Thursday, October 19, 2017
Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions has refused to say whether he would allow government workers to discriminate against same-sex couples.
Sessions, a hardline opponent of LGBT rights, has worked over the past few weeks to undermine protections for LGBT people across the federal government, in a series of decisions reversing Obama administration guidance.
And during his hearing with the Senate judiciary committee, he fell into an awkward silence when confronted over his approach to LGBT rights.
Senator Dick Durbin, the Senate Minority Whip, asked: “Could a social security administration employee refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse?”
After four seconds of silence and a particularly cringe-inducing noise, Sessions finally responded.
“That’s something I’ve never thought would arise,” the Attorney General said with a smirk on his face.
“I’ll have to give you a written answer to that, if you don’t mind.”
Durbin followed that up by asking: “Could a federal contractor refuse to provide services to LGBTQ people, including in emergencies, without risk of losing federal contracts?”
The Attorney General replied that again, he would need to respond later, in writing.
Sessions issued a directive last week protecting “the right to perform or abstain from performing certain physical acts in accordance with one’s beliefs”, granting an unlimited license to discriminate against LGBT people based on religion.
Under his leadership, the Justice Department has rolled back civil rights protections for transgender people, and has also made an uninvited intervention into a discrimination case this year to argue against discrimination protections for gay employees.
And it emerged that his actions were taken after extensive consultation with Alliance Defending Freedom, a listed anti-LGBT hate group that has lobbied to undermine LGBT rights across the US.
Sessions’ Department of Justice is helping to investigate the murder of 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, who was shot to death last year in Iowa.
However, Kedarie’s mother Katrina said while she “loved” that the DOJ had intervened, “it shouldn’t have taken for a child to lose his life, and for everybody to think it was a hate crime, for them to step up and do something”.
She said “they need to do it for all” LGBT people.
And pro-LGBT law firm Lambda Legal accused Sessions of a “cynical publicity stunt” by seeking positive coverage for simply following the precedent set by the Obama administration.
Director of Strategy Sharon McGowan said it was “the height of cynicism for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to use this – frankly rare – instance of civil rights enforcement under his tenure to deflect from the current department’s sustained opposition to its historic mission.
“No-one in the Trump administration has done more to harm LGBT people, and especially transgender people, than Jeff Sessions – and in a government chock full of anti-LGBT appointees, that is saying a lot.”
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Isauro Aguirre, of Palmdale, Los Angeles, admits murder but denies torture.
His series of brutal acts against eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez includes dousing the boy in pepper spray, forcing him to eat his own feces and vomit, putting cigarettes out on his skin and beating him with a bat.
Aguirre is also accused of tying the boy up, locking him in a cage and shooting him with a BB gun.
It is also claimed he forced the young victim to dress up in girls’ clothes before going to school, and stressed he did not like Gabriel because he believed he was gay.
His defense attorney John Allan said: ‘He is guilty of murder, but the special circumstance alleged, that he intended to kill Gabriel with the infliction of torture, is not true.
‘Despite the horrific abuse, Isauro never intended for Gabriel to die.’
Gabriel was reportedly kept gagged and bound in a small cabinet until first responders found him on 22 May 2013.
Prosecutors said the boy’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, conspired with Aguirre, now 37, to torture the boy over eight months in 2013.
And when the couple called 911, they didn’t do it to ‘help Gabriel’.
‘They called 911 to cover up what they did,’ they said.
Aguirre, who is 6ft 2in, was 270 pounds at the time of Gabriel’s death.
The boy – at 4ft 1in – weighed just 59 pounds.
Texts were also shown to the jury which allegedly show Aguirre and Fernandez conspiring to torture and murder Gabriel and then cover it up.
James Cermak, a paramedic for LA County Fire Department, said there was an ‘unbelievable’ amount of damage to the boy’s body when it was found at the couple’s apartment in Palmdale.
Fernandez will be tried separately.
Four social workers are also being prosecuted because of his death.
There is no legal form of punishment that can be adjudicated on these six adults that could ever compensate for the cruelty they inflicted on this poor defenseless child.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday addressed the Heritage Foundation at its annual President's Club meeting, at which he praised the social conservative group known for its opposition to LGBT rights.
Trump described the group as “titans in the fight to defend, promote and preserve our great American culture.”
“Everyone here tonight understands a core truth, that for America to have confidence in our future, we must have pride in our history,” Trump said. “As Americans, we have inherited a special legacy of freedom, culture, laws, traditions and values.”
The president also praised the group for its strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
“We believe that the Constitution is the greatest political document in human history and that judges should interpret the Constitution as written,” Trump told the crowd.
“Textualism” is part of the legacy of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who cited it as a reason to oppose LGBT rights.
The Heritage Foundation is opposed to same-sex marriage and non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. It also believes that gay, lesbian and transgender people should not be allowed to serve openly in the military.
The address comes less than a week after Trump became the first sitting president to speak at the Values Voter Summit, which is organized by a group opposed to LGBT rights.
Monday, October 16, 2017
President Donald Trump has reportedly said he believes, ‘jokingly’, his VP Mike Pence wants to ‘hang all the gays’.
In the New Yorker profile of the vice president, White House sources have revealed the kind of ‘friendship’ the two men have.
‘Trump thinks Pence is great,’ Bannon told the paper, in a piece titled The Danger of President Pence.
But, according to a longtime associate, Trump also likes to ‘let Pence know who’s boss’.
They report: ‘A staff member from Trump’s campaign recalls him mocking Pence’s religiosity. He said that, when people met with Trump after stopping by Pence’s office, Trump would ask them, “Did Mike make you pray?”
‘Two sources also recalled Trump needling Pence about his views on abortion and homosexuality.
‘During a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump belittled Pence’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade.
‘The legal scholar had said that, if the Supreme Court did so, many states would likely legalize abortion on their own. “You see?” Trump asked Pence. “You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.”
‘When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”
The VP and the GOP party platform supports conversion therapy, as a way to ‘change sexual behavior’, a dangerous and harmful practice condemned by mainstream health groups across the entire world.
He voted for the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2006, a law that would have stopped marriage equality nationwide. He said being gay is a ‘choice’ and that preventing gay couples from marrying was not discrimination, but a means of enforcing ‘God’s idea’.
And in 2007, Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a law to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. He said the law ‘wages war on freedom and religion in the workplace.’
Why do you think Steve Bannon had Trump pick Mike Pence as his running mate?
He knew that liberals would know, that as bad as Trump is, Mike Pence would be far worse.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Anglican Arch Bishop Donates 1 Mil To Defeat Gay Marriage In Australia Instead Of Helping The Poor And Sick.
This is the same Church that historically broke away from Catholicism because King Henry VIII wanted to redefine marriage and legally divorce his wife.
But now redefining marriage to include same-sex couples seems completely out of the question…
Archbishop Glenn Davies said allowing same-sex marriage would have ‘irreparable consequences.’
In a speech, he said: ‘Brothers and sisters, the stakes are high and the cost is high.
‘Yet the cause is just and it is a consequence of our discipleship to uphold the gift of marriage as God has designed it – a creation ordinance for all people.
‘I believe that a change in the definition of marriage is unwarranted, not just because it is in opposition to the teaching of scripture… but because I believe marriage, traditionally understood as a union of one man and one woman, is a positive good for our society, where marriage and the procreation of children are bound together as the foundational fabric of our society, notwithstanding the sad reality that not all married couples are able to conceive.
‘Moreover, I consider the consequences of removing gender from the marriage construct will have irreparable consequences for our society, for our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and freedom of religion,’ he said.
Archbishop Davies also commented on Anglican Churches veering away from scripture teachings.
The Anglican Church does not support same-sex marriage in Australia, but the Scottish Episcopal Church recently just allowed same-sex marriages for the first time.
Davies said: ‘The Scottish Episcopal church has already decided to take this perilous path. It is likely that Canada and the US will soon change their canons to follow suit.’
As of 20 July, St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow is taking bookings from same-sex couples. This is following a decision earlier this year in the Scottish Episcopal Church’s General Synod.
Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth told Gay Star News: ‘I’m a gay priest and we march in Pride every year.
‘St Mary’s was one of the first places to campaign for same-sex marriages in the church in Scotland,’ he said.
He said: ‘It is hugely exciting to open up wedding services to all couples who want to get married.
‘I want to live in a world where same-sex couples can feel safe walking down the street hand-in-hand. In which they can feel joy walking hand-in-hand down the aisle of a church too,’ he said.