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After HERO Defeat in Houston, Dallas Lawmakers Strengthen Transgender Protections

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Council Votes Unanimously To Amend Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Take that, Houston.   

Just one week after voters overwhelmingly repealed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, the Dallas City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to strengthen their city’s nondiscrimination law. 

HERO was defeated largely due to opponents’ false claims that transgender protections in public accommodations would allow men to enter women’s restrooms and prey on victims. But in Dallas, the council actually voted to clarify transgender protections that have been in place since 2002. 

When the Dallas ordinance was approved, “gender identity” was erroneously included under the definition of “sexual orientation.” The ordinance prohibits discrimination citywide in employment, housing and public accommodations. On Tuesday, the council voted to list “gender identity and expression” separately alongside sexual orientation, and more clearly define the terms.

“This is very near and dear to us,” Rafael McDonnell, a spokesman for the city’s LGBT community center, told the council prior to the vote. “Words have meaning, and your vote today will give life to those words, and be seen not only in Dallas but around the country as support for the LGBT community.” 

The 15-member council approved the changes with little discussion. 

Councilman Adam Medrano, who heads the city’s LGBT Task Force, which proposed the changes, thanked members for their work. Mayor Mike Rawlings thanked Medrano. 

“We’re a very diverse city,” Rawlings said. “We want to make sure everyone’s protected.”

Oliver Blumer, a transgender man who serves on the city’s LGBT Task Force, told the council the amendments will help local employers recruit and retain talented workers. 

“It’s good business,” he said. 

Omar Narvaez, another member of the Task Force, which proposed the new language, noted that in 2014, 77 percent of Dallas voters approved an amendment to the city’s charter protecting LGBT city employees against discrimination. The amended citywide nondiscrimination ordinance mirrors the language in the charter. 

“We’ve always been a leader when it comes to LGBT rights, not just in the state of Texas but across the nation,” Narvaez said. “Let’s keep Dallas a state leader on equality.”

Patti Fink, another member of the Task Force, said although the 2002 ordinance legally protected transgender people, the language wasn’t clear. 

“The transgender community believes they’re not included, because the definition of gender identity is stuffed into the definition of sexual orientation,” she said.  

Minutes prior to Tuesday’s vote, the anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values notified its followers on Facebook. Texas Values was among the groups that helped defeat HERO in Houston. 

“Breaking: City of Dallas is trying to fast track a bathroom bill similar to the one defeated last week in Houston,” Texas Values wrote. “Spread the word.” 

Phillip Jones, CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, said last week he feared the repeal of HERO in Houston could hurt the entire state when it comes to booking national conventions. But Jones also said HERO’s defeat could allow Dallas — which recently launched an LGBT tourism campaign called “All Love is Big Love” — to lure conventions away from Houston. Jones even joked that the city’s new slogan should be, “Dallas: Aren’t You Glad We’re Not Houston.” 

Under Dallas’ amended ordinance, gender identity and expression are defined as “an individual’s real or perceived gender identity as male, female, both, or neither.” Sexual orientation is defined as “the actual or perceived status of an individual with respect to the individual’s sexuality,” including heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual.”

In addition, the council added a declaration saying the city of Dallas encourages all entities to recognize the rights of all individuals, regardless of whether they’re exempt from the nondiscrimination ordinance. For example, the ordinance exempts religious organizations and companies with fewer than 15 employees, as well as state and federal government agencies.

Violations of the Dallas ordinance are a class-C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500, but the city strives to resolve complaints through mediation. In 2014, officials reported that none of the 61 complaints received since the ordinance took effect 13 years ago led to a prosecution.

Read the changes to Dallas’ amended citywide nondiscrimination ordinance below. 

Image by City of Dallas/Twitter

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Marjorie Taylor Greene Continues Wild AOC Obsession With Crazed Conspiracy Theory: You ‘Participated in Civil War’

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the most prominent lawmaker named in the bombshell Rolling Stone article, unleashed a wild a conspiracy theory-fueled attack against Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday.

Her tweetstorm, 12 posts long (although she did label one #6 twice) included the demand, usually made by right wing Twitter trolls, to “debate me,” along with false claims AOC is “tear[ing] our country apart because you are a communist,” and “participated in [a] civil war.”

Greene started by retweeting Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet calling for any “member of Congress who helped plot a terrorist attack on our nation’s capitol” to be “expelled.”

Rep. Greene complains “ALL of the thousands of Antifa/BLM foot soldiers of the Democrat Communist Party that attacked innocent Americans, looted & burned private businesses, & more crimes have not been properly charged yet & many were let off.”

She claims AOC and other Democratic lawmakers engaged in a “civil war that was waged in the streets of America during the communist revolution of 2020,” which is a flat-out lie.

Greene also falsely calls U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) a “terrorist sympathizer,” and claims the BLM protests caused over $1 trillion in damage, which is wildly false.

In her provably false screed Greene uses variations of the word “communist” five times, “Socialist” and “Fascist” once each, “civil war” and “vaccine” three times, “Democrat” seven times, “America” or “American” nine times.

 

 

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COMMENTARY

‘Folks Knew Crimes Were About to Be Committed’: Dem Lawmakers Furious Over Republicans’ Involvement in Jan. 6

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Americans are expressing outrage after a bombshell Rolling Stone report that claims several GOP Members of Congress and their staffs were involved in planning and organizing Donald Trump’s January 6 rally that led to the violent and deadly insurrection, along with “Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss.”

Some of those who are among the most outraged are Democratic Members of Congress, who were in the Capitol on January 6 and feared for their lives. Learning that some of their GOP colleagues were involved in the planning of the rally that precipitated the insurrection has been “triggering,” as one House Democrat revealed, adding that it makes her “blood boil.”

The Rolling Stone article cites two “planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C.,” who allege Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) were deeply involved, along with these members of Congress or their aides: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Legal experts have called for those members of Congress and staffers to be expelled if the allegations are true, while one has urged people to “chill,” and let the DOJ do what it needs to.

Related –
‘Just Three Words: Call Your Lawyer’: Legal Experts Weigh in on Bombshell Report Naming Republicans Involved in Jan. 6

But the outrage is palpable.

U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) calls the Rolling Stone article “highly disturbing.”

“No one should be above the law,” he says, “including Members of Congress and former White House Staff. And if pardons were indeed discussed in advance, why would that be? Because folks knew crimes were about to be committed.”

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) says she is “joining the calls for those who helped plan the deadly January 6th insurrection to be immediately expelled.”

“Every Member of Congress that helped to plan the attempted coup of our government shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress.”

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, the first Asian-American elected to Congress from New York, says she has “angry tears right now,” citing the Rolling Stone report.

“During 1/6, I, like many, texted loved ones goodbye. Countless people have asked if I’ve been ok since & I’ve always answered truthfully that i was fine. But this article was triggering. How could colleagues be traitors? This makes my blood boil.”

She adds:

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) says the Rolling Stone report is “Further reinforcement of why the work of the” House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack “is so important. If any current members of Congress worked with the insurrectionists who threatened the very government they are a part of, they should be removed from office.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) says reports like the Rolling Stone article “underscore why the work of the Jan. 6th Committee is so important. We must follow all the facts, no matter where they lead.”

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OPINION

Don Jr. Suggests Trump’s New Social Media Site Was Created to Help Republicans Win Elections

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Donald Trump, Jr. is appearing to suggest his father’s new social media platform, Truth Social, was created to help Republicans win elections.

Appearing on far right host Sebastian Gorka’s Newsmax show that aired Sunday, Trump Jr. was asked in a segment about the new social media site what his “specific message” is “to those who had just kind of given up on the idea of America and free and fair elections.”

Trump Jr. did not hesitate.

“Let’s stay in the game,” he replied, after discussing Truth Social for several minutes and urging viewers to join. “I mean, you know, these are all steps that we’re taking to make sure that we can level that playing field, the playing field has been so biased for so long, right?” he claimed.

“We’ve been playing T ball while the other side has been playing hardball and doing whatever it takes,” Trump Jr. said, despite some Republicans working to overturn the free and fair 2020 presidential election.

“You know, Donald Trump opened the door for conservatives to start pushing back, to play the game the way the other side has done it. We need to keep doing that, we need to stay in this game. They would love for us just to tuck tail to run to turn the other cheek to be dejected, to take our ball and go home. We can’t allow that to happen, we have to stay in the game we have to stay involved we have to be vocal and we have to be unafraid.”

And even though Facebook was formed in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Microsoft in 1980, and Apple in 1976,  he also seemed to suggest that “Big Tech” or social media platforms have been working against Republicans for 50 years.

“And if we do that and you look at what’s going on right now with the insanity of this administration and all of the leftist agenda, you realize, Americans are waking up. It’s about time, but they’re finally doing it and we’re actually able to put up a front against a huge, huge platform that has been working against us, for half a century.”

Watch:

 

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