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Violent Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes On The Rise After Marriage Equality Ruling

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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 Court’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 Court’s ruling, and attacking the bar’s owner. According to Qnotes, the bar’s general manager explained that the attacker came in looking to start a fight. “From 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.” He was released after posting a $3,000 bail.

Southern states aren’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 wasn’t related to the Pride festivities, it’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. 

On Sunday, also in Seattle, a man wearing rainbow-colored beads says he was called a homophobic slur, and his attacker, placing a gun to his stomach, asked, “is your life worth that much?” 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 male suspect then punched the victim in the face several times as the woman jumped on the victim’s back. The attack left the victim sprawled on the sidewalk. The male suspect put his foot on the victim’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 it’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. It’s important that we celebrate the recent win with marriage equality, but it’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. It’s important to address these attacks immediately and inform the community when they are happening.

 

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CORRUPTION

Bill Barr Ouster Demanded by Over 1100 Ex-Justice Dept Officials in Scathing Letter

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According to a report from the New York Times, over 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials have signed on to a letter calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to step down.

The report states the letter insists, “Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice,” adding those actions “require Mr. Barr to resign.”

The Times notes that signers of the letter come from across the political spectrum, adding, “Protect Democracy, a nonprofit legal group, gathered the signatures from Justice Department alumni and said it would collect more.”

Pointing out that the impetus for the letter is related to Barr’s interference in the Roger Stone case that led to prosecutors who handled it resigning en masse, the Times also reports that the signees, “Also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency’s inspector general and to Congress.”

You can read more here.

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OMG

Internet Disgusted After Trump Retweets Gross Video of Texas Mayor in Bathroom: ‘I Think You Have Hit a New Low’

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For some reason Donald Trump decided on Saturday to retweet a video of a Texas mayor who was unaware he was still wearing a hot mic when he went to the bathroom, which stunned even Trump’s regular critics on Twitter.

Trump pushed out the tweet with the video that stated, “THIS IS HILARIOUS. Mayor of Georgetown in the US excused himself to go & use the washroom in the middle of a meeting & forgot to switch off his mic on his tie & this is what happened.”

Not everyone agreed, with one commenter pointing out the putative Leader of the Free World “… has too much time on his hands.”

You can see a sampling below:

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AYFKM?

Trump Deploying Border Patrol’s Highly-Armed Elite Tactical Agents to Round Up Undocumented Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities

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Continuing his attacks on his enemies one week after being acquitted on articles of impeachmenmt President Donald Trump on Friday ordered a group of the Border Patrol’s elite tactical agents to deploy in major sanctuary cities to round up and arrest undocumented immigrants, The New York Times reports.

Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tactical Unit, BORTAC, are being sent to sent to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J.

BORTAC “acts essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol.”

These are top border patrol agents, who use stun grenades and other weapons usually reserved for warfare “in the most rugged and swelteringly hot areas of the border.”

BORTAC agents receive “enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification,” and “the officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.”

“Their presence could spark new fear in immigrant communities that have been on high alert under the stepped-up deportation and detention policies adopted after Mr. Trump took office,” the Times notes.

Former CBP commissioner Gil Kerlikowske calls the decision a  “significant mistake.”

“If you were a police chief and you were going to make an apprehension for a relatively minor offense, you don’t send the SWAT team. And BORTAC is the SWAT team,” Kerlikowske, a former chief of police in Seattle, told the Times. “They’re trained for much more hazardous missions than this.”

 

Image by Kristoffer Grogan/U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Flickr 

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