A powerful moment in Hiroshima as our president embraces one of the Hibakusha, a survivor of the atomic blast 71 years ago. My heart soars. I am so proud of this man, who with simple grace leaves the haters in the dust and honors the better angels of our nature. He enlarges himself and us.
The haters on the right are going ape. It is a reminder of the despicable alternative we are faced with this year. We can defeat the haters if we simply stop making excuses and vote. 71 years are long enough to cling to the bitterness of the past. If we do not heal, we make a hollow mockery of Yad Vashem's "Never Again, Never Forget."
Time magazine's rainbow cover sparks outrage https://t.co/Rbu8t99qpF— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) May 25, 2016
This article quotes one objection to the Time cover:
“Dear @time this is a gay pride flag, not a trans pride flag. This is erasure and a failure of basic due diligence,” one person tweeted.
Erasure? Really? The cover of Time Magazine is the opposite of erasure, whether you like the illustration or not. According to Wikipedia, "Unlike within the wider LGBT communities worldwide which have adopted the Rainbow flag, the various transgender individuals, organizations and communities around the world have not coalesced around one single flag design. Instead there are several flags used and endorsed by the varying transgender individuals, organizations and communities." The cover design is a striking graphic inspired by the far better known rainbow flag, which our enemies certainly regard as including the T even if you don't. This is the sort of fake controversy that causes people whose support we need to roll their eyes and turn away.
Vince Gray tangles with the Washington Post ed board over Ward 7 endorsement https://t.co/rz96M7t3PX— Will Sommer (@willsommer) May 23, 2016
The Washington Post has endorsed Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander based on the five-year campaign against Vince Gray by the U.S. Attorney that came up empty. Indeed, the Post concedes, "Mr. Gray is right about Ms. Alexander’s disappointing performance and about his own deep experience." The supposed endorsement of Alexander hardly mentions her.
As usual, I held back from expressing my personal preferences until after GLAA finished its evaluation of candidates. That was done two weeks ago. Here is my personal view: Vince Gray is head and shoulders above the competition. That being said, GLAA gave due credit to Councilmember Alexander for her good work, including her improvement during the past four years, as can be seen in GLAA's news release on our primary ratings.
Former Mayor Gray earned a +10 rating from GLAA (compared to Alexander's +5.5), as well as the endorsement of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club (with 70 percent of the vote on the first ballot). Gray's GLAA questionnaire response sets the standard in this election cycle for thoroughness and understanding stemming from his experience and commitment on LGBT issues.
Here is my 2014 citation for GLAA's special Distinguished Service Award to then-Mayor Gray. The list of accomplishments is a long one.
To be clear, GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan races. I am just giving you my personal opinion when I encourage Ward 7 voters to support this experienced and effective public servant, Vincent C. Gray. Personally I like Yvette Alexander, and I appreciate her growth in office. But on the range of issues that are my focus, Vince Gray is simply the best candidate in the race.
Lawyer who helped take down Prop 8 joins fight against NC's anti-LGBT law https://t.co/HB5gBNJCEq— huffpostqueer (@huffpostqueer) May 18, 2016
The Human Rights Campaign goes the celebrity route again. HRC President Chad Griffin, then leader of American Foundation for Equal Rights, previously brought Olson in, along with Democratic attorney David Boies, for the court fight against California Proposition 8, known as Hollingsworth v. Perry. Olson and Boies ran up more than $6 million in legal fees in that case, despite the fact that other attorneys working in marriage equality cases often worked pro bono. So how much is HRC going to pay Olson?
It should be noted, by the way, that the Perry case did NOT win the nation marriage equality. It was sent back to a lower court by SCOTUS in 2013 for lack of standing. The 2013 SCOTUS overturn of the discriminatory federal definition of marriage in DOMA was in another case, United States v. Windsor, where Edith Windsor's attorney Roberta Kaplan argued before the high court. The ruling that granted civil marriage equality throughout the country came with Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. The plaintiffs in that case were represented at oral argument by civil rights lawyer Mary Bonauto and Washington, D.C. lawyer Douglas Hallward-Driemeier.
Guard Charged with Assault After Confronting Transgender Woman Using Women's Restroom, Source Says | NBC4 Washington https://t.co/yhqNHFd2JY— Jackie Bensen (@jackiebensen) May 19, 2016
This is getting increasingly scary. An epidemic of hatred is spreading in this country. People are going to be assaulted, and some of them killed, because of others' obstinate ignorance. Lord knows what chains of suffering will be set in motion as the summer heats up because of demagogues stoking intolerance. Mind you, this particular story occurred in DC, with as progressive a set of laws as anywhere. Social media are being used as a tool of hatred and provocation by people lacking all restraint and often hiding behind pseudonyms. We must stand together at every level and in every neighborhood and make it clear that violence will not be tolerated.
Chairman Mendelson got the better of this exchange. For the Mayor to yell, "You're a f*cking liar!" at him in the hallway is not a refutation of the Council's plan, which passed unanimously. I got an informal briefing this evening from Councilmember Silverman. There were legitimate concerns that the Mayor's plan was too costly. And in any case, the Council has a role to play other than just rubber stamping the Mayor's proposal. If she doesn't learn from this, she is in big trouble.
Trump here taps into the old notion that targeting particular types of discrimination--that is, being specific enough to be at all useful--amounts to granting "special rights." But if the generic "discrimination is wrong" were sufficient, we would not be having the conversation. Instead of doing anything to combat bias, Trump just wants to put a fig leaf over the bigotry of his know-nothing, xenophobic, white supremacist base.
Amen, Mr. President.
Congrats to our friend Chris Geidner on his interview yesterday with President Obama on Supreme Court matters, including the Senate's refusal to grant a hearing to Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland. It was streamed live via Facebook and YouTube.
At tomorrow’s OGR markup to repeal DC budget autonomy referendum, I’ll offer an amendment to grant DC budget autonomy by an act of Congress.— Eleanor H. Norton (@EleanorNorton) May 16, 2016
Congresswoman Norton responds to House Republicans' assault on D.C. budget autonomy here and here. I will attend the House OGR markup today at 2 pm in 2154 Rayburn HOB to show GLAA's support for our congresswoman.
House Republicans warn D.C. not to assert budget independence - The Washington Post https://t.co/N4FCAuQZgg— Aaron C. Davis (@byaaroncdavis) May 12, 2016
Rep. Mark Meadows threatens to prosecute District of Columbia officials essentially for doing their jobs as the people we elect to represent us. If they are prepared to do this, they should sooner abolish Home Rule and stop pretending to respect our self-determination as American citizens. The outrage here against self-respecting Washingtonians is profound. I stand with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Council Chairman Mendelson, and our other leaders who are fighting this congressional paternalism.
Dear Governor: go ahead and be insulted. Yes, all struggles are different. No, that doesn't make it right to rank oppressions or exclude parts of our population from equal protection of the law. But keep groping for justifications as you dig yourself in deeper.