The LGBT March on DC Is Happening: Five Post-Election Reasons This Is Important
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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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Former GOP Lawmaker Trashes Rep. Clay Higgins for ‘Cosplay Ridiculousness That Actually Could Spark Violence’
Appearing on MSNBC early Saturday morning, former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) lashed out at a fellow Republican who responded to Donald Trump’s latest indictment with what appears to be a call for another insurrection.
After the announcement that the former president will be formally indicted by the Department of Justice in Florida next week, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) fired off a tweet stating: “President Trump said he has been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM. This is a perimeter probe from the oppressors. Hold. rPOTUS has this. Buckle up. 1/50K know your bridges. Rock steady calm. That is all.”
Agreeing with militia expert Jeff Sharlet, who wrote, “This isn’t a metaphor. This isn’t slow civil war. This is a congressman calling for the real thing. I think this is scary as hell,” Riggleman piled on.
Speaking with MSNBC host Katie Phang, he stated, “I know Clay, I’ve served with him back in 2019 to 2021. This is so irresponsible.”
“But it’s also almost a cosplay ridiculousness that actually could spark violence with people that maybe are too ignorant to understand, or absolutely understand what a Clay Higgins is putting out there,” he suggested.
“I think at this point, he probably needs to retract that or delete it, and to apologize for such ridiculous language,” he continued. “Because it makes real military individuals almost cringe. It’s so cringeworthy that I do believe that we have to have a point in this country where their saying rise up against this hyperbolic bulls–t.”
“I think, for me as a former military person, it’s embarrassing to see somebody, especially an elected representative, it’s just embarrassing to see somebody tweet something like that, ” he added.
Watch below or at the link:
‘We Are Not Going to Stand for It’: McCarthy Defends Trump – Vows to Use Jim Jordan’s Committee to Target Attorney General
The Republican Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, barely hours after the U.S. Dept. of Justice unsealed a 49-page, 37-felony count criminal indictment charging Donald Trump with violations of seven federal laws, decided to double-down on his defense of the ex-president by threatening to target the Attorney General of the United States and declaring House Republicans “are not going to stand for” the criminal prosecution of the ex-president.
McCarthy went on Fox News Friday afternoon, saying “this judgment is wrong by this DOJ. That they treated President Trump differently than they treat others. And it didn’t have to be this way. This is going to disrupt this nation because it goes to the core of equal justice for all – which is not being seen today and we are not going to stand for it.”
McCarthy: This is going to disrupt this nation because it goes to the core of equal justice for all which is not being seen today and we are not going to stand for it. pic.twitter.com/B0Z1c81yOn
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 9, 2023
McCarthy, a California Republican who cobbled together a tenuous pact with far-right extremists to win his speakership on the 15th try, is incorrect on the facts.
RELATED: DOJ Unseals 37-Count Trump Criminal Indictment – Legal Expert Calls It ‘Egregious’ and ‘Devastating’ (Full Text)
The Dept. of Justice does not pass judgment, the courts – in this case a jury, does. The Dept. of Justice did not treat Trump “differently,” except to give him multiple opportunities over an approximately two-year period to return national secrets he allegedly unlawfully removed, retained, and refused to return, even after being served with a subpoena and a search warrant.
What McCarthy does not do is claim Trump’s actions were legal or reasonable, because the damning indictment makes clear they are not.
Later, McCarthy took to Twitter to effectively declare he would target the Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland, who – for nearly a quarter century – served as a federal appeals court judge and chief judge before being nominated to serve at Main Justice.
(Garland was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow the confirmation to move process forward.)
“Many officials, from Secretary Hillary Clinton to then-Senator Joe Biden, handled classified info after their time in office & were never charged,” tweeted the Speaker, not just wrongly, but grossly and dishonestly characterizing the allegations against Trump.
“Now Biden’s leading political opponent is indicted—a double standard that must be investigated,” he again dishonestly declared.
READ MORE: ‘Fail’: Critics Blast Youngkin for Claim Trump Is a Victim of ‘Politically Motivated Actions’ Just Like ‘Parents in Virginia’
President Joe Biden had nothing to do with the decision of the Special Counsel to ask a Florida grand jury for an indictment. Nor was the President even told before Trump was indicted – like every American, President Biden learned of the Trump indictment through news reports. Attorney General Garland did not sign off on the decision to ask a grand jury for an indictment.
McCarthy, meanwhile, vowed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and the House Republicans “will get answers.”
“Merrick Garland: the American people elected us to conduct oversight of you. We will fulfill that obligation,” he declared.
McCarthy made those remarks atop a Friday letter from Jordan to Garland that begins: “The Biden Department of Justice is reportedly about to indict a former president and President Biden’s chief rival in the upcoming presidential election.”
“According to reports, the Department will indict President Donald Trump, despite declining to indict former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information and failing to indict President Biden for his mishandling of classified information.” (The letter does not mention former Vice President Mike Pence, who is not being charged for his mishandling of classified information.”
On Thursday a defiant and angry McCarthy, after Trump was indicted, wrote: “Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America.”
“It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him,” he said, which is egregiously false – Biden did not indict Trump, nor did his Attorney General or even Special Counsel; a grand jury of Florida citizens did.
“Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades,” McCarthy charged, which is a legitimate claim and there is a current federal investigation underway. The difference is Biden did not take the documents, did not know they were among his papers, and immediately upon learning they were, contacted the National Archives to arrange their return.
Donald Trump, we now know, according to the indictment, packed some of the boxes himself, not only refused to return the documents but hid them from the Dept. of Justice and National Archives, lied about them, and kept them at times in public areas of his Florida resort and residence.
“I, and every American who believes in the rule of law,” McCarthy wrong declared, “stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”
READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say
In response to McCarthy’s remarks, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) posted a photo from the DOJ’s indictment of Trump.
“These are the secrets that protect our troops. And Kevin McCarthy thinks it’s perfectly OK that Donald Trump stole and stored them like this,” he charged.
These are the secrets that protect our troops. And Kevin McCarthy thinks it’s perfectly OK that Donald Trump stole and stored them like this. pic.twitter.com/oFid5ViCdr
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) June 9, 2023
Watch the video and see Rep. Swalwell’s tweet above or at this link.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Fail’: Critics Blast Youngkin for Claim Trump Is a Victim of ‘Politically Motivated Actions’ Just Like ‘Parents in Virginia’
Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, a possible 2024 presidential candidate, is under fire after remarks he made Friday morning defending Donald Trump after the ex-president was indicted on what has now been revealed to be 37 federal felony counts related to the Dept. of Justice’s criminal probe into his handling of hundreds of classified and top secret documents.
Youngkin Friday suggested that the prosecution of Donald Trump, which includes Espionage Act charges, conspiracy charges, and obstruction of justice charges among others, was just like the alleged prosecution of parents.
Gov. Youngkin, often wrongly portrayed in the media as a moderate Republican, may have been attempting to invoke the false yet viral far-right claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland was investigating and prosecuting parents for merely speaking at school board meetings. That claim came about after Garland issued a letter asking the Bureau to come up with strategies to address violence and violent threats directed at school board members. Some who have promoted that erroneous claim, including Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, have falsely claimed Garland called ordinary parents “terrorists.”
On Friday, Youngkin tweeted about the Trump indictment, saying, “These charges are unprecedented and it’s a sad day for our country, especially in light of what clearly appears to be a two-tiered justice system where some are selectively prosecuted, and others are not.”
“Parents in Virginia know firsthand what it’s like to be targeted by politically motivated actions,” he added.
“Regardless of your party, this undermines faith in our judicial system at exactly the time when we should be working to restore that trust,” Youngkin concluded, remarks that themselves could undermine faith in our judicial system.
Days before his election, Youngkin also promoted the false Garland claim, even after the Attorney General that same day explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee his letter directed the FBI to investigate not ordinary parents, but people who were organizing attacks on school board members.
Candidate Youngkin appeared on Fox News in October 0f 2021 (video below) and falsely told Tucker Carlson, “What happened today was, of course, Merrick Garland doubled down. He said, ‘No, I’m absolutely maintaining my position that the DOJ and the FBI should be investigating parents.’ Parents who are trying to stand up for their children when there’s been a sexual assault in a school bathroom. We have a board of education and in Loudoun County that tried to hide it from parents, hide it from hiding from the public, and they move this child into another school and then that child again committed another sexual assault.”
READ MORE: DOJ Unseals 37-Count Trump Criminal Indictment – Legal Expert Calls It ‘Egregious’ and ‘Devastating’ (Full Text)
Youngkin made education and “parents’ rights” a campaign issue when he ran in 2021. His opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, during a debate said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” While experts claim it didn’t swing the election for Youngkin, it at least established him nationally as focused on education and “parental rights,” a mantle Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis quickly co-opted.
The Washington Post, alternatively, on Friday focused on Youngkin’s “two-tiered justice” remarks, reporting: “Youngkin’s suggestion that a rich White man — he didn’t actually name Trump — had been victimized by a ‘two-tiered justice system’ drew fierce pushback, with many critics noting the governor’s opposition to the notion that racial and ethnic minorities face systemic racism. The Republican won the governorship on a promise to purge ‘critical race theory’ from K-12 classrooms, though it was not part of any curriculum. Once in office, Youngkin launched a tip line for parents to report on teachers discussing ‘inherently divisive’ concepts in schools.”
Youngkin, who technically is a “populist conservative” but swings far-right on social issues, was quickly chastised for his tweet.
“You know what you are saying is wrong and incendiary. Shame on you,” declared former CIA officer John Sipher. “These charges stemmed from a grand [jury] of Florida citizens. Trump will have access to a Fair process. But instead you spread information to anger and confuse people. You are stoking misinformation and violence.”
READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes took a different approach, mocking the Virginia Republican.
“It’s the pivot to ‘Parents in Virginia…’ in the third sentence that elevates this to art,” he wrote.
“The moderate, genial suburban dad in a fleece vest suggests that the only way to restore confidence in the justice system is to place Trump above the law,” wrote The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, also mocking Youngkin.
“Youngkin is pro-Trump, as usual–even though Virginia voted heavily AGAINST Trump in both 2016 and 2020. When it comes to Donald Trump, Liz Cheney has more courage in her pinky than Youngkin does in his whole body,” observed Larry Sabato, the well-known professor of politics, political analyst, and founder and director of University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
The vice president of research for the liberal super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, Liz Charboneau, called Youngkin’s tweet an “especially stupid statement when a large portion of your state has a security clearance, handles classified documents, and has never been charged under the espionage act.”
Conservative Mona Charen, a syndicated columnist and Policy Editor at The Bulwark: “So here’s our answer as to whether Youngkin is a man of character. Fail.”
The Lincoln Project’s Michelle Kinney tweeted, “Youngkin twisting himself into pretzel to weave a vaguebook repudiation of Trump indictment and his weirdo anti vaxx anti trans ‘parents rights’ obsession into one tweet. It reads like Veep dialogue.”
Historian, professor, Holocaust expert Dr. Waitman Wade Beorn tweeted, “Hey dude, the Pentagon is literally in your state. Maybe stop in and have a chat…”
Watch the video above or at this link.
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