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Watch This Amazing Video Of A Dozen Top Democrats Asking America To Support A New LGBT Equality Bill



Welcome to the new world, a world where top political leaders stand up and demand America gives LGBT people full equality.

Just past noon today, a dozen top Democratic lawmakers gathered to announce the introduction in the House and Senate brand new legislation to protect LGBT people. This, just two decades after virulently discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation, like the Defense of Marriage Act, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” were being signed into law.

The federal Equality Act would protect LGBT people from discrimination in important areas including public accommodations, employment, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federal funding. 

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is among the dozen lawmakers who are championing the Equality Act. 

“What we are doing here today is very patriotic. It’s very American. And it’s a proud day for all of us,” the former Speaker said this afternoon, noting that the Equality Act also “has very strong protections for women in it.” 

Pelosi also reminded the room that this is the fourth cog in the battle against discrimination for LGBT people.

“It wasn’t been that long ago when we passed in the Congress the hate crimes legislation – fully inclusive hate crimes legislation.  That was step one and it was a big step. And then we had the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ with the help of President Obama taking the lead. And we salute him for his courage and leadership there. And then the [Supreme] Court. We had four issues: again, hate crimes, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, ENDA and marriage equality.  Well, the Court and the public took care of the marriage equality issue but more work needs to be done.”

Supporting the bill are 155 members in the House and 40 members in the Senate.

All Democrats, no Republicans currently.

Also speaking at today’s event were the bill’s sponsor in the Senate, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and the bill’s sponsor in the House, David Cicilline (D-RI), along with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)and Mark Takano (D-CA).

Rep. Steny Hoyer, in a well-orchestrated attempt to win Republican votes for the legislation, offered an emotional plea, reminding the audience about the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s.

“There were some in America who thought it was an opportunity to discriminate against those who became sick. And President Reagan was asked at a press conference, ‘What do you think about discriminating against those with AIDS?,'” Hoyer said. “And Ronald Reagan’s answer was, ‘I don’t believe in discrimination against anybody. Next question.’ That’s what this bill says,” Hoyer reminded the audience.

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

“This bill says that America will mean what it has said through the centuries,” Hoyer continued. “This is about bringing us together.”

Also speaking were LGBT Americans who have been subjected to discrimination, including Jami and Krista Contreras of Oak Park, Michigan. Their well-publicized story took place in their pediatrician’s office, when, having just given birth, and having met with and chosen a pediatrician weeks earlier, they were told that after much prayer she had decided she could not be their infant girl’s doctor.

The bill also has the support of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Prop 8 attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, Apple, Inc., the National Center for Transgender Equality, National Partnership for Women & Families, Equality Federation, American Federation of Teachers, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and other civil rights groups and corporations.

The video itself is long, but it is vitally important. It signals this is a new world, one where America is more equal. And strong leaders are here to help support us.



Image: Screenshots via YouTube
Hat tip: Chris Johnson at Washington Blade



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Questions Swirl About Uvalde Police as Photos, Videos, Witness Accounts Appear to Tell Story of Inaction During Massacre



Barely days after 19 elementary school children and two teachers were shot to death by an 18-year old with two AR-15 style assault rifles, questions are swirling about the actions of local law enforcement, supported by video and photos apparently taken by those who were outside Robb Elementary School during the massacre. NCRM has not confirmed the authenticity of the photos or videos posted to social media.

“Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team,” the Associated Press reports.

“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.

Multiple reports state police waited outside for those 40 minutes, or more, before taking action to neutralize the shooter. During that time, some have noted, it’s possible children who had been shot died of their wounds rather than receiving medical attention.

CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto:

Veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien:

Indeed, additional reports appear to show not only did police not storm the school, for reasons yet unknown, they appear to have prevented desperate parents from doing anything to help save their children, even using force, including a taser, to stop them. And in one case (below,) from the account of one of the children who survived published by CBS affiliate KENS5, police action may have led to the death of one of the students.

VICE News reports “Texas law enforcement officials are being strangely opaque about what actually happened during the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.”

“When asked how much time passed between the gunman arriving at the school and the gunman being killed, Texas’ Director of Public Safety Steve McCraw offered an indefinite response.”

“Forty minutes, an hour,” he said. “But I don’t want to give you a particular timeline.”

VICE adds that “officers ‘were responsible’ for containing the gunman in a classroom, McCraw said. (Spokespersons for the Texas Department of Public Safety had repeatedly told news outlets earlier that the suspect barricaded himself into the classroom and immediately started shooting.)”

NBC News correspondent covering national security and intelligence Ken Dilanian:

Matt Novak, a senior writer at the tech site Gizmodo, posted these tweets:

This one is tragic:

Sawyer Hackett, a senior advisor to Julián Castro, the former Obama HUD Secretary and former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, reposted these videos and offers some commentary:

Even this editor from the right wing website Daily Caller says “it appears the police did everything wrong once the shooter was in the room.”



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‘I Will Find Out’: Jimmy Kimmel Questions Why Texas TV Station Cut Away From His Monologue on School Shooting



A Dallas/Fort Worth television station cut away from Jimmy Kimmel’semotional monologue about the Robb Elementary school massacre that left 19 children and two adults dead.

ABC affiliate WFAA-TV interrupted the six-minute, comedy-free monologue with a string of commercials, starting with an in-house news spot, before airing the end of Kimmel’s opener, which he used for a three-minute ad for the gun violence prevention organization, reported the Star-Telegram.

“To my friends in Dallas who are asking: I do not know whether our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut away from my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently but I will find out,” Kimmel tweeted. “In the meantime, here’s what you didn’t get to see.”

You can watch the clip below or at this link.

A source at the TV station said the commercials were aired and part of the monologue was cut because the 10 p.m. newscast ran long, and an interview with “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane was also chopped up into segments that aired between commercial breaks.

READ MORE: NYT’s Maggie Haberman reacts to ‘stunning’ testimony that Trump approved of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ chants

Kimmel called out elected officials, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX), and urged them to take action to prevent another mass shooting.

“Once again we grieve for the little boys and girls,” Kimmel said, fighting back tears. “Whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed. While our leaders on the right, the Americans in Congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this. They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it, because they don’t want to speak about it because they know what they’ve done and they know what they haven’t done, and they know it’s indefensible, so they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”

“The reason they call them common-sense gun laws is because that’s what they are,” he added. “Eighty-nine percent of Americans want background checks before a gun can be purchased, which is the very least we can do.”


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Watch: Texas Republican Opposes Any New Gun Legislation Because We’re Going to ‘Convict’ and ‘Punish’ the Shooters



A Texas Republican state lawmaker said just one day after 19 elementary school students were shot and killed he opposes any new gun legislation for two reasons: the U.S. Constitution, and under existing laws prosecutors should just “convict” the shooters.

“What we want to know is what your solution is,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota told Rep. James White, who happens to be a former school teacher.

“We’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas—your local legislature—can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo,” Camerota added, referring to Texas’ vigilante abortion ban, as The Daily Beast reported. “Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?”

“We have this thing called the Constitution,” White replied, even though the Texas abortion ban, under current law, violates at least the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and many other Republicans, and like the NRA, White then defended his desire to pass no legislation to help reduce gun violence by declaring the problem is actually one of mental health.

He said, “these young men, for some reason, they have some very disturbed emotional state.”

There is no evidence, according to Gov. Abbott, that this shooter had any documented mental health issues.

White then decided to propose utilizing existing law to reduce gun violence.

“At the end of the day,” he said, “we’re going to look at the people who do these acts, we’re going to convict them, and we’re going to punish them.”

Appearing flabbergasted, Camerota replied, “You can’t convict him, sir.”

“Sir you can’t convict him. He was killed. He was killed, along with 19 children in the school behind me.”


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