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REPORT: There Have Already Been More Anti-LGBT Hate Violence Homicides This Year Than in All of Last Year

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‘The Message This Sends to LGBTQ Folks Is Clear: That We May Not Be Safe Anywhere’

Reports from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, examined by Buzzfeed, show there have already been more anti-LGBT hate-motivated homicides this year than in all of 2016. 

According to BuzzFeed News reporter Nidhi Prakash, not counting the Pulse nightclub terror attack hate crime murders of 49 people, in 2016 there were 28 hate-violence-related homicides of LGBT people. Already this year, there have been 33 anti-LGBT hate violence murders across the country.

The numbers translate to roughly one hate-violence-related death every 13 days in 2016. So far in 2017, the pace of those deaths is at about one every six days,” Buzzfeed reports. 

At this rate, these hate murders are on track to double last year’s count.

“Fifteen of those who were killed in 2017 were transgender women of color, and at least 12 were cisgender gay men,” Buzzfeed adds. “The reports came from all over the US, from Texas to New York to Wisconsin.”

One important question is why. 

“I think whether it’s an increase in reporting, an increase in violence, or some combination thereof, it should be a wake-up call for us across our communities that hate violence is not going away,” Beverly Tillery, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project told Buzzfeed. The NYC AVP coordinates with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and creates the violence report. 

Tillery adds that hate violence is “certainly not decreasing, and it’s symptomatic of larger and deeper problems in our society that we still haven’t addressed.” 

And while this spike in hate murders is alarming, there likely are more that have not been included. Law enforcement officials may not know, or may choose to not report a victim as being transgender, for example, or may not know the motivation for their murder.

“There are a lot more homicides of LGBT people than what they report,” Dallas Drake, senior researcher at the Center for Homicide Research, tells Buzzfeed. “They don’t report generally from communities that are smaller or where cases are not easily identifiable as LGBT homicides.”

Old Dominion University assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice Vanessa Panfil tells Buzzfeed there’s a backlash against LGBT people.

That backlash, she says, has been encouraged in part by the Trump administration walking back Obama-era guidances and policies that were LGBT-inclusive, such as supporting trans students’ rights and signaling a ban on allowing trans people to serve in the military. As a result, transgender people across the country are relying on courts to decide if they’re allowed to access bathrooms in line with their gender identities — a decision the Supreme Court decided not to weigh in on when it sent a landmark trans rights case back to a lower court earlier this year. 

Pulling back from anti-LGBT homicides and looking at all hate crimes, is there a Trump effect, an unleashing of hate into society, as has been documented repeatedly?

Just look at these headlines:

Anti-LGBT hate crimes in D.C. up 59% in 2016

What We Have Unleashed: This year’s string of brutal hate crimes is intrinsically connected to the rise of Trump.

A Fifth of Hate Crimes Reported Done in Trump’s Name, Researchers Say

Donald Trump Has Unleashed a New Wave of Bullying in Schools

‘Trump effect’ led to hate crime surge, report finds

Q&A: ‘There’s a virus in our country’: The ‘Trump effect’ and rise of hate groups, explained

The Trump Effect: The Impact of The 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools

Kathy Flores, an LGBTQ anti-violence program manager for Wisconsin’s Diverse & Resilient says, “The message this sends to LGBTQ folks is clear: that we may not be safe anywhere.”

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Image by Michael Fleshman via Flickr and a CC license

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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

Watch:

Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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Psaki Schools Doocy on Trump’s Infamous Twitter Tantrums After He Whines About ‘Hashtag’ Diplomacy

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday by reminding him that former President Donald Trump had a history of conducting diplomacy through tantrums on Twitter.

At a White House press briefing, Doocy asked why Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter with the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”

“Has that ever worked in stopping an authoritarian regime from doing anything, a hashtag?” Doocy wondered.

“I will have to say that, unlike the last administration, we don’t think Twitter is the only means of engaging or negotiating or discussing important topics,” Psaki replied. “But it is important for us to convey to the Ukrainian people who do view commentary through a range of forums.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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