Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Brazil: the day after

Our Brazilian friends are going to be needing us, a lot, in the coming years. We, and what is left of global civil society, have to be prepared and give shelter to those under attack.

By Francesc Badia i Dalmases.  Published 10-27-2018 by openDemocracy

“Courage is what gives meaning to freedom” reads this graffiti on the walls of the Cachoeira public university, in the state of Bahia, pictured in September 2018. Image: Francesc Badia. All rights reserved.

 

 

We have to prepare for the day after.

Brazil is already suffering from a tide of unbearable verbal and symbolic violence, and the incendiary hate speeches are already claiming their share of victims. Bolsonaro’s victory seems indisputable and is forcing us to get ready for a double action.

The first thing will be to protect ourselves and prevent verbal attacks from turning violent under the cloak of euphoria for the victory of a candidate who considers the losers not ideological or political rivals but enemies who must be eliminated. Communist worms, they call them. Continue reading

Share

‘Insulting, Inhumane, and Unacceptable’: LGBTQ Rights Advocates Blast Trump’s Latest ‘Reckless Attack’ on Trans Americans

“The cruelty and bigotry of this administration truly has no limit.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-21-2018

LGBTQ Americans and allies rally outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump’s effort to ban trans people from military service. (Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr/cc)

Sparking immediate outrage among LGBTQ Americans and allies on Sunday, the New York Times reported on a memo revealing that “the Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.”

In a move that “would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves—surgically or otherwise—as a gender other than the one they were born into,” the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is currently considering a legal definition that “would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with,” according to the Times. Continue reading

Share

Lawyers Turn to Activism as Civil Liberties Come Under Attack

A new generation of social justice attorneys has risen to defend against the hard-line policies of the Trump administration, from immigration and abortion access to voting and gender rights.

By . Published 8-6-2018 by YES! Magazine

To train a new generation of lawyers to fight for the rights of immigrants after the 2016 elections, Claire Thomas started an asylum clinic at the New York City law school where she taught.

In Seattle, Michelle Mentzer retired five years early as an administrative law judge so she could volunteer as an attorney with the ACLU.

And in Texas, Anna Castro traded her full-time job for contract work so she could prepare to attend law school to better serve her community. Continue reading

Share

Women Dressed as ‘Handmaids’ to Confront ‘Vicious Theocrat’ Mike Pence in Philadelphia Over His Anti-Choice Agenda

“Pence is one of the most dangerous reactionary figures in modern history. He is a key figure in ushering in a theocratic society right out of the Handmaid’s Tale.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-23-2018

Since President Donald Trump assumed office last year, many women have taken to dressing as handmaids from the TV series and book “The Handmaid’s Tale” to protest Trump’s anti-choice agenda. (Photo: Carlos Lowry/Flickr/cc)

Resisting the Trump-Pence administration’s anti-choice and anti-woman agenda, dozens of woman dressed as handmaids from the novel and TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale” are planning to greet Vice President Mike Pence when he arrives in Philadelphia on Monday for a GOP fundraiser.

The white bonnets and red dresses and capes worn by the protesters will mimic those of handmaids in Hulu’s dramatic series and Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, in which women are forced to give birth to the children of powerful men. Continue reading

Share

Rights Advocates Decry ‘Unconscionable’ State Dept Decision to Cut Women’s Rights From Annual Report

“This development is a transparent attempt by the Trump administration to not only de-prioritize reproductive rights, but effectively erase them from the broader conversation on human rights.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 2-22-2018

At the direction of a top State Department aide, the department’s annual human rights report will be stripped of language relating to women’s reproductive rights and discrimination. (Photo: Marc Nozell/Flickr/cc)

Human rights groups on Thursday denounced the State Department’s plans to re-frame its upcoming global human rights report, paring down its focus on women’s reproductive rights and discrimination—saying the decision is clear evidence that the rights of marginalized groups are insignificant to the Trump administration.

“Reproductive rights are human rights,” said Tarah Demant, Amnesty International USA’s director of gender, sexuality, and identity, in a statement. “This development is a transparent attempt by the Trump administration to not only de-prioritize reproductive rights, but effectively erase them from the broader conversation on human rights. We must not let this attack on basic rights go unchallenged.” Continue reading

Share

Trump’s HHS to enforce religious beliefs over health of US citizens

Screenshot: SNL/NBC

Ever since Donald Trump took office, we’ve been bombarded with news on a daily basis. News that would sink any other administration, or news that just makes you ask “WTF did I just read?”

But, while we’re being distracted by the outlandish behavior and statements of the Pretender in Chief, there’s usually something more sinister that slides somewhat under the radar. A case in point: this announcement published last Thursday on the HHS websiteContinue reading

Share

Sessions Issues Blatant ‘License to Discriminate’ With ‘Religious Freedom’ Memo

The new DOJ policy directive “will enable systemic, government-wide discrimination that will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ people and their families,” rights groups said

Written by for CommonDreams. Published 10-6-2017.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions intensified the Trump administration’s “all-out assault on LGBTQ people” Friday by issuing a “religious freedom” directive to federal agencies that rights groups said would “categorize LGBTQ Americans as second-class citizens who are not equal under the law.”

Outlined in a 25-page memo (pdf), the directive lays out the White House’s “muscular view of religious freedom” first expressed in an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in May. The memo details 20 “principles of religious liberty” to which all federal agencies will be expected to adhere.

“Under the new policy, a claim of a violation of religious freedom would be enough to override concerns for the civil rights of LGBT people and anti-discrimination protections for women and others,” the Associated Press noted. “The guidelines are so sweeping that experts on religious liberty are calling them a legal powder-keg that could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.”

In crafting the policy guidance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) consulted extensively with “religious and political groups with a history of opposing protections for LGBT people,” but not “specifically” with any LGBTQ rights organizations, Buzzfeed reported on Friday.

Unsurprisingly, the DOJ’s directive was met with effusive praise by right-wing lawmakers and religious organizations, and fierce condemnation by civil rights groups that argue the Sessions memo constitutes little more than a “license to discriminate” against the LGBTQ community.

Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, said in a statement on Friday that the Sessions directive is a “blatant attempt to further Donald Trump’s cynical and hateful agenda.”

Justice Department policy as outlined in the new memo “will enable systemic, government-wide discrimination that will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ people and their families,” Griffin concluded. “Donald Trump and [Vice President] Mike Pence have proven they will stop at nothing to target the LGBTQ community and drag our nation backwards. We will fight them every step of the way.”

HRC argued in its press release that the Sessions directive would allow:

  • Federal contractors to deny services to LGBTQ people.
  • “Agencies receiving federal funding, and even their individual staff members, [to] refuse to provide services to LGBTQ children in crisis, or to place adoptive or foster children with a same-sex couple or transgender couple simply because of who they are.”
  • “A Social Security Administration employee [to] refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse.”

The new DOJ memo comes amid a flurry of policy moves by the Trump administration this week that will disproportionately affect women and the LGBTQ community, including a rollback of the federal birth control mandate and a reversal of government policy that protected transgender workers from discrimination.

In a statement on Friday, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, argued that the Sessions directive is “yet another mean-spirited attack against the LGBTQ community, people of color, and other minorities.

“Federal agencies, government contractors, and grant recipients should not be permitted to discriminate simply by citing a religious belief for doing so,” Gupta concluded. “We urge the federal courts to reject the radical efforts by this administration to justify discrimination on the basis of religion. We are strengthened as a nation when we work to protect and balance the rights and dignity of all.”

Share