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Leelah Alcorn Died One Year Ago Today. Did We ‘Fix Society’ Like She Asked?

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Leelah Alcorn’s tragic suicide became international news. She asked us to “fix society.” Have we?

On December 28, Leelah Alcorn walked in front of a truck. 

She was 17. Transgender. Her parents insisted on calling her “him,” and “Josh.”

But her death and the notes she left behind explaining her pain captivated the nation.

“After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong,” Leelah wrote on her Tumblr page, in a post she scheduled to be published posthumously.

As NCRM reported last year, her final words in the post were “Fix society. Please.” And she begged parents to offer support, not condemnation. “If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.”

“My mom started taking me to a therapist,” Leelah also said in her post, “but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.”

After Leelah died, her mother posted a note to Facebook telling friends of the sad loss of her “sweet 16 year old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn,” who “went home to heaven this morning.” Her Facebook page still lists her children, using the name “Josh” instead of Leelah.

So, have we fixed society?

Not even close, but there has been progress.

Transgender people in the past year have gained more positive attention, which is an important start, thanks to activists like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. Caitlyn Jenner coming out as transgender has also helped (although she’s been widely criticized too.)

But this year has seen more murders of transgender women, especially Black transgender women, than any other in history. And transgender people are still daily mocked and harassed, often victims of hate crimes, beaten, bullied, and murdered, just for being transgender.

One very positive note, the direct result of the attention Leelah’s death brought.

A “We The People” petition on the White House website asked President Obama to “Enact Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy.”

NCRM found the petition, and just days before it was to expire, our readers worked hard to get enough signatures on it to require the White House to respond.

President Obama did, calling for every state to enact laws banning harmful LGBTQ “conversion” or “reparative” therapy.

And states are now, one by one, beginning to enact bans on harmful reparative and “ex-gay” therapy, while courts have begun to rule the practice is fraud.

The Secretary of Defense has ordered the ban on open service by transgender members of the military to be dropped. 

Today we should honor Leelah, and all the people the world has lost by making being transgender a struggle. 

It’s important to note that while the world owes a great deal to Leelah Alcorn, suicide is never the answer. There is always a better way to accomplish important goals. If you’re an LGBTQ youth or teen and struggling, there are people and places that can help, including The Trevor Project.

For more long-term help, advocacy, and partnership: Safe Schools Coalition, Gay Straight Alliance Network, The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

 

Hat tip: Cincinnati.com

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Ohio Republicans Allow Anti-Vaxxers to Advance Effort for Broad Constitutional Amendment Banning Medical Mandates

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If anti-vaxxers are successful, enshrined into the Ohio constitution will be a ban on any entity, including the state, requiring vaccinations – not only against COVID but against any of the 20 or so diseases the CDC recommends every person be inoculated against by their 18th birthday.

With the help of Republicans, anti-vaxxers are working to place a ballot initiative before voters next year that not only would ban medical mandates like vaccines, but would ban any medical requirements, and would make a private company’s choice to only serve those vaccinated against deadly diseases like COVID-19 illegal.

“If passed, Ohio would become the only state in the nation with an explicit ban of vaccine mandates in its constitution,” the Ohio Capital Journal reports. “It would mark a major step backward for public health, dampen an already sluggish COVID-19 vaccination effort in Ohio, and nix a practice of mandating vaccination that traces back through early American history.”

“The Ohio Ballot Board — a bipartisan panel controlled by Republicans — allowed organizers of the ‘Medical Right to Refuse’ amendment to begin gathering the 443,000 voters’ signatures required to place the referendum on a ballot. Organizers said they’re hoping to put the issue to voters in May 2023.”

The proposed ballot initiative to change Ohio’s constitution includes this passage:

“No law, rule, regulation, person, employer, entity, or healthcare provider shall require, mandate or coerce any person to receive or use a medical procedure, treatment, injection, vaccine, prophylactic, pharmaceutical, or medical device nor shall the aforementioned discriminate against the individual who exercises this right.”

That would mean parents would no longer be required to inoculate their school-aged children against any of the 20 or so diseases, some deadly, the CDC recommends vaccinations for, including polio, chickenpox, influenza, Hepatitis A and B, Rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumonia, Measles, mumps, rubella, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Meningococcal Disease, Pneumococcal disease, Dengue fever, or COVID-19.

The proposed initiative also includes this crucial line: “An individual’s right to refuse any medical procedure, treatment, injection, vaccine, prophylactic, pharmaceutical, or medical device shall be absolute.”

The Ohio National Guard, local school districts, medical facilities, hospitals, laboratories, restaurants – any public or private employer would be unable to protect their staff by requiring vaccinations or masks.

Organizers will have to obtain at least 443,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.

 

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‘Probably the Biggest Witness Left’: NYT Reporter Explains What Pat Cipollone Can Tell the Jan. 6 Committee

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Pat Cipollone has agreed to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee, and a New York Times reporter explained what the former White House counsel might be able to tell investigators.

Multiple witnesses have placed Cipollone near the center of Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, which the White House counsel repeatedly said were unlawful, and Times correspondent Luke Broadwater told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he would be able to provide valuable testimony even if some topics are protected by executive privilege and the Fifth Amendment.

“Pat Cipollone is an extremely key figure who is there for several of the major moments in this plot to overturn the election, and he may know things we don’t even know about yet that he could reveal to them tomorrow during this interview,” Broadwater said. “I do expect Pat Cipollone’s testimony to be played next week at some of the hearings. There was conversations about whether he should testify live in front of the public, [Rep.] Liz Cheney called for that, but the committee does like to know exactly what a person is going to say before they go up there.”

“They don’t want to turn one of these televised hearings into, you know, a food fight,” he added. “They like to know exactly what a person is going to say before they decide to put them out there, so I think we’ll see Pat Cipollone video clips but not necessarily Pat Cipollone sitting at the witness stand.”

READ MORE: Trump’s ‘full-blown coup’: What was Mike Flynn’s plan? How much did Meadows and Giuliani know? What about Ginni? What happens next?

Congressional investigators understand that Cipollone can’t discuss his private conservations with the former president, due to attorney-client privilege, but he can tell them about discussions with other White House aides and staffers, including Cassidy Hutchinson.

“Everyone concedes that Pat Cipollone does have attorney-client privilege with Donald Trump,” Broadwater said. “He has sort of resisted coming forward and talking about some of those things, so I don’t think we’ll see him necessarily talk about direct conversations with Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean he can’t talk about lots of other material. We heard Cassidy Hutchinson talk about how Pat Cipollone and Mark Meadows were going back and forth into the Oval Office to try to get Donald Trump to call off the mob.”

“Can he talk about the things he said to Cassidy?” Broadwater added. “Can he talk about the things he said to Mark Meadows? You know, we know he was there for meetings about seizing voting machines, he was there when Bill Barr offered his resignation, he was there when they had draft letters to — false draft letters from the Justice Department, and for when he shot down plans from members of Congress, from John Eastman to put forward false slates of electors.”

“There’s so many things that Pat Cipollone knows,” Broadwater added. “I think his testimony could be absolutely crucial for this committee, and he was probably the biggest witness left that they could get, that they hadn’t yet so, you know, I expect this interview to be very important tomorrow.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

Image: Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Congresswoman Saying She Would ‘Do Anything’ to Protect Her Grandchildren, Even ‘Shooting Them’ Sets Internet on Fire

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U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) in a speech denouncing a House bill on gun safety, appears to inadvertently have declared that to protect her five grandchildren, she would “do anything,” even shoot them.

“I rise in opposition to H.R. 2377,” Congresswoman Lesko says in the video. “I have five grandchildren. I would do anything, anything to protect my five grandchildren, including as a last resort shooting them if I had to, to protect the lives of my grandchildren.”

NCRM has verified the video is accurate. Congresswoman Lesko made the remarks on June 9, according to C-SPAN, while she was opposing a red flag law.

The Congresswoman presumably meant she would as a last resort shoot someone threatening her grandchildren.

One Twitter user, Ryan Shead, posted the previously ignored video to Twitter, where it has gone viral and is trending.

Lesko, who some social media users note is running for re-election unopposed, went on to say: “Democrat bills that we have heard this week want to take away my right, my right to protect my grandchildren. they want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect their own children and grandchildren. and wives and brothers and sisters,” which is false.

“This bill takes away due process from law-abiding citizens. Can you imagine if you had a disgruntled ex or somebody who hates you because of your political views and they go to a judge and say, ‘oh, this person is dangerous,’ and that judge would take away your guns?”

Lesko’s hypothetical claims are false. Red flag laws are designed to protect both gun owners and those around them.

Some social media users noted that Congresswoman Lesko reportedly “attended meetings about overturning the election,” while others are having fun with the Arizona Republican’s remarks:

Watch Congresswoman Lesko’s remarks above or at this link.

 

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