“This sounded like a slur to me.”
Secretary Ben Carson has been making vile, unprompted, transphobic remarks to Housing and Urban Development employees, some of whom were “shell-shocked” by the brain surgeon’s bigotry. Agency officials also say Carson repeatedly mocks transgender people.
Carson, who frequently presents himself as a deeply Christian man of faith, called transgender women “big, hairy men,” and claimed they are trying to access women’s homeless shelters to cause occupants harm.
“While visiting HUD’s San Francisco office this week, Carson also lamented that society no longer seemed to know the difference between men and women, two of the agency staffers said,” according to an extensive report in Thursday night’s Washington Post. “Carson’s remarks visibly shocked and upset many of the roughly 50 HUD staffers who attended Tuesday’s meeting, and prompted at least one woman to walk out in protest, the staffers said.”
Carson, during the San Francisco meeting, addressed HUD employees in “a rambling hour-long speech about HUD initiatives that they described as ‘stream of consciousness.'”
During that speech Carson said “transgender people should get the same rights as everyone else, but they don’t get to change things for everybody else.” Those remarks echo ones he has made before.
He also told San Francisco HUD employees women’s shelters should turn away transgender women. One staffer told The Post, “this sounded like a slur to me.”
“For him to come to San Francisco and say this, it was unbelievable. People were just shell-shocked,” one staffer added.
One HUD official described Secretary Carson’s comments about transgender people as “dismissive and joking,” and called it “disrespectful of the people we are trying to serve.”
The Post’s lengthy report includes actions Carson has taken against transgender people during his tenure at HUD, and transphobic comments he has made in the past as well.
Read the entire article here.
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Court Smacks Down Trump – Rules His Acting Immigration Chief Who Promotes White Nationalism Was Illegally Installed
A federal judge on Sunday ruled President Donald Trump illegally installed Ken Cuccinelli as his acting Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Cuccinelli, who has a history of promoting white nationalist, anti-LGBTQ, and misogynistic policies and beliefs, has ties to a hate group, is the former Virginia Attorney General who lost his bid to become that state’s Republican governor.
In his 55-page decision U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss ruled “that Cuccinelli was not lawfully appointed to serve as the acting Director of USCIS,” and therefore certain directives related to removal of undocumented immigrants seeking asylum he implemented “must be set aside.”
The court also appeared to deliver a lesson in law and history to the Trump administration, saying almost directly that the constitutional requirement of “advice and consent” is not optional. Citing a legal precedent Judge Moss wrote obtaining the Senate’s approval is “more than a matter of ‘etiquette or protocol’; it is among the significant structural safeguards of the constitutional scheme.”
Cuccinelli, who sits on Trump’s coronavirus task force, was just in the news – and mocked – a week ago for this tweet:
Has the Johns Hopkins map of the coronavirus stopped working for other people, or just me? https://t.co/36uda8fm6P
— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@HomelandKen) February 24, 2020
Some experts weigh in on today’s ruling:
Trump’s repeated circumvention of Constitution’s requirement that the Senate confirm top officials is dangerous assault on checks & balances. https://t.co/xy1Z8AgG8l
— Ian Bassin (@ianbassin) March 1, 2020
In a nutshell, Judge Moss holds that Cuccinelli was not legally the “first assistant” to the Director of USCIS, and so could not lawfully be named Acting Director of USCIS under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act: pic.twitter.com/uxH4rqzqYg
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) March 1, 2020
“the court concludes that Cuccinelli was not lawfully appointed”
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) March 1, 2020
Limbaugh: ‘Nice Guy’ Trump Called and Told Me to Not Apologize for My Anti-Gay Comments About Pete Buttigieg
Rush Limbaugh, who recently was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, days later turned around and made nasty, homophobic comments about Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his marriage to his husband Chasten.
According to the 69-year old Limbaugh who has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, President Trump quickly heard his remarks or heard of them, and called him to tell him to not apologize.
“Hell, the president even called me about this,” Limbaugh told listeners of his syndicated radio show on Monday, as Media Matters reports. “The president checks in every now and then to see how I’m doing. He’s such a nice guy. And he called. It’s uncanny. I’m — Do I respond to him? Yeah. No, I try to reply to all of them, Dawn. I’m not going to be able to, but he calls, and yeah — powerful, influential member of the media, folks. I have got the White House private number in my phone, so when the White House calls, it says there on my phone,” Limbaugh said, making sure his supporters know just how “powerful” and “influential” he is.
“And so, invariably, it’s uncanny. He calls when I am moments away from commencing a medical procedure,” Limbaugh continues. “And I had to tell doctors, ‘You’ve got to give me a half-hour, the president’s calling.’ ‘OK, we’ll wait a half-hour.’ Then I told the White House, “Look, I’ve got a medical procedure in 10 minutes. Can you have the president call me back in 35?’ And they did. So, he called back, and he said ‘Rush, I just got to tell you something. Never apologize, don’t ever –‘ and I said, ‘For what?'”
Of course, the timing doesn’t seem to add up. If the doctors gave him a half hour for a “medical procedure” why would he tell the White House to have Trump call him back in 35 minutes? Also, the level of gall is tremendous – who tells the President of the United States to call them back later?
But the point is clear: Trump supports anti-LGBTQ hatred and bigotry – according to Rush Limbaugh, Medal of Freedom honoree.
Trump DOJ Tells Supreme Court It Is Legal To Fire Transgender Workers
The Trump administration on Friday informed the U.S. Supreme Court it is the opinion of the Dept. of Justice that it is legal under federal law for employers to fire transgender workers merely for being transgender.
The DOJ’s brief states Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, does not apply to transgender workers.
In reporting the development Buzzfeed calls it one of the Trump administration’s “most agressive steps yet to legalize anti-transgender discrimination.”
Friday’s move comes just days after the DOJ attempted to strong-arm the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission into telling the Supreme Court discrimination on the basis of gender identity is not sex discrimination. To do so would have contradicted up to eight years of EEOC findings and rulings.
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