It appears that Texas gay Republicans have been banned from this year's state convention.
A group of gay Republicans (The Log Cabin Republicans) has tried for years to gain acceptance within the GOP. However, it appears their efforts are for nothing.
The group's gay-inclusive message has not been accepted by the strict conservative members of the GOP. The Conservative Political Action Conference a major Republican event has removed a ban on the group - but with all their efforts they are not welcome a large number of GOP events.
The Log Cabin Republicans have been denied a stall at the 2018 state convention by the Texas GOP, and this is the 20th years that they have been refused permission to attend the convention.
On April 7th the State Republican Executive Committee voted to refuse the group permission to attend, with lawmakers rejecting the group's presence just after a two-hour debate.
The Austin Statesman reported that objections were raised on religion and that the group's presence would go directly against the GOP state platform that states: “homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God.”
It's important to note that no other group was denied.
This week Paul Ryan announced that he would not run for re-election; which set off a mad dash to see who might replace him as House speaker. Rep. Steve Scalise (R) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) were both seeking the highly prized placement. The Speaker of the House is third in line of succession to the Presidency. However Scalise has withdrawn his name, and that just leaves McCarthy.
When it comes to Republicans these days; it usually a case of degrees of awfulness. When weighing both men McCarthy is just as awful as Scalise. For example, McCarthy has a 100% voting record from the Family Research Council and has been a starch opponent of marriage equality.
One of the lowest moments is when he stopped legislation to uphold President Obama's executive order banning job discrimination. The measure did have the votes to pass, but McCarthy pressured seven Republicans to change their vote, thus killing the bill. Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) who sponsored the measure believed that Republicans held the vote open for a long period of time and this allowed them to change the outcome while the vote was already underway.
“They literally snatched discrimination from the jaws of equality,” Maloney said. Maloney actually approached McCarthy as he was pressuring his colleagues, and McCarthy told him to get back to his side of the aisle.
“I told him, ‘What side am I supposed to stand on in support of equality?’” said Maloney, New York‘s first openly gay congressman. “It was disgraceful.” Democrats shouted “Shame” as the vote tally was completed, but clearly, McCarthy is a man without any shame.
Ryan has stated that he'll remain in the Speaker position until the end of his term, however, pressure is building for him to step down sooner. Allowing McCarthy the possibility of becoming Speaker of the House. McCarthy might have to wait, Republicans are in a panic that they might lose both houses of Congress this November.
If McCarthy thinks that his being named Speaker is going to be easy he should hold up; far-right Freedom Caucus, Rep. Jim Jordan (R) is bouncing the idea of challenging McCarthy for the position.
McCarthy lost the support of the Freedom Caucus when he made a bid to become Speaker on the grounds that he was insufficiently conservative. The Freedom Caucus is a small group but has enough votes to deny McCarthy to needed voted to become Speaker. If this happens, Scalise just might step in, and truth be told he's no better.
There has been a lot of talk about the migrant caravan coming to the U.S.- Mexico border from Central America. It has been reported that the caravan is carrying LGBT people who have been persecuted in their own country.
Neta, a non-profit organization with the assistance of the caravan organizer Pueblo Sin Fronteras posted a video on Facebook. The video shows the vast diversity of sexual and gender identities. This is a direct call to stop discrimination and violence against women and LGBT people in Central and South America.
It is important to point out that the reasons for the caravan is vastly different than what has been stated by the Trump administration. “The purpose, they say, is not to encourage Central American migration, nor to ‘storm’ the U.S. southern border,” The Hill reports. “Rather, by traveling in large numbers, the caravans provide protection for Central Americans who are vulnerable to abuse as they cross through Mexico.”
According to The Hill, the abuse includes “extortion, rape or even kidnapping by gangs and drug cartels,” And there is no evidence that members of the caravan are perpetrators, as Trumps stated last week. “There is almost no actual evidence on which to base this claim,” The Washington Post reports, adding. “There don’t appear to be any mainstream news reports of a rape epidemic taking place in the caravan. The only mentions of rape with regard to the caravan in recent days, in fact, refer to criminal behavior that the migrants have been trying to escape in their home countries or along the route.”
It is not uncommon to see migrant caravans crossing during the Christian Holy Week (the week before Easter), as this caravan set out. Some are indeed seeking asylum in the United States, most are wanting to call attention to the violence in their home countries.
Most caravans consist of roughly 200 to 300 people, this year the number is about 1,500 mostly because of current developments in Honduras, “where gang violence has made the murder rate one of the highest in the world,” The Arizona Republic notes. Many in Honduras are outraged over last year's presidential election where incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez (A U.S. ally) defeated his challenger, and many believe the elections were stolen.
The human right organization The Latin American Working Group (a coalition of groups) issued a report highlighting election fraud, and denouncing U.S. policy toward the nations. “We are reaping what we sow in Honduras: a failure of the international community including the United States to take a strong stance against repression is intensifying the human rights crisis in the country and contributing to the outflow of refugees,” executive director Lisa Haugaard said in a press release.
Cynthia Nixon has thrown her hat in the run for governor of New York via a campaign video posted on Twitter today. “New York is where I was raised and where I’m raising my kids,” she says in the video, focusing on schooling and wealth inequity. “I was given chances I just don’t see for most of New York’s kids today. Our leadership is letting us down. We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty.” Nixon stated.
It has been rumored for awhile about a gubernatorial run from Nixon, and all but confirmed when she began putting together a campaign staff. Well it's now official, and we just have to see if the former Sex and the City star has what it takes to go the distance.
Benjamin Thomas Wolf, a Democratic congressional candidate for Illinois' Fifth District has decided to take out ad space on PornHub an adult porn site and to top that off he is also smoking a joint in the ad with the caption "legalize it". You'll just have to use your imagination on where he stands on marijuana.
Speaking to the Observer he stated “We are going where young voters are, and it’s important to have a progressive voice to move the country forward,” he added. “We’re reaching out to young people to get them to vote. If young people vote, they can get anything they want.” According to PornHub they reach approximately 81 million people per day, of which 78% are under the age of 40.
Ads are planned to appear in the Chicago area with various demographics; they should appear to both gay and straight audiences. “Their heads are buried in their phones, their eyes are on screens and I am speaking directly to them,” Wolf said.
Wolf is a former national security investigator at the F.B.I. and a former diplomat with the State Department. He supports universal healthcare and a ban on assault weapons.
This is Wolf's talking about assault rifles and why they need to go:
Gus Kenworthy an Olympic skier was seen wearing a 'Make America Gay Again' hat while in PyeongChang for the Winter Olympics. The out skier has been vocal about his support for LGBT rights - while at the same time speaking out against the head of the US Olympic Delegation, Vice President Mike Pence.
Kenworthy has vowed to skip the White House reception for the athletes, stating “When we have people elected into office that believe in conversion therapy and are trying to strip trans rights in the military and do these things that are directly attacking the LGBT community, I have no patience.” So the skier decided to take direct aim at the current administration by wearing a 'Make America Gay Again' hat. He wore the hat while making a video to support the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT non-profit. “I am a huge supporter of the Human Rights Campaign because they’re a huge supporter of me. “It’s been an incredible Olympics – we’ve seen so much change, so much progress, and so much visibility for the LGBT community, and that’s been incredible. “I don’t think we would be anywhere near where we are without all the hard work the Human Rights Campaign has done. You guys have changed lives, you have saved lives, and I cannot thank you enough.” He stated.
This Past Tuesday the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that all 20 member countries in Central and South America must legalize same-sex marriage (at best confer the legal rights associated with it).
The Court was established in 1979 by the Organization of American States, which are a comprised of several countries in Central and South America. It is the judicial enforcer as outlined in the American Convention on Human Rights, a document that outlines provisions for “personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man.”. Currently the there are 20 countries which include: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay.
The court reached it decision when Costa Rica asked the court for its opinion on if property rights extended to same-sex couples. Seven Judges from the court said that member nations “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.” The ruling is legally binding to all member countries, in-affect legalizing same-sax marriage (or rights associated with it).
There was no language on how each country needed to go about legalizing marriage equality - and there doesn't appear to be a deadline for doing so - the court rebuffed evangelical and conservative political forces opposing LGBT rights in Central and South America.
The Court also ruled that Costa Rica must allow transgender people to change legally change their name and gender marker on government-issued identification documents. While this is clearly a monumental win for LGBT rights, several of the countries listed above have policies forbidding members of the LGBT community to donate blood, adopting children, joining the military or having access to housing, employment and public accommodations.
Since 2013 at least 102 transgender people have been the victim of fatal violence in the United States alone according to a new report by The Human Rights Campaign in conjunction with the Trans People of Color Coalition.
Released last week, the report says that of the recorded findings at least 25 transgender people were killed in the U.S. in 2017, which makes it the deadliest year for transgender people in a decade. Fatal violence against transgender people is on the rise with highest rates toward trans women in the Black and African American communities.
The highest number of transgender deaths were reported in California and Louisiana, at 10 each, followed by Texas at 9 deaths, and Ohio at 8.
The report states that the increase in violence is: “fueled by anti-LGBTQ prejudice, racism, too-easy access to guns, and increasing political attacks on the transgender community at both the state and federal level,” with half of LGBTQ youth saying in a post-2016 election youth survey conducted by The Human Rights Campaign, that they have taken steps to hide who they are since the election.
In the past 12 months, 325 trans and gender-diverse people were reported murdered globally, according to website Transgender Europe, with a total of 2609 trans and gender-diverse people reported killed in 71 countries between January 2008 and September 2017.
We attempted to contact the NOPD liaison regarding the two unsolved murders of transgender women, we were directed to their website.
Author: Troy Murphy. November 21, 2017. DNA Magazine
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It's hard to believe that the poverty rate in the LGBT community is higher than heterosexuals. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, because LGBT people are born and raised in all types of environments. Most LGBT individuals also face unique obstacles because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. This includes a higher risk of being homeless when they are young, harassment and discrimination at school and the workplace.
All you must do is envision or think about the young gay man who is kicked out of him home and ends up working on the streets to survive, the transgender woman being turned down in a job interview, or an elderly lesbian being denied housing.
LGBT poverty to many is very surprising because there are not dominant images within the community, and stereotype remain resilient. Historically the image of the LGBT community has been the gay, white, young men who do not have children, therefore, it is believed that they have additional/extra income to use. To better understand you must break down that dominant image to address the underlining of LGBT poverty and the work that needs to happen to address it.
According to research there are approximately 9 million LGBT people in the United States, and almost have are lesbian and bisexual women. Not only do they face sexual orientation discrimination, they must face sex discrimination in education, the workplace and gaps in wages. 24% of lesbians and bisexual women are poor, compared to 19% of heterosexual women.
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. Mother Teresa
People of color (African Americans, Latinos, Asians) One in five members of same-sex couple in the U.S. are people of color, and one in eight are Latino's. LGBT people of color are more likely to live in poverty, this is generally standard in our society. African-American same sex couples are more likely to live under the poverty line and are three times more likely to live in poverty than white same-sex couples.
The most economically vulnerable in the LGBT community are the elderly and young. It is estimated that 1.6 million youths in the United States experience homelessness each year, and between 20% and 40% identify as LGBT. Members of the LGBT community that are 65 years of age and older, and make up 7% of the total members of the LGBT community, 28% are disabled and 6% receive Medicaid or other government assistance.
One of the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community are transgender people. Research has shown that transgender people are four times likely to have a household income under $10,000.00 and twice as likely to be unemployed as the typical person in the United States. 90% reported being harassed, mistreated, or discrimination on the job, and one in five reported being homeless as some point in their lives.
How do we as a culture begin to address these issues? Some state that we must understand the diversity within the LGBT community; that this is the key to breaking down the myth of affluence and the beginning of understanding how to combat LGBT poverty. There also had to be a collation among women, people of color, young and old and LGBT people altogether in the LGBT community.
What I find interesting is how you listen to people in LGBT community talk about unity, togetherness and acceptance. But they are just words, and words without action(s) mean nothing. We tend to look our noses down on those we don't consider worthy of our acceptance, we mock and ridicule those that dare to be different, we set standards that are only achievable in ones closed minded world. We live in a community that friends are determined on what they can do for us, and if you play the "game" you're somebody.
For a very select few there are those in the community that try to make a difference, they work tirelessly to help those in need and provide support and assistance where ever needed. Until we begin to change our attitude towards those in need we are no better than those in society determined to take away the rights we have.
So, where do we begin?
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ASD, Laura Yax WSCS. “Census 2000 Gateway.” U.S. Census Bureau, United States Government, 25 Jan. 2002, www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html.
Kurtzleben, Danielle. Study: Poverty Elevated for the LGBT Community. U.S. News, 6 June 2013, www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/06/06/study-poverty-rate-elevated-for-lgbt-community
Quintana, Nico Sifra. “Poverty in the LGBT Community.” Center for American Progress, doi:10.1037/e549352009-015.
Whalen, Kate. “Poverty Is an LGBT Issue: New Report Identifies Low-Income LGBT Legal Needs.” Legal Services NYC, 2017, www.legalservicesnyc.org/news-and-events/press-room/966-poverty-is-an-lgbt-issue-new-report-identifies-low-income-lgbt-legal-needs-.
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The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefill v. Hodges in 2015 would alter the landscape of American society forever, and thus changing the rights of gays throughout the United States to get married. Justice Kennedy stated in the decision that marriage is "a keystone of our social order," and the 5-4 Supreme Court voted effectively prohibited individual states from banning same-sex marriages.
This historic ruling opened the door for homosexual married couples to claim the same numerous benefits awarded to heterosexual couples. Before the U.S. Supreme Court decision there were only 19 states and the District of Columbia that recognized same-sex marriage. In 2013 the Court would declared parts of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional and paved the way for married same-sex couples in these states to claim the same protections and benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. However, the 2013 decision did not require states that did not recognize same-sex marriage to begin doing so.
It's important to understand that by allowing same-sex couples to get married, protections that were once out of their reach were now afforded to them. We don't tend to think these protections are important, but as you will see these benefits can and have a profound impact on our daily lives.
Legal Rights Accorded to Married Couples
According to a report given to the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. General Accounting Office, here are a few of the benefits provided by the federal government to legally married couples:
Many state-level benefits mirror those that are available at the federal level, but states offer additional rights.
Marriages vs. Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships
Many of the states that did not recognized same-sex marriages before the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decisions nonetheless permitted registered domestic partnerships and civil unions between same-sex couples. It's important to note that these arrangements are not the same as marriage. They often convey limited, similar rights as marriage, but you might find that you don't enjoy the full scope of benefits afforded by the 2015 decision unless you and your partner take steps to legally marry.
Read the full list of legalized marriage benefits.
There are many reasons to get married, you have to understand what legal rights that you have, and remember once married and for some reason it doesn't work out, you just can't "walk" away from the marriage. Gay marriage is not for everyone, and that's OK, it's a personal decision!
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Source: Office of the General Counsel. U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO/OGC-97-16. Letter. Jan. 31, 1997