AMERICAblog Newslgbt – AMERICAblog News http://americablog.com A great nation deserves the truth // One of America's top progressive sites for news and opinion Thu, 20 Sep 2018 19:23:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Omarosa, railroading Keith Ellison, and Disney’s gay-for-pay controversy http://americablog.com/2018/08/omarosa-railroading-keith-ellison-and-disneys-gay-for-pay-controversy.html http://americablog.com/2018/08/omarosa-railroading-keith-ellison-and-disneys-gay-for-pay-controversy.html#respond Tue, 14 Aug 2018 22:28:12 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=144750 Today’s big topic is Omarosa and her impact on the Mueller probe. And while Cliff and I spend a good deal of time talking about just that, we also discussed the sexual assault accusations against Keith Ellison, and whether some on the left aren’t jumping a little too quickly to judgment before even seeing or […]

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Today’s big topic is Omarosa and her impact on the Mueller probe.

And while Cliff and I spend a good deal of time talking about just that, we also discussed the sexual assault accusations against Keith Ellison, and whether some on the left aren’t jumping a little too quickly to judgment before even seeing or hearing the evidence against Ellison.

Then we segue into a new controversy involving Disney’s first openly-gay character, and whether it’s okay for Disney to have hired a — wait for it — straight actor (Jack Whitehall) to play gay on the screen! Da, da, dum. For the record, I think it’s totally okay, and that led us into a lengthy discussion about whether the Internet isn’t turning us all into a bunch of victims whiny who are far too prone to cry wolf every time we get even the hint of a slight.

This is one of our longer episodes, to make up for last week’s skinniness, due to my hard-drive crash. Enjoy!

This is a 7-minute excerpt of the entire 77-minute podcast. To hear the entire episode, become a subscriber here: www.patreon.com/posts/20762915

(Omarosa image by Gage Skidmore.)

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Video: Rosie O’Donnell & Broadway stars sing-protest the White House http://americablog.com/2018/08/video-rosie-odonnell-broadway-stars-sing-protest-the-white-house.html http://americablog.com/2018/08/video-rosie-odonnell-broadway-stars-sing-protest-the-white-house.html#respond Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:59:43 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=144744 Rosie O’Donnell and 55 Broadway singers descended on the White House last week to perform at Day 22 of our ongoing Kremlin Annex protests. I had initially lost the video in a hard-drive crashed, but just recovered it this weekend, so here it is. It’s a lot of fun. They start with “America the Beautiful,” […]

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Rosie O’Donnell and 55 Broadway singers descended on the White House last week to perform at Day 22 of our ongoing Kremlin Annex protests.

I had initially lost the video in a hard-drive crashed, but just recovered it this weekend, so here it is. It’s a lot of fun. They start with “America the Beautiful,” then sing songs from The Wiz, Sound of Music, Les Mis, and H.A.I.R.

First, Rosie and the Broadway stars arrive, and Rosie greets the crowd at the White House:

Next, they start with a chorus of “America the Beautiful.”

Then, “A Brand New Day” from The Wiz:

Followed by “Climb Every Mountain” from the Sound of Music:

Then we had a surprise guest in the audience — LGBT hero Jim Obergefell, whose lawsuit legalized gay marriage in the US:

Next up: “Do you hear the people sing?” from Les Misérables:

And finally, they closed with a rousing chorus of “Let the sunshine in” from H.A.I.R.:

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Potential Trump Supreme Court nominee Kethledge attends anti-gay activist church http://americablog.com/2018/07/potential-trump-supreme-court-nominee-kethledge-attends-anti-gay-activist-church.html http://americablog.com/2018/07/potential-trump-supreme-court-nominee-kethledge-attends-anti-gay-activist-church.html#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 01:06:11 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=144590 Raymond Kethledge is reportedly on Donald Trump’s short-list for the Supreme Court. In addition to being a staunch conservative, Kethledge is a member of the Anglican Church in North America. An offshoot of the more moderate Episcopal Church, the ACNA was created in 2009 because the far-right fringe of the church felt that Episcopalians weren’t […]

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Raymond Kethledge is reportedly on Donald Trump’s short-list for the Supreme Court.

In addition to being a staunch conservative, Kethledge is a member of the Anglican Church in North America. An offshoot of the more moderate Episcopal Church, the ACNA was created in 2009 because the far-right fringe of the church felt that Episcopalians weren’t anti-gay and anti-women enough. Specifically, they were upset that the Episcopal Church had endorsed a gay bishop, same-sex marriage, and the ordination of women.

Yes, while many faiths have a ways to go with how they treat LGBT people and women, Kethledge’s church was created expressly to protect and enshrine homophobia and sexism.

The spiritual leader of ACNA was notorious anti-gay bigot Peter Akinola, a Nigerian bishop who endorsed legislation to outlaw same-sex relationships (and throw gay married couples in jail for 5 years), clubs, organizations, and public displays of support for homosexuality (including parades, and even statements). Akinola ushered in a horrific era of homophobia in Nigeria.

Now, keep in mind that Nigeria is a country in which “Christians” have killed children they deem to be “witches,” and Anglican leaders have called same-sex marriage “a holocaust.” Akinola, for his part, also suggested that homosexuality is a Western thing (this is a common myth among anti-gay bigots in Africa, that the West created gays, and we have infected Africa with our sickness). This is the man, and the ideology, behind Kethledge’s church.

Here is a portion of Akinola’s letter in support of Nigeria’s draconian anti-gay bill in 2009:

Same sex marriage apart from being ungodly is also unscriptural, unnatural, unprofitable, unhealthy, uncultural, un-African and un-Nigerian. It is a perversion, a deviation and an aberation that is capable of engendering moral and social holocaust in this country. It is also capable of extincting mankind and as such should never be allowed to take root in Nigeria. Outlawing it is to ensure the continued existence of this nation. The need for doing this is urgent, compelling and imperative. The time is now.

The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola
Archbishop Primate and Metropolitan
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

Here’s a bit more from Akinola, during the discussion of the bill:

The penalty for engaging in same gender marriage should be 5 years imprisonment each.

“The introduction of this bill… is one of the best things that have happened to us as a nation.”

“Any society or nation that approves same sex union as an acceptable lifestyle is in an advanced stage of corruption/moral decay. This bill, therefore seeks to sheild Nigeria from the complete annihiliation that will follow the wrath of God should this practice be accepted as normal in the land.”

So now you know where Raymond Kethledge is coming from, and it’s not pretty.

trump lgbt flag rainbowIt’s funny. Donald Trump crowed repeatedly during the campaign about how he would be so much more pro-LGBT than Hillary Clinton. Remember, Trump even brought a rainbow flag on stage at one appearance.

It was just another lie.

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Support LGBT hero Zach Wahls http://americablog.com/2018/05/support-lgbt-hero-zach-wahls.html http://americablog.com/2018/05/support-lgbt-hero-zach-wahls.html#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 23:27:59 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=144398 As a straight college kid with two lesbian moms, Zach Wahls famously spoke out in favor of gay marriage before the Iowa House of Representatives back in 2012, when he was only 19 years old. Zach gave an amazing speech, you can check it out here. He then went on to lead a campaign, as a former […]

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As a straight college kid with two lesbian moms, Zach Wahls famously spoke out in favor of gay marriage before the Iowa House of Representatives back in 2012, when he was only 19 years old.

Zach gave an amazing speech, you can check it out here. He then went on to lead a campaign, as a former Eagle Scout, to successfully pressure the Boy Scouts to drop their gay ban. Zach is the real deal. He was there to help us when we needed him. And now he needs our help in return.

Zach is now running for the Iowa State Senate, and I’d like to ask you to support his campaign for a seat held by a Democrat who is not running for reelection. You can donate to Zach here.

Zach Wahls

If we want good Democrats, we need to elect them AND find them young, and get them involved in the political process early on. And they don’t get any better than Zach. I’ve gotten to know Zach over the years, and he’s an amazing young man who is going to go far in progressive politics. His top three issues for this race are health care, education, and workers’ rights. The primary is in just three weeks, and then the general election is in the fall.

No one is more deserving of our help than Zach. He was there for the LGBT community when most kids his age were worrying about final exams. Please join me in returning the favor by helping elect Zach to the Iowa State Senate. This guy is going to go far, so long as we help him. Please donate $25 or more to his campaign. And as this is a local race, your donation will go a LONG way — you can actually make a difference in electing the next generation of progressives. Support Zach now.

And do take a minute and watch Zach’s speech, at only 19 years of age, before the Iowa legislature. It’s still one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I think you’ll agree.

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Tell Starbucks that homophobia, transphobia and anti-Semitism are bad business http://americablog.com/2018/05/tell-starbucks-that-homophobia-transphobia-and-anti-semitism-are-bad-business.html http://americablog.com/2018/05/tell-starbucks-that-homophobia-transphobia-and-anti-semitism-are-bad-business.html#respond Tue, 01 May 2018 18:55:03 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=144348 Starbucks just did it again. On the heels of the coffee chain’s racist treatment of two African-American customers, Starbucks is now embracing homophobia, transphobia and anti-Semitism. Please sign the petition at the bottom of this page (or here) and demand that Starbucks stop coddling homophobic, transphobic and anti-Semitic bigots. As you know, in response to […]

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Starbucks just did it again.

On the heels of the coffee chain’s racist treatment of two African-American customers, Starbucks is now embracing homophobia, transphobia and anti-Semitism.

Please sign the petition at the bottom of this page (or here) and demand that Starbucks stop coddling homophobic, transphobic and anti-Semitic bigots.

As you know, in response to a racist incident in one of its stores, Starbucks plans to shut down its stores on May 29th for mandatory anti-bias training. One of the groups assisting with that training was the lead civil rights group, ADL, which focusing on anti-Semitism, but has also been a longtime leader, going back decades, in the battle for LGBT rights, among others. The ADL, and America’s Jewish community, were speaking out on behalf of LGBT rights back when a lot of progressive allies were still squeamish.

Starbucks has now kicked the ADL out of the anti-bias training, in response to complaints from acolytes of transphobic, homophobic, and anti-Semitic bigot Louis Farrakhan. Yes, to prove that it isn’t a bigoted company, Starbucks just took a swipe at gays, transgender people, and Jews.

Starbucks took the move in response to a demand from Farrakhan allies, and controversial Women’s March leaders, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour. Both women demanded that Starbucks drop the ADL. Why? Because the ADL took a stand against Farrakhan’s homophobic, transphobic and anti-Semitic bigotry. And that was a step too far for Mallory and Sarsour.

Specifically, the ADL recently criticized Mallory’s attendance at a Farrakhan speech where he praised her by name, and then went on to launch a vile attack on gays, trans people and Jews. Afterwards, Mallory refused to condemn Farrakhan’s homophobic and anti-Semitic bigotry, and the ADL rightfully took her on.

Mallory and Sarsour have now gotten their revenge, by convincing Starbucks to embrace their homophobia, transphobia, and anti-Semitism by dropping the ADL from the training, and sending a message to other corporate leaders that anti-gay, anti-trans, and anti-Semitic bigotry are acceptable.

Yeah, they’re really not.

To fully appreciate just how badly Starbucks stumbled, here are the recent Farrakhan comments that Mallory & Sarsour (and now Starbucks) are embracing:

Farrakhan attacks Jews, gays and trans people in one fell swoop:

The Jews, he proclaimed, are “responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.”

On “white folks” and the “Satanic Jew”:

“White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”

Evil Jews control the world

“After insisting that he’s not an anti-Semite but a ‘truth teller,’ Farrakhan suggested, among other things, that Jews are part of ‘the Synagogue of Satan;’ that the white people running Mexico are Mexican-Jews; that Jews control various countries including Ukraine, France, Poland and Germany where they take advantage of the money, the culture and the business; that Jesus called Jews ‘the children of the devil’; and ‘when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.'”

Of course, Farrakhan’s history of spouting bigotry and idiocy isn’t new. Here are a few more of his other “best hits” of years recent years:

Farrakhan on President Obama embracing marriage equality (zoom ahead to 2 minutes):

And here’s Farrakhan bashing gays and advocating for sodomy laws:

Farrakhan on Hitler, the “great man”:

“The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”

On AIDS being used as a weapon against black people:

“Another method (of depopulation) is disease infection through bio-weapons such as Ebola and AIDS, which are race targeting weapons. There is a weapon that can be put in a room where there are Black and White people, and it will kill only the Black and spare the White, because it is a genotype weapon that is designed for your genes, for your race, for your kind.”

And for added measure, Farrakhan thinks 9/11 was a “false flag” operation:

“Osama Bin Laden didn’t destroy the Twin Towers. that was a false flag operation to take the world’s attention away from the great disunity in America after George W. Bush stole the election.”

Who does Farrakhan really think was behind 9/11? Take a guess:

“It is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks.  Israelis had foreknowledge of the attacks…  We know that many Jews received a text message not to come to work on September 11.”

You can read more about the Women’s March’s embrace of Farrakhan’s bigotry in this Advocate op ed.

Louis Farrakhan is a virulent bigot. And Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour are bigots for not only supporting Louis Farrakhan and refusing to repudiate his incessant attacks on gays, trans people and Jews; but for using their status in the Women’s March to attack a longtime and legitimate civil rights movement like the ADL.

As for Starbucks, shame on you for pandering to homophobia, transphobia and anti-Semitism. You clearly haven’t learned your lesson that bigotry is bad business.

Please sign the petition on this page, and make sure Starbucks learns a lesson about bigotry that it will never forget.

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Sean Hannity, useful idiot. http://americablog.com/2017/10/sean-hannity-useful-idiot.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/sean-hannity-useful-idiot.html#comments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:04:59 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143879 In national security circles, a “useful idiot” is an American citizen who unwittingly works for a foreign intelligence agency, and is so dumb that he doesn’t even realize that he’s selling out his own country. In Sean Hannity’s case, the term useful idiot might be too generous. Hannity, and Fox News overall, have found Julian-Assange-Jesus, […]

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In national security circles, a “useful idiot” is an American citizen who unwittingly works for a foreign intelligence agency, and is so dumb that he doesn’t even realize that he’s selling out his own country.

In Sean Hannity’s case, the term useful idiot might be too generous. Hannity, and Fox News overall, have found Julian-Assange-Jesus, and are doing all they can to get Assange a presidential pardon, and to exonerate Russia in the ongoing investigation of Putin’s interference in the 2018 election.

In our latest podcast, Cliff Schecter and I talking about Hannity insanity and much more. The list of our topics, and the various time markers in the podcast where we hit on each issue, follow the podcast itself, below:

Here’s a roadmap to today’s show: Scaramucci, Holocaust humor & watering down the social norms (0:00); Trump refusing to talk about the special forces lost in Niger (11:23); the US Chamber of Commerce won’t endorse Roy Moore (15:04); McCain calls Trump “unpatriotic” (18:49); an alien abductee runs for Congress (30:34); a TrumpCare update (39:20); GOP rent-boys, value-voters, Seb Gorka, and Nazis (44:19); Mike Pence and hanging gays (47:27); whatever you do, don’t blame Trump (53:43); Fox News goes all Pravda on Hillary (54:49); Julian Assange on women (1:01:32); Sean Hannity, useful idiot (1:06:49); and Trump as Silvio Dante from the Sopranos (1:18:05). All that and more on today’s episode, with John Aravosis & Cliff Schecter.

Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes (UnPresidentedPodcast.com) and leave us a rating & review. And access our premium shows by becoming a $5/month or more patron here on Patreon. I’m spending two days a week doing the podcast (as I’m also our engineer, editing the episode), so any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, JOHN

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New GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore wants to make gays illegal http://americablog.com/2017/09/new-gop-senate-candidate-roy-moore-wants-make-gays-illegal.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/new-gop-senate-candidate-roy-moore-wants-make-gays-illegal.html#comments Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:22:51 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143824 Roy Moore, the new Republican nominee to be US Senator from Alabama, wants to make gay people illegal. We need to stop Roy Moore. Donate to Moore’s progressive opponent, Doug Jones. And help us take back the Senate, and our country. That’s only a small taste of just how bad Moore is. Moore is the […]

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Roy Moore, the new Republican nominee to be US Senator from Alabama, wants to make gay people illegal.

We need to stop Roy Moore.

Donate to Moore’s progressive opponent, Doug Jones. And help us take back the Senate, and our country.

That’s only a small taste of just how bad Moore is. Moore is the candidate of former Trump White House “Alt Right” publisher, Steven Bannon. Moore is a religious right nut, and has a history of disobeying federal courts when they rule against his Christianist agenda.

And just last night, Moore won the GOP primary in Alabama, and will be running against progressive Democrat Doug Jones in a special December election.

Moore thinks that God is the only source of our law, and that God trumps the Constitution. Moore calls Islam a “false religion,” and claimed that many communities in the US live under “Sharia law” — they don’t. As a result, Moore is the darling of Steve Bannon, Sarah Palin, Seb Gorka, and loads of evangelical religious right leaders like James Dobson and Franklin Graham, who never met a radical Republican he didn’t embrace. (Graham has no problem with Trump — enough said.)

And just two years ago, Roy Moore said, on camera, that he thinks homosexuality should be illegal:

Moore served twice as the chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, and was twice removed from the job. The first time because he refused a federal court order to stop displaying the Ten Commandments in front of the court building. The second time, harkening back to the good ole days of southern racism, Moore ordered state officials to refuse to obey the Supreme Court decision invalidating laws banning same-sex marriage.

We need to stop Moore.

Donate to Moore’s progressive opponent, Doug Jones. And help us take back the Senate, and our country.

 

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Trump nominee says being gay is a “choice,” and gay marriage will lead to pedophilia http://americablog.com/2017/08/trump-nominee-says-gay-choice-gay-marriage-will-lead-pedophilia.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/trump-nominee-says-gay-choice-gay-marriage-will-lead-pedophilia.html#comments Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:39:34 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143647 Donald Trump’s nominee to be the chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture thinks being gay is a choice, and that legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to legalize pedophilia. His name is Sam Clovis, and these revelations come from CNN’s KFile, who uncovered that Clovis made these comments between 2012 and 2014, so they’re hardly […]

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Donald Trump’s nominee to be the chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture thinks being gay is a choice, and that legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to legalize pedophilia.

His name is Sam Clovis, and these revelations come from CNN’s KFile, who uncovered that Clovis made these comments between 2012 and 2014, so they’re hardly ancient history.

Adding to the fun, Clovis isn’t even a scientist — but he’s nominated to be the chief scientist at Agriculture.

Here’s what Clovis said:

“Someone who engages in LGBT behavior — I don’t know what the science is on this, I think it’s still out — but as far as we know, LGBT behavior is a choice they make, Clovis says in a video obtained by CNN’s KFile. “So we’re being asked to provide Constitutional protections for behavior, a choice in behavior as opposed to a primary characteristic.”

“There’s no equivalency there between the civil rights issue associated between those protected classes and the civil rights of someone who engages in a particular behavior,” continues Clovis. “Follow the logic, if you engage in a particular behavior, what also becomes protected? If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to protect people who have fetishes? What’s the logical extension of this? It can’t be that we’re going to protect LGBT and then we’ll pull up the ladder. That’s not going to happen, it defies logic. We’re not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.”

I’m always intrigued by homophobes who think the desire of men to sleep with other men is a “choice.” That means their heterosexuality is a choice as well. It suggests that the only reason they don’t have relations with other men is because they “choose” not to. In other words, Clovis is attracted to other men, he wants to be with other men, but doesn’t because he simply chooses not to.

I didn’t choose to be gay, and therefore I don’t think that straight people choose to be straight. The only people who think you choose your sexual orientation are people who have chosen their own — meaning, they can go both ways.

TMI, Clovis. TMI.

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Let’s elect America’s first openly-gay governor http://americablog.com/2017/08/lets-elect-americas-first-openly-gay-governor-rich-madaleno.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/lets-elect-americas-first-openly-gay-governor-rich-madaleno.html#comments Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:26:57 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143616 Let’s make LGBT history. Please contribute $25 to the campaign of a man who hopes to become America’s first openly-gay governor. I had no idea until now that we’ve never had an openly-gay man elected governor of any state. Rich Madaleno plans to change that by becoming the Governor of Maryland next year. After the horrific […]

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Let’s make LGBT history. Please contribute $25 to the campaign of a man who hopes to become America’s first openly-gay governor. I had no idea until now that we’ve never had an openly-gay man elected governor of any state. Rich Madaleno plans to change that by becoming the Governor of Maryland next year.

After the horrific weekend in Charlottesville, we all need to re-devote ourselves to creating (and preserving) a world in which we are all free and equal and respected. And that includes ensuring our elected officials are both diverse and good. Democrat Rich Madaleno fits the bill.

rich madaleno

Rich Madaleno.

Please contribute to Rich’s campaign via this link, and you can read more about Rich in the Metro Weekly interview below, following his personal note to you. If we want to make things better, we need to elect better politicians. Rich is one.

Thanks so much, JOHN


[[First_Name]] –A few weeks ago, I sat down for a long interview with John Riley, a reporter with Metro Weekly, Washington D.C.’s largest and longest-running LGBT publication.  It was just a few days before I formally announced my campaign for Governor of Maryland.It was a great opportunity to talk about the race, my personal experience, my family, and my vision for the state.Below are some excerpts from the interview. The full interview can be found HERE. I hope you can take some time and read the entire piece.

As I begin this journey to become the next Governor of Maryland, I hope that you’ll join me and make a contribution to my campaign HERE.

Together we can make history.

Best,

Rich Madaleno

Political Purpose: Rich Madaleno could be America’s first out gay man elected governor

“…in 2002, Madaleno ran for and won a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for four years, before running for the Maryland State Senate in 2006, where he found that being gay didn’t matter.

“I had a slightly different experience than some others in a similar situation in other offices around the country, because I had spent time working in Annapolis,” he says. “People knew me. So I already had a reputation going into the legislature as a thoughtful, serious thinker who knew a tremendous amount about the fiscal policy of the state. I wasn’t going in the door as ‘the gay one from Montgomery County.’”

Madaleno’s private life, meanwhile, followed somewhat of an ideal course. He met his husband, Mark, then a pediatric nurse, in 1999 after they were set up by friends. Their first date, at a coffee shop on a Friday night, turned into a four-hour conversation. Two days later, unbeknownst to each other, both men participated in AIDS Walk in Washington, D.C.

“I came up the escalator at the Smithsonian Metro station to check in and I walked right into him,” says Madaleno. “We wound up spending the whole walk talking and sharing the experience.”

*   *   *

Two years later, they married. In 2003, when the couple adopted a daughter. Four years later, they adopted a boy.

“I’ll say we’ve been married for coming up on 16 years and people will say, ‘Oh, where did you get married? Did you get married in Canada?’ And I say, ‘No, we got married in our church in Bethesda,’” says Madaleno. “Did we have a marriage license at the time? No. But that didn’t make it any less of a marriage and a commitment. And that was part of the theme that I used through the whole debate over relationship recognition, and then on to marriage equality: we are married. We are married in the eyes of our friends, of our family, of our church. The government just has to catch up to our reality.”

Madaleno is committed to helping the government in that effort, and potentially from a higher office than ever before. After years of being mentioned as a possible candidate, he’s jumped into the fray for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican governor Larry Hogan in November 2018.

*   *   *

MW: What made you decide to run for office?

MADALENO: The ability to do good for a vast number of people. I do believe that we all have a responsibility to work towards improving the world around us. I think part of the human experience is making sure that you leave your community — whether that is the few members of your family, your larger community, the country, the world — a better place than when you came into it. I’ve always viewed public service and elected office as the best avenue for me to do that, to work to make life better for our community and our state and the people who will follow us.

MW: Why have you now opted to run for governor?

MADALENO: For a variety of reasons. One, I think our state is not moving in the right direction. The way I look at it is, change is inevitable but growth is optional. Maryland simply is not growing in any sort of meaningful way that’s positioning ourselves to be a prosperous community for the 21st century, and without bold leadership from the governor, the state simply isn’t going to make progress.

When I looked around at some of the issues that I cared about, and I looked around for candidates that I thought would be able to carry the mantle and make progress on the things that I care about, I couldn’t find them, and just came to the conclusion of, “All right, if these are the issues that you think are important and these are the issues that you think the people of Maryland should be having a conversation [about], then instead of trying to find someone else to do that, maybe you should just step up and do it.”

When I looked around at the other candidates in the Democratic field, no one has the depth of experience at state issues that I have. Maybe the public’s view of experience amongst political candidates is starting to shift after our Maryland experience with Larry Hogan and our national experience with Donald Trump. Maybe this fascination for the outsider to come in and change everything when they don’t have experience and they don’t have relationships actually isn’t the way to make progress.

The way to make progress is to elect somebody, just like you would elevate somebody in other fields, who has knowledge and experience in the field, has relationships with people. One that can actually start from day one in making progress.

*   *   *

MW: If you win, you’ll become the first openly gay man to be elected governor of a state, and likely asked to prioritize the issues of the LGBTQ community. How do you balance the needs of the LGBTQ community with the needs of the broader electorate?

MADALENO: I think it would be in much the same manner that I’ve accomplished it over the last 15 years as a legislator. It is recognizing that I, just like any other elected official from a minority group, say a Latino, an African-American, a woman, whatever you want to say across the board where it’s a non-straight white male. You have that additional responsibility to fight for those issues. You bring a level of understanding and depth to the table that other people don’t necessarily have.

*   *   *

I hope you enjoyed the excerpts above, or the entire interview. I ask for your support so that we can take our message to the people of Maryland. Click HERE to contribute safely and securely.

P.S. Click here to join our campaign  and receive important updates atMadalenoForMaryland.com

P.P.S. If you would prefer to contribute by mail, our office address is below.

BY AUTHORITY: Marylanders for Rich Madaleno. Linda Eisenstadt, Treasurer.

Marylanders for Madaleno
3720 Farragut Avenue
Kensington MD 20895 United States

 

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Trump bans transgender troops to divert attention from growing Sessions scandal http://americablog.com/2017/07/trump-bans-transgender-troops-divert-attention-growing-sessions-scandal.html http://americablog.com/2017/07/trump-bans-transgender-troops-divert-attention-growing-sessions-scandal.html#comments Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:29:30 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143477 Donald Trump today announced a ban on transgender American serving in the US military. Trump not only reversed President Obama’s earlier decision permitting trans troops to serve, Trump even surprised his own military leaders who were not involved in the decision, and who had previously signed off on letting trans people serve. Why did Trump […]

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Donald Trump today announced a ban on transgender American serving in the US military.

Trump not only reversed President Obama’s earlier decision permitting trans troops to serve, Trump even surprised his own military leaders who were not involved in the decision, and who had previously signed off on letting trans people serve.

Why did Trump do this? To divert conservative attention from his growing war with Attorney General Jeff Sessions — conservatives love Sessions, and are increasingly angry at Trump for trying to force Sessions to resign — and to help Republicans at the ballot box in 2018. Donald Trump is now using the American Armed Forces for politics.

Here is my report:

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Malta legalizes gay marriage http://americablog.com/2017/07/malta-legalizes-gay-marriage.html http://americablog.com/2017/07/malta-legalizes-gay-marriage.html#comments Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:07:31 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143243 The island country of Malta today legalized marriage for gay couples. Damn. Malta is a strongly Roman Catholic country, yet only one lawmaker out of 67 opposed the same-sex marriage legislation. The Catholic archbishop was, of course, opposed, and offered one of the most hysterical reasons yet: Carobs are not oranges. Archbishop Charles Scicluna had […]

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The island country of Malta today legalized marriage for gay couples.

Damn.

Malta is a strongly Roman Catholic country, yet only one lawmaker out of 67 opposed the same-sex marriage legislation.

The Catholic archbishop was, of course, opposed, and offered one of the most hysterical reasons yet: Carobs are not oranges.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna had opposed the same-sex marriage law, reflecting the church’s longstanding view that marriage can only be between a man and woman.

“I can decide that a carob and an orange should no longer be called by their name,” he said in a homily a few days after parliament started debating the legislation. “But a carob remains a carob and an orange remains an orange. And marriage, whatever the law says, remains an eternal union exclusive to a man and a woman.”

This is huge news. There’s a movement by some of late to poo-poo marriage equality, and suggest that it doesn’t matter, nor does it help people of color in America. It’s a naive argument on its face: gay couples of all colors couldn’t marry before, they can now. It benefits everyone equally.

But there’s a larger issue: the symbolism. Marriage equality is a hugely important culture step that puts the final stake in the heart of homophobia. Now, to stretch the metaphor a bit longer, that doesn’t mean the vampire is going to die anytime soon. It does however mean that he’s toast. You simply cannot defend homophobia, culturally or legally, once gay couples have the right to marry.

Much of the rest of the discrimination we face can be tied to the right to marry (i.e., you discriminate against gays in the workplace because you don’t like who they marry). But culturally it’s just as important. Once gays can marry, you’re per se going to have more visibility of gay marriages. Gay marriages in the paper, gay marriages on TV, gay marriage among your friends and relatives and coworkers. People of all ages and all walks of life are going to start seeing gay marriage, and gay couples, as a normal and ever-present fact of life. That changes the culture, people’s minds, and ultimately the law.

And finally, there’s the psychological aspect to all of this. Many gays grow up thinking they’re broken, bad people. They’re God’s mistake. And that’s why suicide rates are so high in the gay and LGBT communities, especially among young people. It’s hard enough growing up — let alone being LGBT too. When I was a kid, there was no expectation that I’d ever get married. I knew I was gay from the day one. I may not have had a word for it, but I knew. And I also “knew” that I’d never fall in love, and never get married. That was the expectation when I was a little boy. And that seriously messes with a little kid’s head and heart. So the fact that I can now get married, the fact that little boys and girls in America, and Malta, can now hope and dream that some day they too will meet their prince or princess, is a huge step forward.

Marriage is the seminal right we seek. Nothing is more important in the battle for equality.

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Contribute to LGBT Members of Congress http://americablog.com/2017/06/contribute-lgbt-members-congress.html http://americablog.com/2017/06/contribute-lgbt-members-congress.html#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 19:29:06 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143053 Progressive values have never been more under attack. Please join us in showing your pride in, and support for, LGBT members of Congress with a generous donation to each of them. We’ve set up an easy contribution page where you can make one donation and have it evenly divided between Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Marc Pocan […]

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Progressive values have never been more under attack.

Please join us in showing your pride in, and support for, LGBT members of Congress with a generous donation to each of them.

We’ve set up an easy contribution page where you can make one donation and have it evenly divided between Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Marc Pocan (D-WI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mark Takano (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), and AMERICAblog Action.

 

Goal Thermometer

Thanks so much!

JOHN

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Trump tweets about the Pulse Nightclub mass-shooting anniversary http://americablog.com/2017/06/trump-tweets-pulse-nightclub-mass-shooting-anniversary.html http://americablog.com/2017/06/trump-tweets-pulse-nightclub-mass-shooting-anniversary.html#comments Mon, 12 Jun 2017 19:18:26 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=142846 Donald Trump commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre on Twitter today. 49 people were killed and 58-wounded in a mass shooting on June 12, 2016 at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The attack officially designated a terrorist attack and a hate crime. Here is Trump’s tweet: It should be noted that Trump infamously […]

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Donald Trump commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre on Twitter today.

49 people were killed and 58-wounded in a mass shooting on June 12, 2016 at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The attack officially designated a terrorist attack and a hate crime.

Here is Trump’s tweet:

It should be noted that Trump infamously used the shooting to help his election campaign in 2016. In classic Trump dysfunction, Trump’s first impulse, on finding out that dozens might be dead, was to congratulate himself:

Things didn’t get any better in the following day. Trump response to the shooting thanked the LGBT community… for what it isn’t clear:

I’m honestly not sure what to make of this. Trump is hardly Machiavelli, his motives are usually pretty transparent, so I’m not likely to chalk this up to some grand plan. Rather, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Trump takes every opportunity he can to slam Muslims, and highlight “Muslim” terrorism, at the expense of other terrorist incidents.

For example, Trump repeatedly use the recent attacks in London to go after the Muslim mayor and push his travel ban.

Back to Orlando. Omar Mateen, the Pulse shooter, was raised a Muslim. Trump is “commemorating” the attack because it fits into his larger message about how Muslims are dangerous and evil, and we need to ban them from entering the country. That’s why Trump is tweeting about this.

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Yes Virginia, corporate America played an important role in the LGBT rights revolution http://americablog.com/2017/06/yes-virginia-corporate-america-played-important-role-lgbt-rights-revolution.html http://americablog.com/2017/06/yes-virginia-corporate-america-played-important-role-lgbt-rights-revolution.html#comments Sun, 11 Jun 2017 18:13:45 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=142799 Let’s have a frank talk about the role corporate America has played in the LGBT rights movement. Because it’s likely more than you realized. I started working on national LGBT rights in the early 1990s. I did the usual stuffing of envelopes for the big-name groups in 1992, but the real work began when I […]

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Let’s have a frank talk about the role corporate America has played in the LGBT rights movement. Because it’s likely more than you realized.

I started working on national LGBT rights in the early 1990s. I did the usual stuffing of envelopes for the big-name groups in 1992, but the real work began when I started spending 40 hours per week as a fellow with Senator Ted Kennedy. I assisted Kennedy’s staff on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in early 1993, fought a number of anti-LGBT bills and amendments (usually from Jesse Helms and the Family Research Council), worked on discrediting the ex-gay movement, and ended my tour in 1996 trying to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA — legislation to ban anti-gay job discrimination) passed in the Senate (we lost by only one vote).

Ted Kennedy and his staff were masters at the legislative process. I learned much of what I know today about activism from my time in his office. And what I think most impressed and surprised me about Kennedy and his staff was their ability to woo and work with allies, and use those allies to in turn woo the media and Congress. This went far beyond the usual suspects. I saw Kennedy’s office engage movie stars and pro athletes to appear at events, write op eds, and lobby on behalf of LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS. But most interesting, I watched them work with Republicans, even conservative Republicans, when GOP interests coincided with ours. For example, Barry Goldwater became an outspoken ally on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Conservative GOP Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) routinely partnered with Kennedy on HIV/AIDS legislation. And incredibly, Kennedy got anti-gay bigot Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) to help on the international AIDS fight.

Which raises a fascinating point I want to explore as it concerns corporate America and any potential LGBT ally (like the police). It’s not about picking allies who are pure, and agree with you on every issue. And it’s not about picking allies who are motivated by their love for you and your people. Being successful in politics, and getting what you want in both policy and legislation, is about knowing what levers to push. And usually you get politicians to help you because they see it in their own self-interest. It’s an added, but unnecessary, benefit if they actually like you too.

Which takes us to corporate America. No one is suggesting that American companies “like” us. I am, however, telling you that in the early 1990s, when we were fighting to get ENDA passed, our corporate allies were a huge help, and continued to be helpful through this day. From Nicole Raeburn’s book “Changing Corporate America from Inside Out: Lesbian and Gay Workplace Rights”:

Raeburn has more. Note that most companies weren’t great in the late 80s, then something changed:

More on Disney from a Florida reporter and then a former employee of the company:

Why did it matter that a growing number of corporate leaders, especially in the tech industry, were supporting LGBT rights? Because ENDA was about workplace discrimination, and its critics claimed ENDA would cripple American business. Instead, here were some of America’s top business leaders, including high-flying high-tech moguls, saying just the opposite: that what’s bad for business is discrimination. Corporate America had shot the anti-gay movement in the foot, and taken away their #1 argument against us. It was a huge deal.

Lesbian Subaru ad. Note the rainbow bumper sticker, and the license plates (“CAMP OUT” and “XENA LVR”).

But aside from legislation, what was also important was corporate America’s willingness to adopt non-discrimination policies, and eventually domestic partner benefits, for gay couples who couldn’t get such benefits from their legislative bodies. You have to remember that we still don’t have federal protections against firing someone for being gay or trans. Yet, a lot of companies do have those protections. And the same thing happened with domestic partner benefits. When American law refused to step in, many companies stepped forward and treated their gay-partnered employees the same as those who were straight-married.

One such company was Apple. In 1993, Apple threatened to pull its planned new office in Texas after local politicians punished Apple for offering health benefits to the partners of gay employees. The Texas politicians denied Apple tax breaks it would normally have gotten, but-for the company’s pro-gay policies. Apple stuck to its guns, threatened to pull out of the state, and the local officials finally caved. That’s corporate leadership, and it was a big deal at a time when it wasn’t terribly cool to be pro-gay, especially in Texas.

And a wee bit more on the early history of corporate support for LGBT rights, from Raeburn — how Coors and Disney rocked the boat against anti-gay bigotry:

What Coors and Disney did came as a great shock:

A number of large companies stuck their necks out for LGBT rights in other ways as well, including advertising. Subaru, Absolut and then Ikea were some of the earliest advertisers to embrace gays. And if you want to know what influence that had on the culture at large, ask the religious right — they were livid, and launched boycotts left and right to stop corporate America from being so gay-friendly.

For example, Absolut made history in 1989 by advertising in the gay press:

Ikea’s ad — called the first gay TV commercial — showed a gay couple shopping at Ikea, ran in 1994. You really have to appreciate how not-pro-gay America was in 1994. This was huge visibility for our community.

NPR has the story of how Subaru stuck its neck out in the mid 1990s by advertising to lesbians.

And I’m having a hard time finding the original Subaru ad, but here’s one they did in 2000 with tennis superstar Martina Navratilova:

Business Insider has more ads over the years.

And that corporate support has continued to this day. Companies like Dow Chemical, Marriott, and Procter & Gamble are all now supporting passage of ENDA. And I’d argue that the fact that many of us don’t like Dow (a chemical company) or Mormon-run Marriott is exactly why the support of those companies is so important. It’s easy and expected to have your friends support you. But when unlikely allies step up, it can make your opponents — or at least people in the middle — think twice.

For example, 379 companies recently urged the Supreme Court to support marriage equality. That’s not to suggest that some companies, like Microsoft, were always 100% okay. They weren’t. Even Microsoft, an early supporter of LGBT rights, had a hiccup in the mid 2000s, when a local religious right leader convinced them to stop supporting LGBT rights. Because of a lobbying campaign I ran, Microsoft came back in to the LGBT fold and never looked back. And while I was ticked at the Microsoft at the time, you’d better believe I’m glad Microsoft is now again on our side, and I am happy to embrace their support because it helps us get what we want, and that’s the only test that matters if you want to win.

(And, as an aside, some critics are arguing that these same corporations weren’t on our side in 1969, during the Stonewall riots. True. And most of our allies in the Democratic party, and even the larger civil rights movement, weren’t “on our side” in 1969. Most of America hated us. That’s not a standard for judging who we will accept help from today. Otherwise, the answer would be “no one.” Also, critics are saying “but the Mattachine Society and Stonewall happened before companies helped us in the 1990s.” And that is absolutely correct. But it doesn’t negate the significant support that those companies gave us, and that’s the point of this article, to simply recognize the contribution.)

Even if you think corporations are evil, that doesn’t mean you should shun corporate support for LGBT rights. Historically, corporate support has been extremely helpful, especially when our chief opponents were and are Republicans, a party beholden to whom? — corporations! And in the same way we shouldn’t turn away GOP support for LGBT rights, we shouldn’t shun business support either. It simply doesn’t matter what’s motivating them. Of course, companies are looking out for their own bottom line. So am I. So is every politician. In politics, as I said above, the goal isn’t to find people who love you. It’s to find people who will do what you want, regardless of their motivation. I wanted DADT repealed, and I wanted marriage equality to be the law of the law. It didn’t matter to me WHY Congress repealed one or why the Supreme Court legalized the other. All I cared about is winning, and we did.

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Trump White House excludes gay spouse of Luxembourg PM from photo caption http://americablog.com/2017/05/trump-white-house-excludes-gay-spouse-luxembourg-prez-photo-caption.html http://americablog.com/2017/05/trump-white-house-excludes-gay-spouse-luxembourg-prez-photo-caption.html#comments Sat, 27 May 2017 22:32:51 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=142671 The Trump White House this morning excluded Gauthier Destenay, the First Gentleman of Luxembourg from the photo caption of the group shot of NATO leaders’ spouses. Destenay and his husband, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, are gay. Destenay was the only official spouse to be excluded from the caption, while Melania Trump got mentioned twice. (The caption […]

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The Trump White House this morning excluded Gauthier Destenay, the First Gentleman of Luxembourg from the photo caption of the group shot of NATO leaders’ spouses.

Destenay and his husband, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, are gay.

Destenay was the only official spouse to be excluded from the caption, while Melania Trump got mentioned twice. (The caption also, oddly, dates the photo as May 25, 2917).

Here’s the official White House photo caption:

As the Daily Beast notes, the White House also put the wrong name down for the wife of the President of France. Inexplicably, they put down her maiden name, Brigitte Trogneux. Her actually name is Brigitte Macron.

Some have already taken note of the missing gay:

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nevertheless she persisted

pre-existing-condition tshirt black

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Notre Dame grads walk out of VP Pence’s commencement speech http://americablog.com/2017/05/notre-dame-grads-walk-vp-pence-commencement-speech.html http://americablog.com/2017/05/notre-dame-grads-walk-vp-pence-commencement-speech.html#comments Sun, 21 May 2017 19:25:57 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=142539 A large group of graduates walked out of Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech today at Notre Dame University. Pence’s politics is extreme religious right, which includes being a virulent homophobia. While Pence is far slicker than Trump — Pence is an experienced, polished politician — his politics are pure Jerry Falwell. So it’s perhaps […]

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A large group of graduates walked out of Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech today at Notre Dame University.

Pence’s politics is extreme religious right, which includes being a virulent homophobia.

While Pence is far slicker than Trump — Pence is an experienced, polished politician — his politics are pure Jerry Falwell.

So it’s perhaps not surprising that young people, even at a Catholic school like Notre Dame, have little stomach for Pence’s politics.

Also, as an interesting aside, Pence has been trying to immunize himself against Donald Trump’s latest controversies. For example, Pence claims he had no idea that Mike Flynn was under investigation for not registering as a lobbyist for Turkey. In fact, Flynn says he told the transition about the investigation, and Pence as running the transition. It’s difficult to believe that no one told Pence.

Here’s the video of the Notre Dame students walking out:

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nevertheless she persisted nevertheless she persisted

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100 Chechen gays kidnapped, tortured, arrested in growing Russian pogrom http://americablog.com/2017/04/100-chechen-gays-kidnapped-tortured-arrested-growing-russian-pogrom.html http://americablog.com/2017/04/100-chechen-gays-kidnapped-tortured-arrested-growing-russian-pogrom.html#comments Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:58:58 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=142257 The NYT has a blockbuster story today about the growing anti-gay pogrom in Russian Chechnya. Chechen authorities, who claim that homosexuality doesn’t exist in Chechnya — a popular trope among anti-LGBT regimes — have been arresting and/or kidnapping, and torturing, gay men across the region. One hundred gay men have reportedly been ensnared in the crackdown […]

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The NYT has a blockbuster story today about the growing anti-gay pogrom in Russian Chechnya.

Chechen authorities, who claim that homosexuality doesn’t exist in Chechnya — a popular trope among anti-LGBT regimes — have been arresting and/or kidnapping, and torturing, gay men across the region. One hundred gay men have reportedly been ensnared in the crackdown so far, and three have died.

The Chechen government, led by the pro-Kremlin Ramzan A. Kadyrov, has adopted a technique used previously by its Russian overlords: They entrap young gays via online chat rooms. When the gay men show up at someone’s apartment for a secret meet-up, they are accosted by the authorities who detain them for anywhere from a day to several weeks. They are then hooked up to electrodes and interrogated.

Russian vigilantes kidnap and attack a young gay Russian they first stalked on a local social media site.

Vladimir Putin’s government did something similar a few years back, when it used neo-Nazi gangs to kidnap and torture gay men. The abductions were filmed and then posted on Russian social media, in order to extort and humiliate the men. The Russian neo-Nazis claimed to have kidnapped 1,500 men. It was only after western media began to publicize the story in the UK and the US that the Russian government cracked down on the gangs.

As it did during the neo-Nazi kidnappings, the Russian government is denying that any anti-gay crimes are occurring in Chechnya. More from the NYT:

Chechnya marked in red.

In a televised meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Wednesday, Mr. Kadyrov characterized as “libelous” news reports that the security services in Chechnya had been persecuting gay men.

And on Thursday, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told journalists that the Russian authorities had found no evidence that the Chechen police had arrested gay men.

The Russian government also denied the neo-Nazi kidnappings, even though dozens of videos of the crimes were online, in which the kidnappers openly confessed to their crimes.

Trump UN ambassador Nikki Haley criticized the Chechen crackdown, but failed to mention Russia in her statement. Chechnya is a part of Russia.

 

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Trump spares Obama LGBT exec. order, could undo it with “religious freedom” EO http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-spares-obama-lgbt-exec-order-no-word-yet-religious-freedom-eo.html http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-spares-obama-lgbt-exec-order-no-word-yet-religious-freedom-eo.html#comments Tue, 31 Jan 2017 15:43:51 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=141004 Trump won't rescind Obama exec. order about federal contractors, but may sign "religious freedom" EO.

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Thanks to your pressure, Donald Trump last night issued a statement saying he would retain President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.

This is a big deal. But we’re not out of the woods yet — Trump may still sign a “religious freedom” executive order that undoes a lot of what the Obama executive order accomplished.

Sign the petition, tell Donald Trump that homophobia is un-American.

A lot of us fought a long time for that executive order, as it basically implements ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) for federal contractors. Or, put another way, it forces federal contractors to adopt non-discrimination policies for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Most people don’t realize that employment discrimination against LGBT people is legal under federal law, though it is banned in many cities and states under local law.

So this is great news, actually, and it came about because of public pressure. But it’s not enough. We were concerned about this executive order, but we were also concerned about a series of other moves Trump was potentially planning, in the name of so-called “religious freedom.”

We’ve had no indication that Trump is backing off of those, and in fact, by keeping the Obama executive order on federal contractors, Team Trump may think it gives them cover to bash gay and trans people in a separate “religious freedom” executive order meant to curry favor with the religious right.

That’s why we need to keep adding our names to the petition telling Trump that homophobia is un-American.

Here’s the rest of what has been rumored, and what the White House has yet to deny:

– Letting organizations use federal dollars to discriminate in the provision of social services;

– Letting federally-funded adoption agencies discrimination against LGBT people; and

– Permit federal employees to discriminate against LGBT people based on their opposition to marriage quality and gender identity.

In a nutshell, the religious right has been claiming for years that it’s religious discrimination for the law to require them to provide goods and services to gay or trans people. And they’ve been trying to get laws passed in the states, to codify anti-LGBT discrimination. For example, if a woman walks into a pharmacy and asks a pharmacist for birth control pills, or a gay man asks a pharmacist for a condom, the religious right — and Vice President Mike Pence — want to make it so that the pharmacist can refuse to help you, lest it offend his religious sensibilities.

But it gets worse than that. As we’ve already seen, these “religious freedom” protections would also permit state officials to refuse to marry gay couples, even though marriage equality is now the law of the land. It could even permit EMTs to refuse to help LGBT people in need. (In Washington, DC years ago, a young trans woman was left to die on Dupont Circle when the EMTs refused to help her.)

There’s also the issue of permitting social service agencies, like adoption agencies, to use federal funds to discriminate against gay and trans people (e.g., a “religious” adoption group doesn’t want to let gay or trans couples adopt).

So it remains to be seen whether Trump will sign the religious right executive order, and I think he will. Unless we speak out, unless we make clear that there will be holy hell to pay if the Trump White House slams the door shut on LGBT rights. Such an executive order could undo a lot of the EO Trump is saving. It would permit people nationwide to discriminate against LGBT people, or anyone — blacks, Jews, Muslims, women — so long as “God told them so.”

So sign the petition, share it with your friends, and let’s send a clear message to Donald Trump that we will not go back into the closet, we will not become second-class citizens, and for all you non-LGBT people out there, you will not see your LGBT friends left behind.

Thanks so much everyone, and great work to date on this.

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Tesla’s Elon Musk defends Trump Muslim ban http://americablog.com/2017/01/teslas-elon-musk-defends-trump-muslim-ban.html http://americablog.com/2017/01/teslas-elon-musk-defends-trump-muslim-ban.html#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2017 21:22:54 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140991 In a tweet today, Tesla's Elon Musk defended Trump's Muslim ban after joining his Manufacturing Council.

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UPDATE: Musk now appears to be flip-flopping on the Muslim ban. Keep up the pressure!

In a tweet early this morning, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk defended Donald Trump’s racist ban on Muslims traveling to the US from a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries.

This comes on the heels of news that last Friday, the day the anti-Muslim executive order was signed, Musk signed up as a member of Trump’s “manufacturing council.”

And the day before that, we find out that Musk is supporting Trump’s Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson, who is not only in the pocket of Bil Oil, but also Big Putin.

And then today we find out that Trump may be preparing to sign an anti-LGBT executive order.

Is this really the administration Elon Musk wants to hitch his electric wagon to?

Enough is enough. Sign the petition. Tell Elon Musk to stop defending Trump’s racism — it’s time to dump Trump.

Here is Tesla’s tweet today, defending the Muslim ban and bashing “the left”:

Musk needs to repudiate his sickening comments in defense of Trump’s Muslim ban, and then pull out of Trump’s manufacturing council.

Discrimination and bigotry are un-American. Tesla and Musk should know better. This is the worst time to be supporting Donald Trump, and this is the worst issue to be doing it on.

Sign the petition, tell Elon Musk to stop defending Trump’s racism. It’s time for Musk to dump Trump.

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

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Trump on verge of signing anti-LGBT executive order http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-reportedly-verge-signing-anti-lgbt-executive-order.html http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-reportedly-verge-signing-anti-lgbt-executive-order.html#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2017 20:39:35 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140989 Trump is reportedly about to sign an anti-LGBT executive order permitting discrimination against gay & trans.

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UPDATE: Thanks to your pressure, Donald Trump last night issued a statement saying he would retain President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.

This is a big deal. But we’re not out of the woods yet — Trump may still sign a “religious freedom” executive order that undoes a lot of what the Obama executive order accomplished. Read more about that here, and still sign the petition — we need to block all the anti-LGBT executive orders.

_____________________

First, Donald Trump came for the Muslims and we said hell no.

Now, Donald Trump is on the verge of signing a sweeping anti-LGBT executive order, that would permit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the federal government and beyond. And it is time to stand up to Trump’s bigotry and intolerance once again.

Sign the petition and tell Donald Trump in no uncertain terms that homophobia is un-American, and we will not stand for it.

 

Washington Post:

The White House is embroiled in a debate over whether to reverse some key protections that the Obama administration extended to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers, according to several people briefed on the process.

A draft of a potential executive order began circulating in Washington over the weekend that would overturn former president Barack Obama’s directive barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal workforce and by federal contractors.

But individuals familiar with deliberations within the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because no final decision has been made, said that the details of the policy remain in flux and that it is far from certain President Trump would ultimately issue such an order.

This is great news. If Trump is still unsure about what to do, then raising hell now can make a difference, just as it Trump was forced to back down from parts of his Muslim ban in the face of bipartisan criticism.

Trump’s homophobic executive order comes on the heels of another un-American executive order signed this past Friday, banning Muslims from a number of Middle Eastern and north African countries. Trump inappropriately chose Holocaust Remembrance Day to launch this bigoted policy.

The new anti-LGBT executive order is expected to be wrapped in the fake language of “religious liberty,” a typical ploy the religious right and other homophobes use to bash LGBT people. Among the possible provisions in the new executive order:

– Letting organizations use federal dollars to discriminate in the provision of social services;

– Letting federally-funded adoption agencies discrimination against LGBT people; and

– Permit federal employees to discriminate against LGBT people based on their opposition to marriage quality and gender identity.

– And, according to the Center for American Progress, the executive order could “make sexual orientation and gender identity fireable offensive for federal employees and federal contractors.” Trump would accomplish this by removing Obama-era protections.

When the White House was asked today (Monday, January 30) about the executive order by gay journalist Chris Johnson, spokesman Sean Spicer refused to deny the rumors.

Enough is enough. We are only one week into this disaster of a presidency, and not only has Trump taken a swipe at Mexicans, women and Muslims, but now he may be on the verge of targeting LGBT people with his venomous un-American bigotry.

We will not be made second-class citizens by a second-class president.

Sign the petition and tell Donald Trump in no uncertain terms that homophobia is un-American, and we will not stand for it.

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