LGBT

Issues ››› LGBT
  • NY Times Editorial Board Calls Out Texas Attorney General’s “Legal Assaults” On Transgender Equality

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    The New York Times' editorial board criticized Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s recent “bigot[ed]” attacks on transgender people that are based on the “specious” right-wing myth that nondiscrimination protections for transgender people threaten others’ safety.

    On August 23, Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services seeking to overturn a section of the Affordable Care Act that bars discrimination against transgender people in health insurance and by health providers accepting federal funds. In May, Paxton led another lawsuit challenging the education and justice departments’ joint guidance directing all public schools to provide transgender students with access to sex-segregated facilities, such as restrooms and locker rooms, that are consistent with a student’s gender identity.

    In an August 24 editorial, the Times’ editorial board slammed Paxton for his continued attacks on transgender equality. The board noted that Paxton’s team actively “encouraged” a school district to adopt an anti-transgender policy -- even though “there was no controversy surrounding transgender students” in the district-- because the state’s lawyers knew a case there would be assigned to a favorable judge. The board called out Paxton’s lawsuits for being “based on bigotry” and the “specious claim that” transgender protections “pose a threat to the safety of others,” a debunked talking point peddled by anti-LGBT extremists and right-wing media outlets and figures that the Times’ editorial board has repeatedly called out.

    From the editorial:

    Just days after the federal Department of Education in May issued sensible antidiscrimination guidelines for accommodating transgender students, Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, set out to challenge them.

    His team reached out to tiny school districts in North Texas to persuade them to adopt policies that would require transgender students to use bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificates — which would put them at odds with the Education Department’s new transgender guidelines. Those guidelines direct educators to investigate harassment of transgender students promptly; to use pronouns and names consistent with a student’s gender identity; and to allow transgender students to use restrooms based on their gender identity.

    [...]

    Zeroing in on North Texas, the attorney general’s office encouraged the Harrold Independent School District to adopt an anti-transgender bathroom policy. The choice of district was no accident. Though there was no controversy surrounding transgender students in Harrold, the state’s lawyers knew that any case challenging the federal policy brought there would be assigned to Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

    [...]

    Judge O’Connor on Sunday issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits the Education Department from enforcing its guidelines nationwide. In a 38-page order, he barred the federal government from taking enforcement action against discriminatory policies or practices.

    The ruling, which the Justice Department is expected to appeal, may lead educators around the country to question whether they need to follow the Education Department’s transgender guidelines as the new school year starts. They would be wrong not to; the rules provide a common-sense approach that makes harassment and stigmatization of transgender students less likely.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Paxton is determined to block another important protection for transgender people. On Tuesday, his office filed a new lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services over a regulatory change that sought to expand access to medical care for transgender Americans. This case, too, has been assigned to Judge O’Connor.

    These legal assaults on equal protection for transgender Americans are based on bigotry and the specious claim that they pose a threat to the safety of others. The toll exacted on this vulnerable population is heavy and will remain so as these cases and other litigation involving transgender laws move through the courts.

  • Right-Wing Media: “Lesbian And Transgender Hillbillies” Are The Latest Threat to Conservatism

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Right-wing media attacked the Iowa LGBT Rural Summit as possibly the “dumbest” “waste” of taxpayer money to date. Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh even suggested the summit was a “scam” by the “Obama regime” to “bust up” conservative voting areas of the country by convincing lesbians to become farmers with government subsidies. Iowa’s summit, which was held on August 18, was the 15th in the nationwide LGBT Rural Summit Series, which aims to share information to protect and strengthen LGBT communities in rural areas. 

  • New Research Counters Myth That Banning Discrimination Against LGBT People Is “Economically Harmful”

    Researchers Found Innovators Flock To States That Prevent Discrimination Against LGBT Workers

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX MORASH

    Recently published research highlighted by the Harvard Business Review found that states with laws that ban employment discrimination against LGBT Americans saw a direct increase in business innovation -- counter to right-wing media myths that such laws result in negative interference in the market.

    According to a study published on June 15 by the journal Management Science, “state-level employment nondiscrimination acts (ENDAs) -- laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity -- spur innovation” among firms headquartered in those states. The study’s authors -- finance professor Huasheng Gao and economist Wei Zhang -- published an op-ed on August 17 in the Harvard Business Review highlighting their findings that states that protect employees with ENDAs see an increase in innovators moving to those states and a boost in business productivity. The research found that “firms headquartered in states that passed ENDAs experienced an 8% increase in the number of patents and an 11% increase in the number of patent citations, relative to firms headquartered in states that did not pass such a law.” The researchers concluded that this change was a result of individuals moving based on their approval or disapproval of the change in the law and theorized that “pro-LGBT individuals are likely to be more creative than the anti-LGBT ones” leading to companies in states that prohibit workplace discrimination having broader access to more creative talent:

    We looked at data for thousands of firms — almost all U.S. public firms that actively filed patents — from 1976 to 2008. We found that the adoption of ENDAs led to a significant increase in innovation output. On average, firms headquartered in states that passed ENDAs experienced an 8% increase in the number of patents and an 11% increase in the number of patent citations, relative to firms headquartered in states that did not pass such a law. These results start to show up two years after the adoption of ENDAs and largely are driven by firms that previously did not implement non-discrimination policies, by firms that operate in human-capital-intensive industries, and by firms in states with large lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations.

    These findings contradict years of right-wing media myths falsely claiming that protecting LGBT people from discrimination curbs free market innovation and hurts business. Daily Signal commentator and Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan Anderson claimed that the passage of nondiscrimination laws for LGBT Americans would “foster economically harmful government interference” and that this interference could result in “potentially discouraging job creation.” In an op-ed for CNN, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council -- an extremist organization designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- pushed the myth that banning discrimination would be be tantamount to “federal government interference in the free market.”

    Right-wing claims that banning employment discrimination against LGBT people would hurt business are often followed with the myth that nondiscrimination laws are unnecessary. The Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby misleadingly argued that, save for “occasional incidents of bigotry … there is no urgent crisis in the treatment of gay and lesbian employees,” because “free markets” have already rooted out systematic discrimination.”

    Contrary to myths promoted by right-wing outlets that ENDAs are unwarranted, the Williams Institute found that “widespread discrimination” against LGBT employees remains a problem in American workplaces. American workers still face discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, and the results outlined in the Harvard Business Review show that laws prohibiting such discrimination are beneficial to both workers and businesses, regardless of right-wing media claims.

  • After Media Spends Months Pretending Trump Is LGBT Friendly, He Hires Head Of Bigoted Website To Run His Campaign

    New Campaign Chief's Website Breitbart News Regularly Uses Anti-LGBT Slurs, Pedals Anti-Gay Conspiracy Theories, And Features Articles By Anti-LGBT Hate Group Leaders

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY & ERIN FITZGERALD

    The Trump presidential campaign’s newest hires, Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway, further prove Trump’s opposition to LGBT equality even as media whitewash Trump’s record on LGBT issues. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News regularly used anti-LGBT slurs, peddled anti-gay conspiracy theories, and featured articles by anti-LGBT hate group leaders.

  • The “Vital” Findings From The Justice Department’s Baltimore Investigation You May Not Have Heard
     

    Blog ››› ››› ERIN FITZGERALD

    The Baltimore Police Department routinely mistreated and harassed transgender people, confirming what many in the community have been reporting for years, according to a Justice Department report highlighted by the Baltimore City Paper.

    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) after Freddie Gray died in police custody 14 months ago. The findings were released in an August 10 report which concluded that the BPD engaged in unconstitutional stop and frisks, racially-biased policing, and use of excessive force, which are enabled by “systemic deficiencies” and lack of accountability. During the investigation, there were “allegations of BPD officers’ mistreatment of transgender individuals” and “concerns that BPD’s interactions with transgender individuals reflect underlying unlawful gender bias.”

    Baltimore City Paper highlighted the importance of the findings and confirmation of BPD’s anti-transgender bias in an August 11 blog post. In the report, members of the transgender community described a pattern of dehumanizing and degrading interactions with the BPD, including inappropriate searches. For example, during a traffic stop a trans woman was intentionally misgendered by an officer:

    Specifically, it details a December 2015 traffic stop wherein a transgender woman was misgendered and then harassed in police custody. During the stop, she was asked about her pronoun and told the officer that her pronoun was "she," and the officer still referred to her as "him." When this woman arrived at intake the report goes on, a supervisor (who was a woman) said, "I am not here for this shit. I am not searching that." When the woman objected to be talked to like that, the supervisor told her, "like I said, I don’t know you. I don’t know if you’re a boy or a girl. And I really don’t care, I am not searching you."

    City Paper goes on to explain that the DOJ report is especially important for LGBT people because it confirms the reports and anecdotal evidence of targeted policing, particularly of trans women of color:

    What the DOJ report does not mention but is frequently mentioned by the trans community is the amount of searches performed by police simply because someone is trans, especially a trans woman, and even more so if they are a trans woman of color. Moreover, there is a particular kind of harassment by police endured by trans sex workers or even those assumed to be sex workers, which it seems, is any trans woman the police decide could be a sex worker. Being trans appears to be enough evidence that you should be searched and often, possessing condoms and being trans is enough to get you arrested, as many publications have reported over the years.

    […]

    The DOJ's look at how the Baltimore Police consistently mistreats the trans community is vital. It is also, like most of the DOJ report, nothing new to those enduring police abuse and harassment. What was well-known within the LGBTQ community and what has been an impossible-to-ignore accumulation of anecdotes ABOUT this kind of police misconduct is now even more clear thanks to the DOJ report.

  • Orlando Sentinel Highlights Trump, Rubio Headlining Rally With “Anti-LGBT Extremist” Groups

    Blog ››› ››› ABBY BLACHMAN & MARLEE PITTMAN

    The Orlando Sentinel highlighted the “anti-LGBT extremist[s]” speaking with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at a two day event in Orlando, FL, this week. The Sentinel elevated the voices of LGBT rights advocates protesting the event, which comes just two-months after a gunman killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

    The “Rediscovering God in America Renew Project” event is being held on August 11-12 and coincides with the two-month anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. Trump and Rubio are headlining the event alongside several anti-LGBT speakers, including a pseudo historian who claims that God is preventing scientists from finding a cure for HIV/AIDS as a “consequence” of “homosexual behavior.” The anti-LGBT rally is financed by the American Family Association and promoted by the Liberty Counsel -- both designated as anti-LGBT hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

    While many Florida outlets initially failed to report on the event’s ties to anti-LGBT speakers and the rally’s insensitive timing, Florida newspapers have recently called out the event’s extremism. In an August 11 report, the Orlando Sentinel spotlighted the anti-LGBT activists speaking at the event and included perspectives from LGBT advocates and family members of victims of the tragedy in Orlando. Celia Ruiz, who lost her brother at the Pulse massacre, called the event a “slap in the face to me, to my family, to the 49 other families, to the 53 survivors, to all of the people that were there [and] to the Orlando community.” The Sentinel added that event speaker Mat Staver is the founder of an SPLC-designated “anti-LGBT extremist group.”

    From the August 11 edition of the Orlando Sentinel:

    Faith leaders and gay rights activists led a protest Thursday morning, denouncing a gathering of evangelical pastors in Orlando where U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are expected to speak.

    "This conference and all of its speakers are fueling the fires of homegrown bigotry," said Carlos Guillermo Smith, of Equality Florida. "It's a bigotry that dehumanizes LGBT people and paves the way for discrimination and violence."

    The two-day event, entitled "Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project," began Thursday at the Hyatt Regency on International Drive, sponsored by the Florida Renewal Project.

    Among those announced to speak at the conference was Mat Staver, founder of Maitland-based Liberty Counsel, which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers an anti-LGBT extremist group, though Liberty Counsel denies that label.

    [...]

    After Rubio was announced as the conference's featured speaker, Florida Democrats called for him to apologize to the gay community in a statement describing the event as "an anti-LGBT rally." Rubio responded that it was "nothing of the sort."

    "The event I will be speaking at in Orlando is a gathering of local pastors and faith leaders," he said in a statement.

    However, local gay-rights activists were not convinced.

    They were joined Thursday by Celia Ruiz, whose brother Juan Ramon Guerrero was among those killed at Pulse. Rubio and Trump, she said, are "attending this conference that promotes hate and intolerance to the LGBT people."

    "This is a slap in the face to me, to my family, to the 49 other families, to the 53 survivors, to all of the people that were there [and] to the Orlando community," she said.

    Said Smith: "Our message to Donald Trump and Marco Rubio is simple: If you care about the LGBT community, help us disarm hate and uproot bigotry with action, or you're going to have a hell of a wake-up call come November."

  • Radio Host Steve Deace Attacks "LGBTWTF" For Not Supporting Incest

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Influential radio host and frequent MSNBC guest Steve Deace wrote a blog attacking the “rainbow jihad” and “LGBTWTF gender-bending train” for not supporting incest.

    In a August 10 blog post for the Conservative Review, Steve Deace, a radio host and former Ted Cruz surrogate, criticized what he calls the “LGBTWTF” community for not supporting “a mom and her son who like to get busy with one another.” Deace frequently appears as a guest commentator on MSNBC, despite having mocked the network in commentary pieces for conservative newspapers and blogs.

    Deace, who recently called transgender right activist Sarah McBride “freak show” and “the cross-dressing dude” after her historic Democratic convention speech, has a long history of anti-LGBT extremism. Deace has called being gay a "death sentence unto itself," described gay activists as "homo-fascists," argued that gay people should be disqualified from serving as judges, praised laws that criminalized gay sex, and even promoted an article that accused Obama of being secretly gay.

    In his latest letter to the “rainbow jihad,” Deace asked “precious snowflakes/social justice warriors” to explain why the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution applies to “the homosexual couple recently ‘married’ by Vice President Joe Biden” but not to an incestuous relationship. In the blog, Deace also referred to transgender women as “men in skirts and lipstick fulfilling their fantasies in the girls’ bathroom” and misgendered reality TV star and former olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner as “Bruce”:

    Dear Rainbow Jihad,

    Why isn’t there any room at the end of your LGBTQWTF gender-bending train for a mom and her son who like to get busy with one another? Where do you get off denying consenting adults their feelings?

    After all, “love is love” and “same love” and all that, right?

    If the government has no power to discriminate against relationships involving two consenting adults of the same gender, then why does it have the power to discriminate against two consenting adults at all?

    Comments on at least one progressive website are calling this incestuous New Mexico hook up icky and gross. Um, why, pray tell? Whatever happened to “love wins?”

    Or have you been lying to us this whole time?

    Because it seems to me poor Monica Mares, 36, and her son Caleb Peterson, 19 — who Mares didn’t raise and offered up for adoption after she had him as a teenager — are cruel victims of a terrible double standard. They face up to 18 months in prison if found guilty of incest at a trial next month. But all they have done since they reunited with each other last Christmas is love each other. They lived happily together in Mares' mobile home with her two youngest children, and Mares' youngest son even began calling Peterson (his brother) 'dad'.

    A little strange perhaps, but in a world of ‘my two daddies’ and Bruce Jenner winning ‘woman of the year’ honors, I would have thought ‘who am I to judge’ was standard-issue moralizing by now.

    [...]

    I sincerely hope you precious snowflakes/social justice warriors aren’t just as guilty of “discrimination” as those bitterly clinging to their guns and their Bibles. Where is your sense of diversity? Your desire for tolerance? Where is your ‘get your government out of my bedroom and my ovaries now? Where is your sense of justice here?

    [...]

    You’ve already heroically shut down businesses for not participating in homosexuality, as well as moved the NBA all-star game because North Carolina dared to deny men in skirts and lipstick fulfilling their fantasies in the girls’ bathroom. So what on earth are you waiting for? Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

    Not to mention fair is fair. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    So get equal already. If this applies to the homosexual couple recently “married” by Vice President Joe Biden, please explain why it doesn’t apply to Mares-Peterson. And no, crickets chirping isn’t an answer. Let freedom ring!

  • Texas Outlet Willfully Misgenders Transgender Murder Victim And Calls Her By The Wrong Name

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    ABC El Paso affiliate KVIA ignored widely accepted journalistic standards in its report on the homicide of a transgender woman of color, misgendering the victim as a “man” named “Eric,” despite reporting that her neighbors and family called her “Erykah.” The article is part of a widespread problem of local news reports misgendering transgender victims of violence.

    Erykah Tijerina, a 36-year-old transgender woman of color, was found dead in her El Paso, TX, apartment on August 8. While police haven’t yet released all the details of the case, they said they are investigating Tijerina’s death as a homicide and that they found “obvious signs of foul play” in her apartment. Tijerina’s friends and family members told El Paso outlet KFOX that they fear Tijerina was targeted because she was transgender.

    In its August 9 report on Tijerina’s murder, El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA repeatedly misgendered Erykah and referred to her “Eric/Erykah” in the article’s headline. Despite mentioning online posts in which Tijerina’s sister declared her love for her “sis Erykah” and noting that Tijerina “went by ‘Erykah,’” KVIA called Tijerina a “man” named “Eric” who “dressed in women’s clothing”:

    Before releasing furthers details, police are waiting for the Medical Examiner to say what killed a 36-year-old man whose body was found inside a unit of a South-Central El Paso housing complex.

    A witness spotted the body of Eric Tijerina about 8:25 p.m. Monday at the Rio Grande Community apartments on the 200 block of Lisbon Street, police said. The witness waved down an officer, who according to a police news release, immediately suspected foul play.

    ABC-7 spoke to Tijerina's next-door neighbor, who said Tijerina often dressed in women's clothing. According to viewers, Tijerina went by "Erykah."

    In a Facebook post, a woman who identified herself as Tijerina's sister said she was shocked to learn her sister "Erykah Monroe," had been murdered.

    [...]

    "I hope we can get justice for that one man who killed her she didn't deserve that," Tijerina Gonzalez wrote. "She is now in heaven with my mom they are together in peace their [sic] my angels rip I will always miss you and I'll always remember you taught me to love my self. I love sis Erykah Monroe."

    Misgendering a transgender person violates journalistic guidelines established by the Associated Press, The New York Times, GLAAD, and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, which all instruct journalists to refer to transgender people by their chosen names and pronouns. Yet some local and national outlets continue to violate these standards, sometimes even defending the practice with shoddy appeals to journalistic integrity.

    An unprecedented number of transgender women were murdered in 2015, and this year the continuing wave of anti-trans violence is on track to be just as deadly, if not more so. Given the context, it’s more important than ever for reporters to accurately and responsibly identify transgender people -- especially victims of violence.

  • Tampa Bay Times Exposes Anti-LGBT Extremists Scheduled To Speak Alongside Trump and Rubio

    Blog ››› ››› MARLEE PITTMAN

    The Tampa Bay Times highlighted the anti-LGBT extremists scheduled to speak alongside Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl) at a two-day event in Orlando, FL, this week. Trump and Rubio’s scheduled appearance comes just two months after a gunman killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

    The “Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project” event will be held in Orlando on August 11 and 12, the two-month anniversary of the Orlando massacre. The event is stocked with anti-LGBT extremists, including a pseudo-historian who has questioned why the government doesn’t “regulate homosexuality” like it does trans fats and a conspiracy theorist who believes that the “atheist homosexual gay agenda movement” will bring America “into an Islamic future.” The event’s host organization, the American Renewal Project, is financed by the American Family Association -- an organization designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) -- and run by David Lane, a man who predicted that “homosexuals praying” at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration would invoke the wrath of God in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Des Moines, Iowa.”

    In an August 10 blog post about Trump’s appearance at the event, the Tampa Bay Times highlighted the event's anti-LGBT speakers. While other Florida outlets failed to report the event’s anti-LGBT extremism, the Times noted that LGBT advocates have denounced Trump and Rubio’s planned appearances as “incredibly insensitive” given its timing. The Times also reported that Mat Staver, an event speaker and chairman of the Liberty Counsel -- also an SPLC-designated anti-LGBT hate group -- previously attacked memorials for victims of the Orlando massacre.

    From the August 10 edition of the Tampa Bay Times’ blog The Buzz:

    Criticism continues to mount over an appearance of Marco Rubio — and now Donald Trump — at a religious conference in Orlando this week that comes two months after the Pulse shootings that devastated the gay community and generated international mourning.

    “Just when you think Donald Trump and Marco Rubio couldn’t go any lower, they announce plans to court anti-LGBTQ activists in Orlando. On Thursday, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are going to seek votes from people who fundamentally believe we are not equal, who support dangerous and harmful conversion therapy and who have worked to export anti-LGBTQ hate abroad,” Human Rights Campaign said in a news release.

    [...]

    After the Pulse slaying, Rubio acknowledged the gay community was targeted. “We know what ISIS has done to people they accuse of being homosexual. They throw them off of buildings. They execute them,” he told The Advocate.

    But that has not quieted critics who say his appearance shows he is out of step with the country and incredibly insensitive given the timing and some of the speakers who will join Rubio.

    For instance, Mat Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel, said that some mourning after the Pulse shooting amounted to a “homosexual love fest …. That’s not something that we need to celebrate, this is a tragedy that is against all Americans.”

    Trump’s campaign would not confirm his attendance but it’s been widely reported that he will address hundreds of pastors.

    “He will speak to them about his push to repeal the Johnson Amendment. The law, which has been in place for decades, has made it more difficult for pastors to speak out on political issues and candidates from the pulpit,” read a story from Christian Broadcasting News.

  • Just Before Trump Speaks With Anti-LGBT Extremists, Wash Post. Portrays Him As An LGBT Ally

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    The Washington Post published an article portraying Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as an ally to LGBT people one day before Trump is scheduled to speak at an event with anti-LGBT extremists and hate group leaders in Orlando, FL. LGBT advocates have denounced Trump’s appearance at the event, which is happening close to the LGBT nightclub Pulse, where 49 people were massacred two months ago.

    In an August 10 blog post, The Washington Post asserted that Trump is “teaching the GOP a different way to embrace gay rights.” While the Post acknowledged that it would “be a stretch” to call Trump “gay-friendly” and noted that Trump opposes marriage equality, otherwise the piece painted Trump as a supporter of LGBT rights. The article failed to mention Trump’s long record of opposing LGBT equality, including publicly supporting federal anti-LGBT “religious freedom” legislation, supporting discrimination against transgender people, and maintaining deep ties to anti-LGBT extremists.

    The Post’s article also comes two days after the Christian Broadcasting Network reported that Trump is scheduled to speak at the “Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project” event in Orlando, FL, from August 11-12. The event is stocked with anti-LGBT extremists, including a hate group leader who criticized memorials for victims of the Orlando massacre and a pseudo-historian who has questioned why the government doesn’t “regulate homosexuality” like it does trans fats. LGBT advocates, who were already criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for his planned appearance at the event, have now blasted Trump for courting the anti-LGBT activists in Orlando.

    While other outlets have reported on the LGBT advocates condemning Trump in advance of the event, the Post didn’t mention Trump’s scheduled appearance in Orlando in its article.

    From the August 10 edition of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog:

    In the course of his campaign so far, Donald Trump has had harsh words for Mexicans and Muslims, the people of Iowa, African Americans, refugees, the parents of a dead Army captain, women, a disabled reporter and the pope. He has fashioned his political incorrectness into a personal virtue, portraying himself as a straight-talker incapable of pretense. Supporters praise this “brute honesty,” while critics accuse Trump of amplifying and taking advantage of intolerant tendencies within the GOP base.

    Throughout all of this, though, Trump has refrained from launching barbs at one particular group: gay Americans.

    It would be a stretch to call Trump a gay-friendly candidate — he still opposes same-sex marriage — but he supports other LGBT rights and has publicly declared himself a “real friend” to the community. In April, he broke with his GOP rivals by speaking out against North Carolina’s anti-transgender bathroom law. (He later backed off.) And last month in Cleveland, Trump brought in Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who became the first openly gay speaker to affirm his sexual orientation onstage at a Republican National Convention.

    [...]

    But Trump has given us a hint of what that future party might look like. In the wake of the shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, where a man pledging allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people, Trump connected his sympathy for the LGBT community with his suspicion of immigrants and Islam.

    “Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she supports immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country and who suppress women, gays and anyone else who doesn’t share their views or values,” he said in June.

  • FL Newspapers Largely Give Rubio A Pass On Scheduled Appearance With Anti-LGBT Extremists

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY & MARLEE PITTMAN

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is scheduled to speak alongside anti-LGBT extremists at the “Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project” event in Orlando, FL, from August 11-12. So far, the top 10 Florida newspapers have largely given Rubio a pass on his scheduled appearance, with only one original report and one wire report about Rubio headlining the event. His appearance comes nearly two months after Rubio was criticized for politicizing the massacre at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando. Event speakers include a hate group leader who criticized memorials for victims of the Orlando massacre and a pseudo-historian who has wondered why the government doesn’t “regulate homosexuality” like trans fats.

  • Fox News Didn’t Show Democratic Convention Speeches That Cut Against Its Right-Wing Narrative

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Fox News did not air several Democratic National Convention speeches from figures promoting issues that run counter to the narrative the network has pushed for years -- including racial justice, reproductive rights, gun safety reform, LGBT equality, and respect for Muslim-Americans.

    During the second day of the convention on July 26, members of the “Mothers of the Movement,” a group of women whose African-American children were killed due to gun violence or in officer-involved shootings, shared their experiences and their children’s memories. The women also urged people to support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who they said “isn’t afraid to say that black lives matter,” and pushed for criminal justice reform and gun safety reform. Fox News not only neglected to air the speeches, but the Mothers of the Movement appearance went completely unmentioned at the time. Fox News and right-wing media have repeatedly demonized the Black Lives Matter movement, likening it to “a hate group” and a “murder movement.” They have also dismissed calls for criminal justice reform, pushing the “black-on-black crime” canard as an excuse and calling concerns about systemic racism in American society “dumb.”

    The convention also featured speakers who advocated for protecting abortion rights, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards, who spoke on July 26, and NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue, who spoke on July 27. Both speeches were ignored by Fox. Protecting abortion rights runs counter to the stigma Fox casts on the medical procedure, with their hosts falsely framing abortion law restrictions as patient safety measures and calling a common abortion procedure “dismemberment abortion.” Conservative media have joined Fox figures to demonize Planned Parenthood, repeatedly pushing debunked myths that the organization profited off the selling of fetal tissue. This smear effort has been led by Fox News, which has hosted overwhelmingly anti-choice guests -- often extremists -- to push misinformation about abortion and about Planned Parenthood.

    The convention included remarks from relatives of victims of the Orlando and Sandy Hook massacres, both speaking on July 27 on behalf of gun safety reform. Fox covered neither speaker. Fox has consistently misinformed on the issue of gun safety, pushing the National Rifle Association-driven lie that gun safety measures would “take” guns away from lawful gun owners,and calling gun safety reforms “flat-out dangerous.” Right-wing media have also falsely claimed that shootings tend to occur in so-called “gun-free zones,” and have even asserted that restricting assault weapons such as those used in the Orlando and Sandy Hook mass shootings constitutes a “war on women.”

    On the final day of the convention, Sarah McBride delivered remarks as the first openly transgender person to ever speak at a party convention. McBride urged the passing of legislation to “combat violence against transgender women of color, and to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.” Again, Fox was the only cable network to not carry the speech. Fox has long waged a war on LGBT rights, arguing marriage equality would be a slippery slope to marrying animals and portraying those opposed to the policy as victims. More recently, Fox has worked to demonize transgender Americans, calling equal access to bathrooms for transgender people a “violation … of everybody’s rights” and pushing the dangerous and long-debunked myth that safe, accessible bathrooms for all would result in grown men targeting girls in restrooms. Fox personalities have also called transgender Americans “confused” and “troubled” and “a very big threat to our culture.”

    Muslim-American Khizr Khan, whose son was a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq, also addressed the convention on July 28. Khan spoke about the honor he and his wife felt to attend the convention “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” Khan condemned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims, challenging Trump to read the Constitution and concluding, “You have sacrificed nothing. And no one." Fox only aired two minutes of the 7-minute-long speech without audio as commercials -- including a Benghazi attack ad -- played over it. Fox figures have repeatedly questioned the patriotism and beliefs of Muslim-Americans, saying it is “ridiculous” to claim they “are assimilating”, claiming that Islam “was born of violence," and repeatedly ignoring Muslim-American voices to falsely assert that the community doesn’t speak out after terrorist attacks. Fox and right-wing media also gave cover to Trump’s Muslim ban proposal, calling it “rather prudent” and framing it as “the Constitution versus the Quran on every level.”

    Here are The Democratic Convention Speeches Fox Didn't Show