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The LGBT March on DC Is Happening: Five Post-Election Reasons This Is Important

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The Women’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 week’s Women’s March on the capital – and in hundreds of cities around the world – activist David Bruinooge has begun planning The National Pride March, an LGBT march of solidarity on Washington, D.C. Coinciding with D.C.’s Pride event the march is scheduled for June 11, 2017.

“I thought the gay community should be doing something like [the Women’s March] to follow up on the momentum,” Bruinooge, an openly gay New York resident told the Washington Blade. He cited that he was inspired by the country’s women who “[took] to the street [to get] their voices heard.” D.C.’s Women’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 Trump’s inauguration.

“They set the tone with their leadership and it is our intention as a community to follow their lead and play our part,” 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.’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. “[Capital Pride Alliance] obviously [has] the infrastructure and the mass support to help this become a reality,” Bruinooge said.

The LGBT community is no stranger to marching on the nation’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 Women’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. 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 SCOTUS’ ruling on marriage equality, voted against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” 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. 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 falsely said that “promoting the homosexual agenda” has a “tremendous medical health impact and economic impact.” 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 SCOTUS’ ruling on marriage equality “not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.” 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. 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 they’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 Michigan’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 person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

4. Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore.

Donald Trump selected John Gore for the key role in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Gore defended the University of North Carolina in its legal challenge to the state’s anti-LGBT law HB2. “HB2 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,” HRC’s Legal Director Sarah Warbelow released in a statement. “President Trump appears to be assembling an anti-LGBTQ team to lead the very agency charged with ensuring every American is protected from discrimination.”

5. This:

Donald Trump announced (unsurprisingly) via Twitter that he will name his nominee for the Supreme Court next week. While Trump said he is “fine” with same-sex marriage because it’s “settled law,” moments later he spoke in opposition to “settled law” in Roe v. Wade. He’s previously vowed to nominate a justice “in the mold” 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 “prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia.”

Given that the State Department website has removed John Kerry’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, it’s clear that the LGBT community must stand together in solidarity.

And march.

“We 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,” The National Pride March’s event page reads. “If you cannot attend the March in Washington… we urge you to reach out to your local Pride organizations to assist in creating solidarity through your existing Pride events. Let’s make this truly a ‘National Pride March’ that spreads from coast to coast and shows solidarity through our Pride movement.”

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

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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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Separation of Church and State Is a ‘Fabrication’ Says Far Right Activist Charlie Kirk: They Should Be ‘Mixed Together’

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Far-right religious activist, conspiracy theorist, and founder of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk has falsely declared that separation of church and state, a bedrock principle on which American society is based, is a “fabrication” not in the Constitution.

Kirk is a member of the secretive theocratic Council for National Policy., a close friend of Donald Trump, Jr., and spent years promoting President Trump – even interviewing him at one point. Turning Point USA has had repeated challenges. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer in 2017 write a piece about TPUSA titled, “A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks to Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations of Racial Bias and Illegal Campaign Activity.”

Former TPUSA communications director Candace Owens has praised Hitler, saying “the problem” with him was that he wanted to “globalize.”

RELATED: Watch: Charlie Kirk Calls for Texans to Be ‘Deputized’ to Protect ‘White Demographics in America’

On Wednesday Kirk declared, “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists.”

That’s false.

The claim separation of church and state is not in the Constitution is a religious right belief that has been debunked by countless legal experts.

“Of course we should have church and state mixed together,” Kirk continued. “Our Founding Fathers believed in that. We can go through the detail of that. They established – literally – a church in Congress.”

That too is false.

RELATED: ‘When Do We Get to Use the Guns?’: TP USA Audience Member Asks Charlie Kirk When Can ‘We Kill’ Democrats? (Video)

“It’s a good thing Charlie Kirk doesn’t go to Wheaton because he would fail my Constitutional Law class,” writes Dr. Miranda Yaver, PhD, a Wheaton College professor.

As most public school students know, Kirk’s claims are belied by the First Amendment to the U.S., Constitution, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It’s the Establishment Clause, legal experts say, that debunks Kirk’s falsehood.

In reviewing the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, Reuters last month noted: “It was President Thomas Jefferson who famously said in an 1802 letter that the establishment clause should represent a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The provision prevents the government from establishing a state religion and prohibits it from favoring one faith over another.”

Jefferson is also considered the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

Watch Charlie Kirk below or at this link.

 

 

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News

Pat Cipollone Is ‘A Greatest Hits Package of Crazy Statements’ by Donald Trump: Legal Expert

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Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress on Friday.

Former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Harry Litman told CNN that Cipollone has carefully negotiated the testimony and he will likely “steer around down the middle” of the attorney/client privilege. However, former President Donald Trump is not the client of a White House counsel, the White House is. President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for anything involving Jan. 6 or the 2020 election.

“He is a greatest hits package of crazy statements by Donald Trump,” Litman said of Cipollone. “He is the one who says to Mark Meadows, ‘You know, if you do this, you’ll have blood on your effing hands.’ He’s the one who says to Mark Meadows about [Mike] Pence, ‘You’ve got to stop it’ and Meadows says, ‘You’ve heard him. He thinks the rioters are right.’ He’s the one who has to go to Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old, and plead with her because Meadows won’t speak to him. ‘Please try to keep him from going to the Capitol.’ He’s the one who says, ‘if I go to the Capitol, it will be every effing crime imaginable.'”

READ MORE: Longtime friend of GOP’s Eric Greitens calls him a ‘broken man’ and accuses him of lying about his beliefs

“Now, they’ve negotiated it up, and probably what he wants is to say he’s not piercing attorney/client privilege. But all these statements I’ve said to you, Trump’s nowhere around. So, attorney/client has to be with the client for the purpose of getting legal advice, so he’s got tons to say without that.”

As Litman explained, Cipollone is in “everything.”

See the discussion below.

Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks  via Flickr:
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump talk with Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Virginia Thomas, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Deputy White House Counsel Kate Comerford Todd in the Blue Room of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice.

 

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