Tag Archives: LGBTIQ+

Florida House Republicans Advance Bill to ‘Deny the Legal Existence’ of Trans People

“Rest assured that the passage of this discriminatory bill would have a detrimental and real-life impact on the trans community,” said one Florida ACLU leader.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 3-1-2024 by Common Dreams

Capital Pride Parade in, Washington, DC 2018. Photo: Ted Eytan/CC

The ACLU of Florida on Friday led condemnation of a bill passed by the Republican-controlled lower chamber of the state Legislature that “seeks to deny the legal existence of transgender individuals by requiring individuals to identify as their sex assigned at birth instead of their gender on their driver’s licenses and ID cards.”

Dubbed the Trans Erasure Bill by opponents, H.B. 1639 passed by a vote of 75-33. The ACLU notes that the legislation “also requires health plans to cover the widely discredited practice of conversion therapy and creates additional obstacles for health plans to cover gender-affirming care.”

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Yes, Republican states are now starting to emulate the Civil War-era south

The Texas governor rejecting federal immigration laws has echoes of the Confederate states

By Chrissy Stroop. Published 2-1-2024 by openDemocracy

A “border security” rally in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 3, 2024. Screenshot: KENS5

We’re not even a full month into a crucial election year in the United States, and it already feels like the country is coming apart at the seams.

In a standoff that has dragged on for weeks now, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a right-wing Catholic, has refused to allow federal Border Patrol agents to enter a public park along the Rio Grande where refugees and asylum seekers are known to cross. As summarised by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, reporting for CBS: “Federal law requires Border Patrol to process migrants who enter the US illegally to determine whether they should be deported, transferred to another federal agency, sent to a long-term immigration detention centre or released pending a review of their asylum claims.”

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Oregon Supreme Court Bans From Ballot GOP State Lawmakers Who Staged Walkout

“Oregonians deserve legislators who will show up and do their jobs—and when they don’t, there must be consequences,” said one advocacy group.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2–1-2024 by Common Dreams

This photo shows the empty floor of the Oregon State Senate. (Photo: Cacophony/Wikimedia Commons)

Oregon’s Supreme Court on Thursday disqualified 10 state senators from reelection for participating in last year’s Republican-led walkout that paralyzed the Legislature for six weeks, delaying key Democratic bills on abortion, healthcare, and gun control.

The ruling upholds last year’s decision by Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade, a Democrat, barring the 10 lawmakers—nine Republicans and 1 Independent—from the 2024 ballot because they had accumulated more than 10 unexcused absences in violation of Measure 113, a state constitutional amendment approved by 68% of voters in 2022 following a series of Republican walkouts.

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`Study Finds Over 33 Million Instagram, TikTok Posts Promoting Harmful Content to Kids

The Ekō report came as a U.S. Senate panel held a hearing about online child sexual exploitation featuring testimony from five Big Tech CEOs.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-31-2024 by Common Dreams

As five Big Tech executives appeared before the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee on January 31, 2024, Ekō held a protest at the U.S. Capitol and released a report about platforms promoting harmful content to children. (Photo: Ekō)

As five Big Tech executives appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, the group Ekō released a report highlighting how “social media companies are not only failing to safeguard young users from harm, but actively profiting from it.”

“This briefing serves as an urgent call for legislative action,” says the 17-page publication from Ekō—previously called SumOfUs—which is addressed to the Senate panel on the first page and urges constituents to contact their members of Congress.

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Judge Blocks Iowa Book Ban, ‘Don’t Say LGBTQ’ Law

“We deserve to be able to express ourselves safely at school and we deserve to see ourselves in media at school, especially in books,” said an eighth grade student who joined one of the lawsuits.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 12-29-2023 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: KCRG-TV9/YouTube

A U.S. federal judge on Friday blocked key parts of what critics called a “sweeping Iowa law that seeks to silence LGBTQ+ students, erase any recognition of LGBTQ+ people from public schools, and bans books with sexual or LGBTQ+ content.”

Judge Stephen Locher determined that none of the plaintiffs in a pair of cases filed against Senate File 496 has standing to challenge the provision requiring school districts to notify parents if a child seeks an accommodation relating to gender identity, including the use of pronouns that does not match registration records.

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Far-Right Climate Denier Javier Milei Wins Argentina Presidential Runoff

“No one so extremist on economic issues has been elected president of a South American country,” said U.S. economist Mark Weisbrot.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 11-19-2023 by Common Dreams

Javier Milei. Photo: Vox España/flickr/CC

Javier Milei—a far-right admirer of former U.S. President Donald Trump who says that climate change is a “socialist lie” and who pledged to take a “chainsaw” to social programs—will be Argentina’s next president after winning a decisive victory in Sunday’s presidential runoff.

Sergio Massa, Argentina’s Peronist economy minister, conceded defeat Sunday evening to the 53-year-old Milei, a radical libertarian economist often called the “Trump of Argentina” who will take office amid a looming recession, triple-digit inflation, and a nearly 40% poverty rate in Latin America’s third-largest economy.

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ALA Decries ‘Attacks on Our Freedom’ With Record Book Challenges So Far in 2023

The data reflects a growing right-wing movement to restrict the topics taught in public schools and the media that children have access to.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 9-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Banned Books Week installation on the second floor of Kennedy Library on Monday, September 24, 2018. Photo: Kennedy Library/flickr/CC

A record number of library books were challenged during the first eight months of 2023, the American Library Association revealed Tuesday.

The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) documented 695 attempts to remove a total of 1,915 library titles as of August 31. That’s up from the 681 challenges to 1,651 distinct titles for the same period in 2022, and last year as a whole broke the overall record for book challenges since data collecting began more than two decades ago.

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Trump and Big Tech are setting the tone for a violent 2024 election season

Tech giants’ hands-off approach to disinformation does not bode well at a time of growing political violence

By Chrissy Stroop Published 8-30-2023 by openDemocracy

Photo: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Donald Trump turned himself in at Fulton County jail in Georgia on Thursday last week, where he was fingerprinted and had a mugshot taken – just like any other accused felon. Obviously, unlike many others in the same situation, he was immediately able to post bond and leave. Nevertheless, the moment was remarkable: it was the first ever mugshot of a former president.

Back in March, before the various investigations had resulted in any indictments, Trump warned there could be consequences if he was indicted, calling on his supporters to “take back our nation”. No 6 January-style mass action has materialised, but as summer winds down in the northern hemisphere, political threats and violence do seem to be ramping up here in the US.

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How conservative stronghold Guatemala elected a progressive president

Results suggest conservative fear-mongering failed to connect with an electorate weary of corruption and inequality

By Dánae Vílchez. Published 8-25-2023 by openDemocracy

Guatemala’s elected president Bernardo Arévalo Screenshot: YouTube

The victory on Sunday of progressive politician Bernardo Arévalo in Guatemala’s presidential runoff suggests that voters’ primary concerns are corruption and poverty – rather than conservatives’ fear-mongering about abortion and LGBTQ rights.

Arévalo, a 64-year-old sociologist who ran for the centre-left Semilla (Seed) party, secured a resounding win, with 58.01% of the vote, while his contender Sandra Torres, former first lady and leader of the UNE (Unidad Nacional por la Esperanza, National Unity for Hope) party, got 37.24%.

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AP Psychology Effectively Banned in Florida Over Lesson on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

“Sadly, it’s all part of the DeSantis playbook of eroding rights, censoring those he disagrees with, and undermining access to knowledge,” said one critic.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 8-3-2023 by Common Dreams

Students and their supporters rallied at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022 as the state Senate began debating a so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. (Photo: MoveOn/Twitter)

The Republican-controlled Florida Board of Education on Thursday effectively banned Advanced Placement Psychology by notifying school district superintendents that teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity—key subjects in college-level psychology curricula—is prohibited under the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law.

That means class schedules for the fall semester—which begins next week in most Florida school districts—are in limbo for thousands of students. Last year, around 28,000 pupils in more than 500 Florida high schools took AP Psychology.

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