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Trump Ignores LGBT Pride Month

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Trump Promised He Would Be the Most Pro-LGBT President Ever

President Donald Trump appears to have decided to ignore LGBT Pride Month. While the President on Wednesday signed proclamations honoring June as Great Outdoors Month, National Homeownership Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, and National Ocean Month, he has not issued a proclamation honoring LGBT Pride Month.

(Given that Trump is expected to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement at 3 PM today, honoring June as Great Outdoors Month and National Ocean Month seems especially hypocritical.)

Last year in June President Trump posted a surprising tweet, disconnected from anything that was actually happening:

That same week last year, during a speech on terrorism Trump falsely claimed he is the most pro-gay candidate in any major party running for office, and assailed the Obama administration’s record on LGBT civil rights, which he called “LBGT.” Days earlier he had addressed one of the most anti-LGBT crowds in America, Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition, promising he would “restore faith to its proper mantle in our society,” and his administration “will respect and defend Christian Americans. Christian Americans,” he repeated for emphasis.

In case there had been any confusion on Trump’s stance on same-sex marriage – he is wholly opposed – candidate Trump posted this tweet last year:

“There is no reception on Trump’s agenda, and the absence of a Pride Month proclamation is quite conspicuous,” Zack Ford at ThinkProgress writes today. He notes that Trump “could have become the first Republican president to acknowledge Pride Month with a proclamation, but he didn’t — and the silence is deafening.”

Shin Inouye‏, the former Obama administration White House Office of Communications Director of Specialty Media and USCIS Press Secretary and Acting Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental & External Affairs, made clear Trump “couldn’t be bothered” to include LGBT people in his monthly proclamations:

President Obama, by comparison, every June opened the White House up for celebrations with the LGBT community, hosting events for LGBT activists, LGBT journalists, and others. Here he is in 2012:

Of course, proclamations aren’t policy, but Trump has made clear he will not support the LGBT community. His DOJ and Education Dept. rescinded the Obama-era guidelines protecting transgender children, his “health care” plan would devastate LGBT people and people living with HIV/AIDS, his cabinet and senior staff, with very few exceptions, are anti-LGBT; the list goes on and on.

But in case President Trump wants to know what an LGBT Pride Month proclamation looks like, here is President Barack Obama’s from 2016:

 

                         THE WHITE HOUSE
                  Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                               May 31, 2016

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2016

——-

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

     Since our founding, America has advanced on an unending
path toward becoming a more perfect Union.  This journey, led
by forward-thinking individuals who have set their sights on
reaching for a brighter tomorrow, has never been easy or smooth.
The fight for dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless
dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more
inclusive society.  They have spurred sweeping progress by
changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment --
under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics.  This
month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this
point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward
justice.
     Last year's landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing
marriage equality in all 50 States was a historic victory for
LGBT Americans, ensuring dignity for same-sex couples and
greater equality across State lines.  For every partnership
that was not previously recognized under the law and for
every American who was denied their basic civil rights, this
monumental ruling instilled newfound hope, affirming the belief
that we are all more free when we are treated as equals.
     LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands
beside them.  That is why my Administration is striving to
better understand the needs of LGBT adults and to provide
affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing to aging LGBT
Americans.  It is also why we oppose subjecting minors to the
harmful practice of conversion therapy, and why we are
continuing to promote equality and foster safe and supportive
learning environments for all students.  We remain committed to
addressing health disparities in the LGBT community -- gay
and bisexual men and transgender women of color are at a
particularly high risk for HIV, and we have worked to strengthen
our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new infections,
increase access to care, and improve health outcomes for people
living with HIV.
     Despite the extraordinary progress of the past few years,
LGBT Americans still face discrimination simply for being who
they are.  I signed an Executive Order in 2014 that prohibits
discrimination against Federal employees and contractors on the
basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  I urge the
Congress to enact legislation that builds upon the progress we
have made, because no one should live in fear of losing their
job simply because of who they are or who they love.  And
our commitment to combatting discrimination against the LGBT
community does not stop at our borders:  Advancing the fair

page1image25000

treatment of all people has long been a cornerstone of American
diplomacy, and we have made defending and promoting the human
rights of LGBT individuals a priority in our engagement across
the globe.  In line with America's commitment to the notion that
all people should be treated fairly and with respect, champions
of this cause at home and abroad are upholding the simple truth
that LGBT rights are human rights.
     There remains much work to do to extend the promise of our
country to every American, but because of the acts of courage of
the millions who came out and spoke out to demand justice and of
those who quietly toiled and pushed for progress, our Nation has
made great strides in recognizing what these brave individuals
long knew to be true in their hearts -- that love is love and
that no person should be judged by anything but the content of
their character.  During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender
Pride Month, as Americans wave their flags of pride high and
march boldly forward in parades and demonstrations, let us
celebrate how far we have come and reaffirm our steadfast
belief in the equal dignity of all Americans.
     NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the
United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested
in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States,
do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the
United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists,
and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord
two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

### 

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Image: Screenshot via The White House/YouTube

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Republican Attempts to Create Special Religious Rights Fail as Bipartisan Historic Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Senate

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Far right activists and organizations for months have been falsely claiming legislation to protect same-sex marriages would destroy different-sex marriages and take away religious rights from ordinary Americans, but early Tuesday evening on a bipartisan basis the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, 61-36.

The legislation itself is very simple. It essentially leaves in place the status quo on marriage from the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling. Should right wing Supreme Court justices strike that ruling down, the Respect for Marriage Act would require the federal government and states to recognize any marriages that were legal when they were entered, now and in the future.

35 states currently still have same-sex marriage bans on the books. If the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell, many of those could become law immediately.

READ MORE: Franklin Graham’s Ugly Lie Ahead of Senate Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Bill

In order to overcome a Republican-led filibuster Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday agreed to allow three GOP Senators to offer amendments to the legislation, amendments that would have created special religious rights to discriminate.

An amendment from Senator James Lankford (R-OK) failed, as did one from Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT). 60 votes were needed for each.

Sen. Lee’s was seen by some as the most extreme, and was strongly supported by the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council and former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

READ MORE: 37 Senators Just Voted Against a Bill Protecting Same-Sex and Interracial Marriages. All Were Republicans.

Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts, in a false claim, had said: “The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ contains so many infringements and encroachments on religious freedoms and on conscience that Republicans should unite solidly against it. Instead, it should be called the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”

Far right evangelical activist Franklin Graham falsely claimed the “bill strikes a blow at religious freedom for individuals & ministries & is really the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”

The Pennsylvania Family Council wrongly called it “a bill that would redefine marriage and attack religious freedom & Christian social services.”

But despite GOP fear-mongering, the legislation has religious protections built in, protections so strong 20 faith-based organizations including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, have supported its passage.

The bill now heads back to the House for a final vote, and then to President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it into law.

 

 

 

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'WAY LATE'

‘Punditry, Not Leadership’: McConnell Slammed for Refusing to Say if He Would Support Trump in 2024

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say if he would support Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2024. McConnell spoke in broad terms about antisemitism and white supremacy Tuesday afternoon, a full week to the day after the former president had dinner with the antisemite Kanye West, and the white supremacist Nick Fuentes, but could not bring himself to disavow Trump by name.

“First, let me just say, there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,” McConnell said as he began a press conference, his first remarks about Trump’s dinner with West and Fuentes. “Anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected President of the United States.”

McConnell did not mention Trump, and moments later, when CNN’s Manu Raja specifically asked about the former president, McConnell would only repeat his previous statement.

READ MORE: RNC Taps Right Wing Extremists to Head Group Designed to Expand GOP Appeal in Wake of Midterm Losses

“Look, let me just say again, there is simply no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy, and that would apply to all of the leaders in the party who will be seeking offices,” he told CNN’s Raju.

Many were critical of McConnell’s refusal to denounce Trump.

Boston Globe opinion writer Abdallah Fayyad said, “McConnell will absolutely back Trump if he wins the GOP nomination.”

Previously, McConnell had said he would support Trump if he is the GOP’s nominee.

“Notice how McConnell said such a person is ‘highly unlikely’ to be elected, rather than manifestly unfit. He needs to keep his rhetorical options open for Trump getting the nomination again,” observed Media Matters’ Eric Kleefeld.

READ MORE: Questions Swirl Around Herschel Walker as New Report Shows His Georgia Residence Was Rented Out for Over a Decade

Law professor and former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), Sherrilyn Ifill says, “McConnell, Pence, McCarthy and the other folks clutching their pearls today stood beside this man. Distancing from Trump over ‘the dinner’ is way late.”

Political consultant and writer Jamison Foser criticized the Republican Minority Leader, saying: “‘Will not likely be elected’ is punditry, not leadership. McConnell will support Trump if Trump is the Republican nominee; everything else is his attempt to distract from that.”

Before McConnell’s remarks, Ifill had taken the media to task.

“The most dispiriting aspect of the discussion about Trump’s meal w/those two odious ppl is that I thought there was consensus that Trump is a white supremacist. In which case 3 white supremacists had dinner. Why is Trump getting portrayed as an innocent who was snookered?”

 

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News

‘Beyond Horrific’: Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Producer Is an Out Gay Man Helping ‘Ramp Up’ Hate Says LGBTQ Journalist

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Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson, whose nightly show frequently has the largest reach of any on cable news, regularly attacks the LGBTQ community with fear-mongering and hate-filled segments about gay people, transgender people, “groomers” and the latest target: “drag queen story hours.”

His senior executive producer, who oversees Carlson’s media empire at Fox News, is a married, out, gay man named Justin Wells, according to veteran journalist and SiriusXM Progress host Michelangelo Signorile, who is calling it “beyond horrific to think a gay man has helped to shape and widely disseminate a message of hate against LGBTQ people.”

Last week, in the wake of the horrific anti-LGBTQ hate crime mass shooting Carlson hosted a guest, the head of the so-called “Gays Against Groomers,” who told Fox News viewers the attack on LGBTQ people at a gay bar in Colorado Springs was “predictable” and warned that these hate crime massacres will continue, “until we end this evil agenda” of gender-affirming care.

Carlson has repeatedly hosted Jaimee Mitchell, the Gays Against Groomers founder who fear mongers against LGBTQ people, with the apparent consent of Wells, who “helped promulgate the kind of hate that leads to violence,” says Signorile.

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

“It’s unlikely that any narrative would get broadcast by Tucker without significant buy-in from Justin,” Angelo Carusone, President and CEO of media watchdog Media Matters, told Signorile.

Indeed, referring to the Colorado Springs mass shooting massacre, Signorile noted it is “the same kind of nightclub at which Wells, in years past, danced the night away in Miami Beach and elsewhere, liberating himself from the world outside and surely never imagining he’d be shot dead.”

“Now he’s aided the extremists who deny that sense of safety and liberation to every future generation of queer people,” says Signorile, explaining that “Wells runs the entire Tucker Carlson operation, and is responsible for imprinting the Tucker Carlson brand, which is all about emboldening white heterosexual male grievance, furthering the racist conspiracy of ‘replacement theory’ and pushing an increasingly virulent anti-LGBTQ agenda.”

READ MORE: Tucker Carlson Serves Up 12-Minute Long Homophobic Hate-Filled Rant Attacking Pete Buttigieg Over ‘Equity’

One of Carlson’s frequent LGBTQ targets is Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who he has called an “unqualified ‘kid’ who ‘breastfeeds,’ and has no business running the agency,” as Mediaite reported.

“And as Carlson further pushed white nationalism, attacked transgender people and embraced Hungary’s authoritarian leader Victor Orban,” Signorile reports, “Wells, in 2021, was named a Vice President at Fox News, in charge of all Carlson product that airs on Fox News TV as well as on Fox’s streaming network, Fox Nation.”

Signorile says, “it’s quite stunning that Wells would work for Carlson, who has a well-known history of visceral homophobia. That’s something that came to light again last year when it became known that Carlson had offered a tribute to Dan White, the assassin of San Francisco supervisor and gay civil rights leader Harvey Milk, in his college yearbook back in 1991, as well as to the late vociferously anti-gay Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who whipped up homophobia during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.”

READ MORE: Tucker Carlson Once Allegedly Bragged He Belonged to a ‘Society’ Named After the Man Who Assassinated Harvey Milk

“I wrote about those jarring revelations when they surfaced last year,” he continues, “as well as about what I dubbed Carlson’s ‘pathological obsession with homosexuality’ throughout his career. Carlson has expressed revulsion at homosexuality, and in one incident he reveled in a violent response. In a TV interview in 2007 he described having smashed a man’s head ‘against the stall’ in a public rest room, after the man ‘bothered’ him.”

“Wells, as a gay man, only emboldens Carlson further,” Signorile concludes. “He gives him permission to launch the ugly attacks and helps Carlson validate, for himself (and likely for executives at Fox News), the vitriol he espouses. That makes Justin Wells’ presence as the powerful gay man behind Tucker Carlson all the more newsworthy. And all the more dangerous.”

Signorile notes that his reporting is not an outing.

“This story is not, however, about a warped closet case, tormented by self-loathing, hiding his true self while bashing those like him. And thus, this story is not an outing, which involves exposing someone who covers up their sexual orientation while publicly presenting as heterosexual — though it certainly may be a startling revelation to a great many. It is, rather, about connecting the dots regarding a reality that seems to have been hiding in plain sight.”

You can read Signorile’s entire report on his Substack newsletter.

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