Microsoft last week became the first of 49 LGBTQ supportive corporations identified by a new LGBTQ group as collectively contributing millions of dollars through their Political Action Committees to members of Congress with the “worst of the worst” anti-LGBTQ records, to consider halting those contributions.
The new group, Zero for Zeros, identifies itself as a campaign aimed at persuading the nation’s most prominent and well-known pro-LGBTQ corporations to stop a seemingly contradictory practice of giving PAC money to the re-election campaigns of members of Congress who oppose and undermine the LGBTQ supportive policies that corporations like Microsoft say they support.
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) | President Donald Trump was closing in on his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Saturday, making final deliberations from the privacy of his New Jersey golf club.
Clearly relishing the mounting suspense, Trump tweeted early in the morning: “Big decision will soon be made on our next Justice of the Supreme Court!”
ABOVE:Air Force Col. Leland Bohannon won’t recognize his subordinate’s same-sex marriage. Photo public domain.
In a move LGBTQ rights supporters say amounts to allowing discrimination in the U.S. military, the U.S. Air Force has lifted the penalty on an officer who refused to recognize the marriage of a gay subordinate in retirement materials.
ABOVE: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has reintroduced legislation in the U.S. Senate seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom” — and President Trump made signing the legislation a campaign promise during the 2016 election.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had no comment Thursday on the pending Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court in which a baker is seeking a First Amendment right to deny wedding cakes to same-sex couples.
In response to a question from the Washington Blade on the litigation, Ryan was seemingly unaware of the lawsuit. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case Tuesday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two Republican presidential candidates planned jailhouse meetings Sept. 8 with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, raising her conservative-hero status as she remains behind bars over her refusal to give marriage licenses to gay couples.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz each said they would meet with Davis, who was jailed by a federal judge Sept. 3 after defying several court orders. Her lawyers spent Labor Day weekend filing appeals in an effort to force her release, but she remains there on a contempt charge.
In yet another week of banging our heads against the figurative political firmament, we’ve come to learn a few things about Florida’s state governance we’ve suspected but weren’t necessarily choosing to believe. Yes, we’re aware that the swamp dense with horny toads and sprawl-makers who pretend to be concerned about the Everglades. We understand that there’s a secret pipeline that funnels cash from private prisons and their health-care mechanisms, a pipeline that effectively fuels campaigns of ignorance. We get that #Floridaman is less a Twitter distraction that a symptom of a state that just doesn’t take care of itself or scrub in the right places. We get it.
But what we weren’t ready for, at least in the past couple of weeks, is the witch-hunt switch on the back of our dear leader Gov. Rick Scott. You’ve likely already heard the news and its requisite fallout. Scott decided to take a hard stand on Planned Parenthood after the reproductive health organization was pinned into a corner for something we don’t care to talk about.
Somewhere in the annals of psychological academia exists a hidden chapter – an Easter egg of sorts – that describes the finely honed narcissism that allows the seemingly illegal cloud of hair and bravado, that misanthropy and machismo and money, that witch’s tick and spooky juice available to a figurehead named Donald Trump with which he has managed to control a news cycle yet again. You wouldn’t find that listing anywhere near its reasonable attribution – a footnote about nonsense that shouldn’t be paid attention to; the bad kid pouting in the back of the bus – as we already know that attention is being paid, and if there is a Republican Party bus, at least for the moment, he is the creepy guy driving it way up front.
Sure, it’s a low-hanging fruit expedition to go after Trump after his ostentatious appearance at the Aug. 6 Republican primary debate aired by Republican funhouse mirror Fox News. Why, even Fox is playing into the fallout, circling wagons around host and debate panelist Megyn Kelly, who Trump, in no uncertain terms, accused of menstruating, because that’s what makes women ask about why it is that you continually and publicly hate on women.
Regardless, it’s Trump who walked away with all the headlines. He’s not backing down. All of our leaders are dumb. Only women bleed. Don’t discriminate against gays, but, “I am against gay marriage.”In some ways, the gay card was partially protected from the primetime Republican scrimmage – Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich actually went to a gay wedding recently and apparently had a good time, not that there’s everything wrong with that. The volume of applause, if applause in these scenarios is to be believed, suggested a turning point in the rickety conservative wheelhouse, base be damned (except that Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz all committed to reversing LGBT progress). There are, as they say, many rivers to cross, and the gay one has already been traversed by the U.S. Supreme Court (at least on the issue of nuptials), or so we are to believe in this particular spin cycle.
More concerning is the attitude toward women and their requisite rights. The one Republican woman in contention, Carly Fiorina, was forced to the kids’ table with Rick “Ronald Raven” Perry (and the rest of the lot) for a happy-hour pre-show debate that nobody watched (she later defended Kelly against Trump’s period-gate, if only for good press). Not surprisingly, much of the red meat being used to chum the noisy base of riled-up Fox fans teetered on the bravado of threatened men in suits. Why? Well, obviously because Hillary Clinton is waiting in the wings, and we all know how easy it is to get groups of people to scream obscenities about that woman.
But it was Trump who ultimately showed the true nature of the current conservative discourse (replete with reproductive choice buried in the code).
After Kelly brought up his “fat pig” remarks against Rosie O’Donnell and, well, an entire gender he doesn’t understand, Trump warned against politeness.
“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness and, to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either,” he said.
This country doesn’t have time for you, your insolence, your blinders or your ill-gotten fortune, Mr. Trump. Step aside.
It doesn’t take a political genius to recognize the balance beam that Sen. Marco Rubio is continually falling from on social issues as he tries to appease both the far right and the middling clueless on his trek to the White House. Rubio, you’ll recall, has always been an opponent of abortion, often citing his “two wrongs don’t make a right” playground mentality he learned in a second-grade sandbox. But following the severely anti-woman tone of last week’s televised Republican presidential debate, Rubio found himself crushed into a conundrum. You see, Rubio, who tried to make it clear that he believes that women should be forced to bear the children blindly offered them by the love of rapists and incestuous family members – it’s a child, people! Just read the billboards on the Turnpike – has a history of, gasp, supporting exceptions for those in need of abortions under duress. Side note: abortions are legal, so your support is weak, Marco Polo. Rubio didn’t come out anymore decisive than he went into this after a post-debate CNN grilling, but nothing about this man is certain. Wild cards are fun. If you were on the proper email feed – or actually allowed into the public records and emails that Gov. Rick Scott’s administration was clearly concealing from the public throughout the beginning of his administration – then maybe you would understand the bobbing and weaving that has come to characterize Florida’s elected Republicans over the past few years. At every turn, Scott and his cronies have attempted to hold themselves exempt from standard Sunshine Laws, because, well, they don’t want to admit that most deals are done off-card and beneath the board. Last week, Scott agreed to fork out $700,000 in order to settle no less than seven public records disputes brought about by Tallahassee attorney and Scott arch-nemesis Steven R. Andrews. So, basically, you’ll be paying that $700k through various agencies that exist off your tax dollars, and there will be a rather large rug with untold deals swept beneath it. Sunshine for everyone!
Ack, we almost forgot to mention the other tangential Rubio connection to this week’s cascade of illegitimate hopefuls lining up at the public-figure trough! In a twist worthy of a bad soap opera, the Tampa Bay Times reports that former Rubio aide Ash Mason (of Pinellas County) is lining up for a potential run for Congress, even though we’re still not quite sure what the boundaries look like after the redistricting fracas. Mason has “history” with frat-house inflatable pool Will Weatherford, the former Republican House Speaker from Wesley Chapel, and, in a strange twist of fate, could be facing disgraced former Republican and failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. Don’t say Charlie Crist three times. Wait, did we just say Charlie Crist three times? Oh, no.
A gay real estate developer is apologizing for hosting presidential hopeful, and same-sex marriage opponent, Ted Cruz at an event in his home on April 22.
Ian Reisner, and his business partner Mati Weiderpass, had Cruz, his wife and a dozen friends to their Central Park penthouse for dinner and a “fireside chat”. During the evening, Cruz is said to have softened his anti-gay stance claiming that if one of his daughters were gay, he would “love them just as much.”
NEW YORK (AP) — For Democratic politicians, same-sex marriage has become an easy issue: They’re for it. Many Republican VIPs, notably the presidential hopefuls, face a far more complicated landscape.
Looming ahead for these contenders are early contests in states such as Iowa and South Carolina, where a major role will be played by conservative Christian voters firmly opposed to same-sex marriage. Further down the road is the 2016 general election, where the nominee will likely need backing from independents and moderate Republicans who support gay unions.
Before I begin this column I’d like to first offer an apology.
You see, I have a bad habit of referring to anti-gay politicians and talking heads using pejorative terms like “ass,” “asshole,” “dick” and “dickhead.” I’ve done some soul-searching and realized that I can no longer do this in good conscience and I sincerely apologize.
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