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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 rescinded the Obama-era guidelines protecting transgender children, his “health care” plan would devastate LGBT people and people living with HIV/AIDS, his cabinet and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

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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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‘Giddily Bouncing Off the Walls’: Legal Experts Predict Trump Conviction

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With the jury dismissed for the day after more than four hours of deliberations and a series of notes to Judge Juan Merchan, legal experts are predicting Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will win his case against Donald Trump, and see jurors convict the ex-president on 34 criminal counts. The ex-president is on trial for allegedly falsifying  business records as a means to cover-up a conspiracy scheme to promote his election to the Presidency by “unlawful means.”

“If I were in the DA’s office I’d be giddily bouncing off the walls right now,” attorney George Conway wrote on social media late Wednesday afternoon.

Minutes later attorney Tristan Snell, who helped secure the New York Attorney General’s $25 million settlement in the Trump University civil case, also predicted a likely Trump conviction:

“BREAKING: Trump jury asks for testimony transcripts, including 3 sections from David Pecker and 1 section from Michael Cohen. VERY bad sign for Trump that David Pecker’s testimony landed with the jury and is something they want to focus on. Jury is likely leaning toward GUILTY.”

READ MORE: ‘No Moral Compass’: Legal Experts Call for Intervention After Alito Refuses to Recuse

National security attorney Brad Moss, appearing on CNN Wednesday afternoon said, “I don’t expect a hung jury but if we get into Friday, or even next week Monday, it certainly would appear that would be more likely what’s going on. But if we have a decision tomorrow, my expectation is it will be a guilty verdict.”

Yale Law School professor of law and professor of philosophy Scott Shapiro offered this short statement:

If Donald Trump is convicted he may be the least surprised, as he appeared to predict a conviction Wednesday morning: “Mother Theresa could not beat these charges,” he told reporters.

The jury returns Thursday at 9:30 AM.

See the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Biggest Felony in American History’: Prosecutor’s Closing Argument Against Trump Praised

Image via Shutterstock

 

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‘No Moral Compass’: Legal Experts Call for Intervention After Alito Refuses to Recuse

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has formally refused to recuse from any and all cases involving indicted ex-president Donald Trump or the January 6, 2021 attack on the seat of the American government and American democracy itself. Legal experts and elected Democrats, including the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight responsibility of the nation’s highest court, have demanded the George W. Bush-appointed jurist’s recusal. Now, some legal experts say either the Chief Justice or the Senate Judiciary Committee must intervene.

Justice Alito is standing by his now thoroughly debunked story about why a flag associated with the insurrection and the “Stop the Steal” conspiracy was flying at his home just three days before Joe Biden was inaugurated president, and a different, Christian nationalist flag also associated with those efforts to overthrow the government and disenfranchise 81 million Americans was flying at another of his homes.

Responding to a letter sent to Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Alito in his own letter wrote he was “required” to reject Democrats’ request and not recuse himself, despite numerous legal experts citing both law and precedent, declaring he at least should, or must, recuse himself.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who writes about the courts and the law, pushed back on Justice Alito’s claim.

READ MORE: ‘Biggest Felony in American History’: Prosecutor’s Closing Argument Against Trump Praised

“Alito reads the Supreme Court’s totally voluntary, non-binding ethics guidelines to impose a seemingly mandatory ‘obligation’ that he sit on any case he’s not recused from.”

Professor of law Steve Vladeck, a CNN contributor, appeared to take that one strep further: “Justice Alito’s insistence in his letters to Congress that he has an ‘obligation to sit’ in the January 6 cases *because* the Code of Conduct says so is an interesting data point for those who have insisted that the Code doesn’t impose *any* requirements on the justices.”

Journalist, author, and foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf observed, “Alito, by saying he should not recuse, demonstrates clearly why he should not be on the court in the first place.”

The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro notes, “As with his statement to the NYT, Alito in his response to Congress never disavows the meaning of the upside down flag that flew over his house for days or its link to the Jan 6th riot/Stop The Steal movement that was at its height during this period. Notably, Alito does deny that link with the Appeal To Heaven flag, but not the upside down flag.”

Saying Alito is “really is a piece of work,” attorney and former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa suggested the justice is flipping the script: “Alito does a Reverse Uno, suggesting that people calling for his recusal are trying to influence the outcome of cases before the Court.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog, noted: “That Justice Alito responded *at all* to the demand that he recuse from these cases shows the gravity of his misconduct. But this response changes nothing about the ethical issue here. Since he will not recuse on his own, Chief Justice Roberts should intervene.”

READ MORE: Supreme Court ‘Puppetmaster’ Slammed Over Report He’s Flying Alito’s ‘Theocratic’ Flag Again

Constitutional law scholar and professor of law Eric Segall served up a scathing assessment: “To be clear, if we found a love letter written to Donald Trump from Sam Alito saying, ‘Can’t wait till you’re back in office,’ Alito still would not recuse. He has no moral compass at all.”

The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein suggests Democrats will need to take further action: “Alito’s dismissive response, which [Chief Justice John] Roberts is unlikely to challenge in any way, has placed the ball squarely in the court of @SenatorDurbin, @SenSchumer and Senate Democrats.”

CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere, posting a screenshot of Donald Trump’s response to the justice’s decision to not recuse, writes: “Trump thanks Alito for not recusing himself from cases pending about Trump after Alito’s being criticized for a flag flying at his house that has been interpreted as a sign of support for Trump.”

See the social media post above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Wildly Lawless’: Judge Cannon’s Removal Predicted by Top Legal Scholar

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‘Doesn’t Know Most Basic Rule’: Conway Blasts Cannon Over ‘Perplexed’ Reaction

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U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon suffered more strong criticism, this time from attorney George Conway who blasted the Trump-appointed jurist over a New York Times report in which, he said, she appeared to not understand the basics of a criminal rule.

Judge Cannon is already under fire after likely delaying until after the 2024 presidential election one of the most important cases in American jurisprudence – an ex-president, his party’s presumptive nominee, running again for the White House, charged under the Espionage Act with unlawful removal and retention of some of the nation’s top classified documents, including nuclear secrets.

On Tuesday, a top legal scholar declared a recent Cannon ruling against Special Counsel Jack Smith’s motion to expand the limits on the ex-president’s release, “wildly lawless.” He also predicted it would result in her removal from the Trump Espionage Act case, also known as the classified documents case.

On Wednesday, attorney Conway responded to a portion of that New York Times profile of Judge Cannon.

READ MORE: ‘Liar’: Critics Question Alito’s Integrity After His Insurrection Flag Story Disintegrates

“The portrait that has emerged so far,” The Times reported, “is that of an industrious but inexperienced and often insecure judge whose reluctance to rule decisively even on minor matters has permitted one of the country’s most important criminal cases to become bogged down in a logjam of unresolved issues.”

“Regardless of her motives, Judge Cannon has effectively imperiled the future of a criminal prosecution that once seemed the most straightforward of the four Mr. Trump is facing,” The Times continued. “She has largely accomplished this by granting a serious hearing to almost every issue — no matter how far-fetched — that Mr. Trump’s lawyers have raised, playing directly into the former president’s strategy of delaying the case from reaching trial.”

Conway was responding to an exchange “that occurred last week when Judge Cannon was debating with Jay Bratt, one of the prosecutors, about a common theory of legal liability called the Pinkerton rule. The rule holds that all members of a conspiracy can be held accountable for any crimes committed by their co-conspirators.”

“Mr. Bratt said the rule would likely apply to Mr. Trump’s dealings with his two co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, employees of Mar-a-Lago who have been accused of conspiring with the former president to obstruct the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve the classified materials,” The Times’ story stated. “Judge Cannon seemed a bit perplexed and asked Mr. Bratt what authority he intended to rely on in applying the Pinkerton rule. Mr. Bratt seemed almost sheepish in having to lay things out for her so simply.”

READ MORE: Supreme Court ‘Puppetmaster’ Slammed Over Report He’s Flying Alito’s ‘Theocratic’ Flag Again

“’So the authority is Pinkerton,’ he said, and launched into a quick explanation.”

Conway, appearing to express shock, wrote: “There are no words for this. Judge Cannon doesn’t know the most basic rule governing criminal conspiracies.”

See the social media post above or at this link.

 

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