The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — headed by Dr. Ben Carson, pictured above — just proposed a rule change that would roll back a 2016 Obama-era guidance requiring single-sex homeless shelters to accept transgender people.
The Washington Post reports:
“Under HUD’s proposed new rule… operators of single-sex shelters may consider someone’s biological sex — instead of how they self-identify — in making placement and accommodation decisions. They could ‘determine an individual’s sex based on a good faith belief that an individual seeking access … is not of the sex, as defined in the single sex facility’s policy, which the facility accommodates…’
The rule says that shelter operators can decide whether to apply this rule or not, but whichever way they apply it, it must be applied consistently. Because homeless people can’t always easily travel to another homeless shelter, if a local rejects a trans person for their gender identity, they may essentially be left out on the streets or referred to a shelter miles away.
Furthermore, because the rule says it must be applied consistently, when a shelter operator refers a homeless trans person to another shelter, that operator must be consistent in defining that person by the gender they’ve assigned to them rather than the gender the homeless person identifies as.
So, for example, if an operator rejects a trans woman from a women’s shelter because they see that trans woman as male, the shelter they refer the trans woman to could actually just be a men’s shelter because the operator is required to “consistently apply” their perception of a that person’s gender identity in their handling of that homeless client.
In short, the rule is written so broadly that it could be applied either way, either referring a trans person to a trans-friendly shelter or keeping them stuck in a transphobic and misgendering system.
“The programs impacted by this rule are life-saving for transgender people, particularly youth rejected by their families, and a lack of stable housing fuels the violence and abuse that takes the lives of many transgender people of color across the country,” said Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
While we don’t have exact numbers on how many LGBTQ adults experience homelessness, a 2018 NCTE study showed that 82% of homeless trans people didn’t have a shelter. Considering the violence and stigma that trans people face in our society, leaving them unsheltered makes them more vulnerable to these and other harms.
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Hakeem Jeffries Slams GOP Rep. Burgess Owens’s Hypocritical Call for “Unity” After He Voted to Overturn Election
Democratic New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries figuratively set fire to freshman Republican Utah Representative Burgess Owens in a recent speech that called out Owens for daring to criticize Democrats for not being patriotic while Owens himself voted, one day after the January 6 insurrection, to overturn the results of a fair election in favor of now-former President Donald Trump.
On one of his first days in the chamber, Owens lectured House Democrats on needing to show national unity by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance alongside Republican counterparts. Owens did this even though he himself voted on January 7 to challenge the Electoral College’s votes declaring Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 elections, thus attempting to overturn millions of non-white Americans’ legal votes and destroy the very notion of Democracy itself.
Owens said, “Tonight [people] will not stand for the flag because they’ve been taught by their adults not to love our nation. What can we do here as leaders? Guys, let’s put aside the partisanship and appreciate the fact we have a body here of every color under the rainbow, every background… I’m gonna follow up with what Congressman Lee (Zeldin) says: ‘It’s not about words. It is about actions.’ Fifteen seconds to show our kids that we are adults, that we can agree to disagree, where we love our country enough to at least stand up and recognize our flag.”
In response, Jeffries said, “He sat here lecturing us about patriotism, and I was just going to ask him how he voted after a violent mob
attacked the Capitol, to hunt down members of Congress, to hang Mike Pence, to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, to stop us from undertaking our constitutional responsibilities as part of the peaceful transfer of power. More than 100 officers seriously injured: brain injuries, head trauma. Ine officer lost three fingers. Another officer, because of an assault on him, is likely to be blind. Officers Sisnik died, blood was spilled, two other officers are no longer with us.
“And you want to sit here and lecture us about patriotism?!?” Jeffries continued. “When you voted to object to an election that you know Joe Biden won, and perpetrated the big lie. But the notion of you come in here lecturing us on your first day before this committee… it’s not about words, it’s about actions. You know what? Explain your actions on January 7 when you supported an insurrection.”
This is 🔥 🔥 🔥. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) drags Utah’s new Trump-supporting Black Republican (@BurgessOwens) for coming in on his first day and lecturing Democrats about patriotism when Owens voted to overturn the November election even after the Capitol insurrection. pic.twitter.com/mJ7cUJ0RSH
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 6, 2021
Tennessee Officials Give COVID Vaccine to Family and Friends After Denying It to 75-Year-Olds
Officials in Hamilton County, Tennessee have been caught giving the COVID-19 vaccination to “close friends and family” after turning away elderly people by claiming they had run out of the vaccine.
When a journalist questioned a car of seven younger people who had been vaccinated, the people in the car laughed and said, “We got contacts,” as in, they’re connected to people who could give them the vaccination over older people who need it far more.
WRCB reports that on Thursday, the Hamilton County Health Department began offering vaccines to people 75 and older at 9 a.m., quickly causing a traffic jam and causing the department to start turning away cars by 1 p.m., including cars filled with old people who had been waiting over four hours.
Acting on a tip, WRCB reporters returned to the site after dark “to find cars leaving the property,” the news station reports. “The people in those vehicles told Channel 3 family members or friends who were helping to administer the vaccines called to tell them there were extra doses and they should come to receive a dose.”
VIDEO: We are choosing to blur the faces of those who spoke to us after receiving a vaccine, but this was one of the exchanges photojournalist @chrisbphotos had outside the Riverpark last night. pic.twitter.com/zI3OE71avT
— Callie Starnes (@calliestarnes) January 1, 2021
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger told the news station that the vaccination team mistakenly told the cars that had arrived earlier to leave, thinking they would run out of doses. When the team realized it had enough doses thawed that needed to be used quickly before going bad, they hen called others to come and get vaccinated.
“They wanted to make sure that none of it would go to waste,” Coppinger said, adding, “I understand the frustration of those who waited in line and did not get the vaccine (Thursday), and I can assure you we will learn from this experience. We will explore better ways to get the job done, and we appreciate the patience of the public as we move forward in performing this unprecedented service.”
The screw-up merely illustrates problems with the national vaccine roll-out. One commenter in Oklahoma said that the state has no vaccination roll-out plan, and is allowing people to sign up for vaccinations using an unverified SignUpGenius web page that requires no verification nor screening based on age or whether one is a frontline worker.
Jesus Christ. Oklahoma doesn't even have a *statewide* rollout plan and is leaving it up to the counties to organize their own individual vaccine rollouts.
My county is using a free SignUpGenuis page to sign people up for vaccines—which has no verification or data security. pic.twitter.com/bjI7kC9pLP
— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) January 1, 2021
Trump Ignores Nashville Bombing to Tell Supporters to Rally Against “Election Fraud”
President Donald Trump has so far ignored the massive bombing in Nashville, Tennessee that damaged 41 buildings. Instead, he is asking his Twitter followers to rally in Washington D.C. on January 6 to support his overturning an election that he lost over 46 days ago.
“The “Justice” Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence,” Trump wrote in a Saturday morning tweet. “They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.”
January 6 is the day Congress meets to approve the Electoral College’s vote. Usually, it’s a mere formality before Inauguration Day, but because Trump has remained in complete denial about his loss — including the over 50 “election fraud” court cases he’s lost — he has encouraged Congressional Republicans to vote against approving the election results.
The Republican opposition will accomplish very little seeing as majorities in both chambers of Congress would have to vote against the Electoral College results in order to challenge it, something that won’t happen in the Democrat-led House. On the contrary, the vote will put Republicans in the awkward position of having to state on the record whether or not they support Trump’s baseless attempt to steal the election.
If they don’t vote in favor of Trump’s lies, Republicans could make themselves targets of supporters eager to end their political careers or target them for violent threats. If they do vote in favor of Trump’s lies, they mark themselves as supporting an unprecedented attempt to overturn democracy in the United States.
Some Twitter users suspect that Trump may be trying to foment violence in the nation’s capital over the election.
In a Saturday morning tweet, George Conway, Republican husband of former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, wrote, “It’s pretty clear now that @realDonaldTrump’s next desperate play is to encourage disruption, if not violence, in Washington on January 6, the day electoral votes are counted before a joint session of Congress.”
In a separate Saturday morning tweet, Trump wrote, “A young military man working in Afghanistan told me that elections in Afghanistan are far more secure and much better run than the USA’s 2020 Election. Ours, with its millions and millions of corrupt Mail-In Ballots, was the election of a third world country. Fake President!”
Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Yaroslav Trofimov commented on the tweet, stating, “Afghanistan’s last two presidential elections were so fraud-ridden that the loser and the winner ended up sharing power to avoid civil war…”
Authorities expect the Nashville bombing to be a potential act of terrorism, one that is apparently unimportant to the president.
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