason the store was hit. It was the only business targeted on the street. Even though itâ€™s a big coincidence that a pro LGBT business was vandalized shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, the police are not treating it as a hate crime.
Meanwhile, on Monday night members of the LGBT community and their supporters met at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO for a town hall meeting to address violence against the community. Itâ€™s important that we celebrate the recent win with marriage equality, but itâ€™s also important to remember that not everyone agrees with the ruling, and when emotions are high, people can react. Remaining aware and cautious over the next few weeks would be a good idea. Use the buddy system when going out, and remember to report all hate crimes to the police and media. Itâ€™s important to address these attacks immediately and inform the community when they are happening.
Image via Facebook
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Former US Attorney Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ After Report Secret Service Failed to Share Threat Against Pelosi
A former U.S. Attorney is calling for a full investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s failure to share intelligence it had detailing a violent threat against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats.
“This is deeply disturbing,” says Joyce Vance, who is now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. She says it “requires a full investigation.”
“The Capitol Police are responsible for protecting the Speaker,” Vance continues. “If true” that the U.S. Secret Service “failed to pass on intelligence about threats, that’s very alarming.”
Vance points to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that finds the Secret Service discovered a violent social media based threat on January 4, 2021, two days before the insurrection, but did not share that intelligence with the Capitol Police until nearly 6 PM ET on January 6.
The U.S. Secret Service is an agency under the Dept. of Homeland Security. The DHS Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari, is under investigation by two powerful House Committee chairs who on Tuesday accused him of “obstruction.”
In a separate report CREW reveals that “days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, documents exchanged between the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies outlined ‘threats of violence’ on the 6th, coming ‘predominantly from right wing groups’ with ‘plans to bring weapons into the District,’ according to documents obtained by CREW. The Secret Service knew that Trump’s supporters would be demonstrating around Freedom Plaza and the Capitol with the intent to cause violence, but the agency does not appear to have taken the threat seriously.”
“While the Secret Service downplayed threats posed by right-wing extremist groups and Trump’s supporters leading up to January 6, the newly obtained documents reveal just how grave and explicit the threats had actually been,” CREW alleges.
Image via Shutterstock
Secret Service Held Onto Violent Jan. 6 Threat Against Pelosi, Watchdog Says
Two days before the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump the U.S. Secret Service discovered a “series of violent threats” made on social media, including against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, but did not pass them on to the Capitol Police until the evening of January 6 – after the violence of the insurrection had ended, a watchdog reports.
“On January 4, Secret Service agents discovered a Parler account, which we’ve chosen not to name, posting a series of violent threats towards lawmakers. Other profiles with the same name appeared on Twitter, MeWe, Bitchute, Youtube and Facebook,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reveals.
“On December 31, the account posted, ‘January 6 starts #1776 all over again…Fight for EVERYTHING’ and listed ‘Enemies,’ including Pelosi. At 5:55 pm on January 6, after hours of defending the United States Capitol from a violent mob, the United States Capitol Police received the post along with a message from the Secret Service.”
“The language used by the account, as we’ve now seen repeated in recordings released by the January 6th Committee, is a clear call for a violent overthrow of the American government on January 6, 2021,” CREW adds.
The Secret Service found what CREW calls other “troubling” posts tied to that account.
“Biden will die shortly after being elected,” the account posted on January 2, four days before the insurrection. “Patriots are gonna tear his head off. Prison is his best case scenario.”
“We’re all on a mission to save America. Lone wolf attacks are the way to go,” read a Jan. 3 post. “Stay anonymous. Stay alive. Guns up Patriots!!”
CREW takes the Secret Service to task.
“In the past month, we’ve learned that the Secret Service failed to prepare for violence on January 6 despite receiving explicit warnings, then deleted key evidence from the day, likely breaking the law,” the nonpartisan watchdog reports, presumably referring to the deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. “The delay in notifying Capitol Police about the threat to the Speaker of the House only adds to the impression that the agency failed to do its job, and leads to more questions. Why did the agency wait two days, until after the Capitol had been breached and Congressional leaders were in hiding to pass it along?”
Watch: Pence Says He Would ‘Consider’ Appearing Before J6 Committee if Offered ‘Invitation’ to ‘Participate’
Former Vice President Mike Pence, asked if he would testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, said if invited he would “consider” participating.
“If there’s an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said Wednesday morning at a political event in New Hampshire, a state presidential hopefuls visit early and often. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, but as I’ve said, I don’t want to prejudge.”
In fact, as NBC News producer Frank Thorp V noted, “It would not, actually, be unprecedented for a VP to testify on Capitol Hill.”
Pence, as he often does, tried to frame his remarks in a historic context.
“Under the Constitution, we have three coequal branches of government, and um, any invitation that’d be directed to me, I’d have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as Vice President.”
Thorp notes that “Vice President Schuyler Colfax testified before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Credit Mobilier on January 7, 1873, which was while he was in office.” He also points out that President Abraham Lincoln and President Woodrow Wilson testified before Congress.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney adds that “many” of Pence’s “former top aides have testified at length, presumably with his blessing.”
Pointing to the video below, law professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck noted Wednesday morning that “Former Vice President Ford testified before Congress in October 1974 … while he was PRESIDENT.” He also notes that “former Presidents (to say nothing of former VPs) have testified before Congress *sixteen* times.”
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss says the former vice president “needs to testify fully under oath before the House January 6 Committee — and he must not take the Fifth.”
Watch Pence below or at this link:
Former Vice President Mike Pence when asked if he would cooperate if the January 6th committee called on him to testify:
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.” pic.twitter.com/y9NFrHwYtf
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022
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