Connect with us

News

Dark Cloud Of Trump Victory Had Rainbow-Colored Linings

Published

on

LGBT Candidates Made History Nov. 8

There is no sugarcoating the fact that the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States on Nov. 8 was a disaster, both for the LGBT movement and for the country as a whole.

The potential danger of a Trump presidency is augmented by the fact that Republicans maintained control of both houses of Congress, though Democrats did cut slightly the majorities held by the GOP in each.

Yet in many ways, the election was less a “change election,” as Trump partisans claim, than it was a status quo election. After all, the large majority of incumbents running for House and Senate were re-elected.

Trump not only did not receive a mandate to erode LGBT rights (or for any other policy position), but he also failed to receive even a plurality of the popular vote, much less a majority. When all the votes are counted, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to have received more than 2,000,000 votes than Trump.

The new Republican mantra echoed this week by Sen. Ted Cruz, among others, that Trump won “overwhelmingly” is a lie that must be denounced every time it is uttered.

Moreover, it is useful to remember that this election brought, in addition to heartbreaking losses, some significant successes as well.

Not only were the anti-gay North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (apparently) and the seven-term anti-gay New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett (definitely) defeated by LGBT allies, but a number of the newly elected senators, such as Kamala Harris of California, Chris van Hollen of Maryland, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire are strong allies who put LGBT rights at the very center of their campaigns.

In addition, although we did not add any new members to the openly LGBT Congressional caucus, many LGBT candidates for other offices won. The Victory Fund, an organization devoted to electing openly LGBT candidates at local, state, and federal levels, reports that 87 of the 135 candidates the organization endorsed won their races.

Victory Fund President Aisha C. Moodie-Mills expressed her disappointment with the presidential election, remarking that “The devastating results hit the LGBT community particularly hard because we are unique in spanning all the demographic groups targeted by the president-elect throughout the campaign.” Still, she observed, the election also provided some “rays of light.”

For example, the 2016 election saw the first openly LGBT person elected governor and all six openly LGBT members of the House handily re-elected.

Kate Brown, who had previously served as Majority Leader of the Oregon State Senate and as Secretary of State, became governor of Oregon in February 2015, when she succeeded John Kitzhaber, who resigned in the midst of a corruption scandal. On Nov. 8, she was elected governor in her own right. Her victory makes her the first openly LGBT person elected governor of a U.S. state.

Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado crushed his Republican opponent to win re-election to the seat he won in 2008, when he became the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a freshman. (When he and his partner Marlon Reis announced the birth of their son in 2011, Polis became the first openly gay father to serve in Congress.)

Amassing 64% of the vote, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island easily won re-election to the seat he first won in 2010.

Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin coasted to victory with almost 70 percent of the vote to retain the seat he won in 2012, when he succeeded Tammy Baldwin in the seat she vacated to run for the U.S. Senate.

Upstate New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, running in a competitive district, defeated his Republican challenger 51 percent to 41 percent to retain the seat he won in 2012.

Rep. Mark Takano, who became the first openly LGBT person of color to serve in Congress when he won California’s newly created 41st Congressional District in 2012, easily retained his seat.

In Arizona, bisexual Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who won her seat in 2012 in a bitter, nail-biter of a race, coasted to re-election in 2016.

Among other highlights of the 2016 election include some notable triumphs by newly elected LGBT candidates.

In Gwinnett County, Georgia, a 31-year-old political newcomer, Sam Park, upset a well-funded three-term Republican state representative to become the first openly gay man elected to the state Legislature. He will join three lesbian lawmakers in the Legislature.

In Denver, Leslie Herod won her race for the Colorado House of Representatives to become Colorado’s first African-American LGBT elected official. She explained her victory as a result of having built “a coalition of folks of all races, class, gender and sexual orientation.”

“They all came together to support me,” she said.

In Arizona, Daniel Hernandez won a seat in the state House of Representatives. Hernandez, who serves on the Sunnyside Unified District School Board, is credited with helping save the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords during the Jan. 8, 2011 shootings in Tucson. At the time he was a congressional intern accompanying Giffords at a constituent event when a gunman shot her and 18 other people. His medical training, quick thinking, and bravery on that day has earned him plaudits as an American hero.

In Florida, Carlos Guillermo Smith was elected to the state House, becoming the state’s first openly gay Latino legislator. He will represent the district that includes the University of Central Florida and the Pulse nightclub. Smith, a former legislative aide and a lobbyist for Equality Florida, defeated his opponent by a margin of 69 percent to 31 percent.

In Minnesota, activist Erin Maye Quade upset a favored Republican to win a seat in the state House of Representatives. The race turned ugly when remarks by Maye Quade’s opponent that disparaged “identity politics” were perceived as homophobic.

In Washington, Nicole Macri easily won Seattle’s “legacy seat“ in the state House of Representatives. The seat, which includes Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, has been held by an openly LGBT person for the last 29 years.

In a surprise victory in Houston, Democrat Kim Ogg decisively ousted the incumbent district attorney of Harris County.

But perhaps the most reassuring news we have received is the pledge from Sen. Charles Schumer, who will become the Senate minority leader in the new Congress.

In a letter published in The Advocate, Schumer reassured the LGBT community. “I will do all in my power to prevent any backsliding on hard-won rights and to push back against a national discourse that allows for anything less than a full measure of respect for all Americans and would-be Americans.”

He said: “I will not forget what happened at Stonewall or what happened at Pulse — or any of the countless physical assaults, emotional taunts, and bullying endured by homosexual fellow citizens over the generations. I will not forget North Carolina’s passage of House Bill 2 or the trickle-down of hateful rhetoric inspired by these laws that causes children to take their own lives rather than continue to face the torment of bullies at school. I will not forget the 24 transgender Americans murdered this year alone.”Â

He added: “I also won’t forget when West Point opened the doors of its historic chapel for its first same-sex wedding after President Obama repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ I won’t forget Edie Windsor’s boundless joy when the Supreme Court handed down its decision to make marriage equality the law of the land. And I won’t forget my family, my friends, my colleagues, or the New Yorkers who depend on me to protect their constitutional rights.”

This resolve from the leader of a united Democratic caucus will make it far more difficult for those who would like to erode LGBT rights to succeed in the first two years of the Trump presidency.
Â

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

Published

on

The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

Watch:

Continue Reading

News

Local Texas Cops Blocked Specialized Federal Tactical Team That Killed Shooter From Engaging for One Hour

Published

on

When a specially equipped U.S. Border Patrol tactical team arrived on the scene of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, local police who were already on the scene wouldn’t allow them to engage with the shooter, The New York Times reports.

“The agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at some point between 12 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., according to the officials — far earlier than previously known,” The Times’ report stated. “But they did not breach the adjoining classrooms of the school where the gunman had locked himself in until a little before 1 p.m. Members of the federal tactical team killed the gunman.”

But officials speaking to The Times say the Uvalde Police Department prevented the agents from going in sooner.

The new details further call into the question the thinking behind how law enforcement responded to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. The Border Patrol and ICE agents say they did not understand why they were force to wait. All of the 21 victims died in the area where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself in.

IN OTHER NEWS: Christian summer camp ‘rebuked’ girls who reported assault and told them to ‘forgive’ assailant: report

Read the full report at The New York Times.

 

Continue Reading

News

Defiant Trump Brags About His Upcoming NRA Speech as Cancellations Mount: Have to ‘Protect’ Second Amendment (Video)

Published

on

For more than half a century “American Pie” has been an integral part of American culture, but Don McLean – the 76-year old singer who brought the nearly nine-minute song about the death of Buddy Holly and other rock and roll stars to life – has canceled his appearance at the NRA’s annual convention this weekend in Houston. Out of respect for the families of the 21 slaughtered children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, McLean says it would be “hurtful” and “disrespectful” to appear.

Also canceling this weekend are country music stars Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, and T. Graham Brown.

Even the manufacturer of the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifle used by the Uvalde shooter has canceled their appearance at the NRA’s convention, “due to the horrifying tragedy,” Daniel Defense said in a statement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has managed to appear as if he’s canceling out of a show of respect. The Republican currently in a tight re-election race is facing not only the horrific Uvalde mass shooting of 19 elementary school children and two teachers but the mounting evidence that lives may have been lost out of law enforcement’s apparent horrific handling of the attack.

Abbott will not appear in person, instead using the time to hold another press conference. He will appear via pre-recorded video.

Donald Trump, the former president who is widely expected to be staging another run for president not only will attend this weekend’s NRA convention, he is bragging about it.

“I’m making a speech tomorrow at the NRA in Huston and it’ll be very interesting,” Trump told far-right radio host Sebastian Gorka, who served in the Trump administration in 2017 and has ties to the alt-right.

“And so yeah, interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly.”

Trump then launched into an attack on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans who has openly and repeatedly opposed him.

“But on Friday night, I’ll be in Houston. And we’ll be making a speech and discussing a lot of the things which you would agree to, and you know, you have to protect, you have to protect your Second Amendment. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection, because without it, we would be a very dangerous country frankly.”

Watch:

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.