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Just one week after voters overwhelmingly repealed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, the Dallas City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to strengthen their city’s nondiscrimination law.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

DOJ Spokesperson Tells Fox News Bill Barr Is Opening Investigation Into Unmasking by Obama Administration During 2016 Election

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Dept. of Justice Spokesperson Kerri Kupec says Bill Barr has authorized the opening of an investigation into “unmasking” that took place before, during, and after the 2016 presidential election by the Obama administration. It is the latest move by the Attorney General to further politicize the DOJ in an effort to re-write history as President Donald Trump would like it told.

Barr has tasked John Dash, a U.S. Attorney in Texas, with conducting the investigation.

Kupac made the announcement on Fox News Wednesday night, telling host and frequent Trump advisor Sean Hannity that Barr has concerns about the “frequency” and the “motivation” of unmasking requests.

“When you’re looking at unmasking as part of a broader investigation,” Kupac told Hannity, “who was unmasking whom, can add a lot to our understanding about motivation and big picture events.”

Unmasking, the act of requesting to learn the identity of a U.S. individual caught up in Intelligence Community telephone intercepts of foreign actors, is perfectly legal, which Kupac noted.

The Trump administration escalated unmasking requests, nearly doubling them in 2018, as this LA Times Legal Affairs Columnist notes:

But Sean Hannity painted a far different picture for his Fox News supporters.

“I have been told by my sources now Kerri, for years, that there have been unmasking at an increase of three-fold in the second term of the Obama administration. Um… I’ve been told that even members of Donald Trump’s family have been unmasked. Members of the media have been unmasked.”

Hannity could have actually done some basic research to get actual facts.

It’s important to note that in administrations that don’t politicize intelligence and turn the Dept. of Justice into a weapon for the president’s re-election, any announcement of a major investigation would be made in a non-partisan environment like the DOJ’s press briefing room, and all regular media outlets would be included.

Watch:

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RIGHT WING IDIOCY

‘Political Hack’ Kellyanne Conway Destroyed for Condescendingly Comparing Standing in Line to Vote to Buying Cupcakes

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White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway for the second time on Wednesday is drawing outrage for her offensive remarks. After painting a target on the back of the Twitter executive responsible for preventing disinformation and hoaxes, she’s now under fire for comparing standing in line to vote to standing in line to buy cupcakes.

On Wednesday, Conways remarks drove her to the number two slot on Twitter’s top trending items, just below the SpaceX launch.

“People are very proud to show up and go to the polls,” Conway told reporters. “They really are. I mean they wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake for an hour to get a cupcake,” she said, somewhat condescendingly.

“So I think they can probably wait in line to do something as consequential and critical and constitutionally significant as cast their ballot.”

Not all of America waits in line to buy cupcakes in Washington, D.C. And those who wait in line the most to vote generally live in poor and minority neighborhoods.

Americans can and do wait in line, often for hours, to vote. They shouldn’t have to. In the middle of a pandemic Americans want the opportunity to not contract – or spread – the deadly virus the President she works for has made even worse.

One American, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, had the perfect response to Conway’s condescension.

His remarks were echoed by others:

And still others had a few words to share about Conway’s comments:

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Objective Is to Destroy Democrats’: Trump-Loving MAGA Broadcaster Admits He Doesn’t Care About ‘Being Factual’

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MAGA “life coach” and right-wing broadcaster Brenden Dilley admitted during his program today that he doesn’t care about the truth of the things he says and that he has no problem “making shit up” because his “objective is to destroy Democrats” and “anything that opposes President Trump.”

Dilley, who has openly admitted that he creates and spreads fake news several times before, chastised his viewers today for caring when he spreads disinformation.

“I don’t give a fuck about being factual,” Dilley said. “I make shit up all the time.”

“I don’t give a fuck,” he continued. “My objective is to destroy Democrats, OK? To destroy liberals, liberalism as an idea, Democrats, and anything that opposes President Trump. That’s my goal. I’ve never made any bones about that.”

“You don’t have to fact check me because I don’t give a fuck,” Dilley added. “I fucking make up shit sometimes, from time to time. I don’t care. I don’t care. Democrats know it. Republicans know it. I don’t mind admitting it. I don’t give a shit … When I get a chance to shit on the left, I don’t mind making shit up. No, not at all.”

On Tuesday, Dilley praised the president’s baseless accusation that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough had something to do with the 2001 death of a woman who worked in Scarborough’s congressional office and urged his listeners to start “investigating” whether Scarborough may have also been involved in the 1996 death of JonBenét Ramsey.

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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