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Trump to Reverse Obama Rule Banning Health Care Discrimination Against Transgender People

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In its latest move targeting civil rights of LGBT people the Trump administration is moving to roll back an Obama-era rule that banned discrimination against transgender people in health care.

The 2016 rule, embedded in the Affordable Care Act, prohibited anti-transgender incrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies, The New York Times reports.

The Trump administration jumped to reverse the rule after one federal judge in Texas declared it unlawful. The administration could have fought the judge’s ruling, or worked to modify the Obama rule to bring it into compliance with federal law. Instead, it has opted to reverse it.

The agency leaping to reverse the Obama-era rule protecting transgender people is the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Under Secretary Alex Azar, HHS on Friday moved to reallocate $61 million into abstinence-only programs, after the Obama administration brought teen pregnancy to the lowest levels in history.

The Times notes the judge’s ruling came after “eight states, a network of Roman Catholic hospitals and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, representing 19,000 doctors, challenged the Obama-era rule.” That judge “temporarily stopped enforcement of the protections for transgender patients, saying that Congress had outlawed discrimination based on sex — ‘the biological differences between males and females’ — but not transgender status.”

Federal appeals courts and federal agencies have ruled that sex discrimination includes discrimination against transgender people.

Almost immediately upon taking office President Trump and his top-level officials have worked to destroy federal protections for members of the LGBT community, especially transgender people. In February of 2017 Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidance that helped schools protect the civil rights of transgender students.

President Trump himself unilaterally declared a total ban on all transgender service members in the U.S. Armed Forces in July of 2017, a policy he created without input from the Pentagon or medical professionals. The Dept. of Justice is still fighting in the courts to enact Trump’s plan.

And Secretary DeVos has rescinded a wide variety of protections for minority students. In addition to targeting transgender students, racial minority students have repeatedly suffered under DeVos’ leadership, as have the disabled.

 

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BIGOTRY

County Commissioner Uses Anti-Gay Slur and Racism to Attack Democratic Presidential Candidate – Audience Applauds

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A Tennessee county commissioner during a public meeting on Monday used an anti-gay slur and racism to attack a Democratic presidential candidate, then insisted, as he put it, that he’s “not prejudice.”

Commissioner Warren Hurst, while advocating for a proposal to make Sevier County a “gun sanctuary city” launched into a homophobic and racist diatribe that’s caught national attention.

“We got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get,” Commissioner Hurst said, according to WVLT. “Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to Hoss’s jail [Sevier County Sheriff] and get better people out of there than those running for Democratic to be President of the United States.”

After his homophobic outburst Hurst was not yet finished.

“I’m not prejudice [sic], a white male in this country has very few rights and they’re getting took more every day,” Hurst claimed, which is false.

When he was done some in the audience laughed and applauded. One woman stood up, denounced Hurst’s comments, and left.

Although he did not mention which candidate he was referring to, Commissioner Hurst likely was speaking about twice-elected South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg is a Harvard graduate who went on to earn a a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford. He also served in Iraq as an intelligence officer with the rank of lieutenant, in the United States Navy Reserve.

The Tennessee Holler posted video of Hurst’s remarks:

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BIGOTRY

Franklin Graham Promotes Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A and Attacks College Group as ‘The Ones Fostering Hate and Bigotry’

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Franklin Graham has turned his Facebook-based ministry into one that frequently attacks the LGBTQ community, and Wednesday proved to be no different. The Evangelical leader with strong ties to President Donald Trump took to Facebook to promote Chick-fil-A, the $10 billion privately-owned faith-based fast food restaurant chain. And he blasted a college faculty group trying to keep the divisive restaurant from their campus.

“Guess where I ate lunch yesterday? Yes, at Chick-fil-A,” Graham bragged on Facebook. “They are always packed for a reason. Their restaurants are clean, and not only do they have a great chicken sandwich, but they have one of my favorite iced teas!”

Graham went on to claim that “at Kansas University, some progressive staff and administrators—are accusing Chick-fil-A of being a ‘bastion of bigotry’ and they don’t want them on campus. The Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council says Chick-fil-A ‘fosters hate and discrimination on multiple levels.’ That’s just simply not true.”

It is, in fact, true.

Through its charitable foundation Chick-fil-A’s owners have donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including to an anti-gay hate group.

“This council and group of faculty are the ones fostering hate and bigotry, not Chick-fil-A!” Graham insisted, twisting the truth.

“All of this is because the founder Truett Cathy and his son Dan Cathy stood for traditional marriage and the business has donated to support some Christian charities,” Graham said.

Again, not true.

The Cathy family didn’t just stand for “traditional marriage.” They made offensive remarks about same-sex marriage, and again, they didn’t just donate to “some Christian charities.” They donated those millions of dollars to some very actively anti-gay organizations.

Some of those groups not only tried to block same-sex marriage from becoming legal, but at least one wanted to make “gay behavior” illegal, and even said gay people should be “exported” out of America.

Dan Cathy, now the chairman, president, and CEO of Chick-fil-A, has attacked marriage equality, saying, if you support same-sex marriage, you “are inviting God’s judgment on our nation,” and that we “shake our fist at Him” when we do.

That’s not just standing up for Christian beliefs.

Cathy also said same-sex marriage is the result of a “deprived” mind and called it “twisted up kind of stuff.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BIGOTRY

Trump Administration Urges US Supreme Court to Declare Firing a Worker for Being Gay Is Legal

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The Trump administration has just urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that firing an employee simply because they are gay is perfectly legal. The request comes in the form of a 34-page amicus brief, which was not required, but voluntary.

The brief, signed by Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco, tells the Court it is the opinion of the administration’s Dept. of Justice that a “plain text” reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect gay people in the workplace from discrimination, including firing for being gay, as The Washington Blade, which was first to report, notes.

“The question here is not whether Title VII should forbid employment discrimination because of sexual orientation, but whether it already does,” the brief says. “The statute’s plain text makes clear that it does not; discrimination because of ‘sex’ forbids treating members of one sex worse than similarly situated members of the other — and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, standing alone, does not result in such treatment.”

President Trump has also stated he will not sign the Equality Act, which would specify that the Civil Rights of Act of 1964 does protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

The Supreme Court will hear three cases related to anti-LGBTQ discrimination on October 8.

The move is consistent with the entirety of the Trump administration’s policies and actions.

Just ten days ago the Dept. of Justice tried to strong-arm the Equal Employment opportunity Commission to set aside up to eight years of findings and rulings and support the DOJ’s position firing LGBTQ workers is legal.

One week ago the DOJ in similar fashion urged the Supreme Court to rule that firing transgender workers is legal.

And on August 14 the Trump Dept. of Labor moved to prioritize the rights of so-called “religion-exercising organizations” over those of LGBTQ workers. The DOL offered a new proposal that appears to be a roadmap which faith-based organizations claiming to have religious beliefs or moral convictions can use to protect themselves from charges of discrimination.

As NCRM has reported previously, the Trump administration is the most anti-LGBT administration in modern U.S. history.

 

Image by Ted Eytan via Flickr and a CC license

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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