Shira Banki, theÂ 16-year old girl who was stabbed at Thursday’s gay pride parade in Jerusalem, has succumbed to her wounds.
On Thursday several thousand people attended Jerusalem’s gay pride parade. It was relatively peaceful and joyous, until Yishai Schlissel allegedlyÂ started stabbing people. There were six victims, some treated at the scene, some transported to the hospital. One, a 16-year old girl named Shira Banki, was critically wounded. She died today in the hospital of her wounds.
â€” Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) August 2, 2015
Yishai Schlissel had just been released from prison weeks earlier, serving 10 years of a 12 year sentence for stabbing three people at Jerusalem’s 2005 gay pride parade.Â
Schlissel reportedly had made threats before his release, and after, but before the parade, “distributed hand-written anti-gay pamphlets calling the LGBT rally ‘shameful’ and ‘blasphemous,'” the International Business Times reported.
The ultra-orthodox Jew wrote: “It is incumbent upon every Jew to risk beatings or imprisonment and together to stop the desecration for the sanctity of His name. If we refrain from declaring war, they’ll feel free to spread this shame all over the world.”
He also gave interviews to media outlets heaping scorn on the gay parade.
An LGBT advocacy group,Â Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, had organized the pride event, the Washington Blade reports.Â
â€œThe LGBTQ community in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Open House mourn her death at the hands of a fanatic, consumed with hatred and fear. The knife that fatally injured Shira was sharpened by years of incitement,â€ the group said in a statement in response to Shira Banki’s death. â€œThat knife targeted all those who believe in a just society, where every woman and man can live freely, without fear of violence and persecution. That knife has wounded all those who believe in life and in Godâ€™s creation.â€
Shira Banki, 16 years old. May her memory be a blessing. pic.twitter.com/OtrQRFAJgA
â€” Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 2, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuÂ saidÂ in a statement,Â “Shira was murdered for courageously supporting the principle that each and every person has the right to live their life in security and respect.”
“We will not allow this loathsome murderer to undermine the basic values upon which the Israeli society is based. We staunchly condemn this attempt to sew the seeds of hatred and violence among us and will act to bring the murderer to justice,” he added.
â€” Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) August 2, 2015
Jerusalem’s mayor also denounced the “murder of this young girl at the Gay Pride Parade on the streets of Jerusalem.”
“We will continue to allow full freedom of expression in this city, we will continue to support all groups and communities, we will enhance education and tolerance for others in our school system, and we will not be deterred by those who are trying to prevent it,”Â Mayor Nir Barkat said.
The police have come under fire for not foreseeingÂ the possibilityÂ Schlissel would strike again.
Image byÂ Anna Ahronheim via Twitter
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Large Increase in Americans Who Now Identify as LGBTQ – Especially Among Gen Z – But Few Republicans
Over the past three years, a very short time period, there has been a large increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBTQ, or any designation other than heterosexual.
According to a just-published report from Gallup, 5.6 percent of Americans identify as LGBT, or non-heterosexual, up from 4.5 percent in 2017. The report covers all of 2020. (Note: Gallup uses the term “LGBT,” a far narrower construct than many Americans observe today. These numbers reflect that specific designation.)
Among Generation Z, which Gallup defines as those 18-23, nearly 16 percent – about one in six – identify as LGBT. That’s almost three times the national average.
About one in eleven Millennials (those born between 1981-1996) or 9.1 percent, say they identify as LGBT.
Gallup also reports more than half of LGBT Americans (54.6%) identify as bisexual. That’s 3.1 percent of the total U.S. adult population.
One in four (24.5%) of LGBT Americans say they are gay, 11.7 percent lesbian, and 11.3% transgender. 3.3 percent “volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving.”
There is also a political component to the study.
13 percent of liberals, but just 2.3 percent of conservatives say they are LGBT. In stricter party terms, “8.8% of Democrats, 6.5% of independents and 1.7% of Republicans identifying as LGBT.”
In related news, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine who just last June was the only GOP co-sponsor of the LGBTQ Equality Act, has refused to demonstrate similar leadership this year, when she could cast the deciding vote. President Joe Biden has committed to signing the legislation into law.
Image via Shutterstock
Anti-LGBTQ Religious-Right Christian Nationalist Home-School Activist and Anti-Masker Launches Congressional Bid
Christian nationalist home-schooling advocate, author, and podcaster Heidi St. John launched a run for U.S. Congress Sunday in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District, where incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler became a target of supporters of former President Donald Trump after voting for his impeachment in January and revealing damning details about a phone call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that took place during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
A week prior to the launch of her congressional bid, St. John took to Facebook to post, “Trump now knows who his enemies are in the REPUBLICAN party. And so do we. Silver lining of the shampeachment. The RINOS need to GO!! #acquitted.”
St. John calls herself “The Busy Mom” on Facebook, hosts a daily “Off the Bench” podcast, publishes a blog, and runs a ministry for mothers that promotes her book “Becoming Mom Strong.” She is an ally of Alliance Defending Freedom President Michael Farris and has spoken at the church of religious-right activist pastor Jack Hibbs in California. Rick Green, host of the “WallBuilders Live!” radio program, was a recent guest on her podcast, which she said gets about a million downloads per month.
St. John urges parents to pull their children out of public schools, which she refers to as “government indoctrination centers” that promote “garbage sexual ideologies” and a “weird era of transgenderism.” She said on a recent podcast that gender confirmation surgery should be illegal and that doctors who perform it are “criminals.”
St. John charges that the COVID-19 coronavirus was “weaponized” to create fear by the media and Democrats who saw the virus as an opportunity to hurt Trump’s reelection chances. She urges people not to be mask-wearing “sheep” and to take off their masks. In a Jan. 18 video, she said that Christians’ job is to proclaim truth, adding, “That’s why I don’t do the mask. It’s B.S. of the highest order.”
In a Jan. 9 Facebook video, she declared, “This nation is a Christian nation” while denouncing people who criticized Trump’s religious-right supporters as Christian nationalists or as being part of a Trump-worshiping cult. She said the idea that Trump incited the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol was “a lie that the left is pushing.” She also said that “social justice is a lie from the pit of hell.”
Before Inauguration Day, St. John appeared to be hoping for a miracle that would keep Trump in power. A Jan. 12 Facebook post read, “’It’s all over’? Then along came David with his sling shot. God decides when it’s over.”
In an Inauguration Day blog post she wrote, “My heart is breaking for our Republic today. I know many of you are grieving with me. I am still in disbelief that the left pulled off the greatest vote heist in American history.”
St. John appeared on Wisconsin pastor David Fiorazo’s “Stand Up for the Truth” podcast on Feb. 4, where she said, “I’m hoping that in 2022 there’s a red wave in this country like we’ve never seen, and not just a red wave—a Christian red wave.”
Senate Committee Postpones Confirmation Hearing on Biden OMB Pick After Manchin Leads Revolt Over Mean Tweets
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is postponing its Wednesday confirmation hearing for Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he will vote against her, based on her record of posting mean tweets.
Axios, first reporting the news, calls it “a potential death knell” for Tanden’s confirmation, although it could give the Biden White House time to try to shore up support among Republican Senators.
Tanden would be the first woman of color to head OMB.
Manchin’s stunning announcement Friday has led to three Republicans jumping on board, also announcing their opposition.
None of the opposition is on qualifications – Tanden, a policy expert has led the Center for American Progress for nearly a decade, and worked in both the Clinton and Obama White Houses.
“We are postponing the business meeting because members are asking for more time to consider the nominee,” an unnamed committee aide told Axios. “The president deserves to have a team in place that he wants, and we’re going to work with our members to figure out the best path forward.”
But many Democrats see Manchin’s opposition as nothing more than sexism, misogyny, and racism. He has voted for far less qualified candidates with far greater issues than Tanden, all of whom happened to be men, and mostly white men. Among them, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was not only credibly accused of sexual assault, but engaged a shocking on-camera attack promising revenge during his confirmation hearing.
“Other supporters have accused Tanden’s opponents of hypocrisy, noting Manchin and many Republican senators voted to confirm nominees of President Trump who also had posted caustic tweets,” Axios adds.
Manchin followed up his opposition to Tanden with a suggestion he might not support Biden’s nominee to head the Dept. of the Interior, a sitting U.S. Congresswoman who is Native American, Deb Haaland.
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