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Why We March Together

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‘Fear Is Not Enough and Despair Is Not a Strategy’

Our son cried when we told him Donald Trump won the election. My husband and I held him and told him everything would be ok. “What do we do when things need to be fixed?” we asked. “We get to work.” 

That’s why we loaded up on snacks and water, met friends at the subway stop, and joined T’ruah and tens of thousands of New Yorkers to march in NYC a few days later. And that’s why we’ve made new signs and are heading downtown on Saturday for the Women’s March on NYC. This time we’ll be marching with over 250 members of the LGBTQI community in the Equality New York group. We’ll be among over a hundred thousand expected at the Women’s March on NYC, and the hundreds of thousands expected to march around the world. 

With each new headline, and each new tweet, the feelings threaten to overwhelm. This is not the world we imagined raising our son in. 

I am reminded of something Ruth Messinger once said. The Global Ambassador for American Jewish World Service, and former Manhattan Borough President, is no stranger to tackling the unimaginable. She said “Fear is not enough and despair is not a strategy.” We’ve got plenty of both these days. 

But we also have what might be an unprecedented groundswell of organizing happening, progressive patriotic Americans who won’t let go of our values. In meeting rooms and living rooms across the country we are getting together to support each other, learn, and act. And in the LGBTQI community, our generations of experience are being put to good use. Equality New York is new, rising up from within the community to fill a gap in political organizing in New York State. When we decided to organize an LGBTQI contingent we thought 25 people might show up. Instead the numbers are growing hourly. Since starting to write this we’ve gone from 250 to 266. 

It is exciting to see the numbers of expected marchers around the world grow. But it’s inspiring to watch communities march together. Our country has always been in flux, a constant back and forth in the work of cultural change to become more free and just. We thought we had come farther, that we would never have to face this quite this kind of administration.  

Our pursuit of equality and justice has throughout history seen victories and setbacks. The challenges we face are real, and the call to action is urgent, but millions of Americans are now standing up and standing together to defend the rights and values we have too often taken for granted. 

We find power and strength when we come together as a community. The Trump-Pence administration is intent on limiting social, racial, and economic justice. But being together reminds us that we are the majority and we have power. In other words, fear and despair may be real, but they won’t stop us.

My husband and son will be there with me Saturday, marching one step at a time, alongside the many diverse communities that already make America great and give us hope for the future. I hope you’ll join us.

You can sign up for more information and to march. 
You can also visit Equality NY online and on Facebook.

 

Gabriel Blau is a co-Founder and chair of Equality New York, the new statewide LGBTQI political organization in New York.

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BIGOTRY

Shadowy Right Wing Group One Step Closer to Overturning Arizona City’s New LGBTQ Civil Rights Protections

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A group hiding behind a two-page website that lists no actual persons or physical address has submitted enough signatures to get a repeal of Mesa, Arizona’s new LGBTQ civil rights protections law onto the ballot for the November 2022 election.

According to news reports no one seems to know who founded United for Mesa, a Political Action Committee created days after the Mesa City Council passed the non-discrimination ordinance. The website lists an email address, phone number, and P.O. Box.

“Give the People a Voice,” the website urges, meaning they believe citizens should vote on civil rights, something studies show overwhelmingly ends with the majority voting to deprive the minority of equal rights. It also claims the “Mesa City Council just passed an ordinance WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF MESA RESIDENTS,” which is false. In a representative democracy, citizens elect leaders to make these very decisions for them.

Calling the group “below-the-radar, with no official leaders or posted public meetings,” the East Valley Tribune reported last month that “Unofficial leaders like Barbara R. Parker rallied like-minded troops via Facebook and other outlets.”

“Thank you to every petition signer and gatherer who helped save Mesa!” Parker posted Thursday night.

“Thank the Lord! I have never seen so many people working so hard to get signatures,” wrote Paula Smith in a comment to Parker’s post. “It’s been amazing! I’m so thankful everyone’s hard work paid off!”

“Thank you everyone for going the extra distance, so we may all have a voice in such an important decision,” added Charmon Puhlmann, a bus driver for Mesa Public Schools.

Political consultant George Khalaf’s firm, The Arizona Republic reports, “is leading the referendum effort against the ordinance,” but it does not mention what, if any, relationship he has with United for Mesa.

Last year the Arizona Capitol Times reported Khalaf was a political consultant to Republican state Representative Nancy Barto, in an article discussing an anti-transgender bill.

An email to United for Mesa did not receive a response by press time.

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘It’s Not National God Day’: Pat Robertson’s Reporter Mocked for Attacking Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation

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David Brody, a political analyst for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), is getting criticized for attacking President Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation. Brody, a Trump acolyte, slammed the proclamation because it doesn’t include the word “God.”

President Biden’s proclamation clearly was written to be as inclusive as possible, something he has strived to achieve with nearly everything he does.

“Throughout our history, Americans of many religions and belief systems have turned to prayer for strength, hope, and guidance,” Biden a devout Catholic, says in the document. “Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans. Prayer is also a daily practice for many, whether it is to ask for help or strength, or to give thanks over blessings bestowed.”

He goes on to talk about the First Amendment protecting “the rights of free speech and religious liberty, including the right of all Americans to pray.”

But that wasn’t good enough for Brody, a far right wing Christian, who appeared to believe that the proclamation should honor only Christians.

Former Trump personal attorney Jenna Ellis chimed in, replying to Brody with this slur:

On social media Brody was blasted.

 

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'SHIRT-TUCKING STAR OF THE BORAT SEQUEL'

George Conway Muses if Giuliani Was Dropped ‘On His Head’ and Warns He’s ‘Going to Go Through Some Things’

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Conservative attorney George Conway is warning former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani he may be “going to go through some things.”

“The quoted words,” he explains in a just-published Washington Post op-ed, “come from the former president’s supposedly ‘perfect’ phone call with Ukraine’s president, and described what could happen to the American ambassador there, Marie L. Yovanovitch.”

Those “things” Giuliani may go through include “possibly being charged with a crime.”

Giuliani’s home and office were raided by the feds last week, and Conway says “the investigation marks yet another step in Giuliani’s unimaginable fall from grace. The once-respected former federal prosecutor, New York mayor (‘America’s mayor’!), presidential candidate and possible Cabinet pick, stands reduced to a laughingstock: shirt-tucking star of the ‘Borat’ sequel, headliner for a news conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, and now defendant in a $1.3 billion defamation suit for having claimed that the long-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez founded a voting software company that helped steal the presidency from Trump.”

He also calls Giuliani a peddler of “nutso election-fraud claims,” and says he “had firmly established himself as one of the world’s worst lawyers. He’s the bumbler who blurted out on national TV that his client, Individual-1, had reimbursed a $130,000 payment made to a porn star, a transaction that triggered a sprawling and ongoing New York grand jury investigation into Trump’s overall business affairs.”

“All this boggles the mind of anyone who has followed Giuliani’s lengthy career. It’s as though someone dropped him on his head.”

Conway offers some free advice to Giuliani and Trump:

“If Giuliani has anything to offer prosecutors to save himself, it would have to be Trump, the only bigger fish left. And it was arguably criminal for the then-president to have used his official powers to try to coerce foreign officials into aiding his reelection campaign. In fact, Giuliani’s admission that he wasn’t conducting foreign policy, but merely helping Trump personally, is exactly what would make the scheme prosecutable. The former guy just might want to rethink stiffing Giuliani on those bills.”

Read the entire op-ed here.

 

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