The Womenâ€™s March ‘Set the Tone With Their Leadership and It Is Our Intention as a Community to Follow Their Lead and Play Our Part’
Drawing inspiration from last weekâ€™s Women’s March on the capital â€“ and in hundreds of cities around the world â€“Â activist David Bruinooge has begun planning The National Pride March, an LGBT march of solidarity on Washington, D.C. Coinciding with D.C.â€™s Pride event the march is scheduled for June 11, 2017.
â€œI thought the gay community should be doing something like [the Womenâ€™s March] to follow up on the momentum,â€ Bruinooge, an openly gay New York resident told the Washington Blade. He cited that he was inspired by the countryâ€™s women who â€œ[took] to the street [to get] their voices heard.â€ D.C.â€™s Womenâ€™s March in particular, which was echoed in 60 countries and on seven continents, became the largest inauguration-related demonstration in U.S. history and easily exceeded the attendance of Donald Trumpâ€™s inauguration.
â€œThey set the tone with their leadership and it is our intention as a community to follow their lead and play our part,â€ The National Pride March Facebook event page reads, advising that the event is all-inclusive and peaceful. Bruinooge said that he chose June 11 for the event as it coincides with D.C.â€™s Capital Pride Festival, which reportedly had an estimated 275,000 in attendance in 2016.
Bruinooge contacted Ryan Bos, the executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance, who expects the march and the D.C. Pride events to complement one another, with the intent that the march begin in the morning and end at the site of the Pride festival. â€œ[Capital Pride Alliance] obviously [has] the infrastructure and the mass support to help this become a reality,â€ Bruinooge said.
The LGBT community is no stranger to marching on the nationâ€™s capital. The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the first major LGBT march on D.C., took place on October 14, 1979, partly in response to the assassination of openly gay politician Harvey Milk. The last, the National Equality March in 2009, took place on October 11 of that year and coincided with National Coming Out Day.
The Trump Administration is already no stranger to protests and demonstrations, and many members of the LGBT community joined the Womenâ€™s March, in D.C. and across the world. So why now, and why should the LGBT community take the lead on visible opposition to the current administration?
Setting aside Mike Pence, arguably the most anti-LGBT politician in modern U.S. history, and even the twelve bills that have been filed across nine states targeting transgender people, one need only look to this small sampling of post-election examples to find the answer:
1.Â Potential Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Donald Trump nominated Jeff Sessions for the role of Attorney General. Sessions, whose past racially-charged comments kept him from being confirmed to the federal bench, has voted for a Constitutional ban on marriage equality, against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, spoke in opposition to SCOTUSâ€™ ruling on marriage equality, voted against repealing â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell,â€ and even voted against the Violence Against Women Act and against expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation, gender and disability. If confirmed, Sessions would lead the U.S. Department of Justice, which is tasked with the fair and impartial administration of justice.
2.Â Potential Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Donald Trump nominated Tom Price for the role of Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price falselyÂ said that â€œpromoting the homosexual agendaâ€ has a â€œtremendous medical health impact and economic impact.â€ He also voted against repealing the ban on LGB people serving openly in the military, against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and called SCOTUSâ€™ ruling on marriage equality â€œnot only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.â€ If confirmed, Price would be responsible for overseeing nearly 80,000 employees, and be responsible for policy across the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
3.Â LGBT Youth are experiencing a spike in bullying and harassment.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released the results of its post-election survey of 50,000 people, ages 13-18, which is believed to be the largest survey conducted of its kind. The survey found that 70% of respondents have witnessed bullying, hate messages or harassment since the election. Over the last 30 days, 50% of transgender youth reported feeling worthless most of the time, with 36% having personally been bullied or harassed and 56% percent having changed their self-expression or future plans due to the election. Almost 50% of LGBT youth said that theyâ€™d taken steps to hide their sexual orientation or delay their coming out.
Donald Trump nominated Betsy DeVos for the role of Secretary of Education, who donated $200,000 to Michiganâ€™s ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage, and whose family donated more than $800,000 in funding to Focus on the Family, an anti-LGBT organization which supports conversion therapy to change a personâ€™s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
4.Â Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore.
Donald Trump selected John Gore for the key role in the Department of Justiceâ€™s Civil Rights Division. Gore defended the University of North Carolina in its legal challenge to the stateâ€™s anti-LGBT law HB2. â€œHB2 places transgender North Carolinians in harm’s way and bans cities from passing non-discrimination protections, which has cost the state more than $600 million,â€ HRCâ€™s Legal Director Sarah Warbelow released in a statement. â€œPresident Trump appears to be assembling an anti-LGBTQ team to lead the very agency charged with ensuring every American is protected from discrimination.â€
I will be making my Supreme Court pick on Thursday of next week.Thank you!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
Donald Trump announced (unsurprisingly) via Twitter that he will name his nominee for the Supreme Court next week. While Trump said he is â€œfineâ€ with same-sex marriage because itâ€™s â€œsettled law,â€ moments later he spoke in opposition to â€œsettled lawâ€ in Roe v. Wade. Heâ€™s previously vowed to nominate a justice â€œin the moldâ€ of the late, vehemently anti-LGBT Justice Antonin Scalia, and last week met with a judge believed to be one of his top candidates for the position: a man who has likened same-sex sex to â€œprostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia.â€
Given that the State Department website has removed John Kerryâ€™s historic apology to former State Department employees who were fired for being perceived as LGBT, and given that at the time of this publication, the Trump Administration has yet to replace any mention of the LGBT community that it removed from the White House website, itâ€™s clear that the LGBT community must stand together in solidarity.
â€œWe urge all supporters, friends, and family to descend on D.C. for the Pride 2017 weekend (June 8-11th) to make sure our voices are heard,â€ The National Pride Marchâ€™s event page reads. â€œIf you cannot attend the March in Washingtonâ€¦ we urge you to reach out to your local Pride organizations to assist in creating solidarity through your existing Pride events. Letâ€™s make this truly a â€˜National Pride Marchâ€™ that spreads from coast to coast and shows solidarity through our Pride movement.â€
At the date of this publication, the National Pride March event page lists that 17,000 people will be attending, with 70,000 interested in the event. Additional event details can be found at their event page, here.
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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies
Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.
Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.
Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”
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