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Are Democrats taking LGBT voters for granted?

More action needed to match the words

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Black Trans rally at LA City Hall on May 24. (Photo by Melanie Chapman via UWC)

San Francisco is considered one of America’s safest havens for LGBT people to be themselves. But in the early morning of June 2, two unidentified gay young Democrats left a bar near the Moscone Center after a day at the California Democratic Convention and were called homophobic slurs and attacked. The 21-year-old, who was beaten until bloody, was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released.

San Francisco Police caught the suspect, Griffin Murray, 27, who was cited for two counts of misdemeanor battery and released. The SFPD is investigating the attack as a hate crime.

“Homophobia has no place in our communities, not in San Francisco, not anywhere. We stand with these two victims and we look forward to an appropriate response from local authorities that sends a strong signal to the public that this behavior is unacceptable and illegal, for the safety of our entire community,” said Tiffany Woods, newly elected co-chair of the California Democratic Party LGBT Caucus.

“I join the CDP LGBTQ Caucus and Democrats everywhere in strongly condemning the violent attack on two Democratic LGBTQ activists in San Francisco on Saturday,” newly-elected CDP Party Chair Rusty Hicks said in a statement to the Bay Area Reporter. “Violence motivated by hate and homophobia is particularly repulsive, and we must all speak out for safer communities and stand with the survivors today.”

But while Hicks is considered a strong LGBT ally, his statement is found nowhere else. Additionally, the CDP apparently made no similarly strong statements condemning the epidemic of Black trans murders— seven deaths so far this year. The body of the latest victim, Chynal Lindsey, 26, was found Saturday, June 1, in White Rock Lane, Dallas, according to TransGriot blogger Monica Roberts.

Last November, the Human Rights Foundation called the 26 murders of trans women in 2018 a “national epidemic.” Recently, on May 24, a coalition of trans activists and allies rallied at Los Angeles City Hall to serve as “examples of unyielding resiliency,” said organizer Chela Demuir, Founder and CEO of Unique Woman’s Coalition, who also promoted the National Trans Visibility March in Washington DC on Sept. 28. 

“The Trump administration announced Friday morning sweeping changes to the rules protecting transgender people from discrimination in health care. Combined with an announcement earlier this week ending gender identity protections in homeless shelters, the administration has now taken steps to exclude transgender people from almost every aspect of public life, including employment, housing, health care, education, prisons, and the military. We are being legally obliterated,” Demuir said.

Also being ignored by mainstream Democrats are the human rights violations against trans asylum seekers. Johana “Joa” Medina Leon, 25, an HIV-positive trans asylum seeker from El Salvador, died June 1 in a Texas hospital after being released from the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Trans refugees and asylum seekers are now being held in male ICE detention centers because the sole unit for trans detainees at the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico is past capacity. 

Trans and LGBT issues were mentioned at Equality California’s “Pride and Politics” reception kicking off the convention. Reps. Katie Hill, Mark Takano and Eric Swalwell, a presidential contender, talked to the 1,000 LGBTQ and allied audience about the Equality Act and President Trump’s discriminatory ban on transgender military service, Equality California Communications Director  Samuel Garrett-Pate told the Los Angeles Blade. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and members of the LGBTQ Caucus also talked about “California’s leadership in the fight for LGBTQ civil rights and the our efforts at the state level to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination and violence — all LGBTQ people, including trans folks, LGBTQ people of color and immigrants and asylum seekers.”

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders was scheduled to appear but a young staffer impolitely said Sanders would be a no-show during the speaking program.

Sanders did show at the CDP’s LGBT Caucus, as did Sen. Amy Klobachar, another presidential candidate. Neither was scheduled to appear.  

“The LGBT Caucus did reach out to Mayor Pete [Buttigieg, out presidential candidate] to come and speak,” Woods tells the Los Angeles Blade. “However, he was unavailable, attending fundraisers in SF. No member of his team asked to come and speak. Very disappointing, as we had several LGBT Caucus members request we reach out to ask us to invite him.” 

Also surprising: the CDP website only lists support for “federal workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity” and “nondiscrimination for the LGBT community in all aspects of their lives, including housing, employment, healthcare, family and adoption.”

There is no specific support of the Equality Act, passed by the House as #5 on Speaker Pelosi’s Top 10 list of priorities.

The Los Angeles Blade also reviewed the CDP’s 195-page packet of proposed resolutions and found “LGBT” (or related) in 11 Resolutions, with two being redundant and one from Stonewall Democratic Club about LGBT asylum seekers.

According to newly elected LGBT Caucus Co-Chair Lester F. Aponte, president of Stonewall Democrats, only 10 resolutions are passed at each convention. They included support for the Green New Deal and ending the federal cannabis ban. But no Equality Act. One LGBT resolution “on which former LGBT Co-Chair Evan Minton was very involved” did make the cut, however, Aponte said.  Resolution 19-05.142 “relates to proposed partnerships between UC hospitals and Dignity Health, the catholic chain of hospitals that requires its hospitals to apply religious teachings to their care by, for instance, refusing treatments to transgender individuals.” 

LGBT Democrats have always been reliable as ATMs, volunteers and voters. When will the CDP’s reciprocal actions match their words?

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Tennessee

GOP State lawmakers to hospital: Stop gender-affirming surgeries

The clinic is the only healthcare provider in Tennessee offering clinical care programs for transgender & gender-expansive children

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The Matt Walsh Show (Screenshot/YouTube)

NASHVILLE – A group of Republican state lawmakers in Tennessee sent a letter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Pediatric Transgender Clinic demanding gender-affirming surgeries cease.

The letter came a few days after Republican Governor Bill Lee called for an investigation into the clinic at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in a statement after reporting by transphobic far-right pundit Matt Walsh on his Daily Wire show.

“The ‘pediatric transgender clinic’ at Vanderbilt University Medical Center raises serious moral, ethical and legal concerns,” Governor Lee said in his statement. “We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children or policies that suppress religious liberties, all for the purpose of financial gain. We have to protect Tennessee children, and this warrants a thorough investigation.”

State Rep. Jason Zachary and more than 60 of his Republican colleagues sent a letter to addressed to the chair of the hospital’s board of directors calling on Vanderbilt to halt the Clinic’s trans youth healthcare regarding gender affirming treatments.

Zachary also noted the letter also requested that all conscientious and religious objections be honored.

Walsh and the far-right extremist anti-LGBTQ Twitter account Libs of TikTok, run by Brooklyn-based Chaya Raichik have previously grabbed headlines for spreading what Trans advocates and LGBTQ+ activists call anti-LGBTQ hate speech.

Raichik who has been suspended from Facebook and also Twitter for inflammatory lies and propaganda about Trans youth healthcare, pledged to redouble her attacks on hospitals providing trans people with health care, she wrote in a rant on her Substack in which she called gender-affirming care “mutilating the body.” 

Libs of TikTok has reportedly been suspended multiple times on multiple platforms, including InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Raichik’s last Twitter suspension came for accusing LGBTQ people of “grooming” children, which Twitter confirmed violates its policies against hateful conduct.

In line with the earlier attacks on Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Washington D.C.’s Children’s with misinformation and misleading characterizations of the trans youth health care provided by those facilities, in a lengthy thread Twitter the Daily Wire’s Walsh attacked Vanderbilt’s clinic.

Vanderbilt opened its trans clinic in 2018. During a lecture the same year, Dr. Shayne Taylor explained how she convinced Nashville to get into the gender transition game. She emphasized that it’s a “big money maker,” especially because the surgeries require a lot of “follow ups” Walsh tweeted adding:

Vanderbilt was apparently concerned that not all of its staff would be on board. Dr. Ellen Clayton warned that “conscientious objections” are “problematic.” Anyone who decides not to be involved in transition surgeries due to “religious beliefs” will face “consequences”

In case the objectors hadn’t gotten the memo, Vanderbilt unveiled a program called “Trans Buddies.” The “buddies” are trans activists from the community who attend appointments with trans patients, monitoring the doctors to guard against “unsafe” behavior such as misgendering, Walsh continued.

Vanderbilt makes their Trans Buddies available to children, too. They make lots of “services” available to children, including chemical castration. Though at some point in the last month they removed explicit admission of this fact from their site. Here’s the archived screenshot:

But they must have forgot to delete a video from Vanderbilt Psychiatry’s Youtube channel back in 2020 which admits explicitly that they will give and have given irreversible hormone drugs to children as young as 13, Walsh wrote in the thread.

After they have drugged and sterilized the kids, Vanderbilt — as explained in this video presentation by plastic surgeon Julien Winocour and Physician’s Assistant Shalyn Vanderbloemen — will happily perform double mastectomies on adolescent girls.

So, let’s review. Vanderbilt got into the gender transition game admittedly in large part because it is very financially profitable. They then threatened any staff members who objected, and enlisted a gang of trans activists to act as surveillance in order to force compliance.

They now castrate, sterilize, and mutilate minors as well as adults, while apparently taking steps to hide this activity from the public view. This is what “health care” has become in modern America, Walsh finished.

Vanderbilt responded to Walsh in a statement:

“(VUMC) is now the subject of social media posts and a video that misrepresent facts about the care the Medical Center provides to transgender patients,” said the university. “VUMC began its Transgender Health Clinic because transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the U.S. health system.”

Walsh also shared a video that featured Vanderbilt University law and genomics professor Ellen Clayton, who discouraged physicians from religious objections to transgender surgeries.

“Saying that you’re not going to do something because of your … religious beliefs is not without consequences, and it should not be without consequences,” she said in the undated clip. “I just want to put that out there. If you don’t want to do this kind of work, don’t work at Vanderbilt.”

The University in its statement disputed that assertion by Clayton:

“Our policies allow employees to decline to participate in care they find morally objectionable, and do not permit discrimination against employees who choose to do so. This includes employees whose personal or religious beliefs do not support gender-affirming care for transgender persons,” Vanderbilt wrote.

The Tennessee Equality Project notes that the clinic is the only healthcare provider in the state offering clinical care programs for transgender and gender-expansive children and adolescents.

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Congress

Out U.S. Rep. introduces bill to create U.S. LGBTQ history museum

“It is vital to remember our collective past when certain states seek to constrain & repeal existing rights by passing laws that harm LGBTQ+”

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Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) has introduced legislation that would set up the process to create a National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History & Culture, potentially as an official site within the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Pocan, one of nine openly gay members of the U.S. House and co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, said in a statement Thursday the measures would are effort to preserve LGBTQ history “as our community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history.” The pair of bills is H.R.9070 and H.R.9071.

“It is vital to remember our collective past – particularly when certain states seek to constrain and repeal existing rights by passing bills that harm LGBTQ+ youth and our community at large,” Pocan said. “Let’s tell these stories, and honor the many contributions the LGBTQ+ community has made to this nation with a museum in Washington, D.C.”

The first bill, according to a news statement, would creates an eight-member commission of individuals with expertise in museum planning or LGBTQ+ research and culture “to look into the viability of establishing such a facility in the nation’s Capital.”

Among other things, the commission would be charged with recommending a plan on action for museum, including fundraising for the museum, and submitting to Congress a plan for construction of the museum, the statement says.

The bill would also instruct the commission to address whether the museum should be part of the Smithsonian Institution, based in the nation’s capital and the world’s largest museum and research complex, per the news statement. The full study, the statement says, would have to be completed in 18 months.

If the Smithsonian were to adopt the a museum on LGBTQ history and culture, it would be similar to other museums under its jurisdiction focused on minority populations in the United States, including the National Museum of African American History & Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian.

The second bill, according to a news statement, would be eligible for consideration by Congress after the commission completes its work and issues its recommendations and allow for formal creation of the museum. More than 50 lawmakers, including all nine openly gay members of the U.S. House, co-sponsor the legislation.

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Utah

New survey shows 72% of Utah residents back same-sex marriage

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah said he’s not surprised to see that a majority of Utahns now support marriage equality

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Mayor of Salt Lake, Erin Mendenhall, raises Pride Flag, June 1 2021 (Photo/Twitter)

SALT LAKE CITY – The results of a poll run by the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the Desert News found 72% of Utah’s residents agree that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by law as valid, with the same rights as cis-gender marriages.

“For a state that less than 20 years ago passed laws and a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, there has been a seismic shift in opinion,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

The Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey also found that 23% of those surveyed disagreed, while 5% expressed that they don’t know.

The poll shows Utahns are aligned with the nation as a whole on the issue. A Gallup poll in May found 71% of Americans say they support legal same-sex marriage, a new high.

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, told the Desert News that he’s not surprised to see that a majority of Utahns now support marriage equality.

“Utah is a pro-family state, and we recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes. When we see loving, committed couples joining in matrimony, our natural impulse is to support and encourage that love. This gives me great hope for the future,” he said.

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