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Democrats In Congress To Introduce New Comprehensive LGBT Rights Bill – 7 Ways It Could Help You

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Democrats are introducing a comprehensive LGBT rights bill in Congress this week. Here are 7 ways it could positively impact you.

We’ve seen monumental progress in the fight for LGBT equality over the past few weeks. The Supreme Court of the United States gave us marriage equality on June 26, and last Thursday the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that GLB workers are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, just as it did for transgender workers last year.

UPDATE: July 23 12:40 PM EDT –
Watch Live NOW: Democrats Introduce Historic, Expansive LGBT Civil Rights Bill

Hoping to use this momentum and take LGBT equality another giant step forward, Democrats in Congress plan to introduce broad legislation this week to protect LGBT people from discrimination.

On Monday, in a “dear colleagues” letter, Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline requested co-sponsors for his Equality Act bill that would protect LGBT people from discrimination in areas such as housing, workplaces, schools, and public accommodations. BuzzFeed reports that Rep. Cicilline plans to introduce the measure at the same time Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon files a companion bill in the Senate.

Here are seven reasons why this bill is important to you:

1.) CREDIT: Currently, creditworthy people can be refused loans, leases, and/or credit cards if a lender wants to discriminate against the applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), passed in 1974, prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because a person receives public assistance. It does not, however, explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The proposed Equality Act would rectify this.

2.) EDUCATION: Currently, federal law prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, and disability; however there are no explicit federal protections for students based on sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 35 states offer little or no explicit protections for LGBT students, but this discrimination affects more than just students. It impacts every taxpaying American citizen. How, you might ask? Well, the Column reports that eight colleges and universities in Minnesota alone took in more than $15 million in federal taxpayer money in 2014 while barring openly LGBT students from attending or prohibiting LGBT people in employment. The new bill would stop schools that discriminate against the LGBT community from receiving million-dollar tax credits from the federal government.

3.) EMPLOYMENT: “In most states, a same-sex couple can get married on Saturday, post pictures on Facebook on Sunday, and then risk being fired from their job or kicked out of their apartment on Monday,” Cicilline said in his “dear colleagues” letter. In fact, there are 29 states that don’t have laws explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 32 states don’t have laws explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. As a result, LGBT people can be harassed, denied a promotion, and even fired for something that is not even related to their work performance. This bill would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

4.) HOUSING: The Fair Housing Act (FHA) currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability in the sale or rental of housing. This applies to both public and private housing including single-family homes, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, etc. The HRC reports that in 2011, heterosexual couples were favored over gay male or lesbian couples by 15.9 and 15.6 percent, respectively. The National Center for Transgender Equality reports that one in five transgender people have been refused a home or apartment because of their gender identity or expression. This new bill would ban discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

5.) JURY SERVICE: It’s hard to imagine how an LGBT person could have a fair trial when the jury selection process allows for discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. That’s one of the reasons this bill is so important. There are currently no explicit federal protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity for jury discrimination. In 2012, a lawyer used his first peremptory challenge to strike a prospective juror in an HIV related case because the prospective juror was a gay man. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the removal of a juror due to sexual orientation was prohibited by the 14th Amendment, but the Supreme Court of the United States has not yet addressed this issue.

6.) FEDERAL FUNDING: The majority of federal programs do not have explicit prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Examples of a few of the federally funded programs that would be impacted include, but are not limited to job training programs run by welfare benefit providers, hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid, foster care and adoption agencies, police and justice programs, and more.  

7.) PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION: You’ve heard about this one a gazillion times by now. Whether it’s a baker that doesn’t want to provide a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, or a florist that doesn’t want to make the couple’s bouquet, companies are using religion as an excuse to refuse service to LGBT people. The HRC reports that 23 percent of LGBT people had received poor service in a restaurant, hotel or place of business because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and 53 percent of transgender people reported experiencing verbal harassment and bullying in public spaces. It’s time to remove this legal discrimination once and for all.

The Equality Act could significantly impact the lives of many LGBT Americans. Ironically, its introduction coincides with a committee vote on a Republican-backed bill to “protect” people and organizations that disagree with same-sex marriage.

Will it be possible to pass the Equality Act in a Republican dominated House and Senate? Get your dialing finger ready. It’s going to be time to call your representatives soon. 

 

Image by JBrazito via Flickr and a CC license

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Listen: GOP Candidate for Congress Says Garland Should ‘Probably’ Be ‘Executed’ – Later Claims He Was Just Being ‘Facetious’

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New York Republican Carl Paladino, running for a U.S. House seat, said Attorney General Merrick Garland should probably be “executed” in a radio interview this past weekend, and later when pressed backtracked, claiming he was just being “facetious,” as The Buffalo News first reported.

“So we have a couple of unelected people who are running our government with an administration of people like Garland,” Paladino said in an attack on President Joe Biden in a Saturday interview with the far-right wing Breitbart media site.

Garland “should be not only impeached he should probably, should be executed, the guy is just lost,” Paladino said.

Paladino called Garland, a former U.S. Supreme Court nominee and former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a “lost soul” who is “trying to get an image and his image, his methodology is just terrible.”

READ MORE: Stefanik-Endorsed Candidate Called Black People ‘Dumb and Hungry,’ Said Trump Sexual Assault Accuser ‘Probably Enjoyed’ It

“To raid the home of a former president is just, people are scratching their heads and they’re saying, ‘What is wrong with this guy?’ ”

Later in the interview Breitbart Radio host Matthew Boyle asked Paladino, “Carl, what you just said about Garland, you said you think ‘he should be impeached and probably executed.’ Can you explain that? What do you mean by that?”

“I’m just being facetious,” Paladino replied. “The man should be removed from office. He’s shows his incompetence. He wants to get his face in front of the people. And in short, he’s got some mettle to him, but his choice of issues and his choice of methodology is is is very sad. And then he wants to take full blame for it, you know he’ll he’ll stand there.”

Paladino, who is strongly endorsed by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY),  the Chair of the House Republican Conference, has a long history of controversial remarks and actions.

RELATED: School Board Votes to Ask for Resignation of Racist Trump Official Who Hopes Michelle Obama Goes to Live With a Gorilla

Just last month the New York Post reported he “has a convicted sex offender on his company payroll who also now works as ‘assistant treasurer’ of his campaign.”

“Joel Sartori was controller of Ellicott Development when he was busted in 2013 for accessing child porn on a company computer,” The Post adds. “Sartori was convicted of two felonies — possessing and promoting kiddie porn — and sentenced to 10 years’ probation in 2017, court records show.”

As CNN has reported, Paladino has called Black people “dumb and hungry,” claimed they are “conditioned” to only vote for Democrats, while insisting he’s not “a racist.” He also said a woman who had accused Donald Trump of sexual assault “probably enjoyed” it.

Stefanik, the third most powerful House Republican, on June 3 praised Paladino as an “inspirational” leader, a “doer,” and “the kind of leader we need today.” That endorsement came just days before it was revealed Paladino in 2021 had called Adolf Hitler “inspirational,” and “the kind of leader we need today” (audio.)

Stefanik later doubled down on her endorsement despite Paladino’s praise for Hitler, a genocidal fascist responsible for the murders of approximately 17 million people.

As CNN also reported, in 2016, “Paladino had said he would like to see Michelle Obama ‘return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,’ and that he hoped Barack Obama would die of Mad Cow Disease after having sex with a cow.”

Listen to Paladino’s remarks about Attorney General Garland below or at this link:

Image: Screenshot via Facebook

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Trump’s Fundraising Off Mar-a-Lago Raid Hit $1 Million a Day – and It’s Still Higher Than Usual

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When Donald Trump announced that the FBI was raiding Mar-a-Lago his fundraising operation went into high gear, and produced tremendous results: up to $1 million a day, and still trending higher than usual more than a week after federal agents removed 20 cartons including at least 11 sets of classified materials.

“Contributions to Trump’s political action committee topped $1 million on at least two days after the Aug. 8 search of his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, according to two people familiar with the figures,” The Washington Post reports, calling it a “cash bonanza.”

“The daily hauls jumped from a level of $200,000 to $300,000 that had been typical in recent months, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss nonpublic information,” The Post adds, noting more than 100 fundraising emails have been sent. “The donations stayed unusually high for several more days and are still above average, both of these people said, though they have leveled off in recent days. There are more contributors than usual, these people said, and the average donation has climbed.”

READ MORE: Weisselberg Expected to ‘Criminally Implicate’ Trump Organization in Plea Deal Admitting to 15 Felonies: Reports

Describing the Mar-a-Lago themed fundraising emails as a “firehose,” The Post offered some examples: “THEY BROKE INTO MY HOME,” “They’re coming after YOU,” and “THIS IS INSANE.”

“One message included a poll asking, ‘Do you agree that President Trump is being politically persecuted?’ Another promised ‘an exclusive 1300% MATCH today only!,’ a common tactic used to encourage people to respond immediately.”

The Daily Beast last week reported Trump’s “campaign wants to cash in on his Florida residence being raided by FBI agents. ‘My home, Mar-a-Lago, was raided by the FBI,’ an early Wednesday morning fundraising email stated. ‘These are dark times for our Nation,” the message continued. ‘WITCH HUNT,’ another email sent out by Trump’s Save America PAC declared, while soliciting donations.”

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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‘A Perfect Call!’: Trump Rails Against Georgia Election Probe in Late-Night Truth Social Rant

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Donald Trump Joe Biden twitter

Former President Donald Trump is posting vintage rants attacking investigators on his Truth Social platform.

In a late-night tirade, the former president lashed out against the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office just hours after Rudy Giuliani testified before a special grand jury that’s probing the Trump campaign’s efforts to illegally remain in power despite losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

“So, let me get this straight!” Trump’s rant began. “In the Great State of Georgia, if you want to challenge or protest Election results in any way, shape, or form (despite the fact that in Atlanta, murders and crime are the highest in the Nation, with many people dying each month – at numbers never seen before), they will charge you and put you in jail. But if you kill people, you will quickly be set free to murder again. Isn’t there something ‘slightly’ wrong with this scenario? A PERFECT PHONE CALL!”

In fact, the grand jury is not probing Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results, but is rather investigating incidents such as his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pushed for Raffensperger to “find” 12,000 votes and “recalculate” the final vote tally.

READ MORE: Former CIA director warns GOP is the most ‘dangerous and contemptible’ political force on earth

In a separate post, the former president attacked the Washington Post for reporting that he was having trouble finding top-notch legal representation, as he is currently relying in part on a lawyer who previously worked as general counsel for a parking garage company.

“The WAPO story that ‘Trump is scrambling to add seasoned lawyers’ to the Mar-a-Lago Raid case is, as usual, FAKE NEWS,” he wrote. “I already have excellent and experienced lawyers – am very happy with them. This is highly political prosecutorial misconduct, I have not been charged with anything and, most importantly, I did nothing wrong. Thank you!”

 

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